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So Tolkien wanted Gandalf with a soft f but wrote it with and hard f because the english woundn't pronounce it right? It doesn't sound like Tolkien to me! But if he did it so the kiddies who reads the hobbit shall get the name as correct as possible, then I can understand. In Norwegian the soft-f comes natural in names like Leiv Eriksson (the viking who discovered Amarica), while the word "leiv" has a v-sound not an f-sound.

Love how he based Quenya and Sindarin on finnish (among other), it makes it quite easy to get the elven-pronounciations right for me. (Except for some strange h-sounds that varies from what vocals it stands next to) Big Laugh Smilie

[Redigert den 6/11/2002 av Amarië]
WOW! she must be a gandalf girl! lol Just go to a website and find a pic. of Ian Mclellan.Theres got to be lots!
Frodo34 posted on 17/12/2003 at 22:13 under the Ivy Bush Tavern
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Why is Gandalf so old? Why can't he be young like the rest of the Fellowship?
Grondmaster's response of today is:

IMHO it is to instill trust in those whom he is trying to sweet-talk into helping him make the world a better place by ridding it of Sauron.

The old are more often wiser than the young, having had more time to learn from their many mistakes. Bilbo, Frodo, Aragorn, King Theoden, et al wouldn't have trusted a pretty young face. Their response to his advice probably would have been, "What does he know, he hasn't even been around the block yet."

Therefore, when Olórin (Gandalf) came to Middle-earth from Valinor, about 2000 years before Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday party, he adopted the guise of an old man. Teacher Smilie
';'''?.m,mn,mnm,

[Edited on 18/12/2003 by Frodo34]
On Tuesday I attended a very good lecture of the efefcts of aging on human brain. It was brilliant, among others, I learned one finr proverb: "As they age, the wise become even wiser, and the fools become even more foolish"!
Good one Eryan, i liked that.

I agree with Grondy about the fact that it's easier for older people to convince others. Right Grondy ? Wink Smilie
This seems to be a thread about Gandalf...but there seems to be quite a bit on it about things other than the wizard. So I hope it will be appropriate to post here my answer to something Virumor said elsewhere.

Virumor mentioned that there was no more powerful Maia in ME than Sauron, until Gandalf arrived. I assume he meant until the Istari arrived, for they were all Maiar. But the point is, they took the form of old men. Remember that Gandalf told the Balrog he was "wielder of the flame of Anor"? The Balrog didn't know whom he was dealing with. I think, from what I can gather in LOTR, that Sauron was not aware of the real identity of these wizards. Sauron certainly knew a lot, but he was not omniscient. I think this is borne out by Angmar's words to the effect that they had been watching him "wander"--but they did not really understand what Gandalf was all about. Perhaps this was part of the reason the Istari were disguised as old men...They appeared no more than that, and the Enemy could not see through their guise either.

As has been discussed elsewhere, there is no question of a direct confrontation between Gandalf and Sauron. That is just not how things worked. Elsewhere also, I reviewed ROTK and gave my reasons why Gandalf could not have been overcome by Angmar.
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Virumor mentioned that there was no more powerful Maia in ME than Sauron, until Gandalf arrived. I assume he meant until the Istari arrived, for they were all Maiar.

I think I said 'perhaps until Gandalf the White arrived'. Important nuance.

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The Balrog didn't know whom he was dealing with. I think, from what I can gather in LOTR, that Sauron was not aware of the real identity of these wizards.

Perhaps, perhaps not. When Saruman came under Sauron's dominion through the Palantír, though, it is possible that Sauron learnt everything he wanted to know abut the Istari and their mission, including their real identity.
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When Saruman came under Sauron's dominion through the Palantír, though, it is possible that Sauron learnt everything he wanted to know abut the Istari and their mission, including their real identity.
But as Sauron was able to so easily overcome Saruman's scruples and gather him into the fold, he didn't worry about the others knowing from back in the old days that Curunir (Curumo, aka Saruman) was the greatest among Aiwedil (aka Radagast), Alatar, Pallando, and Olórin (aka Mithrander, Gandalf). He ignored them as being mere midges in the midst of the mist surrounding his machinations.
Saruman wasn't utterly dominated by Sauron though, correct? Hence his centuries searching for the Ring: "yes, Master, I'm diligently searching high and low for you Talisam to return you to power actually, I'll have it myself, and that tattered remnants of your soul with it, before you even hear of "Hobbits," you senile old fool."

I also recall UT saying the wizards aged slowly, but became old. Remember, they arrived in Middle-earth just a thousand years after Sauron suffered the destruction of his pleasing form in Atalante and then his body proper to the Last Alliance. They had time to acquire "the look."
I agree, Morambar. Saruman may have found that he could not use the palantir without having to kowtow to Sauron. But he was quite capable of playing the role of double agent. He could deceive his new "master" as well as the West and play things the way he wanted--at least as far as he thought he could. I think this is the gist of what Gandalf was saying about him in TTT.

I also have my doubts that Sauron could really dominate another Maia, even through the palantir. He could control what Saruman saw, but not his mind. He could cow a wizard maybe, but not really overthrow his head. And remember that the palantiri didn't belong to Sauron or the wizards at all--they belonged to the heirs of Numenor. Aragorn wrested the Orthanc Stone from Sauron and made Sauron afraid by showing him Anduril--forced Sauron to strike wildly and make war prematurely. So I don't think Saruman was really in Sauron's power at all. I think he was using Sauron as Sauron was using him.
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The Balrog didn't know whom he was dealing with. I think, from what I can gather in LOTR, that Sauron was not aware of the real identity of these wizards.

Perhaps, perhaps not. When Saruman came under Sauron's dominion through the Palantír, though, it is possible that Sauron learnt everything he wanted to know abut the Istari and their mission, including their real identity.


I think by the time of the War of the Ring Sauron was aware of who the Istari were. I think this, however, showed the importance of Gandalf wearing Narya. Galadrial told Frodo that the Eye frequently searched for her and Lorien, but was unable to find her due to her ring. Elrond's ring similarly kept Rivendell hidden. I think in the case of Gandalf, Sauron would have heard whispers of some powerful person pulling the West together, and even see the effects, but Gandalf himself was hidden from his scrying. Whereas Sauron would most likely recognise Saruman to be Curumo, he would not be aware that Gandalf was Olorin.

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I also recall UT saying the wizards aged slowly, but became old. Remember, they arrived in Middle-earth just a thousand years after Sauron suffered the destruction of his pleasing form in Atalante and then his body proper to the Last Alliance. They had time to acquire "the look."


I think they arrived in Middle Earth already in the guise of old men.
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Whereas Sauron would most likely recognise Saruman to be Curumo, he would not be aware that Gandalf was Olorin.

Saruman would've revealed the identity of the Istari to Sauron, or Sauron would've read it in Saruman's mind.

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I also have my doubts that Sauron could really dominate another Maia, even through the palantir.

A Maia can be dominated by any other Maia who is more powerful. Gandalf the White forced Saruman to stay on the balcony when the latter wanted to leave. That's domination:
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He turned and left the balcony.
'Come back, Saruman!' said Gandalf in a commanding voice. To the amazement of the others, Saruman turned again. and as if dragged against his will, he came slowly back to the iron rail, leaning on it, breathing hard. His face was lined and shrunken. His hand clutched his heavy black staff like a claw.
'I did not give you leave to go,' said Gandalf sternly. 'I have not finished


Furthermore, Gandalf described that Saruman was forced by Sauron to have meetings through the Palantir:
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'Easy it is now to guess how quickly the roving eye of Saruman was trapped and held; and how ever since he has been persuaded from afar, and daunted when persuasion would not serve. The biter bit, the hawk under the eagle's foot, the spider in a steel web! How long, I wonder, has he been constrained to come often to his glass for inspection and instruction, and the Orthanc-stone so bent towards Barad-dûr that, if any save a will of adamant now looks into it, it will bear his mind and sight swiftly thither?


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He could deceive his new "master" as well as the West and play things the way he wanted--at least as far as he thought he could.

He thought he could, though Sauron knew everything - as Grishnákh indicates in TTT:
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'You have spoken more than enough, Uglúk,' sneered the evil voice. 'I wonder how they would like it in Lugbúrz. They might think that Uglúk's shoulders needed relieving of a swollen head. They might ask where his strange ideas came from. Did they come from Saruman, perhaps? Who does he think he is, setting up on his own with his filthy white badges? They might agree with me, with Grishnákh their trusted messenger; and I Grishnákh say this: Saruman is a fool. and a dirty treacherous fool. But the Great Eye is on him.
i agree with Gandalf-Olorin that it is more likely Saruman was pitting himself against Sauron rather than becoming Sauron's servant. And it probably wasn't Sauron who corrupted Saruman, rather he fell victim to the weakness of his human guise. I doubt that Sauron managed to control Saruman enough to find out who he was otherwise he would not have ignored Gandalf and would not have allowed Saruman to gain such power.

Tolkien's letters say:

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Their origin was not known to any but a few (such as Elrond and Galadriel) in the Third Age.


Cirdan knew (or had a good idea) but if Sauron knew then I think he would have been mentioned alongside Elrond and Galadriel.

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...their proper function, maintained by Gandalf, and perverted by Saruman, was to encourage and bring out the native powers of the Enemies of Sauron.


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...these 'wizards' were incarnated in the life-forms of Middle-earth, and so suffered the pains both of mind and body. They were also, for the same reason, thus involved in the peril of the incarnate: the possibility of 'fall', of sin, if you will. The chief form this would take with them would be impatience, leading to the desire to force others to make their own good ends, and so inevitably at last to mere desire to make their own wills effective by any means. To this evil Saruman succumbed. Gandalf did not.


Saruman was corrupted because he was 'human' not because Sauron got to him, although that probably helped. His will was simply not strong enough to endure human frailty but were his intentions evil? He was one of the Istari and one supposes the Valar would not have chosen one who harbours evil thoughts and plans. He was probably well intentioned in the beginning and, as Tolkien says above, it was impatience that would be his undoing out of a desire to do the right thing.

There is also a footnote regarding Sauron's 'immortal (angelic) spirit'.

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Of the same kind as Gandalf and Saruman, but of a far highter order.




Hmmm... having read what Vir said about Saruman and the Palantir I wonder that maybe Sauron's influence over Saruman may have been greater than I thought. Certainly it seems to have grown from when Saruman finally made contact with Barad-dur.

However, it may have been mere conjecture on Gandalf's part.

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I wonder, has he been contrained to come often to his glass for inspection and instruction...


I suspect Saruman was influenced by Sauron, even persuaded by him but only after Saruman's own desires had turned him from the original path.
Guess Curumo should've visited the House of Nienna too then, to learn 'patience' from her like Olórin did.

It's logical that Sauron was of a higher order; I'm sure Melkor wouldn't have allowed some schmuck to join his ranks.
And "constrained" as Gandalf said it does not define how he was constrained to look into the palantir. Was he constrained because his mind was overruled and he was in Sauron's power? I don't think so. There are other ways of constraint, just as effective. By that point in time, Saruman's lust for the Ring was so great that he would endure anything in order to further his own plans, even having to deal with Sauron and report to him daily. I doubt very much that Sauron knew of Saruman's attempt to acquire the Ring through his Uruk-hai. If Sauron had known, I believe Grishnakh's orders would have been such that they would not have gone all the way to Fanghorn before he made his move. Notice the attitude of the Uruks toward the Mordor orcs? They despised them, and even despised the Nazgul. They had to have picked up this attitude from someone, for they would not have known these things of their own.

I do not know if Narya's power was of the "hiding" sort. If we go back to the passage in UT(?), Cirdan said that Narya was to assist Gandalf in kindling the hearts of men. This does not seem the kind of power that would necessarily hide the wearer. Nenya--yes, it was the Ring of Adamant, which mean that it preserved things from changing. So Galadriel could use it to hide herself and her land--to a point. Remember, they were still having to fight off attacks later. Vilya's power--I don't recall ever reading about it. It's possible it was similar to Nenya's, but then, each Ring was different as shown by their different stones. So quite possibly Vilya's power was something else again. So I would have to say that the "hiding" or "veiling" of the Enemy's eyes was probably part of Gandalf's own power, and certainly something that would aid his mission.
Seems odd to me that Narya would be the only one of the Three that DIDN'T have that power. It would be like if one of the Dwarven Rings didn't breed gold, or one of the Nine didn't grant immortality (or unlife, anyway. )
I don't know what the Dwarven rings did, but I presume it helped the Dwarves with prospecting for mithril, gold, silver and other ores in their mines : maybe it gave them 'visions' of where to find it.

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They despised them, and even despised the Nazgul. They had to have picked up this attitude from someone, for they would not have known these things of their own.

Saruman mingled Orcs with Men in order to create his Uruk-Hai. Men usually loath Orcs, hence the feeling of the Uruks for their cousins from Mordor is prolly something that comes from their human heritage.

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So quite possibly Vilya's power was something else again.

Vilya was the most powerful of the Three, and considering what happened at Ford Bruinen, I presume that one of Vilya's powers was granting its wielder control over the elements, or at least the element water.
Nah... Elrond just had everyone flush the toilets at the same time.
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Vilya was the most powerful of the Three, and considering what happened at Ford Bruinen, I presume that one of Vilya's powers was granting its wielder control over the elements, or at least the element water.
Not quite right this time O Great Learned One, Elf Winking Smilie From LotR, Book 2, Chapter 1:
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'Elrond commanded it,' answered Gandalf. 'The river of this valley is under his power, and it will rise in anger when he has great need to bar the Ford. As soon as the captain of the Ringwraiths rode into the water the flood was released. If I may say so, I added a few touches of my own: you may not have noticed, but some of the waves took the form of great white horses with shining white riders; and there were many rolling and grinding boulders. For a moment I was afraid that we had let loose too fierce a wrath, and the flood would get out of hand and wash you all away. There is great vigour in the waters that come down from the snows of the Misty Mountains.'
Me thinks the white riders and horses were an illusion Gandalf added to Elronds flood; though it may be that he sculpted them from the waters of the flood which would have still been some doing, in which case Virumor is proved right. But I think Gandalf's fireworks may also have had some of this quality of illusion in them too, not that this took away any of the hobbits enjoyment of them, or the horses' fear of the white riders and horses, especially as those boulders and roiling water proved deadly.
I was discussing this very thing a few weeks with a leggy blonde over at wotmania. My feeling is that Gandalf could have done exactly what you first suggest, Grondy: manipulated the waters form, either by applying heat in places so it assumed the form he wanted, or just heating parts to boiling and manipulating them the way he does smoke rings. Meanwhile, the valley and its river were under Elronds control; fine. He acquired that control at some point though, and I don't think Elronds command of the elements was any greater than that of Galadriel, student of Melian born in Valinor. But you don't see her unleashing Celebrant on the orcs that pursued the Fellowship to Lorien. I have to chalk it up largely, if not entirely, to the Rings. But that's just me. Wink Smilie
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But you don't see her unleashing Celebrant on the orcs that pursued the Fellowship to Lorien.

I guess you mean the river Nimrodel? Celebrant was a bit far off.

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Not quite right this time O Great Learned One

Great Learned One? No, I'm an idiot. Anyway, in the quote you posted Gandalf says Elrond has control over the river. That was what I was talking about, I don't care about Gandalf's cheap trick with the waters.
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