Questions tagged [istari]

The Wizards of Middle-earth are a group of beings outwardly resembling Men but possessing much greater physical and mental power. They are also called the Istari (Quenya for "Wise Ones") by the Elves. The Sindarin word is Ithryn (sing. Ithron). They were sent by the Valar to assist the peoples of Middle-earth to contest Sauron - Wikipedia. Always use in conjunction with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
60 votes
4 answers
11k views

Is there any canonical reference to the fate of the Blue Wizards: Alatar and Pallando?

All I've ever been able to find is that they arrived in Middle-earth and left to go do something outside of the scope of the story. Has anyone ever found any additional information?
user avatar
43 votes
4 answers
20k views

Is Gandalf the Gray's power actually limited or did he merely promise to not use it?

We know that the Maiar sent to Middle-earth as Istari are not using their full Maiar power. Gandalf the Gray is more than a human power wise, but not nearly equal to his full real power. Is it known (...
user avatar
42 votes
5 answers
10k views

Who in Middle-earth knows the Istari's origin?

In the Middle-earth universe, there are a handful of wizards who work in various ways to fight evil. Out of universe, we know these wizards to be Istari, Maia who are in Middle-earth working to defeat ...
user avatar
46 votes
2 answers
13k views

What happened to Radagast The Brown?

The Maia Radagast The Brown disappeared from Arda after the first book The Fellowship of the Ring. What happened to him?
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Was Gandalf's fight against Balrog a violation of "Inspire but don't fight instead of Men" rule?

As was discussed previously, it is known that Istari were meant to inspire and guide the mortals of Middle Earth in the fight against Sauron. Does the fight against Balrog in Moria violate that "rule"...
user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
6k views

What did the Istari (other than Gandalf and Saruman) contribute to the struggle against Sauron? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there any canonical reference to the fate of the Blue Wizards, Alatar and Pallando? It is said that the Istari were sent to Middle-Earth to aid in the struggle against ...
user avatar
  • 14.2k
20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Did Saruman continue to exist as an ethereal Maiar after he was murdered?

Inspired by What was Saruman the White's purpose? The Istari are Maiar in corporeal form - it seems evident that some aspect of the Istari continues after the death of their corporeal (and can ...
user avatar
  • 44.7k
6 votes
2 answers
6k views

What exactly happened to Gandalf's spirit after he "died" fighting the Balrog? [duplicate]

In the Two Towers movie, when Aragorn and company meet the newly reincarnated Gandalf the White, he has the following conversation with them GANDALF VOICEOVER: From the lowest dungeon to the ...
user avatar
  • 5,041
10 votes
4 answers
7k views

Was Gandalf the greatest of the Istari?

I know he is described as the wisest of all Istari/Maiar (the exact word used in that instance escapes me) and I believe, I am however not sure, that he was offered the position of head of the white ...
user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why are the Istari only allowed to inspire?

It its known that the Istari were sent to Middle Earth to aid in the battle against Sauron, being only allowed to inspire and no direct actions could be taken. But, why is this? Could this rule be ...
user avatar
  • 3,445
72 votes
4 answers
11k views

Were wizards initially intended to be much more common?

There are several things in the text of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring that, to me, indicate that wizards were originally intended to not only number five altogether - Saruman, Gandalf, ...
user avatar
  • 37.4k
24 votes
1 answer
2k views

How could the Istari have prominent beards and still be considered elves by Men?

The beards of the Istari Gandalf and Saruman¹ feature prominently in Tolkien's works, while elves are not able to grow beards². Despite this discrepancy which is easy to spot for Men, they believed ...
user avatar
  • 5,975
10 votes
3 answers
713 views

Can the Istari really forget things?

Gandalf the Istar was about 2,000 years old and had the appearance of an old man. That is a lot of time to be walking the earth. A lot for a 'human' brain to take in. The Istari seem to have some ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why were the blue wizards sent much earlier than the other Istari?

In Tolkiens last pieces of writing, he confirms the blue wizards come to Middle Earth much earlier than the other three istari, which surprises me considering Gandalf is said to be the wisest of the ...
user avatar
  • 7,476
26 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do Istari have memories of their time as Maiar?

Inspired by Why does Saruman identify himself as a human? As the Istari are Maiar in human form, do they have full knowledge of their past as what are basically gods, or is their quasi-human ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
963 views

What would happen if an Istar broke the Valar's rule but saved Middle Earth anyway?

If, for example, Gandalf went full Maia, took the Ring and dumped it into Mount Doom before anyone, even Sauron, could stop him—what would happen?
user avatar
  • 33.8k
8 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why do the Wizards have staffs over wands?

It just seems to me that something like a wand would be easier to carry, and thus be more portable. I would think that the staffs they carry all the time must be heavy and hard to travel distances ...
user avatar
  • 1,353
4 votes
2 answers
759 views

Are the Istari *still* Maiar?

While (I think) there is no argument over the Istari being originally Maiar - are they still Maiar? Did they cease being Maiar when they incarnated themselves? Clarification: many official (e.g. UT) ...
user avatar
  • 151
3 votes
1 answer
537 views

How old did the Istari look when they arrived? [duplicate]

While bound to their mortal bodies, the Istari, though Maia, are susceptible to the same flaws and weaknesses that they are otherwise not - hunger, fatigue, even the temptation of the Ring. Ageing is ...
user avatar
  • 33.8k
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

The roles of the Istari

The Istari are sent with a mission on Arda, Gandalf is sent to help humans, elves, dwarfs and all other races to vanquish Sauron. What are the roles of Saruman, Radagast and maybe the other two blue ...
user avatar
  • 2,003