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Why didn't Gandalf use his powers?
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Some_Black_Guy
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Why didn't Gandalf use his powers?

Although Gandalf is an Istari, he rarely seemed above men. In The Two Towers when he returns as Gandalf the white he's approached by Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. Under the impression that Gandalf is Saruman the white they attack him and Gandalf effortlessly deflects arrows and the axe then makes Aragorns sword scorching hot. So, why didn't he use his powers when they needed it most(like when orcs attacked the white city) instead of sword fighting or hitting orcs with his staff? My only guess is that it might have lessened the grit and toil of the battle scenes that Jackson was going for. Share your thoughts.

Old Post Sep 5th, 2005 04:08 PM
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Re: Why didn't Gandalf use his powers?

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Some_Black_Guy
Although Gandalf is an Istari, he rarely seemed above men. In The Two Towers when he returns as Gandalf the white he's approached by Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. Under the impression that Gandalf is Saruman the white they attack him and Gandalf effortlessly deflects arrows and the axe then makes Aragorns sword scorching hot. So, why didn't he use his powers when they needed it most(like when orcs attacked the white city) instead of sword fighting or hitting orcs with his staff? My only guess is that it might have lessened the grit and toil of the battle scenes that Jackson was going for. Share your thoughts.


Indeed...


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Old Post Sep 5th, 2005 04:17 PM
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Les yeux clos
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Because as an Istari he isn't allowed to effect the dealings of men huh, he doesn't in the book so he wouldn't in the film..

Old Post Sep 5th, 2005 04:20 PM
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Maybe he's stupid...


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Old Post Sep 5th, 2005 04:22 PM
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Some_Black_Guy
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Fianna
Because as an Istari he isn't allowed to effect the dealings of men huh, he doesn't in the book so he wouldn't in the film..


Well I consider fighting alongside them 'effecting the dealings of men', he didn't just sit back and give advice like Galadriel, he helped to turn the tables, and I've read the books also....If you read deeper into the origin of the Wizards it says that they were put on middle earth to help the race of men...

Old Post Sep 5th, 2005 04:35 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Some_Black_Guy
Well I consider fighting alongside them 'effecting the dealings of men', he didn't just sit back and give advice like Galadriel, he helped to turn the tables, and I've read the books also....If you read deeper into the origin of the Wizards it says that they were put on middle earth to help the race of men...
No, but I don't think they are allowed to use there powers to directly affect it. e.g if he used his power to destroy all the orcs around minas Tirith.

Old Post Sep 5th, 2005 05:16 PM
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Some_Black_Guy
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Fianna
No, but I don't think they are allowed to use there powers to directly affect it. e.g if he used his power to destroy all the orcs around minas Tirith.


Well I've never read that, I believe my guess is right. If Gandalf used his powers to vanquish all of the orcs with a wave of his hand it would have taken the excitement out of the battle. But in the Two Towers it was proven that he did posess such powers, which causes one to wonder why he didn't use them more often.

Old Post Sep 5th, 2005 05:23 PM
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Les yeux clos
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Well yeah in the movie it would of, but as he didn't do it in the book in first place then it wouldn't have been in the movie

And if you ask people to disuss things it's better not to completey rule everything anyone else says out. If you believe your guess it right then there wasn;t much point in making the thread in the first place..

Old Post Sep 5th, 2005 06:18 PM
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Some_Black_Guy
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Fianna
Well yeah in the movie it would of, but as he didn't do it in the book in first place then it wouldn't have been in the movie

And if you ask people to disuss things it's better not to completey rule everything anyone else says out. If you believe your guess it right then there wasn;t much point in making the thread in the first place..


You're right, I just wanted to see wanted to see what somebody else would say. I didn't mean to seem expostulatory.

Old Post Sep 6th, 2005 12:01 PM
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Gandalf and his posse of wizards were sent to help men. So to give assistance but not full on just go out and do everything for them.

He was like a teacher, they help you along, but they dont take the test for you.


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Old Post Sep 6th, 2005 06:00 PM
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Ushgarak
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Overt power is very rare in LOTR. Even superpowered as Gandalf the White, the amount of overt 'spells' he could fire off were very few (and as Gandalf the Grey, he couldn;t even defeat the spiders in The Hobbit, considering actually sacrificing himself to do so). Ok, so he showed off a bit to Aragorn and co- but you should look at that for its stylistic rather than logical value.

In any case, he did not remotely have enough power to simply vanquish all the Orcs like that. Sauron was more powerful than Gandalf and couldn't do anything approaching THAT at the height of his powers. As it was, in that fight Gandalf was most likely saving his energies. He used the sunlight trick once or wice though.

Remember- 'magic' in LOTR is done with a LOT of moderation.


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Old Post Sep 6th, 2005 06:30 PM
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Some_Black_Guy
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Ushgarak
Overt power is very rare in LOTR. Even superpowered as Gandalf the White, the amount of overt 'spells' he could fire off were very few (and as Gandalf the Grey, he couldn;t even defeat the spiders in The Hobbit, considering actually sacrificing himself to do so). Ok, so he showed off a bit to Aragorn and co- but you should look at that for its stylistic rather than logical value.

In any case, he did not remotely have enough power to simply vanquish all the Orcs like that. Sauron was more powerful than Gandalf and couldn't do anything approaching THAT at the height of his powers. As it was, in that fight Gandalf was most likely saving his energies. He used the sunlight trick once or wice though.

Remember- 'magic' in LOTR is done with a LOT of moderation.


Moderation indeed..

Old Post Sep 6th, 2005 06:46 PM
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The Inkeeper
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I have to say if Gandalf went all out i think he would give Sauron a run for his money.


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Old Post Sep 8th, 2005 08:36 PM
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I VERY much disagree! Sauron had become far more powerful than any figure like Gandalf. He really had broken the scale. it is exceptionally clear that with the Ring in his possession, all would be lost- Gandalf could not stand against him.

There isn't any 'all-out'; Gandalf WAS giving his all.


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Old Post Sep 9th, 2005 10:38 AM
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shaber
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He is alot stronger as Gandalf the White then he was in his previous manifestation of Gandalf the Grey.

In the book he never had cause to deflect any weapons and there is a rule that he can't interfere very much. The inconsistency was a movie goof.


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Old Post Sep 9th, 2005 11:45 AM
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Some_Black_Guy
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by shaber


In the book he never had cause to deflect any weapons and there is a rule that he can't interfere very much. The inconsistency was a movie goof.


Obviously


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Old Post Sep 9th, 2005 12:11 PM
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The info below clears it all up, I was partly right, the constant use of magic would make it pointless and less interesting.

Magic in Middle-earth

Yes, there is a working force in Middle-earth that is supernatural; meaning effects which cannot be achieved by normal, everyday methods. This process can be interpreted as "magic". There are examples of spontaneous creation of fire, songs of power, words of command, miraculous healing, runes of power, and weapons with special abilities. Yet, for all this, Tolkien used magic sparingly and for good reason; if used too much it is no longer special or supernatural.

What is the nature of this Magic?

The nature of magic in Middle-earth is wrapped around Tolkien's philosophy of power and domination. In one of the The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (#155) he makes a distinction between "good" and "bad" magic and further states that both sides used both types. It is not the magic itself that is good or bad, but the intentions and motives for its use.
Good magic is meant to be "artistic" for the purpose of creating or preserving beauty, whereas bad magic was used for "deceit" or to dominate the wills of others. But magic in general, was a means to quicken the process between the conception of thought and actual realization of effect.

Which races used magic?

Tolkien believed that the ability to use magic was derived from the inherent power contained within the individual and that Men did not have this type of power. Aragorn, who could heal the sick, is of course, an exception. But Tolkien goes on to state that he is, through descent, related to Luthien, born of Thingol an elf, and Melian a Maiar.

Didn't the Istari, or Wizards use Magic?

The Istari, of course, could also use magic, but they are not a race. The Istari were messengers from Valinor, who were sent to help the races of Middle-earth resist the domination of Sauron. They were lesser Maiar, but changed into mortal flesh and subject to the trials and effects of Middle-earth. Being changed into Istari, they used their inherent power which was called "magic" by Men, but in a subtle manner; they were forbidden to use their power openly in direct confrontation or domination. However, they did use this magic for certain beneficent purposes. For example, Gandalf uses his magic to create fire, and invokes a command of holding on the door to Balin's tomb during the attack of the Balrog.

What about the Magic of the Valar and Maiar?

The Valar and Maiar should be treated separately and not associated with magic in the mortal sense of the word. They certainly could perform supernatural feats, but this power should be considered as "divine power" and not magic.

Can't the other Races use Magic?

Dwarves, men, hobbits, orcs, and the other races of Middle-earth are seemingly devoid of "inherent power", and can not perform magical effects. The exception to this is for Men of Elven descent, such as the line of Elros, brother of Elrond, who was considered half-elven.
The only other way for a mortal to use magic is with a Ring of Power. Before the Nine faded and became Ringwraiths, it is stated that by using the Nine Rings these men "became mighty in their day,kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old (The Silmarillion)." The dwarven rings also lent magical power to their users and it is rumoured that the "Seven Hoards of the Dwarf-kings" had a ring as its source. See the FAQ on the Rings of Power (to be written).
However, this is not to say that these races could not create items with special properties that could be considered magical. The Númenóreans created swords with spells on them, and the dwarves made the Helm of Hador and used runes of power. But this process is different from magic and is defined as lore.

What is the difference between magic and lore?

Tolkien specifically stated that magic can only be performed by individuals possessing an inherent power (Letter #155). Magic allowed for the instantaneous creation of effect from thought.
Lore was knowledge gained by study to be used in the creation of items such as elven swords, the palantír, the doors of Moria, rings of power, etc.

Which races used magic?

Magic was invoked by speaking. Words were extremely important to Tolkien, who was a philologist. He considered words as enchantments or spells; say the word "green" and it invokes the image of the colour in the listener's mind. The process of invoking magic was to conceive the thought and speak it to realize its effect. By saying the word it makes the thought real. For example, Gandalf uses words to open the entrance to Moria, and he also uses a word of Command to hold the door against the Balrog.


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Old Post Sep 9th, 2005 12:27 PM
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Ushgarak
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Other than that fiualing to mention that Elves did not recognise the term 'Magic'...

... people make far too much of this 'forbidden to use power' thing. That rule only went as far as not using open power to rule people. Saruman happily BROKE that rule and you don't see any Earth-shattering power fom him, do you? No, just subtle effects used well- the same as Gandalf, in either incarnation.


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Old Post Sep 9th, 2005 12:59 PM
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shaber
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In the case of the istari magic power is really taken to mean having greater knowledge than the others on Middle Earth. Saruman wasted his real potential by mimetically limping after Sauron.


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Old Post Sep 9th, 2005 01:56 PM
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Grand-Moff-Gav
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Some_Black_Guy
Although Gandalf is an Istari, he rarely seemed above men. In The Two Towers when he returns as Gandalf the white he's approached by Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. Under the impression that Gandalf is Saruman the white they attack him and Gandalf effortlessly deflects arrows and the axe then makes Aragorns sword scorching hot. So, why didn't he use his powers when they needed it most(like when orcs attacked the white city) instead of sword fighting or hitting orcs with his staff? My only guess is that it might have lessened the grit and toil of the battle scenes that Jackson was going for. Share your thoughts.


Tolkien wanted it to be really obvious that gandalf couldn't solve every problem with magic,he achieved this by keeping Gandalfs use of "physical" magic very limited,however he does use magic when needed.

Old Post Sep 9th, 2005 09:48 PM
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