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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58 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 ...
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 ...
45 votes
1 answer
8k 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 ...
50 votes
3 answers
9k views

When does Gandalf learn the nature of Durin’s Bane?

Durin's Bane, the Balrog of Moria, was unearthed at some time in the Third Age. Shortly afterwards, the city was abandoned, and no one with any sense came that way again for a long time. As stated ...
68 votes
8 answers
21k views

Was Gandalf "meant" to confront the Balrog?

We know Frodo was meant to have the Ring, but did Tolkien ever discuss Gandalf traveling through Moria and having his confrontation with the Balrog? We know he initially pushed the Fellowship to go ...
107 votes
8 answers
111k views

Why was Gandalf afraid of the Balrog of Morgoth?

As depicted in the film, Gandalf appeared to be shaken and in fear of the Balrog of Morgoth, even just as Saruman mentioned it. Why was this so? Did they have any previous encounters?
23 votes
2 answers
5k views

Gandalf - open displays of power versus his restrictions as an Istar

Throughout both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings (and I need to stress that I'm talking about the books, not the movies) we see Gandalf quite liberally tossing magic about. He uses lightning in his ...
27 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why does Gandalf say "the West that is forgotten"?

Inspired by this question and namely by this passage (emphasis mine): “Many are my names in many countries: Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Dwarves; Olórin I was in my youth in the West ...
29 votes
4 answers
32k views

Did Gandalf wear his Ring of Power throughout the trilogy?

After Gandalf discovered that Sauron was back and sent Frodo on his quest to Rivendell, did he continue to wear Narya (one of the Three Rings)? It seems like a huge risk to continue to wear it after ...
94 votes
9 answers
128k views

What are Gandalf's powers?

Gandalf is a wizard. He is also the Tolkien equivalent of a mortal angel (if I understand what the Maiar are correctly.) What are his powers though? Specifically what magics does he use in The Hobbit ...
176 votes
9 answers
192k views

What does Gandalf mean by "Secret Fire", "Flame of Anor" and "Flame of Udûn"?

In Moria, when Gandalf confronts the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-dûm, Gandalf says the following: I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass! The dark fire ...
100 votes
14 answers
31k views

Why didn't Saruman take Narya from Gandalf?

We know that Gandalf was given Narya, the Ring of Fire (one of the Elven three), by Círdan the Shipwright. When Saruman imprisoned Gandalf, why did he not attempt to take the ring from him? It would ...
90 votes
6 answers
18k views

What does Gandalf intend to chat with Tom Bombadil about?

Close to the end of The Return of the King, Gandalf tells one of the Hobbits that it's time for him to go and have a long talk with Tom Bombadil. Was there anything significant to this talk? Does ...
55 votes
7 answers
16k 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. ...
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 ...
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, ...
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.
54 votes
6 answers
10k views

How does Galadriel know that Gandalf 'survives' his encounter with the Balrog?

In The Two Towers, when Gandalf meets Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli for the first time since the Balrog encounter, he briefly gives some details of the encounter which to me are (perhaps intentionally) ...
26 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 ...
29 votes
3 answers
7k views

Was Frodo able to see that Gandalf wore Narya and Elrond wore Vilya?

Frodo sees Nenya on Galadriel's finger after looking into the Mirror of Galadriel, and yet Sam is unable to see it. Galadriel also says the following: It is not permitted to speak of it, and Elrond ...
49 votes
7 answers
92k views

How did Gandalf get his staff back after being captured by Saruman in Orthanc?

In the books, it doesn't explicitly describe Gandalf's staff being taken or broken during his imprisonment in/on Orthanc, but in the film, Saruman is shown with Gandalf's staff, and Gandalf is shown ...
42 votes
5 answers
57k views

Why does Theoden call Gandalf "Stormcrow"?

In the movie The Two Towers, Theoden calls Gandalf "Gandalf Stormcrow". Where does that name come from?
28 votes
2 answers
32k views

What did Gandalf actually try as passwords for Moria's gates?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, when the party was at the gates of Moria, Gandalf tries to open the doors by speaking bespoke paswords. The password is actually "Mellon " but he tries various other ...
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 ...
82 votes
6 answers
18k views

Where does Gandalf Live?

Does Gandalf have his own home or does he just live where he goes? Is there a place that he prefers to live and calls home most of all?
16 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
30 votes
7 answers
36k views

Why didn't Gandalf say anything when he saw Bilbo's ring?

I don't know how the story is in the book (I would like to know), but in the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Thorin asks Bilbo why he came back, and Gandalf tries to evade the question after ...
-6 votes
1 answer
2k views

The Witch-king vs Gandalf [closed]

I've been reading answers to this question but none of them answer it. Who is stronger in magic and sword-fight? Who would win? People say Gandalf is equal to Sauron, but I find that extremely hard to ...
-6 votes
1 answer
270 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 ...
-3 votes
2 answers
310 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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
923 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
537 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 ...
-3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can Gandalf be killed? How powerful is he?

I am not super into the LOTR franchise but, my friend was telling me that Gandalf is super over powered and they don't display it correctly in the movie. His exact words "Gandalf could fart and ...
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 ...
25 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, ...
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. ...
8 votes
1 answer
802 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 ...
28 votes
4 answers
41k views

Why is Sauron always portrayed as being stronger than Gandalf?

My understanding is that Sauron along with the other wizards are all Maiar. They are all timeless, so no one is older than anyone else. I would have thought that 5 Maiar (or even two in LOTR) should ...
41 votes
6 answers
16k views

Could Gandalf have killed the Witch-king?

There was a prophecy about the Witch-king of Angmar saying that 'No man could kill him'. The actual quote: "He will not return to this land. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of a man ...
57 votes
3 answers
42k views

Why does Gandalf the White not remember his original name?

'Gandalf,' the old man repeated, as if recalling from old memory a long disused word. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' Why wouldn't he remember being Gandalf right away? Why would Eru send ...
24 votes
2 answers
35k views

Is Gandalf referring to Valinor when he talks to Pippin about death?

When they are sitting aside from the Orcs and the troll trying to break down the gate Pippin talks about the end and Gandalf reassures him that Death isn’t the end of the journey. Quote: Pippin: I ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why didn't Gandalf take Frodo with him to Isengard?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, why didn’t Gandalf take Frodo (and the Ring of Power) with him to Isengard? Since Gandalf was unaware that Saruman had joined forces with Sauron, why wouldn’t he want ...
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 [...
45 votes
9 answers
185k views

How old is Gandalf?

In the Lord of The Rings trilogy, does anyone know how old Gandalf is? I remember reading that Gandalf was much older than he looked. Do the books ever say how old he is?