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Gandalf or Dumbledore

Gandolf or Dumbledore?  

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If it's better from an power point of view, then Gandalf. If I had to pick one based on how much I like them, I'd say Gandalf as well, but I don't really like either of them.

 

I never liked how Dumbledore uses people to his advantage and tells them things only when it suits him. Seeing how many times Harry risks his life and nearly gets himself killed due to lack of information, I'd have thought that Dumbledore would finally see a pattern there... Also, he never did anything when Snape was being bullied and Snape nearly got killed by a werewolf. Even if he didn't know what was going on, which is unlikely, that should have been impossible to ignore.

 

I actually liked Gandalf until I read The Hobbit. I still have a few pages left, but I don't think that my opinion of him will suddenly improve and be what it once was. He does manipulate people a bit, but he always seemed mostly good and fair to me until I read how he treats Thorin. For someone who is supposed to be so wise, he has a very "human" moment there when he takes Bilbo's side and completely fails to see how things looked from Thorin's point of view.

 

Snape and Thorin are my favourite characters in those books, which may make me a bit biased against both wizards, but for people who are mostly described as perfect, some of their actions speak loudly against them.

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I have to say Dumbledore all the way. I've read all 7 Harry Potter books and seen all 8 movies, whereas I never could get into the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.

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GANDALF!!!

 

He is so awesome and his magic powers are 10 times cooler than Dumbledore's. Dumbledore dies in the Harry Potter movies while Gandalf dies...AND THEN COMES BACK TO LIFE. Anyone who dies and then becomes alive again certainly has my vote.

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If it's better from an power point of view, then Gandalf. If I had to pick one based on how much I like them, I'd say Gandalf as well, but I don't really like either of them.

 

I never liked how Dumbledore uses people to his advantage and tells them things only when it suits him. Seeing how many times Harry risks his life and nearly gets himself killed due to lack of information, I'd have thought that Dumbledore would finally see a pattern there... Also, he never did anything when Snape was being bullied and Snape nearly got killed by a werewolf. Even if he didn't know what was going on, which is unlikely, that should have been impossible to ignore.

 

I actually liked Gandalf until I read The Hobbit. I still have a few pages left, but I don't think that my opinion of him will suddenly improve and be what it once was. He does manipulate people a bit, but he always seemed mostly good and fair to me until I read how he treats Thorin. For someone who is supposed to be so wise, he has a very "human" moment there when he takes Bilbo's side and completely fails to see how things looked from Thorin's point of view.

 

Snape and Thorin are my favourite characters in those books, which may make me a bit biased against both wizards, but for people who are mostly described as perfect, some of their actions speak loudly against them.

I can't speak about Dumbledore all that much BUT... I respectfully disagree about Gandalf.

 

I think Gandalf may have made the right choice on that one... complicated though it might have been.

Possible spoilers Ahoy! Ye Have Been WARNED. Drag your mouse over to read Anyway:

 

As I always read the story it seemed to ME that Thorin and the dwarves were genuinely in the wrong in how they handled the situation after the dragon was killed, as much as I like them as characters. As far as I know Smaug had not ONLY ransacked the dwarf kingdom but the human town of Dale as well... the descendants of the survivors of which, I believe, lived in lake town. That is... there is a very excellent chance that the people's claim that some of the gold and other treasure hoarded in that Mountain by Smaug didn't belong to the dwarves at all was, in fact, the truth. Some of that treasure MAY have actually been rightfully theirs, and after all, they were Smaug's victims too... they probably has as much reason to desire revenge on Smaug as Thorin and Company. Again the story isn't CLEAR on this point, but that is my interpretation.

 

ALWAYS Bearing in mind that, it appears, the dwarves' riches were what attracted the dragon in the first place.

The dwarves themselves admit as much to Bilbo at the very outset.

 

That isn't to say that the dwarves DESERVED what happened. Just that is was THEIR success, in the end, that unwittingly brought the dragon upon them; AND that they, and Thorin especially, lost sight of the fact that they weren't the only ones that Smaug had robbed of family and property. The story plainly says that for some time after his arrival Smaug terrorized the people in the country round about by eating whoever he wanted to and taking whatever he pleased. This fact seems to have made no impression on Thorin at all that I see in the book.

 

Instead of even BOTHERING to try to work it out, Thorin basically says 'forget you, I am KEEPING the lot of it.'

 

And that at THAT when the story strongly implies that there was so much gold in the mountain that even removing the amount it would have taken to satisfy the people would have STILL left the dwarves with MORE than enough to rebuild their own kingdom as well. I don't see that, even IF all the gold in the mountain was the dwarves by right... that sharing it would have really set them back that much.

 

Also, even IF the townspeople had NO right whatsoever to that gold, it might have behooved the dwarves to be more grateful... given that it was actually one of the lakemen that killed the dragon (a thing which, if you remember, the dwarves had been unable to do themselves)... and parting with some of the treasure in the interests of getting along with their neighbors might have been the wisest course. These were people with which Thorin, if he became king under the mountain, would probably have to deal with on a regular basis... after all, trade was a big part of how the dwarves had gotten the wealth that was in the mountain to begin with. Alienating the lake people by refusing to even consider their claim was probably not a wise business choice if nothing else. Consider also that laketown was now in ruins thanks to Smaug's rampage (AGAIN, brought about largely by Thorin, Bilbo and Company poking around up on the Mountain); a little compassion for people needing to rebuild their homes on the part of Thorin would have helped his case immensely. Especially since the people of the town had done much to help them out when they were in need, instead of sending them all back to the Elven King's prisons, as might have been prudent in order to avoid losing an important trading partner. (I might add here that it appears that it was that same attitude toward the treasure that lead to the dwarves getting on the Elven king's bad side in the first place. Honestly, if Thorin had just TOLD the Elves about their business... that they were heading to the Mountain to avenge themselves on Smaug and to reclaim what he stole from them... I doubt if ANY of the elves would have tried to stop them or defended the dragon in any way. Whether they would have tried to intervene or not, it was all a matter of Thorin being afraid that the elves would demand a share of the treasure... and Smaug wasn't even dead yet at that point!) I might also add that before hand, when the townsfolk sang of the Mountain King's return and his sending rivers of gold to the town... the dwarves NEVER said word one to dispell the notion at all. They were just glad for the help and probably didn't want to risk losing it. They pretty much ALLOWED the people to think that there would be something in it for them, if they were helped on their way. Again... I am not at all sure if that is accurate but it is the impression that I get when I read it.

 

It may even be that, at that point, they actually DID intend to reward the lakepeople for their help.

 

This was dragon-hoarded treasure, though, if you remember... and it is strongly implied in a variety of places in the book that it had the power to mess with people's heads, (THOUGH... I agree that a little warning to the dwarves on THAT point might not have been amiss) and dwarves maybe more than most thanks to their natural delight in wealth and shiny things. The very fact that it created so much dissension proves this point. Thorin's point of view seems to have been completely tainted by greed by the time the lakemen and wood elves are camped on his front porch... the story suggests he was quite willing to STARVE in that mountain sitting on his gold rather than part with ANY of it. Bilbo sees... though Thorin apparently does not ... that that will be the end result of Thorin's dwarvish stubbornness. What is more... not only is Thorin willing to die for a mountain full of gold that, besieged as he is, he can do nothing with, but he seems to not really care if his stubbornness costs Bilbo and the other dwarves THEIR lives as well. I understand that he was king but... honestly, by that point in the story you have almost come to expect better of him. It is ALSO implied that not all the dwarves really agreed with Thorin on this point; they went along with him because he was their king... and as such there wasn't much they could do. That is MY interpretation, anyhow. The point here being that he is, by that point in the story, OBVIOUSLY not thinking about it rationally... is it any wonder Bilbo felt the need to step in with his stunt with the Arkenstone and that Gandalf backed him on it? Gandalf would have PROBABLY understood the effects it was having and knew SOMETHING needed to be done. Furthermore, there were a bunch of goblins on the way... which Gandalf may ALSO have known. The elves, dwarves and lakemen were going to need to stop their arguing and be able to fight TOGETHER.

 

My point? Gandalf had his reasons for taking Bilbo's side in that situation.

 

Again don't get me wrong, I am not saying any of this to 'put down' Thorin. I enjoy reading about him as a character... just that I am not sure I can agree with you in entirely denouncing Gandalf's handling of the situation. I'd say this is a case of 'YOU do better'. It was an extremely volatile situation by that point.

 

Did he handle it perfectly? Perhaps and perhaps not... he did what he could.

Edited by Silverswift

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*rubs chin* Well, I voted Gandalf because he has more awesome powers over Dumbledore. Well, he's somewhat immortal if I think more about it. Dumbledore is fairly human.

 

However, in truth, I'd still pick Dumbledore (regardless of what I voted) since he's human yes, but is wise and powerful for one. I love his quotes, even more so than Gandalf. tongue.gif Although both of them is funny. Alas! Earwax!

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Gandolf, I found his character more like-able. Though I'm much more of a fan of LOTR I like Harry Potter too.

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Dumbledore because his beard is more epic then Gandalf's.

And everybody knows, a true wizard is measured by the awesomeness of his beard.

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I choose Jade Harley because she has dog ears, and made 5 planets shrink to the size of a baseball.

 

(Also, because I haven't read both series to make an educated choice.)

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Dumbledore, because, well, I just kind of like Harry Potter more.

This basically. I'm loyal to Harry Potter and Dumbledore. +_+

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I like them both - they're amazingly similar characters. If I had to pick one, I think I'd pick Gandalf, though. He has a really cool backstory (at least partially explained in the appendixes of the Lord of the Rings books). I don't think either Tolkien or Rowling are the best writers ever (they both have incredible talents in storytelling that make the books worth reading, but with the exception of The Hobbit, I didn't really read any of their books for the technical writing skills). But Tolkien created such a complete and original world and such complete and original backstories for each of the characters (and their races & occupations - hobbits, wizards, etc.) that it pushes this otherwise would-be tie over to Gandalf.

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Gave my voice to Gandolf. tongue.gif

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Dumbledore is a terrible headmaster and likely made things much worse than they ever needed to be.

 

Now, a disclaimer before I start in on this: I love the Harry Potter series. I respect much of what was done with Dumbledore's character. I do not consider him a "good" character, though; I see him as a neutral alignment who thinks he's good.

 

My reasoning?

 

1. As others have pointed out, he manipulates children into doing his dirty work, never being above-board about his reasons, not even when it looks like his plans have succeeded - Harry keeps learning new things that he should have been told early on as time passes, often not even through Dumbledore himself.

 

2. He routinely hires terrible, horrible professors. He could have kept Snape on at Hogwarts in a research position or made up some other reason for him to exist there, especially given his prowess with potions, but instead he gives Snape (who is one of my top 3 favorite characters, by the way) total power over even the youngest Hogwarts classes. Snape routinely demonstrates an inability to be fair or unbiased in any way, imparts his knowledge in a brutal manner, and Dumbledore knows he is acting as a double agent, which could endanger his students if he is caught by Voldemort. Aside from the disastrous decisions with Snape, Dumbledore has also consistently hired dreadful Defense Against the Dark Arts professors, with the shining exception of Remus Lupin (also among my top 3 characters), who he then allows to leave based on parental backlash after a single year - as if there had never been parental backlash against any number of far inferior professors. Really, McGonagall (the other in my top 3 - why are all my top 3 favorites professors?) and Lupin are the only truly good teachers we come across in the entirety of the Harry Potter series - and this is under Dumbledore's watch.

 

3. He's totally unfair. Yes, Gryffindor might have deserved the House Cup at the end of Book I, but Dumbledore allowed Slytherin to think they had won right up until the last second, which is just cruel, especially to the better students in Slytherin. We all know that an entire house could not possibly be evil; otherwise, why would that house be allowed to exist ? (And if the answer is only that all Slytherins ARE evil, then Dumbledore has most definitely dropped the ball by allowing this house to continue.) Thus, there must have been enough good eggs in that house to justify its continued existence. Instead of awarding Gryffindor its points directly following the acts that deserved them, as had happened in literally ever other example of points being given or taken, he waited until it would be the most painful to the entirety of the Slytherin house. That's not the only time he's shown arbitrarily siding with Gryffindors over Slytherins, either.

 

On a related note, While it might not actually I am absolutely convinced that Dumbledore would have been better sorted as Ravenclaw or Slytherin, not Gryffindor. He's incredibly quirky and intellectual, like a typical Ravenclaw, and he's darkly ambitious, like a typical Slytherin. I actually think he chose Grffindor because he knew it would afford him the best opportunities - Gryffindor is a house known for courage and valor, traits he rarely exhibited himself (at least not to the level pretty much every other Gryffindor in the series, save the turncoats, showed). Slytherin is well-known as a house full of people on the make, and Ravenclaws aren't particularly well-known for accomplishing things. He either chose on purpose or the hat chose wrong because he was sorted too early, as Dumbledore later mentioned may have been the case with Snape.

 

4. Safety at Hogwarts is a joke. You can argue that it was because of the existence of Voldemort that there were so many problems during Harry's time at the school all you like, but not all of the problems were brought forth by good ol' Voldy. "Don't ever go into the woods over yonder - except on detention, which means we'll send the students LEAST LIKELY TO OBEY RULES AND COMMON SENSE there!" "Avoid this floor in the castle, which is totally not sealed off or locked or anything." "Hey, we've got a Whomping Willow. It could totally kill you. And it's crawling with students." "Oh, hey, look, there's a snake in the walls. Better send my favorite 12-year-old to slay it with the help of my feathered pet." Students have died on Dumbledore's watch. Not a whole lot of headmasters get to keep their jobs after slips like that.

 

I could go on. At this point, I'll merely bow and explain that of course I voted for Gandalf. Gandalf is a member of the Istari and could totally kick Dumbledore's behind in a magic match, and Gandalf acts like he cares a heck of a lot more about the little people he sends into mortal danger against a great evil (also, Sauron could kick Voldemort's behind. But that's a debate for another day.)

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I think I originally voted Gandalf (left no comments though) because although I love HP and Dumbledore, Dumbledore is a horrid manipulator who left abusive professors in charge to further his purposes. It was seemingly necessary to win the war, but yar. Also, how could Sir Ian McKellen not win you over? If we were going purely by books, I might have to go with Dumbledore (gawd Tolkein writes completely boring prose IMO), but considering all media: Gandalf all the way.

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Gandalf. Here are reasons why:

 

1. Gandalf is an old wizard, but isn't afraid to go into battle with his friends or crack the occasional joke. Dumbledore just seems weaker, and frailer. Sure, he is a great wizard, but he never really does anything.

 

2. Gandalf is a wandering wizard, who helps those in need no matter what. Dumbledore just sits in his office all day doing wizardly stuff.

 

3. Gandalf will make sure to scold his friends whenever they do wrong, an example being Pippin and Merry, or Thorin (when he goes all gold-crazy). Dumbledore helps Harry sometimes, but not much. Also, I don't think I've ever seen him telling off anyone.

 

4. Gandalf is just..cooler. He's defeated a Balrog, Saruman, gone on the journey to the Lonely Mountain and done various other things. Dumbledore doesn't do much really, he never has adventures or does anything like that.

 

So...yeah. Gandalf for sure.

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Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is the five-named headmaster of the most epic school of all time (I AM NOT GIVING UP ON MY HOGWARTS LETTER!!!), but Gandalf is more epic because he fought the Balrog, rode an amazing horse, actually DID something to save the world he was living in. Dumbledore didn't do so much himself. tongue.gif

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Dumbledore is human, wizard or not, and accordingly flawed. Gandalf isn't (this shouldn't still be a spoiler, but I'll not go into further detail just in case), so I don't really feel I can compare them.

 

I think Dumbledore'd be easier to have a conversation with.

Edited by ObsessedWithCats

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1. As others have pointed out, he manipulates children into doing his dirty work, never being above-board about his reasons, not even when it looks like his plans have succeeded - Harry keeps learning new things that he should have been told early on as time passes, often not even through Dumbledore himself.

Ohmygod, yes. This. Slightly off-topic, but this is exactly what drives me nuts about the Chronicles of Narnia books, too. Like, I know Aslan is supposed to be God or whatever and he needs his soldiers to be pure and innocent (or something...), but if he's this great, powerful being, why the frak is he sending 10-year-olds into these insanely dangerous situations?

 

With the Harry Potter books, at least, Dumbledore is supposed to be extremely human and as such extremely flawed. (Still, if it's between him and Gandalf, I'd pick Gandalf every time.)

Edited by M_Padfoot

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That depends.  Are we talking in overall coolness factor, or taking into account the fact that Dumbledore is just a human wizard while Gandalf is an Istari.  So of course Gandalf's probably far more powerful, but Dumbledore's pretty far up there for a human.

This is why I didn't even vote. 8D Belgarath from The Belgariad has it all - he's human, but with powers bordering on Gandalf.

 

So my choice is neither - simply because there are better wizards out there in my opinion~

 

David Eddings is my favorite author - his dry and witty sense of humor made Belgarath a wonderful character. He's even more human than Dumbledore, being more on the gray side of things. He has several bad habits and he's usually quite short-tempered, acting like your normal grumpy old man next door. And then he says something so wise that you remember he's 7000 years old. Plus unlike Gandalf or Dumbledore, he has a family - another thing that brings a very human aspect to him.

Edited by Beldarius

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