Gandalf has returned borne on a blast of white light. We have seen this light before: at the Anduin when Frodo rescues Sam.
This light comes to herald a change through a new and mystical union. The light heralded the union of Frodo and Sam in a new stage of their quest together and again it presages the union of Gandalf with a greater power.
Gandalf’s new power is very ancient. We are reminded of the watching statues at Amon Sul. Gandalf is now as composed as those ancient stautues:
Gandalf is now one with light. He is the very embodiment of the pure and spiritualised light which comes at the most significant times:
This is a long way from Gandalf the Grey. The old Gandalf was almost one with the earth. The wizard seemed to carry the earth with him, often he was grimy and worked: