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Grindelwald: Character Analysis



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  #1  
Old July 22nd, 2007, 8:47 pm
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Grindelwald: Character Analysis

Grindelwald was one of the darkest wizards before Voldemort. We knew before DH that he'd fought Dumbledore.

Some questions to start us off...

What did you think of him?
What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?
For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?
Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?


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  #2  
Old July 24th, 2007, 8:35 am
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

What did you think of him?
I felt that although his magical abilities were astounding, his moral values were weak. When I first read that, I just thought he was another power-hungry politician reference. To me, he was just another man out there with power that let the power get to his head and shroud his judgement, which shows what kind of man he was.

What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?
Great minds think alike. I think it made sense, but I think Dumbledore was blinded by the fact that he found an equal. eventually, he saw that this equal was willing to go farther than DD had thought....

For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?
No.
Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?
The thing is, I feel it wasn't clear enough whether he did it to try and stop Voldemort or to keep that knowledge to himself, and die rather than imagine someone with his precious Hallows.


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Old July 24th, 2007, 4:15 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

What did you think of him?
He seemed to be a very smart guy, who when amongst other intelligent people like Dumbledore, came up with some not so good ideas.

What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?

They were both Hallows believers so they were obviously going to get along very well.

For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?
Yeah, they probably did, but he didn't need to kill all those people.

Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?
I didn't understand this part. His not telling did absolutely nothing to stop Voldemort.


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Old July 24th, 2007, 5:28 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

What did you think of him?

I thought he was a simply fascinating "new" character, and an interesting contrast to Voldemort. Clearly he was able to recognize and work with an equal (in Dumbledore), something Voldemort never could do. And it may have been Dumbledore's influence, but he seemed a lot more driven by idealism and the thirst for knowledge (in his experimentation) than by simple power hunger, which is another thing that seemed to distinguish him from Voldemort.

What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?

Really interesting, for both characters. I think being involved with someone capable of such evil was why Dumbledore later had such insight into the minds of dark wizards later, and why he had such empathy for almost everyone.

For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?

Idealism is always dangerous. Using it as a justification to do whatever you want is always missing the point, though I don't think we necessarily know enough about Grindelwald to know if "for the greater good" actually was the sincere reason he did everything he did, or just the excuse he used to cover up his crimes. If the former was the case, than I will say they had a point.

Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?

I don't think it in and of itself redeemed him; I think that action was a sign that he had already regretted enough to be redeemed.

I don't think that the duel Dumbledore won in the end was a magical one. While magic was obviously used in it, it's rather self-contradictory for an invincible wand to be defeated in actual, sincere combat. If Grindelwald really was as committed to the ideology that he supported as it seems he might have been, Dumbledore may have been able to, through intellectual debate, defeat his ideology in that final battle, rather than his wand. I think that any later change of heart or redemption could only have been possible after a... crisis of faith, let's say, and such a "duel" could have sewn the seeds of it.


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Old July 24th, 2007, 5:32 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

I thought that the biggest difference between Voldemort and Grindelwald was that Grindelwald realized that what he had done was wrong (albeit long after he should have). Harry gave Voldemort a chance to admit to everyone he'd hurt that he had done wrong and Voldemort didn't take it. Also, Grindelwald was killing people for what he thought was the greater good. Voldemort and his followers just killed people because he thought it was funny. I'm not justifying Grindelwald; I certainly am not supporting murder, but it seems to me that Grindelwald killed when he thought it was necessary and Voldemort killed when he "was in the mood."

Another thing that I realize is that Grindelwald had friends at one time. Tom Riddle had followers, but he never had anyone he considered to be his equal. Grindelwald had people who he considered to be his equals. Voldemort did everything himself, just using his followers as expendable tools. Though we don't know for sure, it seems like Grindelwald would have been sad when someone in his inner circle died. Voldemort didn't care. Grindelwald seems to be margianally better person than Voldemort on the scope of evil people.

I thought that it was very interesting that J.K. Rowling chose to tell us what Grindelwald's first name was. Referring to him as "Gellert Grindelwald" makes him seem a whole lot more human. When one is using his first name, he seems like a real person rather than just someone you hear about and don't really have any emotion for. I think it might have been more useful for readers if we'd known more about what Grindelwald had done during his quest for world domination (maybe JKR will put that in a reference book if she writes one). Since I didn't know very much about all of the bad things that he had done, I actually felt sorry for Gellert Grindelwald (not for just Grindelwald, who still seems evil to me, but for the person who he was when he wasn't being evil), which was probably not the right emotion to have been feeling. I hope that made sense.


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Old July 24th, 2007, 10:44 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

I was unbelievably psyched to learn about Grindelwald's past. I've always been intrigued by him and what he did as the big, bad wizard before Voldemort.
I found it interesting how he was described as being attractive. It's like how Tom Riddle was described as having incredible good looks (before he went all pallid and snakey, anyway). J.K. Rowling protrays her villains not as monsters on the outside, but as monsters on the inside, regardless of their looks.
I especially liked how she used him to underline Voldemort's absolute evil. Grindelwald's reign of terror, as described by Krum was horrible. However, Grindelwald was still not as bad as Voldemort due to his repentance later in life, a feat which Voldemort proved unable to do shortly before death.
Naturally, I also loved the Dumbledore tie-in. I do wonder how DD managed to defeat Grindelwald, if he had an unbeatable wand. Perhaps he brought up the past, made him feel guilty for Ariana's death, or somehow made him feel enough remorse to snap him out of it?


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Old July 24th, 2007, 10:55 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by adam_12 View Post

I thought that it was very interesting that J.K. Rowling chose to tell us what Grindelwald's first name was. Referring to him as "Gellert Grindelwald" makes him seem a whole lot more human. When one is using his first name, he seems like a real person rather than just someone you hear about and don't really have any emotion for. I think it might have been more useful for readers if we'd known more about what Grindelwald had done during his quest for world domination (maybe JKR will put that in a reference book if she writes one). Since I didn't know very much about all of the bad things that he had done, I actually felt sorry for Gellert Grindelwald (not for just Grindelwald, who still seems evil to me, but for the person who he was when he wasn't being evil), which was probably not the right emotion to have been feeling. I hope that made sense.
I totally agree with you there. Gellert Grindelwald did seem to have a few redeeming qualities which Grindelwald the rumour didn't. And I do think he repented to some degree while he was in prison so he wouldn't give Voldemort the information he needed.

As far as the battle with Dumbledore goes, I wonder if Grindelwald actually had control of the Elder wand as he stole it from Gregorovitch rather than defeated him in combat. In which case it would have worked like any other wand in the battle.

Albus' friendship with him seems a bit odd. He knew Grindelwald's "experiments" had been serious enough to get him expelled from Durmstrang, a school where the Dark Arts were actually taught. Yet he became a friend. I think Albus must have been so thirsty for intellectual company that he was willing to overlook things that he wouldn't later in life. Albus was a young idealist but I'm not convinced that Grindelwald was. He seemed more like a power-hungry dictator who saw in Albus' theories some principles he could use to give a veneer of idealism to his campaign.

Grindelwald being a merry, good looking man with blond curls but being wicked inside reminds me of someone but I can't pin down who.


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Old August 7th, 2007, 1:13 am
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

What did you think of him? He's obviously evil,But we don't know enoff about his evil doings.I'm glad to find out what was in the book,And he only had a few brief appearances but, i think he would i kindoff sortoff fun loving Dark wizard,more comical then Voldemort.HIs wrong doing's aside, i like his character.

What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?I think Dumbledore was just suffering from Teenage stupidity.He could not understand the truth with out the help of his goat loving brother. Anbd Grindelwald probably wanted to satb him in the back.

For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?They had no point, But some time you must do bad things to do good.

Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?Again,We don't know the extent of his wrong doing's but i don't think it redeems him.Not compeletly, anyway, but i did like the way he kind of teased Voldemort.


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Old August 7th, 2007, 3:18 am
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

I'd like to see him, at the height of his powers, vs. Voldemort.


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Old August 7th, 2007, 3:39 am
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

Grindelwald, to me, seems a lot like Tom Riddle. He was obviously a very gifted wizard, but he used the powers the wrong way, though he didn't see that. Bad guys don't think of themselves as bad, because they think that what they are doing is for the best. Riddle thought that Slytherin's idea of all-magic and even half bloods getting a magical education only was a good idea. So, Grindelwald's thinking was very similar. Even Dumbledore was thinking amongst those lines. Not that muggleborns were awful, and they should be overpowered; they thought that what they were doing was right, and it felt right to them. It's just a good thing that Dumbledore reconized his weakness of power and withdrew from all that before he ended up like Grindelwald and Voldemort.
Although, just the fact that he could work with someone else, that he was that close to someone else, made him very very different from Riddle.


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Old August 7th, 2007, 4:57 am
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by IntricateLogic View Post
Grindelwald, to me, seems a lot like Tom Riddle. He was obviously a very gifted wizard, but he used the powers the wrong way, though he didn't see that. Bad guys don't think of themselves as bad, because they think that what they are doing is for the best. Riddle thought that Slytherin's idea of all-magic and even half bloods getting a magical education only was a good idea. So, Grindelwald's thinking was very similar. Even Dumbledore was thinking amongst those lines. Not that muggleborns were awful, and they should be overpowered; they thought that what they were doing was right, and it felt right to them. It's just a good thing that Dumbledore reconized his weakness of power and withdrew from all that before he ended up like Grindelwald and Voldemort.
Grindelwald thinks he's working for the "greater good" though, and establishing an effective social order. Tom Riddle uses his magic to get power for himself. His motives are purely self-centered, while Grindelwald is trying to help wizarding-kind in his own twisted way. Tom Riddle does call himself the Dark Lord, too. I don't know how much eviler than that you can go...


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Old August 25th, 2007, 11:06 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

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I also think that Gellert was a better man than Voldemort: i'm sure that he had a heart.
Yes, good point.



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Old August 25th, 2007, 11:22 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

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As with many children's books, the villain in 'Harry Potter' looks the part; Voldemort has red snake-eyes, stark white skin, a flattened nose and he is tall and skeletal. If you saw Voldy you'd run; he looks evil, he talks evil, he is evil. And in a pretty one dimentional way; his only motivation is power. Yes you could argue that, as a poor orphan, he wanted power and wealth because he never had either and was envious of those who did and wanted to 'show them all' etc. However, this argument lacks force because Voldemort always had power and what he didn't have he could steal. Besides, Dumbledore said that Voldemort's instincts were for secrecy, domination and cruelty; for Voldemort, power was not 'a means to the end' but the end in itself- he wanted power because he loved power.

But Harry Potter is not merely a children's book; the character who JKR has crafted are, with the exception of Voldemort, multidimentional, recognisable beings. Voldemort was probably the exception because he had to be 1D- the reader needed to really, really hate him by the time of final confrontation. However, not all 'villains' are unattractive psychopaths. Grindlewald is the other type of villain. The type more often found in the real world. When we first see Grindlewald he contrasts stongly with handsome, pale, aloof, dark-haired Tom Riddle, Gellert is beautiful, rosy-cheeked, laughing, with long golden curls. He's more beautiful than an angel; he's as beautiful as a demon. Although JKR doesn't tell us much about his personality, I guess that Gellert was a very different man from Tom Riddle. I'd say that Gellert used his 'glamour'* to win and keep supporters rather than fear; he charmed the heart out of Dumbledore, remember. (And, looking at it objectively, who could resist such a beautiful, seductive man? Dumbledore was, actually, incredibly vulnerable to his charms; Gellert was probably the only equal Dumbledore ever had- his presence must have been intoxicating, addictive to the lonely Dumbledore who had, before his arrival, been peerless. I wouldn't be surprised if Dumbledore visited Nuremgard- or, at least, really wanted to.)
I also think that Gellert was a better man than Voldemort: i'm sure that he had a heart. It may have been a selfish heart or a cold heart but it was still there. This is the reason he didn't tell Voldemort where the wand was and didn't seek a fight with Dumbledore or force Dumbledore to kill him; there was a tiny bit of love there. Sure, he'd have killed Dumbledore-if he had too- but i don't think he'd have intentionally made it a kill or be killed situation. That's why Gellert ended up in prison instead of dying like Voldemort. Although Gellert was a ruthless killer we are never told that he 'enjoyed' killing. He seems, from Dumbledore's description, like a beserker; when he fought, his mind was elsewhere; he fought to win rather to hurt or kill. I actually think he did think he was doing it all for the greater good, that he was destined to lead a glorious revolution after which there would be a time of peace and plenty, where the natural order of things, i.e. wizards as masters, muggles as slaves, would be re-instated and everyone would be happy. Idealists don't necessarily have to be good people.

*An old word meaning to cast an enchantment over someone by your very presence; the Veela, for example, have this power.
First of Voldemot's first objective wasn't power at all. His one driving virtue, above everything else he might be, is his fear of death.

Also, Grinderwald wasn't really discribed as some kind of angelic looking demigod.


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Old October 8th, 2007, 9:20 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

First I thought that Grindelwald was the ultimate evil, the former Voldemort, but in DH it showed that he was just another wizard who got the wrong idea. He probably had a good side and knew to love (unlike Voldy), but he got more and more dragged to the bad side.

That Dumbledore was friend with him in his youth, shows IMO that they were alike. They fought for the same things, the Greater Good.


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Old October 8th, 2007, 11:17 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

What did you think of him?
He was kind of what I expected him to be as far as his ideas went. He was similar to Voldemort in his views of muggles and wizard superiority. I also expected him to have a connection with Hitler - as has been pointed out many times, there are several similarities between the two. What I didn't expect was that Grindelwald was a magical genious like Dumbledore, and that they had been friends as boys.

What did you make of his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?
I thought it was unexpected, but a nice turn of events. It was interesting that they were looking for the Deathly Hallows and that they were both very bright students.

For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?
No, I don't think they had the right idea at all. Once you start thinking that a certain group of people is better than another, despite the fact that one group may be more talented/powerful than another, this leads to feelings of superiority and greater rights, etc. It's a slippery slope that leads to one group trying to dominate over the other.

Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?
I think it did. I didn't expect him to try to thwart Voldemort, considering that both had very similar ideals. I would have almost expected him to join forces with Voldemort, but I'm very glad he didn't for his sake and for Harry's, since it delayed Voldemort's possession of the wand.


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Old November 8th, 2007, 3:22 am
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

What did you think of him?
I really didn't think much of him. He seemed to be very evil before, and to become so powerful like that, i imagine he would need a lot of plotting, which is something i admire. I thoght it was really really noble the way his final act was to try to stop or slow down Voldemort.
What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?
Well, we now know Dumbledore loved him, but before that, i realy didn't think much about it. Dumbledore can have a friend, and Dumbledore isn't perfect. It did explain a lot about how Dumbledore thinks and why he didn't want to be minister,and the way he fought against dark magic so much, etc.
For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?
I personally think they had a point, though they did go the wrong way about it. Some things you just have to do, but i just feel their cause was a bad one. I really do wonder how the wizarding world thinks of Dumbledre now that they know he was friends with grindelwald and used to support pure blood supremacy. But since we're talking about Grindelwald, he seemed to have good intentions, but the way he gone about it, killing and murder was horrible,but the deathly hallows was an interesting way of doing it.
Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?
I think it did, a bit. he would never be able to redeem himself completely, but at least he was good at heart and was trying to do the right thing.


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Old November 12th, 2007, 4:56 am
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

What did you think of him?
His plans to kinda of take over the world as a teenager were bad, but he seemed to have good intentions about it.....he was friends with dumbledore, which is good, and dumbledore was even in love with him, so he spose he has some good qualities....and he wouldn't give the whereabouts of the wand, but he was also kind of evil and dumbledore had to defeat him......so yeah, I don't feel I know enough about him to make a judgement.

What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?
It just kinda makes me sad because of the one sided love and the terrible end to their friendship and how Dumbledore had to later defeat him.

For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?
Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?


I don't really believe in 'redemption' but it makes me respect him more.


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Old November 12th, 2007, 8:20 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

What did you think of him?

Oddly enough, I really liked this character on a personal level as depicted in DH. However, as his deeds unfolded during the course of the story, his image was greatly damaged. We did not obtain a detailed description of his overall character, however, all of the deaths resulting from his mechanisms spoke volumes about his way of thinking and the lengths he was willing to go to attain his ends. It did not leave me holding his character in very high regard.


What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?

I thought it was great. It was interesting, but rather expected that the two intellectuals would come together in friendship.

For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?

Yes and no. The greater good should have been equality, not an unequal playing field where one group is seen as superior to another. Dumbledore's ultimate 'greater good' theory was more correct.

Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?

Redemption speaks to remorse, repentance and pennance. We know that he served the latter, but unfortunately the book was unclear as to the first two ideas. I suppose if one reads that into his willingness to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts, it could be seen as redemption. However, I didn't really consider redemption an issue with respect to Grindelwald because we were simply not given enough information about him.


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Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:45 pm
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

I think that Grindelwald is more interesting when seen in comparison to Dumbledore than Voldemort...
When considering Dumbledore, his greatness (I'm firmly in the Dumbledore rocks camp) is shown more clearly when in comparison with Grindelwald - in Grindelwald you see what Dumbledore could have been: both were idealistic young men who only really wanted to change the world for the better, both were exeptionally talented wizards, both had plans for the world under their rule. However, their main difference in character turned out to be vital - Dumbledore had compassion. And here, really, lies the key to one of the central themes of the JKR's work - compassion for the fate of those around you really is the key to good and bad. Dumbledore, who had compassion, ended up making a contribution which guided the wizarding world towards that which is good. Grindelwald, however, did not at the time feel this compassion, and as a result made terrible mistakes which lead to Dumbledore's defeat of him.


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Old November 24th, 2007, 1:11 am
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Re: Grindelwald: Character Analysis

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What did you think of him?
He seemed to be a very smart wizard, like Dumbledore. But unlike him, he wanted to use his ideas for the wrong purpose, evil deeds.

Quote:
What did you make to his and Dumbledore's blossoming friendship?
I don't really know -- we didn't get a lot of infomation about it. But from what we did get, it seems as if they had some things in common, like going after the Deathly Hallows. Dumbledore most likely learned a lot from his friendship with Grindelwald, most probably dealing with dark magic. So later on in his life, he wanted to make sure that nothing like that ever comes to pass again.


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For the greater good - did they have a point (albeit not going about the right way)?
Yes, hypothetically -- in terms of helping wizarding kind, but not the way that Grindelwald wanted it. A more level playing field in terms of what Dumbledore wanted, would have been the best way to go.


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Did the fact he was prepared to die rather than betray the wand's whereabouts redeem him?
Not really, since information about him was scarce throughout the series. So in the end, I can't really say that he's been redeemed.


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