Literary Inks // Vol 1: Gandalf

Hello again!

This is exciting — a brand new blog series to try out. I was planning something that would require a little digging in to other communities in order to tie things back to our world. In browsing some art, I found I couldn’t stop looking up fan art for some of my favorite stories, and thus this series was born.

Literary Inks is going to be my reasoning behind a book character and a fountain pen matchup — probably an ink matchup too, if I’m feeling extra creative or find something perfect. I may not have these pens in real life, and so I’ll be looking for creative photographs of said pens. Please feel free to use my contact form on the “Contact” page to submit any ideas!

That said, this week’s character spotlight is held by the great Gandalf the Grey from many of Tolkien’s books about Middle Earth.

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Credit: [x]

Gandalf the Grey is obviously the wizard of the group if we are talking about The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. He’s part of the Maiar in the Silmarillion, and was a student of Vala Nienna. (Oh gosh, please just look it up or I might go on for ages!) Anyway, he spent a lot of time with someone who was essentially the goddess of grief and sorrow — but courage too. This guy traveled around Middle Earth for ages beyond comprehension. Even though he did hang around Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Eagles an awful lot, and tended to be shown walking more often than not, he did some incredible things.

My favorite of which was that he fought the Balrog…which was, essentially, a firey demon, and came out alright on the other side of it.

So I picked the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age with an extra fine nib as the pen dear Gandalf would use, were fountain pens a thing in Middle Earth.

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Credit to Anderson Pens! [x]

Grail pen though it might be for me, Gandalf would have one because it has that old world charm to it. It’s made of gold and volcano which might signify to himself that he defeated said balrog fire beastie. (…sorry, channeled Jack Sparrow there for a second.) I could see him carrying a fauxdori that was made out of unassuming but beautiful, high quality leather — like maybe one ShopJot would make — filled with tons of notes in several languages about magic and the world…ya know, same sort of stuff you and I would write about.

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Credit: [x]

The book would be tied with a fabric ribbon made by elf tailors that keeps it from getting lost. He wouldn’t always have time for sheening inks to dry, so I think he’d keep a bottle of Diamine Silver Fox or Rohrer & Kligner Alt-Bordeaux wrapped up and tucked away. Or since he was such a practical wizard, I’d say he might have even invested in a Traveling Ink Well if such things had existed in his time.

Maybe his notebook would hold a few sketches. Maybe future Middle Earth anthropologists would find the journal and he would walk out of nowhere and snatch it right on back, stating something akin to not angering wizards. Maybe he would share his notes, or write secretly how rude the modern world had become and how awful all these machines were. (Wait, that might sound like Gandalf becomes Tolkien at the end…)

Either way, each time he picked up the Visconti Homo Sapiens, he’d think back to a more nostalgic time, ya know, at the top of the snowiest mountain what with all the fire vanquished from Moria. So so much better a memory than anything modern, eh?

So what do you think? Good match, or flight of fancy? (Probably both.) What would your match for Gandalf be?

Write me your suggestions in the comments below!

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