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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
A TIMEly question about Gandalf and the White Council

grammaboodawg
Immortal


Aug 18 2018, 2:46pm

Post #1 of 22 (3423 views)
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A TIMEly question about Gandalf and the White Council Can't Post

Greetings!

I had an August 17 TIME post (see below) re: the time Gandalf left Thorin & Company at the edge of Mirkwood, Galadriel's summoning the White Council, and Saruman's given the lead of the Council.


Quote

August 17, 2941 (S.R. 1341)
1. But what of Gandalf?
(determined from text - referencing Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth)
..."After Gandalf had departed from Bilbo and the Dwarves, he "had been to a great council of the white wizards, masters of lore and good magic; and that they had at last driven the Necromancer from his dark hold in the south of Mirkwood."
...[Gandalf] "'When did I first begin to guess?' he mused, searching back in memory... '...it was in the year that the White Council drove the dark power from Mirkwood, just before the Battle of Five Armies, that Bilbo found his ring. A shadow fell on my heart then,…'"

...[Galadriel] "'I it was who first summoned the White Council. And if my designs had not gone amiss, it would have been governed by Gandalf the grey, and then mayhap things would be gone otherwise.'"

...[Treebeard] '"[Saruman] was very quiet to begin with, but his fame began to grow. He was chosen to be the head of the White Council, they say; but that did not turn out too well. I wonder now if even then Saruman was not turning to evil ways. But at any rate he used to give no trouble to his neighbours.'"



Otaku-sempai brought up some very valid questions about the order of the events and what could have been going on.


Quote

Did Gandalf return to Rivendell?
I have never been satisfied that I've understood the order of events concerning Gandalf following his departure from Thorin & Company at the Eaves of Mirkwood. Did he first return to Rivendell for a meeting of the White Council? Or did the Council convene (or reconvene) someplace east of the Misty Mountains before striking at Sauron in Dol Guldur?

In any event, I don't think the Council acted on or around August 17, though they might have met around then to debate the issue of Sauron in Mirkwood Forest. The assault on the stronghold of the Necromancer probably took place about a month later as we are told that Gandalf was finishing his business in the South at about the same time that the company reached Lake-town (September 22).

I'm not quite sure what to make of the quotes by Galadriel and Treebeard, as they both refer to the first meeting of the White Council in the year 2463 of the Third Age.



These are really good queries, and I thought it would be best investigated here in the Reading Room where we could stretch out and take a long look at the various references to the White Council and what Gandalf's movements were after he left Thorin & Company at Mirkwood.



sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 18 2018, 3:25pm

Post #2 of 22 (3371 views)
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Gandalf's Movements [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, gramma! I'll be interested in seeing what others have to say about this.

We can work out that Gandalf left Thorin & Company at the Eaves of Mirkwood on the date of July 25. Assuming Beorn granted his permission for Gandalf to keep his borrowed horse as far as the High Pass, give the wizard about three weeks to reach Rivendell, then another to vote to act and to make plans. Then give the Council another month to muster their forces and mobilize to launch their assault around the same time that (or shortly before) Thorin & Company escapes from the Woodland Realm.

From The Hobbit, Chapter X ("A Warm Welcome"), upon the company's arrival at Lake-town (September 22):

Quote
So you see Bilbo had come in the end by the only road that was any good. It might have been some comfort to Mr. Baggins shivering on the barrels, if he had known that news of this had reached Gandalf far away and given him great anxiety, and that he was in fact finishing his other business (which does not come into this tale) and getting ready to come in search of Thorin's company.


Then allow Gandalf approximately three weeks to a month to finish his business in the South and ride around the southern borders of Mirkwood to reach the ruins of Dale.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 18 2018, 3:35pm)


uncle Iorlas
Rivendell


Aug 18 2018, 7:09pm

Post #3 of 22 (3348 views)
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Why Rivendell? [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it somewhere said that the Council always met at Rivendell? Lothlorien would be a better staging point for an assault on Dol Guldur.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 18 2018, 7:39pm

Post #4 of 22 (3344 views)
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The White Council at Rivendell [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Is it somewhere said that the Council always met at Rivendell? Lothlorien would be a better staging point for an assault on Dol Guldur.


Yes, though I'm not sure it is made absolutely explicit. Rivendell was the principal (and possibly exclusive) meeting place for the Councils of the Wise ever since it was founded in the Second Age. Every other meeting of the White Council that we know about took place in Rivendell. That said, I can imagine a scenario where Gandalf and Elrond, during the time of the company's stay at the Last Homely House, arranged for the Council to convene someplace east of the Misty Mountains in the late summer of 2941. Lothlórien would seem to be the most secure and centralized location for such a meeting other than Rivendell itself. However, since Elrond was not even originally conceived of as a member of the "great council of the white wizards" so we wonder if he took part in the assault on Dol Guldur and if we need a reason to exclude him. Perhaps there was a notion of not having all three Elven Rings together in a single place so close to the Enemy, so Elrond was represented by his sons and other members of his household such as Glorfindel.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 18 2018, 7:46pm)


squire
Half-elven


Aug 18 2018, 8:24pm

Post #5 of 22 (3335 views)
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This is a classic problem of separating The Hobbit from the Lord of the Rings. [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien, as we know, spent an inordinate amount of time trying to retrofit what he'd written in The Hobbit to the larger, more intricate, more detailed, and more fateful timeline and history of his second book, The Lord of the Rings.

In this case, as Otaku notes, the text in The Hobbit is perfectly clear that Elrond did not belong to the 'council of white wizards', since 1) he is not a wizard; and 2) Gandalf updates the Halfelven lord on the defeat of the Necromancer when he and Bilbo return to Rivendell on the way back to Bag End. In the same story, Lothlorien and Galadriel and Saruman (as the leading white wizard) don't yet exist, nor does the concept of 'The Wise' as an alliance of Istari and Eldar, nor does the concept of the Istari themselves. And of course, Bilbo's ring of invisibility is not The One Ring.

So your latter three quotes, all from The Lord of the Rings, are the author's attempts bring The Hobbit "up to speed" with regard to the matters of the Necromancer-as-Sauron, the Council-as-a-vehicle-for-Saruman's-deceptive-motives, and Bilbo's-ring-as-Sauron's-One-Ring. Each time the 'White Council' is mentioned in the new book, in an attempt to show that the Wise were not completely ignorant about the dangers of the Ring, it grows in importance, history, and political complexity. By the appendices it is an important part of the history of the Third Age: Galadriel and Saruman have joined it; so has Elrond, certainly; Lorien competes with Rivendell as possible council headquarters and provides a possible army for a regular assault in line with the later one during the War of the Ring. For instead of The Hobbit's indeterminate group of anonymous good or "white" wizards (contrasted with the black magic of the Necromancer, clearly), "driving" the Necromancer from his stronghold, we read in LotR of "assaults" and "devices" which convey an impression of military strategy and even military siege tactics by a body of regular soldiers.

The two accounts remain incompatible - just as Gandalf's inability to explain his lack of perception about Bilbo's ring in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Smaug is one of the biggest plot holes in the later epic, being very unsatisfactorily elided in the "Return of the Shadow" and "Council of Elrond" chapters of FotR.

As to your timeline, I would separate The Hobbit from LotR and not try to make them consistent - no more than Bilbo's and Frodo's journeys across Wilderland to Rivendell can be made consistent. We can safely assume that Gandalf left the Dwarves at the gates of Mirkwood and went south to meet the other 'white wizards' in a 'great council' at an unknown location, and they as a group eventually 'drove' the Necromancer out of his stronghold. Of course Gandalf didn't return to Rivendell; why would he when Elrond has nothing to do with any of the above action? Elrond was updated, with his appreciative but pessimistic approval of the wizards' deeds, the following winter, as we see in TH's final chapter.



squire online:
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noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 18 2018, 8:58pm

Post #6 of 22 (3323 views)
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Hobbit dates can be vague [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder whether we don’t get a bit spoiled by LOTR. That story makes a lot of use of parallel sets of events, and Tolkien set up careful timelines - initially, I suppose to prevent annoying mistakes, though the timelines eventually made a useful appendix.

Hobbit is simpler- in our read through we’re just about to get to Smaug’s attack on Esgaroth, the only bit of directly-described action I can think of that is not happening where Bilbo is. Otherwise the narrator fills us in with vague details about other stuff (such as Gandalf’s mission off elsewhere). So I expect there wasn’t any need for Tolkien to work everything out on the calendar. That, or maybe he hadn’t yet started to write that way.

At times - in Mirkwood, say, or in Not At Home- our heroes lose track of time, and that seems to me to be part of the literary effect.

All of which is to say that if wecan’t reach firm conclusions about many Hobbit dates, that’s probably part of the nature of the text. Of course, that doesn’t mean to say that we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves seeing what can be done with reasonable assumptions!

~~~~~~
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


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 18 2018, 9:27pm

Post #7 of 22 (3324 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

...we get the account of Gandalf's business with his council of white wizards mostly through Bilbo and he might have misunderstood much of what he heard for he had "fallen quiet and drowsy". And Gandalf might have been being deliberately vague while in Bilbo's presence, talking around secrets that were not his to reveal to his companion. So it might not be too difficult after all to reconcile the two accounts. The story that is told during the Council of Elrond is the true version, while the tale that Bilbo heard was 'edited' by Gandalf (and probably elaborated on later when the wizard and Elrond had more privacy).

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 18 2018, 9:27pm)


squire
Half-elven


Aug 18 2018, 10:34pm

Post #8 of 22 (3316 views)
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We can go down that route, of course [In reply to] Can't Post

Because that is exactly what Tolkien did, to some extent, in his efforts to make TH consistent with LotR - and to make LotR consistent with The Silmarillion, and to make various parts of The Silmarillion consistent with other parts of The Silmarillion. You know the bit: "Everything we read is just 'reported' by unreliable protagonists, via unreliable copies of the Red Book, etc."

But Tolkien didn't like such solutions to conflicts in timeline, motivation, and even events. He preferred to rewrite his older texts explicitly to bring his legendarium together, most remarkably in the case of The Hobbit with the Bilbo-Gollum chapter about the finding of the Ring and the nature of its effect on its bearers. Anyone who's hacked their way through History of Middle-earth knows the Silm is one giant rewrite almost from beginning to end. Then there are the apologetic notes in his Letters or private papers, confessing that he might have to explain really unrewritable parts (like the Sun and the Moon being vessels of the light of the Two Trees, instead of two heavenly bodies in predictable orbits and relations with the globe of Earth) as being the 'flawed myths of Men' inaccurately transmitted from the Elves who knew better. Things go south quite quickly at that point, of course.

So now, who 'really wrote' The Lord of the Rings (or the purported manuscripts from which Tolkien compiled his modern and relatively seamless translation, in this frame-conceit)? Was it the Baggins hobbits, their later heirs among the Cottons and other cousinly clans, or the Dunedain of Gondor? Who wrote the Silmarillion as published in 1973: the Elves as translated by Bilbo, or the Old English mariner who reached Elvenhome, or the Elvish scholar who replaced the mariner in Tolkien's thinking, or the Men of Numenor who misunderstood the instructions and transmissions they received from the Elves?

Well, my point is that it can be refreshingly simple and easy just to accept The Hobbit's text for what it is. No one reading the final chapter of The Hobbit on its own terms has the slightest sense that Bilbo has misunderstood the essential part of Gandalf's report to Elrond. The reason is, of course, that it is all given to us in the voice of the Narrator, a character in the book who utterly disappears from all accounts of "Bilbo's book" in The Lord of the Rings. That voice is both authoritative, and wiser than Bilbo. Oh, well then! We can say The Narrator is Bilbo's multilayered attempt to write his own memoirs in a hyper-ironic mode, wherein he mocks his own ignorance via a more distantly-voiced older self -- sure, that's the ticket. Of course. Hobbits are naturally satirical or modernist authors... a la Swift or Joyce. But that is just as false to a reader's sense of what the book is about (and to the real intent of Tolkien when he actually wrote the book, I daresay) as any attempt to say that a sleepy and stupid Bilbo misheard and misunderstood Gandalf's tale of the 'council of white wizards', a tale which was more correctly discussed between the fellow white-wizards Gandalf and Elrond in an unaccountable later and more secret conference.

As NoWiz says, it can be fun to twist and bend the text until it fits a container the author himself wishes it would fit into. But he never did rewrite The Hobbit to get this stuff clear, after LotR was complete. As we know, he soon realized it just wasn't worth the game to ruin the contents to fit them into a not-quite-appropriate container. Especially in the case of The Hobbit, I always suggest that we follow his lead. It's not worth the game to force this special little tale to fit perfectly the larger, later, and more ambitious book's amazing scope and scale.



squire online:
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noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 19 2018, 9:49am

Post #9 of 22 (3264 views)
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"I cannot bring a world quite round, Although I patch it as I can." [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
...They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

And they said then, "But play, you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are."

...

I cannot bring a world quite round,
Although I patch it as I can.

I sing a hero's head, large eye
And bearded bronze, but not a man,

Although I patch him as I can
And reach through him almost to man.

If to serenade almost to man
Is to miss, by that, things as they are,

Say it is the serenade
Of a man that plays a blue guitar.

Excerpts from Wallace Stevens, "The Man with the Blue Guitar"



That is the fundamental limitation of the game of pretending Middle-earth stories are a kind of history - Tolkien had a 'blue guitar' and changed Middle-earth reality as he wrote. I'm finding it kinda interesting to think about. Hopefully my musings are of some interest too, rather than somewhat annoyingly plodding through inferences that cleverer folk have already made from the discussion so far...

While I'm not much of a historian, I know that history is full of unknown dates - for example, the date of birth of many medieval personalities. Common sense insists that everyone must have had a date of birth, and so there is a correct answer that could theoretically be discovered. In the meantime, historians try to establish, and argue about, plausible dates.

The difference in trying to establish a date for events in The Hobbit is (of course) that it is fiction - there isn't a theoretically discoverable true date against which one's assumptions could be checked. I think that means that there isn't a right answer. For example, imagine that an Unfinished Tale or other draft writing about the Battle of Dol Gildur has hitherto escaped Christopher Tolkien's attention,but is now published. A late (1950s or 1960s, say) text would presumably have Gandalf rush off to work with Saruman, Galadriel, Elrond and perhaps others. Tolkien might have had to say whether the White Council had to go to Dol Gildur (the solution that PJ films chose), or whether the struggle was conducted at a distance, from Rivendell, Lorien Orthanc or some other place. Tolkien might have decided exactly how long operations took - a day? a week? - were there military as well as magical operations? (and so on). By contrast, suppose Tolkien had drafted (in the 1930s) a Battle of Dol Gildur chapter for The Hobbit before deciding to exclude it after all. Surely the result would have been very different. For example, I don't suppose it would have been very likely that Tolkien would have made up Galadriel and Saruman as we know them from LOTR. What passes for 'reality' in Middle-earth changes as Tolkien writes.

Short of any yet-to-be-found work by Tolkien for us to argue about (just as we argue about the significance of The Quest Of Erebor), I suppose we have to either give up the game as impossible or inappropriate, or decide that it is fun anyway as an exercise in a sort of fan fiction. Someone could, of course, give us a full-blown account of where Gandalf goes, who he works with and how - picking dates is a step down that route, I think, even if we don't go on to write up a full-blown account. The conclusions reflect back the author's assumptions, which of course could be ingenious and entertaining, and consistent or not with the 'window' Gandalf has for operations (based on when he left Thorin's expedition, and that he is trying to rejoin it by Bilbo's birthday). There can't be a right answer, but plausible answers might be fun to come up with.


There you go - 'Do not go to the Reading Room for advice, as they will say both Yes and No.'


PS: I once dreamt that I had a blue guitar, but it vanished when I played it. Also, I can't tell whether I'm a butterfly...

~~~~~~
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


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 19 2018, 1:13pm

Post #10 of 22 (3252 views)
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i agree, noWiz. [In reply to] Can't Post

At the same time, I would answer squire with the observation: The Lord of the Rings and its appendices provide the fullest accounts of Gandalf's activities in connection with the expulsion of the Necromancer from southern Mirkwood in T.A. 2941; it would be folly not to make use of them, especially in a discussion that goes well beyond a look back at The Hobbit. From TH alone, we cannot even determine the approximate date of the Council's actions (September 22, the birthday of Bilbo Baggins), though there remains many unanswered questions despite the later revelations.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


squire
Half-elven


Aug 19 2018, 2:41pm

Post #11 of 22 (3247 views)
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Yes, in a discussion "that goes well beyond a look back at The Hobbit" we should use the LotR sources [In reply to] Can't Post

So from that perspective, looking at gramma's initial TIME post, I would have advised her not to lead with the quote from The Hobbit, but to omit it completely and stick purely with the LotR's version of the events in question (only when it overrides the earlier book's presentation, of course). Unless she's into academic-type footnotes: yo, Christopher Tolkienboodawg!

I know Today in Middle-earth likes to think of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as occupying the same historical timeline, but that really does sometimes lead to irreconcilable contradictions, which is how we got to this thread in the first place!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 19 2018, 3:26pm

Post #12 of 22 (3237 views)
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agreeing back... [In reply to] Can't Post

If the game is to be played* as an exercise in deduction and inference from the text, then it certainly makes sense to imagine how Tolkien would have described the attack on Dol Gildur had he chosen to include some material in the LOTR Appendices, or Quest Of Erebor. That way, as O-s has said, it's possible to use the LOTR information Tolkien wrote about the White Council and its doings. The alternative (trying to ghost-write a suitable chapter for TH, set in Middle-earth as Tolkien imagined it in the 1930s) immediately forces one to create original characters.

Any resulting dates are then (arguably) more to do with LOTR than TH, except perhaps accepting the 'window' TH gives us for Gandalf's movements (he leaves Thorin's party July 25, I think we said; he's hurrying to rejoin Thorin &Co. by 22 September, but has not located them by the time of Smaug's attack on Lake Town).

That leaves us with a fair old range though - does Gandalf have to travel to a meeting which has to pass a resolution to attack and then make preparations? Or has all that been done already, with the attack all set for a pre-arranged date in July or August? The latter might reduce Gandalf's task to 'getting into position', whatever that might mean in terms of travel or preparation. Clearly he has to go somewhere, even if only back to the physical safety of Beorn's House or some other nearby suitable place from which to 'bend his mind' to telling Sauron to clear off (or whatever the attack involves).

Do we know what assumptions underlie the proposed 17 August date?
--
*with [suitable footnotes about the caveats]

~~~~~~
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


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 19 2018, 3:56pm

Post #13 of 22 (3234 views)
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Gandalf: Dol Guldur to Dale [In reply to] Can't Post

The text of The Hobbit still has Gandalf in the South at the time of the company's arrival at Lake-town (later revealed to be September 22). Christopher Tolkien's maps reveal that the wizard probably has to travel about 600 miles to reach Lake-town and Dale (depending on the route he takes). His journey by horseback would likely take up to three weeks (if we figure using C. Tolkien's maps, though Professor Tolkien does give us a rough scale in Gandalf's description to Bilbo of Mirkwood Forest).

I have to assume that the attack on Dol Guldur (there is no 'i') was more than just a telepathic assault ("the Council put forth its strength and drove the evil out of Mirkwood"), though admittedly Tolkien was very vague about the details. We don't know if the White Council went in alone, if they had any military back-up, or how long the campaign lasted--just that it was wrapping up around the time of Bilbo's birthday. We do learn from Gandalf at the Council of Elrond that they were less successful than they believed. Sauron anticipated the actions of the Council and made his plans to withdraw to Mordor before the assault.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


Bwonder
The Shire


Aug 19 2018, 4:04pm

Post #14 of 22 (3231 views)
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Gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post

was the movie timeline correct?


noWizardme
Valinor


Aug 19 2018, 6:16pm

Post #15 of 22 (3221 views)
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Movie timeline 'correct'? No [In reply to] Can't Post

There's probably no correct answer to exactly what Gandalf was up to that summer, seeing as Tolkien didn't provide one and nobody else has the authority.

Moreover, we've been agreeing that Tolkien's ideas about it moved along quite a bit - if a more detailed account had been included in LOTR, it might not be very helpful in understanding The Hobbit (book).

Anyone can, of course, create accounts that are plausible, in that they don't have internal contradictions, don't contradict Tolkien's texts etc. But I don't see how on would judge which plausible account was 'correct'. For example, if I like the idea of Gandalf sitting on The Carrock joining in with multi-pronged ranged telepathic attacks on Dol Guldur on the pre-arranged 'BS Day' (banish Sauron day, of course!) then how to tell whether that is more correct than some other idea?*

The movie went its own way, meeting its own needs - for example in the book 'universe' there would be no need for Gandalf to discover that the Necromancer was really Sauron, as that had been established over 90 years previously. So that makes at least part of it incorrect (and whether that matters is another issue). I feel sure there was a very detailed discussion of the merits and demerits of those movie scenes over on the 'Movies- Hobbit' board. Personally I didn't like half of it half as well as I should have liked; and I liked less than half of it half as well as it deserved. Or possibly the other way around. But that's for a different board.

--
*This is not a serious proposal, though it does fit with Gandalf striving against Sauron over Frodo on Amon Hen. And I do now rather like the idea of Beorn keeping Gandalf's strength up by feeding him scones with honey and clotted cream.Scones are essential for ranged telepathic attacks, or at least that is what I find Smile

~~~~~~
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

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Aug 19 2018, 6:17pm)


Bwonder
The Shire


Aug 19 2018, 6:36pm

Post #16 of 22 (3214 views)
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Movie [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you noWizardMe!!!! i liked the movies but honestly they probably did not do justice to Tolkien i think they added in a lot for show. which i suppose is the point of a movie. (btw love the Bilbo quote) Smile


(This post was edited by Bwonder on Aug 19 2018, 6:37pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 19 2018, 11:39pm

Post #17 of 22 (3194 views)
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Re: Gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
was the movie timeline correct?


Only for the first half of the quest. It was different from the book already, just because of Peter Jackson's changes and additions. The White Council (or at least the most important members) met in Rivendell just before Thorin & Co. departed (without Gandalf!). The company probably does leave on Midsummer's Day and likely does take about the same amount of time to cross the mountains. They might even reach Beorn's house on the same date (July 20) and Gandalf might leave the others at the eaves of Mirkwood on or near July 25.

It is after the company enters Mirkwood that things get weird. It's hard to imagine that Bilbo and the dwarves are traveling through the forest for about four weeks in The Desolation of Smaug. It is equally hard to credit that the company is imprisoned by Thranduil for about another four weeks before Bilbo manages their escape. And yet they somehow seem to arrive at Lake-town later in the year than they do in the book, much closer to the beginning of winter (and barely days before Durin's Day). Meanwhile Gandalf flitters back and forth from Mirkwood to Jackson's High Fells in the Misty Mountains and back to the forest to reach Dol Guldur in what seems like a ridiculously short amount of time. In fact, all throughout the second and third movies Peter Jackson compresses time to an absurd degree, having characters cover hundreds of miles in only a handful of days.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


Bwonder
The Shire


Aug 19 2018, 11:53pm

Post #18 of 22 (3191 views)
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Movie [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for response!!! i forgot about how Gandalf did not come with them to begin with, i didn't like that! or how they changed something about the Mirkwood part cause it was different right, in the book?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 20 2018, 12:36am

Post #19 of 22 (3181 views)
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Mirkwood Forest [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Thank you for response!!! i forgot about how Gandalf did not come with them to begin with, i didn't like that! or how they changed something about the Mirkwood part cause it was different right, in the book?


Do you mean how in Tolkien's legendarium the Necromancer had been in Mirkwood for thousands of years while in the films he had only occupied Dol Guldur a short while ago?

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


Bwonder
The Shire


Aug 20 2018, 12:54am

Post #20 of 22 (3172 views)
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Mirkwood [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, and something about....Bombur? Smile


Plurmo
Rohan

Aug 25 2018, 10:44pm

Post #21 of 22 (2983 views)
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The woe of Man is that even those that always say the glass is half full... [In reply to] Can't Post

...still insist on drinking the empty part first.

One of the joys of being a Tolkien reader is that speculation doesn't end at the last full stop. I prefer to think that The Hobbit was indeed written by Bilbo under a still drowsy One Ring (hence the narrator) right after his return from Erebor, and that it was completed very soon, in order to establish Bilbo's claim to The Ring (a false claim, so the book felt as if it was never really completed.) That happened before he had any additional contact with Gandalf or the elves, so it carries imprecision about the world at large compatible with what would be expected from a hitherto insulated author. Certainly the Bilbo who wrote about the obscure Half-elf on some Last Homely House knew far less about Middle-earth and its peoples than the Bilbo who taught young Samwise about Gil-Galad from his very own translations.

As for the Council of White Wizards, it began with Beorn at his house, freshly returned from the eves of Mirkwood, leaning on the very large axe trying to finally finish his unfinished business, when at unawares comes Saruman and he says... "I was coming over the mountains with a white wizard or two..." and that's how the whole band of white wizards got the axe... I mean the same end of the blue wizards and we never hear about them again, except for Saruman himself who escaped by using one of the explosive devices he learned from the Enemy.

And all the while Sauron was already leaving Dol Guldur for Mordor on his own volition as long planned. As for Gandalf, he was indeed at the top of the Carrock, and there he stayed for days, floating inside a heavy cloud of Long Bottom smoke, laughing at the readers who would later try to figure out what had really happened in those wild days.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 25 2018, 11:53pm

Post #22 of 22 (2975 views)
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"On second thought, let's not go to Dol Guldur." [In reply to] Can't Post

"It is a silly place."

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

 
 

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