Reasons that Gandalf didn’t need to be some ultra powerful spell-slingin’ uber-wizard.
1. Tolkien wasn’t a munchkin, min-maxer, or power gamer, so he didn’t get his jollies writing overpowered characters.
2. The main power of wizards is knowledge and wisdom, they have some spell-type stuff, but they were send to advise and give good counsel, not to grab evil by the balls and squeeze it out of existence.
3. Plot trumps power. Tolkien wrote a story where problems were solved by cooperation, hard work, sweat, pain and loss, not some pointy-headed dweeb with a wand.
4. It was up to Middle-Earth to struggle for its freedom and safety to earn it, not have it handed to them.
5. Yes, with an uber-wizard and a couple of eagles the Lord of the Rings would be about a chapter long, and nobody would read it, and it wouldn’t have millions of copies and been constantly in print since it’s first run until today.
And why didn’t they just fly over and drop the ring into Mt Doom?
“…”The Eagles are a dangerous ‘machine’. I have used them sparingly, and that is the absolute limit of their credibility or usefulness. “
― Letter 210, J.R.R. Tolkien…”
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