If he failed to kill a baby and an adolescent boy, then Voldemort must be a pushover, right? Clearly, that’s not the case. Stopping and defeating Lord Voldemort is actually a monumental task that requires all the efforts in the Wizarding World… or at least a whole wizarding school’s effort at least.
Even so, there are actually some individuals in the Wizarding World who could have forced Voldemort to use up a Horcrux or two. After all, he’s not the only talented wizard around. Certain characters in the Harry Potter lore can and have proven that they can defeat Voldemort in a fair fight. But which super powerful or incredibly brave characters could take him on?
Updated on January 3rd, 2022 by Hilary Elizabeth: Voldemort may be one of the most powerful wizards who ever lived, but as Harry Potter himself demonstrated, he wasn’t impossible to beat. Whether it’s because of their inherent magical power, their knowledge of wizardry, their strategic nature, or their dangerous bravery, quite a few witches and wizards would actually pose a real threat to the Dark Lord.
This one’s already a given. Albus Dumbledore is the most obvious person who can defeat Voldemort, and the Dark Lord seemed to realize it. Rowling herself has explicitly stated in the books that Dumbledore is the only person Voldemort fears and recognizes as a genuine threat to his own power.
A quick look at their fight in Order of the Phoenix should be enough to see how Dumbledore fares against Voldemort. In fact, Voldemort would have been defeated then and there if not for Harry’s presence. That means if Dumbledore ever had another fair chance to fight Voldemort, the Dark Lord’s defeat would almost certainly be inevitable.
Nearly everyone who meets Hermione agrees that she’s the brightest witch of her age that they’ve ever met, and she was tackling threats that most adult witches or wizards couldn’t handle in her first year at Hogwarts.
Perhaps Hermione would have had some trouble against Voldemort in her early years, but as an adult witch, she could certainly give him a run for his money if not outright demolish the Dark Lord. Her power combined with her breadth of knowledge is tough to beat.
Objectively, Gellert Grindelwald actually had better “Dark Lord” achievements than Voldemort. Voldemort just happened to be eviler and more driven, hence more dangerous, but he is by no means more powerful than Grindelwald. Grindelwald could not only likely match Voldemort’s magical abilities, but he seemed to be a more compelling and charismatic leader, winning over legions of wizards.
Voldemort, by comparison, struggled to take over a small region of the Wizarding World (including a school) in more than a decade. Dumbledore himself admitted that Grindelwald was a “touch more skilled” when both were at the peak of their powers and skill.
Death Eaters don’t exactly have a long life expectancy due to the occupational hazards, but the ones that do survive their own temperamental boss and the dangers of the job are among the most powerful and cunning. Antonin Dolohov, for that matter, is the most decorated Death Eater in Voldemort’s ranks.
He has the highest win/loss ratio among all Death Eaters, and his peers are no match for his dueling skill. He was able to defeat Remus Lupin and Mad-Eye Moody while also having the rare ability to cast strong spells without words. If he plays it smart and careful like Harry, he just might get a chance against his own leader.
Tom Riddle may have been the Heir of Slytherin, but it seems like a safe bet to assume that the Dark Lord probably couldn’t defeat Salazar. Not only is the ancient Slytherin essentially the source of Voldemort’s magic, but his intellect and cunning would likely run circles around Voldy.
Voldemort plans decades ahead, while Salazar planned centuries ahead. Voldemort hid Horcruxes in Hogwarts for years, and Slytherin managed to conceal the Chamber of Secrets and a whole Basilisk. The Dark Lord would be no match for the Hogwarts founder.
It might sound like a stretch, but Neville could have been as good as Harry. Because in an alternate universe, Neville Longbottom could have been the official Chosen One, and just as Harry stood against Voldemort and defeated him in a straight duel, Neville probably could have done the same.
It just so happens that Harry was the wizard that Voldemort believed was the one to defeat him. Meanwhile, Neville, being the “other” Chosen One, could have easily fulfilled the prophecy just as Harry did. After all, Harry mostly just won because the Elder Wand refused to kill him.
Nicolas Flamel has only had brief mentions and appearances in the Wizarding World, but he could almost certainly put the smackdown on Voldemort.
Nicolas is a huge threat to the Dark Lord for a few reasons. The first and most obvious is that he managed to do what Voldemort failed to do, and seemingly keep himself alive for a near-eternity. Secondly, Flamel’s centuries on earth means that his knowledge of magic is undoubtedly unparalleled by any living person.
McGonagall was among the oldest and most experienced teachers in Hogwarts, and she was a worthy successor to Dumbledore as the headmistress. In fact, she has proven her mettle against Voldemort and survived a duel against him. To be fair, it was McGonagall, Horace Slughorn, and Kingsley Shacklebolt who dueled Voldemort at the same time.
Sadly, he incapacitated all three of them after being enraged at the news of Bellatrix Lestrange’s death. However, the fact that McGonagall was able to withstand Voldemort is proof enough that she can take on him under the right circumstances and with a little luck.
Professor Filius Flitwick doesn’t seem like the type to get violent unless it’s absolutely necessary, but he surely has the dueling capability to withstand the Dark Lord. As proof of Flitwick’s mastery of dueling, he’s the one who defeated Antonin Dolohov, Voldemort’s most decorated Death Eater.
It’s safe to assume that Flitwick has a fighting chance against Voldemort himself in the dueling department at the very least. Flitwick did defeat his best Death Eater, and he’s quite literally a Charms expert.
Kingsley Shacklebolt is a part of the squad who held off Voldemort commendably, and he’s also one of the veteran members of the Order of the Phoenix. Shacklebolt’s skill and talents did net him the top position in the Ministry of Magic, and that says a lot about his capabilities.
When it comes to duels and wizard battles, Kingsley has shown that he can easily fight and survive multiple Death Eaters all at once. He’s one of the few who came to Harry’s rescue in Order of the Phoenix. In any case, anyone worthy enough to become a Minister of Magic is competent enough for a duel with a Dark Lord.
Bellatrix Lestrange is devoted to Voldemort to the point of obsession, so clearly she would never even think of raising her wand against the Dark Lord. But if she did, she might actually give him some trouble.
Bellatrix is an incredibly powerful witch in her own right, but what makes her even more dangerous is how wild and unpredictable she is. She also doesn’t seem particularly cognizant of danger, so while most magical folks would flee at the sight of Voldemort’s power, she probably wouldn’t be very intimidated.
Gellert Grindelwald was smart and thought ahead. The biggest threat to his radical plans was Albus Dumbledore. Needless to say, he wasn’t confident that his talent would be enough to kill Dumbledore. Hence, Grindelwald sought someone (or something) that could have easily dispatched Albus: Credence Barebone.
Credence possesses powers that Grindelwald was sure would make quick work of Dumbledore and sought it for himself. Heck, even Voldemort didn’t have direct means to deal with Dumbledore on his own. So it stands within reason that a magician as powerful as Credence would easily win against Voldemort.
Undoubtedly every one of the founders of Hogwarts could hold their own against a wizard of Voldemort’s caliber, but aside from Salazar Slytherin, Godric Gryffindor would likely stand the best chance in a duel.
That’s not necessarily because of his magical strength (which is considerable), but rather because his primary values revolved around bravery and chivalry. Someone like Gryffindor would feel compelled to fight the Dark Lord regardless of his chances of winning, which actually makes him a bigger threat.
Severus Snape was similar to Voldemort in that they were both astonishingly brilliant in their youth. Whereas Voldemort’s achievement back in his school days was his Horcruxes, Snape’s was his own potions knowledge and his very own curse– someone no else but Harry knew about.
Moreover, Snape can easily resist Voldemort’s Legilimens attempts, as he has done it so many times to hide his allegiance with Dumbledore. Voldemort and Nagini did kill him, but it wasn’t really much of a fight. Snape’s no slouch and could have easily used his hidden knowledge and spells against Voldemort in order to win, especially if he has a cause to fight for.
Dumbledore might have been the best Hogwarts student ever and the most powerful wizard of his time, but the most powerful wizard of all time in the Wizarding World remains Merlin. His ideals and goals were the exact opposite of Voldemort’s even though they were Slytherin alumni.
To that end, Merlin was even more powerful than Dumbledore at their respective peaks. Voldemort would have backed off immediately if a person like Merlin was present during his reign of terror. In fact, Merlin does not even need a wand to cast any form of magic at full efficiency, something no other magical person has ever mastered.
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