Whenever the Lord says peace texts





sails 3019D.Z. after Valinor

Gandalf the Gray, also Gandalf gray skirt, Mithrandir (Sindarin for: Gray pilgrim), Olórin (his name in Valinor) or Gandalf Storm Crow called, is one of the main characters in the books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He is a Maia who appears in the Third Age in Middle-earth in the form of one of the five Istari.


Life in Valinor

Olórin, like all Maiar, was created at the beginning of the time by Eru Ilúvatar and was the wisest of them. He lived in Lórien, visited Nienna's house many times, and learned from her compassion and patience.[1] In the Third Age, a council was convened by the Valar. It was planned to send three messengers to Middle-earth to assist and advise the elves and humans. Curumo and Alatar were the first to step forward to take on this task. Olórin, who had just returned from a trip dressed in gray, was then chosen by Manwë as the third messenger. Olórin contested that he was unsuitable because he was afraid of Sauron, but Manwë replied that it was another reason he should leave. Finally, Aiwendil, at the request of Yavanna - was chosen as the companion of Curumo and Pallando - as the companion of Alatar.[2]

Arrival in Middle-earth

Around 1000D.Z. the five Istari arrived in Middle-earth. Olórin, the last, appeared from the outside as the least of them: he was dressed in gray again, gray-haired, with a blue pointed hat, looked older than the others and leaned on his staff. Círdan, who observed the arrival of the Istari in Middle-earth, recognized in him the most important and cleverest spirit. So he secretly gave him the third elven ring, Narya. This gray messenger was made by the elves Mithrandir, the gray pilgrim called. People soon called him Gandalf (at. "the magical Elf" or "The Elf with the (magic) wand").[2]

Working in Middle-earth

In the next few centuries Gandalf wandered through Middle-earth and visited the humans and elves. Possibly he got the name Incánus when he visited Gondor during the reign of Atanatar Alcarin. However, the name may have been forgotten by the time of the War of the Ring.[2]

In 2063 Gandalf went to the Dol Guldur for the first time, but Sauron backed away from him and hid in the east. About four hundred years later, Sauron returned to the Dol Guldur. A short time later, the White Council was founded. After Gandalf turned down the presidency, Saruman was elected chairman of the council. During the famine in Eriador in the Long Winter of 2758/9, Gandalf came to the aid of the Shire.

Between 2790 and 2920, Gandalf befriended the Old Tuk. Among other things, Gandalf gave him magical diamond cufflinks. They only opened on the owner's orders. In addition, for the summer solstice celebration of the Old Tuk, Gandalf set off fireworks that the hobbits would remember decades later.[3][4]

On behalf of the White Council, Gandalf invaded the Dol Guldur again in 2850 and found that it was Sauron who ruled there.[5] There he also met Thráin, who gave him the key and map to the Erebor. At that time Gandalf was more and more concerned about the bad situation in the north. Since the kingdoms under the mountain and von Thal no longer existed, the only remaining power in the north that Sauron could defy was the dwarves of the Iron Mountains. But there was also a dragon (Smaug) in the mountain that Sauron could possibly have used. So Gandalf needed a plan to get rid of the dragon.

When Gandalf was about to visit the Shire, he happened to meet Thorin Oakenschild in front of Bree. Thorin was also troubled by the situation and so Gandalf accompanied him to his halls in the Blue Mountains. Thorin, pleading for vengeance against Smaug, fit into Gandalf's plans, and so the wizard promised him all the help he could offer. However, since Thorin was filled with great battle plans, which in Gandalf's eyes were hopeless, the latter left him again and went to the Shire to look for Bilbo, who he still remembered from his last visit. Gandalf did not find the hobbit himself, but heard some promising things about Bilbo from other hobbits. So Gandalf returned to Thorin to convince him to drop the battle plans and instead go clandestinely and take Bilbo with him. Thorin finally agreed. However, he only wanted to take Bilbo with him if Gandalf himself would come and take care of the hobbit.[6]

So Gandalf went to the Shire, where he finally met Bilbo. He had a short chat with the hobbit and was invited by him to tea the next day. When the hobbit disappeared into his cave, Gandalf secretly carved a sign on his door.[4]

Journey in Thorin's company

The next day Gandalf stood at Bilbo's door with Thorin and his followers, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur. Gandalf hit the door with his staff, so that where his secret sign was before, there was now a dent. The remaining nine dwarves from Thorin's company had reached Bag End before they did.[4]

On the way to Erebor, Gandalf also protected Thorin & Co. from several dangers. It was he who kept the trolls busy for so long that they were surprised by the sun. He directed the escape from the orc city, rescued the dwarves with the help of the eagles from the clutches of Azog and his hunter orcs, and skillfully negotiated with Beorn for a meal and a little rest.

The battle of the five armies

Before the Battle of the Five Armies, Gandalf tried to act as a mediator between the Elves and People of the Seaside City on the one hand and Thorin's travel company on the other. Only with Bilbo's help and the Arkenstone could Thorin give in. In the meantime, Dain II Eisenfuß and his warriors found themselves at Erebor and strengthened Thorin's position. Azog (only in the film, in the book he is already dead at that time) and Bolg also arrived with their troops. In the turmoil that followed, Gandalf tried again and again to strengthen the ranks.

Before the War of the Ring

Gandalf made himself quite rare during this time. From different sources one reads that he probably wanted to find Gollum together with Aragorn and searched the sword fields between the foggy mountains and the bleak forest.

Furthermore, he repeatedly sought advice from Saruman, who only wanted to prevent Gandalf's search.

Working in the War of the Ring

In the War of the Ring, Gandalf was the driving force behind the community of the Ring. He recognized Bilbo's / Frodo's ring as the "one" and summoned the hobbit to take him to Rivendell. In the book, Gandalf and Elrond conjured up the power of the river Bruinen and thus saved Frodo and the hobbits from the ringwraiths. As the community went through the mines of Moria to get safely to Gondor, Gandalf fell into the mines after a brief battle against the last Balrog of Morgoth. Believed to be dead by his companions, he survived the battle against the demon and was even able to kill him, but then he fell into the void himself. Since he had not yet fully completed his task of protecting Middle-earth from the dark, he was sent back until Sauron was defeated.

Gandalf now stepped as Gandalf the White in appearance:

"His hair was white as snow in the sun, and his robe was shimmering white; the eyes under the thick brows sparkled and were piercing like the rays of the sun; Power was in his hand."
—The Lord of the Rings Third Book, Fifth Chapter: The White Rider

Return to Valinor

After Sauron was finally destroyed, Gandalf could now also leave Middle-earth and drive west with his little friends Frodo Baggins and Bilbo Baggins. Galadriel, Elrond, and other elves accompanied them.

"Gandalf did not go [west] to die, or, thanks to a special perk, to the western land before going further "beyond the circles of the world"; but he returned home because he was evidently one of the "immortals", an angelic messenger of the angelic rulers (Valar) of the earth."
—J. R. R. Tolkien: Letter 268


  • Gandalf's sword was Glamdring, lights up blue as soon as orcs or goblins are nearby.
  • Gandalf's horse was Shadow fur, Prince of all horse races


  • Gray dressed later White
  • Does not age
  • Human face


  • Gandalf
  • Gandalf the Gray
  • Gandalf the White
  • Gray pilgrim
  • Gray skirt
  • Mithrandir (with the Elves and the people in Gondor, meaning: Gray wanderer)
  • Tharkûn (among the dwarfs, meaning: staff man or gray man)
  • Incanus (in the south, meaning: North Spy with the Haradrim, Quenya: Spirit Master)
  • Gandalf Storm Crow (from the king of Rohan when his spirit was poisoned)
  • Láthspell (bad news in the language of Rohan), so called by Gríma.
  • Olórin in Aman, (Meaning: from the Quenya olor / olos = dream, vision)
  • White rider


In the film trilogy, Gandalf is played by the British character actor Sir Ian McKellen.


In the movie "Hobbit": “I think it's the little things, everyday actions of ordinary people that keep the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. " (Gandalf to Galadriel)

In the movie "The Return of the King": “Your father loves you, Faramir! Before the end comes, he will remember it. " (Gandalf to Faramir)

A magician is never late, Frodo Baggins, and neither is it too early. He arrives exactly when he intends! " (Gandalf to Frodo)

You can not pass! I am a servant of the Secret Fire, Lord of the Flame of Anor. The Dark Fire will be of no use to you, Flame of Udun! Back to the shadows! YOU CAN NOT PASS!!!" (Gandalf to the Balrog)

“Don't be too hasty with a death sentence, because many who live deserve death, but many who are dead deserve life. Can you give it to them?" (Gandalf to Frodo)

“We cannot decide how much time we will be given, Frodo Baggins. But we can decide what to do with this time. " (Gandalf to Frodo in Moria)

"Flee You fools" (Gandalf to Frodo and the community of the ring in Moria)

"True courage is not to be able to take a life, but to be able to preserve it." (Gandalf to Bilbo in front of the Troll Lair, in the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

Individual evidence

  1. J. R. R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion, chapter "Valaquenta", "Von den Maiar", translator: Wolfgang Krege, 2005 (19th edition)
  2. 2,02,12,2J. R. R. Tolkien: News from Middle-earth, Part Four, Subchapter II: "The Istari", Translator: Hans J. Schütz, 10th edition, 2006
  3. J. R. R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings. Appendices and registers, Appendix C: "Ahnentafeln", translator: Wolfgang Krege, 8th edition, 2009
  4. 4,04,14,2J. R. R. Tolkien: The Hobbit or There and Back, Chapter "An unexpected festival", Translator: Wolfgang Krege, 8th edition, 2009
  5. J. R. R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings. Appendices and registers, Appendix B: "Timeline: The Years of the West", Translator: Wolfgang Krege, 8th edition, 2009
  6. J. R. R. Tolkien: News from Middle-earth, Part Three: "The Third Age", Subchapter III: "The Journey to Erebor", Translator: Hans J. Schütz, 10th edition, 2006


The community of the ring

Frodo Baggins • Samweis Gamgee • Meriadoc Brandybuck • Peregrin Tuk • Aragorn • Boromir • Gandalf • Gimli • Legolas