As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We also participate in other affiliate programs and are compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
Harry Potter is a straightforward franchise that doesn’t include a lot of symbols; however, there is one that is shown very prominently. It seems to be important since it can be seen at some important places, such as Dumbledore’s signature as a replacement for the letter “A” or on Xeno Lovegood’s necklace. Chances are if you ever saw it you probably wondered what does it mean.
The triangle represents the Deathly Hallows, magical artifacts described in The Tale of the Three Brothers. The Elder Wand, The Resurrection Stone, and The Cloak of Invisibility are the gifts given the brothers by Death, represented in the sign by a triangle, circle, and a line respectively.
Most of the wizarding world took the tale as a legend and never gave it much thought. However, the artifacts were actually real. If you would like to know more about them and their fate make sure to read this article all the way to the end.
The meaning of the Deathly Hallows Harry Potter triangle symbol
The triangle symbol which we first saw at the end of the Harry Potter movie franchise represents the Deathly Hallows. The Hallows are three extremely powerful magical artifacts created by Death.
Each shape in the symbol represents one of the three artifacts making up the Deathly Hallows. The outer triangle represents the Cloak of Invisibility, the inner circle represents the Resurrection Stone and the line going down the middle represents the Elder Wand.
Most of the magical folk believed the artifacts are merely a part of a famous children’s story and there are very few wizards who realized that the Hallows were in fact real and existed in their world.
According to the legend whoever possessed all three artifacts would be granted power over death. A few powerful wizards were after the Deathly Hallows, perhaps most notably Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald.
As far as we know no known wizard or witch had all of the three in their possession at the same time. The closest one was Harry Potter who had all the Hallows in his possession but never more than one at a time. Another wizard in a similar predicament is Albus Dumbledore, who for a short period of time had both the Elder Wand and the Cloak of Invisibility in his possession.
Where did the Deathly Hallows symbol come from?
The Deathly Hallows symbol comes from the cover of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. It is a collection of stories written for magical children. It contains the most popular bedtime stories from the wizarding community.
One of those stories is The Tale of the Three Brothers, which tells the story of the Deathly Hallows. The tale follows the brothers trying to cross a river where Death usually claims its victims.
While traveling the brothers come across a deep river that would take the life of anyone trying to cross it. Since the brothers were exceptional wizards they joined their forces and created a bridge.
The death was angered by this and decided to trick the brothers. Death showed up before them and offered each of them any gift they wanted.
The oldest brother who was a duelist asked for the wand which couldn’t be beaten by any other and the death made him one from the branch of the nearby elder tree.
The middle brother decided to be arrogant and asked Death for a stone that would allow him to bring people back from death to further humiliate them. Death picked a pebble and created the Resurrection Stone.
The youngest brother however did not trust the death so he chose to ask for something which would allow him to go forth without Death being able to follow him. Reluctantly, the Death gave the youngest brother a part of his Cloak of Invisibility.
The brothers went their separate ways, each holding onto the gift Death gave them. Soon enough Death would have its revenge.
The oldest brother used the Elder Wand in his duel with one of his enemies in a nearby village where he lived. After the duel, the oldest brother killed the wizard instantly and started bragging about the invincibility of his wand and retelling the story of how the Death gave it to him.
Once he made it to a nearby inn, he chose to stay there for the night, however unbeknownst to him while he was sleeping a drunk, murderous wizard crept into his room, slit his throat, and stole his wand. The oldest brother died drunk in power.
The middle brother returned to his home and used the stone Death had given him to bring back a girl he loved before her untimely death. The girl appeared before his eyes, returning to the mortal world, but she did not truly belong there and that caused her to suffer. She also did not return in flesh but merely as a spirit, which caused the middle brother even more pain and longing.
After realizing how sad and cold the girl was in the mortal world and how unhappy his actions made her, the middle brother was driven to insanity. He hung himself from the balcony in his house to truly rejoin with her. The middle brother died for love.
Death claimed the lives of both the oldest and the middle brother; however, it was not able to find the youngest. He used the cloak to escape Death and once he lived long enough, the youngest brother passed the cloak to his son and greeted Death like an old friend.
The fate of the Deathly Hallows?
The Elder Wand is the most powerful wand in the wizarding universe, just like the tale describes it. The wand enables its true master to perform feats of magic normally impossible, even to the most extraordinary wizards.
It was passed down from its original owner, Antioch Peverell, through combat. Unlike other wands which through the Subtle law of wands can only change allegiance once they are won over or inherited, the Elder Wand can only change his master once the master is disarmed.
Although you can steal it away, the wand will not serve the person who stole it or gained it through different means properly, just like it didn’t serve Lord Voldemort During his last stand.
The wand fell into the hands of Albus Dumbledore after it was owned by a long line of wizards using it for evil and he tried to change its reputation by using it for the greater good of others.
After his death, it was passed onto Draco Malfoy who disarmed him, before Severus Snape killed him. After the Duel in the Malfoy Manor, the wand changed allegiance to his last known owner, Harry Potter after he disarmed Draco.
Harry used the Elder Wand after the battle to repair his original wand since he was more comfortable with it and placed it in Dumbledore’s tomb. After Harry’s natural death the wand would lose its power.
The Resurrection Stone was passed down the family tree from its original owner, Cadmus Peverell. It only left the family’s possession once Tom Riddle unknowingly stole it when he took Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring which was concealing it at the time.
It remained in the ring until Dumbledore destroyed the Horcrux and hid the stone in the snitch Harry caught during his first Quidditch match.
He left the Snitch to Harry after his death ad Harry opened it before facing Voldemort on his way to get killed. The Stone showed him his parent, Remus, and Sirius after which Harry dropped the Stone in the Forbidden Forest with the intention of losing it forever.
Ignotus Peverell was the first owner of the Cloak of Invisibility. The cloak was unique to other such items since it provided everlasting protection to its wearer, while other’s effects faded over time.
Its whereabouts are unknown, besides the fact that it was used by James Potter and later passed down to Harry. It was given to him by Albus Dumbledor, who asked James to let him see it before his death and held onto it until it was given to Harry.
Harry used it for the last time during the battle of Hogwarts to sneak away to find Voldemort without the others noticing and in the aftermath while he was trying to find Ron and Hermione.
The cloak remained in his possession until he passed it down to his children.