Wizard Topics Are Jeff'd Exactly When They Are Meant To Be



  • Status: Just finished having a dumb argument on the scifi/fantasy stackexchange.

    My opponent's premise: Gandalf sees a glass ball fall from a tower that used to house one of the eight mystical balls of communication. He grabs it and puts it in his pocket. He tells people about the palantir. He goes to sleep, and Pippin steals the thing and messes with it, at which point Gandalf says that he didn't know the thing was a palantir, and that it was a good thing pippin had messed with it, because he was planning to probe it and Sauron would have gotten a lot out of him. Ergo, Gandalf, since he didn't know it was a palantir, is an idiot.

    Mine: He was probably fairly sure. He took it to study, because he didn't want anyone messing with it. He didn't get a chance, because Pippin messed with it, which ended up being a good thing. Gandalf rarely says what he thinks, but he knows that dangerous things are safest with an immortal demigod, and he doesn't jump to conclusions on what a magical item is, ever.

    Neither of us convinced the other. He was sure Gandalf should have instantly known for certain exactly what magical item it was, and that he would have if it was him. I was fairly sure Gandalf wasn't certain but thought it was likely, and simply doesn't like taking chances.



  • IMO: gandalf always knew about the nature of the palantir. he wasn't sure about sauron having one.



  • Well, to be fair, he did say afterward that he didn't know it was one. But knowing him, he probably just wasn't absolutely certain.

    Basically, I was arguing with someone who believed that the outcome should have caused the beginning, and that anything a character says is an absolute fact about the world around them.



  • then he didn't understood gandalf at all
    he almost never says all he knows. even aragorn says something about that a couple of times



  • Exactly. Gandalf spent like a decade studying the ring after he knew Frodo had it. He started out pretty sure he knew what it was, and confirmed it. That's how he works. He doesn't say he knows something to be true unless he is certain and it is necessary to say it.



  • @Jarry said:

    then he didn't understood gandalf at all

    Not broken.

    EDIT: missed the tense on bolded part, is wrong.


  • sockdevs

    @Magus said:

    Gandalf spent like a decade studying the ring after he knew Frodo had it

    Bilbo, surely?



  • nope, frodo. the part where he trows it into the fireplace.

    AFAIR gandalf never knew about bilbo having the ring.



  • He thought I was beyond stupid when I mentioned that, considering Saruman was known to be evil at that point, anything from his tower was suspect. It could have an explosive curse on it, and Saruman screaming in rage upon finding it missing does not mean that there is no trap. Yes, he slept while holding it, but he's an immortal demigod, the kind who doesn't mind standing against another immortal demigod and letting his body die if it saves the rest of them.



  • @Jarry said:

    then he didn't understood gandalf at all

    Only a little bit borken: "He didn't understand Gandalf at all."



  • Surely there are bigger plot/logic holes to be found in the Lord of the Rings epos?



  • Considering the fact that there's only one here if your world cannot accept a non-stupid Gandalf, yes, definitely.



  • You mean the guy who couldn't recognize the One Ring staring him in the face for like tens of years, left it with a not-that-bright hobbit, then left it with another hobbit, until he finally decided "hm, I should've at least tried to throw it in the fireplace before I let the guy keep it like a worthless bauble"?

    Yeah, I see where you're coming from.


  • mod

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    like tens of years

    You mean when Gollum had it? Gandalf wasn't very familiar with Gollum at the time Bilbo acquired the ring.

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    left it with a not-that-bright hobbit

    Left it? Bilbo took it, and Gandalf only guessed that he had a ring of power. He didn't know it was the One Ring.

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    then left it with another hobbit

    Again, he wasn't aware of which ring it was.

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    until he finally decided "hm, I should've at least tried to throw it in the fireplace before I let the guy keep it like a worthless bauble"?

    A few things wrong with this. First, he had Frodo hide the ring, so it's not like Frodo was hiding it. Second, he didn't really get suspicious about the ring until he heard Bilbo call it "precious". Third, he didn't know fire would do anything until he spent about a decade research.



  • @abarker said:

    Gollum

    Bilbo was like 50 in Hobbit, and 111 in LotR. So "tens of years" applies to Bilbo just right.

    @abarker said:

    Third, he didn't know fire would do anything until he spent about a decade research

    Gee, it sure would be easier to do research if he had the friggin' ring. I know, temptation and all that, but when your choices are "being a demigod wizard with nigh-infinite wisdom, roll some easy Will saves" and "leave the ring of not-really-known-yet-apparently-heavily-corrupting powers with a hobbit who isn't the sharpest tool in the shed until you figure something out", the choice seems rather obvious.

    I'm guessing he was really lucky that when he came to visit his old "friend" Bilbo Baggins, he didn't witness a babbling creature.

    TL;DR, Gandalf was an asshole AFAIR.



  • the power of the one ring was heavily tied to the power of sauron. by the time bilbo got it. sauron was pretty much a shadow (the necromancer). and pretty much everyone (except gandalf) was convinced that he would not return.



  • @Magus said:

    Considering the fact that there's only one here if your world cannot accept a non-stupidomniscient Gandalf, yes, definitely.

    Your buddy sounds like he never really understood the subtlety of Tolkien's magic or the fact that there was no wikipedia where you could go to look shit up. Or search through the catalog of historic magical items. It's not even like they were on a dungeon crawl specifically looking for cool items.


  • sockdevs

    Of course, we're all missing the biggest flaw in the whole story… I'll let this GIF explain:



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Gee, it sure would be easier to do research if he had the friggin' ring.

    It sure would have made the book a lot shorter.

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    I know, temptation and all that, but when your choices are "being a demigod wizard with nigh-infinite wisdom, roll some easy Will saves" and "leave the ring of not-really-known-yet-apparently-heavily-corrupting powers with a hobbit who isn't the sharpest tool in the shed until you figure something out", the choice seems rather obvious.

    To the clueless. The Ring had been fine for a while, why not leave it be until you can figure out a better plan?


  • BINNED

    Scifi/fantasy SE is full of refutations of that, mostly based on the fact that the eagles were mostly neutral and partly because they didn't want to fly over a country with tens of thousands of Orc archers ready to shoot anything suspicious out of the sky


  • sockdevs

    @Jaloopa said:

    they didn't want to fly over a country with tens of thousands of Orc archers ready to shoot anything suspicious out of the sky

    Then maybe they should fly higher :stuck_out_tongue:


  • :belt_onion:

    I'm sure Gandalf had some herbs that would help with that, too.


  • BINNED

    The whole thing was just a smokeweed dream



  • @Jaloopa said:

    because they didn't want to fly over a country with tens of thousands of Orc archers ready to shoot anything suspicious out of the sky

    @RaceProUK said:

    Then maybe they should fly higher

    I'd love to see a pack of Orc archers trying to hit something with all the flying performance of a C172 at 3000' while standing on the beach below...never mind that birds IRL have been known to get above FL300(!).

    passes Gandalf an O2 tank, regulator, and full-face mask

    Filed under: ack-ack is hard, you know?


  • :belt_onion:

    @tarunik said:

    ack-ack

    :question:


  • BINNED

    @tarunik said:

    flying performance of a C172

    I don't know what that means

    @tarunik said:

    above FL300

    I don't know what that means

    @tarunik said:

    ack-ack

    I don't know what that means


  • sockdevs

    If I had to guess, a C172 is a Cessna, and FL300 is a fancy code for a flight corridor or altitude

    Edit: Nailed it!


  • BINNED

    So, flying performance of a small plane, some birds can fly at 30000 feet. Good job we have all these buzzwords so mere mortals aren't at risk of understanding.

    Still no idea what ack-ack is



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Still no idea what ack-ack is

    It's the sound of an autocannon in the old MechWarrior games.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    @tarunik said:
    flying performance of a C172

    I don't know what that means

    I assumed it was a designator for a cargo aircraft which which I was not familiar, but it seems to be this:

    @Jaloopa said:

    @tarunik said:
    above FL300

    I don't know what that means


    Flight Level 300 == a nominal altitude of 30000 feet above sea level, or rather the atmospheric pressure equivalent to that altitude, assuming sea level pressure of 1013.25 hPa.
    @Jaloopa said:
    @tarunik said:
    ack-ack

    I don't know what that means

    Anti-aircraft artillery fire.

    Dang, :hanzo: by a bunch. I type too slowly.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Still no idea what ack-ack is

    Nicknames for anti-aircraft guns include AA, AAA or triple-A, an abbreviation of anti-aircraft artillery; "ack-ack" (from the spelling alphabet used by the British for voice transmission of "AA");

    Funny that an Aussie like you wouldn't know that.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Still no idea what ack-ack is

    As @HardwareGeek helpfully points out, it's shorthand for anti-aircraft gunfire.

    Filed under: /me wheels out an 88 and points it at the Orc archers from afar...


  • BINNED

    @boomzilla said:

    Funny that an Aussie like you wouldn't know that

    I'm a pacifist. If it was something about tofu I'd be more likely to know

    filed under: only joking, I hate tofu



  • @Jaloopa said:

    I'm a pacifist.

    And yet you live on an island surrounded by completely different bodies of water. Who would have guessed?

    [spoiler]
    Not Gandalf, that dope.
    [/spoiler]



  • @Jaloopa said:

    I don't know what that means

    Cessna 172:

    Basically the World's Most Generic Plane, you've seen them a million times.

    @Jaloopa said:

    I don't know what that means

    Flight Level 300(00). 30,000 feet altitude.

    ... birds go that high? I find that hard to believe.

    @Jaloopa said:

    I don't know what that means

    Onomatopoeia for anti-aircraft fire.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Flight Level 300(00). 30,000 feet altitude.

    ... birds go that high? I find that hard to believe.

    Pretty close:

    Perhaps the most impressive altitude record is that of a flock of Whooper Swans which was seen on radar arriving over Northern Ireland on migration and was visually identified by an airline pilot at 29,000 feet.



  • That post was not at all funny.

    The name "Whooper Swan" is pretty funny, however. But it's in the one box and therefore doesn't count on your scoreboard.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    But it's in the one box and therefore doesn't count on your scoreboard.

    Jokes on you! That's a manual quote, not a onebox. But I appreciate the feedback.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I prefer them in this flavor
    http://epublishing.sercap.us/resources/site1725/General/Graphics-Fact_Sheets/C-172.png
    but yeah, that's what he's talking about :)



  • My only landings were in the exquisitely named Cessna 152 II (one fifty two two).


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Ah... Bounce much? I hear they like to do that :)



  • IIRC I landed 3 times, and 2 of those were on the grass runway. The thing I remember about the grass runway is that it's really, really, really hard to tell whether your 152 II is actually on the ground or still in the ground-effect.

    Thankfully the thing's a huge glider so if you cut your engine a few feet up it's pretty harmless anyway.

    I don't recall bouncing it at all. But this was decades ago.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    ... birds go that high? I find that hard to believe.

    Yep, they do -- an airliner over Africa ate a Ruppell's vulture at FL370 and wound up having to make an unscheduled pit stop on the Ivory Coast to have the engine looked at.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Oh, yeah grass fields can be exciting. I've only flown out of KFFO so haven't had any of those issues. You could literally take off and land on that runway 2 or 3 times if you had to without turning around.......


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