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Old 01-31-2005, 06:58 PM   #121
The Only Real Estel
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And wasn't it Pippin that kept Gandalf from riding after the WK? Not that this has anything to do with the scene in the movie
Yes & agreed. Yes, Pippin 'kept' Gandalf from riding out by informing him of Faramir's peril, & I agree, it probably doesn't have a lot to do with the movies.
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:04 AM   #122
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Ummm...

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Originally Posted by Essex
But I ask again, WHY DID TOLKIEN WRITE THE SCENE THE WAY HE DID? BECAUSE THE ROHIRRIM SAVE THE DAY AND SAVE GANDALF FROM A CONFLICT THAT HE MIGHT NOT HAVE WON.

I can honestly say when I read the books, I feel that the Witch King has the upper hand. The film has not changed my feelings on this. The Rohirrim saved the day. Yes, Jackson upped the anti somewhat in this scene by using Gandalf's prone position and his staff breaking. For us book lovers, it would have been perfect for it to follow the scene in the book word for word. But to the average movie goer IT WOULD NOT HAVE WORKED.

Jackson did not write the movies just for us Book readers. He ALSO wrote it for the general movie going public who pay the vast majority of his and his crew's wages. I am grateful for his adaptation and admire his work and dedication greatly. I have learnt over the past 3 years not to let scenes I disagree with cloud the movie for me.

Now what about the fact that the Witch Kings death was foretold? Just because the 'prophecy states that the witch king will not be slain by man' seems to give him a great deal of arrogance, since he seems to believe that no man 'CAN' kill him. Its a load, if you ask me. I think anyone who has read the books, including the Silmarillion, must know that the Maiar are well and above elfin propehcy, shaping destiny in accordance with their Valar's restrictions. I'm not clear on how people feel about it, but I'm pretty sure a Balrog would waste the Witch King. Not the other way around...separate point, but something to chew on...This says nothing about the fact that Gandalf is not really a 'man' per se, but a semi/demi/quasi divine being sent to middle earth with an agenda of 'minimal interference' to reach the end result.

Now, prophecy means {to myself, among others} that the event of The Witch King's death was 'witnessed' by Glorfindel as an event in time. I sincerely doubt, that, with respect to what Gandalf was, as opposed to what the Witch King was, that prophecy held any real water with Gandalf, who might very well have *chosen* the 'nobler' deed of dying, rather than meddle too deeply in the affairs of men or elves so as to break a great tradition of prophecy in which man and elf alike placed token faith. For the Witch King to sit there and brag that no man can kill him would certainly have provoked an inner laughter, if not a flat out guffaw in the Withered Old Husk's faceless, (and crownless, in the movie) helmet! I've no doubt that Gandalf the Grey might have had some trouble with all nine ringwraiths, but Gandalf the White certainly would not have any trouble dealing with the Witch King and his posturing. Staff or no staff, I don't think that GTW would not have so much as flinched at his presence, much less fallen cowering to the floor, and probably would have laughed IF the staff broke, making some offhand remark about the Tolkein equivalent of Karma getting him back for having broken Saruman's staff. If he were forced to, he would fight the Witch king to a stalemate rather than kill him (which he surely could have done in a blink.) until the *moment* of prophecy, {which many believe he was well aware of}, came to pass. I think that what makes it disappointing is that, given a good once over of Gandalf as Olorin, and his The Hobbit/FOTR personality as a generally care free happy go lucky wizard in the Grey Robes, its just too much for people to let their imaginations create the reality that Gandalf is, for all intents and purposes, an obfuscator of many great secrets. His entire character, as written from Olorin to Gandalf the Grey, to Gandalf the White suggests that he knows an IMMENSE deal more than he lets on to the others "(Yes, it certainly has the 'Ring; of truth to it, etc)", and that, given his personality as Olorin, it probably breaks his heart to have so many solemn duties awaiting him and the people he loves. Almost as if he wants to disbelieve the fortunes he so clearly sees as they draw nearer and nearer.

That's one of the most irritating aspects of filmmaking: The slaughter of a good tale to reach the moonstruck to whom a great many subtleties are lost upon. Its one of the reasons I don't entirely blame Jackson (or the others) for his liberties. Certain things should be left alone, though. I agree with you to some degree, but certainly not in totality. I may very well be entirely wrong.





If that don't bugger all! I got myself wrapped up in this thread again! Curse you Shelob!

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Old 02-01-2005, 03:55 AM   #123
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Alatar,
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IMO, it was the WK that blinked and went after the Rohirrim as he saw an enemy that he could handle/hamper. Opinions differ.
Here, IMO, we have textual fact that shows this is not the case.
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But it was no orc-chieftain or brigand that led the assault upon Gondor. The darkness was breaking too soon, before the date that his Master had set for it: fortune had betrayed him for the moment, and the world had turned against him; victory was slipping from his grasp even as he stretched out his hand to seize it. But his arm was long. He was still in command, wielding great powers. King, Ringwraith, Lord of the Nazgūl, he had many weapons. He left the Gate and vanished.
He saw victory slipping from his grasp as Tolkien says. Gandalf could wait.
Quote:
And it's been my assumption that the EE DVDs have been for the fans, not for the average movie-goers.
fair point, they should be more for the book fans as PJ has stated, but just to make them so only rabid fans like us would buy them would be unprofitable.
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....this does not mean that I need don my chearleader outfit and rah-rah every individual frame.
I do not do this either. I just take a stand point to defend the films where I see they CAN be defended. Because there needs to be a few of us out there on this website so the vast majority can have someone to argue with. Otherwisse there wouldn't be any point of this movie forum if everyone agreed how bad (or good) the PJ films were all the time.

Snorri, re your point on the standoff I said wouldn't work
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Almost every Western I've ever seen suggests a scene like this would work. The WK and Gandalf staring each other down is pretty much equivalent to the scene in every Western were the two gunfighters stare each other down across the main road and the tumbleweed rolls between them.
Yes, but this usually ends up with one killing the other to give the scene some point, doesn't it?

St. Povis. Fair point on Gandalf's origins, but wasn't he sent to Middle-earth in the guise of a man with all his frailities?

PS A lot of posts state the basics of Gandalf is stronger than so and so, so he would have defeated him. This is not always the case. This WHOLE STORY is about the 'weak' beating the 'strong', isn't it? Just because you are stronger doesn't mean you will win every fight. Yes, you'd be favourite, yes, but not certain to win.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:14 AM   #124
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1420! True enough

Yes indeed. But I think that having the sort of mortality he had did not exactly qualify him as frail. None of the Istari were frail, after all. They were given remarkable vigor for their seeming age, which, after all, was much older than they appeared as men. Speculation, of course, but I don;t think that the Istari were 'men' at face value. They were Maiar with the visage of men. True enough about 'strength', and certainly the stress of having to muster the will of the panicked Gondor armies would have taxed an ordinary man, but...Seriously now, how much fear do you think a man who has already crossed death can actually have for another one, easpecially given that he isn't really going to 'die' exdept as a mortal (though exceptioanlly long lived) being? Sauron may very well have been the Maiar equivalent of Morgoth in potency/strength when stood against the other Maiar, but I don't think that could make up for the fact that the Witch King was a man, however influenced, for however long by one of the Nine. Its a tricky exploit, at best, but I think a solid argument.

Again, I see your point from a devil's advocate frame of reference when it comes down to 'strength' in the purest sense of the word. Two equally matched boxers might be able to max out to the same weight equivalent in the bench press, but one might simply have more stamina...tough call as to whose going to win. People compare Gandalf against Saruman, too when thinking this whole issue through, sometimes saying that Saruman gave up too easily. We don;t really know what Gandalf's instructions were, if any, when he was sent back as Gandalf the White. Still it seems fair to say that Saruman/Curumir was a traitor to the Valar and their 'cosmic laws' having fallen in with a cronie of Morgoth, the ultimate traitor to creation; a Tolkein-esque Satanic equivalent. (Not that I want to bring religion into the debate). Who knows what Saruman lost when he and Gandalf had their second confrontation? Even in the books, Saruman was given a sort of open ended death; one which seemd to imply that he could return as the next Adversary, if the cycle of events were to continue as they had since the First Age.

While Morgoth was known to some as the mightiest of the Valar, then I think it is also fair, from the perspective of Strength not neccessarily equalling victory, that it would then be possible for Gandalf to take down Morgoth, something I do not believe to be possible, at least not in a direct confrontation. My all too homo sapien need to order things in any given universe according to an hierarchal structure becomes painfully evident in my argumentative, here, but, I truly believe that Morgoth would have wiped the floor with Gandalf. Even so, I don;t think Gandalf would have cowered before him.

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Old 02-07-2005, 09:08 AM   #125
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I've just noticed this in the book, when Gandalf has his chat with Denthor:
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'Yet now under the Lord of Barad-dūr the most fell of all his captains is already master of your outer walls,' said Gandalf. 'King of Angmar long ago, Sorcerer, Ringwraith, Lord of the Nazgūl, a spear of terror in the hand of Sauron, shadow of despair.'
'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.
Seems like Denethor thinks the WK is Gandalf's match, and Gandalf doesn't argue!
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:41 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Essex
Seems like Denethor thinks the WK is Gandalf's match, and Gandalf doesn't argue!
Apologies for not having my book, but if Essex would be so kind as to continue the quote, one would see (IMO) that Gandalf was being polite to Denethor, as Gandalf knows that Denethor is losing his mind. Doesn't Gandalf continue saying something like 'mayhap is, mayhap ain't' (or was that Mother Abigail? ) in regards to being overmatched by the Witch-King?

And why should we 'trust' Denethor's opinion anyway? His city is under seige, yet what is he doing? Is he acting like the wise and shrewd leader that we know that he was formerly, or is he succumbing to despair? Does he fight the noble fight like Theoden, ala 'the Charge of the Light Brigade' or is he planning on taking the easy way out by killing himself and his son, forsaking honor, office and responsibilities?

Gandalf returns, not because he was overmatched, but because he wanted to save the wounded that still had a chance. If logic (and my memory) holds, if Gandalf returned because he was overmatched yet Faramir remained behind on the field, then a Steward's son (yes, of Numenorean blood) is the Witch-King's match yet a Maia is not.

It just gets so confusing, but would make a great card game ("My Steward's son trumps your Witch-King..." ).
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:46 AM   #127
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It just gets so confusing, but would make a great card game ("My Steward's son trumps your Witch-King..." ).
I take it that you haven't seen the Return of the King Top Trumps deck, then?
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:52 AM   #128
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ah, so it's ok for posters to speculate on the strengths of certain characters from their knowledge of Middle-earth (which is no doubt impressive), but when I actually take evidence from LOTR itself, it's not good enough?
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Apologies for not having my book, but if Essex would be so kind as to continue the quote, one would see (IMO) that Gandalf was being polite to Denethor, as Gandalf knows that Denethor is losing his mind. Doesn't Gandalf continue saying something like 'mayhap is, mayhap ain't' (or was that Mother Abigail? ) in regards to being overmatched by the Witch-King?
Nope, I continue the quote here:
Quote:
'But our trial of strength is not yet come. And if words spoken of old be true, not by the hand of man shall he fall, and hidden from the Wise is the doom that awaits him. However that may be, the Captain of Despair does not press forward, yet. He rules rather according to the wisdom that you have just spoken, from the rear, driving his slaves in madness on before.
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Gandalf returns, not because he was overmatched, but because he wanted to save the wounded that still had a chance.
That is correct.
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Nay, I came rather to guard the hurt men that can yet be healed; for the Rammas is breached far and wide, and soon the host of Morgul will enter in at many points. And I came chiefly to say this. Soon there will be battle on the fields
I am not saying Gandalf has done a runner from the WK, I am merely pointing out a discussion between two wise men on the strengths of the WK v Gandalf, which is pertinent to this thread.

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Old 02-07-2005, 11:57 AM   #129
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I take it that you haven't seen the Return of the King Top Trumps deck, then?
You mean that people would make card games regarding this stuff? Amazing! Next thing, they'll start making video games...

Note that EA Games ROTK, while providing yet another version of the movie, is killing me - where's Pong when I need it?
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:59 AM   #130
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Alatar, where are you stuck on the EA ROTK game? At least I might be able to help you out on that....... (I admit the Black gate can be a pain, is that where you're stuck?)
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Old 02-07-2005, 12:25 PM   #131
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ah, so it's ok for posters to speculate on the strengths of certain characters from their knowledge of Middle-earth (which is no doubt impressive), but when I actually take evidence from LOTR itself, it's not good enough?
But of course not! Surely you don't think that I'm going to allow evidence to get in the way of my vaunted opinion? And just when are Books going to edited to catch up with my reality, that's what I want to know!?!

Again apologies as I want to reference the evidence (Essex, you wouldn't want to post the entire LOTR, would you? ), but as I can't, my arguments are more thin than I desire and y'all deserve.

Anyway, in regards to the wise men's conversation: When Denethor accuses Gandalf of being overmatched, this is not a statement based on data but just a taunt/insult as the WK and Gandalf the White have not yet met - as Denethor may well know. So this (to me) would not support either case.

Thanks Essex. Regarding EA ROTK, I'm too embarassed to say. My main problems are lack of time and finger agility. I've read a bunch of walkthroughs but they haven't helped as I 'know' what to do but just can't get there. Cheats codes (just so I could see every level and all of the movies) are available as soon as I finish the game, so they're no help.
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Old 02-07-2005, 04:55 PM   #132
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Denethor?

Right.

I can believe that there are fans of the Witch King, I can even believe that a servant of the {speculated to be} strongest of the Maiar, who was in turn the servant of the strongest Valar, might give Gandalf a run for his money, I just don't have it in me to see that the Witch King would walk out victorious, or even corporeal.

As for Denethor...I mean, come on. He was a power hungry lunatic who {seemingly} resented the return of the true heir and was under tremendous stress for any number of reasons. If not common sense, then common decency would point out that he was just trying to jibe the Gandalf. Egotistical rulers have a tendency to do that. Watch Judge Judy shoot her big fat mouth off at people sometimes. Damned if she doesn;t think she is God behid that bench. (Probably one of the reasons the old hag couldn't hack the real justice system. Still, after dealing with the day to day BS of people's idiotic squabbles, and having to balance your life and sense of human decency with the law, its understandable that she can be such a wench.) As it seems to me, more than a handful of kings from the realm of men would have felt happier without the name of Gandalf whispering in their ears, and there's no doubt that Denethor was one of them. I'm almost positive that if Gandalf were lying dead on the field, Denethor would have done a victory dance, and propbably tinkled on the corpse. (Before a bolt of lightning hit him from above, of course).

Surely, I have no answers. Surely I have a healthy dose of favoritism for Gandalf and a bit of distaste for people like Denethor. Surely, I have been raised on Good vs Evil=Good will always win. I guess the best way to do find out what's what would be to exhume the author's corpse and summon in a few necromancers to ask him what's what...Of course, then you;d have to deal with the necromancers personal agendas, and there'd probably be a lot of conflicting stories as to what was actually said, followed by the inevitable specualtion regarding sematics and othersuch.

Bah! If you ask me, there's just no way that the Witch King would triumph. None, nada, no way, no how, unless he was directly aided by Sauron or Morgoth, which, of course, can not be confirmed or denied. Peter Jackson! You have forsaken me!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-08-2005, 11:40 AM   #133
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As for Denethor...I mean, come on. He was a power hungry lunatic who {seemingly} resented the return of the true heir and was under tremendous stress for any number of reasons. If not common sense, then common decency would point out that he was just trying to jibe the Gandalf.
From Denethor's POV, Gandalf shows up with some little short guy just after Boromir is found to be dead. Gandalf and Pippin are alive, but Denethor's beloved son is whale food. As far as Denethor may know, Gandalf used Boromir then threw him away when he wasn't part of Gandalf's plan anymore.

Now Gandalf seeks to 'save' Gondor because he has some scheme with Isildur's apparent heir, and so may 'Boromir' Denethor. Plus these two have a big disagreement regarding the Ring's use; Gandalf sends it off to the Nameless One's Magic Mountain via more short guys whereas Denethor would have kept it around for safe-keeping. Note that not all at the Council of Elrond thought that the Frodo option was a great idea.

Denethor, having a bad year, sees Gandalf not on the front line with Faramir (just what is a White Wizard good for anyway?) but in front of him giving him the Witch-King 411 as if Denethor were just some rag tag. So one might expect Denethor to be a bit discourteous.


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Originally Posted by St. Povis
Surely I have a healthy dose of favoritism for Gandalf and a bit of distaste for people like Denethor.
Really?!? I didn't notice... You might have noticed that I'm a big fan myself, and so see all things through 'grey-colored' glasses.


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Originally Posted by St. Povis
Surely, I have been raised on Good vs Evil=Good will always win.
Not to get too philosophical, but in the short run Good can and does lose in Tolkien's world. Gandalf 'loses' on the Bridge, etc. Can't remember where it is exactly but I think that Tolkien has a character say something like, 'I can turn even Evil into Good not intended' or something - the whole quote by Iluvatar is a bit long and aren't I off topic enough already?

Anyway, Gandalf could have lost (in theory) to the Witch-King if in so doing he helped another character 'grow' (i.e. he could have taken the Ring to Mount Doom himself, but the 'plan' was to inspire the free peoples of ME to kick in.)
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Old 02-08-2005, 11:57 AM   #134
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Gandalf and Pippin are alive, but Denethor's beloved son is whale food.
Most whales don't eat meat...

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Originally Posted by alatar
Not to get too philosophical, but in the short run Good can and does lose in Tolkien's world.
I'd agrue that good loses alot in Middle Earth.

I mean the whole thing starts with Melkor marring the song.

Then after things are set up nice, Melkor takes the elves and corrupts them. He destroys the lamps and then after the Valar set up the nice little trees, Melkor craps all over them with a spider and takes the elves shiny gems.

Elves come over and in a long process more or less lose the War of the Simirals until the Valar finally take pity on them. Gondolin (sp?) one of the brightest cities falls during the war.

Then after all that when finally Melkor is locked up and things look better, Sauron comes along and gets the nice, friendly humans to try and challenge the throne of the Valar and they are destroyed.

We then end up in the Third Age where the most powerful magic items have been corrupted by Sauron and the nine strongest human kings are all Saurons gophers.

Only in the end, on a longshot, does good finally triumph and that only happens because some uppity twisted hobbit doesn't realize he is standing on a ledge over a big pool of lava.

Overall, I think Middle Earth is the story of Good scrapping by despite the fact that the odds are stacked against them.
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:34 PM   #135
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Most whales don't eat meat...
It's well known that ME whales, precursors to the modern Orcas, were on the Atkin's diet during the end of the Third Age.


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I'd agrue that good loses alot in Middle Earth.

Overall, I think Middle Earth is the story of Good scrapping by despite the fact that the odds are stacked against them.
True - it's the long defeat leading up to the final battle where all is set aright; however, it's the good done along the way in spite of a stacked deck which is the cool thing. Gandalf was sent to inspire the MEers not to become like the Witch-King - succumbing to temptation, desiring power, riches, servants, slaves, etc yet remaining unsated and empty.

Gandalf sacrifices himself (the many journeys, the Bridge, hanging out with ragtag, etc) for the benefit of others. The W-K (in a cool scene left out of the movies) rides uncaring over both slave and foe alike. Gandalf would give you a choice whereas the Witch-King's choice was to submit or die.

Anyway, to get back to the thread (somewhat), I would like to see the scene from the book where Gandalf faces the W-K at the gate. After the W-K says his lines, I would love to hear Gandalf say, "Come get some..."
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:47 PM   #136
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After the W-K says his lines, I would love to hear Gandalf say, "Come get some..."
I can see the scene now for ROTK:EEE (Extended Extended Version)

*Witch King stares Gandalf down after revealing himself at the gate*

Gandalf: Come get some....


*Cue epic battle music ala Duel of the Fates or that music from the Matrix*

*Witch King holds Flaming Sword O' Doom and BFM (Bif Friggin Mace) in battle stance*

*Gandalf begins whirling staff windmill style until it is just a blur. He then launches off the ground Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style and comes down on the Witch King with a two handed strike that WK barely deflects*

Witch King: You weak pathetic fool! No man of a woman born can defeat me!

Gandalf: Duh!!! I wasn't born of anything, I a freaking Maiar!!!

Witch King: Oh Sh...

*Gandalf lights WK up with an uber-fireball and swings his staff baseball style launching the Flaming WK through the air where he flies out to the battle field and lands atop Gothmog*

Gimil: That still only counts as two....

------------------------

Yeah, I need help!
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Old 02-08-2005, 05:24 PM   #137
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Yes, I'd taken much of that into account, but I still can't change my viewpoint. To me, it is simply that simple...Maiar Istari outranks mortal undead human in all terms. Potential, Wisdom, Memories, Foresight, or just about anything else.

I can pity Denethor to some degree, but not enough to think that he's in the right. In truth, if there's anyone to blame, from my viewpoint, its not Denethor for being disrespectful, but the Valar and Illuvatar for slacking and contriving all sorts of weird rules for their agents when visiting Middle earth. Of course, there'd be a lot less to think about, and consequently, a possible hive mind would develop from having no mysteries to explore, but...

Anyway, that's my half cent's worth of input. From all of the facts I've seen (and I'm not saying I couldn't have overlooked or misunderstood some of them), it seems grossly unlikely that the WK would pose any real threat to the WW. I've written enough about this topic though, and I am realizing that I am developing an unhealthy obsession with this thread, and so its time for me to stop.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:08 AM   #138
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St Povis is correct in my view, A maia in any form is stronger than an undead human, even if it is enhanced by one of their own kind. The only enhancement a Nazgul has, is a ring, given by Sauron, Ok The Lord of The Nazgul has a few more tricks up his sleeve, but when all is said and done, his inherent power is that of The Engwar, whilst although subdued Gandalf was an Ainu.
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Old 02-17-2005, 05:21 AM   #139
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From his own mouth.

"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.

I must say that at this point Gimli wasnt going to The Undying Lands, so Gandalf must have meant ANYTHING in Middle-Earth.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:18 AM   #140
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I must say that at this point Gimli wasnt going to The Undying Lands, so Gandalf must have meant ANYTHING in Middle-Earth.
I assume that the counterargument will be that though Gandalf may be one shade less dangerous than Sauron, this does not mean that he was invincible to all things 'below' him.

Note that a Singing She-Elf and her Ringbearing Boyfriend took down (momentarily) the First among the Valar.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:59 AM   #141
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:01 PM   #142
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To Alatar, yes you could say that, for who or what was invincible in Middle-Earth. Even the mightiest have a weakness.
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:13 PM   #143
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To Alatar, yes you could say that, for who or what was invincible in Middle-Earth. Even the mightiest have a weakness.
Agreed. Except for Iluvatar, all had a weak point that could be exploited. If not, would not Valinor be lit by Two Trees?

I used to argue the other side, but now I've jumped ship.
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:30 PM   #144
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Tolkien gandalf vs. the witch king

I totally know what you're talking about. It's crazy how gandalf would be "afraid" of the witch king. I mean come on he even breaks his staff!! I think it's all crazy and Gandalf should not be afraid of him, even if no man has ever killed him. It bothered me, too.
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:12 PM   #145
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It bothered me, too.
Welcome. And that scene is what got me started ranting here.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:34 PM   #146
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More madness

So I was watching ROTK EE yet again, and a new question arose: How many Gondorians did Gandalf kill?

From the books, we have the noncombatants already out the city. When Gandalf meets the Witch-King at the main gate, they exchange some words and then the WK leaves (whether because of Gandalf or the Rohirrim - we've covered that already). The enemy does not enter the city, and Gandalf goes off in pursuit of presumably the WK. Pippin tells him about the Faramir BBQ, and so Gandalf goes to help.

In PJ's world, Gandalf meets the three uber-trolls who come through the gate (just where are those kids from Gryffindor when you really need them?). He coordinates the resistance, slowing the advance of the enemy, but it's like holding back nighfall. There are many noncombatants running around the first level, who I assume where there looking to sell T-shirts ("Battle of the Pelennor Fields, 3019") to pay for therapy for their Steward...

Anyway, Gandalf yells out some really smart advice ("Fight for your lives!" Duh!) then hears Pippin calling. Next scene Ganadalf and Pippin are on Shadowfax up near/at the seventh circle of the city. After losing his staff, honor, seat to the WK, horns blow, the WK leaves and Gandalf proceeds with Pippin to save Faramir.

Next scene, Gandalf and Pippin await the enemy high up in Minas Tirith.

So, my point is that Gandalf should have sacrificed the life of Faramir as (1) he could then have retained his staff, which could have been put to some use, (2) he could have saved many Gondorian soldiers and noncombatants in their flight from the first to the fifth/sixth/seventh circle (or wherever he sits to chat with Pippin) and (3) except for hanging out later with Eowyn for a few minutes, just what does Faramir do anyway, especially in terms of the current battle? If Gandalf were in need of dead/near dead bodies, I think that he needn't have looked very far.

Many commoners died because Gandalf thought it more important to save the Steward's son.
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Old 03-07-2005, 03:56 AM   #147
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Pity about the Gondorians, but there's a thing called the domino affect. If Gandalf HAD gone after the Witch King, then we may have had a totally different order of events. If Gandalf did catch up with the WK and fought him on the fields, this may have totally changed the fact that Merry and Eowyn confronted him. The WK may have survived an ordeal with Gandalf, gotton away. This could have led to a defeat at Minas Tirith if the army of Sauron still had his leiutenant alive, and most importantly of all, the two Orc hunters that argue about the WK's death in earshot of Frodo and Sam would have no doubt picked up the hobbits trail if this had not happened and consequently they were not trying to kill each other.

Captured Frodo, captured Ring, end of Middle Earth as we know it.

Therefore, Gandalf not going after the WK servers many purposes in the story. It shows what a tight and well conceived plot Tolkien pieced together. Take out small (and sometimes seemingly trivial) parts, and the story will totally change.

So a few gondorians got it. Yeah, but Middle-earth was saved.
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Old 03-07-2005, 08:55 AM   #148
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Essex, I think that you missed my point. In the movie, Gandalf did not have a chance to go after the WK - Shadowfax can't fly, and accepting PJ's version of ME, I'm not sure that that's a battle that Gandalf would have sought out. If we take it at 'screen' value, Gandalf was in fear of the WK.

What I was trying to say that in PJ's world, Gandalf leaves the front line of battle (where he may have been of some effect) to go and save Faramir. To me that is silly as if all of Minas Tirith were to fall, what good would have Gandalf's act been?

Tolkien, as you state, made this all make sense.
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:17 AM   #149
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You need to explain what the difference is in Gandalf saving Faramir from the film to the book? I can see none. You say that movie Gandalf could not go after the Witch King. Why not, and what has that got to do with the price of fish anyway?

Please explain to me your reasoning behind it. You say Gandalf left the front line of battle in the film to save Faramir. He did so in the book as well.

PS The witch king got back on his winged beast again to confront theoden. He only got on his horse so he could go through the gates of Minas Tirith as it's first ever enemy to pass through.
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:44 AM   #150
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You need to explain what the difference is in Gandalf saving Faramir from the film to the book? I can see none. You say that movie Gandalf could not go after the Witch King. Why not, and what has that got to do with the price of fish anyway?
Thought that I did . In the book, Gandalf meets the WK at the main gate. In the movie, it's up somewhere near the seventh circle. In the book, no enemy enters the city. In the movie it's a deluge, and I think that they go up to at least the sixth circle. In the book the noncombatants have been evacuated. In the movie they are running for their lives just in front of (and sometimes not) the soldiers' retreat. In the books, Gandalf could exit the city to help the battle on the field, yet decides to go and save Faramir. In the movie Gandalf leaves the front of the battle (deserting soldiers and noncombatants to their fate) to go and save Faramir.

Hopefully that's more clear. In one version Gandalf has the choice to engage combat or save Faramir, in the other he has the choice to disengage and save.

And as you well know, I think that book-Gandalf would have chased the WK whereas the movie-Gandalf seemed to be in fear of the same - one might say more fearful than when confronting the Balrog - and so I don't see PJ's Gandalf pursuing the WK. First, how? It was tongue in cheek before, but who would Gandalf get o the field of battle now that the lower part of the city was overrun? Also, with staff gone he had no ranged attack.


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Please explain to me your reasoning behind it. You say Gandalf left the front line of battle in the film to save Faramir. He did so in the book as well.
In think that the 'engagement' part is the difference.


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PS The witch king got back on his winged beast again to confront theoden. He only got on his horse so he could go through the gates of Minas Tirith as it's first ever enemy to pass through.
Again I was referring to the movies. Still, I would have loved to have seen the WK riding through the gate as described.
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Old 03-07-2005, 04:47 PM   #151
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I can now see your point. A fair opinion, but here's my 2 cents:

Gandalf (in both film and book) knows that people will die because of his actions in leaving the witch king and going to try and save Faramir.
Quote:
Pippin: Can't you save Faramir?
Gandalf: Maybe I can, but if I do, then others will die, I fear. Well, I must come, since no other hhelp can reach him. But evil and sorrow will come of this
So even, as you point out, Gandalf has not yet physically 'engaged', he still knows that by not engaging there and then, lives will be lost. In both book and film, Gandalf makes a sacrifice.

I think Tolkien has this happen for a number of reasons, one of them being the feeling it brings up (in me anyway) of why does he do this? why does he try to save one (or two) lives and sacrifice many more? Because this is what happens sometimes in the real world. many people may be sacrificed to save a more 'greater' or 'higher ' person. Most people on this site come from the usa maybe? therefore if a person in a security detail in the white house had to save either the President or a group of people, I put it to you that he would save the President. Faramir was technically the preson in charge of Minas Tirith and Gondor at this point because of Denethor's descent into Madness, so he was fairly high up.

PS The enemy had entered the City as soon as the WK rode through the gates
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:04 PM   #152
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Gandalf (in both film and book) knows that people will die because of his actions in leaving the witch king and going to try and save Faramir. So even, as you point out, Gandalf has not yet physically 'engaged', he still knows that by not engaging there and then, lives will be lost. In both book and film, Gandalf makes a sacrifice.
Agreed, yet the sacrifice in the book is unknown until later. In the movie it's pretty visible who is going to feel the bite. Also, in PJ's world, Gandalf is of lesser stature than in the books, and so as I think that you may have stated in one of our many discussions that Gandalf acted like a good captain - he wasn't the leader of all of the free peoples as in the books. This captain had more than enough work right in front of him as the orcs and trolls were his match.

The book Gandalf sought bigger game.


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I think Tolkien has this happen for a number of reasons, one of them being the feeling it brings up (in me anyway) of why does he do this? why does he try to save one (or two) lives and sacrifice many more? Because this is what happens sometimes in the real world. many people may be sacrificed to save a more 'greater' or 'higher ' person. Most people on this site come from the usa maybe? therefore if a person in a security detail in the white house had to save either the President or a group of people, I put it to you that he would save the President. Faramir was technically the preson in charge of Minas Tirith and Gondor at this point because of Denethor's descent into Madness, so he was fairly high up.
Understand your point, but Denethor was still in charge and Faramir was dead/dying and out of the battle, at least to movie-Gandalf's knowledge. Wasn't Faramir a bit nutty as he tried to commit suicide by orc?

So in the process of rescuing Faramir (one in the plus column), Gandalf abandons those in the lower levels to the orcs/trolls (a few in the minus). Then, for some reason PJ has Gandalf spur Shadowfax at Denethor, adding yet another to the minus list - and wouldn't that be fun to explain to Faramir?

And would not Gandalf sacrifice himself first, as he did on the bridge, to slow the advance? It's just the more I thought about it the more it seemed that Gandalf was 'running,' and you know how kindly I take to PJ disparaging my man Gandalf...


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PS The enemy had entered the City as soon as the WK rode through the gates
As usual, I will have to take your word on that until I get my books back. Cheers.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:03 PM   #153
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Alatar, you need to go out and get another set of the books!

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In rode the Lord of the Nazgul. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgul, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:31 PM   #154
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Silmaril Support for Jackson from the Letters ;)

I was reading Letter #210 in The Letters of JRR Tolkien, which is a lengthy (and highly critical) commentary dating from June 1958 on the script for a proposed film of LotR (which, in the event, went unmade). It is a highly entertaining read and gives a great insight into Tolkien's approach to the filmic treatment of his work (which is refreshingly realistic). Although the script in question appears to be far more at odds with the book than Jackson and co's script, it is nevertheless clear from this letter that there are a great many aspects of Jackson's films that he would have disliked.

But the following passage seems particulary relevant to this thread, especially with regard to the criticisms made of the apparent discrepancy between the film portrayal of the Witch-king's powers at Weathertop and his powers at the Pelennor. The passage follows on from Tolkien's expressed annoyance at the script for having Aragorn lead the Hobbits away from Bree at night, which he sees as entirely the opposite of what Aragorn would do in the circumstances:

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[The Black Riders'] peril is almost entirely due to the unreasoning fear which they inspire (like ghosts). They have no great physical power against the fearless; but what they have, and the fear that they inspire, is enormously increased in darkness. The Witch-king, their leader, is more powerful in all ways than the others; but he must not yet be raised to the stature of Vol. III. There, put in command by Sauron, he is given an added demonic force. But even in the Battle of Pelennor, the darkness had only just broken.
This would appear to support my theory that the Witch-king is given a "power-up" of sorts by Sauron prior to leading his armies into battle, and this is something that the film captures quite well, I think, in the scene in Minas Morgul when the Witch-king first rides out on his Fell Beast.

So, in both the book and the films, the Witch-king of Weathertop is a different proposition from the Witch-king at the Pelennor. Whether this will make his breaking of Gandalf's staff in the film any more credible to Tolkien fans is unlikely, but it addresses the apparent inconsistency between the portrayal of the W-K's powers in these two parts of the film trilogy.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:15 AM   #155
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The Saucepanman raises a good point, however Tolkien still does not say who is the mightier, and remember that Gandalf himself had also been enhanced. The two opponents would have been quite different from those that might have met on Weathertop.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:35 AM   #156
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This would appear to support my theory that the Witch-king is given a "power-up" of sorts by Sauron prior to leading his armies into battle, and this is something that the film captures quite well, I think, in the scene in Minas Morgul when the Witch-king first rides out on his Fell Beast.

So, in both the book and the films, the Witch-king of Weathertop is a different proposition from the Witch-king at the Pelennor. Whether this will make his breaking of Gandalf's staff in the film any more credible to Tolkien fans is unlikely, but it addresses the apparent inconsistency between the portrayal of the W-K's powers in these two parts of the film trilogy.
I think that the books indicate clearly that the WK powered up for the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, but so had Gandalf when transforming from grey to white. In the movie these transformations/powering ups are also acknowledged, yet PJ has the WK go up more levels than I think is indicated, at least in comparision to Gandalf (heck, the WK didn't even change color! )

In short, all of the characters (Aragorn, Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, WK, armies, etc) powered up as the story proceeded, but PJ was inconsistent/inconsiderate in regards to Gandalf.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:01 AM   #157
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In short, all of the characters (Aragorn, Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, WK, armies, etc) powered up as the story proceeded, but PJ was inconsistent/inconsiderate in regards to Gandalf.
Yes, I agree. If there is any inconsistency in the portrayal of their respective "power levels" in the films, it is with regard to Gandalf the White rather than the Witch-king.

Tricky subject this though, as the extent of Gandalf the White's powers is not entirely clear from the book, by virtue of the restriction placed upon him as one of the Istari. He only uses his powers "offensively" in times of utmost need. While his true nature and limitations as one of the Istari are not addressed in the films, this will have had an effect on his film portrayal. And I agree with Essex that the book leaves open the question of who would have prevailed in a confrontation between him and the Witch-king at the time of the attack on Minas Tirith.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:54 AM   #158
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Tricky subject this though, as the extent of Gandalf the White's powers is not entirely clear from the book, by virtue of the restriction placed upon him as one of the Istari. He only uses his powers "offensively" in times of utmost need. While his true nature and limitations as one of the Istari are not addressed in the films, this will have had an effect on his film portrayal.
Agreed. My opinion from reading the books is that Gandalf was permitted to use his powers only when needed to 'level the playing field,' and when in doing so he did not usurp another's chance to 'shine.' When Sauron and company start cheating at 'the game,' Gandalf jumps in. He can never force anyone to take action, but is permitted to persuade. Gandalf inspires hope and dispels fear so that characters can act as they'd want to. I've posted examples regarding this previously in this thread.


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And I agree with Essex that the book leaves open the question of who would have prevailed in a confrontation between him and the Witch-king at the time of the attack on Minas Tirith.
As we have no data regarding the outcome, it then comes down to opinion. I leave you and Essex to your follies...
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:32 PM   #159
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As we have no data regarding the outcome, it then comes down to opinion. I leave you and Essex to your follies...
Ah, but I expressed no opinion. I simply noted that the question is left open.
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Old 03-14-2005, 01:31 PM   #160
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Ah, but I expressed no opinion. I simply noted that the question is left open.
To even raise the question assumes that there could be more than one possible outcome .

And though Eowyn and Merry would still 'do in' the Witch King, I think that had he not left when he did, he would ridden away from the gate smarting from (at the very least) a wizard-induced wedgie.
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