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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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 ...
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16 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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-6 votes
1 answer
266 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 ...
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42 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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
893 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 ...
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13 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
799 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 ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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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?
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26 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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25 votes
1 answer
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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, ...
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50 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
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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 [...
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9 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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43 votes
4 answers
13k 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 ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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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. ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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50 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
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55 votes
7 answers
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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. ...
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21 votes
3 answers
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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,...
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36 votes
2 answers
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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. ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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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, ...
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14 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.
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49 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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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: ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0 votes
0 answers
149 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 ...
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46 votes
9 answers
17k 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. ...
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7 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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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?
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19 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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24 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 (...
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13 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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58 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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30 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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6 votes
3 answers
20k 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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
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70 votes
6 answers
30k 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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
556 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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

How did Gandalf expect the dwarves to kill Smaug?

It has been stated that Gandalf had his reasons for sending Bilbo with Thorin & Company. One of them was to prevent an alliance between Sauron and Smaug. However, he also knew that the company was ...
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23 votes
2 answers
16k views

What did Gandalf mean when he told the Balrog to "go back to the Shadow"?

During the speech Gandalf gives when he confronts the Balrog he instructs the Balrog to "go back to the Shadow!". "You cannot pass," he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. "I am a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
900 views

Is Gandalf's resurrection permanent?

After Gandalf died of wounds sustained from his battle against a Balrog of Morgoth, he was resurrected by Illuvatar and sent back to Middle Earth, ostensibly "until my task is done", referring to his ...
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32 votes
3 answers
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Why does Gandalf act in this way in the Houses of Healing?

The Istari were sent to "advise and persuade Men and Elves to good" and they were forbidden to fight Sauron directly. But apparently they are not forbidden to fight creatures which are not ...
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  • 1,665
9 votes
1 answer
915 views

Could Gandalf read minds?

Gandalf says to Frodo: 'You have talked long in your sleep, Frodo,' said Gandalf gently, 'and it has not been hard for me to read your mind and memory. Tolkien, J. R. R. The Lord of the Rings : The ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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What factors or Force decide elevation of wizards to a different color? [duplicate]

After the fight in Dwarvish ruins (Moria), Gandalf the grey fell and: What is the backstory of white wizards and grey ones? Is there a order of wizards in this universe? What factors decide that the ...
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  • 543
7 votes
1 answer
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Why does Gandalf advise the company to "be careful what you touch" in the troll hoard?

Pretty much what the title says; In The Hobbit movie (unexpected journey), Gandalf advises the company to "be careful what you touch" in the troll cave - why is that? This Q/A suggests it's due to ...
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  • 353
8 votes
3 answers
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Did Gandalf see the future?

It is said of Mandos: he knows all things that shall be, save only those that lie still in the freedom of Ilúvatar In the Unfinished Tales, Gandalf says: If this hobbit goes with you, you will ...
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