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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Character analyze: Gandalf the Gray

Old Pilgrim

Sep 28 2013, 8:10am

Post #1 of 7 (557 views)
Character analyze: Gandalf the Gray Can't Post

Since he is my favorite character in both books and movies I decided to open a new thread, where we will analyze and compare his outfit and his personality or behaviour between AUJ and the Lord of the Rings trilogy two things;


Once we first see him in "Old friends" chapter he looks very similar then he looked in the Fellowship of the Ring and I liked that very much because Ngila Dickson create a perfect outfit for Gandalf in my opinion and changing that would be a bad idea. His robes may look a little bit dirtier and more scruffy in LOTR but that may be because of different camera and also because in those 60 years he may experienced hard times in Dol Guldur and other places. Interesting things on those two pictures are that I don't see him wearing a scarf in neither of them and his coat seems a little more dense in AUJ.

Gandalf the Gray in the Felowship of the Ring

Gandalf the Gray in The Hobbit

The next thing I noticed about his wardrobe is that he is not wearing the same thing during the movie. We see him in this gray coat only in this first scene while later he doesn't have a coat at all or he is wearing a different coat which is not of the same material. Two examples:

Gandalf without his coat

Gandalf wearing a different coat

In latter two pictures his scarf suddenly becomes very important, so my question is why did they changed his appearance? He is not wearing a coat at all while they are leaving the Shire but when they are chased by wargs he is wearing a completely different piece of robes that we haven't seen it before. Which one do you prefer?

Do you find his outfit better in the LOTR or in AUJ?

Personality and behaviour

There is not much to tell here as Ian Mckellen was always a perfect actor for Gandalf but still I noticed some changes between his role in the Hobbit and the LOTR. He looks more serious and determined in the LOTR while in AUJ he is more peaceful, absend minded and humble like an old grandfather. His speech sound sometimes a little odd like when he is talking about five wizards or when he is talking with Elrond about their journey on the Great East Road. I also don't know why did he hit the nose of one troll with his staff or why he is choking when he is asked how many dragons did he killed. There are maybe some more odd scenes with him but in common I like his portrayal in AUJ very much and I am happy that Ian Mckellen portrayed Gandalf once more.I am also looking forward for the other two movies to see him again.

What are the reasons for changing his behaviour?

Where do you prefer him more?

Old Pilgrim

Sep 28 2013, 8:31am

Post #2 of 7 (364 views)
Forget to mention his staff [In reply to] Can't Post

I learned just recently that his first staff from AUJ resembles the staff of Gandalf the White because of white elven hollow embedded in the crown. Weta Production team described it as an opening flower and it will be interesting to learn if this will play some important role in future Hobbit movies.

First staff of Gandalf the Gray in AUJ

Staff of Gandalf the White


Sep 28 2013, 9:21am

Post #3 of 7 (361 views)
Exactly the same [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Do you find his outfit better in the LOTR or in AUJ?

Exactly the same. Yes, you've found slightly different coats etc. but in all honesty, you don't really notice these things. A character can take a coat on and off, thats kind of the point of a coat, so things like that don't bother me.

In Reply To
What are the reasons for changing his behaviour?

Where do you prefer him more?

His performance, again reliable as ever. I think Gandalf is less worried about the world in this film (though thats likely to change in films #2, #3) than in FOTR. Overall I much prefer Gandalf the Grey over White.


Sep 28 2013, 2:48pm

Post #4 of 7 (291 views)
Gandalf the White [In reply to] Can't Post

We all know that when he becomes The White he has to take it upon himself to be a leader and a general in the war efforts against Sauron. That is his reason for him being more rushed and having less time to be a father-like figure to the hobbits. Most people prefer him as The Grey because he is much warmer and so grandfather-like Smile

I prefer his costume in The Hobbit. I'm not sure why but it comes across as more comfy and obviously he has the scarf!

Great post Old Pilgrim, I quite enjoyed the analysis. Perhaps you could do another one of Aragorn or Boromir? A big ask but I think everyone would appreciate it! Smile

I simply walked into Mordor.

Tol Eressea

Sep 28 2013, 5:46pm

Post #5 of 7 (265 views)
Oh lovely selection of pics, cheers! I do hate to do this, but it's Gandalf the 'Grey' not 'Gray', to go by Tolkien :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I also am of the opinion that Gandalf will harden and toughen throughout these films, and especially in TABA. We'll see more of that LOTR-esque Gandalf I expect.

LOVE the scarf too Wink

"So your own praise will forever keep your name green,
Both here on Earth and on the stage of the stars" - J.G.Kittel, writing about the composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1740)

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Sep 29 2013, 6:28am

Post #6 of 7 (198 views)
Don't Forget the Sometimes Properly Blue, sometimes erroneously Gray hat! [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a big one. lol Even within the same film it is sometimes blue and at others gray. The actual piece was blue in Fellowship. I think the Hobbit one is gray, (perhaps because of the cameras) yet in many scenes they do atleast colour it blue via the effects and colour grading, though the merchandisers often get it wrong. Glad they did NOT trim back his beard at all in any attempt to make him seem slightly younger.

"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."

Old Pilgrim

Sep 29 2013, 9:33am

Post #7 of 7 (206 views)
Heh [In reply to] Can't Post

I also always wrote Grey but I thought that since Tolkien was a British I was wrong. Good to know.

It will be indeed interesting to watch Gandalf involvement in coming movies.


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