Sunday, August 3, 2014

Geekdom Madness: The Real Game - Wizard's Duel Redux

This match promises to be magical!

Let's reacquaint ourselves with the combatants:


Gandalf the Grey was created by J.R.R. Tolkien for his 1937 novel "The Hobbit" and remained a central character in his subsequent writings of Middle-Earth. The name Gandalf is taken from Norse myth, and combines the words gandr (meaning "wand", "staff" or "magic") and álfr (meaning "elf"). 

Originally, "Gandalf" was the name Tolkien assigned to the character that would become Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Dwarves. As Dwarves are taken from Norse mythology, Tolkien wanted their names connected to the language (and would later regret how thrown-together the final outcome was). However, he came to realize that the meaning fit better with his Wizard character, at that time called "Bladorthin." At first simply a "Little Old Man", Tolkien came to think of Gandalf as an Angelic being somewhere during the writing of "Lord of the Rings" and ivented the Maiar backstory.

In BBC Radio Dramatizations of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings", Gandalf has been voiced by Norman Shelley, Heron Carvic, Bernard Mayes, and Sir Michael Hordern. He was voiced by John Huston in Ranken-Bass' animated adaptations of "The Hobbit" and "The Return of the King," and by William Squire in Ralph Bakshi's animated adaptation of "Rings".

In Peter Jackson's  live-action adaptations of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit", Gandalf is portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. Interestingly, the role was originally offered to Sean Connery, who turned it down (and regretted the decision so much that he jumped into "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", effectively ending his career)


Remus John Lupin was created by J.K. Rowling for her 1999 novel "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," and reappeared for "The Order of the Phoenix," "The Half-Blood Prince," and "The Deathly Hallows." He was designed as the kind of teacher Rowling wishes she had as a child, and has stated that if she could meet any of her characters, it would be him.

Lupin's character arc as a werewolf was written as an allegory for society's prejudice against the ill and disabled, particularly people who are HIV-positive.

In the Harry Potter film adaptations, Lupin is played by David Thewlis, who had originally auditioned for the role of Quirrel in "Philosopher's Stone."

Final Thoughts
Ancient magic verses contemporary magic? People will have their preferences, but for my money these two are evenly matched.

As always, make sure you're viewing the WEB version of the site and vote in the poll on the right-hand side of the screen. Poll closes Friday, and results posted on Saturday. Feel free to discuss your pick in the comments below

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