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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Reminder of how troubling this Gandalf as a sub-agent of Galadriel is.
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AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 2:50am

Post #1 of 84 (1707 views)
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Reminder of how troubling this Gandalf as a sub-agent of Galadriel is. Can't Post

And I LOVE Galadriel, in her power and her glory and her insight. But she is certainly not the supervisor or superior officer of any of The Ainur, incarnate or not. And that is the notion a lot of layman come away with, and who can really blame them with the way some of these scenes have been set up. I showed the movie last night to relatives who love the genre and the Rings films but are casual, and not lore learned in the story. They took Elrond's line as a clear indicator that Gandalf was indeed answerable to Galadriel. And I have heard that from other lay fans besides.

I know some here may not see it, but that is because we already KNOW better, so we read more into the nuance and find the ways in which that scene, for example, didn't have to imply such a thing. Yet, for all those who don't already know, those implications are pretty strong.

I fear (hope it is not so) that Phillipa and Peter may have intended this, and are as tickled as teenagers at the notion that millions are sitting around thinking of Galadriel as Gandalf's boss. But it just isn't right at all.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

(This post was edited by Altaira on Mar 21 2013, 3:45am)


MorgolKing
Rivendell

Mar 21 2013, 3:10am

Post #2 of 84 (952 views)
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It's a flaw in the film [In reply to] Can't Post

They messed up, and I don't see any hope for it getting better...it's only going to get worse. Every scene with Galardriel is going to push the narrative that she is, as Boyens put it, the most powerful being in Middle Earth.

Hurray!! Crazy


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Mar 21 2013, 3:12am

Post #3 of 84 (874 views)
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agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

this was one of the major things that bothered me, upon first viewing.

my guess is that they did it because it might be quite a jolt to later see her trash dol goldur. i think they did it to set her up as a power to be reckoned with, on par, or greater, than gandalf.

but it still bothers me.

cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 3:37am

Post #4 of 84 (892 views)
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"tickled as teenagers" [In reply to] Can't Post

You crack me up.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire

(This post was edited by Altaira on Mar 21 2013, 3:46am)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 4:14am

Post #5 of 84 (833 views)
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It was slightly more blue, [In reply to] Can't Post

being about how pleased with themselves they tend to be upon discovering. . . one of the more fundemental creative aspects of life Tongue. But being slightly blue it was. . . er. . . cleaned? up. Toned down. lol I have a tendency to forget that news of decapitated kings is often perceived as less troubling for young minds than jokes about amourous antics Unsure lol

In Reply To
You crack me up.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 4:17am

Post #6 of 84 (901 views)
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God save me from the anger/frustration at willful erroneousness anyeurysm i feel coming on. [In reply to] Can't Post

So irrate with Phillipa over this. Not for portraying Galadriel as awesome and powerful, for she is both, and I have long loved and admired that about her, but for feeling the need to portray the likes of Gandalf, a literally Angelic messenger sent veiled in flesh to give aid to ALL the people and good creatures of Middle Earth, as some manner of suplicant, subject and answerable to ANY Elf.

In Reply To
They messed up, and I don't see any hope for it getting better...it's only going to get worse. Every scene with Galardriel is going to push the narrative that she is, as Boyens put it, the most powerful being in Middle Earth.

Hurray!! Crazy


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Mar 21 2013, 5:07am

Post #7 of 84 (868 views)
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Gandalf's boss [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that it appears that she is Gandalf's boss and that is an error on Boyen's part.

However, she is a ring bearer, and part of the White Council.

It strikes me as the White Council being more of a group effort of sorts, or an alliance. Each member has a part of it, with Saruman as the obvious leader and the one Gandalf is answerable to. However, in the book (appendices or wherever PJ got the info for it), Galadriel actually wanted Gandalf to lead the council, much to Saruman's displeasure. I don't remember if she was beginning to get an inkling of his future betrayal or what, but she perceived that Gandalf would end up becoming the most powerful wizard (which he eventually did). Gandalf declined to lead the council, much to Saruman's relief because he wanted to be in charge. And if you were to go by mere title alone, he was. And Gandalf deferred to him until he discovered his betrayal in FOTR.

But Galadriel, sensing something amiss about Saruman, and being more partial to Gandalf and his wisdom over Saruman's, wanted Gandalf to lead, so it is only natural that she kept saying, "Let him speak" and made other redirects to Gandalf during the conversation.

Yes, with Galadriel being the first person that Gandalf sees after Elrond's comment, it does insinuate that, but when you listen and look closely, it's obvious that Saruman is taking charge of the conversation. Yes, Elrond mentions stuff like the 400 years of watchful peace, but we learn in FOTR that Elrond is essentially listening more to Saruman and more inclined to listen to the head of the order of wizards than the head's subordinate.

I believe the White Council to be a NATO or UN of sorts. I think ultimately the decision of the council rests with Saruman being the head of the order, but it is a discussion group among wizards and ringbearers to watch over Middle Earth and prevent evil from uprising again (Gandalf, Galadriel, and Elrond hold the three elven rings).

So, because of the alliance that the wizards willfully joined, they are answerable to the council (and Saruman) as a whole, not to any specific person within it. However, being a wizard, Gandalf belongs to BOTH the order of wizards and the white council, and as such he is answerable to both the white council as a whole, and to Saruman as the head of the order of wizards.

I believe that this council was created after Sauron's first fall and the Last Alliance in an effort to maintain peace in Middle Earth, and that all the heads of the "guardians of Middle Earth" meaning ringbearers and wizards forged the alliance, or council, in an effort to work together to keep this from happening. However, at the time of this particular meeting, Saruman was already yearning after the One Ring, and Galadriel, though she may not have been able to confirm it yet ("something moves in the shadows, unseen, it will not reveal itself") may be suspecting him of treachery, or at least sense the fact that his heart is slowly blackening, and that is why she desired Gandalf to lead, and why she chose to support what Gandalf was doing over Saruman.

She may not be the head of all in Middle Earth, nor the most powerful being, but she was most definitely the wisest, second to Gandalf. She was renowned as the wisest of the Noldor, and far surpassed her peers in her studies in Valinor and learned everything she could from the Vala she studied under, before the Great Rebellion led by Feanor when she came to Middle Earth. So yes, he could be answerable to her, but only because Gandalf acknowledged her wisdom and sought her advice and held it highly, not because he was forced to answer to her, but because he chose to answer to her. Out of everyone in Middle Earth save wizards, she was the most knowledgeable of non-divine beings, and wasn't far behind the wizards in her wisdom, but she was further behind them in ability, because the wizards were granted their magical abilities that she for the most part did not hold.

And I believe that it is in LOTR or the appendices where Galadriel is the one who finally lays bare the pits of Dol Guldor and throws down the walls and the forest is cleansed after the War of the Ring. It's not a direct quote, but as much of a direct quote as I can remember without looking.


So while there was poor insinuation there on Boyen's part, I don't think she was as far off as she could have been given the end result of Dol Guldor written by Tolkien himself.

Half Elven Daughter of Celethian of the Woodland Realm


lurtz2010
Rohan

Mar 21 2013, 6:42am

Post #8 of 84 (797 views)
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lol is it really that bad? [In reply to] Can't Post

I bet most audiences would assume she was more powerful than Gandalf anyway.

Your heart will melt with pleasure as you watch the Lady of the Golden Wood carrying a defeated Gandalf (the lesser being) in her arms and away from danger HeartHeart let's just hope that Gandalf survives!!


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 7:13am

Post #9 of 84 (782 views)
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I still think... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that this is an issue a bit overblown by Tolkien-fans.

I know exactly what you mean and it could have easily been avoided by not using the sentence "it is not me you must answer to". However, as a Tolkien-"knower" one could interpret that it is not Galadriel, but the WC as a whole that Gandalf has at least to listen to.


Other than that, since they showed the PERSONAL relationship between Galadriel and Gandalf so beautifully, I am very happy to forgive the "answer to". Especially, since Gandalf is doing what he pleases to do anyway - before telling Galadriel anything. She had no influence on his actions during the WC or after, really.

And it is not like he kicks ass more than enough in the rest of the movie anyway... while Galadriel quickly drops out of the regular audience mind.


dormouse
Half-elven


Mar 21 2013, 8:46am

Post #10 of 84 (735 views)
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This [In reply to] Can't Post

Couldn't agree more. They haven't belittled Gandalf in any way. He is powerful. Galadriel is powerful. They've captured the supportive relationship between them beautifully in the film - and I'd say that they've caught the dynamics of the White Council pretty well too - Gandalf isn't all-powerful there; Galadriel is on his side but Saruman over-rules him, book and film.


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 9:08am

Post #11 of 84 (720 views)
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And what I would like to add.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Although PB said the thing about Galadriel being the most powerful being in Middle-earth - this is never stated or implied in the movie imho. Her status is rather ambiguous (as in the books).

And ambiguity in relationship to power can make you seem rather more powerful than you actually are. Look at the Forbes List of the most powerful women and who is pretty far up there although you cannot really quantify that claim. I think, the same goes for Galadriel. Her actual status in terms of what she is and where she comes from is clear and that puts her below the Ainur. But there is also the mystery around her, the unknown, her desires, intentions etc which are all ambiguous.

To extent the Forbes List example a bit - technically it is probably right at the moment to place Angela Merkel #1, given her status in Germany, the EU and the G8. But not far behind comes Michelle Obama who - technically - does not have much power. But she is perceived as having a certain influence on her husband, as well as being a strong part of the campaign that got him elected twice in the first place. And she developed a certain influence through her public image, media coverage and charity. So power is attributed to her outside from the power she actually and technically holds on paper.

And Galadriel has things that also enhance her perceived power on top of what she already holds (which is quite significant already through her Ring and her position among the Wise).

And I do not think this will be undermined even if she rescues gandalf in DoS. It would actually make sense that once more it will be Gandalf who really stands in the front line of this attack - again risking much more than many of the other Wise did. Why is it a bad idea to let that happen and than mirror what was left untold in LotR with Galadriel "looking after" him until he is strong enough to return to the North?! Again, we should not underestimate how prominent Gandalf is for the general audience. The general perception certainly is that he simply gets stuff done and right. This is not undermined by him getting support by Galadriel - who obviously admires him as well (see the Gandalf/Galadriel conversation on "the small things that keep the darkness at bay". There again it is GANDALF who speaks the words of wisdom, while Galadriel just offers ambiguous help.).


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Mar 21 2013, 9:17am

Post #12 of 84 (743 views)
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This was never stated as such in the film. [In reply to] Can't Post

butI guess it came off that way, at least to some, as a number of people are saying this, I just thought she was being a friend, consoling him and giving advice, not giving him orders or telling him what to do. I never even considered that about their scene together until i read it on the internet.


axecrazy
Rivendell


Mar 21 2013, 9:39am

Post #13 of 84 (725 views)
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I don't see what the fuss is about either. [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf states quite clearly before the Company descends into the valley that this will have to be handled with "tact and respect and no small degree of charm". What we saw mirrors his statement of intent perfectly. And there is no indication that Gandalf is subordinate to anyone except Saruman. He turns on the charm for Elrond and Galadriel to be sure (maybe a little too much for the Lady Sly), but the whole atmosphere is one of close friends and equals until Saruman speaks. And although Saruman is the head of the Council, he can only ride roughshod over Gandalf because the Elves have powers and stations outside the Council that must be taken into account.

Politics is so boooooring. Unsure




There's no party like a Dwaven party. Believe it.


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 21 2013, 9:49am

Post #14 of 84 (703 views)
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I agree with Arannir below. But also ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think they are just carrying on with the fact that is was Galadriel who originally formed the White Council. They also confirmed this in the "A Hobbit's Tale" video.


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 9:49am

Post #15 of 84 (690 views)
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And he is quite successful... [In reply to] Can't Post

... since he keeps the Wise occupied while the dwarves leave Rivendell.

A confrontation between Saruman and Thorin over the purpose and wisdom of their quest would probably not have been very productive. To put it positively. And would have hindered Gandalf's attempts to investigate further into the malice of Dol Guldur and the Necromancer. This way he can do this while Saruman suspects he will just help the dwarves on their - in Saruman's view - foolish journey.


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Mar 21 2013, 9:52am

Post #16 of 84 (709 views)
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Elrond's comment directly implies Gandalf is answerable to who they are about to meet, and that happens to be Galadriel. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Istari were created (in that some lesser Ainur took on forms of old men) and sent to Middle Earth for the sole purpose of inspiring it's people not under the sway of Sauron to resist his power. They are not answerable to any person whether as individuals or a group within Middle Earth.

The fact P Boyen's opinion of Galadriel is not stated in the film does not detract from the fact that it is her intention to protray her as such. If PB thinks that Galadriel is most powerful being in Middle Earth at the time of the Hobbit she should also say that such an opinion is her own and has nothing to do with what Tolkien wrote because there is nothing to support her statement. This will help newcomers who see the interviews and watch the extras on the Blu Ray (if she implies the same again there) know that she is making such a change, perhaps for what she feels is the betterment of the movie. In fairness to PB I faintly recall in a later interview she corrected it to mean Galadriel was the most powerful elf, which is of course correct at that time and perhaps at any time anywhere apart from Feanor maybe as Tokien wrote. In further fairness to PB she has said that they as film makers want to show more strong women roles. I have no problem with that, only in the way they are doing it, but you can't please everyone. Sometimes to make a point you have to use a sledge hammer to crack a walnut so to speak.

Gandalf is as Aragorn says at his coronation "the mover of all that has been accomplished" but he comes across as whipped by Saruman and overly dependant upon Galadriel in the scenes shown at Rivendell in The Hobbit movie.


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 10:07am

Post #17 of 84 (688 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Gandalf is as Aragorn says at his coronation "the mover of all that has been accomplished" but he comes across as whipped by Saruman and overly dependant upon Galadriel in the scenes shown at Rivendell in The Hobbit movie.



That is probably where our opinions differ the most... I simply do not see him really coming out looking too weak after this scene.

The audience opinion is clearly on his side I'd say, he tricks the Council in giving the dwarves time to leave without further delay and he does not even bother to listen to Saruman's whining and has a chat with Galadriel instead. Plus he says the above quoted passage about the small deeds and their effect on the world which is once again his wisdom in its purest form.

I rather see him as a winner of those scenes. Not an undermined Ainur.

As to the Galadriel/Gandalf relationship, I guess I have nothing to add really to my post earlier today.


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Mar 21 2013, 11:05am

Post #18 of 84 (661 views)
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I'd say as others have the audience opinion is clearly divided. [In reply to] Can't Post

The dwarves sneakily leaving Rivendell is a weak plot point that is pure movie invention that is about as far from the book as is possible, and if Gandalf is making like Charlie Sheen in this scene and winning then why did he make no headway with his attempt at discussing Dol Guldur and the Necromancers identity which was the primary reason for the meeting of the White Council. Are you saying he did well because he sat there ignoring Sarumans drivel and having a telepathic conversation just so the dwarves could leave, when all the while none of those present at the meeting had no power or right to stop them anyway?

I hope someone gets the opportunity to ask PJ & Co if Elronds line means Gandalf is answerable to Galadriel or not and publish the answer. We could hope for an honest answer not a retrospective one skewed by public opinion and criticism.


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 12:06pm

Post #19 of 84 (644 views)
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No no... [In reply to] Can't Post

That is of course not the only thing he accomplishes with the meeting or wants to accomplish - of course what they debate is important (and as of now Saruman more or less got his way). But I simply don't see Gandalf's position after this meeting as being downgraded to Galadriel or Saruman to an extent that would deeply go against his status in the novels.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 12:54pm

Post #20 of 84 (632 views)
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I know [In reply to] Can't Post

My subject line was "toned down" too.

In any case, you crack me up for a number of different reasons.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


bborchar
Rohan


Mar 21 2013, 1:12pm

Post #21 of 84 (616 views)
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Agreed... [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf is powerful, but he isn't all powerful. He never was. Galadriel and Gandalf are the only ones who seem to accept that something evil is going on, and therefore, there's a sort of "union" between them. I saw her offer of help as what a friend would do, not as her being his boss. He's already made up his mind as to what he's going to do as far as Thorin, and she trusts him.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Mar 21 2013, 1:49pm

Post #22 of 84 (644 views)
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Perhaps it's just me [In reply to] Can't Post

but I saw this scene as a classic bit of movie misdirection.


Quote
They took Elrond's line as a clear indicator that Gandalf was indeed answerable to Galadriel.

I think we're supposed to be misled by Elrond's words and Galadriel's sudden appearance into believing just for a moment that she's the one Gandalf is "answerable to". But then Saruman looms up behind, and we're meant to understand that he was the one Elrond was actually referring to all along. This is a pretty common little movie trick I find. I know I've seen the same kind of thing in lots of films, often in action sequences where the protagonist thinks he's facing some puny, non-threatening opponent and breathes a sigh of relief, but then the camera pans back and we see there's some other huge threat following behind. One example I can think of in LotR is the scene where Gandalf and Eomer appear apparently alone on the hill at the end of Helm's Deep, only to have the force of the Rohirrim come up behind a moment later.

It's a shame if this bit of bait-and-switch ends up genuinely misleading some viewers about Galadriel and Gandalf's relationship. But as others have said, it becomes clear enough later they are a mutual admiration society, and that neither considers themselves a "supervisor of superior officer" of the other. In fact I don't really see any military-style command structure here at all. The White Council feels quite democratic to me, with even Saruman no more than a "first among equals" who has to lead by persuasion.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Arannir
Valinor

Mar 21 2013, 1:51pm

Post #23 of 84 (626 views)
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Elrond's comment [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed.

Plus, I think Elrond's quote "It is not me you must answer to" is also an extension of the conversation that started while leaving the moon rune table "You are not the only one who watches over Middle-earth..." (not sure about exact wording since I am a poor sod in Germany where there is no release, yet).

He realized that it will be hard for him alone to make Gandalf re-think the Erebor quest and the Dol Guldur menace - but he knows that Gandalf has a special bond with Galadriel and that she might be the only one who might have an impact on him at this point (which, of course, fails after she sides with Gandalf).


(This post was edited by Arannir on Mar 21 2013, 1:55pm)


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Mar 21 2013, 1:58pm

Post #24 of 84 (608 views)
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" I dont believe Thorin Oakenshield [In reply to] Can't Post

thinks hes answerable to anyone.
Nor for that matter, am i.

It is not ME, you must answer to"

Enter the Boss.

Servant bows in respectfull submission.

Vous commencez à m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 21 2013, 2:04pm

Post #25 of 84 (609 views)
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I disagree [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Elrond's comment directly implies Gandalf is answerable to who they are about to meet, and that happens to be Galadriel.


It just happens that Gandalf meets Galadriel first. It's not Galadriel who set the meeting up, nor asked her to be there. It was Saruman. And that is who Elrond is referring too.

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