Gandalf’s Size

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First Age 02/Dec/2006 at 03:17 PM
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At certain times Gandalf is described as ’growing’ to make himself more imposing.

Persuading Bilbo to give up the ring-

"He took a step towards the hobbit, and he seemed to grow tall and menacing; his shadow filled the room

- Page 56  ’A Long Expected Party’, FotR

Fighting the wargs near Caradhras-

"In the wavering firelight Gandalf seemed suddenly to grow: he rose up, a great menacing shape like the monument of some ancient king of stone set upon a hill"

- Page 389  ’A Journey in the Dark’ FotR

Doubtless there are other examples. My question is this. Does Gandalf acually change his size (I assume this would be possible as he is a maia) or does he merely give the illusion that he has grown?

 

 

KingODuckingham 02/Dec/2006 at 03:21 PM
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The key word in both those quotes is the word seeming. He is not the only one described in such a manner. Aragorn is described this way too, by Legolas or Gimli (I misremember) when they talk of their journey on the Paths of the Dead. They do not actually grow, but the force of their presence is such that they seem to take up more space because they are so imposing.
Alcarináro 02/Dec/2006 at 03:27 PM
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’Seemed’.
KingODuckingham 02/Dec/2006 at 03:31 PM
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Magradhaid 02/Dec/2006 at 04:02 PM
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I look at this the same way I look at Durin’s Bane (another Maia) having seemed to change sizes - it’s more a glimpse of their power that’s been hidden but now is being allowed to be seen. ?

Aikanár 02/Dec/2006 at 06:36 PM
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Yes, but Aragorn isn’t a maia. I think that Tolkien says somewhere that Gandalf stooped, and so if he stood up tall, it may seem that he grew. I’m pretty sure that Gandalf wasn’t as tall as Elrond, so he wasn’t that tall, but I’m sure that, being a maia as Tyrhael said, he could probably change his size to a certain extent, though probably just his presence.
TurambarGR 03/Dec/2006 at 02:20 AM
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I believe that Kingofduckingham is right. In addition, normally Gandalf appeared as an old man with a hunch. When he was stood straight up he seemed even taller. I don’t think that he changed his size. He was forbidden to use this kind of powers.
First Age 03/Dec/2006 at 04:52 AM
Master of Isengard Points: 263 Posts: 38 Joined: 08/Nov/2006

Quote: Originally posted by TurambarGR on Sunday, December 03, 2006


I believe that Kingofduckingham is right. In addition, normally Gandalf appeared as an old man with a hunch. When he was stood straight up he seemed even taller. I don’t think that he changed his size. He was forbidden to use this kind of powers.

Maybe he was forbidden to use these powers, but doubtless there are situations where they must be used (i.e. when Gandlaf is under attack). However I does appear that it is merely an expression, rather than an psysical change is stature. Thanks :)

Adudaewen 03/Dec/2006 at 05:35 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Aikanár on Saturday, December 02, 2006
I’m pretty sure that Gandalf wasn’t as tall as Elrond, so he wasn’t that tall
not having my copy with me at the moment, I cannot quote this exactly. However Frodo did observe Gandalf sitting between Glorfindel and Elrond in Rivendell and he noted that Gandalf was smaller in stature than the two elves, however seemed to posses a power that could be felt.  I agree that Gandalf’s growing has more to do with his power rather than his actual height.
Endril 03/Dec/2006 at 06:09 AM
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Gandalf seemed imposing when fighting against an enemy or when he became angry. He wasn’t becoming taller at all by any power. Also elves were a bit taller than men so taller than Gandalf that took te shape of a man when he came to ME.
Chumleigh 03/Dec/2006 at 07:03 AM
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"The Unfinished Tales" says that Gandalf was the shortest of all istar. This is another proof of Gandalf’s growing in the eyes of Bilbo was illusory.
Lifur 04/Dec/2006 at 04:34 PM
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While i myself do not believe that Gandalf changed size, the fact that he was the shortest does not provide proof.  Sorry, im being pedantic so i’ll shut up.

Wilibald Bumble 04/Dec/2006 at 06:45 PM
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Well, I believe that Gandalf merely imposes himself as being taller and it is yet an illusory as the hobbits’ always think of Gandalf as a maker of fabolous fire-crackers and other merriments. So, when his true wizard Isatari form is unleashed and his wrath his seen, it seems to the hobbits that he was grown.

Wilibald Bumble at your service and your family’s

Insomniac 06/Dec/2006 at 09:27 PM
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hes a wizard and u can never really know with these wizard folk. Maybe hes just wearing a pair of adjustable stilletos underneath them robes of his. But i think that the hobbit folk think everyones tall, no offense meant to any hobbit folk of course. If i had to say something, maybe hes just straightening his posture ya know, like pulling himself up to comlete height? but i dont think they just feel a "presence" type of thing. nope not if hes a wizard.
ArgentKnight 28/Dec/2006 at 02:30 AM
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Perhaps he "seems" taller because he has great power hidden within that is only seen under certain circumstances. Such as him getting angry at someone. It "seems" like he is calling upon his greater power and authority in order to get things done, because the way people normally see him just isn’t working out.