Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

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Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-14 03:29am

Inspired by the Fantastic Beasts film.

Film versions, since we have all too little information on book Grindelwald's fighting capabilities beyond generalities.

Voldemort as of Deathly Hallows Part I (no Elder Wand, because that would... complicate things).

Grindelwald as of Fantastic Beasts.

Straightforward duel to the death. Both have basic knowledge of their combatant. The duel takes place in the middle of the Quidditch Pitch from Goblet of Fire, but their will be no interference by outside parties.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Darth Tanner » 2016-12-14 04:30am

Difficult to say on what we have...

Grindlewald stood against practically the entire auror office of New York and was able to withstand them and start taking them down before being taken down by a rather simple magical animal attack. He never really showed much in the way of super powerful magic other than being able to take such punishment. Also he was pretty much dueling with Newt for quite a while where Voldemort could have simply killed him with one shot... but thats a common issue with Harry Potter world where the bad guys dont use the apparently simple death magic in battles.

Voldemort never really directly engaged large numbers on his own, he likely took part in storming the ministry of magic but probably had lots of death eaters with him. On the other hand his displays of power against Dumbledore and the Hogwarts shield were significantly greater... he could well have wiped the floor with the New York aurors with a wmd style overwhelming attack... but Grindlewald was mostly having his evil monologue session so letting them stand against him and trying to convert them rather than dedicated to killing them all.

I'd say Voldemort takes it on the available evidence but there really isnt enough to say.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby FTeik » 2016-12-14 05:56am

Didn't it say somewhere, that Grindelwald followed at least some twisted code of honour which lead him to his final duel with Dumbledore, while Voldemort evaded to do so as long as he could? Might explain Grindelwald holding back, he doesn't want to maim and kill, but to convert.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2016-12-14 01:11pm

Does Grindelwald have the Elder Wand? Because that will also complicate things.

They are both stated to be powerful Dark wizards, and both were either only bested by Dumbledore or stated to only fear Dumbledore, so they should be on par with each other magically.

I suspect it depends on who gets the first shot in. Also, Voldemort has Horcruxes, so outright killing him doesn't actually defeat him (git). Grindelwald also seems to have a thing for taking prisoners though, since he built Nurmengard, whereas Voldemort...does not.

So, yeah, I suspect it depends on the exact circumstance of the duel, who acts first, and who is willing to go all-out to win (probably Voldemort, since he had the comfort of being sorta-immortal).
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-14 02:16pm

I haven't actually seen the later Harry Potter movies, but I have a few observations based on general principles and, yes, Fantastic Beasts.

Voldemort has a noticeable chance of ending the duel very quickly by escalating straight to 'Avada Kedavra.' That goes right through shields- an important consideration, since Grindlewald's shields appear to be nigh-invulnerable. Grindlewald does, yes, have a tendency to want to recruit rather than kill. But he wouldn't have gone down in history as such a dark wizard, I think, if we weren't capable of using powerful dark spells. So I think Voldemort's advantage in that department is going to be short-lived. Grindlewald wouldn't have been able to terrorize Europe for a decade or so if he were content to stand around letting people take potshots at him with the Killing Curse.

Past that point, well.

I'm pretty sure, thinking about it, that Grindlewald didn't have the Elder Wand in Fantastic Beasts, for two reasons:

For one, he wasn't using it in combat, although that doesn't prove much since it would give away his identity. More importantly...

Two, he was defeated in Fantastic Beasts, in which case mastery of the Elder Wand should have passed to someone else- either Scamander or Picquery, presumably.

So either:
a) He was carrying the Elder Wand on his person, did not draw it even when under massed barrage fire from dozens of Aurors because he didn't think he needed it, then wrested it back from its new master upon his escape, OR
b) He had the Elder Wand cached somewhere (either in America or in Europe), and again presumably had to regain mastery of it by defeating whoever the Wand believed had defeated him, OR
c) He simply had not obtained the Elder Wand at this time, making his 1926 defeat irrelevant for its purposes.

(a), if true, says frightening things about Grindlewald's power... and his arrogance. (b) says nothing about him we don't already know, and (c) says nothing whatsoever about him.
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Another point is that Grindlewald obviously has a huge amount of raw power, especially since it certainly looks as though he wasn't using the Elder Wand during Fantastic Beasts. This is illustrated by the fact that Grindlewald was considered an equal of Dumbledore's even before the former acquired the Elder Wand, And by the fact that while apparently not using it, he could keep up shields that let him stop the massed fire of the MACUSA Aurors (i don't remember how many there were in that crowd, but I'm pretty sure it was two dozen or more). And he didn't even seem particularly concerned; he didn't try to teleport away or anything, he just walked slowly towards them, knocking them on their asses one at a time with powerful blasts.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-14 02:19pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Does Grindelwald have the Elder Wand? Because that will also complicate things.

They are both stated to be powerful Dark wizards, and both were either only bested by Dumbledore or stated to only fear Dumbledore, so they should be on par with each other magically.

I suspect it depends on who gets the first shot in. Also, Voldemort has Horcruxes, so outright killing him doesn't actually defeat him (git). Grindelwald also seems to have a thing for taking prisoners though, since he built Nurmengard, whereas Voldemort...does not.

So, yeah, I suspect it depends on the exact circumstance of the duel, who acts first, and who is willing to go all-out to win (probably Voldemort, since he had the comfort of being sorta-immortal).


To make things fair, we'll say Grindie doesn't have the Elder Wand on him for this fight.

I agree that Voldemort and Grindelwald (and likely Dumbledore) are all roughly on the same level- a fight between any two of those three could probably easily go either way depending on the circumstances.

First shot... maybe, but AK is not a sure win. It can be dodged by apparition, and be blocked by conjured barriers/proxies (as Dumbledore did during his book duel with Voldemort.

Also, the film duels seem to downplay the whole "Avada Kedavra is unblockable" thing, for some reason...

For "immortal", we'll say that killing Voldemort's current body counts as a win for this scenario. It took him nearly 14 years to come back in canon. That's lots of time for Grindelwald to go horcrux-hunting as well.

I will point out though that Voldemort too took prisoners when it suited him. He held Olivander and Luna long-term in Deathly Hallows, the former to get information on wand lore, and the latter as a hostage against her father.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-14 02:38pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I haven't actually seen the later Harry Potter movies, but I have a few observations based on general principles and, yes, Fantastic Beasts.

Voldemort has a noticeable chance of ending the duel very quickly by escalating straight to 'Avada Kedavra.' That goes right through shields- an important consideration, since Grindlewald's shields appear to be nigh-invulnerable. Grindlewald does, yes, have a tendency to want to recruit rather than kill. But he wouldn't have gone down in history as such a dark wizard, I think, if we weren't capable of using powerful dark spells. So I think Voldemort's advantage in that department is going to be short-lived. Grindlewald wouldn't have been able to terrorize Europe for a decade or so if he were content to stand around letting people take potshots at him with the Killing Curse.


As I said, the films seem a little iffy on the whole unblockable Avada Kedavra thing, for some reason.

But yes, I'd expect Grindelwald could use it. The requirements for using AK (at least from my recollections of the books) are raw power, and a mindset that desires to hurt/kill. Grindelwald clearly possesses the former, and certainly seems to possess the latter as well.

I do think they'd both go all-out pretty fast, as well. Even if I hadn't explicitly posited a duel to the death in the OP, well... Grindelwald isn't going to be able to convince Voldemort to be subordinate to him, and he probably knows it. Voldemort is a rival, not a potential recruit. Moreover, I don't think they'd entirely see eye-to-eye on politics. Grindelwald sees himself as a "well-intentioned extremist", doing what he does so that wizards can come out and live in the open. His motto is "For the Greater Good".

Voldemort is a straight-up sociopath who's first concern is his own immortality, power, and reputation.

As for Voldemort... he can be stupid, but I doubt he'll pull his punches much against one of two wizards in the last century or so who could be considered his peer in terms of power and skill, especially when that wizard will be a lot less likely to pull his punches than Dumbledore.

Past that point, well.

I'm pretty sure, thinking about it, that Grindlewald didn't have the Elder Wand in Fantastic Beasts, for two reasons:

For one, he wasn't using it in combat, although that doesn't prove much since it would give away his identity. More importantly...

Two, he was defeated in Fantastic Beasts, in which case mastery of the Elder Wand should have passed to someone else- either Scamander or Picquery, presumably.

So either:
a) He was carrying the Elder Wand on his person, did not draw it even when under massed barrage fire from dozens of Aurors because he didn't think he needed it, then wrested it back from its new master upon his escape, OR
b) He had the Elder Wand cached somewhere (either in America or in Europe), and again presumably had to regain mastery of it by defeating whoever the Wand believed had defeated him, OR
c) He simply had not obtained the Elder Wand at this time, making his 1926 defeat irrelevant for its purposes.

(a), if true, says frightening things about Grindlewald's power... and his arrogance. (b) says nothing about him we don't already know, and (c) says nothing whatsoever about him.
______________________________________

Another point is that Grindlewald obviously has a huge amount of raw power, especially since it certainly looks as though he wasn't using the Elder Wand during Fantastic Beasts. This is illustrated by the fact that Grindlewald was considered an equal of Dumbledore's even before the former acquired the Elder Wand, And by the fact that while apparently not using it, he could keep up shields that let him stop the massed fire of the MACUSA Aurors (i don't remember how many there were in that crowd, but I'm pretty sure it was two dozen or more). And he didn't even seem particularly concerned; he didn't try to teleport away or anything, he just walked slowly towards them, knocking them on their asses one at a time with powerful blasts.


Agreed that he probably didn't have the Elder Wand on him, though I was under the impression that he was fairly young when he stole it (or was that just the books?).

As to his confrontation with MACUSA... yeah. That was probably the most impressively one-sided battle we've seen yet in the Potterverse films. A dozen or so guys, at least some of whom were presumably Aurors, and he was going right through them.

A concentrated barrage of spells (blasting spells?) from those guys took out the monster that shortly before casually wrecked a skyscraper, in a matter of seconds.

They did jack to Grindelwald's shield (in fact, I'd have to watch the scene again but it looks a bit some of their spells are getting reflected back at them).

That is a hell of an impressive shield spell for one man to cast so quickly (the only other thing comparable in the films is the shield around Hogwarts in the opening phase of the Battle of Hogwarts, which took a massed bombardment from Voldemort and his army to bring down, but it was conjured by multiple people casting multiple spells each).

As I recall, Grindelwald also uses some wandless magic in combat in the film (compare to how Newt was pretty much helpless without his wand).
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-14 02:50pm

Basically, I figure that Voldemort has a much higher probability of winning the duel with an early 'cheap shot' than he does of outlasting Grindlewald in a pounding match. Voldemort has tremendous power, but endurance isn't his defining character trait. Ruthlessness is. And the only time we've seen Grindlewald on screen, it looked like his ability to cope with a pounding match was really impressive.

So the more the duel turns into a pounding match, the more it is likely to favor Grindlewald.

And yes, I totally agree, Avada Kedavra is not a "sure win" spell, since there are so many ways to defend against it (at least in the film canon; as far as I can tell in the novels the only defense is to get out of the way). The point is that one of Voldemort's best weapons is his ability to go "I am not left-handed!" and break out the most devastating dark spells, before Grindlewald does the same thing in retaliation.

Whatever Voldemort's odds of winning are going into the duel, if Grindlewald escalates from classical dueling to "throw the worst at him," those odds will be lower than they were at the start.*

As for taking prisoners, my point is that Voldemort takes prisoners when he needs people alive. Grindlewald takes prisoners because he wants wizards to rule the world. He doesn't want to kill all his enemies and leave the magical community depleted of its strongest fighters and leaders in the aftermath of his victory, in other words. He wants to subdue and conquer those leaders and fighters, and forge them into an army that can take on the world's muggles.
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*JUST AS AN EXAMPLE...

If we posit that Voldemort is much stronger and has a 90% chance of winning, I'd say he has a 75-80% chance of winning after Grindlewald pulls out all the stops, realizing that Voldemort has already done so.

If Voldemort's chances were more like 60% or 65%, I'd say they drop to roughly even odds.

If Voldemort had a 50/50 chance of winning going in, and he escalates and doesn't put Grindlewald down right away, and Grindlewald starts retaliating, then I'd figure on Grindlewald being the likely (but far from certain) winner.

If Voldemort's chances of winning going in were bad, say one in four or less, and him leading with 'Avada Kedavra' and other powerful dark magic doesn't win it for him... in that case I'd say he wouldn't have a prayer.

AND YES, I know I just made those numbers up. They're examples, not me performing some kind of detailed statistical calculation. They aren't even vaguely intended to be representative, except insofar as they give you a rough clue of what I'm talking about.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Darth Tanner » 2016-12-14 04:48pm

From the films Grindlewald was shown stealing the wand as a young man, as Jamie Campbell Bower who was 22... significantly younger than he is in Fantastic beasts where he is Johnny Depp at 53...

As the symbol of the dealthy hallows made an appearance and Grindlewald is going to be in the second film at least the elder want might get a mention.. or it was just a forgotten plot hole.

Also random trivia but apparently Grindlewald was born in 1883 so that would mean he had the wand from around 1905ish. He aged pretty heavily by the time of Fantastic Beasts, dark magic must be bad for you!

Edit: However as he was impersonating Graves he must have been principally using Graves wand, which would have been his via the fact Grindlewald defeated him.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2016-12-14 04:51pm

Simon: Actually, in book canon the AK could be blocked with a heavy object moved into the spell's path; Dumbledore used bits of the Fountain of Magical Brethren statue to shield both himself and Harry from Voldie's curses. The statue of the wizard wasn't even damaged by the curse.

I definitely think Grindelwald would have the edge in a duel that lasts longer than a few spells. He has prior experience fighting wizards at or near his power level; his youthful three-way duel with Albus and Aberforth showed him what such a duel is like. Voldie, however, notably doesn't have such experience, as evidenced by Albus being "the only one he ever feared."

Also worth noting, Voldemort hardly ever duels anyone; Harry in the graveyard (a glorified execution until the brother wand thing happened), Albus in the Ministry (a stalemate), and that's pretty much it. Only at the very end when things have gone tits-up for him does he start fighting directly.

Which leads to an interesting possibility; Voldemort may not be a skilled duelist or fighter, but has gotten by with arcane knowledge and raw power.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-14 05:39pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Simon: Actually, in book canon the AK could be blocked with a heavy object moved into the spell's path; Dumbledore used bits of the Fountain of Magical Brethren statue to shield both himself and Harry from Voldie's curses. The statue of the wizard wasn't even damaged by the curse.

I definitely think Grindelwald would have the edge in a duel that lasts longer than a few spells. He has prior experience fighting wizards at or near his power level; his youthful three-way duel with Albus and Aberforth showed him what such a duel is like. Voldie, however, notably doesn't have such experience, as evidenced by Albus being "the only one he ever feared."

Also worth noting, Voldemort hardly ever duels anyone; Harry in the graveyard (a glorified execution until the brother wand thing happened), Albus in the Ministry (a stalemate), and that's pretty much it. Only at the very end when things have gone tits-up for him does he start fighting directly.

Which leads to an interesting possibility; Voldemort may not be a skilled duelist or fighter, but has gotten by with arcane knowledge and raw power.


I wouldn't go that far. While Potterverse wizards in general aren't the acme of tactical brilliance, I don't think Voldemort could have gotten as far as he had if he wasn't a competent duelist. Even the most knowledgeable and powerful wizard can die to a lucky or surprise shot. Likewise, he was able to fight Dumbledore to a draw, and Dumbledore is, if more limited in what magic he's willing to use, at least not someone Voldemort outclasses in power or knowledge by orders of magnitude or anything.

Voldemort's reputation might have made most opponents reluctant to face him, and that might have given him an edge, but that reputation still had to come from somewhere. I suspect Voldemort had to take out a number of Aurors one on one early on to establish his "street cred", as it were.

Admittedly, film Voldemort doesn't impress much in terms of combat skill (as opposed to power and knowledge of dark spells). Book Voldemort more so (both his duel with Dumbledore and going up against Kingsley, Slughorn, and McGonnagle at once, with his powers nerfed, in the Battle of Hogwarts).

Its also mentioned in the book of Half-Blood Prince, as I recall, that he is suspected to have killed head of Magical Law Enforcement Amelia Bones personally in a duel, specifically because she was exceptionally capable and was able to put up a fight, meaning that no one but Voldemort, on his side, would have been likely to be able to take her.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-14 06:18pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Simon: Actually, in book canon the AK could be blocked with a heavy object moved into the spell's path; Dumbledore used bits of the Fountain of Magical Brethren statue to shield both himself and Harry from Voldie's curses. The statue of the wizard wasn't even damaged by the curse.
It's not alive, go figure. But yes, I'm very very aware that in the films, Avada Kedavra can be blocked by inanimate objects. On the other hand, it does NOT seem to be blocked by standard magical defenses- there is no normal, well known counterspell or magical barrier against it other than "pick up a rock and put it in the way" or "get out of the way."

It's not that Voldemort's willingness to resort to Avada Kedavra as one of his first options in a fight makes him objectively likely to win against Grindlewald. Or for that matter unlikely.

It's that this is one of his greatest tactical assets. Striking first with high-end dark magic, while his opponent is still trying to duel normally, gives him a greater chance than he would otherwise have. If it doesn't allow him to win, his chances of success are diminished. Just as Grindlewald's chances of success would be diminished if you somehow deprived him of his exceptional magical endurance that allows him to engage in very prolonged duels.

Which leads to an interesting possibility; Voldemort may not be a skilled duelist or fighter, but has gotten by with arcane knowledge and raw power.
I also get the sense that the art of magical dueling may have been practiced more widely and enthusiastically in the 19th century than the 20th in the wizarding world, and Grindlewald is a product of a 19th century education. Likewise, he's a Durmstrang boy and they seem to be more... combat-focused... than Hogwarts.

Darth Tanner wrote:From the films Grindlewald was shown stealing the wand as a young man, as Jamie Campbell Bower who was 22... significantly younger than he is in Fantastic beasts where he is Johnny Depp at 53...

As the symbol of the dealthy hallows made an appearance and Grindlewald is going to be in the second film at least the elder want might get a mention.. or it was just a forgotten plot hole.

Also random trivia but apparently Grindlewald was born in 1883 so that would mean he had the wand from around 1905ish. He aged pretty heavily by the time of Fantastic Beasts, dark magic must be bad for you!
It's generally not a good idea to assume actors are the same age as the characters they play... "young Grindlewald" was basically a cameo appearance at the time, so it's perfectly reasonable that they would cast a 22-year-old actor to play a man born in 1883 doing something in, say, 1913. Especially if the same "young Grindlewald" would also have to be shown interacting with Dumbledore in 1900, and it could avoid casting two people for the same bit part in a movie.

Edit: However as he was impersonating Graves he must have been principally using Graves wand, which would have been his via the fact Grindlewald defeated him.
Just for the record, normal wands don't follow the Elder Wand's rules. The Elder Wand's power is not really unlocked unless you obtain it by defeating its previous master. Normal wands, you can just pick up and use, although not necessarily to the same full effect as the person they are 'attuned' to.

I guess my point here is that Grindlewald didn't whip out the Elder Wand during the battle against the MACUSA Aurors. This lead to only three logical possibilities:

1) It could mean that he did not have the Elder Wand on his person during the movie. In which case it's probably cached somewhere, maybe even in Europe. MACUSA won't be able to get it from him easily, and maybe not at all. It will likely remain in his control physically, though he may have to seek out and defeat one or more people from Fantastic Beasts in order to regain his 'mastery' of the Elder Wand.

2) Grindlewald had the Elder Wand on his person, in which case it was likely confiscated and it would recognize Scamander or Picquery as its new master. But in that case, Grindlewald was so supremely confident of his own magical powers that he was willing to confront first an Obscurus, then a platoon of Aurors, singlehandedly, using the wand of a defeated enemy. And at no point did he even think he'd need the extra power of the Elder Wand. In this case, it will probably be child's play for him to retrieve the Elder Wand during an escape, because he's so powerful without it that he could beat just about any normalish wizard who has it. Neither Picquery nor Scamander is amazingly powerful.

3) The third possibility is the wild card option that Grindlewald simply does not possess the Elder Wand, and it's still with its previous owner. In which case the casting of 'young Grindlewald' as the thief who stole the wand is simply a casting decision, or alternatively Grindlewald may at some point choose to make himself look much younger in any of a variety of ways. Certainly there are no shortage of magical means to temporarily disguise your appearance, and no shortage of reasons why someone might choose to do so.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2016-12-14 08:31pm

I'm presuming Grindlewald's approach, that stemmed from his whole Greater Good perspective, meant that he wasn't Dark Lording and edgelording because he wasn't hugged enough as a kid. So his lack of hormones probably enabled him to peer into the deeper mysteries of magics and whatever. And this is also why his campaign still had principles and wasn't as vile and petty and ideologically-debased and homicidal as Vlodemort's. Even though Grindelwald presumably still racked up quite a kill count, and I presume Grindlewald's wizarding war actually covered more ground. Grindlewald might be a Che Guevarra or... a Yasser Arafat compared to Vlodemort's Bin Laden.

It was even this aspect that made Grindlewald eventually relent and lost and got captured - I bet his final battle with Dumbledore ended when Dumbledore rolled a good speech check... and he seemed pretty accepting of his imprisonment. He probably realized being a Dark Lord was bullshit and he was wrong. Turning into a sad old man behind bars ruminating on all the wrong things he did also deconstructs and destroys the whole nature of the Dark Lord - probably why Grindlewald's reputation is dwarfed by that of Vlodemort and probably why Vlodemort had no qualms with killing him, Vlodemort probably thought he was pathetic.

(If they follow the Grindlewald story in the sequels... they really ought to explore this aspect. It's compelling in its own right and works even better in how it contrasts with Vlodemort's being a total sad edgelord shit.)

So what I'm trying to say is that even though, purely quantificatorily, Grindlewald might not have had as much gigajoules as Vlodemort, in the end for all his tough shit Vlodemort was still some preposterous Kylo.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-14 09:17pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:I'm presuming Grindlewald's approach, that stemmed from his whole Greater Good perspective, meant that he wasn't Dark Lording and edgelording because he wasn't hugged enough as a kid. So his lack of hormones probably enabled him to peer into the deeper mysteries of magics and whatever. And this is also why his campaign still had principles and wasn't as vile and petty and ideologically-debased and homicidal as Vlodemort's. Even though Grindelwald presumably still racked up quite a kill count, and I presume Grindlewald's wizarding war actually covered more ground. Grindlewald might be a Che Guevarra or... a Yasser Arafat compared to Vlodemort's Bin Laden.


Personally, I'd use "the Magneto to Voldemort's Red Skull (or maybe Lex Luthor)", but that's just me.

But yes, Grindelwald is a villain, but he's a villain who (in the film at least) has a cause that he seems to somewhat believe in (see how he started ranting his ideological spiel at the MACUSA people, even when it wasn't likely to accomplish anything other than blowing his cover). Namely, to allow wizards to come out of hiding (by revealing magic through mass destruction and instigating a war with Muggles, unfortunately).

Voldemort has the whole racism against non-pure blood wizards angle, even more virulently than Grindelwald, but at the same time, he seemed willing to work with half-bloods, non-wizarding magical creatures, and even Muggle-borns if it would advance his goals, and puts nothing ahead of his self-interest. I think to some extent the racism was just a tool to get him followers (plus daddy issues).

Grindlewald was ambitious and ruthless, but had some principles, warped though they were.

Voldemort, again, was a straight-up sociopath.

And yes, I think Grindelwald's war covered more territory. While Voldemort did engage in operations in mainland Europe, particularly in the books (including recruiting the giants and searching for the Elder Wand), and had some foreign support, the bulk of his efforts seem to have been relegated to England. Grindlewald, apparently, waged war all over the European mainland in the books, and in the films, the US.

He also had an actual fortress (Nurmengard), at least in the books, which suggests to me that unlike Voldemort, he was able to openly rule territory.

It was even this aspect that made Grindlewald eventually relent and lost and got captured - I bet his final battle with Dumbledore ended when Dumbledore rolled a good speech check... and he seemed pretty accepting of his imprisonment. He probably realized being a Dark Lord was bullshit and he was wrong. Turning into a sad old man behind bars ruminating on all the wrong things he did also deconstructs and destroys the whole nature of the Dark Lord - probably why Grindlewald's reputation is dwarfed by that of Vlodemort and probably why Vlodemort had no qualms with killing him, Vlodemort probably thought he was pathetic.


Voldemort would likely have offed him anyway as a loose end, I think.

But yes, I agree that their's a fair chance that Dumbledore ultimately talked him down. Its suggested in the books that he still retained some affection for Dumbledore (or at least Harry speculates that he concealed the Elder Wand's location from Voldemort because he didn't want Voldemort desecrating Dumbledore's tomb), and it would explain why Dumbledore was able to beat him despite them being evenly matched in skill and Grindelwald having the Elder Wand. It would also, interestingly, mean that Skeeter's stories had a grain of truth to them.

One theory I like is that Dumbledore basically backed him into a corner where Grindelwald could have won, but the only way to do so would be by killing Dumbledore- and that Grindelwald wasn't able to do it.

The near-death experience encounter with Dumbledore in the Deathly Hallows book has Dumbledore note that Grindelwald reportedly showed remorse later in life.

Incidentally, Grindelwald's death in the books was awesome. He dies defying Voldemort, refusing to tell him where the Elder Wand is and gloating that Voldemort will never be its master. Its pretty obvious that Grindelwald held Voldemort in contempt. Sadly, the Deathly Hallows Part One film threw that out. Which is one of the main reasons why I consider it the worst Potter film.

(If they follow the Grindlewald story in the sequels... they really ought to explore this aspect. It's compelling in its own right and works even better in how it contrasts with Vlodemort's being a total sad edgelord shit.)


Yeah, though I don't know how it would square with the film Grindelwald from Deathly Hallows Part One.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Tribble » 2016-12-14 09:57pm

My impression from the books was that Grindelwald was the magical equivalent of Hitler... conquer the world and purge the undesirables "for the greater good" and all that. Given hints like the fact that the Hallows symbol was viewed like the Nazi Swastika for continental Europeans, and that Dumbledore's final duel with Grindelwald took place in 1945, it seems like World War 2 may have been influenced by if not largely a result of Grindelwald's attempts to conquer the world.

Voldemort was always considered worse, but it's never really stated why... perhaps because his tactics were more along the lines of terrorizing the population as opposed to direct conflict?

As for a fight between the two while it could go either way I'd give the advantage to Grindelwald if its a prolonged fight. The Grindelwald vs Dumbledore duel was considered to be the greatest wizard duel of all time, and one which Dumbledore thought he'd only have a slight edge in. Voldemort vs Dumbledore appeared to be a lot more one-sided, at least in the books. Dumbledore seemed absolutely confident that he could take Voldemort, despite being much older and openly acknowledging that he was slower and less powerful than he used to be. During the duel it was Dumbledore that kept advancing, Voldemort threw everything he could at Dumbeldore yet failed and was forced to try and possess Harry and eventually retreat. In fact, IIRC Dumbledore likely would have beaten Voldemort decisively had Harry not distracted Dumbledore and given Voldemort the chance he needed to break out of the water bubble he was trapped in.

Grindelwald's greatest advantage in the fight is that unlike Voldemort, he's not afraid of dying, nor was he stupid enough to spilt up his soul in some vain attempt at immortality. I always viwed him as an evil Dumbledore, which to me is much more scary than what Voldemort could ever be.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2016-12-14 10:10pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Personally, I'd use "the Magneto to Voldemort's Red Skull (or maybe Lex Luthor)", but that's just me.


That is the most apt!

Voldemort has the whole racism against non-pure blood wizards angle, even more virulently than Grindelwald, but at the same time, he seemed willing to work with half-bloods, non-wizarding magical creatures, and even Muggle-borns if it would advance his goals, and puts nothing ahead of his self-interest. I think to some extent the racism was just a tool to get him followers (plus daddy issues).


The aspect of his edgelord shittery was that his racist bullshit was countenanced by the fact that he is himself partially Muggle-blooded, this self-loathing makes him more of an edgelord shit but at the same time he can hypocritically fallback on manipulating elements that contradict his racist beliefs.

Voldemort would likely have offed him anyway as a loose end, I think.


Or a rival or a threat or whatever.

It's not about the act of killing but the characteristic of killing. Vlodemort killed him out of disgust. Vlodemort also didn't emulate him in the beginning or even admire him. This isn't some ISIS dude who formerly thought Bin Laden was cool, who later became his own thing and eventually supplanted Al Qaeda and attacking uncooperative Al Qaeda elements.

Vlodemort was probably revulsed at what Grindlewald had become.

But yes, I agree that their's a fair chance that Dumbledore ultimately talked him down. Its suggested in the books that he still retained some affection for Dumbledore (or at least Harry speculates that he concealed the Elder Wand's location from Voldemort because he didn't want Voldemort desecrating Dumbledore's tomb), and it would explain why Dumbledore was able to beat him despite them being evenly matched in skill and Grindelwald having the Elder Wand. It would also, interestingly, mean that Skeeter's stories had a grain of truth to them.

One theory I like is that Dumbledore basically backed him into a corner where Grindelwald could have won, but the only way to do so would be by killing Dumbledore- and that Grindelwald wasn't able to do it.


I would very much love for this to be how it really goes down. Dumbledore's willingness to die by Grindelwald's hand, selflessly... Grindlewald's refusal to cross that last line. It goes well with the themes of selflessness in the original Harry Potter books and how Vlodemort crosses all the lines and is vicious and horrifying and powerful precisely because he's a most pathetic edgelord shit.

Incidentally, Grindelwald's death in the books was awesome. He dies defying Voldemort, refusing to tell him where the Elder Wand is and gloating that Voldemort will never be its master. Its pretty obvious that Grindelwald held Voldemort in contempt. Sadly, the Deathly Hallows Part One film threw that out. Which is one of the main reasons why I consider it the worst Potter film.


I don't remember how the movie did it. Isn't it the same as the books, Grindelwald cackling at Vlodemort for being a fool?

Yeah, though I don't know how it would square with the film Grindelwald from Deathly Hallows Part One.


What did film Grindelwald actually say?

*wikis*

Ah... shit.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby Tribble » 2016-12-14 11:20pm

*rewatches Grindelwald scene* Ya that was... kind of out of character for Grindelwald, given that he was unafraid of death and tried to keep Voldemort from getting the wand in the books (or at least stop Voldemort from breaking open Dumbledore's tomb). I suppose they did it for the audience's sake to make things more clear, but it was kind of silly in retrospect. Also, it looks as though he survived? Voldemort seems to leave him there after he gets what he wants.
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Re: Grindlewald vs. Voldemort (Fantastic Beasts spoilers).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-15 01:22am

As I recall, both Deathly Hallows films stripped away a lot of the characters' nuance and depth (aside from Dumbledore, Snape, and Malfoy, who's mix of flaws and redeeming traits were kind of plot-centric). Its a gripe I have with both of them, but especially the first one.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.


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