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Old 10-11-2007, 02:32 AM   #521
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Originally Posted by Mansun View Post
Gandalf is not just a vulnerable human being, otherwise his burns suffered against the Balrog would have killed him far earlier. Plus, his battle against the Balrog lasted 2 days at least, which no ordinary human body could cope with. Yes, Gandalf does eventually die as a result, but a normal human body would not have sustained the fire of a Balrog, & thus he would have died instantly. We cannot therefore assume Gandalf is as vulnerable as what the Silmarillion makes out with confidence. His Maiar powers obviously shield his body to a large extent, or at least allow him to heal very quickly.

In Middle Earth history, can you think of any examples whereby the weaker baddie defeats a so called mightier goodie?
And I'm happy with you ASSUMING that as you say - as long as you're not just categorically TELLING me, as others have, that Gandalf would have won against the WK with 100% certainty. I am using 'Canon' to explain my point - i.e. what Tolkien himself wrote about the Istari. Your point above, (and my views on whether the WK could have defeated Gandalf as well) are conjecture - what COULD have happened. I just can't agree with posters who say with the utmost certainty what WOULD have happened if they did actually fight.

As to your second question, I can turn it around to show the two biggest 'victories' of weaker goodies vs baddies in the books. A 'weak' hobbit helps defeat the Witch King himself (how ironic is that statement in this thread), and two 'weak' hobbits defeat Sauron.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:55 AM   #522
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As to your second question, I can turn it around to show the two biggest 'victories' of weaker goodies vs baddies in the books. A 'weak' hobbit helps defeat the Witch King himself (how ironic is that statement in this thread), and two 'weak' hobbits defeat Sauron.

Tolkein appears to have an obssession with the weaker goodie overcoming the mightier baddie. But not so, it appears, the other way round.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:28 AM   #523
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Originally Posted by Essex View Post
And I'm happy with you ASSUMING that as you say - as long as you're not just categorically TELLING me, as others have, that Gandalf would have won against the WK with 100% certainty. I am using 'Canon' to explain my point - i.e. what Tolkien himself wrote about the Istari. Your point above, (and my views on whether the WK could have defeated Gandalf as well) are conjecture - what COULD have happened. I just can't agree with posters who say with the utmost certainty what WOULD have happened if they did actually fight.

As to your second question, I can turn it around to show the two biggest 'victories' of weaker goodies vs baddies in the books. A 'weak' hobbit helps defeat the Witch King himself (how ironic is that statement in this thread), and two 'weak' hobbits defeat Sauron.
Gandalf would have slaughtered the Witch-King, no question.

I disagree with your examples, by the way. I don't see any of this underdog theme in Tolkien at all. I have no idea how Mansun can claim Tolkien is "obsessed" with the idea.
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:54 PM   #524
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I disagree with your examples, by the way. I don't see any of this underdog theme in Tolkien at all. I have no idea how Mansun can claim Tolkien is "obsessed" with the idea.
The main theme of the LOTR is based on how a group of Hobbits step up & do great deeds against the odds to help defeat Sauron. Some other examples would be :-

Witch King vs Merry & Eowyn

The defeat of Morgoth

Pippin slays a troll

The attack at Weathertop - the Hobbits & Aragorn vs 5 Nazgul

Rocky Balboa vs Ivan Drago (the ultimate David vs Goliath!)


There are no examples in the history of Middle Earth where the mightier goodie has been defeated by a weaker baddie though. Which makes the case for a Gandalf victory virtually certain.

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Old 11-09-2007, 04:09 PM   #525
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In the book the Witch King fled before Gandalf could do battle with him, and Pippen came to get Gandalf to save Faramir. In the end I think Gandalf would arise as the victor.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:36 AM   #526
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Leaf Not a snowball's chance in hell...

Someone earlier referenced the how Tolkien earlier handled lines of power
with respect to beings. This also applies to places, objects, artifacts and it's own internal mythology.

Melkor --> Sauron (Maiar)-->
3 Rings for elven kings under the sky
7 for dwarf lords in their halls of stone
9 for mortal men doomed to die

While a lot of power was placed in those rings , none are enough to take on Gandalf.

Gandalf is a Maiar (see Sauron if we are tracking lines of power)

Sauron has more power than Gandalf only due to a more straight line to his master Melkor.

The Witchking is really a mere pawn
It would take all 9 nazgul to fight Gandalf The White (or Grey) and they would lose.

The whole scene was bad. That Staff is not getting shattered any day soon
and only by Sauron himself.

Several related weaker good guys beating stronger bad guys. With respect to the Hobbits,
their skills are underestimated and each time they are carrying artifacts that aid them in defeating the "stronger" bad guy.

Example...Shelob...Sting and the Phial of Galadriel

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Old 12-11-2007, 12:50 PM   #527
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By the way this is the opinion I gave in the other thread.
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The Witch-king could never even get near beating Gandalf. Olorin (Gandalf) was a Maiar and the witch-king was a human (though I do think he was a "black numenorean" so he might have had some Maiar blood in him after all, but Gandalf is fully Maiar). A human, however powerful, could never kill, or even win a fight against a Maiar. And Olorin was chosen to help the peoples of middle earth, in the same that Eonwe was (not being as strong as the target but still being comparatively strong to them). Gandalf killed a Balrog, a Maiar, a being of divine descent, to get beaten by a man? The Balrog, by the way, was not even a servant of Sauron, but of Morgoth, not much weaker than Sauron, in fact. Gandalf was sent by Manwe, and even though he refused at first, Gandalf went for a reason (varda makes a sneaky comment that hints that he is stronger than Saruman (curumo in Valinor). Gandalf is an immortal, and could not properly be killed anyway. Also, the witch-king has neither the authority nor the power to break Gandalf's staff as he did during the movie.
PS. Morgoth is the lord of all the evil, the old master of Sauron
PPS. This time (with Gandalf) the target is Sauron (the target was Morgoth with Eonwe).
PPPS. Eonwe is actually Enw, Olorin is actually Olrin, Numenorean is actually Nmenrean and Manwe is actually Manw, if you want all the accents correctly placed
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Old 12-11-2007, 12:55 PM   #528
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Originally Posted by Ken_wilsonii View Post

Several related weaker good guys beating stronger bad guys. With respect to the Hobbits,
their skills are underestimated and each time they are carrying artifacts that aid them in defeating the "stronger" bad guy.

Example...Shelob...Sting and the Phial of Galadriel
Yes but that was sam and he is special (look at this)Also, he is actually a good fighter (or at least among hoobbits)< which they don't fully appreciate in the movies. I think Sam is underdone in the movies.

Hmmm... maybe I'll start a thread
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:29 PM   #529
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you see, my friend and i were arguing about who would win in a battle: the WK or Gandalf. and i looked it up and found this thread and decided to join this forum, and i'm an avid lotr reader and of course i absolutely loved the movies.

but that scene really made no sense to me, knowing that gandalf was a mair and got his power from the valor itself. i mean come on he came back from the dead like jesus after kicking some *** and came back and kicked some more.

and the witch king got his power from a already very weak sauron, so gandalf obviously wins.

i dont know how anyone could put up a decent argument on the WK's side.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:26 AM   #530
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There's no question about it. The Witch King was a Wraith while Gandalf was a Miar. The nobody can kill a Mair unless you are a Mair yourself; or Valar.

Peter Jackson, I must admit, did a poor job at that scene. It would have been better if he would have stuck to the book with that sequence.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:43 AM   #531
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While I agree with the view that Jackson 'got it wrong' and the Witch-King most certainly could not have broken the staff of Gandalf, it is not at all certain that Gandalf would have won in a direct confrontation with the Lord of the Nazgul.

It is true that Gandalf was also Olorin the Maia but he was less powerful as Gandalf the Incarnate Istar. Gandalf the White was more powerful than Gandalf the Grey yet still he was Incarnate and Tolkien himself stated:-

Tolkien's Letters: 156 To Robert Murray, SJ. (draft)

Quote:
By 'incarnate' I mean they were embodied in physical bodies capable of pain, and weariness, and of afflicting the spirit with physical fear, and of being 'killed', though supported by the angelic spirit they might endure long, and only show slowly the wearing of care and labour.
And of The Witch-King vs Gandalf Tolkien has Gandalf saying:-

Return of the King: The Siege of Gondor.
Quote:
'Then, Mithrandir, you had a foe to match you,' said Denethor. 'For myself, I have long known who is the chief captain of the hosts of the Dark Tower. Is this all that you have returned to say? Or can it be that you have withdrawn because you are overmatched?'
Pippin trembled, fearing that Gandalf would be stung to sudden wrath, but his fear was needless. 'It might be so,' Gandalf answered softly. 'But our trial of strength is not yet come.
However, even this does not come anywhere near to the weakness that Jackson's Gandalf quite clearly displayed.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:57 PM   #532
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Sorry, but could someone please explain to me where in the films it is said that Gandalf was a Maia, or indeed that Maiar even existed?
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:35 PM   #533
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I don't believe it is explicated. I have pointed out before (this thread or another, I dunno) that Gandalf's portrayal in the films may be inaccurate, but it's not incongruent with the mythos as adapted by the filmmakers.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:16 AM   #534
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I think Gandalf was more powerful and I think he could drive off the witch king but killing the witch king would have been a tall order even for Gandalf. They were close to evenly matched. Especially since the Witch King had ring power on his side.

At any rate the extended edition scene with Gandalf and the witch king is bogus and "it never happened" See the enhanced version on Youtube instead.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:28 AM   #535
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While I agree with the view that Jackson 'got it wrong' and the Witch-King most certainly could not have broken the staff of Gandalf, it is not at all certain that Gandalf would have won in a direct confrontation with the Lord of the Nazgul.

It is true that Gandalf was also Olorin the Maia but he was less powerful as Gandalf the Incarnate Istar. Gandalf the White was more powerful than Gandalf the Grey yet still he was Incarnate and Tolkien himself stated:-

Tolkien's Letters: 156 To Robert Murray, SJ. (draft)
By 'incarnate' I mean they were embodied in physical bodies capable of pain, and weariness, and of afflicting the spirit with physical fear, and of being 'killed', though supported by the angelic spirit they might endure long, and only show slowly the wearing of care and labour.


And of The Witch-King vs Gandalf Tolkien has Gandalf saying:-

Return of the King: The Siege of Gondor.
'Then, Mithrandir, you had a foe to match you,' said Denethor. 'For myself, I have long known who is the chief captain of the hosts of the Dark Tower. Is this all that you have returned to say? Or can it be that you have withdrawn because you are overmatched?'
Pippin trembled, fearing that Gandalf would be stung to sudden wrath, but his fear was needless. 'It might be so,' Gandalf answered softly. 'But our trial of strength is not yet come.
Well said. This is what I've been saying (or been trying to say!!!) over the past 3 YEARS this thread has been going. when will it ever end........????????!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:05 AM   #536
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Well said. This is what I've been saying (or been trying to say!!!) over the past 3 YEARS this thread has been going. when will it ever end........????????!!!!!!!!
It's not that you were ignored, it's that this information does not reveal what you think it reveals.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:04 PM   #537
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It's not that you were ignored, it's that this information does not reveal what you think it reveals.
It reveals that the original characters on which the film characters were based were near equal in power. Gandalf was adapted to film as a much weaker character.
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Old 01-16-2008, 04:25 PM   #538
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It reveals that the original characters on which the film characters were based were near equal in power. Gandalf was adapted to film as a much weaker character.
No, it does not.

Essex's position has been, if I remember correctly, that the Witch-King could have overcome Gandalf by virtue of the "upset" phenomenon. This position inherently recognizes Gandalf's superiority while also highlighting his vulnerability. I disagree with Essex, but that does not mean he is entirely wrong.

You, however, are wrong. There is no way for the Witch-King to be "near equal" to Gandalf, who was a peer of Sauron himself, modesty notwithstanding. I will not repeat my arguments for this, but it should be fairly clear to anyone who takes the time to read the sources I have referenced in other posts, scattered across several threads.

Here is a point I have not brought up before, however:
Quote:
And here in Rivendell there live still some of [Sauron's] chief foes: the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas. They do not fear the Ringwraiths, for those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds, and against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power.
This fact that Gandalf reveals applies not just to the Eldar, but also to Gandalf himself.

Finally, in anticipation of its resurrection, I will say this of the claim that the Witch-King was literally enhanced for the last book: It is a dubious theory, the source text for which comes from a letter not intended as canonical history (or indeed even to be included in the corpus), nor was it in response to a curious reader, and it is uncorroborated by other canonical texts. Additionally the letter is clearly discussing the literary decisions of the author for purposes of evaluating an adaptation. These facts provide enough doubt that the event can not be taken for granted and thus remains speculative.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:24 AM   #539
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No, it does not.

You, however, are wrong. There is no way for the Witch-King to be "near equal" to Gandalf, who was a peer of Sauron himself, modesty notwithstanding. I will not repeat my arguments for this, but it should be fairly clear to anyone who takes the time to read the sources I have referenced in other posts, scattered across several threads.
It is true that we as readers of the books of Arda are well aware of the relative differences between the actual powers of Gandalf/Olorin and the Witch-king. We have the advantage of knowing who and what Gandalf really is. We know also that the Witch-king is only a somewhat enhanced Man. However, in this thread we are discussing the adaptation of the characters from the book Lord of the Rings to film.

In the book, Gandalf is not permitted to use his full power to combat the evil of Sauron or his minions. He is there to be a teacher and guide. True it is only by his own choice that he abides by these limits, but he has already shown that he would "die" rather than ignore them. Since the Witch-king cannot be near as powerful as Gandalf, it is Gandalf's choice to abide by the limits that lowers him to near the Witch-king. So we have a situation where Gandalf is confident that the Witch-king cannot overcome him, but is not certain that he can destroy the Witch-king while staying within these limits.

This gives us the position in the book where, from the point of view of the story, we have two characters of near equal power facing each other. Gandalf sitting astride Shadowfax confident that he can bar the way of the Witch-king with the Witch-king arrogantly certain that nothing can stand in his way.

Quote:
Here is a point I have not brought up before, however:

This fact that Gandalf reveals applies not just to the Eldar, but also to Gandalf himself.
Yes they have Great Power against the Seen and the Unseen. They drive them off regularly (sometimes into a river) But have never been shown to cause serious harm.

I ask you to think back to the first time you read Lord of the Rings. Before you read all the other information on Middle-earth. Were you then so certain of how great was the difference of power between Gandalf and the Witch-king?

It is this appearance of Near Equal characters shown in the book that should have been adapted to the film.

Quote:
Finally, in anticipation of its resurrection, I will say this of the claim that the Witch-King was literally enhanced for the last book: It is a dubious theory, the source text for which comes from a letter not intended as canonical history (or indeed even to be included in the corpus), nor was it in response to a curious reader, and it is uncorroborated by other canonical texts. Additionally the letter is clearly discussing the literary decisions of the author for purposes of evaluating an adaptation. These facts provide enough doubt that the event can not be taken for granted and thus remains speculative.
Actually, the comments in that letter show that Jackson and co's adaptation of the Witch-king was, over all, better than the one Tolkien was commenting on. Jackson did not raise the Witch-king to the stature of the third book until the time of the battle of Pelennor Fields and the Siege of Minas Tirith.

It was the adaptation of the character of Gandalf that failed.
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Old 06-28-2008, 03:52 PM   #540
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Sorry, but could someone please explain to me where in the films it is said that Gandalf was a Maia, or indeed that Maiar even existed?
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:28 PM   #541
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''I have been sent back until my task is done''.
That's more of a hint, though. It certainly sugggests something divine at work, but it doesn't actually say anything specific.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:34 PM   #542
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That's more of a hint, though. It certainly sugggests something divine at work, but it doesn't actually say anything specific.

Hint or not, that particular scene in the Two Towers was one which was used to show the supernatural higher order of power that Gandalf was.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:03 PM   #543
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I just found this thread today..and I'm sure it will open up more old wounds, but anyway, I felt I wanted to put in my 2 cents:

When I first saw this scene, I was shocked. I felt that its inclusion showed that PJ didn't truly understand Tolkien, or the characters, at all. There is some other evidence of this, or at least of just bad use of language (which is about as anti-Tolkien as you can get), but I digress...

After thinking about the scene more, I think the biggest problem is the complete and somewhat over the top fear that Gandalf displays. He would not be afraid, he had even "died" already, and knew if he died it would not be his true end, as he explains to Pippin with the "green land under a swift sunrise" line earlier.

In the appendices this scene is actually addressed, and IIRC (it's been a while) I think PJ even says he knew it would get a mixed reaction, but it was included to show that basically the age of the old powers was waning, and that Men alone would be able to save Middle earth. The arrival of the Rohirrim is designed to highlight that point. Given this context, the scene makes more sense...I still just don't like how it was played out.

As far as the "Aragorn beating him with some burning sticks" type comments, I feel that it's pretty well established that the Black Riders are less powerful than the fully equipped Nazgul that come later. To me, it seems that their power grows along with the power of their Master, as they are shadows of his power and are bound to it. As the Ring gets heavier, and Sauron's power and influence increase, so does the power of the Nine, which would explain their relative weakness earlier in the story vs their power near the end.

Anyway, it seems that there is a very intelligent and thoughtful group here, I hope to participate some in other areas.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:38 PM   #544
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I just found this thread today..and I'm sure it will open up more old wounds, but anyway, I felt I wanted to put in my 2 cents:

When I first saw this scene, I was shocked. I felt that its inclusion showed that PJ didn't truly understand Tolkien, or the characters, at all. There is some other evidence of this, or at least of just bad use of language (which is about as anti-Tolkien as you can get), but I digress...
I totally agree. This scene prompted me to join an internet forum where I could vent...and the rest is history.

Welcome to the Downs, Keyan! Hope you enjoy your stay.
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:04 PM   #545
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Quote:
Originally posted by Keyan
As far as the "Aragorn beating him with some burning sticks" type comments, I feel that it's pretty well established that the Black Riders are less powerful than the fully equipped Nazgul that come later. To me, it seems that their power grows along with the power of their Master, as they are shadows of his power and are bound to it. As the Ring gets heavier, and Sauron's power and influence increase, so does the power of the Nine, which would explain their relative weakness earlier in the story vs their power near the end.
And Aragorn (not movie Aragorn!) was already a powerful, self-assured
figure, head of the Dunedain, "greatest traveler of the age", and warrior of Rohan and Gondor, and so would be less affected by the chief weapon of the nazgul---fear.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:11 AM   #546
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Shock didn't even begin to describe my reaction to that scene in Jackson's movie (I suppose it is very telling that 9 times out of 10, I accidentally type "Hackson" before correcting it. It IS an accident, at least consciously. But ah, I know my subconscious, and accidents like these are seldom really accidents...). What it confirmed to me was that he and his co-writers were intent on making LotR "their own," and they decided to change the story from a cooperative effort among many peoples to a focus on the rising "world of Men." Once we leave Lothlorien in their version of the story, other races are there to provide comic relief (Gimli) or spiffy extra-cool action (Legolas -- and I suspect that if the fan girls hadn't panted over Orlando Bloom, his role would have been downplayed). The point at which it became most painfully obvious to me that they didn't get it was the scene where Gandalf is supposedly comforting Pippin about death -- quoting Frodo's dream of Valinor, and equating it with the passage from life to the afterlife. Funny that Gandalf doesn't even recognize the description of the place he came from, and will go back to!

Oh, I shouldn't go on, my heartburn will never forgive me. But I will say that I'm not speaking as a lover of the books who despised the films from the start. I actually thought they made a reasonably good beginning in FotR (yes, I had some issues with it, but I did see promise in that film), which took a steep nosedive with (if not before) the warg-rider battle in TTT. At that point, it appeared to me that, the fan base for the movies having been established, Jackson and crew stopped making movies for the fans of Tolkien, and began making movies for fans of their own. Very sad. I hate it when something that begins well ends badly. And that bit with the Witch King and cowering Gandalf... cripes, you gave all the poor wizard's best lines to other people, couldn't you at least let him have his moment of glory standing fast at the gate...???

sigh
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:37 AM   #547
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And that bit with the Witch King and cowering Gandalf... cripes, you gave all the poor wizard's best lines to other people, couldn't you at least let him have his moment of glory standing fast at the gate...???
Note that I've already written everything that can be written about this topic thrice...and yet I have to say it once again.

If only PJ had put a grin on the prone Gandalf's face, the same wizard that went boot-to-toe with a balrog, all would have been forgiven and forgotten.

I still think that George Lucas is somewhere hiding in the shadows behind all of this...
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:48 AM   #548
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I still think that George Lucas is somewhere hiding in the shadows behind all of this...
A least PJ didn't show Gandalf's staff turning into a lightsaber, then G. slicing the WK's head off. He probably thought of it, though.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:04 AM   #549
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A least PJ didn't show Gandalf's staff turning into a lightsaber, then G. slicing the WK's head off. He probably thought of it, though.
What made me think of Lucas was just reading a snarky review of RotS III, and also seeing it on TV last night. And Lucas, not producing a movie from a book source like Jackson, did not make his universe consistent/continuous with his earlier works, which many have noted. Did Jackson think that readers of Tolkien would be less forgiving?

Gandalf, even though he ended up losing the exchange, faced the Balrog on his feet. In TTT he foolishly leaps down a hill atop Shadowfax onto a group of Uruks holding shiny pieces of metal and wood pointed his way. In RotK Gandalf uses his wizardly flashlight to drive the Nazgul from the air, and he rallies the troops to the defense of Minas Tirith from the three battle trolls that come a'knocking.

And *then* he lies down on the job when the Witch King appears?

Why, even a Ranger that can be taken by surprise by a Elf could put up a better defense with a fiery piece of wood...
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:21 PM   #550
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Undead vs. Lesser Gods

The title says it all.

The Witch King of Angmar, as powerful as he is, is only an undead man. Gandalf, or Olorin, is an Ainur. He existed before the world existed. There is no doubt who would be the victor.

However, all that being said... There is a textual precedent for a being who is far more powerful acting fearful of a lesser being whom he could (and did) squash like a rat: Morgoth vs. Fingolfin. If you recall, at first, Morgoth cowered in Utumno in fear of Fingolfin's wrath. But then of course he came forth, got sliced in the achilles, screamed in pain, then promptly dispatched Fingolfin.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:19 AM   #551
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The title says it all.

The Witch King of Angmar, as powerful as he is, is only an undead man. Gandalf, or Olorin, is an Ainur. He existed before the world existed. There is no doubt who would be the victor.

However, all that being said... There is a textual precedent for a being who is far more powerful acting fearful of a lesser being whom he could (and did) squash like a rat: Morgoth vs. Fingolfin. If you recall, at first, Morgoth cowered in Utumno in fear of Fingolfin's wrath. But then of course he came forth, got sliced in the achilles, screamed in pain, then promptly dispatched Fingolfin.
Well said, aelrliecn, and Welcome to the Downs!

Even if Gandalf was powering down and the Witch-King buying boots thrice his former size, I still think that PJ did those of us Gandalf fans a disservice by not putting at least a blank expression on the prone Gandalf's face. Even if he were afraid, we know that he would at least go down swinging.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:43 AM   #552
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Hi,
I am new to this forum and have read this topic with great interest.
I have to say that I also feel so disturbed by the scene Gandalf vs Witchking eversince I have seen it the first time 5 years ago. Honestly, I wanted to punch the monitor when I saw it. To me, this scene represents an outrageous break with the spirit of Tolkien. It is clear that Peter Jackson or his crew have not understood the meaning of the figure of Gandalf in any way. For me, they did an excellent job on the first movie, a good job on the second one, and even the beginning of the third one was good. Then everything falls apart and drifts towards cinematic nonsense.
Well, that's why I decided to do an edit of the scene Gandalf vs Witchking 3 years ago, I did my best, still it could be much better if someone had the necessary tools:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoFRnsYdP2Y

also, I enhanced Gandalfs power in to other scenes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REdVUTEs57M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KiN-4thC6U

Maybe you like it.
I know it will not fully restore the dignity of Gandalf the white, but at least it is a try towards that direction. It could be done much better.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:41 PM   #553
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Welcome to the Downs, Todorius, hope you'll enjoy being dead!
Good jobs on those edits - yep, that's much more like the Gandalf we know and love. I especially liked the part where he makes the broken gate close again, before Grond breaks through the second time, reminiscent of the shutting-spell he used in Moria (Chamber of Mazarbl).
(A little bit of nitpicking, if you don't mind: the spell Gandalf tried at the west gate of Moria - "elvish gate, open for us" - isn't really appropriate here, as the gate wasn't elvish and he wanted it to stay closed, not open; but I realize you had to use something, and as long as one doesn't know what the words mean (most movie-goers probably didn't) it works nicely.)
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:09 AM   #554
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Thanks a lot.
I really hope that someday in the future, someone will come along and do an even better edit, with better effects. There is still a lot of room for improvements.

Yeah, you are right with the spell, I took it from FOTR where Gandalf tries to open the gate of Moria. It matched so well to the lip movement at the gate scene, and sounded like an impressive spell in that context.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:57 AM   #555
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Thanks a lot.
I really hope that someday in the future, someone will come along and do an even better edit, with better effects.
Or better still, an entire better movie. Preferably with Tom Bombadil in it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:34 PM   #556
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I agree this bit in the movie was odd the rest of the trilogy was great fun to watch and got me hooked on Middle-Earth Peter Jackson had to appeal to both Book Fans AND Movie Fans He He had to compromise with people and we have to compromise with him.... He had to add things lose things and even change things I'm sure we could pull off a 100% Perfect rendition of LOTR if we pooled our resources but who would watch it? answer not enough to make it profitable...though now that the idea is there it DOEs sound like fun...
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Old 11-03-2009, 05:07 AM   #557
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Good idea.
Count me in. I would take the job as special effects supervisor, ha ha
Oh and maybe I would also like to play a small part in our new version of the movie, but only a really small part, let's say... maybe....Aragorn. lol.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #558
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Hello everyone,

The problem I see with this scene is that it’s very difficult to explain what happens there and why, and such explanations usually don’t fit into the LoTR’s universe. It looks like PJ turned Gandalf into just a human skilled in magic. This fact wasn’t even clearly stated in the movie, but affects lots of things. The engine of Tolkien’s plot, as I see it, is the fight of the league of “earthly” and “heavenly” good spirits against evil ranks. Tolkien’s Gandalf, together with other Istari and the Eagles of Manwe, represents “heavenly” powers in ME, helping fight against the Dark Lord’s demonic power. But if Gandalf is something different, and ainur are not involved, how can we be sure that we may use the Tolkien’s universe to understand things happening? We have to narrow our comprehension to what is shown in the movie, but it’s obviously not enough. Where does evil originate and what is Sauron in this case? Why does the wizard say some abracadabra about fire of Anor in the scene with Balrog? Why he calls himself Olorin when Aragorn & K meet him in the forest? Etc. Assuming that the creation of a universe to support the storyline was Tolkien’s greatest achievement, what PJ offers instead?

But even if we let Gandalf remain some sort of “heavenly” envoy, the scene still causes inconveniences. How did WK manage to threaten Gandalf so ghastly, making him look totally reluctant to fight? Gandalf seemed to fear only two things: to get fallen (via claiming the One Ring) or to fail in his duty; he didn’t fear death, for him death means nothing but return to Valinor. Or WK convinced Gandalf that the world of men has already fallen? As it seems to me, he would have been capable of doing this only if Sauron had contacted Gandalf personally, for instance if at that very moment the Red Eye had caught Gandalf, like it used to happen to Frodo. Otherwise Gandalf was totally ready to fight with WK. On top of that Gandalf’s weakness should’ve gone very shortly – simply because Gandalf had quite a fightable enemy just in front of him and had nothing to loose. Moreover, how WK could strip the envoy of Vallar of all his magic powers? Many of them were just inherent. Yes, similar thing happened to Saruman, but Saruman had fallen - Gandalf hadn’t!

And whether Gandalf is a maia or not, there are some other issues. For instance, after his failure to keep WK out, Gandalf’s previous claim that he was the second mightiest being in ME makes him look silly and presumptuous. I wonder if that was the reason why WK was able to strip him of his magic powers so effortlessly.

Then, we know under which circumstances Gandalf the Grey was promoted to be the White, don’t we? He had to defeat Balrog and to die to achieve it. So what about WK? His upgrade just needs to be as spectacular as Gandalf’s encounter with Balrog! What sort of exceptional powers and magic devices the Wraith received? Well, Tolkien didn’t say much about that, but he also avoided showing actual fight – so the powers never measured each other directly. As soon as this happens in the movie, we need to understand the enemies’ potentials – to find what they achieved purely by their courage, high spirit, despair etc. Just for breaking the staff WK needed an enormous enhancement: I can think only about receiving the Rings of Power, all twelve remaining – ten for fingers, two for… well, should it be his toes? Ears? Nose? Or the Prince Albert’s piercing? Please underline and find out what could’ve been done with all this jewellery after WK’s sudden departure.

Finally, PJ amended the scene because he wanted to make it more dramatic and visually attractive. I can see his point because the moment comes as Nadir in the struggle against the Dark Lord; it is also the high time for Gandalf who must have been preparing to face it for all his life as an Istari. As for me it all came up extremely un-dramatic. The scene is just too short, not even two minutes as if it was a minor accident. Should I mention that the final talk to Saruman took five minutes and half.

PJ also says the idea was that the driving force passes into the hands of men. But this is what Tolkien says by HIS version of the event, and there was no need to force an open door. What can actually be more dramatic then a personal encounter of to mighty characters in an hour of doom? To be or not to be – a chance for a director; and PJ missed it that time, I’m afraid. However, he’s done a great job; Sir Ian’s performance is outstanding even in this scene; and, in the end, it’s too short – we can just forget it. Though I regret about what could have been done instead.

Last edited by Sarumian; 12-04-2009 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:06 AM   #559
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The Witch King of Angmar, as powerful as he is, is only an undead man. Gandalf, or Olorin, is an Ainur. He existed before the world existed. There is no doubt who would be the victor.
Well... The Ainur came in varying degrees of greatness, and so did balrogs. "Mere" elves killed balrogs, who were Ainur, and Tuor, a man, killed five of them during the fall of Gondolin. Of course, these balrogs were much weaker than the great Balrog of Khazad-dum. I think in a pitched battle Gandalf would have beaten the Witch King, but that doesn't mean that the Witch King did not have resources. This guy was thousands of years old. He was a great king of old with lots of experience and wizardry at his command. He was imbued with unknown powers from Sauron as well. He was no longer a "mere man."

But even with that, I generally agree with you all. After all, Aragorn had quite handily beaten the Witch King and a few of his buddies up on Weathertop (which although it's in the text is, in a way, more puzzling to me than his great power later on in the film). So I don't understand either why Gandalf seemed to be so cowed by this guy. Perhaps the Witch King had some sort of spirit-killer at work especially effective against Maia, kind of like kryptonite against Superman. Or perhaps after all, in his new incarnation, Sauron was indeed able to imbue him with some part of his own strength, so that in a sense Gandalf was not facing merely the Witch King at that moment but Sauron himself.

But if that's not true, then I can't explain it either. Guess it's one of those unfortunate flaws in the movie. Hey, it could've been worse: originally Jackson was going to have Sauron take physical form and fight Aragorn at the gates of Mordor! (*shudder*)

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Old 12-05-2009, 02:30 PM   #560
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Aragorn had quite handily beaten the Witch King and a few of his buddies up on Weathertop
And didn't Gandalf himself hold them off on Weathertop too?
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