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Blue Wizards

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Unfinished Tales PB
The Blue Wizards journeying to the East.
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The Blue Wizards (or the Ithryn Luin) were two notoriously mysterious characters of Middle-earth, so-named because they both wore sea-blue robes. They were only hinted at in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf and Saruman, respectively, say there are five Wizards. However, other writings of Tolkien have more to say. In Tolkien's Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age we are told that aside from Curunir (Saruman), Mithrandir (Gandalf), and Radagast, there were "others of the Istari who went into the east of Middle-earth, and do not come into these tales."[1] Tolkien also writes in Unfinished Tales that the two Wizards were sent to the East. Their names in Valinor were Alatar and Pallando, and they are Maiar of the Vala Oromë.[2]

HistoryEdit

Alatar
The Blue Wizards
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In a letter, Tolkien says that these two wizards went into the East, and likely failed their mission, perhaps having started magical cults.[3] However, all of this changes in a text written in the last year or two of Tolkien's life.[4] An alternate set of names are given - Morinehtar and Rómestámo (or Rome(n)star), Darkness-slayer and East-helper. It is not clear whether these names were intended to be replacements for Alatar and Pallando or whether they were a second set of names (for instance, their names used in Middle-earth).

They are said to have arrived not in the Third Age, but in the Second, around the year SA 1600, the time of the Forging of the One Ring. Their mission though is still to the east, to weaken the forces of Sauron . And it is here said that the Wizards far from failed; rather, they had a pivotal role in the victories of the West at the end of both the Second and the Third Ages. Glorfindel was likely also, Tolkien mentioned later, a shipmate of the Wizards, for he reappears in history about that time.[2]

EtymologyEdit

Like most names in Tolkien's works, the names of the Blue Wizards are significant. The name Romestamo means East-helper, coming from the Quenya word romen, meaning uprising, sunrise, east. Here, Rómestámo incorporates not only his relation to the East of Middle-earth, but also his mission there: to encourage uprising and rebellion against Sauron. Similarly, Pallando may include the Quenyan palan meaning far:  while  Ala-  is a stem meaning "spread", and Tar, Taure is a forest-name meaning dark woods.

Accordingly the Valinorean names may equate "Far-seer" (Pallando) and "Wide-forest" or "Forest-spreader" (Alatar), with reference perhaps to their unique provinces, Pallando over foresight and Alatar over trees, as Aiwendil (Radagast) was over beasts. Morinehtar includes the elements mor- darkness (cf. mornië) and -ehtar (cf. Telumehtar "warrior of the heavens" as a name given to the constellation Orion, though here translated "warrior").

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

In Peter Jackson's Film Trilogy the Blue Wizards are never mentioned by name, only referenced with "the rods of the five wizards" by Saruman in the extended cut of the third film.

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, when Bilbo asks Gandalf if there are any other wizards in Middle-earth, Gandalf states there are "five of us": himself, Radagast, Saruman, and the two Blue Wizards, but he has "quite forgotten their names".  The exclusion of the Blue wizards' names from that film, according to Peter Jackson in the director's commentary to the extended edition, was due to the film makers' not having acquired rights to the entirety of Tolkien's works, only to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  The wizards' names are never mentioned in the four books they had rights to, so they were not able to name them in the movies.

Ainur of Arda
Ainulindalë (Music of the Ainur)
Lords of the Valar Manwë | Aulë | Oromë | Irmo (Lórien) | Námo (Mandos) | Tulkas | Ulmo
Queens of the Valar (The Valier): 
Varda | Yavanna | Vána | Estë | Vairë | Nessa | Nienna
Lord of the Valar (The Enemy): 
Morgoth (a.k.a. Melkor)
Maiar
Eönwë | Ilmarë | Ossë | Uinen | Salmar | Melian | Arien | Tilion | Curumo (Saruman) | Olórin (Gandalf) | Aiwendil (Radagast) | Alatar (Morinehtar) | Pallando (Rómestámo)
Maiar (Enemies):  Sauron | Gothmog | Durin's Bane | Ungoliant | Curumo (Saruman)

ReferencesEdit

  1. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
  2. 2.0 2.1 Unfinished Tales: The Istari
  3. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien
  4. The History of Middle-earth: The Peoples of Middle-earth

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