The Battle of the Wizards: Dumbledore vs. Gandalf

Hello dear readers, I have come back with another literary showdown between two old-ass characters. These two gentlemen are some of the best known characters in all of literature in my opinion.

They’re very similar in terms of appearance: wear grayish robes, long beards and long hair. Both of them are also much older than a normal human should be.

Obviously they are both strong in their own worlds, and it is probably impossible to determine just how strong they are, so their “power levels” against each other won’t be considered.

What I will consider are 5 different things:

  • Their importance to their respective stories
  • Their role as a teacher/guide
  • Their legacy after the story
  • Their power within their own stories
  • Their “badassery”

If you have any other ideas for a VS. battle between two authors, two books, two series, two characters, or two anything, let me know!

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Round 1: How important are they to the story?

It’s obvious that both Dumbledore and Gandalf are important to their respective stories. They both serve as a mentor to the main characters, and really help drive the story along. The question is, who is the more important character? Whose story would be so vastly different without them?

Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts, and arch enemy to Voldemort. He is believed to be the most powerful wizard when he was alive, and was the oldest character we knew of. BUT, if you strip away the layers, Dumbledore isn’t the only one driving the story forward. Sure, he is the main reason Harry is able to defeat Voldemort, but without the rest of the Order of the Phoenix, a lot of the story wouldn’t be possible. The events of the books could have gone on if Dumbledore wasn’t in the picture.

Gandalf is basically a god in Middle Earth. He is of some level of power where he is more powerful than pretty much anything we see in the Lord of the Rings world. He sets Bilbo off on his quest, and then guides Frodo and the rest of the fellowship on their journey to destroy the ring. Though there are plenty of events outside of his control, Gandalf is a key factor in the ring being destroyed.

The winner of this round: Gandalf

Though Dumbledore is crucial to defeating Voldemort, the rest of the Order of the Phoenix could have done some significant damage on their own. Even if they were unable to “kill” Voldemort, they could have at least detained him theoretically.

Gandalf on the other hand is the sole reason that the Lord of the Rings trilogy is able to happen. He puts Bilbo’s quest into action, which puts the Ring and Frodo into their paths. If the Ring hadn’t been found and destroyed, the entire world would have been overtaken by orcs.


Round 2: Who is the better “mentor”?

Obviously Dumbledore and Gandalf are the respective “mentors” in their stories. They influence the main characters and help shape them to be the people they are at the end of their stories.

Dumbledore is literally a teacher, and shows Harry the ways to defeat Voldemort. He teaches him literal magic, and helps not only Harry, but everyone around him as well. Though he is absent at times, and neglectful at others, he ultimately knows how most scenarios will turn out. Whether this could be seen as abuse, or teachable moments, Dumbledore shapes the lives of the trio a lot more than they may realize.

Gandalf, though not technically a “teacher” is similar to Dumbledore in that he shapes those around him. He especially guides Frodo and the other Hobbits, but his teachings don’t stop with them. He influences the other members of the Fellowship as well. He doesn’t have any formal lessons that he teaches, but he does impart his vast knowledge onto those around him.

The winner of this round: Dumbledore

I think Dumbledore takes this round quite easily. He is a literal teacher and his “lessons” are much more obvious than Gandalf’s. Dumbledore literally teaches Harry about the Horcruxes and other magic as well. Not only that, because he knows what is going to happen in most of the books, he helps guide those around him and let them learn from what needs to be done. I think the lessons that Dumbledore teaches are more impactful than Gandalf’s.

Gandalf doesn’t so much as teach as he does provide a sense of security. He is seen as a guiding beacon to the Hobbits, which is what they need on their quest.

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Round 3: Their legacy

The actions that both Dumbledore and Gandalf take have long-lasting effects on the story. Even in death, their legacies can be seen after the stories are done.

Dumbledore dies before the story is over, but because of what he did, the Order of the Phoenix was able to defeat Voldemort and his army. Though he doesn’t do much after his death, Dumbledore inspired hundreds of students and was known to be one of the most powerful wizards. We don’t hear much of his legacy once the story is over, but we can only imagine the long-lasting effects of his actions. Who knows, maybe he will continue to help those at Hogwarts through his picture that is put up on the walls.

Gandalf does make it to the end of the story, after coming back from the dead once. He eventually leaves the realms of men, and takes a ship with Frodo to the west, with the elves and other ring-bearers. We also don’t get much of his legacy after the story, but even through the books we don’t see the long lasting effects of what he does. He has a pivotal role in destroying the ring, so I guess you could say he is much more important than Dumbledore is.

The winner of this round: Gandalf

Gandalf is just on a bigger scale, which gives him an advantage. He literally helps save the entire world, and for that he is definitely more important. His actions leave much longer-lasting results for his story than Dumbledore’s do. Whether he knew it or not, him choosing Bilbo meant that the Ring of Power would be found, and eventually destroyed.


Round 4: Who is the bigger badass?

When you’re an all-powerful wizard, chances are you’re also a bad ass. You’ve got spells to use that would knock the average person’s socks off. You’ve got a cool pet, or you make some pretty sweet fireworks. There are plenty of things that can make you a certified bad ass.

We see Dumbledore show this several times. Going toe to toe with Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic, stopping Grindewald, sacrificing his life to destroy a Horcrux, escaping with the flames of his pet phoenix, living till an ungodly age for a human, and just being Dumbledore. He often knew how things would play out before they came to be, and he did it all with plenty of flair.

Gandalf on the other hand, has some wicked fireworks at his disposal. I mean he made one that turned into a dragon. If that were possible I would definitely go to see that. He is friends with the lord of all horses, and is older than some of the other gods in the world. He goes toe to toe with a Balrog, is best friends with the Lord of all Horses, and saved the Mountain Eagle King a time or two.

The winner of this round: Dumbledore

This was a tough choice, but taking into account the two wizards in their respective worlds, I have to give it to Dumbledore, and only by a hair. It’s his attitude that is putting him over the edge. I’d say they are basically on the same level, but Dumbledore offers just a hint of style that Gandalf doesn’t really show. Plus, Gandalf is most often dealing with mortals, and it doesn’t give him a true chance to shine.


Round 5: How strong are they?

Head to head, Gandalf would win this round no issue. Nothing short of Avada Kadavra could stop him, and we aren’t even sure that would work. So, instead we will compare how strong they are in respect to their own worlds.

Dumbledore is immensely powerful, stopping two dark wizards; Grindewald and Voldemort, and surviving to be around 150 years old. There’s no power scale or anything that we can base him off of, but we don’t get to see any wizards that could stop him in his prime. Plus, he was the wielder of the elder wand, the most powerful wand in all of existence.

Gandalf on the other hand is an immortal spirit, older than almost anything we see in Middle Earth. He could destroy the ring and have defeated Smaug singlehandedly most likely, but knows it is not his job to do it. Instead, he knows he needs to be a guide along the path instead of the one paving the way. He defeats a Balrog and stops Sauruman, and wields one of the rings of power.

The winner of this round: Gandalf

Gandalf is just an anomaly in his story. There are so few that are near him in power that he could kill thousands in an instant.

Dumbledore is a great wizard in his own right, but he does not stand that far above the rest. One or two other wizards could probably take him down, while it would take something of equal power to stop Gandalf.

THE WINNER IS: GANDALF


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I think this was a close matchup overall. It’s tough to compare them considering their different stories, but I think Gandalf is the better wizard comparatively, because he is just so much above the rest of his world.

What do you think? Do you think Dumbledore or Gandalf is the better wizard? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
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The Hunger Games vs. Divergent

Hello dearest readers, today we have a matchup for the ages! Two very popular YA series pitted against each other.

On one hand, we have The Hunger Games series, the other the Divergent series.

Both series will go head to head in a battle of five different categories, but only one series can come out on top.

If you have any ideas for a future vs. battle, let me know in the comments or on social media.
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The World Before the Books

The world of the Hunger Games is a small dystopian nation split into 12 different Districts, each responsible for producing a certain resource. Meanwhile, each of the 12 Districts needs to give a tribute each year for the Hunger Games – a battle royale mainly used for entertainment, but also to make the Districts submit to the government.

Divergent on the other hand is a relatively happy society. People are sorted into one of five different factions based on their personality. There are outliers called “Divergents” that present multiple characteristics for the factions. We find out later that they are in a sort of experiment and are being watched and their memories reset if needed.

This Round Goes To: Hunger Games.
Though I think Divergent has a better premise overall, it takes too long to learn they are being observed. We don’t get to find out till the final book. Hunger Game’s concept is going right from the start, so they take this round.


The Story

The Hunger Games focuses on Katniss surviving her hunger games, and another one, and then leading a revolution to overthrow the government. It has a nice progression to it, and there are only minor hints of the story being too ridiculous.

Divergent focuses on Tris as she trains to become a member of the Dauntless faction, her living with her Divergent nature, and then fighting in a civil war, before finally discovering she has been living in a social experiment.

This Round Goes To: Divergent
I loved the thrill that was the Hunger Games, but it didn’t explore the grittiness enough, and Katniss was more along for the ride than being a key player. Tris was a key player from the start, and though she had a lot of help along the way, she was never a background character in the story.


The Characters

The Hunger Games had a lot of interesting characters, some with some captivating backstories. We didn’t dive too deep into them, but when we did they were some of the best parts of the story. They were often damaged, hardened characters, and they played a key role in the story.

Katniss herself was a great protagonist in my opinion. She had a good depth to her, and I think she was a nice perspective for a YA Dystopian novel. She wasn’t the perfect protagonist that we too often get from YA novels. She had her flaws, she had her emotional struggles, but we got to see her get through them.

Divergent didn’t have a broad character list. Yes, we got to see a lot of different people while Tris did her thing, but they all felt like the same person. To me it felt like you could mold a few characters together and the story wouldn’t be lost at all.

Tris was Divergent, so we got to see her struggle with that reality, and her need to hide it from society. She had some depth to her, and she was a strong part of the entire story. She didn’t really take a back seat and let others tell her what to do.

This Round Goes To: Hunger Games
There was more diversity to the entire character list. Though both protagonists were a great part of both stories, the range of characters was what put Hunger Games through to win this round.

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The Ending

I’ll be honest. I hated the end of the Hunger Games. I felt like it was too rushed, and we didn’t get to flesh it out fully. I don’t think the characters got the justice that they deserved (Finn). I will admit that I am glad it wasn’t an entirely straightforward ending. With Prim’s death and Katniss killing the District 13 leader, I don’t think a lot of characters were expecting it to end that way, but it felt like the ending wasn’t true to the story, and the characters were just sort of left to deadlines and publisher’s demands.

Divergent wasn’t much better for me. Another series where I didn’t like the ending. I was fine with them all being a part of an experiment, and Tris dying in the end, but again the ending didn’t feel complete. Tris ends up dying, which isn’t common for YA novels in my experience, but she did have a change of perspective which is even more rare.

This Round Goes To: Divergent
The only reason Divergent wins this round (just barely) is because of Tris’ death and her change of heart. I liked that Katniss didn’t live happily ever after, Tris dies when she finally realizes she was in the wrong. I liked that a series wasn’t scared to kill its’ protagonist, so Divergent takes this round.


The Popularity

The Hunger Games was immensely popular with a lot of audiences, and the series seemed to take the world by storm for a few years.

Divergent, though seemingly popular with a younger audience, didn’t seem to get as much hype, though I think it was deserved.

This Round Goes To: Hunger Games


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The Winner: Hunger Games!!!

I think this was a close battle, despite Hunger Games taking the crown. They were both great YA series, and both had good and bad things about them, but Hunger Games pulled through because of the worldwide popularity it seemed to gain.


Do you think Divergent should have won, or is Hunger Games deserving of the crown? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
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Owning Vs. Borrowing: Where Do You Stand?

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Hello dear readers, I bring you to the debate of the century. Having just borrowed my first book from the library in probably 15 years, this topic is fresh on my mind.

Before I went into the library, I was on the side of owning the book over borrowing it from the library. I loved having the physical copy in my hands, and then sitting on my bookshelf when I was done with it. It meant more to me knowing I could pick it up at any time and read a certain part of it if the urge struck me.

Now though, I’m not so sure.

Owning the Book

Let’s start on the side of owning the book.

There are some clear benefits right off the hop.

Always have the book available.
There’s no need to worry about being put on a wait list, or going out of your way to find a copy. It’s just sitting on your shelves. I love looking at my beautiful books, remembering the stories and the fond memories.

Get books NOW.
Depending on the book, there’s a chance you can get a book before its official release. If not, you can get the book the day it comes out…no long lines or waitlists. I can be at my favourite bookstore in 15 minutes, and a brand new book in my hands 10 minutes after that.

Supports Authors
Buying a book is more beneficial to authors, big and small. It supports them and gives us more books on the shelves.

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But there are some obvious cons to owning the book.


Not liking the book.
If you bought it and don’t like the book, it’s sort of a waste of money. Nobody will force you to read the book, but you won’t be getting your money back for it. There have been a few duds that I’ve given away as soon as I finished them.

Money Money Money.
You will spend a lot of money on books…trust me, I know. I’ve gone into a book store meaning to spend $20 and ending up with a bill over $100. No regrets.

Sustainability
In this modern world we live in, sustainability is a major concern. Buying more books means that more paper products are being produced. Though it’s not the worst thing in the world, it is a concern to think about.

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Borrowing the Book

There can be quite a few pros to borrowing a book from the library.

If you don’t like it, you can bring it back.
There’s no obligation to finish the book, and you don’t have to worry about the money you spent on it. You just have to bring it back to the library.

Every book you can hope for.
If your library is any good, you’ll have more options than you could possibly hope for. You’ll have books you’ve never even heard of just waiting to be checked out.

Free Space.
If you don’t own the book, it can’t take up room in your home right? I have lost hours of sleep rearranging books to make sure they all fit nicely together. And yes…I have a big stack of books in the corner of my room that haven’t been read yet. There’s never enough room.

Saving the trees.
By borrowing books, you’re stopping trees from being cut down. You’re reusing something that other people will then reuse over and over, without the extra waste.


BUT, borrowing from libraries can be a hassle.


Waiting lists can suck.
If you’re not lucky enough to be high up on the list, you can end up waiting weeks to read a book that you want. Some people are okay with that, but others need their books ASAP.

You don’t own it.
As much as you might love the book, at the end of the day it isn’t yours anymore. It belongs to the library and you don’t get to keep it.

You don’t support the author.
If you borrow books, authors get less money. This might not be such a bad thing, but if we want to keep reading the authors we love, they’ll need our financial support.

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Where do you stand in this great debate? There are obviously pros and cons to both sides, but in the end I think I still fall slightly more towards owning the book. I like having the physical copy for as long as I want it, but I do see the benefit to adopting a healthy balance of owning vs. borrowing.

Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Books vs. Movies

I’m not entirely sure this topic is actually a debate where people will change their minds. As far as I know it’s not actually a debate between two parties, but two different groups who don’t even know they’re debating.

To make it more clear, I’ll lay out both sides of the “debate” here.

First, the movie side.

The biggest aspect of this side, is mainly that they don’t tend to read the books that get turned into movies, they may not even know they were a book before actually seeing the movie.

That’s not saying they don’t read books, I just mean they aren’t reading the books that generally get turned into movies. Since they don’t read the books, they obviously prefer the movies.

Now the book side.

These people obviously tend to read the books before the movies come out, and if they haven’t by the time when the movie comes out, they’ll most likely buy the books if they are interested.

They prefer the books because they get more out of it. They get the full story, with nothing left out. They get every magical word that the author created, and they get to use their imagination to see the world as they read it.

This is where the “debate” comes to a stand-still. The movie lovers tend not to like/read the books, and the book lovers tend to prefer the books.

I don’t think this is one where there is a right and a wrong answer though. I enjoy books, obviously, and I enjoy movies.

Do I enjoy the books more than the movies? Yeah, but that doesn’t mean the movies are bad, the movies are just a different experience.

It gives the director a chance to take words, and create a thing of magic.

My biggest problem with books that are turned into movies is when they are done poorly.

If you make a movie about a book, you’re guarenteeing that a good chunk of those fans will come see the movie, so to create something that ruins their favourite books is a big no no in their eyes.

Now this whole post assumes that everyone who reads the books will always prefer them over the movies.

In my experience this is 95% true. There has only been 2 instances in my life, where I know someone prefers the movies over the books.

The first: my dad loves the movie The Hunt for Red October. I can’t say I’ve ever read it or seen it, but he can quote the entire movie from heart, and he can walk in at any part of the movie and know exactly what is going on and what happens next.

He had seen the movie before he read the book, and will choose the movie every time

The second instance is a friend of mine read The Martian, and said that he could barely understand the book, but he really enjoyed the movie.

I may be wrong about all this, and maybe there are a large population of people in the world that prefer the movies over the books.

If you prefer a movie over a book please let me know. I’d love to hear from you all in the comments.

Also, if you’re wondering what I think about books vs. tv shows, then you’ll have to stay tuned. That is a different topic entirely.