“He wore a tall pointed grey 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 the Grey, later known as Gandalf the White, also named originally Olórin, Tharkûn, and Mithrandir, was a wizard, or Istar, sent by the West in the Third Age to combat the threat of Sauron. He joined Thorin and his company to reclaim Erebor from Smaug, convoked theFellowship of the Ring to destroy the One Ring, and led the Free Peoples in the final campaign of theWar of the Ring.
Accounted the wisest of the Maiar, Gandalf was originally a Maia ofManwë the Wind-King, Varda the Star-Queen, Irmo the Dream-Master and Nienna the Weeper named Olórin. When the Valardecided to send the order of the Istari (also known as Wizards) to Middle-earth, to counsel and assist all those in Middle-earth who opposed the Dark Lord Sauron, Manwë and Varda decided to include Olórin among the five who were sent. At first, Olórin was nervous and described himself as too weak and too afraid of Sauron. Manwë understood, and told him that that was one main reason why he should go, to overcome that fear. Thus, he insisted that Olórin should go as the third, but Varda convinced him not to include Olórin as the third, but as the second. Olórin agreed, and prepared for his departure from the Undying Lands with the other four wizards.
When he arrived to Middle Earth, he received Narya, the ring of fire, from Círdan the Shipwright. Olórin, renamed Gandalf (name “translated” from Westron to Norse by Tolkien), spent many centuries walking among the elves as a stranger, learning from them and teaching them. He later revealed himself as one of the Istari, and eventually became known as the wisest of and most powerful of that order. He joined the White Council, which was formed to investigate a dark power in Dol Guldur, of which Galadriel wanted him to become the leader, yet Saruman came to lead the Council instead of him. Although Saruman was at first more powerful, was more knowledgeable about many matters regarding Sauron and the Rings of Power, and was head of the White Council before the War of the Ring, he later grew jealous and afraid of Gandalf,which was the reason of his betrayal.