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199

He did not trust himself to have more power As a young man, Dumbledore was tempted by the idea of power over others. It’s how he was drawn in by Grindelwald’s anti-Muggle beliefs (that and his romantic infatuation with Grindelwald, I suppose). As such, he felt it was too dangerous for him to be in a position of responsibility in the magical community: “...


93

We don't need to argue about reproductive fitness to explain this. Here in the real world, the fertility rate falls off as the standard of living increases. Until quite recently, the magical community has had a much higher standard of living than Muggles. (Arguably, they still do!) So we would expect their fertility rate, historically, to be similar to ...


76

Wizards were primarily sent to guide all races towards the 'right' path. In general they could have been given any form (human, elven, dwarven, hobbit or anything else). The question was, which of those forms would be the one that every race trusted (otherwise it would be extremely hard to guide them). This immediately excludes forms like Hobbit or Ent ...


61

Tolkien, by his own account, had traditional images of the norse god Odin in mind when creating Gandalf, as we can see from his letter to Sir Stanley Unwin 7 December 1946 (107 in the collection) [On the subject of a German edition of The Hobbit..] I continue to receive letters from poor Horus Engels about a German translation. He does not seem ...


55

She was killed by a rebounding spell, but nobody knows whose. In Aberforth's words (emphasis mine): “And there was an argument… and I pulled my wand, and he pulled out his, and I had the Cruciatus Curse used on me by my brother’s best friend – and Albus was trying to stop him, and then all three of us were dueling, and the flashing lights and the bangs ...


42

The primary reason writers still use the witch's hat in their literature is because the pointy hat is a form of writer's shorthand, a means to indicate to the reader we are seeing a witch, a being of power, of dark pacts, potentially dangerous, to be respected and feared. Yes, it is the very definition of stereotyping, but it works. This image of the witch ...


39

There's really no explicit canon answer I'm aware of (in books/interviews), but all the clues point to the fact that this is at best, extremely rare, aside from the times when it's preferable to do so for practical necessities. One example when it was likely done would be Kingsley's muggle position as secretary to PM; it may have required some documents ...


39

It's very possible that a lot of "muggles" just didn't know they were wizards. The book that admits students to Hogwarts needs concrete evidence of a child using magic before it will write them down as being accepted to Hogwarts. That book was put there (and likely created by) the founders of Hogwarts. Since Hogwarts was founded just over 1000 years ago, ...


37

There does appear to be dentistry in the wizarding world, just not the kind of 'hack and smash with a pair of rusty pliers' dentistry that we muggles are used to. Notably, the practice seems to be part of the general medical care offered by nurses. If a wizard damaged their tooth, they would be well advised to visit a doctor or nurse skilled in the ...


32

It is said that a wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool from the top of a mountain, but in reality many of the wise prefer the view from a mountain top. If there is no mountain, a tower will do. So I see the following reasons for a tower: It's a sign of power and wisdom (any fool can build a hut but a 200m tower takes some clever ...


32

Gandalf and Saruman discuss Saruman's change in the Fellowship of the Ring: "I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!" 'I looked then and saw that his robes, which had seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours. and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered. ' "I liked ...


32

This page has a depiction of a wizard from a late 19th century lantern slide: (some other magic lantern slides with wizards/sorcerers can be found here and here) It sort of seems like this guy is somewhere between the modern Merlin/Gandalf vision of a wizard and older depictions of the "renaissance magus" like the one shown here of Dr. Faustus from a 1620 ...


31

In addition to @cfrei89's excellent answer, it should be noted that the Istari first appeared in Middle Earth at around the year 1000 of the Third Age. By this time (as can be seen in The Tale of Years, Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings), Men were at the height of their power - Gondor will, in but 50 years, conquer southern Harad and be considered at the ...


31

Chapter 23 discusses the genetic situation as a method of discovering why magic appears to be getting less powerful. In later chapters he concludes that the simplistic genetic marker is used as a method for whatever causes magic to work to recognize a person as capable of being answered. It is as if there is a computer that actually performs the magic when ...


28

The trope possibly arose out of 2 sources: The term "Ivory Tower" The fact that medieval court wizards would be reputed to be allocated a tower in the castle (ala Merlin in some versions). Ivory Tower: From the 19th century it has been used to designate a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical ...


28

TL;DR: Because staves can do everything wands can do, plus some other stuff. Wand vs. Staff: Lingusitics First off, it is worth noting that Tolkien was a philologist (a scholar of language), and loved archaic terms. He would have known that the word "wand" was historically associated with sticks much larger than Harry Potter wands - in other words, a ...


26

Merlyn from The Once and Future King does a pretty good job of hitting all your bullet points: The old gentleman that Wart saw was a singular spectacle. He was dressed in a flowing gown with fur tippets which had the signs of the zodiac embroidered all over it, together with various cabalistic signs ... He had a pointed hat like a dunce's cap, or like the ...


25

In the world of Harry Potter, magic manifests itself in physical beings. This is the subtle difference that Scamander is referring to. Wizards for example are susceptible to magical ailments such as Dragon Pox, which simply doesn't exist in any Muggle medical dictionary. Likewise Muggles are much more prone to injury or death from physical harm - even as ...


25

If you assume that Harry is correct, then a Wizard/Squib cross could have either Wizard or Squib offspring, at 50% each; you don't need a Wizard/Muggle cross to get Squibs. However, two Wizards could not produce anything other than Wizards, as you point out. There's a reason that I emphasized the initial phrase in this answer, however - and if you consider ...


24

In addition to the example given by Valorum, there are several other examples that show that there is probably no simple magical way to understand different languages. At the Quidditch World Cup we find: “Couldn’t do me a brew, I suppose? I’m keeping an eye out for Barty Crouch. My Bulgarian opposite number’s making difficulties, and I can’t ...


23

Intuitively, it seems likely that the basic elements were all gathered from Odin, the Wanderer, or related Anglo-Saxon gods. Dumbledore was most likely based directly on Gandalf, and Gandalf in turn is known to be based on Odin's wanderer guise. Exactly how Odin's wanderer guise became what it is then becomes the question, but the representation of him as ...


23

Muddle Earth (2003) from Paul Stewart maybe? Book's back cover, courtesy of Goodreads: Joe Jefferson is an ordinary schoolboy from ordinary Earth. At least, he was. But something strange happened when he was walking his dog, and now he's Joe the Barbarian—fearless warrior-hero, summoned by Muddle Earth's leading wizard* to slay ogres, wrestle dragons, ...


22

Saruman changed his name to "of many colors" because he went crazy, it wasn't an actual title. Gandalf became "white" to take Saruman's place after he defected. A post he originally declined. The colors do not seem to mean anything except for Saruman - as the head of the White Council, he wore White. Alternatively, it may have been called the White Council ...


22

Why do Tolkien's wizards look Human, and not Elven? Do they, really? Keep in mind that there's in-universe evidence that at least some Men mistook the Istari for Elves, e.g. in the name Gandalf, which literally means "wand-elf", both in the Old Norse mythology from which Tolkien originally took the name, as well as, per his own word, in Middle-Earth itself:...


22

It seems quite like that you're referring to David Eddings' The Belgariad, a five-part series later followed by another five-part sequel series, The Malloreon. Magic in the Belgariad is called "The Will and the Word", and a sorcerer can direct his will and speak a word to cause a magical effect to happen. However, there are limitations caused by the cosmic ...


22

This may be Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Secret of the Blue Star," part of the Thieves World anthology. Marion Zimmer Bradley later took her sorcerer Lythande (pronounced “lee-thond”), first introduced in this tale, and produced a book-length collection of stories about the character, titled Lythande. Lythande is an adept of the Blue Star, and such ...


21

Note: Following Andres F. suggestion, here is a somewhat expanded repost of my comment as an answer, only focusing on Sauron case yet. If I find more elements than those already indicated here, I will add them later. Sauron's name is based on the Quenya adjective saura which means "foul, putrid", while his original name was Mairon, "the admirable". In this ...


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