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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Good company : - )

AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 4 2012, 8:30am


Views: 639
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Good company : - ) [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink And in this case, the same way is pretty much just as the books portray him. I think you are right to say you and I are in strong agreement there. The novels don't give the notion that he is some unhinderable, badass who can win all of the quests on his own, but they do portray him as a Power, within the confines of the Powers still visibly active in Middle Earth in The Third Age. He is portrayed as a being who is, even in his limited manlike form, mightier than a mortal, though that might was often hidden. He is portrayed as a formidable force to be reckoned with, even against daunting odds and Dark Powers.


I think that lay viewers of the film should see Gandalf in much the same way that the characters around him do. Initially, as just a mysterious old man with a reputation for adventure and uncanny cleverness and talents. Then, whether to entertain or to make a point, he performs some minor marvel (darkening a room, for example, or turning smoke rings into a flock of coloured smoke birds) that validates that reputation for the uncanny talents and cleverness. Later, in a pinch, he performs some reasonably marvellous feat which none of the rest of you (normal audience members and his companions alike) could have managed, and which you all know you couldn't have managed, and everyone comes to the recognition that he is not just a clever and erriely talented performance artist, he is indeed supernaturally powerful in a significant way. The notion solidifies that everyone is generally much safer with him than without him, and that, while he certainly cannot do everything (despite his amazing and, literally, thunderously dazzling escape from the goblins {which killed several of them} and subsequent dissapearance, he did not manage to keep Bilbo and the Dwarves from being captured, and while he later unleashed a torrent of confusion and pain upon the goblins, he didn't turn them all into ice sculptures with a wave and a whisper), he can do a lot more than most to break himself and those in his care out of a tight corner (indeed, the line in The Hobbit after that event says almost EXACTLY those words).


People are correct to say that Gandalf should not appear omnipotent or even virtually omnipotent. Yet it is also important that, in the grand scheme, he appear at first, a little mysterious and possessed of prodigious talents, and later that he appear powerful. Once characters in the novel see him in action, there is never any doubt that he is a powerful being. Whether it is Frodo and Sam, or Thorin, Aragorn and Faramir, all are aware that Gandalf wields great power. Thorin, Aragorn and Faramir are also well aware that he is a greater power than they. From the beginning, Thorin speaks of the quest for Erebor as one which might claim all of their lives, "with the exception of our friend and counsellor, the ingenious Wizard Gandalf." The dwarves are dismayed when Gandalf parts with them at Mirkwood's edge, and while part of that dismay was at the loss of his cleverness and knowledge as a guide, much of it certainly was due to the recognition that they were loosing the most potent and resourceful member of their company, and the one most likely and most able to pull their asses out of a fire. Aragorn and Faramir also comment on the power of Gandalf, and Rivendell is full of tales of his wondrous feats. If the spirit of the novels is to be maintained in portraying him, then the dynamic cannot be played in the way Fandragon and a few others have seemed to suggest, where, as in an Elder Scrolls or Fable game, a high level warrior is different but still roughly equal in power to a high level mage. Thorin, Aragorn and Faramir are mighty and noble warriors, but Gandalf is a Power, and he is mightier than they. Peter himself understands this, even if he did not always adequately convey it. In the 365 day calender for the Fellowship film, there is a line from Saruman which was evidently in the original script, but was edited out of the film, wherein he says, after Gandalf falls facing The Balrog, "The Gray Messenger is gone. His ragtag fellowship is leaderless. There is no one to protect them now." Celeborn's sentiment mirrors The White Wizard's assesment. "Without Gandalf hope is lost." Galadriel knows that there is still some hope, however diminished, but both Celeborn and Saruman recognize that no remaining member of The Fellowship is the equal of The Gray Pilgrim.


If, (and I say IF, as I will not know wheter this is how the scene will unfold until I either see it, or read a more detailed report from someone with an inside track), Bolg is, on his own and as an orc, portrayed as anything like a match for Gandalf, or a source of fear for Gandalf, it will diminish the Wizard, and it will be a troubling misrepresentation. When Gandalf is pressed in the novels it is always and invariably either by overwhelming odds (scores to hundreds of more common antagonists/monsters like wargs and orcs) OR by very highly ranked and particularly potent Dark Powers. I recall showing Fellowship to a lay friend, and when The Balrog showed up, and Gandalf turned to face him, the friend asked, disdainfully, "what is HE gonna do?" And as disgusted as I was, I understood how he came to his conclusion. Gandalf had displayed feats of power in the movie. . . but the only time he effectively did so was when he was overwhelming Bilbo. In the fights with Saruman, he did more than virtually anyone else would have been able to manage, but he lost in both instances AND, in the instance with Saruman's storm, he really isn't seen to have effected its course at all. He never performs an astounding feat of magic like Arwen seems to do. We know Arwen is almost certainly not as powerful as Gandalf. Hell, we know the horse waves and their riders were Gandalf's doing, his own enhancement on Elrond's spell. But a lay person comes away understandably thinking that maybe The Fellowship might have done better to take Arwen instead of the Wizard ShockedCrazyShocked. By removing both Gandalf's lightning and fire wielding confrontation with The Nazgul, and the Wizard's fiery enchantment against the wargs, Peter effectively removed the main scenes in Fellowship where Gandalf both wields magic AND either routes or at least holds his own against significant foes. From a narrative standpoint they might not seem like enormous oversights, but as nothing replaces them, their absence leaves him looking much less potent than the novel portrays him.


I certainly hope the Hobbit does not take the same path. If Bolg is presented as, more or less, a yesteryear precursor version of Lurtz and Ugluk (albiet with a longer and more gruesome history), then he should not be put forth as a potential match for Gadalf. I think it is fair to say that you and I (and Mithrandir, and the others in our camp) are not interested in having Gandalf be turned into Zeus or even Thor. But we do want him to have all the powers and abilities that he wields in the books, and to have the scenes in which he displays them remain a part of the story.

In Reply To
I think you and I are pretty much on the same page as far as Gandalf is concerned and how we want PJ to portray him as an Istari in the movies.


"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."

Subject User Time
The notion of Bolg chasing Gandalf or matching the power of The Wizard. . . What? come on now! Be serious. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 1:06am
    My take Phibbus Send a private message to Phibbus Oct 2 2012, 1:22am
        I think that's what is happening Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Oct 2 2012, 1:34am
            Great Goblin and Boldogs redgiraffe Send a private message to redgiraffe Oct 2 2012, 2:24am
        You may be right. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 1:48am
            maybe I'm in the minority here but... Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Oct 2 2012, 1:56am
                wow grinman Send a private message to grinman Oct 2 2012, 2:11am
                I totally agree, EXCEPT, if Peter is determined to make Bolg a threat to Gandalf. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 2:11am
                    How do we know Aitieuriskon Send a private message to Aitieuriskon Oct 2 2012, 10:48am
                        There we go Carne Send a private message to Carne Oct 2 2012, 11:56am
                            You see for me Fardragon Send a private message to Fardragon Oct 2 2012, 1:42pm
                                You said blast apart, not me. But, unless the Tolkien you read had missing pages, AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 2:27am
                            But is the being he fears Gandalf, or Beorn. It is an important question. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 12:20am
                                Gandalf and Bolg will meet, Ffnir Send a private message to Ffnir Oct 3 2012, 5:48pm
                        I can totally see Azog desecrating the corpse The Preciousss Send a private message to The Preciousss Oct 2 2012, 4:35pm
                        Beorn? Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Oct 2 2012, 7:38pm
                            Agreed Aitieuriskon Send a private message to Aitieuriskon Oct 2 2012, 10:58pm
                sinister71 Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Oct 2 2012, 2:27pm
                Here's the definition of "Necromancy" Carne Send a private message to Carne Oct 2 2012, 2:34pm
            I'm glad he SA posted the link Phibbus Send a private message to Phibbus Oct 2 2012, 2:02am
        I agree with you as well burgahobbit Send a private message to burgahobbit Oct 2 2012, 2:03am
    Gandalf is powerful... grinman Send a private message to grinman Oct 2 2012, 2:07am
        I take your point about it taking time for Gandalf to muster strong spells, however that overlooks what first happened with the goblins. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 3:49am
        I agree dubulous Send a private message to dubulous Oct 2 2012, 5:05am
    whoa whoa whoa whoa redgiraffe Send a private message to redgiraffe Oct 2 2012, 2:15am
        that's just it.. grinman Send a private message to grinman Oct 2 2012, 2:17am
            okay i see redgiraffe Send a private message to redgiraffe Oct 2 2012, 2:20am
                3 pages back grinman Send a private message to grinman Oct 2 2012, 2:23am
            It isn't just the toy. Something is chasing a rather concerned Gandalf through the corridors of Dol Guldur AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 3:54am
        Know what you mean DarkJackal Send a private message to DarkJackal Oct 2 2012, 3:28am
    I think you're over reacting a little. Istaris'staffs Send a private message to Istaris'staffs Oct 2 2012, 3:33am
        Even in the movies, where his powers seem at times sadly diminished from what the novels describe, AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 3:52am
    I'm at a bit of a loss Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Oct 2 2012, 4:57am
        I find it vastly amusing Voronw_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronw_the_Faithful Oct 2 2012, 5:13am
            Agreed Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Oct 2 2012, 5:39am
                hehe redgiraffe Send a private message to redgiraffe Oct 2 2012, 5:52am
                I also didnt find Ainur Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Oct 2 2012, 7:58am
                    Call me sensitive Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Oct 2 2012, 3:10pm
                        Agreed Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Oct 2 2012, 4:28pm
                            Deep breaths needed? Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Oct 2 2012, 4:35pm
                                If Ainur wants to come here and Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Oct 2 2012, 6:45pm
                                    Rules Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Oct 2 2012, 6:51pm
                                        I'm so late to this party There&ThereAgain Send a private message to There&ThereAgain Oct 2 2012, 7:37pm
                                    Of course Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Oct 2 2012, 7:55pm
                    Thanks, my good Elf lady. And to Voronwe, glad you enjoyed, AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 11:59pm
                        It is very faint Aitieuriskon Send a private message to Aitieuriskon Oct 3 2012, 12:24am
                I'm not Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Oct 2 2012, 2:52pm
            The Earth would continue to orbit even if Smaug were portrayed as a 200 foot tall kitten AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 11:51pm
                LOL Voronw_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronw_the_Faithful Oct 2 2012, 11:53pm
                    You're in luck Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Oct 3 2012, 12:21am
                The timing is rather suspect... SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 2 2012, 11:56pm
        It isn't the merchandising alone. Its a series of things that, put together, could be an issue. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 11:29pm
    He is not that powerful in The Hobbit. macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Oct 2 2012, 6:21am
        Ainur is not saying Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Oct 2 2012, 7:01am
            I wasn't saying that Ainur said it macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Oct 2 2012, 7:14am
                Well that just isn't the story or the Mythos. That is like saying, " I hate that Superman is so strong" AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 11:40pm
    Bolg is not "an orc" Fardragon Send a private message to Fardragon Oct 2 2012, 8:17am
        I beg to Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Oct 2 2012, 8:18am
        And if it's of any comfort Ffnir Send a private message to Ffnir Oct 2 2012, 4:41pm
            That would be a real stretch. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Oct 2 2012, 10:15pm
                Not sure if it's just me Lacrimae Rerum Send a private message to Lacrimae Rerum Oct 2 2012, 11:25pm
                There is some merit to that notion Kangi. The Legendarium does AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 2 2012, 11:54pm
                    seems like a bad deal to me There&ThereAgain Send a private message to There&ThereAgain Oct 3 2012, 12:13am
                        Well, the Balrogs and Wizards (even in the Wizard's limited forms) are Maia of greater AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 12:16am
                    I really want a citation on this idea of Maia Orcs.// Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Oct 3 2012, 12:21am
                        It's in Morgoth's Ring Lacrimae Rerum Send a private message to Lacrimae Rerum Oct 3 2012, 12:32am
                            Ok I actually found that before you cited it. But this leads to the question Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Oct 3 2012, 12:39am
                                It does seem like it, doesn't it? Aitieuriskon Send a private message to Aitieuriskon Oct 3 2012, 12:42am
                            Verrryyy interesting... Tim Send a private message to Tim Oct 3 2012, 1:16am
                                Spent too much time on Bilbo's contract SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 3 2012, 2:24am
        Mmmm. That must be why when The Balrog showed up, Gandalf told the ENTIRE fellowhship AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 12:57am
            Tolkien deals with spiritual conflict differently to physical Fardragon Send a private message to Fardragon Oct 3 2012, 7:45am
                Hmm? geordie Send a private message to geordie Oct 3 2012, 12:26pm
                    And Boromir's strength that forced the door closed Fardragon Send a private message to Fardragon Oct 3 2012, 1:37pm
                        It seems that you have a personal theory regarding power & spirituality Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Oct 3 2012, 2:40pm
                            I'm suprised it needs to be explained on a fan site Fardragon Send a private message to Fardragon Oct 3 2012, 2:52pm
                                Interesting theory...// Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Oct 3 2012, 2:54pm
                From where are you drawing this idea of spiritual presence?// Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Oct 3 2012, 12:27pm
                I don't really agree with this Tim Send a private message to Tim Oct 3 2012, 4:43pm
                    Well said, Tim. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 7:45pm
                        Thanks Tim Send a private message to Tim Oct 4 2012, 5:37am
                            Good company : - ) AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 4 2012, 8:30am
                At least as effective against. . . What is your evidence? I think your approach is more D&D AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 7:18pm
                    Not to seem mulish - geordie Send a private message to geordie Oct 3 2012, 8:44pm
                        In the movie, Geordie. Fandragon was speaking of the movie killing of Trolls, AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 9:18pm
    I can see no reason to worry about this stuff triptrap Send a private message to triptrap Oct 2 2012, 11:36am
    Who says Bolg will give him any trouble at all? dave_lf Send a private message to dave_lf Oct 2 2012, 12:22pm
        And he will know fear... Ffnir Send a private message to Ffnir Oct 2 2012, 4:39pm
    Movie Gandalf isn't that powerful stoutfiles Send a private message to stoutfiles Oct 2 2012, 12:29pm
    In tolkien, no fight is won in advance Ffnir Send a private message to Ffnir Oct 2 2012, 4:48pm
        Bilbo was meant to find the ring . . . Beren0nehanded Send a private message to Beren0nehanded Oct 3 2012, 4:25pm
            There have been arguments about free will versus fate for ages. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Oct 3 2012, 4:46pm
            Yeah, I could have been clearer ^^ Ffnir Send a private message to Ffnir Oct 3 2012, 6:42pm
        I agree with you IN PART, but with lots of caveats AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 7:44pm
            Oddly the LOTR films have established a sort of consistency. Lacrimae Rerum Send a private message to Lacrimae Rerum Oct 3 2012, 8:04pm
                There is some kind of explanation i think Ffnir Send a private message to Ffnir Oct 3 2012, 8:22pm
                    Spirit trumps flesh. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 8:30pm
                Not if the trailer is any indication. If you look at the Troll scene, AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Oct 3 2012, 8:22pm
                    I think Lacrimae Rerum Send a private message to Lacrimae Rerum Oct 3 2012, 8:30pm

 
 
 

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