The White Rider (scene)

From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about the scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. For the chapter from The Two Towers, see The White Rider.
The White Rider
Scene from
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers - Gandalf Returns.png
Scene number13 (theatrical edition)
15 (extended edition)
Event Gandalf returns as Gandalf the White
Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli ride to Edoras
Characters Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli
The Passage of the Marshes
The Songs of the Entwives
"That is one of the Mearas, unless my eyes are cheated by some spell."
― Legolas, speaking of Shadowfax

The White Rider is the thirteenth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the fifteenth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (extended edition). This scene was extended in the latter edition.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli enter Fangorn Forest after tracking the movements of Merry and Pippin. Legolas tells Gimli the forest is old and full of memory. He tells of how the Elves woke up the trees and taught them to speak. All of a sudden, Legolas senses the approach of the White Wizard. The Three Hunters ready themselves, loosing their weapons ready to use. Fearing Saruman, Aragorn tells them not to let him speak, lest he puts a spell on them. Suddenly, they turn and attack the figure shrouded in white light. Deflecting the arrow of Legolas, and stiffening Aragorn's sword in his hand, he immobilises their weapons and tells them two young hobbits passed nearby recently. Doubtful of who they are dealing with, Aragorn asks the figure who he is. Stepping forward, he reveals himself to be Gandalf, returned to Middle-earth to complete his task. The hunters stare in amazement and reverence at the wizard, transformed from Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White. From Gandalf, they learn that Merry and Pippin are safe in the forest, and that they themselves must travel to Edoras.

Outside the forest, Gandalf whistles a clear note. A neighing is heard, followed by the appearance of a majestic white horse. "Shadowfax. He is the lord of all horses... and has been my friend through many dangers", Gandalf says of the horse, before the four of them ride through Rohan towards Edoras.

Differences[edit | edit source]

The scene broadly follows the events in the book chapter The White Rider, albeit with some differences. Legolas does not mention that the Elves woke the trees and taught them to speak. Furthermore, in the books, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli climb a shelf and look down into the forest. There, they see the White Wizard approaching them. After conversing with them, the wizard sits down and unveils his white garments, confirming his identity in the hunters' minds as Saruman. This leads them to attack him, but Legolas recognises him at the last instant as Mithrandir.[1]

Much of the detail present in the book chapter regarding Gandalf's view of the situation in Middle-earth is left out of the scene, and some (such as his view on Sauron's plans[2] and Sam going with Frodo to Mordor[3]) is moved to other scenes.