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Jules934
Posts: 1,581
Registered: ‎06-21-2009

Error or Plot Point

There’s a point in DH that has bothered me since I realized it was there.  Grindelwald stole the Elder Wand from Gregoravich.  Since the wand lends it’s legendary powers only the one who wins it from it’s former owner, GG could not have gained anything by using it.  Actually, if it had performed for him, Dumbledore could never have defeated him.

 

If we assume that DD knew his former friend held the EW, we have an answer to why DD waited so long to confront him – knowing he could not win, he saw no sense in dying needlessly: alive, he could continue his opposition to that evil wizard; dead,………...

 

When GG  and DD finally did approach each other, they would have realized, almost instantly, that they were as evenly matched as they had been in their youth.  Grindlewald could have only been taken aback at the realization – the Elder Wand was not going to defeat his challenger, he would have to do it on his own.  Dumbledore could have only been inspired.  He had a chance at victory that he had never expected.  The battle was his to win.

 

But realizing that the EW had been separated from it’s true owner long ago only raises more questions.

 

What about DD’s powers?  They were all his own strength, and he knew it.  But he also knew that others, once they realized what his wand was, would believe the legendary power to be intact, and would seek it.  Obviously, that’s why he publicly took the wand to his grave, where it could be found easily by anyone who wanted it.  No one would be harmed in the search.

 

What about GG’s powers?  They too were his own.  If he ever realized, he never let on. 

 

And Voldemort?  He realized right off.  On the ball for once, he knew he wasn’t doing anything he couldn’t have with his yew wand.  Well, partly on the ball, because he thought the powers were still there, he just had to make a change.  Poor Severus.

 

And Harry?  His own powers healed the holly wand, but he doesn’t realize it.  Since he put the Elder Wand back in DD’s tomb, anyone can find it and continue it’s saga. 

 

But what of the true owner, whoever that is?  The more time that passes, the more likely that the true owner is dead and its legendary powers evaporated. 

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Psychee
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Registered: ‎04-17-2007
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Re: Error or Plot Point

Great analysis of a "what if" scenario, Jules, but Grindelwald actually got the powers of the wand by stealing it.  Taking a wand from a wizard does constitute a defeat.  The wizard does not need to die or even to do battle.  One of the first wizards to lose the wand had it stolen when he was asleep and drunk.

 

Remember when Harry was able to fix his own wand with the Elder Wand?  When no other wand was capable of such a miracle?  This proves that the wand still had its powers up to the very end.

 

I'm sorry!  You put a lot of time into that post!  :smileysad:

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Jules934
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Re: Error or Plot Point

Thanks Psychee   this has been bugging me and I have worked at it, for 2 years and more.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy…….Dumbledore did vanquish Grindelwald while he was wielding the Elder Wand.  If he hadn’t, there would be no Harry Potter to write about. 

If G'wald were the TrueOwner, the wand could not have been functioning as it should have, .  Since it didn’t function, G'wald could not have been the TrueOwner.  

 

Which goes back to the manner in which the EW’s true ownership is passed.  Everywhere in DH it says that the EW must be "won".  Ollivander even goes so far as to say that there must be a “contest”.  Apparently the contest doesn’t have to be fair, as winning by murdering the previous owner while they slept, or even-handed, as in blowing the wand out of the withered hand of a dying wizard, but pure thievery is not a contest.

If pure thievery were a contest, G'wald would have been the vanquisher.

As far as Harry healing the holy wand, only one repair was attempted – by Harry with Hermione’s wand, after both Ollivander and Hermione said it wouldn’t work.  Not great confidence builders, and self confidence has been a theme thruout the series*.  But when Harry holds the EW, which he believes he truly owns and believes is not a myth, he succeeds.

That’s why I called this “Error or Plot Point”. 

 

  • Was it a plot point -- did JKR deliberately make G'wald a thief so that DD could win the duel, and leave her dear readers to spot it?  Remember, G'wald could have gotten the wand by any way JKR could think of. 

  • Was it pure error?  I mean, the lady's entitled. 

The odd thing is, everything except the vanquishment is defined in DH.  It’s not like a misstatement got out in an earlier book and couldn’t be recalled. 

:smileywink:

 

*   Ron’s multiple confidence issues, Neville’s family browbeating that he was not as good as his father, Hermione having trouble with the other wands she has to use, Harry loosing confidence in the forest and Luna calling it back to him…

** Even a stupid jelly-legs jinx to keep G'vich from pursuing him would have qualified. 

Sorry, some folks are addicted to chocolate, some to cupcakes, I'm addicted to footnotes.  Blame the word processor industry.  I'm innocent.

 

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Psychee
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Re: Error or Plot Point

[ Edited ]

Jules934 wrote:
Thanks Psychee   this has been bugging me and I have worked at it, for 2 years and more.
Dumbledore did vanquish Grindelwald while he was wielding the Elder Wand.  If he hadn’t, there would be no Harry Potter to write about. 

If G'wald were the TrueOwner, the wand could not have been functioning as it should have, .  Since it didn’t function, G'wald could not have been the TrueOwner.  


Dumbledore did not vanquish Grindelwald - he merely defeated him.   There are all kinds of defeat.   The notion that the wand rendered the master of it "Unbeatable", though, was always a myth.   The wand WAS more powerful than any other wand in existence, and if two wizards were aiming the same spell at something at the exact same time the Elder Wand would be the winner,  but that wasn't enough to make the holder of the wand unbeatable.  He could simply be beaten by a wizard who was faster or trickier or by circumstances in which he was focusing his attention one place while he was being defeated through another. 

 

Remember that everything we were told about these magical properties came to us through a children's tale and the legends that Mr. Lovegood relayed.   The tale was based on stories about the objects, but was meant to teach.  It was never factual.  These things did not come from Death, they were made by the Peverell brothers.

 


 

 

Which goes back to the manner in which the EW’s true ownership is passed.  Everywhere in DH it says that the EW must be "won". 

 


 

One definitely had to "win" the Elder Wand's allegiance, but you could do that simply by outsmarting the current Master and stealing it from him.   No battle was necessary.  No "vanquishment" was necessary.  One needed only to get the wand away from the master by whatever means that the wand itself considered a "defeat".   And yes, stealing any wand means that you have successfully disarmed your opponent, so it is a defeat.  You've left him defenseless.

 

 

The other myth about the Deathly Hallows was that if you had the all you would become immortal.  Objectively, though, this was not the case.

 

These myths weren't errors;  they were red herrings.

 

By the way, you are not the first person to have difficulty with this issue.  We had pretty animated discussions about this right after DH came out.  I'll have to find them for you.

 

 

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Psychee
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Re: Error or Plot Point

I found most of our discussions by doing a search for the thread "The Unbeatable Wand".  There were other more lively discussions, though, in the thread "Chapter 36".  There was another thread called "The Elder Wand - again".  Each of these discussions took different turns, depending on the way the person posed their question. 

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TheChippedWarlockBust
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Registered: ‎08-31-2009
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Re: Error or Plot Point

I agree with your analysis Psychee.  GW was definitely a legit owner.  As for DD defeating him despite this, I have a few lingering doubts as to why, although your explanation is reasonable.  I'll check out those threads you mentioned... should be interesting.

 

Also, as for the red herring of the possessor of all three hallows, I'm not sure if it was completely bogus.  It may have not made the owner immortal or unbeatable, but there seemed to be some significance since both DD and Harry purposefully did not possess all three at once.  They made a bit of a big deal about that in the book.  I'll have to think about that more.

 

I think the Elder wand's true owner is now Harry and at some point, it seems reasonable that someone else could become the master of the elderwand by disarming him or what not.  However, unless they know that Harry was the true master of it and know where it is, it won't really matter.

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Jules934
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Re: Error or Plot Point

[ Edited ]

 "Vanquish is the word used in the series to describe Dumbledore's defeat of Grindlewald.  In my mind, as the two wizards were, in DD's words "evenly matched", the battle between them was not a 

short one, but went on until G’wald was thoroughly exhausted and unable either to defend himself or to challenge Dumbledore farther.  The wand was not defeated, its allegiance remained with its true owner, and still does, unless that person has passed away in natural death..  After all, we have no knowledge of how G'vich obtained it.  Perhaps it was lent to him for study.

 

I also see that manner of endurance contest being what Dumbledore intended when he approached Voldemort.  But when Voldy involved Harry in the battle, DD paused to ensure that Harry was not injured by any spell of his conjuring.  Fortunately, as we all know, Voldy could not endure the love in Harry’s mind and fled from Harry and DD rather than continue the contest. 

We have more information about the EW than just Xeno’s opinion.  Ollivander, a great expert on wandlore, tells us about the EW and assures us that it is not merely a wizarding fairy tale.  He assures Harry of its existence.  And DD, in his commentary on the EW, accounts for how it could well have had the power attributed to it.  And while you are no doubt right in agreeing with DD that the Peverells invented the Deathly Hallows, their inventions were indeed powerfully magical.

The transfer of the wand’s allegiance is probably our biggest contention.  With all the references to “winning” the wand, I just don’t believe that thievery was enough.

 

 

"Red Herrings"?  I  think not.  Dumbledore knew that Harry could only prevail if he had the courage of his convictions behind him.  He also knew that, if Harry ever heard the tale, he would be confused.  To cut off that confusion, DD presented Harry with their story and let him work his own way thru to choose his own path to Voldemort.

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Psychee
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Re: Error or Plot Point

Jules, where do you find the word "vanquish" in the text as it relates to Dumbledore and Grindelwald?  The Chocolate Frog Card said this:

 


ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
Currently Head master of Hogwarts. Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard  Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicholas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling. 

The only time I recall the word used was in connection with Harry and Voldemort --- "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord...." 

 

But, it does not matter, actually, as having now looked up the definition of the word, it does not appear to mean what I thought it did!   I've apparently been watching too many episodes of "Charmed" in which the word is used to mean not only defeat, but total destruction, which is why I questioned it. 

 

But, in any case, I don't buy the idea that Grindelwald was not the true owner of the EW and that Dumbledore did not become Master of it when he defeated him. 

 

But I enjoy your persistence! :smileyhappy:

 

The "red herring" comment I made earlier was not referencing us as readers, but rather, Dumbledore and Lovegood's quest to unite the Hallows in order to become immortal.  They were, in my opinion, chasing after a very misleading goal.