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draggonklaw
02-17-2001, 10:51 AM
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I just finished reading again the chapter in TT on &quot;The voice of Saruman (What an awesome confrontation!). near the end, Gandalf- who is now the one in white (in place of Saruman) autoritatively breaks Saruman's staff and casts him from the order (of the Istari) and the Council (of the wise (TT 222).
My question is, Was Gandalf now the leader of the Order and the Council (as he appears to be) because Saruman failed (in his position/mission as the leader), or because Gandalf went through the Balrog experience and &quot;passed&quot;(with flying colors)? or both?
Gandalf was clothed in white (the Leadership color) and no longer grey before the confrontation with Saruman. Does that mean he was already the new leader?
One other thought. If indeed he was the new leader, and it was because he went thru the Balrog encounter and was victorious, does that mean that the Balrog was some kind of test that was laid on Gandalf? And if so, who laid it on him? Eru? The Valar?


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Orald
02-17-2001, 12:09 PM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

Another thing, do the colors signify rank, seems to be that way, or different orders of Wizards? Which would also make sense, except for the fact that Gandalf changes from the Grey, to the White.

It seems fate is not without a sense of irony.</p>

Imp
02-17-2001, 04:01 PM
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...

Maybe the colors signified their duties, along with their 'rank' in the order.

And I disbelieve that the Balrog was a test by the Valar for Gandalf, it was clearly 'allied' with Sauron or else it would have attacked the Orcs of Sauron also.

I think Gandalf assumed the position of 'the White' because all of the other Wizard's failure to complete their missions.

One thing that has been eating at me for awhile, is if the Blue Wizards went into the East and never returned, that would make the Council of Wise down to three members, and Radagast staying in Rhosgobel then it would take the Council down to two members. Why is it an Order/Council if there are only two people involved in it?

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enep
02-17-2001, 04:57 PM
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Re: ...

Imp: Colors may have had some significance as to rank or place in the order; but I heavily doubt this. Pallando and Alatar both wore Blue. Does this mean they were both the 'least powerful' in the order? How can a Maiar be 'less powerful' at all? Does less powerful just mean less prominent? More reclusive?

The Order, Istarion, would still be an order even if the two Ithryn Luin were in the east doing whatever they were. Radagast came to the White Council meetings; and it was not <u>just</u> the Istari. Galadriel, Cirdan, Elrond and other High Elves were present at the White Council meetings.

I always thought, IMO, that the Balrog was a test for Gandalf, a test of his loyalty towards his cause and to Middle Earth. Gandalf was sent back because he had the greatest valour, courage and heart of all those Istari sent to ME and was most loyal to his cause. Although I could be wrong on any of these points. <img src=biggrin.gif ALT=":D"> I always get things wrong.

- enep</p>

burrahobbit
02-17-2001, 06:48 PM
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Re: ...

You're wrong. It's just like with people, some are stronger than others. Eonwe is way stronger than the other maiar, just like the current Mr. Universe is way stronger than you or me. I'd also be willing to bet that one of us is stronger than the other.

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

draggonklaw
02-17-2001, 08:58 PM
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Re: ...

I was glad to see that you got that impression to Enep (that the Balrog was some kind of test for Gandalf). The reason I get that impression was because Aragorn (for some apparent reason; maybe he knew the Balrog was there from his former trip through Moria?) warned Gandalf to &quot;Beware&quot; if they went through Moria. And also, such phrases as Gandalf saying that he was &quot;sent back&quot; after his experience, give me a sense that this was appointed somehow for him. I could be totally wrong though.

</p>

enep
02-17-2001, 10:11 PM
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Re: ...

Sure, Eonwe is more powerful. But does that mean he shows his power more so? I agree that some Maiar more definitely more powerful than others i.e. they had more of an influence.

Mr. Universe? Such a weakling <img src=biggrin.gif ALT=":D">

- enep</p>

Zoe
02-17-2001, 11:20 PM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

Just out of curiousity, what on earth is 'ascendance'? Or do you mean 'ascention'? Sorry, I'm pedantic. <img src=devil.gif ALT=":evil"> <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

(Or perhaps you mean 'condescendence', but I doubt it.)

Mr Universe? I'll take 'im on any day! <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> <img src=smokin.gif ALT=":smokin">

</p>

Robert W Gardner
02-18-2001, 09:20 AM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

I recall reading something to the effect that Gandalf/Olorin might have been the White to begin with, but among the Valar there was a desire for Saruman to be the White, and Gandalf did not put himself forward. In fact, he was even the last to arrive, I think.

(This goes with the Christian principle &quot;he who is last shall be first.&quot; I find that Tolkien infused his work with the Truths of his/my religion and this seems to be one of those cases.)

As for the White Council, that also included Elrond and Galadriel, Radagast may have also been involved for a time as well as Celeborn, and perhaps some of the Elf Lords of Rivendell. I don't think that the White Council was limited to the Istari, and apparently did not include all of the Istari, the Blue Wizards being off to the East.

As for Gandalf's translation to White, he certainly proved himself and was found suitable. It was in the hands of Manwe, it would seem (see the eagle's involvement). Saruman had betrayed his order and his post. There was no White.

The Valar could have elected to send another White, I suppose, if Gandalf had not measured up.

I find interesting the insubstantiality of Gandalf's physical body when the eagle flew him to Lothlorien after he was resurrected.

<hr> <center>~~~God & Country!~~~</center></p>

draggonklaw
02-18-2001, 10:26 AM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

Zoe; By ascendence I meant that Gandalf had seemingly ascended to the highest place in the order taking the place of Saruman. I was at a loss for words. I hope that's the right word. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">
And isn't it so true RW Gardner, &quot;...everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.&quot; Luke 14:11 NIV. I see a lot of Tolkien's love for the Word and it's truths/principles come out in his writing also. No one can deny that God really gifted that man. In my opinion, Tolkien's writing is more beautiful than any other writer on planet earth (Besides the scriptures, of course. But the two are incomparable.)
Btw, I like the spinning head. How'd you do that?

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000071>draggonklaw</A> at: 2/18/01 11:28:48 am

Shark
02-18-2001, 12:33 PM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I like the spinning head <hr></blockquote>

Uh-oh...<img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

</p>

draggonklaw
02-18-2001, 12:52 PM
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Uh-oh

You've got to admit it's original Sharku. I'm guessing that someone had one of those digital video cameras and walked around him in a circle taking his picture. It's the first I've seen of it's kind.

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Aldaron
02-19-2001, 10:15 PM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

I don't know whether someone had set the Balrog on Gandalf or it was just an aspect of their evil and a sense that their home had been invaded. In the Silmarillion the Balrog were first named Valaraukar and in Chap. 3 of Quenta Silmarillion, speaking of Melkor: &quot;And in Utumno he gathered his demons about him, those spirits who first adhered to him in the days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption: their hearts were of fire but they were cloaked in darkness, and terror went before them; they had whips of flame. Balrogs they were named in Middle-earth in later days.&quot;

This doesn't answer your question but adds a bit to the discussion. It would be in their nature to attack Gandalf.

</p>

Shark
02-20-2001, 09:28 AM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

Pure speculation brought me to the thought that there is a challenge for every member of the fellowship once, and that they are rewarded or 'promoted' when they succeed, and punished when they fail...

-Gandalf sacrifices himself. Task fulfilled, reward: enhanced powers and wisdom

-Aragorn shows prudence and skills as a leader (Pellenor), task fulfilled; reward: enthronization

-Frodo resists the ring; reward: exile in realm of Bliss

-Boromir: succumbed to the ring's seduction, task failed. Punishment: death (Faramir succeeded there)
etc.

Is this idle speculation, or could this be a main motif indeed?

(Wow, this is already post #5,000 in the books! Excellent!
Who might have thougt some months ago the books would gain so much ground compared to the quiz-room?)


<h6>Ah, listen to them... the children of the night... what sweet music they make...</h6></p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000003>Sharku</A> at: 2/20/01 10:30:48 am

Mithadan
02-20-2001, 10:05 AM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

Just some additional fodder for the discussion from an old thread:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Before Moria, Gandalf gives good advise, lights fires with his staff and uses it as a lightbulb. After Moria, he cures Theoden and beams of light issue from his hands to drive off the Nazgul. I suppose that we don't truly know the extent of his powers pre-Moria (what did happen that night on Weathertop?) but the visceral impression is that he came back more powerful. This position is supported in Letters, p202 (#156)


Quote:
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&quot;The 'wizards, as such, had failed; or if you like: the crisis had become too grave and needed an enhancement of power. 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.&quot;
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------





--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

draggonklaw
02-20-2001, 05:34 PM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

Thanks for the replies guys. That confims for me that there was something extra-special about Gandalf's encounter with the Balrog. Surely it wasn't just a coincidence that it happened. It must have been some kind of &quot;fated&quot; event. Why else would Gandalf have emerged not only with more power, but with a (seemingly, at least to some degree) a new identity (ie. &quot;Gandalf. Yes, that's who I WAS.&quot; emphasis supplied).
I wonder if Aragorn's warning to Gandalf implies that he knew Gandalf would be tested? (see FotR 355. top of page). It does imply (at least to my mind) that Aragorn knew the Balrog was down there (perhaps he had aquired some knowledge of it's existence there when he himself went thru Moria years before?).
Sharku brought out an interesting concept, that all MEarthlings involved with the ring endure a test of somesort. He could have expanded his list by adding
Sam-Shelob
Merry-The Witch-king
Galadriel-the ring (&quot;I pass the test&quot;, she said).


</p>

MIstari
02-20-2001, 07:01 PM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

The last statement about Galadriel &quot;I pass the test&quot; implies that she knows they must all pass a test. Also though I believe that these tests are only one set in a series ie. &quot;the Ring tests&quot;. All tests are focused around the ring. During a crisis everybody must prove their worth.

Just a thought.

</p>

enep
02-21-2001, 02:29 AM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

It seems that in ME no-one truly escaped the clutches of Fate or was not subject to some sort of test; whether it be of courage, morality or intelligence. When you think about it, almost everyone faced something that they had to make an important decision on, act on etc.

- enep</p>

jimmyjhjr
08-31-2001, 04:44 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/narya.jpg" align=absmiddle> The Gandalf Theory

This is my theory, such a grand theory, lol. Anyway, Robert Gardner said something about Olorin being the last picked of the Maiar to go, but he was third (just wanted to clear that up) but he didn't think himself fit for the job, but Manwe insisted. I don't believe the Balrog was sent by the Valar, how could they? By definition, a Balrog is a Maiar that follows Melkor, why would they obey Melkor's enemies? But I believe Manwe sent Gandalf back in a more spiritual body (since he was the only one loyal to the mission, and he showed that loyalty when dying for it), which would make him more powerful, and that's why he wasn't much of a burden for the eagle to carry him. But Gandalf has always been more powerful than Saruman I believe, it is evident in the unfinished tales it is so. The following was taken out of the Unfinished Tales 'Then Manw said that that was all the more reason why he should go, and that he commanded Olrin (illegible words follow that seems to contain word &quot;third&quot;). And at that Varda looked up and said &quot;But not as third&quot;, and Curumo remembered it'. 'Saruman soon became jealous of Gandalf, and this rivalry turned at last to a hatred, the deeper for being concealed, and the more bitter in that Saruman knew in his heart that the Grey Wanderer had the greater strength, and the greater influence upon the dwellers in Middle-earth, even though he hid his power and desired neither fear nor reverence'. It looks like both of these are saying that Gandalf was the more powerful (And he was wisest of all the Maiar, this was stated in the Silmarillion). Oh yeah, and I think Sauron and Gandalf are equally as powerful, because in the unfinished tales, it says this.... 'For they must be mighty, peers of Sauron, but must forgo might, and clothe themselves in flesh so as to treat on equality and win the trust of Elves and Men'. What do you guys think of it? (I'm a newbie, just finished the books yesterday, lol)

</p>

onewhitetree
08-31-2001, 12:36 PM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

Sharku, I believe you have hit the nail on the head! (You practically recited the thesis of a paper of mine.)
I think the Balrog could have served both purposes, as an emissary of Sauron and a final, deciding test for Gandalf (as if he had not been tried enough already). He did need a gateway into the spirit world, or else he would not have been able to be sent back as Gandalf the White at all. The controlling forces behing Gandalf's transfiguration knew that only such a drastic resurrection-and-transformation would indubitably (thanks, Imp <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> ) place Gandalf in the undisputed position as leader of the Istari.
Also, I think it was a necessary change for Gandalf. His physical body was becoming more noticably old and worn. Wizard he may have been, but even Wizards grow weary, I think. In order to assume his new position, he needed more than he had.
As to the significance of the colors, I believe that they are representative of the wearer(s). Saruman started out with white that had been appointed to him. He proceeded to soil the purity he had been given until his outward appearance made the transformation into many-colored, which is symbolic of his inner feelings, I think. Loyalties to Sauron, to his order, and to himself were battling, and his color showed this.
Gandalf appointed himself the color of Grey, I think--that of being lesser, not thinking himself worthy of the white--and he may not have been worthy at the time. As his body grew old, his spirit grew in worthiness, as Saruman's lessened. The juxtaposition of their situations proves who the true leader is. They gradually switched positions until all that was left was the final, official reckoning. Enter the Balrog, who seals the fate when Gandalf once and for all proves himself through it. The physically apparent changes then take place. Gandalf is ressurrected, becoming true white, through and through. Everyone gets what they deserve, in the end.

<p align=center>Every leaf a miracle ~ The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
<a href=http://pub23.ezboard.com/bminasmorgul>Minas Morgul</a></p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000008>onewhitetree</A>&nbsp; <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="http://www.ezboard.com/ezgfx/gicons/black_whitespot.gif" BORDER=0> at: 8/31/01 2:44:32 pm

onewhitetree
08-31-2001, 12:38 PM
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Re: The ascendence of Gandalf

P.S. Zoe, you are a pedantic after my own heart. Bless you. I am not alone.

<p align=center>Every leaf a miracle ~ The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
<a href=http://pub23.ezboard.com/bminasmorgul>Minas Morgul</a></p>