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It has been a good while since I last read The Silmarillion, but tonight I was browsing through the glossary of names, and I came across the wizards. Now, I should probably know this, but whatever happened to the wizards: curunir, mithrandir, olorin, and radagast? Any information would be appreciated.
Wow, I think this is going to be my first answer to some question. That too outside LOTR!!!


Anyways, let me try. Of course others will correct me where I'm wrong

OK. We all know that Mithrandir was Gandalf. So I need not say anything about him. Olorin was also a name of Gandalf.

Curunir means "Man of skill" in Sindarin. That name is of Saruman. We also know about him. So I won't talk about him. If anyone wants they can of course talk on what I have not.

Now third was the Brown Wizard Radagast. He was sent to protect birds, trees and animals. He "settled down" I think somewhere between the Carrock and the Old Forest Road on the borders of Mirkwood. I dont remember the name of that place though. He actually lost his way as he became too enamored of his animals and plants and all, (or should i say nature??) and forgot that he was sent to help people fight against Sauron. I think he returned to Valinor, but I'm not sure about that. Council member???

Then atlast we come to the Blue wizards about whom you havent mentioned and these are the ones I'm most confused about and I seek an explaination about them. So the inevitable follows in form of another question from me...

Somebody please explain about the Blue Wizards

Then comes the question of Tom Bombadil and Goldberry. I'm not sure about them being the blue wizards. I think Bombadil was, but I'm not so sure about Goldberry.

All I can say here is a passage from the Unfinished tales:

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"...But there were others, two dressed in sea-blue...of the Blue little was known in the west (of Middle-earth), and they had no names save Ithryn Luin ‘the Blue Wizards’; for they traveled to the east with Curunír, but they never returned; and whether they remain in the East, pursuing there the purposes for which they sent; or perished; or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servants it is not now known. But none of these chances were impossible to be.”


I think in the end Gandalf was the only success among the Istari.

We need more explaination here people!!!
First of all, I think Radagast lived in Rhosgobel.

That's about all the information on the Blue Wizards, though there are some speculations on what was their mission on Middle-earth. It seems they were sent to counter Sauron's actions in the East. To some extent, their deeds had some effect and apparently not all of the easterlings came at Sauron's bidding in the War of the Ring. However, they have failed, as all the others Istari (except Gandalf) in that they started their own magical cults in those far lands.

When it comes about tom Bombadil and Goldberry, the situation is quite different. They are not, of course, the Blue Wizards, yet no one can say for certain who they really are. Some say they are spirits of nature (similar to the dryads, nymphs and satyres of the Greek mythology)... Others say they're Maiar... There are some who see them as Aule and Yavanna taking a small vacation on ME... (explaining thus why the Ring has no effect on TB)... The most daring even picture TB as Iluvatar entered into the world...
It remains a mystery, I guess...
I found this thread while going through the forums :

What happened to Radagast the Brown
What happened to the two other wizards you ask? Well I have read that at the very beginning when the wizards were sent there, the three we know about (Gandalf, Radaghast, and Saruman), but what about the other two? Well it is said and i am not 100% accurate that the two wizards wandered off into the East and were never seen again. Some say they still haunt the Wilderness trying to complete their purpose. Or maybe Saruman killed them and took their powers. The only person who would know would be Tolkien himself but he is no longer with us. So basically the two wizards wandered off east or north or south and were never heard from or seen again. Their purposes will remain unsolved until someone finds the answer.
Don't quote me on what i said lol
~Celebrimbor
Hey Cel, I AM quoting you :P

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Or maybe Saruman killed them and took their powers


Haha, I wonder. Powers, what powers??
Maybe this should be in the Unfinished Tales section since most of what we learn about the Istari is found in there.

The Blue wizards are said to have travelled to the East and may have become corrupted; at least in the sense of not following their duties that are assigned to them from the Valar. They are also given names: Pallando and Alatar.

the blue wizard were Pallando and Alatar

Regarding the wizards, the history states:-
"Alatar and Pallando arrived in Middle-earth dressed in sea-blue. For this reason, they were together given the name Ithryn Luin, the Blue Wizards. With Saruman, they journeyed into the far east of Middle-earth, but while Saruman returned to the west, Alatar and Pallando did not. Of their fate, we know almost nothing."
Re: Tom Bombadil, he remains unknown. We are told he is th eldest and therefore this suggests he was Maia. Even Tolkien was unsure as per his quote:-
"And even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally)."
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, No 144, dated 1954



Um, I think that there is a myth that the wizards became sorcerors under the witch king or something. This link is great, it has a lot about who Bombadil could be Tom Bombadil if you then look under 'T' you should find him
The above link takes you to The Encyclopedia of Arda, which while good is seldom updated. You also might try our discussion: Was Tom Bombadil Important to.
Wow.... Good ideas you guys have!
This may be an old thread, but the poll makes this question relevant. I have been told that Pallando and Alatar are the names of the Blue Wizards as found in UT. But I have UT, and I do not find the names there. Is Galadriel, above, quoting from the ten-volume History of ME? If so, could she or someone cite more of the passage in question about these wizards? Does Tolkien ever explain how he named them, as he did with Gandalf? How do we know they failed in their mission? Does Tolkien hold no hope that they succeeded, or does he leave it a mystery? I ask because up to now their very names were a mystery to me. So maybe these questions have answers.
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But I have UT, and I do not find the names there.

I can't check it right now, but I'm 99% sure their names appear in UT all right. If they're not named in the chapter "Istari", then certainly somewhere else.

It's certain I read their names somewhere - they might even be mentioned in the LOTR Appendices.

The above quote of Galadriel's comes from the Encyclopedia of Arda, I presume.

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Does Tolkien ever explain how he named them, as he did with Gandalf? How do we know they failed in their mission? Does Tolkien hold no hope that they succeeded, or does he leave it a mystery? I ask because up to now their very names were a mystery to me. So maybe these questions have answers.

JRRT wrote about the Blue Wizards in his Letters, but again : I can't check it right now.

More later.
As Mir supposed correctly, their names appear in the Istari section of the UT.

From UT

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Whereas in the essay on the Istari it is said that the two who passed into the East had no names Save Ithryn Luin, "the Blue Wizards" (meaning of course that they had no names in the West of Middle Earth), here they are named , as Alatar and Pallando, and are associated with Orome, though no hint is given for the reason of this relationship. It might be that Orome of all the Valar had the greatest knowledge of the further parts of Middle Earth, and the Blue wizards were destined to journey in those regions and to remain there.


Later in the chapter it also mentions some scribbled notes Tolkien made, which included the following passage...

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Curumo (Saruman) took Aiwendil (Radagast) because Yavanna begged him, and that Alatar took Pallando as a friend.
Well, there ye go. This evening/night, i'll post here what JRRT wrote about the Blue Wizards in his Letters.

I seem to remember JRRT wrote in a letter that he himself believed the Blue Wizards to have failed, but i could be wrong.
I think you are right. I seem to recall Tolkien saying they went east and maybe became corrupted in the same way Saruman was.

There are a number of entries for Wizards in Letters and as I don't have time I shall wait with worms on my tongue for Mir to enlighten us all.

Merry Christmas!
Many thanks to one and all for helping with these questions. I have UT somewhere, so I will have to read those passages again. My memory must be playing tricks on me...
The following was written by JRRT in letter #211 to Rhona Beare, answering a question about the colours of the two wizards mentioned but not named in LOTR.
The letter was written on 14 October 1958.

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Question 3. I have not named the colours, because I do not know them.3 I doubt if they had distinctive colours. Distinction was only required in the case of the three who remained in the relatively small area of the North-west. (On the names see Q[uestion]5.) I really do not know anything clearly about the other two – since they do not concern the history of the N.W. I think they went as emissaries to distant regions, East and South, far out of Númenórean range: missionaries to 'enemy-occupied' lands, as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and 'magic' traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron.

Question 5. Manwë, husband of Varda; or in Grey-elven Manwë and Elbereth. Since the Valar had no language of their own, not needing one, they had no 'true' names, only identities, and their names were conferred on them by the Elves, being in origin therefore all, as it were, 'nicknames', referring to some striking peculiarity, function, or deed. (The same is true of the 'Istari' or Wizards who were emissaries of the Valar, and of their kind.) In consequence each identity had several 'nicknames'; and the names of the Valar were not necessarily related in different Elvish languages (or languages of Men deriving their knowledge from Elves).


As this letter was written in 1958, it seems that JRRT picked their colours and named them later on.

It is mentioned in a note to the letter that “. 3. Elsewhere Tolkien called the other two wizards Ithryn Luin, the Blue Wizards; see Unfinished Tales pp. 389-90”.

Apart from this, i found nothing in JRRT’s Letters about the Blue Wizards.
In 1996, when the twelfth book of the History of Middle Earth, The Peoples of Middle-Earth, was published, a new perspective on the Blue Wizards was revealed --a perspective that ran against the very information contained in essentially all previous sources on the two missing wizards. Notes that were considered uninterpretable during the writing of Unfinished Tales (as is stated in both books) were finally deciphered by Christopher Tolkien. Being written in the last years of Professor Tolkien's life - 1972 - the coming of the blue wizards is changed even in the date. The text given in The Peoples of Middle-Earth, "Last Writings," is here in full. First there is a more general overview of the wizards:

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.

Again, here, we have reference to Saruman's comment of the "Rods of the Five Wizards" and the general mysteriousness of the two remaining Istari. However, there also follows a much more specific account:

"The 'other two' came much earlier, at the same time probably as Glorfindel, when matters became very dangerous in the Second Age.(26) 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 Romestamo. 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 stirup 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 disarrayinbg the forces of the East...who would both in the Second and Third Age otherwise have ...outnumbered the West."

It is now clear what Tolkien's last view on the matter (though last, like everything involving Tolkien's writings, does not simply mean finalized). The Blue Wizards arrived in the Second Age, around the year 1600 to aid in the wars against Sauron. They were not sent to help the forces of the Free Peoples in battle against evil, as the other wizards were, but to head into the east to destroy Sauron's base there amid the Easterlings. Whereas in Letter 211 the Ithryn Luin are left likely failing their mission, here the opposite is true, for they have become pivotal to the victories of the West in the Wars against Sauron by lessening Sauron's forces from the East. Also, their names are changed to Morinehtar and Romestamo.

The matter of Glorfindel is not important here other than knowing that also in late writings of Tolkien it is explicitly clear that the Glorfindel of Gondolin was reincarnated, and he returned to Middle-earth likely at the time Sauron had forged the one Ring and was preparing war on the Elves who had discovered his secret (this will be discussed in full elsewhere). The Blue Wizards are said to have come with him to Middle-earth, but again, they were not sent to bolster Elrond's forces, but rather to weaken Sauron's, to disestablish his influence in the East.

Ultimately, one can see that the Blue Wizards have had complicated history. Originally, nothing was known of them, and hardly a hint of their existence is in The Lord of the Rings. Soon, their mission to the East was established, and while at first they have even odds of succeeding and failing, it becomes very doubtful that they succeeded. However, in the ultimate texts, though the story is never fully achieved, the rumours of failure are eliminated; rather, the two wizards have become very important to the survival of Middle-earth and the defeat of Sauron. That this contradicts such statements as Gandalf being the only Wizard to remain faithful is clear, however, statements such as these are given at time when earlier ideas of the Blue Wizards were in consideration, and were not published in Tolkien's lifetime. It is suitably clear that Tolkien's final (or at least last) views on the Blue Wizards, Morinehtar and Romestamo, are those given in The Peoples of Middle-Earth, where he attributes to them an enormous role in the victories against Sauron.
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It is suitably clear that Tolkien's final (or at least last) views on the Blue Wizards, Morinehtar and Romestamo, are those given in The Peoples of Middle-Earth, where he attributes to them an enormous role in the victories against Sauron.

It doesn't really seem clear to me how their help in the victories against Sauron was pivotal. Sauron was only defeated by the destruction of the Ring; if the Ring had not been destroyed, or if the Ring had never been found, or if the Ring had not been used by someone, Sauron would've been victorious due to his vast armies. It was actually luck that the Ring was found, as this gave the ppls of the West a chance at defeating Sauron.

Maybe Alatar and Pallando/Morinehtar and Romestamo succeeded in convincing some Eastern tribes/peoples not to join Sauron, or perhaps they prevented some Eastern armies to join Sauron in time (or other logistical issues) and as such made Sauron's vast armies a little less vast, so that the attacks on Erebor and Lóthlorien were held back long enough. Even though the Blues apparently worked in the East since the 2nd Age, Sauron's armies still outnumbered the armies of the West to a high degree (maybe the Blues merely turned a 10:1 into a 9:1).

But it is still due to Aragorn showing himself in the Palantír that Sauron decided to throw one of his armies at Minas Tirith without deploying his full strength and hence failing to conquer MT. If this had happened, then the West would've already been morally defeated.
Thanks for that, Beren. I haven't got my hands on a copy of People's of Middle Earth yet, but that may prompt me to do so sooner rather than later. I do like the idea that they had at least partial success rather than failing or becoming corrupted. It is rather interesting to see Tolkien invisaged them arriving in Middle Earth before the other three wizards, too. The timing seems sensible, too, being a period when Sauron was very much a threat to Middle Earth.
I find it peculiar that the Blues were sent by the Valar in the 2nd Age to the East, where nothing was happening at that time, whilst Sauron was wreaking havoc in the West. Of course, Oromë is probably most familiar with the Eastern part of Middle-Earth, as it was he who found the Quendi, but it's hard to understand why no others were sent with the Blues to cover the other regions of Middle-earth.

If the other three would've been sent along with the Blues at that time, their guide and counsel would've been much welcome. Gandalf and Saruman could've foiled the plan of Sauron concerning the 9 Rings of Men, for instance, and prevent the birth of the Nazgûl.

The Valar were really too indulgent.

Instead of looking for Morgoth's ace of spades after the War of Wrath, they let him be. They may have bestowed us with a great story, but sometimes they really are so full of the inefficiency and sloppiness that's typical for immortals : "Why destroy evil now, if you can do it 3000 years from now? Now, pass on the ambrosia."
I think the Valar remembered very well what happened when they attack Melkor the last time... and the whole of ME was reshaped and a lot of damage was done. If the Valar would go and attack again i think they would have done much more harm then good.

The Istari on the other hand were doing a good job and made the children of Illuvatar achieve the downfall of the evil...

It was always a question to me why the valar did not immediatly after the death of the trees followed Melkor and crushed him before he started breeding the orcs and at that time had only a few Balrogs at hand. Yet after some thinking i realised that the Valar would not take the chance to assail ME again and destroy half of it and with that maybe destroy the place where the adani would awake.
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I think the Valar remembered very well what happened when they attack Melkor the last time... and the whole of ME was reshaped and a lot of damage was done. If the Valar would go and attack again i think they would have done much more harm then good.

There's a world of difference between Morgoth and Sauron.

But anyway, if they had tracked down Sauron after the War of Wrath and apprehended him, there wouldn't have been much trouble in the coming Ages. Perhaps a bunch of petty invasions from the Men of the East, but compared to what Sauron did, that's really a walk in the park.

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It was always a question to me why the valar did not immediatly after the death of the trees followed Melkor and crushed him before he started breeding the orcs and at that time had only a few Balrogs at hand.

Perhaps they would've, but after they were recovered from the shock and grief caused by the destruction of the Two Trees, they were faced by the rebellion of the Noldor led by the conniving upstart Fëanor.

That shoved any plans for punishing Morgoth down the drain for around 600 years.

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The Istari on the other hand were doing a good job and made the children of Illuvatar achieve the downfall of the evil...

The downfall of Sauron was achieved. Alas, the downfall of evil was not and would not be possible unless all of Arda would be remade.
That is completely true. Still it makes me wonder sometimes why the valar act the way they do... to me it seems they are like SUPERPOWERS who can create land, sky even moon and sun. And they are waiting for the children of Illuvatar they invite them over to Aman.
From the beginning all seems to go wrong and not all children arrive.
Then they get trouble with the Noldor and block Aman up and only one ever manages to get there. Why do they not try to help men, the aftercomers, when they awake. Why do they not invite them?
Why do they let evil spread so far and so deep. Sometimes it seems all like a little game... the whole Gondolin tale... it seems to me the Valar are very hard on the children of Illuvatar. While i thought it was there task to achieve ME.
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Why do they not try to help men, the aftercomers, when they awake. Why do they not invite them?

When the Valar first saw the children of Illúvatar in the Vision that was created by the One, they immediately all loved the Quendi and wanted them to live with them and protect them. But ultimately this led to the rebellion of the Noldor.

Hence, i think the Valar did not want to make the same mistake with the Atani : instead of guiding them directly like they did with the Eldar, they led them find their own paths with later on only the help of 5 messengers.

Not to mention, the fact that the Valar did not understand the race of the Atani as they understood the race of the Quendi, as not much was revealed about them during the Music of the Ainur, was probably another contributing factor for their cautiousness.
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I find it peculiar that the Blues were sent by the Valar in the 2nd Age to the East, where nothing was happening at that time, whilst Sauron was wreaking havoc in the West.


They were sent to stop the problem in the East. As no help came to Sauron from there at that time, they must have succeeded in their mission. Tolkien was writing about the Blue wizards rectrospectively. His world was pretty much complete by the time he began writing about them, so maybe he was attempting to fit them into a part of his world, in a way that he could have them succeed without having to elaborate. Maybe he intended writing more about them.
Thanks to Beren for that new information from the History of ME. Now I REALLY regret not being able to get those books! And thanks also to Mir and Val for continuing to elucidate points. I have to say that the names Tolkien finally settled on sound much more like his naming/language usage than the names Alatar and Pollando. All that about their having predated the other Istari of the West is fascinating, and well as their having been given a different mission. Does the History indicate if/when they left ME after the WOTR? Would their mission, like Gandalf's, have been considered finished? Or would they, like Radagast, remain in ME?
As said there is no anwser to this. But since we have now more info we can see that the five had different tasks to complete and there for maybe left at there own pace, when there own tasks were completed.

Oh, yes,... it is my pleasure to add some new content. I have my complete library standing behind me (3 bookcases in double rows full of Tolkien books). It is good to use the books i read once in a while. I just noticed that all the major works had been discussed and i missed the final part from People of ME.
Beren - The research which went into your post on January 11 is quite impressive. Unfortunately, you yourself are less than impressive. That post is blatant plagiarism from this website: http://www.lotrlibrary.com/agesofarda/bluewizards.asp
Beren has stated in his post on 11th January that the text he posted comes from The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Last Writings", hence it is certainly not blatant plagiarism from the site you are referring to.

Try reading a post next time, instead of only creating an account on PT in order to wrongfully accuse somebody.
If Tolkiens vision of the Blues is as represented in Book Twelve, I'd argue that they DID play a pivotal role in the War of the Ring for the simple reason it would never have been able to occur without them. Let's not forget that Gondor was subject to two invasions, one from the south and one from the east, long before the War of the Ring itself, and both were near things. Imagine the Wain Riders with three times their numbers. Is there still a Gondor to oppose Sauron?
Still, what's written in HOME contradicts what's both in the Sil & in UT, hence I only choose to regard it as an interesting later development in JRRT's thoughts about his works.

JRRT did write in a much earlier letter (see above) that he believed for the Blue Wizards to have forgotten their mission and failed.
Yet the Silm is silent on the Blue Wizards, so it alone won't answer. However, I think the Appendices to the Trilogy support the "traditional" tale. I'm just too afraid of what will happen if I open my TRotK to find out for certian.
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I'm just too afraid of what will happen if I open my TRotK to find out for certian.

Hmm, bats will come flying out accompanied by diabolical laughter of Christopher Lee ?
Miruvor - Try reading the link next time. The text is not entirely from the PoME. Only a small portion is. The only thing out of that text is:

""The 'other two' came much earlier, at the same time probably as Glorfindel, when matters became very dangerous in the Second Age.(26) 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 Romestamo. 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 stirup 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 disarrayinbg the forces of the East...who would both in the Second and Third Age otherwise have ...outnumbered the West."

There are also quotes from other sources, but the majority of the work remains another person's words, and the entirety is another person's work (and that other person is not Tolkien). So your defense of Beren is incorrect. It is indeed blatant plagiarism.
Well you have told everybody where the text comes from, and I am sure Beren has learned his lesson now. Kids (and everybody else), if the words aren't your own, alway say where they come from. The copyright ghost is always present.
I guess we have discovered yet another wizard in the order of the Istari : the Red Tape Wizard.

I'd like to hear Beren's side before burning him on the stake; maybe he looked it up in the LOTR library in that link and copied it here, believing the entire text to come from PoME which would not make it 'blatant plagiarism', but merely an oversight.
Isn't Beren the webmaster of lotrlibrary.com? I know he runs a couple of LotR sites.
It's possible that he was the webmaster, or is. But I know everyone who has ever been the webmaster for the webiste and they wouldn't post the info without giving the source. And I assure you it is not Beren's work, andit is apparently not an innocent mistake, given his above post in which he takes full credit for the work as if he looked it up in his own books:

"it is my pleasure to add some new content. I have my complete library standing behind me (3 bookcases in double rows full of Tolkien books). It is good to use the books i read once in a while. I just noticed that all the major works had been discussed and i missed the final part from People of ME." (Jan 11, 9:03 pm).

And I do understand that I am in the not so applaudable position of bringing in the "red tape," but it is better than letting it go unnoticed.
I guess we'll have to wait for Beren's return and see what he has to say on the matter.