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Questions tagged [maiar]

For questions about The Maiar, powerful fictional beings from the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Always use in conjunction with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag and use with [the-lord-of-the-rings] and [the-hobbit] where appropriate.

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What's Sauron up to these days? [duplicate]

"If [the Ring] is destroyed, then [Sauron] will fall; and his fall will be so low that none can foresee his arising ever again. For he will lose the best part of the strength that was native to ...
TimeTravellyParadoxySciFiSmeg's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
95 views

Marriage and kinship among the Ainur: symbolic or literal? [duplicate]

Tolkien previously intended the Valar to be just like polytheistic gods, who had children, sex and familial connections among each other, but he later scrapped this idea, to an extent at least: some ...
Tolkien's Ring's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Did the Istari arrive in Middle Earth simultaneously? [duplicate]

From the wiki it is said that Saruman and one of the blue wizards came first, followed by Gandalf. Later Radagast and the other Blue wizard was sent. Was this arrival practically simultaneous ("...
Daniel's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
502 views

What's the difference between a Maia and a member of the Istari? [duplicate]

I've visited many sites searching this, but haven't found any clear answers. Can somebody please explain what's the difference between a Maia and an Istari? And also, what's the singular form of ...
Licky Cat's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k 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) ...
liorr's user avatar
  • 169
56 votes
2 answers
20k views

When did Bilbo and Frodo learn that Gandalf was a Maia?

It is obvious that the common Hobbits (and men) knew nothing of the true nature of the Istari. When the Istari arrived in Middle-earth they were considered "strange elves" (as a matter of fact, ...
Ginasius's user avatar
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-7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is Sauron a lesser type of god? [closed]

Since he is a powerful being who is seemingly supernatural, could he be considered a god of some type?
nuggetsnack's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
147 views

Is Bombadil a maiar like Gandalf? [duplicate]

In Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on the way to returning to the Shire Gandalf tells the hobbits that: But if you would know, I am turning aside soon. I am going to have a long talk with ...
Fiddler's user avatar
  • 4,330
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are the Maiar more powerful than the Istari?

I know the Maiar are essentially the demi-gods of the Tolkien's world, but the Istari are also supernatural beings, right? From reading a different answer to a question I learned that they are ...
Profetik One's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

If Gandalf was a Maia, why couldn't he change form? [duplicate]

According to The LOTR wiki, Gandalf and Saruman are amongst the named Maiar. Again, a quote from Wiki: Maiar, like Valar, do not array themselves in a fixed form, but can freely change their ...
Johansson's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do Ainur (generally) need to return to the halls of Mandos to reincarnate?

Sauron and Gandalf both suffer physical deaths (Sauron at least twice) but do not return to the halls of Mandos for recovery, but Saruman dies and is then impotent, forbidden to return and will never ...
Doctor Two's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Balrogs: Valar, Maiar or Spirits?

I encountered the following bit, regarding Balrogs, in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Letter 144: The Balrogs, of whom the whips were the chief weapons, were primeval spirits of destroying fire, ...
falsedot's user avatar
  • 784
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

How did the Girdle of Melian work?

The Girdle of Melian is described like: "unseen wail of shadow and bewilderment". But how it exactly impeded intruders? Did it contain physical obstacles like tricky rivers, self-spawning precipices,...
b.Lorenz's user avatar
  • 2,878
8 votes
3 answers
662 views

Was Melian embodied like the Istari during her time in Doriath?

In The Silmarillion, we get the story of Melian and Thingol; Melian, being a Maia, does not have a body that she is bound to, but rather was able to take on the shape and likeness of creatures of the ...
Werrf's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How many of the Ainur were unable to change their physical form?

The Ainur are spirits who do not need bodies, but they can assume them. From the Ainulindalë in the Silmarillion: Their shape comes of their knowledge of the visible World, rather than of the World ...
Molag Bal's user avatar
  • 4,793
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Where do Maiar dwell in Valinor?

Do they mingle with the elves? Do they have their own little kingdom somewhere where they fraternize amongst themselves? Or do they stay in Valimar atop the mountain where the Valar are?
Fingolfin's user avatar
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60 votes
4 answers
22k views

Why does Gandalf show such reverence for Galadriel and Elrond?

Particularly in the Hobbit movies, Elrond mentions that Gandalf answers to Galadriel. Though Gandalf is a Maiar, one of Ainur, shouldn't he be regarded as one of the elders one above the Noldor?
user3695782's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
567 views

Are there any more Valar? [duplicate]

If I'm not mistaken, a total of 14 Valar, not including Melkor, are named in The Silmarillion. Are these the only Valar, or are there others who are not named/mentioned? Bonus question: As I ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why didn't Durin's Bane kill the Orcs?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, the Orcs of the Misty Mountains are clearly afraid of the Balrog, and who could blame them? But whereas the Balrog killed all the Dwarves he could find after they woke ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Sauron literally anticipate the arrival of the Istari?

In Eregion Sauron posed as an emissary of the Valar, sent by them to Middle-earth ("thus anticipating the Istari") or ordered by them to remain there to give aid to the Elves. (Unfinished Tales of ...
user31546's user avatar
  • 7,682
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Doesn't Radagast care about trees?

In the book The Two Towers, Treebeard refers to Gandalf as "the only wizard that really cares about trees". But in Fellowship of the Ring, we met the wizard Radagast the Brown, whose special focus is ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
  • 70.1k
2 votes
1 answer
866 views

Is Sauron using his full power?

So Sauron is a maia. The maia were forbidden to use their full power. But there is nothing that restricts Sauron of using the full extent of the maia power. It was said that the maiar were forbidden, ...
The Extinct Surgeon's user avatar
29 votes
4 answers
48k views

Why is Sauron always portrayed as being stronger than Gandalf?

My understanding is that Sauron along with the other wizards are all Maiar. They are all timeless, so no one is older than anyone else. I would have thought that 5 Maiar (or even two in LOTR) should ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

How strong were the Maiar, physically speaking?

Is there any mention of it anywhere? As strong as humans? As strong as orcs? Stronger, perhaps?
IamVeryCuriousIndeed's user avatar
29 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is Shelob a Maia?

Ungoliant is thought to be a Maia, long ago corrupted by Melkor, but is not counted among the Ainur, as Tolkien Gateway states. There are other theories as to what she may be, but the most popular and ...
PartyKingThrandeezy's user avatar
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 ...
HorusKol's user avatar
  • 46k
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 ...
Selonianth's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
960 views

Were all Ainur made at the Beginning?

The Ainulindalë says that the Ainur were created at the beginning of time, and seemingly all at once. Were there any of their order, Valar or Maiar, who were "born" later? I can find a reference to ...
Nerrolken's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
2k views

When were the Maiar created?

My understanding of Tolkien mythology is that Eru created the Ainur and the first 14 Ainur are called the Valar who together sang the Universe into being. But the Maiar are also Ainur who live on ...
CGP Grey's user avatar
  • 391
31 votes
3 answers
15k views

What happened to Saruman after he was knifed by Grima?

Saruman was one of Maiar, like Gandalf. Meaning that he had a mortal body but presumably, when that body was killed, would simply return back to his ("spirit?") being. Is there any confirmation from ...
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

What exactly was Radagast's role among Maiar?

Radagast seemed to be an "animal whisperer", so what exactly was his point among the Maiar who were sent to guide the sentient races of Middle Earth to fight Sauron?
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
46 votes
4 answers
21k 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 (...
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
422 views

Could Maiar ever take non-humanoid form?

Could Maiar ever take non-humanoid form? All 3 forms that I'm aware of were human/humanoid (5 Council Wizards, Sauron, and Balrogs).
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
50 votes
6 answers
18k views

Can the Valar or Maiar die?

In The Lord of the Rings and the The Silmarillion some Maiar (Sauron, several Balrogs, Saruman) are defeated. But did these Maiar actually die and if they did, do they go to Halls of Mandos or what ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 2,662