30 Gandalf Facts To Rule Them All

Facts About Gandalf



“Fly you fools!” One of the most quoted lines in Lord of the Rings, which is of course spoken by none other than our beloved Gandalf!

But what happened after Gandalf fell down the abyss to fight the Balrog was much more than the movie adaptation let on.

There is much more to this wizard than the movies were able to convey.

So here are 30 wild facts about Gandalf to give you more insight to this wise wizard!

Gandalf is from a race called Maiar, who are spirits that can change forms. They each had different abilities – Gandalf was known for manipulating fire, creating smoke, casting light, telekinesis, and telepathy.

He was considered the wisest of the Maiar.

Along with 4 other Maiar, Gandalf was sent to Middle Earth to help it’s people fight against the forces of evil. For this, all 5 of the Maiar took human forms.

When Gandalf found he had been chosen to go to Middle Earth, he originally didn’t want to go because he was afraid of Sauron.

Gandalf’s original name was Olórin. He was named Gandalf by the ancient men of Middle Earth.

Gandalf’s name translates from old Mannish into “Elf of the Wand,” referring to the cane he always walked with.

Being a Maia, this means Gandalf’s spirit is immortal, but his body is not. This demonstrated when he dies fighting the Balrog in Moria, but is reborn as Gandalf the White, which is the highest rank of wizards.

The entire fight with the Balrog, from the bridge until the demise of the Balrog, lasted for 10 days.

When Gandalf died fighting the Balrog, he was sent back 20 days later to take the place of Saruman who had been corrupted.

Because he is immortal, there is no way to say how old Gandalf is – but his spirit was possibly around since the beginning of time. This is probably why he’s so wise!

Just like Sauron was the embodiment of evil, Gandalf was the embodiment of good.

Gandalf stayed in Middle Earth for four years after the ring was destroyed, spending most of his time with Tom Bombadil.

Gandalf picked up the habit of pipe-smoking from spending so much time with Hobbits. He would frequently accompany his smoking with magic, changing the color of the smoke or making different shapes.

Before the time of The Ring, Gandalf spent his time wandering amongst the Free People of Middle Earth. His motives were to assess the growing darkness and unite the people of Middle Earth.

During the quest with Bilbo and the dwarves, Gandalf finds the ancient sword Glamdring in the trolls cave. The sword had been lost for 6,000 years, and Gandalf wields it until after the destruction of The Ring.

Facts About Gandalf - LOTR

While in Middle Earth, Gandalf was referred to by as many as 15 different names. Some of these include Mithrandir, The Grey Pilgrim, and Pointy Hat.

Gandalf’s appearance was inspired by a postcard that J. R. R. Tolkien bought in Switzerland.

Gandalf used telepathy, not magic, to free Théoden from Saruman’s mind control.

Of the three Elven rings of power, Gandalf was given Narya, which had the abilities to control fire and light.

It is believed that of the 5 Maiar sent to Middle Earth, Gandalf is the only one who remained true to his mission.

Before Thráin II, the Dwarf king and father of Thorin Oakenshield, died, he gave Gandalf the map and key to the Lonely Mountain.

Gandalf acquired his horse, Shadowfax, from Theodin. Shadowfax is the Lord of Horses and said to be faster than wind! He aided Gandalf on many missions.

Gandalf spent over 2,000 years in Middle Earth before he sailed across the sea back to the Valinor, also called the Undying Lands.

Originally, Galadriel wanted Gandalf to be the head of The White Council, but he refused because he did not want to be restricted by anything except the Valar that sent him.

Gandalf suspected that the Necromancer was Sauron before anyone else did.

Wise as he was, Gandalf did not expect Saruman to join Sauron.

Gandalf’s eyebrows were described as being so long and bushy, that they stuck out from beneath the rim of his hat!

The limits of Gandalf’s magic were never defined by Tolkien. It is clear, however, that he has much more power than he ever demonstrated in Middle Earth.

Gandalf met Thorin Oakenshield on a chance meeting in Bree. It was there that they derived the plan to go to Erebor, but they had different motivations. Gandalf wanted to destroy the dragon Smaug, while Thorin wanted to reclaim the dwarves lost kingdom.

After Gandalf convinced Bilbo to leave The Ring with Frodo, he left and spent the next 17 years doing research and searching for answers on The Ring before returning to Frodo.

About The Author

Michelle Gabriel
Michelle Gabriel

Michelle Gabriel is a freelance writer and blogger and currently loving it! Her primary focus and passion is traveling, which she does full time and continues to be her preferred topic when composing articles.

Fact Check

We have a thorough fact-checking process and a dedicated team verifying our content for accuracy. But occasionally, we may get things wrong, or information becomes outdated. If you believe something to be incorrect, please leave us a message below.

Leave a Comment