Tag Archives: gandalf

The second best Hobbit in The Shire?

In Lord of the Rings (Tolkien’s story NOT Jackson’s movies) Gandalf and Bilbo believe that Frodo is the best hobbit in The Shire- The one to take up the Ring quest.

Who is the second best hobbit?

We have a few options:

1:  Meriadoc Brandybuck.  He’s my choice.  He is on the ball with his observations regarding Frodo’s leaving of The Shire- heading up the group of conspirators.  Responsible.  Takes time to examine maps of the lands they will be passing through.  A fighter- cutting limbs from the orcs/uruk hai that capture he and Pippin.  Closest to solving the Moria gate riddle- they gave it to Frodo in the movie…  Dares to take sword to that deadly thing the Witch-King of Angmar in defence of Eowyn.  Becomes Mater of Buckland.

2:  Samwise Gamgee.  Completely loyal to Frodo, Ring-Bearer, willing to continue the Ring quest alone after he believes Frodo is dead.  Defeats Shelob with Sting and the Phial of Galadriel and love enraged.  Gildor and company seem to realise Sam’s companionship with Frodo will be vital for the success of Frodo’s quest and therefore all of Middle Earth too.  Becomes longest-serving mayor of The Shire

3:  Peregrin Took: Ever-buoyant and honest companion.  The Fellowship would have been a much more dour affair without his cheekiness towards wizards.  Leaves the Mallorn leaf broach and footprints for Aragorn to find when captured by the Uruk Hai.  Discerns that Grishnakh knows about The Ring and feeds his suspicions to aid his and Merry’s escape.  Becomes a Knight of Gondor and saves Faramir from the madness of Denethor thus repaying Gandalf’s belief in him in opposition to Elrond’s wisdom.  Becomes the Took and Thain of The Shire.

4:  Fatty Bolger:  One of the original Shire conspirators.  Realises he’s not an adventurer and decides to stay home.

5:  Farmer Maggot:  Although his story isn’t mentioned much in the books Tom Bombadil speaks of him as someone of much greater importance than the other hobbits realise- ‘There’s earth under his old feet, and clay on his fingers; wisdom in his bones, and both his eyes are open.’  He’s happy to have a go at any Nazgul who show up to his farm after he’s told them to “Be off!”

So, what do you think?

Best Movie Wizards, Good & Bad

MSN Parallel Universe has a story or rather brief snippets with pictures of their compilation of best movie wizards & witches, both good ones and bad ones.  A lot of the usual suspects are there.  The Wizard & the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz.  Growing up in an age when, for the earliest part of my life, there were only 4 TV channels, the showing of Oz every year was a big event.  And for a child, at least for me, it was usually pretty scary. From the tornado, which is still one of the best special effects ever, to the flying monkeys & the cackling evil of Margaret Hamilton’s inspired performance.  Although I have to admit that the picture they use in the article I’ve referenced makes the Wicked Witch look pretty hot.  But maybe that’s just me.

There’s also Merlin & Morgana from the 1981 Excalibur both brilliantly played by Nicol Williamson & Helen Mirren.  Of course, there is Gandalf and Saruman from the Jackson abomin…er, Lord of the Rings films.  James Earl Jones as the sinister Thulsa Doom & Mako as Akiro in Conan the Barbarian.  Warwick Davis as Willow & Jean Marsh as Bavmorda in Willow.  There are a few others I’ve left out because I really never saw the movies referenced.

Oh, there are two wizards who are near & dear to us here on the list.  Dumbledore and Voldemort.  Although I really have to take exception to one particular line in their blurb: “…kindness radiates from both actors who have portrayed him [Dumbledore], the late Richard Harris and Michael Gambon.” I really can’t believe someone who could write a sentence like that has really seen the movies.

Anyway, feel free to share your thoughts on their choices of best movie wizard and witches.  Any ones you felt were left out or should have been included?  I hesitate to mention this because of the gender wars that seem to have arisen lately on this site, but it is quite obvious in their list that the three women sorcerers they picked are all bad. Are there no good women sorcerers in the movies?  Or at least none that stood out enough for the compilers of this list to take note of them?

Feel free to check out the story and offer your comments here.  (Please note, I found their site to be rather difficult to navigate at times and kind of buggy so hopefully you will have better luck with it.)

BBC LOTR Sound Recording Joy

By Matthew

I’ve just had a good experience.

When I was in my early teens a friend of mine who was a Tolkien fan told me about a Lord of the Rings series on the radio. He’d taped a few episodes and I loved listening to them. It was dramitised with great voice actors like Sir Michael Horden, John Le Messurier, Ian Holm and other voices that were familiar from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I’d been keeping my eye out for it through all the LOTR hype and merchandising sorrounding the Peter Jackson movies and I did find it- 13 cd’s full, over 14 hours of story. The thing was was that it was priced at $200! I wasn’t going to pay that.

But yesterday I was looking in a bookshop’s bargain table and what did I find? You guessed it, a pile of about 20 copies of the “Collector’s Edition” of the cd set for $20. I am very happy now and have listened to the first two discs. I highly recommend this production for any fan of LOTR. Its a more engaging way of enjoying the story than the movies as all the action is happening in your mind. I’m all for that. Do yourself a favour.

If anyone wants me to get them a set if its still there I’ll do that too.

Here’s a link with some other people’s reviews.

Oh, and an important point- Sam doesn’t sound like a comic relief yokel.