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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Gandalf is an expert in Fire Enchantments. Whoever directs must not forget this time

AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Dec 28 2007, 5:42am

Post #1 of 12 (768 views)
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Gandalf is an expert in Fire Enchantments. Whoever directs must not forget this time Can't Post

Ahh it nagged me all through fellowship. I understood that PJ didn't want Palpatine style lightning from the fingers, and that isn't in the book anyway. But the Blue Flames, the great blasts against Warg and Nazgul alike! Come on. If it was good enough for Tolkien its good enough for viewers world wide. Please don't make Gandalf's magic so subtle this time that some non-readers are left questioning his arcane credentials. Don't let Rankin Bass boast a better and more faithful depiction of Gandalf's magic in their Hobbit than the Live action one manages.

Also, as it was left out of LOTR, Gandalf's battle with the nine, wherein "Such light and flame cannot have been seen on weathertop since the war beacons of old" MUST be worked into the second film. And I hope the wargs are a little more wolf or even were-wolf like in these films (see Gmork). I can't imagine those hyenas from TTT even howling. The mouths were not right for it.

"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."


Tim
Tol Eressea

Dec 28 2007, 6:59am

Post #2 of 12 (407 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I second this. Absolutely. PJ said he wasn't fond of wizards or whatever. Too bad. Gandalf is a wizard, not to mention he's a keeper of one of the Rings of Power. It won't hurt anything (and it will definitely help) if Gandy toasts a few baddies.


Woodyend
Gondor


Dec 28 2007, 7:28pm

Post #3 of 12 (383 views)
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I don't know if they will have this in the movie but it was an iconic scene for me. [In reply to] Can't Post

He gathered the huge pine-cones from the branches of his tree. Then he set one alight with bright blue fire, and threw it whizzing down among the circle of the wolves. It struck one on the back, and immediately his shaggy coat caught fire, and he was leaping to and fro yelping horribly. Then another came and another, one in blue flames, one in red, another in green. They burst on the ground in the middle of the circle and went off in colored sparks and smoke
~~~~~~~~~~~
Wolves are afraid of fire at all times, but this was a most horrible and uncanny fire. If a spark got into their coats it struck and burned into them, and unless they rolled over quick they were soon all in flames.
P_106-07

May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!
~~~~~~~~Gandalf~~~~~~~
Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!

(This post was edited by Woodyend on Dec 28 2007, 7:31pm)


Sierra LeOli
Registered User


Dec 29 2007, 12:06am

Post #4 of 12 (355 views)
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Kind of disagree [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand that Gandalf's lack of fire spells nags at you, but wouldn't it look inconsistent with LOTR to add them back in for the Hobbit? Those who don't know the books will be asking why Gandalf just didn't set some baddies on fire in the first place.

One could defend Gandalf not showing his fiery side in LOTR by saying that fire belongs to the side of evil, e.g. the Balrog and Sauron. That theme would continue in the Hobbit with the dragon.

Sierra Le'Oli


Tim
Tol Eressea


Dec 29 2007, 2:39am

Post #5 of 12 (338 views)
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Not really [In reply to] Can't Post

That argument could be used for any power Gandalf exhibits in LOTR, for instance calling down some power (that looks like lightning) into his sword to strike down the Balrog... we never see him do that in like his fights with orcs or The Witch King - nobody really complains. So seeing Gandalf use fire in the Hobbit would be just another power revealed - or maybe not so much even. Don't forget he really heats up Aragorns' sword when they encounter him resurrected in Fangorn. Also, if I remember correctly the fight in The Hobbit introduces the Eagles, it's an actual leg in the journey that can't be skipped over so as easy as the fight soon after they leave Rivendell in FOTR.

In Reply To
I understand that Gandalf's lack of fire spells nags at you, but wouldn't it look inconsistent with LOTR to add them back in for the Hobbit? Those who don't know the books will be asking why Gandalf just didn't set some baddies on fire in the first place.

One could defend Gandalf not showing his fiery side in LOTR by saying that fire belongs to the side of evil, e.g. the Balrog and Sauron. That theme would continue in the Hobbit with the dragon.


So, where are we going?


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Dec 29 2007, 5:59am

Post #6 of 12 (375 views)
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It wouldn't be inconsistent. And it could redress some of the problems of LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

For one thing, if the theme was "all fire bad" he wouldn't have done the fireworks. Both Sauron and The Balrog use shadow sorcery as one of their primary agents, but it doesn't stop Gandalf from casting an umbra over Bilbo to get him in line, and Jackson displayed this admirably.

Most of the people who saw LOTR, especially non-Jackson fanatics and non-readers will see hobbit, and it gives a chance to correct the notion in some of their minds that Gandalf wasn't much of a Wizard. I know that sounds ludicrous to most of us who are deeply steeped in the arcana and history of Middle-Earth, but I forced plenty of friends and relatives who had not read the books to see the films, and there were a fair few who were less than impressed by Gandalf's wizardry.

And it did more than nag me, Seirra. IT HARROWED MY MIND, GRIEVED MY HEART, and VEXED MY SPIRIT. I found myself reading passages to people about Gandalf's feats of Wizardry against the wargs on Caradrhas and in the Hobbit, reciting his account of his conflagatory battle with The Nazgul atop Amon Sul, recounting his eldritch struggle with the sorcery of The Balrog that destroyed The Chamber of Marzabul, pointing out the Goblins that he left lightning struck in the caverns of The Misty Mountains.

Inconsistent is Aragorn driving off all nine, but Gandalf the White somehow getting his staff broken by the Witch king (IT NEVER HAPPENED!). Inconsistent is Saruman, who is never even mentioned in connection with fire save his machines and his immitating of Gandalf's smoking, shooting a great lance of flame at Gandalf from the end of his staff in ROTK EE. Those are inconsistences.

Gandalf displaying his power properly in The Hobbit films, in all the places mentioned in The Hobbit for Film one, and hopefully with a squeezing in of a version of the Amon Sul/Nazgul battle in the bridge film, that would be called setting things right. The Rankin Bass cartoon managed to get Gandalf's wizard fire right, so this live version had certainly better manage it, and in a much more laudable fashion. (P.S., good call on the Lightning 5 x 5, and that was WITHOUT the aid of his staff!)

"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."


Sierra LeOli
Registered User


Dec 29 2007, 10:49am

Post #7 of 12 (336 views)
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Changed my mind [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought of the fireworks as an exception seeing as they weren't a weapon of attack. Well, at least not 'til certain hobbits got a hold of them. Although I was rather hard of thinking at that hour of night, was just hanging around here before calling NZ. Smile

AinurOlorin, you made excellent points, as did 5 by 5 -- you have completely convinced me. And I certainly wouldn't want to see Gandalf getting his staff broken again! On reflection this morning, I guess putting in some fiery special effects for Gandalf would be hard for the makers to resist.

Sierra Le'Oli


Tim
Tol Eressea


Dec 30 2007, 4:11am

Post #8 of 12 (329 views)
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Thanks Sierra LeOli [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for listening to our points. Personally, (this is not based on any thing I've heard or whatever) I think they subdued Gandalf's powers in the LOTR for several reasons. Well, I should back up for a second and go with the 1st point which IS based on a fact - PJ himself mentioned he didn't "like" wizards. I don't remember if he said why or not. I know though that they were trying to keep the movies as "real" as possible so it wouldn't come across as the next Dungeons and Dragons movie. They also had a whole host of characters. Maybe PJ was concerned about Gandalf overshadowing the rest of the characters. He does take a very dominant role in the books. Maybe he didn't want to show a character that may lead moviegoers not familiar with the books to think Gandalf could handle all the problems thrown at them and thus the danger to the Fellowship would be minimized. After all, if Gandalf can throw fire about, the audience would have been expecting it in almost every fight, such as the fight with the troll in Moria. But this bothers me, for the same reason that this kind of story bothers me on TV. A TV budget is limited. Its time is limited. So they always skimp. You can just tell, instead of being extravagant with the special effects, they always make story choices that showcase the special effects in a limited way. And thus that's what Gandalf ends up feeling like in LOTR, a TV budget version of Gandalf. It does leave a bad taste in the mouth, no matter how extravagant and lush the rest of the movie is. It doesn't ruin the movie for me. I think of all of the movies as a "good start" or a "step in the right direction" in adapting Tolkiens' story. Perhaps the next foray will rely even more on the source material, because of this huge base that will an adaption of Tolkien that is true to Tolkien. Maybe it's not lost on filmakers that the most "faithful" adaption - ROTK - did the best in the box office.

There's much less "fat" to trim in The Hobbit, and the potential to show off Gandalf and his power is truly exciting. He's a much more enigmatic presence, guiding and saving the dwarves and hobbit for a segment of the journey, then disappearing and leaving them to their own resources. So the chance of Gandalf "overshadowing" the rest of the cast is lessened. In fact, the more true they are to the book, the more true to the feeling of his loss will be felt as it's felt in the book.

So, where are we going?


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Dec 30 2007, 9:26am

Post #9 of 12 (312 views)
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Let us hope, as in all things, for the best. Hopefully the Powers That Be read these threads [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember reading that PJ didn't care much for wizards or for explosive magic, and thinking. . . Oh Dear God. This looks bad for Gandalf. In some ways it seems I was right to think that.

Don't misunderstand. By in large, I greatly enjoyed the films. As films they were excellent. As adaptations they were decent. Had they been slightly better adaptations, they could have been even better films.

There were lots of things I loved in the movies, and several things that deeply dissapointed or upset me. The diminishing of Gandalf's magic was high on the list of the latter. For one thing, because while I understand the need to not make Gandalf seem omnipotent. . . Tolkien managed not to do so, and following that formula would have allowed the same. Gandalf could have taken Legolas' torch, turned it into a conflagration of blue flame, blown a dozen goblins into the walls. . . and then had the cave troll stomp out the fire and a hundred more goblins pour into the room.

How much grander would the battle with Saruman have been, if Gandalf had pulled a candle to himself, thrown it at Saruman, had it explode, made for the re-opened doors. . . only to have Saruman part the curtain of flame, and drag Gandalf back into the fight through psychic force??? There are ways to allow Gandalf to be showcase his powers, and still be limited by circumstance.

Instead, Jackson limited Gandalf to the point that he often came off as a lesser Wizard than he actually was, to the extent that, until his face off against the Balrog, many were left feeling that he had, up to that point, been little more helpful to the fellowship than anyone else, and that is eggregiously unture. I desprately hope they do better by him in The Hobbit.

And Sierra. . . I welcome you happily and lovingly to our side of the table.

"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."


Narya
The Shire

Dec 30 2007, 4:48pm

Post #10 of 12 (310 views)
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Well Spoken AinurOlorin [In reply to] Can't Post

I very much agree with you. Gandalf was treated badly in the Hollywood version of LOTR. Not just in his lack of wizardry but also character-wise in the third film. I wouldn't have minded Gandalf's rightful leadership role being handed to Aragorn after the Battle of Pelannor Fields half so much if Hollywood hadn't shown Gandalf as seemingly on the verge of despair and actually counselling against marching on the Black Gate! It was totally out of character.

Gandalf wasn't the only one to suffer by bad characterisation, I know, but it grieved me the most (although I sympathise a lot with Faramir's fans also).

I enjoyed many moments from all three of the LOTR films but I think that, ultimately, they failed to tell the tale correctly. For example, there are now many folk out there who believe that the Witch King bested Gandalf at Minas Tirith.

I think the director, Peter Jackson himself summed it up the best when he said: True, this isn't Lord of the Rings, but these are really cool movies.

Hopefilly, with The Hobbit films, they will still be super cool movies and it will really be The Hobbit!

Even the wise cannot see all ends.


ElanorTX
Grey Havens


Dec 31 2007, 12:10am

Post #11 of 12 (294 views)
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Gandalf's wizardry [In reply to] Can't Post

was part of his character. And the fire theme is quite fitting for one who wears Narya, the Elven Ring of Fire, given him by Cirdan.

Remember on Caradhras in the book FotR when he lit the wood and said, "I have written Gandalf is here in signs that all can read from Rivendell to the mouths of Anduin."
and yet later in that scene, "But I must have something to work on. I cannot burn snow."

Indeed I think the latter phrase is a fitting metaphor for Gandalf's role in the whole story. Without overriding free will, he kindles a spark in the hearts of those who listen to him.

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."

(This post was edited by ElanorTX on Dec 31 2007, 12:16am)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Dec 31 2007, 1:58am

Post #12 of 12 (415 views)
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Kudos [In reply to] Can't Post

I rather enjoyed that insight of yours into Gandalf's role as a metaphor.

In Reply To
was part of his character. And the fire theme is quite fitting for one who wears Narya, the Elven Ring of Fire, given him by Cirdan.

Remember on Caradhras in the book FotR when he lit the wood and said, "I have written Gandalf is here in signs that all can read from Rivendell to the mouths of Anduin."
and yet later in that scene, "But I must have something to work on. I cannot burn snow."

Indeed I think the latter phrase is a fitting metaphor for Gandalf's role in the whole story. Without overriding free will, he kindles a spark in the hearts of those who listen to him.


Great, where are we going?

 
 

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