Tuesday, February 19, 2008

'Remembering' Gandalf

This is going back quite a bit in the story, but I have been questioning it for awhile, so I'd like anyone's input...

When Gandalf 'dies' in the previous book, it seems to me that none of the fellowship spends much time thinking about him, or mourning him, or whatever they would normally do in that culture.

I know they don't necessarily have time to stop their mission, but it seems to me that Gandalf played such an important role in the whole journey. Once he was gone, it was mentioned that they missed him, but it seems like they go on with their business without much thought. I felt that Gandalf was not only their leader, but their close friend. Especially from Frodo's point of view. Thats why I wonder why it seems like none of them have much to say about his death. Any thoughts?

10 comments:

Rocky said...

On page 399, Frodo says, “Yet our grief is great and our loss cannot be mended.” And on page 403, Legolas says that for him the grief is still too near, a matter for tears and not yet for song. This would lead me to believe that the members of the party have cried on account of Gandalf’s death. Clearly, the party is moved by his death.

Doty said...

I think the movie does a good job at this point in showing the mixed attitudes of the Fellowship. While all of them are overwhelmed by sorrow and a sense of loss, they are also pressed by a life-threatening need to escape the pursuing orcs. Gandalf said "fly, you fools" for a reason. He knew they couldn't afford the time to stand idle and mourn while they were being attacked.

Emily said...

I agree that the book doesn't make the strong suggestion that they are distraught over Gandalf's death. The movie did do a better job, however they may have had just these looks on their faces when Gandalf died in the book, they just aren't visualized for us. I knew that Gandalf's death was coming because I had seen the movies, but in the book it seemed just a small blip on the radar. It happened and as soon as it began it seemed that it was over. He had fallen into the "darkness." I find it even more interesting that they never actually say he "died".

Jacob Carlson said...

Don't forget, Aragorn pushes the company onward. I believe that he said that they could mourn later, which they did finally in Lothlorien.

Doug Simms said...

In a sense, Gandalf's death is necessary so that the others can show themselves heroically. If Gandalf were leading them throughout the whole affair, the Hobbits would be less in a position to step up and make choices on their own.

becky said...

How, in all of the deep descriptions of Tolkein's writting can we possibly say that Gandalf's death was "overlooked"?! What if, Gandalf's return is comming and Tolkein simply does not want the reader to be put through their own mourning process when Gandalf shall return anyway? Tolkein is a very deliberate author, his lack of spelling out, "It was then that Gandalf was dead," is simply foreshadowing.

Erica W said...

I agree with what Becky said I think the fact that Gandolf is not really dead leads Tolkein to leave out some of the heavy emotional stuff that goes along with the death of the main character and keeps the story moving.

allison said...

I think it doesn't show a big deal of emotion because they all know they have to move on with their journey. Also, I don't believe this to be true, but discussing why Frodo wasn't very sad, maybe he was possessed by the ring a little bit and it was almost like a relief to him that Gandalf was gone. If Gandalf was gone, maybe no one else would want to follow through with getting rid of the ring and Frodo could keep it for himself. Again, I don't believe this to be true, but just wanted to throw it out there.

amstrope said...

Yea I really though they would touch more on the death of Gandalf. It seems like such a big change in the book. I understand that they really don't have anytime to mourn but I figured they would talk about it as they were walking or resting. I know book and movie are very different but they do touch on that more. Although it makes Aragorn look cold hearted because he rushes the others while they are crying over Gandalfs death

Dan Thouvenot said...

With the orcs of Moria chasing them and no idea of whether anything else could be watching them or following them, they had many other thoughts going through their minds even though they wished that they could mourn. At the same time, they knew they had to continue in order to keep the ring safe.