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tarcolan
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Post What did Gandalf mean?
on: October 31, 2010 09:04
At the beginning of Book II when Gandalf is talking to Frodo about being delayed, he says that perhaps it was better that way. What does he mean?
PotbellyHairyfoot
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 04, 2010 09:14

There's a number of possibilities. Here's three;

The Ringwraiths could likely have put on a bigger fight if Gandalf had been present and actually gained control of Frodo and/or the Ring.

Another possibility is that Gandalf could have been on time because he didn't run into Radagast and then go visit Saruman, thereby learning of his treachery.

If Gandalf was with the Hobbits, Elrond would not have known to send out riders to find them and the would have been forced to fight the Wraiths all of the way to Rivendel. Without the aid of Glorfindel's horse hurrying his journey Frodo could have then succumbed to the Morgul blade long before reaching Elrond



[Edited on 4/11/2010 by PotbellyHairyfoot]
tarcolan
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 06, 2010 01:23
I'm not so sure the story would have been the same if Gandalf hadn't gone to Isengard. He was off to gather news and no doubt would have heard much about the growing terror in the south. That alone may have been enough for him to get back sooner to the Shire.
Even if he had only got back by the party day I can't see him going for a tramp across the Shire, especially south. Again the story would be different and they may never have encountered the Nazgul.

Did Gandalf really think it worth risking the Ring and Frodo to verify what he already suspected of Saruman? I can't believe that and it leads us to what Gandalf calls his greatest mistake, to rush off to Isengard at once instead of warning Frodo himself of the Nazgul. Barliman?! What was Gandalf thinking? A moot point. He admits to a few errors, most unlike him you might think. The White Council had all been deceived by Saruman through his power of Voice alone, which is also unlikely, especially as there were three Ringbears there.

This is a great book; every time I read it something new pops out. Gandalf mentions to the Council that Saruman was wearing a ring, an odd detail to include at such a time. I can't find any other references to this ring. It would explain a lot if Saruman had partly mastered the art of ringmaking, and could increase his verbal power, perhaps through others such as Radagast. Anyone know anything about Saruman's ring?
Morwinyoniel
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 07, 2010 04:18
Saruman had learned the art of ring making, to create himself a Ring of Power. Still, he was not able to make one; his ring was just a trinket, just for show.

[Edited on 7/11/2010 by Morwinyoniel]
tarcolan
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 10, 2010 07:23
Point taken. Tolkien doesn't mention this ring again, even when reporting how Saruman fooled the Witch-King with his power of Voice. I'll just have to find another excuse for the White Council.
In the same chat with Frodo Gandalf says the most dangerous moment was in the barrow. What does he mean? I realise that the wights had been stirred up by the Witch-King just before Frodo arrived, but how was it more dangerous than the dell at Weathertop?
cirdaneth
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 10, 2010 10:28
Yes! That one baffles me too. Any ideas anyone?
starofdunedain
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 10, 2010 12:40
Maybe because they had all come close to dying more so than on Weathertop? I don't know.
AlectoOfJudo
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 11, 2010 04:48
Gandalf seems to contradict himself:

As has been mentioned, in the 'Many Meetings' chapter he says, "As you showed in the Barrow. That was touch and go: perhaps the most dangerous moment of all."

Yet later on, as they discuss the attack on Weathertop and what the Ringwraiths were attempting to do to Frodo, he says, "You were in gravest peril while you wore the Ring, for then you were half in the wraith-world yourself, and they [the Ringwraiths] might have seized you."

If the incident with the barrow-wight *was* more dangerous than Weathertop, here is my hazarded guess why. In the barrow, Frodo is struck with the idea of using the Ring to escape himself, leaving his friends behind to die--"He thought of himself running free over the grass, grieving for Merry, and Sam, and Pippin, but free and alive himself. Gandalf would admit that there had been nothing else he could do."

Whereas on Weathertop, although Frodo does succumb to the Ring's power, it is "Not with the hope of escape, or of doing anything, either good or bad: he simply felt that he must take the Ring and put it on his finger."

If Frodo had used the Ring in the barrow to selfishly save himself at the expense of his friends' lives, he would have done something unforgivable. If he had taken that option, perhaps it would have led him down a path of no return--perhaps to a fate similar to Gollum's, caring only about himself.
Weathertop was dangerous, yes, but in the barrow there was a greater danger of Frodo losing himself.

Mind you, this is just a hazarded guess.
cirdaneth
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 12, 2010 05:39
Wow Alecto! Brilliant stuff. I hadn't thought of that.
tarcolan
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Post RE: What did Gandalf mean?
on: November 13, 2010 08:28
Yes Alecto, thanks for that. Gandalf is referring to Frodo's danger not the mission. The 'gravest peril' bit I think is just about that incident, not the whole mission. However it leaves the problem of the wights; they capture four hobbits by putting them to sleep. A bit more useful than Ringwraiths. Maybe they were just puppets of the Witch-King, puppet of Sauron. Also wasn't the door blocked? Frodo couldn't get out anyway, although as you say, by then it would have been too late for him. Yes I'm leaning toward that explanation. More conjecturisationing required, I think.
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