The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series introduced plenty of wizards and witches no one would want to mess with. Even the most unassuming characters were usually hiding magical power far beyond expectations. While most Hogwarts professors, Order of the Phoenix members, and Death Eaters were skilled wizards, not all could meet the nearly insurmountable challenge of taking on Lord Voldemort.
The great wizarding wars provided ample opportunity to observe these characters in action. Some wizards were first-rate duelists, capable of defeating highly skilled opponents on the battlefield. Others were strategists and spies, concealing their true goals from enemies until it was too late to stop them. Only the wizards who were top-tier fighters or keen strategic minds could hope to take on Voldemort and come out of it alive.
A few wizards had the chance to prove their strength against Voldemort directly in rare duels with the Dark Lord. Still others tangled with powerful Aurors, professors, or dark wizards, but they did not always come out on top. Which of the beloved heroes and villains would stand a chance in a confrontation with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?
Here are 15 Characters Strong Enough To Take On Voldemort (And 10 Way Too Weak).
25 Strong Enough: Minerva McGonagall
Professor McGonagall may have taken a backseat to Dumbledore at Hogwarts, but there was no mistaking what a powerful witch she was. When provoked, she was unstoppable in battle. She fought Alecto Carrow and Snape to take Hogwarts back from the Death Eaters.
During the Battle of Hogwarts, she dueled Voldemort alongside Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt. Voldemort only overpowered her with an explosion of magic in his rage at the demise of Bellatrix. If she were faced with Voldemort in an even one-on-one duel, Minerva McGonagall could give him a run for his money.
24 Way Too Weak: Nymphadora Tonks
Nymphadora Tonks was an early recruit to the new Order of the Phoenix and an accomplished Auror for the Ministry of Magic. She showed herself to be a competent duelist against Death Eaters like Thorfinn Rowle.
Tonks had an arch-nemesis dynamic with Bellatrix Lestrange, as Bellatrix considered the half-blood Tonks a blight on her pureblood family line. Tonks dueled Bellatrix to a stalemate twice, but ultimately perished at her hand during the Battle of Hogwarts. While Tonks' skills were not to be taken lightly, she likely would not have been able to measure up to Voldemort if she could not overcome Bellatrix.
23 Strong Enough: Kingsley Shacklebolt
While Kingsley Shacklebolt is given little attention in the series, the illustrious Auror proved his skill and immense power time and time again. On two occasions, he fought off multiple Death Eaters single-handedly.
Shacklebolt also dueled Voldemort himself twice. In the Battle of the Seven Potters, he held his ground against Voldemort's attacks until the Dark Lord discovered Shacklebolt was not protecting the real Harry Potter and moved on. He fought Voldemort again at the Battle of Hogwarts, alongside McGonagall and Slughorn, and was only taken out of the battle by an unpredictable blast of magic.
22 Strong Enough: Narcissa Malfoy
Narcissa Malfoy may not seem like a witch who could fight Voldemort at first glance, but her unique strength and cunning let her play the Dark Lord like a fiddle. Narcissa was one of the few people to get away with lying to Voldemort, and she used her cleverness and connections in the wizarding world to ensure her family would be protected.
Though she appeared loyal to Voldemort until the end, Narcissa was always working her own angle. In the end, Narcissa was the reason Harry Potter survived the Battle of Hogwarts to take down Voldemort. She walked away from Voldemort with her family, exactly as she planned.
21 Way Too Weak: Lucius Malfoy
Lucius Malfoy was a leader among the Death Eaters. However, he could barely maintain his place in Voldemort's good graces, let alone hope to defeat the feared dark wizard. He fought several prominent Aurors and Order of the Phoenix members, often holding his own against some of the most experienced wizards among them.
Once he was captured and sent to Azkaban, though, he fell out of favor with Voldemort and lived under the Dark Lord's regime in fear. Unlike his wife, he was unable to stand up to Voldemort, merely hoping he could maintain enough favor to keep himself and his family alive.
20 Strong Enough: Dobby
Dobby was subservient to wizards for most of his life, but he was able to fight against his old masters with extraordinary power. His house-elf magic was far beyond anything wizards could turn against him. When Lucius Malfoy tried to curse Harry Potter, Dobby repelled Malfoy with no apparent effort.
Dobby was able to manipulate Harry's life undetected, even flouting wizards' limitations by Apparating into Hogwarts. He also faced off with Bellatrix Lestrange and only fell during the encounter because of a lucky shot while Dobby was mid-Apparation. Voldemort would not have known what hit him if a house-elf turned on him.
19 Way Too Weak: Mad-Eye Moody
Mad-Eye Moody seems like the scariest Auror of them all, but he often fell short when it came to battling Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Most of the time Harry worked closely with Moody and saw his skills in action, he was actually watching Barty Crouch, Jr. posing as Mad-Eye. A lower-level Death Eater managed to overpower the real Moody and keep him imprisoned for an entire school year.
Though Moody was a leader of the Order of the Phoenix, he was injured by Dolohov in a duel and eventually taken out by Voldemort himself. The real Moody never showed the ability to hold back Voldemort in battle.
18 Strong Enough: Rubeus Hagrid
Rubeus Hagrid gets ignored among the Hogwarts professors because he was expelled from Hogwarts. Despite a lack of magical training, Hagrid's natural strength and ability would help him survive an encounter with Voldemort. He was a decently skilled wizard, even able to cast non-verbal magic.
His secret advantage, though, was his half-giant heritage. When Aurors confronted him, their spells bounced off him with no effect, and he threw them around easily. Hagrid also handled large and dangerous magical creatures with only minor injuries. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort had multiple Death Eaters restraining Hagrid, showing he was worried about Hagrid's capabilities.
17 Strong Enough: Filius Flitwick
Filius Flitwick is seldom featured in the Harry Potter series, even though he was the Charms professor and head of Ravenclaw House. Though Harry does not seem him in action until the Battle of Hogwarts, he showed himself to be a formidable opponent in battle.
Flitwick was a champion duelist, and he could tangle with the worst Death Eaters. He was evenly matched in a duel with Yaxley. Later in the battle, he single-handedly defeated Antonin Dolohov, the Death Eater who took the life of Remus Lupin. If Flitwick were faced with Voldemort himself, his mastery and experience with dueling might give him an upper hand in taking on the dark wizard.
16 Way Too Weak: Dolores Umbridge
Dolores Umbridge may have held Hogwarts in her iron fist for months, but she was not an accomplished enough witch to measure up to Voldemort. Even with the help of her Inquisitorial Squad, she had difficulty circumventing the plans of Dumbledore's Army, a group mostly consisting of low-skilled students armed with basic defensive spells.
Her magical abilities were catered toward her needs as an administrator and disciplinarian. She showed decent strength in defensive magic, but nothing that indicated she could handle a one-on-one fight against an adult wizard willing to use fatal force. Umbridge's political prowess made her a power player, but she would be insignificant to Voldemort.
15 Strong Enough: Credence Barebone
Credence Barebone is easily one of the most powerful known wizards. As a minor, he was able to transform into a destructive Obscurus, and he survived longer as an Obscurial than any other wizard had. His Obscurus was strong enough to wreak havoc on New York City, and it took multiple Aurors to defeat him.
When he was last seen in Crimes of Grindelwald, the notorious dark wizard Grindelwald had recruited Credence for both his incredible magical power and his connection to Albus Dumbledore. Credence's power is overwhelming and difficult to contain, and he is one of the few wizards who could possibly defeat Voldemort on his own.
14 Way Too Weak: Queenie Goldstein
Queenie Goldstein should have been a force of nature as a Legilimens, but she has yet to live up to her potential. In her first adventure with Newt Scamander and company, she provided little support, and her Legilimens abilities were seldom used for more than a conversation starter.
She took a turn for the worse in Crimes of Grindelwald. When Grindelwald came to recruit her, she switched to his side without much convincing. A Legilimens of her ability should have been able to see through Grindelwald, even if he was skilled with Occlumency. If she caved to Grindelwald without a fight, she would not stand a chance against Voldemort, who was also an accomplished Occlumens.
13 Strong Enough: Barty Crouch, Jr.
Barty Crouch, Jr. does not get enough credit for the plan he pulled off. Crouch first managed to overpower the highly-skilled Auror Mad-Eye Moody. He then masqueraded as Moody, undetected for an entire school year. In that time, he stole potion ingredients from Professor Snape, tampered with the Goblet of Fire, and made complicated arrangements to ensure Harry would win the Triwizard Tournament.
Crouch delivered Harry Potter directly to Voldemort without anyone in Hogwarts suspecting a thing. After the fact, a single slip-up revealed his identity. If Crouch took on Voldemort, his plan would probably be in effect before Voldemort knew what was happening.
12 Strong Enough: Hermione Granger
Hermione Granger showed exceptional promise from the beginning, and she only grew more creative and knowledgeable over the years. When Hermione, Harry, and Ron were on their own, Hermione was the one they relied upon for the magic to keep them safe. Time after time, she provided the protective and defensive spells that saved their lives.
She tangled with multiple Death Eaters over the years, and she was usually evenly matched despite the significant gap in age and experience. Especially as an adult witch, she would be able to put up a challenging fight against Voldemort.
11 Way Too Weak: Ron Weasley
Ron was undoubtedly a valuable member of the Golden Trio, but his strength did not lie in his magical abilities. He was the loyal friend Harry needed to survive his many trials, and he provided both Harry and Hermione with keen insight into the wizarding world.
However, his skills in magic paled in comparison to Harry and Hermione. Ron was far from hopeless in battle, though, and fared well against Death Eaters and Snatchers. He even once disarmed Bellatrix Lestrange. Though he is helpful in a supporting role, he would not last long if pitted against Voldemort one-on-one.
10 Strong Enough: Newt Scamander
Newt Scamander does not cut an intimidating figure, but his enemies have been quick to learn not to underestimate him. Newt manages a menagerie of large and potentially dangerous creatures on a daily basis. He can improvise in unexpected situations, which comes in handy against other wizards as often as magical creatures.
Newt evaded captured by American Aurors and held his own in combat against a disguised Grindelwald. In his final battle with Grindelwald, he revealed the dark wizard's true identity and detained him. Voldemort might not be impressed with Newt, but Newt would give Voldemort more than he bargained for.
9 Way Too Weak: Bill Weasley
Bill Weasley was already an accomplished young wizard by the time he entered the story. He was a traveling curse-breaker for Gringotts, indicating he was adept with a wide variety of magic. When Bill returned to England, he was one of the first recruits to the new Order of the Phoenix.
However, in his first battle with the Order, he was attacked and gravely injured by Fenrir Greyback. While Fenrir Greyback was a formidable opponent, the defeat did not speak well for Bill's skills in defensive magic. As he lost to the only powerful opponent he was known to face, it is unlikely he would fare well in confrontation with Voldemort.
8 Strong Enough: Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort feared, and with good reason. Dumbledore often thwarted Voldemort's plans as soon as he became fully aware of them. He matched evenly with Voldemort in a direct confrontation at the Ministry of Magic, forcing the dark wizard to stay there long enough to reveal his resurrection to the wizarding world.
Voldemort sent a host of Death Eaters to dispatch Dumbledore, but the headmaster was only defeated because he had already arranged to end his life via Snape. Dumbledore made many mistakes fighting Voldemort, but there's no question he could take on the Dark Lord in a battle.
7 Way Too Weak: Peter Pettigrew
Peter Pettigrew caused far more trouble than anyone expected. He betrayed the Potters, sending Voldemort after them and leaving Harry an orphan. He framed Sirius Black to cover his tracks, then hid out in Animagus form for 12 years. Once he escaped again, he rejoined Voldemort and made all the arrangements to create the Dark Lord's new body.
Pettigrew showed unexpected cunning and high-level magical ability, but he was also a complete coward who excelled only at preserving his own life. Voldemort predicted his betrayal and got rid of him when they were not even in the same room.
6 Strong Enough: Bellatrix Lestrange
Bellatrix Lestrange was Voldemort's right hand, the truest believer of all his Death Eaters. From her introduction in Order of the Phoenix, Bellatrix was the most formidable obstacle the heroes faced after Voldemort himself. She finished off Sirius Black, Dobby, and Tonks, three accomplished and talented opponents. She would cast dark curses without any hesitation, making her a deadly witch to encounter.
Even when she was not fatal, she subjected the Longbottoms and Hermione to horrifying torture. Bellatrix was a supremely skilled dark witch, and she never held back. If Voldemort's loyal lieutenant ever turned on him, she might prove as fearsome as her leader.
5 Strong Enough: Severus Snape
Severus Snape was a snake in the grass among the Death Eaters for years. Snape walked a narrow line between assisting Harry Potter and the Order and appearing to assist the Death Eaters. At Hogwarts, Snape was often the one other professors would turn to for expertise. Dumbledore sought his help to contain the curse from Voldemort's horcrux and to teach Harry about Occlumency.
When Harry's allies believed he had turned, Snape dueled opponents as strong as McGonagall and stalemated with them while holding back his full force. Snape proved he could hold his own against Voldemort, and Voldemort would never see it coming.
4 Way Too Weak: Remus Lupin
Remus Lupin was a valuable ally who fought valiantly, but as skilled as he was, he may not have been in Voldemort's league. From a young age, Lupin performed advanced magic alongside the other Marauders, and he dueled well in multiple battles.
He likely defeated Lucius Malfoy at the Department of Mysteries, and the other Death Eaters present were not able to defeat him by the time of Sirius Black's demise. However, he was also fatally defeated by Antonin Dolohov at the Battle of Hogwarts. Between this notable defeat and the complications surrounding his lycanthropy, it's doubtful he would be able to match with the Death Eaters' leader.
3 Strong Enough: Gellert Grindelwald
Long before Voldemort, Gellert Grindelwald was the scourge of the wizarding world. No wizard besides Dumbledore could stop him, and Grindelwald took precautions to make sure Dumbledore could not confront him. At the beginning of his reign, he was already able to steamroll through seasoned Aurors. The magic he conjured to cover his escape from the Paris rally was so destructive that it took five experienced wizards to contain it.
In addition to his magical mastery, he was strategic in gaining allies and knowledge helpful to his cause. Grindelwald may be one of the few wizards who could not only take on Voldemort, but would stand a chance of ending him once and for all.
2 Way Too Weak: Sirius Black
Sirius Black was a talented wizard, capable of evading the Dementors and the entire magical community, but he ultimately could not defeat Voldemort's forces. He was adept with advanced magic, such as the Animagus transformation he used to escape Azkaban and remain a fugitive. However, he was reckless in the pursuit of his goals.
He consistently ventured into unsafe situations where he could easily be caught, even when his presence was not necessary. Though he may have been a decent duelist, he stalemated with Dolohov and lost his life in a frantic duel with Bellatrix Lestrange. Sirius did not have the subtlety, strategy, or skill to confront Voldemort.
1 Strong Enough: Harry Potter
Harry Potter lived up to his legend as the Chosen One. His connection with Voldemort allowed him to take on the Dark Lord and triumph. Though good fortune and good friends played a role in his eventual defeat of Voldemort, he was a strong wizard in his own right.
While still in his early years, he learned enough defensive magic to win numerous duels with Death Eaters and train other students in advanced magic. Harry also had an unbreakable spirit, an understanding of the power of love, and a keen grasp of strategy, all of which prepared him to evade Voldemort and his forces for years.