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Battle for Middle Earth II Heaven » Forums » The Library of Minas Tirith (LOTR Discussions) » How powerful were wizards, really?
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Topic Subject:How powerful were wizards, really?
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Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 08:59 PM EDT (US)         
Wizards, as they are called, are Maiar, and were sent to Middle Earth to help defeat Sauron. Now, most will say that they are very powerful.

I disagree.

We can tell from passages in the book that Wizards are quite weak without their staffs. It was the staffs that had the power, not the Wizard. Gandalf broke Saruman's staff, Saruman took Gandalf's staff, rendering him powerless, Saruman wants the rods fo the five wizards. The power resides in the staff, not the wizard, obviously. What are your thoughts on this?

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
AuthorReplies:
Sir Snoopy
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 09:09 PM EDT (US)     1 / 40       
But only the wizard can use the staff. Do you think Frodo could use the staff?
The same thing with the ring. Wizard w/ ring = power
Frodo with ring = Work for sam.

Retired GameReplays.org Senior Replay Reviewer
World Class Drum Corps International Mellophonist 2009
Proud Winner of "Best Newbie Award" BFME2H, a long time ago
Murrogh
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 09:29 PM EDT (US)     2 / 40       
I disagree, Gandalf broke his staff on the bridge of Kazadum, and then preceeded to use other powers on the mountain and in the end destroying the balrog.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -
Sir Snoopy
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 09:41 PM EDT (US)     3 / 40       
Didn't he have the staff?
EDIT:
He did.

See on the right side?

Retired GameReplays.org Senior Replay Reviewer
World Class Drum Corps International Mellophonist 2009
Proud Winner of "Best Newbie Award" BFME2H, a long time ago

[This message has been edited by Sir Snoopy (edited 11-21-2007 @ 09:42 PM).]

Scotty the Fallen
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 09:50 PM EDT (US)     4 / 40       
Snoopy, what Murrogh is referring to is the actual book. In the book, Gandalf slammed his staff down shouting "you shall not pass" and it shattered.

Regarding the power of Wizards: They Are Maiar, and so is Sauron.

We see how powerful he is.

Scotty the Fallen | One-time Angel Reincarnate, and Former BFME2H and TWH Downloads administrator, and BFME2 Strategy Administrator.
"And I shall go softly into the night, taking my dreams, as will you." - EoJ
"Scotty's probably the only forumer here who can make every post a defiant claim of his own superiority." - Atzy
Sir Snoopy
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 10:00 PM EDT (US)     5 / 40       
Oh.
Ok.
I would get rid of the pic, but he looks so cool!

Retired GameReplays.org Senior Replay Reviewer
World Class Drum Corps International Mellophonist 2009
Proud Winner of "Best Newbie Award" BFME2H, a long time ago
Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 10:55 PM EDT (US)     6 / 40       
But only the wizard can use the staff. Do you think Frodo could use the staff?
The same thing with the ring. Wizard w/ ring = power
Frodo with ring = Work for sam.
The staff was made for the Istari only. Or perhaps they were a tool for... all Maiar?
I disagree, Gandalf broke his staff on the bridge of Kazadum, and then preceeded to use other powers on the mountain and in the end destroying the balrog.
In the First Age, in the Fall of Gondolin, Glorfindel killed a Balrog. Ecthelion killed The Lord of Balrogs. You do NOT need special powers to kill a balrog.
Regarding the power of Wizards: They Are Maiar, and so is Sauron.

We see how powerful he is.
Sauron posessed evil, raw power. Gandalf is an istari, and even then, if he's so powerful, why the need for a staff?

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Murrogh
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 11:07 PM EDT (US)     7 / 40       
In the First Age, in the Fall of Gondolin, Glorfindel killed a Balrog. Ecthelion killed The Lord of Balrogs. You do NOT need special powers to kill a balrog.
Ecthelion was a great elf not an old man, besides from the description of the battle you can infer Gandalf did some pretty snazzy magic.

I think the staffs are best thought of as tools and symbols of power rather than the source there of.
Gandalf broke Saruman's staff,
This was done I believe as a symbol of Sarumans fall from the order.
Saruman took Gandalf's staff, rendering him powerless,
No, he let him keep it.
Saruman wants the rods fo the five wizards.
No, he claimed gandalf wanted them, along with crowns, making it more likely they are symbols.

Remember in the Return of the king when Gandalf drove of the nazgul with white light? the light came from his hand.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -

[This message has been edited by Murrogh (edited 11-21-2007 @ 11:08 PM).]

Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-21-07 11:34 PM EDT (US)     8 / 40       
Ecthelion was a great elf not an old man, besides from the description of the battle you can infer Gandalf did some pretty snazzy magic.
Thunder? Lightning? A regular storm. Fire? The Balrog. Steam, vapor? Balrog. What magic? And are you calling Gandalf an old man? Isn't he a maiar?
This was done I believe as a symbol of Sarumans fall from the order.
But the staff broke. The staff IS his power.
I think the staffs are best thought of as tools and symbols of power rather than the source there of.
So therefore, I can interpret the power as a 'symbol' of the ultimate good. Let's talk literal here. I can also think symbolically, but I say the staffs played too big a role to be interpreted as symbolical only.
No, he let him keep it.
I've been watching the movies too much. Ignore that. *phail*
No, he claimed gandalf wanted them, along with crowns, making it more likely they are symbols.
As if Saruman didn't?
Remember in the Return of the king when Gandalf drove of the nazgul with white light? the light came from his hand.
Well, then could it be that the primary cource of power was the staff, and the secondary source, himself? Sauron poured all of his power in the ring, is it possible that Gandalf poured some of his power in his staff?

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Murrogh
Dúnadan
posted 11-22-07 00:00 AM EDT (US)     9 / 40       
Thunder? Lightning? A regular storm.
"Those that looked up from afar thought that the mountain was crowned with storm. Thunder they heard, and lightning, they said, smote upon celebdil and leaped back broken into tongues of fire.Is that not enough?" I don't see how that couldn't be him.
And are you calling Gandalf an old man? Isn't he a maiar?
Physically he is only an old man, and you claim he couldn't have used magic after the loss of his staff.
But the staff broke. The staff IS his power.
Thats what we're debating.
So therefore, I can interpret the power as a 'symbol' of the ultimate good. Let's talk literal here. I can also think symbolically, but I say the staffs played too big a role to be interpreted as symbolical only.
Many of Gandalfs names incorporate his staff, it is what Istari carry, Sarumans loss of it was showing that he was no longer one of them, they are tools that due to the Istari using them have become their symbol of power just as a crown is a kings symbol of power.
Well, then could it be that the primary cource of power was the staff, and the secondary source, himself? Sauron poured all of his power in the ring, is it possible that Gandalf poured some of his power in his staff?
Then he would be the root source of power, not the staff, and if they were secondary sources then why didn't Saruman have more than his voice after he was thrown from the council?

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -

[This message has been edited by Murrogh (edited 11-22-2007 @ 00:34 AM).]

Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-22-07 02:52 AM EDT (US)     10 / 40       
"Those that looked up from afar thought that the mountain was crowned with storm. Thunder they heard, and lightning, they said, smote upon celebdil and leaped back broken into tongues of fire.Is that not enough?" I don't see how that couldn't be him.
I don't see how that could be him. I say it was the balrog.
Physically he is only an old man, and you claim he couldn't have used magic after the loss of his staff.
No, not at all. He is strong in power, in war, with or without his staff. I'm saying that there without a staff, an istari would be robbed of much of his power, as Sauron was robbed of his power without the Ring.
Many of Gandalfs names incorporate his staff, it is what Istari carry, Sarumans loss of it was showing that he was no longer one of them, they are tools that due to the Istari using them have become their symbol of power just as a crown is a kings symbol of power.
I'm saying that perhaps the staff was the source of much of there power, that they mixed their magic with the power of their staff, pouring it into it, as Sauron did with the Ring, but not ALL of their power.
Then he would be the root source of power, not the staff, and if they were secondary sources then why didn't Saruman have more than his voice after he was thrown from the council?
He is the original, but they poured most of it into the staff. As for Saruman, I would say that like Sauron, he went overboard, pouring ALL his power into his tool, not realizing what might happen if something should happen to it. He also created his own ring, and was learned in ringcraft and lorecraft, and with his magic, figured out how to do that.

My argument is that the Istari mingled their magic with their staffs, poured much of it in the staff.

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Kyr Nelenar
Dúnadan
(id: darkservant)
posted 11-22-07 08:08 AM EDT (US)     11 / 40       
Gandalf is an Istari, and even then, if he's so powerful, why the need for a staff?
Perhaps the staff allows the wizard's powers to be used easier... Thus the feeling of 'helplessness' without the staff... (I really have no idea so I just put that out there...)...

_.,-=~+"^'`:Kyr Nlnar:`'^"+~=-,._
"n rans Helara" - "Live Well Friend"
"krnai Scar-lu" --- "krnai of Thirteen"
Remember Kids: "Kyr" rhymes with fire...
Sometimes your imagination inspires other people to use theirs.-Sir Hugh-
Murrogh
Dúnadan
posted 11-22-07 12:04 PM EDT (US)     12 / 40       
No, not at all. He is strong in power, in war, with or without his staff.
But without his magic he is an old man, it's his power that makes him more when fighting foes.
I'm saying that there without a staff, an istari would be robbed of much of his power, as Sauron was robbed of his power without the Ring
They obviously want their staffs with them and they obviously help to some degree, hence Gandalf insistence on bringing his staff into the golden hall, but I think of them as things to channel their power through, rather than the source.

The only wizards we know to have broken their staffs were Saruman, who had his destroyed by Gandalf at Orthanc when he was removed from the council and the order, and the other was Gandalfs in Moria. Saruman lost all his power but his voice after his loss, though this can be attributed to his casting from the order. It's interesting to note that Gandalf raised his hand not his staff when breaking Sarumans staff. Gandalf broke his staff on the bridge but was then pulled down and fought the balrog for days before winning. Gandalf was then carried to lothlorien were Galadrail gave him a new staff.

Neither of these proves it one way or the other, and it in fact falls on you to give the burden of proof.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -

[This message has been edited by Murrogh (edited 11-22-2007 @ 12:05 PM).]

Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-22-07 10:43 PM EDT (US)     13 / 40       
Perhaps the staff allows the wizard's powers to be used easier... Thus the feeling of 'helplessness' without the staff... (I really have no idea so I just put that out there...)...
Agreed.
But without his magic he is an old man, it's his power that makes him more when fighting foes.
The appearance of an old man only.
They obviously want their staffs with them and they obviously help to some degree, hence Gandalf insistence on bringing his staff into the golden hall, but I think of them as things to channel their power through, rather than the source.
Agreement with me that they need their staff.
fought the balrog for days before winning.
Where does it say that? *does not have book beside me as Dad is reading it*
Neither of these proves it one way or the other, and it in fact falls on you to give the burden of proof.
*does not have book beside me as Dad is reading it*


I suppose this matter will be undecided. However, I think that we will both agree with part of my view, that they do NEED a staff for most magic. Which was basically my argument anyway.

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Murrogh
Dúnadan
posted 11-23-07 00:01 AM EDT (US)     14 / 40       
I don't see how that could be him. I say it was the balrog.
Lightning matches the description of Gandalfs duel with the nazgul, it fits with his magical fighting style, do really think the balrog caused white flashes?
The appearance of an old man only.
True but if all his power came from the staff, without it he'd be normal. Besides even if he was more than just an old man (which I of course believe), I still can't imagine him physically fighting like an elf of old.
Agreement with me that they need their staff.
I think they need a staff to use magic like a man needs a club/sword to fight, it enhances your fighting abilities as you can use your strength more effectivly with it.
Where does it say that? *does not have book beside me as Dad is reading it*
Appendix timeline. he fell on the 15th got to the peak on the 23rd and cast him down on the 25th.
I suppose this matter will be undecided. However, I think that we will both agree with part of my view, that they do NEED a staff for most magic. Which was basically my argument anyway.
Gandalf drove of the nazgul with his hand, commanded Sarumans staff to break whith a raised hand, and fought the balrog without a staff, like I said before, they are great tools that are very useful.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -

[This message has been edited by Murrogh (edited 11-23-2007 @ 00:05 AM).]

Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-23-07 02:16 AM EDT (US)     15 / 40       
Like WE said before, they are tools that are needed, but they can do SOME magic without them.

Debate closed, reaching a compromise?

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Murrogh
Dúnadan
posted 11-23-07 11:57 AM EDT (US)     16 / 40       
Like WE said before, they are tools that are needed, but they can do SOME magic without them.

Debate closed, reaching a compromise?
They are tools that are needed to use some of their power with full effectiveness.

The book never really says how much they need them, it has them do some quite effective and spectacular magic without them but Gandalf insists on bringing his staff into the golden hall. And as Hamma said "The staff in the hand of a wizard may be more than a prop for age."

We'll either meet somewhere in the middle or agree to disagree.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -
Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-24-07 02:32 AM EDT (US)     17 / 40       
I suppose middle, based on the evidence. They can do the magic without their staff, but not much magic, and a staff is essential to them.

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Murrogh
Dúnadan
posted 11-24-07 09:06 AM EDT (US)     18 / 40       
I suppose middle, based on the evidence. They can do the magic without their staff, but not much magic, and a staff is essential to them.
All we know is that they can do magic without their staff, and that they want/need their staffs, but we have no idea how much magic they can do without a staff except those things that they did.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -
Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-24-07 01:39 PM EDT (US)     19 / 40       
I wonder if Christopher is still mulling over some new knowledge...

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Kyr Nelenar
Dúnadan
(id: darkservant)
posted 11-24-07 02:33 PM EDT (US)     20 / 40       
Did somebody say my name?...

_.,-=~+"^'`:Kyr Nlnar:`'^"+~=-,._
"n rans Helara" - "Live Well Friend"
"krnai Scar-lu" --- "krnai of Thirteen"
Remember Kids: "Kyr" rhymes with fire...
Sometimes your imagination inspires other people to use theirs.-Sir Hugh-
Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-24-07 03:08 PM EDT (US)     21 / 40       
Yes. Get working, now! I want all of Tolkien's works on my table tomorrow!

ALso, post 6000 in this forum!

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Kyr Nelenar
Dúnadan
(id: darkservant)
posted 11-24-07 03:09 PM EDT (US)     22 / 40       
Sub-Forum...

_.,-=~+"^'`:Kyr Nlnar:`'^"+~=-,._
"n rans Helara" - "Live Well Friend"
"krnai Scar-lu" --- "krnai of Thirteen"
Remember Kids: "Kyr" rhymes with fire...
Sometimes your imagination inspires other people to use theirs.-Sir Hugh-
Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-24-07 03:11 PM EDT (US)     23 / 40       
Oi! Shut up!

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
Murrogh
Dúnadan
posted 11-24-07 10:40 PM EDT (US)     24 / 40       
I wonder if Christopher is still mulling over some new knowledge...
Ask your son about it...

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -
Tolkien
Dúnadan
posted 11-25-07 00:32 AM EDT (US)     25 / 40       
If I could talk to him from the grave...

Tolkien
The True Lord of the Rings
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