Who is your favorite wizard of all time?
I'm not usually one to do QoTD, but as a long-time fantasy gamer I've eplored the nuances of a lot of wizards and magic over the years. I've read the exploits, of Merlin, Elminster, Raistlin Magere, Gandalf the Grey, and the Order of Hermese. And of course I've seen a snippet or two of the tales told of a certain "boy wizard" as well.
It's a hard choice, wizards are defined by both what they've done and what they can do as far as magic. Often the reputation of a mage carries them far further than their magic ever could. Having said that I've got to cast my vote for Merlin, especially the merlin portrayed in the Jack Whyte novels, a man who's bright and innovative and through his associations and guiding great people becomes far greater in the eyes of the masses.
And I think there was the history of his time that was compelling, this was a time just as the Christian missionaries were just starting to come into Britan. The old ways were still strong and faye and spirits still held sway in the forests. Those were the days when magic was powerful and legendary, and in many ways it shaped the stories of wizards and warriors we read today.