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Gandalf 
 

Gandalf
Artist © Ringwraith


Meaning of Name: means "staff Elf." This name was given to him by Men in reference to the staff he carried and the mistaken belief that he was one of the Elves. The word gandr means "staff" especially one used for magic. (Unfinished Tales)
Otherwise Known As: Incánus in the South, Mathrandir to the elves, Olórin in the West and Tharkûn to the dwarves
Titles: The Grey, Grey Pilgrim, Grey Wanderer, Stormcrow and The White
Date of Arrival in Middle Earth: Gandalf did not settle in Middle-earth, preferring instead to wander between lands, gathering knowledge and befriending all folk. Before coming to Middle-earth, however, Gandalf dwelt in Lórien in Valinor

‘Take this ring, Master,’ he said ‘for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill. But, as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and I will dwell by the grey shores until the last ship sails. I will await you.’



Departure from Middle-earth: Gandalf sailed over the Sea into the West in a white ship on 29 September of the year 3021 of the third age. With him went Frodo and Bilbo Baggins of the Shire, Elrond of Rivendell, Galadriel Lady of the Golden Wood, Círdan the Shipwright and many of the Eldar. Indeed, with that sailing, all of the Ring-bearers save Samwise Gamgee passed from Middle-earth, and the third age ended.
Race: Ainur
Division: Maiar of Manwë and Varda
Weapon: From the year 2941, Gandalf carried the sword Glamdring. It was also known as Foehammer and belonged to Turgon, King of Gondolin before the fall of Gondolin.
Ring: Narya, The Ring of Fire. When Gandalf arrived at the Grey Havens around the year 1000 of the Third Age, Cirdan perceived that he was the wisest of the Wizards and had the greatest spirit. He gave Narya to Gandalf, saying:

"Take this ring, Master, for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill." Appendix B: "The Tale of Years"

Alignment: Good
Physical appearance: An old man with a long white beard and bushy eyebrows that stick out from under his blue pointed hat. Usually supported by a tall spiked staff, but with a sword at his side as well.

Gandalf’s part in the War of the Ring: Not only did Gandalf contribute much to the War of the Ring himself, such as the expulsion of Sauron from Dol Guldur in Mirkwood, and his leadership of the Fellowship of the Ring, but he also encouranged others to contribute and rekindled hope where none was to be found. He inspired Bilbo and Frodo to leave the Shire on their quests, King Theoden of Rohan to lead his people to War, and Aragorn Elessar to realise his destiny as King of Gondor. All of Gandalf’s exploits are too numerous to list, however, it is likely that each one was instrumental to securing the fate of Middle-earth. As Gandalf spoke to Frodo and Gimli after the destruction of the One Ring upon learning of the battles in the North:

 

‘Think of what might have been. Dragon-fire and savage swords in the Eriador, night in Rivendell. There might be no Queen in Gondor. We might now hope to return from the victory here only to ruin and ash. But that has been averted – because I met Thorin Oakenshield one evening on the edge of spring in Bree. A chance-meeting, as we say in Middle-earth.’



It cannot be doubted that without Gandalf, the War of the Ring would have gone very differently.


Of Gandalf’s rebirth: On 15 January 3019 of the third age, Gandalf was sundered from the rest of the Fellowship on the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm. He fell into the abyss beneath the bridge with the Balrog of Morgoth. Gandalf then followed the Balrog from the lowest dungeon to the highest peak, up the Endless Stair, and there, on the peak of Zirakzigil, he threw down his enemy. Gandalf then passed away on 23 January of the year 3019.

 

‘Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.’



Yet Gandalf was restored to life, until his task was done. On 14 February of the year 3019, he returned naked, and lay in a trance for three days before being rescued by Gwaihir the Windlord.

Contributed by k8fairyprincess



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