If Voldemort Wanted the Elder Wand So Badly, Why Did He Stall for 108 Days?

If Voldemort Wanted the Elder Wand So Badly, Why Did He Stall for 108 Days?
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Did the Dark Lord decide to prioritize his mental health and take a three-month-long vacation in the middle of his Elder Wand hunt or something?


  • While Harry and his friends were searching for the Horcruxes, Voldemort was on a hunt for the Elder Wand.
  • Voldemort learned that Grindelwald was the last known owner of the Wand on Christmas but it took him until Easter to visit Nurmengard.
  • Since finding the Elder Wand was Voldemort’s top priority, we can’t explain his sudden three-month-long siesta by lore reasons.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, there are two great artifact searches happening at the same time: Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s Horcrux Hunt and Lord Voldemort’s hunt for the Elder Wand. Both sides believe they need those respective artifacts to win the war — and while only the Golden Trio is correct in their assessment, Voldemort seemed pretty dedicated to his tireless search, too.

Except those three and a half months when he just didn’t care all of a sudden.

Voldemort Took a Vacation Mid-Elder Wand Hunt

The Dark Lord didn’t care for the Deathly Hallows as a concept and didn’t even know about it; but his desire for the most powerful wand was indisputably strong. Voldemort spent months trying to locate it, going through the Elder Wand’s most recent history and interrogating the people he thought useful in that quest.

From Gregorovitch, Voldemort learned that Gellert Grindelwald was the last known owner of the Elder Wand. He learned it on Christmas 1997. The next destination was obvious: everyone knew Grindelwald was a prisoner in Nurmengard. But despite that, Voldemort only arrived there and spoke to Grindelwald on Easter 1998.

This begs the question: what was Voldemort even doing during those 108 days?

Voldemort Had No Reason to Be Slacking

Up until that point, Lord Voldemort seemed entirely focused on finding the Elder Wand as soon as possible; after that, too. The trip from Nurmengard to Hogwarts took him mere seconds, meaning the European wizarding prison was as easily accessible to him as the British magical school. So, why the sudden delay?

If Voldemort Wanted the Elder Wand So Badly, Why Did He Stall for 108 Days? - image 1

Some may argue that the Dark Lord might not have recognized Grindelwald from Gregorovitch’s memory; but it’s safe to assume that many Death Eaters would have recognized him instantly. Nurmengard’s location was not a secret, either, as well as Grindelwald’s imprisonment there for the past few decades after his last duel.

There was nothing as important for Lord Voldemort than getting the Elder Wand, but that way, the plot would have developed all too quickly — that’s our best guess. Because lore-wise, there was nothing preventing the Dark Lord from talking to his predecessor — and yet, he spent three and a half months just chilling somewhere, instead.