The movies certainly portray Gandalf using his staff as a weapon, but is this explicitly described in JRRT’s writings?

For the purposes of this question, using the staff to work magic would not count. I’m asking about using the staff as a conventional, physical weapon.

Also, I’m assuming that the breaking of the bridge when confronting the Balrog counts as magic. (And even if it weren’t, I’m more interested in its use to make a direct attack against an enemy.)

1 Answer 1


I'm going to say no.

The only places I can find a staff being used to physically attack something in Lord of the Rings are when Gandalf strikes the doors of Moria in a temper

Edro, edro! he cried, and struck the rock with his staff. Open, open! he shouted, and followed it with the same command in every language that had ever been spoken in the West of Middle-earth. Then he threw his staff on the ground, and sat down in silence.

The Fellowship of the Ring - A Journey In the Dark.

And when Saruman strikes Grima Wormtounge after they have left Orthanc.

‘Get up, you idiot!’ he shouted to the other beggar, who had sat down on the ground; and he struck him with his staff. ‘Turn about! If these fine folk are going our way, then we will take another. Get on, or I’ll give you no crust for your supper!’

Return of the King - Many Partings.

Every other usage there is either magic involved or it is being used as a prop to lean on.

  • Doesn't Gandalf also hit the Steward of Gondor in the face in the third movie with his staff?
    – user13267
    Jan 1, 2016 at 11:23
  • 2
    @user13267 the question asked about Tolkien's writings, not Peter Jacksons.
    – user46509
    Jan 2, 2016 at 12:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.