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Old 02-22-2005, 06:38 AM   #1
Faramir
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Radagast the Brown??

In Lotr Radagast only plays a very small part, I dont know much about him so I hope you guys could tell me about him.
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:04 AM   #2
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Here's something:

Wizards
Success of the Wizards
Radagast?

From the Encyclopedia of Arda:
Dates: Immortal. Radagast came to Middle-earth c.III 1000, and remained there at least until III 3018; his final fate is unknown.
Race: Ainur
Division: Maiar of Yavanna
Order: Istari (Wizards)
Meaning: Adûnaic for 'tender of beasts'
Other Names: Aiwendil
Titles: The Bird-tamer, The Brown, The Fool, The Simple

The third, with Gandalf and Saruman, of the three Wizards who remained in the northwest of Middle-earth; he formerly dwelt at Rhosgobel on the borders of Mirkwood.
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:25 AM   #3
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That's interesting...why would he have an Adunaic name?
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:26 AM   #4
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Radagast the Brown became enamored with birds and trees and things of nature and he strayed from his mission.
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:42 PM   #5
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What Ruoutorin said.

I never really understood his purpose in the books. The only thing I could think of is it shows that failure does not necessarily mean evil but a lack of focus.

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Old 02-22-2005, 07:49 PM   #6
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1420!

Radagast by no means was a bad guy like Saruman, or completely just said forget about Middle-earth like Alatar and Pallando, but he just didn't "do" enough to succeed in his mission like Gandalf.

The key thing is the purpose of the istari were to bring together the people of middle-earth, to combat Sauron. As far as we know Radagast does not do this. He does listen to Gandalf, and has no part to play to help Sauron, or intentionally help Saruman, but nothing is said on him sticking to his purpose. Let's look at Gandalf, he helps Elrond said up a plan, he frees Theoden, he aids Gondor, he sticks with the people of Middle-earth to fight Sauron. Radagast tends to his birds, and does his own thing, if it so happens that Gandalf needs Radagasts' help he is willing, but other than that Radagast (as far as we know and according to Tolkien) doesn't complete his task.

I've often thought that the istari had the important task of combatting Sauron and aiding the people's of middle-earth, but were also sent for personal tasks. It just so happens Radagast, chosen by Yavanna, falls in love with herbs and birds, a nature man. Possibly each istari were given a seperate, personal task, and Radagast let that one interfere with the main task.
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Old 02-23-2005, 06:28 AM   #7
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Since were on the topic of wizards, In Rotk EE Saruman asks Gandalf if he wants the rods of the five wizards, I only know of three wizards who are the other two?
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Old 02-23-2005, 06:54 AM   #8
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Pallando and Alatar the Blue, much is not sopken of these two, perhaps lost in the east...but a huge possibility...
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Old 02-23-2005, 07:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88
Radagast by no means was a bad guy like Saruman, or completely just said forget about Middle-earth like Alatar and Pallando, but he just didn't "do" enough to succeed in his mission like Gandalf.

The key thing is the purpose of the istari were to bring together the people of middle-earth, to combat Sauron. As far as we know Radagast does not do this. He does listen to Gandalf, and has no part to play to help Sauron, or intentionally help Saruman, but nothing is said on him sticking to his purpose. Let's look at Gandalf, he helps Elrond said up a plan, he frees Theoden, he aids Gondor, he sticks with the people of Middle-earth to fight Sauron. Radagast tends to his birds, and does his own thing, if it so happens that Gandalf needs Radagasts' help he is willing, but other than that Radagast (as far as we know and according to Tolkien) doesn't complete his task.

I've often thought that the istari had the important task of combatting Sauron and aiding the people's of middle-earth, but were also sent for personal tasks. It just so happens Radagast, chosen by Yavanna, falls in love with herbs and birds, a nature man. Possibly each istari were given a seperate, personal task, and Radagast let that one interfere with the main task.
I have the sense, and I could be all wet about this, that Radagast is something of a St. Francis of Assissi figure in LotR, and as such possibly represents Tolkien's opinion about that saint's pacifism, or the failure in general of people to keep a hard, knowing eye on evil. I wouldn't want to call this an allegorical speculation but it does fit in with Tolkien's claims that the Christianity was absorbed into the symbolism of the story.
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Old 02-23-2005, 08:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Boromir88--

I've often thought that the istari had the important task of combatting Sauron and aiding the people's of middle-earth, but were also sent for personal tasks. It just so happens Radagast, chosen by Yavanna, falls in love with herbs and birds, a nature man. Possibly each istari were given a seperate, personal task, and Radagast let that one interfere with the main task.
Perhaps that was his task? Sauron was the enemy of more than just Elves, Men and Hobbits--maybe Radagast's special job was to protect the helpless creatures.
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tar-ancalime
Perhaps that was his task? Sauron was the enemy of more than just Elves, Men and Hobbits--maybe Radagast's special job was to protect the helpless creatures.
I could be convinced that that might be the case, but if so, Radagast didn't do it fully. If such was the case, then he should have been converting the oliphaunts, leading armies of bears, wolves, boars, horses, etc... into battle. Shooting down the fellbeasts. Sending mice up the pant-legs of the orks.

Okay, maybe not the last one...

I think that you might have something of the right idea in saying that the animals were Radagast's specific mission, within the greater mission. Which gets me wondering: what were the specific missions of the others. The Blue Wizards seem to have been sent to the East, and the Valar alone know what happened to them. Gandalf seems to have been assigned to Elves, Hobbits, and Dwarves. He might have been sent to Men to, but I would theorise that that was originally Saruman's specific territory, into which Gandalf moved partly because Men were everywhere, but also because Saruman wasn't doing his job right. But you'll notice, that until Gandalf returns as Gandalf the White, he doesn't seem to have spent a large amount of time with the Gondorians or Rohirrim.
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Old 02-23-2005, 06:44 PM   #12
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1420!

It's interesting I've been wondering to Formendacil....

Well Saruman was selected by Aule, and so he does become greedy for power, just like a lot of people from Aule (dwarves for money, and Noldor for their own works). I doubt Aule wanted Saruman to go to Middle-earth and cause heck and destruction, but could be a long the lines of greed...possibly.

As already discussed Radagast, maybe Yavanna just simply told him to take care of nature for her...

I don't know anything about Alatar and Pallando besides they went into the east, so someone can inform us there.

In Gandalf's case, he didn't want to go to Middle-earth he wanted to stay in Valinor, and he really wasn't selected by a valar but Manwe forced him to go, and was said to be most like Manwe. I think that's why we can see Gandalf is the only one to stay true to his task. For the reasons listed above. He wasn't in the same situation as the other istari, therefor he might not have had a "personal task," just the big one.
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Old 02-23-2005, 08:22 PM   #13
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I have a bit of a problem with the statement that the birds and beasts were part of Radagast's specific mission. The Istari were sent to aid Elves and Men against Sauron (also why the Blue Wizards failed - they were hardly helping against Sauron out east where they were...), and Radagast "forsook Elves and Men, and spent his days among the wild creatures." Had Radagast's study of the animals been just a side branch of study it would have been fine, but in doing so he abandoned his true mission. Though he did not betray them like Saruman did, in a way he was in fact aiding Sauron by not aiding the West with his particular talents.

While the Istari were chosen by the specific Valar mostly because they were "like them," they were not chosen for specific causes. They were sent to help banish Sauron, plain and simple. Of course they were all going to use their specific gifts and talents to do so, but none of them did with the exception of Gandalf. Radagast's hobby became more of an obsession, to the exclusion of his true mission.
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Old 02-23-2005, 08:30 PM   #14
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1420!

So, Firefoot, you're saying that it was more "fate" than actual seperate missions? That since Radagast was most like Yavanna it was only natural that he fell in love with birds and nature? Since Saruman was most like Aule, he became greedy?

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, I just wanted to make sure that's what you meant, because it sounds more reasonable than anything else...I just want to make sure if that's what you mean?
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Old 02-23-2005, 08:45 PM   #15
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Basically, yes. Yavanna chose Radagast presumably because he was like her - interested in the birds and the beasts. So that potential to become distracted was always there. It didn't have to happen that way; Radagast could have used those gifts to aid their cause. On Saruman, I don't think that he necessarily would have become greedy because he was like Aule, but as in Radagast's case the potential was there. Saruman was clearly always somewhat of a leader, and it follows that "power corrupts"... Each of the Istar were chosen because of their personalities; it just happens that Radagast's and Saruman's were not the 'right' personalities for the task. They didn't live up to the requirements as outlined by Manwë:
Quote:
"For they must be mighty, peers of Sauron, but must forgo might [Here does Saruman fail - he wants to be too powerful], and clothe themselves in the flesh so as to treat on equality and win the trust of Elves and Men. But this would imperil them, dimming their wisdom and knowledge [This would be where Radagast failed: his wisdom should have told him that he was becoming too involved in his 'hobby'], and confusing them with fears, cares, adn wearinesses coming from the flesh."
Hope this clears things up.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:24 AM   #16
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Radagast did aid alittle,sending the eagles and all....
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:31 AM   #17
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The Blue Wizards

From The Peoples of Middle-Earth: The Five Wizards
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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.
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:36 AM   #18
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Regarding the issue of Radagast's and Saruman's respective "failures", I think something I posted in one of the chapter by chapter discussions is relevant:

Quote:
. . . it seems that often when we are presented with a natural extreme and an artificial extreme we are also given a sort of happy medium. For example, Saruman is artificial, Radagast is natural, and Gandalf is the ideal balance. Others that occur to me:

Aule (artifice), Ulmo (nature), Manwe (balance)

Feanor (artifice), Finarfin (nature), Fingolfin (balance) (in this case we also have Fingon and Finrod, just a shade to the artificial and natural sides, respectively)

Noldor (artifice), Teleri (nature), Vanyar (balance)
No time to elaborate, alas - but I would say that Saruman and Radagast each failed (though in very different ways and to very different degrees) by erring on one or the other side of the balance between Art and Nature.
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
but I would say that Saruman and Radagast each failed
Since Sauruman went bad all the way, and Radagast seemed to only have a case of ADD, it think what happened after would be the defining statement: Radagast's spirit was allowed to reenter Valinor, or at least had the potential. Now, then Radagast would either have to go to the Havens (which we should be able to rule out) or have been killed (or possibly died from greif like the elves did???) So ruling out him being slain, something might have happened like this: Many of his animal friends died, and species died out, (eagles became lesser) and so he went sad and 'let go.' I think he would be allowed back to Valinor. Melian was let back in no question, right? So even though Aman was taken from the circles of the world, i think him being an Ainu he could let his spirit go back.
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:56 PM   #20
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I have some things to add to this old discussion.

I don't believe that any were destined to fail as Firefoot suggested. I just don't see the need and point in sending somebody if there is no hope in success. Manwe had the most forsight and knew to send Gandalf and Cirdan obviously agreed, but this doesn't mean that Saruman couldn't have succeeded also. There was hope for him even at the end, else Gandalf would not have returned for him. He knew the hope was slim but he returned on that 'fools hope' to see if he could help return Saruman to a degree of his former greatness and make him faithful, a bit diminished, but faithful in the end. That failed however it illustrates that none of the Istari were destined to fail.

Radagast's failing was not in his love and care of animals, rather in his apathy. He just didn't care enough, he meant well but didn't do everything required for success. The comparision between Radagast and Sauruman is equivalent to the difference between a sin of omission and a sin of commission.

Radagast could be favorable compared to ents that Treebeard describes as becoming more tree-like. They are apathetic and loose the vision and drive and become more tree-like; Radagast, in my opinion, would become more mortal like in his apathy, he wouldn't cross the ocean to Valinor as he is dwindling and dimishing in his knowledge and prior greatness. I think he would remain in Middle-earth a mere shadow of what he became continually tending to his micro-environment without concerning himself with the goings on of the world around him. He wouldn't die but wouldn't grow.
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:35 AM   #21
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I thought Yavanna sent Radagast because she seemed to know that he had the most love for her works. Anyway in this sense Radagast seemed to have both failed and suceeded--he failed to ammend all (plant and animal) hurts of ME, but he did become friends of some of them.

And though Radagast indirectly aided Gandalf and Co., he did help in his own little way...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faramir
Radagast did aid alittle,sending the eagles and all....
hehe...
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:01 AM   #22
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Even though Radagast can be deemed to failure, it has been suggested (although I'm not sure if Tolkien himself said so explicitly) that Radagast was responsible for the Eagles' coming at certain appropriate times (such as the Battle of the Morannon and Five Armies).

Of the Blue Wizards, Tolkien came to theorise that they did not, in fact, fail in their mission, but were fundamental in helping some in the East resist Sauron. If they had not gone East, then Sauron's influence there would be much stronger and he would be able to muster a much stronger army to conquer the West.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:56 AM   #23
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Two quotes on the blue wizards

Quote:
In 1954 he was uncertain about the Blue Wizards, but in a letter of 1958 he says of them "I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, thought doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and 'magic' traditions".

--The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, p.280
Quote:
However, in The Peoples of Middle-Earth they get a happier ending; they "must have had great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of [the] East".

-- The Peoples of Middle-Earth, p.385
So it seems that Tolkien himself was divided. But it should not be forgotten that he said in unfinished tales

Quote:
of all the Istari, one only remained faithful
Quote:
Even though Radagast can be deemed to failure, it has been suggested (although I'm not sure if Tolkien himself said so explicitly) that Radagast was responsible for the Eagles' coming at certain appropriate times (such as the Battle of the Morannon and Five Armies).
Rather I think Gwaihir was responsible for these actions and Radagast had little to do with the actually movement of deep events in Middle-earth.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:47 PM   #24
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Could it be said that Radagast's knowledge taught Sarumann to use the crows as spies?
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:29 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Could it be said that Radagast's knowledge taught Sarumann to use the crows as spies?
Actually, I think it was likely Radagast himself who was directing the birds and animals to spy and report to Saruman, on the latter's orders. Saruman doesn't seem to have had the skill, or desire, to make nice with lesser creatures.

I suspect Radagast never cottoned to Saruman's betrayal, else he'd have taken some active part against him. I think Radagast just wandered around, blissfully unaware of what was really going on. Radagast probably still thought Saruman was an ally, and that helping Saruman with information gathering was his bit in the fight against Sauron.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:07 PM   #26
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Inziladun, I think you're being unfair on Radagast here:

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I suspect Radagast never cottoned to Saruman's betrayal, else he'd have taken some active part against him. I think Radagast just wandered around, blissfully unaware of what was really going on. Radagast probably still thought Saruman was an ally, and that helping Saruman with information gathering was his bit in the fight against Sauron.
We should remember that when Radagast gave Gandalf Saruman's message to go to Isengard, Gandalf suspected absolutely nothing. Saruman, though doing his own thing, was still thought to be an ally. That this was a widely held feeling can be seen at the Council of Elrond, when the truth was told.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:44 PM   #27
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We should remember that when Radagast gave Gandalf Saruman's message to go to Isengard, Gandalf suspected absolutely nothing. Saruman, though doing his own thing, was still thought to be an ally. That this was a widely held feeling can be seen at the Council of Elrond, when the truth was told.
Certainly Radagast can't be blamed for trusting Saruman at the time he advised Gandalf to go to Isengard.
But what about after? R. wasn't at the Council of Elrond. The scouts from Rivendell went to Rhosgobel and couldn't find him. It doesn't appear Gandalf ever spoke with him again, at least not until after the War was over. If Radagast never figured out (or, as I think, was never fussed enough about the War against Sauron to really care) that Saruman had turned to evil, there's no reason he wouldn't have kept telling the animals and birds to bring news to Saruman.
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:23 AM   #28
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In answer to your question:

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But what about after? R. wasn't at the Council of Elrond. The scouts from Rivendell went to Rhosgobel and couldn't find him. It doesn't appear Gandalf ever spoke with him again, at least not until after the War was over. If Radagast never figured out (or, as I think, was never fussed enough about the War against Sauron to really care) that Saruman had turned to evil, there's no reason he wouldn't have kept telling the animals and birds to bring news to Saruman.
What we have makes it clear that Radagast was negligent in pursuing the mission. Tolkien, in his essay on the Wizards in Unfinished Tales, said that of them 'only one[Gandalf] remained faithful'; and Radagast 'became enamoured of the many beasts and birds that dwelt in Middle-earth, and forsook Elves and Men, and spent his days among the wild creatures'.

However, Radagast didn't go over to evil, as Saruman did; so I certainly don't agree that he would have carried on helping him once he knew the true state of affairs. I'm sure that Gwaihir, after he rescued Gandalf from Orthanc, would have given him this new information about Saruman.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:08 AM   #29
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However, Radagast didn't go over to evil, as Saruman did; so I certainly don't agree that he would have carried on helping him once he knew the true state of affairs. I'm sure that Gwaihir, after he rescued Gandalf from Orthanc, would have given him this new information about Saruman.
I wasn't saying Radagast would have knowingly aided an evil Saruman. While the Company was in Eregion, the crebain from Fangorn were shadowing them, and you'd think, with Radagast's affinity for birds and beasties, that if he'd known of Saruman's treachery he would have put an end to their spying for him.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:13 PM   #30
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You said here that:

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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
While the Company was in Eregion, the crebain from Fangorn were shadowing them, and you'd think, with Radagast's affinity for birds and beasties, that if he'd known of Saruman's treachery he would have put an end to their spying for him.
Radagast doesn't control all the birds and beasts. There's an indication of this, after he delivered Saruman's message to Gandalf. The latter asked him to 'Send out messages to all the beasts and birds that are your friends'. This implies that thre were birds and beasts who weren't under Radagast's control. Presumably, the crows you mentioned were among them.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:15 PM   #31
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You said here, Inziladun, that:

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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
While the Company was in Eregion, the crebain from Fangorn were shadowing them, and you'd think, with Radagast's affinity for birds and beasties, that if he'd known of Saruman's treachery he would have put an end to their spying for him.
Radagast doesn't control all the birds and beasts. There's an indication of this, after he delivered Saruman's message to Gandalf. The latter asked him to 'Send out messages to all the beasts and birds that are your friends'. This implies that there were birds and beasts who weren't under Radagast's control. Presumably, the crows you mentioned were among them.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:52 PM   #32
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I think that sticking just to Radagast's role in LotR would be a mistake, though it's not said explicitely, Radagast participated in the assault on Dol Guldur as a member of The white council. Or so I'm convinced. Location, Location, Location. Considering Rosghobel's position on the edge of Mirkwood, is it not possible that radagast was simply oposing Sauron's will in the forest? And in the meantime separating himself among wild creatures native to those regions, where almost no humanoids lived for hundreds of years?
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:47 PM   #33
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Six years late to the debate, but I have just discovered this little gem of a note from Christopher Tolkien in "The Istari", Unfinished Tales.

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There is no hint of an explanation of why Yavanna's evident desire that the Istari should include in their number one with a particular love of the things of her making could only be achieved by imposing Radagast's company on Saruman;while the suggestion in the essay on the Istari (p. 505) that in becoming enamoured of the wild creatures of Middle-earth Radagast neglected the purpose for which he was sent is perhaps not perfectly in accord with the idea of his being specially chosen by Yavanna.
CT continues to suggest that Saruman's great scorn for Radagast might be due to the "unwelcome company" which Yavanna imposed on him. Saruman was chosen by Aule.
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:46 AM   #34
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CT continues to suggest that Saruman's great scorn for Radagast might be due to the "unwelcome company" which Yavanna imposed on him. Saruman was chosen by Aule.
Maybe Saruman resented having to be thrust into the drama of Aulë and Yavanna's technology vs. tree-hugger dynamic.
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