Wands are vital in the wizarding world. Without wands, a witch or wizard could not perform their spells as effectively or accurately.
The components that make up a wand are also essential, and there are a lot of different materials that could be used to make one.
In the Harry Potter world, wandmakers use various kinds of wood, and each wand has a core made up of magical material.
Garrick Ollivander is one of the most famous, renowned wandmakers in the wizarding world. You’re probably familiar with his store.
Most witches and wizards buy their first wands at age eleven, then they head off to school to learn how to use magic.
While other wandmakers might use materials such as Kelpie hair or Veela hair for a wand core, Ollivander only used three substances.
The most powerful wands were made from unicorn hair, phoenix feather, and dragon heartstring. Ollivander called these the “Supreme Wand Cores.”
The 12 Most Powerful Wands in Harry Potter
12. Lily Potter’s wand
Lily discovered she could perform magic at a young age and before she even bought her first wand, a 10 ¼ inch willow wood wand with an unknown core.
She was exceptionally bright and skilled with magic, eventually joining The Order of The Phoenix.
“It seems only yesterday she was in here herself, buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wand for charm work.”
– Garrick Ollivander
11. James Potter’s wand
Even though he was a skilled wizard, James Potter, unfortunately, used his 11-inch mahogany wood wand (with an unknown core) to bully and wreak havoc on other students during his time at Hogwarts.
More specifically, he picked on Severus Snape.
His wand wasn’t in his reach when Voldemort arrived to kill James, Lily, and Harry.
Who knows what would’ve happened if he had been able to use his powerful wand.
“Your father, on the other hand, favoured a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration. Well, I say your father favoured it — it’s really the wand that chooses the wizard, of course.”– Garrick Ollivander
10. Remus Lupin’s wand
Remus Lupin’s 10 ¼ inch long wand was made of Cypress wood with a unicorn hair core. Cypress wood wands are usually drawn to witches and wizards who are selfless and sacrificial, both of which describe Lupin perfectly.
We know he performed impressive magic throughout his life, especially when he was the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.
He taught the students to conjure Patronuses among many other spells. He used his wand in many different wars before his tragic death in the Battle of Hogwarts.
9. Severus Snape’s wand
We know without a doubt that Severus Snape was exceptionally talented at magic, but more specifically with potions. Granted, he was The Half-Blood Prince.
His wand abilities include precision, accuracy, and some may dare to say flawlessness. However, we don’t know the length, wood type, or core of his wand.
Even though Snape and Albus Dumbledore planned Dumbledore’s death, Snape still had to use his wand to produce the death curse, which took a lot of power indeed.
8. Hermione Granger’s wand
Hermione Granger yielded a 10 ¾ inch-long vine wood wand with a dragon heartstring core. She was one of the smartest and hardest-working witches during her time at Hogwarts.
She excelled in all her classes, and she was the top student in all except one, Defense Against the Dark Arts. Hermione was able to perform exceptional magic with her wand and conjured her first Patronus at age 16.
She also was the first in her class to do the levitation spell skillfully.
Later, when Hermione’s wand was taken from her, she used Bellatrix Lestrange’s wand stolen by Harry. She took it with her when she impersonated Bellatrix at Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
Hermione Granger: “I hate that thing. I really hate it. It feels all wrong, it doesn’t work properly for me… It’s like a bit of her.”
Ron Weasley: “It’ll probably help you get in character, though. Think what that wand’s done!”
Hermione Granger: “But that’s my point! This is the wand that tortured Neville’s mum and dad, and who knows how many other people? This is the wand that killed Sirius! I miss my wand.”– Hermione discussing using Bellatrix’s wand
7. Professor Minerva McGonagall’s wand
Minerva McGonagall was the Professor of Transfiguration, and for good reason, dragon heartstring wands do well with transfiguration spells, and these wands “learn” faster than the others.
Professor McGonagall was exceptionally skilled with magic, and she used her 9 ½ inch fir wood wand to cast protective spells over Hogwarts during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Dragon heartstring wands cores also have a strong loyalty to their owners, which can be extremely helpful.
“My august grandfather, Gerbold Octavius Ollivander, always called wands of this wood ‘the survivor’s wand.”– Garrick Ollivander
6. Lucius Malfoy’s wand
We don’t know whether Lucius Malfoy had another wand before his 18-inch-long elmwood wand with a dragon heartstring core. He typically concealed his wand in his snake-head cane.
After a battle with Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort realized that his wand shared a phoenix feather core with Harry’s, and therefore Voldemort required a new wand.
He volunteered a reluctant Lucius’s wand for his use. This wand was used to perform Dark magic by both Voldemort and Lucius and was quite powerful.
Voldemort: “…I understand better now. I shall need, for instance, to borrow a wand from one of you before I go to kill Potter. No volunteers? Let’s see…Lucius, I see no reason for you to have a wand anymore.”
Lucius: “My Lord?”
Voldemort: “Your wand, Lucius. I require your wand.”– Lord Voldemort
5. Bellatrix Lestrange’s wand
Bellatrix Lestrange’s 12 ¾ inch walnut wood wand, with a dragon heartstring core, was unique because Garrick Ollivander noted that it was “unyielding.”
As we see later, Hermione despised using this wand, which could be because it was loyal to its original owner, or simply because Hermione hated Bellatrix and what she’d done with the wand.
Either way, the wand had performed impressive spells at both witches’ hands, even if the ones conducted by Bellatrix were primarily evil.
4. Gellert Grindelwald’s wand
Gellert Grindelwald was one of the most notorious Dark wizards of his time and one of the most powerful until Lord Voldemort came along.
His previous wands were unknown, but a lot of his ambition with dark magic came after he stole the Elder Wand.
Albus Dumbledore dueled with Grindelwald and achieved ownership of the coveted Elder Wand.
3. Lord Voldemort’s Wand
Voldemort’s 13 ½ inch yew wood wand was the twin of Harry’s and had a phoenix feather core, and he also bought it at Ollivander’s.
Interestingly, both Harry and Voldemort’s phoenix feather cores were from Dumbledore’s pet phoenix, Fawkes. The same phoenix later saves Harry’s life in the Chamber of Secrets when Tom Riddle tries to kill him.
It’s also the same wand Voldemort used to murder James and Lily Potter, and countless others.
Later on, Voldemort captured Ollivander and tortured him for the location of the elder wand before Harry, Ron, and Hermione rescued him.
2. Harry Potter’s wand
Perhaps the most notable thing about Harry Potter’s 11-inch wand is that it was the brother (or twin) of Voldemort’s wand. Both wands shared phoenix feather cores.
This is noteworthy because we saw that Harry and Voldemort’s wands “knew” one another as brothers, and therefore wouldn’t fight each other in the same way other wands might.
However, Harry’s wand was made of holly, which Ollivander thought was an odd mix for a wand – phoenix feather core and holly.
As with all witches and wizards, Harry’s wand chose him after he tried out other ones. This particular one proved unique since Harry could conjure a Patronus when he was only 13 years old, making him one of the youngest wizards ever to do so.
Harry later inherits the elder wand when he disarms Draco Malfoy. However, he knows how much power it holds and how much others want it.
“Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember… I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter… After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great.”– Garrick Ollivander
1. Dumbledore’s wand – The Elder Wand
Albus Dumbledore came to possess the elder wand, the most powerful wand in the wizarding world, in 1945.
Since this wand was one of the elements of the Deathly Hallows, if the owner also obtained the resurrection stone and the cloak of invisibility, they could become the Master of Death.
Additionally, the core of the elder wand is Thestral hair, so it will perform at its highest when owned by someone who truly understands death and its meaning.
“I was fit only to possess the meanest of them, the least extraordinary. I was fit to own the Elder Wand, and not to boast of it, and not to kill with it. I was permitted to tame and to use it, because I took it, not for gain, but to save others from it.”Albus Dumbledore
Additional Harry Potter character’s wands
|Harry Potter||11-inch-long holly wood wand with a phoenix feather core|
|Lord Voldemort (Tom Riddle)||13 ½ inch-long yew wood wand with a phoenix feather core|
|Ron Weasley||His original one (before it broke) was a 12-inch-long ash wood wand with a unicorn hair core, his second was 14 inches long with willow wood and unicorn hair core|
|Hermione Granger||10 ¾ inch-long vine wood wand with a dragon heartstring core|
|Neville Longbottom||His first one was unknown, but his second was a cherry wood wand with unicorn hair core|
|Draco Malfoy||10-inch-long hawthorn wood wand with unicorn hair core, at one point he was the rightful owner of the elder wand|
|James Potter||11-inch-long mahogany wood wand with an unknown core|
|Lily Potter||10 ¼ inch-long willow wood wand with an unknown core|
|Hagrid||16-inch-long oak wood wand with an unknown core|
|Professor Minerva McGonagall||9 ½ inch-long fir wood wand with a dragon heartstring core|
|Cedric Diggory||12 ¼ inch-long ash wood wand with unicorn hair core|
|Remus Lupin||10 ¼ inch-long Cypress wood wand with unicorn hair core|
|Lucius Malfoy||His first wand was 18 inches long and made of elm wood with a dragon heartstring core|
|Bellatrix Lestrange||12 ¾ inch-long walnut wood wand with a dragon heartstring core|
Does a wands materials affect spells/magic?
It is well known in the wizarding world that a wand itself doesn’t typically generate magic (maybe on very rare occasions), but the magic from the witch or wizard who owns it flows through it.
While wands cannot think or reason, they possess a mysterious awareness, intelligence, and personality.
The three “Supreme Wand Cores” do have specific characteristics about them. For example, a wand with a unicorn hair core conjures dependable magic, so it’s very reliable.
A dragon heartstring core is the most powerful of the three while also being more glamorous with its magical abilities. Finally, the phoenix core wand is the rarest.
Does the length of a wand matter?
Many wandmakers think the length of the wand correlates to the height of the witch or wizard. However, Ollivander theorized that the wand’s length more closely resembled their personality and the longer the wand, the bigger the person’s ego.
Therefore, a shorter wand means that person is lacking something in their character.
Typically wands are between 9 and 14 inches long, but the shortest wand is 6 inches, and any over 15 inches are scarce. Although technically, they do go up to 18 inches in length!
In theory, longer wands are more powerful but less accurate, and shorter ones have better accuracy but less power. It’s said that Dark wizards prefer longer wands because of this.
And, Lord Voldemort’s wand was 13 ½ inches.