16

At the beginning of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 the gang tries to break into Bellatrix Lestrange's vault at Gringot's using polyjuice potion to dress Hermione and Ron as Bellatrix and some other Death Eater respectively. But when Hermione in Bellatrix costume is asked to hand over her wand for verification, she protests and the situation starts to get quite nervous and ultimately has to be resolved by a disguised Harry casting an Imperio curse upon the receptionist.

But I wonder why Hermione couldn't just hand over Bellatrix' wand as in the previous scene we were shown that they have it anyway, having it won at the end of Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Was this just to raise the tension and have it suprisingly resolved by Harry, who we at first didn't see was part of the crew? Or was there an actual story-wise reason that they couldn't just hand over Bellatrix' wand? (Or did they maybe just forget to bring it?) Is the source material clearer on this issue or does the movie even already give an explanation I just missed?

  • 1
    Slight correction (though not a very important one, really): Ron didn't take Polyjuice potion, they just made him a beard and longer hair. – Walt Sep 6 '15 at 21:09
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The book is clear. Deathly Hallows Chapter 26:

"They know!" whispered Griphook in Harry's ear, "They must have been warned there might be an imposter!"

"Your wand will do, madam," said the goblin. He held out a slightly trembling hand, and in a dreadful blast of realization Harry knew that the goblins of Gringotts were aware that Bellatrix's wand had been stolen.

The wand was reported stolen, and it was a topic of public discussion. The Death-Eater Travers also mentioned hearing about the wand being lost by Bellatrix earlier, when he also questioned the polyjuiced Hermonie, earlier in the same chapter.

"[...] but whose wand," said Travers curiously, "are you using at the moment, Bellatrix? I heard that your own was--"
"I have my wand here," said Hermione coldly, holding up Bellatrix's wand. "I don't know what rumors you have been listening to, Travers, but you seem sadly misinformed."

Like the movie, they only got in through the use of the Imperius curse, but Hermione did hand the wand over.

The movie changes some things though. In the book, Tavers presents the key to the vault, and the goblin only asks for identification after already seeing "Bellatrix". The Movie has the goblin asking for identification off hand, without looking up from his ledger, only to go find a manager once he sees "Bellatrix". The movie played the scene with more suspicion and suspense than the book did.

  • Griphook's warning is also clearly stated in the movie ("They know she's an impostor! They'd been warned!"). So if she hands over the wand, she's powerless. – Walt Sep 6 '15 at 21:10
  • @walt i dont hear that youtube.com/watch?v=gwPIaGKgYik – cde Sep 6 '15 at 21:17
  • Turn up your volume. :) It's whispered in 01:22-01:30. But if you didn't hear it, maybe Tom didn't either and that's the source of his confusion? – Walt Sep 6 '15 at 21:29
  • I had the volume up. I had to listen with my ear to the speaker to hear it. Ill check my tv copy later. That said, it was meant to be a whisper, maybe the sound crew took that too literally? @walt – cde Sep 6 '15 at 21:46
  • Well, it's a big hall, so any sound would travel. Griphook had to be really quiet or the jig would've been up. – Walt Sep 6 '15 at 21:51
5

I would just like to point out that there is an additional reason why Hermione didn't immediately hand over the wand at Gringotts: it would have been out of character.

Note that just before entering Gringotts, Hermione-Bellatrix greeted a man, and this had been considered by Ron and Harry as something the real Bellatrix would have never done:

Hermione Granger: [Disguised as Belltrix Lestrange, addressing a Death Eater] Good morning!

Griphook: Good morning? You're Bellatrix Lestrange, not some dewey-eyed schoolgirl!

Moreover, after the fall of the MoM in 1997, wizards started ruling over the goblins. It is therefore unlikely that the real Bellatrix would have handed over a wand to goblins who were ruled by wizards, especially considering her attitude toward non-pure bloods and other sentient beings (Dobby, for example) and the fact that wizards have long denied goblins the right to carry wands.

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