Thread: So who do you be? Hobbit, dwarf, wizard or elven?
Very interesting. Well met, new friends in PT. However, as you can read in various threads here, there is plenty of evidence in Tolkien that the Istari were sent by Manwe to oppose Sauron during the Third Age. Of these five Istari, the "blue wizards" wandered into the East and did not return. Now, we might write some great fanfic about them, but Tolkien did not bring them back. The remaining three we already know about, and none of them was hobbit, elf, or dwarf. It was Gandalf who helped the various peoples forge the alliances that they were supposed to forge in order to successfully resist Sauron. It was Gandalf who saw to the defense of the various places that needed defending, conferring with the Dunedain of the North to guard the Shire, with the elves to use the Three to best effect (especially once Cirdan had delivered to him Narya), with the Rohirrim to ride to the aid of Minas Tirith, etc. So I believe it would have been superfluous to have had other wizards in the form of different races doing work that was already being done by the known wizards, or at least by the one that was doing his duty.
Yes, we have had plenty of threads establishing the same thing ourselves. If you re-read GB's post carefully, you might note that he acknowledges that Tolkien's wizards took human form. His point was more that it was simply possible under the rules of Tolkien's world.
I would be a dwarf. I don't hate hobbits or elves in fact i love them but if I was one I would have to kill myself. No facial hair....... I love dwarves and would want to fight for my fellow dwarves in the deepest of mines and caverns against massive hordes of goblins and trolls. I would want to be the last of my dying race and defend whatever I have left to call home.
Hooray for my first post! Thank you Planet Tolkien!
I think I do understand his point. Mine is that "under Tolkien's rules," the wizards could only be what they were shown to be. They were always "old men" in order to denote wisdom that mortals would listen to. So that leaves out the ageless elves, whom men and dwarves had come to distrust from long being separated from them. They were men, not hobbits, because hobbits were unknown outside the Shire and no one would listen to a hobbit, much less take serious advice from one. They were men, not dwarves, because dwarves were not children of Illuvatar, but of Aule, and were not respected as leaders by the other races. So it is that the appearance of mortal men was given the Istari that they might be acceptable to all who needed them.
They were always "old men" in order to denote wisdom that mortals would listen to.... So it is that the appearance of mortal men was given the Istari that they might be acceptable to all that needed them.
Can you quote where Tolkien says that? The only thing like that I can remember from UT is that the Istari were sent to Middle-earth "in shapes weak and humble", which clearly does not suggest that it was necessary for them to take the form of men.
No Question i would love to be a dwarf!!! Axes, Ale, SALTED PORK and Plenty of goblins to fight!!! couldn't think of a better existence.
Oooh cool idea for a thread! Well, in all honesty, I don't see my option listed...
I think I'd be a maia. But not a cool, renown ambassador of the free people's or anything. I'd keep to myself, probably ending up more like Beorn than anything else. In fact, maybe I'd even be whatever Beorn is, and take various forms from my environment and travel the world, learning everything there is to know. I just want a simple life comprised of wisdom, nature, and solitude. If I'm able to help an adventurer out to save life as we know it then I'm sure I wouldn't hesitate, but I admit I don't think I'd openly seek to change the world. I would probably travel a lot, though always in silence, and preferably even to the southern lands of Umbar and the Eastern lands of the Haradrim and beyond.
All the other options are too....simple. I'm already living life as a human and feel trapped in a box. I don't think I'd want to be an immortal elf and live under so many guidelines for an eternity. I think the dwarven attitude is a bit too....hardy for my taste. And see technically if I wanted to live like a hobbit right now....I could. But I can never be a shapeshifter who can travel the world without fear or doubt!
But, maybe that's just me
I think I'd be a maia. But not a cool, renown ambassador of the free people's or anything. I'd keep to myself, probably ending up more like Beorn than anything else. In fact, maybe I'd even be whatever Beorn is, and take various forms from my environment and travel the world, learning everything there is to know. I just want a simple life comprised of wisdom, nature, and solitude. If I'm able to help an adventurer out to save life as we know it then I'm sure I wouldn't hesitate, but I admit I don't think I'd openly seek to change the world.
I could easily wrote the same thing, Balrogs. In my case - I may be not like Beorn, more like Radagast. I seem to have a lot in common with him and I'm definitely interested in the same things. I also think I have similar flaws, I guess I might have similar personality.
I might not be able to grow a beard though
Oh, Balrog/Beorn mix would definitely be worth seeing, haha!
Ha, didn't expect to see me posting? I thought so!
Without a doubt, I'd be a wizard.
Ever so unpredictable, wizards can be good at many things. They can play card with high stakes (and cheat along the way), transform friends and foes alike (into not-so-funny beings) and conjure up food, drinks and whatsoever.
But of course, casting fireballs and other mighty spells of magic, growing a beard, dressing in old, weather beaten clothes and wielding a wooden staff of power and epicness are the only reasons why I would love to be a wizard. (Man, what a long sentence twas!)
Being a wizard would be awesome
Being a wizard would be a lot of responsibility. It was not a position invented to be "cool" because of its perks. Remember, in Valinor, Olorin did not want to go, and only agreed to Manwe's plan when he saw the need. He realized the great urgency of acting against the designs of Sauron and knew that it was the wizards who would influence many for good--or for ill. Because Gandalf did not want power over people, but only wanted to fulfill his duty and keep the Free Peoples free, Cirdan at once recognized Olorin for the greatest of the Istari and delivered to him Narya, the Ring of Fire. It is his devotion to his duty and to his friends among all the people he helped that endeared Gandalf to me and eventually left me with his name.
Being a wizard would be a lot of responsibility.
Not for me, I'd be the crazy one, with squirrels, rabbits and hedgehogs all over the place
But yes, I agree that Istari had a great responsibility - and 4 out of 5 of them failed so it says a lot of how difficult their task was. I'd say that not being able to act but just to 'show the direction' for others had to be really challenging for them.
I have not read HOME on the matter, but I so not believe that Radagast failed. As for the Blue Wizards, I think another thread discussed that the Enemy's armies from the East could have been much larger, but that these wizards had succeeded in convincing some people to not follow Sauron. Perhaps someone will remind us of the details. In any event, the only clear traitor/failure was Saruman.
Gandalf-olorin, you made a point about the Blue Istari (along with Radagast the Brown) - they all probably made an impact during the Third Age. But Gandalf was the only one who stayed true to his original task, completed his mission and was able returned to the West. Therefore - I think he is the only one who succeeded. I guess Radagast and both of the Blue Istari helped too, but at some point they all chose not to follow the plan and picked up other roles.
I'm an elf of the woods. I love wandering in completely untouched environments, or places which nature has reclaimed. There is an old quarry in the moorland not too far from where I live, at the bottom is a beautiful lake, trees ect. it's just such a stunning place. The world is a beautiful and people really don't see enough of it.
And of course Gandalf-Olorin, while the true role of the Blue Wizards will never be known, in an earlier essay written by the Professor...
"I really do not know anything clearly about the other two [wizards] – since they do not concern the history of the N[orth].W[est]. 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."
But in a later writing he states your previous theory. However he also changes their name, has them arrive during the Second Age, and seems to have given them fairly established roles. Under these terms, it seems...odd to consider them part of The Istari. Unless Istari just became synonymous with wizard in Middle Earth.
BUT in an Unfinished Tales segment, it mentions Allatar as being one of the ones chosen to go to Middle Earth during the Third Age....as a part of the only 3 Istari. So this would suggest there was a chance the Istari DID only consist of 3 wizards, even though Gandalf mentions the five staffs in I think LOTR. However since it was Allatar, Curumno (aka Saruman), and Olorin, this would leave out Radagast, who we know for sure existed in Middle Earth and came over with Gandalf as part of his "order."
Lol so I guess I'm not really trying to make a point here, just pointing out why I can't decide for myself! When something seems to make sense, there's always something else to contradict it. Guess that can be said for most of Tolkien's writings...
BUT in an Unfinished Tales segment, it mentions Allatar as being one of the ones chosen to go to Middle Earth during the Third Age....as a part of the only 3 Istari.
I found something even more confusing in The Unfinished Tales.
The Unfinished Tales - The Istari
Of this Order the number is unknown; but of those that came to the North of Middle-earth, where there was most hope (because of the remnant of the Dunedain and of the Eldar that abode there), the chiefs was five. The first to come was one of noble men and bearing, with raven hair, and a fair voice, and he was clad in white; great skill he had in works of hand, and he was regarded by well-nigh all, even by the Eldar, as the head of the Order. Others there were also: two clad in sea-blue, and one in earthen brown; and the last came one who seemed the least, less tall than the others, and in looks more aged, grey-haired and grey-clad, and leaning on a staff. But Círdan from their first meeting at the Grey Havens divined in him reverence, and he gave to his keeping the Third Ring, Narya the Red.
So basically there might be more than five wizards in the Middle Earth during Third Age. It is suggested that those five who were named were major ones, and it is possible that there were more. This is even more confusing to me - how many Maia were sent from the West with a mission to fight against Sauron? Is it possible that somehow Tom Bombadil would be among them? Or Beorn? They both were special after all, but seemed to have more narrow roles.
That's true Indis, but this essay on the Istari is relatively early in the external chronology  concerning wizards, and in various statements made after this essay [including letters], Tolkien either states, or strongly implies in my opinion, that there are five wizards.
In other words, Tolkien seems to have forgotten this detail [the implication that there were more], or arguably he revised it, in later texts that refer to number.
I have a post somewhere in these halls which sets out the external chronology of almost all [if not all so far] references to the Istari. In short Tolkien is not consistent, as we see... but we might keep in mind that a number of these references are private jottings, not meant yet for the eyes of readers, with some being so hasty and illegible that Christopher Tolkien himself found it hard to make them out.
Not to mention that at least a couple were written very late in Tolkien's life, when his memory [he admitted] was not as good as it once was. In any case he had published very little about the other two [who might not even be 'blue' necessarily], but he had, in my opinion, at least implied that all five arrived in Middle-earth in the Third Age [Appendix B]...
... and possibly had forgotten that when he penned his late note about the other two arriving much, much earlier in Middle-earth -- it's interesting that another note, just as late and [IIRC] actually on the reverse side of the page [!] of the 'Morinehtar scrawl' [as I'll call it], appears to agree with Appendix B about this issue.
I could also be a crazy wizard, thanks Indis for the idea!