January 23rd, 2012
Professor Jan Ward
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
A long, white beard and curious eyes peering from underneath a largely pointed hat often leave an imprinted image in mind. A scholarly grin and archaic tobacco pipe complete the picture formed. The faint imagery of what a wizard is can only be complete when thinking of Gandalf the Grey. A magic staff and a knowledgeable mind are cause for the quest that Gandalf sets out on in the novel “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. He can overcome adversity and aid his fellowship of 14 unlikely creatures in their attempt to regain their long-lost home. Gandalf is a venerable wizard and exemplifies a mythological hero throughout his entire written history. Gandalf always seems to be in the right place at the right time with a sort of grace about him, as if always waiting for the perfect moment. His knowledge of Middle Earth is inexplicable; he rarely misses a beat. Although he is not on a personal quest, he is quick to help those he sees fit. Several times over the fellowship found themselves in a sticky situation, and Gandalf appeared only just in time. Knowledge, a keen eye, the desire to do what is right, and also a grain of mystery are all characteristics residing in Gandalf the Grey. According to "Tolkien-Online" (2007), “Tolkien was likely heavily influenced by one of the tales found in the Elder Edda which tells of the Norse god Odin traveling the Earth in the guise of a bearded old man with a staff.” Gandalf the Grey shares several similarities with the “Father God” known as Odin. For instance, he is seen as the overseer of the group. He unintentionally becomes a father figure within the fellowship. He is constantly keeping them out of the trouble they so easily find themselves in on their adventure. Gandalf finds himself in a difficult situation in “The Fellowship of the Rings” and essentially dies. However, he is simply...