Someone Buy Sir Ian McKellan a Drink

As I rewatch The Fellowship of the Ring for perhaps the fiftieth time, I would like to place particular emphasis on this scene.

Notice Gandalf’s face when Saruman describes the Eye of Sauron. He is terrified. Notice his face again when he touches the Palantir and sees the Eye. He recognises it, because he’s seen it before in Dol Goldur.


So Sir Ian McKellan’s reaction as Gandalf to the Eye is fear and recognition. The actor filmed this scene in FotR more than a decade before The Desolation of Smaug, many years before he knew that he would once again don the grey wizard’s hat. Basically, Sir McKellan incorporated a reaction to an event in Gandalf’s history that most film audiences would not recognise or know about. Bravo, sir. I recognise and appreciate your dedication to your craft. If perchance we meet up at a pub, your drinks are on me.

xx-The Collectress

Disclaimer: I do not own the film clip or the image used in this post.


  1. The Leather Library

    Reblogged this on The Leather Library and commented:
    I love the deep facial expressions by the actors in the trilogy. There are a few more notable instances where Sir Ian McKellan acts with facial expressions that tell a story in themselves, without the need of actual dialogue. This is the mark of a true actor.

  2. James

    Great moment and thanks for the reference – Peter Jackson may seem like he’s “changing” elements of the story, but ultimately, it all ties in nicely together with The Lord of the Rings. Wonderful 🙂

    1. acollectivemind

      I’m always incredibly nervous when a book gets adapted for the big screen. Things always change for a cinematic experience (and I know that they must to make it work), but little moments like this make me feel much better about it. This attention to detail allows me to appreciate the films 🙂

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