When he first appears, walking slowly towards Bag End with his wooden staff , tall pointed blue hat, dusty grey cloak, 'immense' black boots, the longest white beard you'll ever see, and a witty sarcasm , it is not clear to us who exactly is this old eccentric man Bilbo calls Gandalf. Professor Tolkien's portray of Gandalf in The Hobbit is one of a traditional fairy-tale magician, complete with pointy hat, , long cape, and of course, a wizard's staff...essential tools of the trade. Who is this strange old wizard , and what will be his role in The Hobbit ? Originally known as Olórin, he was a Maia (spirit of Arda) which was chosen to be one of the Istari (wise ones/wizards). The Istari were to assist the free peoples of Middle-earth in opposing the dark powers of Sauron. The major source of Sauron's power, the One Ring, was still believed to be in existence. Olórin (as he was still called) was given Narya (the 'ring of fire') , one of the Three Elven Rings. Known by many different names throughout Middle-earth, he was called 'Gandalf' by men.
- A Meeting In Bree (The Quest of Erebor)
On a visit to Bree in 2941, one evening Gandalf meets a dwarf called Thorin Oakenshield which had been seeking the wizard guided by visions and premonitions, the encounter is not a coincidence. Gandalf is intrigued by the dwarf Thorin , and agrees to travel together , and it on this journey that Thorin and Gandalf discuss the dragon Smaug, the Dwarves's family treasure the dragon has stolen, and a plan to recover it. Gandalf 's feelings are telling him that a hobbit should be involved in this quest, preferably a hobbit with a passion for adventures and Bilbo Baggins seems just like the hobbit Gandalf is looking for. Helping the Dwarves is the main goal of the quest although Gandalf is more interested in the demise of the dragon Smaug which is very powerful and would be a terrible weapon in Sauron's hands. Involving Bilbo, a simple hobbit from the Shire is also of great importance, Gandalf feels hobbits will have a big role to play in Middle-earth although at the times he meets Thorin in Bree not all is clear to him yet.
- Concerning ale, trolls, pipe-weed, and dragons
In The Hobbit Gandalf takes the role of guide and protector of an unlikely hero and his Company of Dwarves - but behind the fairy-tale magician , the smoke-rings competition and pints of good ale there are powerful forces at play. Monsters to be defeat, Elves to deal with, and evil powers raising in Middle-earth. The One Ring has been found, Bilbo knows nothing about the significance of his discovery , but dark powers are awaken. Olórin/Gandalf, guide of little heroes, powerful wizard, one of the Wise-Ones, and a vital thread in Tolkien's tapestry called Middle-earth.
In the next instalment of The History of The Hobbit (in simple words) : Gollum, Trolls and Goblins.
To Be Continued...