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Old 02-24-2005, 08:31 AM   #17
The Kinslayer
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The Blue Wizards

From The Peoples of Middle-Earth: The Five Wizards
Another brief discussion, headed 'Note on the landing of the Five Wizards and their functions and operations', arose from my father's consideration of the matter of Glorfindel, as is seen from the opening words: 'Was in fact Glorfindel one of them?' He observed that he was 'evidently never supposed to be when The Lord of the Rings was written', adding that there is no possibility that some of them were Eldar 'of the highest order of power', rather than Maiar. The text then continues with the passage given in Unfinished Tales, p. 394, beginning 'We must assume that they were all Maiar ...'; but after the words with which that citation ends ('... chosen by the Valar with this in mind') there stands only 'Saruman the most powerful', and then it breaks off, unfinished. Beside these last words is a pencilled note: 'Radagast a name of Mannish (Anduin vale) origin – but not now clearly interpretable' (see Unfinished Tales p. 390 and note 4).
On the reverse of the page are some notes which I described in Unfinished Tales as uninterpretable, but which with longer scrutiny I have been largely able to make out. One of them reads as follows:

No names are recorded for the two wizards. They were never seen or known in lands west of Mordor. The wizards did not come at the same time. Possibly Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast did, but more likely Saruman the chief (and already over mindful of this) came first and alone. Probably Gandalf and Radagast came together, though this has not yet been said. … (what is most probable) ... Glorfindel also met Gandalf at the Havens. The other two are only known to (have) exist(ed) [sic] by Saruman, Gandalf, and Radagast, and Saruman in his wrath mentioning five was letting out a piece of private information.

The reference of the last sentence is to Saruman's violent retort to Gandalf at the door of Orthanc, in which he spoke of 'the rods of the Five Wizards' (The Two Towers p. 188). Another note is even rougher and more difficult:

The 'other two' came much earlier, at the same time probably as Glorfindel, when matters became very dangerous in the Second Age. Glorfindel was sent to aid Elrond and was (though not yet said) pre-eminent in the war in Eriador. But the other two Istari were sent for a different purpose. Morinehtar and Rómestámo. Darkness-slayer and East-helper. Their task was to circumvent Sauron: to bring help to the few tribes of Men that had rebelled from Melkor-worship, to stir up rebellion ... and after his first fall to search out his hiding (in which they failed) and to cause [? dissension and disarray] among the dark East ... They must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of East ... who would both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise have ... outnumbered the West.

At the words in the citation from this text in Unfinished Tales (p. 394) 'Of the other two nothing is said in published work save the reference to the Five Wizards in the altercation between Gandalf and Saruman' my father wrote: 'A note made on their names and functions seems now lost, but except for the names their general history and effect on the history of the Third Age is clear.' Conceivably he was thinking of the sketched-out narrative of the choosing of the Istari at a council of the Valar (Unfinished Tales p. 393), in which the Two Wizards (or 'the Blue Wizards', Ithryn Luin) were named Alatar and Pallando.
"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."
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