A Wizard's Staff (pl. staves) is the primary weapon of the Order of Wizard and serves as a symbol of their power. There are only a few known times where a Wizard’s staff has been broken. Gandalf the Grey's staff was broken during his fight with the Balrog known as Durin's Bane when he smote the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, though he would later have another one as Gandalf the White. After his defeat at the hands of the Ents of Fangorn forest, Saruman's staff was broken by Gandalf due to his treachery against Middle-earth.
Gandalf the Grey/WhiteEdit
Gandalf the Grey's Staff of Power served as a walking stick, symbol, and a weapon. The staff of Gandalf the Grey was made of brown wood with a jewel fixed at the top which would light up at his command. He used this staff throughout The Hobbit, The Quest of Erebor, the War of the Ring, and The Fellowship of the Ring. When Gandalf led the Fellowship into Moria they encountered Durin's Bane, a Balrog of Morgoth. To save the rest of the Fellowship the Grey Wizard fought with the ancient demon using his magic abilities and sword skills. Gandalf reached the Bridge of Khazad-dûm but realized it was time to face his destiny, which is hinted at throughout the book. When he struck the Bridge his staff broke asunder and disappeared into the darkness. The force of Gandalf's magic caused the bridge to crumble away at his feet, bringing the Balrog down with it. Gandalf also fell, as Durin's Bane wrapped its fiery whip around his ankle, pulling him into the darkness along with Glamdring and his staff, the latter of which was never seen again. Gandalf returned as the White Wizard, and head of the order of Wizards. Gandalf's power and wisdom were greatly increased, allowing him to more directly aid Middle-earth in its time of need. With the Flame of Anor at his command, he was able to assist his companions once more. His new abilities allowed him to overthrow Saruman and rival Sauron in power. As Gandalf the White he possessed a rough staff of ash, presumably white in colour. According to Daniel L. Cassens, professor and wood products specialist for Purdue University's Extension service, ash sapwood is white, while heartwood is light brown and sometimes marked with white spots or dark lines.
Saruman the White/Of Many ColoursEdit
Saruman the White's Staff of Power has been held by The White Wizard ever since he became a member of the Wizards. His staff is described as being black in the book but is rarely ever used. After the Battle of the Hornburg Gandalf the White and his companions made their way to Isengard. Once there Gandalf broke the staff of Saruman due his treachery against middle earth and the crown fell at Gandalf's feet.
Radagast the BrownEdit
The origin of Radagast's staff is unknown, however his staff is most probably forged of oak given the fact that he lives in Rhosgobel.
Blue Wizards (Pallando and Alatar)Edit
Little is known of the blue wizards and even less is known of their staffs. Presumably their staffs were made of rough wood with a crystal embedded into the crown. The only mention ever given to the staff's of Radagast and the Blue Wizards is in The Two Towers when Saruman mentions "the rods of the five wizards". It is unknown whether any of these staffs were in Sarumans keeping to use at a later stage, for example in the Scouring of the Shire as Gandalf is still worried that Saruman holds tremendous power. The staffs could also have been destroyed so no wizard could match Saruman's magic, but as there is no hard proof this is all but speculation.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
The Complete Saga by Peter Jackson: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit TrilogyEdit
Gandalf, to date is seen with four different variations of his staff, three of those as the Grey wizard. Gandalf's staff in The Hobbit Films has been described by the Weta Workshop team as an "opening flower"; and is of elven design, he is seen to ignite it to light pine cones and to illuminate the Fells of Rhudaur, this staff is destroyed by the Necromancer in Dol Guldur after Gandalf attempted to defend himself from Sauron's black magic. The crown of Gandalf's staff in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is very similar to the staff of Gandalf the White when one looks at the crown embedded in the staff. After his staff is destroyed by Sauron, he then acquires the staff of Radagast the Brown which he uses in the Battle of the Five Armies, the staff is damaged in the Battle of the Five Armies, and the root like structure on the crown of the staff is completely withered away leaving Gandalf with the staff seen in The Fellowship of the Ring.
He uses this broken down version of Radagast's staff, which holds his pipe and a nail for much of The Fellowship of the Ring until Saruman confiscates it at The Wizard's Duel at Orthanc. He then acquires another rough wooden staff in Imladris which could hold an illuminating crystal which would get bright or dimmer on command. Unlike in the book, this staff does not break when Gandalf uses it to smote the Bridge of Khazad-dum during his battle against the Balrog in the film. However, Gandalf still loses this staff when the Balrog drags him into the abyss. The staff of Gandalf the White is of elvish design and was given to him by Galadriel. Gandalf's staff holds enormous power, which you see very little of in the films. Gandalf's white staff was broken when he fought the Witch-king atop one of the Minas Tirith walls when he attempted to deflect a flaming attack from the Lord of the Nazgûl's sword. However, Gandalf is later seen holding the staff again at the Grey Havens but it is considerably longer than the staff seen previously.
Saruman's staff is black and metallic in Jackson's films but appears white at times, depending on the angle of the light. The head of the staff, which resembles the Tower of Orthanc, holds some sort of large, white jewel and holds the power of the staff. Saruman's staff was used to "bring down the mountain" of Caradhras onto the Fellowship in The Fellowship of the Ring. In The Return of the King Extended Edition, Saruman's staff is broken by Gandalf's power and splinters into pieces in his hand, a large explosion is heard echoing in the distance showing the force of Saruman's banishment.
Radagast's staff is fashioned from an upturned sapling and fits perfectly to his rustic personality. He uses his staff to battle The Witch King and to help the forests of Middle Earth blossom. The blue crystal embedded in the crown has magical healing powers which are able to heal the sick. Radagast gives his staff to Gandalf the Grey to help him regain his strength and to enable him to fight in the Battle of the Five Armies.
In The Hobbit the Battle of the Five Armies, Gandalf is seen holding various different staffs at different times. In the clip "I'm not asking you to allow it" Gandalf is seen holding a broken down version of Radagast's staff, then his staff from The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, then a completely undamaged version of Radagast's staff. This discontinuity is due to the splitting of the Battle of the Five Armies into two separate films, hence certain scenes had to be re filmed. The first staff is seen, in the YouTube link given above, from 0:00 - 0:14, the second staff is seen from 0:14 -0:15 and the third and final staff used for the rest of the scene is seen from 0:18 - 0:49.
Another mistake can been seen in the promotional poster for the battle of the five armies, where you can see the crown Radagast's staff and Gandalf's staff from The Hobbit an Unexpected Journey merged into one creating a bulbous, messy looking staff.
In The Return of the King, Gandalf is seen to attack Denethor with his staff, after he delivers the final blow, smashing the end of the staff into Denethor's back, a shard is seen to spiral off, for a split second you then see the crown of Gandalf's staff hollowed out with part of the triangular structure completely snapped off. The precise moment of the blooper is at 3:03 in the YouTube video, given in the link above.
In The Lord of the Rings: Conquest, the Mouth of Sauron's primary weapon, rather than being a long, black sword, is Saruman's staff. It is unknown whether he received this staff from Sauron as a reward or had a copy created for him with the same power, but maybe, it has been given by Sauron to him as he is the new Master of Isengard as it can be seen in the novel as in the Proposal of Sauron as "Isengard will be given to Sauron and there will be a new Master of Isengard". It is likely however that this is simply a mistake made by the game makers as Gandalf became head of the Wizards and therefore the new Master of Isengard. It is probable that the staff was given to the Mouth of Sauron to give him wizard like abilities simply for the purpose of the game.
In The Hobbit, Gandalf the Grey is not a playable character but you are able to play along side him, his staff is shaped like a shepherds staff and allows him to defeat foes quickly and easily.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf the Grey is a playable character and has a crooked squared off staff which allows him to heal himself and sent jets of fire and lightning to damage enemy health. He also has the power of "staff strike" which creates a blast of energy in a circle around Gandalf to protect him from a variety of foes at once.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White are not playable characters. They have the same staffs that Gandalf have in the movies and demonstrate various abilities. As the Grey Wizard, Gandalf is only able to use his staff for fierce attacks and demonstrates no magical abilities, as the White Wizard however Gandalf is shown using his abilities in cut scenes such as when he states that "we must save everyone that we can, or this village will fall" where he is seen to strike his staff upon the ground destroying many foes. The White wizard from then after assists the player with defeating enemies, and breaking through doors which the players cannot access without Gandalf's help. Saruman the White is also present in the game in the bonus level "Tower of Orthanc", where he uses his staff to call enemies to defeat the player, he then uses his staff to blast back the player as they attempt to run towards him.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gandalf the White is a playable character and is able to use his abilities to send bolts of energy towards enemies, bring his staff down knocking enemies off their feet, and create a magical shield to temporarily protect himself from enemy damage. Gandalf can build on these abilities, making them stronger and stronger until his abilities are strong enough to defeat his enemies in one swift attack.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, Gandalf the Grey and White are both playable characters with slightly different abilities. Gandalf the Grey has the power to drain AP from the Balrog of Morgoth so he has the power to facilitate lightning bolt attacks. As the White Wizard he acquires another skill which attacks the Witch King more directly. It is worth noting that after Gandalf's battle with the Witch King his staff is still intact.
In LEGO The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game, Lego incarnations of Gandalf the Grey, Gandalf the White, Saruman, and Radagast are all shown wielding staves. These allow them to magically assemble Lego structures when in use, as opposed to the hand-building techniques of other characters. The staves also serve to light up dark areas in similar fashion to the Phial of Galadriel. Unlike in the films, Gandalf is shown to have regained his staff after falling from the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, and uses it to ascend to his final confrontation with the Balrog.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Gandalf's staff is often referred to as a "walking stick".
- Also, many of the names Gandalf is given also refer to him having a "wand", "cane", or "staff".
- There are a few times in The Hobbit that Gandalf the Grey is referred to as having a Wand, this is likely referring to his staff.