When I was little (and to a certain extent now) Merlin was my favorite sorcerer. I think it's because I also love the time period. But the thought of a powerful wizard existing and helping mere mortals intrigued me even in elementary school. I guess I was born to exist in the fantasy genre.
Anyway, it wasn't until high school that I became intrigued with the Olympian gods. In a way, both are very similar. They both have certain powers. They both interact with mortals, although the gods are more manipulative. I'm not sure why, but recently I have been wondering who would win in an epic battle between Merlin and one of the Olympian gods. For the sake of discussion, let's just say Zeus.
The TV series Supernatural always places any "god" character at the top of the power list. These are the ones that they have the most difficulty defeating...many times not really "killing" them. In all fairness, they deal more with demons than sorcerers. The Jim Butcher series The Dresden Files deals with a wizard who takes on other supernatural elements They all have their strengths, but he seems to struggle the most with the "strong" wizards...in other words old. So, who is stronger? A god or a wizard?
The one thing going against Merlin is his "human" element. How does one go about killing a "god"? They are, by definition, immortal...right? So, I would think a god can only be defeated through manipulation and out-maneuvering. Wizards are super-human, but still human. They bleed. Therefore, as much as I love Merlin and thinks he rocks the supernatural world, I would have to say any of the Olympian gods would defeat him. But, I would still love to see this epic battle.