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Questions tagged [gandalf]

Gandalf is a major character in the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit novels by J.R.R. Tolkien (and their film adaptations). Use this tag for questions about this character, not those that merely mention him. Use with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag.

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Why does Gandalf question Thorin after he had found the note?

Why does Gandalf question Thorin about their orc hunters, AFTER he had already found a note in black speech offering payment for Thorin's head and showing him this in the tavern. Gandalf and Balin ...
Emma's user avatar
  • 27
18 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why didn't Gandalf identify the troll's swords?

Elrond identified the swords by their runes in The Hobbit: Elrond knew all about runes of every kind. That day he looked at the swords they had brought from the trolls’ lair, and he said: ‘These are ...
Michael Foster's user avatar
25 votes
2 answers
6k views

What are all the times Gandalf was either late or early?

Gandalf, who is ever-quotable is well known for saying: A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to. I often cite this to re-assure my friends who're being harsh ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
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-6 votes
1 answer
367 views

Did Tolkien ever address Gandalf's propensity to take risks? [closed]

Gandalf wanted to get rid of Smaug, fearing that Smaug could eventually become an ally and tool of Sauron. But at the time of The Hobbit, Smaug was slumbering in Erebor. Gandalf explicitly discouraged ...
Keith Payne's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
6k views

Was Gandalf on Middle-earth in the Second Age?

Amazon's Rings of Power shows someone who may be Gandalf operating in the second age. When does Gandalf first arrive to Middle-earth in Tolkien's writings?
ibid's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Gandalf and Sméagol ever meet before Sméagol got the One Ring?

I am thinking that since Gandalf enjoyed being with Hobbits and liked to visit them, I am wondering if there is anything in LotR canon that mentions whether he had visited the Stoor Hobbits during his ...
user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Did the Istari arrive in Middle Earth simultaneously? [duplicate]

From the wiki it is said that Saruman and one of the blue wizards came first, followed by Gandalf. Later Radagast and the other Blue wizard was sent. Was this arrival practically simultaneous ("...
Daniel's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why didn't Gandalf have spies just like Saruman?

In The Fellowship of the Ring we see the Gap of Rohan being constantly watched by Dunland's Crebains (crows) which Saruman used as spies. So, when Gandalf was reborn as Gandalf the White, or even ...
Mrc4t987's user avatar
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46 votes
1 answer
9k views

What does Gandalf the White mean by his strange speech about Boromir?

In The Two Towers, chapter five, soon after Gandalf has returned as Gandalf the White, he says something very peculiar to Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas in Fangorn: ‘You have not said all that you know ...
Daviere Lamore's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why was Gandalf unsure if Bilbo's ring was the One Ring if he had seen an image of Sauron's Eye when he was about to pick it up?

In the movie LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo drops the One Ring on the floor and then leaves his house. Gandalf then goes to pick it up but just before he touches it, he sees an image of ...
user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
350 views

Did Gandalf fly on an eagle back to Middle-earth?

How was Gandalf able to return to Middle-earth and get to Fangorn that fast? The most logical explanation is that he either took an eagle of Manwe, or travelled, like, "spiritually" similar ...
Aragorn Elessar's user avatar
-5 votes
1 answer
325 views

Why did Gandalf's soul leave his body after defeating the Balrog?

After defeating the Balrog on Zirakzigil, the summit of Celebdil above Moria, Gandalf's soul left his body as if he died, and went to Valinor. Why did Gandalf do that? Did he actually die? If so, what ...
Aragorn Elessar's user avatar
41 votes
3 answers
12k views

Does Gandalf smell?

Gandalf seems to be wearing the same grey robes all the time*. Through rain and snow, while he rides, while he smokes, he is, as his name moniker suggests, wearing grey. In addition, hygiene in ...
Skooba's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did Gandalf change from blue to grey?

Everyone is familiar with Gandalf being described as "Gandalf the Grey", or, later, "Gandalf the White", and he was shown in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies as ...
Razar Mackham's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is Gandalf's Westron name, and why does he sign with a "G" rune?

Gandalf signs his letter to the bartender in Bree with a "G" rune: But "Gandalf" is the English rendition of what's presumably meant to be Westron in-universe. What then is ...
Kerrek SB's user avatar
  • 613
8 votes
1 answer
949 views

Did Gandalf have to fight the Balrog?

The movie presents the fight as completely avoidable. The bridge is two flights of stairs away from the eastern gate. It would seem that the Balrog could not have followed them outside and they were ...
Hesha's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
3k views

How did Gandalf conceal Narya?

How did Gandalf conceal Narya? Where did he keep it hidden? Or did he even keep the ring with him at all?
TheMadHatter's user avatar
  • 3,960
29 votes
2 answers
6k views

Did Gandalf think that Frodo was dead?

When the Host of the West march upon the Black Gate, the Mouth of Sauron reveals 'Tokens' (including Frodo's Mithril shirt). At this point, Gandalf looks defeated. Did he think that Frodo had been ...
TheMadHatter's user avatar
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26 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why do Gondorians frequently refer to Gandalf as Mithrandir?

Gandalf says of himself: "Many are my names in many countries. Mithrandir among the elves, Tharkûn to the dwarves; Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South Incánus, ...
Prometheus's user avatar
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50 votes
3 answers
15k views

What exactly happened during Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog?

When Gandalf fights with the Balrog they begin by falling through an abyss. After reaching an underground lake, they seem to fight their way on top of a tower. Is there a description of the events ...
ERJAN's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did Gandalf know that the nine had risen or not?

In Chapter 1, "Many Meetings", of The Fellowship of the Ring the following exchange occurs: "Then you knew of the Riders already - before I [Frodo] met them?" "Yes, I [...
DakkVader's user avatar
  • 313
10 votes
1 answer
686 views

On the meta-history of the Istari

Gildor says to Frodo: “But it is said: Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.” He speaks as if the Elves have experience with many Wizards. It is later ...
Anton Sherwood's user avatar
45 votes
4 answers
15k views

Why did Gandalf use a sword against the Balrog?

Shortly after Gandalf first sees the balrog, he orders Aragorn to lead the fellowship to the bridge. Aragorn hesitates, fearing to leave Gandalf alone against such a fearsome enemy, until Gandalf ...
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why did Gandalf conceal his identity in Fangorn Forest?

Note: This question mostly pertains to the film, not the book. In The Two Towers when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are tracking Merry and Pippin, they discover that the trail leads into Fangorn Forest. ...
Spar10 Leonidas's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why did Gandalf seal the One Ring inside an envelope?

In this scene after Bilbo leaves, Gandalf seals the One Ring inside an envelope. He seems to fear touching it. He very briefly touched it when it lay on the floor ...
RichS's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did Gandalf do anything else in Middle-earth after talking with Tom Bombadil?

In "Chapter 7: Homeward Bound" of the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gandalf tells the Hobbits, I am turning aside soon. I am going to have a long talk with Bombadil: such a talk as ...
David's user avatar
  • 1,885
50 votes
6 answers
15k views

Could Gandalf not have made his own One Ring?

Sauron created The One Ring to gain control over the other ring-bearers, but it also amplified his power. Since it's a bad idea for anyone to claim The One Ring, wouldn't it be possible for Gandalf to ...
Parrotmaster's user avatar
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54 votes
7 answers
17k views

Why didn't Saruman break Gandalf's staff on Orthanc as Gandalf broke Saruman's?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers after becoming Gandalf the White, Gandalf cast Saruman from the Order and the Council. He also got the power to break Saruman's staff, which was very powerful. ...
Fiddler's user avatar
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21 votes
3 answers
6k views

Did Gandalf Visit Bree between the fall of Mordor and the hobbits' journey home?

In Chapter 7 of Book 6 of The Return Of The King, Homeward Bound, Barliman Butterbur compliments Gandalf's horse Shadowfax, saying: "And you’ll be taking your horse to his stable yourself, Gandalf,...
Lee's user avatar
  • 313
35 votes
2 answers
10k views

What version of the LoTR film shows Gandalf breaking Saruman's staff?

In the book version, Gandalf confronts Saruman and declares "Your staff is broken," at which point Saruman's staff shatters. I just re-watched the movie version on DVD, and that scene isn't shown. ...
Duncan C's user avatar
  • 453
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

How does Gandalf know that the ring's destruction will imply Sauron's "death"? [duplicate]

During the last debate, Gandalf says: "Concerning this thing, my lords, you now all know enough for the understanding of our plight, and of Sauron's. If he regains it, your valour is vain, ...
5th decile's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does Elrond call Mithrandir "Gandalf"?

Why does Lord Elrond call and refer to Mithrandir as Gandalf? Suggesting that it is because he is (only) half-elven would seem illogical, IMHO.
Charles Spencer King's user avatar
47 votes
3 answers
11k views

How is the name "Gandalf" pronounced?

I've been reading answers to the question asking how "Smaug" should be pronounced and I was wondering, is there an authoritative answer to the pronunciation of "Gandalf"? I first read The Hobbit ...
Wallnut's user avatar
  • 6,608
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does Gandalf almost die in The Hobbit?

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: ...
Wen's user avatar
  • 695
-4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why couldn't Gandalf kill multiple orcs at a time?

We see Gandalf fight and defeat the Balrog. He loses his own life in the process, but through this battle we learn that at the very least he is as at least as powerful, if not more powerful, than the ...
jimmy white's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Gandalf know that Elrond didn't stop Isildur?

After the defeat of Sauron, Elrond, Cirdan and Isildur went to Mount Doom. Elrond encouraged Isildur to destroy the ring. Isildur, however rejected Elrond's bidding. Now did Gandalf know that Elrond ...
The Witch King of Angmar's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
157 views

Was Gandalf omniscient? [duplicate]

Could Gandalf predict future events? Throughout the legendarium, he seems to come up with prophecies which come true, but is this just lucky guessing/wisdom or genuine omniscience? If it is indeed ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 1,101
50 votes
10 answers
20k views

What is the purpose of the "Good Morning" dialogue from The Hobbit?

In the novel The Hobbit, towards the start of the story Bilbo wishes Gandalf a good morning: "Good Morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 1,101
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

If Gandalf was a Maia, why couldn't he change form? [duplicate]

According to The LOTR wiki, Gandalf and Saruman are amongst the named Maiar. Again, a quote from Wiki: Maiar, like Valar, do not array themselves in a fixed form, but can freely change their ...
Johansson's user avatar
  • 183
6 votes
1 answer
7k views

How can Gandalf travel so fast?

At the start of The Fellowship of the Ring he seems to go from Shire to Minas Tirith to Saruman while the rest haven't traversed that much. How is this possible?
Spennet's user avatar
  • 73
19 votes
1 answer
3k views

Did Gandalf continue to wield Glamdring?

In the various movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, it seems that Gandalf continued to use a sword following the Death and Return of Superman Gandalf. It looks like they usually show the same ...
Quasi_Stomach's user avatar
26 votes
2 answers
7k views

Did Gandalf ever lose a staff before, or is it purely a Jackson invention?

So in the Jacksonverse movies we see Gandalf losing his staff tons of times. I believe, in the movies, he loses his staff to the Necromancer (The Hob.), and Saruman (LOTR-1st), and the Witch-King (...
Lampham's user avatar
  • 1,710
14 votes
3 answers
6k views

How many times did Gandalf touch the One Ring in the books?

Inspired by this question here, not sure about the LOTR novels (no copy of my books with me) but, in the movies Gandalf touches the Ring once after Bilbo drops it, and gets a vision immediately of ...
Lampham's user avatar
  • 1,710
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Gandalf ever have a romantic partner or a spouse?

Inspired by this question (about interspecies pairings on the LOTR universe), I was wondering whether Gandalf ever had a romantic partner or spouse? I've read the books several times, but I don't ...
Hans Olo's user avatar
  • 9,324
59 votes
5 answers
14k views

Why did Gandalf not return to help Frodo and Sam?

It says on the Lord of the Rings wiki: Gandalf returned as the White Wizard (named anew "Gandalf the White"), and he claimed leadership of the order of Wizards. Gandalf's power and wisdom ...
Sajjad's user avatar
  • 1,075
30 votes
3 answers
18k views

Why didn't the Fellowship help Gandalf when he faced the Balrog?

During the events of the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, the Fellowship witness Gandalf facing the Balrog. When Gandalf falls, he's still hanging on the cliff. And when Frodo cries out to Gandalf, Boromir ...
The Witch King of Angmar's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
26k views

How did Gandalf get his second staff back after it was destroyed by the Witch-king of Angmar?

In the Return of the King film, Gandalf's staff is destroyed by the Witch-king: During the battle of the Black Gate he uses his sword, Glamdring. But at the end of the ...
The Witch King of Angmar's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why did Gandalf tell Saruman that the One Ring is with Frodo?

In this scene, Gandalf mentioned the Shire and Frodo, hence letting Saruman know that Frodo has the Ring and it's in the Shire. But why did he tell Saruman that Frodo has the ring? It's kinda betrayal ...
The Witch King of Angmar's user avatar
70 votes
6 answers
32k views

Why didn't Gandalf just fight Smaug directly?

So if memory serves right, the premise of the Hobbit is that Gandalf gets this rag-tag team together to retrieve the Arkenstone, so that the Dwarves can reunite, so that they can take back their ...
LCIII's user avatar
  • 10.9k
11 votes
1 answer
641 views

Did Gandalf the Grey sleep under hedgerows in the Shire?

I read an interview with Peter Jackson where he said he preferred Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White because he would blow smoke rings etc etc but he also mentioned he sleeps under hedgerows. I ...
bitter_rice's user avatar