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Thread: Wands - Cores, Woods, Sizes

  1. #1

    Wands - Cores, Woods, Sizes

    I need a wand for many of my characters, but I don't understand how you choose one - J.K has said that the wands almost correspond to the owner and the 'wand chooses the wizard' statement seems to reflect that.

    How many different cores are there, and what are they? (Unicorn hair etc)
    What different woods are used for wands?
    What sizes are they? What is the average size of a wand?

    Thanks! (I tried looking on the lexion but couldn't find anything.)

  2. #2
    Ooh what a good thread!

    How many different cores are there, and what are they? (Unicorn hair etc)
    In the books we saw Unicorn Hair, Phoenix Feather, and Dragon Heartsting as the cores Ollivander used. However, as seen in Book 4, Fleur used Veela Hair in hers. However, I think Unicorn Hair, Phoenix Feather, and Dragon Heartsring are the main cores used.

    What different woods are used for wands?
    This is an interesting little tidbit that JKR revealed on her site:
    I gave Harry a wand made of holly wood back in 1990, when I first drafted chapter six of ‘Philosopher’s Stone’. It was not an arbitrary decision: holly has certain connotations that were perfect for Harry, particularly when contrasted with the traditional associations of yew, from which Voldemort’s wand is made. European tradition has it that the holly tree (the name comes from ‘holy’) repels evil, while yew, which can achieve astonishing longevity (there are British yew trees over two thousand years old), can symbolise both death and resurrection; the sap is also poisonous.

    Some time after I had given Harry his holly-and-phoenix wand I came across a description of how the Celts had assigned trees to different parts of the year and discovered that, entirely by coincidence, I had assigned Harry the ‘correct’ wood for his day of birth. I therefore decided to give Ron and Hermione Celtic wand woods, too. Ron, who was born in the February 18 - March 17 period, was given an ash wand (I think I had originally marked him down for beech), and Hermione, who was born between September 2 and September 29, received a vine wood wand (I can’t remember what I originally stipulated for Hermione; possibly I had not specified a wood for her at that stage).

    I have only used the Celtic assignations for Ron and Hermione. Hagrid, for instance, has an oak wand though by this Celtic system he should have a wand made of elder; in Britain, the oak is ‘King of the Forest’ and symbolises strength, protection and fecundity; what other wood could ‘choose’ Hagrid? In any case, I liked having a hidden connection between Harry, Ron and Hermione’s wands that only I knew about (until now, anyway).

    For those who are interested in the trees assigned to the different parts of the Celtic year, below is the chart that I used. I apologise to any Celtic tree experts out there for any inaccuracies I may have reproduced (I have found slight variations between sources since I first came across this information.)

    December 24 - January 20 = Birch (Beth)
    January 21 - February 17 = Rowan (Luis)
    February 18 - March 17 = Ash (Nion)
    March 18 - April 14 = Alder (Fearn)
    April 15 - May 12 = Willow (Saille)
    May 13 - June 9 = Hawthorn (Huath)
    June 10 - July 7 = Oak (Duir)
    July 8 - August 4 = Holly (Tinne)
    August 5 - September 1 = Hazel (Coll)
    September 2 - September 29 = Vine (Muin)
    September 30 - October 27 = Ivy (Gort)
    October 28 - November 24 = Reed (Ngetal)
    November 25 - December 23 = Elder (Ruis)
    I always thought that was a cool bit of info she gave us. (I'd have an Ivy wand. ^^)

    What sizes are they? What is the average size of a wand?
    We've seen very short wands to very long wands. (I'm not sure of an exact measurement.) However, I've noticed that wands seem to correlate with height. (i.e. Hagrid's wand was 16 inches before it was snapped, Umbridge had an "unusually short" one, etc.) So while I don't think there's an exact formula, you could assume a length based on the height of the person in question. (Also, Harry's wand was 11 inches, and we could assume him to be of average height, while Ron's wand was 14 inches, and we were told repeatedly how tall he was.)

    I hope this helped a bit! If you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to PM me!


  3. #3
    How many different cores are there, and what are they?

    In the books there are four cores Unicorn Hair, Phoenix Feather, Dragon Heartsting, and Veela Hair just like Mistress of Time said, but JKR has also told us that the core in the Elder wand is threastal hair. I also think that there is probably more materials that can be used for coers.

    What different woods are used for wands?

    I think that the wands can be made by practically any wood. (Exept Oliver Wood.)

    Hope that helped.

  4. #4
    Ironic Inspiration
    If it's okay, I'd like to add a question of my own contributing toward the topid of wands.

    Which wands are best for what? I know certain wands are better for say, Transfiguration like James Potter's was.

  5. #5
    I think it depends on the combination of wood and core that gives you different types of wands.

    I actually found a website that gave more Wand Cores, however I'm not sure what their source is, so these may or may not be Canon...(The Lexicon is down currently, or I would've used them...)

    • Phoenix Feather – Very Magical.
    • Dragon Heartstring – Hexes are a specialty of this core.
    • Unicorn Tail – Best for the pure of heart.
    • Leprechaun Hair – Somewhat temperamental to Non-Irish.
    • Demiguise Hair – Only the best for Transfiguration.
    • Hippogriff Talon – Excellent for Charm Work.
    • Runespoor Fang – Best for those who deal with Dark Magic.
    • Hair from the Mane of a Kelpie – Superb for all spells.
    • Chimaera Scale – Very rare, yet very powerful.
    • Ashwinder Ash – Casts the best protection charms.
    Incidentally, while we don't know their Cores, James' wand was good for Transfiguration and was made out of Mahogany, while Lily's was good for Charms and made out of Willow.

    Hope this helped!


  6. #6
    I think the cores and woods would correspond with the wandmaker. It's logical that perhaps Ollivander's wants, being from Britain, would follow local traditions or tendencies (celtic correspondances), but perhaps in other areas of the world different woods are used as well.

    Cores as well, I think, would depend on the wandmaker. Ollivander did seem to favour phoenix feathers, unicorn hair, dragon heartstring, but perhaps wandmakers like Gregorovitch used different cores. Since "each wand is different" i assume each wandmaker would have their distinct choices and styles with their wands.

    If your story takes place at Hogwarts, I'd suggest following the suggetions (the celtic woods, and ollivanders cores), but if your story perhaps too place somewhere else, I'd say it'd be a great opportunity to take a little liberty and perhaps use essences of magical creatures not often associated with wands (I once used an augury feather).

  7. #7
    Wow, thanks for all the help (but of course, more would be appreciated) I'll definitely look back to this thread for wand help - it's something that I never really understood

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