Gandalf: Book VS. Movie

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LaIaith 04/Feb/2002 at 09:31 PM
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Don’t get me wrong Sir Ian McKellen was a fantastic Gandalf!!! However, I am re-reading through the books and to me, in the books, Gandalf’s not as loveable as he appears in the movie. Throughout the books he’s very vague in his speech and can be down-right blunt sometimes. Do anyone of you get kind of this feel about Gandalf? I’m not saying he’s not kind-hearted in the book, but I just don’t seem him being the same Gandalf through and through from the book version to the movie version. Share your thoughts....
Peeeg 04/Feb/2002 at 09:40 PM
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Yeah, they definitely made him less stern. I really didn’t like the whole Frodo leaping into his arms in the beginning. A bit out of character. When he was pissed at Pippin was a more realistic Gandalf.
Lorelei 04/Feb/2002 at 10:27 PM
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yeah, he seems more remote and mysterious in the books.

and more human and jolly(not quite the right word) in the movie. 

i agree that ian mckellen was awesome, and i thought gandalf looked like he should, but there was something with his character that was a bit off.

the scenes where he got mad, and when he was on the bridge facing off against the balrog were his most gandalfy moments i thought.

"fly you fools!"

Curifin 04/Feb/2002 at 10:34 PM
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Hmmm, well, I thought the bit where he was telling the fools to fly was a little underdone.....he didn’t even seem to be trying to get back on the ledge, and his voice wasn’t all that urgent....but other than that I think he was a good Gandalf, if a bit too....hmmm....old-kindly-schoolteacher-like.
Iarwain_BenAdar 04/Feb/2002 at 11:58 PM
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i liked the gandalf in the movie but that doesn’t mean that he was the same gandalf in the book. Of course peter jackson had to make some slight changes so the movie would be more interesting.
Rain Mistress 05/Feb/2002 at 01:48 AM
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 For me Gandalf the grey was more majestic and stern and very much powerful in the book. And I think that was the lacking charcteristic in the movie version.  But I agree that the Peter Jackson had the right to manipukate the book so that he can show the whole story and make it into a beleiveble world inside the silver screen.......
Crisbok 05/Feb/2002 at 06:39 AM
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   I´m agree with the dark forces for first time,I liked Ian Mckellen but Gandalf in the book was a little diferent so I think He could play diferent in the film but only some little things
Peeeg 05/Feb/2002 at 07:37 AM
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I think that the character was a bit off in the movie, but McKellan did a great job. It’s reallt Peter Jackson who is responsible, I think, for making him a bit more jolly, the same way he made him a bit more manic about the ring. That whole panicky thing in Bag End. Woof.

Way too huggy friendly, even with Bilbo.

I have read that **SPOILER**
In The Two Towers Gandlaf has gone through a major change after his fall and ressurection. The review I read of the new trailer says you can totally see a big difference. Which brings me to a point I meant to make earlier. If those who are seeing the movie for the first time, see Gandalf in the trailer for The Two Towers then the whole thing about thinking Gandlaf is dead is blown!

***End of Spoiler***

Lorelei 05/Feb/2002 at 07:52 AM
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yeah.  i think gandalf should have been a bit more distant.  it seems like he and frodo are great buddies in the beginning of the movie.

but that sets it up for later when he falls into the chasm in moria and frodo is inconsolable.  at least for a time.  i think in the movie they tried to make all the characters more "human" and everyone was friends.  the scene with boromir and the hobbits kind of playing comes to mind.

Medieval_Ara 05/Feb/2002 at 11:40 AM
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I think that he did an excellent job of being Gandalf if you look at the illustrations and then at a picture of Gandlaf they look so similar! it is really good. I loved that seen when Boromir was ’fighting’ with the hobbits and then they punced on him, it made me laugh so much!
scottyglc 05/Feb/2002 at 11:48 AM
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Gandalf’s character was tweeked here and there to make him more likable.  But there are a million things that the movie did different to make it more appealing to those who have not read the books.  I don’t think they could have found a better actor, who fit the role, better than Ian McKellan.
Unknown 05/Feb/2002 at 01:07 PM
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     To myself I always pictured Gandalf to be a lot more older and wiser.

     In the movie he really seems like a jolly fellow

     I don’t like the fake looking beard and hair,the fact that he could run faster than the othersmekes him look young

   And ALL you people know how old Gandalf the grey is.

Sare 05/Feb/2002 at 08:05 PM
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I think they had to make him a bit more loveable.....just to appeal more to younger audience members. He reminds me more of the Gandalf I pictured in The Hobbit, kinder and more laughing. When I finally read the trilogy, I lost a lot of early conceptions from The Hobbit- such as how elves aren’t all mean and horrible to whoever happens to stray onto their party.
Shire Boy 05/Feb/2002 at 11:06 PM
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I think the casting of McKellan was a very good choice. In fact I thought his performance was the best. But yes I have to agree that whilst reading the book I always knew Gandalf was a good guy there was something cold and distant about him (perhaps magical) that came across. That wasn’t there in the movie.

Of course he can run faster than everyone else - he can also wave his stick at people and make them fly across a room, and fall down a cavernous precpice with a Bellrog AND survive!! ( I took a freind to see it last night and he hasn’t read the books and so I made out that Gandalf is dead - haha - )


Legolas02 07/Feb/2002 at 12:57 PM
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I think that Gandalf was great in the movie.  I agree with protoguy about the scene in Bag End.  it seemed a bit fake.  the way his costume was designed looks almost exactly how I pictured Gandalf when i read the books.  I wonder what he will look like when he comes back in the 2nd movie....
Noalani 07/Feb/2002 at 02:33 PM
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   I think Gandalf was a bit to nicey nicey. Always hugging the hobbits and smiling. Gandalf nearly never smiled in the book let along the fact that he did not hug the hobbits.

   It was abit overdone when Gandalf first came back to hobbiton. With Frodo jumping in the cart and Gandalf joking anbout being late was not the kind of gandalf i pictured.

I pctured a Gandalf that was wise and almost always new what to do. I thought of hem also as a stern almost mean Istari


Morbius 07/Feb/2002 at 03:48 PM
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I agree with the rest, but I disagree as well.  As you all know, Mithrandir is very good at hiding things until his timing serves right to tell others.  And that the Hobbits are an extremely likable people.  Being that Mithrandir came back to Hobbiton he was joyous, besides it is said that he always received great welcome for he was most popular among the Hobbits than anywhere else.  But despite my negativity, I do agree that he should’ve been more secretive, stern, and a bit more "powerful".  He seemed to lose a little luster with the Happy go lucky side.

Also, wouldn’t you expect Mithrandir to be in front of everyone else anyways??  I mean he was the leader and no one else seemed to know the way.  Ya just don’t run ahead of the leader, ya know?

Gandalf_theGrey 07/Feb/2002 at 06:06 PM
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I think that the movie Gandalf was a very good interpratation of the Gandalf from the book, but I think that the Ganalf from the book is more of a reveard character from the action pack one in the movie.




Lambaster 07/Feb/2002 at 10:50 PM
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I think the Movie Gandalf was more friendly and almost helpless at points. The Book Gandalf was never helpless. He was concerned, sad, angry, thoughtul, but never desperate or helpless. I’ll go with protoguy on the scene at Bag End too. Gandalf was too afraid. Gandalf was never afraid just concerned. He portrayed an aura of power in the books that is lost in the movie except for when he yelled at Bilbo in Bag End. Also, I don’t remember Saruman and him throwing eachother around Orthanc in the book. It was a cool interpretation if it didn’t happen though.X(
eomer.2 08/Feb/2002 at 01:06 AM
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I agree with all, gandalf is not the best gandalf as he should be (u know what i mean). Peter Jackson gandalf hugged Bilbo Baggins and frodo. But in the book i cannot remember him expressing that amount of love and friendliness.
Orcrist 08/Feb/2002 at 07:48 AM
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Of all the characters in the movie, I thought Gandalf was the closest to my expectation. I agree that in the book he comes across a bit more stern but I believe that this is more of a facade and that he really does hold a lot of affection for the hobbits - don’t forget his long association with Bilbo. This affection is quite well reflected in the movie.
RavenclawCharm 08/Feb/2002 at 02:03 PM
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I thought Ian McKellen’s interpretation of the role was extremely thoughtful.  I like the way he was able to portray the fact that Gandalf has such great wisdom, and the way he was protective of the hobbits.  I’m not sure I agree with those who felt he was too jolly - I liked the scene where he was really stern with Bilbo about the ring.  I can’t think of anyone else to play this very difficult and pivotal role.
Eruantaliel 14/Feb/2002 at 02:07 PM
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I liked the comeraderie in the beginning with Gandalf and the Hobbits- it shows how dire their transformation is in the book. If they were to have Gandalf as stern as he is in the beginning, one would have to watch very, very carefully  to pick up the nuances that make Gandalf the Grey different from Gandalf the White. In the book that’s easier because you read every scentence and therefore are told eveything, but on the screen you have to make the changes pronounced or the non- fans will have no clue why he’s become a grump.
Vénowyn 14/Feb/2002 at 05:47 PM
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That’s a good point, Eruantiel.  In the movies, things must be adjusted for the silver screen.  I also think that the Gandalf in the movie was quite the way he appears in the Hobbit, and seeing as more people have probably read the Hobbit, it seems logical.
Peeeg 14/Feb/2002 at 05:50 PM
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I like that, "Gandalf DID NOT hug the Hobbits!" LMAO!!

Definitely too warm and fuzzy. I like the way he dealt with Pippin better. I think they did that to try to make his fall and their reaction more real.

supadanidear 14/Feb/2002 at 07:28 PM
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I was a fan of Ian McKellen’s Gandalf. I agree that he was more jovial than he seemed to be in the books, but I think that that was the only way they could have portrayed Gandalf in this film. My heart broke as I read the scene where Gandalf is lost in Moria. Literature gives us the ability to read the thoughts of the characters we’re following and that is how we knew just how beloved Gandalf was. It is difficult to show deep bonds like this, especially when the chracter in question tends to be candid in speech and not especially warm. The only way to get audiences to appreciate just how much Gandalf meant to his companions was to make him more lovable.
Just my musings on the matter, please feel free to disagree
Raegin 14/Feb/2002 at 08:51 PM
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I think that everyone has their own personal veiw of each character.  Ian McKlellan might have hit Gandolf’s character for some people, and for others he could have been completely opposite what they imagined.  It’s all a matter of taste.  Personally I think that Gandolf in the movie was almost as exactly how I imagined him to be. 
cenedra 15/Feb/2002 at 05:45 AM
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I thought Gandalf looked exactly as I had imagined him.  I felt that the hobbits were too friendly and happy to see him at the start when he comes to the Shire at the start of the movie.  I always felt when reading the book that they looked on him with a bit of suspicion (maybe not the right word) but they certainly weren’t best pals with him as it looks in the movie.  Still, he was the best character in the film and I don’t think they could have cast anyone better.  Ian McK for an oscar!!!!!!
Peeeg 15/Feb/2002 at 12:56 PM
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That’s kind of true, but the Hobbit children loved him, if only for his fireworks.

I still think Tolkien went out of his way to show how UN-Huggy he was.

It’s like the old images of fathers: stern disciplinarians who show their affection rarely, making it all the more precious. Gandalf is certainly the ultimate Father Figure.

Cheesypoof87 15/Feb/2002 at 01:02 PM
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exactly.  I kinda agree, but I think most of the hobbit children were all kinda afraid of Gandalf, but liked the fireworks...

Though Isengard be strong and hard, as cold as stone and bare as bone
We go, We go, We go to war, to hew the stone and break the door!
We come, We come with Horn and Drum!

Robbyz1 15/Feb/2002 at 01:14 PM
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While I agree with most that was already said, I just want to add that I think that most of the changes that were made from the "book Gandalf" were probably necessary, especially for those that have not read the books.  The fact of the matter is that many things that are in books are not possible or at least not as sucessful in movies.  I don’t think that if Gandalf was the same in the movie as in the book that people who haven’t read them would come away feeling the same towards him that most of us who have read them do.

Just a thought...

Raegin 15/Feb/2002 at 02:49 PM
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I also think he was to huggy and friendly, but i also think it was a good change it made him be more likable.  He was one of the best actors ive seen in a long time.  He captared gandalf from my mind and made him better. 



The downfall of mordor is coming.

Elfers 15/Feb/2002 at 05:10 PM
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I agree with veryone else that Gandalf was too jovial. He was more reserved and stern in the books hten he was in the movie. And I don’t htink there should have been that much hugging!
Endymion 16/Feb/2002 at 02:35 AM
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me too, from the books he seemed too distant.  but like the others too, i cannot thinks of another actor that may have been a better gandalf.

i think he is also less powerful in the movie.  i wonder how he would be presented in the other movies, when he becomes gandalf the white.  i hope his power will be more displayed in the future movies...

Belegil 16/Feb/2002 at 10:49 AM
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I think thats all noncence. In the book gandalf was fun at time especially near the end of the book and in the beguining. In the Hobbit he was full of life and fun and mischeif like all the others. Sir Ian was fantastic and thought provoking. He was my perfect picture of gandalf.
Lúthien 21/Feb/2002 at 01:27 PM
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I have thought about that too! When In read about Gandalf I did not see him like that. And in the movie he was funny and understanding and not cruel but kind as he is in the book... Maybe it was supposed to be llike that bor maybe it was a terrible misstake.. You just never know, do you... well I know i don’t... Anyway, and Gandalf never sais "Fly you fools" as he says in the film befor he falls down in Khazad-dûm. That bothers me...
Aiglos 21/Feb/2002 at 02:12 PM
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The guy who played Gandalf in the movie is up for an academy award. I hopes he gets it because he did a great job in the movie. I liked the movie version of Gandalf better.
yo-antithesis 21/Feb/2002 at 09:21 PM
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I think the gandalf in the movie was just right and was very similar to the one in the book.  He was distant in the book, but i felt that he was in the movie too and also in the book he definitely has his friendly moments when he isn’t quite so detached and in the hobbit and lotr him and bilbo are friends and i think him and frodo were friends too.  and in  the book everyone in the fellowship was friends with each other and i think that they showed this well in the movie