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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
Who is your favourite Wizard? (The Istari are NOT included)
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Poll: Who is your favourite Wizard? (The Istari are NOT included)
Harry Potter 3 / 7%
Dumbledore (Richard Harris) 11 / 27%
Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) 5 / 12%
Prospero (From Shakespeare's "The Tempest") 2 / 5%
Merlin (From the BBC Series) 3 / 7%
Merlin (Nicol Williamson in "Excalibur") 3 / 7%
Merlin (From Disney's "The Sword and The Stone" 3 / 7%
Other (feel free to specify who via a reply) 11 / 27%
41 total votes


Sep 28 2012, 7:31am

Post #26 of 39 (710 views)
No wonder I did not know [In reply to] Can't Post

Because I havent seen any of those movies/tv-series, nor have I read Macbeth or the wizard of oz Evil


Sep 28 2012, 7:41am

Post #27 of 39 (897 views)
Hmmm, wikipedia has quite a good list [In reply to] Can't Post

Link. You might know some there?


Sep 28 2012, 7:45am

Post #28 of 39 (844 views)
Magica de Spell [In reply to] Can't Post

From the Donald Duck-comics! I like her.

Reading through this list also reminds me of that I should give The Wizard of Oz a go.Folks are keen to remind me that I havent watched it, so maybe it's time Tongue


Sep 28 2012, 2:35pm

Post #29 of 39 (604 views)
well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I hesitate entering into this territory because it can start to look political and I don't want to hijack the light hearted intentions of this poll or to create the basis for a potentially contentious discussion.

But, generally, the word wizard is used for men. The comparable word, in a way, for women is witch.

Whereas wizard often means someone wise and powerful, the name/label witch has - culturally and colloquially - a more sinister and ugly context on it.

There are a lot of reasons for this and it's complicated, but I think it's evidence of a long history of bias against women having power. Especially power that the average male might not have.

The list that DanielLB provided - I would wager (without checking them all) - are all/mostly witches. And there is a wikipedia page for lists of witches but not a comparable one of wizards that could let us check which female characters might be called a wizard.

If we asked people - quick - to name the first 5 wizards that came to mind, I bet all would be characters we would consider 'good'. If we asked people to do the same with witches, I'm not so sure we'd get 'good' characters.

I don't try to get too political with pop culture. Pop culture, for the most part, serves to entertain and we allow ourselves to set aside some standards to do that (otherwise, how could we 'enjoy' violent movies, for example).

But pop culture is rooted in history. Both in history that happened (like the Salem witch trials) and history of what what functioned as contemporary culture throughout different eras and ages.

And pop culture perpetuates stereotypes and beliefs and biases. The way we look at magical, powerful men is quite different from the way we look at magical, powerful women. If we call someone a witch, it's almost always a pejorative. One that is completely gender based.

So, I'm looking forward to voting on my favorite witch but I'm eager to see what list is presented and whether the characters are as likeable as the wizard list (I hope it's not a list of only HP characters). And I had a little moment of dismay when I realized that this poll would be male only. This is a list of intriguing and powerful and commanding people. But women couldn't be part of it. I don't take any offense at the poll in any manner. It's just a personal sigh moment.

It also made me think of four young women I used to teach. I'm going to call them young women even though they were in first grade. They were bright and quick and intelligent and humorous. I was reading books about pumpkins, and talked about jack o'lanterns. They, amongst themselves, started calling them jill o'lanterns. That just tickled me to no end. They took one of many gender specific titles and made it something they could relate to. :-)

and... just in case it looks like I was boycotting this poll, I wasn't, really. It's just that my favorite wizard is really the persona of Merlin. Not the depiction of Merlin but the actual root of who this person might have been. (since I've done some reading on this) I enjoy many depictions of him but my favorite would be the potential 'man' himself. My favorite depiction.. or perhaps the one of which I'm most fond... is the one that appears in the Mary Stewart books. I also like the whole Arthur/Merlin/etc stories as told in Mists of Avalon.

Arwen's daughter

Sep 28 2012, 3:42pm

Post #30 of 39 (710 views)
Where's my "I agree with Magpie" stamp? [In reply to] Can't Post

It took me a bit, but I can name a handful "good" female witches from the media I'm familiar with:

-Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
-The sisters Halliwell from Charmed
-The Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz
-Serafina Pekkala from the His Dark Materials trilogy
-Hermione Granger of Harry Potter
-Kiki of Kiki's Delivery Service
-Mary Poppins


Sep 28 2012, 4:21pm

Post #31 of 39 (852 views)
some versions of the Arthur stories [In reply to] Can't Post

put a kinder light on Morgan le Fay than others.

Grey Havens

Sep 28 2012, 6:02pm

Post #32 of 39 (816 views)
Good Witch [In reply to] Can't Post

What's wrong with Samantha Stevens, witch I already mentioned (see what I did there?). Wink

I thought of Glinda too. But she needed the "good" prefix, witch kinda supports your point, but the "wicked" witch also had that prefix, so it was equal treatment.


Sep 28 2012, 8:06pm

Post #33 of 39 (825 views)
I can't decide- all of the above... [In reply to] Can't Post

but my all-time favourite is Rincewind (played by David Jason) in The Colour of Magic.

Aunt Dora Baggins

Sep 28 2012, 8:30pm

Post #34 of 39 (835 views)
Or at least read the book [In reply to] Can't Post

which is really a very different thing from the movie. I love them both, but they're not at all the same.


Sep 29 2012, 9:20am

Post #35 of 39 (911 views)
I voted for Richard Harris... [In reply to] Can't Post

... because he's pretty much exactly how I pictured Dumbledore. But Disney's Merlin is pretty cool, too Cool

Tol Eressea

Sep 30 2012, 2:04am

Post #36 of 39 (600 views)
Excellent points. All sad but true...but also slowly changing (hopefully) // [In reply to] Can't Post


Tol Eressea

Sep 30 2012, 2:13am

Post #37 of 39 (687 views)
What would have been amazing... [In reply to] Can't Post

is if Ian McKellen could have done double duty as Gandalf and Dumbledore! He would have made the perfect Dumbledore with just the right blend of gravitas, wisdom, warmth, energy and power.


Sep 30 2012, 7:16am

Post #38 of 39 (657 views)
In actual fact, Ian McKellen was offered the role of Dumbledore [In reply to] Can't Post

He turned it down for two reasons: 1. Because he had already played Gandalf and 2. Because one of the last things that Richard Harris did publicly was state what a dreadful actor he thought McKellen was, so Ian thought it inappropriate to take over his role.


Oct 1 2012, 3:40pm

Post #39 of 39 (1399 views)
In the earliest Welsh stories [In reply to] Can't Post

she's the Morrigan, the Triple Goddess, and Gawain is her knight, the noblest in the land. Over about six centuries they both devolve, the Morrigan into a witch (although Morgan le Fey means "Morgan the Fairy") and Gawain into a drunken lout and rapist, who is replaced by the pure Christian Galahad who has nothing to do with women.

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