Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 month ago

Why are people okay with Gandalf being brought back to life in Lord of the Rings?

That kind of cop-out after a character is killed off is usually derided in fiction circles, and yet when Tolkien did it in LOTR, people call it genius!! Why is this?! Do people have a bias in favour of Tolkien books because they read them as kids?

7 Answers

  • Troy
    Lv 6
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Gandalf didn't die, he fell in a pit. 

    Merry and Pippin died after capture by Orcs 

    Aragorn off the cliffs ambushed on way to Helms Deep

    Frodo killed by Shelob

  • 1 month ago

    If you are not the silly teenager who's been posting ignorant rubbish recently then you must be his twin.

    Clearly you have failed to understand (as you fail to understand anything but the slickest modern thriller) that Gandalf didn't "die". Nor do Tolkien fans call this "genius": they say, "Oh I HOPED Gandalf would come back somehow".

    You are very mistaken if you believe everyone read Tolkien "as kids". I didn't read "The Hobbit" till I was in my 20s, and I was 30 before I came to LOTR. Of course, according to you, nobody these days would be able to handle Tolkien, as he routinely wrote sentences a good deal longer and more complex than "The cat sat on the mat".

    You are a sad excuse for a reader. What is it that makes you so contemptuous of so many excellent books? As we've all told you repeatedly, you are perfectly entitled to your own tastes, but the fact that you keep poking ill-humouredly at people who enjoy more complex and thoughtful stories makes me wonder (oops, sorry - this is a lonnng sentence) whether perhaps you envy us for our broader view of the world and the much wider and more interesting horizons that our reading provides for us than yours.I can't think of any other reason for your constant jibes. If you want to get the same enjoyment from reading that we do, all you have to do is put aside the latest slick thriller and pick up perhaps "Catch-22". If you enjoy that, you're perfectly capable of graduating to other 20th century authors; nobody is urging you to switch immediately - or at all - to a diet of Thackeray, Jane Austen, Herman Melville or Henry James.

  • 1 month ago

    People are OK because that is how the story was written.

  • User
    Lv 7
    1 month ago


    most people did not read TLOTR as a child.

    I was in my late teens when I read it, and I didn't know (personally) ANYONE else who had read it.

    Some reasons why:

    A - It is a very Christian-like resurrection. For example: Gandalf is not only "returned from the dead", he is visibly different...and much more powerful, supernaturally speaking. For example: no one actually witnesses the resurrection. etc. (MANY parallels)

    B - It is a very SUBTLE resurrection. The book is rather vague about whether or not Gandalf actually died. (Gandalf himself is quite vague and mysterious about it...but, then, when we read the Silmarillion we learn that the wizards aren't mortal in the human sense in the first place, that they are incarnated supernatural beings.) We see this FAIRLY clearly in the death of Saruman, whose supernatural or "spiritual" essence exists visibly after the death of his body.

    C - It is NOT a major point or plot device in the story. It's almost an aside, an excuse to have Gandalf missing from the party at the crucial stage when Bilbo separates from the Fellowship to travel to Mordor. (I.e. an excuse to prevent Gandalf from accompanying Bilbo, and thus the relatively powerless Bilbo and Sam accomplish the draconian feat by themselves).

    Remember also (and probably MOST importantly):

    TLOTR was authored as a SINGLE work.

    It didn't have a "cliff hanger" where one of the main characters died

    and then was brought back to life by the author in the following episode

    because of popular demand or some such other non-artistic reason.


    it had a chapter-ending where a main character was PRESUMED dead

    but his death was NOT witnessed

    and a few chapters later it turns out that this character survived and managed to rejoin a remnant of his companions

    AND this death-and-resurrection DID have an artistic reason

    one that WAS part of the plot of the story

    as already described.

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  • Tina
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    1 - 'The Lord of the Rings' was not written for children, but for adults So it is possible that most people did not 'read it as kids.'

    2 - I'm not sure what you mean by 'fiction circles' but I do know writers in general do not sit round laughing raucously about Gandalf's return.

    3 - Nor do most people 'call it genius.'

    Are you the poster who keeps complaining about people who enjoy fantasy in general and 'old books' in particular? if so why are you bothering?

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I don't see what is wrong with it - it is fiction.

  • 1 month ago

    I'm guessing the "genius" label was because the whole of the work was being considered and not just one singular element....and I'm unaware of the "circles" in which this is "usually derided," considering reincarnation and beings transcending one form and achieving a higher one has been an extremely common device from ancient folklore to contemporary science fiction.

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