Follow TV Tropes

Discussion Main / MagicAIsMagicA

Go To

Feb 11th 2014 at 5:44:37 AM •••

So here's some natter I wrote for Avatar: The Last Airbender that was (rightly) pulled off the main page:

  • The show seems to imply (but by no means makes apparent) that the more advanced a bender's skill, the less he or she needs to move to accomplish said bending. Both Iroh and Toph can be seen bending significantly with little movement, such as Iroh's fire-breathing and Toph's stomps that send people flying. This is also apparent with Amon's ability to bloodbend himself and others. So an alternate possibility of Combustion Man's ability is this sort of "psychic bending."

Whether or not it belongs here, I do think it's demonstrable as an unspoken rule of bending in the show in the show and worth discussing. Is there a more appropriate place to post it? (Discussion pages are acceptable, with the purpose of refining the theory.)

Hide/Show Replies
Feb 11th 2014 at 6:13:32 AM •••

I could see both here and a forum thread on the work.

For the record, the reason why I removed it is because the "seems to imply" makes it look like speculation.

Feb 11th 2014 at 6:58:35 AM •••

They're really two separate things.

The "psychic bending" (Combustion Man and the psychic bloodbenders) are treated more a special ability unrelated to sheer power. The Avatar in the Avatar state, WAY stronger than Amon or Combustion Man, couldn't do that. Some people can simply do that, some people can't.

The other bit about Toph's stomps isn't so much an unwritten rule but more "stronger people can do things more easily" which is a basic tenet of superpowers in general. To a powerful earthbender like Toph, creating more force takes less effort. I don't think that part really needs to be mentioned.

Nov 8th 2011 at 12:59:03 PM •••

Pulled this from the Discworld example:

  • However, the most fundamental rule on the Discworld and its magic should be Narrative Causality and its corollaries, and the adherence to this (or at least its interpretation) has not been consistent. For example, turning a person into a frog or a newt or something should be easy and not involve worrying about the details not making sense, because it's such a cliché and it's about morphic fields rather than matter anyway. But in a newer book it suddenly involves the leftover stuff remaining as a "balloon" of, well, stuff, just in order to make sense.

Pterry's always been pretty clear that Narrative Causality does not necessarily over-rule the requirement that things make sense (because the conflict between the two is funnier than Narrative just trumping everything else), and the Shapeshifter Baggage question actually predates Narrative Causality by nine books. (The inconsistancy is Witches Abroad, where it is easy.)

Esk: I don't think people can turn themselves into animals.
Cern: Oh yes, Miss Clever?
Esk:Granny is quite big. If she turned herself into a fox what would happen to all the bits that wouldn't fit?
Cern:She'd just magic them away.
Esk: I don't think magic works like that.

Edited by DaibhidC
Sep 4th 2011 at 7:37:46 PM •••

From the Code Geass section is this, "That's actually unlikely either way. As shown in season two when a certain person meets the end, it's shown an order cannot be followed if it's physically impossible - like, well, dying," referring to Shirley's death in season 2. He was responding to a post about Suzaku's "Live" command and immortality and how Shirley's death proves that Suzaku won't live forever.

However I thought the command not to die given to Shirley didn't work merely because Lelouch had already used his geass on her once (to make her forget his identity as Zero). Also it cannot be argued that Lelouch got a new geass as he specifically stated he could not geass Villeta Nu as he had done so once before (the beginning of season 1).

Edited by link4117 Hide/Show Replies
Nov 19th 2017 at 3:41:28 PM •••

Under normal circumstances this would be true, but Orange used reverse-geass on her, thus cancelling the original order. Essentially it was like she was never geassed in the first place.

Jan 14th 2011 at 9:25:45 PM •••

I was always annoyed in Pokémon Red/Blue that the Silph Scope was described as letting you see hidden things, but when you got to that gym where the walls were invisible, it did nothing... but it's a device which can see frigging ghosts.

Hide/Show Replies
Sep 4th 2011 at 7:52:52 PM •••

The quote I found from the game was, "Make the invisible plain to see!". I would imagine one explanation for this would be that the walls weren't truly invisible. Instead it might have been really clear glass or mirrors, as you can't really tell from the top-down view we got.

Nov 4th 2010 at 5:19:36 PM •••

I really think we should rename this to Magic X Is Magic X. Since "A" is also a word in English, it can be confusing. I myself couldn't figure out what the heck the trope might be just from the name. Plus, X for "put something here" is pretty standard.

Hide/Show Replies
Nov 5th 2010 at 9:39:25 AM •••

"A" is a word in English but there's no difficulty parsing it. It's impossible to mistake for a defining article in this context.

The title is a reference to Aristotle's way of putting the law of identity, "A is A".

Jul 30th 2010 at 12:22:29 AM •••

Removed this from the Harry Potter example:

  • Is a spell a jet of colored light, or is it an instantaneous magical effect? The answer is that it depends on whether or not Harry Potter has to be able to dodge it.
    • It's probably just a built in weakness of combat oriented spells. It has been stated that new spells can be created, and it seems appropriate that their parameters are worked out at the same time, and are probably given such a beam like characteristic so that it is not ungodly powerful. It seems logical if you're an incredibly powerful wizard you'd be able to create a stunning spell that affects the brains functions to operate consciously to shut off, thereby not requiring what I have taken to be a physical and external stimulus of being knocked out that the true stunning spell requires. This allows for a multitude of ways a spell can be performed, and thereby making some kinds allowing you to dodge, and others acting instantly. After all, Magic is pretty much warping reality, but it has to still work through some medium, energy form, or at least matter to accomplish the tasks. Alohamora for example is more of a telekinisis like effect with it moving around the locks tumblers until it opens, and wingardium leviosa probably makes a small antigravity field.

Complaining, and a lot of natter.

Hide/Show Replies
Feb 18th 2011 at 9:33:11 PM •••

Here's a lot more natter for ya. The Harry Potter entry has been restructured a bit, so hopefully people will stop arguing and only list what's actually relevant.

  • The rule says that death cannot be undone. However, it's clearly explained that if you have a Horcrux, then you don't fully die. It's also explained that Inferi do not come back to life, they work just like puppets, just that more scary and powerful.
  • Another plus is she stayed well within Stable Time Loop, and averted Timey-Wimey Ball, something many time travel writers seem to have trouble with. Of course, it helps that she only used Time Travel once in the whole series.
  • Interestingly, Rowling claimed that she did take time to figure out the limits of magic before writing the series. Among other things, she's stated that conjured objects don't last for long, immortality is impossible without a magical item (like the Philosopher's Stone or a Horcrux), and that there are five specific things that cannot be created by magic (food, love, life, information, and money). On the other hand, the Power of Love (referred to as the strangest magic) is least understood and explained, as well as the most commonly used force in the series.
    • Needless to say, a lot of these laws are problematic. If Ron can Transfigure a teacup into a rat, isn't he creating life? If he transfigured it into a chicken, cut its head off, plucked it, deboned it, cooked it, and ate it, would he have turned the teacup into food?
      • Perhaps transfiguration merely transforms objects into some kind of living simulacrum? After all, objects not in motion have a tendency to remain themselves. In the absence of magic, the rat!teacup would simply be a teacup. Transfiguring it would simply make it a teacup with the appearance, mobility, and behavior of a rat. One suspects that if biting into one didn't break the spell immediately, that the rat would be somewhat crunchy and taste strangely like porcelain. (Or that you'd open up the oven and find a broken teacup in there.)
    • Although it initially appears in The Philosopher's Stone as though Dumbledore routinely casts some sort of food a'plenty spell to conjure meals in the Great Hall, it later turns out that the meals are prepared by house elves, with Dumbledore merely teleporting the meals from the kitchen onto the banquet tables.
    • It's probably worth noticing that the rule only says you can't create food. Or as Hermione puts it in the last book, "You can't create food out of nowhere, but you can make more if you have some". Which does beg the question of why doesn't every mage always carry a candy or somesuch.
      • Dumbledore is quite fond of lemon drops.
    • If you can make more food if you have it already, then does the same aply to the other objects with this limitation? Can you duplicate money, or divine extra information, or clone people?
    • It's generally Fanon that transfigured objects are really just an illusion, and so one wouldn't be creating a rat so much as a teacup very well disguised as one. It's confirmed Canon that they don't last long, depending on the skill of the caster.
    • If that's true then how come in the 4th book, when Barty Croutch Sr. is transfigured into a bone, he doesn't revert back in oh, say, a week and start stinking up the place as a rotting corpse?
      • Maybe he did. We aren't sure exactly where he was buried.
  • Is a spell a colored jet of light that must be aimed, or an invisible magical effect that can merely be gestured into existence? Several spells (Stupefy, Expelliarmus, Impedimenta among others) seem to switch between the two, depending on the circumstances. Avada Kedavra, though, plays this straight, being consistently described as a jet of green light that must be aimed and can be deflected/blocked with creative use of moving statues.
    • This puzzled me for a while. Is magic a supernatural spiritual force or just like a bullet from a gun? I figured it's probably closer to the latter - the students learn nothing about the origin of their magic, just that they can shoot beams from sticks by saying a few words. Probably best not to think about it.
    • It probably starts out as the former, with children using magic randomly in stressful situations, but are taught to aim their magic with wands in order to best control it. Wands are wizarding inventions, after all, and they are the main tool for aiming magic.
      • If magic is simply an omnipresent force that they simply tap into, how come they're able to block individual spells (a personally harnessed form of magic) without shutting down magic entirely?

Type the word in the image. This goes away if you get known.
If you can't read this one, hit reload for the page.
The next one might be easier to see.

Example of: