Mr Ollivander was the most respected wandmaker in the wizarding world.

Harry at Ollivanders wand shop.
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Eleven-year-old witches and wizards left his shop with a wand and a lesson learned. Here are some of the most important things he taught us...

The wand chooses the wizard

While we didn’t find out the story of the Elder Wand and the Peverell brothers until much later, Ollivander introduced the idea of wand allegiance when he first met Harry: ‘The wand chooses the wizard,’ he said. How ironic that the wand that chose Harry had a brother, belonging to the wizard who gave him his scar.

It’s the core that matters

If you’re shopping for a wand, it’s worth knowing that the best ones have phoenix feather, unicorn hair or dragon heartstring at their core. And if you’re going to make wizarding history by facing down the Darkest wizard of all time, it’s also useful to know who else might have the same wand core as you.

Your wand is unique, just like you

‘No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes are quite the same,’ Ollivander revealed. Harry had a wand with a phoenix feather just like Voldemort’s (a feather from the same phoenix, no less – which happened to be Dumbledore’s pet, Fawkes), but there was no other exactly like his own. Every single wand is different.

Magical ability is nothing without desire

You might want a unicorn-tail core or decide that yew tree is definitely going to make the best wand for you, but Mr Ollivander informed us that it’s not that simple. You will need ‘an initial attraction and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the wizard, the wizard from the wand’.

Wandlore is really hard, even for him

While Mr Ollivander had studied wandlore since his school days, even he admitted that he didn’t know everything. For example, he couldn’t explain to Voldemort why Lucius Malfoy’s wand backfired when he tried to use it in Deathly Hallows.