Today I saw a question: Who is more powerful: Voldemort or Grindelwald?[closed] that struck me both in its similarity to a previous question Was Voldemort a Better Wizard than Dumbledore? and in the amount that it got DVd and closed. I can't seem to figure out why the first was almost immediately closed/DVd while the other was not.

From the comments of the first (none of which state that they are providing reasons for DVs), it seems that people were attributing the Shark vs. Gorilla argument against it. I don't believe that the question really fits into that area, as it asks about two people from the same universe, of the same "type", who are explicitly compared within the universe in question.

User Beofett explained in a comment that:

It doesn't matter if the two opponents are from the same universe or not. "Who would beat who in a fight" between two entities who never fought will always rely on speculation for answers, and therefore will almost certainly will not generate quality content.

If that is the case, then I see no reason for the second question to be open. Since it not only is open, but has garnered several up-votes I would refute the "almost certainly will not generate quality content."

Can someone please illuminate this situation for me?

Just to point out, with minor edits either question could be asking the exact same thing as the other (substituting the names of the characters in question).

  • Voldemort/Grindelwald now has 1 Reopen vote, and Voldemort/Dumbledore has 2 Close votes..
    – Izkata
    Dec 13, 2012 at 2:50
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    The Voldemort versus Dumbledore question I asked in April; the Voldemort versus Grindelwald question was asked 23 hours ago. But if the community wants to close my question based on shark versus gorilla, and open the question asked 23 hours ago instead, the rules say that's okay. If the community decides the new question is a better question, then so be it. :) Dec 13, 2012 at 3:05
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    2nd question shouldn't open. Dec 13, 2012 at 12:25
  • Since the question quotes me, but omits some important and relevant parts of my comments that give this context, I'll add them here: "However, [the older question] is about technical skill, and not 'who could beat who', which makes it just objective enough (imo) to remain constructive."
    – Beofett
    Dec 13, 2012 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


I don't think “shark vs gorilla” applies here: that would mean a question like “who is more powerful: Voldemort or Gandalf?” But I agree with Beofett's reasoning: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/27944/who-is-more-powerful-voldemort-or-grindelwald is not constructive, because it's exactly what it says on the tin — presumably each of them has his strong points and his weak points, and the answer is in the eye of the beholder. Was Voldemort a Better Wizard Than Dumbledore? references specific events and perceptions in the book: we are told which beholder to consider (to wit, JKR, and by implication what she hoped the reader would think). That makes the earlier question a good literary analysis question. (It also helps that the author of the earlier question Did The Research.)

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    Thanks :) I'm perplexed over why the OP is advocating to choose a four sentence question with downvotes over mine, which has 13 upvotes and is researched and cited. That question was a bit tricky to put together (to avoid shark vs gorilla) and I did spend some time on it. Can you explain this to me at all? As a member of this community - the fact that question two is mine aside - in gemeral I would want a question and answer with upvotes, not one with downvotes representing our site. I really don't understand why this issue is being raised. As a mod, can you help me wrap my brain around this? Dec 13, 2012 at 4:28
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    @Slytherincess In no way did I "choose" the other question over yours. I was asking why when the questions are VERY similar, that yours was upvoted and the other users was DVed and closed with no explanation. The other user BTW is relatively new, and it would be nice to at least explain why we are closing their question, especially when it essentially asks the same thing as yours. I wasn't advocating one question over another as you're implying, I was questioning why two very similar questions received such different community responses.
    – NominSim
    Dec 13, 2012 at 5:14
  • I agree that the first question could use some tweaking, maybe some rewording, and some canonical quotes to back up their claims (which are correct AFAICR). However instead of providing any help to him the community DVd.
    – NominSim
    Dec 13, 2012 at 5:15
  • @NominSim -- Well, I neither read that question before reading this post or DV/VTC it, so I can't say. I'm wondering why you didn't put the above sentiments into your original post? Because I actually completely support guiding newbies and giving feedback. If your goal is altruism, you should say so. As the question is right now, it reads as an attempt to get my question closed. Maybe you could clarify the issue of helping newbies out? Again, I support feedback and guidance. Dec 13, 2012 at 13:33
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    @NominSim I continue to disagree with the idea that "Who is more powerful/superior?" is "essentially the same thing" as "Which wizard was more technically skilled?". One is "who would win in a fight", and the other is "who demonstrated a generally higher level of mastery and advanced applications". The first asks for speculation on something that never occurred. The second asks for an evaluation based upon what evidence was presented in the books, movies, or interviews. That's a pretty significant difference, imo.
    – Beofett
    Dec 13, 2012 at 14:36
  • @Beofett I don't see as big of a difference. I grant that the first question was worded in a more clever way so that it properly avoided the issue of speculation. The second question could have easily been modified to do the same thing, however it was merely DVd and closed instead. The second question is asking essentially; "Who was the better (on a technically skilled level): Voldemort or Grindewald?" and it does give examples from the books of comparison.
    – NominSim
    Dec 13, 2012 at 17:09
  • @Slytherincess If you read my original post carefully...I bring up the two questions, and say that I "can't figure out why they were treated differently". Then I go on to explain the (apparent) reasoning behind people DVing the first question (Shark v. Gorilla) and refute it, stating that the same applies to your question. Meaning: neither should be DVed. After which I quote Beofett and state that his reasoning doesn't seem to apply either because your question was quality content. Then I ask for some discussion. Where do you get that I was attempting to DV/close your question?
    – NominSim
    Dec 13, 2012 at 17:18
  • @NominSim I'm not really going to argue about this. You think "who would win in a fight" is the same as "who is more technically skilled" (and yes, the second question clearly implies that it is about who would win in a fight, and not technical proficiency). I disagree, but that's ok. I also clearly indicated why the first question was substantively different, so I'm not sure how my "reasoning doesn't seem to apply". Again, one is asking for an evaluation based on events that occurred, and the other is asking for speculation for what might happen on events that never did occur.
    – Beofett
    Dec 13, 2012 at 17:44

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