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Exploring the Deathly Hallows in Harry Potter, and their Origins

April 23, 2024 | By

An 11-year-old wizarding fan, Ishan Tripathi, explores the origins of the Deathly Hallows artifacts, their secrets, and a tale of the Three Brothers who dared to cheat death.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Deathly Hallows Play a Pivotal Story in Harry Potter. Source: DeviantArt

In Harry Potter, the Deathly Hallows are three magical objects said to have been created by Death. Three brothers of the Peverell family—Antioch Peverell, Cadmus Peverell, and Ignotus Peverell—owned the three Deathly Hallows.

Their story goes like this:

There were once three brothers who were walking across a lonely, winding road at twilight. Their path was blocked by a river, too treacherous to pass. But as they had learned the magical arts, they only needed to wave their wands and create a bridge.

Their path, however, was blocked again by a dark, hooded figure. It was Death who felt cheated, as people usually drowned in the river, unable to cross it.

But Death, instead of killing them, pretended to offer them his congratulations. He said that each of the brothers deserved a prize, for they had been clever enough to evade him, the personification of the Death.

The first brother, Antioch Peverell, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence. So, Death fashioned him one from a nearby elder tree known as the Elder Wand. Giving it to Antioch, Death told him that no wizard would ever be able to defeat him in a duel or a battle, and the only way another wizard could take it from him was through deception.

Next, Cadmus Peverell asked for something that could bring a dead person back to life. Death plucked a stone from the river and gave it to Cadmus. It was called the Resurrection Stone. Death instructed him to turn the stone thrice in the hand to bring any dead person back to life. But Death being Death, he didn’t tell Cadmus that the stone could only bring the person back from the dead partially, in a reflection form.

The youngest of them all, Ignotus Peverell, being a humble man, asked for a way to evade Death his whole life. Begrudgingly, Death gave him part of his own Invisibility Cloak. He told Ignotus that as long as he would be hidden under the cloak, Death would never come to him. The only way Death would be able to take him away would be when Ignotus would consent to leave the mortal world behind.

Thanking Death, the three brothers went on their separate journeys.

Antioch went to a village and with the Elder wand, he killed a wizard with whom he had once quarrelled. He bragged of his invincibility, and that same night, another wizard murdered him so he could steal the Elder wand. In his horrifying way, Death took Antioch’s life.

Cadmus journeyed to his home and turned the Resurrection Stone thrice in his hand, and his beloved, who had died just before their marriage, came back to life. But Cadmus was sad. His beloved was like a ghost, a reflection of her living self. And he could not touch her. She was miserable being back among the living. Desperate to be with her in a better manner, Cadmus committed suicide to join her. And hence, Death took the second brother to his realm.

Ignotus used his Invisibility Cloak to evade Death and hide from it. He passed down the cloak to his son when he reached a great age. Once he felt that his time was over, he greeted Death with open arms like an old friend and gladly left with him, departing from the mortal world.

These objects, which were gifted to the Peverell brothers by Death, came to be known as the Deathly Hallows. Legend says that if one is the master of any of these three objects, he/she is the master of Death.

The stone and the cloak were kept in the family, passing down from generation to generation. For the cloak, when no male heirs were left, they were passed down to one of the daughters, Iolanthe Peverell. Through her, the cloak was passed to her descendants* before it came to the possession of James Potter, who had a child named Harry Potter with his wife Lily Evans.

As for the stone, before killing himself, Cadmus had it fitted into a ring, and the ring passed down in the family, eventually leading to the Gaunt family. Voldemort’s grandfather, Marvolo Gaunt, had possession of the ring. He then passed it down to Morfin Gaunt, his son. Marvolo’s daughter, Merope Gaunt, fell hopelessly in love with a Muggle named Tom Riddle. That led to the birth of Tom Marvolo Riddle (aka. Voldemort). When Voldemort was sixteen, he killed his father and paternal grandparents. Then he went to his uncle Morfin’s house and stole the ring from him. Afterwards, he performed complex magic and manipulated Morfin’s memory. Morfin now remembered that he was the one who killed Voldemort’s father and paternal grandparents. Voldemort then turned the ring into a Horcrux (an object in which one puts part of his/her soul, so even if he/she died, that part of his/her soul will live on). All of this meant that Voldemort was related to Cadmus Peverell. Since Cadmus and Ignotus were brothers, Harry and Voldemort were distantly related too.

Unlike the stone and the cloak, the Elder Wand was not kept in Antioch’s family. After Antioch was killed by the wizard who stole the Elder Wand, he became the truthful owner of it. The way wands work in the wizarding world is that if you win in a wizarding duel, the opponent’s wand rightfully becomes yours. You can also take possession of the opponent’s wand by disarming, stunning, or killing your opponent. The Elder Wand had a bloody history, as it passed through many owners through the years, usually by violent means. Some of its many names are the “Deathstick” and “The Wand of Destiny”.

The Deathly Hallows Symbol

The Deathly Hallows Symbol Representing The Elder Wand, The Resurrection Stone, and The Invisibility Cloak. Source: DeviantArt

Following is a brief timeline of the possession history of the Elder Wand:

Emric the Evil

After Antioch’s mysterious killer (it was never found out who he was), Emeric the Evil, a feared wizard, took possession of the wand. He terrorized the southern areas of England with the wand’s power.

Egbert the Egregious

The wand was taken by Egbert the Egregious, who killed Emeric in a duel. What happened to Egbert after this is unknown, but a century later, a wizard named Godelot had the wand.

Godelot

Godelot thought of the Elder Wand as his master, and by using his knowledge of the wand, he wrote a book known as “Magick Moste Evile”.

Hereward

Hereward, Godelot’s son, locked Goledelot in his attic, and he slowly died of starvation. Hereward then stole the Elder Wand from him.

Barnabas Deverill

Following Hereward, Barnabas Deverill became the next owner of the wand. He gained a reputation as a fearsome warlock. His reign ended when a wizard named Loxias murdered him.

Loxias

After Barnabas was defeated, Loxias became the owner of the wand. He gave it the name “Deathstick” and killed anyone who displeased him. When Loxias died, many people claimed to have killed him, including his mother.

Arcus or Livius

According to Xenophilius Lovegood, it is debated whether Arcus or Livius became the Master of the Elder Wand after Loxias’s death, as tracking the wand’s history any further than this point became difficult.

Mykew Gregorovitch

In the recent history, we come to Gregorovitch in the late 1800s. He was a wand maker, so he was naturally interested in the wand and tried duplicating its powers. However, sometime between 1899 and 1926, a young, blonde-haired boy came to Gregorovitch’s shop and stole the Elder Wand, casting a stunning spell on him before leaping out of the window. This boy was none other than Gellert Grindelwald.

Gellert Grindelwald

After Grindelwald took the Elder Wand, he became nearly unbeatable in magical duels. Grindelwald’s plans for dominance were ultimately thwarted by Albus Dumbledore, his former friend, in a legendary duel in 1945. Grindelwald was imprisoned in Nurmengard, a prison he had built to hold his enemies. Many years later, he remained there until his final confrontation with Dumbledore’s former student, Voldemort. Grindelwald’s life ended when he refused to reveal the location of the Elder Wand, and Voldemort, seeking its power, killed him.

Albus Dumbledore

As Dumbledore had defeated Grindelwald, he became the owner of the wand. In his later years, he became interested in finding and destroying Horcruxes, which Voldemort had created. He found Voldemort’s ring, which had the Resurrection Stone in it. Forgetting it was a Horcrux, he put it on and became poisoned due to the ring’s powers.

Now, Dumbledore was the owner of two of the Deathly Hallows – the Resurrection Stone and the Elder Wand. Severus Snape stopped the poison from infecting Dumbledore, though his hand was already poisoned. Even with Snape’s treatment, Dumbledore only had a year to live. Later, Dumbledore destroyed the ring with the sword of Godric Gryffindor.

Since he was the owner of the wand, and because he was going to die soon, Dumbledore devised a plan in which he asked Snape to kill him. This plan ensured that there would be no true owner of the wand since Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him, thus ensuring the end of the wand’s bloody history. However, his plan didn’t go well, and before Snape could kill him, Draco Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore, thus inadvertently becoming the true owner of the wand.

In a twisted turn of fate, Voldemort broke Dumbledore’s grave and took the ring for himself. However, by doing so, he failed to be the rightful owner of the wand, resulting in the wand working differently for him. The Elder Wand refused to obey Voldemort’s commands.

Draco Malfoy

Draco Malfoy did not know that he was the owner of the Elder Wand, and later that year, Harry Potter disarmed him during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, thus becoming the true owner of the Elder Wand.

Voldemort’s Plan

Voldemort did not know that Malfoy was the true owner of the wand as he had no knowledge about Draco disarming Dumbledore. He thought that Snape was the true owner of the wand. So Voldemort killed Snape, but little did he know that Malfoy was still the wand’s owner!

Harry Potter

When Harry Potter Disarmed Draco Malfoy at Malfoy Manor, he became the owner of the Elder Wand. Ultimately, he destroyed the wand, ending its bloody history once and for all.

Now, let’s move on to the ending of the Deathly Hallows. When Harry managed to open the Snitch, he found the Resurrection Stone, so he was the master of all three Deathly Hallows, and in a way, he was the master of Death. Many people think Harry did not die in the forest because he was the master of Death, but that’s not the case. In reality, when Lily Potter/Evans sacrificed her life for Harry, she produced a charm that protected her son. This charm was supposed to work until he turned seventeen. The protection would live on as long as Harry called the Dursley’s house home, and until he lived with Petunia Dursley (who happened to be Lily’s biological sister). When he turned seventeen, Lily’s protection didn’t end. This was because Voldemort used Harry’s blood to return (as described in the fourth book, The Goblet of Fire). Voldemort’s body kept Lily’s sacrifice alive.

During the final duel between Harry and Voldemort, Voldemort’s wand backfired on him. This happened because the wand answered to Harry and it refused to kill its true master. When Harry finally defeated Voldemort with a basic Expelliarmus curse and got hold of the wand again, he first repaired his original wand, which had been broken in the last book. Afterwards, Harry destroyed the Elder Wand and ended its legacy.

As for the Resurrection Stone, after Harry dropped it in the Forbidden Forest, it had laid there for a long time, until a group of centaurs, who were charging out of the forest during the Second Wizarding War, stomped on the Stone and it was never found again by anyone.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Several wizards who possessed the Deathly Hallows belonged to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Source: Pixabay

The Invisibility Cloak was passed down to Harry’s son, James Sirius Potter. Harry got rid of the other two Deathly Hallows that could have made him the ultimate master of Death. This showed his pure heartedness as he respected Death rather than dominating him, something even Dumbledore couldn’t resist.

*Iolanthe Peverell married Hardwin Potter. Their son was Henry Potter, who married an unknown wife, with whom he had a son named Fleamont Potter. Fleamont married Euphemia Potter who had James Potter. When James married Lily Evans, they had a son Harry Potter to whom the Invisibility Cloak was passed as he was the rightful owner of it, being a true descendent of Ignotus Peverell.

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Meet Ishan Tripathi, an 11-year-old dynamo from Abu Dhabi! With a twinkle in his eye and a heart full of curiosity, he's a sixth-grade whiz-kid who's absolutely enchanted by the wonders of Ancient Egypt. You'll often find him nose-deep in books, lost in the world of hieroglyphs and pharaohs. Ishan, at such a young age, dreams big—he has set his sights on becoming an archaeologist, driven by an insatiable thirst to unlock the secrets of the past.
All Posts of Ishan Tripathi

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