I ask this because if he captures and kills Radagast (who I get the impression isn't in a lot of contact with Gandalf or any of the wise) he can simply attack Erebor without having to reveal himself. Not only that, his top servant the Witch King was subdued by Radagast, who ends up fleeing with the morgul blade...which in return shows the wise (even though Saruman ignores it) that either the nine have returned (in movie verse) or as Radagast has saw him that a higher power is at work and the wise all know who is the lord of the nine.

So is there any reason why the Necromancer may have let Radagast simply go rather than capture or kill him and attack Erebor without revealing himself?

  • 2
    Doesn't Radagast just runaway? I don't think the Necromancer makes a concious decision to let him escape. Or, at the same time, he simply may not be strong enough to stop him escaping. No indication towards a reason is given in the film at any rate.
    – Daft
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 17:18
  • The scene doesn't happen in the book, so what's in the movie is all that we have to go by. If no reason is given in the movies, then the question is basically unanswerable (but bear in mind that the third movie isn't out yet, and a reason may be given in that).
    – user8719
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 18:08
  • @DarthSatan I can't seem to focus well today, so I just deleted my answer. Thanks for the constructive critiques though. Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 20:50
  • 1
    So this question got a minus because its about the movies?.....
    – user31546
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 20:51
  • 1
    I don't think the situation was spelled out enough for anyone to say how much Radagast was in the power of the Necromancer during his scouting trip, or how he got the Morgul Blade.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 23:50

2 Answers 2


From the perspective of the movies, Radagast is very hard to catch

With the aid of his sledge (pulled by Rhosgobel Rabbits), he can outrun even the most committed pursuer. This is emphasized by:

  • His successful diversionary tactics against the Wargs when Thorin's company were caught in the open, on their way to meet the White Council
  • His role as getaway driver for the White Council when they attacked Dol Guldur

The Necromancer reveals his true form and full power only as a last resort

Radagast escaped but without revealing the Necromancer's true identity. The Necromancer only revealed his true form when needing to call upon the full extent of his powers, in battle with Gandalf, and later the White Council.

Radagast is easy to underestimate

Owing to Radagast's ridiculous appearance and eccentric behaviour, and his poor reputation with Saruman the Wise, the Necromancer may not have considered it worth the effort to stop him.


The whole scene with Radagast and Gandalf as depicted in Jackson's films is completely invented, or at best conflates various different events that actually happened.

In reality Gandalf was send by the White Council to infiltrate the fortress of this seeming upstart 'Necromancer' long before it is depicted in the film. While there he was himself imprisoned and met Thrain while in the dungeons. Thrain, better than half-mad gave Gandalf the map to Erebor's 'side door' and its keys. Somehow he had kept this from Sauron's torturers, possibly because what they actually wanted from him was the Ring for the Dwarves of Durin's people that he carried and did not care about other, seemingly inconsequential knick-knacks. Gandalf later escapes what he afterwards considers one of the cloeset scrapes of his career and informs the other councillors of the Necromancer's true identity. He is still sufficiently chastened by the experience to angrily snap at Boromir several hundred years later when he likens the trip in to Moria to being led in to the dungeons of Sauron himself.

Radaghast wasn't there when Gandalf was captured and so did not have to be 'allowed to get away'.

  • 5
    The OP might be looking for a movie-verse answer. By the way: Starting with "In reality..." is kind of ironic when talking about fictional events :)
    – mort
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 8:58

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