“But of Olorin [the Quenta Silmarillion] does not speak; for though he loved the Elves, he walked among them unseen, or in form as one of them, and they did not know whence came the fair visions or the prompting of wisdom that he put into their hearts.” So she probably didn’t know him from before.
Yes. It’s not clear at all if anyone really new Gandalf’s true nature beyond supposition. From Unfinished Tales (emphasis mine)…
Consider the discussion between Galadriel and Elrond:
Galadriel: ‘Through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat’.
Elrond: ‘I have seen three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats and many fruitless victories’.
They know, as does Gandalf, that the only hope is through the intervention of Iluvatar, and their only choice is to try.
Sauron may have been a bad egg (or was he?), but the Fellowship’s real master plan was to jinx the development of industrialization, urbanization, and democracy.
In a world with magic, immortals, and lines of power that actually follow genealogical lineage, such objections to development actually make a bit of sense.
Cool, I stand corrected.
So, with immortal, quasi-supernatural beings who can see the spirit world, he was sneaky and covert. But with us mere mortals, he was honest and direct.
About what - about being able to put on one hell of a fireworks show?
(With the help of an Elf whose name was something like ‘Amy Surplus,’ of course. ;))
The story was heavily influenced by Tolkiens WW1 experience, had Tolkien gone to Vietnam then the fellowship would have been aerially inserted by eagles. Instead they do it assbackwards and get extracted by Eagles.
Interesting. So the story would have been about the walk back and dealing with the huge mess they made by upsetting the power structure and all the petty chiefs and the ensuing chaos in the power vacuum.
At home in Valinor, Olorin was basically demigod who could choose whether or not to wear a body like you’d choose whether to wear a coat. The Wizards, though, were severely restricted in power so as not to destroy a continent like the last time the Ainur actively fought against Bad Powers. Gandalf was issued one mortal-type physical body*, which he was stuck with the entire time. So sneaky and covert was off the table. Plus, whatever his job was back West, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t “help the Incarnates take down Sauron”. So a different approach was called for, anyway.
*On the subject of whether Galadriel, et al, knew the wizards were maiar- someone must have noticed that the old guys who stepped off the boat a thousand years ago were still around being old guys, as opposed to being dead guys. They had to have known something was weird here.
Cirdan, at least. must have known Gandalf was *something *- he gave him his ring, and after all, who *else *would be stepping off a boat from the West?
From Appendix B (The Tale of Years): "…Cirdan later surrendered his [ring] to Mithrandir [Gandalf]. For Cirdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth, and he welcomed Mithrandir at the Grey Havens, knowing whence he came and whither he would return.
“Take this ring, Master”, he said, “for your labors will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill. But as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and I will dwell by the grey shores until the last ship sails. I will await you.”
I recall a scene (post-destruction of the ring) where Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf are communicating telepathically. So I’d say there is no doubt that the loftiest elves knew exactly who Gandalf was.
And establish a whites-only hegemony. The next step would have been colonising and annexing the East and South and bringing civilisation to the swarthy inhabitants at sword-point. I never quite trusted the Rohirrim, and Saruman had a point about the straw-heads being a pack of brigands: they were always just a rabble-rouser and a barrel of ale away from mobbing up and smashing shop windows.
Not really. There’s no indication Bilbo or Frodo or even Aragon knew that Gandalf was a Maiar. As far as the hobbits went, he was an old dude “wizard” whose wizarding was mainly fancy fireworks and hanging out with dwarves and elves.
Aragon had a better understanding of how powerful Gandalf was, since as a Ranger he knew about the defeat of the sorcerer in The Hobbit and Gandalf’s long life, but I don’t think there’s any indication he knew Gandalf was a Maiar.
Agreed, there’s nothing in the books, but AragoRn was tutored by, and travelled extensively with, Gandalf. In all likelihood, he got to know something of Gandalf’s origins. He witnessed Gandalf using some pretty impressive powers, and Aragorn rubbed shoulders with old men and very old elves who knew Gandalf from back in the day.
Rather than give its own thread: The most unrealistic part of the great battles and dealing with Nazgul schreeching and wheeling about and massive boulders being hurled at you*? Are there no curses in Middle Earth?? I mean seriously that crew and all those extras had to have been explicitly told that as instinctive it is, you can’t say “FUUUUCKKKKK!!” or “shit!” when immortal evil beings are sweeping you off the parapets.
*A failing in general of movie fights. Especially one on one hand to hand battles, is how quiet they are. Where’s the 'Fuck you you fucking fuck!!"??
The practical answer, of course, is that Tolkien was a Christian author in a time when such language simply wasn’t used in a formal setting, and that he was stylistically inspired by the Eddas and the Nordic/Anglo-Saxon lays. You don’t see a lot of “fucks” or “cuntflaps” in Chaucer or Beowulf.
Chaucer was very happy punning on the word cunt:
So, famously, was Shakespeare. Or did you think I meant country matters?