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Radagast the Brown

Biographical information

Other names
Aiwendil, Bird Friend, Bird-tamer, The Brown, Tender of Beasts
Titles
The Brown Wizard
Date of birth
Before the creation of Arda
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Unknown; possibly still alive
Realms ruled
Spouse
None
Weapon

Physical description

Race
Culture
Wizards (Istari), Maiar of Yavanna
Gender
Male
Height
5'4"
Hair color
Brown-gray
Eye color
Dark-blue
Voice
Character

Radagast the Brown was one of the five wizards, or Istari. He was a good friend of Gandalf, whom he aided occasionally. Radagast was mainly concerned with the well-being of the plant and animal worlds, and thus did not participate heavily in the War of the Ring.

BiographyEdit

Early LifeEdit

Radagast was originally a Maia spirit of Yavanna and was called Aiwendil, meaning "bird-friend". He was chosen as one of the Istari who came to Middle-earth in the year TA 1000. Radagast protects the great forests. He was little concerned with the affairs of Men and Elves but was far more knowledgeable in plants, birds and beasts in the forest.

Third AgeEdit

Radagast and Gandalf 2

Radagast with fellow Wizard, Gandalf

In The Hobbit, Gandalf says that Radagast is his cousin,[1] though this may mean refer to friendship or the fact that they are both Istari, and not actual close kinship, except in that they are both Maiar.[2]

War of the RingEdit

Radagast was unwittingly used by Saruman to lure Gandalf to Orthanc, where Gandalf was captured. However, Radagast also unwittingly helped rescue the grey wizard by alerting the eagles of Gandalf's journey there. This was his only real known contribution to the War of the Ring.[3]

During the Council of Elrond, Gandalf refers to Radagast as "master of shapes and changes of hue", but the meaning of this is open to question. He at one time dwelt at Rhosgobel, on the western eaves of southern Mirkwood, possibly near the Gladden Fields on the Great River.

When messengers from Elrond tried to approach Radagast for his aid in the fight against Sauron, they found his dwellings at Rhosgobel empty. His fate after the War of the Ring is not known.[4] [5]

EtymologyEdit

The name Radagast is said to mean "tender of beasts" in Adûnaic.

His original name was Aiwendil, meaning "bird-friend" in Quenya; IPA: [aɪˈwendil]). It is comprised of the Quenya aiwë ([small] "bird") and the ending -ndil ("friend").

Behind the ScenesEdit

Radagasttheborwn

Radagast the Brown during The Lord of the Rings.

It is not known when or if Radagast left Middle-earth. Tolkien writes that he forsook his mission as one of the Wizards by becoming too obsessed with animals and plants, so presumably he failed, and might not be allowed to return with honour. Tolkien also wrote that he did not believe that Radagast's failure was as great as Saruman's and that he may eventually have been allowed (or chose) to return to the Undying Lands. On the other hand, however, the primary mission of Radagast appointed by Yavanna may have actually been to watch over many of the flora and fauna of Middle-earth and to ensure their survival in the likely case if Sauron conquered Middle-earth, and in this, he succeeded.

However, in a later note Tolkien said that the name is in the language of the Men of the Vales of Anduin, and that its meaning is not interpretable. The name Radagast may actually be Anglo-Saxon, and could have several interpretations, but, according to The Languages of Middle-earth, this name is derived from a Slavic pagan god. The name Radegast was a name for one of West Slavic lesser gods. He is a god of the Sun, war, fertility and harvest. He is also called Radigost, Radhost, Radhošť, Redigast.[6]

According to the essay "The Istari" from the Unfinished TalesRadagast means "tender of beasts" in Adûnaic, the language of Númenor.

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

The Hobbit film trilogyEdit

Radagast-bird

Radagast talking to a bird

The character Radagast and virtually all references to him (with the exception of the presence of benign Eagles directed by an unseen force) were not used in the film versions of The Lord of the Rings directed by Peter Jackson. The character is also absent from the 1978 animated movie of the same name.

Radagast does appear in Peter Jackson's first Hobbit film, although none of the incidents involving Radagast in the movie were ever mentioned in any of Tolkien's writings; they are original to the movie. In the book, Radagast is mentioned only once in passing, as Gandalf's cousin.[7] In the film, Radagast is portrayed as a strange, eccentric person who can communicate with animals and shows a great knowledge of herbs and medicines, including being able to restore a recently deceased hedgehog to life. He is also shown to possess formidable combat abilities, such as being able to ward off an attack by the Witch-king of Angmar (or his summoned shade) while investigating Dol Guldur. His preferred form of transportation is a sled made of sticks and pulled by "Rhosgobel Rabbits". The sled is fast enough to outrun a pack of Gundabad Wargs, which were ridden by Orcs under command of Azog in the film.

Radagast is first mentioned in the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) when Bilbo Baggins enquirers of Gandalf whether there are any other wizards within Middle-earth. Gandalf responds that there are five wizards, of whom Radagast is one. Gandalf says that Radagast is a great wizard in his own particular way, enjoying the solitude of standing guard over the Greenwood forest and preferring the company of animals to that of men.

Radagast is then seen investigating the Greenwood, noticing that much of the vegetation is beginning to decay and much of the animal life is sick or dying. Radagast brings one of them, a hedgehog he calls Sebastian, back to his woodland house at Rhosgobel where he is able to nurse the hedgehog back to health. Radagast comes to the realisation that a type of powerful witchcraft has caused the decay of the Greenwood and its transformation into what would now become known as Mirkwood. After Rhosgobel is swarmed by Giant Spiders, Radagast investigates and identifies the origin of the evil as the supposed abandoned fortress of Dol Guldur.

HighFellsRhudaur21

Radagast appears in the High Fells to aid Gandalf in investigating the Nazgûl tombs

Radagast makes his way to Dol Guldur aboard a sled pulled by Rhosgobel rabbits. While Radagast is investigating Dol Guldur he is attacked by the spirit of the Witch-king of Angmar. Radagast is able to ward off his attacks and forces the Witch-King to drop his Morgul-blade and retreat. Radagast takes the Morgul-blade, but before he leaves he notices a dark spirit within the fortress, whom he believes to be the Necromancer.

He immediately goes on the search for Gandalf to inform him of the new found threat within Mirkwood and is able to locate him within the Trollshaws accompanying Thorin and Company. Radagast tells Gandalf of the threat the Necromancer is posing to Middle-Earth from within Dol Guldur and presents the Morgul-Blade as evidence. Shortly afterwards, the company is attacked by a battalion of Warg Riders led by Yazneg. Radagast volunteers to create a diversion with his sled of Rhosgobel rabbits, drawing the Warg Riders away from Thorin and company, who are able to reach the safety of the Hidden Valley of Imladris (Rivendell). Radagast's rabbit sled's superiority in speed and maneuverability allows him to escape the Warg Riders before they are driven off by elven horsemen led by Elrond.

At the White Council meeting in Rivendell, Gandalf backs Radagast's claim that the Necromancer posed a serious threat to Middle-earth. But the head of the White Council, the white wizard Saruman, remains skeptical and claims there is no evidence to support such a theory despite Radagast's finding of the Morgul-blade. Saruman suggests that excessive consumption of mushrooms has addled Radagast's judgement and reduced his reliability. 

In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), Radagast meets Gandalf inside the High Fells of Rhudaur and they find the tombs (or cells) of the Nazgûl broken into by 'dark spells'. Gandalf sends Radagast to take a message to Lady Galadriel when they arrive at Dol Guldur while Gandalf continues his own investigation of the 'abandoned' fortress.

PersonalityEdit

Tolkien's writing does not shed much light on Radagast's personality. The following is based on Peter Jackson's film adaptation. Radagast has a bizarre and eccentric personality. He showed a great degree of bravery in holding off the Orc pack so that Thorin & Company could go to Rivendell. He also showed selflessness in healing Sebastian, a hedgehog, after he is poisoned by one of the Giant Spiders. He is also highly intelligent, being an Istari, and has an adept understanding on how nature works. For unknown reasons, Saruman is antagonistic and cynical towards the latter.

He shows a great degree of magical ability. He is skilled at healing spells and at magical blasts. He is also adept at using his staff as a melee weapon, as he is able to hold his own against the resurrected Witch King of Angmar, the latter being a master at swordsmanship and officially immortal.

Video gamesEdit

Lego Radagast

Radagast as a playable character in Lego Lord of the Rings.

  • He also appears in the game LEGO The Lord of the Rings as a playable character and can be purchased near Bree, however he does tend to wander and is not always in a set location. His equipment includes only a staff which is unique to this character.
  • Radagast appears in the game Lego The Hobbit as a playable character. Radagast has the ability to heal sick creatures and to destroy blue lego objects. 

Voice Dubbing actorsEdit

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Spanish (Latin America) Eduardo Tejedo
Spanish (Spain) Juan Fernández (AUJ) / Enric Isasi-Isasmendi (DOS)
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Mário Monjardim
German Erich Ludwig
Italian (Italy) Bruno Alessandro
French (France) Gabriel Le Doze
Polish Wiesław Komasa
Czech Václav Knop

GalleryEdit

Radagast @
Radagast in the Hobbit film trilogy
Radagast 23
Radagast in the Hobbit film trilogy
Radagast and Gandalf2
Gandalf and Radagast in Mirkwood
Radagast 3
Radagast as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy
Tumblr mdcfpjb13P1qdvlrzo1 500
Radagast's bird nest in his dirty hair, as featured in The Hobbit. This is why we see bird poo staining his face.
Radagastbirdtamer
Radagast and a bird, as seen in the 9th 'The Hobbit video diary'
Radagast 2
Radagast as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy
Radagast with his Rhosgobel Rabbits
Radagast with his Rabbits
Lotr09026
Radagast Trading Card
Radagast's rustabell rabbits
Radagast's Rhosgobel rabbits
1394795 708432359170077 644258337 n
A photo of Radagast
RadagastMain
Miniature of Radagast the Brown produced by Games Workshop for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.
Radagast01
Miniature of Radagast and Sebastian produced by Games Workshop for The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game.
RadagastOnSleigh
Miniature of Radagast's Sleigh, produced by Games Workshop for The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game
RadagastEscape
Miniature of Radagast produced by Games Workshop for The Hobbit: Escape From Goblin Town
Ainur of Arda
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. The Hobbit: Queer Lodgings
  2. The Annotated Hobbit
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
  4. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
  5. Unfinished Tales: The Istari
  6. Slavic languages
  7. In the movie he is portrayed by actor Sylvester McCoy of Doctor Who fame. In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,

External linkEdit

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