Lord Voldemort, or the Dark Lord as his followers know him, is, without a doubt, one of fiction’s most popular (and feared) villains. A tough, power-hungry, cruel wizard, he was Harry Potter’s nemesis, and one the most dangerous threats the wizarding world ever faced. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he taunts Harry by asking him how a baby survived an attack by the world’s most powerful wizard. But was Voldemort really the world’s most powerful wizard?
He was, without question, an extremely dangerous dark wizard, more dangerous than most. He provoked two Wizarding Wars and is directly or indirectly responsible for the end of many great witches and wizards. And yet, he was defeated by Harry Potter, who was, at the time, a mere infant. And really, when you think about it, many characters in Harry Potter are more powerful than the Dark Lord—especially amongst Hogwarts' professors.
On the other hand, many characters that you would think would be more powerful are actually not. They might be able to defeat Voldemort through other means—he may be a very powerful dark wizard, but some say he’s not so bright, after all. However, in terms of raw power, these characters don’t quite match up with Lord Voldemort. They might have been defeated by him or by his forces, or they may simply not have the same kind of magical power he has. Here are 15 Harry Potter characters who are more powerful than Voldemort, and 15 that aren’t!
30 More Powerful: Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore was, after all, one of the only wizards whom Voldemort was actually afraid of. The Hogwarts headmaster was nothing short of legendary, and his magical abilities are, without a doubt, extraordinary.
Where Voldemort represents darkness, Dumbledore represents light—and the Harry Potter series has shown time and time again that light always triumphs over darkness. Albus Dumbledore was a brilliant wizard and a wise headmaster who didn’t need to resort to dark magic to be respected by his friends and feared by his enemies.
29 Not As Powerful: Grindelwald
Grindelwald was an incredibly powerful Dark Wizard, yes, but was he more powerful than Voldemort? That’s questionable. Grindelwald relied on his charisma and his powers of persuasion to achieve his goals. His true power lay in his ability to convince people to fight with him.
In terms of raw power, however, Voldemort is arguably more powerful.
Voldemort’s followers were no less loyal (and dangerous) than Grindelwald, but Grindelwald's obsession with enlisting Credence Barebones to fight for him shows that he might not have been as powerful as the Dark Lord.
28 More Powerful: Hermione Granger
Hermione Granger was one of the most brilliant young witches of her time. It’s no surprise to anyone that in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, she becomes Minister of Magic. As a child, yes, Hermione might have lacked the proper training to face the Dark Lord, but as an adult witch, there’s no doubt she would give Voldemort a run for his galleons. She was not only extremely talented, but she was also very smart, and in the end, her wits would have given her the upper hand against Voldemort.
27 Not As Powerful: Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoy was Harry Potter’s nemesis since day one, and he served as a major antagonistic force throughout the series. Because of his family’s implication with Voldemort’s forces (his father was a Death Eater, after all), Draco could have been a powerful dark wizard. He was even chosen by the Dark Lord. However, he failed in his mission, and, when you think about it, we don’t really see him use dark magic—or much magic at all—throughout the series. He’s an interesting character, but he’s definitely not that powerful.
26 More Powerful: Neville Longbottom
Neville Longbottom could have been the Chosen One, as the prophecy regarding Voldemort’s defeat could have been about either him or Harry. We could have had a saga beginning with Neville Longbottom and the Philosopher’s Stone!
Neville was also the only other person aside from Harry to pull Godric Gryffindor’s sword out of the Sorting Hat.
The timid boy whom readers met at the beginning of the saga grew to be an incredibly powerful wizard and a Hogwarts professor—and, to be honest, many Hogwarts professors were more powerful than Voldemort.
25 Not As Powerful: Sirius Black
While the Marauders were amazing characters and, generally speaking, really good wizards, it’s unsure if individually, they are more powerful than Voldemort. Yes, they are all Animagi (except Remus), and Sirius Black’s form as a giant black dog is impressive, not to mention a testament to his power as a wizard. However, just like the other Marauders, Sirius fell in the fight against Voldemort. That’s not to say he wasn’t a powerful wizard, of course. He was able to resist the Dementors in Azkaban, after all.
24 More Powerful: Bellatrix Lestrange
Bellatrix acted as Voldemort’s second in command, but, at the end of the day, she was just as powerful as he was. The difference between Bellatrix and Voldemort is that the Dark Lord used his power to fulfill his ambition and his quest for immortality. That ambition and that desire to be immortal consumed him (he only lived to be about 70, after all). Bellatrix was more focused on raw power, and, since she was violent and unpredictable, there’s so telling what she might have done had she worked for her own desires.
23 Not As Powerful: Dolores Umbridge
Dolores Umbridge is, in many ways, more of a villain than Voldemort himself. While the Dark Lord is the archetypal book and movie “bad guy”—power-hungry, twisted, sinister for sinister’s sake, Umbridge is much more pernicious.
Pink cardigans and kittens thinly veil a cruelty that rivals most Dark Wizards.
She is not, however, more powerful than Voldemort—though arguably her use of magic to harm her students is more creative.
22 More Powerful: Newt Scamander
Newt is the hero of the new Fantastic Beasts movies, and, while the young wizard may not seem extremely powerful at first, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say he’s more powerful than Voldemort.
He uses magic instinctively and effortlessly, and it’s him Dumbledore reaches out to when he needs someone to retrieve Credence Barebone.
Newt Scamander was an extraordinary wizard. Not to mention, his unique connection and friendship with magical beasts alone would give him the upper hand against the Dark Lord.
21 Not As Powerful: Ron Weasley
Talking about Harry’s friends, while Ron was a loyal friend and a great aid in Harry’s fight against Voldemort and the forces of darkness, he was less powerful than Voldemort. That’s not to say he isn’t powerful—the saga shows time and time again that Ron is a better wizard than he gives himself credit for. He’s part of the golden trio and a part of a family of unquestionably powerful Gryffindors. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, however, we see him be affected by the Horcrux he’s wearing, which shows that he’s less powerful than Voldemort.
20 More Powerful: Minerva McGonagall
As I said earlier, many Hogwarts professors are arguably more powerful than Voldemort. Minerva McGonagall is, without question, one of them. A true Gryffindor, McGonagall is afraid of nothing, least of all Death Eaters or the likes of Dolores Umbridge. She’s a wise, knowledgeable witch, and she demonstrates a mastery of incredibly powerful spells. Not only is she an amazing professor, she’s a hero of the Battle of Hogwarts and Dumbledore’s successor as Hogwarts Headmistress, which shows just how powerful she is.
19 Not As Powerful: Remus Lupin
Like the other Marauders, Remus Lupin was a genius spell-caster and a powerful werewolf. It seems the four friends were especially good at charms, since they created the Marauder’s Map. He was also a great teacher, and, since he taught at Hogwarts, it’s obvious he’s great at Defence Against the Dark Arts. He taught Harry how to produce a Patronus, a skill that becomes instrumental in the young wizard’s fight against dark forces. However, he too fell to Voldemort’s forces, and it’s highly unlikely he was more powerful than the Dark Lord.
18 More Powerful: Merlin
Merlin found his way into J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. He’s a part of wizard history, and one of the most powerful wizards of all time. Harry Potter characters still refer to him quite a bit, in exclamations such as “Merlin’s beard!.”
Like Tom Marvolo Riddle (aka Voldemort), Merlin was a Slytherin, an ambitious, powerful wizard.
He was a wizarding legend, and, of course, more powerful than the Dark Lord. According to the Harry Potter Wiki, Merlin was “arguably one of the most powerful wizards of all time”.
17 Not As Powerful: Luna Lovegood
Luna Lovegood is a great witch and an even better friend. Just like Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley, we get to see throughout the series that she has hidden talents. Like Newt Scamander, she was a Magizoologist (or at least she became one after the events of the Battle of Hogwarts), and an accomplished witch. She mastered advanced spells at a young age and was even shown to use nonverbal magic, a testament to her powers. However, though she survived the Second Wizarding War, it’s a stretch to say that she’s more powerful than Voldemort.
16 More Powerful: Lily Potter
Lily Evans, who later became Lily Potter when she married the famous marauder James Potter, was an extraordinary witch. She was a talented potion-maker, as Slughorn frequently reminds Harry.
It’s not a stretch to say that she was also a brilliant witch—not to mention she was instrumental in Voldemort’s defeat.
Her mother’s love is what allowed Harry to survive Voldemort’s attack and made him The Boy Who Lived. Lily’s love also protected Harry for many years after that and allowed him to destroy Quirrell.
15 Not As Powerful: James Potter
James Potter, like the other Marauders, was not more powerful than Voldemort. He was a great wizard, and his status as an Animagus is more than impressive. He could master powerful magic and he and Lily became nothing short of legends in the wizarding world. However, while he was, without a question, an amazing wizard, he wasn’t more powerful than Voldemort. He fell to the Dark Lord’s hand on that fateful night. Granted, so did Lily, but her love protected Harry from Voldemort.
14 More Powerful: Filius Flitwick
Filius Flitwick is one of the many Hogwarts professors that are more powerful than Voldemort. He was a masterful wizard and an experienced professor.
He was also an amazing duelist, and you just know he would know the perfect combination of spells to defeat Voldemort.
Filius Flitwick isn’t seen much in the Harry Potter movies, but, fortunately, fans get to learn more about him in the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery mobile game. This gives us more of an insight into how powerful Professor Flitwick really is!
13 Not As Powerful: Fenrir Greyback
Fenrir Greyback was a werewolf and a fearsome villain. Out of all the werewolves presented in the Harry Potter series, he’s arguably the most menacing. He was notoriously cruel and violent, and, physically speaking, a formidable fighter. While he was able to use non-verbal spells and other forms of advanced magic, however, he definitely wasn’t more powerful than Voldemort. He was used as a pawn by the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters, and their general contempt towards him is a testament to that.
12 More Powerful: Severus Snape
Whether you like Severus Snape or not, you have to admit he was an incredible wizard. A Hogwarts professor and talented-potion maker, Snape was instrumental in the fight against Voldemort and his forces. He was the Half-Blood Prince, as well as the maker of several powerful spells. Severus Snape might have pretended to serve Voldemort (while in fact, as we all know, working as a double agent for Dumbledore), but there’s almost no question he was more powerful than the Dark Lord.
11 Not As Powerful: Horace Slughorn
Horace Slughorn was a skilled wizard and a Hogwarts Professor, but it’s probably safe to say he’s not one of the ones who could have defeated the Dark Lord. A true Slytherin, Professor Slughorn is an ambitious wizard; he seeks power, but not being extraordinarily talented himself, he pursues the friendship of talented, powerful, or rich students. While in his day-to-day life, this strategy proves to be very successful, it definitely does not make him more powerful than Voldemort. Arguably, however, it makes him a better Slytherin.
10 More Powerful: Credence Barebone
Credence Barebone was an obscurus, and we get to see just how powerful he is several times throughout the Fantastic Beasts series. There’s a reason Grindelwald wanted him on his side! The dark wizard was convinced Credence could end Dumbledore. This, of course, makes him much more powerful than Voldemort could have ever been.
Credence is untrained, but, maybe, with the right kind of help, and the right mentor, he could grow to be impossibly powerful. In terms of raw power, there’s no denying he’s more powerful than the Dark Lord.
9 Not As Powerful: Rubeus Hagrid
Rubeus Hagrid was a father figure in Harry’s life and a beloved character of the saga. A half-giant, he’s definitely imposing, and he’s a trusted friend of Dumbledore’s. As we find out in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he went to school at around the same time as Tom Riddle—aka Lord Voldemort. He’s gifted when it comes to magical creatures, and many of his animal friends could defeat the Dark Lord (we’d just love to see Voldemort face Aragog and his spiders), but Hagrid himself could not.
8 More Powerful: Mad-Eye Moody
Alastor Moody, more often known as “Mad-Eye” Moody, was a true force of nature. Yes, he did lose his life to Lord Voldemort, but does that mean he was less powerful than him? Probably not.
Mad-Eye Moody was, after all, the wizard who put half the Death Eaters of Azkaban in their cells.
He was a member of both Orders of the Phoenix and an extremely talented, ruthless Auror, descended from a long line of wizards who fought dark forces.
7 Not As Powerful: Alice And Frank Longbottom
Yes, like Mad-Eye Moody, Alice and Frank Longbottom were powerful Aurors who defeated many of Voldemort’s followers. Their story is a tragic one, and the scene where Neville sees them at Saint Mungo’s is beyond heart-breaking. Alice and Frank were actually hard to place in this list, as, before they were attacked and driven insane by Bellatrix Lestrange, they might have actually been more powerful than the Dark Lord. The Longbottoms we see in the books and movies, however, were not, as they never recovered from the attack.
6 More Powerful: Fawkes
Fawkes may not be a wizard or even a human being, but it’d be a mistake to underestimate this phoenix. Phoenixes, mythical birds who burst into flames at the end of their life and are then reborn from their ashes, are incredible, powerful creatures. Fawkes was no exception, and he was faithfully loyal to Dumbledore and the House of Gryffindor. In Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, he helped Harry Potter defeat the Basilisk and Lord Voldemort by wounding the monster and giving Harry the Sorting Hat, from which the Boy Who Lived took out Gryffindor’s Sword.
5 Not As Powerful: Fred And George Weasley
It pains me to say this, as Fred and George Weasley are not only beloved characters (we still can’t get over Fred’s end), but also talented spell-casters. After all, they worked out how to use the Marauder’s Map, and, when they escaped from Umbridge’s Hogwarts, they left behind them a spell so intricate even Professor Flitwick was impressed. However, that’s just the thing: the extraordinary thing about the twins isn’t their power, but rather their inventive spirit and their wit.
4 More Powerful: Norberta (Hagrid’s Dragon)
Would Voldemort stand a chance against a dragon? Probably not. You just know Norberta (originally Norbert) would kick Voldemort to the curb. A Norwegian Ridgeback, Norberta is especially violent and dangerous; just the venom from her fangs was enough to send Ron Weasley to the hospital wing for a while. Voldemort doesn’t really demonstrate a vast knowledge of fantastical creatures, so it’s pretty safe to say he’d be at a loss if he was attacked by an angry dragon like Norberta.
3 Not As Powerful: Nymphadora Tonks
Nymphadora Tonks, often just referred to as Tonks, is another fan-favorite Harry Potter character. She was, without a doubt, a powerful witch: a Metamorphmagus and a talented duelist, she became an Auror at a very young age, which is a testament to her ability. She was also part of the Order of the Phoenix, but she was not more powerful than Voldemort. Like her husband, Remus Lupin, she sadly fell to the Dark Lord’s forces, as she was defeated by her aunt Bellatrix.
2 More Powerful: Molly Weasley
Molly Weasley may not seem like she’d be more powerful than the Dark Lord at first glance, but it’d be a mistake to underestimate this witch. Just like Lily Potter, she was a mother and always fiercely defended her children, even if it meant putting herself in harm’s way. Her anger is legendary, and the fact that she defeated Bellatrix Lestrange as easily as if she was a trained Auror shows her power. In the end, just like Lily’s motherly love was stronger than Voldemort, so too, was Molly’s.
1 Not As Powerful: Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a surprising name to include in the list of characters who were less powerful than Voldemort. He was the Chosen One, after all, and he defeated the Dark Lord in the end.
However, it’s unsure whether the Boy Who Lived would have vanquished Voldemort had he relied on his own power.
When he survived the attack as a baby, he was protected by his mother’s love; when he defeated him later, he was helped by his friends and by Dumbledore, one of the greatest wizards of all time.