Dearest Correctness Readers:
Due to recent concerns about certain members of our writing team and their certain problem with a certain kick-ass wizard, it behooves us, nay, it behooves ME, your faithful master of the undercard, to write a fair fight for a maligned magician.
Today’s undercard pits two white bearded old men against each other in a battle to the death for the love of humanity. In this corner, over by your start button, (or for those of you more civilized, over by your finder icon in your dock) is Gandalf The Grey/White, Wizard King of the Lollipop Guild and whatnot! In this corner (if I understand the placement of competitors in wrestling or boxing correctly, and therefore somewhere over by your search window, or by a post-it note of who to call when your Dell crashes), is Santa Claus, Jolly Fat Greed Bringer!
Let’s meet our two warriors and see who truly is the beardiest battler!
Gandalf the Grey, and later, the reincarnated Gandalf the White, has a few things going for him. First of all- and this is key- unlike the goddamn Submariner, Gandalf has no tiny ankle wings to speak of. I mean, what purpose do Namor’s tiny ankle wings serve? What aerodynamic value do they have– what good are feathers underwater? But I digress, frequently, as our regular readers know. Gandalf has no ankle wings, but he is an Istari, which is kind of like a wizard. In the Undying Lands, Gandalf was a Maia spirit- Maia you may know better as the composer of “Paper Planes”. Anyway, some time after the first round of ring business started up, and before the final round of ring business, Gandalf was sent to Middle earth to straighten things out, make friends, and sit through Entmoots. That fact alone should be enough to convince anyone of his immense power, and it makes the volumes and volumes of elven poetry he has probably suffered through seem like leafing through Mr. Silly at the dentist’s office.
I should clarify that this is information I have gleaned from reliable sources, such as the time I made it, I shit you not, fully 2/3 of the way through The Silmarillion before I began having sex with a real live woman on a regular basis. Tolkien gave us the Silmarillion so he could really rub in the concept of the tedium of an Entmoot. He could turn to his friends and say “Did you enjoy the Silmarillion? No? Well, imagine that times ten, and you have an Entmoot”.
I know, I know, some of you will rush in to defend the Silmarillion, but I submit to you the appendices in return of the King and The Silmarillion are to the Lord of the Rings universe as Episodes 1-3 are to the Star Wars universe: Not the interesting part of the story, and you regret having involved yourself with it.
For the record, Gandalf also has a magical ring, Narya, the ring of fire. It was given to him by Cirdan, who in turn received the ring from Celebrimbor. Celebrimbor, as you are all no doubt aware, is a powerful antidepressant whose famous catchphrase is “Celebrate life: Celebrimbor”. Before any of you check your copy of Return of the King to see if I am pronouncing that correctly, I encourage you to go outside for a while, even if it’s just to the comic book store. In any case, Gandalf has one of the Elven rings, and as such it should have some powers of some kind, despite not appearing to serve any real purpose at all, ask Galadriel about hers.
Our other competitor is well known to most earth humans, and by “most” I mean “western Christians conflicted about Jesus”. His name is Santa Claus. Santa Claus a Maia spirit who was at one time the servant of the Dark Lord Melkor, who himself was a more-powerful-than-a-Maia-spirit-Ainur-spirit. During the Second age, Santa returned in the form of Annatar, “The Bringer of Gifts”, and along with secretively forging the One Ring, Santa shared his fine metal work with many elves and the kings of men. It is said that every Easter season, specifically on Life Day, all the Wookies of Kashyyyk would wear rings of power which sustained them sexually by preventing blood from draining from their furry wangs. When Santa Claus was eventually slain by Isildur, Santa’s terrible life force was gradually channeled into an all-seeing-eye that watched over Mordor. The all-seeing-eye is an image still used today by the Freemasons, and that is why Shriners fund circuses for children, in honour of Annatar. Clear? Santa is also known for forging the one ring to enslave the elves of the north, and force them to do his cruel bidding. One elf, known as “Hermey”, discovered Santa’s ploy, and was cast out of Mordor forever to live in Valinor with the rest of the misfit toys.
Gandalf has been known to win fights out of his weight category. Balrogs, the kind which Gandalf encountered at Khazad-Dum, were also Maia spirits, and big followers of the post-dub music scene. Therefore, while the size difference between a balrog and Gandalf is intimidating, the fight at Khazad-Dum was a fair one because both competitors were Maiar. To Gandalf’s significant credit, he punched that balrog so hard he somehow ended up back on top of the mountain he started out miles beneath. For those of you who are physicists, that means Gandalf hit a guy so hard he travelled directly through the linear space of the universe, exited the universe, crashed through the top of the universe, and landed just shy of exactly where he started.
Since Santa Claus is also a Maia, and his disembodied form oversees the reconstruction of Minas Morgul with the assistance of his undead Ring- Reindeer, and Haliburton, he should fare well against Gandalf. Also, Santa has legendarily defeated Jesus in terms of marketing appeal (See Charlie Brown Christmas, Battle of).
Not much is more powerful than the Maiar, except inexplicably for Tom Bombadil. Tom Bombadil out-jollies Santa any day of the week, and out-beards Gandalf without even exposing his full growth. Some argue Tom Bombadil is also a maia spirit, others argue he is creepy as fuck.
Both of our competitors, white bearded and resplendent in anachronistic clothing, prefer to spend the majority of their time with humaoid creatures that are significantly shorter than themselves. Santa loves kids a bit too much, and Gandalf loves hobbits a bit too much.
Once both competitors enter the ring- sorry, let’s call it an arena to avoid confusion- things could get very interesting. The first part of the fight would be mostly spent waiting for Santa to manifest in some form or another. Let’s face it, one of the big narrative issues with Tolkien’s epic is the fact that his antagonist is a googlie-eye on a popsicle stick, an image produced by kindergarten children everywhere in honour of Christmastime.
Once Santa is finally in the ring, being towed by his hellish wraith-deer, he will take out his sack and start shoving presents down everyone’s chimneys. He will force his fat girth through your tiny chimney, repeatedly, and then cover your warm hearth with his sticky presents. He may only stay long enough to drink your thick creamy milk, rimming his white beard with more cream, and then eat you out of “cookies”. You will be expected to thank him.
Gandalf does not take likely to having his personal space invaded (see: Khazad-Dun, Bridge of), is disdainful of being passed (see: Pass, You Shall Not), and most certainly does not want his chimney stuffed. Indeed, Gandalf would far rather smoke pipe and gently blow rings than have his chimney plugged, such is his oral fixation.
The first twenty minutes of this fight you’d better believe will have a lot of shouting and bluster. Santa will we jacked up on Coca-Cola, and will have no doubt brought the strangely coexisting polar bears and penguins of Beleriand with him to aid him in his fight. Nothing that comes out of the north pole, especially the closer you get to Angband, is worth tangling with.
Gandalf also will have assistance from giant eagles, and probably some moths. If you doubt the benefit of giant eagles, and hell, if you doubt the benefit of moths, I refer you to “Godzilla vs. Mothra” to see how awesome large flying insects are. Yes, eagles are insects too. They have eight legs, just like ants. The traditional taxonomic system is Life:Anamalia: Kaiju: Mothra: Godzilla: Moths: Eagles and Other Eight-Legged Insects: Humons and Other Insects: Humons: Humans. All Maiar are Kaiju, but not shitty like Gamera.
Inevitably, Gandalf will summon Mothra, as well as probably those creepy, tiny Japanese twins who are supposed to be the Cosmos Voices that live in a shoebox and sing songs and touch hands but never kiss (see: Godzilla and Mothra: Battle for Earth, The)… Anyway, once Mothra is summoned, you’d better believe Santa is being tossed around in his sleigh pretty good for a while, and possibly being irradiated.
Santa wouldn’t be out of tricks however, friends, because he can summon the entire legal team of the Coca-Cola corporation, and they will actively sue Gandalf for illegally wearing a white beard in violation of trademark law. Santa Clause has existed longer, historically, ever since the Second Age of Middle Earth, and was drawn to appear jolly for magazine advertisements.
Eventually, the robes are going to come off, and you are going to be witness to the most awkward Grecal-Roman old-man wrestling you can possibly conceive of in your darkest nightmares. You are going to have to watch these two, mano y mano, flabby pecs and wiggly arm skin, grunting and sweating and rolling all over the ground.
After days and elf-song worthy days of struggling and farting, Gandalf will emerge victorious, because Santa is very seriously obese, and must be in a near diabetic coma from all the cookies and coke.
Loser: You the next time you look at your father in the pool.