Gellert Grindelwald

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Gellert Grindelwald

Biographical information



Between summer 1882 and summer 1883


Nurmengard Castle, Austria1998 (aged around 115)

Blood status

[2]Pure-blood or Half-blood

Marital status


Also known as

  • Percival Graves[3]
  • Abernathy

Physical information









Hair colour



Eye colour



Skin colour



Relationship information

Family members

[7]Bathilda Bagshot (great-aunt) †


Albus Dumbledore (former lover) †

Magical characteristics


  • Unknown wood, core material and length[8]
  • Elder, Thestral tail hair core
  • Unknown wood, core material and length (as Percival Graves)






  • The Alliance
    • Acolytes
  • Durmstrang Institute (formerly)



— Gellert Grindelwald’s fanatical ideology[src]

Gellert Grindelwald (c. 1883March 1998) was a wizard who was considered to be among the most powerful and dangerous Dark Wizards of all time, second only to Lord Voldemort.[10] He was amongst the greatest wizards to have ever lived, often considered to be the third most powerful wizard in history, his only superiors being Tom Riddle and Albus Dumbledore. A student at Durmstrang Institute, Grindelwald was expelled for twisted, dark experiments and near-fatal attacks on students.

After leaving Durmstrang, he fostered a romantic relationship with a young Albus Dumbledore, making plans to find the Deathly Hallows and lead a Wizarding revolution to end the International Statute of Secrecy, creating a benevolent global hierarchical order led by wise and powerful witches and wizards that dominated Muggles. At seventeen, their partnership fell apart after the two were involved in a three-way duel with Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth that resulted in the death of Dumbledore’s sister Ariana. Grindelwald left Britain and later stole the Elder Wand from Mykew Gregorovitch, proceeding alone with the revolution he and Dumbledore had planned.

Grindelwald was a complex figure, highly idealistic and talented, dedicated to achieve his ends at any cost. A revolutionary operating outside the law, he and his followers committed numerous crimes, including several murders. With violent acts in both the United States and Europe, Grindelwald ultimately established a power base at Nurmengard Castle in Austria. In 1945, at the height of Grindelwald’s power, Dumbledore confronted and defeated him in a legendary duel. He was subsequently imprisoned in his own fortress for decades and was slain there by Lord Voldemort in 1998 when he refused to give up the location of the Elder Wand.


Early life



— describing Grindelwald’s school days[src]

Gellert Grindelwald was born around 1882 or 1883,[1] and was educated at Durmstrang Institute during his formative years, where he excelled in various fields of magic and absorbed much of the school’s strength-obsessed, Dark Magic-oriented culture. He was an extremely talented wizard who possessed an attractive and winsome personality, which was coupled with a “merry, wild” disposition.

At some point in his youth, Grindelwald, who was a natural born Seer, had a vision where he saw himself rise to dominance over the wizarding world,[11] and when he learned of the fabled Deathly Hallows; three fabled objects which, if united, would make the possessor the Master of Death, he quickly came to see the Quest as instrumental to fulfill the aforementioned prediction. Over the course of his school career, Grindelwald grew increasingly obsessed with learning whatever he could about the three items in question, to the point of appropriating the runic symbol that represented them as his own personal emblem; and even engraved it on the walls of Durmstrang prior to his departure. These engravings persisted for many generations, and Rita Skeeter‘s book explains that Grindelwald’s ‘twisted experiments’ had been the reason for his expulsion at 16 years old from Durmstrang before he could graduate. This was an ominous and troubling sign, as it meant that Grindelwald performed experiments that were too disturbing even for a school with a notably high tolerance of the Dark Arts.


Relationship with Dumbledore


— Dumbledore recounting his relationship with Gellert[src]

After his expulsion from Durmstrang, Grindelwald’s quest for information about the Hallows led him to Godric’s Hollow, England, where Ignotus Peverell, said to have been the first owner of Death’s Cloak of Invisibility, had been laid to rest. Conveniently, his great-aunt, acclaimed wizarding historian Bathilda Bagshot, lived there and provided a place for him to stay, complete with a treasure trove of books and documents and a minimum of supervision. It was in Godric’s Hollow in the summer of 1899 that Grindelwald met and befriended Albus Dumbledore.[12] The two teenagers had a lot in common: they were intellectuals and talented young wizards, who were also idealistic and ambitious. The pair even became lovers during the two months that they knew one another.[13] Following these “two months of insanity,” as Dumbledore would later recall them to be, the two teens shaped one another’s ideas, powers, as well as destinies from that day forth and became intertwined with each other. Whilst they were staying at Bathilda Bagshot’s house, they also made a blood pact, swearing never to fight each other.

The pair shared two preoccupations: The first was their search for the Deathly Hallows toward the goal of acquiring all three and wielding their power to become a Master of Death, which they believed to mean immortality and invincibility. They also dreamed of overturning the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and creating a new order in which wise and powerful wizards and witches were the benevolent overlords of their world, including Muggles. Dumbledore coined the phrase “For the Greater Good” that would be used to justify the necessary use of force required to achieve their goals, and Grindelwald would later adopt as his motto.[14]

However, Dumbledore’s motivations and intentions were different from Grindelwald’s: as a young man, he had been powerless to stop a group of Muggle boys tormenting his younger sister, Ariana, to the point that the sweet-natured girl suffered an emotional breakdown and her repressed magic became dangerously unstable. Dumbledore’s father was sent to Azkaban for taking revenge on the boys and his mother was killed in one of Ariana’s accidents. Dumbledore wanted the power to protect his loved ones (and by extension the whole world) against cruelty and xenophobia like that shown by the Muggles. He viewed the Resurrection Stone as a way of returning his parents to life and relieving him of his new familial obligations, while Grindelwald mistakenly viewed it as a tool to amass an army of inferi.[15]

Their plans to leave Godric’s Hollow, acquire power, and begin their revolution turned serious. When Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth became aware of this, he was both concerned about and disgusted with Albus’s ambition, knowing that he and Ariana would need to be brought along as she would not receive the care and attention she needed to keep her stable. The tense situation boiled over into a confrontation and Grindelwald, enraged, inflicted the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth. Albus moved to defend his brother, igniting a vicious three-way duel in which Ariana was killed. Grindelwald fled the country and received putative blame for Ariana’s death, thus confirming his place on the wrong side of the law and touching off his career as a Dark revolutionary, which would last until 1945.

Rise to power


Theft of the Elder Wand


— Gregorovitch to Lord Voldemort on Grindelwald’s theft[src]

Grindelwald delved into his research on the Deathly Hallows and uncovered the location of the Elder Wand. Rumours had been circulating that the renowned Wandmaker Mykew Gregorovitch was in possession of the wand and was trying to duplicate its properties. Grindelwald broke into Gregorovitch’s workshop, lay in wait for the Wandmaker, stunned him, and stole the wand, thereby becoming its new master. Grindelwald’s research may have uncovered this unconventional path to ownership of the wand as the common interpretation was that ownership passed only by murder.[16][15]

International wizardhunt


— Seraphina Picquery to Heinrich Eberstadt[src]

Following his acquisition of the Elder Wand, Grindelwald began amassing an army of followers. Eventually, he and his legions of “fanatics” launched several devastating attacks across Europe, committing mass-slaughter, and garnering international attention from wizarding authorities. Several of the attacks also drew the attention of the Muggle world, risking exposure and war. In response to Grindelwald’s actions, an international wizardhunt ensued and was reported on in periodicals such as the and the .[17]

At some point in 1926, while Grindelwald was staying in a derelict château somewhere in Europe, the International Confederation of Wizards discovered this château and almost captured him, but he was able to evade his pursuers and disappear. President Seraphina Picquery of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) would later lay the blame for Grindelwald’s escape on Heinrich Eberstadt, claiming that he had let the dark wizard “slip through his fingers”.[18] He also established a prison in Austria, Nurmengard, to serve as a form of containment for his enemies. During this period, he was also known to have personally murdered several people; one victim was identified as Viktor Krum’s grandfather.[19]

As Grindelwald’s power grew, he began to make plans for the confrontation he knew would happen one day; a confrontation with his old friend and the only wizard in the world believed to be powerful enough to defeat him: Albus Dumbledore. Unknown to the rest of the wizarding community, neither Dumbledore nor Grindelwald could fight each other directly, which was the result of the blood pact they had formed in their youth. However, Grindelwald knew that Dumbledore was powerful enough to compromise his plans without fighting him directly, a threat he made clear to all his followers. Seeking a means to defeat Dumbledore without having to fight him personally, Grindelwald saw visions of an extraordinarily powerful Obscurus terrorising New York. Knowing that an Obscurial of such destructive capability could be the only being apart from himself possibly powerful enough to kill Dumbledore, Grindelwald left Europe for America to find and recruit the child to his cause.[3]

Grindelwald’s disappearance was noted by many newspapers around the wizarding world, who were concerned at the absence of news about the Dark wizard.[3] He was allegedly spotted in Bratislava sometime before 20th November 1926.

Impersonating Percival Graves


— Gellert Grindelwald to Credence Barebone[src]

In December of 1926, unbeknownst to Picquery, Grindelwald had already infiltrated MACUSA by assuming the identity of her right-hand man Percival Graves using human transfiguration, whom Grindelwald managed to subdue. Grindelwald believed mysterious attacks occurring in New York City to be the work of a powerful Obscurial, which he felt would be a great asset for his plans of world domination. Using his disguise as Graves, Grindelwald came into regular contact with Credence Barebone, believing him to be connected to the Obscurial due to a vision he received. Thinking Credence was an orphaned Squib, Grindelwald emotionally manipulated him into helping him find the Obscurial with the promise of protecting him from his abusive adoptive mother and teaching him magic.

During this time, Grindelwald (as Graves) arrested Newt Scamander, whose escaped beasts were believed by MACUSA to be the cause of the Obscurial’s attacks. During his interrogation, Grindelwald discovered the Obscurus within Newt’s suitcase, and in an effort to hide his tracks, had him and Tina Goldstein sentenced to death. He then approached Credence after Mary Lou Barebone was killed by the Obscurial and had him track down his adoptive sister Modesty, believing her to be the source of the Obscurus. Once they found Modesty, Grindelwald cruelly rejected Credence, as he had no further use of him. This angered Credence, who then revealed that he was the Obscurial, much to Grindelwald’s surprise, as no Obscurial had survived to more than 10 years old, more than 15 years younger than Credence’s age.

Grindelwald wanted to use him to expose the North American wizarding community, and create a weapon against Dumbledore. He attempted to convince Credence that he had nothing to fear anymore and to join his ranks, but this further angered Credence, who began rampaging through the city. Grindelwald was not easily deterred, however, and continued to try to recruit Credence, clashing with Tina and later Newt, both of whom he easily overpowered. When Grindelwald, Newt, and Tina were finally close to calming down Credence, Picquery and her Aurors appeared on the scene and immediately attacked the Obscurus.

With Credence being seemingly destroyed at the Aurors’ hands, Grindelwald was so beside himself with rage that he, led by his extreme idealism, began to break his disguise while expressing his utter disgust for being forced to hide from the Muggles. Picquery subsequently ordered the other Aurors to bring “Graves” in, but Grindelwald, no longer suppressing his tremendous magical prowess, started to overwhelm them despite being outnumbered at least twenty to one. However, Newt finally managed to catch him off-guard with his Swooping Evil and restrained Grindelwald’s hands from behind, while Tina used a Summoning Charm to take Graves’ wand.

Newt then cast the Revelio Charm, making Grindelwald’s disguise fade away while revealing his identity. Even apprehended, Grindelwald was unfazed, arrogantly questioning Picquery’s ability to contain a wizard of his reputation and power. As he was led away, Grindelwald met Newt’s gaze and mysteriously asked him: “Will we die, just a little?”[20]

Escape from MACUSA


— Grindelwald praising Abernathy[src]

Six months after Grindelwald was captured by Newt Scamander, he was supposed to be transported from MACUSA Prison to Europe by Rudolph Spielman and Aurors to answer for crimes he committed. Because of his gift of persuasion, they had his tongue cut out, as several guards had sided with him. Unbeknownst to Picquery, Spielman and several others, Abernathy, MACUSA’s employee, was one of Grindelwald’s acolytes. A few moments before escorting the dark wizard, Abernathy went to Grindelwald’s cell and they both assumed each other’s identity by using Polyjuice Potion. When the carriage with the false Grindelwald set off, Grindelwald (as Abernathy) Disapparated from the MACUSA platform and Apparated underneath the carriage. When the two wizards reverted back to their true identities, Grindelwald Apparated onto the carriage and killed the Aurors escorting the carriage. He filled the carriage with water to stop the ongoing struggle inside as they realised that Abernathy had taken Grindelwald’s place, killed Aurors who had followed them, and then entered the carriage and blasted Spielman into the waters of New York Bay, before flying to Europe with his lieutenant.

Search for Credence Barebone

— Grindelwald’s orders to his acolytes[src]

Three months later, Grindelwald, alongside his acolytes, travelled to Paris to search again for Credence Barebone, who had survived the the battle in New York, in order to utilise his abilities to kill Albus Dumbledore. They walked on Boulevard Haussmann, where he pointed his cane at an apartment and waited patiently, tapping his cane on the street, for his subordinates to assassinate a couple in order to take over their apartment as a temporary headquarters. He watched as his acolytes carried out two coffins containing the couple, putting them into a horse-drawn hearse carriage. Stepping inside with his most trusted follower, Vinda Rosier, Grindelwald stated that the place was “suitable” before sending one of his acolytes to the Circus Arcanus to seek out Credence. He also reminded Vinda that death was not to be the fate of all non-magic people. Soon after, they then heard a toddler calling to his slaughtered parents and reluctantly directed Carrow to kill him.

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Later on, he used his skull-hookah to show the Alliance what Credence looked like. Krall questioned Gellert and got personally interrogated regarding his loyalty to his revolution.

During this time, Grindelwald urged Queenie Goldstein and bounty hunter Gunnar Grimmson to join his cause, which worked on Queenie due to her relationship with No-Maj Jacob Kowalski and due to Vinda emotionally exploiting her beforehand. Grindelwald ordered Grimmson to kill Irma Dugard in order to keep Credence’s identity a secret from him. After the murder, he met with Gunnar in an alleyway, and talked about how Credence took the murder of Irma and how he should join the Alliance.

Grindelwald himself later found Credence on the rooftop of the attic of 18 Rue Philippe Lorand and offered him a chance to find out his true parentage, and gave him a map to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise.

Rally in the Lestrange Mausoleum


— Grindelwald’s speech to his followers[src]

One evening, Grindelwald called a meeting for his followers in the Lestrange Mausoleum. There, he gave a rousing speech, in which he shared his idealist perspective of Muggles, as well as his vision of the future, which he warns of another great and terrible war, with images of the London Blitz and Hiroshima punctuating his rhetoric. Grindelwald, openly recognising the battalion of Aurors that had infiltrated the rally, told his followers to remain calm as he revealed their presence and invited them into the circle and he described how the Aurors have fought him so mercilessly, killing his followers simply for believing. When a young witch, who had been motivated by Grindelwald’s speech to lash out, went for her wand, the Auror killed her in response, much to the rage of Grindelwald and the rest of the attendees. Grindelwald knelt to the girl’s dead body and martyred her, asking the brave young witch to be taken back to her family. While kneeling, in Grindelwald’s ignorance, Newt’s Niffler, having escaped its owner’s suitcase, lurked near him and stole from him a vial of blood pact protecting him from Dumbledore. After getting up from the body he commanded his followers to Disapparate from the scene while he faced off against the Aurors.

When Theseus Scamander set his men on Grindelwald, he responded by conjuring a circle of protective fire around himself, and added an enchantment designed to test the loyalty of his followers: those who entered with complete fidelity and believed in his cause would survive; those who did not, would be engulfed and perish. Abernathy, Vinda Rosier, Credence, and Queenie joined Grindelwald into the circle and apparated to safety, while many of the Aurors died either fleeing or fighting when Grindelwald manipulated the fire to work as a weapon as well, sending balls and bursts of black fire towards his enemies, thereby killing them. Ultimately, about half a dozen of the fifty Aurors Theseus had brought along accepted his offer and joined him in the circle as well.

Then Grindelwald, mocking Newt by asking whether he thought Dumbledore would mourn for him, battled him and Theseus Scamander. Leta Lestrange screamed to him to stop, which he did and, in response, offered her to join his ranks. She refused, however, and cast a powerful spell that blasted to pieces his skull hookah. Leta was then engulfed by the flames, killing her, before telling the others to evacuate. Grindelwald let out his fury over losing such a valuable tool by unleashing the dark fire, allowing the flames to assume the form of giant bestial entities (similar to Fiendfyre), letting it run rampant, with the intent on destroying the entirety of Paris, and all of those present along with it, before he disapparated.

Return to Nurmengard Castle


— Gellert Grindelwald to Credence Barebone[src]

Sometime later, at Nurmengard Castle, Grindelwald spoke with Queenie Goldstein about what he must do to make Credence stop being afraid of him. Then he revealed to Credence that the baby bird he has been caring for is actually a Phoenix. According to legend, a phoenix will appear to anyone of a certain wizarding family in dire need. Grindelwald then presented him with a wand, as well as his birth name: Aurelius Dumbledore.

Global wizarding war


The start of open war

Eventually, the Second World War began just as Gellert Grindelwald foretold. Around this time, he declared open war upon the world, leading to the eventual ousting of Minister for Magic Hector Fawley. During these six years of utter chaos, Dumbledore hesitated to confront Grindelwald, despite the belief held by many, including quite possibly both men themselves, that he was the only wizard skilful enough to stop his former friend. The reason Dumbledore himself gave Harry was that he was afraid Grindelwald knew better than he did who exactly was responsible for killing Ariana and he didn’t want to find out. It was also because there were difficulties in abolishing their old blood pact, which in turn prolonged the Global Wizarding War.

Fall from power

— Description of Gellert’s reign[src]

After seven years of warfare, Albus Dumbledore, at this point about sixty-three years of age and Head of Transfiguration at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was finally able to destroy the vial that prevented him from taking on Grindelwald and after being convinced by people who suffered from his former friend’s actions, he tracked down Grindelwald.

In 1945, upon being found by Dumbledore, they engaged in a duel of such legendary proportions that eyewitnesses stated that it was the greatest duel ever fought between wizards. Despite Grindelwald’s mastery of the Elder Wand, Dumbledore had ultimately triumphed over Grindelwald due to being, in his own admission, a “shade more skilful”, thus becoming the master of the Elder Wand in the process.

Imprisonment and death



— Grindelwald shortly before his death[src]

With Grindelwald defeated, Dumbledore brought him to the authorities of the magical world, resulting in Grindelwald ironically being imprisoned in the topmost cell of Nurmengard, which would serve as his residence for the remainder of his life.[15]

Towards the later years of his life, Grindelwald re-evaluated his actions and his revolution and it was thought that he expressed shame and remorse for the horrors he and his followers had inflicted on the magical and non-magical worlds. In 1998, fifty-three years after his defeat, Grindelwald woke to find he was not alone in his prison cell; the prison had been infiltrated by Lord Voldemort, who was searching for the Elder Wand for himself. Despite being unarmed and defenceless against the most powerful Dark Wizard to have ever existed and the only Dark Wizard more powerful and dangerous than himself, Grindelwald refused to give up the location of the Elder Wand, taunting Voldemort by name and mocking his desire for the wand. Growing more and more impatient, Voldemort’s fury exploded when he felt his Death Eaters summoning him in tandem with Grindelwald’s final taunts that he could kill him if he wanted but the Elder Wand would never be his, and thus Voldemort ended Grindelwald’s life with the Killing Curse.[21]



It was speculated by Harry Potter and Dumbledore in Limbo that Grindelwald had given his life to prevent Voldemort from desecrating Dumbledore’s tomb, perhaps indicating that despite all that happened, Grindelwald still retained some care and respect for his old friend. Dumbledore’s acknowledgement of Grindelwald’s attempt to achieve redemption also indicated he believed Grindelwald was capable of changing out of some possible remaining affection for him. In the end, Grindelwald’s prediction of Voldemort never fully mastering the Elder Wand would become reality, and would cause Voldemort’s own demise during his final duel with Harry Potter. Although unknown, it is highly likely that after Voldemort’s final defeat and the end of the Second Wizarding War, Grindelwald’s assassination was exposed to the Wizarding World. It is unknown what became of his body or whether it received a proper burial or was simply disposed of.

Physical appearance

As a young man, Grindelwald had golden-blond hair and a “merry, wild” and “handsome” face. Harry Potter thought he had “a Fred and George-ish air of triumphant trickery about him”.[22]

By the time he was middle aged, Grindelwald’s hair was light blond, and he had blue eyes.[6] He also had a thin white moustache.[3]

Near the end of his life, when Voldemort found him at the top of Nurmengard, Grindelwald was severely emaciated – a frail skeletal figure with a skull-like face, great sunken eyes, wrinkled cheeks, and most of his teeth were gone.[21]

Personality and traits


— Dumbledore discussing Grindelwald after his death[src]

Grindelwald was a driven, charismatic, determined and brilliant individual, even in his youth. Albus Dumbledore himself confessed that Grindelwald was extremely charming, so much so that it had induced the former to fall in love with him, and it was partly the reason Dumbledore had been initially blind to just how dangerous Grindelwald truly was. His attraction to the Dark Arts was not necessarily malevolent in its initial stages,[23] but was more of a personal interest that swelled over time in Durmstrang, a school that was rather notorious for its acceptance and study of the Dark Arts.

During his formative years, Grindelwald also proved himself highly intelligent, magically talented, idealistic, as well as ambitious to the point of ruthlessness, with a ferocious temper; when Aberforth Dumbledore challenged his and Albus’s plans and tried to convince his brother to abandon them, Grindelwald “lost control” and used the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth, showing his willingness to cause pain to people who challenged him.[15] Grindelwald resorted to physically striking Credence Barebone when he grew impatient with the boy, briefly shedding the soft and comforting facade that he adopted earlier. Later on, when Grindelwald duelled Newt Scamander, he swiftly overpowered his opponent but in his rage of Newt’s interference, he fiercely unleashed bolts of lightning upon the Magizoologist in order to first incapacitate him in a painful manner. After his skull-hookah was destroyed, Grindelwald’s rage prompted him to try to destroy all of Paris. He also showed a sadistic streak, as during his battle against the Aurors in Paris, Grindelwald called after them “, shedding his charming nature entirely. Dumbledore himself expressed horror in what Grindelwald truly was, stating that he had always (unconsciously) sensed something dangerous in him. He was also not above killing Muggle infants, although he seemingly didn’t like to do it, such as after arriving in Paris, Grindelwald heard the cries of a Muggle toddler, and after a brief moment of consideration, walked out of the room and left him to be murdered by one of his acolytes.

— Grindelwald expressing his belief in Wizarding supremacy (whilst disguised as Graves)[src]

As a revolutionary operating outside the law, Gellert Grindelwald was man who lived in service to his ideals and, as he saw it, in humanity. Fully convinced that his revolution to bring wizardkind out of hiding and ” [their] ” above the non-magical population was truly for the greater good, and that it would bring order, purpose, and direction to the world while providing benefits for mankind in the long run, he tirelessly endeavoured to fulfil this vision. While both willing and capable of achieving his own ends by force, he also knew better than to presume, for all his power, that he could take on the whole world by himself and possibly come out on top. As such, he relied equally much on his outstandingly genius-level intellect and excellent mastery in the use of tactics and strategy. Aside from his ability to create carefully-woven plans to achieve his goals, Grindelwald was an extremely persuasive orator. Clever and composed, he had a phenomenal command of the art of public speaking, allowing him to mystify and terrify his audiences, allies and enemies alike, inspiring fanatical loyalty with each word, and gaining widespread following for his cause, followers whom he affectionately referred to as his as “brothers and sisters” and called “friends”. When appearing in front of an audience at a rally, Grindelwald was treated as a revered celebrity, as was expected of someone with his charisma.

He did recognise, however, that while a brilliant wizard, he was not infallible, and thus Grindelwald openly confided in a carefully selected group of six Acolytes that constituted the innermost circle of the army of Dark witches and wizards that he marshalled to his side. Additionally, while escaping his Incarceration Carriage and killing all of the accompanying Aurors, Grindelwald went out of his way to let Rudolph Spielman live, seemingly in order for the frightened Head of Incarceration to tell the International Confederation of Wizards how great of a threat Grindelwald truly was. Grindelwald could also work very independently when he had to, however, such as when he seemingly single-handedly infiltrated the MACUSA, and was able to mimic the personality of Percival Graves for an extended period time without arousing suspicion — even when having his followers denounced as fanatics by Newton Scamander, Grindelwald was mostly unfazed and only chuckled the only time he truly aroused anyone’s suspicion was when he interrogated Newt Scamander and labelled the hostless Obscurus as “useless”, which roused Newt to angry disbelief, and appeared to baffle former Auror Tina Goldstein. Thus, Grindelwald either momentarily lapsed in his facade at this point, or incorporated his own ruthlessness and calculative nature into that of Percival Graves. Either way, Grindelwald was quick enough to quell Newt’s realisation by sentencing both him and Tina to death, before the conversation could go any further.

Grindelwald showed himself to be immensely charismatic — he effortlessly exploited Credence Barebone by appealing to the boy in a way nobody else tried to and offering to accept the boy into his ranks. Even after it became clear that Credence, as an Obscurial, was extremely powerful and phenomenally dangerous, Grindelwald calmly continued to try and exploit him, and was outraged when the MACUSA President opted to have her Aurors seemingly destroy him. Grindelwald was idealistic to an extreme,[24] having absolutely no complaints about the murder of hundreds of innocent people as long as that accomplished his long-term goals. Indeed, Grindelwald’s idealism even prompted him to truly break his disguise in New York, expressing his disgust for being forced to hide from Muggles, and then proceeding to attack the MACUSA Aurors who had seemingly killed Credence. Even then, however, his anger was not expressed on his own behalf, but rather on that of the cause he was fighting for, which more or less spurred his life and deeds. Grindelwald spoke scornfully towards President Picquery when she insisted the Obscurial’s destruction was on her orders, mocking the fact that history would note this, and that it wasn’t right. Grindelwald noticeably paused before engaging the Aurors, indicating that he couldn’t see any other way out of it. Throughout all of this, Grindelwald maintained a stern pride in his own skill: even as he was unexpectedly apprehended by the Aurors after Newt Scamander had attacked and subdued him from behind, Grindelwald was unfazed, and simply questioned President Picquery’s ability to contain a wizard of his reputation and power. He did not even blink when faced with the President, fixing her with a fierce stare until she was out of his sight, showing his unwillingness to show fear to his enemies.

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As shown at his Paris rally, Grindelwald inspired fanatical loyalty in attendees by praising Wizardkind for being “rare souls”, and only labelled tyrannical Muggles as the true enemy, claiming that what he and his revolution were actually opposing was the future Second World War that the Muggles would start, and that it was the Aurors, rather than his Acolytes who were the truly violent wizards. Indeed, Grindelwald even persuaded the peaceful, kind, and compassionate Queenie Goldstein to join his cause by promising to abolish such laws as Rappaport’s Law, thus promising to bring Queenie and others a newfound freedom to love whomever they please. Grindelwald also showed a great trust in his followers, as seen by his trusting Vinda Rosier and his other Acolytes to “spread the word” of his ideology across the Wizarding world. Grindelwald was extremely persuasive even in his time in prison, where he kept convincing his jailers to join his side, forcing the MACUSA to change his guards three times, and to cut out Grindelwald’s tongue.

He demonstrated his manipulative skills and the willingness to use them for his own purposes. Judging by Aberforth Dumbledore‘s testimony, Grindelwald had little interest in, or patience with, those he considered beneath him. He considered Albus Dumbledore an equal, and praised the tremendous potential of the Obscurial Credence Barebone, for instance, but was dismissive of the less talented and intelligent Aberforth, the permanently damaged Ariana, and also, initially, Credence, whom Grindelwald initially callously discarded when he seemingly became no longer useful, mistakenly believing Credence to be a Squib, whom it would be impossible to magically train. In addition, while disguised as Percival Graves, Grindelwald questioned Newt Scamander, who he seemingly found to be an average wizard, in an interrogation as to why Dumbledore would have such faith in Newt, indicating an interest in further understanding both Dumbledore and Newt’s abilities. Grindelwald’s dismissal of Credence as a Squib suggested that Grindelwald, in his (somewhat arrogant) awareness of his own brilliance, was so secure in his own Seer judgement as to having grown a weakness for jumping to conclusions. Grindelwald was also criticised by Newt for deeming magical creatures too simple to raise his interest, being only turned towards more complex forms of magic, unaware that one such creature, a Niffler, actually stole his Blood pact vial.

However, Grindelwald was ultimately not a complete amoral man, as shown by how he was capable of feeling remorse for past wrongdoings and the fact that his lengths he was willing to go to reach his goals were fuelled by ambition and a fanatical sense of self-purpose, rather than evil intent. Grindelwald’s decision to stun, not kill Gregorovitch, when he acquired the Elder Wand from the latter, and also not bother finishing off Porpentina Goldstein even though he could have easily done so, hints at a willingness not to kill simply as a matter of course. However, this might have been a calculated decision, perhaps considering that people were more likely to give credence to Gregorovitch’s claims that he’d had the Elder Wand if he was murdered, as that was the traditional method of passing it on,[23] while his sparing of Tina was likely because Grindelwald didn’t view her worth the time he could instead have used to try to persuade Credence. After all, Grindelwald killed his own pet Chupacabra Antonio after deeming him “too needy”, he killed numerous Aurors while escaping the MACUSA, he ruthlessly killed many people who did not display enough loyalty to him to enter his circle of blue fire (disintegrating his own inadequately loyal Acolyte Krall, although while he did not spare Krall, he sombrely closed his eyes, indicating some regret and remorse, at seeing Krall painfully die as he tried to reach out to him as he reached out to Grindelwald, in addition to also offering the Aurors who attacked him a chance to join his army rather than just simply immediately massacring all of them and when Leta Lestrange asked him to stop, Grindelwald seemed rather willing to spare Newt and Theseus had Leta joined him, having stopped his attempts to burn them alive and only having the black flames thwart them instead of killing them), and Grindelwald even had no objections to Vinda Rosier and Carrow murdering a family of Non-Magiques, including their infant son, to secure a temporary headquarters for the Acolytes in Paris, although he seemed a bit reluctant in killing the baby and chose not to witness his acolytes kill him.

Nonetheless, Grindelwald’s ideology was considerably less extreme than that of Voldemort – while he considered his own wizarding kind superior, Grindelwald’s intended new world order only seemed to oppose tyrannical and hateful non-magical individuals, such as the No-Maj Second Salemers, and the Muggle executors of the future atrocities of the Second World War. Whereas Voldemort genuinely desired the destruction of all non-magic individuals, Grindelwald only ever wanted to subjugate them, believing that the beast of burden would always be necessary. He was disheartened to hear that people thought he hated Muggles.

Proof of his lesser dark nature, when compared to that of Lord Voldemort, was how that while Voldemort was completely without empathy and unable to feel remorse, Grindelwald seemed to genuinely pity Credence for the greatly unjust treatment he was exposed to not only by his own mother, but also by the magical community, as displayed by his rage of Credence being destroyed by MACUSA. He later expressed sympathy for how Mary Lou Barebone had nearly destroyed her own adopted son. After many years of imprisonment in Nurmengard, as he sat alone in his former fortress, Grindelwald was reportedly known for having contemplated his past misdeeds and felt remorse and shame for the horrifying things he had committed during his attempted rise to power over the magical and non-magical worlds. This clearly influenced his decision to hide the location of the Elder Wand from Voldemort, despite being confronted and certainly about to die at the hands of the only Dark Wizard more powerful and dangerous than himself, which Dumbledore acknowledged to be out of a desire to achieve a shred of redemption. This remorse and redemption is in stark contrast to Voldemort, who showed not an ounce of remorse for the countless atrocities he committed.

Grindelwald was also proven to be capable of fear, judging from the fact that he fled in fear of his life after the intense duel between himself, Dumbledore, and Aberforth that resulted in Ariana’s death, and how he resorted to being more cautious around Credence upon realising that was the Obscurial (in the knowledge of how dangerous and volatile Obscurials were). He never attempted to extend his power to Britain for fear of facing Dumbledore (most likely due to the circumstances of their last encounter, and the fact that he recognised how powerful Dumbledore was), but notably also due to their Blood pact making Grindelwald unable to directly confront Dumbledore. Not only does this suggest that Grindelwald was actually capable of contemplating Dumbledore being equivalently powerful or dangerous as himself, but that he was also capable of respecting Dumbledore. It would seem that despite Dumbledore being the cause of his downfall, Grindelwald still genuinely considered Dumbledore his friend in the end to an extent, as Harry Potter noted Grindelwald had also intended to prevent Dumbledore’s tomb from being desecrated when he lied on the Elder Wand. It should also be noted that despite his claims of wanting to unleash Credence upon Dumbledore, Grindelwald was never known to attack Britain even after he had Credence, as Britain was always acknowledged as the only place safe from Grindelwald, which seemed to imply Grindelwald, even at his worst, did not want Albus dead unless he had interfered in his plans.

When trapped and unarmed in Nurmengard, facing certain death at the hands of the only dark wizard more powerful than himself, Lord Voldemort, Grindelwald was openly defiant towards him, even mocking, goading Voldemort into killing him by saying that he welcomed death, but that it would not “bring him what [he] sought“, saying there is so much he “doesn’t understand”. Indeed, he seemed to exhibit a grotesque remnant of the “merry, wild” temperament of his youth. Grindelwald’s last words consisted of the dressing-down of Voldemort, and a rather enthusiastic outlook on “the next great adventure”, all of which seems clear in its connection to his old flame, Albus Dumbledore.

Magical abilities and skills

Grindelwald was an outstandingly talented wizard even in his youth while still a student. As an adult, Grindelwald became a very powerful and accomplished wizard and was admired and feared by many others of outstanding magical talent. Indeed, it is not without good reason that Grindelwald went down in history as among the most dangerous Dark Wizards of all time, maintaining the top spot for a long period of time until the arrival of the even more powerful Lord Voldemort, who earned the top title on the list a generation later. Indeed, even Albus Dumbledore, who was considered by many to be the greatest wizard of all time and whose past friendship with him meant that he knew Grindelwald better than arguably any living person, acknowledged Grindelwald to be nearly as talented as himself, with Dumbledore describing himself as a shade more skilful. As a former master of the Elder Wand, Grindelwald’s already formidable abilities was further enhanced by the artefact’s legendary powers, allowing him to perform spells that would be more powerful than otherwise magically possible.

  • Healing magic: Grindelwald had an immense understanding of healing charms, being able to heal the cuts on Credence Barebone‘s hands wandlessly and non-verbally, by simply touching them. Indeed, Grindelwald’s mastery and knowledge was so great that with the Elder Wand, he was capable of restoring Abernathy’s cut-off tongue, returning his ability to speak.
  • Transfiguration: Grindelwald was incredibly proficient in this field, and his ability and knowledge on the complex area of Human Transfiguration was sufficient to transform himself into an exact replica of Percival Graves for an extended period of time without his disguise fading, without him needing any Polyjuice Potion.[26] He easily transfigured the reigns of his Incarceration Carriage into living snakes, and was able to non-verbally conjure a new forked tongue for Abernathy after his escape.



Albus Dumbledore


— Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter, about his friendship with Gellert Grindelwald[src]

Albus Dumbledore first met Grindelwald when he was seventeen. They were introduced by Grindelwald’s great aunt, Bathilda Bagshot. They got along almost instantly, according to Bagshot. They had much in common, including the quest for the Deathly Hallows and edgy ideals about the structure of a wizard-led society. Eventually, their relationship developed further into one that went beyond mere friendship, one that was romantic, intense and passionate, as well as sexual. The two young lovers made plans to find the Deathly Hallows and lead a wizarding revolution with themselves as leaders, but Albus neglected his younger siblings, Aberforth and Ariana, as a result. When Aberforth confronted the pair over this, Grindelwald lost his temper and attacked Aberforth. Albus rushed forward to defend his brother, and during the duel Ariana was killed. Grindelwald fled, his relationship with Albus over, although their feelings for one another would not subside.


— Albus Dumbledore to Torquil Travers, about his bond with Gellert Grindelwald[src]

Over the next few decades, Grindelwald caused considerable havoc on behalf of his revolution but due to a past Blood Pact between them, neither Grindelwald or Dumbledore could directly fight one another, which frustrated Grindelwald as it prevented him from attacking Britain, which was essentially Dumbledore’s protectorate and operates on behalf of in his duties outside of Hogwarts. Although at this point, their relationship seemed to be a thing of the past, Grindelwald still acknowledged and respected the extraordinary magical and intellectual capabilities of his former lover, noting Dumbledore far outclassed any of his followers and with his equal intelligence and magical capability, he had the ability to subtly intervene anyway in his revolution, and this respect made Dumbledore the only wizard Grindelwald was wary of. Grindelwald feared Dumbledore as he recognised that Dumbledore would be capable of defeating him. This made Grindelwald seek out Credence Barebone in order to be able to use him as a weapon in case Dumbledore attacked him, although despite his claims of wanting to use Credence to kill Dumbledore, it seemed unlikely as Britain was always noted long after his revolution to be the only place Grindelwald never attacked, which could imply Grindelwald was either willing to tolerate Dumbledore, as at the time, even with the blood pact vial stolen, he didin’t have broken it anyway, or he wanted to conquer the rest of the wizarding world first before finally fighting Dumbledore to further increases his chances of victory. It also seemed that Grindelwald retained interest in Dumbledore, as shown by his taking time to question Newt regarding why Dumbledore would be fond of him while disguised as Graves and seeming reluctance to stop questioning him and sentence him and Tina to death after making a mistake, and perhaps may even have unresolved affections for him, as he, repeatedly, showed hatred for Newt being Dumbledore’s favourite. Eventually, however, by 1945, the blood pact between them was abolished. Dumbledore and Grindelwald engaged each other in a legendary duel, one to be marked as the one of the greatest ever fought between two wizards. However, Dumbledore’s greater power and skill ultimately defeated Grindelwald despite his mastery of the Elder Wand during their duel, and Grindelwald was imprisoned in his own prison, Nurmengard.

Many years later, in 1998, Grindelwald refused to give any information to Lord Voldemort about the Elder Wand despite the fact that he was imprisoned, wandless, and face-to-face with the only Dark Wizard ever considered more powerful than himself. This seems to indicate that Grindelwald no longer held the views of those who practised the Dark Arts and had felt remorse for his actions. It was speculated by Harry Potter that Grindelwald had given his life to prevent Voldemort from desecrating Dumbledore’s tomb, perhaps indicating that despite all that happened, Grindelwald still retained some care and respect for his old friend and lover. Dumbledore’s acknowledgement of Grindelwald’s attempt to achieve redemption also indicated he believed Grindelwald was capable of changing out of possible remaining affection for him.

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Aberforth Dumbledore

Aberforth disliked Grindelwald immensely, as he was Albus’s friend after Hogwarts, and Grindelwald was dismissive of him due to how much he was outshined by Albus. While Aberforth was taking care of Ariana, Albus and Grindelwald were planning to enslave the Muggles. As the two boys were planning to travel around the world, they also planned to take Ariana with them. Aberforth opposed them, telling them that he would be able to take care of Ariana once more. Grindelwald became very angry and used the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth; Albus then defended his brother and the three boys had a duel, in which Ariana was accidentally killed. Grindelwald escaped and left the country. Aberforth retained bitter memories towards Grindelwald for many years after their fateful encounter, and when he recounted the events that led to his sister’s death Harry noted the “positively dangerous” look that came over his face when Grindelwald’s name was mentioned.[25]

Ariana Dumbledore

Grindelwald was dismissive of the permanently damaged Ariana yet was willing to tolerate her to an extent for his old friend, allowing her to be brought in his and Dumbledore’s plans for revolution. However, Ariana tragically died when interfering in Grindelwald’s duel with Albus and Aberfoth and Grindelwald fled immediately.

Lord Voldemort

It is unknown if the two had ever met prior; however, by the time Voldemort visited Grindelwald in his Nurmengard prison in 1998, Grindelwald seemed to know all about him, and claimed that he knew that Voldemort would one day visit him to seek out the Elder Wand. Despite Grindelwald’s past revolution to dominate Muggles and status as one of the most powerful Dark Wizards to have ever lived, considered second only to Voldemort himself, he seemed to have no praise or respect for Grindelwald, and Voldemort likely saw him as an inferior and treated him as merely another person to interrogate in his search for the wand. Grindelwald likewise showed no fear toward the Dark Lord, and laughed, scornfully challenging Voldemort to kill him and using the younger wizard’s chosen feared name as a mockery of his great power, much to the latter’s fury. Grindelwald refused to tell Voldemort the Elder Wand’s location and taunted him by telling him that he would never be able to master the wand. Furious at his inability to gain information from the former master of the Elder Wand, Voldemort murdered Grindelwald with the killing Curse.

Ultimately, Grindelwald’s prediction of Voldemort never fully mastering the Elder Wand would become reality, and would cause Voldemort’s own demise during his final duel with Harry Potter.

Newt Scamander

Grindelwald, while disguised as Percival Graves, met the gifted Magizoologist in New York in 1926. Grindelwald, not finding Newt’s unique personality or magical skills impressive, questioned him on why Dumbledore would be fond of him. Newt at one point was outraged and disgusted when Grindelwald implied Newt was serving the Greater Good and coldly told him he was not one of the dark wizard’s acolytes, which actually impressed the Dark Wizard, causing him to smirk. He seemed to have been interested in talking more about it but upon having made a slip up of how he considered the Obscurus without a host useless, he ultimately did everything in his power to have Newt take the blame for the Obscurial deaths and nearly had him executed, albeit reluctantly, although it remained unknown what he would have done to Newt had the conversation continued. Grindelwald also revealed to Tina Goldstein that Newt had been expelled from Hogwarts for nearly killing a student in an incident involving a magical beast. When Newt intervened in Grindelwald’s plan to acquire Credence Barebone, Grindelwald dropped all pretence and ferociously attacked Newt, duelling and even torturing him with lightning spells in a rage. Newt managed to capture Grindelwald by use of Swooping Evil and revealed his true identity to MACUSA, but before being carried off Grindelwald turned to Newt and said mysteriously “Will we die, just a little?”, possibly as a message for Dumbledore due to his knowing Newt’s closeness to Dumbledore. Grindelwald later encountered Newt in Paris and attacked him and his allies, mocking Newt whether Dumbledore would mourn for him. Newt, however, survived the battle and out of hatred towards Grindelwald for having murdered Leta Lestrange, gave Dumbledore the blood pact vial, which would doom Grindelwald many years later. Grindelwald’s actions towards Newt seem to suggest he hated the younger man not only because he had thwarted him once, but also because he is infuriatingly jealous of Dumbledore’s admiration of Newt’s selfless qualities. It appears that Grindelwald, ever the narcissist, wanted to remain the centre of attention and admiration in his former lover’s mind in spite of his Dark deeds, their now opposing views, and Grindelwald’s own stated desire to have Dumbledore killed.

Porpentina Goldstein

Grindelwald had interacted with Tina while disguised as Percival Graves, and held a low opinion of her, due to Tina’s prim personality. During Newt’s interrogation, he sentenced him and Tina as well to death for her participation without hesitation. Grindelwald was later very furious at Tina for distracting him from Credence, telling her angrily she always turned up when he least wanted her, implying she may have intervened with his attempts to find the Obscurus previously, and while he did not bother to finish her, he threw a car at her without hesitation, thus beating her without using lethal force but still endangering her life. A year later, while convincing Queenie to join his ranks, Grindelwald painted Tina in a negative light by telling Queenie that it wasn’t the latter’s fault for having an Auror as a sister. He then ruthlessly tried to burn her alive with his cursed flames and would have succeeded had Leta not interfered.

Queenie Goldstein

Grindelwald had interacted with Queenie in Paris. When she met him, Queenie was clearly frightened due to his reputation as the greatest dark wizard of the age, and drew her wand in his direction nervously. While he resented Tina, Grindelwald did not extend this to Queenie and calmly manipulated her to join his ranks, taking advantage of Queenie’s loving, altruistic, and peaceful personality, by promising her that his revolution would fight against the future Second World War, and would bring about an era where others would be free to love whomever they pleased. Thus, during the rally in the Lestrange family Mausoleum, Queenie passed through the loyalty-testing circle of blue fire, officially joining Grindelwald. After escape from Paris, Grindelwald took Queenie with him to his Austrian residence of Nurmengard Castle, and asked her advice about how to appeal to Credence‘s current feelings, showing he acknowledged Queenie’s expertise in handling the emotions of others.

Credence Barebone

Grindelwald was reassuring and tender with Credence, giving him the affection the boy had craved and been denied all his life; however, this was mainly in order to use him to find the Obscurus and he coldly tossed him aside when he thought he had obtained his goal, believing him to be no more than a Squib. Considering Credence unteachable in the ways of magic as a result despite promising to teach him previously, Grindelwald told the boy that the death of his mother was his reward instead, although at least he did not just kill Credence to cover any traces. When it was revealed soon after that Credence was in fact the Obscurial, Grindelwald was surprised but quickly recovered and reassumed his old treatment of Credence and tried to recruit him to help expose the North American wizarding community, and create a weapon against Albus Dumbledore.

He continued trying to appeal to Credence, telling him that he wanted him to be free from hiding and repressing his power, until he vanished after being attacked by many Aurors. This resulted in Grindelwald furiously lashing out at MACUSA for what he truly felt was an act of injustice on a fellow magical individual, going so far as to drop his disguise as a faithful Auror in a passionate speech against the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and Muggles. As such, because of his magical heritage, Grindelwald showed genuine empathy for how badly and unjustly Credence was treated, not only being upset and resentful of how Picquery had coldly ordered Credence to be destroyed just because he threatened to expose wizardkind, but also pitying how Mary Lou nearly destroyed her own adopted son just because he was magical.

Upon learning that Credence had survived and was searching for his true heritage, Grindelwald sought the young man out, and gave him the freedom to come to his rally at the Lestrange family Mausoleum, acting as if he was close to Credence just as he did with Graves, although he did it with even more kindness, saying he only wanted what was best for Credence. At that rally, Grindelwald’s persuasive speech induced the desperate Credence to finally choose his side in the Global wizarding war by passing through the loyalty testing blue fire and joining Gellert Grindelwald’s acolytes. Grindelwald was true to his word this time, finally giving Credence a wand, and revealing the young man’s birth name: Aurelius Dumbledore, while also encouraging Credence by saying together they would change the world, seemingly being successful in having the latter convinced in breaking the Blood Pact and killing Albus Dumbledore.

Mary Lou Barebone

Grindelwald had likely never interacted with Mary Lou, but it is clear that he knew of her hatred for wizardkind, her status as the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, and how she had abused Credence for his magical heritage, inducing the young man to develop an Obscurus. Due to this, Grindelwald despised her, as he was planning to lead wizardkind to rise above the non-wizarding community, and seemed pleased when she became a victim of Credence’s Obscurus, as he told Credence when believing he was just as a Squib, that the death of Mary Lou was his reward. Months later, Grindelwald showed clear resentment when referring to Mary Lou for her near destruction of her own adopted son just because he was magical.

Vinda Rosier

Vinda Rosier was arguably Grindelwald’s most trusted and loyal Acolyte, therefore being the Dark Wizard’s anonymous lieutenant. Grindelwald trusted her with consoling Queenie Goldstein to soften her up for Grindelwald to convince her and also with keeping his Skull-Hookah, displaying his deep trust for Vinda. When Vinda spoke of eliminating Non-magic people and how they would flee their cities in the millions, Grindelwald told her that they don’t say such things out loud, that they only want freedom to be themselves and that they wouldn’t eliminate all Non-magic people as the beast of burden would always be necessary.


Grindelwald once trusted Krall enough to include him among one of his acolytes but at some point, he began to sense Krall’s loyalty had began to waver and had no qualms confronting him over it, bluntly asking whether he would stand by him as he collected Credence to use against Albus Dumbledore and not looking convinced when Krall tried to assure him. When Krall tried crossing Grindelwald’s Protego Diabolica, he died due to his inadequate loyalty.

See also


  • is the Hungarian version of , which comes from the Germanic , “spear”, as well as , “brave, hardy”. Saint Gellert was an Italian-born missionary and martyr who worked in Hungary.[32]
  • Gellért Hill is a high hill overlooking the Danube in Budapest, Hungary. Gellért Hill was named after Saint Gerard who was thrown to death from the hill. The famous Hotel Gellért and the Gellért Baths can be found in Gellért Square at the foot of the hill. The Gellért Hill Cave is located within the hill, facing toward Hotel Gellért and the Danube River.
  • is old German for “bolt,” and is also similar to the mythic monster Grendel who was defeated by Beowulf. This forms a parallel with Albus Dumbledore, whose middle name is “Wulfric”. is German for “forest”.
  • is also the name of a village and known ski resort in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland.
  • It is of interesting but purely speculative note that the name is very close to the name the name of a legendary dog of cultural, but little historical, significance to Northern Wales. According to local mythology, Gelert was the most faithful companion of Prince Llewelyn, mistaken for the assailant of the prince’s infant heir. His “grave” is a site in Beddgelert (literally Gelert’s Grave), Gwynedd, as well as the legend is popular in the area.
  • In German, wald is “forest.” Grind is a scab, as in the hardened covering over a scar, could also be grinsen, a grin or big smile. The words grindel or grendel appeared in early versions of several Germanic languages, including English. Grindan in Old English meant “to grind,” and further “destroyer,” someone who grinds up others. In Middle English, grindel meant “angry.” In Old Norse, grindill was taken from “storm,” and also meant “to bellow,” or produce a loud, frightening yell. In Danish legend, the Grendel was a fearsome, murderous monster of humanoid form. He was later defeated by the Scandinavian hero Beowulf in the medieval story of the same name.

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