Some witches and wizards in the Potterverse have a much keener command of magic than others. Just take Hermione as an example compared to her witness-wonder of a now husband, Ron. Just as with athletes, academics and people who can somehow juggle, some people have an affinity for things others simply aren’t able to find, be it through talent or practice.
The wizarding world is no exception, which is why we are counting down the most powerful wizards in the Harry Potter series.
So, who made the cut?
5. Snape – Power rank: Werewolf
The Half-Blood Prince, Snape is a greatly underestimated wizard.
At a young age, he was not only a master of potions but was even creating his own spells — an art said to be so incredibly complex and dangerous, few witches or wizards are able to do it successfully.
He was also instrumental in the plans of both Dumbledore and Voldemort, able to convince the dark lord of his trustworthiness and gifted in the ancient craft of occlumecy.
Just another Hogwarts teacher? Think again.
4. Gellert Grindelwald – Power Rank: Basalisk
Grindewald was a powerful dark wizard, second only to Voldemort in the use of the dark arts. He and a young Dumbledore planned a rather elaborate and hostile takeover of the wizarding world. But when Albus backed out of the movement, Grindewald chose to go it alone.
A master of magic and the owner of the Elder wand, Gellert was one of the most powerful wizards in history. He may have even succeeded in single handedly taking over the wizarding world, if it weren’t for Dumbledore that is. His old friend defeated Gellert Grindelwald in a legendary duel, which saw the dark wizard — feared the world over — sent to Nurmengard for the rest of his life.
3. Tom Riddle/Voldemort – Power Rank: Horntail
Lord Voldemort is perhaps the most dangerous wizard ever to have existed, but he had limitations. His arrogance and ego proved to be out of control on many occasions, eventually leading to his demise. If he hadn’t insisted Harry Potter die by his hand, he could have lived on and perhaps won control of the wizarding world. But he was just too damn stubborn. He also didn’t inspire much loyalty and fear can only get you so far. If he wasn’t toppled during the Harry Potter series, he would have fallen eventually.
Still, he was unimaginably powerful. His command of magic was near perfect and his agile mind always kept him ahead of his opponents. He could crush any wizard that stood before him — except of course, our next contender.
It’s tough to separate Voldermort and Grindelwald when it comes to dark wizards and power. You could argue that the latter was a better leader and more adept wizard in many respects. However, Voldermort unlimitedly comes out on top, purely because of his determination to be not just a conquerer, but a powerhouse of magic. The experiments he underwent, the things he endured that twisted and sculpted his tortured body, are testament to how far he’d go to obtain ultimate power.
2. Albus Dumbledore – Power Rank: Pheonix
Tom Riddle’s power was thought to be unmatched in his time, but he was tapping into dark and dangerous magic Dumbledore dare not touch.
Immensely powerful, impossibly intelligent and intuitive, an artist of communication and a man who inspired fierce loyalty, imagine the damage Dumbledore could have done with dark magic like Horcruxes and unforgivable curses?
Even without these sorts of spells, he was still the only wizard Voldemort really feared. He was also the only wizard capable of matching Grindelwald, even some sixty years prior. During his lifetime, he was always the wizard to face the threats posed to the wizarding world.
And look, if a man who can cheat death still fears you, then you truly are a force to be reckoned with.
We get a matchup between these two goliaths of the wizarding world in Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix and the ensuing fight plainly showed Dumbledore was the man in charge. Although the movies don’t really do it justice, in the book Voldemort is almost always on the back foot and fled before the a victor could be crowned. We also know that he defeats Grindelwald at some point, even while his opponent is in possession of the Elder Wand.
1. Merlin – Power Rank: Howler
So we’ve had some dangerous men on this list, but who is the most powerful wizard in the Harry Potter franchise?
Surely, it has to be Merlin.
Merlin isn’t your run of the mill wizard. His name has been passed down through the ages, becoming synonymous with shocking and incredible moments. An incredibly powerful wizard who guided King Arthur during his reign, Merlin has become a fable, a legend, almost god-like. He is biblical in his legacy.
We know little about him, but we do know is his power and influence has stood the test of time. We also know that he definitely did exist within the Harry Potter universe, having been a confirmed Slytherin.
Surely even Dumbledore’s name won’t live on like his? If you put Merlin and the old Hogwarts headmaster in the ring, I know who I’d bet on.
(Honourable Mention) Credence – Power Rank: Unknown
MAJOR SPOILERS for CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD
We don’t know a lot about Credence yet. We have learned more in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, though. He is, in fact, a Dumbledore. This likely goes some way to explaining how he’s able to control his obscurial. His bloodline is just so damn strong.
The powers he’s shown are quite impressive, but he’s yet to face anyone in a true battle. He’s only really wrecked shop in New York and really, couldn’t any wizard bash up a few buildings?
Grindelwald is determined to bring the boy to his side, stating he is the only one capable of defeating Albus Dumbledore. Now it’s implied it is down to his power, but upon the reveal of family, it could also mean that Albus won’t kill his brother, which makes him the only person the great wizard is weak to.
At this point, we know Credence (or Aurelius) is powerful, yes, but we don’t know exactly how powerful. It may come to light that he’s actually stronger than any magical being to have existed, but for now, we’re just going to let him sit here and this about what he’s done.