One of the reasons why fans love the movie version of Voldemort so much is Ralph Fiennes’ masterful performance. However, you almost certainly noticed that he holds his wand quite oddly – very different than anybody else in the series. So, why does Voldemort hold his wand weirdly?
According to the actor, Ralph Fiennes, the idea of Voldemort’s wand holding style was his. In the books, the Dark Lord’s movement and appearance are smooth, silent, and serpent-like, so he wanted the wand to be like a part of him – an extension of his movement.
That’s why he holds the wand so loosely, appearing weirdly compared to other characters in the movies. However, there are other theories about why Voldemort holds his wand in such a way that isn’t related to the actor’s choice, but to the character himself. Let’s explore that a bit more.
Voldemort In The Harry Potter Books
As I’ve mentioned, Lord Voldemort’s style of holding his wand stems from the descriptions of the character in the Harry Potter books. So, to understand the actor’s choice, one must understand what those descriptions were.
Of course, it all starts with Voldemort being sinister. He’s the most powerful Dark Wizard of all time, almost indestructible, having unfathomable power, and only one true enemy that’s his equal. Only Harry Potter has the power to defeat Voldemort. As the prophecy said, neither can live until the other dies from his hand.
Voldemort is evil but incredibly intelligent, deliberate, calculated, and a meticulous planner. He leaves little to chance, and always seems to be one step ahead.
As for his appearance, the Dark Lord looks very serpent-like. Slender, pale, and slick. Even his voice had been described several times as silent, calm, and very articulate. Not only is his voice silent – Voldemort’s movement is very silent as well.
He’s fluid in his motions, stealthy, almost soundless. The silence hides the unfathomable power within. All those descriptions were the basis upon which Ralph Fiennes built his role and character.
Why Does Voldemort Hold His Wand Weirdly?
Now that you know how Voldemort was described in the Harry Potter books, it’s easier to understand what Ralph Fiennes wanted to accomplish. According to an in-depth interview with GQ, Fiennes said he wanted his version of Voldemort to resemble the book description as much as possible.
That included the way he wields his wand. Fiennes wanted it to be as fluid as possible – almost as if the wand was a part of his body, not an object he was carrying:
“She [JKR] describes the voice in a couple of places at least, which was a good indicator of where to go and the snake-like idea that J.K. Rowling gives him as someone, but that he himself has snake-like elements to his movement, silky-smooth and silent.”
“With Stuart Craig, who’s the production designer, and his team, we discussed what the wand would be. It has a hook on it, so I can hold [it in] my hand, and then the end can hook around this finger. I remember it should feel like an extension of my hand… Like I almost have the hand open. You’d think it would fall off the hand. But I just enjoyed that it could be light in the hand.”
So, basically, the production design crew and Fiennes worked together to interpret Rowling’s descriptions – hence, the “weird” wand holding.
Now, some fans argue that the way Voldemort holds his wand in the movies is nothing like Voldemort in the books. But, that’s the beauty of the written word – it’s open to imagination and interpretation.
Seeing that the explanation came from the actor himself, this is the correct answer to why Voldemort holds his wand weirdly. However, there are other theories why he does it that could be plausible and have some arguments to be at least partially true, but they have never been confirmed. Still, let’s explore alternative theories about the Dark Lord’s awkward wand-holding.
Alternative Theories About Voldemort’s Wand Holding
Some fans suggested that Voldemort holds his wand in such a weird way – simply because he wants to stand out. The Dark Lord is known to have a flair for being dramatic, famous, and unique, so perhaps carrying the wand differently from everybody else was just another way to be unique.
I mean, the guy did change his name from Tom, and hated the name, because he thought there were too many Toms in the world, and the name makes him blend into the bunch. His entire dark plan revolved around not just gaining power, but being the most infamous, well-known Dark Wizard of all time. One could see why he’d want to stand out.
Another theory plays into the previous one about Voldemort wanting to be unique. Perhaps he wanted to show that he could do things differently from everybody else, and still be the most powerful wizard in history. I mean, if you want to be a Dark Wizard, and you see the almighty Voldemort carrying his wand around like a chopstick, you’d probably want to try it out yourself.
The third theory suggests that Voldemort held the wand in such a manner because – he hated his wand. Especially when he got the Elder Wand – it was never really his, as the true owner at the moment was Harry Potter, so the Elder Wand didn’t really adhere to his commands.
So, he never really fully grasped the wand, but barely held it in his hand instead. This is the dumbest theory I’ve heard, but it’s out there.
Finally, one theory that seems as plausible as the one Fiennes claims to be the truth, is that the actor had to wear awkward hand prosthetics throughout the franchise which made grasping a wand normally quite difficult.
He had elongated hands and fingers, and quite long, ugly nails, so it’s quite possible it played a part in his wand holding style – especially if you consider the hook they used on the wand.