Hanging with Gandalf

Return of the King premiere in Berlin. As you know, we drove up there and watched all the actors, listened to Peter Jackson give his speech, but there was something more.
Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) walked out and had a chat with us.
Yes, I took that photo!
He stood in front of me and asked about a play in Hamburg that he was in – what play was it? he asked. I didn’t know, nobody did. He asked what other movies or plays he had starred in and I told him I had seen X-Men 2 a few nights earlier.
But now I am kicking myself for not asking him some prevalent questions.
Like that scene in The Two Towers when he ‘excorcises’ Sauramon’s spirit from the king – dang that was realistic – I have been involved in kicking out spiritual hitchhikers before and Gandalf’s encounter was realistic. How did he know? Why did they put that scene in the movie?
And now . . . because I got star-struck and tongue-tied, we will never know.
My apologies to Blogdom for my blogging failure.
Never mind.
Good news is that he went over and shook my kids hands and that made their whole trip.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, in my opinion is the best set of movies ever. We should be really proud of it and delighted that such a piece of tremendous religious artwork has been entrusted to us.
Steve Taylor in NZ is excited about it and has some good links, including a quote from Tolkein himself . . . .

Tolkien himself admitted (letter of 2 December, 1953)1 that, “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion’, to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.”


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • brad says:

    gandalf himself! what an amazing and wonderful happening!
    and about the questions … hey, it happens when we’re in the presence of someone amazing. like that worship song, “I can only imagine …”
    who knows. maybe there will be a ‘next time.’ and when that comes, tell ‘im “Cold Comfort Farm.” he played an itinerant evangelist of the very worst sort! but he played it so well …

  • cloudburst says:

    meeting gandalf.. huh, was it like looking in a mirror andrew? 🙂 hehe.
    comparisons have been drawn amongst the Fellowship..
    blessings and JOY in Christ!

  • aola says:

    Wow.. how cool is that?
    Isn’t that scene great (where he casts out the demons). Gives me chills every time. And the one where he shows up and everyone is blinded by the light and he comes in riding on his white horse…WoW… can’t wait to see the real thing.

  • lillylewin says:

    the lewin clan went to see the extended version of two towers last night! great on the big screen and loved most of the added scenes, esp. pippin and merry finding the pipe weed and food at isengard!
    the jones clan has too much fun!
    i am so glad gandalf was gandalf for the kids!
    i agree with cloudburst above…
    i am taking 30 folks from oasis, our youth ministry on the 19th to return of the king! cannot wait!
    happy christmas to the peach crew! lilly

  • john says:

    Speaking of Gandalf…
    I remember two years ago watching the first LOTR the night it opened (midnite) here in Dallas. My friend was dressed as Gandalf (fairly realistic).
    As the time finally wound down to starting time, folks got a little upset with the abundance of previews. My friend (Gandalf) stood up with his staff in the middle of the theatre and bellowed “IT SHALL BEGIN!!!”… a couple seconds later, the movie actually started and the crowd went nuts (including all those dressed like elves, uruk hai, and dwarves). Was too fun :o)
    Looking forward to Tuesday nites midnite showing. ;o)

  • Clint James says:

    That is awesome! I love Gandalf… Me and a crew of 10 or 15 people are going to see “Return of the King” tonight at 7:30. I am counting the minutes… 4 hours 32 minutes & 27 seconds, 26..25..24..23..22..21…….

  • lorenzo says:

    I really want to go to “The return of the king !”. That’s really cool Andrew, that you met “Gandalf”. My wife and I are waiting for watching it ! Soon and very soon…

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