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I have been convinced by Amarie and others to take my journal entries and post them. Though I am an old wizard, I am new to this, so be patient with me. Here is the first entry I made:

I am an English teacher and have read Tolkien's works to various audiences for over 30 years. I have studied the background to LOTR extensively and have written a paper on Tolkien's theological underpinning of his trilogy, the Silmarillion, etc. I have deliberately waited till I could view the extended DVD of RotK before saying anything about the last movie. The character portrayal by the actors is still good. I believe the actors were very well cast for their roles. The cinematography, effects, music, etc., are without equal, and I am sure all deserved their Oscars. But the alterations made in Tolkien's original story are very much objectionable in this movie, even more than these were in TTT.

My greatest objection is to the supposed meeting between Gandalf the White and the Witch-King of Angmar/Lord of the Nazgul. In the book, they meet just as the main gate is thrown down, and they are interrupted by the double events of Pippin informing Gandalf of the danger of Faramir and of the battle horns of the Rohirrim sounding. Instead of this, in the movie/DVD Gandalf meets Angmar on the battlements as the wizard is on his way to help Faramir. The Witch King raises his sword and causes Gandalf's white staff to burst asunder and then the wizard falls from Shadowfax. Not only should this make Tolkien fans bridle, but inexplicably Gandalf enters his last scene in the movie at the Grey Havens with his staff perfectly intact! So there is a two-sided logic problem here. Tolkien said that Gandalf was really a guardian angel. Think about it. He had defeated the Balrog--a demon of Morgoth--and had been sent back by Manwe to finish his task. He is a member of the Maiar, the equal of Sauron, though not hell-bent on domination as is Sauron. So how does he not have the power to withstand Angmar? In point of fact, Tolkien does not have these two power-clash because the outcome is a foregone conclusion--good must win. Rather, we must see to the end how Gandalf is able to inspire all the peoples of Middle Earth to oppose Sauron until the Ring is destroyed. But Jackson, who seems to need to be more blunt, makes them clash, with very illogical results. In the end, we are left to guess whether or not Gandalf used gorilla glue to fix his staff, since there it is, all in one piece, at the Havens!

I also did not like how Saruman was dealt with piecemeal, although it fit in with the Scouring of the Shire being completely missing. Jackson somehow wants to portray that the evils of war are confined to the battlefield, that they do not reach into the lives of those who fight and then make it back home. Tolkien knew better, having seen a real war himself. He deliberately wrote the Scouring to show how evil must be opposed in all its forms, not just the obvious ones.

Jackson may have had good intentions, as his work on the first movie indicates. But somewhere along the line he got sidetracked on his interpretations being on film rather than Tolkien's original story. In many respects, this movie trilogy is without equal, and it does do justice to the epic on some fronts. But especially in this last installment, Jackson falls utterly short of telling the story that was meant to be told by Tolkien. This is what Jackson said he wanted to do, but this is not what he did in the end.
It'd be easier to read if you space'd it (paragraphing). Smile Smilie
That is the brainiest post I'd read in AGES. Fancy having an English teacher on PT!!! Welcome to pt, I say, and well met!!! This must be the most genuine welcome I've given in ages!!!
I think I mentioned in another thread somewhere, that the meeting between Gandalf and the Witchking was something that disappointed me too. On the battlements I could accept, but just as I was expecting the Witchking to flee, he defeats Gandalf. Okay, without having Sauron as a lead enemy bad guy to play with, PJ needed to promote another in his place (because film-makers cannot get away from the concept that there has to be a powerful bad guy running amok). This was a travesty, however, and totally demeaned the power of Gandalf. Okay, in a fight, the Witchking could be expected to be a formidable opponent against any warrior, human or Elf, but not against a Maiar. I think PJ disappointed a lot of genuine fans just to keep a bunch of teenie-boppers on the edge of their seats.
Dear Gandalf-Olorin,

I am glad you did this. Thank you! As for the staffs.. it makes you wonder where on earth Gandalf finds them. If a staff is a lengthening & power tool of a wizard, it cannot be so easily remade. Unless there is a staffs-are-us on Arda that we are not aware off.

I always thought that it was not a confrontation on Maiar/ring wraith level, but that it was a battle between the two rings made by Celebrimbor. So I always approached this from that level: Gandalf's ring Narya vs. the Witch kingís ring: they single each other out or neutralize the powers.

Gandalf got the ring from Cirdan, to aid him during his important task on ME; the ring of the Witch king made him a powerful Nazgul. I am not sure if the WK is able to break Gandalf's staff in the book, but I recall them being in deadlock, until they got interrupted.

I am curious what you think of it.
It is ridiculous that the Witch-King was able to defeat Gandalf. Totally absurd. Glad i didn't see that.

As Gandalf the Grey was already able to fight off all of the NazgŻl at Weathertop and able to defeat a Balrog (with all respect, the Witch-King is as harmless as a lamb compared to a Balrog), and as Gandalf the White was made the chief of his order - so much more powerful than Gandalf the Grey, even Saruman, it is irrational that the Witch-King is able to trouble Gandalf the White at all.

I believe Gandalf the White could even have toppled Sauron himself, if he had been allowed to do so. An Eye for an Eye!
Thanks to all for their warm welcome! I must say it reminds me of parties in the Shire, it seems like a few ages ago....

Rhapsody in particular had a few comments that I need to speak to:

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"Dear Gandalf-Olorin,

"I am glad you did this. Thank you! As for the staffs.. it makes you wonder where on earth Gandalf finds them. If a staff is a lengthening & power tool of a wizard, it cannot be so easily remade. Unless there is a staffs-are-us on Arda that we are not aware off.

"I always thought that it was not a confrontation on Maiar/ring wraith level, but that it was a battle between the two rings made by Celebrimbor. So I always approached this from that level: Gandalf's ring Narya vs. the Witch kingís ring: they single each other out or neutralize the powers.

"Gandalf got the ring from Cirdan, to aid him during his important task on ME; the ring of the Witch king made him a powerful Nazgul. I am not sure if the WK is able to break Gandalf's staff in the book, but I recall them being in deadlock, until they got interrupted.

"I am curious what you think of it."


I do not believe this was a conflict of the two rings in question. Remember, the Three rings of the elven kings were made by Celebrimbor. They were not made for domination. But domination is what caused Sauron to make the One in Orodruin, and then "Celebrimbor was aware of him," and hid the Three from him. The Nine rings for mortal men became instruments of fear only by their connection to the One. Hence, the ring Narya is not meant to be an instrument of conquest, or in this case, of defense. Nor does Gandalf need such defense, as he cannot fear the servants of Sauron. Unlike the Noldor who had visited Valinor and had been perfected and made more powerful by that visit, Olorin came from Valinor and became Gandalf in his dealings with the kingdoms of the West of Middle Earth. Narya, like his staff, like Shadowfax, or like anything else, was an instrument, an aid, but not the source of his power. Consider also, the rings of themselves can do nothing. It is the ring as wielded by its bearer than can do good or ill. Since the Nazgul Lord's ring cannot affect Gandalf, and since Narya is not meant to force anyone into submission, I do not believe this was a contest of the rings.

No, indeed, in the book, Gandalf never lost his new staff to anyone. And remember, as Tolkien wrote it, Gandalf broke his staff on the Bridge of Khazad-dum, he did not suddenly drop it over the edge when the Balrog lassoed him. The symbolism is very typical and standard, i.e., the staff is the sign of his authority. No one but himself or his superior can do anything to his staff.

Also, if you remember the confrontation at the gate of Minas Tirith, just who Gandalf is seems to be hidden from Angmar. Yet Gandalf has no doubt of the authority he himself carries.

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"'You cannot enter here,' said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. 'Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!'

"The Black Rider flung back his hood...From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.

"'Old fool!' he said. 'Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!' and with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade. - RotK, Book 5, end of Chapter IV


Now, no one aware that the wizard is a Maia would call him "old" as Angmar does here. Nor would a Maia fear death, personified or not, especially a Maia who had been through death already once. So no command of the Nazgal can discomfit Gandalf. Notice that "flames ran down the blade," as it shows in the DVD, but Gandalf's staff was not affected. And then, "horns, horns, horns..." Gandalf did NOT move. Angmar withdrew from the gate and vanished.

Thanks for your feedback.

(Grondy merely added the above quote notations to better set apart Rhapsody's previous post and Tolkien's text from that of Gandalf-Olorin.)
I got a thought I haven't had before.

Elronds and Galadriels rings kept Rivendell and Lothlorien safe, preserving and putting the time on hold, making a good place for elves to live.

I have read here in the forum earlier a suggestion that Gandalf used the Ring of fire to 'inflame' people and encourage them to do what they had to do. But do you think its main purpose perhaps was to keep Gandalfs flame (or soul if you like) burning as strong and pure as it was when he got to ME? To help him stay strong and not fall for temptation like Saruman did?
Amarie,

What you are suggesting is not far-fetched. What makes me hesitate to say "that's it" absolutely is that I cannot recall offhand the details Tolkien gave about Olorin in the Unfinished Tales. My copy of this tome has eluded me now for several months. But I do recall the Appendices saying Cirdan gave Narya to Gandalf to inspire men in the fight against Sauron. So I would say secondarily, as an instrument to inflame others' courage, Narya could have helped Gandalf. But I could also say he derived this strength directly from his mission, from the authority given him by the Valar.

Does anyone have a copy of the Unfinished Tales? Maybe more details about Gandalf are there.
I think Narya merely helped him in his task of inspiring the free peoples of MIddle-Earth against Sauron. I believe in the Silmarillion it's mentioned that Olorin often visited Tirion to meet the Noldor and often put thoughts into the hearts of the Noldor (i don't remember the exact phrase), and often afterwards the Noldor would wonder where those thoughts came from.

I think he did pretty much the same at the end of the Third Age - like with Thťoden for instance.

There's indeed a lot of information about Gandalf in the chapter Istari in UT, but i don't have a copy with me now, unfortunately.

About Narya, if we compare this Ring to the other two, who are used to keep things unharmed and to stop the effect of time, maybe Gandalf used it to protect himself against corruption? Don't forget the Istari were all given the burden of the flesh : even if they were Maian spirits, they could be corrupted due to the mortal bodies they were in, and suffer disease, pain and grief.

Maybe Gandalf used Narya to keep himself focused on his task at all times, to prevent himself from going astray like Radagast and Saruman later on. Perhaps Narya was partly responsible for the fact that Gandalf was the only one of the Istari who did not fail (although it is unsure whether Alatar and Pallando failed), apart from the fact that he was the wisest of the Maiar.
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About Narya, if we compare this Ring to the other two, who are used to keep things unharmed and to stop the effect of time, maybe Gandalf used it to protect himself against corruption? Don't forget the Istari were all given the burden of the flesh : even if they were Maian spirits, they could be corrupted due to the mortal bodies they were in, and suffer disease, pain and grief.


I

Sauron and Saruman are quite good at 'inspiring' people too. Also Melian used her powers to confuse people who came too close to Doriath. It takes a lot of self controll to not force people to do things, even if you can. To guide and not command.

You can't inflame people unless you are on fire yourself, and unless that fire is pure, the result will be tainted.
When Cirdan gave Gandalf the ring, he said...

From UT
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"For," said he, "great labours and perils lie before you, and lest your task prove too great and wearisome, take this Ring for your aid and comfort. It was entrusted to me only to keep secret, and here on the West-shores it is idle; but I deem that in days ere long to come it should be in nobler hands than mine, that may wield it for the kindling of all hearts to courage."


I think it is clear that the Ring could help Gandalf kindle courage in his allies, but it would also aid him directly if his task became wearisome. I also believe the Ring helped Gandalf remain hidden from Sauron, just as he could not find Rivendell or Lothlorien.
Valedhelgwath, many thanks for finding that passage! I suspected that was the case. As I said, Narya was not to be used against the ring of Angmar. So we return to the confrontation in the DVD being way out of line with the whole mythos and its underpinning as laid out by Tolkien.

Now what I would like to know is, has Jackson tried to justify this, his baldest gaff? Does he know or care what the rest of us think about his tampering with this great work of literature?
What I wonder about is: What makes you so sure, that Gandalf was really superior to The WK?
I mean: Gandalf himself sais "He shall not find death by a man's hand" or something verry similar (Sorry, I don't have time to look it up right now). He sais that emphasizing (because he has a man's body) that he can not defeat the WK. Yet he trusts his own power to withstand long enough for other help to come, when he is standing in the broken gate of MT.
Still I don't believe that the WK could have broken Gandalfs staff. Perhaps he would have broken it himself (simmilar as with the Balrog).

So I was also furious, when the WK broke Gandalfs staff with the snick of his finger.
But as for the scene at the end, the staff can not only be viewed as a long piece of wood, but it is a symbol for Gandalfs power. When Gandalf destroyed Sarumans staff, he took his power away, and if (I say "if"!) the WK broke Gandalfs staff, he took Gandalfs power away. Now after sauron is defeated, and all is turning good, there is no reason, why Gandalf should not grow stronger again and thus regain his staff, as he did, when he came back from death....
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What I wonder about is: What makes you so sure, that Gandalf was really superior to The WK?
I mean: Gandalf himself sais "He shall not find death by a man's hand" or something verry similar

We had a great discussion about that topic in The Lord of the Rings >Death of the Witch-king (Click here). You should go there and take a look and add your own thoughts on the matter. Smile Smilie
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What I wonder about is: What makes you so sure, that Gandalf was really superior to The WK?
I mean: Gandalf himself sais "He shall not find death by a man's hand" or something verry similar

I think Gandalf the White could take on all 9 NazgŻl without a problem. Again : Gandalf the Grey fought off all 9 NazgŻl on Weathertop, and defeated a Balrog. This facts considered with the fact that his power was enhanced when he returned to Middle-Earth (whilst the NazgŻl's power did not enhance) makes me think Gandalf the White could take on anyone without much problem, safe perhaps Sauron himself.

Gandalf saying "He shall not fall by a man's hand" does NOT say that it is impossible for a man to kill the WK, it just says a man won't kill the WK. Big difference. I for me think that for instance Aragorn or Glorfindel (and of course, Arwen :-P ) could have killed the WK as well. I think this has been stressed in the "Death of the WK" thread as well.

We should not overestimate the WK : it's a sissy compared to a Balrog or one of the descendants of Ungoliant. If you don't fear the NazgŻl, they're pretty much harmless. Of course, you can't kill them without a Westernesse or any other special weapon but you can make them run/splash off with fire/water.
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his power was enhanced when he returned to Middle-Earth (whilst the NazgŻl's power did not enhance)

I believe also the Nazgķls power must have increased throughout the 2nd Book, as I don't think the WK was too stupid to recognize Gandalf as the one he had fought at weathertop.... Still, he too, remained confident....
Also: If Gandalf was even stronger than Sauron himself, why didn't he take one of the eagles and flew to Barad-dur to defeat Sauron himself,
Or to Orodruin taking Frodo along. It must have been easy then to guard him and the ring....
The only power increase the Nazgul got was new flying beasts, instead of their drowned horsies. Their power was the power of fear, and now they could fly.

WK fought Gandalf Grey on Weathertop, Gandalf White would be a whole other ballgame.

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Also: If Gandalf was even stronger than Sauron himself, why didn't he take one of the eagles and flew to Barad-dur to defeat Sauron himself,

Becuase that is not why he was here. And to defeat Sauron, he would have to get rid of the Ring, the Ring he didn't dare to touch. Even if he did travel with Frodo, the Ring would use all its power to make Gandalf take it, and I belive the Ring would have succeeded.

This was the free men of middle earths time to claim what was thiers, to prove that Erus last born children had grown up and was ready to take on some responsebility for this plantet.
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Also: If Gandalf was even stronger than Sauron himself, why didn't he take one of the eagles and flew to Barad-dur to defeat Sauron himself,

Because the Istari weren't allowed to confront Sauron directly; their task was only to guide the free peoples of Middle-Earth in their strife vs Sauron.

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I believe also the Nazgķls power must have increased throughout the 2nd Book, as I don't think the WK was too stupid to recognize Gandalf as the one he had fought at weathertop.... Still, he too, remained confident....

He was overconfident/plain arrogant as he thought he was victorious + the fact that he himself believed that no man could kill him. Something evil doesn't seem to have, is modesty; they all think they're invincible and impregnable and this always leads to their downfall.

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The only power increase the Nazgul got was new flying beasts, instead of their drowned horsies. Their power was the power of fear, and now they could fly.

The NazgŻl's power would only enhance when Sauron would put his One Ring back on.
I'm tired of commenting on the movies. (I don't mean to say that noone else should.) They are beautiful, fun and shallow.

Much of what I would say about Gandalf has already been said here. I do want to point out one thing.

When I read the Silmarillion, I am particularly moved by the Valier Nienna, the one who mourns and imparts strength and hope in adversity. It is written that Olorin (Gandalf), the Maiar would most often go to Nienna of whom he learned pity and patience. I had already read LOTR many times by the time I read the Silmarillion. Reading of Nienna and Olorin illuminated Gandalf for me in an instant.

As I recall, the Maiar Saruman learned rather from Manwe, therefore attending rather to lordship. There might be a lesson here that while both lordship and pity are fit for the Valar; with the humans in Middengeard, Middle Earth, pity is better.
It would seem that Saruman learned neither lordship nor pity. True lordship, i.e., the right to rule, includes care for those over whom one is lord. Tolkien knew this well, and gave this principle life in Aragorn when he healed. It is also in Gandalf when he guided, encouraged, befriended, and cared deeply for those in his charge.
It's striking that Saruman and Sauron, both Maiar of AulŽ's, went astray... let's go Freudian and blame it all on AulŽ's bad parenting!

Anyway, Saruman never had any right to have lordship over anyone. This wasn't the Istari's mission. Maybe it isn't surprising that Saruman went astray : he literally spent 1000s of years in his ivory tower of Orthanc, brooding over Sauron's schemes and works, only to come out to act as president of the White Council when they had a meeting.

He never tried to understand the peoples of Middle-Earth like Gandalf did : he just saw them as pawns in a grand game of chess between him and Sauron. In the end, there wasn't much difference between him and Sauron.

Saruman was proud, pedantic and narrow-minded (see the "pipeweed-incident" mentioned in UT). The Valar should've sent someone else. Very bad judgement from AulŽ.
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As I recall, the Maiar Saruman learned rather from Manwe, therefore attending rather to lordship. There might be a lesson here that while both lordship and pity are fit for the Valar; with the humans in Middengeard, Middle Earth, pity is better.

I would say that learning different views on things is better, Gandalf was so wise because he learned from several Valar. They are a team, it is the ballance between then that makes them great and it is the ballance between what Gandalf has learned that makes him great.
Not to mention, Gandalf wanted to learn because he was the wisest of the Maiar. Saruman and Sauron didn't.

As i recall, Saruman learned nothing from ManwŽ, but from AulŽ, just like Sauron. Gandalf learnt from ManwŽ, but also often visited Nienna (whether for learning or for something else, i do not know).
I did a quick check on Gandalf/Olorin and Saruman. I guess I was wrong about Saruman and Manwe, but I could not find a Saruman/Aule connection either. I didn't spend a lot of time on it.

I did find Olorin/Gandalf dwelt in Lorien in Valinor and was a counselor of Irmo, master of dreams and visions, in addition to his attendance upon the influence of Nienna.

If the Aule connection is correct, it is as Virumor noted, Aule's folk, Saruman and Sauron who went astray. For that matter, among the faithful Valar, Aule came closest to Sin in his making of the Dwarves. There is a special temptation to those who make things, a pride, a Pride.
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I did a quick check on Gandalf/Olorin and Saruman. I guess I was wrong about Saruman and Manwe, but I could not find a Saruman/Aule connection either. I didn't spend a lot of time on it.

I believe you can find this information in chapter "Istari" in UT.

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If the Aule connection is correct, it is as Virumor noted, Aule's folk, Saruman and Sauron who went astray. For that matter, among the faithful Valar, Aule came closest to Sin in his making of the Dwarves. There is a special temptation to those who make things, a pride, a Pride.

Morgoth was also a creator like AulŽ, but the difference between them is that AulŽ didn't want dominion over the things he created, unlike Morgoth. Sauron and Saruman also wanted dominion - but in the beginning Sauron wasn't evil as well, so his talent to create was probably 'turned' evil by Morgoth.

Concerning Saruman, maybe the reason he was turned was primarily domination, total mind control by Sauron. Let's give the "fool of many colours" the benefit of the doubt for once.
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Concerning Saruman, maybe the reason he was turned was primarily domination, total mind control by Sauron. Let's give the "fool of many colours" the benefit of the doubt for once.
Also, we know not when Saruman first looked into the Palantir of Orthanc but I imagine his moral decline started on its downward spiral about the first time he took a peek at Barad-dur. Serching Smilie
But it would appear the Jackson had none of these thoughts in putting together that infamous scene in RotK. I do not think it inappropriate--since we have been talking about the book as opposed to the movie--to enter here my journal entry "Tolkien's angels":

It is an ancient teaching that there is a hierarchy in heaven of the choirs and orders of angels. We are taught by many sacred writers that various parts of creation, as the sun and moon, have been put in the charge of these different orders of angels. The nations of the earth are also given guardians from a specific order of angelic spirits. The Ainur which Tolkien introduces in the early part of The Silmarillion, are in no wise shown to be on the same level with Eru Iluvatar, the name he has chosen for God. These spirits, within the story that Tolkien has crafted, become the Valar who rule the earth (Arda) in the name of Eru (the One). The character of Gandalf the wizard is hardly a mere sorcerer. He is seen throughout the trilogy to guide, to advise, to encourage, to have great power which cannot be used to force the will of lesser beings. "Tolkien privately admitted ...that 'Gandalf is an angel'" [Daniel Grotta-Kurska, J.R.R. Tolkien: Archiect of Middle-earth (New York: Warner Books, 1976), p. 139].
I don't quite see what this has to do with the discussion. Nor is religious topics or comments allowed on this forum, so we are all skating on thin ice now. I am not even sure I should reply to this. The other CM will let me know if I am out of line.
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"Tolkien privately admitted ...that 'Gandalf is an angel'"

Exactly. Privately. He would never have said so in public. Gandalf isn't an angel. He is a Maia. And the hierarchy of angels can easily be likened to the gods and creatures of Greek/Roman mythology, and of Norse mythology and others that I don't know about. Tolkien didn't write a Christian story, he created a long time forgotten religion and mythology based on mythologies from all over the world. If you only look at the parts that may or may not be taken from Christianity, you loose so much and you will be ignoring a HUGE part of Tolkiens knowledge, inspiration and interests.

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He is seen throughout the trilogy to guide, to advise, to encourage, to have great power which cannot be used to force the will of lesser beings.

Ahhh, but he can, that is what we have been talking about in here. Gandalf COULD force his will on people, like Saruman could, like Sauron could, like Melian could, but he DIDN'T. That is (part of) what makes him so special. Happy Elf Smilie
Grev is coming to Gandalf-Olorins rescue on MSN, saying G-O probably gives Gandalf a role as a guardian angel of ME. Being like an angel is of course something different from being an angel. And from a Christian point of view Gandalf does look like a guardian angel in some ways, I am just trying to say that there is more to Tolkiens world than Christianity.

Apparently I sound mean and provoking in my posts. I don't mean to. That is not the 'voice' I have when I write it, but if that is the way it sounds: I'm sorry. Sad Smilie

I just want to share my views, listen to other peoples views, discuss and learn. Read Smilie
Angels aren't the sole property of Christianity and as such any discussion them in conjunction with Gandalf is fine. Besides IMHO we may discuss religion as it applies to and in comparison to Tolkien's world, we may not discuss one of our world's religion in comparison to another, nor may we proselytize. Unless of course I have misunderstood our rules.
I am sorry to have stuck my staff into an anthill. But Tolkien was Catholic, and his views on his religion are now very public, and these he planned (during long conversations with C.S. Lewis) to write his own "myth" about. So when Tolkien says Gandalf is an angel, he means just that. Granted he had expertise in ancient languages and mythologies. But his theme and his character portrayal are quite Christian, and that deliberately so.

If I am breaking the Rules, then I will withdraw from PT. But my observations are based on my research and reading of Tolkien over the last 35 years. My apologies to all for having stepped on anyone's toes.
Please don't quit, Gandalf. I do wish to get into this discussion but I am at work and cannot atm. I have been working 13 hour days all week but I plan to post tomorrow.
I know, off topic. I will overwrite this with my proper post.
We do have strict rules on religious discussions here at Planet Tolkien, but as Grondy mentioned earlier, what is being discussed here does not breach them. Discussing religion within the context of JJR's work is fine as it is still a Tolkien discussion.

Problems arise when religion in general is discussed, however, as we found from bitter experience in the past, when such discussions rapidly became upsetting to certain members. With such a large multi-national and cultured membership one person's views on such subjects are frequently upsetting to others. After one particular discussion became overheated a few years back, Taz decided to the best step forward was to totally ban religious and political discussions from these boards.

All that being said, CMs do tend to pay particular attention to threads such as these as they do have a habit of slipping from Tolkien_Religion themes to ones purely about religion. Once that happens, we send in the Viking's, all guns blazing, to slaughter all perpetrators.

Oh, and please don't leave G-O. Your experience is more than welcome here.
Gandalf-olorin: The Council has gentlyóso as to remain in the good graces of Gnampieóbrushed the ants from your staff; and have requested the continuance of the discussion. Happy Elf Smilie
You are all most kind, and I feel very welcome to discuss Tolkien here. I am unfortunately hampered at the present time from making posts or journal entries due to my duties as teacher, parent, and listowner of other lists. But by all means, let everyone else keep talking. I will check in as often as I can. So expect me when you see me!
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So when Tolkien says Gandalf is an angel, he means just that.


Of course Gandalf was an angel, or at least the equivalent in our religious beliefs to an angel.

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A divine messenger: a ministering spirit: an attendant or guardian spirit: a person possessing the qualities attributed to these - gentleness, purity etc:...

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

Gandalf was all of those.

Tolkien was religious as we know. His letters mention 'guardian angels' a number of times in regard to his own life and beliefs. He uses his own experience and beliefs and weaves them into the fabric of his stories. Gandalf wasn't a Catholic angel or a Christian angel or a Hindu angel or even a Babylon 5 angel; he was an angel of Eru - a Maia - and as such fulfilled his destiny.

There was a discussion about Gandalf and the Istari which I think encompassed this subject but I can't find the thread but it was mentioned that Tolkien referred to angels and 'angelic beings' in his Letters and to Gandalf in particular -

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But G. is not, of course, a human being.... I wd. venture to say that he was an incarnate 'angel' ... an emissary from the Lords of the West...

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Apparently I sound mean and provoking in my posts. I don't mean to. That is not the 'voice' I have when I write it, but if that is the way it sounds: I'm sorry.

I just want to share my views, listen to other peoples views, discuss and learn.


{{{Hugs}}} for Amarie: there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just share your viewpoints. I love reading them and they make me see matters from a different perspective!

Regarding the two rings... Yes here I go again. Celebrimbor made both. He put all of his craft in it making them. The only thing that made the elven rings different was that they remained untouched by Sauron. But given the power of Noldor jewels: I would say that both are equal in power, but have a different functionality. They might single each other out, but what I meant to say, The WK's ring had the same power as Gandalf's and both were subordinated to the One Ring. The WK serving Sauron and being a tool of him... that would be an intriguing aspect to look at.

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Virumor wrote:
It's striking that Saruman and Sauron, both Maiar of AulŽ's, went astray... let's go Freudian and blame it all on AulŽ's bad parenting!


Agreed!!!
Awww, thank you Rhapsy. I needed that. Smile Smilie

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They might single each other out

I picture an endless tug-o-war between the two rings which might go on forever. (And be very boring to watch.) Hard to say though. But the other nazguls and their rings would soon come to aid I suppose... Nazguls don't play fair. Wink Smilie

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let's go Freudian and blame it all on AulŽ's bad parenting!

I blame the educational system, I am sure they and Feanor had ADHD and noone was there to give them medication and the follow up they needed.
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Awww, thank you Rhapsy. I needed that.


You are welcome! Chocolate? Wink Smilie

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They might single each other out


I picture an endless tug-o-war between the two rings which might go on forever. (And be very boring to watch.) Hard to say though.


I know! But those things were powerful!
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But the other nazguls and their rings would soon come to aid I suppose... Nazguls don't play fair.


I don't think so! All honour is gone and they have fell beasts as well

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let's go Freudian and blame it all on AulŽ's bad parenting!


I blame the educational system, I am sure they and Feanor had ADHD and noone was there to give them medication and the follow up they needed.


*Starts to giggle uncontrollably* Feanor was just very high maintance. But it makes you wonder. AulŽ created the Dwarves.. and they are quite unruly Smile Smilie Special, yes! I believe AulŽ had a fiery temper himself Smile Smilie
If we are continuing to picture to ourselves how it would have fallen out within Tolkien's "little world," then I don't think a "contest" of rings is at all plausible. We need to judge by what our author has already set down. Even when Tolkien has such characters meet, it is the character which dominates the scene, not the ring. Only the One Ring is the exception to this. So, as someone has succinctly pointed out, Gandalf had already faced most or all the the Wraiths on Weathertop, even before his transformation. He would certainly have managed against Angmar, despite Jackson's rendition otherwise. Also keep in mind, Tolkien did NOT let us know that Gandalf possessed Narya until all was over and done. So I don't think any contest of rings was at all important to him.
I was one who read the books after viewing all 3 movies. I was too a little upset over the movies not including the "Scouring of the Shire". It was such an interesting chapter of the book. I could visualize the scenes...and it would have been great to see the destruction as well as the "tidying up" of the Shire. It was an important part that I feel was left out. BUT, this is the only part that I can say I've truly missed not seeing in the movies. I enjoyed the books as much as the movies. After all, it was the movies that originally got my attention..it was the movies that made me run out and get the books. I watched the movies over while reading each chapter of the books...comparing them, trying to reach complete understanding of each sequence. Some were easier than others. I have no favorite...i love them both equally. I wish there were study sessions in here again...I joined late and it seems they have all disappeared. It would be great to discuss the book...chapter by chapter.
The point is, I hope, that Jackson should have been more accurate to the book. I have acknowledged up front the excellencies of his movies. But the shortcomings are considerable. If he hears from enough of the Tolkien "fan base," perhaps in the future he will be more concerned with staying with the author's text than with his own theories. There were rumors floating on other lists that a Hobbit movie was being considered. I don't think it is the works right now--but who knows what may happen in the next few years? If Jackson takes up this project, we must see to it as much as we can that he films a more accurate movie than before.
I keep trying to post a link but it's messing up the formatting.

Here it is

Hobbit
Well, guess what I'm doing? Instead of seeing a movie hobbit, I'm going to see the stage show Auckland soon!!! But all I can say, after seeing the leaflet, is that I hope they spent all their money on the acting and all that. Cause the costumes are REALLY bad. Except Bilbo's, which is cool. But Gandalf's... and the trolls and goblins have to take the cake. The goblins are little round rocky balls, with heads, hands, and feet poking out. But I haven't seen Smaug.
I am hopeful that our PJ will do a better rendition with the HObbit, because it's SHORTER. You see, loads of his excuses (I read some in a book) were all about "we didn't have time, so I decided to change this, and skip that" (and of course he actually added in as much as he took out, he never mentioned THAT) and hopefully he'll be like "The HObbit's short enough already, so I'll just do a better rendition." I've decided to give him the benefit of a doubt.