Pondering my orb refers to a viral exploitable meme format, depicting an illustration of a wizard meditating upon a Palantir or a crystal sphere.
The illustration, seen on the meme originates from Angus McBride’s artwork, depicting Saruman, created for the 1988 tabletop role-playing game, titled Middle-Earth Quest: A Spy in Isengard.
It later appeared in 1993, on the cover for a supplementary book for Middle-Earth Role Playing, titled Valar & Maiar.
The first “Pondering my orb” caption was posted on Twitter by @thatsgoodweb on October 15th, 2021, paired with the illustration.
“Pondering my orb” quickly became a popular meme format, appearing in posts on Twitter, Reddit, Instagram as well as iFunny and FunnyJunk by November 2021.
- Mashable.com – Why is everyone on Twitter ‘pondering the orb’?
- Dicebreaker.com – The original Orb Ponderer talks sourcing memes from an old Lord of the Rings RPG
- Polygon.com – I’ve pondered the orb and now I can’t go back