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  Odin vs Gandalf
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Valkyrie
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Odin vs Gandalf
« on: February 05, 2009, 11:30:49 am »
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I hope this isn't redundant, but I found some pictures titled "Odin the Wanderer" some of them dating back to 1886.

Doesn't he look alot like Tolkien's Gandalf?

Tolkien used alot of Mythology, norse and otherwise, but is Gandalf synonymous with Odin?  If so, who are the other characters diety counterparts?

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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 11:52:55 am »
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Thats interesting ! ... Yeah,Odin looks like alot Tolkien's Gandalf.I agree that Tolkien used mythology.But,I haven't not much information about mythology !
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 07:45:18 pm »
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You're spot on Valkyrie!  ... and with a user-name like yours, I guess you know quite a bit on the subject, hehe

As far as I can tell there's not a lot of "direct" analogies between character, but certainly comparisons can be drawn.  For example:

"Sleipnir" (Odin's magical 8-legged horse) could have inspired "Shadowfax"

"The Valkyries"(warrior-maidens who take the souls of dead soldiers up to Valhalla) have a similar image to "Eowyn", as they are often depicted on horseback, wearing winged helmets over their flowing golden hair.

"Loki" (the fiery trickster) could be any number of Tolkien characters, the most obvious being "Sauron"...

But I think in lots of ways he's related to "Gollum"... because both Loki and Gollum have both good and bad inside them, and they can seemingly turn on a dime personality-wise, and therefore its difficult to trust them.

Of course, Gollum doesn't have Loki's smooth-talking charm :-, so maybe... Saruman?

Interesting discussion topic Em, I'll have to look into it further!

Oh yeah I forgot!  Gandalf's Maian name is "Olorin" which looks a LOT like "Odin"
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 07:48:28 pm by The Gemstar » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 02:18:38 am »
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Great point Gemstar those names do look alike.

I noticed Haldir vs. Baldir similarity name wise.  And also Theodin seems like that.

Or even Elrohir (Tolkien) vs  Eldir (Norse).

I'm sure Tolkien knew about all of this, but its interesting looking back on it.

I agree Loki would have to be Sauron...though I do think Loki seems more containable than Sauron. 

I can see the Eowin comparrison as in "Shield maiden" vs "battle maiden"

There was Thor with his hammer too and he always reminded me of Gimli and also Aragorn a bit.
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 11:26:11 am »
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Well, in his biography it says:

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Before leaving back to England Tolkien bought some postcards. Among them was a replica of the painting of J. Madlener, a german painter. The name of the painting is Der Berggeist, spirit of the mountain, and it shows an old man sitting on a rock under a pine tree. The man has long white beard, a wide brimmed hat and a long cloak. He's talking to a white deer calf which is rubbing it's nose on his upturned palms. You get an expression of the old man with a sense of humour and compassion. In the distance a glimpse of rocky mountains can be seen. Tolkien kept this postcard with care, and later he wrote "the origin of Gandalf" on the paper envelope where he was keeping it.

There's the answer. He was visiting Switzerland when he bought it.
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 11:33:55 am »
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Wow that is amaizin Lorie   And what a cool story.  Thank you for sharing that.  Where did you find that excerpt?
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 02:01:56 pm »
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I have a Tolkien biography of Humphrey Carpenter, finnish version that I translated back to english... the man has actually met him and used Tolkien's letters a lot to write the book.


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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 03:45:32 pm »
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thats really interesting Lorie thanks for posting the pic of postcard
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 11:58:59 pm »
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That is a cool postcad, but for some reason it makes me think of Tom Bombadil.  I don't know why even really. 
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2009, 03:13:12 am »
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Quote from: Valkyrie on March 27, 2009, 11:58:59 pm   

That is a cool postcad, but for some reason it makes me think of Tom Bombadil.  I don't know why even really. 

^^^  Em: I think it's because the dude in the above painting and Tom Bombadil both wear really colourful clothing... whereas Gandalf is, well, "Gandalf the Grey"... and because Tom is also a "nature spirit".

But in any case, I'd read of this connection before too Lorie, and also that Tolkien was inspired to write the mountain pass of Caradhras into the story after visiting the Swiss Alps (tho I've forgotten the name of the actual mountain he had in mind).
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2009, 09:47:00 am »
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Well, if you read Silmarillion you'll have better idea on who Gandalf is...

In Middle-Earth he's called as "istari", one of the five wizards, who include Curunir (Saruman), Olorín (Gandalf), Radagast, Alatar and Pallando. They are all part of maiar, who are part of ainur, and servants to the Valar, who are also ainur. The istari were sent by the Valar to Middle-Earth to protect it against the threat of Sauron.

Ainur are the first of spirits that Eru, the god of Middle-Earth and Aman ever created, even before the lands of Middle-Earth were going to be built. That's how old Gandalf is. Valar are the most powerful of them and they live in Aman, and maiar are only a little lesser.

Even Sauron is a maia, and he served a fallen vala called Morgoth. There is actually a prophecy by one of the Valar, Mandos, that Middle-Earth won't fall for Sauron, but the end comes when Morgoth returns. He is, if possible, even more vile and treacherous than Sauron. But when it happens, Mandos is keeping it strictly as his own secret.

Lol, I have read these books a lot...
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2009, 11:15:51 am »
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Yes, I too have read The Silmarillion, though I don't remember it in such detail as you do Lorie

Anyone reading The Silmarillion should not expect it to be one cohesive story like LOTR or The Hobbit, it is more like a collection of stories or made-up myths... IMO it reads a bit like The Christian/Jewish Old Testament (which makes sense given Tolkien's Catholicism and the fact that it's supposed to be a mythic prehistory of Middle Earth) with different chapters devoted to different characters, covering many thousands of years.  Still, I found it gripping in its own way.
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2009, 01:45:23 pm »
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Not all the things that I wrote are found from the Silmarillion. Part of them are from Unfinished Tales. It's a collection of stories Tolkien has written, but never got them finished enough to be published. It does fill in some blank spots, though.

Like the blue wizards, Alatar and Pallando, and the prophecy. They can't be found from Silmarillion. You can also find more things about Frodo and Galadriel, and the third elf-human romance, Tuor and Idril.
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2009, 11:59:52 pm »
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I really hate to say it but I had a hard time getting into the Slimarilion.  You are right Gem it does read like the Old Testamant alot.  Out of all of them The Hobbit was my absolute favorite.

Though I have to say I am astonished at how The Hobbit as it was evolved into the Silmarilion and all the genology and languages.
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Re:Odin vs Gandalf
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2009, 09:46:25 pm »
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Quote from: Valkyrie on March 31, 2009, 11:59:52 pm   

I really hate to say it but I had a hard time getting into the Slimarilion.  You are right Gem it does read like the Old Testamant alot.  Out of all of them The Hobbit was my absolute favorite.

Though I have to say I am astonished at how The Hobbit as it was evolved into the Silmarilion and all the genology and languages.


^^^  Tolkien had actually been working on his "mythic pre-history" of Middle Earth in a series of poems and notes since long before The Hobbit was published.  He'd been developing "alternate languages" for fun since he was a child... mostly based on the Welsh and Finnish languages.

While grading papers for his university students, the Professor doodled the first lines of what was to become The Hobbit on the back of someone's exam-paper... and the storyline of The Hobbit started off as a bedtime story for his kids... at least this is what I've read in a number of bio's.
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