If The WitchKing had....

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If The WitchKing had....

Post by Belithraldor » Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Actually slain Gandalf (perish the thought) as he was about to do after he shattered his staff before the Rohirrim showed up, Would Gandalf had been sent back? He was sent back after his fateful battle with Durin's Bane as Gandalf the White. he was sent back because he hadn't finished his task. Would Eru have sent him back again; but even more powerful than a white wizard? Am I just full of crap? :wink: Some I work with say that the WitchKing was going to kill Gandalf and that Gandalf knew he couldn't defeat the WitchKing. Now, the WitchKing couldn't be killed by a man. Gandalf wasn't a man. He was a maiar; a spirit in the form of a man. I would have thought that a maiar could have defeated a wraith....
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:12 pm

Let's go by the actual book, since it's better to answer from the author than the movie interpretation of the author (which I totally don't understand concerning this point). In the book, Gandalf on Shadowfax meets the Witch King on his horse just as Grond 9the creepy battering ram) shatters through the first gate. Gandalf says "Go back to the shadow, fall back into the abyss that awaits you and your master etc. etc.", Witch King says "Old fool, do you not know death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain, etc etc" Flames run down his blade... and then a cock crows, and the nightime-like darkness that had fallen on the land for the past couple of days is broken by the coming of dawn. Then the horns of Rohan ring out and the Witch King retreats to go deal with this new attack. So nothing actually happens beyond a few threats, no broken staffs or anything.

From comments Gandalf makes other places in the book, I get the impression that Gandalf could have beaten him, but it would have been difficult. He said that he regretted the fact that he couldn't faced him himself (he had to go rescue faramir) and was worried about the bad things to happen because of it. But it all turned out pretty well.

Would Eru have sent him back if he did die? I don't know. I'd think so. It almost seems like cheating. Kinda like those games where you have 4 credits - death isn't real death, because you still have some more chances. So storywise, it would make for a really poor plot. But in the context of the story, I can hardly imagine Eru abandoning the poor people to fight Maiar and wraiths and hoardes of orcs by themselves. Of course, maybe that's why Eru sent Gandalf back stronger - as G the White, he wouldn't die. So it was divine foresight to prevent him from being sent back again. Yeah, that's my answer. Gandalf had already died so he didn't have to worry about dying now.
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Post by Belithraldor » Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:44 pm

Sam,

That was a very astute reply. I believe you're right. I read LotR about 15 years ago and sometimes my memory gets clouded with PJ's adaptation. I'm rereading the Sil currently and I hate to go back to LotR for any reference. I don't want to ruin my momentum. My apologies. Being a Gandalf the White follower, I would have like to have seen him battle the WitchKing. Tolkein has his reasons for writing the way he did and far be it from me to 2nd guess his reasons.

Thanks agin....
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Post by King » Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:04 pm

hmmm... speaking of Gandalf and the third book, I have a question for Sam. This has been bothering me for a long time and I dont think I have asked it here before. When Gandalf goes back to Bree with the four hobbits and tells them they have to deal with what they find in the shire (scouring of the shire and all that) he leaves to go speak with Bombadil and we never hear what his business with Tom was... I dont get it, who or what is Tom Bombadil that he is older than the trees and has seen even the coming of the men and elves to middle earth (I'm not entirely sure I have my facts right here) and then who is Goldberry, surely they are not mortals because they have lived so long and so far away from people, are they Maiar, and if so I wonder why they werent mentioned in the Sil.

Also, are there really any entwives left at all? Tolkein makes a big deal out of them in the scenes with Treebeard, Merry, and Pip but then we never find anything out. I thought for sure these two would go back and ask Tom about entwives and try to get them back together with the ents so that there could be more entlings. If there are any entwives in ME still then wouldnt old Tom know of them? That whole bit around Tom is very interesting and I thought it would really go somewhere but I feel like Tolkien left us hanging. Does anyone have any insight about this??

Does the book the adventures of Tom Bombadil give us a better history?
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Post by idoron » Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:29 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:Let's go by the actual book
Ug. Definitely. Why in the world does PJ have the Witch King break Galdalf's staff? THe only answers that I can come up with make NO sense.

It also draws an erroneous parallel between Saruman, whose staff was broken when he was defeated and Galdalf whose staff is broken and still has all his power...?
Sam Gamgee wrote:I can hardly imagine Eru abandoning the poor people to fight Maiar and wraiths and hoardes of orcs by themselves.
Pop quiz: how many orcs, maiar and wraiths does gandalf kill?

gandalf isn't there to fight, as you know, Sam. He is there to inspire, encourage and kindle the hearts of men. Not to belittle Gandalf's contribution but reading beyond the LotR it is clear that the direct plan of the Valar was that the victory of the War of the Ring would be won by the people of middle earth. Gandalf was sent to help (and without him, doubtless, the ring would have fallen into the wrong hands) but not through strength in battle. If so, he would gone out "staff blazing" and wiped out Orcs by the legion.

It may not make sense to ask the question as to what would have happened - there is no precedent. I can't think of anything in Tolkien anywhere that may suggest what may have happened.
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Post by Belithraldor » Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:00 am

idoron wrote:
Sam Gamgee wrote:Let's go by the actual book
Ug. Definitely. Why in the world does PJ have the Witch King break Galdalf's staff? THe only answers that I can come up with make NO sense.

It also draws an erroneous parallel between Saruman, whose staff was broken when he was defeated and Galdalf whose staff is broken and still has all his power...?
Sam Gamgee wrote:I can hardly imagine Eru abandoning the poor people to fight Maiar and wraiths and hoardes of orcs by themselves.
Pop quiz: how many orcs, maiar and wraiths does gandalf kill?

gandalf isn't there to fight, as you know, Sam. He is there to inspire, encourage and kindle the hearts of men. Not to belittle Gandalf's contribution but reading beyond the LotR it is clear that the direct plan of the Valar was that the victory of the War of the Ring would be won by the people of middle earth. Gandalf was sent to help (and without him, doubtless, the ring would have fallen into the wrong hands) but not through strength in battle. If so, he would gone out "staff blazing" and wiped out Orcs by the legion.

It may not make sense to ask the question as to what would have happened - there is no precedent. I can't think of anything in Tolkien anywhere that may suggest what may have happened.
King, that was another great outlook on the whole thing. One would think that Gandalf could have hopped atop Gwaihir and dropped the One Ring into Mt. Doom himself. It would have read more like an article out of Reader's Digest right? The Istari were there not to do but to help. That's absolutely correct...
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:23 pm

King wrote:hm

Also, are there really any entwives left at all?
Do you recall that a cousin of Sams saw something like 'walking trees' in the north of the Shire? I think Treebeard felt that the Entwives would have liked the Shire, and maybe he even mentioned that. Anyway - our clue to the missing Entwives is in that early discussion. I think they were living in the shire!
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:03 pm

King wrote:hmmm... speaking of Gandalf and the third book, I have a question for Sam. This has been bothering me for a long time and I dont think I have asked it here before. When Gandalf goes back to Bree with the four hobbits and tells them they have to deal with what they find in the shire (scouring of the shire and all that) he leaves to go speak with Bombadil and we never hear what his business with Tom was... I dont get it, who or what is Tom Bombadil that he is older than the trees and has seen even the coming of the men and elves to middle earth (I'm not entirely sure I have my facts right here) and then who is Goldberry, surely they are not mortals because they have lived so long and so far away from people, are they Maiar, and if so I wonder why they werent mentioned in the Sil.
Oh, sorry, I read this thread and forgot to respond.

Good questions.

Yeah, what Steve said for the entwives. I'll just add that I personally think that given the nature of Middle Earth, with the various races and magic slowly dying out, even things that were once strong and beautiful, Ents aren't going to make it. They'll never find the Entwives, who are probably near the Shire, and they'll die or sleep until they become as good as ordinary trees.

The general consensus is that Bombadil is the personification of Nature, maybe a Maiar of some kind. But to go behind the story, Tom Bombadil was also a doll the Tolkien children had, which in the course of its every day toylike activities took a lot of wear and tear, including an attempt to flush it down the toilet. So it was also kind of an inside joke of the Tolkien family. Whatever level you look at it, he's meant to be an enigma (to use Tolkien's own words). Goldberry is some kind of river spirit thing... Maia? I don't really know how that works though either. Does idoron know? But yes, neither of them are mortals.

No, we don't really find out more in the Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Those are basically a few poems in the style of his songs and then some others.
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Post by King » Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:30 pm

thanks Sam
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Post by FredProgGH » Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:08 pm

I don't think Goldberry is Maia, but that's just my opinion. Tom, maybe, but I think he's meant to be something different. I think they are creatures wholey bound to Middle-earth in some way, maybe of a type that just aren't mentioned in the mythos. After all, there may have been nymphs and sprites and fairies and such about- the elvels would have known!!!
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Post by idoron » Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:37 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:They'll never find the Entwives, who are probably near the Shire, and they'll die or sleep until they become as good as ordinary trees.
Treebeard talks about Ents becoming more like trees, and becoming fewer. Clearly, the Ents are a passing race.
Sam Gamgee wrote:Does idoron know? But yes, neither of them are mortals.
Yes, I do, but it is a secret. :D

There is a lot of debate about this. From what I gather (based mostly on what Gandalf says of Tom in FotR) Tom and Goldberry are NOT beings that fit into any categories that we are given anywhere else in LOTR. They are special cases.

Though personally I think describing Tom as the Spirit of Nature and Goldberry as a River Nymph or the spirit of Spring I think are close to the intent of Tolkien.

Note that Fellowship was written early in the process. This and the fact that the story is still getting started (the characters have not reached their darkest hour yet) it is a much more light-hearted and (dare I say) flippant segment of the story. I think that Tom and Goldberry are meant to reflect this and the values of the Hobbits and the Shire.
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Post by idoron » Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:45 pm

More about Tom and Goldy:

As I think about it, in the various writings outside of LOTR (Sil., HOME, etc), Tolkien explains (or speculates) about the origins of just about everything natural and preternatural in ME, including all the good and evil races, the Eagles, Balrogs, Ents, etc.

The fact that Tom and Goldy don't get this makes me even more certain they are "special."
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Post by theHermit » Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:56 am

On the whole, I quite liked PJ's adaption of the beloved novels to film, but even though I can see his point about the hobbits trip through the forest and meeting with Bombadil not really advancing the story much, I still lament the absence of Bombadil and Goldberry in the film, mostly because they are so enigmatic, as this thread illustrates. And it is quite interesting to read in the novel of Bombadil's reaction to Frodo offering him the one ring. Unlike the others, including Gandalf, who come in contact with it, passing on it is no struggle at all for old Tom.

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Post by Bozo » Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:26 pm

I think Tom was the first individual in the ME. He was sent to keep a balance in the nature between all plants, trees and other things. He is the wizard of the woods like Gandalf the Wizard for the Men, Creatures and Animals. Just Tom is older and not effected by the laws of mortals, thats why the ring dosen´t effect him. Goldberry I think is just a spirit of the nature who Tom woken to life and given a body. About the Ents. It is said in the LoTR that the Ents could move ever slower and ever less. This is probably what happend with the Entwives so the last of them could be the old Oak nearby Tom. Tom could talk to it anyhow.
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Post by Losfer Words » Sat May 13, 2006 3:47 pm

idoron wrote: Why in the world does PJ have the Witch King break Galdalf's staff? THe only answers that I can come up with make NO sense.
poetic license with authority given from this Tolkein quote

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