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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A continuing vexation over the seeming lack of reverance shown by Galadriel to Gandalf, despite her knowledge of what he is and her high esteem of him. I hope they will rectify this in the coming films.
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Feb 8 2013, 3:17pm

Post #51 of 56 (168 views)
Point well taken [In reply to] Can't Post

And of course one's reaction to this scene is also based on one's knowledge of etiquette. Technically the men are not supposed to be seated until all the women in the room are. So one might think that Gandfalf and Saruman are being disrespectful of Galadriel as they are seated and she is not.

Some other thoughts:
1. Gandlaf looks to me like he is greeting Galadriel like an old friend who frequently compliments her like this.
2. When he hears Saruman's voice it is clear he is unhappy. He greets Saruman in a distantly respectful even though Saruman is the "head of his order".
3. Christopher Lee is old and is probably sitting down as a necessity. If he is sitting then someone else needs to be seated to balance the scene.
4. Since we have already seen Saruman and Gandalf square off it makes sense that they would be seated opposite each other. Their seating arrangement foreshadows the battle to come.
5. From a cinematic and costuming perspective, what is the point of giving Galadriel that fabulous dress and have her seated during this scene?


Feb 8 2013, 4:30pm

Post #52 of 56 (161 views)
point 4 [In reply to] Can't Post

excellent. Visual symbol of conflict in the Order. Sitting across from Saruman is these circumstances is not a mark of honor but instead becomes the Hot Seat.

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.

The White Wizard
The Shire

Feb 9 2013, 2:23pm

Post #53 of 56 (148 views)
I hate that scene [In reply to] Can't Post

Since Gandalf is my favorite character, I've always disliked that scene. They should have made it like it was in the book, with the Witch-King flying off to fight the Rohan soldiers before any fighting between him nd Gandalf started. In fact, I always leave the room at that scene even when I saw it when it was back in theaters. I think another reason they did it was to make the odds against good seem even more hopeless, but I still think that they should not have done that scene like that.


Feb 9 2013, 3:32pm

Post #54 of 56 (141 views)
Theatrical need [In reply to] Can't Post

True I agree, it was an insertion to ramp up the jeopardy, especially for non-Tolkien fans, who don't know the outcomes. Plus since Gandalf had faced the Balrog with no fear, I think they had to present a later foe as more menacing to propel the story.

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.


Feb 9 2013, 11:25pm

Post #55 of 56 (133 views)
The "Nine Reasons Why" article on home page [In reply to] Can't Post

Read it today and could not help but picture you foaming at the mouth if any of those god-awful Gandalf catastrophies actually occured!!!.Smile Feeling rather lucky!

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.


Feb 10 2013, 1:36am

Post #56 of 56 (178 views)
I think you mistake the meaning of the complaint.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't expect Gandalf to behave in a commanding manner towards others either (though certainly at times he does), and I certainly don't expect him to command Galadriel. But neither should she seem to be constantly giving direction to him. If the Elves were more elevated than The Maiar, then no Maiar need have been sent. I would also say he is meek-mannered, often, rather than actually meek, which can imply relative powerlessness rather than merely a considerate and unassuming disposition.

I do not find it unreasonable that she would give advice to him either. Yet, the advising would NOT be one sided. My problem is not that she gives him advice, it is that she has yet to be seen taking any from him. Their are aspects of superiority in the relationship where there should not be, and they all seem one sidedly to favour Galadriel in the same way they did with Frodo and Aragorn. In those instances it was appropriate. Yet Galadriel should not be seen to relate to The Istari in the same manner in which she relates to Men and hobbits. And while I agree, Gandalf would not seek to demand any semblance of reverance from Galadriel, knowing what he is, and having a love and reverance for the Ainur, even though she disobeyed their wishes in following the pride which her uncle but not friend Feanor had stirred in her. Knowing what he was, and knowing how steadfast he was in the adherence to his mission and his commitment to the free peoples, she would have shown something of that deep respect for him. It is evinced in her desire for him to have lead The Council, and in her words to the fellowship which, sadly, only appear in the extended version and in the books. "Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf. . . those who followed him did not know his mind and cannot report his full purpose."

I don't want to see Galadriel bowing and scrapping before Gandalf. She wouldn't do it and he wouldn't want it. What I do want is for the writers of the film to make clear that he is not somehow of lower status than she, or in any way her subordinate and inferior. I would like to see more of them taking counsel together, and less of what could easily be construed as him taking direction.

In Reply To
Good point Sulime, the elves act completely different to their book counterparts. Yes they are grim and full of melancholy but they are almost equally full of mirth and childlike wonder. This dualism contributes to their non human and seemingly alien demeanor. They are like humans in some regard but mostly strange and react in extremes.

As for Gandalf, I believe part of his personality comes into play with his interactions. Being a humble spirit taking the guise of a wizened elderly fellow he embodies restrained wisdom and selfless pride. It is not in Gandalf's nature to dominate others or demand respect. However Galadriel is full of pride and as one of the Noldor more aligned with the personality and character as one of Aule in the vein of Sauron and Saruman.

Of course Gandalf is an "angelic" being but his true self is concealed for a specific purpose and intent. Do any angels or servants of higher beings demand reverence or adulation? Therefore Gandalf naturally assumes a position of subservience because he is in fact on a mission to assist the peoples of Middle Earth. In fact I would personally find fault in a reversed situation, I just could not imagine Gandalf commanding Galadriel or demonstrating an air of superiority, he is simply far too humble and meek an individual.

I know personally Olroin, you took serious offense with the way Gandalf was portrayed in the White Council scene but you shouldn't concern yourself with the interpretations of the common audience. The average moviegoer has little understanding of Tolkien mythos and there are many embellished scenes even in LOTR which fail to convey the depth or complexity of the story. The average person would see Arwen as possessing elemental power over water which we know is not the case. The average person would see Elrond as detached and jaded by suffering and loss to the point of angry possessiveness of his daughter which is so unlike his book counterpart. Most infuriatingly the average person thinks Sauron was invincible and was by freakish coincidence slain by a lucky Isildur but we know that it was Elendil and Gil-galad who was responsible. These changes exist and alter dynamics and nuances but can be reconciled with the lore. More importantly it is irrelevant what the general masses think of LOTR.

Obviously AinurOlorin you have a great deal of interest and intrigue for Gandalf, but you shouldn't let sentimental notions blind you to the greater picture of the White Council. If a hobbit can give a spiritual entity courage why can't one of the firstborn which has endured much more than a sheltered servant of a god give advise and counsel? Many times even the Valar have shown surprise and wonder at the firstborn's ability and capacity. It is not outside of reason to suggest that Galadriel and the Noldor know more of the enemy and the effects of its evil than the Maiar who have not been as personally affected. In terms of experience and knowledge on the subject it is possible Elrond and Galadriel are better positioned to assist the Istari in their chief objective, to help the free peoples deny and unturn Sauron.

"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."

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