J.K. Rowling recently revealed that Slytherin’s wand was made of snakewood and basilisk horn, but what about the other three founders? Naturally, I have my own thoughts.
Living a thousand years before Garrick Ollivander standardized wand cores, the four Hogwarts founders wouldn’t necessarily have had unicorn hair, phoenix feather, or dragon heartstring in their wands. In fact, since Slytherin’s wand had a basilisk horn core, I find it likely that the other three would also have made their own wands, or at least obtained the cores themselves. I love the idea of Ravenclaw having sphinx hair at the core of her wand. Getting such a hair would not be easy, but perhaps she could have earned a hair from a sphinx by solving its riddle, at the same time drawing inspiration to guard her house’s common room with riddles instead of passwords.
For the wood, walnut seems like an obvious choice. According to Ollivander, walnut is best suited to “highly intelligent witches and wizards” and “often found in the hands of magical innovators and inventors”. He warns that its “unusual versatility and adaptability” can make it “a truly lethal weapon in the hands of a witch or wizard of no conscience”. We have seen this negative tendency of walnut wands in the wand of Bellatrix Lestrange, but for someone whose intelligence was matched by a strong conscience, whose goal was to establish a school of magic and educate young witches and wizards, a walnut wand could be a powerful force for good. Its adaptable nature could allow her to experiment with new spells and areas of magic, while its tendency to choose the most intelligent would be fitting for someone who valued intelligence highly in her students.