Today's Date in the Shire
27 Foreyule
T.A. 3018: The Fellowship of the Ring travels south along the western edge of the Misty Mountains.
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Gandalf

Gandalf


POLL RESULTS
Which was Gandalf's greatest possession?
Shadowfax, his horse. 111 
  23%
Glamdring, his sword.
34 
  7%
Narya, his ring.
206 
  43%
His staff.
124 
  26%
TOTAL VOTES: 475
This Poll is Closed
Gandalf

The wizard Gandalf the Grey is a central character in THE HOBBIT and in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. He is one of the Istari, an order of the Maiar, angelic beings created by Eru with somewhat less power than the godlike Valar. Gandalf is the name he was called in the northeastern regions of Middle-earth by Men and Hobbits. His name was Incanus among the men of the more Southern regions. He was known as Olórin among the Elves of Valinor, the abode of the Valar. He was called {2532}Mithrandir^, the Grey Pilgrim, by the Elves of Middle-earth. {1184}Láthspell^ and {1193}Stormcrow^ were names of insult he also bore.

Among the Elves of Valinor, he would often pass unseen, kindling desire to do great things. He worked in the service of Manwë and was sent among the five Istari, or wizards, to Middle-earth after the Last Alliance of Elves and Men to help inspire resistance against Sauron, another Maia of great power who served Morgoth, a fallen Vala. Gandalf was incarnated as an old man, hale and strong, but subject to the weaknesses and desires of flesh and constrained to keep his nature secret from nearly all and to use his power to inspire rather than to coerce. Upon his arrival in Middle-earth, Círdan the Shipwright gave into his keeping Narya, one of the Three Elven Rings, perceiving Gandalf's eventual need for it, though he did not appear to be the greatest of the wizards. The head of the Order was Saruman the White, who fell from his mission into a self-serving scheme to find the One Ring of the Dark Lord, Sauron, and claim its power for his own.

It was in the course of Gandalf's wanderings and missions that the Hobbit, or halfling, Bilbo Baggins found the One Ring in the Misty Mountains, where the wretched creature Gollum had kept it, and returned with it eventually to The Shire. In this same adventure, the wizard came upon the sword Glamdring, which once belonged to the King of Gondolin ages before. Though the wizard was known by the Shire-folk for his fireworks and for persuading young Hobbits to have adventures, his work was far more grim and dangerous than they knew. Gandalf's love of the little people and his desire to aid the Dwarves in ridding the north lands of the dragon Smaug resulted in this fortunate event. It was also during this time, that Gandalf convinced the White Council to drive the Necromancer, later known to be Sauron, from the fortress of Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. For these reasons, neither Sauron nor Saruman discovered the whereabouts of the One Ring until it was too late to undo Gandalf's plans. The One Ring was inheirited by Frodo Baggins, who Gandalf convinced to make for Rivendell, once the wizard determined that the heirloom was indeed the Ring of Power.

Gandalf was detained by Saruman, imprisoned in the tower of Orthanc as the result of a ruse that used the gullibility of the wizard {532}Radagast the Brown^ to lure Gandalf into the fortress of Isengard. There, Saruman revealed his treachery and sought to persuade Gandalf to join him. Gandalf refused and was locked up in the highest platform of the tall tower. The eagle Gwaihir rescued him and carried him to the land of Rohan, where he "borrowed" the great horse Shadowfax from King Theoden.

The great steed brought him back to the lands between The Shire and Rivendell too late to travel with Frodo, but just in time to draw off some of the Nine Ringwraiths, most powerful of the servants of Sauron. After great difficulties and injuries, Frodo and his companions reached Rivendell. There, at the Council of Elrond, Gandalf revealed the history of the Ring and the treason of Saruman. Plans were laid and it was agreed that Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring, which included Gandalf, would set out for Mordor.

The long way there led through the mines of Moria, where Gandalf fell in a great battle with a Balrog and was presumed dead. Perhaps in a fashion this was so, but he was sent back, this time as Gandalf the White. In the interval, he strove against the Dark Lord so that Frodo would not be betrayed to Sauron on the Seat of Seeing on the top of Amon Hen. Gandalf was then taken again by Gwaihir to Galadriel in Lothlórien for a time. The wizard met with his old companions in Fangorn Forest and continued to Rohan where he inspired King Theoden to fight Saruman and then to ride with the Muster of Rohan to break the seige of Minas Tirith.

In Minas Tirith, Gandalf saved the life of Faramir, the son of Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, from the madness of his father. He helped to order the defenses of the City of Guard and was Herald for Aragorn and the Lords of the West at the Black Gates of Mordor. Upon the destruction of the Ring, accomplished by the pity of Frodo for Gollum, inspired long before by Gandalf, the wizard rode with the eagles to save Frodo and his servant Samwise from the tumults of Mount Doom.

Afterwards, Gandalf returned eventually to The Shire where Frodo joined the wizard, along with Bilbo, Elrond, and Galadriel. Together, they journeyed to the Grey Havens where Cirdan had prepared a hallowed ship upon which they set sail on the Straight Way over the bent seas to Valinor.

Gandalf was the only one of the five wizards who remained true to his mission.

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