There are a number of sites that say Dumbledore and Grindelwald's duel lasted 3 hours. For instance, The Humor Nation article “10 Harry Potter Most Powerful Wizards & Witches”:

Grindelwald eventually got his hands on the Elder Wand which he then lost when Dumbledore defeated him in a duel that lasted three hours long.

I reread all of Deathly Hallows but there was never any mention of the duel between Grindelwald and Dumbledore lasting 3 hours.

When Elphias Doge mentions the duel, he simply states that the onlookers wrote of the terror and the awe of watching the two extraordinary wizards duel, but not that the duel lasted 3 hours.

And when Dumbledore and Harry talk in King's Cross, Dumbledore simply says:

“I think he knew it, I think he knew what frightened me. I delayed meeting him until finally, it would have been too shameful to resist any longer. People were dying and he seemed unstoppable, and I had to do what I could.

“Well, you know what happened next. I won the duel. I won the wand.”

Again, there was no mention of the duel lasting three hours, just that Dumbledore bested Grindelwald and took the Elder Wand and became its master. Where does it say Dumbledore and Grindelwald's duel lasted 3 hours?


1 Answer 1


It seems like this information originates from an old version of an article at harrypotter.wikia.com:

A common misconception that has gone around for years is that the duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald lasted for 3 hours. It was placed on this wiki page years ago and has been considered fact ever since, but no source for this information has ever been found or who put it there.

  • 16
    Well, a simple edit history shows who put it there; harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Contributions/
    – Valorum
    Oct 20, 2017 at 23:31
  • 12
    At least the unreliable source points out that it is unreliable.
    – Blackwood
    Oct 21, 2017 at 0:48
  • 18
    This should be the default answer that we send new users to when they ask why their copy and paste from the wiki got downvoted. Oct 21, 2017 at 17:58
  • @Blackwood The question then becomes: if it's unreliable source how can we trust whether or not that claim itself is unreliable? And how can we trust that the other claim isn't reliable (other than the fact it's not anywhere in canon)? If it says it's unreliable and we take it to mean it can't be relied on then how can we rely on it to judge its own reliability? :)
    – Pryftan
    Feb 28, 2018 at 20:16
  • 6
    Relevant xkcd comic: xkcd.com/978
    – vsz
    Apr 14, 2018 at 7:27

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