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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Gandalf the Grey, Moria, and the One Ring

The Shire

May 31, 3:44pm

Post #1 of 8 (1589 views)
Gandalf the Grey, Moria, and the One Ring Can't Post

My thesis is that Gandalf the Grey stayed true to his mission and embraced a test and thus not visit
Lothlorien with the One Ring and Frodo. That is Gandalf wanted to visit Moria with the chance to not
exit with the Fellowship and thus come to the Golden Wood where conflict would have surely arisen
with the Lady.

Gandalf the Grey allows others to direct the course of history while not being the prime mover – maybethe initial mover. This wizard has stayed near the Mouths of Anduin relative to Middle-Earth. For 2,000
years Gandalf the Grey has seen Arnor collapse and Gondor wain. He was seen the start of Rohan and
Erebor. He may have known about the Hobbits when the small folk were fishing along the banks of the
Anduin River, else he was far away in Haradwaith for a length of time missing the journey of the three
houses or smails of the Hobbits. Did Gandalf play a pivotal role helping Eorl the Young defend Gondor?
Did he help the Southern Army of Gondor to move into Dagorlad defeating the northern wing of the
invading Wain-riders? How much toil did Gandalf undertake convincing the last king of Moria to
abandon the city upon the coming of, name him not, Durin’s Bane? However, Gandalf abandoned his
chance to pass through the broken gates of Minas Tirith to enter the battle of the Pelannor Fields to
follow Pippin. Was this a common theme of Gandalf? That is has Gandalf stayed away from the front
lines of battle before or has he been near the front lines before making a direct impact? I do not believe
Gandalf the Grey has been a horse alongside Eorl the Young during the pitch battles, but may in
proximity to provide healing or warning as he did at the Battle of Five Armies. Gandalf the Grey initially
did not want to be an emissary to Middle-Earth. He was a reluctant being, but embraced the tides of
fate by guiding others to take action knowing how to feel sorrow without anger as did his master Vala.
Was Oronin not in the Gardens of the Blessed Realm when Melian returned after the death of her
husband? Gandalf learned for Beren’s successful quest.

For more recent history let me discuss Bilbo’s trek. I found it peculiar that Gandalf the Grey visited Bilbothe day before the Dwarves arrived. Was that by chance or by design? A fast turn-around of events
would have limited Bilbo’s defense upon unexpected visitors. Gandalf the Grey needed to temper
Thorin’s attitude on the burglar. I believe that is why Gandalf the Grey “looked ahead” to allow chance
to show Bilbo’s usefulness. I do not believe that Gandalf knew of mountain trolls roaming nearby, but
again left it to fate. Bilbo knew himself that Hobbits left with Gandalf on adventures. Some kin never
returned. Gandalf knew of the price of educating others. He bore this weight, which finally came to
healing when he saw his opponent from the First Age. Did Gandalf have an idea that he could not
continue with the Company to Erebor and thus prepared Bilbo to gain renown with the proud Dwarfking
before Mirkwood was visited?

Gandalf the Grey has shown patience and testing others and himself before he would lead or be lost infear. One example is sending a letter to Frodo by a barman that cannot remember his own name. Why
did Gandalf not travel with Frodo and the One Ring to Rivendell on the onset of Radagast’s visit? Gandalf
knew that the elves at the Last Homely House may be tempted including wandering elves on their way
to the sea. Is that why Gandalf spoke on the hill before the battle with the wargs that a return to
Rivendell would be itself be a danger?

Another example was withholding news of the Master Ring from Saruman. Gandalf subtlety andunconsciously tested the Head of the Order. Surely Saruman would have learned of the One Ring at
Rivendell if Frodo arrived at that haven months before that October. Then learning of Saruman’s
treachery would have been paid with a greater price. Gandalf the White paused to consider using the
Palantir of Orthanc, which later may have doomed the Quest, but in turn aided the Quest.
The Fellowship was partially formed by Gandalf’s nudging Elrond to accept three Hobbits. How did
Samwise Gamgee listen to the Council? Surely he was known and allowed to stay hidden. Why did the
Fellowship not immediately head eastward over the Misty Mountains into Wilderland as Thorin and
Company? First, that land was easier accessed to the Enemy. Secrecy could not be kept as long if a route
due south along the eastern slopes of the Misty Mountains was chosen. Second, there would be no
obvious resistance before reaching Lothlorien. Gandalf the Grey did not use his position to enter Moria.
He allowed Aragorn II to fulfill his wish to move over the mountains. Afterwards, the Fellowship in
defeat paused on a hill ringed with stone. “Not spoken about [Moria]” was a quote by Gandalf the Grey
illustrating his foresight and refusal to overtly cause division. He was also the member to ask to stop at
that hill, which allowed the conversation about Moria and for the warg attack to occur. Again, I think
that Gandalf the Grey picked that time and to discuss Moria and hoped an event would solidify the
company to enter Moria. The whole story may have been about Samwise Gamgee, but Gandalf was the

Gandalf did not seek death; he sought readiness to face great challenges. The wizard did not allow thedoor of the Chamber of Records to be opened and thus have a duel at that point. He still had
responsibility to lead the Fellowship out of Moria. Then he fled to the first level with the Fellowship.
Durin’s Bane was unexpectedly able to reach the Bridge of Khazad-dum. Gandalf was not seeking the
moment that he would know the reason how he would be absent from Lothlorien. I am curious why
Gandalf made this statement when Durin’s Bane shown itself, “Now I understand.” Is that a revelation
based on foresight or a simple literary transition? What did he understand? I am skeptical that he
understood the troubles of Durin’s Folk and the annihilation of Balin’s company. Or was it because
Gandalf knew another reason he was given Narya and the reason he would not exit Moria?
I think these two sentences were in an earlier draft, “You cannot pass!”, commanded Durin’s Bane.
Gandalf replied, “You took the words right out of my mouth.”

A situation at Lothlorien with Galadriel, Gandalf, and the One Ring was avoided. Would Galadriel soughtto take the One Ring by force with Gandalf there for does not power draw power as from the avoidanceto put Elf-lord in the Fellowship. All this discussion may not uncover Gandalf’s intuition of his upcoming death. Yet, researching Gandalf’spast and decisions had guided my own nudging out the door for an adventure and to leave clean earth
to till for those that follow.


Jun 3, 5:48am

Post #2 of 8 (1517 views)
Interesting, but either I don’t understand, or I don’t agree [In reply to] Can't Post

You ask:

In Reply To
Would Galadriel soughtto take the One Ring by force with Gandalf there for does not power draw power as from the avoidanceto put Elf-lord in the Fellowship.

If the question is “Would Galadriel have tried to take the Ring if Gandalf has been there?” My answer would be “I don’t think so- I don’t see how Gandalf’s presence would make this more tempting.”

My sense is that your question is rhetorical though: that is, I think you’re saying that n your reading of the book, it’s obvious that Gandalf’s presence in Lorien would cause a crisis. I wonder what makes you come to this conclusion? Gandalf, Elrond and a number of other powerful elves coexist with the Ring in Rivendell without there being a fight, for example. That suggests to me that these powerful folk can work together.

Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm

The Shire

Jun 7, 5:26pm

Post #3 of 8 (1456 views)
A reply [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for the reply. It is true powerful elves co-existed at Rivendell, but that place was not made into a kingdom with rulers.Rivendell is a hospice for those on a journey, thus elves would not stay long at the house. Therefore, Elrond would notfeel he had the power to dictate the direction of the "guests." Does not Elrond have the authority to be King of the Elves?He could have that title if he wished. He does crave power so he would not attract to his "court" elves that do.

Lothlorien though is a kingdom with rulers and thus has self-interest. I do not think that Gandalf'spresence would tempt Galadriel, but stroke fear in her. She knows that the Quest will bring the end of Lothlorien.She also knew the Ring was likely going to reach her as from the messages from Elrohir and Elladan.
She wanted a kingdom of her own, which is what I remember in the Histories of Middle-Earth read long ago.The fear I mention is the same fear felt by Boromir near the Falls of Rauros. Mordor though is the the place of Gandalf.Gollum was tested too; he went along for a while, but turned into Stinker some can say.
Galadriel was tested, but only using her Mirror, which may not have been done with Gandalf there. Fear is irrationalplacing threats where there are none. Her gift giving to me is a sign of her change of "taking" to "giving."
No one needs to agree with me. I enjoy finding if suspected patterns (e.g. Gandalf's behavior) lead to a truth weaved in a story.This forum is an environment I can test these patterns.


Jun 7, 5:48pm

Post #4 of 8 (1449 views)
Lady Galadriel the Wise [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if you give Galadriel too little credit (and you're free to wonder if we give her too much!). She was after all instrumental in the founding of the White Council (based in Rivendell, by the way) and bringing the Istari into the fold. Galadriel even lobbied for Gandalf as the head of the Council. Her husband Celeborn was also noted for his wisdom.The lady was certainly aware of the peril represented by the Master Ring; I don't see that Gandalf's presence would have altered that. It seems to be telling that, when the Wind-lord discovered Gandalf returned to life on the peak of Zirakzigil, the Eagle brought the Wizard to Lothlórien to recover under Galadriel's care. I would say that the two trusted each other implicitly.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 7, 5:52pm)

The Shire

Jun 7, 5:50pm

Post #5 of 8 (1448 views)
a memory [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember now that sentence in the book that called me on this path.
Chapter 15 of the first volume. Gandalf states the path the Fellowship will take.He mentions crossing the mountains, reaching the Silverode river, then he pauses, and finally says "...to the end of the quest."Ah, did Gandalf perceive the threat in Lothlorien? Is that he avoided mentioning Galadriel's realm?


Jun 7, 5:55pm

Post #6 of 8 (1443 views)
I don't think so. [In reply to] Can't Post

I would say that Gandalf paused thinking of the likely sad fate awaiting at least some of the Fellowship at the end of the journey. Nothing to do with Galadriel or Celeborn.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


Jun 7, 6:08pm

Post #7 of 8 (1441 views)
I think you mean this quote? [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf is describing his intended route:

"We must go down the Silverlode into the secret woods, and so to the Great River, and then—’ He paused.

‘Yes, and where then?’ asked Merry. ‘To the end of the journey –in the end,’ said Gandalf. ‘We cannot look too far"

LOTR - The Ring Goes South

But to me,that suggests the journey is foreseen as passing through 'the secret woods' (Lorien presumably) and safely on to the Great River. It's only then, having passed Lorien that Gandalf seems (to me) to be unsure or unwilling to say what they'll do next.

I think that the thing I haven't understood is this: If Gandalf perceived that there was a danger to the Ring in going to Lorien as you propose, I'm baffled why he planned to do so?

Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Jun 7, 7:48pm

Post #8 of 8 (1436 views)
Disagreeing and testing - that’s the spirit! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you’re right: it’s fun to have ideas and rest them here. It’s not important to “win” by getting others to agree.

I myself have often come out of discussions here with a very different opinion to the one I had before. Those are often the best discussions.

Glad you’ve understood that if I say I don’t agree or don’t understand, that’s not the same as saying “you’re wrong”.

Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


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