Griphook: "It's a fake."
Ted Tonks: "The sword of Gryffindor!"
Griphook: "Oh yes. It is a copy — an excellent copy, it is true — but it was Wizard-made. The original was forged centuries ago by goblins and had certain properties only goblin-made armour possesses. Wherever the genuine sword of Gryffindor is, it is not in a vault at Gringotts bank."
— Griphook tells Ted Tonks and Dean Thomas about the replica sword.[src]

A replica of Sword of Gryffindor was created or acquired by Albus Dumbledore sometime prior to 1997. This replica was placed in the case normally holding the real sword, so that the real one could eventually be given to Harry Potter to assist his search for Voldemort's Horcruxes. The replica made its way in time into Bellatrix Lestrange's vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank.


Replacing the real sword

Sometime prior to his death, Albus Dumbledore had acquired this replica and replaced the real Sword of Gryffindor with it. Dumbledore had intended to bequeath the real Sword of Gryffindor to Harry Potter in his will, to provide him with a weapon in his hunt for Voldemort's Horcruxes, but correctly deduced that the Ministry would undoubtedly confiscate it on the grounds that it wasn't his to give as well as to try and find out why it was to be passed down and so swapped it with the replica. True enough, the Ministry wizards confiscated it but were unable to tell that it was a fake. The real sword would later be placed into a secret compartment behind the portrait of Dumbledore in the Headmaster's office by Severus Snape.[1]

Attempted theft

"One of the kids who tried to take the sword was Bill's younger sister. She and a couple of friends got into Snape's office and smashed open the glass case where he was apparently keeping the sword. Snape caught them as they were trying to smuggle it down the staircase."
Dirk Cresswell tells Ted Tonks about the attempted theft of the sword.[src]

Believing it to be the real Sword of Gryffindor, Ginevra Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood staged an attempt to steal this sword from the Headmaster's office. They managed to get as far as the staircase outside before being caught and punished by Snape. After this, Hogwarts Castle was deemed to be unsafe for the sword, and it was relocated to the Lestrange Vault.[2] It presumably was enchanted with the same Flagrante and Gemino Curses as the rest of the vault's contents. One of the goblins, Griphook, immediately noticed that it was a copy but deliberately neglected to mention it, seeking some small victory. When Harry Potter and his friends broke into Gringotts to steal a Horcrux, they noticed the fake sword but left it as they knew it was useless.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 15 (The Goblin's Revenge)
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