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Old 01-03-2013, 11:16 AM   #48
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 991
Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.

With respect to the name: Hammond and Scull note: rhosc 'brown' + gobel 'walled house or village 'town'. In his unfinished index Tolkien notes: 'Rhosgobel as 'russet village or town (enclosure).' And this is basically repeated in the Unfinished Tales index.

To me (not a trained linguist however) it looks like *go-pel with pel being 'fenced field' (compare Pelennor).

Sindarin go- looks to mean 'together' according to Quendi And Eldar and other sources, and looks to be the same element as in Legolas, which in letters later than Q&E, Tolkien explains golas(s) as meaning 'collection' of leaves.

Words, Phrases And Passages: 'WO- WONO- together (of things in company but not physically actually joined) (...) Sindarin go, gwa...'

While perhaps not definitive, I would guess Rhosgobel was more of a village than a single, even if fenced, dwelling. As in the index noted above.


Hammond and Scull have published an interesting comparison between Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast (Reader's Companion to The Lord of the Rings, page 244 - 245) entry: 'Radagast the fool!...'

Tolkien apparently looks again at the postcard Ber Berggeist [there are birds in the trees in the picture] which had influenced his conception of Gandalf, and writes (in part):

'Gandalf or Radagast? Gandalf. He was the friend and confidant of all living creatures of good will (...) Radagast was fond of beasts and birds, and found them easier to deal with; he did not become proud or domineering, but neglectful and easygoing, and he had very little to do with Elves or Men although obviously resistance to Sauron had to be sought chiefly in their cooperation. But since he remained of good will (but not much courage), his work in fact helped Gandalf at crucial moments. Saruman is sufficietly revealed in the story...'
But then Tolkien goes on to compare the physical appearance of Saruman:

'It would seem from the beginning he adopted a visible form of commanding stature and noble countenance. Unlike Gandalf, who in contrast would appear stumpy, and in certain aspects comic or grotesque in looks and manner.'
In a variant version of a part of this text: 'it is clear that Gandalf (with greater insight and compassion) had in fact more knowledge of birds and beasts than Radagast, and was regarded by them with more respect and affection.'

Jumping back in time, back to The Istari essay (1954):

'The first to come was one of noble mien and bearning, with raven hair, and a fair voice, and he was regarded by well nigh all, even by the Eldar, as the head of the Order. Others there were also: two clad in sea-blue, and one in earthen brown; and last came one who seemed the least, less tall than the others, and in looks more aged, grey-haired and gre-clad, and leaning on a staff.'
Of course this is before Radagast lost his way in Middle-earth, but my general impression is that Gandalf was the 'least' according to outward appearance, while yet the 'greatest', as it would prove considering all things, within. Again I can accept that Radagast became more rustic looking over the years, but I think Jackson's portrayal goes much too far, if it wasn't obvious by now anyway.

And I know defenders of Jackson's version especially might disagree, or possibly even argue that parts of this could support Jackson's version, but I thought I would post this anyway.

By the way, my earlier post (post 49) was meant to be 'ironical' or something: more obvious does not necessarily mean 'better'.

Last edited by Galin; 01-03-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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