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"Lucius Malfoy carries a cane. Black, with a serpent head handle. It's his favourite accessory."
Merula Snyde talking about the walking stick[src]

The Snake Cane[4] was a walking stick owned by Lucius Malfoy. It was an ornamental cane and heirloom of the Malfoy family, though it was notably used by Lucius. The cane itself was coated in shiny black lacquer. At the top of the stick was a silver snake's head, which had green crystal eyes. The snake's head was actually the handle of his wand, which was hidden inside the stick.[4]


Early history

Lucius with his walking stick

Throughout his life, Lucius was frequently seen with this walking stick.[2]

In 1996, after his father was discovered as a Death Eater and sent to Azkaban, Draco Malfoy took possession of the cane and brought it with him to school. When looking through Draco's luggage, Argus Filch took the stick out and examined it. Thinking it was an artefact filled with Dark Magic, Filch did not want Draco to enter the Castle with it. Severus Snape, however, pulled Draco out of trouble, as he was sworn to protect him.[3] Despite using his father's walking stick, Draco was not known to use his father's wand during that year (it was presumably taken from Lucius when he went to Azkaban), so it it is possible Draco put his own wand in the place were Lucius's used to go in the walking stick.

The walking stick was returned to Lucius following his escape from Azkaban the following year. However, Lord Voldemort "borrowed" the wand from inside it to circumnavigate his own wand's brotherly connection with Harry Potter's. He snapped the snake head off the wand handle before bringing it with him to the Battle of the Seven Potters.[5] He later replaced his destroyed wand with a new second wand.[6]

Behind the scenes

  • Replicas can be purchased by collectors at various fan shops, such as the Noble Collection.
  • The walking stick only appears in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter novels. It has never been mentioned or referred to in the books.
  • It is possible that the ownership of this walking stick and the heirloom within it both was supposed to mark the owner as the current patriarch of the Malfoy family. If such is the case, (given the fact that Lucius possessed it while his father was still alive, that Draco briefly came into possession of it following his father's imprisonment, and how it was returned to the former after his escape from Azkaban and the fact that Draco and Astoria resided at the ancestral Malfoy home whereas Lucius and Narcissa moved out), it could very well be that when the firstborn son and heir of each generation married what was deemed to be a suitable wife, the newly wedded husband would officially become the new head of the family and, along with his wife and eventual children, inhabit Malfoy Manor, while the older generation retired to a family property elsewhere. The walking stick and the wand inside would thus be passed down to the new landlord as a reminder of the expectations of being a credit to the family name.
  • The walking stick seems to have magical abilities of its own, as in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film), Lucius is seen wielding it during a duel in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries until Harry Disarms him of it, to which Sirius Black comments (his final words before being murdered), "nice one, James".[7] It has been speculated that the cane could be enchanted with a Shield Charm, which could explain why Lucius uses it in his duel against Sirius and Harry in combination with his wand.
  • It is possible that after Lord Voldemort broke the wand in his walking stick, Lucius had a new one placed in its stead in the walking stick, since he kept the cane and silver-headed snake handle after losing his wand.
  • Lucius Malfoy's walking stick can be seen in the band Mushroomhead's music video for "Save Us" it is held by Waylon Reavis. It can be clearly seen at 1:10 in this video.
  • It was Jason Isaacs's idea to have Lucius conceal his wand inside a walking stick.[citation needed]
  • Lucius Malfoy's walking stick may be inspired by the cane Alex DeLarge had in the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange. Alex's cane was used to conceal a dagger, while Lucius' cane concealed his wand.
  • The idea of a walking stick concealing weapons dates from Japanese swords called Shikomizue, which were blades concealed inside canes to be carried in public without detection. Later, these weapons became very famous in Europe, especially England, similar to the fictional character Watson from the 2009 movie adaption of Sherlock Holmes.
  • The films' take on Lucius using his cane as a shield of sorts while wielding his wand is similar to the daisho configuration of Japanese swordsmanship, where a samurai or other swordsman would use a smaller secondary sword as a shield while using a full-sized katana in their dominant hand. Ironically, the shaft of Lucius's cane is longer and is used for defence while the shorter wand is used for offence in duelling. This is quite appropriate for Lucius, as daisho configuration was typical among the elite samurai class during the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and Lucius' old pureblood beliefs certainly mimic such institutional classism.


Notes and references