Open Post: Hosted By A Guy Dressed As Gandalf Running Into Ian McKellen During A “Lord Of The Rings”-Themed Bar Crawl

April 18, 2023 / Posted by:

Last Thursday, University of Bristol music student Ben Coyles turned 22, and, to celebrate, he and his friends embarked on a Lord of the Rings-themed pub crawl. People went as elves, Ents, Orcs, and Eyes of Sauron, but birthday boy Ben dressed up as Gandalf. Specifically Gandalf the Grey. And it turned out this was the right costume choice because, as Ben and his Fellowship ventured to their penultimate pub just before midnight, they bumped into the real Gandalf, aka Sir Ian McKellen! Ben tells the Bristol Post that he was absolutely “flabbergasted.” Wow, it’s a Tolkien nerd’s dream come true!

Turns out, Ian was in Bristol starring in a Mother Goose pantomime. Ben’s friend, Scarlet Learmonth, says that a few of the partygoers were aware Sir Ian was in town, but they “never imagined to bump into him.” She posted a video of the group’s unexpected encounter to TikTok, and so far, it’s racked up 3.5 million views:


SIR * Ian McKellen #bristol #birthdaygandalf #ianmckellen #sirianmckellen #gandalf

♬ Originalton – Suneysounds

As you can see, Ian graciously chatted with Ben and took a picture. Ben tells the Bristol Post exactly how it all went down:

“Me and all my mates were walking down the street and I heard behind me ‘do you want to meet the real Gandalf?’ I didn’t recognise him immediately then I was like ‘OH MY GOD IT’S SIR IAN MCKELLEN!’ Everybody said ‘what on earth is going on?!’ He asked me how old I was and said Happy Birthday and shook my hand.

“I was flabbergasted, I had no idea what to do or say. We had zero idea that he was walking down that street. If I was 10-20 metres ahead of him it wouldn’t have happened, the planets aligned. He’s a really lovely sound bloke, an excellent guy, nice, down to earth and humble and I’d like to buy him a drink.”

I think the real Gandalf would be less interested in having a drink and more into smoking the good shit out of his long wizard pipe. To clarify, Gandalf’s good shit isn’t our good shit. Tolkien’s version of “pipe-weed” is dried herbs and leaves provided by Hobbits, and it’s closer to nicotine. But please don’t worry about Gandalf’s lung health! If he kicks the bucket, he’ll just rise again, Jesus-stylez.

Pics: Facebook & YouTube

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