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Thread: Post of Whenever 19 July 2007

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The Council has decided on a shared honor this time between Aiwendil and Gandalf-olorin for their posts in Radagast the Fool?. Without Aiwndil initially creating the thread and then making the post that Gandalf subsequently sparred against, he couldn't have made his excellent response. Well done to the both of you. Happy Elf Smilie

Aiwendil posted Saturday 14th July 2007 (08:55pm)
Quote:
.....The meeting of Gandalf and Radagast on the borders of the Shire and Gandalf's recounting of it at the Council of Elrond feature some curious points that bear on the role of Radagast. First of all, was the meeting a mere chance? It would not have been difficult for Radagast bird-master to know where Gandalf was and had been. Second, why does Gandalf mention possible weapons of Saruman's devising to be used against the Nine? This is not a Gandalfian sort of train of thought. (And, btw, what were the weapons of Saruman used against the Necromancer during the time of the Hobbit?) Third, Gandalf does not realise that Isengard is full of wargs and orcs and fumes and reeks until he's on the pinnacle of Orthanc. How did he get from the gate to the tower without noticing them? Fourth, Radagast has just come from Isengard, and would surely have seen the evidence of Saruman's treachery; why does he send Gandalf down there? Fifth, I think Radagast's seemingly fearful, urgent wish to get the heck outta there is of a piece with his Scarlet Pimpernalish (or Clark Kentish) public persona, feigned and not real. Sixth, Gandalf's eventual rescue could have been directly at Radagast's prompting, or indeed effected by the master of shape's himself. Seventh, Gandalf is set down farther away from the Shire than where he started out, and thereby meets and tames Shadowfax, which is good, and is delayed in his return to the action in the Shire and on the road to Rivendell, which is bad, except that it's good in that the Hobbits and Aragorn get to do things on their own and anneal their mettle, which is a recurrent theme throughout the books. More later.


In response Gandalf-olorin posted Sunday 15th July 2007 (12:26am)
Quote:
Your questions have always been of interest to me also.

1. "First of all, was the meeting a mere chance?"

As you know, Tolkien seemed to have an aversion to "mere chance" occurring without some other purpose in mind as well--the will of Eru, etc. So no doubt that non-chance is involved in this interception of Gandalf by Radagast. But what we might further understand from it Tolkien has not elaborated.

2. "Second, why does Gandalf mention possible weapons of Saruman's devising to be used against the Nine? This is not a Gandalfian sort of train of thought. (And, btw, what were the weapons of Saruman used against the Necromancer during the time of the Hobbit?)"

Saruman was noted for his "cunning mind" and for his pride, which both later turned to evil. No doubt he could devise something to catch the Nine or the Necromancer, since he was of a higher Order than they. But whether he was supposed to do such a thing is the real question. The tone of Gandalf's question seems to be doubtful of the outcome of such a weapon or trap, because what Saruman was commissioned to do was NOT to confront these enemies directly, especially not for his own ends.

3. "Third, Gandalf does not realise that Isengard is full of wargs and orcs and fumes and reeks until he's on the pinnacle of Orthanc. How did he get from the gate to the tower without noticing them? "

I'm assuming from the context of Gandalf's tale at the Council that whatever Saruman had been doing up to that point was hidden, and the undermining of Isengard was just that--undermining and not obvious at the surface. And since the Ring of Isengard encompassed a certain large area, we might assume that Saruman had kept the orcs busy at areas away from the "public" parts near the gate.

4. "Fourth, Radagast has just come from Isengard, and would surely have seen the evidence of Saruman's treachery; why does he send Gandalf down there?"

Likewise, in Radagast's case, Saruman maintained his public image till he was ready to reveal himself to Gandalf.

5. "Fifth, I think Radagast's seemingly fearful, urgent wish to get the heck outta there is of a piece with his Scarlet Pimpernalish (or Clark Kentish) public persona, feigned and not real."

I think you are reading more into the text than Tolkien has there. Remember, eslewhere Tolkien says Radagast had failed of his purpose because he became too enamored of the flora and fauna. I would then have to put down his wanting to leave as part of his reticence of talking with others outside his pervue. At any rate, we know he travelled far outside his normal domain in order to find Gandalf, so we can always say he was in a hurry to get home.

6. "Sixth, Gandalf's eventual rescue could have been directly at Radagast's prompting, or indeed effected by the master of shape's himself."

Gandalf's rescue could have been at Radagast's prompting in view of the fact that Gandalf had himself asked this wizard to inform all his birds to be on the watch. But there is nothing in the text or what Tolkien has elsewhere said to indicate that it was Radagast in eagle shape.

7. "Seventh, Gandalf is set down farther away from the Shire than where he started out, and thereby meets and tames Shadowfax, which is good, and is delayed in his return to the action in the Shire and on the road to Rivendell, which is bad, except that it's good in that the Hobbits and Aragorn get to do things on their own and anneal their mettle, which is a recurrent theme throughout the books."

As I recall, Gandalf mentioned something to Gwaihir about needing transportation across the great distances. As the eagles were not at his disposal, at least not all the time, Gandalf obviously thought of Rohan's horses, and perhaps he already knew of Shadowfax. (I seem to recall he said he had seen/ridden the horse before?) This seems to explain why Gandalf did not go immediately north with Gwaihir.

But like you, I also would have liked to know more about Radagast. I think this character is intriguing and more might have been made of his part. But this is the way, I'm afraid, with epics. Some of the good people only fill a very small role.

Gandalf

Post your congratulations below.

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Radagast the Fool?

(I read my calendar wrongly and predated this thread, well I always did try to be forwards looking and this time you can't blame me for being behind the times.) Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Awesome! Congrats guys! This is the first "Post of the Week/Whenever" that has happened since I became a member. And a great choice I might add -- I too would've liked to know more about Radagast, so I've been following the discussion in this thread.
Thank you for this kindness, Grondy and all members of the Council. I truly appreciate the honor. Now if only Aiwendil would respond...

Gandalf
Congrats both Aiwendil and Gandalf-olorin . I agree with the council too . Great post and as Meneldur said good to learn more about Radagast .You both have lot of knowledge thanks for sharing with the rest of usSmile Smilie
congratulations. This is a tack of thought I haven't much explored, but I may study it yet.
We need to bring POTW back.

I agree that we should consider bringing back the post of the week. Insightful, well thought out views and comments help to make PT the stellar site it is, and I feel should thus be rewarded on occasion.