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 back in 2011 on the 30th of July by an unregistered user and has been considered fact ever since, but no source for this information has ever been found.

The difference before and after this particular edit is visible here and can also be seen in the screenshot below.

enter image description here

  • 17
    Well, a simple edit history shows who put it there; harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Contributions/
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 23:31
  • 14
    At least the unreliable source points out that it is unreliable.
    – Blackwood
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 0:48
  • 21
    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. Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 17:58
  • 7
    Relevant xkcd comic: xkcd.com/978
    – vsz
    Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 7:27
  • 1
    Fantastic Beasts episode 5 has run-time of 3h6m with 3m opening credits, 3m closing credits, and a 3 hour duel, you just know fans would measure the seconds. Commented Jan 9, 2022 at 19:37

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