Visiting Dignitaries

Gandalf Himself Handed the CEO of Palantir an Award on Monday

J.R.R. Tolkien could not be reached for comment, because he is dead and everyone knows necromancy is a bad idea.
That underwear says "You Shall Not Pass." (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)

That underwear says “You Shall Not Pass.” (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)

Here’s a scene that, sadly, probably won’t make the ultra-special limited-edition Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray collection: Page Six reports that last night Gandalf himself, a.k.a. noted Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen, “stripped down onstage Monday night at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre for the annual Only Make Believe charity gala,” to reveal a pair of Tolkien-themed underwear.

It gets even better, though. Wait for the techie punchline to the shenanigans:

“We’re told the ‘Lord of the Rings’ actor, 74, ran onstage dressed as a marathon runner — then stripped to a pair of skivvies decorated with an image of himself as ‘LOTR’ wizard Gandalf and the words ‘You Shall Not Pass.’ He then changed into a proper suit and tie onstage. McKellen presented part of his Gandalf costume from the films, and gold coins, to honoree Alex Karp, who heads a tech company, Palantir, that fights terrorism.”

The charity organizes interactive theater performances for sick children, and Mr. Karp was being honored, according to Playbill, “for his outstanding commitment to philanthropic causes.” The company he runs is rather famously obsessed with Lord of the Rings.

It does not seem Mr. McKellen took the opportunity to remind Mr. Karp that, in fact, Gandalf very much disapproved of the hobbit Pippin’s attempt to peek into one of the palantíri

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