"And at the height of his power, when Dumbledore knew he was the only one who could stop him, he duelled Grindelwald, and beat him, and he took the Elder Wand. "
—Information on the duel[src]
The Duel between Albus Dumbledore and Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald took place in 1945, before Dumbledore's ascension to the position of Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and ended the Global wizarding war. According to Elphias Doge, eye-witnesses proclaimed that it was the greatest wizarding duel of all time.


Background information

Dumbledore Grindelwald

Dumbledore and Grindelwald in the summer of 1899

Decades before the legendary Duel, Gellert Grindelwald had come to Godric's Hollow to stay with his great aunt, Bathilda Bagshot. He became friends with the seventeen year old Albus Dumbledore, and they both became obsessed with the powerful objects known as the Deathly Hallows. This trio comprised the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility.

The plans became more and more far-fetched. Albus's younger brother, Aberforth, intervened and pointed out the impossibilities of the scheme. Gellert quickly became enraged and the three began to Duel. Ariana Dumbledore was killed in the process. This caused the end of Dumbledore and Grindelwald's friendship, and forced Grindelwald to flee, going on later to raise an Army in an attempt to continue his plan of wizarding domination.

Grindelwald soon tracked down the Elder Wand, stole it from Gregorovitch, and began to amass power. As his machinations played out over the next 45 years, he became one of the most powerful Dark Wizards in history, and a serious threat to the Wizarding World. Meanwhile, Dumbledore had become the Transfiguration Professor and Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts, and gained a considerable reputation for his wisdom and achievements along the way.

The Duel

Younger dumbledore

Albus Dumbledore two years before the time of the confrontation

As Grindelwald gained power, public opinion grew that Albus Dumbledore would be the only one able to stop him. Dumbledore, still haunted by his history with the dark wizard, procrastinated. Eventually, the outcry became too vocal and Grindelwald's actions too horrible for Dumbledore to put off the confrontation any longer.

The duel was one of the most well known duels in the world, and one of Dumbledore's most famous moments, with Dumbledore winning the duel and the Elder Wand's allegiance. According to Elphias Doge, eye-witnesses proclaimed that it was the greatest wizarding duel of all time.


Gellert Grindelwald was captured and detained in the top-most cell of Nurmengard, a prison that he himself had constructed to hold his enemies. Grindelwald remained there for the rest of his life until his death at the hands of the only Dark Wizard more dangerous than himself, Lord Voldemort, after refusing to give him information about the Elder Wand.

Albus Dumbledore returned to his place in Hogwarts, and eventually became Headmaster until his death in 1997. His victory in this battle would be published on his Chocolate Frog Card.

Behind the scenes

  • 1945 was also the year that Tom Riddle graduated from Hogwarts. If the duel happened in May (coinciding with the fall of the Axis Powers in Europe), Riddle would've been sitting in his Seventh-year N.E.W.T. exams at the time.
  • A common misconception that has gone around for years is that the duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald lasted for 3 hours. It was placed on this wiki page back in 2011 on the 30th of July by an unregistered user and has been considered fact ever since, but no source for this information has ever been found.