Why Doesn’t Gandalf Remember Moria?
It was after nightfall when they had entered the Mines. They had been going for several hours with only brief halts, when Gandalf came to his first serious check.JRR Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring – Book II, Chapter 4 – A Journey in the Dark
The question of why Gandalf doesn’t remember Moria is one that comes up a lot and there is a ton of digging that you can do in order to find out but in short, it had been a very, very long time since Gandalf’s last trip to Moria, and also he had entered through a different, and not so secret doorway. Not forgetting that it wouldn’t have been as dark, filled with orcs and trolls nor was he transporting the carrier of the One Ring with the fate of Middle-earth hanging in the balance.
So that’s the short answer to the question, I will in the future dig into this in much more depth. I would like to create a series of artworks depicting both of Gandalf’s trips through Moria as well as the many battles that have happened there.
Many years ago I worked up a very rough sketch of a version of this scene and ever since I intended to work up a more detailed drawing. This piece is the next phase of that and I plan on revisiting it again in much more detail and originality of vision, as noted above.
Every exploration of Middle-earth brings a bounty of new Middle-earth art and my own journeys into the depths of the Mines have been both interesting and perilous, full of inspiration and excitement with many lessons learned in the process.
For this illustration, we head to The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter IV – A Journey In The Dark.
“I have no memory of this place at all!”
Actually Gandalf was awake… He was deep in thought, trying to recall every memory of his former journey in the Mines, and considering anxiously the next course that he should take; a false turn now might be disastrous.
With any scene that I work on, I look to fully immerse myself within the scene, becoming a part of the scene, observing silently with just the soft scratches of my pencils as I work.
Provided with such a wealth of description and captivating storytelling I am there in person, in the Mines of Moria watching Gandalf as he ponders over his previous visit; I observe him as he strays deep within the realms of memory to find the passage that the fellowship needs to take in order to pass through as quickly as possible whilst remaining safe and avoiding any conflict with the orcs.
And in true artistic fashion, whilst I’m there observing him, how could I resist getting a sketch done to add to the collection…
It was Gandalf who roused them all from sleep. He had sat and watched all alone for about six hours, and had let the others rest.
‘And in the watches I have made up my mind.’