Malfoy Manor

chapter twenty-three of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Snatchers bring the trio to Malfoy Manor, where Hermione is tortured while Harry and Ron are locked in the cellar. Dobby arrives, though, and takes the other prisoners to safety, and when Wormtail comes to check on them, Harry and Ron overpower him and he is killed by his own silver hand. Finally, with Dobby’s help, Harry and Ron grab Hermione and Griphook and the five Disapparate, but Dobby is hit with Bellatrix’s knife as they do, and just speaks Harry’s name as he dies.

Fenrir Greyback, by TBranch

Harry’s stomach turned over. He knew who this was: Fenrir Greyback, the werewolf who was permitted to wear Death Eater robes in return for his hired savagery.

(by TBranch)


Wolf and Prey, by pojypojy

“Your boyfriend’s going to have worse than that done to him if he’s on my list,” said the horribly familiar, rasping voice. “Delicious girl… What a treat… I do enjoy the softness of the skin….”


Fenrir Says Yummy, by Heather Campbell

“We’ve got Potter!” Greyback roared triumphantly. “We’ve captured Harry Potter!”


The Malfoys, by Abigail Larson

Two figures rose from chairs… as the prisoners were forced into the room by the Snatchers. “What is this?”


Inspecting Potter, by Heather Campbell

“There’s something there,” [Lucius] whispered, “it could be the scar, stretched tight…. Draco, come here, look properly! What do you think?”


Bellatrix Lestrange, by odella

The drawing room door opened behind Harry. A woman spoke, and the sound of the voice wound Harry’s fear to an even higher pitch. “What is this? What’s happened, Cissy?”
Bellatrix Lestrange walked slowly around the prisoners, and stopped on Harry’s right, staring at Hermione through her heavily lidded eyes. “But surely,” she said quietly, “this is the Mudblood girl?”

(by odella)


The Forgotten Marauder, by VikingCarrot

Harry… saw the ratlike man’s small watery eyes widen with fear and surprise: He seemed just as shocked as Harry at what his hand had done, at the tiny, merciful impulse it had betrayed, and he continued to struggle more powerfully, as though to undo that moment of weakness….


STOP OR SHE DIES, by Heather Campbell

Panting, Harry peered around the edge of the sofa…. “Drop your wands,” [Bellatrix] whispered. “Drop them, or we’ll see exactly how filthy her blood is!”


Disarmed, by forbis

The chandelier crashed to the floor in an explosion of crystal and chains…. As Ron ran to pull Hermione out of the wreckage, Harry took his chance: He leapt over an armchair and wrested the three wands from Draco’s grip.

(by forbis)


Oh Dobby, by Behindtheveil

Harry… looked around. The little elf [was] feet from him.


Last Words, by somelatevisitor

“Dobby, no, don’t die, don’t die -“
The elf’s eyes found him, and his lips trembled with the effort to form words. “Harry… Potter…”


Dobby's Passing, by FrizzyHermione

And then with a little shudder the elf became quite still, and his eyes were nothing more than great glassy orbs, sprinkled with light from the stars they could not see.


about the chapter


Dobby wasn’t exactly the most popular character in the Harry Potter books, at least among fans. But something about his death in this chapter struck a chord deep within almost everyone who read it. And even those who cringed when Dobby appeared on the page could hardly help but feel devastated once he was forever gone. And it’s not too hard to see why. Because if there is anybody who Harry has ever met that epitomizes goodness, Dobby has to be it. He hated his Dark masters; he fought for his freedom; he proved fiercely loyal to Harry and his friends; and he was willing to do absolutely anything – even return, terrified, to Malfoy Manor in Harry’s hour of need – to fight for what he believed was right. Harry will soon say that Dobby deserves a funeral every bit as grand as Dumbledore’s, and quirky though Dobby may have been, he was as *good* as Harry could ever hope his friends to be. Rest in peace, Dobby.

Something You May Not Have Noticed

The inhabitants of Malfoy Manor are so focused on Harry, Ron, and Hermione in this chapter that they miss a fascinating sideshow – that is, the actions of Draco Malfoy. Not only is he hesitant to approach Harry, but he also basically refuses to identify Ron and Hermione. You have to wonder what’s going on in his mind; he’s spent so much time with the trio over the past six years that there’s almost no question that he knew exactly who they were the moment he first laid eyes on them, yet he acts incredibly uncertain about it all. Meanwhile his parents are beside themselves with excitement over the opportunity to hand Harry over to Voldemort and get back in his good graces. Why wouldn’t Draco, who we’ve hardly ever seen doing anything but parroting his parents beliefs, feel any differently?

We’ll never know for sure, of course. But we have some clues. The first is that he did not in fact kill Dumbledore, and Harry firmly believes (correctly, according to Rowling) that he never would have. The second is that he’s seen the worst of Voldemort in a way few wizards have, as Voldemort basically cast his father aside and then sent him on an task with the intention of his being killed in the attempt. Since then he’s also been forced to torture other Death Eaters. So what’s going through Draco’s head now? Is he simply trying to avoid being in the same room as Voldemort? Is he truly unsure because he’s that scared of what will happen if he’s wrong? Is he hesitating because, for all his picking on Harry, he knows him well enough to not want to watch as he’s killed? Or is it something deeper – does Draco truly not want Voldemort to win?

The Wizarding World

If you think about it, it’s pretty scary that Voldemort and his Death Eaters are using the Malfoys’ house as a home base. Because while I realize the Ministry is under Voldemort’s control, and that he therefore doesn’t need to worry about any government visits, don’t you think it would occur to the Order of the Phoenix to, I don’t know, check there? The building doesn’t seem to be under a Fidelius Charm, or Greyback wouldn’t have been able to bring his fellow Snatchers there with him. Instead, it seems the Death Eaters aren’t even worried about being out in the open, which says something pretty powerful about how the Order’s war against Voldemort is going thus far. No wonder it seems everyone has gone underground, silently placing their hope in Harry.

The Boy Who Lived

We’ve seen throughout this book that Harry, a veteran of many more battles than his friends, has much better fighting instincts than do Ron or Hermione – he keeps his defenses up, keeps his wits about him, and so forth. And we see another example of that here, where Ron simply freaks out as Hermione is tortured while Harry focuses on a plan of action. But once the two of them get upstairs, we get an even better comparison – for not only is Harry quicker to action than Ron, but he also does a better job than anyone else in the room, with one exception: Bellatrix Lestrange, who quickly recovers from Harry’s surprise and grabs Hermione to threaten her life. Harry may not be on Dumbledore’s level yet (or, therefore, on Voldemort’s), but he proves himself to be as good a fighter as Voldemort’s best lieutenant, and that’s saying something indeed.

Full Circle

In Harry and Ron’s second year at Hogwarts, when they used Polyjuice Potion to disguise themselves as Crabbe and Goyle, they learned from Draco Malfoy that Lucius had escaped the notice of a Ministry raid (led by Arthur Weasley) by hiding a number of his Darkest artifacts in a “secret chamber under [the] drawing-room floor.” Ron reported this tidbit to his father, of course (though we never learned what became of it). But it seems that this chamber is the same one now being used to house prisoners; after all, in the first chapter of the book, Ollivander’s cry emanates from “below [the] feet” of the Death Eaters sitting in the Drawing Room. It’s too bad Harry didn’t notice on his way down whether the door was, say, hidden behind a tapestry. I wonder what became of all the Dark objects that once resided down there?

66 Responses to “Malfoy Manor”

  1. All those drawings of Greyback are so scary.
    In regards to Draco’s thoughts, I’d love for you to get more of your guesses to why Draco was being so undecisive. He’s a bully and like any bully, he’s just afraid, and I don’t think he is truly evil like Lucius. It all gives a lot to think about though. While reading back in July 2007, I was hoping to see Draco’s room when I read the chapter title. That woupd have been really cool… sort of like the room of Regulus.
    Anyways, I will miss Dobby…. he had such a big heart.

    Awesome thoughts on the Chamber of Secrets Full Circle bit!!

  2. This chapter was so exciting, at thus point, you could NOT put the book down.

  3. Thanks Josie for highlighting Draco’s actions in this chapter. Of all the possibilities, I’d like to think that Draco sincerely does not want Voldemort to win. Draco’s not a dummy, and he’s got to understand that Voldemort offers nothing but destruction for his family. Draco knows that Voldemort wouldn’t think twice about killing him or his parents if they were no longer useful. And I’d like to think that Draco was impacted by his encounter with Dumbledore in the tower during the moment he was offered mercy instead of judgment by the man he was sent to kill. The fear Harry sees in Draco’s eyes as Lucius prompts him to identify his classmate seems like the fear that doesn’t want to believe the truth. Draco doesn’t want this to be Harry, because if it is, then everyone is in trouble.

    This whole book, Draco behaves as a trauma victim. In the opening chapter we see him looking terrified in the presence of Voldemort and see him fall off his chair when Charity Burbage murdered right in front of him. Perhaps, Draco’s uncertain behaviour in this chapter is just a function of his living in a state of exhaustion and perpetual fear. Deep down though, Draco seems to have a conscience (ex. his “attempts” to kill Dumbledore all through HBP were pretty half-hearted), and it seems here that Draco wants to do the right thing, but is panicked and uncertain about how to do it.

  4. Will: would you really describe Lucius as “truly evil”?? Nasty, power-hungry, bigoted, and full of self importance… Yes. But I’m pretty sure he was way happier before Voldemort’s return and has only gone back to his DE robes because he had no other option beside his and his family’s death. He didn’t even get to enjoy the return of his “dark glamour”, since he was arrested the very same night Voldemort’s return was made public, and he’s been in disgrace with his Master ever since. All he’s trying to do here is get back in Voldemort’s good book any way he can, ’cause for him it’s the only path to survival and to a measure of his family’s former glory.

    I’ve read my fair bit of fanfiction in between books, and more often than not Lucius was portrayed as a cold and distant father, occasionally abusive towards his wife (whom he bullied into staying with him) and son. And yet, as the final duel approaches and everyone’s converging in the Great Hall, he’s frantically looking around for Draco as much as Narcissa and then cowering in a corner huddled with them. That scene and Nacissa’s earlier lie (not for the good of the wizarding world, but only for her son) was a huge character moment and turning point for the Malfoys, in my opinion. In the end, as J.K. said herself, no one’s truly evil but Voldemort.

  5. Draco reminds me a bit of Regulus- enamored of Voldemort and the death eaters at first but not truly of their caliber, in the end, because he can’t really stomach what Voldemort does. However- it’s interesting to see how Draco behaves during the last battle- he wasn’t quite as fearful then.
    That first pic of Greyback is about like I picture him… and he is truly horrifying. Seems to me Greyback, too, is evil.

  6. What you said about fans’ reactions to Dobby is really interesting, because I tend to forget that I used to feel that way about him (cringing every time he appeared). Dobby annoyed me so much in CoS and GoF – so much that in HPB I actually liked Kreacher better. But when I read this chapter for the first time I felt a rush of affection for him and cried my eyes out when he died. And now whenever I re-read the books, especially CoS, I cherish every moment with him. It’s amazing how this one chapter changed my whole perspective of a character.

    I really love this chapter – Wormtail’s death, Draco’s reactions, how Luna is so amazingly Luna-esque even in the most horrible of situations, Hermione’s brilliance, and especially Ron’s reaction to her being tortured.

  7. A great Easter post…from Dobby’s death to Draco’s choices. A wonderful chapter, and I second most of what everyone has written.

  8. I’m finally delurking to put in my two cents, I’ve been enjoying this Companion so much, and have had so many “revelations” about the series because of it!

    Was anyone else disappointed with the conclusion to the bit about Wormtail and his silver hand? Before this book there were so many theories about the significance of his life-debt to Harry, and speculation on the importance of it being silver – and silver traditionally being used against werewolves like his old friend Moony. The hand is even described as shining with moonlight in GOF! But in this chapter, none of the attributed importance of that came up, and the life-debt that had caused so much speculation really only manifested in a “tiny” impulse… which he then immediately tries to correct, and seems surprised by.
    I feel like I was expecting this to be more of a moral about how Harry’s mercy brought out some sort of purposeful mercy in Wormtail, more like what Narcissa does later. That it was apparently unintentional, and unwanted, seemed like a lot more of a triumph of magic than of goodness.

  9. After Dobby’s appearance in the 4th book, I’ve always really liked him. I had to stop my constant reading because his death was so sad and tragic.

    I also really liked the “Full Circle” section. I had never seen that even though I’ve reread all the books so many different times.

  10. The Malfoy family are as much victims of Voldemort as the rest of the Death Eaters. I am sure that Lucius benefited a lot from assisting the Dark Lord in his quest for power, as in the age old phrase: “What’s in this for ME.” Maybe he under estimated the Dark Lord. Maybe his time in Azcaban had to do with his change of mind. Narcissa definitely shows signs of grim submission to the Dark Lord, unlike Bellatrix who is so enthusiastic to serve their master. Draco, at first, is arrogant, even proud of the fact that he was chosen to murder Dumbledore. But even before the showdown on the Astronomy Tower, he deeply regreted his part in it.

  11. Tafka, congrats on delurking! But I’d like to disagree with what you said. While at first I, too, thought this was somewhat anticlimactic, thinking about it this is really the best way to resolve that. A lot of people were hoping for very grand melodramatic deaths for Pettigrew (and more so for Snape), but I feel this is much more realistic and much more appropriate. This chapter, better than any other, shows that many characters do have some small glimmer of good left inside them, be it Draco or Pettigrew. No, Pettigrew wouldn’t just turn around and fight for Harry, but even he has qualms about killing him – and it is chilling how Voldemort kills him for nothing more than that (and even scarier that Voldemort anticipated doing so).

  12. @Tafka- I, too, disagree with you re Pettigrew. Maybe more than the other DeathEaters, he is treacherous because he betrayed some of his best friends to Voldemort. He did this because he was trying to preserve his own life. He was self-seeking from the very first- his friendship with Sirius, James and Lupin was that, too- what he could get for himself. Voldemort realized that he couldn’t trust him because Pettigrew was first interested in his own life. When Harry reminded him that he, Harry, had spared P’s life, he hesitated- likely because there was a tiny bit of conscience left in him. I love the line at the end of GoF (when V gives P his hand) in light of this chapter- “May your loyalty never waver again, Wormtail,”. You can’t trust a traitor.

  13. I loved Dobby right from the start. The film made me love him even more. The first time we meet him he is jumping on Harry’s bed making the cutest noises. Then he prevents Lucius from attacking Harry followed by his satisfied hmm. I really loved him and was heartbroken when he died. I even teared up a little reading what you had wrote about him. However, I didn’t find his death in the films overly sad. I just couldn’t get over the fact he was a piece of CGI. His death in the book, on the other hand, was a completely different matter.

  14. Irene, good comments- you’ve got me thinking all about the Malfoys now!
    But I do believe that Lucius was evil. Perhaps not as sadistic as Bellatrix but definitely has some evil in him. In the graveyard scene in Goblet of Fire, he simply stood there as Voldemort battled and nearly killed a boy the same age as his own son. From Lucius’ point of view, I know he could have done very little at the time, but it is not as if he felt bad for Harry and then attempted to diminish himself as a Death Eater. He actually did the exact opposite. In the Order of the Phoenix, he is the chief Death Eater in the Department of Mysteries chase. He even tells other Death Eaters to kill everyone but Harry to claim the prophecy. I think the Azkaban time really gave him some time to think because by the first chapter of Deathly Hallows, he seems really beaten up and miserable.
    I think he changed, but not enough to support ideas of the Order or invite a muggle-born into his mansion but definitely changed enough to realize that this new world Voldemort was creating did not have a spot for him in it.

  15. I have noticed another thing in this chapter. Gellert Grindelwald appearantly had known perfectly about the bussiness of Voldemort and had even adressed him as Voldemort. Grindelwald had never much bussiness in the UK, and Voldemort was still a schoolboy named Tom Riddle, when Grindelwald was put into jail in 1945. So how did Grindelwald learn about Lord Voldemort? Had he access to wizarding newspapers in jail?

  16. Will: Everyone has some evil in them; even Harry has the potential for evil. I don’t think Lucius was totally evil, but that his actions after Voldemort returned stemmed mostly from fear – fear of what would happen to him, and fear of what would happen to those he loved, his wife and son.

  17. I also was upset when Dobby died after being so very brave and loyal to Harry all the way through especially conquering his fear of the Malfoys and their mansion to come and rescue them all.
    But, Josie, I cannot understand why you say that apparently so many fans cringed when Dobbiy appeared right from the beginning? What was it about Dobby that people didn’t like? Ayone I have spoken to about the book has loved Dobby so I must be missing something here. Could you please clarify?

  18. Let me answer personally, Electa, because I too hated Dobby until this book. I hated him because he was so annoying, irritating — and ruining things for Harry (like making noise during the Dursleys’ dinner party so Harry couldn’t get his Hogsmeade form signed, trying to knock him off his broom during the match, etc.) instead of actually being helpful (as Ron said, if he keeps “helping” you he’s going to kill you).

  19. I think of the Malfoys, and Draco in particular, as tragic figures. Draco’s just a kid, at first he probably didn’t even really understand what his parents wre teaching him. And in the end, all Narcissa and Lucius want is their son safe. There must have been quite a shock there at some point – in Azkaban for Lucius, and after Draco recieved his assignment for Narcissa.
    In this chapter, the parents strike me as scared and desperate.
    I love the moment when Harry takes the wands from Draco. It’s almost a throwaway moment, but that split-second action makes all the difference in the world.

  20. Electa, I based that comment mostly on my memory of fandom pre-book 7. My memory may be faulty, but I recall lots of people saying they hated scenes that Dobby was in, because they found him annoying (I remember a lot of Jar Jar Binks comparisons). I was always sort of indifferent to him; I liked him in some ways and was annoyed with him in others. But I feel like that vanished after book seven. I’d be curious to hear whether others had similar experiences?

  21. Electa, I was in the camp that disliked Dobby – I guess I just never got past the fact that his irritating “helping” usually did more harm than good. And the fact that he blackmailed Harry – “say you won’t go back to hogwarts or I’ll get you locked up” despite not saying anything except “you’re in danger” – just always rubbed me the wrong way. And while I don’t think I will ever be a huge Dobby fan, this part of the book had me in tears. Not because I was so sad that Dobby died, but because I felt how sad Harry was because of this…which, once again, illustrates how brilliant Jo’s writing is.

    Marco, I envision Grindelwald learned about Voldy from Dumbledore. I think Dumbledore visited Grindelwald occasionally. Dumbledore never had another intellectual equal after Grindelwald, and I cna see him yearning to chat with him. Have you seen the X-Men movie? I think it’ll be kinda like the ending scene, where they’re just playing chess and talking, because Dumbledore never totally got over him.

  22. @hpboy13 About Dobby’s death… it’s true, I really felt what Harry felt when he died. My feelings towards Dobby were definitely changed by realizing how much Harry cared about him, and by how beautifully that death scene was written.
    I disagree about Dumbledore visiting Grindelwald, though. I think Grindelwald would have heard about Voldemort because Voldemort is famous throughout Europe, if not throughout the world. Victor Krum knew who Harry was and so did the Bulgarian prime minister in GoF, which means they must know the story of Voldemort’s defeat when Harry was one.
    Grindelwald must hear things, even in prison. It’s a wizarding prison so it stands to reason people inside or guards would discuss news. And maybe newspapers, yes.
    I think Dumbledore would have been far too haunted and ashamed of what happened with his sister for him to ever visit Grindelwald. He even delayed fighting Grindelwald when he was doing so much damage, because he didn’t want to have to maybe find out who really killed Ariana. :(

  23. This chapter was pretty scary! The capture was unnerving, and i was in disbelief when Greyback recognized Harry. Greyback’s character is truly scary, and i loved how Rowling made him so wild and brutal…possibly worse than the typical Death Eater.
    Even though it was an awful moment, it was nice that Ron, Hermoine and Harry got to talk to some of their friends after being isolated for so long in their goal. I agree that the pictures do show the malevolence of Greyback.
    I never did sympathize with the Malfoys. I did think it was very touching that they were looking for Draco when the war was on and not fighting. The role they play in the book, though, didn’t really rouse any sort of empathy. I suppose i bought into Harry’s perception of Draco from the moment they met all those books back. Naturally, Hermoine, Harry and Ron seem to have characteristics that Draco can never have…that is obvious at the end of the book.

    By the time the captured enter the Malfoy’s, that scene is absolute horror. I was actually in disbelief over Hermoine’s torture. That Ron was yelling from the (cellar) was just really horrifying. Bellatrix is such an interesting character. As someone close to Voldemort, you do expect the worse from her. Somehow, Hermoine’s treatment and throwing her to Greyback…that was pretty evil.

    That there were other people down there was a good and bad surprise for me. That Ron, Hermoine and Harry were being reunited with some of their friends was great…word would get to others…but it was also a tragedy that they had to go through what they did. There was something about Ollivander in that corner that seemed peculiar to me. Perhaps it was seeing an important figure of the wizarding community in the (cellar) with Luna and the rest. I love though, that he and Luna had gotten to be friends.

    From this book, i was actually moved by the part that Wormtail played. That he was basically killed by his own hand for showing sympathy was a dark sort of lesson. I suppose he might have deserved a little bit of sympathy, but what was happening to Hermoine by Bellatrix, which captures Ron and Harry’s attention soon after, was what they should have been more worried about.

    I loved how Dobby was a hero and got everyone out. He showed such tremendous acts of bravery, especially when he came face to face with his old masters. I fell in love with Dobby at some point where he got a piece of clothing from either Ron, Hermione or Harry.

    Dobby’s death really moved me. It was really sad for me and there was something in the death of a little house elf that seemed tragic. It had a little to do with the fact that he was a scared little thing by nature and ended up doing the most bravest thing in the chapter:)

  24. hpboy13, I doubt that Dumbledore ever visited Grindewald in prison, because he tells Harry later, “I heard that he showed remorse…” as though Dumbledore only knew about that from other people. Of course, Dumbledore doesn’t have a good record for telling the whole truth, does he?

  25. Yeah Billie, I wouldn’t use that quote as conclusive evidence, since I don’t see Dumbledore telling Harry about visiting Grindelwald. I don’t think Grindelwald could have found out from guards or anything, since it doesn’t even seem like there are guards when Voldemort attacks. I would actually love to know more about Nurmengard, guess we’ll have to ask JKR one day.

  26. Billie, I nevertheless think you are right. By the time Dumbledore defeated Gindelwald, he had lived for 42 years in utter horror at what he had once been and revulsion for the man whom he had once loved. I don’t think Dumbledore had any desire at all to visit his intimate enemy in prison, and nor would there have been anything to gain from a charitable visit.

  27. About this chapter, but in the movie version: am I mistaken or both Grindelwald and Wormtail are still alive? Voldemort just grinned at Grindelwald and left flying through the window, and Wormtail seems to have been knocked out by the dungeon gate…

  28. hpboy13, I think, there were guards in Nurmengard, at least there must have been anyone, who had provided Grindlewald (and possible other inmates) with food.

    It was night, as Voldemort attacked, and there were probably no guards close to his cell. At least in later times Grindelwald required no High Security Level, since he was not expected to attempt to escape in his condition.

  29. Re: Guards at Nurmengard

    I wonder if Nurmengard employed dementors as guards too. Voldemort seems to have those guys in his pocket.

  30. So, I was just listening to the audiobook version of this chapter yesterday and several new ideas struck me about the flashes Harry sees of Voldemort confronting Grindelwald at Nurmengard.

    My big question that I’d like to get other’s input on is: Did Grindelwald win the Elder Wand’s allegiance when he stole it from Gregorovitch? That is, does a wizard need to do more than just steal a wand to earn its favour, or must the previous owner be properly defeated or disarmed? Here’s why I wondered about this: First, Grindelwald seems to be trying to tell Voldemort something of his own experience with the Elder Wand. He tells Voldemort that, “… your journey was pointless. I never had it,” to which Voldemort replies: “You lie!” — Harry & Dumbledore later discuss in King’s Cross that Grindelwald seems to be trying keep the wand out of Voldemort’s hands in this moment, but I wonder if Grindelwald actually means more literally that he “never had” the wand’s allegiance in the first place? Also, Grindelwald says, “But my death will not bring you what you seek… there is so much you do not understand” — Again, is Grindelwald talking about Voldemort not understanding important truths about love and life and power, etc., or does he mean more simply that Voldemort doesn’t understand the rules that govern wand ownership? See, I wonder if the Elder Wand ever worked properly for Grindelwald despite his rise to power (Voldemort accomplished similar things after all without the Deathstick), AND I wonder if it was Dumbledore’s knowledge of wandlore that ultimately helped him to defeat Grindelwald. I’ve always wanted to know precisely how Dumbledore was able to win his duel against the man with the “unbeatable” wand.

    Either way, Voldemort does not come across very smart in this chapter. As pointed out in earlier discussion, it’s interesting that Grindelwald knows exactly who Voldemort is and why he’s there. But I’m surprised Voldemort wasted his time seeking out this prisoner in Nurmengard when it was widely known that Dumbledore duelled and defeated Grindelwald (a fact we learn early in the first book when Harry reads his first chocolate frog card!). Surely, Voldemort knew Dumbledore well enough as an opponent to be aware of this (I doubt he collects chocolate frog cards), and if You-Know-Who had properly thought it through, he really should have realized that Grindelwald obviously wouldn’t have the Elder Wand with him in prison and that the man who beat him would possess it instead.

    I think it’s also interesting that considering the “bloody trail” left by the Elder Wand throughout history that no one dies directly from the act of the Elder Wand changing hands in the era covered by the books: Grindelwald stole the wand from Gregorovitch; Dumbledore duelled Grindelwald and won the wand without killing his opponent; Draco disarmed Dumbledore, but didn’t kill him; and Harry disarmed Draco without harming him. Of course, Voldemort murdered Gregorovitch, Grindelwald and Snape in his quest for the Elder Wand’s allegiance, but he never did earn it.

    Which brings me to the final point I have always found confusing. I mean… I understand that Rowling intended for the Elder Wand to give Harry its allegiance after he “disarmed” Draco in this chapter, but the Elder Wand wasn’t one of the three wands Harry took from Draco, so I don’t quite get it. Does this mean that if you own two wands, and someone disarms you and takes one of your wands, that the other wand still in your possession would also change its allegiance to serve the victor? That seems odd to me. Oh well, I guess it makes the story work.

  31. Andrea, very insightful thoughts. I totally see what you mean about wands switching allegiances – it seems too easy, in a sense. Steal somebody’s wand? It’s now yours. And so is their other one!

    I do think it’s clear that we’re intended to understand that Grindelwald held the allegiance of the Elder Wand. Otherwise, how could Dumbledore have gotten it? Dumbledore didn’t defeat Gregorovitch. And I think the intent is pretty clear that Dumbledore did indeed have the wand’s allegiance.

    I also think it’s possible that Voldemort thought Dumbledore never knew that Grindelwald’s wand was the Elder Wand. He had an awfully hard time finding out himself, after all, and he certainly had no idea of Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s shared quest for the Hallows. Maybe he just wanted to make sure? I do agree with you that it seems fishy.

    Another related thing I’ve wondered about is a wand’s allegiance to its *former* owner. For instance, if Harry left Draco’s wand lying around, and Draco picked it up, would it treat him as its master again? Or would it act like any other wand might? Or somewhere in between? This is the person it “chose,” after all.

  32. Thanks Josie! I agree with you that Dumbledore obviously had the Elder Wand’s allegiance, so I guess that must imply that Grindelwald had the Deathstick’s allegiance too as there’s no mention of Dumbledore ever fighting Gregorovitch. I guess then what leaves me confused is the fact that if all you have to do is steal a wand, and not directly defeat or disarm its owner, then why didn’t the Elder Wand give Voldemort its allegiance when he removed it from Dumbledore’s tomb? The method of taking isn’t all that much different from Grindelwald stealing the Elder Wand and leaping out the window. Draco just didn’t know that the Elder Wand had given him its allegiance, or that it had been stolen. Does the individual who has the wand’s allegiance need to be aware of the theft for the transfer of ownership to work?

    Also, it does seem clear that Voldemort believes Dumbledore was aware that the wand he won from Grindelwald was the Elder Wand. We’ll soon see Voldemort in the next chapter removing the wand from Dumbledore’s tomb as he thinks, “Had the fool imagined that marble or death would protect the wand? Had he thought the Dark Lord would be scared to violate his tomb?” Voldemort never questions in this moment if Dumbledore knew what the wand truly was.

    One thing’s for sure, wandlore seems a highly inventive branch of magic!

  33. Re: what Andrea said about Voldemort taking the wand from Dumbledore’s tomb. I think for the wand to switch allegiance, the new owner has to get the better of the previous owner. Voldemort didn’t exactly “defeat” Dumbledore by breaking open his tomb, Dumbledore was already dead so it wasn’t really a contest. But what’s more significant is that at that point, the wand no longer “belonged” to Dumbledore at all. It belonged to Malfoy.

  34. Josie, I’ve wondered about former wands, too! Imagine losing your wand to some enemy, and then finding it discarded somewhere and it no longer working for you! that would be so sad. You’d have to find your enemy and defeat them for it to work again…
    My guess is that with normal wands it might work better for you than any old wand, but not as good as it had.

    Obviously the Elder Wand is totally unsentimental, so it would treat a former master as a total stranger. It seems to have disgust for anyone who is defeated in endless contest for this wand’s ownership.

  35. I’m pretty sure that the Elder Wand didn’t switch it’s alliegiance to Voldemort because he didn’t steal it *from Draco*. Actually, I wouldn’t see taking the Wand from the tomb as stealing at all: if the Wand hadn’t switched to Draco, Dumbledore would have died unbeaten and simply taking the Wand from his tomb wouldn’t have sufficed… which had been Dumbledore’s original plan.
    The alliegiance rule relies not so much on theft or murder, but on defeat: you win a wand’s alliegiance by defeating its previous owner, somehow proving to the wand you’re a better wizard. Theft and murder are the key options, of course, but that might not suffice: Snape killed Dumbledore and it didn’t matter, Voldemort stole from Dumbledore’s tomb to no avail. Yet Grindelwald stole from Gregorovitch and it worked… bacause doing so, Grindelwald “defeated” Gregorovitch’s defences, stealing a much prized possession. And it worked for Harry in some measure, even if the key factor wasn’t the physical taking of the wands from Draco’s hands.
    Yes, Harry takes three wands from Draco, but what matters most in Malfoy Manor is how the Trio, led by Harry, prevails, saving not only themselves, but their friends, gaining powerful information that will eventually make them victorious, and making such arses of the Malfoys that they’re left to face Voldemort’s supreme wrath… that’s a good definition of defeat in my book: the physical act was but marginal. (just as Malfoy disarming Dumbledore in the Tower was but the final act of his defeat of him, having swarmed Hogwarts with Death Eaters without Dumbledore having a clue about it)

  36. Ok: you’re a gonna hate me now, but I need to get into some legalese… =p

    Can you relinquish a wand’s ownership??

    In law, when you abandon something with the intention of letting go of it (animus reliquendi) it becomes res derelicta (err… a leftover??) or res nullius (a thing belonging to no one). The next person to pick it up with the intention of owning it (animus possidendi) makes it their own (the term is “occupation” in Italian).
    Your comments made me wonder if that could work with wands too: if my defeater discards my wand, could I get it back and make it my own again, provided his will of letting it go and my will of taking it are both there??

  37. Another thought about Grindelwald and the Elder Wand’s allegiance: in the book it says that when Grindelwald stole the Elder Wand he stunned Gregorovitch, so maybe that also counts as defeating him?

  38. @Irene M. Cesca: I think intentions have a lot to do with the change of wand ownership, because in a practice situation, like in the duelling club, wands also don’t change their allegiance when their owner is disarmed, because there is no intention there to really ‘defeat’ the other person. So I think your thoughts also make sense – at least to me.

  39. Is there anything to suggest that any wand, other than the Elder Wand, has the capacity to switch allegiance if its owner is defeated? I thought this was what made the Elder Wand special.

    Yes, if you take someone else’s wand you can do magic with it, although probably not as well as its original owner, as it is not such a good match (it has not “chosen” you, as Ollivander would put it). The special power of the Elder Wand is that, UNLIKE most wands, it can switch allegiance – and does so when someone manages to overpower its current owner (and therefore effectively defeat the wand itself).

  40. I thought that what Irene said was something like what i was thinking about the Elder Wand.

  41. Well, maybe the switch is not as powerful with a regular wand, but something definitely changes: Harry feels much more confortable with the wand he won from Draco, than with Hermione’s borrowed wand… and if you think of the relationship he has with the two people those wands chose, it should definitely be the other way around. Still, nothing can replace his Fawkes wand, so I guess nothing beats being chosen… Except for what concerns the Elder Wand (which didn’t tecnically choose anyone, including Antioch, since it was just given to him).

  42. @Timbo: When they discuss wand matters with Ollivander, Ollivander says explicitly: “In general, where a wand has been won, its allegiance will change”. So that is nothing special to the Elder Wand. As Irene said, that’s the reason why Harry has no problems with Draco’s wand, while he had problems with the Snatcher’s wand that he got from Ron. And it’s also the reason why Hermione has problems with Bellatrix’s wand, as is said in the book: “Remembering what Ollivander had told them of the secret working of wands, Harry thought he knew what Hermione’s problem was: she had not won the walnut wand’s allegiance by taking it personally from Bellatrix.”

  43. Here’s a question: At the end of the book, Harry still has Draco’s wand, but he doesn’t want it. If he gives it back to Draco, will it work for Draco the way it used to, or will Draco have to get a new wand?

    Of course, the wizarding community might insist on putting Draco’s wand on display in a glass case, as “the wand that defeated Voldemort.” :-)

  44. I like that, Billie, and there would be also potential thieves to steal the mighty wand that defeated Lord Voldemort – if you can’t have the Deathstick you have to use the next better thing available :)

  45. I’ve wondered myself about Harry’s shouting in front of a 200-person room (or something) that he’s the master of the Elder Wand. I mean I understand why, but now surely it’s common enough knowledge that there’s a possibility of someone trying to attack him over it, right? I mean, he’s had enough trouble for a lifetime….

  46. Josie: i practically peed on my pants when i read that:)

  47. You just have to love Bellatrix. Well, maybe YOU don’t, but I do. Heather Campbell’s picture of her holding the knife to Hermione just says it all. She’s nasty. Her insanity throughout the whole series is great, always wanting to be first in Voldemort’s heart. You have to wonder how Narcissa felt when she died. They seemed to have had a pretty close relationship, with the nicknames for each other, but Narcissa seems to be fairly happy at the end.

    As for Pettigrew, let’s not forget that he WAS in Gryffindor… I think.

  48. I wonder if perhaps by defeating someone, you need to actually forcefully remove their wand, and then you win the allegiance of all his wands. This seems a bit whack, but I think it’s consistent with the examples we’re given. If you murder someone and take their wand, that works. If Grindelwald steals Gregorovitch’s wand, that works. Dumbledore defeats Grindelwald and takes his wand, and that’s what makes the wand switch allegiance. Draco disarms Dumbledore, and since Dumbledore never gets the wand back, technically it’s the same as Draco taking it. And Harry gets Draco’s wands by wrestling, and wins the allegiance of all of them.

  49. Josie, I think that point must have occurred to Harry too. But if you can buy or win a wand’s allegiance, there must be some ways you can relinquish ownership of it too: give it away, sell it, recite a spell of renunciation… I’m sure Harry found a way to dis-own the Elder Wand in pretty short order, and then make a public announcement to that effect.

  50. I’m slowly delurking after finding this site on StumbleUpon, but:

    I’ve always found the Malfoys to be rather morally ambiguous, particularly Narcissa. Her interests have always seemed to me to be more in line with the preservation of her family than Voldemort’s goals. Draco, as he gets older, appears more like her than his father, in my eyes at least. Lucius must have initially been a power-hungry elitist, but he seems to have become disenchanted with the reality of what Voldemort’s doing, especially when it begins to put his family in jeopardy.

    Also, can I just say that Lucius’ face in Heather Campbell’s first picture cracks me up?

  51. Since Harry, Ron, and Hermione don’t get Perkin’s tent back, what happens to the light that Ron captures from the tent in the Deluminator?

  52. @Jeremy- maybe they got left in the Malfoy’s basement? Interesting question! Do they just float around homeless-like forever? ;)

  53. The art for this chapter is absolutely FANTASTIC! I love odella’s depiction of Bellatrix (Bella’s my favorite villan in this and any other book), and pojypojy’s drawing of Hermione and Greyback sent chills up my spine.

  54. Albino Peacocks for Lucius Malfoy is hilarious but also a good description of him too.

    Lucius likes to display his wealth and power, like a peacock displays his tail but until Voldemort returns Lucius doesn’t like to show his true colours. He just pretends. And an Albino Peacock has no colours.

    Waht do you think?

  55. Love that, Emma.

  56. I am somewhat dissatisfied with the wand lore that was introduced in this book. Let me compare it to another magical idea: While I never would have guessed that LV was concealing parts of his soul in inanimate objects before I was told so in HBP, the clues in the previous books showed that JKR had planned the Horcruxes from book one. Once Dumbledore explained them to Harry, so many things suddenly made sense: why LV didn’t get killed by the rebounded curse, what gave the diary its power, and LV’s constant allusions to his immortality.

    Hard as I try, I cannot find such clues to this wand lore before DH. Either JKR purposely kept us in the dark for ten years, or she suddenly decided to make up a bunch of new rules for DH. Unfortunately, I suspect the latter. Here’s why:

    We know that both Ron and Neville arrived at Hogwarts with used wands. Neither student seemed to be particularly good at spellwork. Could it be that their wands were to blame? Both boys broke their wands in CoS and OotP, respectively, and got new ones in PoA and HBP. If JKR already knew how wand ownership was supposed to work, wouldn’t those have been great opportunities to drop us a clue? But no. Ron didn’t suddenly “dazzle us all with hitherto unsuspected magical skills” (Fred :)), and while Neville did drastically improve in OotP, it was BeFORe his father’s wand broke.

    All in all, I felt a bit sandbagged by this new information, as well as by the Deathly Hallows themselves. It just seemed so unnecessary. LV’s defeat could easily have happened using only the magic we already knew about.

  57. Amazing, with Nagini on the loose there’s still at least one peacock alive…

  58. @Jose- haha! Maybe Nagini isn’t free to go outside and eat peacocks if LV doesn’t let her! It’s amazing there are people left, I guess. Amazing she hasn’t just eaten them all. Can you imagine having to hang around a maniac like that WITH a pet snake as big and monstrous as Nagini? Yikes.

  59. @Irene M. Cesca (way up there), I was under the impression that Antioch and his brothers created the Deathly Hallows, but it was so long ago that it became legend until it finally ended up as a children’s tale about Death.

  60. In regards to why the Order hasn’t looked there… doesn’t it show in the very first chapter of Deathly Hallows that you need to have a dark mark to get through the gate? Maybe that makes it a bit harder for others to penetrate the grounds. I wonder what happens when a person without a dark mark tries to pass through?

  61. Yay! I was excited for this chapter to see what everyone had to say about why Draco didn’t give the trio away. Harry might have looked different but Ron and Hermione certainly didn’t. I originally thought that he was terrified of LV and didn’t think giving the trio away was worth having LV return to the manor. But his behavior in the Room of Requirement makes me question everything all over again…

    Sara, I am SO with you! I thought for sure that there was going to be a big thing about Neville having been using his father’s wand. He broke it at the end of OOTP and I was positive that when the next book came out and Neville had his own wand he would suddenly be extraordinary at magic. Or there would be some huge significance to it.

  62. Shortly before “Deathly Hallows” was published, a few Harry Potter fans from came out with a book speculating what would happen in it. They included a list of which characters were most likely to die and which least likely: Dobby was ranked the least likely of all. Probably one of the most embarrassing “Harry Potter” predictions ever!

  63. I think one of the reasons that Dobby’s death struck so hard was that he was so good and innocent. It’s like when Hedwig dies in the beginning of the book – it’s way more terrible because these individuals were so pure.

    And this is a really interesting discussions about the wands… I myself never really got it, so I’m glad to read this :P

  64. I saw Dobby in the film before I read the book (coming late to the series as I did – and only true for the first three films once I caught up). So he was just a plot device character that I didn’t give much thought to his presence. His death hit Harry so hard, I remember thinking it was more about an innocent victim dying than someone Harry cared about.

    But subsequent rereads and the Deathly Hallows film changed that for me. After seeing the film, I would go around saying “Dobby is my hero”. He was so awesome and his death was so sad in the film, with his just wanting to be near Harry Potter. *Sniff*

  65. In regards to all the Dark objects that used to be in the cellar beneath the Malfoys’ drawing room, Arthur tells Harry in Chapter 7 of HBP that “when Lucius Malfoy was arrested, we raided his house. We took away everything that might have been dangerous.” Coupling this with Ron saying in CoS that he would tell Arthur about the secret room leads me to think that Arthur removed those items over two years previously.

  66. Re; The possibility that Dumbledore visited Grindelwald In Nermengard.

    I would have to agree with Josie here. It is very unlikely that Dumby would have visited Grindy in prison. Partly because of what Josie said about DD being afraid of confronting Grindy and finding out about who cast the death blow on Ariana.
    Also because of what DD said to Harry at Kings Cross;

    Harry Potter: Grindelwald tried to stop Voldemort going after the wand. He lied, you know, pretended he had never had it.

    Albus Dumbledore: They say he showed remorse in later years, alone in his cell at Nurmengard. I hope that is true. I would like to think that he did feel the horror and shame of what he had done. Perhaps that lie to Voldemort was his attempt to make amends … to prevent Voldemort from taking the Hallow …

    Harry Potter: …or maybe from breaking into your tomb?

    IMO it would not be hard for Grindy to get info on Voldy in prison. In fact many people pass information and contraband in prison!
    Prisoners can be so ingenious and inventive. I’ve even wondered how some of them got caught in the first place!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: