A Maia, Gandalf would have witnessed the foundation of Arda. But when he was “embodied” in Middle-earth during the War of the Ring, exactly how much foresight did he have?

Today we ask in Hall of Fire: Just how much — or how little — did Gandalf know?

Throughout the events of The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, his decisions often seem to have a hint of prescience.

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Indeed, in Unfinished Tales, Gimli wonders: “Did you plan all this, then, Gandalf? If not, why did you lead Thorin Oakenshield to such an unlikely door? To find the Ring and bring it far away into the West for hiding, and then to choose the Ringbearer — and to restore the Mountain Kingdom as a mere deed by the way: was not that your design?”

Yet if Gandalf was blessed with such foresight, how could he become imprisoned on Orthanc, or become cornered into a confrontation with the Balrog in Moria?

What precisely were those limits? How much were Gandalf’s actions guided by a vision of what might be, and how is due to a combination of good luck, good management and a deep understanding of hobbits, humans and elves?

Join us right now in Hall of Fire as we discuss all this as we try to decide how — or how little — Gandalf knew.

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