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Old 03-22-2005, 09:45 AM   #1
dwarfguard
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Pipe gandalf as a maia

who of the fellowship (if any)knew that gandalf was a maia and not just a "wizard".I think that elrond knew and probably cirdan knew.
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:10 AM   #2
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Nobody knew. It was a secret. Gandalf hardly even knew.
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:19 AM   #3
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if he hardly knew, then why did he remember he was called olorin in the west?
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:24 AM   #4
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That was one of the things that he remembered.
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:24 AM   #5
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And yet he basically told Faramir, "Olorin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten". Of course Faramir probably wouldn't know the significance of that but it was quite a gamble that someone who did wouldn't hear of it.
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:52 AM   #6
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So now you are trying to tell me that Faramir is stupid? Because that's what it is looking like you are saying. Did you forget where he grew up?
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:06 AM   #7
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No-one in the fellowship knew. There were others in Middle-earth who might have had an inkling.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:11 AM   #8
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i remember reading somewhere that someone suspected that he came from the west,thats why cirdan gave him his ring and said something like by these grey shores shall i await you and your labors will be hard.So he must of known.Right?
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:36 AM   #9
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Cirdan had the distinct empirical advantage of witnessing Gandalf arrive from the West. So his suspicions were aroused somewhat.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:38 AM   #10
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He had the empirical advantage of seeing him get off of a boat on the west coast.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:42 AM   #11
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It is said in the first paragraph of the essay on the Istari published in Unfinished Tales that “none save maybe Elrond, Círdan and Galadriel discovered of what kind they were or whence they came.”

According to the third paragraph, it was “for long known only to Círdan” that the Ithron “came from over the Sea out of the Uttermost West.”
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:47 AM   #12
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so, it makes you wonder how the fellowship explained the existence of wizards to themselves.I mean, its not everyday you meet a person of magical powers that returns from the dead.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:49 AM   #13
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You allude to a bold assertion Maerbenn. That historian obviously never considered the possibility that the Istari had merely been on a zany college drinking cruise.

Cirdan had certainly considered that possibility. A careful fellow, yea verily.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:53 AM   #14
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who of the fellowship (if any)knew that gandalf was a maia and not just a "wizard".I think that elrond knew and probably cirdan knew.
Elrond and Cirdan were in the Fellowship?

But I'm sure anyone who knew anything could figure it out that he was an Ainu, even if they couldn't figure out he was a Maia. He looks like a man but he can't be one since he just keeps living and living and doesn't turn wraith-like, he's too tall to be a dwarf or a hobbit, and he looks too old to be an elf- plus he doesn't have pointy ears, and everyone knows that elves have pointy ears.

What else can he be?

Another Bombadilish enigma? An ent that has grown mannish and shrunk?

He doesn't fit snugly into any category, so what's left? An Ainu!
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:55 AM   #15
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Well, obviously. If you know what an Ainu is. Bilbo, for example, considered him a wizard. And that was that. That didn't make Bilbo stupid.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:00 PM   #16
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That didn't make Bilbo stupid.
But it did make him ignorant.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:02 PM   #17
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Gandalf didn't know too much about the contents of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins's wardrobe. Gandalf was ignorant too.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:03 PM   #18
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Silmaril Olorin's raving youth

When Olorin was hanging about being wise with Manwe and Varda and Nienna, before the death of the Trees, I thought it was mentioned that he liked the company of Elves? While I see him perhaps being more interested in the Vanyar, surely he would have met, even known quite well, Galadriel? But perhaps it took a while for her to recognise him-he was disguised as an old man, and they hadn't met for a wee while.

Still, it would seem she remembered him eventually. What else explains her favouritising of him over Curunir, his senior, with whom she had rather more in common? Of course, it's likely Curunir reminded her of Feanor and his sons. She may also have envied and suspected his power, resented his condescension. But all the same...I think she must have worked out who Mithrandir was.

And you'd definitely have thought Glorfindel would have known, even though Tolkien didn't mention him. Why, the fella was an honorary wizard, sharing Olorin's task! He'd certainly have known whence he'd come, even though he was sent back earlier, I suppose. I think this is an oversight, and Glorfindel should be included alongside the "Big Three"-as should, arguably, other Noldor such as Gildor. (Which would shed light on his remark about wizards.)

Oh, and Maglor would have known him at once, of course...
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:03 PM   #19
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Gandalf didn't know too much about the contents of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins's wardrobe. Gandalf was ignorant too.
Yes, you're right. You seem to have an excellent understanding of what ignorant means. Congratulations.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:06 PM   #20
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My point was that it is clear why your average resident of Middle-earth would have no concept of Ainur.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:08 PM   #21
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Sting My Lord...

...please don't turn this into a semantic squabble. I come here for Tolkien rumination, not extra English Language AS sessions...thrilling as they are...let's get back to the topic at hand...
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:22 PM   #22
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Hear hear, Anguirel.

Petty, and ultimately pointless, points scoring serves no purpose but to clutter up the thread and drive it off topic.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:27 PM   #23
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I'm not sure about the severity of this example, though. lord supposed that it was clear that Gandalf was an Ainu, and thus the Fellowship could have worked it out (very simplified, I'm sorry!) I countered by arguing that it was not as simple as that.

I think we were on topic and ok. No?
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:31 PM   #24
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Silmaril

I think it's a bit unfair to say that Bilbo was ignorant. With perhaps the exception of Cirdan, they were all as much in the dark as to the origins of the Istari. Only Cirdan, being the oldest and wisest, recognised Gandalf for what he was and treated him with due reverence. As he spent so much time with elves, Gandalf became accepted and valued by them over the centuries, without them necessarily understanding his full purpose.
Apart from those elves who had been to Aman would any of them have recognised a Maia anyway, even without the old man disguise?

Men seemed to think that Gandalf was an elf of some sort. From UT; The Istari :

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'...he was called among the Men of the North Gandalf, 'the Elf of the Wand'. For they deemed him (though in error, as has been said) to be of Elven-kind...
To the hobbits he was a wise and magical being. He was their friend but he could also show a more severe, sharper side. He was obviously not a hobbit, an elf or an ordinary man. What else could he be but a wizard?

Apart from his own abilities and talents Gandalf had the added enhancement of Narya. This magnified his 'open and friendly' spirit and made him beloved of those he had come to aid. It is possible that the power of the ring also helped to keep up the facade.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:38 PM   #25
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I think we were on topic and ok.
I thought so too, but I was wrong. In my last post I said something sarcastic, and apparantly it is impossible to be on topic and sarcastic at the same time. I got warned about that on another thread a while back. It's all my fault, Eomer, no reason to blush.

I think most people in Middle Earth didn't care what he was. We're more curious about Middle Earth than it's own inhabitants. I guess most people I know are the same way. They don't care how their car works, just so long as it works, you know what I mean?
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:48 PM   #26
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Question

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Originally Posted by Eruanna
I think it's a bit unfair to say that Bilbo was ignorant. With perhaps the exception of Cirdan, they were all as much in the dark as to the origins of the Istari. Only Cirdan, being the oldest and wisest, recognised Gandalf for what he was and treated him with due reverence. As he spent so much time with elves, Gandalf became accepted and valued by them over the centuries, without them necessarily understanding his full purpose.
Apart from those elves who had been to Aman would any of them have recognised a Maia anyway, even without the old man disguise?

Men seemed to think that Gandalf was an elf of some sort.

To the hobbits he was a wise and magical being. He was their friend but he could also show a more severe, sharper side. He was obviously not a hobbit, an elf or an ordinary man. What else could he be but a wizard?
A few responses to these points. Elves like Galadriel and Gildor had been to Aman; and Glorfindel practically still had the light of Valinor in his eyes. Surely they would have cottoned on to at least the nature of the thing, if not Olorin himself?

Also, for some reason, I'm increasingly attracted by the idea that Gandalf and Galadriel were close friends in Valinor. Between them they were Tolkien's favourite characters, judging by the amount of material on them; Galadriel always showed Gandalf favour; she defended him against Celeborn's not-so-respectful epigraph. I like to think of it as similar to the relationship of Odysseus and Helen in the Iliad, though I know that has nothing to do with it.

Very interesting. So Men generally thought he was a sort of Cirdan? Reasonable enough. Explains the superstition of the Rohirrim regarding him; and perhaps some of Denethor's attitude too. Though would the likes of Denethor, Aragorn and Faramir have had a better idea of the situation?

Finally, note that the hobbits, and some men, seem to have imagined wizarding as a profession rather than a race. Sam is teased by Frodo as being a potential warrior or wizard in FOTR (out of the question, of course, if it was regarded as a separate race); Beorn describes Radagast as "not a bad sort, as wizards go", or something. Quite interesting.
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:52 AM   #27
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I think all people considered that he was a wizard. A wizard as a race, like hobbit. (Ok, no wizard children or wizard women, but I hope you can catch the idea of wizard as a race.) Or then just some extraordinary human-like being.
Some people might have been ignorant.
And I think Gandalf clearly knew wht he was, but the other persons in the fellowship didn't.
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Old 03-23-2005, 08:23 AM   #28
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Manwe was on to something.....

Interesting Galadriel thesis going on here. But, didnt Olorin "pass unseen" amongst the elves? Were the elves aware of his presence? I do think that I am adhering to the idea that Galadriel and her ilk (those who were Eldar or had come from the west) would have the ability to sense a soul that had "come from Aman", as it were.

But, if they actually knew they were Maia, more reverence would be shown to them, to the detriment of the original mission of the Istari. Galadriel would be less uppity towards Saurman at the White Council debates too, which would have profound effects on their strategy.

As for the average ME inhabitant, (IMO) Wizards were just another critter in the park. It would depend on ones experience/travels. The average man indeed would consider him an elf of somekind, because he/she would relate the fact that the wizard never expiring with the fair folk, or what they understood about them anyways. By the TA, men would have had more exposure to wizards than elves. For hobbits, wizards were wizards, but the attribute of never dying would not particularly be associated with elves. They had their Tom Bombadils, Goldberrys, Old Man Willows, etc.

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Old 03-23-2005, 11:57 AM   #29
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Pipe

It rather stretches credulity to suggest that Aragorn didn't
know about Gandalf, not only was he head of the Dunedain
and raised as Elrond's foster son, but his fiances' grandma
was on friendly terms with Aragorn.
And Faramir had similar reasons to know of Gandalf's origins,
both from being "a wizard's pupil" and his daddy's
ability to have insights. And surely Faramir would have
discussed Gandalf with his admired older brother.
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:42 PM   #30
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does anyone think that galadriel was a bit apprehensive about calling gandalf out as a maia?I mean, if she suspected anything, she might be afraid of the wrath of the valar and maybe she thought the wizards might be there to persecute her for leaving valinor?Or maybe she sensed his mission and kept silent for the fellowships sake?
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:25 PM   #31
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Silmaril Galadriel ain't no groveller!

With all due respect, drigel and dwarfguard , I think you're rather underestimating Galadriel. In whatever version of her story you believe, she defies all the Valar with the insouciance of Feanor himself. (Galadriel, Feanor and Saruman are awfully similar. Like repels like.) Mere Maiar hold little fear for her; she studied under Melian (alright, that implies she slightly knew her place, but wasn't intimidated.) Remember Sauron, as Annatar, posed as a Maia out of the west, but both Galadriel and her nephew Gil-Galad openly disdained him anyway.

Galadriel can't be messed with. She's not just great in Third Age terms; she's in the big three of greatest Elves ever (Feanor, Galadriel and the incongruous Luthien). She's an eccentric, a genius, last of a great line, endowed with unlimited wisdom (as she believes) and power. If she wants to cut Saruman dead, she can, Maia or no Maia. And if she identified Olorin, she'd keep his secret only if she felt inclined to (and she would have done).

Good point about passing unseen, though. Slightly scuttles my ideas.
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:16 PM   #32
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i agree that galadriel is a force to be reckoned with, but that thing about her cutting saruman down is ridiculous.He held Gandalf against his will and was the most powerful of the Istari.Not to mention he was a maia, who is stronger than any elf, unless your talking about hand-to-hand combat.Sauron posed as Annatar giver of gifts, not as a maia, although we all know he was.They probably suspected him for who he really was.
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:32 PM   #33
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i agree that galadriel is a force to be reckoned with, but that thing about her cutting saruman down is ridiculous.He held Gandalf against his will and was the most powerful of the Istari.Not to mention he was a maia, who is stronger than any elf, unless your talking about hand-to-hand combat.Sauron posed as Annatar giver of gifts, not as a maia, although we all know he was.They probably suspected him for who he really was.
Not quite. We're not talking about Dragon Ball Z. "Power levels" are a pretty complicated thing in Tolkien's work. Galadriel would not have had anything to fear from Saruman personally, I daresay, just as Gandalf did not. "Stronger than any elf" may not be entirely accurate, either, as Tolkien said that some Elves were elevated to such a degree of mightiness as to approach the spiritual puissance of the Maiar. I believe this was written in reference to Glorfindel, and could obviously also apply to those considered "greater" than he.
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:16 PM   #34
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If some elves were powerful enough to slay Balrogs, than I'd say they could give Saruman a run for his money. And seeing that Galadriel is more powerful than Glorfindel who slew a balrog....
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:43 PM   #35
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If you look at my posts, I am a Galadriel defender myself. And I do love a good debate, so I will be the devils advocate on this one, just because I am still interested. As long as its based on good natured, canon adhering ideas, I do like to throw it around some. Makes me think and learn

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does anyone think that galadriel was a bit apprehensive about calling gandalf out as a maia?
She was as wise as she was a great elf. IMO, (kind of aggreeing with DGuard) if she did anything, she confided to him -in private communication (either verbally or non-verbally). Im sure Gandalf did as well.

Quote:
she defies all the Valar with the insouciance of Feanor himself
Pride and the desire to rule says a lot about her strength of spirit, yes. Her, and about 35,000 other Noldor defied the Valar...... so that says what about her personal physical attributes??

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Mere Maiar hold little fear for her; she studied under Melian (alright, that implies she slightly knew her place, but wasn't intimidated.) Remember Sauron, as Annatar, posed as a Maia out of the west, but both Galadriel and her nephew Gil-Galad openly disdained him anyway.
ummm not sure what the point is here. Too many contradictions. I would say here that disdain is different than "calling him out" and identifying him as Sauron Gauthar. She is neither omnipresent nor is she omnipotent.

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She's an eccentric, a genius, last of a great line, endowed with unlimited wisdom (as she believes) and power
LOVE that. Awsome. Except for the unlimited part..


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If she wants to cut Saruman dead, she can, Maia or no Maia.
She is accounted, of all the Eldar, one of the most powerfull, noble and wise. If it was an athletic contest, the smart money would be on G. But, she is an elf, not a comic book hero. She spent the majoritiy of her time in ME ruling, not personally fighting. As for the Maia deal, I would think that Saruman might be hampered due to the fact that he had to assume the physical embodiment that the Istari were confined to, but cmon dude - GvsS is to me like GvsBalrog. I would hope for the best, but my heart would tell me that she would not be long for this world. All a matter of opinion I guess....
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:56 PM   #36
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it might be because i was never much of an galadriel person, but i have to stick with what i said before.Theres no way she would stand a chance against saruman.Those staffs arent just for looks.I'm sure it came in handy for gandalf against that balrog.Although there is debate about elven "magic", i never seen her as much of a warrior, more of an mental warrior, so to speak, very strong willed.Oh yeah, whatever dragonball z is, i assure you it has nothing to do with it.I got that part about saruman being the most poweful from the books.Maybe someone known as a warrior like glorfindel or feanor could defeat him.
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Old 03-23-2005, 08:30 PM   #37
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I'm sure it came in handy for gandalf against that balrog.Although there is debate about elven "magic", i never seen her as much of a warrior
She (with some help from Saruman) threw Sauron's butt out of Dol Guldur. She is also able to sustain Lorien with the power from her ring. And being a Noldor elf who has seen the two trees I would say she is quite a warrior if needed to be one.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:28 PM   #38
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Actually sauron retreated to mordor once he knew they were on to him...But i guess ill give up my resistance since majority seems to be against me.But saruman would still defeat galadriel.thats just my opinion.I dont know what you guys think she could pull out of her a** to beat him, but more power to her.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:44 PM   #39
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If some elves were powerful enough to slay Balrogs, than I'd say they could give Saruman a run for his money. And seeing that Galadriel is more powerful than Glorfindel who slew a balrog...
Being wise and powerful is not the same thing as being very physically strong, very quick and agile, and extremely skillful with a weapon and experienced in hand to hand combat. Glorfindel is a warrior and I would expect him to have much more success in a physical battle than Galadriel.
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She (with some help from Saruman) threw Sauron's butt out of Dol Guldur.
With her bare hands?
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She is also able to sustain Lorien with the power from her ring
...which has nothing to do with how well she can swing a sword.
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And being a Noldor elf who has seen the two trees
Viewing trees does not count as battle experience.
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I would say she is quite a warrior if needed to be one.
I imagine she would do decent if she had to, but compete with Glorfindel or other such warriors? No.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:55 PM   #40
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Ah, a partner in crime! as i said before, I see her as a wise spiritual elf, not a warrior.What would she do, stare him to death?But really, i believe she would put up a good fight.Also, had saruman not seen the two trees?Not that it matters for combat.
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