"Godelot is known to have perished in his own cellar, where he was locked by his mad son, Hereward. We must assume that Hereward took his father’s wand, or the latter would have been able to escape, but what Hereward did with the wand after that we cannot be sure."
Albus Dumbledore mentions the theft in The Tales of Beedle the Bard [src]

The theft of the Elder Wand was an event that took place sometime during the Middle Ages, when Hereward, the son of the dark wizard Godelot stole the Elder Wand from his father and locked him in his own cellar, in order to gain ownership of the Elder Wand.[1][2]



Mythic origins of the Elder Wand

"So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death!"
The Tale of the Three Brothers[src]
DH1 The Elder Tree

The Elder Tree from which the wand was made

According to the "Tale of the Three Brothers" (as compiled in The Tales of Beedle the Bard ) three brothers — suspected to be Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus Peverell — were out travelling when they came to a treacherous river that had been known to claim the lives of many that had attempted to cross it.[3] Taking no chances, the three brothers pulled out their wands and conjured a bridge out of thin air. However, as they began to cross it, they found a hooded figure blocking their path. It was Death himself, dressed in a simple long black cloak. Death felt cheated that the three brothers had outsmarted him and had not drowned in the river, as many others had.[1][3]

Tumblr m4eabyXx1j1qcd6r7o2 r1 250

Death gives Antioch Peverell the Elder Wand

While pretending to congratulate them for their triumph, Death schemed against them. He offered each brother their choice of gift as a reward for outsmarting him. The eldest went first, and being a belligerent man he asked for a wand that would defeat all others. Death went to a nearby elder tree and created a wand from its wood, which he handed to the eldest brother. The second brother, who wanted to humiliate Death even further, asked for an object that would recall the dead and was given the Resurrection Stone. The youngest was wiser than his brothers and was sceptical of Death's intentions. He asked for an object that would allow him to live his life without the fear of Death following him. Reluctantly, Death handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility.[3][1] Albus Dumbledore thought it was unlikely that the Elder Wand was actually made by Death, and assumed that it may have been created by the eldest of the three Peverell brothers, Antioch.[4]

Antioch Peverell's Death

Antioch's throat is slit

Antioch then travelled for about a week, reaching a village where he met with his rival, who he killed in a duel. He then travelled to an inn, where he drunkenly boasted of the wand's powers. That night however, he was murdered in his sleep by another wizard who slayed his throat, thereby allowing him to take possession of the wand.[3]

The wand eventually reached the possession of Emeric the Evil, who was defeated in a duel with Egbert the Egregious, thereby causing the wands ownership to pass on to Egbert.[1][2]

The theft

Godelot Cellar

Godelot is locked in his cellar

It is unknown what happened to Egbert, but his wand eventually came into the possesion of the dark wizard Godelot. Described as an "unpleasant character", Godelot considered the Elder Wand to be an instructor, and used his knowledge of the wand's powers to write Magick Moste Evile, a book that contained information on dark magic. Eventually however, Godelot's own son, Hereward stole the wand from his father and locked him in his own cellar, where he perished, causing the mastery of the Elder Wand to pass on to Hereward.[2]


It is unknown what happened to Hereward, but it can be assumed that the wand was passed on in a murder or a theft, or it is possible that he passed it on to someone else willingly. The wand went through the possession of many different wizards and witches, eventually being passed on to Harry Potter, who placed it in the grave of Albus Dumbledore, meaning that after his death no one could master the wand forever.[5]


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Tales of Beedle the Bard - Albus Dumbledore on "The Tale of the Three Brothers"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Tale of the Three Brothers
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
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