Gandalf's original staff served as a walking stick, symbol, tool, and weapon. It 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, he 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 had been 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 (named anew "Gandalf the White"), and he claimed leadership 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, and to denounce and overthrow Saruman, who by now had refused the title of "The White".. Gandalf the White possessed a rough staff of ash wood, presumably white in colour.
In the Extended Edition of The Return of the King, the Witch-King of Angmar breaks Gandalf's(presumably) white staff, however no such event occurs in the books.
Saruman the WhiteEdit
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 isn't explicitly used often. 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
Radagast's staff is fashioned from an upturned sapling, reflecting 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 possesses magical healing abilities that can cure illnesses and mend wounds. 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.
Little is known of the two blue wizards (Pallando and Alatar) and even less is known of their staffs. Presumably their staffs were made of wood as were the others. The only mention ever given to the staffs of Radagast and the Blue Wizards is in The Two Towers when Saruman mentions "the rods of the five wizards". It is possible that they were used for dark purposes, as it is stated in The Silmarillion that the fate of the Blue Wizards is unknown and that it is possible that they failed in their mission and fell into darkness, along with their staves, since Maiar were not immune from temptation or to being captured by Sauron.
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 five 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. Whilst attempting to use the staff against a troll Gandalf runs into complications when the crystal inserted in the top of the staff fails to respond to his magical incantation. Gandalf then dodges the troll's attacks and attempts a strike with the staff, which also fails to have any effect. Gandalf, eventually, harnesses the power of the staff without the crystal as he is seen to attack Saruman in the Wizard's Duel at Orthanc. Later on, 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 nail (pipe tamper), for much of The Fellowship of the Ring until Saruman confiscates it at The Wizard's Duel at Orthanc. Elrond then gives him another rough wooden staff in Imladris which could hold an illuminating crystal, that could brighten or dimmer at Gandalf's will. Unlike in the book, this staff does not break when Gandalf uses it to destroy the Bridge of Khazad-dum during his battle against the Balrog in the film. However, Gandalf still loses this staff when the monster drags him into the abyss. The staff of Gandalf the White is of elvish design, with a pyramidal structure and elven arches that create a hollow similar to Gandalf's original staff. This staff was given to him by Galadriel in Lothlorien and enhanced his powers upon his return. Gandalf's staff holds enormous power, of which is seen very little 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. Gandalf is later seen holding the staff again at the Grey Havens, though 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 uses his staff to battle with the shades of the Nazgul in Dol Guldur, deflecting their attacks. The orb in his staff is seen to glow white whilst Saruman attacks the Nazgul, showing his power and magical skill. 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 again uses his staff to send a jet of fire down on Gandalf the White: for this act, his 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.
In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Gandalf is seen holding various different staves 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. This blooper is confirmed in the behind the scenes extended edition release of The Battle of the Five Armies.
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.
Video Games Edit
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 staves that Gandalf has 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. Both the shock waves and projectiles generated from the staff appear to be lightning based. 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. In the version of the Lego game made for iPad, iPhone and iPod technology Gandalf the White and Saruman have the same staves they have in the film rather than being equipped with their lego counterparts. Radagast's staff is also markedly different from his lego staff as is Gandalf the Grey's however they look nothing like the staves used in the movies. Galadriel is also equipped with a white staff adorned with flowers giving her the same abilities as the wizard characters.
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.
The staff of Gandalf the White was made by United Cutlery and originally had a metal helm, constructed of three pieces. Due to problems with the paint cracking around the triangular structure the versions of the staff with the metal crown were discontinued. As well as that, there were consistency errors with the staff used in the film as the triangular structure did not meet in one final tip as it does with the Weta prop. These problems were rectified with the more commonly available poly resin crown version which is now available. Weta never made their version of the prop available for purchase as it would of been hugely expensive to make as Gandalf the White's "Hero" staff was made out of marble.
Saruman the White's staff was also firstly constructed by United Cutlery but also had some errors. The orb like crystal that rests in the crown would very often come loose as it didn't fit correctly and the shaft of the staff did not include the tapered spike like finish and round notch towards the bottom. These problems were rectified by the Weta team who recreated the prop from metal, in one piece, with all the design elements in place. The Weta prop was a numbered stock of 1000.
Gandalf the Grey's staff by noble collection (the staff used in Moria and Imladris) was also brought out and featured a crystal in the top, these props were a numbered stock (900) and also incredibly fragile leading to them being quickly discontinued. The crystal on the top of the staff also did not match the spike like shape it has in the movie and was more squared off.
Gandalf the Grey's light up staff by noble collection (the staff used in The Hobbit, an Unexpected Journey) came in three pieces and had a plastic like finish. Due to the technical elements some design elements were markedly different to the United Cutlery and Weta versions of the staff. in particular the hollow of the staff is more of a blueish, greyish, plastic like colour, whilst the Weta and United Cutlery prop versions are a stark creamy/white.
Gandalf the Grey's staff (the prop version used in The Hobbit, an Unexpected Journey) was recreated by both Weta and United Cutlery. Both props have marked differences, such as size, colour and weight. The Weta version is heavier, painted more closely to the film version and is slightly smaller than the United Cutlery version of the staff. The United Cutlery version of the staff is very delicate and easily breakable due to it being made of poly resin. It is also known to crack easily if misused. The Weta prop was a numbered stock of 1000.
Radagast the Brown's staff was beautifully recreated by Weta, using the same materials as the film prop. The design elements were all exactly the same making it one of the more impressive staves. The Weta prop was a numbered stock of 1000.
Gandalf the Grey's staff (the prop used in The Battle of the Five Armies, and the Fellowship of the Ring) is a broken down version of Radagast's staff made by United Cutlery. It has more of a golden yellow/mousy brown colour in stark contrast to the Weta prop of Radagast's staff and obviously has a broken down crown structure to show its wear in battle. It also does not feature Radagast's crystal, but does include Gandalf's pipe and pipe tamper (nail spike). This particular United Cutlery product was a numbered stock of 1000.