Apparently Wands in the 1920s Potterverse Were Really Ugly

Illustration for article titled Apparently Wands in the 1920s Potterverse Were Really Ugly

Official replica versions of wands from the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie are available for you to buy now. And all of them look like a stiff wind would break them in half.

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In the original Harry Potter movies the wands mostly looked like sturdy sticks with some handles carved into them. They looked practical, like they’d need to be, given that wizards use them every day, all the time. Here’s the replica of Harry’s as sold by Universal Orlando:

Illustration for article titled Apparently Wands in the 1920s Potterverse Were Really Ugly

See? Recognizably a wand.

The ones from Fantastic Beasts are so much worse. Porpentina Goldstein’s wand is fine:

Illustration for article titled Apparently Wands in the 1920s Potterverse Were Really Ugly

Her sister, Queenie, has a long thin black one with a gold triangle at the top. It looks like a fountain pen. I wish I could show you a picture of the replica, but as of right now, the Merchoid site has a photo of Porpentina’s up instead. So here’s a still:

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Newt fares okay:

Illustration for article titled Apparently Wands in the 1920s Potterverse Were Really Ugly
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But his still has a weird...wrapped part with an opening? at the top. I also need you to remember that Seraphina Picquery is supposed to be the PRESIDENT OF THE MAGICAL UNITED STATES when you see this one:

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Why the filigree? And the...crystal? I think? It looks like a decorative object, not a working anything.

But my favorite is Percival Graves’. Because it looks so much like the wand of a stage magician. I almost hope he was the inspiration for the classic “black with white ends” magician wand because that would be hilarious. Also, it’s now impossible not to imagine Colin Farrell, who plays Graves, pulling a rabbit out of hat:

Illustration for article titled Apparently Wands in the 1920s Potterverse Were Really Ugly
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If the Americans were the only ones with wands that I could easily snap, then I’d chalk it up to different countries having different styles. And I know that wands are magical so breaking them might be harder to do than for a real stick (although Ron’s didn’t need magic to break in half in the books).

But, when you include Newt, you get the sense that there was a style the wands of that time had. Of course, I’m also perplexed, because don’t wizards live a long time? And usually have like one wand? So why are all of these adults carrying wands that feel like they were meant to match the current trends in decor? DO THEY CHANGE THEIR WANDS FOR FASHION REASONS? That’s somehow even worse.

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Katharine is the Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the former managing editor of io9. She writes about technology policy and pop culture.

DISCUSSION

RedKillerTeddyBear
RedKillerTeddyBear

Those are Art Deco wands you heathens. They are pure representations of the style of the era the movie is set in. Think of the Empire State Building main hall and translate that entire gorgeous scenery into one elegant wand. Doesn’t it just make sense?