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Old 01-28-2004, 04:17 PM   #1
moria dwarf
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Sting gandalf and witch-king

if eowyn and merry didn't kill the witck-king,do you yhink gandalf could of defeated him?
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Old 01-28-2004, 08:13 PM   #2
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Sting

I think he could have, but he WOULDN'T have. The prophecy that says "No man can kill him" simply seales someone's fate, IMO. He is killable by a male, but a male will NOT kill him.
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:27 PM   #3
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Gandalf had already defeated him in the door of Minas Tirith. And from what Gandalf says, he was planning on pursuing the Witch King and neutralizing the menace he represented.

Gandalf was a maiar... an ainu, in his origin as powerful as Sauron. If Olorin was the wisest of the maia, then he must know the counterspell that kept the Witch King alive... untie the "unseen sinews" of the Wiki...
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:46 AM   #4
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Sting

You don't know that. And how did Gandalf 'defeat' him at the gate, Iarhen?

Cibbwin; the thing about the WK not falling at the hand of man included Gandalf. It did not include male humans, apparently, but it did include a certain Hobbit.
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Old 01-31-2004, 03:17 PM   #5
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Sting

Yes, Gandalf didn't defeat him, Witchy merely turned away to focus on the onslaught by the Rohirrim, as he was then mounted on his fell beast. Thats my biggest disappointment, I would love to have read about a battle between Witch-King and Gandalf.
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Old 01-31-2004, 04:37 PM   #6
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Sting

I don't think that Gandalf could have done it. Well at least he would have died as well. Prophecy has a nasty habit of coming true. I am sure the wisest of the maiar knew that. He only confronted him at the gate because he was the only one who could have. I am sure he was thinking, "Here we go again, I am confronting evil incarnate in a narrow pasage once more...I wonder what my next incarnation will be like?"
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Old 01-31-2004, 06:07 PM   #7
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As I believe Gwaihir was saying earlier, Glorfindel's prophecy regarding the Witch-king is "not by the hand of man will he fall". He does not say that the Witch-king cannot be killed by a man, but that this will not happen.

That being said, Gandalf is not a man: he is an angelic emissary of the Valar, of the same order of beings as Sauron himself; and his human form is as temporary as a suit of clothes. The Witch-king is a corrupted human, and therefore of a lesser order, so his chances of defeating Gandalf, whatever powers he may have been awarded by his master, are slim to none. The Nazgl are in fact much less powerful than the films make them appear. In a letter, Tolkien wrote of them:
Quote:
Their 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 the Pelennor, the darkness had only just broken.
Although Tolkien speaks of an 'added demonic force' it was clearly not enough to protect the Witch-king even from a blade made by men (even the Nmenoreans were only human). Gandalf is more powerful in every way than both Merry and the makers of his barrow blade; and if it came to it, his sword, Glamdring, was made in Gondolin by the Elves, of whom the Nmenoreans were only protgs. I have no doubt that Gandalf would not only have defeated the Witch-king, but done it so decisively that all drama would have been lost. Besides, he would have preferred that the races of Middle-earth dealt with the Lord of the Nazgl themselves rather than relying on him to do it. The way in which matters transpired was truer to the Istari's mission than a direct confrontation with evil would have been.

In any case, I suspect that when Glorfindel made his prophecy on the battlefield long before he may have had an intimation of exactly how matters would turn out at the Pelennor Fields. This is why he made no mention of how the Witch-king could be defeated, or who would be able to kill him. It's quite possible that anyone could have done it, given the right weapon, but that owyn and Merry were destined actually to do the deed.
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Old 01-31-2004, 06:28 PM   #8
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I've been wondering about this idea myself. It had occured to me that perhaps Pippin's appearing to drag Gandalf away to rescue Faramir may have saved his (Gandalf's) life. When he was Gandalf the Grey, it took all his strength to stand up to a Balrog, itself a kind of demonic being created by Morgoth. Yet it was true that he was a Maia and had powers against the Nazgul no Man had. I'm not at all sure.
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Old 01-31-2004, 06:44 PM   #9
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Morgoth didn't create the Balrogs. They were Maiar that were corrupted to his service at the beginning of the world. As such the Balrog was of the same order as Gandalf.

There were certain limitations placed on the Istari when first they came to Middle-earth: they could feel the same pangs of the flesh as the humans they resembled, and their use of their powers was restricted. When Gandalf was sent back, his powers were greatly increased, although I doubt that he had full use of them. I find it difficult to believe that someone who could defeat a corrupted Maia with limited powers would find it difficult to defeat a corrupted human with those limitations relaxed.
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Old 01-31-2004, 07:06 PM   #10
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Sting

Though some of the answers are definitely BOOKSworthy, the overall topic is based on a general opinion question, so I'm moving it over to Novices and Newcomers where it belongs.
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Old 02-01-2004, 12:22 PM   #11
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Sting

I found the Nazgul in the books more powerful. They are very powerful, especially when all together. The only beings their fear doesn't work on is those that have dwelt in the blessed realm. They are all great sorcerers still.
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:44 AM   #12
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Sting

i think gandalf could have reduced the witch king's power considerable but i think he could not have killed him
because as glorfindell said" he cannot be killed by the hand of a man"
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Old 02-02-2004, 01:16 AM   #13
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Sting

Well, rutslegolas, Gandalf is NOT a man. He is Olorin, the wisest of Maiar, only walking in the guise of men and elves.

Therefore, the prophecy could NOT include him.

Mithrandir was a Maiar, one of the most powerful, in level with Sauron. The ringwraiths, however strong, were MEN, kings of Haradrim, Easterlings, and lords of Numenor corrupted. They are no match for Olorin, not at all. Mithrandir would have easily destroyed them all, if he has been allowed to use his power freely, but he was forbidden to reveal himself in majesty of power, but to only persuade.

Quote:
Old Fool! This is my hour. Do you not know death when you see it?
Since Mithrandir could not reveal his strength, Witch king and he was almost an equal. However, as time passed and Sauron grew to is full strength, the witch king grew in power until it almost overwhelmed Olorin, which caused him to say this.

Power can be also in many guises, like wisdom, which Olorin far surpassed the witch king, or sorcery, which witch king surpassed Tharkun.

So it depends on
1. time
2. the power used openly
3. definition of power
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Old 02-02-2004, 06:25 AM   #14
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Sting

As said above (constantly), I believe Gandalf could've but would not have destroyed the Witch-King of Angmar. Gandalf is very much the engineer of the War of the Ring, making sure people are in the right places doing the right thing. He did cast down the Balrog, but that was because if he hadn't the Fellowship would've fallen. He only intervened if he had to, not just whenever. And there's the prophecy to consider. Even though a man (or Maiar Istary in this case) could've destroyed the Witch King, that's not what was bound to happen.
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:28 PM   #15
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Sting

I'd also point out that the Balrog, Shelob, and possibly the watcher in the water are the only baddies who aren't "truly" part of the War. They are, essentially, independant entities.

The Balrog hid in Khazad-Dum after the defeat of Morgoth. The Balrog would neither know nor care about the war of the Ring - so in that sense, Gandalf is allowed to stand against him so that the rest of the party may go on. He does not have to engineer a battle with the Balrog, he's within his mission as Istari to fight it himself.

The Balrogs were also Maiar, just like Sauron, so it's doubtful that Sauron or his later creations would've had any influence over the remaining Balrog (the other six were destroyed much earlier). Plus, when the Balrogs and Sauron were both servants of Morgoth, the Balrogs were brawn and Sauron Brains. I don't think Sauron would've wanted a Balrog involved with the Ring, though he almost certainly knew that one Balrog remained and was hiding under Moria.

Shelob is a child of Ungoliant - the only servant of Morgoth who ever stopped obeying Morgoth. She's commandable by none and has no thought for the ring or for any power - only thought of her own hunger (proving that in the spider family, the apple does not fall far from the tree).

The thing about Gandalf's battle with the Balrog that intrigues me is that I wonder what Galadriel's reaction would've been when Legolas told her about the Balrog. No doubt she would have much knowledge of Balrogs and would probably be interested in what had become of Gandalf after he and the Balrog fell into the depths of Khazad-Dum.

Aside from herself, Sauron, and Treebeard, the Balrog would also have been the oldest living thing in Middle Earth.

I'm rambling now, I'll stop. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 1:30 PM February 02, 2004: Message edited by: Vitesse ]
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Old 11-28-2004, 06:40 AM   #16
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I agree with Eorl.Gandalf,or Olorin,was the wisest of all Maia,so he would be a fair match to Sauron.But the Witch king was only a great human sorceror witch gained a part of power that Sauron has.And nazguls fear the ones that saw the light of Valinor and Gandalf is Maia who lived in Valinor for long,long time,so he would probably defeat the Witch king-not killed him,but totally reduc its power,so the Witch king would have to fled.
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Old 11-29-2004, 02:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Mithrandir was a Maiar, one of the most powerful, in level with Sauron.
Quote:
Gandalf,or Olorin,was the wisest of all Maia,so he would be a fair match to Sauron.
I think that it is obvious that Gandalf was no match for Sauron in terms of sheer power. Tolkien himself sort of said this in letter #183(This was written as a note, so I only put in the actual note and the sentence that the note was referring to. And the passage is talking about Sauron):
Quote:
...But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit.*

*Of the same kind as Gandalf and Saruman, but of a far higher order
I interpret "far higher order" meaning that Sauron was a far greater Maia than Gandalf or Saruman. The "same kind" obviously refers to the fact that they were all Maiar.

Anyway, IMO, the Witch King is no match for Gandalf. Reasons:
1.The Witch King's greatest power was terror, which did not affect Gandalf.
2. Gandalf already faced all 9 Nazguls on Weathertop. He was forced to flee, but this was against all 9, at night, before he was enhanced as G. the White. As G. the White against just one Nazgul...
3. Gandalf forced 5 Nazguls to flee around Minas Tirith. I doubt that the WK has 5x as much power as the other Nazguls...
4. Gandalf's a Maia, WK is a Man. Case closed...

So I'm pretty disappointed how the RotK: EE makes Gandalf lose like nothing vs. the Witch King.
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:16 PM   #18
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Yes,definetly,case is closed,but I have only one last thing to ask.
The only thing we don't know about Gandalf is his true power-I mean,how strong is he compared to other Maiars.It says he is the wisest,not the most powerful.
He is definetly the strongest of all Istari,and he has one of the Three Rings,but could he really stand up to Sauron?It would really be a good match to see.
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Old 12-31-2004, 04:45 PM   #19
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I am a new member of this site, and I joined for one reason only: to gain peace of mind after the horrible defeat of Gandalf by the Witch-king in the EE of the Return of the King movie. Unlike some of the die hard fans of LOTR who hate the movies, I love them. But this scene struck such a devastating blow to me. I honestly didn't think that Mr. Jackson could have slipped up that bad. There is just no way in hell that the Witch-king could have defeated Gandalf quite so easily. After all, Gandalf is a Maiar spirit, and the Witch-king is just a corrupt human spirit. For hours I tried desperately to figure out how this defeat coul be:

1) The Witch-king's power grew greatly due to the increasing power of Sauron and strengthening power of darkness.
2) Gandalf was not defeated yet, and would have dealt a devastating blow to the Witch-king, had not the Rohirrim arrived just in time.

But now, I am sure that it was just a purposely overlooked flaw in the movie, in this case to reduce Gandalf's power greatly, and be put at the mercy of the Witch-king only to be saved by the Rohirrim to add great dramatic affect. This may work alright for an average movie-goer, but not an avid LOTR fan. But alas, tragically, this itself does not even work because what villain their right mind would let the chance to destroy their arch-enemy slip away? Becuase of the arrival of reinforcements? Isn't that what the entire orc army was for? So for that reason, the scene just falls apart and seems very unrealistic. The only idea I have that could salvage it, is that the Witch-king was afraid of killing Gandalf because Gandalf had yet to reveal his true powers.

Well that's all the ranting and ravin that I have for now.

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Old 01-27-2005, 08:33 PM   #20
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This goes back to the argument of are the Nazgul still men and can they die. That is an old thread, but it's worth reading. Just thought I'd mention that.
Anyway, I think that Gandalf could have defeated the Witch King if he had wanted to. And I do think that the ROTK EE scene was sort of stupid. It made Gandalf look like a weakling, the way his staff broke in like two seconds.
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Old 01-31-2005, 04:35 AM   #21
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The question is whether Gandalf could have defeated the WK or whether the WK could have defeated Gandalf.

On many threads on this site we've discussed the EE version, with much gnashing and grinding of teeth from most people.

One point I haven't put forward is that, in matters of black and white, whether one is stronger than the other does not mean the weakest cannot win. The WK was finally undone by a hobbit and a human. Both of far less power than Gandalf, but this is Fact.

So, to say well Gandalf is stronger than the WK because of whatever or vice versa, can almost be seen as imaterial. If the case of the strongest always winning over the weakest applies, then Middle-earth would have been a totally different place.

PS, why do you think Tolkien wrote the WK scene this way? Gandalf and the WK are about to clash, and then the Rohirrim arrive to save the day. To me, they did save Gandalf from a possible Mortal clash with the WK. Why on earth would Tolkien write it this way? The cock crows, the sounds of the horns are heard, and the WK realises his best laid plans are crumbling around him. That's why he shot off straight away in the book AND film. He HAD to marshall his forces and confront this new threat.

PPS, why is everyone getting het up about Gandalf's staff breaking? I'm going to raise a new thread in the books section shortly to kick off a discussion on this. IMO the Staff is a very Symbolic, but not neccesarily an important device for a Wizard. He had a production line of them in the movie anyway
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