The Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises are often compared to one another. They are both giants in the world of literature, and the blockbuster movies were released at around the same time. There are also a lot of similarities in the messages behind them both – for example., good vs. evil, and it seems that in general, a lot of the population can be split into two camps: a LOTR fan, or a Potterhead. So, when it comes to the battle of the white-bearded wizards of each franchise, who would win?
One pretty crucial thing to remember is that Albus Dumbledore is mortal. In fact, depending on when this hypothetical fight takes place, he could already be no longer with us (spoiler alert!). Gandalf the Grey is also a mortal, however, when he falls into the shadow while standing up against the Balrog, he returns, as Gandalf the White and no longer has a mortal body. So if it were a fight to the death, the answer would be based on when in the stories the battle is taking place.
Again, a lot of this depends on when the fight is going to happen. For example, at one point, Albus Dumbledore possesses all three of the Deathly Hallows, including the Elder Wand, which made him one of the most powerful wizards of all time. Having been alive for as long as he has been, an undoubtedly clever and talented man, with the most powerful wand that has ever existed, would make Dumbledore pretty unbeatable. Especially when you consider that, before becoming Gandalf the White, he had only a little magic, and at this point, it would be a pretty easy fight, with Dumbledore coming out of it victorious. However, it is important to note that Gandalf, even before his transformation, was a skilled physical fighter, which is something that Dumbledore seems to lack, and could give him the edge.
Both men command respect from those around them, but Dumbledore is undoubtedly the more eccentric and quirky of the pair. He also comes across as a little more polite, and perhaps this would be a downfall for him. They are both very powerful and can shout when it is needed, but, let’s be honest, Dumbledore seems a little more gentle than Gandalf. The way Albus interacts with people trying to antagonize him, for example, when he is talking to a young Tom Riddle, is generally to try and reason with them calmly – perhaps not the best fighting spirit.
In conclusion, the answer to this is a little murky. Whereas some literary fights have a clear answer, the debate about Gandalf vs. Dumbledore is more complicated as we are essentially dealing with two different people when it comes to discussing Gandalf. If the fight were between Gandalf the Grey, and Dumbledore, we are pretty confident that Albus would win, however, with Gandalf the White, the chances are that Dumbledore would be defeated.