Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Ollivander

Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character
Garrick Ollivander
Gender Male
Hair color Unknown
Eye color Hazy, Silver
Related Family Wife, son, daughter (deceased)
Loyalty unknown



Garrick Ollivander works at his own wand shop, Ollivander's: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, in Diagon Alley.

Mr. Ollivander is descended from a long line of wand makers, who he believes immigrated from the Mediterranean to ancient Britain with the early Romans. Mr. Ollivander has dedicated himself to crafting the most powerful wands known using only unicorn hair, phoenix feather, and dragon heartstring for the cores. Though he believes these three substances are the strongest magically, he uses a wide variety of woods to create his wands. Wizards from around the world purchase their wands from Ollivander's shop, as they are considered among the finest wands ever made. His own wand is hornbeam and dragon heartstring.

Mr. Ollivander attended Hogwarts and was sorted into Ravenclaw House. He is married and has two children, a son, and a daughter, who is deceased. His birthday is September 25th.

Role in the Books

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Ollivander, after trying out many wands, sells Harry an 11-inch holly wand with a phoenix feather core. This wand's core happens to contain one of only two feathers donated by a particular phoenix. Harry is disconcerted when Ollivander tells him it is the same phoenix whose feather lies within Lord Voldemort's wand. Harry, seeing how much Ollivander appreciates Voldemort's powerful magic, is unsure whether he likes Mr. Ollivander.

Ron receives a new wand before school begins; presumably it is an Ollivander wand, though his name is not mentioned.

The four champions, Fleur Delacour, Cedric Diggory, Viktor Krum, and Harry Potter, must have their wands checked to confirm that they are all in good working order. It is Mr. Ollivander who is called in to do that checking. He recognizes Harry's and Cedric's wands immediately as being of his own manufacture, recognizes Krum's as being "a Gregorovitch creation," and suggests that the Veela hair core of Fleur's wand could make it temperamental.

Some stores in Diagon Alley have closed as their owners have disappeared. Florean Fortescue's ice cream parlour, for instance, is no longer open, and damage to the store indicates a struggle occurred there. But while Mr. Ollivander has also departed, Ollivander's shop is unscathed, indicating he may have either decamped to avoid the upcoming battles, or thrown in with Voldemort. Neville Longbottom remarks that the new wand his grandmother gave him after the battle at the Ministry of Magic is from Ollivander's. He thinks it may be of the last wands Ollivander sold before disappearing.

Ollivander, it turns out, had not decamped or voluntarily joined the Death Eaters. Actually, they are holding Ollivander captive at Malfoy Manor. His screams are heard from the cellar below their meeting room, seemingly in response to Voldemort's statement that he, Voldemort, shall be the one to kill Harry Potter. Lord Voldemort interrogates Ollivander about ways to overcome the connection between his wand and Harry's. When Olivander's advice to use a different wand fails (Harry's wand destroys the wand borrowed from Lucius Malfoy), Lord Voldemort severely punishes Ollivander.

We surmise from later events that when Ollivander was unable to provide sufficient answers as to why Voldemort's borrowed wand failed against Harry's, he then interrogated Ollivander about the legendary Elder Wand, also known as the "Deathstick", the undefeatable wand.

Later, Harry, Hermione, and Ron rescue Ollivander from Malfoy Manor, taking him to Shell Cottage. We learn that Ollivander had been forced to make Wormtail a new wand. He also explains how wands choose their owners and says that a wand's loyalty can be transferred from one wizard to another. It is part of a wand choosing its wizard, and the wand may shift its allegiance, partly or wholly, to one who captures it from the original owner. However, murdering the previous owner is unnecessary to win a wand's allegiance. Ollivander admits to Harry that the Elder Wand's history does seem littered with murders.

Finally, Harry confirms that Ollivander had known that Gregorovitch had, or at least claimed to have, the Elder Wand, and had spread rumours that he was studying it to determine its secrets. He also confirms that Ollivander had passed this information on to Voldemort.

Ollivander's long imprisonment weakened him, and his recovery is long, but just before Harry embarks on his mission to Gringotts, Ollivander is taken from Shell Cottage to the Weasley family's Auntie Muriel's house to convalesce.



Mr. Ollivander dedicated himself to becoming the finest wand maker in the world, carefully researching what magical substances were the most powerful for a wand's core. He settled on only three: dragon heartstring, unicorn hair, and phoenix feather. He does use a wide variety of woods, which, when combined with the cores, apparently affects how each wand works. He is also able to remember every wand he ever sold, including details of its construction.



Due to his advanced age, and later due to his long imprisonment, Ollivander is apparently somewhat weakened physically. While it is never mentioned, it may be this physical weakness that allowed the Death Eaters to capture Ollivander without leaving signs of a struggle.

Relationships with Other Characters




Hagrid makes a comment in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that leads us to believe that Ollivander is not the only wandmaker, but certainly the best, though it is never stated in the series whether this means the best in the world, the best in Britain, or the best in Diagon Alley. Both Ron and Neville seem to take some pride in having received wands from Ollivander's. Based on that analysis, we can surmise that Ollivander is likely at the top of his profession, in London at the very least. In fact, the general impression of the reader is that only Gregorovitch can possibly equal or surpass him in skill.



Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

  1. How can Mr Ollivander recall every single wand ingredient to every single customer?

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