Ah the beauty of the holiday season! We kick off our last week in a countdown towards Christmas with last minute shopping, sending holiday cards and sadly, a head cold for the midget. Today’s smackdown is a look at the great wizards of two fabulous series. Both wizards inspire, guide and are tremendously powerful in their own right. I can hardly choose between them and cannot compare them as which is more powerful or which is more inspirational. Therefore, I ask only that you choose which one is your favorite. I know which one is mine.
Gandalf the Grey (later the White)
Gandalf is a fictional character with major roles in J. R. R. Tolkien‘s novels THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Gandalf appears as a wizard, member and later the head (after Saruman’s betrayal and fall) of the order known as the Istari, as well as leader of the Fellowship of the Ring and the army of the West. In THE LORD OF THE RINGS, he is initially known as Gandalf the Grey, but after assuming leadership of the Istari, he becomes known as Gandalf the White.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a fictional character within the Harry Potter novels written by J. K. Rowling. For the majority of the series, he is the headmaster of the Wizarding School Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As part of his back-story, it is revealed that he is the founder and leader of the “Order of the Phoenix”, an organization dedicated to fighting the main antagonist of the series, Lord Voldemort.
Among Gandalf’s great deeds is guiding the Fellowship, saving Faramir, defeating the Balrog and hiding his possession of the third Elven ring of power for centuries. As a guide to young Frodo and the other Hobbits, he inspired greatness. He chose to leave Middle Earth with the other ring bearers including Frodo, Bilbo, Elrond and Galadriel.
Dumbledore, like Gandalf, inspired greatness in his students and acted as secret keeper for the Order of the Phoenix. His deeds are many, including defeating one of the most powerful wizards. Dumbledore was far more passive, choosing peaceful methods and reason above outright shows of power. He served as a foil for Voldemort for decades, fending the dark wizard off until Harry was old enough to face him directly. Dumbledore’s death was by his own choice, a necessary sacrifice.
Neither wizard sought greatness, yet they both served to inspire the heroes of their novels and left a legacy of wisdom, spirit and determination.