The name among Men of Mithrandir, (the of the Istari (Wizards); see OlÃ³rin. 372 Gates of Summer A great festival of Gondolin, on the eve of which the city was assaulted 'by the forces of Morgoth. 300
One of the Istari (Wizards), member of the Fellowship of the Ring. Gandalf ('Elf of the Wand') was his name among Northern Men. See OlÃ³rin, Mithrandir, IncÃ¡nus, TharkÃ»n, Greyhame.
The Grey Pilgrim.
In origin a Maia of ManwÃ« and Varda, Gandalf came to the northwest of Middle-earth after a thousand years of the Third Age had passed, with four others of his order. At the Grey Havens, CÃrdan entrusted him with the Red Ring, Narya, to aid him in contesting the will of Sauron.
Gandalf wandered widely in Middle-earth, and learned much of its races and peoples. Unlike his fellow Wizards Saruman and Radagast, he never settled in a single place. He was instrumental in the victory of the War of the Ring, but during that conflict his body was destroyed by a Balrog, and his spirit returned into the West. The Valar sent him back to Middle-earth to complete his task.
Gandalf finally left Middle-earth in III 3021, when he departed over the sea with the Ring-bearers.
Arrival in Middle-earth, c.III 1000: The Wizards arrived in Middle-earth after the end of the first millennium of the Third Age. They were sent by the Valar to aid Elves and Men, but none knew this but CÃrdan the Shipwright, Lord of the Grey Havens where their ships put in. Though Saruman was at that time the acknowledged leader of the Wizards, CÃrdan saw that Gandalf was in fact the greater, and secretly gave him the Red Ring Narya to aid him in his quest.
Exploration of Middle-earth, c.III 1000 to III 2463: For almost 1,500 years, Gandalf wandered the northern and western regions of Middle-earth, learning of its lands and cultures. He was closest in friendship with the Elves, and especially Elrond, who had learned of his origins from CÃrdan.
The White Council, III 2463 to III 2953: At almost the same time as Gandalf had arrived in Middle-earth, a dark power had appeared in southern Mirkwood, at the evil place known as Dol Guldur. After a thousand years of his wanderings, Gandalf went there and drove the darkness into the east for a while. Soon it returned, and in III 2463, the greatest among Wizards and Elves formed a White Council, with Gandalf as a prominent member, to counter the growing threat.
In 2850, he revisited Dol Guldur, to find that the power that held it had grown indeed during the eight hundred years since his last visit. He recognised the dark power now as Sauron returned, and escaped to inform the White Council. Before he escaped, though, he found ThrÃ¡in II broken in the pits of Dol Guldur, and though ThrÃ¡in died before Gandalf could help him, he did surrender a map and a key into the Wizard's keeping.
The Year III 2941: 2941 was an important year for Gandalf. Not only did he take part in the White Council's expulsion of the Necromancer from Dol Guldur, but he also arranged for a party of Dwarves, accompanied by Bilbo Baggins, to travel to their ancient home of Erebor and free it from the dragon Smaug.
Gandalf and the Hobbits: The Hobbits first appeared in the records of Men and Elves shortly after the arrival of the Wizards, but of all the Wise, Gandalf was the only one to pay them great heed. After the foundation of the Shire, he would visit periodically and was responsible for '... quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures' (The Hobbit, Chapter 1, An Unexpected Party). Given this description, we are forced to wonder whether he had a hand in the exploits of Hildifons and Isengar Took, both of whom are recorded as having become involved in adventures of this kind.
(Continued in Gandalf 2 - next entry).