The New Notion Club Archives
The New Notion Club Archives


Of all the five Istari, Gandalf (Del."Elf of the Wand" W."Wanderer") possessed the greatest feeling for the dangers and burdens of their mission. Manwë chose the Grey Wizard despite Gandalf's misgivings about his own ability. It was hardly surprising that, unlike Saruman and Alatar, Gandalf chose to go to Middle-earth without taking a lesser companion. (Saruman chose Radagast, while Alatar selected Pallando.) Gandalf came last and entered Endor alone. In Valinor he was known as Olorin and he was the wisest of the Maiar. 

Gandalf's purposeful independence and tremendous self-discipline lead him to journey tirelessly and without want of accolades or reward. He never settled in any one place, nor did he accumulate wealth; thus the label "Grey Pilgrim." His possessions remained few. Gandalf always remained an emissary of the Valar and never permitted worldly ways to sway his actions. Despite the urges inherent in his adopted form, he resisted pride and avoided the hunger for power. The Grey Wizard exhibited emotions, and his posture and gait spoke of his burden, but his true fire always burned deep.


Gandalf took the form of a gray-haired, short old man, appearing older than the other Istari. He dressed in gray robes, girded with a silvery sash. He also wore a high blue hat and large black shoes. His gray beard reached under his belt, his bushy eyebrows sticking out of the hat.




In the context of genuine role-playing, Gandalf's statistics and powers can be found in Lords of Middle Earth Volume 1, or Valar and Maiar. Both of these MERP books list him as a Mage/Magician. Given that Gandalf is classified as such, it could be hypothesised (when using Rolemaster Companions) that it was intended for Gandalf to benefit from Warrior Mage: canonically, however, this may be an understatement of his prowess. Additionally, Glamdring as a game-based weapon was severely underwhelming for such a potent item, being the weapon wielded by Turgon of Gondolin when he fell. Notably, no unique powers or statistics for Gandalf's white, theoretically superior replacement staff in MERP. The final insult to Gandalf seems to be the level of his spells. While Gandalf's charictaristic skill ought to grant him an even skillset, even wiith his level, and his physical bonus as The White should be at least a 60th LvL, it seems all the Istari are half their levels. As a final note, statistics to apply to Gandalf in the alternate environment of Aman, or more accurately his identity as Olorin, were never given. Nonetheless, it is agreed that he holds the same level as Sauron with the One Ring in this state.

It should last be noted that as Gandalf is often implied to be of Manwe's people, ICE/MERP rendered him as such. However, The Silmarillion refers to Olorin as a master of dreams, a possible hint that he may have been the Chief of Irmo's people, though it may merely indicate a mastery in the field of Irmo's Folk.



  • Empathy— Gandalf has the ability to understand the feelings of others with whom he converses, just as if he were raised one of their kind.
  • Weapon Flexibility— In any given time period, Gandalf has an equal chance of bearing a short sword, broadsword, dagger, or no weapon other than his staff. He has the same offensive bonus with all of them.
  • The White's Fana— Following his return as the White, Gandalf's "body" was intrinsically resistant to all elementals and normal weapons/attacks. He defended as AT 20 with a +60 natural DB, and used the "Large Creature" critical strike table.
  • Languages — Gandalf knows 20 languages. His mother tongue is Valarin, but he typically speaks Sindarin or Westron.