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Whatever happened to Gandalf’s silver scarf?

November 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm by Tehanu  - 

Spy report from Dimli:

Many Tolkien and Peter Jackson fans have pondered this vexing questions for over 10 years and from the LOTR movies may secretly be rather disappointed from what they have seen on the big screen.

TORN’S Elven super sleuth Dimli has been delving deeply and can now tell you the story so far. There are quite a few interesting clues along the way.

Tolkien’s simple but graphic description from the ‘The Hobbit’ concisely tells us what Gandalf looked like – “- – an old man with a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which his long white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots’.

From the LOTR trilogy-the hat, the cloak, the beard & the boots are now well imprinted in our memories. But, the equally important Silver Scarf has, somewhat MAGICALLY, disappeared off the very face of Middle Earth.

A seemingly major omission from Peter Jackson. Or was it?

Here is what Sir Ian Mckellan has to say about it from his blogs way back in 2000 when he had just started filming on LOTR.

“Peter Jackson has ensured that Tolkien rules the enterprise. So, in working out Gandalf’s description we went back to the few terse descriptions in the novel …….. At last Ngila Dickson placed her pointed, blue grey hat on top. Out of the blue, I remembered the silver scarf that he wears in the book. Somehow it has been overlooked or decided against. Until I looked the part I hadn’t missed it either. And there’s a thing to ponder – what does a man with an umbrella for a hat and a warm cloak need with a scarf? The book starts out in autumn. We are filming in summertime. Weather conditions aside, I thought he might have the scarf as much as he has the pointy hat – to DISGUISE himself. The Gandalf, who visits his old friends Bilbo & Frodo has lots of props. Already I have to cope with his staff, his toffees, his pipe as well as Clyde – why not a scarf to do some MAGIC with?
Two more days in Hobbiton – the forecast is for sunshine which will sparkle on my silver scarf’

So, it is pretty important to both Ian McKellan and Peter Jackson. But, what do we see in the LOTR trilogy? Virtually nothing. Only one single scene where we get just a glimpse of it. What is going on? An oversight? Obviously not. Just a bold decision that might upset the fans. But an important enough reason to not include it. Maybe great foresight.

Now lets jump forward eleven years to Ian McKellan’s blog in March 2011, when filming had commenced on ‘The Hobbit’ movies, he lures us onward.

“The original costume I wore in LOTR now hangs mournfully on a stand by the camera. I can’t wear it in ‘The Hobbit” because it has been noted as of ‘historic status’. Ann (Ann Maskrey – the costume designer for The Hobbit) has made 2 changes … which please me because they relate to Tolkien’s introduction in ‘Fellowship of the Ring’, where he mentions a silver scarf & black boots.
In the (LOTR) film a scarf appeared just once, tied to Gandalf’s cart at Hobbiton. But now I have A SUBSTANTIAL, MAGIC LOOKING SILVERY SCARF TO WEAR AND ACT WITH & PERHAPS FIND SOME PART OF ITS OWN TO PLAY. I’VE ALREADY TWISTED IT INTO A STYLISH TURBAN”.

The plot definitely thickens. Lots of mystery. Elvish magical properties? Does it protect Gandalf in some way? The questions go on…maybe one of you can enlighten us?

Will we have to wait to see the movies to find out? Possibly not.

A quick check on online now reveals quite some incredible authorised images of Gandalf wearing an absolutely amazing silvery scarf as part of his costume for The Hobbit. Hard to tell from the stills but it definitely sparkles & shimmers like moonlit silver. It is substantial. Probably 72 inches (2.8M) long & quite wide.

Could the dwarves of Khazad-dum have discovered another source of the priceless web like veins Mithril to create this startling effect?

We will definitely have to wait & watch the movies to answer this one. Or will we?

The inexhaustible Dimli has done the incredible. In his own words “In the very Middle of Middle Earth in Wellington, New Zealand you can find ‘The Galadhrim Elves’ aka ‘Stansborough’, the weavers that created many of the fabrics for the LOTR Trilogy and discovered that they are also the designers & creators of Gandalf’s magical silver scarf”.

Even better, Gandalf’s magical silver scarf has just been released online.

I have already checked out their website & ordered my scarf to wear to the premiere -

Can’t wait until I get it. Will post more then.

Happy Hobbiting

Posted in Clothing, Merchandise, The Hobbit, Uncategorized on November 14, 2012 by