Does "end up with an object" always mean possession? Can it possibly mean destruction?

Here is the context.

Source: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling.

Characters: Harry Potter, Dumbledore, Snape.
Object: the Elder Wand.

The first passage:

Harry: “If you planned your death with Snape, you meant him to end up with the Elder Wand, didn’t you?”
Dumbledore: “I admit that was my intention,” said Dumbledore, “but it did not work as I intended, did it?”

Does it mean that, according to Dumbledore's plan, Snape would have become the master of the wand?

The second passage:

Harry: “Snape was never the true master of the Elder Wand. He never defeated Dumbledore. ... Dumbledore’s death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die, undefeated, the wand’s last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand’s power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!”

(Harry explains that, according to Dumbledore's plan, the power of the wand would have been destroyed.)

  • If "end up with an object" always means possession, don't you think that the passages are contradictory?
  • If not, how we can possibly distinguish which of the two possible meanings is applicable: possession or destruction?
  • 1
    This is too narrow a question about one passage in a book.
    – JeffSahol
    Sep 22, 2011 at 19:31
  • 1
    Or gen ref, whichever way you look at it.
    – Daniel
    Sep 22, 2011 at 19:43
  • @drɱ65 δ Oxford, Merriam-Webster and Cambridge do not list this phrase at all. OneLook lists a single meaning (no guarantee that it's the only one). Plus the slightly ambiguous context. Hence the question.
    – rems
    Sep 22, 2011 at 19:59
  • Google "end up" meaning, and look up with.
    – Daniel
    Sep 22, 2011 at 20:01
  • Surely the hero always ends up with the girl? Sep 22, 2011 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


Perhaps it would help to distinguish the concepts of "to have" and "to be the (true) master of".

The first is a simple issue of possession; if the wand is in Snape's hands, he "has" it.

To be master of something implies more than simple ownership; it implies power and control over the object.

When I read these sentences (having admittedly not read the book), I see no contradiction.

In either case, "to end up with" does not mean "to destroy".

  • 4
    Ayup: the Elder Wand is a physical object (a stick of wood) which it's pretty easy to "end up with", i.e. possess after all is said and done. Becoming the master of the Elder Wand, on the other hand, involves a bit more, namely defeating the previous master. The two passages are not at all contradictory.
    – Marthaª
    Sep 22, 2011 at 19:08

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