Cthulhu vs. Gandalf

In this thread, a lot of my misconceptions about the whole Cthulhu mythos were cleared up. (Thanks all!) However, my curiosity as a Trilogy fan was piqued. If Cthulhu ever awoke, and the Mythos universe somehow overlapped with Middle Earth, and Gandalf and Cthulhu decided they don’t really like each other, who would win in a no holds barred, knock down, drag out fight?

In the left corner, we have Gandalf: Wisest of the Istari, Bearer of Narya - the ring of fire, vanquisher of the Balrog, all-round super wizard.

In the right corner, we have Cthulhu: One of the more powerful entities in the Mysthos universe, superb telepathic powers, interesting physiology.
I’m plumping for Gandalf.

I say batm…

Oh, never mind.

Cthuhlu is powerful, true, but he’d be swatted aside by a Balrog. And I highly doubt that he can drive Gandalf insane. The Big G is a man that regularly faces much worse things than a fat, half-sleeping illithid. Come to think of it, no Middle Earth characters would be driven insane by Cthuhlu; they do not have that vulnerability (since they can calmly and repeatedly expose themselves to Orcs, ghosts, a Balrog or two, and walk around with Sauron’s own Ring). In any event, the fact is that in Middle Earth, the ultimate reality is good, kindhearted and just.
In other words, Cthuhlu is going to have to make “Sanity Checks” whenever he sees Gandalf or lose his toxic personality. Heh.

In a battle of gods (or divine powers, at least), always bet on the head of the respective pantheon. Cthuhlu vs Eru would result in Ol’ Squiddley having a lullaby sung to him for the rest of eternity, but I think he’d just eat Gandalf.

Yeah I think you Tolkien fans are letting your bias cloud your judgement. Hey, I like Gandalf and the book and all, but let’s be realistic (Great idea! Let’s be realistic! ;)).

Gandalf is when all is said and done, a normal sized human. Cthulhu is a HUGE (at least 100 feet). The real tie-breaker is obviously that Cthulhu is immortal, and if ‘killed’ will shortly re-spawn himself. Gandalf may be of a rather impressive age and will possibly never die of old age, but there is nothing to suggest that being ripped into shreds by Cthulhus tentacles (always bet on the guy with tentacles I say) wouldn’t kill him.

Surely you jest. Read the book!
The Balrog is actually a balrog, one of a number that exist. “Balrog” is a generic name. This relegates him to the ranks of bit player, or at best supporting player. Like Stormtroopers or Red Shirted Ensigns.

Cthulhu, on the other hand, is a major playa! He has his own cast of supporting horrors, including Deep Ones, Old Ones, ghouls & assorted Eldrich Horrors, as well as associated worshipers & dark magicians.

Cthulhu doesn’t even need to stomp Gandalf–he can just delegate the task to a middle management Nightmare.
As for the balrog–he can get a job in Cthulhu’s Shipping & Receiving Deptment, as a mailboy.

The point about insanity is very interesting. In the Lovecraft realm, people are driven batty (heh) and extreme fear because they deny the existence of the nasty occult-ish elder wossnames. In Middle Earth, people put up with orcs and goblins and so forth, they dread and fear Sauron but they don’t get driven crackers by acknowledging his existence.

And the Balrog is the wrong comparison. Cthulhu is more of the order of Sauron. Gandalf didn’t even think he could best Sauron in one-on-one combat. Or, he didn’t think Sauron would allow such a fight to happen.

If Cthulhu did rip Gandalf to shreds, Eru could send the wizard back in a more powerful incarnation until his task was done. But would ultrasquid get close enough? Gandalf’s magic works at a distance, and we don’t know what he’s actually capable of since the Valar have put constraints on the exercise of his power that they might be willing to lift if Chthulhu were on the loose.

Seriously (?), I think smiling bandit touched on the logical (?) answer. In Tolkien’s universe, the good guy wins, after much suffering and loss. If the match is moved to Cthulhu’s home turf, however, all bets are off.

Which one knows more about kicking people in the nuts?

I can’t find anything about that in the LOTR appendices. Maybe it’s in the Sil or Unfinished Tales.

My understanding was that no one knows exactly how powerful Gandalf is because he isn’t allowed to unleash the entirety of his powers by the Valar. Based on this, I felt that Gandalf would ultimately be the victor. Unfortunately for this argument, there exists one problem. Given that the Valar did not allow Gandalf to use his entire strength against Sauron, why would they make an exception against Cthulhu?

On the whole, though, I still insist on having faith in my hero. He has seen evil at its worst; it seems unlikely that telepathy would drive him nuts.

Convince me otherwise, if you will.

Would that be a d6 or a d12 roll?

Great C’thulhu is a god-like alien, who’s merest fragments of dream can reduce strong men to quivering blobs of mindlessness. He (when last he was awake) moved from world to world and galaxy to galaxy by force of mind alone. His powers even exceed Morgoth’s, in that C’thulu is capable of destroying the world with no major exertion. C’thulu doesn’t do sanity checks: It’s a meaningless concept, because C’thulhu’s mind is so bizzare and alien that concepts like ‘sanity’ are utterly meaningless when applied to him.

Gandalf, for all that he’s a major stud, was no god. He might, if unchained by the Valar, have faced down Sauron, but certainly not Morgoth. He was frightened of confronting a ‘mere’ balrog, which, IIRC, was essentially a Morgoth-corrupted peer of Gandalf. Balrogs are cute little puppies by comparison to C’thulhu.

If Gandolf wants to face C’thulhu and come away more-or-less intact, he’ll need a major promotion.

Posted by Scumpup:

I dunno. Does Cthulhu have nuts? (Apart from his cult of worshippers, I mean.)

I think it really depends on whether they have to slug it out in Tolkein’s universe or Lovecraft’s universe. In Tolkein’s universe, Gandalf would have the Valar and Eru/Iluvatar on his side; and, as pointed out, that universe is set up so good always wins in the end. In Lovecraft’s universe – even there it might be a close contest. In The Dunwich Horror, the Spawn of Yog-Sothoth was defeated by Henry Armitage and his friends – and they were amateur wizards! But then, Gandalf would start out completely ignorant of Cthulhu Mythos forms of magic, and his own magic might not even work in Arkham, Mass.

Ha! The Balrog is far stronger than Cthuhlu. He fat squid can have all the supprting actors he likes, the Balrog will still eat him. for Breakfast.

What’s it all about?


How much territory do you control?

Cthulhu owns a city!

The ballrog (small “b”) lives in a hole in the ground.

No contest.

The ballboy :wink: :smiley: can only do physical force.

Cthulhu stands over 100 feet tall, with muscles to match. And he can launch telepathic attacks.

Gandalf is seriously underrated. Whatever you say about Cthulhu, he’s a creature of the Universe. Gandalf helped create the Universe. Gandalf pre-existed time itself, fercryingoutloud! He and Cthulhu are on entirely different orders of existance.

Cthulhu with one hand/tentacle tied behind his back while blindfolded, drugged and trapped between realities.

I had the impression most of moria, that is, a hollowed out mountain range, and as deep beneath that, was swayed by him.

He also was a sort of incarnated god. And there was this ‘dark flame’ buisness.

OK, let’s set that aside, and consider what a most reasonable merging of the universes is. I think it’s reasonable to consider Cthulhu as an incarnated Ainu. The question is if he’s more of the order of Morgoth, Sauron, or a balrog. I’d say Morgoth is way out of Gandalf’s league, and needed a load of Valar (ggods) to take him down. Sauron was bested after a long and indirect struggle. A balrog put up a good fight against gandalf, but I think if he was prepared he could put paid to one fairly reliably.

Yes, Cthulhu can munch the world, but I don’t think this necessarily means he’s Sauron+ standard: afaik in Lovecraft there’s nothing like Maiar opposing him, so even a balrog could probably devestate pretty much everything.

So what can we conclude? I don’t think I can, but maybe someone who’s more familiar with Lovecraft can continue (apologies for mistakes).