Why was Gandalf sent back to Middle-earth after his death?

NS Lord of the Rings The trilogy evokes a wide range of emotions for viewers, with two of the most emotional moments being Gandalf’s death and his resurrection. Since emotional reactions to these scenes vary widely, many fans, writers, and scholars have debated whether a resurrection is really necessary for the entire story.

On the other hand, some see it as a scam – an impractical solution to a hole in the story that Tolkien couldn’t figure out how to fill otherwise. Others believe that Reincarnation is an appropriate choice and that it contributes to a more sublime plot, based on layers of Christian lore woven into the world.


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To fully understand this question, fans must first consider who Gandalf is, beyond his involvement in the ring. Before even Gandalf the Grey, he was Olorin, a Maia. The Maiars are beings created to assist the Valars in the creation of the Earth. During his time as Olorin, he was often revered by his fellow Maiars for his wisdom and spent much of his time with Nienna, queen of the Valars endowed with mercy. From her, he learned how to empathize and care for others– some of his best qualities that we see repeated throughout the story.

Gandalf the White holds his staff and stands beside his horse Shadowfax

When he returned to Earth, his greatest contributions to it were the ones we see in Hobbit and Lord of the Rings fairy tales. His commitment to the creatures of Middle-earth is touching and admirable, which is what makes his death so difficult for the characters as well as the viewer.

Gandalf’s death is a pivotal moment in the story as that’s when Frodo begins to realize that he’s not only risking his own life, he is risking his friend’s life too. In the loss of Gandalf, whom he had come to know as a close friend for so long, Frodo’s soul was somewhat crushed and his eyes were opened more to the reality of his situation. Also, it seems to lower the hopes of the entire group as none of them do not, at least, have a strong respect for Gandalf.

Gandalf died in the darkness, consumed by Balrog’s flames. His battle with this creature lasted 8 days. He wasn’t resurrected until the 19th and even then, he was so stunned for several days before he returned to any form. Until Gandalf’s death, it seems that his purpose in the story was to aid Frodo in his journey to bring the ring to Mordor. After Gandalf died, this changed. When he returned, he focused his energy more on the other members of the fellowship as they prepared for battle. He mainly helps in combat from this point on.

His resurrection, or resurrection, is less important to Frodo’s goals than his death but is still important to the other characters in the story. Return of Gandalf new hope for many people of characters going into battle and help them feel prepared and focused on the task at hand.

Gandalf’s personality is largely the same between Gray Gandalf and White Gandalf, except for a few qualities. Gandalf the Gray is playful and experienced, giving him the basic personality and stories to seduce a Hobbit. Though, upon becoming Gandalf the White, he becomes a bit more assertive and wiser, giving him the ability to better handle impending tumultuous situations. This new adjustment to his perspective makes him a Better source of strength and motivation for men, elves and dwarves to go to war.

In addition to his physical return being important, the transition from Gandalf the Gray to Gandalf the White also contributes to the story. With his limited powers as Gray, he can keep up with the defense of the fellowship but not much more than that. However, his abilities as Gandalf the White were powerful enough to affect larger areas of Middle-earth. Without his new powers, he probably wouldn’t be able to free Theoden or contribute to the battle in the same way.

Gandalf reappears with Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli as Gandalf the White

Important thing to note the theme of the story when testing this question. Tolkien intended these stories to represent humanity’s greed for power, as a means of controlling others and achieving immortality. Tolkien uses the story and its characters to illustrate how those who strive for God-like powers – abilities that don’t come naturally – often fail and end up with unfortunate results.

However, those who are humble in their ability and use it to help others, will be rewarded. Considering this, Gandalf’s death and resurrection certainly make sense. He sacrificed his life for Middle-earth, more than once, and is a friend of nearly all sentient beings there. He has earned a kind of immortality, through the only means by which it can truly be achieved – through the will of the creator of the Earth.

In fact, Balrogs is a corrupted Maiar who was influenced by Melkor, the influence of the original dark lord. This explains why Balrog was able to bring Gandalf to the brink and why Gandalf very much wanted to avoid it is in the first place. It was the most perfect match possible, as Balrog was the complete opposite of Gandalf.

maxresdefault-18 Trimmed

Gandalf began as a noble Maia, chosen by Valar as a member of the 5 Maiars who were transformed into Istari, magicians sent to Middle-earth to aid in their fight against Sauron’s power. So while Gandalf appears to have evolved, Balrog has transformed from a Maia into a cunning, demonic being that reflects an evil past that led to its present.

Gandalf represents an individual follower the way of light and resist temptation for power, while Balrog represents a person who has surrendered to temptation and chooses the path of darkness. The conclusion to their battle message is that they both die, but only Gandalf returns. He has chosen the noble path in life and is rewarded with the kind of immortality chance that tempts Balrog into darkness in the first place, when it was a Maia.

That said, it really doesn’t make any sense without a character dying and coming back to life because of the spiritual influences and thematic components of the story. More, Gandalf is the most suitable character to do it because he was a being strong enough to turn back, he had the approval of the Valars, and he lived his life in goodness and light.

There is no short answer to why Tolkien considered Gandalf’s resurrection necessary. If you mend your broken hearts Lord of the Rings Not enough fans to highlight the significance of his resurrection, the themes, history of Middle-earth, and Tolkien’s spiritual beliefs all seem to be. Gandalf is not simply a supporting character protagonists in their journey; he is an example of the benefits of being someone who helps those around them, instead of being someone who only helps themselves.

THAN: LOTR: Why did Saruman pledge allegiance to Sauron?

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