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Old 03-30-2002, 11:10 AM   #1
belegistar
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Silmaril Where did Gandalf get his staffs from?

I surfed the net and nobody seems to know.
I'm sure that the masters of the barrowdowns do.
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Old 03-30-2002, 03:21 PM   #2
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He brings it with him when he comes from the undying land.

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Old 03-31-2002, 03:53 AM   #3
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The first came from the Undying Lands, just like the staffs of all the Istari. This one broke on the narrow bridge of Khazad-Dum, when he faced the Balrog. The second also came from Aman, how and from who i do not know. I guess he got it from the Valar which sent him back.
And later on he broke the staff of Saruman, which also came from Aman.
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Old 04-01-2002, 08:11 AM   #4
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Silmaril

Thanks for the information. Maybe somebody else knows a bit more about the Istari-staff origins.

Does anybody know how important the staffs are and how the Istari need them? Are the staffs to the Istari like the ring to Sauron?
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Old 04-01-2002, 09:28 AM   #5
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Well first off Illuvitar sent Gandalf back, not the Valar. Another question could also be, what happened to Gandalf’s staff when he was captured by Saruman? There are two possibilities for the significance of the Istari's staffs. One is that the staffs are purely symbolic. Saruman's staff breaking is a symbol for Gandalf removing him for the order. It is not that Gandalf breaks Saruman’s staff and subsequently Saruman loses his power. The second possibility is that the Istari needed the staffs to channel their power. There are draw backs to both possibilities. If the staffs are purely symbolic then why was Gandalf unwilling to leave it at the door of King Theoden? Tolkien never specifically stated the significance of the staffs, so pick your poison. Personally I tend to believe that the staffs are purely symbolic because it causes less problems. If the Istari needed their staffs then how was Gandalf able to defeat the Balrog after his staff was broken? It also causes less problems with Saruman’s capture of Gandalf. If the staff is purely symbolic then there is no reason why Saruman should have to take the staff away from Gandalf. Perhaps it is a combination of the two. The Valar placed limitations on the powers that the Istari could use. I’ve always thought that at least to some degree the Istari adhered to these limitations voluntarily. The staffs were probably part of this limitation. The Istari could channel their power through their staffs, but it was not absolutely necessary; in special cases, like the fight with the Balrog (where there was no one around) the staffs would not be needed.
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Old 04-01-2002, 03:45 PM   #6
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One is that the staffs are purely symbolic.
Like a badge of office of some sort? Perhaps like a scepter is to a king.

Quote:
If the staffs are purely symbolic then why was Gandalf unwilling to leave it at the door of King Theoden?
What king would want his scepter taken away in order to visit somebody?
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Old 04-03-2002, 03:44 AM   #7
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When Gandalf is captured by Saruman, doesn't Saruman take his staff. He certainly does in the film, and if so, would Gandalf be able to get it back, or would he need a "new" one?
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:54 AM   #8
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In the book it is not said whether or not Saruman takes Gandalf's staff. The original staff came from Aman, the blessed realm, and it highly unlikely that Gandalf would have been able to receive a new one if Saruman took his original from him. This is one of the reasons why I believe that the staffs are purely symbolic. If Gandalf's staff was necessary for the use of his power then Saruman certainly would have taken it from him, and Gandalf would not have had it afterwards. If it is purely symbolic, or at most not completely necessary, then there would not be a reason for Saruman to take Gandalf's staff.

[ April 03, 2002: Message edited by: Thingol ]
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:56 AM   #9
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Suddenly it all makes sense!

[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Thanks
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:57 AM   #10
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hehe, we are both on at the same time. Glad to help. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:59 AM   #11
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Silmaril

This isn't about staffs, but who are the blue wizards, people keep mentioning them and i have absolutely no idea who they are talking about.

Can anyone help?
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Old 04-03-2002, 10:07 AM   #12
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The Valar sent 5 Istari or wizzards to Middle Earth to aid in the war against Sauron. Only 3 are mentioned in the Lord of the Rings. Saruman, Radagast, and of course Gandalf. The other two are only briefly mentioned by Tolkien in the Unfinished Tales. Their names are Alatar and Pallando and all that is said of them is that they traveled into the east of Middle Earth with Saruman, but did not return with him. Tolkien wrote it is possible they founded cults of magic that outlasted the fall of Sauron. There is a very good section in the Unfinished Tales concerning the Istari.

[ April 03, 2002: Message edited by: Thingol ]
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Old 04-03-2002, 10:09 AM   #13
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Silmaril

I'll have to buy the unfinished tales nad read it, thank you! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 04-07-2002, 09:20 AM   #14
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Now I have to add my 2 cents about the staves. I think the Istari have their own power. Then the staves have there own power. When Saruomon took Gandalf's staff Gandalf powers were then limeted but not removed. But he could of tooken his staff back when he left which I think it most likely the case. As for when he deafeated the Balrog noone was there that could see him so he used his divine powers to do that which he couldnt do in front of the fellowship for noone was suspossed to know he was a Maia. He contained the powers of a Maia and an Istari. Or were all the Istari Maia?
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Old 04-07-2002, 09:43 AM   #15
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All 5 Istari were Maia. Gandalf was trapped on top of the Orthanc, how would he have taken his staff back? It is much more plausible that Saruman allowed him to keep the staff.
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Old 04-07-2002, 12:52 PM   #16
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Yes he might have let him keep it but Sarumon knew that Gandalf was more powerful. I think he gave him kept Gandalf's staff and put him upon Orthanac. But when Gandalf leaft he could of transported his staff or mabey staves follow their owners? Mabey staves have a liuttle life of their own?
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Old 04-07-2002, 12:59 PM   #17
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At the time of his captivity Gandalf was not more powerful than Saruman. The staffs are nowhere said to have a life of their own, or even convey any special properties/power for that matter either. It is highly unlikely that had Gandalf allowed his staff to be taken from him by Hamma, that Hamma would have been able to use magic or receive magical powers from the staff.
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Old 04-07-2002, 02:36 PM   #18
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No but what if only Istari could harness the staves power. Mabey only the five wizards could. And Gandalf was awlays more powerful than Sarumon even when he was help captive he just hadnt reveiled his true power yet. If you paid close atention to what Gandalf says you would know that Galderial awlays wanted him leading the councile sense she knew he had the ring. Saroumon never knew he had that power and he controlled the councile. But Gandalf was the most powerful Istari when he started out and awlays will be.
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Old 04-07-2002, 05:16 PM   #19
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Gandalf had not revealed his true power because he was unable to. It was only after he was sent back by Iluvatar that the restrictions on the amount of force he could use were removed.
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At the moment I will only say that I was held captive. You? cried Frodo. Yes, I, Gandalf the Grey, said the wizard solemnly. There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured. But my time is coming.
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That may not prove to be one of the lighter matters said I. He laughed at me, for my words were empty, and he knew it.
Gandalf would not have willingly allowed himself to remain captive if he was more powerful than Saruman. It was not until after his duel with the Balrog that Gandalf became more powerful than Saruman. We will never know whether or not Gandalf was more powerful in the beginning of time as Olórin than Saruman in the beginning as Curumo, but we defiantly know that after the Istari were incarnated and forbidden to use their full strength that Saruman was the most powerful of the Istari. Just because Galadriel wanted Gandalf to lead the White Council does not mean that he was the most powerful of the Istari. Whether or not the limitations imposed on Istari were completely voluntary is another question alltogether. However, when Iluvatar sends Gandalf back to Middle Earth it is my opinion that He does not actually enhance Gandalf's powers, He merely removes some of the restrictions that were placed on him. Once Gandalf gets the "power up" from Iluvatar he becomes stronger than Saruman.
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Old 04-07-2002, 05:20 PM   #20
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On the staff question, there is simply no evidence that the staff's had any power in and of themselves, it may be possible, but it is not plausible. If they did why wouldn't Saruman keep Gandalf's staff?
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Old 04-08-2002, 05:44 AM   #21
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I just got an idea!!!!!!!! What if Sarumon let Gandalf keep his staff so he didnt get help and get that power up? What is Sarumon knew that Ivulatiur could boost the Istari and he gave Gandalf his staff to avoid trouble? Or mabey to avoid the other istari? Also the quote you posted first had to do with him being help by Sarumon. What if he couldn leave till he got his staff back?

[ April 08, 2002: Message edited by: TheBlackRider ]
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Old 04-08-2002, 11:44 AM   #22
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Does anyone have any good pictures of the staffs?
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Old 04-09-2002, 03:55 PM   #23
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Hey I just reread the part where Gandalf described his encouner with Saruomon. He never said anything about him takind his staff. The movie is wromng!!!!
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Old 04-10-2002, 05:01 AM   #24
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I ma not surprised, it is wrong in so many places, but I'm not gonna complain cos i love it really! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 04-10-2002, 11:18 AM   #25
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Gee, I thought he got it from "Staffs-R-Us"

No, seriously, guys, thanks for the education. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ April 10, 2002: Message edited by: Raefindel ]
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Old 04-10-2002, 11:52 AM   #26
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Come to Staffs'R'Us, located in the Grey Havens, opposite the harbour. We have a fine selection of new and used staffs all at the low low prices you can afford!

Interesting idea though. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 04-11-2002, 02:02 PM   #27
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Really guys come on. Well can you buy replacias of the staves? I think that would be kewl.
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Old 06-08-2002, 11:50 PM   #28
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Didn't Gandalf's staff break when he was fighting the Balrog in Moria?
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Old 06-09-2002, 12:10 AM   #29
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I've alway's felt the staves to be symbolic. Though the Istari could use them to channel energy in focused manner as needed. Which makes them a tool, not an object of power, and therefore easily replaceable.

Recall from LOTR and the Hobbit, that Gandalf used a sword in combat when the need arose, and could have used the staff as an offhand weapon and a shield (to parry with), though JRRT omit's the staff's where abouts when Gandalf was a sword swingin'.

I believe that JRRT's image of the archetypical wizard included the possesion of a staff, and therefore the Istari were so equipped.

The thought of Iluvatar or the Valar imbueing a staff with powers doesn't sound right. It seems that it was the Noldor and Numenorians who were into imbuing special qualities into their goods and crafts, with the exception of Sauron and the Ring.

[ June 09, 2002: Message edited by: Tarthang ]
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Old 06-09-2002, 05:53 PM   #30
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Gandalf uses a wand, not a staff, throughout the entirety of The Hobbit. I like Tarthang's theory that the staffs are tools, easily replaceable and not actually necessary for the use of the Istari's power. A wand could serve as a tool to focus Gandalf’s power just as easily as a staff could.

[ June 09, 2002: Message edited by: Thingol ]
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Old 06-10-2002, 10:37 PM   #31
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I'm with Tarthang, except that I don't think that the staves (is that the correct plural) were easily replaceable. They certainly weren't required for the wizards to use their power, but they helped. If they were merely a focus and anything could serve then why not use something less cumbersome, like a ring perhaps. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] If the staves were easily replaceable then Gandalf's being destroyed fighting the Balrog would be mostly meaningless. I think it was a powerful symbolic event personally. Not that the staff itself was purely symbol though. Same when Gandalf broke Saruman's. It had an effect.
As to Saruman not taking Gandalf's: I don't think he could. Though beaten Gandalf had enough power to keep Saruman from doing that- there's a connection between the wizards and their staves that is not easily broken. At least that's how it makes sense to me.
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Old 06-11-2002, 03:30 AM   #32
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Sting

Perhaps the staves' importance lies not in magic power but in status. The breaking of Saruman's staff would then have reduced him in terms of his position as an Ithron, and Gandalf's staff breaking during battle would not have posed an obstacle in terms of performing magic.
Thus, instead of being a source or stronghold of power, they could have been a regulatory element imposed by the Valar: necessary to have clout within the order, while ensuring somehow that use of power did not get out of hand.
Or maybe Tolkien just didn't want us to think about it this hard. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 06-11-2002, 01:29 PM   #33
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no thingol, we do know that olorin wasnt as strong as curumo, becuase when they were sent to fight sauron gandalf was scared and said he wasnt as strong as sauron. but saruman didnt express any weaknesses.
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Old 06-11-2002, 03:43 PM   #34
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Just because Saruman doesn't express fear does not mean that he was stronger than Gandalf.
Quote:
But he (Saruman) was ensnared by that dark spirit, (Sauron) mightier than he.
-The Ufinished Tales, The Istari

However, later it goes on to state that Saruman was the first to sail to Middle Earth and that he was higher in Valinórean stature than the other Istari. So I guess you are right, originally Curmo was stronger than Olórin.

[ June 11, 2002: Message edited by: Thingol ]
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Old 06-15-2002, 05:19 AM   #35
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Silmaril

Interesting thread. After reading all the posts, I think the staffs were

a) symbolic
b) a sign of status

Saruman was generally considered to be stronger than Gandalf throughout the books. It was only after Gandalf had died and been sent back by Iluvatar he had the strength to defeat Saruman - or was allowed to use it perhaps.

Quote:
'Yes, I am white now,' said Gandalf. 'Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been.'
The White Rider, The Two Towers

Was white also considered a symbol of power and strength? Previously when Gandalf was grey, he did not have the powers to match Saruman, but now when he's white, he seems to be far more powerful, his powers are equal to Saruman, and now they're both white.

[ June 15, 2002: Message edited by: *Varda* ]
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Old 06-15-2002, 07:10 AM   #36
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Old 06-15-2002, 08:17 AM   #37
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Old 06-15-2002, 08:54 AM   #38
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Old 06-15-2002, 09:12 AM   #39
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Question

I thought got his staffs from the "Council" or something like that. But it's been awhile since I read the books.
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Old 06-15-2002, 05:39 PM   #40
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Sting

I personally considered the Wizard's staffs a bit like swords: methods of combat and a focus of their skills, magic in their case. So they're best off with them, but can do without, i.e. Gandalf vrs. the Blarog.
To explain it to my brother, I used this example: Legolas has a bow and arrows. When it runs out, (staff is lost) he uses the daggers as a last defense.
So Gandalf's destruction of Saruman's sword was symbolistic: No more fun for you, pal. I think it also reduced his use of magic drastically, though. As his main weapon, he now could only rely on his magicky speaking powers: You *will* use Clearall for dry, red, itchy eyes. It has the ingredient to moisturize.
This, though, made my brother instantly confused on how Gandalf could still beat a Maia. I think it might have had to do with his Ring of Power, the Elven ring of Fire, that helped him continue his use of magic.
This all, however, is my opinion and probably drastically wrong. Any corrections or thoughts, if I may be prudent enough to ask for them?
Thank you!
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