🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

How would Gandalf have got into Mordor?

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
5
One thing that I guess has always been troubling for me is how little the Fellowship had by way of a plan. It seems that the idea was 'get to Lorien, and then work it out from there'.

So what would Gandalf have done, if he had got through Moria? I think the boat trip would have been much the same, but what then.

Would Frodo have left Gandalf as well as the rest of them?
How would Gandalf have tried to get into Mordor? He didn't like the idea of Cirith Ungol.
Would Boromir have still tried to take the ring if Gandalf was breathing down his neck?

What do you all think?
 
H

Harad

Guest
Good What If, VofK.

Everything would have been different. It wouldnt have been as good a story--kudos to JRRT. Someone else pointed out...apologize for not remembering...that Gandalf falling was essential to the subsequent split of the Fellowship and all the kwl stuff that followed. I agree wholeheartedly.

I believe that Boromir would not have gotten the opportunity to go ballistic, nor would he have been in that mental state, because the authority figure of the Fellowship would have remained. Becsaue of the tension between B and Aragorn there in fact was no authority left.

Gandalf would have accompanied Frodo and Sam. I think he would have convinced all the others to accompany Boromir to Minas Tirith or Rohan. Aragorn would have been the toughest to convince, but with Gandalf with the Ringbearer, he could have seen his way clear to go where his heart lay...to Minas Tirith. (BTW this reminds me of the problem I have with Aragorns decision to abandon the Ringbearer despite Gandalf NOT being there.)

Gandalf on the way to Mount Doom would have been fascinating. I cant imagine how he could succeed unless he had a lot more magic tricks up his sleeve. He probably did. And what about Gollum? He couldnt have been a member of the party with Gandalf there? Still sneeeaaaking along behind no doubt. So no Cirith Ungor, and no Shelob...Its a puzzle.
 

Kuduk

Middle-earther
Joined
Jan 6, 2002
Messages
76
Reaction score
0
Location
By the Great Sea
A puzzle indeed

The question of how Gandalf would have gotten into Mordor becomes even more intriguing when in RotK, Gandalf hears from Faramir about Frodo's plans to go via Cirith Ungol. Afterwards, Pippin asks him...

'Tell me,' he said, 'is there any hope? For Frodo, I mean; or at least mostly for Frodo.'
Gandalf put his hand on Pippin's head. 'There never was much hope,' he answered. 'Just a fool's hope, as I have been told. And when I heard of Cirith Ungol ----' He broke off and strode to the window, as if his eyes could pierce the night in the East. 'Cirith Ungol!' he muttered. 'Why that way, I wonder?'
So, sure, one could suppose that Gandalf would have taken a different way into Mordor if he were with them. But he's not and he knows that. Of course, Gandalf can fret and worry about Frodo's choice of ingress but why does he 'wonder' why? Did he expect Frodo to take a different path and if so, which one? The Morannon? Surely, Gandalf must have realized the difficulties of passaging via Mordor's front door. And Morgul Vale would have been barely less difficult. I doubt Gandalf would have wanted Frodo to use the Ring as an aid so what other options did Gandalf have in mind when he questions Frodo's logic and asks 'Why that way, I wonder?'
 

Beleg Strongbow

Superior Elf
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
698
Reaction score
0
Location
Doriath AND Sydney Australia and where ever "SHE"
Re: A puzzle indeed

I thought that Gandalf and Elrond spent all those times long in thought before they left that they would have had some thought to were they could have entered which im sure gandalf probably would have dropped some info to Aragorn. But i also think Gandalf would have had a lot waiting on Galadriels opinion cause she hasknown about Sauron eversince he turned evil. But i think he would have tried maybe to force a passage through the mountains not through the gates. Because of Morgul- Nazgul, Morranon-utter strenght and masses of orcs and evil creatures, ungol- shelob and the "terror" there and also 4 ungol and morgul the lidless eye would be looking that way down to Minas Tirith.
But Tolkien could have made anything i also agree the story wouldn't have been better if Gandalf didn't fall.
P.S Tolkien probably wrote some ideasabout how gandalf would have gotten in anybody know about it:confused:
Holla.
 

lilhobo

Retired
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Messages
536
Reaction score
1
one thing you people have forgotten, JRR never wanted the fellowship to succeed, what with the introduction of Boromir, and gandalf taking a dive in Moria!!!! (if Gandalf hadnt taken the dive, we would never have heard of Obe wan kenobi :D

JRR always wanted to have Frodo and his luverboy Sam :D on the quest by themself and have Gollum finish off what was a tragic bittersweet tale

what was the most poignant moments in the book is the dual personalities of smeagol. Just hope Pj can bring it out in the next two books
 

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
5
The way Harad approached this is interesting. I tend to agree with his post.

But it raises all sorts of questions: Pippin and Merry would never have agreed to seperate from Frodo and Sam - so would Gandalf be leading all 4 hobbits to Mordor?

When Uruk-Hai turned up would the Fellowship have beaten them off successfully, and avoided M&P getting captured? I think so. Hence no trip to Rohan. No Entmoot. Theoden stays at Edoras under Wormtongue's influence. Hence Saruman defeats Rohan and Gondor faces Mordor alone.

Boromir survives, and Aragorn goes to Minas Tirith direct with him, so no Paths of the Dead, so the corsairs fleet arrives.

Overall result: Minas Tirith falls!!
 

Arathorn

Registered User
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
There is no doubt that Gandalf's fall and rebirth as the White Rider were crucial to the ultimate successes, nevertheless the question remains as to how Gandalf intended to get into Mordor. The one fact that we know is that he would not have gone through Cirith Ungol. I have always supposed that he either knew another unmentioned passage over or under the mountains, or he intended to go around the mountains and enter from the South or the East.
 

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
5
Lets assume Gandalf may have been able to keep M&P from going. And I can agree about Aragorn seeing that Saruman was a threat and needing to be dealt with.

But I don't see why M&P would end up in Fangorn without the orc raid. So you would have to have the orc raid hitting after Gandalf and F&S had headed east. Which, if you think about it might work because maybe if they didn't spend time grieving for Gandalf (because he didn't go down in Moria), then they get to Rauros earlier, and can have made their choices before the Uruk-Hai arrive.

I think it is harder to think that Aragorn could have dealt with Wormtongue. At this point in the story he still not cutting a very impressive figure. Maybe.

But returning to M&P not going east with F&S. I think that they were both completely determined to follow Frodo through thick and thin and Gandalf would have found it really hard to persuade them. Perhaps he would tie them up in sacks, as per Merry suggestion to Elrond?
 

DGoeij

Pan Narran
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Messages
938
Reaction score
2
Location
The Netherlands
To throw in another thought. What of Gollem? He sure wouldn't be eager to come too close with Gandalf in the party. So what would he do?
Without Gollem I don't think even Gandalf would be able to cross the dead marshes.
Or would they even have crossed the Anduin at the point where Frodo did? I mean, F & S ended up in the Emyn Muil, wich is very difficult terrain to go through. Maybe Gandalf would have chosen to cross the Anduin more to the north and travel further east, to get around the mountains of Mordor? I mean, originally the Fellowship travelled so far south only because Aragorn couldn't decide what to do and deliberately waited until he had to make up his mind.
Interesting 'what if', but difficult too.
 

DGoeij

Pan Narran
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Messages
938
Reaction score
2
Location
The Netherlands
I didn't meant to discuss the ability of Gollum to sneak after the travellers. I am sure he would be able to, regardless of whom would be leading them.
What I meant that Gollum would be quite scared of Gandalf (he questioned him pretty harshly as I recall) so he would keep his distance. So he would not be helping the travellers crossing the dead marshes, if they would get there in the first place, which is something I doubt too.

oh, and Gandalf wasn't allowed to counter Sauron directly with his own powers. He was supposed to aid those in ME who would withstand Sauron by themselves.
 
Last edited:

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
5
I didn't meant to discuss the ability of Gollum to sneak after the travellers. I am sure he would be able to, regardless of whom would be leading them. What I meant that Gollum would be quite scared of Gandalf (he questioned him pretty harshly as I recall) so he would keep his distance. So he would not be helping the travellers crossing the dead marshes, if they would get there in the first place, which is something I doubt too.
My view: Gollum would have followed the Ring whoever was in its company. So Gollum being captured by Frodo, Sam and Gandalf could have happened. But the interesting question could be what they would have done with him once they'd captured him. Would Gandalf have let Gollum come with them? At first sight you have to say no. But actually, Frodo's choice was not instinctive. He ruled out, through Gandalf's famous words, that he could not kill him. And equally he could neither tie him up in the wilderness, nor let him go. So maybe he would have done.
 

Gary Gamgee

Mr Muckle
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Messages
332
Reaction score
0
Location
Manchester UK
Smeagol's part in all of this is completely crucial and Gandalf knew this or at least guessed it and he knew what he had to face in Moria. Perhaps he knew for the quest to succeed he had to become Saruman. It was Gandalf who decided that Hobbits should be invovled with the world and he decided that way back when he got Bilbo invoved in the descrution of Smaug, in order to give the Dwarfs a strong hold in the North, he -Gandalf wanted to create a barrier around Mordor to prevent Saurom from taking over the world by shree force. Because Gandalf thought the one was out of Sauron's reach. But of course he realised where he had gone wrong when he realised Bilbo's ring was the one.

Gandalf knew that he wasn't going to Mordor
 

Bucky

Registered User
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Messages
1,623
Reaction score
12
Location
Near New Haven
>>>, and Gandalf wasn't allowed to counter Sauron directly with his own powers.
He was supposed to aid those in ME who would withstand Sauron by themselves.


Gandalf wasn't about to 'hold off Sauron at the Cracks of Doom' as someone put it.

Gandalf, as stated wasn't allowed to counter Sauron directly with his own power.
He didn't have enough, even as Gandalf the White.
Why?
Remember Gandalf talking about facing the Lord of the Nazgul, a servant of Sauron, & having reservations about that?
 

DGoeij

Pan Narran
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Messages
938
Reaction score
2
Location
The Netherlands
>>>>>Gandalf successfully struggled with Sauron over Frodo and the Ring at Amon Hen. <<<<<
:confused:

What book is being discussed here? Originally Gandalf wasn't there a Amon Hen and I still doubt if the Fellowship still led by Gandalf would have ended up there.

Gandalf was a Maia, send to ME as one of the Istari, ordered to aid those who where the enemies of Sauron. That was the job. He was not allowed to use his powers to confront Sauron directly.
He was ready to face the Witch-King as Gandalf the White at the gate of Minas Tirith, he even wished to follow him back to the plains of Pelennor, if it hadn't be for the distraction of the madness of Denethor.
 

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
5
Maybe Gandalf would have chosen to cross the Anduin more to the north and travel further east, to get around the mountains of Mordor? I mean, originally the Fellowship travelled so far south only because Aragorn couldn't decide what to do and deliberately waited until he had to make up his mind.
Sorry DG I meant to reply to this suggestion, because it is interesting. There's not lots of detail on the terrain between Mordor and Mirkwood, but the fact that they would be passing the Morannon on one side and Dol Guldur on the other is off-putting, not mentioning the Easterling armies going in the opposite direction. And then, when you get in round the back, you go a long way to go in Mordor, and right past Barad-Dur too! Not nice!

This would be a long way round too. I think the time factor might be decisive - remember the route south of the White Mountains was ruled out for this reason.
 

DGoeij

Pan Narran
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Messages
938
Reaction score
2
Location
The Netherlands
The Easterlings, of course.
It was an army big enough to besiege the Erebor, so I guess the Fellowship wouldn't want to encounter some loose patrols of it. I don ot knwo anything about the terrain there, so if the Fellowship would be able to avoid this army..........

And looking to Mordor. You may be right about getting too close to Barad-dur. But wouldn't that have helped them? I mean, Sauron was clearly looking West, watching what Saruman was up to, what his armies where doing etc. Still it remains a long way to go nonetheless, but the fact that Gandalf wouldn't let them stay in Lothlorien for as long as they did originally would have helped in that I guess. And no delay at Emyn Muil, the Dead Marshes, The Morannon and in Ithilien. I should find out how much time it took for F & S and Gollum to get to Mt. Doom by the original path. Maybe we could do some estimates.
 

Brown Ribbon

Registered User
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
smashing thread this...

So much of Gandalf's good work seems to have come from intuition. Wasn't it a hunch that prompted him to send the ostensibly useless Bilbo Baggins to the Lonely Mountain?
If Gandalf and Elrond had a clear strategy as to how they were going to get to Orodruin then surely Aragorn would have been briefed.
Yet on the banks of the Anduin, Aragorn flounders, unable to decide whither Mordor or Minas Tirith should be the destination of the fellowship.
My guess is that Gandalf had no clear plan beyond Lothlorien. He would have worked things out as he went along.
What would he have chosen? I haven't got a Scooby Doo on this one, but I don't think he would have left Frodo to go to Mordor without him, his compassion for the Ringbearer would have been too strong for that.
Ironically, the only way for the fellowship to break and succeed was probably for them to lose their leader for a time. Aragorn didn't fair overly well without Gandalf, though he grows in the Two Towers. The panic and uncertainty acted as a catalyst for the severence of the group, allowing Frodo and Sam to go further unnoticed than they probably would have with Gandalf in tow.
I don't think Gandalf would have been able to let them go alone, and the Quest would have been doomed.
 

Eonwe

Upper Class Twit
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
543
Reaction score
1
Gandalf had many tricks up his sleeve, he was able to enter Dol-Guldur to discover it was Sauron, and oh by the way lets stop in on Thrain to see how he is doing.

I have no idea what pass he would take into Mordor (maybe the Eagles would help :)). I wonder what passes if any the north side mountains contained.
 

Brown Ribbon

Registered User
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by Eonwe
Gandalf had many tricks up his sleeve, he was able to enter Dol-Guldur to discover it was Sauron, and oh by the way lets stop in on Thrain to see how he is doing.

I have no idea what pass he would take into Mordor (maybe the Eagles would help :)). I wonder what passes if any the north side mountains contained.
Indeed he did..
However, Frodo and Sam were able to make decisions in ignorance that would have gone against Gandalf's good judgement. By such they were able to sssneeeak up to Mount Doom by luck and courage more than wisdom.

No amount of intelligence would avail on this quest. Only luck, fate whatever led Frodo's finger into the fire, if Gandalf had been with them, we would likey have never seen the palantir of Orhtanc, and in that case, the plains of Gorgoroth would not so swiflty have been emptied of orcs. There would have been no way through Mordor, Gandalf or no.
 

Eonwe

Upper Class Twit
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
543
Reaction score
1
well maybe not no way through, but you are oh so correct

the way Sam and Frodo go, Cirith Ungol, which I don't think Gandalf would have tried, is Shelob, one Orc tower and your through. Its on mapquest, quickest way to Mount Doom :)
 

Thread suggestions

Top