Originally Posted by WV
Would you agree he finally becomes much much more powerful though after becoming Gandalf the White? I know he's old, I was more or less just suggesting he isn't quite as powerful in the Hobbit as in LOTR.
Oh yes, of that there is no question.
It's hard to explain or understand exactly what happens when he becomes the White, but I basically think of it as his soul/spirit returns to the West where the Valar look at him and say (more or less) "you're doing great. In fact, you're the only one of the five we sent who isn't a fiasco, but since the other 4 have fallen down on the job so thoroughly, and we REALLY need you, we're going to put you back into your body and give you some extra mojo. HERE YOU GO."
Whoa -- Gandalf the White.
Now, if you read the Silmarillion and have a good understanding of the Valar and what they can/can't do and such, then the above doesn't really make that much sense (other than returning him to his body -- arguably as a Maia he didn't necessarily need a body. But it's hard to understand the serious juicing up he got when he "died".
And in addition to the increase in just power, there is certainly an additional level of seriousness, a new resolve, renewed focus.