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Old 03-31-2003, 04:29 PM   #1
Keeper of Dol Guldur
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Sting Success of the Wizards

Gandalf was the single most important person in the battle against Sauron.

But, this leads us to question the success of the other wizards. Until this point I've assumed that they had all failed. Obviously Saruman failed at his task, and did so miserably. We already know much of his and Gandalf's tale as it concerns the war of the Ring greatly. But what about Radagast the Brown, and the Ithryn Luin, the Blue Wizards?

In Tolkien's letters, he wrote something about how the Ithryn Luin were to do similar to what Gandalf did, only in the far east, fomenting a little bit of rebellion toward Sauron and hindering his rule of those lands, and even undermining his own lordship in the various lands he demanded tribute from. We must assume (as they are Istari wizards) that they succeeded well enough in this task. That would mean that, if they did survive the war of the Ring (and if the nazgul were the only beings in Sauron's legions besides a very large number of enemies at once (which Gandalf tended to avoid) it could be guessed that they were never killed). Therefore, after Sauron was overthrown they were free to return to the west. If they did is not really all that important-if they made it. But it seems logical. Tolkien himself even surmised that they would have been successful.

That leaves Radagast the Brown. Radagast tended to ignore the world's problems and deal with his friends the animals, more notably the Ravens and the Eagles. Gwaihir and his brethren Landroval and Meneldor were his friends, and no doubt Roac, son of Carc the Raven was. From his home at Rhosgobel, Radagast became a master of shapes and hues. But was he totally worthless in the war, to the point where he would not be accepted? I don't think so. Radagast did attempt to talk to Saruman, I assume he visited Isengard to get information. In the Unfinished Tales, it explains the ride of the nine, telling that they went far up the vale of Anduin searching for the Shire and on its banks slaughtered remnants of the river-folk. This would have displeased Radagast, though he knew little of them judging from his talk about the Shire's inhabitants with Gandalf. But he certainly would have recognized the nazgul better than any of the nearby Beornings, and dwelling close to Dol Goldur, sudden increases in fell activity and orcish attacks would have worried him. So he most likely went to Saruman for information about the enemy. While he was not as widespread in his care as Gandalf, he most likely looked for some means in protecting the Wilderland, even as far as Dale. Then of course, he went to find Gandalf on an errand for Saruman that proved to be a trick, but Radagast went with good intentions, Gandalf believed, and he made up for it by sending Gwaihir to Isengard with news for Gandalf (thereby resulting in Gandalf's escape). News from the Beornings, no doubt, as Radagast rode back eastwards from the Greenway south of Bree after conversing with the Grey Pilgrim.
It should also be thought about, that Rhosgobel where Radagast dwelt, was not very far from Dol Goldur, and was very close to Grimbeorn the old's lands, and when the hosts of Lothlorien's Celeborn and of the Wood-Elf Realm of Thranduil struck the dark forces on two fronts, the Beornings marches led them south east in between the great elves into battle, and no doubt Radagast was involved in some way. So I presume that Radagast, too, was successful in his part of making things not only difficult for Sauron, but for protecting Men and Elves alike.

The areas seem to have been put under watch of a particular Istari, at least in the West. Gandalf tended to protect the Shire, and Gondor and Arnor-the lands of the Numenoreans (and Rohan). Radagast's territory was the Wilderland of 'the Hobbit', and the Ithryn Luin roamed the east. Rhun, Harad, and Khand, and Rhovanion were their domains. Whether they travelled together or split up, is again unimportant. As for Saruman, he failed to act like any of his comrades in that he settled in a tower of his own, where he could tinker and plot, and of course he had fallen into folly. He had roamed the east in the earlier days of the third age, but he took to dark paths and of course failed in his task. But all in all, I think the Maiar's little experiment with the Istari went well, on the whole. Four out of Five isn't bad, even if one grey one was a little bit of a kiss-up.
"I come from yonder...Have you seen Baggins? Baggins has left, he is coming. He is not far away. I wish to find him. If he passes will you tell me? I will come back with gold." - Khamul the Easterling
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Old 03-31-2003, 04:52 PM   #2
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The Eye

It is possible that the Blue Wizards set up there own relms or formed sects/cults in the east and thats why they faild there task
'Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.'~ Che Guevara.
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Old 04-01-2003, 06:39 AM   #3
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of course,it's totally not-to-the-point but I've fantasized quite a lot about the Blue Wizards,making up my own story,in wich Alatar fails and Pallando succeeds in his mission,as the first gets tricked by Sauron and is made to believe he can create a perfect place of his own if he forms a coalition with the Dark Lord.Of course,he gets deceived then and falls,taking over the land he dwells in and elimanating all people who oppose him.He then gets throwed out and wanders to an unknown future.All hypothetical of course,but I like it.

Anyways, I really liked your view of Radagast.Allways knew he wasn't useless at all!
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Old 04-04-2003, 09:14 PM   #4
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Sorry to say but if you read the Unfinished tales, it is conjectured by Tolkien that Gandalf was the only one who succeeded. But then he isn't sure about Radagast. I really like your idea about him though, but it appears in JRRT's mind the blue wizards failed and set up their own cults and from these came the magic socioties that still plague our world, Tolkiens words not mine.
Though here at journeys end I lie in dakness buried deep, beyond all towers strong and high beyond all mountains steep, above all shadows rides the Sun and Stars forever dwell:I will not say the Day is done nor bid the Stars farewell!
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Old 04-05-2003, 07:32 AM   #5
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I like to imagine Radagast as a kind of St Francis of Assisi figure, spending his time among the animals & birds, teaching them about Eru & the Valar & caring for them. If that's failure, its not a bad failure. I often wish I could be that kind of a 'failure'!
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Old 04-05-2003, 10:51 AM   #6
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It is certainly true that Tolien is decidedly unsanguine about the fates of the Blue Wizards in 'On the Istari' in UT. However in another note 'The Five Wizards' in Peoples of Middle Earth Tolkien theorizes that they came in the Second Age, long before the other three Istari, and must have been fairly successful in their assigned task, (to raise up rebellion against Sauron in the East) or the West would have been hopelessly outnumbered and fallen long before the WR.

What this means of course is that the Professor's ideas on the Blue Wizards, and Istari in general, were still in a very fluid unformed state - which IMO means they are wide open to fannish speculation fictionalizing.

As Christopher Tolkien points out, Aewendil, (Radagast) is sent by Yavanna so it is very likely that in concerning himself with animals and plants he is fulfilling his mission. A very different one from Gandalf and Saruman's.
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Old 04-05-2003, 01:02 PM   #7
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It does say in several letters that Gandalf was the only to succeed. Thus, all the others must have left to their own cults.

"Kill them all for all I care. You just keep that bow away from me!"
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