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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Gandalf's Beard !


Jan 12 2008, 10:44am

Post #1 of 7 (359 views)
Gandalf's Beard ! Can't Post

All right, some of you may tell me I am being petty. Yet I have an abiding bond to Gandalf. When production starts, you may rest assured I will bring my concerns about aspects of his magic having been wrongly diminished or deleted from LOTR to the fore, in desprate hopes that is magic in The Hobbit will be exaclty as Tolkien described it, fearsome blue explosions et al.

Next to the magic, what bugged me most. You guessed it. The BEARD. I loved Mckellen in the role, and look forward to his return, but I post this just in case the cosmotologists (Peter King and Peter Weiss, I believe) get any ideas about having him show up with that goatee lengthed travesty from ROTK.

It needs to be at least as long and full as its FULLEST and LONGEST shots in Fellowship (namely, when he is standing beside Saruman over the Palantir, and when he first comes back through the door of Bag End and spies the ring, after seeing Bilbo out and onto the road. Really I'd like to see it a few inches longer. I don't expect the three foot beard, I know thats alot to work with, considering all his action. Yet a few inches (say just past the navel at least) won't make a big difference in hamering his movements, but can have a HUGE visual impact.

It nagged me no end in scens where his beard looked shoddy. When he read the rings inscription to Frodo, and it was all parted and straggly, I thought, Pirate"Dear God! Thorin's curse has come to pass! Gandalf's beard has withered!"Frown

The other night I was re-reading through one of the making of books, and hit this point where the above mentioned hair-artists were yakking about how they wanted a shorter beard to avoid caricature ( I came away with the feeling that they just had something against massive beards!). " We didn't want Father Christmas in The Movie" Unimpressed. . . . . . . . . . . . .BUT GANDALF IS PARTLY CHARACTERIZED BY HIS GREAT, SWEEPING BEARD!Mad I was aghast. I tossed in turned all night, in what can best be described in the dialect of rural southerners ( no offense ) as a Shocked"Lawd have mercy child!"Shocked moment. I Fumed, Fumed, FUUUMEDMadMadMad.

It was endemic of my key problem with the films. I loved them, but the place in them that most bothered me, as with the beard and Gandalf's fire spells, were not the major omissions like Bombadil, which I understood, nor the appendix additions like Arwen's scene with Elrond, which I loved. Rather it was needless omissions, like that of Galadriels words explaining why Frodos coming was a footstep of doom to the Elves. . . and those places where it seemed Peter Jackson, or other members of his team, seem to have blatantly decided "CoolWe don't give a rat's arse what Tolkien said, we want it this way, which is better, and we are going to change it.". . .MadCrazyMad I.E. Jackson dislikes ostentatious magic, so out with the fire wizardry Gandalf is famed for, or the film stylists disdain lengthy beards, so lets ignore the fact that Tolkien clearly states that Gandalf's beard hung below his waist. ARRRRRRRRRRR!

I don't expect them to make Gandalf's beard (and certainly not his hair) as long as Richard Harris's Dumbledore beard in the first pair of potter movies. But it should at least be long enough that if he pulled his hat completely over his face, the beard would still hang well below the hat's broad brim. AND IT SHOULD NEVER LOOK STRAGGLEY.

"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."

Registered User

Jan 12 2008, 11:02am

Post #2 of 7 (179 views)
Yeah .. [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't all that thrilled with it. . but then I remember that though it was supposed to be a little longer, there was no mention of it being in any decent groomed shape. I think we have to see the movie Gandalf as weather worn and tired sometimes, as such his appearence suffers. I think McKellen envisioned Gandalf sleeping *rough* on his travels- which might have contributed.


Jan 12 2008, 5:18pm

Post #3 of 7 (167 views)
Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

They had to change some aspects of his appearance as described.
Were his eyebrows supposed to be so large they overshot the brim of his hat?!!!??
Or do I disremember the description?




Jan 12 2008, 10:22pm

Post #4 of 7 (148 views)
In the scene you're describing [In reply to] Can't Post

when Gandalf reads the inscription, he's just come back from Minas Tirith after reading about the Ring. If you look, his clothes are muddy and he's extremely anxious. He's supposed to be scraggly.

If you look before that scene after Bilbo's party and Gandalf and Bilbo are in Bag End, Gandalf's beard is neatly combed and brought to a point at the bottom... his effort to clean up for such a special occasion.

You won't be seeing the short beard he had as Gandalf the White (which I didn't care for either), but I was happy with the look of Gandalf the Grey. Actually, I like him better than Gandalf the White specifically because of his scraggliness ;)

I'm thinking The Hobbit Gandalf's beard will be the same as FotR's beard for continuity's sake... at least I hope so :)

sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

TORn's Observations Lists


Jan 13 2008, 4:32am

Post #5 of 7 (141 views)
"Merlin's Beard!" [In reply to] Can't Post

oops, wrong series...moving on.Sly

Tol Eressea

Jan 13 2008, 4:59am

Post #6 of 7 (135 views)
Lions and Tigers and Beards Oh My! [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I'm not dissin' your right to want a better beard, but I honestly didn't even notice. I'm definitely more with ya on the Gandalf magic issue. I expect fire and lightning, yeah baby yeah! On a side note, I'm glad they didn't get true to the book regarding the eyebrows. That is fer sure something that only works in the book.

Great, where are we going?


Jan 13 2008, 8:57am

Post #7 of 7 (184 views)
I agree about the Eyebrows. That would have either required a much smaller hat [In reply to] Can't Post

or. . . well, it would have looked ridiculous if his eyebrows stuck out further than that huge hat. But That, like the omission of Bombadil, would have been a change that made sense, as it would have been ludicrous otherwise. Even Howe, Lee, Nasmith and Hague never drew the eyebrows beyond reason. But The Long beard has come to be synonymous with Gandalf.

And I understand that he should have looked somewhat bedraggled after returning to the Shire (and I was ALMOST pleased with the beard he sported during his arguement with Bilbo, and in the moment when he warned Saruman against using The Palintir. My problem wasn't that the beard looked unkept in that scene, it was that it looked too thin and too short.

I don't expect it too bee the three foot conversation piece that it is in some of Howe's drawing. But half of three feet, and a little below the navel sounds good to me. If it is six inches longer, and is fuller from the start of The Hobbit until Thorin curses it to wither, and there after it is the beard we saw in Fellowship. . . well, then I will understand. LOL

If, throughout the film, it is at least as long and thick as its best moments in Fellowship, I will be okay. But when it is too short (as God knows it was in ROTK). . . it kind of takes me out of the moment. I didn't have, as I said, Agent Smith moments with Hugo Weaving. I knew who he was, but when I saw him as Elrond, I said "he looks the part, and he is acting it well" and that was enough for me. I enjoyed the good job he did in the role he was playing, and refused to dwell on other parts he had played. But every time I looked at that goatee, as much as I enjoyed Mckellen's portrayl overall, there was a part of me that said. . . "Upmf. . . that beard ain't right! Where is the rest of his Beard." For those of you who think it immaterial. . . well just imagine how you will feel if Thorin shows up. . . CLEAN SHAVEN! lol

And 5x5 you KNOW I expect that blue flame and lightning. If Gandalf runs into the great goblins through the front entrance, lair swinging his staff and sword, and puts out the fire by throwing his cloak on top of it, and then running over and simply stabbing the goblin king, no blue smoke, no burning beams, nothing but a war cry. . . I will have to fight SOMEBODY. HE is a Wizard, not a derned Samuari. I don't mind him having ninja warrior skills as well, but her darn well better have his magic displayed appropriately first!

"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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