If there’s one thing you can count on in great fantasy, it’s epic villains. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sauron from Lord of the Rings and J.K. Rowling’s Voldemort from Harry Potter are probably right there on the top of the list. Both were diabolical, evil wizards whose powers were incomprehensible. They were also both known as Dark Lords. So, if Sauron and Voldemort battled, who’d win in a fight of Dark Lords?
Sauron would win in a fight against Voldemort. Both Sauron and Voldemort are extremely powerful and have their advantages, but Sauron would likely win against Voldemort more often than lose. He is a much older, non-human entity with so much more power at his disposal, and it would be extremely difficult for Voldemort to beat him.
That being said, Sauron did lose the One Ring and wasn’t able to regain a physical form as Voldemort did. Also, what about the Horcruxes? Voldemort had seven, whereas Sauron only had the One Ring. Seven beats one, right? Well, not necessarily. Let’s dive into the comparisons more intrinsically to have a better judgment of the matter.
I want to get this category right off the bat because it’s one of the things that bothers me the most about Lord Voldemort, pointing out that the guy was actually utterly useless.
He was a wizard who sought absolute power, and immortality was one of his main goals (the other being wiping out Mudbloods and leading wizards into dominion over the rest of the world). He was born in 1926 and first got nearly killed in 1981 while trying to kill Harry. He then lost his body, only to return later, regain his body, but get killed for good in 1998.
That means the guy who sought immortality basically died twice in 17 years and met his final demise at the age of 72. The problem is that wizards tend to live, on average, well over a hundred years. Heck, Dumbledore was 116 when he died, and he could’ve lived a lot longer.
That essentially means if Voldemort hadn’t been an evil bastard, never sought immortality, and just enjoyed a nice, suburban life, he’d live probably twice as long as he did.
On the other hand, you have Sauron – now, that’s the Dark Lord. Granted, he had a mentor who was probably even darker, but Sauron the Deceiver has been around longer than the world itself. He was born in Valinor, way before the first age, meaning he is well over tens of thousands of years old.
He survived for so many millennia, while Voldemort couldn’t outlive a regular human. The sheer difference in experience goes immeasurably in favor of the real Dark Lord, Sauron. He gets a category point here, and it’s not even close.
Point: Sauron (1:0) Voldemort
It’s unclear if Sauron has ever truly had a physical form as we know it. He is a Maiar, an entity that can take the form of anything one can imagine. His true form is unknown, or at least incomprehensible to humans. Now, we know he took a physical form at some points, like when Isildur cut off the One Ring from his finger, which resulted in him losing his form completely.
He barely held onto life simply because his life force was embedded into the Ring. A similar thing happened to Voldemort. He tried killing Harry Potter, but it backfired, and he nearly died, losing his physical form. The only reason he barely survived was his Horcruxes, pieces of his soul still remaining alive, just like Sauron stayed alive thanks to the One Ring.
Granted, Tom Riddle was only a human wizard initially, whereas Sauron was an ethereal entity, but in the end, only Voldemort managed to regain his physical form, whereas Sauron couldn’t because he never got the One Ring back. For that, Voldie gets a point.
Point: Voldemort (1:1) Sauron
At first, I thought this category was the easiest pick, but when I thought about it and looked into it further, I realized it was a much closer contest than I initially thought. Sauron was an almighty Dark Lord. His powers were unfathomable, and their extent was virtually unknown.
He fought opponents that were almost as powerful as he is, for thousands of years, gathered his armies, and single-handedly wreaked havoc on the Planet. Granted, he had huge help and mentorship from an even more powerful Dark Lord, Morgoth, but Sauron’s sorcery and cunning helped him accomplish extraordinary things.
His experience and knowledge about how the world works predate the world itself. However, after losing the Ring, we don’t see him do much single-handedly in terms of powers, spells, etc.
On the other hand, Voldemort is a self-taught dark wizard, knowing more about dark magic than anyone before him. He knows countless spells and holds enormous power, especially for a human wizard. That being said – he is still just a human wizard. A highly skilled and knowledgeable human wizard, but only that.
Sauron is just a level beyond that – his powers are otherworldly and primordial, which Voldemort simply couldn’t cope with.
Point: Sauron (2:1) Voldemort
This is where things get difficult to gauge because both Dark Lords had their armies, but they were quite different from one another. Both had mythical creatures on their side, like trolls, basilisks, fell beasts, etc. However, that’s the only thing they had in common.
Now, if we’re talking about strength in numbers, Sauron gets the win, and it is actually not even close. He breeds and creates Orcs of all kinds with the help of Saruman and Isengard while also having numerous wild, evil men tribes in his ranks, marching under the dark flags of Mordor. Not to mention the Nazgul and their leader, the Witch King of Angmar.
Only a fraction of Sauron’s armies marched to attack Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – a big fraction, however, coming in hot from Isengard. That army alone counted over ten thousand soldiers, including the Uruk Hai – the most powerful, intelligent form of Orcs.
As for Voldemort, he could never compete with those sheer numbers. His army was never counted in thousands, but rather dozens, or hundreds, at best. However, Voldemort’s armies weren’t sword-wielding, arrow-shooting Orcs running around in their armors, engaging in hand-to-hand combat.
His armies were Death Eaters – all of them dark wizards with incredible magical power at their disposal, even without werewolves and other evil creatures that followed the Dark Lord. Sauron was a wizard but lost his power after losing the One Ring, and the only other wizard he had was Saruman – who hardly ever used his spells and magical might.
Of course, the numbers go in Sauron’s favor, but to have an army of wizards at your disposal is simply something that simply Orcs just couldn’t handle. Sauron might have a slight advantage here, but not enough for me to give him the only point. I’m calling this category a tie.
Point: Sauron (3:2) Voldemort
One Ring Vs. Seven Horcruxes
Finally, the most important category of all! Both Dark Lords created objects that hold their power within – a piece of them that would keep them alive, even when their physical form dies. Sauron created the Rings of Power, ruled over by the One Ring, whereas Voldemort created seven Horcruxes. Well, six intentionally, and the last one accidentally.
So, which is better? The One Ring or the Seven Horcruxes? Well, for starters, the One Ring definitely holds the greatest power. The Horcruxes aren’t meant to hold power like that, but rather hold pieces of Voldemort’s soul that would keep him alive if he dies, as he did when he tried to kill Harry Potter.
The One Ring is almost indestructible – the only way to destroy it is to toss it into the fires of Mount Doom. However, it was only possible because of Frodo and Sam, who were Hobbits – beings so pure and kind; they were able to carry the Ring for long enough not to get corrupted because they didn’t seek power.
Sure, Voldemort or his kin could get to Mount Doom a lot faster with magic, but there’s a catch – they all want power, and all are evil. And, the more you seek power, the stronger the influence of the Ring. It would corrupt them before they ever get to Mount Doom, meaning none of them could actually kill Sauron, no matter how much they wanted to.
The only advantage the Horcruxes have over the One Ring is the numbers, as there were seven instead of one, but the power of the One Ring shatters the power of all seven Horcruxes. And that doesn’t even include the other Rings of power worn by the Nazgul.
The One Ring rules them all.
Point: Sauron (4:2) Voldemort
Sauron Vs. Voldemort: Which Dark Lord wins?
Finally, the point score says it all – Sauron beats Voldemort more often than not. He is a Maiar, a primordial entity tens of thousands of years old. He holds vast power and has a much bigger army, and the power of the One Ring would certainly keep him alive, for there’s nobody in Voldemort’s ranks that could destroy the Ring without being corrupted by it.
That being said, I say Sauron would beat Voldemort more often than not because Tom Riddle has a few advantages himself. First of all, his army isn’t stupid Orcs – it’s an army of dark wizards, each holding vast, ruthless, unique power.
All things aside, if Voldemort can find a way to take the One Ring to Mount Doom without getting corrupted on the way – for instance, with a spell or spells – he could get there a lot faster than Frodo and Sam and destroy Sauron before the fight ever begins. It’s a big what-if, but hey, this whole battle is a what-if!
Therefore, I believe Sauron wins the battle of Dark Lords, with Voldemort having a small chance of winning if he finds a way to destroy the One Ring before it corrupts him and makes him keep it.
If Sauron already has the One Ring at his disposal, then there’s absolutely nothing that Voldemort can do to stop him and his armies.