How Powerful was Gandalf the Grey?

Discussion in 'The Hall of Fire' started by 1stvermont, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. 1stvermont

    1stvermont Member

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    How Powerful was Gandalf the Grey?

    When I think of Gandalf I think of both Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White. But really Gandalf the Grey died, and was given extra power and wisdom by Eru and remade into a new far more powerful Gandalf, Gandalf the White. So thinking of just Gandalf the Grey here [Manwe conspiracy theories aside] how powerful was he?

    He was a maiar so of course powerful, but as an embodied physical being capable of pain, weariness, fear and death [letters 156] he was vulnerable to standard injury and death. Sarumon was killed by a knife, Gandalf injured in the battle of the 5 armies and killed by the balrog. In fact it seems he might have only beaten the balrog due to his ring Narya the ring of fire. When he faced the balrog in the long fight where both would die he said

    "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.
    The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring,Book II, Chapter 5: "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"

    And yet even with the power of the ring, he was killed. Even Gandalf the white with added power and wisdom from Eru [God] was unsure of his ability vs the witch king while Glorfindel faced him. Gandalf the grey did not see Sauroman for who he had becomes, he failed 1v1 vs Sauroman. Gandalf debates with Aragorn on what path to take the fellowship and he gives way to Aragorn saying “if you bring a ranger with you, it is well to pay attention to him, especially if the ranger is Aragorn.” despite the fact we are told in the Valaquenta “Wisest of the maiar was Olorin.” In the hobbit the party went to Rivnedall and it was Elrond [not Gandalf] whos wisdom discerned the map, found new letters, and knew the history of the swords Glamdring and Orcrist carried by Gandalf. Neither and Gandalfs plans always correct. He advised them to take the elf road near mirkwood but it was now impassable.

    Even the good plans of the wise like Gandalfs and of good friends like Elrond go astray sometimes.”
    -The Hobbit chapter 4


    But most of all his mission to save the free peoples from the power of Sauron failed. The Istari and Gandalf failed. He was killed. .

    The 'wizards', as such, had failed
    -Letters 156


    So Eru steeped in to save Middle earth through Gandalf the White

    So Gandalf sacrificed himself, was accepted, and enhanced, and returned. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' Of course he remains similar in personality and idiosyncrasy, but both his wisdom and power are much greater. When he speaks he commands attention; the old Gandalf could not have dealt so with Théoden, nor with Saruman.”
    -Letters 156
     
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  2. Miguel

    Miguel Active Member

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    Gandalf has similarities with Jesus of Nazareth.
     
  3. Elaini

    Elaini Lost in Eä

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    Though Tolkien was hesitant to make anything in his writings as too much of a "parody of Christianity".
     
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  4. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    So too does Aragorn as King.




    But that's still too dangerous a connection as I don't want to assume allegory in respect to the Author.



    CL
     
  5. Miguel

    Miguel Active Member

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