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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: Thoughts: Edit Log


Nov 18 2012, 9:13pm

Views: 1056

What kind of lore is specific to these wizards?

Alchemy for sure, given Gandalf's (and Saruman's) knowledge of black powder. Fire magic (Gandalf). Shape-changing (Radagast). It is not clear in The Hobbit that Gandalf knows the true identity of the Necromancer; but, he clearly knows much more about him than either Bilbo or the Dwarves.

How does one differentiate between "good" and "bad" magic?

Bad magic twists and corrupts both those using it and the victims of its power.

How many white wizards are needed to make the council "great"?

42. No, but at least 3 to 5, plus several members of the Eldar.

given that an attack was directed at the Necromancer just as Thorin and co. were cruising through Mirkwood, did Gandalf have his own reasons to warn them off a route more to the south?

Possibly. Although the path following the Great East Road was an obvious place for the goblins to attempt an ambush anyway.

Was Elrond on the secret of Gandalf's real mission? Did Gandalf actually report back to him? Was Beorn?

Given the hindsight of LotR, Elrond was likely already aware of the Council's attack on Dol Guldur (if not a participant). However, I doubt that that was Tolkien's original intent. There is no evidence that Beorn was directly connected to the Council (or council) in any way.

Did you notice the proximity when reading Queer Lodgings? How long did it take you to do so?

That was a simple connection to make. I automatically assumed that Radagast would have been part of Gandalf's council of white wizards.

Do you find this transition convincing? Does it change your perception of The Hobbit? How different is reading The Hobbit with this grandiose backstory in mind, from reading it as a simple adventure story? Which reading works better?

It certainly places Gandalf's leaving at Mirkwood into context. It also places a new light on the story that Gandalf tells when he and Bilbo return to Rivendell (see above). It suggests that Elrond already knew about the plan to drive the Necromancer from Mirkwood, but remained behind to guard Rivendell in case of failure. All of this remained unsaid because Gandalf didn't want to say too much in front of Bilbo.

Did The Hobbit as a book benefit, or suffer from being post facto subordinated to its sequel? Would you read it as often as you do now?

Over all, I think that the story benefits from the added depth, especially upon re-reading the book.

Is this a good idea? Would the story be seriously lacking, if this element would be missing? And are you willing to accept an entirely original story-line for the attack upon Dol Guldur (which Tolkien never tackled), for the sake of completeness?

If the adaptation had remained a single film, incorporating Gandalf's mission more wholly might have been too much. But, in extending the narrative into two (and then three) films, it becomes amost necessary to do so. Tolkien did reveal some hints about the Council's assault on the Necromancer; what is missing is the details (granted, he left out a lot of them).

Any other comments about the Necromancer?

I think that it is clear that Tolkien did already know that the Necromacer was the entity that would also be known as Sauron. What he had not decided yet, was the part that Sauron would play at the end of the Third Age of Middle-earth.

This thread is much longer than I realized. I'll skip down to Gandalf's later visit to Bilbo. I get the impression that Gandalf visits Bilbo several times in the years following the Quest for Erebor. The visit that was accompanied by Balin was probably not the first and certainly not the last prior to LotR.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 18 2012, 9:17pm)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Otaku-sempai (Immortal) on Nov 18 2012, 9:17pm

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