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Old 12-16-2003, 03:12 PM   #1
Wisdom of Wizardry
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Pipe FLY, you fools!

What did Gandalf mean when he spoke these words at the end of the chapter entitled "The Bridge of Khazad-Dum"?

If you could restate them, without the extreme brevity that his drastic circumstances dictated, what would you have him say?

Would it be "Get out of here, the whole place may come down!"?

Would it be "I'm dead, save yourselves!"?

How about "Scatter, the battle is lost!"?

For my part, I think old Gandalf was exhibiting a bit of his justly deserved arrogance. I think he was saying "Leave this to me! None of you is even marginally equipped to handle this big S.O.B., nor can you aid me by dying! Get the hell out of here!" [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

What do you think?
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Old 12-16-2003, 03:39 PM   #2
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Sting

I think he meant "There are still orcs and arrows out their. Don't worry about me, just get Frodo to safty."

I don't think that he was implying that he was strong enough to beat the Balrog, because he almost wasn't. I also don't think that he was trying to belittle the fellowship, especially not Aragorn. Gandalf knows that they could probably help him, but he sees that Frodo is more important at that moment.

Another possiblilty is that he is not allowed to use his full powers to rule over people in ME, but perhaps he is alowed to do whatever to his equals (ie the Balrog). Perhaps he isn't allowed to use his powers in the presence of other people, so perhaps he is asking them to leave so that he can deal with the Balrog without them seeing?

Edit: Do you think that he is also alluding to earlier on when he calls Pippin a "fool of a took"? Fool, fools. Hmmm.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 11:54 PM December 16, 2003: Message edited by: Arwen Imladris ]
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Old 12-16-2003, 05:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
I think he meant "There are still orcs and arrows out their. Don't worry about me, just get Frodo to safty."
Aman to that. He like mentioned above, just wanted to save frodo. He couldve said "Get the hell out of here! Oh and watch out for that orc arrow also." that would have been the same thing.
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Old 12-16-2003, 05:24 PM   #4
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"Fly" means "flee," I believe, so Gandalf was saying something like:

"Stop standing around gawping at me and get the heck out of here! Idiots!"

I don't think he was being arrogant. He was just pointing out that they were wasting the time he was buying for them to get away.

Cheers!
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Old 12-16-2003, 05:29 PM   #5
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I always rather liked this line. Yes, Tolkien could have had him say something like those mentioned above, but it does not hold the same eloquence as those three words. At the point when he says this line, the fellowship really cannot help him with the Balrog, as it is already falling down into the pit - and dragging him along with it. It is certainly not meant to belittle them, he is simply telling them to get out and not die foolishly trying to save him. There really is not anything that any of them could do at that point besides fall into the pit themselves, and Gandalf knows it.
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:46 PM   #6
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I LOVE this line! I wasn't suggesting that JRRT would want to change it, not at all. And I agree that his highest priority, then and always, was to aid Frodo in his mission, at whatever cost.

I was just suggesting that his power exceeded those in the company by powers of ten; and that he knew they couldn't help him with the task at hand. He was not unaware of his own importance in the scheme of things, after all.
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:48 PM   #7
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Sting

I think that was just another instance of our beloved Wizard letting his "grumpy" common sense dictate what he was saying.
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Old 12-16-2003, 07:25 PM   #8
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1420!

It's true that Gandalf had powers infinitely greater than those of anyone else there, and was the only one remotely qualified to deal with the Balrog, but I never got the impression, from that line, that he was thinking about himself much. It was more, as people have said previously, "Get out of here before you get killed!" And I don't think "fools" was meant arrogantly, more it shows just how desperate the situation was, and that Gandalf, Wizard though he was (as JRRT) would say, was afraid. If you're very angry or very upset you tend to say things like that; it doesn't take much. Who hasn't sat inside their car on a frozen morning, trying to get the thing to start and muttering "Come on you worthless piece of rust, start!" It's the same principle, only of course about five hundred thousand times more serious.
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Old 12-16-2003, 07:33 PM   #9
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he ment fools as"you guys are dumb because i giving you a chance at survival and are just staring at me like idiots" Glad i got that off my chest.
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Old 12-16-2003, 09:05 PM   #10
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1420!

Well, he could have meant "Fly down and help me! AARGH!!!"... but I doubt it.

Seems to me Tolkien was going for dramatic impact rather than humour. If you ask me, screaming out "I never saw Venice!" (a la Death to Smoochy) would have been much funnier.

Clearly, Gandalf meant for them to fly, to run away really really fast because they were in a very nasty situation. Gandalf knew that Frodo and the Ring were the most important things, and that they had to be saved at all costs.
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Old 12-17-2003, 03:05 AM   #11
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Well judging from some of the convoluted reasoning that suggest proof for Balrogs flying is to be found in the Silmarillion then I would expect that Gandalf meant for them to fly up and out of the ventilation shafts to safety. Which would be far safer than braving the guards at the door.
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:34 AM   #12
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Sting

True, but then again, Hobbits don't have wings, (We don't need a new thread discussing whether Hobbits have wings!!!! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]) and neither do Men.
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:15 AM   #13
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Silmaril

I'll have to agree with the people on this thread who are saying that Gandalf was just trying to get them to leave without getting shot, and specifically without getting the Ring Bearer shot. Gandalf was probably wise enough to see that however important his role in the quest might be, the really important thing was to protect Frodo as he carried the Ring to Mount Doom.

I don't know if calling them fools was really an allusion to "fool of a Took", although that's an interesting idea. But I think calling them fools was more a reaction to being worried in a tense moment - like if someone you care about has just had you worried to death, and then you find out they're okay, and you say, "You're the biggest jerk in the world, you scared the hell out of me!", even though what you really mean is "I love you and I would not want to see you harmed" (or shot through by orc arrows, as the case may be).

I'm really not too sure about this, b/c it's been a while since I've read it, but is there any evidence to suggest that Gandalf knew what was going to happen if he defeated the Balrog (i.e. that he would become Gandalf the White)? If so, perhaps "Fly, you fools" was his way of saying, "Contrary to appearances, I actually have everything under control, you just worry about not getting yourselves killed and it will all be okay." Of course, the Fellowship would not have understood the whole "everything under control" bit (I'm sure it didn't look 'under control' to them) but then that's typical Gandalf anyway.
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Old 12-17-2003, 06:12 PM   #14
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In response to the previous post, I am almost sure that Gandalf was not aware that he was going to become gandalf the white. The way I see it, he did not have, in his 'gandalf the grey' body, all of the knowledge and power that he had in the west as Olorin. Also, I am not sure exactly how he became gandalf the white (I have not read HoME), but he did not bring it about with his own power, so he could not really have known about it. Plus, he did not really have any communications with the west, so there was no way he could have found out, after he came to ME.
What gandalf was probably trying to say to the company was something like, "get out of here, before you die, too!!!'
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:54 PM   #15
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I think all that Gandalf knew was that he could put up a pretty good fight against the Balrog, and buy the Fellowship enough time to get to the safety of Lothlorien. I think that was his main concern, to get the Fellowship, and the Ringbearer, to safety. All other concerns came second in his mind.
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Old 12-18-2003, 12:35 PM   #16
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Pipe

I didn't mean to imply that Gandalf 'knew' he could defeat the Balrog, any more than Eowyn 'knew' her sword would kill the Nazgul King. Had they known, their acts become more mechanical than heroic. I have no wish to rob this timeless masterpiece of its heroism.

What I AM implying is that Gandalf knew that if anybody in that group could defeat the balrog, he was it! He was not resigned to die, right? He fell into the pit with a determination to fight to the death; and he was pretty sure that he could give the balrog a run for his money, so to speak.

But would it help him if Aragorn or Legolas, the two most powerful of his allies, fell into the pit beside him? Uh uh. That would just give him something else to worry about, and would remove two vastly important layers of protection from the Ring Bearer.

So I think he was saying, essentially: "What the %$#& are you standing there gawping for? Get out of here and leave this nightmare to the only one capable of handling it"! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 1:36 PM December 18, 2003: Message edited by: Wisdom of Wizardry ]
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Old 12-18-2003, 04:10 PM   #17
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To put it simply, I believe he meant, "RUN!" The "you fools" bit just showed Gandalf's frustration that the Fellowship was not getting away and into safety, or at least relative safety. How would you like to go to the trouble of sacrificing your life (Yes, he comes back, but he didn't know that, did he?) to defeat a Balrog while the people you were saving just stood there and stared like idiots while orcs caught up on them? So, to summarize: Gandalf shouted in annoyance, "RUN!"
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Old 12-19-2003, 11:32 PM   #18
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Agree with previous post. After all, I seriously doubt Gandalf had time to seriously consider what would no doubt be his last words to the Fellowship. "Hmm, what should my last speech to them be? Ah! I know! I'll say, 'Fly, you fools!' for the following detailed reasons . . ."

To paraphrase, I might say, "Get out of here, you idiots!"
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Old 12-20-2003, 02:09 AM   #19
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Sting

Fly=leave, as in hurriedly leave
you fools=well, they are stupid enough to stop and not think about the consequences of just standing there.

Although...I always wondered why Gandalf had to leave at odd times...except for facing that Balrog (which was apparently, the G-man's greatest fear), which a fear that he had to face.

BUT, the brevity of these words cannot be expressed in any other way. Those three words pretty much say it all...think the Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ. There was an urgency in both cases (Jesus hadn't had enough time to say what he wanted to say, and so did Gandalf). I believe in the eloquence of those "three words." They were meant for the safety of the rest of the company, and for the brave task that Gandalf had to face.
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Old 12-20-2003, 06:27 PM   #20
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well, to make it more exciting i woulda said "get the hell outa dodge!!"
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