J.K. Rowling Fires Back Against Wand-Maker Disinclined to Sell to Harry Potter Fans

Royals (including the future head of the Church of England) with wands in 2013 at the opening of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. Image via AP.
Royals (including the future head of the Church of England) with wands in 2013 at the opening of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. Image via AP.

Turn your eyes to the United Kingdom, where controversy rages over a shop owner’s reported reluctance to sell wands to Harry Potter fans—as opposed to those embarking on a true spiritual journey—drawing fire from J.K. Rowling herself.


It started when the Sun wrote about Richard Carter of Mystical Moments in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Mr. Carter makes beautiful hand-crafted wands— which can be used “to draw protective circles, ward off dark forces while owners meditate, bring them money or help them find love. They can also be used to cure aches, pains and stress,” according to the Sun—and, it turns out, he isn’t particularly interested in the casual Harry Potter trade.

“You wouldn’t believe how many real witches and wizards there are knocking about. You would be amazed.

“They know they can come here and reveal themselves without people thinking they’re mental.

“I don’t have customers who have been Harry Potterfied.

“If I had someone come in wanting a wand just because they liked Harry Potter I would not sell them one, no matter how much they were offering.”

The Independent picked up the story in the midst of a growing furor from fans, who accused Mr. Carter of being a snob, at which point it reached J.K. Rowling herself. The Guardian reports that she then weighed in, because apparently she can’t not weigh in.

Now Mr. Carter informs the Huddersfield Daily Examiner that some of his remarks were taken out of context, and he hasn’t banned Harry Potter fans, per se. He just prefers to sell to those with a “genuine interest” in spirituality, and simply thinks that anyone who wants a toy should take themselves off to a place selling toys, not real-deal spiritual items.

“I said that if Harry Potter fans wanted a wand they should go on eBay because what they’re basically after is a toy. But I have not banned them from the shop.

“I have nothing against Harry Potter and actually liked the films. The wands I make though, whether you believe it or not, are real and spiritual.

“If a Harry Potter fan came to the shop, whether they would be able to buy a wand would depend on why they want one.

“If for a toy, then no, but if they had watched Harry Potter and been inspired to start their own spiritual journey, then yes.”


This has been: England!!!!

Senior Editor at Jezebel, specializing in books, royals, romance novels, houses, history, and the stories we tell about domesticity and femininity. Resident Windsor expert.



I feel very disinclined to pass judgment on this dude, because it seems like he’s making these products for people who actually practice witchcraft as their religion? That could be my incorrect hot take, but I just feel wrong shitting on this dude for trying to make a (albeit odd) living. As long as he’s not trying to pass off these wands in place of like, actual medicine, in which case he gets no free passes.

I would probably care even less about his side had J.K. not weighed in. I love the HP books and her too, but she has literal millions of followers on Twitter—posting something like that just guarantees the story will be blown up even bigger and that her hardcore fans are going to get incensed and make this guy’s day-to-day even less pleasant. Understand the power you wield, J.K. :/