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Gandalf's powers and abilities

Gandalf demonstrated extensive knowledge of the land and an assortment of magical abilities from trivial to essential. For example he would use his powers for entertainment, by blowing glowing smoke rings that moved around a room at his direction, and Bilbo Baggins remembered him for his fantastic fireworks displays. He created blinding flashes and other pyrotechnics to distract the goblins of the Misty Mountains, aiding the dwarves in their escape from Goblin-town. On the eastern slopes, he turned pine cones into flaming projectiles that threw hot sparks and started fires that would not easily go out. He was also able to come and go from the presence of Thorin and Company without being noticed.

He again displayed his proficiency with pyrotechnics at Bilbo's Farewell Party. When the Fellowship is attacked by Wargs in Hollin Gandalf speaks words of power to inflame the trees on the hillock where the company had camped. He was also able to start fires under blizzard conditions, create light of varying intensity for the journey through Moria, magically secure doors, and break the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. When angered or aroused for battle, he seemed to grow in height and assume a terrifying aspect. He fought the Balrog of Moria and killed his opponent, although he did not himself survive the battle.

Sent back to Middle-earth as Gandalf the White, he possessed greater charisma and a limited degree of clairvoyance, although he was unable to peer into the land of Mordor to see the progress of Frodo and Sam. His power and authority had increased so that he could break Saruman's staff with a spoken command, showing his authority to throw the treacherous wizard out of the order.

Gandalf was the bearer of Narya, the Ring of Fire, and described himself as the "servant of the Secret Fire" and "wielder of the flame of Anor". Most times Gandalf displayed his power, this had to do with fire. It is not known whether his possession of Narya had any merit to his abilities.