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Wizard of Oz

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Wizard of Oz
Wizardflames

Real Name

Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs

First Appearance

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Original Publisher

Reilly & Britton

Created by

L. Frank Baum & W.W. Denslow

Origin

Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs was born in Omaha, the son of a politician. He went to work as a ventriloquist for the Bailum & Barney's Great Consolidated Shows, going up in a hot air balloon to draw crowds to the circus, using only his first two initials (since the rest spell "pinhead"). One day his ropes got twisted and the balloon escaped. Two days later it settled in the Land of Oz. The people, seeing that this man had descended from the clouds, greeted him as a wizard.

The Wizard took the throne from the rightful king, Pastoria, and hid the king's daughter, Ozma, with the old witch, Mombi, whom he visited three times. He then set the people to work, building the Emerald City and the Royal Palace of Oz. He announced himself ruler of the entire Land of Oz, uniting the Munchkins, Gillikins, Quadlings, and Winkies. He lived in fear of the four witches who ruled each quadrant of Oz, so he shut himself away and depended upon his reputation as a powerful wizard to protect him. He was highly venerated by his subjects and known as "The Great Oz" or "Oz the Terrible". It was commonly thought that he was all-powerful, although all acknowledged that he was reclusive and never seen, even by the servants who waited upon him.

Believing him to be the only one capable of solving their problems, Dorothy Gale and her friends traveled to the Emerald City to ask for his help. The Wizard was very reluctant to meet them, but eventually they were each granted an audience, one at a time. The Wizard appeared to Dorothy as a giant head, to the Scarecrow as a beautiful fairy, to the Tin Woodman as a terrible beast, and to the Cowardly Lion as a ball of fire. The Wizard promised to grant each of their requests if they killed the Wicked Witch of the West.

When they succeeded in this task, they returned to the Emerald City to collect their rewards. There, they discovered that Oz was a humbug who had used a lot of elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem "great and powerful." Pressed by Dorothy's companions, the humbug Wizard gave them each what they wanted.

The Wizard, tired of being a humbug and having to hide away from his subjects, planned to grant Dorothy's request by escaping Oz with her in a hot air balloon. He appointed the Scarecrow to rule in his absence, but when the time came, the Wizard and his balloon floated away, accidently leaving Dorothy behind.

He returned to the circus but, during another ascension came down in a crack in the earth caused by an earthquake. He eventually landed in the Land of the Mangaboos where he was reunited with Dorothy Gale and met her cousin, Zeb Hugson. After demonstrating his power by producing Nine Tiny Piglets, the Wizard was challenged by Gwig, the local sorcerer, and Oz sliced the Mangaboo in half. The Mangaboos forced the companions to leave their country, so the travelers journeyed through the Valley of Voe, the Land of Naught, and a den of Dragonettes before reaching a dead end. From there, Dorothy signalled Ozma, who transported the entire party to the Emerald City. The Wizard took up residence in his old rooms behind the Throne Room, and Ozma invited the little old man to remain in Oz permanently.

When Glinda, The Good Witch of the South learned that the Wizard was to become a permanent resident of the Emerald City, she began to teach him magic so that he would not remain a humbug.

Ozma decrees that, besides herself, only The Wizard and Glinda are allowed to use magic unless if the other magic users have a permit.

Public Domain Appearances

Books:

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
  • The Road to Oz
  • The Emerald City of Oz
  • Little Wizard Stories of Oz
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz
  • The Scarecrow of Oz
  • The Magic of Oz
  • Glinda of Oz
  • The Royal Book of Oz

Stage:

  • The Wizard of Oz

Films:

  • The Fairylougue and Radio Plays
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Dorothy and the Scarecrow in Oz
  • The Land of Oz
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz
  • His Majesty Scarecrow of Oz

Notes

  • The Wizard's part in the kidnapping of Ozma in The Marvelous Land of Oz did not please the readers, and in Ozma of Oz, although the character did not appear, Baum described Ozma's abduction without including the Wizard as part of it.
  • While the original character is in public domain, the versions of the character used by MGM, Disney or by Marvel comics are NOT in the public domain.

See Also

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