Two Tower movie speculation - what did Gandalf want?

In the Two Towers, the movie version, Gandalf obiviously wanted Theoden to take immediate actions against Sauraman. The thing that kicks in then is “What could Theoden do against Sauraman then?”

Unlike in the novel where Theoden still has a big company of riders, in the movie they seem only to number around 200 to 300 (if all they could muster for the Siege is 200) and Theoden is still pretty confident of taking on Sauraman, what could the Theoden in the movie do? What did Gandalf really want?

Of course, we could speculate to no ends - maybe Peter Jackson really slipped up here, who knows, but let make some wild and educated guesses!

My guess -

If met in a field battle, the Rohan Riders could dance circles around the half-orcs and Gandalf could use his pretty light trick to even up the odds.

Part of the plan is getting Eomer back.

Gandalf is foreseeing the Ents are attacking at the same time, so if Rohan is to attack Isengard, or to face Saurman at the same time, the chances of victory are much higher.

Well, I’m speculating this is one of the few big slips by PJ. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt & assume Gandalf didn’t know quite how big Saruman’s forces had gotten. Remember in the movie version Aragorn sees the size of the army after he is rescued from the river by his horse & is riding to Helm’s Deep. Then he tells them exactly how big their problems are.

(yeah, well, TT wasn’t as successful as FOTR - a masterwork - but having reread the book, I am struck by how hard to translate to screen it is. Also I think PJ will rebound with ROTK - they say it will be closer to the book, even with Scouring left out; should be quite the event.)

I remember a line saying the Eomer had 2,000 riders, even though there were only a few dozen in the scene with Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas.

My guess would be that, if Theoden agreed to send out riders to recall Eomer and his men, Gandalf would have been free to ride to Minas Tirith to appeal to Denethor to send troops out, hoping to catch Saruman’s army between the armies of Rohan and Gondor.

Given that the armies of Gondor were more than a little preoccupied with getting their butts kicked at Osgiliath, this plan would have been a very bad idea indeed, as it would have (at best) driven Saruman’s army into a pretty badly depleted Minas Tirith, or (at worst) killed off all of Rohan’s army, with the orcs then free to march on Minas Tirith.

Theoden actually had the right idea, and if the armies of Saruman had been a little more realistic (there’s no way in heck they could have possibly supplied an army that size (2-3,000 would have been a more realistic size, with the rest doing support functions), the battle of Helm’s Deep would have been a snap for Theoden.

I always thought that Gandalf wanted a good BJ from Frodo but then again I am a pervie hobbit fancier.

In olden times they didn’t keep standing professional armies. Theoden would have had to gather his riders from surrounding villages and farms. You wouldn’t expect to see them all milling around the castle.

I thought he just wanted to take a bath with Frodo. Or was that Sam? Or both?

There’s also the point that Gandalf just killed a BALROG maiar-a-maiar. His idea of what was a sound military strategy might have been a little skewed.

Maybe Gandalf would have said,

“Damn it, I am a wizard, not a strategist!”

Are they leaving the Scouring of the Shire out of ROTK? Damn it.

PJ screwed up the motivations and actions of most of the players in TTT, for reasons best known to himself. Just enjoy the spectacle and don’t peer at it too closely. It’s a splendid film; it’s just a lousy edit of Tolkien’s work, which is a crying shame. Given the years JRRT spent on the books, you’d have thought someone would have trusted him to get the story near-enough right :frowning:

I shall certainly go to see RotK, but with a far heavier heart than would have been the case two months ago.

Sam would have killed him if he tried anything.

Darn it, Euty–I was gonna say that!