The Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter! Both books have become the giants of cinematic fantasy. With ten films in the Harry Potter film series, including the two Fantastic Beasts spin-off prequels, together with The Lord of the Rings movies series, counting The Hobbit film series, both franchises have captured the hearts and minds of fantasy fandom.
Aside from both belonging to the fantasy genre, the two magical franchises share many similarities. Both stories are epic in scale, based on novels that are two of the biggest series in recent literature. On top of that, both stories give the protagonist a wise and powerful old mentor, in each case – a grey-bearded wizard.
In this battle report, we are going to explore these similarities by pitting J.R.R Tolkien’s and J. K. Rowling’s main characters, creatures, magical artifacts, and whatnot against each other.
So without further ado, let’s enjoy some magic!
The Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter: Characters Faceoff
Frodo Baggins vs Harry Potter
Both stories feature a young male protagonist who sacrifices himself for the sake of others, generally – as in both LOTR and Potter – the whole world. Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter are two of the most famous fantasy heroes. Readers and movie-goers have cheered for them, but which hero is truly the most fascinating?
Frodo Baggins is a Hobbit who takes a leading role in the Quest of the Ring. He volunteers to bear the One Ring all the way from the Shire to Mount Doom, where it will be destroyed. On his long journey, he overcomes many dangers and obstacles.
Harry Potter is a young wizard who spends seven years learning magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and takes it upon him to liberate the wizarding world from the evil Lord Voldemort.
Throughout his time in Hogwarts Harry faces Voldemort and other foes, again and again, risking his life in the name of what is right. Harry Potter, the classic ‘chosen one character,’ sacrifices himself to the point he is ready to give his life to Voldemort in exchange for his friends.
The Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter: Dark Lords
Sauron vs Lord Voldemort
Sauron and Lord Voldemort are two of the most fascinating and mysterious super-villains of fantasy. They are both dark, demented, evil, and possess unimagined terrible powers.
The Dark Lord of Mordor over which he rules and plans to conquer the whole of Middle Earth. By creating the Rings of Power, Sauron seeks to seduce the rulers of Middle-earth to evil.
He is defeated though, and only after centuries of lying dormant, rebuilding his strength, did he return to power.
He is permanently crippled in the War of the Ring after the destruction of the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom by the hobbit Frodo Baggins.
Lord Voldemort is considered the most powerful and dangerous Dark Wizard of all time. He desires to cleanse the wizarding world of Mud-bloods, that is wizards or witches born out of Muggles and Half-bloods, and craves power and immortality.
Despite being an immensely powerful master of the Dark Arts he is finally destroyed in the hands of the young wizard Harry Potter.
Saruman vs Gellert Grindelwald
The two wizards below studied and practiced the Dark Arts – a type of magic that is used to cause harm to, exert control over, or kill the victim. They even participated in the illegal breeding of Dark creatures, the usage or creation of dark objects, or inflict injury or death on others often using dangerous curses, and other dark charms.
The chief of the wizards and head of the White Council that oppos the Dark Lord Sauron. His extensive studies of dark magic, however, eventually corrupt him and leads him to desire the One Ring.
Thinking he could gain it for himself or become Sauron’s servant alone, Saruman allied Isengard with Mordor in the War of the Ring.
As a student at Durmstrang Institute, Grindelwald was expelled for twisted, dark experiments and near-fatal attacks on students.
Grindelwald is a complex figure, highly idealistic and talented, dedicated to achieving his ends at any cost. A revolutionary operating outside the law, he and his followers committed numerous crimes, including several murders.
He overcomes any obstacle presented to him by witches and wizards trying to end his reign. Despite his personal dislike of the man, reluctantly had to acknowledge that Albus Dumbledore was the only wizard alive who could stand any chance of defeating Grindelwald.
The Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter: Wizards and Sorceress
Gandalf vs Dumbledore
Gandalf and Dumbledore are the quintessential wizards. Both are exactly what we picture when we talk about wizards, wise old mentors with a gift for leadership, and the secret arts (not to mention the greybeards, the long robes, and the funny hats). But who is truly the better wizard?
The powerful wizard Gandalf the Grey, later known as Gandalf the White, is a wizard who fought the threat of Sauron. For that, he convoked the Fellowship of the Ring to destroy the One Ring and became its leader. Gandalf is one of the wisest and most powerful beings in Middle-earth.
He is a very skilled fighter who frequently throws himself into the heat of battle, dispatching orc after orc with his sword and staff combo.
His powers were best demonstrated when he fought a fiery Balrog demon, armed with giant whips and claws, in the depths of Moria.
Professor Albus Dumbledore is an English Half-blood wizard considered by many to be the greatest wizard of modern times, perhaps of all time.
Indeed, Dumbledore is the only wizard capable of defeating the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald and later forcing Lord Voldemort himself on the defensive.
His magical grand mastery was validated when he engaged Grindelwald and ultimately prevailed despite Grindelwald’s mastery of the Elder Wand, with their legendary duel being such an amazing display of power and skill that, according to the eyewitnesses, it was the greatest wizarding battle ever fought between two wizards, with Albus admitting that he had ultimately been a “shade more skillful” than Grindelwald.
Galadriel vs Minerva McGonagall
Throughout history, both magic and witchcraft have been used to express feminine power in fiction. Most female mages are referred to as witches and are depicted as terrifying, but some, like the two ladies below, can also be kind and compassionate.
Galadriel, the “Lady” of the woods of Lothlórien, was one of the greatest of the Elves in Middle-earth, surpassing nearly all others in beauty, knowledge, and power.
She bore one of the Great Rings – Nenya – the Ring of Adamant, and with the One Ring in her grasp as well, she would be a mighty match for the Dark Lord Sauron.
Galadriel possessed a tremendous amount of magical powers, though the nature of her magic is still not well-understood. The vast majority of Galadriel’s powers stemmed from the legendary artifact she controlled: Nenya, the Ring of Water.
Galadriel uses her powers for good: protecting Lórien from any attack.
A Scottish half-blood witch and Headmistress of Hogwarts. She is an incredibly powerful and talented witch whom none should have ever underestimated.
Her magical prowess allows her to be the teacher of Transfiguration (The art of changing the form and appearance of an object or a person), a remarkably complex and dangerous field of magic in which she proved to be an expert.
She is also highly capable in many areas of magic as well as Transfiguration, the proof of this being she survived both Wizarding Wars and a duel with Voldemort himself, as well as correctly brewing the extremely advanced Animagus potion at only seventeen years of age.
Legolas Vs Dobby
Apparently, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter have very different conceptions about how Elves look and behave. Nevertheless, both Elves below are probably the most iconic Elves in fiction.
Legolas is a prince Elf who was part of the Fellowship of the Ring. With his keen eyesight, sensitive hearing, and bowmanship, Legolas was valuable to the Fellowship in their journey across Middle-earth.
Like the rest of his race, Legolas can walk silently grass and snow leaving minimal footprints, allowing him to advance unhindered. His eyes are sharper than that of Men, seeing through great distances and in the dark.
Legolas is a famous archer. He used an Elven bow, as well as a long, white knife. He would prefer to pierce his enemies from afar, but his dagger was sometimes used for close combat.
Dobby is a male house-elf who served the Malfoy family. His masters were Dark Wizards who treated him cruelly. Finally, he disobeyed his masters and tried to warn Harry Potter of the plot to reopen the Chamber of Secrets under the Dungeons of Hogwarts School, where an ancient Basilisk resided. He came to know this via the contact between his masters and Lord Voldemort. In return, Harry saw to it that dobby will be freed.
The Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter: Flying Creatures
Smaug vs the Hungarian Horntail
These two flying beasts are two of the most impressive on-screen dragons out there. For the sake of this battle we assume that like all Dragons and Wyverns in fantasy, they are both immune to the others’ fire, so it comes down to strength. Now, who would win?
A psychopathic, extremely sadistic, greedy fire drake. He is the last “great” dragon to exist in Middle-earth.
Being a fully-grown dragon, he is both massive and powerful, possessing physical strength capable of crushing stone with ease, as seen by his attack on the Lonely Mountain.
Smaug’s claws and teeth are razor-sharp and his reddish-gold scales render him impervious to nearly all weapons. He is also highly intelligent (he speaks), managing to repeatedly outsmart dwarves and hobbits alike.
Like all dragons, Smaug has six limbs (four legs and two wings), which gives him a distinct advantage against the Horntail, which is a wyvern that has only four limbs.
The Hungarian Horntail
A species of dragon native to Hungary, the most dangerous dragon breeds, if not the most dangerous. It possesses black scales and is lizard-like in appearance. It has spikes that project from its long tail which it would gladly deploy in combat and its flame can reach to about fifty feet, which is considered very far-reaching.
Horntails are also one of the most vicious and aggressive breeds of dragons, or as Rubeus Hagrid described them: “right nasty piece of work”.
Along with their viciousness, tail spikes, and fiery breath, Horntails are extremely fast in flight while able to keep up with a Firebolt broomstick, a broom capable of going from 0 to 150 miles per hour in 10 seconds.
Horntails are also able to keep up with Harry Potter’s flying skills; a very impressive feat considering Harry’s talent as a seeker. However, the Horntail is rather small compared to Smaug, giving him a huge disadvantage against the last great dragon.
Great Eagle vs Thunderbird
Many real birds are truly amazing, with exotic colors, sizes, and conduct. But human imagination is greater still and thanks to the Hollywood touch, some fictional birds have become part of our culture and captured our hearts forever. Let’s meet a couple of these flying magnificent beasts.
Sent from the land of the Valar to Middle-earth to keep an eye on their foe the evil Vala Morgoth, and later upon Sauron.
They possess the ability to see through all physical matters except for the blackness of Morgoth’s evil pits. In the third age, their leader (the Windlord) was Gwaihir. He rescued Gandalf the Grey from the top of Isengard.
The Eagles aided troops of Aragorn at the Battle of the Morannon at the Black Gate. The Eagles arrived in time to overthrow some Nazgûl. Gwaihir, with others of his people, rescued Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee from Mount Doom in Mordor after the One Ring had been destroyed.
The Thunderbird is a large, magical avian beast native to North America (Most commonly found in Arizona). A close relative of the Phoenix, the Thunderbird can create storms as it flies and is highly sensitive to danger.
The Thunderbird’s head is similar to that of an eagle and possesses three pairs of powerful wings, and has feathers that shimmer with cloud-like patterns.
Fellbeast vs Thestral
Large, winged creatures without feathers, that have pinions in between their horned fingers, and whose bodies gave off a stench.
Fellbeasts are powerful creatures and deadly offensive predators, especially with the Nazgûl on them. They can choose either to bite their prey (less attacking radius but increased damage) or swoop down on them (larger attacking radius), scattering enemies apart or outright crushing them. If a fellbeast snatched a soldier, it could easily fly high into the air and drop its helpless victim to his death far below.
Fellbeasts were feared for their ferocity and speed and are known as the second fastest creatures in Middle-earth.
a breed of winged horse with a skeletal body, face with reptilian features, and wide, leathery wings that resemble a bat’s, capable and fast fliers, and could travel long distances hardly beating their large wings.
They are very rare and dangerous and as omens of misfortune and aggression by many wizards because they are visible only to those who had witnessed death at least once or due to their somewhat grim, gaunt, and ghostly appearance.
Thestrals have an extraordinary sense of smell. They can easily recognize the smell of blood and fresh flesh from distance.
If their riders have a certain destination in mind, they only needed to say the destination, and the Thestral would diligently carry them to the intended location.
The Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter: Spiders, Ghosts, Elves, Trolls, and Magic Trees
Shelob vs Aragog
A huge Spider and the greatest offspring of Ungoliant, the primordial spider. In the Third Age she lived in Mordor preying on the inhabitants, drinking the blood of Elves and Men.
She has spindly legs, multiple eyes, and venomous chelicerae. Shelob usually immobilizes her prey with her paralyzing sting and traps them in webs so she can feed on her victims at her leisure.
Having said that, she could also crush her prey to death by swiftly dropping on them.
An Acromantula – a giant magical species of spider – owned by Professor Rubeus Hagrid. Like the rest of his species, Aragog can communicate with humans with speech.
Fully grown, Aragog was about the size of a small elephant with an eighteen-foot leg span. Aragog had a close friendship with Hagrid. He admitted that it would have been his instinct to try to attack humans, but he restrained himself out of respect and gratitude for Hagrid, and never personally harmed a human in his life.
The King of the Dead vs Moaning Myrtle
The King of the Dead
The leader of the Army of the Dead. He carries a curse by Isildur to remain in Middle-earth after they abandoned their oath to aid him in the War of the Last Alliance.
Ever since their spirits haunted the caverns beneath the Dwimorberg can not rest until the king’s oath is fulfilled.
Only after the king and his army fought with Aragorn during the War of the Ring did Aragorn, as Heir of Isildur, declared the oath of the Army of the Dead as fulfilled, thus releasing them to rest in the realms of the dead.
A witch who attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and was killed by the Serpent of Slytherin, under Tom Riddle’s orders. After the incident, she became a ghost who haunted the second-floor girls’ bathroom at Hogwarts, wearing her school uniform, as well as her glasses, for eternity.
Treebeard vs The Whomping Willow
The oldest of the Ents – a very old race of Middle-earth. He is an ancient tree-like being who was a “shepherd of trees”.
When Treebeard finds out that Saruman’s orcs have chopped down thousands of trees to serve as fuel for Saruman’s war machine, he makes a momentous decision and calls for the other Ents. They attack Isengard and manage to flood it.
The Whomping Willow
A very valuable, violent sentient species of magical plant. Actually, a Whomping Willows attack anyone and anything that come within range of its branches.
It has a thick trunk that can bend when attacking and its limbs function as arms.
Barad-dûr vs Malfoy Manor
It sucks to be a villain. Not just because you’re destined to lose to the hero but because when you do lose, you lose everything, including your awesome villain hideout slash lair slash headquarters.
Nevertheless, both Sauron and Lord Voldemort still go through the trouble of building a secure, well-equipped base of operations. And a good thing they do, because in our opinion these strongholds turned out to be two of the most badass headquarters in the history of fiction.
The Dark Lord Sauron’s primary stronghold in Mordor, serving as his base of operations in Middle-earth during the Second Age and late Third Age.
Barad-dûr was held together by dark magic and was the greatest fortress in Middle-Earth of its time. It is originally built in the Second Age and leveled after Sauron’s defeat in the War of the Last Alliance.
Sauron had Barad-dûr rebuilt late in the Third Age as he regained his power, but the tower was forever destroyed immediately upon the destruction of the One Ring.
The home of the wealthy pure-blood Malfoy family, located in Wiltshire, England. It is mainly used as the base of operations for Lord Voldemort during the Second Wizarding War.
The gravel driveway to the manor house is wide and has a large hedge curving alongside it. The driveway and hedge go past a pair of wrought-iron gates. These gates permit select individuals (those who make some sort of salute) to pass through them as if they are smoke, and with others, the iron contorts into a face, which demands the purpose of the person trying to enter the manor.
During Lord Voldemort’s stay in the manor, the function of the cellar changed to that of a holding cell for prisoners. This room was completely escape-proof and had no light; only house-elves could bypass the room’s securities. It had nothing in it except a water jug, a food bowl, and a nail.
Tom the Stone-troll vs The Mountain Troll
Tom the Stone-troll
A Stone troll who together with his partners Bert and William robbed stole, and killed for what they wanted. When Bilbo tried to pick William’s pocket to test his skill as a burglar, William’s purse squealed, alerting him.
Brought into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft on Hallowe’en 1991, by Quirinus Quirrell, then possessed by Lord Voldemort, in an attempt to steal the Philosopher’s Stone of Nicolas Flamel.
Mountain Trolls are the largest breed of Trolls, weighing over a tonne, and the most vicious kind of their species.
The Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter: Powerful Artifacts
The One Ring vs Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring
The worlds of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are full of fascinating magical oddities. Here are two of the most powerful (and dangerous) of them all.
The One Ring
One of the most powerful artifacts ever created in Middle-earth. It was crafted by the Dark Lord Sauron in the fire Mount Doom during the Second Age.
Sauron’s intent is to enhance his own power and to exercise control over the other Rings of Power, which he gives to the rulers of Middle-Earth to seduce them to evil.
In this way, he hopes to gain lordship over the Elves and all of the other races in Middle-earth. The Ring’s primary power is control over the other rings and domination of the wills of their users.
Varying powers or effects of the Ring are seen in the wielder depending on their power, skill, abilities, natural capacity, and situation. For example, when Sam Gamgee held the Ring he could hear far better and with more acute accuracy while trying to sneak around Cirith Ungol to evade the orcs and save Frodo.
Frodo is able to see for miles when wearing it. In all cases, a mortal wearing the Ring becomes invisible, except to anyone able to perceive the non-physical world, with only a thin, shaky shadow discernible in sunlight.
Another power of the Ring is the ability to project a false vision of its wearer to observers. When Sam encountered an Orc in the Tower of Cirith Ungol while holding the Ring, he appeared to the Orc as a powerful warrior cloaked in shadow. The Orc was so terrified of this illusion that it fled from the otherwise unintimidating Sam.
Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring
Inheritance of the House of Gaunt. It is a gold ring inset with a black stone (Actually the Resurrection Stone has the power to recall loved ones from death, but Marvolo Gaunt wasn’t aware of its existence).
According to legend, whoever reunited the Resurrection Stone with two other magical artifacts (the Elder Wand and the Cloak of Invisibility) would become the Master of Death, which refers to some form of immortality.
Gandalf’s Staff vs The Elder Wand
A wooden staff throughout which was lost when the great wizard fell into the abyss below the Bridge of Khazad-Dum.
The staff was Gandalf’s primary tool, a power conduit, and sometimes a weapon. He is also seen to ignite it to light pine cones and to illuminate the Fells of Rhudaur. An interesting feature of Gandalf’s staff is its special slot to hold his smoke pipe.
The Elder Wand
Said to be the most powerful wand in existence, able to perform feats of magic that would normally be impossible even for the most skilled wizards, such as mending another wand damaged beyond normal magical repair.
Dumbledore performed great magic with this wand, furthering his reputation as the world’s most powerful wizard. Among that magic was the ability to produce Gubraithian Fire, a flame that has been enchanted to burn forever without dying.
Andúril vs The Sword of Gryffindor
Also known as the Flame of the West, the sword which was reforged by the Elves of Rivendell from the shards of Narsil – the legendary blade that was used by Isildur to cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand during the final battle of the War of the Last Alliance and was shattered by Sauron.
It was later reforged into Andúril and would become the sword of Aragorn.
The Sword of Gryffindor
A thousand-year-old l sword owned by the famed wizard Godric Gryffindor, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. It was made from pure silver by goblins, the magical world’s most skilled metalworkers, and is therefore enchanted.
Much like a wand, the sword of Gryffindor appears to be almost sentient, responding to appeals for help by Gryffindor’s chosen successors.
Since it is made from Goblin’s silver it never requires cleaning. Due to Harry Potter killing Salazar Slytherin’s Basilisk (a serpent) with it, the sword is imbued with Basilisk venom and can destroy Horcruxes – an object in which a dark wizard or witch has hidden a fragment of his or her soul in order to become immortal.
The Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter: Books
Lord of the Rings Book Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy trilogy of novels by the English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien. Set in Middle-earth, the world at some distant time in the past, the story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s 1937 children’s book The Hobbit, but eventually developed into a much larger work.
It is one of the best-selling books ever written, with over 200 million copies sold, and the total revenue from the book’s earnings is estimated to be around $2.5 billion.
Harry Potter Novels
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).
The books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and the total revenue from the book sales is estimated to be around $7.7 billion.