Their name, as related to Wise, is an Englishing of their Elvish name, and is used throughout as utterly distinct from Sorcerer or Magician. It appears that they were, as one might say, the near equivalent in the mode of these tales of Angels, guardian Angels. Their powers are directed primarily to the encouragement of the enemies of evil, to cause them to use their own wits and valor, to unite and endure. They appear always as old men and sages, and though (sent by the powers of the True West) in the world they suffer themselves, their age and gray hairs increase only slowly. [Gandalf’s] function is especially to watch human affairs (Men and Hobbits).
Day 2. Why LOTR is told mostly through the eyes of hobbits:
This last great Tale, coming down from myth and legend to the earth, is seen mainly through the eyes of Hobbits…because the last Tale is to exemplify most clearly a recurrent theme:…deeds of virtue of the apparently small, ungreat, forgotten in the places of the Wise and Great….Without the high and noble, the simple and vulgar is utterly mean; and without the simple and ordinary, the noble and heroic is meaningless.
Day 3. A religious work:
The Lord of the Ringsis of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work….The religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.
Day 4. Dreading publication:
I am dreading the publication, for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at.
Day 5. A non-musician who admires music:
Anyone who can play a stringed instrument seems to me a wizard worthy of deep respect. I love music, but have no aptitude for it.
Day 6. Crediting C. S. Lewis for the completion of LOTR:
Only by his support and friendship did I ever struggle to the end of the labor.
Day 7. Tolkien’s desire in creating LOTR:
I would claim, if I did not think it presumptuous in one so ill-instructed, to have as one object the elucidation of truth, and the encouragement of good morals in this real world, by the ancient device of exemplifying them in unfamiliar embodiments, that may tend to “bring them home.”