The 10 Most Visually Stunning Duels In The Wizarding World

The 10 Most Visually Stunning Duels In The Wizarding World

The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise continues to grow with the recent release of The Secrets Of Dumbledore. A duel of the ages took place in that picture, but that’s not the only visually impressive battle within the larger Wizarding World. Audiences have seen plenty of combat scenarios where the magic utilized has been gorgeously interpreted on the screen.

From the way in which the spells have been visualized to the setting the battles take place in, or the emotional stakes that are painted so brilliantly through the cinematography choices, these duels have been defining moments in the larger saga and should be celebrated for their striking points of view.


The Department Of Mysteries

The sequence in Order Of The Phoenix, which sees Dumbeldore’s Army make their way to the Ministry of Magic, is a vital one. It’s truly a testing moment for those students who believe they have what it takes to stand against the rising darkness. The Department of Mysteries is such a complex location to host the duel.

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It’s full of interactive elements that bring this fight to life, from the glow of the prophecies to the mesmerizing arch in the center of the room. While Sirius’ death is the key aspect of this battle, the use of the shadows and the whispy lights of the Aurors and the Death Eaters paints a gorgeously detailed picture.

Harry And Draco In Class

Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Draco and Malfoy’s duel in The Chamber Of Secrets represents a starkly different time within the Harry Potter timeline. There’s a magical quality to those early films, and visually, they are far closer to classical fantasy than the darker tone they eventually come to represent.

Both Harry and Draco break the rules in their duel, which is already elevated by the intriguing choice to have a kind of battle stage. The earlier forms of magic seen in the series and how they interact with the students add a comedic element to a fight that turns dark with the sudden emergence of a snake. The fiery conclusion is a solid end to a story told largely through the visuals.

Harry And Draco In The Bathroom

Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Fans of the Potter series will know that the rivalry between the two students doesn’t end there. In The Half-Blood Prince, the two face off again, this time in the bathroom. Whereas there was once something whimsical about their duels, here it’s all grit, dirt, and blood.

The choice to wash out the colors of the scene is an interesting one, as they stand in stark contrast when the red blood flows from Draco. It doesn’t feel fantastical but, instead, has a tone of desperation, with the shaky camera shots only adding to that frenzied tension.

Grindelwald And Dumbledore


Grindelwald and Dumbledore were always heading towards a conflict that would stand in history as one of the greats. Although in the timeline that is sure to happen a little later on, The Secrets Of Dumbledore essentially previewed what that could ultimately look like.

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It’s a test of two of the greatest warriors of all time, as they pull a number of tricks out of their sleeves. Although it doesn’t compare visually to some of the other standoffs viewers have seen Dumbeldore compete in, it’s still pitched as a grand display of what the brightest and best can achieve. This is all about power and that’s brilliantly conveyed through the cinematography.

Harry And Voldermort’s First Encounter

Harry and Voldemort duel in Goblet Of Fire

Harry and Voldemort’s first true meeting in Goblet Of Fire is an intense one. While Harry is absolutely out of his league, he manages to pull out a desperate move that might just save him. The two wands connect in a gorgeous display of magic, that’s incredibly rare in the Wizarding World.

As this takes place, memories of Harry’s family and friends begin to appear to him, only adding to the marvel of a scene that’s unfolding. This is a truly beautiful piece of film that represents the overall themes of Harry Potter, from good versus evil to the battle of loss and life. Voldemort underestimates Harry, costing him the victory and that’s all portrayed just through the choreography.

Battle Of Hogwarts

Hogwarts Shield

The Battle of Hogwarts is the culmination of a saga. It needed to be an impressive display and the exterior shots of the sequence don’t fail to deliver. While this might be considered a duel on a much larger scale, it is, of course, also a war for the very fate of the Wizarding World itself.

From the duels across the courtyard as giants invade and spiders rain down, to the collapse of the shield surrounding the castle itself, there are so many fantastically designed elements that take advantage of the imaginative franchise. There are just too many moments to break down here.

Dumbledore And Voldemort

Dumbledore and Voldemort duel

Dumbledore and Voldemort are genuinely two of the most powerful wizards in history. They are at their height when they finally come to trade shots at one another – although the Hogwarts Headmaster appears to come out with the victory. Audiences are shown magic here that no one has since replicated.

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It’s a duel that doesn’t just include random blasts at one another, but a methodical shifting of momentum in each of the wizards’ favor. The use of a firey demon to the immense control of water and glass are just a couple of highlights of this beautifully crafted action scene.

Grindelwald And The Aurors

Grindelwald and blue fire

Grindelwald’s plan begins to come to fruition in The Crimes Of Grindelwald. The Aurors descend upon the dark wizard as he continues to induct members into his cult. He is simultaneously involved in several duels while the blue fires of his own creation blaze around him.

It’s a sequence that involves plenty of destruction, but, visually, there’s certainly an element of being birthed in the fire (which is so effective on-screen). The duel itself is almost secondary to the setting and the surrounding events, which is why this is such a unique moment.

War In The Great Hall

Molly Weasley, wand pointed out, with Weasley family in the background

The Battle of Hogwarts might be a gamechanging conflict, but the war in the Great Hall, one of the most important rooms in Hogwarts, deserves a mention. It’s made up of a number of duels, as the combatants get into the nitty-gritty of the series of events.

Molly’s duel with Bellatrix is a standout, as she uses magic never before seen in Harry Potter to get the best of her opponent. But Neville’s perspective is the most intriguing, as he awakens to find the ensuring battles taking place around him, with the glazed screen showing this point of view tremendously and bringing a little visual realism to the Wizarding World.

The Final Duel

Voldemort and Harry duel

Harry and Voldemort’s final duel is what everything has led to. It starts within the castle itself and takes the duo across Hogwarts. Visually, the series has never achieved anything like it, as the two personalities briefly merge into one disturbing being, demonstrating their duality.

The courtyard sequence and the flash of red and green call back to their earlier encounter and marks the conclusion of the saga. Even Voldemort’s death is truly powerful, as his very essence evaporates, the idea of the dark lord essentially dying alongside him.

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George Chrysostomou
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Politics graduate, freelance writer and all around film geek. If George isn’t lecturing someone on the history of the MCU, he’s probably ranting about the political consequences of Boris Johnson’s latest hairstyle.

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