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Old 11-06-2001, 11:46 PM   #1
Witch King of Angmar
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Ring Gandalf vs. Sauron

Do you think that Gandalf was stronger than Sauron with and without his ring.

Personally I think that Sauron was stronger, though Gandalf was quite strong-especially when he came back as The White-but not strong enough. Without the ring Sauron was kicking butt, with the ring Sauron would have blown Gandalf out of Ea.
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Old 11-07-2001, 12:26 AM   #2
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'Dangerous!' cried Gandalf. 'And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord.'
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Old 11-07-2001, 11:43 AM   #3
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I think it said somewhere in UT that when the Valar were arranging the configuration of the Istari Olorin wasn't not at first invited. It was Saruman (I forgot how to spell his real name) and the two blue wizards. But Yavanna wanted to send one of her servents, which was Radagast. And last Manwe asked where Olorin was. Then he said he wanted him to go also. But Olorin didn't want to go, and Manwe asked why and he replied "I am afraid of Sauron," then Manwe said something to the effect of "That is why I want you to go."

So with that in mind it can be concluded that Sauron was more powerful then Olorin(Gandalf) because he said it himself.
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Old 11-07-2001, 10:38 PM   #4
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'Tis true, but in the books Gandalf never showed any fear and when he came back as Gandalf the White and took Saruman's place.

He was also pretty fearless when fighting the Lord of the Nazgul.

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"You cannot enter here," said Gandalf, and huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!"
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Old 11-08-2001, 03:16 AM   #5
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yes, but the King of the Nazgul was but a servant of Sauron...Gandalf was wiser than Sauron, but as to "strength"...
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Old 11-08-2001, 06:45 PM   #6
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This is true Eowyn [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

Gandalf may of at times been afraid. I remember he would, a couple of times, seem to his hobbit friends to grow older with either care, worry, or concern.

He also matched up against the Lord of the Nazgul and the Mouth of Sauron and went right up to Sauron and was, or seemed, prepared to fight with Sauron. I am not talking about physical strength, if thats what you thought I meant, I mean magically. I would have to agree with you that Gandalf did appear wiser than Sauron and did a pretty good job of predicting his moves.
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Old 11-08-2001, 09:27 PM   #7
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When you devote your life in ME to studying Sauron you would have to be pretty wise about it. Btw what do you mean 'went right up to Sauron'?
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Old 11-08-2001, 10:39 PM   #8
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I think I have made an error. Gandalf and crew went to the fortress of Barad-dur, that is what I mean when I say went right up to Sauron. The only problem with this is that I don't think, now, that Gandalf and the soldiers had a chance of winning the battle.

But then again I don't think thought they would win, he depended completely on the hope that Frodo and Sam would destroy the ring.

This was Gandalf's purpose for attacking Barad-dur:

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We have not the Ring. In wisdom or great folly it has been sent away to be destroyed, lest it destroy us. Without it we cannot by force defeat his force. But we must at all costs keep his Eye from his true peril. We cannot achieve victory by arms, but by arms we can give the Ring-bearer his only chance, frail though it may be.
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We must walk open-eyed into the trap, with courage, but small hope for ourselves. For, my lords, it may well prove that we ourselves shall perish utterly in a black battle far from the living lands;...
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Old 11-09-2001, 04:07 PM   #9
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I think the fact that Olorin was "afraid" of Sauron doesn't necessarily reflect their individual potency. I think even the Valar were afraid of what Sauron was capable of. Olorin was chosen because of his humility -- a quality that suited the task at hand. We see what effect pride had in the example set by Curunir.

Gandalf was successful in his mission because, unlike Saruman, he never overestimated his power or underestimated that of the enemy. Saruman believed he could go punch-for-punch, so to speak, with Sauron, as is demonstrated by his unrestrained fascination and study of Sauron's dark ways and his use of the Palantir.

While Olorin may or may not have been greater than Sauron, we must consider that he was chosen specifically by Manwe for the task. This suggests to me that Manwe believed if anyone was capable of dealing with Sauron, it was Olorin. Counting them equals would not be a mistake, in my opinion.
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Old 11-09-2001, 07:01 PM   #10
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When they were sent, they were sent in the form of old men, which the book says takes from the powers they have. They were not sent to do outright battle with Sauron but to aid the free peoples in their fight against Sauron and his minions, they were not there to reveal themselves for who they really were. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 11-12-2001, 06:52 PM   #11
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Would have been pretty cool though, if Gandalf, Saruman, and Sauron would all three have started duking it out huh?

[img]smilies/cool.gif[/img] vs [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img] vs [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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'The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark.'

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Old 03-09-2003, 06:36 PM   #12
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The Eye

That wouldn't be much of a fight. Two on one. Two dark powers versus one lone light wizard. Still, knowing books and movies, he would win. The main, good character always wins.

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Old 03-09-2003, 11:21 PM   #13
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I suspect this is a question which cannot be answered with any real accuracy because of a contextual problem. Sauron and Gandalf, both of Maia origin, served very different purposes in Middle Earth. Sauron was loosed without any constraint upon the land and was received from Morgoth a legacy of might and destruction, a precedent if you will. Gandalf, as a servant of the Valar, was restricted in his actions in Middle Earth and thus appeared "less powerful." His task was original in its nature and he therefore had fewer physical resources at his disposal. Had the two been in opposition during an earlier age, I suspect the circumstances would be quite different. Given their respective situations in LOTR, Sauron would certainly appear to be the more powerful, but I believe this to be a circumstantial rather than an absolute representation of the relationship between the two.
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Old 03-09-2003, 11:54 PM   #14
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Unfinished Tales:

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Manw will not descend from the Mountain until Dagor Dagorath, and the coming of the End, when Melkor returns. To the overthrow of Morgoth he sent his herald Enw. To the defeat of Sauron would he not then send some lesser (but mighty) spirit of the angelic people, one coval and equal, doubtless, with Sauron in their beginnings, but not more? Olrin was his name. But of Olrin we shall never know more than he revealed in Gandalf.
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Old 03-10-2003, 08:09 AM   #15
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A very interesting topic of discussion. I am of the opinion that the question is not as straight forward as it seems. I dont believe Tolkein was interested in defining either one as the "stronger" so to speak. Middle Earth and all its tales were essentially human. Tolkein merely used fantastic characters and places to entertain readers. I think that the true strength in LOTR is in the basic inherant goodness of humankind manifested in frodo and sam. For even Melkor was not of wholly evil origin.
 
Old 03-10-2003, 09:37 AM   #16
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Good and evil is moral beliefs, not facts and this is what makes middle-earth a very similar place to the rock we live on. You all speak of strength and power as it was some sort of way to mesiure peoples worth, adn well, it is not. I think Tolkien thought of power (physical power, manipulative power and dominating power) as the very essence of what is "evil" (morally corrupt if you need a definition - at least that's what my dictonary says) and therefore something the heroes in this epic tale would actualy rather lack. All the characters shows weaknesses, except Sauron himself. Boromir was afraid of his father's thoughts of him, Aragorn of the task he needed to do, Frodo because he was so small compared to the problems... everyone has their inner struggle, except Sauron. I think this reflects Tolkiens view of evil, the perfect, almost machinery of a man-shell with either no will of it's own, or a will without any human values such as compassion or joy.

Therefore I find it wrong to try to set to forces up against eachothers by calculating their power. This is the place for serious descussions where every topic should be serious, and I don't see the reason for dreaming about three characters from a modern myth would do against eachother in a head-to-head fight. That is what we have computer games and RPGs for.

The reason why Manw piced Gandalf for the 'task', we can only speculate around, but until now I think we're making progress: It may have been because he showed human qualities such as fears. It is once said, and will be said again, that courage is not to not know fear, it is to overcome it, and therefore Gandalf, Aragorn, Frodo and especially Sam are very brave individuals, each having their own problems and feelings to handle. This is the true power to my eyes, the other one, wich you describe, has to be something else...
 
Old 03-10-2003, 05:31 PM   #17
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The Eye

Gandalf did have a direct fight with Sauron.

When Frodo put the One Ring on, in a place when they were near the Rauros Falls, he sensed Sauron searching for him and looking at him... Then another voice ordered him to take it off... And suddenly, the 2 voices neutralized each other and everything was silent... And then, Frodo took it off.

That second voice that ordered Frodo to take it off was Gandalf, after he was brought back to life. But after that mental struggle, Gandalf was really weak and had to rest to recover himself.

And Sauron kept on and on after the encounter with Gandalf.

So, in terms of this, I think Gandalf was not able to fight him directly power vs power. Remember, the Valar forbade all the Istari to use their powers to match Sauron's.

And, third. There was NO CHANCE Gandalf could stand up against Sauron with his One Ring on... No way...
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Old 03-10-2003, 06:46 PM   #18
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Besides, Gandalf was wearing Narya.

If Sauron recovered the One Ring, he would control Gandalf too.
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Old 03-10-2003, 08:57 PM   #19
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I belive Gandalf is stronger at heart and therefore that makes him a stronger wizard.
 
Old 03-10-2003, 11:21 PM   #20
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And, third. There was NO CHANCE Gandalf could stand up against Sauron with his One Ring on... No way...
No. This is entirely false. Sauron with the Ring is still just Sauron since the Ring is part of him. Gandalf was as great or greater than Sauron. That means Sauron, with or without the Ring. They were equal in their beginnings - when Sauron was 100%. In the War of the Ring, Sauron was in a much weaker form and even with the Ring would not be restored to full capacity.

Quote:
If Sauron recovered the One Ring, he would control Gandalf too.
No again. The One Ring is what gave the Three Rings their power, but it did not control them. They went untouched by Sauron in their making.
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Old 03-12-2003, 09:58 AM   #21
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I'm sorry, but I believe it is you who is mistaken, at least in part. If you read about the rings, it is said that when Sauron completed the One Ring and put it on, the Elves sensed the true purpose of the rings, took them off, and hid them from Sauron. Why would they do this if the One Ring had no power over them whatsoever? They only used the power of the Elven rings once the One was lost. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I believe that is the true nature of the relationship of the rings. Again, if I'm wrong, I apologize to the wiser knowledge here.
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Old 03-12-2003, 10:07 AM   #22
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I disagree completely.

If Sauron recovered the One Ring, Gandalf would not be able to stand a chance against him. Tolkien assures that in his work.

And not just because of Saurons terrible power. But because the Istari were forbidden by the Valar to match Saurons power with power.
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
No again. The One Ring is what gave the Three Rings their power, but it did not control them. They went untouched by Sauron in their making.
Hmmm. Tolkien himself puts it quite differently in many instances, for example (letter 144 to Naomi Mitchison):
Quote:
....Though unsullied, because they [The Three Rings] were not made by Sauron nor touched by him, they were nonetheless partly products of his instruction, and ultimately under the control of the One....
But this is really getting of the topic. All that is certain has been said: Gandalf wasn't meant to challenge Sauron but to get the people of M-E to fight their own battle. Sauron had weaknesses (the Ring; "he had been obliged to let a great part of his own inherent power pass into the One Ring", and a new possessor of the Ring could challenge him or the Ring could be unmade) and so did Gandalf and other Istari (the restrictions of physical body, feelings of anxiety and care etc.). But Gandalf overcame one of his weaknesses -the desire to face Sauron in a duel, that is to gain personal success- and the "prize" in the end was the bittersweet victory of goodness. "I was the enemy of Sauron.", as Gandalf himself puts it but I see this meaning that G. was the enemy of Sauron's spirit (his plans to rule the world) and not his person.

Oh no, long story, little point. Sorry about that. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-14-2003, 09:12 AM   #24
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Sting

One last thing, to make sure... and I hate to be picky about this sort of thing, but it seems like all of us Tolkeinites are picky sometimes, and I want to make sure I get this right:
Quote:
I think I have made an error. Gandalf and crew went to the fortress of Barad-dur, that is what I mean when I say went right up to Sauron.
Gandalf didn't really go to Barad-dur, he only made it to the black gate, right? If you look at the maps, there is actually a lot of distance between the two. Again, I could be wrong, but let me know.
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Old 03-14-2003, 09:26 AM   #25
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Again, I disagree.

Sauron's power was above any other power on M.E. Not only because of the massive armies he commanded, but because he was the most powerful maia (more powerful than Olome), but his power was totally unleashed on M.E. Thats the main difference with Gandalf. He, as a maia, had his power limited by the Valar.

AND, most of all, not only the Ring of Sauron was a major part of his power, it included part of his essence. And even though he was separated from his ring, he had so much power that Gandalf was almost defeated when he struggled mentally with Sauron when Frodo put the One Ring on, when in the hill near the Rauros Falls (cant remember the name).

So, in a direct power confrontation, Sauron would win. But in terms of wisdom and cunning to make successful plans, Gandalf obviously won.
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