Gandalf and dumbledore fighting

Throwdown in Middle-Muggletown

Battle of the wizards! Who would win in a Rowling Vs. Tolkien throwdown?

Battle of the Wizards: Rumble in Middle Muggle Town

Who would win, Gandalf or Dumbledore. This is a complicated question, as both are among the most powerful and respected wizards in their respective fictional worlds. However, before we can compare their strengths and get on with the fight, we need to clarify some important points:

  • Which version of Gandalf are we talking about? Gandalf the Grey or Gandalf the White? For the sake of fairness, I will assume that we are talking about Gandalf the Grey, as he is a bit closer to our fellow peak human wizard’s ability level.
  • Are we talking about a friendly or a hostile duel? This matters because both Gandalf and Dumbledore are very wise and compassionate wizards, who would not want to harm or kill each other unless absolutely necessary. As such, I will assume that we are talking about a hostile duel, where both wizards are willing to use their full power and skill to defeat their opponent.
  • For simplicity, I will assume that the duel takes place in a neutral and open terrain, where both wizards have equal access to their wands, staffs, swords, and any other items they may carry. I will also assume that neither wizard can call for help from their allies, such as eagles, phoenixes, or other magical creatures.

With these points in mind, let’s review some of the feats and abilities of Gandalf and Dumbledore, based on the books and movies of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

Gandalf’s corner:

  • Gandalf is a Maia, a divine being who was sent to Middle-earth by the Valar to aid the Free Peoples against the Dark Lord Sauron. He is immortal, unless his physical body is destroyed by violence or old age. In the past he has also reincarnated after death, as he did when he returned as Gandalf the White after his fight with the Balrog.
  • Gandalf is an expert in fire magic, as he can create light, heat, sparks, flames, fireworks, and explosions with his staff or his words. He can also manipulate smoke and create shapes and images with it. He can use fire and light magic to blind, burn, or blast his enemies, as he did with the Balrog, the Nazgúl, and goblins.
  • Gandalf is skilled in telekinesis, as he can move objects with his mind or his staff. He can also create force fields or barriers to protect himself or others from physical attacks. He can use telekinesis to disarm, restrain, or throw his enemies, as he did with Bilbo, Wormtongue, Denethor, and Saruman.
  • Gandalf has some degree of telepathy and mind reading, as he can communicate with other beings mentally or enter their dreams. He can also sense the presence or intentions of others, especially those who are evil or corrupted. He can use telepathy to influence or persuade others, as he did with Théoden, Pippin, and Faramir.
  • Gandalf has some control over weather and lightning, as he can summon storms, winds, rain, snow, or fog with his staff or his words. He can also call down lightning bolts from the sky to strike his enemies or empower his sword. He can use weather magic to create diversions or advantages in battle, as he did at Helm’s Deep.
  • Gandalf has extensive Gandalf is proficient in swordsmanship, as he can wield Glamdring (the Foe-Hammer), a fabled elven sword that glows blue when orcs are near. He can also use his staff as a weapon in close combat. He can fight against multiple enemies at once with his sword and staff, as he did at Moria, Helm’s Deep, Minas Tirith , and Dol Guldur.
  • He possesses knowledge of history, lore, languages, runes, riddles, maps, herbs, potions, spells, creatures, and artifacts of Middle-earth. He is especially knowledgeable about the Rings of Power and their effects on their bearers. He might be able to use his knowledge to solve problems or gain advantage over our favorite Hogwarts Headmaster.

Headmaster Dumbledore’s Corner:

  • Dumbledore is a human wizard, who was born in 1881 and died in 1997. He is widely regarded as the greatest wizard of his time, and one of the most powerful and influential wizards in history. He was the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the leader of the Order of the Phoenix, and a rightful owner of the Elder Wand (one of the Deathly Hallows).
  • Dumbledore is a master of wand magic. He can perform a variety of spells with his wand, such as charms, transfiguration, conjuration, hexes, jinxes, curses, and enchantments. He can also cast spells without speaking or moving his wand, which gives him an edge over almost all other human wizards. He can use wand magic to create or manipulate elements, objects, animals, plants, or people, as he did with fire, water, statues, Fawkes, and Inferi.
  • Dumbledore is adept in non-verbal magic, as he can perform magic without using a wand at all. He can use non-verbal magic to create light, heal wounds, fly, or apparate. He can also use magic to sense or reveal hidden things, such as Horcruxes, memories, or thoughts.
  • Dumbledore has some degree of occlumency, as he can read minds or enter memories of others. He can also shield his own mind from being read or manipulated by others. He can use occlumency to extract or implant information or emotions in others, as he did with Harry, Snape, and Voldemort.
  • Dumbledore has some control over time and space, as he can use a Time-Turner to travel back in time or alter events. He can also create or enter different dimensions or realms, such as the Mirror of Erised, the Pensieve, or King’s Cross Station. He can use time and space magic to change outcomes or gain insights that others may not have access to.
  • Dumbledore is proficient in alchemy, as he can transmute substances or create new ones. He is especially knowledgeable about the Philosopher’s Stone (or the Sorcerer’s Stone), a legendary alchemical object that can grant eternal life and turn any metal into gold. He worked on alchemy with his friend Nicolas Flamel, the maker of the Stone .
  • Dumbledore has extensive knowledge of history, lore, languages, runes, riddles, maps, herbs, potions, spells, creatures, and artifacts of the wizarding world. He is especially knowledgeable about the Deathly Hallows (the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility), three powerful magical objects that can make one master of death.

Who would win in a duel?

Based on these feats and abilities, I think that both Gandalf and Dumbledore are very closely matched opponents who would put up a great fight against each other. However, I would say that Gandalf has a slight edge over Dumbledore for the following reasons:

  • Gandalf is immortal and has reincarnated once after death. This means that he has more experience and wisdom than Dumbledore who is mortal and can die permanently. Gandalf also has less fear of death than Dumbledore who has regrets and guilt over his past actions.
  • Gandalf is more versatile and adaptable than Dumbledore who relies mostly on his wand for magic. Gandalf can use his staff or his words for magic without needing a wand at all. He can also use his sword or his staff for physical combat if needed.
  • Gandalf has more control over the natural forces and elements than Dumbledore who mainly uses artificial or magical ones. Gandalf can manipulate fire, water, wind, lightning, smoke, and weather with his magic, while Dumbledore mostly uses fire, water, statues, and Fawkes with his wand.
  • Gandalf has a higher resistance and immunity to dark magic than Dumbledore who is more vulnerable to it. Gandalf can withstand the influence or corruption of the One Ring, the most powerful and evil artifact in Middle-earth, while Dumbledore was tempted and mortally injured by the Resurrection Stone, one of the Deathly Hallows. Gandalf can also fight against the Balrog, a servant of Sauron, while Dumbledore is afraid and defeated by Voldemort, a corrupted human wizard.

Based on these reasons, I say that Gandalf would win in a duel against Dumbledore with a 7 out of 10 difficulty. Gandalf would have a hard time defeating Dumbledore, but he would eventually prevail over him. Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments? Think I’ve made light of something? Challenge my nerd-dom below.

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