Gandalf is one of the greatest - if not the greatest - wizard in Middle Earth. He manages to survive pretty much every encounter he has. But in The Hobbit (chapter 6 I believe) Tolkien writes:
Then Gandalf climbed to the top of his tree. The sudden splendour flashed from his wand like lightning, as he got ready to spring down from on high right among the spears of the goblins. That would have been the end of him, though he would probably have killed many of them as he came hurtling down like a thunderbolt. But he never leaped. Just at that moment the Lord of the Eagles swept down from above, seized him in his talons, and was gone.
What's really puzzling me is
That would have been the end of him
Gandalf manages to [spoilers!]
revive after a fight against a Balrog
and also manages a great deal of feats. Yet that passage states that Gandalf would have perished then and there had the eagle not come. My question is
Why does Tolkien write that "That would have been the end of him"?