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219

Gandalf is making three very specific references as both warning and challenge to the Balrog. By identifying himself as a servant of the Secret Fire (or Flame Imperishable), Gandalf is identifying himself as a Maia, an embodied angelic servant of the Valar protecting the light of Creation that Eru Ilúvatar (or God) has set to burn at the centre of Arda (...


136

It was not his job. The Istari (wizards) were sent to Middle Earth to oppose Sauron, but to do so by stirring the free people's of Middle Earth to resistance. They were explicitly forbidden from "Matching Sauron's power with power". While Smaug was not Sauron, and so one could argue that technically he did not fall under the ban, the reason for the ...


107

With the understanding that Bombadil was clearly depicted as the oldest being in Middle Earth (He tells the Hobbits this in their encounter with him ... "Tom was here before the river and the trees"(FoTR)) Gandalf was one of the Maiar, which were spirits created before Middle Earth took the shape it was in when the elves first awoke (Olórin he was ...


90

"The Ring has passed beyond his help" Although he did what he could indirectly, there was no way Gandalf could directly help Frodo any longer as he himself states: The Ring now has passed beyond my help, or the help of any of the Company that set out from Rivendell. Very nearly it was revealed to the Enemy, but it escaped. I had some part in that: ...


90

Possibly In the foreword to Lord of the Rings, Tolkien observes: Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-...


87

Gandalf covers this for the most part in chapter 5 of The Two Towers. He gives quite a clear account of the events that transpired and how they got from deepest pits to the highest peak Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me... Deep is the abyss that is spanned by Durin's Bridge... Yet it has a bottom, beyond light and knowledge,... I came ...


84

I think you are very close when you say it might be telling us that Gandalf is a pedant. As this is at the start of the book, Tolkien is (as you suggest) introducing the characters to us. This is our first introduction to Gandalf, and I think the impression Tolkien wants us to get is that he: Is surprising - he doesn't react the way you expect him to. ...


84

Because using a sword was effective. (Keep in mind that Balrogs envisioned by Tolkien were not as big as what Peter Jackson depicts in the movies.) 'Do as I say!' said Gandalf fiercely. 'Swords are no more use here. Go!' The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm In the books, Gandalf says that particular line before he is ...


81

If he thought about the Istari, especially Saruman and Gandalf, he imagined them as emissaries from the Valar, seeking to establish their lost power again and 'colonize' Middle-earth, as a mere effort of defeated imperialists (without knowledge or sanction of Eru). His cynicism, which (sincerely) regarded the motives of Manwe as precisely the same ...


75

Who better to ask than the professor himself, here he is reading the opening to the Fellowship of the Ring. At 00:23 he says "'No' said Gandalf..." Tolkien seems to pronounce it as most would expect (or at least as always seemed obvious to me), "gand" as in gander and "alf" as in Alfred or alpha. However, Tolkien seems to split the two syllables as "gan" ...


74

Gandalf is not a "wizard" in the classical fantasy sense of the word, one whose power and wisdom is learned in dusty towers poring over old books. He is a divine being, one of the Maiar, whose very essence is wisdom. Indeed, it can be interpreted that the Ainur (the Maiar and the Valar) are all aspects of the universal divinity, each embodying some quality: ...


73

Gandalf is a Maia (Spirit), created by Eru among the other Ainur before the Years of the Lamps roughly 9,000+ years before arriving in Middle-earth. In Valinor he was known as Olórin. He was sent to Middle-earth in human form around the year 1000 in the Third Age. That's more than 2000 years before the setting of The Lord of the Rings, to help the free ...


73

In the novel, the events played out slightly differently. Gandalf was already at the rear of the pack. The Hobbits, Gimli and Legolas had already made it to the arch when the Balrog appeared. They stayed inside the arch (obeying Gandalf) whereas the humans, Aragorn and Boromir decided to stand with Gandalf. 'Over the bridge!' cried Gandalf, recalling his ...


72

Not until it's already upon them Emphasis mine: 'What happened away up there at the door?' [Gimli] asked. 'Did you meet the beater of the drums?' I do not know,' answered Gandalf. 'But I found myself suddenly faced by something that I have not met before. I could think of nothing to do but to try and put a shutting-spell on the door. I know many; but to do ...


70

The key is that Gandalf the White and Gandalf the Grey aren't quite the same person. The Gandalf that Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli knew died, and the being that came back was similar, but not quite exactly the same; as Tolkien writes in Letter 156: Gandalf really 'died', and was changed: for that seems to me the only real cheating, to represent anything that ...


69

Most of the answers you are looking for can be sourced from The Silmarillion which basically charts the First and Second Ages of Middle Earth and explains the motivation behind a lot of the characters. You are absolutely correct that Gandalf wants the Dwarfs to enter The Lonely Mountain. The reason for this is slightly more complex. Before Sauron came to ...


69

I always thought of it this way: Gandalf knows that in a contest of wills between Saruman and Sauron, Sauron won. He has no reason to believe he's that much stronger than Saruman. That answers the question as asked. However consider the risks. Sauron is no fool. He knows who Gandalf is, and possibly his greatest fear is that Gandalf will claim the ring for ...


69

A wizard's staff is symbolic rather than a source of actual power, and so breaking a wizard's staff has no effect on the wizard's power. How do we know this? Because Gandalf was able to defeat the Balrog without his staff. At that moment Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his ...


66

On the contrary, both Gandalf's return and his "promotion" came before the notion of his death and resurrection. Tolkien's first draft of Fellowship of the Ring ended at Balin's tomb, at which point he stopped for a long while before continuing. However, a sketch of the plot of the chapter (dated by Christopher Tolkien to late 1939, and written ...


64

The answers by Edlothiad and Mark Olson are good, but omit some details. According to The Return of the King, Appendix B The Tale of the Years, The Third Age, Third age 3019: *January* 15 The Bridge of Khazad-Dum and fall of Gandalf. The Company reaches Nimrodel late at night. 17 The Company comes to Karas Galadon at evening. ...


63

The relevant quote is: Yes, I am white now,' said Gandalf. 'Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been. When the Istari arrived in Middle-Earth, they were as emissaries from Valinor. They no longer wanted to interfere directly in the affairs of Middle-Earth, so the 'wizards' were sent to help the free peoples of middle-...


62

None among the fellowship knew: "...they belonged solely to the Third Age and then departed, and none save maybe Elrond, Círdan and Galadriel discovered of what kind they were or whence they came" - "Unfinished Tales", Part II "The Istari" This is discussed in deeper detail here: "Who in Middle-earth knows the Istari's origin?" "why"? Because ...


59

It was known that there was something dangerous in Moria. Glóin tells the Council of Elrond: Glóin sighed. ‘Moria! Moria! Wonder of the Northern world! Too deep we delved there, and woke the nameless fear. Long have its vast mansions lain empty since the children of Durin fled. But now we spoke of it again with longing, and yet with dread; for no dwarf ...


58

This is a surprisingly interesting question. How much could have been in the movies? Gandalf's origin is hinted at in the Appendices: When maybe a thousand years had passed, and the first shadow had fallen on Greenwood the Great, the Istari or Wizards appeared in Middle-Earth. It was afterwards said that they came out of the Far West and were messengers ...


54

Because Gandalf might not have won This is an out-of-universe explanation based on what we know of the author. The concept of A > B when comparing the fighting power of various superheroes, Jedi, Pokemon or whatever is a product of modern worldview, one that is familiar with numbers based video games and Dungeons and Dragons. Tolkien was not familiar ...


53

Not the specifics, unfortunately. Much of what we know comes from Unfinished Tales: Mithrandir [T]he last-comer was named among the Elves Mithrandir, the Grey Pilgrim, for he dwelt in no place, and gathered to himself neither wealth nor followers, but ever went to and fro in the Westlands from Gondor to Angmar, and from Lindon to Lórien, befriending all ...


51

Scene 4: The Voice of Saruman This scene was cut from the original film, and was later added into the extended edition from the film, it was one of 4 scenes that were cut entirely from the second half of The Return of the King. The decision to remove the scene on the cutting room floor was explained by Peter Jackson in a 2003 interview with Ain't It Cool ...


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