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Why Voldemort Using Lucius' Wand Makes More Sense Than You Might Think

It's been more than a decade since the last "Harry Potter" film graced the silver screen, but that doesn't mean fans are done enjoying, analyzing, and criticizing the series. Thanks to the ease of streaming — the movies are available on HBO Max — queuing the movies up and watching them over and over again is a comforting pastime for many people who grew up with the books and looked forward to watching the film adaptations in theaters. And they're easy to access so that newer fans can discover them anytime.

With seven books and eight movies in the "Harry Potter" series, plenty of supplementary content, and the "Fantastic Beasts" films, the Wizarding World franchise is full of nuances and details that can only be properly explored with multiple sittings, which is why online discussion boards and other communities remain full of questions about what's happening in the narrative, dissecting every last piece of dialogue and occurrence that author J.K. Rowling and movie producers and scriptwriters have inserted. Among these, there's a moment in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1" that may not make sense to fans on the face of it.

Voldemort takes Lucius Malfoy's wand

In the scene in question, Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) enters the drawing room of Malfoy Manor and informs Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) that Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) will be moved to a new location on Saturday at nightfall. Despite some skepticism from Corban Yaxley (Peter Mullan), who has heard otherwise, Voldemort appears to believe Snape.

When Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) volunteers to kill Harry, Voldemort insists that he must do it himself but informs the assembled Death Eaters that his and Harry's wands share the same core, meaning they cannot be used to kill each other. Walking around the table, he asks for a volunteer to give him their own wand to use before stopping at Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) and demanding his. Lucius hands it over, and Voldemort snaps off the handle before testing it out by using it to kill Hogwarts Muggle Studies professor Charity Burbage.

Some wonder why Voldemort needs Lucius' wand

By this time in the narrative, of course, Voldemort's supporters have gone public. They've taken over the Ministry, and there's really no need for Voldemort to hide any longer. This led one Redditor to wonder why Voldemort couldn't have just gone out and bought a new wand. After all, with all his power, he could have easily forced the wandmaker Ollivander (John Hurt) to craft him a new one.

But one must not forget He Who Must Not Be Named's personality. For him, taking Lucius' wand isn't just about obtaining a new weapon easily. It's also about punishing the Malfoy family — specifically Lucius. "Lucius kept failing him," u/-HimuraKenshin pointed out in their answer. "Taking his wand was also a way of humiliating him and exerting his control on him." Additionally, as u/Bluemelein, pointed out, Voldemort simply needed something temporary with the sole purpose of killing Harry.

The overconfidence Voldemort shows in this matter illustrates his personality perfectly. After all, wandlore in the Wizarding World franchise is quite complex, but Voldemort has no interest in learning the intricacies of his wand, Harry's, the Elder Wand, or anyone else's. "He thinks he's the most powerful wizard so it shouldn't matter whose wand he uses," u/bluelephantz_jj pointed out. Yet when he and the Death Eaters try to capture Harry as he's being moved to a safe house, Voldemort's temporary wand goes up against Harry's — and loses. Voldemort then turns his sights to the world's most powerful wand, the Elder Wand, to defeat Harry because he doesn't understand that it's not about power.

This treatment of the Malfoys becomes an important plot point

The Dark Lord's derogatory treatment of the Malfoys has its own consequences; you could argue that Voldemort's various humiliations of Lucius, his wife, Narcissa (Helen McCrory), and Draco (Tom Felton) — from using their home as the Death Eaters' HQ to forcing Draco to do his dirty work — is what leads them to abandon their allegiance to the Dark Lord in favor of protecting their own small family unit. 

Narcissa's concern for her son ends up directly helping Harry and his friends win the Battle of Hogwarts. When Voldemort asks her to confirm that Harry is dead, she instead asks him if Draco is alive. After Harry says that he is, she lies to Voldemort so that the Death Eaters will infiltrate the castle and she and Lucius will be able to walk out alive with their son.

In the end, the Malfoys played a substantial role in Harry's victory, from Narcissa's lie in the Forbidden Forest to Lucius' carelessly giving Ginny (Bonnie Wright) one of Voldemort's Horcruxes to Draco's feigned uncertainty at not being able to recognize Harry when he, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) are captured by Snatchers and brought to Malfoy Manor.