Ollivanders Wand Shop Selection Criteria

As Ollivander said to Harry Potter, “the wand chooses the wizard…”

Recently, I’ve learned that JK Rowling did use some criteria in the wand selection for each character that appears to carry over to Ollivanders Wand Shop at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  This is probably old information for you hard core Harry Potter fans, but I found it all very interesting and thought that it might affect which wand(s) I bought from Ollivanders on my next visit.

Purely by coincidence, after selecting the type of wood for Harry’s wand (holly), JK Rowling discovered that Harry’s birthday coincided with holly on the Celtic calendar that assigns different types of wood to sections of the calendar.  With this fortuitous match, JK decided to follow this guideline for Ron and Hermione’s wands, as well to further entrench the connection these three characters have in the story.  Some Harry Potter characters have wands according to the Celtic calendar and some don’t.  Any other than these three are chance, not intentional, but interesting, nonetheless.

Allow me a quick aside.  Ms. Rowling selected holly for Harry due to it’s traditional European associations with repelling evil.  Similarly, she selected yew for Voldemort, as it’s associated with astonishing longevity.  These are wonderful literary associations that really add depth to a story. Very cool!

Anyway, back to my point…

So, what does all this have to do with Ollivanders Wand Shop at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?  Well, if you recall, one of the first questions the wizard asks in the shop is, “What is your birthday?”  Right?  Well, it appears that this is used in the selection process for the wand!

You’ll even notice in the video, above that the final wand selected (Reed) corresponds exactly with the girls birthday and the Celtic wood calendar. Whether or not this is used as criteria for Ollivanders Wand Shop to select your wand or not, I find it interesting enough for me to consider in my own wand purchase.

So, if you find it interesting, here’s the calendar and some famous wizards and witches with their wand types.

Wood Type Calendar Dates Wizards and Witches
Birch December 24 – January 20
Rowan January 21 – Feb. 17
Ash Feb. 18 – Mar. 17 Cedric Diggory, Ron Weasley’s first wand
Alder Mar. 18 – Apr. 14
Willow Apr. 15 – May 12 Lily Evans and Ron Weasley’s second wand
Hawthorn May 13 – June 9 Draco Malfoy
Oak June 10 – July 7 Hagrid
Holly July 8 – Aug. 4 Harry Potter
Hazel Aug. 5 – Sept. 1
Vine Sept. 2 – Sept. 29 Hermione Granger
Ivy Sept. 30 – Oct. 27
Reed Oct. 28 – Nov. 24
Elder Nov. 25 – Dec. 23 Well, we all know who had the Elder wand. :)

 

Just looking at the dates and this chart, one could easily buy a wand that matches with your birthday.  Or, you could select the wand that corresponds to the day you were at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Maybe, you’d like a wand that matches with your anniversary or date of graduation.  The possibilities are endless.  I just really like that I have something to help me select the wand for me.  Of course, you could always just get the wand of your favorite character. :)

There are many other woods that were used in the books for other wizards and witches that were not on the Celtic calendar.  Here’s just a few of the others…

All these wands are available at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, plus many more.  If it’s a bit of a hike for you to get to the Wizarding World, you can also buy them online.


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