Sir Ian McKellen has updated his blog with a new entry titled “Soldiering On” and, among other things, talks about his role as Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit.

The relevant excerpt follows:

In The Hobbit, Gandalf is part old duffer but more he’s a soldier. Peter Jackson, who likes to see the old guys fighting it out, reminded me the other day that Gandalf is a commander, a general.

Having slain the Great Goblin I was being a bit too indulgent with the dwarves who meanwhile had mislaid Bilbo in the goblin tunnels. I’ve played enough soldiers to see that PJ was right and in the next take I was very stern. 

The image on the right comes courtesy of McKellen’s blog post.