In the new Amazon Prime The Lord of the Rings prequel, there is the possibility that we could see the introduction of a female Gandalf.
In the original film trilogy and The Hobbit films, Gandalf was portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen. Robyn Malcolm, who played a minor part in the original trilogy, has asked the show’s creators to consider bringing in a female Gandalf.
Speaking with Stuff, she stated, “Those old legends, those old mythical stories, they’re so based within a patriarchal landscape.” Malcolm went on, “Why not look at the magic of a matrilineal world, where the magical powerhouses are women?”
Of course, it doesn’t sound like Malcolm is asking the creators to do something completely strange. After all, Gandalf is a magical entity of light, an angel from beyond this world and one of the mightiest wizards in Middle Earth. It wouldn’t be strange if he was resurrected as a female-appearing entity.
Malcolm also has a few ideas for casting that the directors could go with. “If you need a big star and somebody that everybody knows and everybody already thinks of in Ian McKellen terms,” Malcolm told Stuff, “then, of course, you go to Dame Judi or Eileen Atkins or Maggie Smith.”
This wouldn’t be the first time a historically male character was reimagined being portrayed by a woman. In 2018, the world got its first look at the thirteenth Doctor on Doctor Who, portrayed by Jodie Whittaker. Meanwhile, Lashana Lynch is set to take the role of 007 from Daniel Craig in the next Bond film.
While both James Bond and the Doctor are major roles in British media that have been portrayed exclusively by men, the modern world isn’t quite as accepting of male-only media. After all, half of the fans of these franchises are women, and they’d surely like to be represented on-screen in a way that isn’t simply a supporting role.
Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings series has picked up some major league writing talent, including writers that worked on Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. We’re excited to return to Middle Earth yet again!