J.K. Rowling Clarifies Wandless Magic Details


J.K. Rowling takes to Twitter to clarify details on “wandless magic,” a subject that has come up twice in her new Pottermore stories.

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Rowling’s roll out of four new stories on Pottermore last week attempted to set the atmosphere of the unfamiliar world we will find ourselves in this coming November with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. There were lots of criticisms of the pieces on Twitter, all of which Rowling steadfastly refused to acknowledge. But that doesn’t mean she was off her favorite mode of communication all week.

In fact, when a fan began asking her to clarify a different angle, one that was safe for her to respond to, she started answering questions right away.

The subject that was brought up is one that she’s now touched on twice, first in the story about the Wizarding Academy in Uganda, Uagadou, and now in her series on early American wizards: the concept of wandless magic. She’s mentioned both times that wands are a European invention, and that though they have caught on across the globe, there are still some wizards and witches who don’t use them. Fans, naturally, had questions.

(By the way, note the “my” wizarding world. Rowling is already feeling the effects of the complaints.)

But in case you are thinking that Rowling is suggesting wizards from non European based cultures are more powerful because they don’t use wands, she’s not saying that either.

It gets interesting though when the idea is taken a step further. After all, wands are merely a tool. And if you can do one piece of magic without a tool, why not others….like flying?

Yes, Rowling just said really powerful wizards and witches can fly. THAT’S AWESOME.

RISKY BUT AWESOME. (I’m just saying.) But her further clarifications make the widespread preference to use brooms make sense. One would use a broom because it helps channel the magic–the same way one uses a wand to channel magic.

This actually brings her back to one of the themes of the original Potter novels and how human wizards and witches keep other magical creatures from being their equals by denying them the same access to tools.

She also talks a bit about children prior to them getting their first wands.

Also, they make really fun props to play with!

You can see more on the wandmakers of the US in her final story on Pottermore, released yesterday.