Did you know Gandalf was going to come back?
#1
I picked up Lord of the Rings when I was sixteen. By that time my mind has been ruined by all the cliched "come back from the dead" characters in other books and TV and movies.

So when Gandalf fell into the chasm with the Balrog, I was like, "Meh, he'll be back."

It was probably a fresh twist back when the book first came out, but the trope has been repeated so many times, you're actually more surprised when a character *doesn't* come back alive.

The only time a character came back and I completely didn't expect it, was when Saltheart Foamfollower comes back after somehow surviving immersion in the lava of Hotash Slay in The Power that Preserves. So many characters had died that I really did think the Giant was a goner.

Was it like this for other readers too? Did you guess Gandalf would return?

It's really difficult to set up a "character comes back from certain death" scene these days, isn't it?
:deadhorse:
"A Iluvatarinya! En na pelecco carinyesse!"
"Oh my God! There's an axe in my head!" :worry:

http://www.yamara.com/axe/#Q1
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#2
Oh dear! This is embarassing! The very last line of my most recently posted fan-fiction was "Mordomin fell", so how can I respond?

Ah, er, that is to say...I did not expect or even guess that Gandalf would return when I first read the story. I was heart-broken, of course, but I read on, never expecting him to re-appear.

I guess I am a sucker for that sort of thing. I never expected - spoiler alert! - Harry Potter to die, either.
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#3
Coconut Ent Wrote:I picked up Lord of the Rings when I was sixteen. By that time my mind has been ruined by all the cliched "come back from the dead" characters in other books and TV and movies.

So when Gandalf fell into the chasm with the Balrog, I was like, "Meh, he'll be back."

It was probably a fresh twist back when the book first came out, but the trope has been repeated so many times, you're actually more surprised when a character *doesn't* come back alive.

The only time a character came back and I completely didn't expect it, was when Saltheart Foamfollower comes back after somehow surviving immersion in the lava of Hotash Slay in The Power that Preserves. So many characters had died that I really did think the Giant was a goner.

And then... SPOILER... in short order he actually does die, which I thought was a interesting way to handle it.

On Gandalf, as I was 8 when I first read LOTR, I totally believed he was gone. I was devastated, so much so that my mom told me that he was going to come back. Thanks for ruining that plot twist, ma.
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#4
Foamfollower actually was a character we should have expected might come back under those conditions, because it was already well established the (Donaldson) Giants were fire/heatproof, even if it pains them! He could have suffocated in the lava, of course, but molten rock being much denser than water he almost certainly would float!

Heck, even George R.R. Martin brings back a few of the many Song of Fire & Ice characters he gleefully kills off, although given the ways he goes about it there are few of them you'd want to go out & have a beer with afterwards!

I'm trying to recall whether I was surprised at Gandalf's return, but I don't think I was, completely. He was after all clearly a being of great power not altogether limited as an ordinary human. I like the way Tolkien handled it, though; setting us up to think it was Saruman lurking around!
Many Defeats & Many Fruitless Victories Memoirs Gateway
For I was talking aloud to myself...the old...choose the wisest person present to speak to...
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#5
Alvin Eriol Wrote:Foamfollower actually was a character we should have expected might come back under those conditions, because it was already well established the (Donaldson) Giants were fire/heatproof, even if it pains them! He could have suffocated in the lava, of course, but molten rock being much denser than water he almost certainly would float!

Heck, even George R.R. Martin brings back a few of the many Song of Fire & Ice characters he gleefully kills off, although given the ways he goes about it there are few of them you'd want to go out & have a beer with afterwards!

I'm trying to recall whether I was surprised at Gandalf's return, but I don't think I was, completely. He was after all clearly a being of great power not altogether limited as an ordinary human. I like the way Tolkien handled it, though; setting us up to think it was Saruman lurking around!

I really did think it was Saruman in Fangorn, until Legolas shouted "Mithrandir! Mithrandir!" He was the first one to realize who it was, I think.
:deadhorse:
"A Iluvatarinya! En na pelecco carinyesse!"
"Oh my God! There's an axe in my head!" :worry:

http://www.yamara.com/axe/#Q1
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#6
I didn't guess that it was Gandalf. Nor did I jump to the conclusion, as Gimli did, that it was Saruman. In my childish wonder, I thought it was something new. And so it was, in a way, LOL!
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#7
It thought he would since Tolkien was trying to make his myths like his christians beliefs.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#8
King Elessar 8 Wrote:And then... SPOILER... in short order he actually does die, which I thought was a interesting way to handle it.

On Gandalf, as I was 8 when I first read LOTR, I totally believed he was gone. I was devastated, so much so that my mom told me that he was going to come back. Thanks for ruining that plot twist, ma.

Talk about advanced readers! LotR at eight! I was still rhyming and alliterating with Dr. Seuss! And colourful books with lots of pictures.
:deadhorse:
"A Iluvatarinya! En na pelecco carinyesse!"
"Oh my God! There's an axe in my head!" :worry:

http://www.yamara.com/axe/#Q1
Reply
#9
Heh, well I still liked Dr. Seuss too when I was 8. But I was capable of reading at an adult level when I was 5 or 6 - my talent I guess. I was (and am) hopeless at math though.Blush
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#10
Last summer the Tolkien Society reported that George R. R. Martin gave an interview,  in which he blamed Tolkien, specifically the act of "killing off" Gandalf,  for his own bloodthirstiness in dealing with his characters, esp. in the "Song of Ice and Fire" cycle (basis for the Game of Thrones TV series) Rolleyes
Many Defeats & Many Fruitless Victories Memoirs Gateway
For I was talking aloud to myself...the old...choose the wisest person present to speak to...
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