Oct 9 2012, 4:10am
Gandalf the Grey does not know it all, so he questions and ponders and hesitates about the right course of action to take, and worries a lot.
Not all knowing versus enlightened...
Because the Gandalf the White is "enlightened" he knows exactly can/should be done and is a lot more decisive -- but he gets frustrated when everyone else can't see and follow that path as clearly as he can, or when he has to clean up the mess when everyone else complicates things for him. Some specific examples:
Gandalf the Grey
1. Gruff on the outside, soft on the inside (hugging Frodo after the "a wizard is never late" comment, shooting off fireworks for the little kids after acting like he's not going to, having fun at the party when he can let his hair down/being tough on Merry and Pippin when he has to be an authority figure; is worried about the Black Riders attacking Bag End, then gets angry at Sam...
2. Shows worry/concern about the Ring in Bag End (with Frodo especially)
3. Trusts more to Saruman than himself (I must see the head of my order -- he'll know what to do)
4. Visibly frustrated at the Council of Elrond and then visibly moved by Frodo's choice to take the Ring
5. Unwilling to enter the mines of Moria, so turns that decision over to fate/Frodo (because he knows what the dwarves found there, according to Saruman...)
6. Unsure of himself in Moria -- needing time to figure out the way to go when he gets to that place he "has no memory of" (I always read that as he knew the he was headed for death, and needed time to deal with that -- by helping Frodo deal with his fate, he found a way to accept his own)
7. Hesitating to make the leap over the breaking bridge
8. Pushing Aragorn into leadership (do as I say!, swords of no more use here!)
9. Hanging on the edge before finally letting go and accepting his fate...
Gandalf the White
1. Goes from deferring from Saruman to overpowering him (when he expels him from Theoden)
2. Knows what Theoden should do to save his people, frustrated when Theoden won't do it
3. Frustrated with having to leave to go get Eomer and how little time he has to do it
4. Upset with Pippin for messing things up by looking in the Palantir
5. Tries to shut Pippin down before seeing Denethor, and then being frustrated with both Pippin and Denethor for not taking his counsel
6. Knows that the beacons must be lit, and takes clear action to make that happen, even if Denethor doesn't like it and it puts Pippin at risk
7. Takes Denethor out of commission, physically, when his lack of leadership becomes a problem
8. Takes command of the battle
9. Moves from pushing Aragorn to deferring to him and clearly acknowledging his leadership privately and publicly
10. I now able to comfort Pippin about death, whereas he feared his own death in Moria
The only time Gandalf the White doubts himself is in the throne room, and during the Rohan party -- both times, it's due to feeling some guilt over his role in Frodo's fate. But Frodo's situation was caused by actions taken by Gandalf the Grey, which he has inherited, rather than anything he did as Gandalf the White.
Hope this helps and makes senses -- if not, let me know and I'll try to explain it better/in more detail...