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Old Jan 16th, 2012, 03:14 PM
Default Hobbit Trailer Controversy: Gandalf and Galadriel Explained

By: Arvedui

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With the official release of the Hobbit trailer to the public last month, the Tolkien community was revived and revitalized almost overnight. Did your eyes light up when the familiar melody of Concerning Hobbits started? Did your jaw drop when the main theme kicked in about mid-trailer? *Mountains spinnin' round the dwarves Horses spinnin' round the dwarves*… Chances are you've come across this post just as excited for the movie as I am- drooling for more, but at the same time confused and even a little disappointed at the particular "scene of interest."

When I first watched the trailer I was also confused. After some thinking -granted Im probably the largest LOTR fanboy and within 100 miles- I realized the trailer was still epic and that nothing Peter did was out of line. Today I venture to say the Galadriel-Gandalf scene is perfectly justified. Jackson had [at least I think] more in mind than appealing to a specific demographic.



Brace yourself, Im about the throw a bunch of Elvish words at you.
Gandalf, as we all know, is a wizard belonging to the Order of Istari, a group that also includes Saruman, Radagast, and the Blue Wizards Allatar and Pallando whom we don't really hear about. What's important about this fact is that the Istari were maiar. Many people like to call the maiar "demi-gods." Others like to think of them as angels. In either case, they are defined by J.R.R. Tolkien as "Holy Spirits" that took part in the creation of the world. That's right, Gandalf took part in the creation of Middle-Earth. He's tremendously awesome and powerful. The five maiar were sent by the Valar (Greater Holy Spirits) to aid the men of Middle-Earth in the coming fight against Sauron. They arrived in Middle-Earth in the form of old men early in the Third Age, about 2,000 years before the Hobbit Epic begins.

Why am I telling you all this? In case you haven't realized it yet, this not only means Gandalf was an extremely old soul- tens of thousands of years old at the least, but it also means he had an opportunity to inhabit the land known as Valinor (Essentially Heaven on Earth.) It was entirely accessible to normal living individuals for most of time, but forbidden to all but the elves. Galadriel lived in Valinor for about 1,400 years, meaning she had 1,400 years to mix and mingle with the various celebrities of the land, including the future wizards and even the infamous Melkor (Sauron's master.)

There is no reason to believe that Gandalf (known back then as Olorin) did not meet Galadriel, or that they did not develop a acquaintanceship, friendship, or even semi-romantic relationship- she wouldn't meet Celeborn for more than a millennium. What I underlined in the text above is incredibly important. Gandalf actually ages very slowly. He's in the form of an old man not because of his actual age, but because that was the form he and the other Istari took up in order to appear more wise and trustworthy to the men of Middle-Earth.

He probably took on a form something along these lines for most of his worldly life:



----

When Gandalf arrived in Middle Earth much much later, Tolkien indicates that Galadriel trusted him more than the other Istari. She thought he should be head of the order over Saruman. For a reason beyond sheer instinct? The proposition seems plausible.

When we see Galadriel in the LOTR she's about 7,000 years young. She is also extremely wise and powerful, perhaps on a level close to -if not on par with- Gandalf's. (After all the Istari are forbidden from exercising their full power and will.) Gandalf and Galadriel are both members of the White Council, they've known each other virtually forever, and Gandalf is actually a lot sexier than wise-old-man form. Perhaps we should reconsider our opinion of Peter?. Sometimes he knows what he's doing
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Agamemnon
Default Jul 13th, 2012, 11:15 PM Old   #2

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TBH, I'd much rather think of it as a non-romantic scene of love (they weren't all that uncommon before the 1950s, which is why if you read Shakespeare you often think that all the dudes are gay), and that the Istari were ALWAYS old men. It seems to make more sense than the theory of Gandalf looking like a young man BEFORE the fall of the Noldor and coming of men.

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Jormogundr
Default Aug 31st, 2012, 02:37 AM Old   #3

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Wow, I hadn't really thought about that few seconds of the trailer all that much. I guess I was just too excited and peeing myself in giddy joy.

You make some good points. Gandalf and Galadriel would likely be old friends. Also to consider I think that Olorin is most like the elves and has a natural affinity for them (too lazy to find the actual quote). He learned patience and wisdom from the sorrow of Nienna in Valinor, which would lend him that inclination for the elves.

Olorin was also present on Middle-earth before he came as a member of the Istari. He would "walk unseen among the elves" (probably not the exact quote, but pretty darn close). While unseen implies he wasn't doing much communicating, I'd think someone like Galadriel who had spent so much time in Valinor, and, potentially with Olorin, would be able to detect his presence. Though he may have 'walked unseen', he would have still seen, and perhaps would be all the wiser and warming to the elves of Middle-earth, highest among them the lady Galadriel.

I think the old-friend description is spot on, though someone like me wouldn't really think of the relationship between Gandalf and Galadriel like that without much thought on it.
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Elthir
Default Sep 4th, 2012, 02:06 PM Old   #4

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To my mind what you have shown is that the being Olorin inhabited the same continent as Galadriel before the Exile, along with very many Elves. Beyond that however, things seems fairly open with respect to speculation.

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There is no reason to believe that Gandalf (known back then as Olorin) did not meet Galadriel, or that they did not develop a acquaintanceship, friendship, or even semi-romantic relationship- she wouldn't meet Celeborn for more than a millennium.
Hmm, but there is likewise no real reason to believe that these two beings ever met either, at this point, or even if they did, that they ever became anything beyond brief acquaintances. It's noted (a fuller version of this citation):

'Wisest of the Maiar was Olorin. He too dwelt in Lorien, but his way took him often to the house of Nienna (...) Of Melian much is told in the Quenta Silmarillion. But of Olorin that tale does not speak; for though he loved the Elves, he walked among them unseen, or in form as one of them, and they did not know whence came the fair visions or the promptings of wisdom that he put into their hearts. In later days he was the friend of all the Children of Iluvatar, and took pity...'

I think there is a certain distance here, as I interpret the passage. Olorin loved the Quendi, but approached them either invisibly or as some Elf, perhaps not even the same Elf each time (depending upon how often he did this as well) so as to remain relatively unnoticed.

There could be two 'extremes' here admittedly: walking unseen at times -- along with becoming close friends with many Elves as a specific 'Elf' himself, but I think these things taken together are meant to suggest that Olorin remained, again generally speaking anyway, a relatively unnoticed presence.

In any case, how close he became to any particular Elf would be more than difficult to say, at least without a more detailed description of his approach here, or his wanderings. That said, even if this description is correctly interpreted as a relatively distant approach in general, it seemingly doesn't rule out exceptions; and with Tolkien there are exceptions often enough.

In a very late text on Glorfindel JRRT notes a specific relationship: 'At some time, probably early in his sojourn in Valinor, he [Glorfindel] became a follower, and a friend of Olorin (Gandalf), who as is said in The Silmarillion had an especial love and concern for the Children of Eru. That Olorin, as was possible for one of the Maiar, had already visited Middle-earth and had become acquainted not only with the Sindarin Elves and others deeper in Middle-earth, but also with Men, is likely, but nothing is [> has yet been] said of this.' JRRT, Glorfindel II, The Peoples Of Middle-Earth


And Galadriel also had a close relationship with one of the Maiar: 'But Galadriel did not depart [added later: from Doriath], and remained long with Melian, for there was much love between them.' Grey Annals, Sun Year 52 'Now Galadriel Finrod's daughter, as hath been told, dwelt with Melian, and was dear to her.' Grey Annals, Sun Year 66, The War of the Jools

So we do have attested relationships directly described by JRRT: Glorfindel and Olorin, Galadriel and Melian, but there is no indication of any friendship at all between Olorin and Galadriel specifically at this time, never mind a very close or intimate one, or a romantic one as you speculate about here.


I'm not sure why Jackson has chosen to film such a scene, even brief as it is. Even if the gesture is not romantic (I actually don't expect there to be hints of any romance here), it's a fairly intimate gesture in my opinion, and to my mind needless in any case.

If concern for Gandalf is wanted here, there are other ways to express this on film I think.

Last edited by Elthir: Dec 10th, 2012 at 03:33 PM.
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ShadowBlade73
Default Dec 5th, 2012, 04:50 PM Old   #5

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I'm with Arvedui on this one. It is entirely plausible. And lets face it people, PJ has earned the benefit of the doubt by now.

"Your black cards can you make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table."
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Elthir
Default Dec 9th, 2012, 01:50 PM Old   #6

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I'm not sure what you mean by Peter Jackson earning the benefit of the doubt by now. As far as I know [to date], even Jackson isn't suggesting Galadriel and Olorin had a relationship in Valinor in any case.

Last edited by Elthir: Dec 10th, 2012 at 03:33 PM.
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ShadowBlade73
Default Dec 9th, 2012, 07:50 PM Old   #7

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I meant earning the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making quality films. Also, (compared to other movies based off books) he has kept his films exceptionally close to J.R.R.'s books.

"Your black cards can you make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table."
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Elthir
Default Dec 10th, 2012, 02:34 PM Old   #8

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Quote: Originally Posted by ShadowBlade73 View Post
I meant earning the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making quality films. Also, (compared to other movies based off books) he has kept his films exceptionally close to J.R.R.'s books.
Hmm, well, not everyone agrees with those opinions, granting different ideas of what 'exceptionally close' might mean, but in any case I don't see that this has much to do with supporting the idea that Gandalf and Galadriel even knew each other in Aman.


I don't recall anyone ever trying to make this case, based on the text, before Jackson's trailer came out. The text Arvedui raises merely supports that the two lived on the same continent and that Olorin was not in the form of an old man yet, not the Istar Gandalf yet. This is a very general circumstance, not that Arvedui necessarily disagrees.

Beyond that, giving them a special relationship is, to my mind, more fan fiction, and seemingly only to try and better justify Peter Jackson's fan fiction moment in his film. I don't mean 'fan fiction' in a negative sense, only that it is fan invented.


Another possible factor here is that, late in life, Tolkien imagined Celeborn as a Telerin Elf of Aman, so his relationship with Galadriel would not have to await a meeting in Doriath at least -- however I will go without supper tonight for mentioning this -- well I'll have supper but I'll eat less vegetables maybe -- because Tolkien seems to have forgotten that he had already published that Celeborn was Sindarin, plus the notable fact of him remaining in Middle-earth after Galadriel sailed might raise the question as to why he remained, even for a while... if he was from Aman too, I mean.

So from my perspective I can't really toss in this consideration (as from my perspective this version is not an internal truth but rather an interesting external variation), but other fans seem to take Tolkien's 'final word' (last known word) on a given matter despite what Tolkien himself published.

Anyway, is it likewise plausible that Gandalf and Celebrian had a very close friendship, based on the fact that they both lived in Middle-earth for a very long time and arguably met at some point? Or rather, how compelling is that? Not very in my opinion; nor have I unearthed any 'positive' evidence to support this -- like the remark about Galadriel and Melian being close...

... 'positive' compared to a lack of text one way or the other, with very general circumstances leaving something open for invented fan fiction.

Last edited by Elthir: Dec 10th, 2012 at 03:33 PM.
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Arvedui
Default Dec 10th, 2012, 08:25 PM Old   #9
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I believe the central point of my article stands- which is that this scene is not absolutely ridiculous, as some people are making it out to be, however unnecessary in appears in the trailer. I agree with you in this respect. It doesn't make complete sense that a maia bearing the Ring of Fire would need to lean on an Elda for comforting or reassurance.

What we do have is evidence that "something" was there. You don't have to call it a relationship; but indubitably an underlying trust or intimacy that did not ring true for Curunir. Galadriel preferred that Olorin head the White Council, as opposed to Curunir. Her specific reasoning for this my memory cheats from me. That may well be the key.

BUT, I stand fast in my belief that this trailer is not doing the scene justice. Everything makes more sense within context. People may be whining too early.
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Elthir
Default Dec 11th, 2012, 10:22 AM Old   #10

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Quote:
What we do have is evidence that "something" was there. You don't have to call it a relationship; but indubitably an underlying trust or intimacy that did not ring true for Curunir. Galadriel preferred that Olorin head the White Council, as opposed to Curunir. Her specific reasoning for this my memory cheats from me. That may well be the key.
All it need be is Galadriel's insight: 'From her earliest years she had a marvellous gift of insight into the minds of others, but judged them with mercy and understanding...' [The Shibboleth of Feanor]

And would anyone suggest that Galadriel wanted Gandalf to head the Council because she liked Gandalf as a person, better than Saruman? Even if she was more friendly with Gandalf at the time, that wouldn't reflect very well on her in my opinion: far better, I would think, is that Galadriel thought Gandalf was best suited to an important position.

Quote:
BUT, I stand fast in my belief that this trailer is not doing the scene justice. Everything makes more sense within context. People may be whining too early.
Whining?

If you are including me in that, I'll add that for myself, I don't think I really need to see the greater context, as, if it's romantic (which I doubt it will be) then I won't be happy, along with many others I'm guessing. And if it's (as I suspect) a 'moment of caring' then I still think Jackson has needlessly gone too far here.

Quote:
I believe the central point of my article stands- which is that this scene is not absolutely ridiculous, as some people are making it out to be,...
So the scene is ridiculous, but not absolutely ridiculous? Sorry I couldn't resist! But you did write above:

Quote:
Today I venture to say the Galadriel-Gandalf scene is perfectly justified. Jackson had [at least I think] more in mind than appealing to a specific demographic.
Perfectly justified seems a bit stronger than 'not absolutely ridiculous'


And my reaction to your more recent statement is, your article is very much about suggesting the possibility of a relationship in Valinor, seemingly in order to show why it's not ridiculous. But again all we really have is textual support for very general conditions which make further fan fiction 'possible'.

Gandalf appears in Middle-earth around Third Age 1,000, which leaves plenty of time for an assumed intimate friendship between these characters in Middle-earth, although one cannot know how much time Gandalf and Galadriel spent together within these years, especially with Gandalf as the Grey Wanderer.

I would not argue that these two were not friends, but there are plenty of levels of friendship; and to my mind one reason to go to Valinor is because [I'm guessing] you essentially agree that this gesture is notably intimate, and thus needs explaining.

A reason to look at the Valinorean scenario, it seems to me, is to try to touch more upon the idea of a 'semi-romantic' relationship, as this scenario gives you a period before Galadriel was married, and a period when we have the spirit Olorin as opposed to Gandalf.

Otherwise, as I noted above, we have plenty of time in Middle-earth to imagine a close, intimate friendship without romance. Granted one could argue that every moment helps, so why not add Valinor into the mix, but generally speaking Valinor is not really needed if one wants to argue that some special relationship existed that was not romantic.

Last edited by Elthir: Dec 11th, 2012 at 11:11 AM.
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Arvedui
Default Dec 11th, 2012, 05:50 PM Old   #11
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All fair points- Ill admit that you have changed my perspective on the matter through your presentation of valid lore examples and explanation. I was not including you in the "whining" group, but there are such individuals.

I think we agree that under a more intimate friendship, what we see in the trailer is less ridiculous.
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Elthir
Default Dec 11th, 2012, 10:54 PM Old   #12

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Incidentally I just saw a new bit of footage where Cate B. does this hair fiddling [seen from a different angle], and the camera cuts to her caressing, or doing something with, Ian M.'s hands? I think. Someone's hands anyway...

... and I also think she was telling Gandalf not to be frightened, and that he was not alone.

Don't quote me on that though. It went by quick! I forgot I had DVR power and should have checked the dialog. Maybe it's on youtube somewhere. It was a relatively brief TV spot with the 'hair fiddle' seen from the side, or more from the side than in the previous trailer anyway.

Anyone catch exactly what Jackson's Galadriel says? Although the dialog could have been 'moved' for the TV spot, I guess.

Last edited by Elthir: Dec 12th, 2012 at 12:12 AM.
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rayphil
Default Dec 21st, 2013, 10:36 AM Old   #13

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I am ok with any format as long as it allows the filmmakers to get the look they want. Even when filmed digitally, you can still make a movie look "filmic" with the use of digital effects, like in 300 or the Grindhouse movies.
In short, filmmakers should be allowed to use whatever format they choose
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Tolkien
Default Jan 6th, 2014, 12:51 PM Old   #14

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It’s really great posts.
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