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Gandalf: Thinker, Teacher, Mentor, Grouch
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Disciplinary Research.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Lord of the Rings is one of the most read novels throughout history. Its popularity is huge and it has a fan-base matched only by that of Star Trek and Star Wars. It is believed that its popularity is due to its applicability and its many interesting characters – which all have different personalities and appeal to different people. One of the most popular main characters is the powerful wizard Gandalf.

In this essay, I argue that in Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf's relationship to Frodo is constructed as a mentorship as defined by the modern pedagogical research, in order to examine what affect Gandalf's mentoring has on Frodo. In order to confirm this, it will first be established that Gandalf and Frodo has the potential to be in a mentoring relationship. Second, a close reading of the novel will be undertaken, analyzing Gandalf's and Frodo's interaction, comparing it to the interaction between a "good mentor" and his mentee, as defined by modern pedagogical research. Third, I will analyze how Gandalf's actions as a mentor influence Frodo's development and actions in the novel.

This study shows that Gandalf and Frodo did indeed interact in the way of a mentor and his mentee. Furthermore, Gandalf performed his role the way a "good mentor" should; he asked questions, challenged productivity, encouraged risk-taking, helped to identify goals, listened actively, offered encouragement, promoted independence, provided feedback, shared critical knowledge, provided structure and gradually granted Frodo more responsibilities – the way a "good mentor" should. This all contributed to Frodo's success in helping him develop confidence, competence, self-knowledge, self-sufficiency and determination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
Frodo, Gandalf, Lord of the Rings, mentor, Tolkien
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-23494OAI: diva2:699811
Subject / course
HLK, English
Available from: 2014-04-11 Created: 2014-02-18 Last updated: 2014-04-11Bibliographically approved

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