The Final Word Less One - on any subject anywhere any time that the author finds interesting -

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Turns out there's no contest:

Gandalf kicks butt on all other fantasy wizards.

Here's the head to head comparisons:
  1. Gandalf vs. Dumbledore - Gandalf is a few thousand years old compared to Dumbledore's 100 plus. Gandalf's got the bigger staff AND he comes back from the dead after falling into a bottomless pit with a demon of pure flame. Dumbledore can't even cope with being poisoned, hit with a death spell and falling off a tower.
  2. Gandalf vs. Yoda - Should be obvious that in a real knockdown, Gandalf would wipe the floor with Yoda's puppety little ass. Plus Gandalf knows more languages, including Elven and Moth.
  3. Gandalf vs. Harry Dresden - Dresden's definitely a contender. He's got the big staff, resurrects nicely PLUS he rides bareback on a dinosaur whereas Gandalf has to settle for an extremely cool white horse who just happens to be the King of all Horses. The claim that Dresden is "Gandalf on crack" however is marketing bullshit. Dresden's your guy if you want a building burned down, but Gandalf has more tricks up his sleeve including healing Kings, deterring Nazgul, hiring burglars, etc. Gandalf is the guy you'd trust with a DIVINE MISSON; Dresden's one of those noir gumshoes. Gandalf's crafty: he makes awesome dragon-shaped fireworks, blows incredible smoke rings and he's truly wise, not just a wiseass.
Gandalf gets it all done in four books, which are so stupendous that they've never been translated onto the screen in their entirety. Our contender for second place, Harry Dresden is up to 13 books, a TV series and a bunch of short stories. Dumbledore was in seven books which required eight movies. Quantity is not the same thing as quality, people. And Yoda was just a big screen phenom, ya know--nowhere without a special effects man. 

We thank the correspondent who posed the question and leave him with the FINAL word: Get a life, man, or at least out in the fresh air once in awhile!  

comparing the bad guys


Mark Laramore said...

Not very stiff competition there, Yoda isn't even a wizard, though I am pretty sure he would win in a light sabre duel. Dumbledore? Pfaw... he's just kid's play. OK, I will give you a pass on Dresden, he's a badass, but I agree he loses to Gandalf.

I notice Elminster did not make the list, though. Why is that? Perhaps you fear that he just might come out on top?

Elminster is no pup, 1200 years old and still going strong, he keeps up with Gandalf on the wisdom of age front. Elminster needs no staff, he is a badass and knows it, his only accessory is his Meerschaum pipe, and he only uses it so he has something to do with his other hand while he is kicking your ass.

Coming back from the dead? Give me a break, only weak wizards die. Gandalf descended into the bowels of hell to close a demon gate and save all of Toril, and did it while fully alive. He survived horrendous torture at the hands of the Arch-Devil Nergal and continually healed himself until he had the chance to bust out of hell.

Mounts? Who needs a mount when you can teleport? Oh, and he can shape shift as well, but he doesn't even need magic to do it, it is a natural ability for him.

But there's one thing Elminster has that none of these other wizards can come close to... a way with the ladies. He has sired several powerful daughters, but has never been married. And to top this one off, he even got it on with the Goddess Mystra.

Elminster Aumar, the Sage of Shadowdale FTW!

Charles Colyott said...

Gandalf's greatest trick: being in a fantasy series that has been elevated to literary status.

Ellen Mizell said...

Well, Mark you make a case for this dude. I used to play D&D but I admit I'm not familiar with Ed Greenwood and have never seen any of his books. That might be the problem right there-

Ellen Mizell said...

Charlie, this happens to fantasy and science fiction authors when they become old and wise and somewhat mythical...suddenly the "crap" they've done becomes "literature". Go figure.

Ellen Mizell said...

Uh, Mark, your 4th paragraph? You say "Gandalf" rather than What's His Name. I kinda blipped over it because it sounded like something from Tolkien's mythology. If Elminster compares with Gandalf only because he's derived from Gandalf, then he's not really in the running. There's a lot of fantasy authors who are Tolkien wannabees. Some of them are fun. Not knocking it, but...

Mark Laramore said...

It was just a slip, I was rolling. With any fantasy Wizard since Tolkien, the case could be made that there was some inspiration from Gandalf. Illustratively, they do seem to look similar, but Ed Greenwood and J.R.R. Tolkien were not illustrators. When you get down to the traits they exhibit in their respective literature, I think you will find that there is not as much of a comparison.

Ellen Mizell said...

There was fantasy before Tolkien but he spawned/inspired waves of fantasy writers. Merlin is the real mythical figure here from whence Tolkien and his buddies drew inspiration. Probably Merlin we treat the King Arthur cycle as fantasy? It goes so far back to the days before English was literature or even English...

Tom Daly said...

I love Gandalf, but I'd have to agree that Merlin is the true original!