Tolkien fact 9 – The Other Wizards

[Originally posted on March 11th, 2015]

In reading Professor Tolkien’s work one comes across many intriguing subjects and characters, some more mysterious than others. The author himself addresses some of these things, remarking that while he created a vast backdrop for his tales some things are even “unknown” to him. A good example of this is the Order of the Wizards, of which Gandalf is the most famous. The origin of the Wizards is given in the writings outside of LotR (Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales). They are actually Maiar, putting them in the same vein as Balrogs and even Sauron, and are called the Istari, the “wise ones.” Five were sent to Middle-earth by the Valar to aid Men and Elves against Sauron, though not by force. Saruman the White is the head of the Order, Gandalf the Grey and Radagast the Brown also played major roles in the LotR. The remaining two Wizards are one enigma Tolkien refers to as unknown even to him. In Unfinished Tales, information is given about the Blue Wizards, named Pallando and Alatar, saying only that they arrived with the others and went into the East for their assignment. Not much else is said of them and it is feared that they failed their mission and fell into evil doings.

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