The Lord of the Rings is one of the greatest fantasy series ever made. (There are others, of course, but I won't go into those now.) J. R. R. Tolkien created a fantastical world that captured so many hearts and imaginations, and Peter Jackson brought that world to life. Then, nine years later, he brought The Hobbit to life as well.
On Friday, Jackson posted a picture of himself and a bearded, scratched-up, grey-robed Sir Ian McKellen. The caption read, "Seconds ago we finished our last shot with Gandalf. The end of an incredible adventure that began in 1999. I'm feeling very sad right now."
Don't worry, Peter. We're feeling very sad as well. We fell in love with Gandalf from the moment he rode into the Shire with a wagon full of fireworks, and we have loved him ever since, not just because he is a wonderful character, but because McKellen plays him with a conviction that never fails to draw us in.
[SPOILERS ahead... although, honestly, if you haven't seen The Lord of the Rings by now, you have no right to be mad about spoilers.]
A friend of mine recently saw the Rings trilogy for the first time. She cried, quite a lot, when Gandalf died in The Fellowship of the Ring. Then we watched The Two Towers. At the point when Gandalf comes back, I stopped watching the movie and watched my friend instead. When she saw he was alive, she looked like she had just won the lottery. She screamed in excitement and punched her fist in the air and did some kind of strange, wiggly dance in her seat. My friend had the same reaction to that scene at 20 years old that I had at 10. That is the power of Gandalf.
We still have two more Hobbit movies to look forward to, so we don't have to say goodbye to Gandalf just yet. But we know that that time is coming, and that is something we are not looking forward to, not at all.
At the end of The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf says to the Hobbits, "I will not say, 'Do not weep,' for not all tears are an evil." So if, at the end of this adventure, you feel the need to weep, don't be afraid to do so. Then again, you could also tell your tears that they shall not pass. Either way, it's an excellent excuse to quote Gandalf, and that's never a bad thing.
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