marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

Elitism and Magic

Either you've got it or you don't. Either you can study and end up turning your city into glass with a miscast spell, or you can never so much as light a candle by magic.

I hate it.

I particularly hate it if the writer uses it to make a poor (sob), suffering (sob), universally despised (sob) cadre of magicians, who, despite their sterling character, are dumped on by everyone else, but I hate it even when your magicians are well-respected.

Unique, freakish abilities, not quite under control, work, but not magic in general.

Tolkien's wizards are not as bad as the general run-of-the-mill trope, because they weren't human; no one who's human can do magic in LOTR. Even Aragorn, with his healing hands, has just a drop of non-human blood (being Elrond's great-to-the-nth-grandnephew). Still I think they were a bad influence. Sure, there are people who practice magic and people who don't in Sword & Sorcery, but I've never read a work where this was a difference in kind. (Gray Mouser, for instance, even knew some magic.) And in early fantasy, folklore, legend, and myth, either you weren't completely human, or you did something that everyone else could -- in theory -- do.

Much as I like Harry Potter, I prefer a setting like Operation Chaos, where you have magic in the modern world and everyone knows.
Tags: characters, rants, world-building: magic (effects), world-building: magic (technique), world-building: non-human characters, world-building: social structure
Subscribe

  • tale of a child

    There are fairy tales with child protagonists, of course. If you read up on them, there are even tales that start with child protagonists who are…

  • dealing with the witch

    ding-dong the witch is dead -- The first one at any rate. I comment on her body first, but then I elaborate on the breaking of her spells.…

  • ages of history

    So, once upon a time, there were evil wizards making everyone miserable. Some of the more minor wizards banded together and took over and made…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 25 comments

  • tale of a child

    There are fairy tales with child protagonists, of course. If you read up on them, there are even tales that start with child protagonists who are…

  • dealing with the witch

    ding-dong the witch is dead -- The first one at any rate. I comment on her body first, but then I elaborate on the breaking of her spells.…

  • ages of history

    So, once upon a time, there were evil wizards making everyone miserable. Some of the more minor wizards banded together and took over and made…