Gandalf Original and Limited Edition Art
Gandalf the Grey is a character created by JRR Tolkien who has appeared in all of Tolkien's works. He is also known as Olorin, Tharkun and Mithrandir, and later as Gandalf the White. Gandalf is an Istari, a Maiar specially chosen to live in Middle Earth among its people to combat evil. Maiar are powerful spirits that assisted with the shaping of the world. He is seen as the greatest and wisest of the Maiar and the Istari. Gandalf, like the other Istari, took the form of a mortal man, although he is much more powerful. He is called a wizard, by Men. For over 2000 years, Gandalf has worked to stop the rise of evil in Middle Earth, whereever and whatever it may be.
His first appearance was in The Hobbit, where he was described by Bilbo Baggins as "an old man with a staff. He wore a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, and a silver scarf. He had a long white beard and bushy eyebrows that stuck out beyond the brim of his hat." Gandalf enlists the aid of Bilbo Baggins to travel with Thorin Oakenshield, a dwarf lord, and his band of dwarves to take back the Lonely Mountain, a dwarven fortress that was taken by Smaug, a powerful dragon.
In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf plays a prominent role, guiding and advising the people of Middle Earth to combat and ultimately defeat the Dark Lord, Sauron. It is during this time that Gandalf the Grey becomes Gandalf the White. After the events of the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf returns across the sea to the Undying Lands and is never seen in Middle Earth again.