"After much experimentation and research, I concluded that only three substances produce wands of the quality to which I am happy to give the illustrious name of Ollivander: unicorn hair, dragon heartstring and phoenix feather. "
—The three main core types used by Ollivander[src]

Phoenix feathers are feathers shed by phoenixes, primarily gathered and used in wandmaking. Phoenix feather is one of the three supreme core types. It is one of the rarest cores, with the greatest power range and whose allegiance is hard won.


This is one of the rarest core types.[1] Phoenix feathers are capable of the greatest range of magic, though they may take longer than either unicorn hair or dragon heartstring cores to reveal this. They show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord, a quality that many witches and wizards dislike.[1]

Phoenix feather wands are always the pickiest when it comes to potential owners, for the creature from which they are taken is one of the most independent and detached in the world. These wands are the hardest to tame and to personalise, and their allegiance is usually hard won.[1]

Known users

In Ollivanders wand shop, the owner Garrick Ollivander is known to use phoenix feathers as one of his three cores, the others being dragon heartstring and unicorn hair. Phoenix feather is the least used core type in his shop.

Known wands

"It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather resides in your wand gave another feather... just one other. It is curious that you should be destined for this wand when its brother... gave you that scar."
—Garrick Ollivander regarding Harry Potter's wand[src]

Harry Potter's phoenix feather wand

Lord Voldemort's wand

Lord Voldemort's phoenix feather wand

Harry Potter's and Tom Riddle's wand cores came from the same phoenix: Fawkes, who belonged to Albus Dumbledore. This similarity between the two wands means that they are brothers. Therefore, they have a certain connection and may produce unusual magical effects when forced to duel one another. This rare magical effect is a phenomenon known as Priori Incantatem or the Reverse Spell effect.

Tom Riddle, better known as Voldemort, kidnapped the wandmaker Ollivander for information on this situation and how to overcome it. Ollivander told him that a different wand may work against Harry; however, Harry's wand destroyed the "borrowed" wand: in 1997, Lord Voldemort chased Harry during his escape from 4 Privet Drive and tried to murder him with Lucius Malfoy's wand—Harry's stronger wand completely destroyed the borrowed wand.

Before Harry acquiring his holly and phoenix feather wand in 1991, Ollivander had showed another wand of phoenix feather. This wand was made of maple and was not the right fit for Harry.

Professor Silvanus Kettleburn, who taught Care of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, had a wand that contained a phoenix feather core.

Jacob's sibling second wand

Jacob's sibling possible phoenix feather wand

Famous wizarding singer Celestina Warbeck also possessed a phoenix feather wand.[2]

After Patricia Rakepick destroyed Jacob' sibling previous wand, she and Jacob's sibling went to Ollivanders to buy a new wand. Garrick Ollivander presented Jacob's sibling with three wands, and explained the qualities of each one. If Jacob' sibling replies they are most drawn to loyalty and questing for glory, Ollivander will them a wand made of Laurel with a Phoenix feather core. It is twelve inches long.

Known donors

The only phoenix known to have donated his feathers to make a wand was Fawkes, Albus Dumbledore's domesticated bird. He only gave two feathers. The first feather resides in Harry Potter's wand and the other resides in Tom Riddle's wand.[3]

There was at least one other phoenix who donated its feather to Ollivander as shown in the maple wand that was shown to Harry in 1991. Who this phoenix was and how its feather was attained is unknown.

It is possible that there are more phoenixes that have also donated feathers, as Silvanus Kettleburn's wand, Celestina Warbeck's wand and Jacob's sibling second wand contains phoenix feather cores. Who these phoenixes were and how their feathers were attained is unknown.

Other uses


Feather used as a writing tool by Albus Dumbledore

In the 1992-1993 school year, one feather was standing in an ink pot on Albus Dumbledore's desk, indicating that he was using it for writing.

In the 1995-1996 school year, Fawkes left his feathers behind in bursts of flame as messages and warnings for the members of the Order of the Phoenix.

Behind the scenes

  • Harry Potter series author J. K. Rowling, if given the choice, would want the core of her own wand to be a phoenix feather, which was the reason why she gave Harry this core.[4]


See also

Notes and references

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