I agree, Bostonion (good to see you posting again, by the way!).This also seems to me to be what Tolkien means in the letter where he writes about this, saying that in Gandalf's conditions
This leaves, in my reading, no doubt that Gandalf did not, and could not, know what would happen — in more theological terms, Gandalf is one of the Ainur that had entered into Eä and was thus bound to remain in Eä while it lasted, but at this point he is lifted up by Eru, “out of time” and thus out of Eä, to be sent back enhanced. Precisely because this is done by Eru (who reserved the right to intervene in History),it was not in the Music and hence completely unknowable not just to Gandalf (who,incarnated, had less memory ofthe days before becoming one of the Istari), but also by the Valar.
it was for him a sacrifice to perish on the Bridge in defence of his companions, less perhaps than for a mortal Man or Hobbit, since he had a far greater inner power than they; but also more, since it was a humbling and abnegation of himself in conformity to ‘the Rules': for all he could know at that moment he was the only person who could direct the resistance to Sauron successfully, and all his mission was vain. He was handing over to the Authority that ordained the Rules, and giving up personal hope of success.
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
, no 156 to Robert Murray (drafts), November 1954
Last edited by Troelsfo; 10/Dec/2012 at 08:23 PM.
Reason: Updating to new Plaza formatting
Troels Forchhammer, physicist, Denmark
The love of Faery is the love of love: a relationship toward all things, animate and inanimate, which includes love and respect ...