56 Comments

  1. Well usually “of Oz”. But this week there has been a lot of promo for Harry Potter, I think for a round anniversary of first publication or something like that, and some of the headlines have been around “Our favorite wizard!”

  2. Guy (male usually) who does magic like in fairy tales. Not Harry Potter/Gandalf/Wizard of Id/Ralph Bashki per se but of that cogneme. Hat and robe are the recognizing attire albeit not the defining feature. Doing magic is the defining feature.

    First wizard to pop into mind is the Wizard of Oz who (in most illustrations in particular those by John R. Neill or Denslow) did *not* conform to visual expectations.

    Why?

  3. What beckoningchasm said, because of the question mark. Later, the Wizard of Oz happened to come up first when I started searching my mind for a “wizard?” quote.

  4. Like chipchristian said : in this context, “of id”

    But otherwise:
    The first (1*1), fourth (2*2) and ninth (3*3) letters of the alphabet, counting from the start and the end – symmetrically positioned in the word (A opposite Z, D opposite W, and I opposite R). Hey, I like puzzle and I learned that a long time ago. Also it was just recently the Sunday Puzzle on NPR.
    Either that, or the Finnish word for it: taikuri (long story)

  5. Boxes popping up on my computer screen, promising to make it really easy to install something. That’s the first thing I think of.

    Second thing is “You’re lying! It doesn’t work.”

  6. What the heck? I guess some wizard figured my comment was “triggering” and annihilated it, with his darned wooden staff waving at the sky. *starts to shake fist at wizardry in general, but then thinks better of it*

  7. Since the “first?” question has already been answered above, I would like to take a shot at the “best!” issue: my absolute favorite set of “wizard” tales is Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Earthsea” series. She manages to give “magic” a weight and depth that I have rarely seen in any other book.
    Tolkien did it to some extent, too, but in “LotR” magic is just a sideshow, and not the central part of the story (heck, it’s not even the primary reason for Gandalf’s presence in the Fellowship: his role is “guide and mentor”, and not “spellcaster”).
    The “wizardry” in “Earthsea” is omnipresent, but it never becomes a bottomless candy store(*): casting spells has consequences, and the characters work within the limitations of their powers (and ethics).
    P.S. (*) – In stark contrast to the above, my absolute least favorite sort of “wizardry” is the infantile rubbish that goes on in the later Harry Potter books. The first two were satisfactory children’s stories, the third was tolerable, but the rest is garbage.

  8. I get a swirl of different answers, most of which have already been identified by others above. To answer the question properly, I’d need more context, because that would likely push me to or away from some of the possible choices. One that hasn’t yet appeared is Frobozz, because I have deep and abiding love for Infocom (Zork 1, 2, 3, Wishbringer, Enchanter, Sorcerer, Spellbreaker… all part of one overall narrative, and all remembered quite fondly.)

    “(heck, it’s not even the primary reason for Gandalf’s presence in the Fellowship: his role is “guide and mentor”, and not “spellcaster”)”

    That’s because of what “wizard” means to Tolkien. The five Wizards are collectively “The Wise”.

  9. It’s highly contextual. Because the question was asked here, my first thought was Id. In other circumstances, it could easily have been Harry Potter, Discworld (though that might need the plural), something D&D related, pinball…

  10. For me, it’s ancient long-bearded guy of the Gandalf sort, followed closely by “of Oz.” But I look forward to finding out why Bill wants to know!

  11. Oops! I just noticed that the ‘?’ was outside the quote marks. I was working on the question “wizard?”, as if it were a quote from some comic or movie. (Me, mister often sigh-ing to myself when people don’t read the comic a second time before posting.)

  12. FYI, I just went into moderation (as a seemingly new person) because I mistakenly put a period after the A in my name.

  13. Meta question: How does one interpret “the first thing that comes to mind”?

    It seems most people interpret it as word association/”what word or phrase do you think of first to associate with ‘wizard'”.

    I, however, interpreted it as what overall concept does one have for the phrase.

  14. Given this context I’m on the “of Id” bandwagon. However, for Reasons, I’d like to answer “A wizard’s staff has a knob on the end”. (I know that moderation is rather random, but I will still be somewhat disturbed if this doesn’t go in.)

  15. “A wizard’s staff has a knob on the end”

    I’m not a Pratchett fan, so what came to my mind when seeing that was “Bake the hall in the candle of her brain.”

  16. @ Bill – But Kevin A[.] is exactly right! The first post from anyone with a “new” name goes into moderation. If he changed his name by adding a period, it would get flagged.

    P.S. @ Christine – This isn’t on the Arlo page, so let’s not get started on “knob” jokes.

  17. @Kilby – I’m just discussing bad singing. (In the Discworld series, Nanny Og, who is known for her bawdy sense of humor, sings the aforementioned song while bathing, and it’s apparently such a traumatic experience that the goat would stop giving milk, the chickens would stop laying, etc, if you didn’t bring them all into the house and close the windows so they couldn’t hear her. Fortunately this only happens about once a year or so.)

  18. ” “Bake the hall in the candle of her brain.””

    Ha! I want to kwee the bean!

    I haven’t thought about *that* in … decades!

  19. Wizardry, Wizardry II: Knight of Diamonds, Wizardry III:Legacy of Llygamin, and Wizardry IV: the return of Werdna. There’s a Wizardry V and a Wizardry VI, too. Early PC games… so early, the first three were Apple II games first.

  20. A wrestling hold which you should never put on your opponent unless you’re sure you’re stronger than he is, or he will put it right back on you, to your disadvantage.

  21. First thing that comes to my mind is:

    “I love the Power Glove. It’s so… bad.” – Lucas Barton

  22. Rincewind, but I was just (5 minutes ago) listening to Interesting Times. Might have been Jittlov (re: Dave in Tech Support), if I’d been asked two weeks ago.

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