History Main / WordsDoNotMakeTheMagic

20th Apr '17 2:02:31 PM nighttrainfm
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* Demonstrated in ''ComicBook/YoungAvengers'' when Prodigy (a former mutant whose power was to absorb knowledge from people around him) fakes out an extra-dimensional monster with a magic phrase and hand sign. He explains to Hukling that knowing magic words doesn't give him the temperament to actually cast spells.
19th Apr '17 2:02:00 PM MarsJenkar
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* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'': Gehn believes that this is the case, thinking that only those with D'ni blood can use The Art. The people of Terahnee believe the same thing, that Ahrotahntee (book-worlders, people native to an age) cannot use the Art. They're wrong; it's proven time and again that what matters are the books, ink, and words used, not the nature of the person writing them. Indeed for Gehn, it's something he should have known, since his mother was a full-blooded Ahrotahntee (native to Earth in fact) and she was perfectly capable of the art. Then again, cognitive dissonance is pretty much Gehn's stock in trade.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'': Gehn believes that this is the case, thinking that only those with D'ni blood can use The Art. The people of Terahnee believe the same thing, that Ahrotahntee (book-worlders, people native to an age) cannot use the Art. They're wrong; it's proven time and again that what matters are the books, ink, and words used, not the nature of the person writing them. Indeed for Gehn, it's something he should have known, since his mother was a full-blooded Ahrotahntee (native to Earth in fact) and she was perfectly capable of the art. Art. Then again, cognitive dissonance is pretty much Gehn's stock in trade.trade.
** With Gehn, it's also a literal case. Gehn tries to treat the Art as a science, and tries to use "formulae" of specific words, and delete "unnecessary" ones from the Ages that he links to in his writing (in order to save his ink). Unfortunately for Gehn, deleting "unnecessary" words tends to make his Ages dangerously unstable. His son Atrus understands the Art far better, and is able to not only produce stable Ages as a result, but can even use his writing to slow the decay of unstable Ages like Riven.
16th Mar '17 7:32:33 AM Couran
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** The reason Wizards use dead languages and nonsense words for their spells is that the incantation becomes linked with the spell in their mind, so if they use a word from a language they speak regularly, they could burn their house down whenever they say "fire."

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** The reason Wizards use dead languages and nonsense words for their spells is that the incantation becomes linked with the spell in their mind, so if they use a word from a language they speak regularly, due to the mental equivelant of muscle memory they could burn their house down whenever they say "fire."
11th Jan '17 6:39:42 AM Rhodes7
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* ''Comicbook/TheTombOfDracula'' establishes early and often that just waving a cross or other holy symbol at Dracula doesn't help, you have to really [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve believe]] to ward him off that way.
7th Dec '16 12:35:31 PM intastiel
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* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'', sorcery is powered and directed by the sorcerer's will: the spoken "spell" that causes the effects to manifest can be anything. TheArchmage Belgarath uses mystical-sounding triggers and once scolds Garion as unprofessional for directing his sorcery with silly words like "Push!"
29th Oct '16 6:24:15 PM nombretomado
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* In HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality, Harry assumes this is the case:

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* In HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality, ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', Harry assumes this is the case:
10th Oct '16 3:59:55 PM DastardlyDemolition
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* The Thu'um in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''. It is possible for ordinary mortals to learn it, though it takes a lifetime of training and effort to master it. Anyone without that training would not be able to make the Shouts do anything. The Dragonborn can take shortcuts because he/she has the soul of a Dragon, and even the Dragonborn has to study the words of power and absorb the souls of other Dragons first.

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* The Thu'um in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''. It is possible for ordinary mortals to learn it, though it takes a lifetime of training and effort to master it. Anyone without that training would not be able to make the Shouts do anything. The Dragonborn can take shortcuts because he/she has the soul of a Dragon, and even the Dragonborn has to study the words of power and absorb the souls of other Dragons first. Ulfric Stormcloak himself was taught by the Greybeards to learn the ways of the Thu'um but used what he knew (the Unrelenting Force shout) to assert himself as the "true" High King of Skyrim and reestablish Skyrim as independent from Imperial puppet kings. The thing about Dragon Shouts is you have to understand deeply on what they mean, not just the translation but the real very essence of the word.
28th Sep '16 10:40:42 PM CurledUpWithDakka
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* In ''Literature/{{Ra}}'', it's not enough to speak a spell. The mage must think through and understand it as well. #

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* In ''Literature/{{Ra}}'', it's not enough to speak a spell. The mage must think through and understand it as well. #
29th Aug '16 1:46:36 PM Morgenthaler
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* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "[[Recap/SupernaturalS05E07TheCuriousCaseOfDeanWinchester The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester]]", the Winchesters run into an Irish warlock called Patrick who takes years from people's lives with a deck of enchanted magic cards, and uses it to [[LifeDrinker extend his own life indefinately]] [[spoiler:and that of his lover.]] When Dean loses 50 years in a gamble, he tries to reverse the process by breaking into Patrick's safe and stealing the cards. The warlock interrupts them and tells them not to bother.

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* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "[[Recap/SupernaturalS05E07TheCuriousCaseOfDeanWinchester The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester]]", the Winchesters run into an Irish warlock called Patrick who takes years from people's lives with a deck of enchanted magic cards, and uses it to [[LifeDrinker extend his own life indefinately]] [[spoiler:and that of his lover.]] indefinitely]]. When Dean loses 50 years in a gamble, he tries to reverse the process by breaking into Patrick's safe and stealing the cards. The warlock interrupts them and tells them not to bother.
7th Aug '16 6:14:58 PM nombretomado
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* In TheDCU, Johnny Quick's sidekick Tubby Watts tried reciting Johnny's [[FormulaicMagic magical formula]] of [[EEqualsMCHAmmer ("3X2(9YZ)4A")]] [[note]]It is a nonsense formula, do not bother searching for it.[[/note]] in order to give himself SuperSpeed like Johnny's. It failed. A later {{Retcon}} established that the 'formula' was actually a personal mantra that would only work for Johnny (and eventually his daughter).

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* In TheDCU, Franchise/TheDCU, Johnny Quick's sidekick Tubby Watts tried reciting Johnny's [[FormulaicMagic magical formula]] of [[EEqualsMCHAmmer ("3X2(9YZ)4A")]] [[note]]It is a nonsense formula, do not bother searching for it.[[/note]] in order to give himself SuperSpeed like Johnny's. It failed. A later {{Retcon}} established that the 'formula' was actually a personal mantra that would only work for Johnny (and eventually his daughter).
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