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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
SCOD: "The White Wizard will know."


Oct 10 2012, 2:00am

Post #1 of 6 (1119 views)
SCOD: "The White Wizard will know." Can't Post

Welcome to another glorious SCOD! Today, we continue our Fangorn adventures with Merry and Pippin.

I have to admit, I was planning to do something a little more engaging, but this screenshot got on my nerves a bit... Let me try to explain through the questions.

1. The thing that was bugging me most about this scene was the fact that Treebeard knew not only about Gandalf the White (spoilers?) but also where he was. Why is Gandalf just waiting around in Fangorn for Merry and Pippin to come by? Hasn't he got some urgent business to attend to?

2. For that matter, why does Treebeard refer to him as "the White Wizard" when he clearly references Saruman not going near the woods later? In RotK he denotes him as "Young Master Gandalf", so why something so formal?

3. Also, did you even recognize the threat being presented at this point in the film? Was it clearly shown that Merry and Pippin were even facing what we suppose is Saruman?

4. I understand that the purpose of this scene was to introduce Gandalf and the hobbits so that they wouldn't have to later, as well as add some much needed drama to the Fangorn storyline. I may whine a bit about it, but what did you all think of it? Did this scene effectively fulfill its purpose?

5. Any additional thoughts, as always!


Oct 10 2012, 3:30am

Post #2 of 6 (773 views)
well, put yourself in Treebeard's shoes, er...toes... [In reply to] Can't Post

Three mysterious people show up in his forest -- a white wizard and two short guys -- without a whole lot of explanation.

Merry and Pippin tell him that they're good guys, but Treebeard has nothing to go on to be sure that's true. And this white wizard guy who's walking around doesn't know his name until after this scene -- right now, he looks like an old friend, but who knows?

What's an Ent to do? Well, maybe he decides to take the hobbits to "the white wizard" as a way to figure things out -- deliberately not naming Gandalf, until he's more sure of these guys.

And, by having the three of them interact, he'll be able to tell if Merry and Pippin are really ok, and see if Merry and Pippin will identify the white wizard as Gandalf.

We don't see it, but we can assume that they end up vouching for each other, and that seems to be good enough for Treebeard, because after this he's all about keeping Merry and Pippin safe and calls the wizard Gandalf and follows his lead.

(Or, the film maker may just have been trying to misdirect the audience to build up to Gandalf's arrival and everything else was just secondary to that point...Smile)



Oct 10 2012, 3:40pm

Post #3 of 6 (762 views)
I think they are setting up the scene in Isenguard [In reply to] Can't Post

where the company meet up with Merry and Pippin eating and smoking in the ruins. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas are meeting up with them after thinking them dead, but they have already met with Gandalf and Treebeard has given them orders to keep watch for them all. Its a shortcut. its better if they have already seen Gandalf and got over their surprise at seeing him as they thought him dead, this means that Aragorn Gimli and Legolas get the 'Reveal' scene. They are the ones to find out Gandalf is indeed alive, otherwise we would have had two big reveal scenes. Its also important that Aragorn gets this important scene. IMO.

Eye's on Guard

Oct 12 2012, 4:19am

Post #4 of 6 (728 views)
The threat is clearly presented [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
3. Also, did you even recognize the threat being presented at this point in the film? Was it clearly shown that Merry and Pippin were even facing what we suppose is Saruman?

As soon as Treebeard says "The White Wizard will know," Merry gasps, "Saruman." Then Treebeard drops them on the ground, they look up, and we see Gandalf from behind. A general viewer would probably realize the potential danger.

I guess they needed that scene based on what Elenorflower said, but IMO they could have ended with Merry's line.


Oct 12 2012, 9:11pm

Post #5 of 6 (706 views)
when you think about it [In reply to] Can't Post

its all a bit complicated at that point. Aragorn Legolas and Gimli think that Merry and Pippin are dead, or could possibly be dead. and they ALL think Gandalf is dead, and theres Saruman running about doing impersonations of Gandalf. phew! So they show Pippin and Merry meeting up with a 'white wizard' we (the audience) dont know yet that this is Gandalf come back from the dead, transformed and radiant. It leaves the main 'reveal' to Aragorn and the others. Aragorn had taken on the full responsibility of the Company when they had lost Gandalf in Moria, and now Gandalf is back to lead them again.


Oct 14 2012, 9:29pm

Post #6 of 6 (818 views)
Interesting scene [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess it could have been suspenseful to those unfamiliar with the books...I would imagine many, perhaps most, viewers had read the book and figured this was probably Gandalf. Not really sure how I feel about the inclusion of this scene. It's not that I dislike the scene, but here they added in something that didn't happen in the book, seems to serve little purpose, and left out tons of stuff that did happen in the book. TTT probably had the most deviations from the book that bothered me, and this is by no means one of the bigger ones, I'm just not sure how I feel about it.

If I may bring up a somewhat related point, it always bugged me how Gandalf never even asked about Sam! I think it was an EE scene where it just kind of comes up in the conversation, and Aragorn tells him Sam went with Frodo. Doesn't Gandalf care about Sam? In the book this comes up much sooner. Here Gandalf had a lot of time to ask about him, or even the details of Frodo's departure, and yet did not.

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


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