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How Powerful was Gandalf the Grey?

Tolkien R.J.J
Bree


Jan 30, 3:19am

Post #1 of 14 (1092 views)
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How Powerful was Gandalf the Grey? Can't Post

When I think of Gandalf I think of both Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White. But really Gandalf the Grey died, and was given extra power and wisdom by Eru and remade into a new far more powerful Gandalf, Gandalf the White. So thinking of just Gandalf the Grey here [Manwe conspiracy theories aside] how powerful was he?

He was a maiar so of course powerful, but as an embodied physical being capable of pain, weariness, fear and death [letters 156] he was vulnerable to standard injury and death. Sarumon was killed by a knife, Gandalf injured in the battle of the 5 armies and killed by the balrog. In fact it seems he might have only beaten the balrog due to his ring Narya the ring of fire. When he faced the balrog in the long fight where both would die he said

"I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.
—The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring,Book II, Chapter 5: "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"

And yet even with the power of the ring, he was killed. Even Gandalf the white with added power and wisdom from Eru [God] was unsure of his ability vs the witch king while Glorfindel faced him. Gandalf the grey did not see Sauroman for who he had becomes, he failed 1v1 vs Sauroman. Gandalf debates with Aragorn on what path to take the fellowship and he gives way to Aragorn saying “if you bring a ranger with you, it is well to pay attention to him, especially if the ranger is Aragorn.” despite the fact we are told in the Valaquenta “Wisest of the maiar was Olorin.” In the hobbit the party went to Rivnedall and it was Elrond [not Gandalf] whos wisdom discerned the map, found new letters, and knew the history of the swords Glamdring and Orcrist carried by Gandalf. Neither and Gandalfs plans always correct. He advised them to take the elf road near mirkwood but it was now impassable.

“Even the good plans of the wise like Gandalfs and of good friends like Elrond go astray sometimes.”
-The Hobbit chapter 4

But most of all his mission to save the free peoples from the power of Sauron failed. The Istari and Gandalf failed. He was killed. .

The 'wizards', as such, had failed
-Letters 156

So Eru steeped in to save Middle earth through Gandalf the White

“So Gandalf sacrificed himself, was accepted, and enhanced, and returned. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' Of course he remains similar in personality and idiosyncrasy, but both his wisdom and power are much greater. When he speaks he commands attention; the old Gandalf could not have dealt so with Théoden, nor with Saruman.”
-Letters 156

“I am a Christian, that fact can be deduced from my stories.”
-J.R.R Tolkien

“I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late.”
J.R.R Tolkien

“Tolkien was a lifelong enemy of big government in every form, not just the harsher forms we find in soviet communism, German Nazism, or Italian fascism, but also as it manifested itself in British democratic socialism and the mongol state capitalism in other parts of the west.”
-Jonathan Witt and Jay W The Hobbit Party: The vision of freedom that Tolkien got and the west forgot


Plurmo
Rohan

Jan 30, 11:06pm

Post #2 of 14 (1002 views)
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"[Manwe conspiracy theories aside]"... Ouch!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Can I at least remind that the interventions from Eru in the Music were caused by the actions of Melkor, not of Sauron? Evil

It may seems out of fashion these days to speculate freely in TORN, but it wasn't always so. It's just that the current crop is too self-aware to allow themselves to be wrong, which happens frequently to the imaginative.

Maybe the new series will bring along some daredevils again and set alight the fire in the remaining members of the elder generations which have gone rather... treeish.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 31, 7:46pm

Post #3 of 14 (969 views)
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I prefer Gandalf the Grey [In reply to] Can't Post

I love his human frailties, his trust in the leadership and wisdom of others, his short temper, his gut-driven passion and recognition of his friends and other kindreds. He was the Wizard for the times as they were. I always saw his calling to be a connection to Middle-earth at a time of mostly rest and watch during the dormant time of Sauron... in a form that would encourage trust by others.

Without an alert from anything but what he experienced by being involved in the persona he had as the Grey, he was able to see and recognize the dangers that were growing. As Gandalf the Grey, he discovered the history and identity of the Ring. He discovered the betrayal of Saruman... his friend and head of the Order. At the right time, he befriended Aragorn who was also fated to share in the changes that were coming. He also befriended Bilbo (and then Frodo), another who was instrumental in facing the changes that were coming. Organically, through the Will of Good (?), he drew together everyone who would have a hand in challenging Sauron and the War to come.

He did as much as he could as Gandalf the Grey. I don't see his fall as a failure, but his time for evolving into Gandalf the White (and the Head of the Order?). I don't see his time that is identified as death as being a human death. He's Maiar. It was a time of his evolution into the next level housed as Gandalf the White and reaching the level of power needed for this phase of the War. During his transition, Galadriel could not see him, but did not sense he was gone.


Quote
"...I cannot see him from afar... ...a grey mist is about him, and the ways of his feet and of his mind are hidden from me."


It's easy to look back on a situation (or life) and consider events experienced in the beginning without the benefit of foreknowledge as lacking. Gandalf the Grey's strength was that he identified the changes as they appeared and grew. The power he had was what was necessary for the times. When more was needed, he grew in power as Gandalf the White. He was a guardian, not a god... imho ;)




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entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 31, 7:59pm

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Love this gramma. What she said // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 31, 8:03pm

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Hrum Hoom! ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

And so... what do you think about Gandalf's power?




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Lissuin
Valinor


Jan 31, 8:16pm

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Gramma's got it. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Tolkien R.J.J
Bree


Jan 31, 9:52pm

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I love the grey as well but.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I love his human frailties, his trust in the leadership and wisdom of others, his short temper, his gut-driven passion and recognition of his friends and other kindreds. He was the Wizard for the times as they were. I always saw his calling to be a connection to Middle-earth at a time of mostly rest and watch during the dormant time of Sauron... in a form that would encourage trust by others.

Without an alert from anything but what he experienced by being involved in the persona he had as the Grey, he was able to see and recognize the dangers that were growing. As Gandalf the Grey, he discovered the history and identity of the Ring. He discovered the betrayal of Saruman... his friend and head of the Order. At the right time, he befriended Aragorn who was also fated to share in the changes that were coming. He also befriended Bilbo (and then Frodo), another who was instrumental in facing the changes that were coming. Organically, through the Will of Good (?), he drew together everyone who would have a hand in challenging Sauron and the War to come.

He did as much as he could as Gandalf the Grey. I don't see his fall as a failure, but his time for evolving into Gandalf the White (and the Head of the Order?). I don't see his time that is identified as death as being a human death. He's Maiar. It was a time of his evolution into the next level housed as Gandalf the White and reaching the level of power needed for this phase of the War. During his transition, Galadriel could not see him, but did not sense he was gone.


Quote
"...I cannot see him from afar... ...a grey mist is about him, and the ways of his feet and of his mind are hidden from me."


It's easy to look back on a situation (or life) and consider events experienced in the beginning without the benefit of foreknowledge as lacking. Gandalf the Grey's strength was that he identified the changes as they appeared and grew. The power he had was what was necessary for the times. When more was needed, he grew in power as Gandalf the White. He was a guardian, not a god... imho ;)



I was a fan of Gandalf the grey as well. Especially in the movies. I of course disagree on if the grey was successful and i think the quote from Tolkien settles it. Had Eru not enhanced Gandalf and brought him back to life physically the free peoples would have failed. Therefore the grey [and the valar] purpose of overthrowing Sauron would not have happened. His purpose was not to die, fail ,but succeed.

“I am a Christian, that fact can be deduced from my stories.”
-J.R.R Tolkien

“I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late.”
J.R.R Tolkien

“Tolkien was a lifelong enemy of big government in every form, not just the harsher forms we find in soviet communism, German Nazism, or Italian fascism, but also as it manifested itself in British democratic socialism and the mongol state capitalism in other parts of the west.”
-Jonathan Witt and Jay W The Hobbit Party: The vision of freedom that Tolkien got and the west forgot


(This post was edited by Tolkien R.J.J on Jan 31, 9:55pm)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 31, 10:54pm

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Truly! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I of course disagree on if the grey was successful and i think the quote from Tolkien settles it. Had Eru not enhanced Gandalf and brought him back to life physically the free peoples would have failed. Therefore the grey [and the valar] purpose of overthrowing Sauron would not have happened. His purpose was not to die, fail ,but succeed.


I agree that Gandalf was sent back and succeeded as Gandalf the White. The wonderful thing about Tolkien's work, imho, is that it inspires thought and imagination... dare I say... interpretation for me on a very personal level by everything not being so specific in the story. I have not read Tolkien's letters or read all of the Appendices specifically because I do love to apply my own feelings and imagination... like Gandalf's story.

No disrespect intended on Tolkien's letters and your interpretation on what he wrote. Honestly! I completely respect your knowledge. *bows deeply* I know there's a wealth of information and answers there. Mine is just another POV. I'm afraid I am not a scholar of Tolkien's works. I like taking the story into my own interpretation and making it so much more personal according to my own life experiences. This story has been a big part of my life because of that freedom and has carried me through many a plight. :)






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Lissuin
Valinor


Jan 31, 11:43pm

Post #9 of 14 (940 views)
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Duty, loyalty and an old-fashioned word, fortitude. [In reply to] Can't Post

These qualities are strong themes throughout Tolkien, though I never felt preached at. Everyone faces challenges there, each according to their abilities. To continue trying one's best even though sometimes failing against wights and goblins and Nazgul and Balrogs and evil rings is not weakness but strength in Middle-earth. That's where the fortitude comes in.
Remember, Olórin/Gandalf at first asked not to be sent to Middle-earth because he feared Sauron and thought he didn't have the strength to face him. Manwë replied that that was all the more reason for him to go.

The Grey in Fellowship of the Ring:

Quote
There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured. But my time is coming."


The Grey took on his challenger, the Balrog, to protect the Fellowship, and he defeated it. So he passed that test for duty, loyalty and fortitude with flying colours. That he "died" in the attempt didn't count against him with Eru, who then returned him to M-e with even more abilities and responsibilities as the White.

(sigh) It seems to be a rule in M-e as well as real life that the more you do the more you have to do.
Evil


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 1, 2:45am

Post #10 of 14 (922 views)
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*chuckles* [In reply to] Can't Post

"It seems to be a rule in M-e as well as real life that the more you do the more you have to do."

Ain't it the truth? :D





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Tolkien R.J.J
Bree


Feb 1, 11:11pm

Post #11 of 14 (877 views)
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Tolkien Would Have Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
I of course disagree on if the grey was successful and i think the quote from Tolkien settles it. Had Eru not enhanced Gandalf and brought him back to life physically the free peoples would have failed. Therefore the grey [and the valar] purpose of overthrowing Sauron would not have happened. His purpose was not to die, fail ,but succeed.


I agree that Gandalf was sent back and succeeded as Gandalf the White. The wonderful thing about Tolkien's work, imho, is that it inspires thought and imagination... dare I say... interpretation for me on a very personal level by everything not being so specific in the story. I have not read Tolkien's letters or read all of the Appendices specifically because I do love to apply my own feelings and imagination... like Gandalf's story.

No disrespect intended on Tolkien's letters and your interpretation on what he wrote. Honestly! I completely respect your knowledge. *bows deeply* I know there's a wealth of information and answers there. Mine is just another POV. I'm afraid I am not a scholar of Tolkien's works. I like taking the story into my own interpretation and making it so much more personal according to my own life experiences. This story has been a big part of my life because of that freedom and has carried me through many a plight. :)



He crated first and foremost a story to be enjoyed and understood by the reader. He was very careful on his published works so as to leave much open. And there is much to support your views in the overall history .

“Eru[ God] is lord of all. And moveth all the devices of his creatures, even the malice of the marrer, in his final purposes.”
-Morgoths Ring laws of the Eldar

People like Galadrial, Elrond, Tom Bombadil, and Gandalf remind us as Gandalf said “I can put it no plainer than by saying Bilbo was meant to find the ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.” and he tells Bilbo “you dont really suppose, do you, that all your adventure and escapes were manged by mere luck?” At the council of Elrond Elrond says of those gathered in Rivendell “By chance as it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, must now find counsel for the perils of the world.”


Like the God of the bible, Eru is involved in providential and guidance; Tolkien called it “Gods management of the drama.”

“I am a Christian, that fact can be deduced from my stories.”
-J.R.R Tolkien

“I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late.”
J.R.R Tolkien

“Tolkien was a lifelong enemy of big government in every form, not just the harsher forms we find in soviet communism, German Nazism, or Italian fascism, but also as it manifested itself in British democratic socialism and the mongol state capitalism in other parts of the west.”
-Jonathan Witt and Jay W The Hobbit Party: The vision of freedom that Tolkien got and the west forgot


Tolkien R.J.J
Bree


Feb 1, 11:14pm

Post #12 of 14 (877 views)
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Great post [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
These qualities are strong themes throughout Tolkien, though I never felt preached at. Everyone faces challenges there, each according to their abilities. To continue trying one's best even though sometimes failing against wights and goblins and Nazgul and Balrogs and evil rings is not weakness but strength in Middle-earth. That's where the fortitude comes in.
Remember, Olórin/Gandalf at first asked not to be sent to Middle-earth because he feared Sauron and thought he didn't have the strength to face him. Manwë replied that that was all the more reason for him to go.

The Grey in Fellowship of the Ring:

Quote
There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured. But my time is coming."


The Grey took on his challenger, the Balrog, to protect the Fellowship, and he defeated it. So he passed that test for duty, loyalty and fortitude with flying colours. That he "died" in the attempt didn't count against him with Eru, who then returned him to M-e with even more abilities and responsibilities as the White.

(sigh) It seems to be a rule in M-e as well as real life that the more you do the more you have to do.
Evil



Great post.

“I am a Christian, that fact can be deduced from my stories.”
-J.R.R Tolkien

“I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late.”
J.R.R Tolkien

“Tolkien was a lifelong enemy of big government in every form, not just the harsher forms we find in soviet communism, German Nazism, or Italian fascism, but also as it manifested itself in British democratic socialism and the mongol state capitalism in other parts of the west.”
-Jonathan Witt and Jay W The Hobbit Party: The vision of freedom that Tolkien got and the west forgot


hanne
Lorien

Feb 1, 11:21pm

Post #13 of 14 (872 views)
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Beautifully said! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Tolkien R.J.J
Bree


Feb 1, 11:36pm

Post #14 of 14 (875 views)
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Recomended Book [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
I of course disagree on if the grey was successful and i think the quote from Tolkien settles it. Had Eru not enhanced Gandalf and brought him back to life physically the free peoples would have failed. Therefore the grey [and the valar] purpose of overthrowing Sauron would not have happened. His purpose was not to die, fail ,but succeed.


I agree that Gandalf was sent back and succeeded as Gandalf the White. The wonderful thing about Tolkien's work, imho, is that it inspires thought and imagination... dare I say... interpretation for me on a very personal level by everything not being so specific in the story. I have not read Tolkien's letters or read all of the Appendices specifically because I do love to apply my own feelings and imagination... like Gandalf's story.

No disrespect intended on Tolkien's letters and your interpretation on what he wrote. Honestly! I completely respect your knowledge. *bows deeply* I know there's a wealth of information and answers there. Mine is just another POV. I'm afraid I am not a scholar of Tolkien's works. I like taking the story into my own interpretation and making it so much more personal according to my own life experiences. This story has been a big part of my life because of that freedom and has carried me through many a plight. :)




A book I think you would enjoy much is The Christian World of The Hobbit

https://www.christianbook.com/the-christian-world-of-hobbit/devin-brown/9781426749490/pd/749490


It has a very, very good chapter on providence and eru guiding events on ME. That what happened was indeed what was "meant" to happen.

“I am a Christian, that fact can be deduced from my stories.”
-J.R.R Tolkien

“I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late.”
J.R.R Tolkien

“Tolkien was a lifelong enemy of big government in every form, not just the harsher forms we find in soviet communism, German Nazism, or Italian fascism, but also as it manifested itself in British democratic socialism and the mongol state capitalism in other parts of the west.”
-Jonathan Witt and Jay W The Hobbit Party: The vision of freedom that Tolkien got and the west forgot

 
 

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