Monday, March 3, 2008

Gandalf the Late

Okay so why does Gandalf always dissapear at the last minute. Does he want to see if the fellowship can last without him? I think Gandalf loves beeing needed. I mean the guy always shows up after his friends have been through hell and back. What is he off doing?

8 comments:

Megan Becker said...

Gandalf says "Wizards are never late. They show up precisely when they intend to." I guess that doesn't make the situation any better. It's still late to everyone else!

seth swanson said...

It is the necessity of suspense for the reader. Gandalf is going to continuously be late and supposedly is off doing necessary things in order for us to, at the last second, be saved. We know the power and abilities of gandalf, not only the importance of his wizardry but his skills and experience as a leader. He can lift the spirits of many when they feel that there is no hope, and so just as he does to the characters throughout the trilogy, he provides the same suspense for the readers.

Jenni Davis said...

Gandalf showing up late reminds me of Dumbledore in the Harry Potter stories. Harry doesn't always understand why Dumbledore doesn't explain more to him, but he does show up when Harry needs him. Dumbledore like Gandalf are suppose to be mysterious powerful wizards. The stories are more intersting with them being that way.

Doug Simms said...

There always seems to be a "just in the nick of time" moment at every crisis in LotR.

Interestingly enough, this could be less of a coincidence (fate) and more a representation of Providence.

There's an interesting article on Tolkien's use of the medieval philosopher Boethius' distinction between fate and providence here:

Dubs, Kathleen E. “Providence, Fate, and Chance: Boethian Philosophy in The Lord of the Rings.” Twentieth Century Literature. 27.1 (1981): 34-42.

efowler said...

It really feels like Gandalf is the LotR Superman. He arrives right as the damsel in distress is cornered with no hope of escape. But perhaps this points to a deeper definition of his character. To me, he serves as the character that is the reminder that this story couldn't take place in real life. All of the other characters, race aside, have an obvious flaw. Gandalf seems to be perfect; he can't be killed, he is all knowing in most circumstances, and he knows how to get people out of a tight situation. He just can't be compared to a real life person, while all of the other characters can. So thanks a lot Gandalf! You proved that the hobbits found in the Pacific Islands aren't real hobbits from this trilogy. Thanks for dashing my hopes!

Erica W said...

I agree this bothers me a little bit because Gandolf is wizard he can make their journey easier or maybe warn them about going certain places and help them out a little more. He may be off doing important stuff but getting the ring to it's destinaiton is probably the most important.I also agree that it is a plot device to make the story more interesting and fun to read.

Nina Miller said...

He seems to be a father figure to everyone and that is even more apparent when he becomes gandalf the white. My question is where is he when he is not with them and why do we not get to no.

Soune Ursani said...

I think, as others have mentioned, that Gandalf is "late" because it goes along with the plot. The rescue in the nick of time does have its advantages--whether intentional or not--for the writer.

If Tolkien wanted to go along with the interpretation of Providence via Gandalf, there is a quick way to do that. If Tolkien wrote himself into a corner, there would be an easy fix to that as well. Both of these could be working together, but since in my opinion Tolkien is a "good" writer, everything he writes is intentional.