Dumbledore Vs. Gandalf

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Slothwave

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#1  Edited By Slothwave

Who would win in a fight? Assume they are both in their prime and Gandalf's immortality doesn't matter because it only depends on who would win the fight (regardless of if Gandalf would be reborn later).

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geekryan

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Dumbledore. Way more versatile.

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deactivated-5b2dd32201ad6

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Gandalf is just way too powerful.

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ComanderMurf

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Been done. Dumbledore wins. His style of Magic is more practical in battle.

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Freekymonkey

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#5  Edited By Freekymonkey

@comandermurf: Um... been done Gandalf wins? Gandalf in his prime was more powerful then Saruman, who was a mountain buster.

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nerdchore

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Gandalf

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deactivated-6034d0d6dcbf4

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Gandalf gets rekt

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CoinBiter

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Dumbledore, with his tiresome range of spells that were demonstrated against Voldemort.

Gandalf is basically an angel, true, but he is one whose power was consciously limited so as not to interfere with the free will of the denizens of Middle Earth. In addition, Tolkien consciously kept magic fairly restrained in his works: no constant throwing of fireballs :) It’s the difference between a mechanistic magic system and a work that retains a sense of mystery and wonder.

So Dumbledore must win.

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Freekymonkey

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@foxerdes:

https://youtu.be/YH4Xr6GIp4U?t=2m Saruman drops a chunk of the mountain on the Fellowship.

Also Gandalf the Gray, (who is leagues behind Gandalf the White) was able to defeat Durin's Bane who could annihilate entire Dwarven armies by himself. A feat I do not see Dumbledore replicating.

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geekryan

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@foxerdes said:

@freekymonkey:

Saruman drops a chunk of the mountain on the Fellowship.

I know which scene you had in mind and it is in no way something that you can call a mountain busting. Not even close. Not to mention obvious circumstances like channeling of the spell.

Also Gandalf the Gray, (who is leagues behind Gandalf the White) was able to defeat Durin's Bane who could annihilate entire Dwarven armies by himself. A feat I do not see Dumbledore replicating.

First of all, when did Durin's Bane killed an entire dwarven army? Because I hardly doubt if the feat is as straightforward as you present it. He never defeated an army that stood against him face to face.

A feat I do not see Dumbledore replicating.

Beating Durin's Bane or destroying an army of dwarfs? Because he can do both. Well, he lacks stamina for the second one.

First of all he is just much much faster than any of the fodder dwarfs, seeing how he moved his wand faster than Harry, a person with incredible reflexes, could perceive. Composite wizards are arrow timers and Dumby was beating them like canon fodders. Then you have mobility, instant teleportation. Limitless, instant. Transfiguration and other hax spells aside, Voldemort who was roughly on par with Albus, could destroy shield that was protecting Hogwart with a single spell. Dumbledore could match him power-wise just fine. Sure, he doesn't have dark magic but even moral side of wizardry can pack up a punch, not to mention hax. As for destructive potential, even Pettigrew could blow an entire street when really needed.

I -- I will never forget it. I still dream about it sometimes. A crater in the middle of the street, so deep it had cracked the sewer below. Bodies everywhere. Muggles screaming. And Black standing there laughing, with what was left of Pettigrew in front of him... a heap of bloodstained robes and a few -- a few fragments --"

Dying, barely conscious Albus could easily maintain enormous inferno:

No Caption Provided

And frankly would be able to replicate any spell in the series. Add to that he is a genius duelist, experienced in a fight against other magic users and wedon't really have anything that supports Gandalf unless you overinterpret ambigous showings. Mobility, skill, versatility. Everything goes to Albus. Pointy-hat doesn't even have raw power on his side, at least not to a degree that would help him.

best answer right here

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Earendill

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#14  Edited By Earendill

Gandalf or any other Maia will stomps the whole HP verse.

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AssertingValor

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Gandalf

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DrunkHC

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"Assume they are both in their prime"

Whoever claims that Dumbledore wins obviously doesn't know who Gandalf really is

Olórin stomp the HP verse

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Zafros13

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#17  Edited By Zafros13

Going off film version:

Because Gandalf chooses not to use magic in alot of his fights it's hard to say what's in character. But he does consistently use magic when facing powerful magical enemies such as Saruman, Balrog, and Souron.

In two of his big fights Gandalf uses a 360 degree force field which I'll assume he'll use as his defense.

How powerful is Gandalf: Above Voldemort by an unknown amount. One of the most power wizard feats we ever see is Harry wiping glass out of existence before even learning magic but we don't really see much of that applies to combat. He definitely has some powerful attack spells but I'm not sure they can break Gandalf's field that was able to block the Balrog.

As good as his defense is Gandalf will need to use offense to ultimately win. I assume Dumbledore can block those telekinetic hits. To beat the Balrog Gandalf needed to channel a storm which I'd imagine he could only land because it was a very long fight.

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captain_inverse

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@zafros13: a force field that repelled an attack from a deity, albeit briefly. In ROK, Gandalf doesn't even use a shield but no sells a fireball from saruman. Then proceeded to shatter his staff with a word.

This isn't a battle, it's a slaughter.

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Zafros13

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#19  Edited By Zafros13

@captain_inverse: "a force field that repelled an attack from a deity, "

Using a hard to quantifiable feat isn't really concrete evidence to try to prove something is a stomp. For feats the Balrog can apparently draw back the military forces of a city which means he can strike hard enough to destroy dwarven stuff. I would say it's more of a durability feat though (which is still a good feat for Gandalf, Dwarves probably landed some catapults shots or something).

He'll also need offense on top of his blocking abilities. He has shown magical offense but it's difficult to say how he'll use it, he has never used explosive attacks on an opponent before.

"In ROK, Gandalf doesn't even use a shield but no sells a fireball from saruman. Then proceeded to shatter his staff with a word."

Extended edition isn't canon. Also It might be worth mentioning that he got his ass kicked by the Witch King in the Extended edition.

Also being able to block Dumbledore attacks doesn't guarantee the win which is what I said earlier.

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Six-Deuce

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Dumbledore rather easily. Gandalf is intended to be a more powerful type of being but his feats are inferior In potency, versatility, and alacrity.

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geekryan

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Dumbledore rather easily. Gandalf is intended to be a more powerful type of being but his feats are inferior In potency, versatility, and alacrity.

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#22 RajjarsAlt  Online

@geekryan said:
@six-deuce said:

Dumbledore rather easily. Gandalf is intended to be a more powerful type of being but his feats are inferior In potency, versatility, and alacrity.

Will the Dumbell be defeated by or beat a Balrog?

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Six-Deuce

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@rajjarsalt: Balrog has no significant magical resistance feats in the order that it would need to not be immediately killed a dozen different ways shown in Dumbledore’s duel. I think you are letting the enormous superiority of Tolkien’s work to sway you. Outside scaling from 7 degrees of Illuviatar’s choir feat…the valar and even less maiar have precious little that is direct and impressive. Another posted that this is the inevitable consequence of the more mysterious style of writing that leaves room for imagination that Tolkien employs….it rightly leaves less cgi action feats (unless you are Orlando Bloom)

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#24  Edited By RajjarsAlt  Online
@six-deuce said:

@rajjarsalt: Balrog has no significant magical resistance feats in the order that it would need to not be immediately killed a dozen different ways shown in Dumbledore’s duel. I think you are letting the enormous superiority of Tolkien’s work to sway you. Outside scaling from 7 degrees of Illuviatar’s choir feat…the valar and even less maiar have precious little that is direct and impressive. Another posted that this is the inevitable consequence of the more mysterious style of writing that leaves room for imagination that Tolkien employs….it rightly leaves less cgi action feats (unless you are Orlando Bloom)

Tbh you're right in that I might, but I was thinking - stack enough Balrogs and you have a force that can drive back Ungoliant! And Valar did reshape Middle Earth's geography rather violently during their wars.

Also, thoughts on Maiar power?

But it was too late. At that moment the rock quivered and trembled beneath them. The great rumbling noise, louder than ever before, rolled in the ground and echoed in the mountains. Then with searing suddenness there came a great red flash. Far beyond the eastern mountains it leapt into the sky and splashed the lowering clouds with crimson. In that valley of shadow and cold deathly light it seemed unbearably violent and fierce. Peaks of stone and ridges like notched knives sprang out in the staring black against the uprushing flame in Gorgoroth. Then came a great crack of thunder.

Rings of Power gave Gandalf some nice feats and a very good statement for Sauron

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arctika

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#25  Edited By arctika

Gandalf stomps, lol Dumbledore got killed by a much weaker wizard than Saruman or Gandalf. Gandalf the Grey killed a freaking Balrog....

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@zafros13: how do you see the extended LOTR as non canon?? Its not a deleted scene, it's extended. It's still Peter Jackson's adaptation that was put into film.

In the hobbit, Gandalf split a Boulder twice his size to turn the trolls to stone. In DoS Gandalf shattered a massive stone archway to cover his retreat.

In two towers, Gandalf swatted away legolas's arrow, gimlies axe, and super heated aragorns sword so he couldn't hold it. Then blinded the trio where as the couldn't look directly at him.

Gandalf wins, Dumbledore would need liquid luck to have a chance winning.

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thenamelessone

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#27  Edited By thenamelessone

Gandalf physically wrestled with a freaking Balrog and has minor reality Manipulation via word of command , he should just be able to make Dumbledore's head explode.

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Mee09

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Dumbledore has no where near the level of power that Gandalf THE GREY possesses.

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Allow me to start off my opinion with this: lol

Everyone who argues against Gandalf says things like: "He's not allowed to show his full power!" "LOTR magic is not flashy!", "LOTR is not versatile in magic!", etc. etc. And many of these points are accurate in a way. Gandalf is supposed to guide the people of middle earth, and he is not supposed to use his powers unless absolutely necessary. And I agree that its sometimes hard to judge lotr due to how the verse functions. However that is only the case when he's actually against someone that is actually close to his tier.

In terms of holding back his power, he is not allowed to use his full power as a maia in the world no. However Gandalf the Grey is fully allowed to wield proper magical power in emergencies, as seen when he used it to save the dwarfs from the goblins in the Hobbit, teleporting into the room in a massive blast of flame:

Just at that moment all the lights in the cavern went out, and the great fire went off poof! into a tower of blue glowing smoke, right up to the roof, that scattered piercing white sparks all among the goblins.

The yells and yammering, croaking, jibbering and jabbering; howls, growls and curses; shrieking and skriking, that followed were beyond description. Several hundred wild cats and wolves being roasted slowly alive together would not have compared with it. The sparks were burning holes in the goblins, and the smoke that now fell from the roof made the air too thick for even their eyes to see through. Soon they were falling over one another and rolling in heaps on the floor, biting and kicking and fighting as if they had all gone mad.

And even moreso when facing magical enemies, where we have Gandalf using fire and lightning against the Nazgul:

'I galloped to Weathertop like a gale, and I reached it before sundown on my second day from Bree-and they were there before me. They drew away from me, for they felt the coming of my anger and they dared not face it while the Sun was in the sky. But they closed round at night, and I was besieged on the hill-top, in the old ring of Amon Sûl. I was hard put to it indeed: such light and flame cannot have been seen on Weathertop since the war-beacons of old.'

And of course against the balrog (and also ice this time):

'There upon Celebdil was a lonely window in the snow, and before it lay a narrow space, a dizzy eyrie above the mists of the world. The sun shone fiercely there, but all below was wrapped in cloud. Out he sprang, and even as I came behind, he burst into new flame. There was none to see, or perhaps in after ages songs would still be sung of the Battle of the Peak.' Suddenly Gandalf laughed. 'But what would they say in song? Those that looked up from afar thought that the mountain was crowned with storm. Thunder they heard, and lightning, they said, smote upon Celebdil, and leaped back broken into tongues of fire. Is not that enough? A great smoke rose about us, vapour and steam. Ice fell like rain. I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me; and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.'

Its certainly true that Gandalf the Grey would not just randomly spam magic against a street tier with no abilities, but against another mage, he certainly would. And this is prime, so Gandalf the White, who is much less restricted than the Grey:

The 'wizards', as such, had failed; or if you like: the crisis had become too grave and needed an enhancement of power. So Gandalf sacrificed himself, was accepted, and enhanced, and returned. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' Of course he remains similar in personality and idiosyncrasy, but both his wisdom and power are much greater. When he speaks he commands attention; the old Gandalf could not have dealt so with Théoden, nor with Saruman.

So he would not hold back in this fight besides the fact that he can't bring the full power of a maia, even if Dumbledore is so beneath him.

In terms of versatility, Gandalf may seem unimpressive sometimes, but prime gandalf the grey genuinely knew every single spell in the entire setting:

‘I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves or Men or Orcs, that was ever used for such a purpose. I can still remember ten score of them without searching in my mind….’

He only did not know them in the hobbit and lotr because he had nothing to do for a few centuries and mostly just spent time chilling with elves and hobbits. However as shown before, as Gandalf the White he's wiser than ever, and would know more than he had ever before. Which is exceptional hype since even Gandalf the Gray was a versatile caster. I have already shown him using powers of teleportation, creating great blasts of flame, wielding fire and lightning against the nazgul, and even ice against the balrog. Furthermore however, he can manipulate water, as seen in the movies the nazgul were taken by a flood of watery horses, but in the books it was Elrond and Gandalf that summoned them:

Again, credit CG
Again, credit CG

He can basically create fireworks from pinecones:

He gathered the huge pinecones from the branches of his tree. Then he set one alight with bright blue fire, and threw it whizzing down among the circle of the wolves. It struck one on the back, and immediately his shaggy coat caught fire, and he was leaping to and fro yelping horribly. Then another came and another, one in blue flames, one in red, another in green. They burst on the ground in the middle of the circle and went off in coloured sparks and smoke. A specially large one hit the chief wolf on the nose, and he leaped in the air ten feet, and then rushed round and round the circle biting and snapping even at the other wolves in his anger and fright.

The dwarves and Bilbo shouted and cheered. The rage of the wolves was terrible to see, and the commotion they made filled all the forest. Wolves are afraid of fire at all times, but this was a most horrible and uncanny fire. If a spark got in their coats it stuck and burned into them, and unless they rolled over quick they were soon all in flames. Very soon all about the glade wolves were rolling over and over to put out the sparks on their backs, while those that were burning were running about howling and setting others alight, till their own friends chased them away and they fled off down the slopes crying and yammering and looking for water.

He can make things just randomly explode and can make fires turn into flashes of thunder:

In the wavering firelight Gandalf seemed suddenly to grow: he rose up, a great menacing shape like the monument of some ancient king of stone set upon a hill. Stooping like a cloud, he lifted a burning branch and strode to meet the wolves. They gave back before him. High in the air he tossed the blazing brand. It flared with a sudden white radiance like lightning; and his voice rolled like thunder.

'Naur an edraith ammen! Naur dan i ngaurhoth!' he cried.

There was a roar and a crackle, and the tree above him burst into a leaf and bloom of blinding flame. The fire leapt from tree-top to tree-top. The whole hill was crowned with dazzling light. The swords and knives of the defenders shone and flickered. The last arrow of Legolas kindled in the air as it flew, and plunged burning into the heart of a great wolf-chieftain. All the others fled.

He can force doors (in this case gates in Moria) to stay forced shut:

'But I found myself suddenly faced by something that I have not met before. I could think of nothing to do but to try and put a shutting-spell on the door. I know many; but to do things of that kind rightly requires time, and even then the door can be broken by strength.'

He could create white fire that could shatter the blade of a balrog:

From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming.

Glamdring glittered white in answer.

There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then again stood still.

He even can wield telepathy, fighting Sauron over control of Frodo (and Gandalf at the time was several miles away from Frodo):

He heard himself crying out: Never, never! Or was it: Verily I come, I come to you? He could not tell. Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: Take it off! Take it off! Fool, take it off! Take off the Ring!

The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so. He took the Ring off his finger. He was kneeling in clear sunlight before the high seat. A black shadow seemed to pass like an arm above him; it missed Amon Hen and groped out west, and faded. Then all the sky was clean and blue and birds sang in every tree.

He could summon flames strong enough to break a massive stone bridge that could carry the balrog:

At that moment Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.

He can casually alter the size, direction, and even colour of smoke (this is also gandalf holding back entirely, since this is just him having fun with thorin):

Then they went back, and found Thorin with his feet on the fender smoking a pipe. He was blowing the most enormous smoke-rings, and wherever he told it to go, it went - up the chimney, or behind the clock on the mantelpiece, or under the table, or round and round the ceiling; but wherever it went it was not quick enough to escape Gandalf. Pop! he sent a smaller smoke-ring from his short clay-pipe straight through each one of Thorin's. Then Gandalf's smoke-ring would go green and come back to hover over the wizard's head. He had a cloud of them about him already, and in the dim light it made him look strange and sorcerous. Bilbo stood still and watched - he loved smoke-rings - and then he blushed to think how proud he had been yesterday morning of the smoke-rings he had sent up the wind over The Hill.

And can make smoke dance around in different colours:

So they.... got out their pipes and blew smoke rings, which Gandalf turned into different colors and set dancing up by the roof to amuse them.

Somehow just knows whats in Bilbo's pantry the first time he visits:

"Put on a few eggs, there's a good fellow!" Gandalf called after him, as the hobbit stumped off to the pantries. "And just bring out the cold chicken and pickles!"

"Seems to know as much about the inside of my larders as I do myself!" thought Mr Baggins, who was feeling positively flummoxed....

He can read minds:

‘How did you know about it?’

‘You have talked long in your sleep, Frodo,’ said Gandalf gently, ‘and it has not been hard for me to read your mind and memory.’

And this is all a gandalf with dementia lol. Prime Gandalf the Grey would know many more spells and many greater ones. And Gandalf the White is wiser than he ever was. Gandalf once more calls upon a blinding flash of light:

In the gloom they heard the hiss of Wormtongue's voice: 'Did I not counsel you, lord, to forbid his staff? That fool, Hama, has betrayed us!' There was a flash as if lightning had cloven the roof. Then all was silent. Wormtongue sprawled on his face.

And against the nazgul weaponizes and concentrates it into a singular beam of light:

CG
CG

And he can induce terror upon an entire army with his presence:

Down leaped Shadowfax, like a deer that runs surefooted down the mountains. The White Rider was upon [the army], and the terror of his coming filled the enemy with madness. The wild men fell on their faces before him. The Orcs reeled and screamed and cast aside both sword and spear. Like a black smoke driven by a mounting wind they fled. Wailing they passed under the waiting shadow of the trees; and from that shadow none ever came again.

However ultimatively, all of this? All of the spells that Gandalf and Dumbledore can cast? Those are childrens games for the likes of Gandalf. If he used these on Dumbledore it wouldn't be him going all out. It would be him still limiting himself to a lower level. The true power of lotr big leagues are words of command. These are not spells. These are him calling upon the power of his authority as a creator spirit, as the bearer of an elven ring, and as an emissary of higher beings. Even Gandalf the grey could do this, and him using it on a gate as the balrog tried to breach it with its own power was such a great strain that it and the entire stone chamber built by dwarves just exploded between the rivaling forces:

'What it was I cannot guess, but I have never felt such a challenge. The counter-spell was terrible. It nearly broke me. For an instant the door left my control and began to open! I had to speak a word of Command. That proved too great a strain. The door burst in pieces. Something dark as a cloud was blocking out all the light inside, and I was thrown backwards down the stairs. All the wall gave way, and the roof of the chamber as well, I think.

However he can easily use it on people too! He can casually tell Gimli and Legolas to drop their weapons, forcing them to do so:

At last the old man broke the silence. 'Well met indeed, my friends,' he said in a soft voice. 'I wish to speak to you. Will you come down or shall I come up?' Without waiting for an answer he began to climb.

'Now!' said Gimli. 'Stop him, Legolas!'

'Did I not say that I wished to speak to you?' said the old man. 'Put away that bow, Master Elf!'

The bow and arrow fell from Legolas' hands, and his arms hung loose at his sides.

'And you, Master Dwarf, pray take your hand from your axe-haft, till I am up! You will not need such arguments.'

Gimli started and then stood still as stone, staring, while the old man sprang up the rough steps as nimbly as a goat. All weariness seemed to have left him. As he stepped up on to the shelf there was a gleam, too brief for certainty, a quick glint of white, as if some garment shrouded by the grey rags had been for an instant revealed The intake of Gimli's breath could be heard as a loud hiss in the silence.

Of course this might not be impressive against Dumbledore due to magic, but even against other powerful beings this works. By telling Saruman to come back, Saruman's own body disobeys his own will by walking back to face Gandalf:

‘Come back, Saruman!’ said Gandalf in a commanding voice. To the amazement of the others, Saruman came, and as if dragged against his will, he came slowly back to the iron rail, leaning on it, breathing hard. His face was lined and shrunken. His hand clutched his heavy black staff like a claw.

By saying Saruman's staff is broken, it broke:

[Gandalf] raised his hand, and spoke slowly in a clear cold voice. ‘Saruman, your staff is broken.’ There was a crack, and the staff split asunder in Saruman’s hand, and the head of it fell down before Gandalf’s feet.

And he then dismissed him with another word of command:

‘Go!’ said Gandalf. With a cry Saruman fell back and crawled away.

So the TLDR here is that Dumbledore is a powerful wizard... but so what? Even in that category Gandalf is more than capable of competing, as a forgetful old grey wizard, in his prime as a grey wizard, or as Gandalf the White. But ultimatively the fight is over the moment Gandalf decides that it is and blows up Dumbledore's wand. Not by some petty spell, but by the command of a deity.

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Gandalf

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#31  Edited By DarthAdi

Gandalf takes this easly as @cheth proved above.

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@cheth: just about everything you posted as feats for Gandalf can be even more quickly spammed by Dumbledore and just as potently. There is no reason to believe Gandalf cannot be quickly drown, paralyzed, death cursed (if no morals), have his staff pulled and/or shattered, or TK’d. The issue is rowling’s magic IS indeed faster and spammable (teleporting all over the place while blasting spells) and should work fine. Also Gandalf commanding Saruman has to do with his demotion by the valar and Gandalf’s promotion if I recall correctly. As I said earlier , a person has to lean heavily on sparse-detailed mentions like illuvitar’s choir to steel man “maiar-power” in order to assume things like drowning or having his staff broken ala Witch King cannot happen to Gandalf instantaneously.

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#33  Edited By Zafros13

@captain_inverse: @captain_inverse: "how do you see the extended LOTR as non canon??"

“The theatrical versions are the definitive versions,” Peter Jackson told IGN in 2019. “I regard the extended cuts as being a novelty for the fans that really want to see the extra material.”

The Hobbit movies disregard the Extended Editions. In the begining of the ForR Extended Edition Bilbo didn't know where Frodo was, but in the Hobbit Frodo told Bilbo he was going out to meet Gandalf. Now you could consider that a minor retcon but still, the theatrical cut is the canonical events.

"In the hobbit, Gandalf split a Boulder twice his size to turn the trolls to stone. In DoS Gandalf shattered a massive stone archway to cover his retreat."

I don't think those feats are as impressive as you seem to be thinking.

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Gandalf

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@cheth: just about everything you posted as feats for Gandalf can be even more quickly spammed by Dumbledore and just as potently. There is no reason to believe Gandalf cannot be quickly drown, paralyzed, death cursed (if no morals), have his staff pulled and/or shattered, or TK’d. The issue is rowling’s magic IS indeed faster and spammable (teleporting all over the place while blasting spells) and should work fine. Also Gandalf commanding Saruman has to do with his demotion by the valar and Gandalf’s promotion if I recall correctly. As I said earlier , a person has to lean heavily on sparse-detailed mentions like illuvitar’s choir to steel man “maiar-power” in order to assume things like drowning or having his staff broken ala Witch King cannot happen to Gandalf instantaneously.

Well yes, you are right that feats can be spammed for Dumbledore too. But my point is exactly that. This thread has two camps: the one that favours Gandalf because he is a powerful maiar and due to the so-called "sparse-detailed" and "vague" aspects of tolkien, and the side that favour Dumbledore due to his "flashy" spells.

Yet now I posted a long reply with multiple "flashy" feats that Gandalf has directly performed. And while you could argue "but Dumbledore can match that!" (although any RT for him I have seen is smaller than the reply i posted; and thats not all that gandalf even has), thats exactly the issue. If the best argument for Dumbledore is "he can be as flashy as Gandalf is", then that means the arguments in the favour of Dumbledore are matched. However Dumbledore could never match the fact that Gandalf is a maiar, a divine being, a:

beings of the same order of beauty, power, and majesty of gods of higher mythology

And faster? What is faster than Gandalf simply creating a shield around himself or summoning flame or dominating Dumbledore with a word of power? Gandalf needs no casting time or channeling. And unlike Dumbledore, Gandalf has no need for a wand

And harm Gandalf with drowning or a death spell? Easier said than done. Even narsil, a blade that can harm ghosts, can't harm Gandalf:

‘Get up, my good Gimli! No blame to you, and no harm done to me. Indeed, my friends, none of you have any weapon that could hurt me. Be merry! We meet again.’

And is drowning Gandalf even truly possible? Disregarding his own control over water with spells, and of his own abilities, Gandalf is not truly human like Dumbledore. Even as the grey he survived a massive fall, being burned alive by the balrog, and a deep and freezing water:

‘Name him not!’ said Gandalf, and for a moment it seemed that a cloud of pain passed over his face, and he sat silent, looking old as death. ‘Long time I fell,’ he said at last, slowly, as if thinking back with difficulty. ‘Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into the deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart.’

When brought back from the dead, he laid naked on the top of the mountain he was slain upon for days, and did not need food, sleep, or anything to shield himself from the cold:

‘Naked I was sent back — for a brief time, until my task is done. And naked I lay upon the mountain-top. The tower behind was crumbled into dust, the window gone; the ruined stair was choked with burned and broken stone. I was alone, forgotten, without escape upon the hard horn of the world. There I lay staring upward, while the stars wheeled over, and each day was as long as a life-age of the earth. Faint to my ears came the gathered rumour of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone.“

And light is stated to pass through him, and he's stated to be weightless:

And so at the last Gwaihir the Windlord found me again, and he took me up and bore me away.

"Ever am I fated to be your burden, friend at need,” I said.

“A burden you have been,” he answered, “but not so now. Light as a swan’s feather in my claw you are. The Sun shines through you. Indeed I do not think you need me any more: were I to let you fall you would float upon the wind.”

“Do not let me fall!” I gasped, for I felt life in me again. “Bear me to Lothlórien!”

And this is before he even becomes Gandalf the white, which happens in Lothlorien:

I tarried there in the ageless time of that land where days bring healing not decay. Healing I found, and I was clothed in white.

Gandalf was in a way put into a mortal form when he arrived as the Grey. However as the White Rider, he no longer truly is that. He's a being of light with the shape of a human. And when axes and arrows, hunger and cold, and even Narsil, a blade that can slay ghosts, can do no harm to him, do we truly buy the fact that he could ever be harmed by water, something he had helped create?

And it is true that Gandalf is greater than ever against Saruman, but thats only a point in his favour. Even now Saruman was so powerful that everyone alongside Gandalf felt like children or servants listening in on wise masters when Saruman tried to command Gandalf, and thought for sure that Gandalf would betray them. Yet Gandalf is so powerful that it doesn't even affect him:

Saruman paused. ‘Unsay?’ he mused, as if puzzled. ‘Unsay? I endeavored to advise you for your own good, but you scarcely listened. You are proud and do not love advise, having indeed a store of your own wisdom. But on that occasion you erred, I think, misconstruing my intentions wilfully. I fear that in by eagerness to persuade you, I lost patience. And indeed I regret it. For I bore you no ill-will; and even now I bear none, though you return to me in the company of the violent and ignorant. How should I? Are we not both members of a high and ancient order, most excellent in Middle-earth? Our friendship would profit us both alike. Much we could still accomplish together, to heal the disorders of the world. Let us understand one another, and dismiss from thoughts these lesser folk! Let them wait on our decisions! For the common good I am willing to redress the past and to receive you. Will you not consult with me? Will you not come up?’

So great was the power of Saruman exerted in this last effort that none that stood within hearing were unmoved. But now the spell was wholly different. They heard the gentle remonstrance of a kindly king with an erring but much-loved minister. But they were shut out, listening at a door to words not meant for them: ill-mannered children or stupid servants overhearing the elusive discourse of their elders, and wondering how it would affect their lot. Of loftier mould these two were made: reverend and wise. It was inevitable that they should make alliance. Gandalf would ascend into the tower, to discuss deep things beyond their comprehension in the high chambers of Orthanc. The door would be closed, and they would be left outside, dismissed to await allotted work or punishment. Even in the mind of Theoden the thought took shape, like a shadow of a doubt: ‘He will betray us; he will go — we shall be lost.’

Then Gandalf laughed. The fantasy vanished like a puff of smoke.

‘Saruman, Saruman!’ said Gandalf still laughing. ‘Saruman, you missed your path in life. You should have been the king’s jester and earned your bread, and stripes too, by mimicking his counsellors. Ah me!’ he paused, getting the better of his mirth.

And instant spells? How is Gandalf simply raising his staff and covering over the sun for instant?:

[Gandalf] raised his staff. There was a roll of thunder. The sunlight was blotted out from the eastern windows; the whole hall became suddenly dark as night. The fire faded to sullen embers. Only Gandalf could be seen, standing white and tall before the blackened hearth.

As for teleportation and spellcasting, I've already provided showings of Gandalf doing the same.

or having his staff broken ala Witch King cannot happen to Gandalf instantaneously.

Its odd that you should mention breaking staffs. I have already shown how Gandalf could break Dumbledore's wand with a mere word and gesture of his hand. And whereas wizards in HP do need their wands... for Gandalf its just a symbol of office. He broke his staff when he destroyed the bridge in Moria:

At that moment Gandalf lifted up his staff and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the feat of the Balrog’s feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.

Yet even then he still beat the balrog upon two occassions, with blade and magic alike:

‘We fought far under the living earth, where time is not counted. Ever he clutched me, and ever I hewed him, till at last he fled into dark tunnels. They were not made by Durin’s folk, Gimli son of Gloin. Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he. Now I have walked there, but I will bring no report to darken the light of day. In that despair my enemy was my only hope, and I pursued him, clutching clutching at his heel. Thus he brought me back at last to the secret ways of Khazad-dum: too well he knew them all. Ever up now we went, until we came to the Endless Stair.’

[...]

‘There upon Celebdil was a lonely window in the snow, and before it lay a narrow space, a dizzy eyrie above the mists of the world. The sun shone fiercely there, but all below was wrapped in cloud. Out he sprang, and even as I came behind, he burst into new flame. There was none to see, or perhaps in after ages song would still be sung of the Battle of the Peak.’ Suddenly Gandalf laughed. ‘But what would they say in song? Those that looked up from afar thought that the mountain was crowned with storm. Thunder they heard, and lightning, they said, smote upon Celebdil, and leaped back broken into tongues of fire. Is that not enough? A great smoke arose about us, vapour and steam. Ice fell like rain. I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.’

And thats just gandalf the grey. The white rider is a whole matter entirely. So if Dumbledore breaks Gandalf's staff?

No Caption Provided

And then he just blows up Dumbledore's wand and carries on unhindered.

Also its surprising that you would bring up the movies. I specifically avoided doing so since I saw nothing of composite characters, and since it doesn't really matter anyways. But if we got this route then Gandalf stomps even harder in terms of even regular spellcasting. Composite Gandalf scales massively above someone who instantly can create a thunderstorm. Composite fodder mages in lotr can create massive forceshields, create afterimages, and dominate hundreds. Composite Gandalf scales above Smaug and held off Sauron. Composite Gandalf can casually oneshot entire structures and can create blasts that spread across a castle. Composite Gandalf can just casually look at Saruman while the latter shoots a ball of flame in his face. Composite Gandalf is noted as a threat to Sauron even after returning his One Ring. Composite Gandalf has access to a massive range of hax and spells. Etc.

As for Gandalf vs the Witch King, in the books it looks entirely different. In this, the two face off against one another, neither able to dominate the other:

In rode the Lord of the Nazgul, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.

All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dinen.

“You cannot enter here,” said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. “Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!”

The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.

“Old fool!” he said. “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.

Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed…. And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns.

And its implied a contest between the two could go either way:

'Yet now under the Lord of Barad-dur the most fell of all his captains is already master of your outer walls,' said Gandalf. 'King of Angmar long ago, Sorcerer, Ringwraith, Lord of the Nazgûl, a spear of terror in the hand of Sauron, shadow of despair.'

'Then, Mithrandir, you had a foe to match you,' said Denethor. 'For myself, I have long known who is the chief captain of the hosts of the Dark Tower. Is this all that you have returned to say? Or can it be that you have withdrawn because you are overmatched?' Pippin trembled, fearing that Gandalf would be stung to sudden wrath, but his fear was needless.

'It might be so,' Gandalf answered softly. 'But our trial of strength is not yet come. And if words spoken of old be true, not by the hand of man shall he fall, and hidden from the Wise is the doom that awaits him. However that may be, the Captain of Despair does not press forward, yet. He rules rather according to the wisdom that you have just spoken, from the rear, driving his slaves in madness on before.

Yet the witch king himself is an ultra-powerful being, capable of using words of power to breach the gate of Minas Tirith:

The Black Captain rose in his stirrups and cried aloud in a dreadful voice, speaking in some forgotten tongue words of power and terror to rend both heart and stone. Thrice he cried. Thrice the great ram boomed. And suddenly upon the last stroke the Gate of Gondor broke. As if stricken by some blasting spell it burst asunder.

Which was stated to be greater than the tower of Orthanoc:

At first men laughed and did not greatly fear such devices. For the main wall of the City was of great height and marvellous thickness, built ere the power and craft of Númenor waned in exile; and its outward face was like to the Tower of Orthanc, hard and dark and smooth, unconquerable by steel or fire, unbreakable except by some convulsion that would rend the very earth on which it stood.

'Nay,' they said, 'not if the Nameless One himself should come, not even he could enter here while we yet live.' But some answered: 'While we yet live? How long? He has a weapon that has brought low many strong places since the world began. Hunger. The roads are cut. Rohan will not come.'

Which in turn are noted to maybe be more powerful than Saruman himself:

Round and round the rock of Orthanc the Ents went striding and storming like a howling gale, breaking pillars, hurling avalanches of boulders down the shafts, tossing up huge slabs of stone into the air like leaves. The tower was in the middle of a spinning whirlwind. I saw iron posts and blocks of masonry go rocketing up hundreds of feet, and smash against the windows of Orthanc. But Treebeard kept his head. He had not had any burns, luckily. He did not want his folk to hurt themselves in their fury, and he did not want Saruman to escape out of some hole in the confusion. Many of the Ents were hurling themselves against the Orthanc-rock; but that defeated them. It is very smooth and hard. Some wizardry is in it, perhaps, older and stronger than Saruman's. Anyway they could not get a grip on it, or make a crack in it; and they were bruising and wounding themselves against it.’

Which also again pushes the notion that Saruman the white <<< Gandalf the white.

So here's the thing. We could debate about who's the greater wizard all day long. Gandalf has his feats, Dumbledore has his. However there can not even be had a discussion about whether in the sense of divinity, of authority, of presence, of the words of command; that Dumbledore does not even compete. Questions about Gandalf's full power has never been about whether he's a powerful and versatile wizard. That he doubtlessly is. The only question about his "sparsely-detailed" "Maia-power" is where his authority and word of command stops. What its limit is.

The only thing we can be certain of, is that it isn't fighting Dumbledore.

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@cheth: Would you want to CaV Gandalf vs Dumbledore?

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@geekryan said:

@cheth: Would you want to CaV Gandalf vs Dumbledore?

Likely depends a bit on which versions and when. I have exams until the 9th of december so would not have time to make a proper CaV post until after that lol

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@cheth said:
@geekryan said:

@cheth: Would you want to CaV Gandalf vs Dumbledore?

Likely depends a bit on which versions and when. I have exams until the 9th of december so would not have time to make a proper CaV post until after that lol

That's fine, we can wait until you're done your exams.

And I would want to use a novel/film composite version of Dumbledore.

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@cheth: I appreciate the time you took to write this reply and believe you summed up quite a bit fairly. I do take issue with your use of the term “flashy” to express your understanding of my argument in regards to Dumbledore however. I used the terms versatile and with alacrity. An example is the disparity in teleportation…..the novel portrayed Gandalf using it once with unknown amount of preparation (which is common in both novel and movie versions) whereas HP wizards literally fly around half insubstantial teleporting all over zipping in and out shooting curses, shoot n scoot style. I understand if you believe Gandalf cannot be burned, drown, TK’ed or death cursed etc he obviously is impervious to anything Dumbledore could do….Gandalf obviously wins (I personally disagree but I respect your point of view)…but I think in the spirit of this battle, the OP stated Gandalf is not immortal here and wanted to determine the better wizard for dueling purposes. Thx

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@geekryan said:
@cheth said:
@geekryan said:

@cheth: Would you want to CaV Gandalf vs Dumbledore?

Likely depends a bit on which versions and when. I have exams until the 9th of december so would not have time to make a proper CaV post until after that lol

That's fine, we can wait until you're done your exams.

And I would want to use a novel/film composite version of Dumbledore.

Sounds good then, if anything comes up/you lose motivation by then let me know

@rac95 said:

@geekryan: @cheth: If you actually do that, could you please tag me?

Will try to remember lol

@cheth: I appreciate the time you took to write this reply and believe you summed up quite a bit fairly. I do take issue with your use of the term “flashy” to express your understanding of my argument in regards to Dumbledore however. I used the terms versatile and with alacrity. An example is the disparity in teleportation…..the novel portrayed Gandalf using it once with unknown amount of preparation (which is common in both novel and movie versions) whereas HP wizards literally fly around half insubstantial teleporting all over zipping in and out shooting curses, shoot n scoot style. I understand if you believe Gandalf cannot be burned, drown, TK’ed or death cursed etc he obviously is impervious to anything Dumbledore could do….Gandalf obviously wins (I personally disagree but I respect your point of view)…but I think in the spirit of this battle, the OP stated Gandalf is not immortal here and wanted to determine the better wizard for dueling purposes. Thx

I am moreso using the term "flashy" as a general term used for the arguments in favour of Dumbledore. As for teleportation, Gandalf used it once in combat... the exact amount of times Dumbledore used it in combat. I don't think its accurate to say that they constantly spam it during combat when multiple times characters get hit by spells they could've dodged with instant teleportation, and even for ambushes its less than ideal since most of Gandalf's defensive spells are AoE.

I do not think that Gandalf is entirely immune to every ability lol. He could still be TKed etc under the right circumstances. What I'm noting is the fact that as of turning into the white rider he's not really human anymore. As the grey he's repeatedly noted to feel things like humans do, such as his heart freezing as he falls into the depths of Moria. Yet before even fully becoming Gandalf the white, after his ressurection he could just lie in the middle of a icy/snowy mountain completely naked for days and not feel a thing, no longer weighs anything, sunlight outright passes through him and he's utterly weightless, and so on. So I don't think he can be affected by things like drowning even if we ignore his own defences/his own ability to control water. Though he still would likely be subject to being affected by telekinesis, if it passes through his own magic and his abilities as a maia.

Well the thing is that ultimatively, while Gandalf upon death just becoming a divine spirit again is banned, outright seperating him form his very being as an isthari is another matter entirely. Like in the end, both can have arguments made for being wizards. But for Gandalf, being a wizard is secondary. Its like a MMA fighter taking up karate classes, or a Jedi Master learning how to use a blaster. Sure its fun, can be useful, but ultimatively if in a fight where they face someone as good with a blaster as them; of course the jedi is just going to whip out his lightsaber and use the force.

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@cheth: Would you also use a novel/film composite?

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Been done. Dumbledore wins. His style of Magic is more practical in battle.

Just because Gandalf usually holds back, that doesn't mean his magic is not practical in battle. His magic speed especially far better.

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And this is when Aragorn warned Gimli and Legolas that they shouldn't let the Wizard talk otherwise he would quickly cast a spell before they could attack.

In the Moria battle, it has been explained in the book that Gandalf was also hindered because Balrog was already casting spells on Gandalf before they even met in battle.