Witches and Wizards in ME

The forthcoming Hobbit movie
madame tortilla
Posts: 7

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#1 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:15 pm

This question is more far-reaching than anything else, but I would still want to ask it here. What exactly is the role of witches in ME? It is known that they were connected to dark forces, but was this a general misconception or were ALL witches in Tolkien’s lore evil? The only exception I can think of is Galadriel and I’m not sure one can call her a witch, per say.

The question is: how do the different races in ME (dwarves, elves, Men, hobbits) treat witches? Are they immediately spurned or burned like in our world’s Dark Ages? Or are they feared and left alone? Would they be eternally suspicious?

Wizards seem to be trusted, to some degree. Maybe the people of ME are intimidated and fascinated by them? I'm fairly sure the same doesn't happen to witches or women who dabble in magic.

Indis
Posts: 332

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#2 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:17 am


Very interesting question.



A few characters definitely were some kind of witches, but none of them were human as far as I remember. I mean, yes - Witchking of Angmar was a Man once, but I'd say that after he run across Sauron's power he wasn't considered human anymore - at least for me. I'd say everyone who were practicing magic for evil purposes, or was accused of doing that (Galadriel and maybe other Elves) would be called a witch in ME realm.



In my opinion Saruman was a witch after he started using his powers for the dark side. Before that he was a wizard.



Witchking definitely was one too - I believe he was interested in sorcery before he became a servant of Sauron, but we don't know if he was succesful in magic as a human being. It's interesting if Men would be able to practice sorcery. I'd say no. Everyone in LOTR (and if I remember correctly also in the other books) who has some kind of magic powers weren't human - we have Istari, Elves, Nazguls, Maia... but not Men. Men could have a gift of foreseeing, but didn't practice magic.



Galadriel would be considered a Witch by those, who didn't know much about the Elves or disliked them. I suppose some hobbits who knew about the Elves only from stories, gossips and superstitions would see them as Witches, as they didn't understood what the Elves truly are.


curufinwe
Posts: 305

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#3 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:55 pm


I think we must first consider this one thing. In lothlorien, sam asks an elf about magic and the elf responds by commenting on the fact that the word magic was used both for the magic of sauron and the magic of the elves. This magic is art, in a letter included at the beginning of the silmarilion tolkien says that elves "magic" is art. so if we are saying that a witch is someone who has the "magic" of the enemy then they would probably not be liked. However if they just have the elvish "magic" then they would most likely not be called a witch.



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brego
Posts: 1275

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#4 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:40 pm


Agreed Curufinwe. Tolkien states that the Elves (or Wizards) are not magical.  They have powers of perception and in Wizards cases over nature. He seems to be saying that Witches and Sorcerers deal in the dark forms of unnatural power. The Witch King gained a lot of his power over centuries of wearing one of the 9 rings, as humans were easiest to corrupt this ring probably had great effect on The witch King and he would have had plenty of time to practice his skills, with Sauron's help.



glorfindel
Posts: 285

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#5 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:19 pm

Most men fear what they don't understand. Most likely one who doesn't know elves well will consider them witches.

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brego
Posts: 1275

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#6 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:51 am

Yes Elves have the power of Enchantment.

curufinwe
Posts: 305

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#7 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:14 pm


What about someone like luthein? she was certainly magical in many ways, she used her hair to put people to sleep and did a number of other magical things. But how do you think men would view her, she certainly isn't evil and I doubt anyone would perceive her that way.



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brego
Posts: 1275

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#8 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:02 am


I guess Curufinwe that as Luthien was half Maia, she would have had many powers over and above the other Elves.  The feats of power she showed were all nature based or mental manipulation.



curufinwe
Posts: 305

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#9 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:53 pm


So even though luthein has still got the same "magic" as other good guys, and girls, how do you think that other people of other and the same races would view her?



valandil
Posts: 24

Witches and Wizards in ME

Post#10 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:29 pm


Tolkien got his inspiration from the study of human history and mythology. It is common knowledge that witches are not well seen in the human history and there is an aura of suspicion about them , while wizards are accepted as wise men who served in the aid of royalty ( see Merlin ). I think he transmitted that perception in his writtings as well to make it more credible in the human subconscious. Even if some witches are good ( like Galadriel ) , they are perceived negatively by the others. Luthien was very beautiful, just like Galadriel , so once a person actually saw them they would change their preconceived ideas about them ( see how Gimli reacted after he met Galadriel, Beren even got in love and married Luthien ).



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