Looking at everyone's chances, it looks like the OotP and the Aurors had the odds stacked against them. Did the OotP have any chance of defeating Voldemort, either by permanent restraint, or death and finding his horcruxes? Is there anything to indicate that anything but The Boy Who Lived would have stopped him?


6 Answers 6


This is correct.

Voldemort was nearly guaranteed to win:

  1. He was effectively fighting a revolution/guerilla warfare. He personally had NO weak points (people he cared about to use as leverage, wealth/possessions to take as leverage, etc).

    His only valuables were Horcruxes that nobody knew about.

  2. OTOH, his opponents had multiple leverage points. At the last resort, hostage some Muggles. Or family members.

  3. Individually, either Voldemort or his whole group was more magically powerful than any SMALL amount of wizards on opposite side (maybe except Dumbledore, but I don’t recall good canonical references for comparing the two before Voldemort’s first “death”). So given the low overall numbers of the opponents, with time, they would/could have eliminated them one by one, and avoided the large scale battles if those were not to their advantage (and that last isn’t guaranteed anyway).

So, eventually, they'd have won by attrition.

  • This also rises the question whether Voldemort would have remained satisfied with ruling the wizarding world and keeping up the masquerade, or would he have tried to rule the muggles too. Because in this case he might lose the wizards vs. muggles war, especially if the muggles get help from from the anti-Voldemort wizards. (Of course, with horrible casualties)
    – vsz
    Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 7:50
  • 1
    @vsz - ask as a separate question. I have a (I think) good answer but I'm too addicted to rep to waste it on a comment :)) Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 10:41
  • done. Question refers mostly to what Voldemort's plans were for after his victory, not specifically about ho would win a wizard vs muggle war. If there is interest for that, we might open another question for it...
    – vsz
    Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 12:21
  • @DVK Admitting is the first step in the Repaholics Anonymous program.
    – Möoz
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 5:26

According to Remus and Sirius, pretty damn close:

Remus Lupin: "The last time Voldemort had power he almost destroyed everything we hold most dear..."

  • 7
    He almost destroyed Zonkos!?!
    – Dason
    Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 3:36
  • By the time of James and Lily's death, the resistance seems to have been reduced mostly to hiding out rather than actively counter-attacking. Control of the country seems to have been near-total.
    – Tynam
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 15:51
  • @Tynam - source? Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 15:55
  • @DVK Lots of little comments all over the books, which I don't have time right now to turn into a complete answer. Note, however, that it's implied to be a regular occurrence for Death Eaters to come massacre someone's entire family, and the Aurors were clearly not able to do much about it. When you can murder who you want and the law can't or won't stop you... that's pretty total control.
    – Tynam
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 16:08
  • @Tynam - You can do that pretty much in any rural (and many non-rural) area in any country in the real world today if you have some unregistered weapons and don't blab about the deed afterward (which is how most criminals are caught) - and Wizards mostly lived in isolation. Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 16:13

I can't find a canon reference but the impression I got was that Voldemort would have won if not for Harry. There may have been some other freak occurrence that could have saved them (maybe the US had a massive army of wizards and witches that no one knew about, and they decided to defeat Voldemort, to borrow a WWII analogy) but the references in the books to it being the darkest days, people constantly disappearing, etc, made it sound like there wasn't much hope for Voldemort's defeat.




certainly thought so. Her plan (in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) was to prevent Voldemort from attacking Harry Potter, thus allowing him to continue on his plan of world domination

DELPHI: Your mission is a mistake. Attacking Harry Potter is a mistake. He will destroy you.

HARRY/VOLDEMORT’s hand turns into HARRY’s hand. He looks at it, astonished and dismayed, and then quickly pulls it inside his sleeve.

DELPHI: Your mission is a mistake. Attacking Harry Potter is a mistake. He will destroy you.

HARRY/VOLDEMORT’s hand turns into HARRY’s hand. He looks at it, astonished and dismayed, and then quickly pulls it inside his sleeve.

HARRY/VOLDEMORT: He is a baby.

DELPHI: He has his mother’s love. Your spell will rebound, destroying you and making him too powerful and you too weak. You will recover to spend the next seventeen years consumed in a battle with him — a battle you will lose.


Voldemort seemed to be a threat only to the British side of the Wizarding World. I do not think Voldemort could have gone on to take the entire Wizarding World. Could he have taken Britain? Yes, I am almost certain. But the entire world, the odds would be greatly against him.

  • 2
    Why? Once he had taken Briton, what would keep him from the rest of the world? Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 23:39

Perhaps Dumbledore would have eventually decided to duel him and perhaps he would vanquish him, but the reason I assume he didn't try to force a conformation when Voldemort was starting off was because he didn't know who would win (ditto for Voldemort).

After Dumbledore's likely death, Riddle would likely take over the world.

  • 1
    This is pretty speculative.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 13:30

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