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Old 12-29-2001, 10:41 PM   #1
Lush
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Eye Family Matters

I am curious (what else is new?) whether or not the Istari, i.e. Gandalf, Saruman, etc., were allowed to have wives and children. I know it probably talks about this somewhere, but so far, I can't find anything on this topic! Does anyone know?
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Old 12-30-2001, 08:03 AM   #2
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It's an interesting question. It isn't discussed anywhere in the books as far as I know.
I would say the answer is no, though physically they could have conceivably been capable of it, since they were 'clad in the bodies of Men, real and not feigned'. The Istari were sent to Middle Earth for two clear purposes: to unite the free peoples against Sauron and orchestrate his defeat. Having families would be too much of a distraction.
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Old 12-30-2001, 01:55 PM   #3
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Also, remember that each had his own particular task that they stuck to for the majority of the time. Gandalf and his rallying, Saruman and his lore, etc. Also, Gandalf possesses an elven ring, so it stands in the place of any companion he might have (arguably).
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Old 01-05-2002, 06:48 AM   #4
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Would the wife of Saruman be called Saruwoman? [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] (sorry, that was a stupid joke,but I just couldn't help it...!)

I think they could have had a wives if they wanted to, but they just didn't want. No, want is the wrong word. I sure someone could say this far better than I, but I think that it wasn't in their character to have a family, they were made to be kind of loners. Blaah, I can't explain this.
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Old 01-05-2002, 06:56 AM   #5
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My guess is that they were just too busy... seeking ring-lore is not an easy job, like rallying free ppl to stand up to Sauron.

Maybe only Radagast had the time, but he had birds/beasts around him all the time, so no need for that I guess..

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Old 01-05-2002, 01:31 PM   #6
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Between Radagast, Gandalf, and Saruman-Radagast strikes me as the one most likely to have a wife. I think it has something to do with how close to nature he is.
As for the possibility of Saruwoman...Hahahahaha!!! If one were ever to write a good parody...
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Old 01-05-2002, 02:10 PM   #7
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There's been a parody: Bored of the Rings. It's a bit dated, but still pretty funny. Someone should probably do an updated one.
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Old 01-05-2002, 02:15 PM   #8
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"sarcasm on"

Beastiality subtext in LotR...

Personally, I reckon there's a fair bit of beastiality subtext in LOTR. I usually think that I'm reading too much into it (beastialityspotting in literature is a hobby of mine, whether it's actually in the text or not!)

Obviously, Radgast doesnt have time for a wife because he is so devoted to his animals.
By the way, before any beastialityphobes jump down my throat, spare me, will you? I've just travelled all the way to Israel, only to be dumped by my girlfriend the day after she arrived when she found out that I practice beastiality (she'd obviously not listened, I told her months ago), and so I'm a bit short of patience on that one. If the idea upsets you, you daon't have to think about it - this is fiction, you know!

"sarcasm off"

Also blatantly copied and pasted from the gay subtext thread.

Everyone smile please... [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ January 05, 2002: Message edited by: John of the Race of Men ]
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Old 01-05-2002, 02:27 PM   #9
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Yes, I recognised it, lol!
Saruwoman: "Stop polishing that palantir and get the garbage out!"
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Old 01-05-2002, 02:29 PM   #10
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Oh My God, that was funny, my sides still hurt from laughing!


[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 01-05-2002, 03:13 PM   #11
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it is possible but they probally didnt have time fighting sauron to save the world and all that useless stuff.
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Old 01-05-2002, 05:10 PM   #12
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The Istari probably could have wives and children. They were Maiar, and we know that Maiar can have spouss and cildren. Melian the Maia had Luthien and was married to Thingol. So it would seem that it would be possible for Sarman, Gandalf, Radagast, and the rest of them to have a family, though they probably didn't have the time.
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Old 01-06-2002, 01:45 AM   #13
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What they did in the West was never known, so they could have had wives and children.
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Old 01-07-2002, 01:53 PM   #14
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Tolkien seems to treat the family structure with the greatest respect. Rarely, does he let a character forsake the responsibility of a family for other responsibilities or advenures. Aragorn, for instance, wasn't allowed to divide his efforts between a family and his quest. You could say that Gandalf doesn't have time for a family, but you might equally say that if he had a family, he wouldn't have time for saving middle-earth.

Radagast, on the other hand, appears to have forsaken his quest, if indeed his quest was similar to Gandalf and Saruman's. So it MIGHT be possible that Radagast had taken a wife and thereby restructured his priorities.

Another possibility regardinG Gandalf, and I believe it is the only way that it could work if it must work at all, is that Gandalf and his wife would both be so mature that the level of family responsibility would be at such a managable level that he would also be able to responsibly pursue his quest. Wouldn't that be nice! The best of both worlds! But I believe that Tolkien's view of humanity and families would restrict this possibility to, at most, the supernatural, and perhaps those of the highest and most noble breeding.


off the subject:
Does Tolkien ever mention female dwarves?
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Old 01-07-2002, 02:28 PM   #15
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Not so off the subject, I seem to remember there was mentioned that female dwarves were hard to find. Besides, how would the race continue without females?
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Old 01-07-2002, 11:51 PM   #16
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Aragorn was mortal, Gandalf was Maia and Immortal, he was asked by the Valar to go to Middle Earth, he didn't choose it himself. He had already lived more than 2 ages in the West before he came to M E.
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Old 01-08-2002, 06:27 AM   #17
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I wonder what would happen if a Maia was send to Middle Earth, then finds a wife, settles down on a quite place with her and then passes the rest of his eternal life taking care of his property, picking flowers for his wife and so on... Hummmm... Was this what happened to Tom Bombadil? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

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Old 01-08-2002, 08:28 PM   #18
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1420!

I wonder what would happen if a Maia was send to Middle Earth, then finds a wife, settles down on a quite place with her and then passes the rest of his eternal life taking care of his property, picking flowers for his wife and so on... Hummmm... Was this what happened to Tom Bombadil?
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Hummmm.... Bombadil may have been a Maia but then what was his wife?
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Old 01-08-2002, 10:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alkanoonion:
<STRONG>I wonder what would happen if a Maia was send to Middle Earth, then finds a wife, settles down on a quite place with her and then passes the rest of his eternal life taking care of his property, picking flowers for his wife and so on... Hummmm... Was this what happened to Tom Bombadil?
Ghâshgûl
Hummmm.... Bombadil may have been a Maia but then what was his wife?</STRONG>

This is just an assumption: Goldberry's mother was the RiverWoman, The RiverWoman is a Maia of Ulmo, who her father is we don't know, since she also is probably immortal, he was perhaps Maia also (Melian being the only Maia to marry an Elf)So that would make Goldberry a Maia as well, or whatever you would call the off spring of two Maia. Bombadil also being a Maia, most likely of Yavannah. they were Maia. Or both enigmas to others
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