"I am one reason"

Lincoln Alpern

Active Member
When explaining why Frodo has a place of honor in the house of Elrond, Gandalf jokingly says he himself is one reason; his endorsement alone is sufficient cause to hold a person in high regard. (I can't find my copy of the book right now, so I can't quote the text directly, but that's the gist.)

This got me thinking. Gandalf can be humble, but I can't think of any instances of him displaying false modesty. On the other hand, I can think of plenty of instances of Gandalf asserting his own authority and status, often in a position of superiority over others. Often, as here, he tempers the assertion with humor, but not always, and even those times, the sense I get is more of Gandalf mixing the truth with levity, rather than being straight sarcastic.

I think we can safely conclude that while boasting is not a virtue in Middle-earth, being forthright about one's own status and superiority is not necessarily a vice.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Yeah that's fair. There's no moral failing in accurately assessing and acknowledging your place in the world, despite the trend toward false modesty in some circles of polite company.
 

Lalaith

Member
I think that is totally true! And really interesting to watch. Like his line: "You may not have noticed[the boulders]".
 
I recall after the "resurrection" of Gandalf the White, he is described as "less grumpy" or "more joyful" (or something to that effect) than Gandalf the Grey. When I think of the lack of humility you're referring to above, this is the kind of "grumpy" thing I think about (along with "fool of a Took!"). I can't recall offhand, but I'd be interested to see if there are any similar situations with Gandalf the White?
 

Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
When I think of the lack of humility you're referring to above, this is the kind of "grumpy" thing I think about (along with "fool of a Took!"). I can't recall offhand, but I'd be interested to see if there are any similar situations with Gandalf the White?
Gandalf seems a bit "grumpy" in the scenes with Pippin and Denethor. . . but the grumpiness is mostly directed at Denethor: he's pretty gentle towards Pippin.
 
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