Welcome Guest 

Register

Author Topic:
The Lord of the Lord of the Rings
Council Member
Posts: 10
Send Message
Avatar
Post Tolkien, Lotr, and Lore Debates
on: October 14, 2016 12:41
To debate topics such as what happened to the Blue Wizards and who Tom Bombadil is. I do not wish this to be a simple shouting match but a thoughtful idea submission area.
And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.
The Lord of the Lord of the Rings
Council Member
Posts: 10
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: October 14, 2016 12:49
Hello everyone! I created this to be a place for debates that have to do with Tolkien his works and adaptations of his works. Please keep this civilized and do not let it fall into a shouting match. Thank You for your interest!
And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.
The Lord of the Lord of the Rings
Council Member
Posts: 10
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: October 14, 2016 10:56
The first debate that this forum shall host shall be what happened to the Blue Wizards, Alatar and Pallando, when they arrive in Middle Earth from Valinor. What do they do in the East? Do they substantially reduce the number of Easterlings coming from Rhûn, do they fall under Sauron's influence and aid him, or did something different entirely happen? Tell me what you think and we will begin our first debate!
And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.
Gandolorin
Council Member
Posts: 24040
Send Message
Post
on: October 15, 2016 01:55
This is deep in speculative territory, L2R! The Ithryn Luin are practically only mentioned in guides like those of Foster or Tyler (in German Schneidewind), and in UT as well as parts of HoME. Tyler states that Alatar and Pallando were Maiar of Oromë ...

Assuming that Saruman / Curunír / Curumo was originally considered the greatest among them (with decisively dissenting voices from Varda and Cirdan favoring Gandalf / Mithrandir / Olórin), the Blue Wizards were given a bum job in going into the east. My guess is that they degenerated to minor Sarumans or were totally ineffective in any way.
Image
The Lord of the Lord of the Rings
Council Member
Posts: 10
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: October 16, 2016 04:52
It could be argued that one of the reasons that Saruman failed so spectacularly was because of the Valar he followed, Aulë. It is noteworthy that Sauron the Deceiver also followed Aulë prior to falling to the lies of Melkor. There is a possibility that those who follow Aulë have a weakness to power. I am not saying that Aulë's intentions were bad, just that I sense a theme. Oromë however delighted in the destruction of evil and was one of the most outspoken Valar against Melkor. I feel that these characteristics wore off on the Ithryn Luin and they did suppress at least some of the forces from Rhûn.
And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.
The Lord of the Lord of the Rings
Council Member
Posts: 10
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: October 16, 2016 04:55
Thank you very much for your participation and politeness!
And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.
GreenhillFox
Council Member
Posts: 66
Send Message
Post
on: October 18, 2016 01:29
As Gandolorin suggests, this is “deep in speculative territory”. I may not have the same depth of knowledge as you guys but let me risk another speculation.
We know that 5 Wizards were sent to Middle Earth. Three of them had greater or lesser importance in the storyline. The other two just went eastwards and are no longer mentioned, as if they’d be forgotten.
The speculation I am playing with is, quite simply, that they have been forgotten indeed: maybe the author had a part of the action in mind for the remaining two, but then as he went on in developing his storyline and writing his books he may altogether not have had further need for them.
Is there anything that speaks against this (indeed far fetched) assumption?
'There’s something mighty queer behind this.'
Gandolorin
Council Member
Posts: 24040
Send Message
Post
on: October 18, 2016 03:28
Good point, L2R. To Sauron and Saruman, you can add the Noldor, and very much so Fëanor. And then, Aulë was both fascinated with the theme of the Eruhini in the Great Music, and impatient for their arrival, leading him to create the Dwarves. To use Fangorn's terms, one could call him the hastiest of the Valar.

What could have been a reason for making the Ithryn Luin's task a bum job was that Sauron repeatedly fled into the east. And don't forget, all five of the wizards were given constraints on how they could use their native powers, or rather - even Saruman was limited in this respect - how they were not allowed to use them. Sauron was never held to such constraints, which makes the confrontation a bit forced, if one thinks about it. One side with one hand (or a lot more) tied behind its back.

And that against Sauron, who may have been the most powerful Maia besides Manwë's herald Eonwë (though Ossë, maybe even Uinen, and Melian come to mind as Maiar that could have stood up to Sauron if not hampered by the constraints laid on the Istari.)

But then again again, Sauron had suffered two severe blows to his native might by the Third Age: the destruction of Númenor, and having the One Ring (including finger - like Frodo much later) taken from him by Isildur at the end of the Second Age.

Speculative territory can be fun, as long as one does not stand things completely on their head.
Image
The Lord of the Lord of the Rings
Council Member
Posts: 10
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: October 19, 2016 01:53
Very true good sir, we can't have this forum become a pointless back and forth argument. Should we move onto what aspects of the blue wizards would be useful in the fight against Sauron? I know quite a bit, but am no means a master of lore.
And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.
Gandolorin
Council Member
Posts: 24040
Send Message
Post
on: October 19, 2016 03:28
As I posted above "[J.E.A.] Tyler (in his "The Complete Tolkien Companion" ) that Alatar and Pallando were Maiar of Oromë."

What could one deduce from this association? As per UT, Aiwendil (Radagast) appears to be an emissary of Yavanna, Saruman of course was a Maia of Aulë, and Olórin (Gandalf) an emissary of both Manwë and Varda (and may have learned much from Lórien (Irmo) and Nienna). Ah, there is a mention that the Ithryn Luin "... passed with Saruman into the East, but unlike him never returned into the Westlands;", and a speculation that they were associated with Oromë because "... of all the Valar he had the greatest knowledge of the further parts of Middle-earth, ..."

So, what to make of their possible skills and powers in the light of the above?

[Edited on 10/19/2016 by Gandolorin]
Image
Elthir
Council Member
Posts: 432
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: October 21, 2016 08:24
The matter of the other two wizards is vague from both internal and external perspectives, and arguably a bit confusing from an external perspective.

published by the author

There are five wizards ["of whom it is said there were five" and "... and the rods of the Five Wizards"], three of which are named. They are said to have arrived in Middle-earth when maybe a thousand years had passed in the Third Age.

We could say a little more about the Istari in general, based on Appendix B, but regarding colour and names, given that the three we know of have colours, I would guess that the other two do as well, but if so the colours and names are not noted (perhaps forgotten in the West).

posthumously published

One description that concerns colour and names for the other two wizards hails from letter 211, dated 1958. Pertinent details include.

"I have not named the colours, because I do not know them. I doubt they had distinctive colours. Distinction was only required in the case of the three who remained in the relatively small area of the North-west." JRRT

Tolkien then suggests that any names these wizards might have had, would have been nicknames conferred upon them by other folk.

JRRT also says that he really doesn't know anything clearly about the other two, but thinks they went as emissaries to distant regions, to "enemy-occupied" lands -- he doesn't know what success they had, but fears they failed, and "suspects" that "they were founders or beginners of secret cults and "magic" traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron."

The following [below] is from the famous Istari essay [Unfinished Tales], which is the earlier text compared to the letter above. I should have posted it first, but I wanted to emphasize that the description above appears to wipe away the earlier name Ithryn Luin, as their colours are no longer known (no longer said to be Sea-blue).

In the Istari essay these two wizards had no names save Ithryn Luin, suggesting that this name had been given in the West of Middle-earth. Note here that Gandalf is the last comer of the "chiefs of the five" (here it's suggested that the number of the order is unknown).

Tolkien says the other two passed into the East with Saruman but did not return, "... and whether they remained in the East, pursuing there the purposes for which they were sent; or perished; or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servants, is not now known."

And from a brief, hasty sketch we find the Quenya names Alatar and Pallando, but even these names are not safe from "revision" when we jump to later texts [Tolkien might have simply forgotten these Quenya names and invented new ones as he wrote].

late texts and confusions

There are some late statements concerning the Istari, and notably in this first example, a description concerning the "other two" having success in the East!

"The 'other two' came much earlier, at the same time probably as Glorfindel, when matters became very dangerous in the Second Age" (and it was said that the reincarnated Glorfindel probably came to Middle-earth in SA 1600). And [these Wizards] "... must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of East ... who would both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise have ... outnumbered the West."

Granted this only specifically mentions the forces of the East here, but compare to the statement below, also from Unfinished Tales...

According to this late note, the names are Morinehtar and Romestamo (or Rome(n)star).

According to another late note: 'no names are recorded for the two wizards' [I'm not sure if Tolkien meant no known names in the West of Middle-earth here, compared to Quenya names in Aman]

Anywho... note yet another passage, similarly dated very late, probably 1972, from Unfinished Tales...

"Saruman is said (e.g. by Gandalf himself) to have been the chief of the Istari -- that is, higher in Valinórean stature than the others. Gandalf was evidently the next in order. Radagast is presented as a person of much less power and wisdom. Of the other two nothing is said in published work save the reference to the five wizards in the altercation between Gandalf and Saruman. Now these Maiar were sent by the Valar at a crucial moment in the history of Middle-earth to enhance the resistance of the Elves of the West, waning in power, and of the uncorrupted Men of the West, greatly outnumbered by those of the East and South." Unfinished Tales

It is difficult to know if this note came before, or after, the late note above about the successes of the other two wizards, but to my mind this one seems to state that all the Istari referred to came at generally the same time (at a crucial moment)... which at least would, in my opinion, more easily agree with the suggestion in the already published Appendix B (again, after about a thousand years had passed in the Third Age),...

... rather than two coming in SA 1600 -- well before Gandalf!

Anyway...

[Edited on 10/21/2016 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
Council Member
Posts: 24040
Send Message
Post
on: October 23, 2016 02:48
Elthir said: ... "The 'other two' came much earlier, at the same time probably as Glorfindel, when matters became very dangerous in the Second Age" (and it was said that the reincarnated Glorfindel probably came to Middle-earth in SA 1600). And [these Wizards] "... must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of East ... who would both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise have ... outnumbered the West." ...


Interesting, where is this to be found, in HoME? Perhaps in the last volume 12, "The Peoples of Middle-earth"? Didn't stick in my memory, if so.

The speculation that the two (blue or not) may have come to Middle-earth around the middle of the Second Age (and the link to Glorfindel reincarnated) is highly interesting, their having weakened and disarrayed the forces of the East positively astounding. Especially so if this is meant to have been so even in the SA, when Sauron ruled unhindered at least in the East from any appearances to be deduced from published works. And come to think of it, 1600 SA would be exactly when Sauron forged the One Ring. A hundred years later, he was driven out of Eriador, with the help of the Númenóreans.

But Sauron then had over 1500 years to consolidate his grip on the East (and South?), and regions of the coast south of what was to become Gondor. He managed to corrupt what would become to be known as the Black Númenóreans (certainly members of the King's party in Númenor settled in Middle-earth, probably like Spain's colonial enterprises in South America), some of whom probably became Ring-wraiths, perhaps even the Witch-king himself. Hard to imagine how two wizards (and with what limitations place upon them) could have stirred trouble in Sauron's power base.

Going way out on a devil's advocate limb, one could speculate that the disarray could have led to Sauron being abandoned by his forces when Ar-Pharazôn landed the Númenórean forces at Umbar (kind of a very far ancestor of the Allied landing at Normandy in June 1944 in WWII, with tons of inconsistency - would have had to have been the Soviets landing on the beaches, sort of). Otherwise, Ar-Pharazôn's Númenóreans could have faced obstacles bordering on the insurmountable, or even beyond, leading to failure?

On a more general note, the forces facing any Dark Lord, be it Morgoth or Sauron, were ALWAYS outnumbered. It seems to me to be the central theme running through all of JRRT's works: do not give up, never mind how unsurmountable the odds seem, how unlikely the success of a quest. Taking it a bit further towards the Northern Spirit that JRRT admired (with some decided reservations): even defeat is no refutation.
Image
Elthir
Council Member
Posts: 432
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: October 23, 2016 11:37
Interesting, where is this to be found, in HoME? Perhaps in the last volume 12, "The Peoples of Middle-earth"? Didn't stick in my memory, if so.


Yes, POME, Last Writings section, that's right Gandolorin. And if I recall correctly, this note about the other two having influence in the East and so on, was written on the reverse of the page that had the text given in UT -- the one in which I underlined a couple things above.

In other words they are both late, but when Christopher Tolkien was preparing Unfinished Tales he couldn't read (what would ultimately be) the "Last Writings" note well enough... and it's not easy to know which side of the paper was written first...

... though we know the side from UT was more legible anyway

[Edited on 10/24/2016 by Elthir]
The Lord of the Lord of the Rings
Council Member
Posts: 10
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: October 25, 2016 03:12
I would like to thank everyone participating. Thank you so much!
And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.
The Lord of the Lord of the Rings
Council Member
Posts: 10
Send Message
Avatar
Post
on: November 03, 2016 11:59
Since this discussion on the Blue Wizards is done, let us move on to something else. Tom Bombadil, who is he? Maiar, elf, or something greater?
And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.
tarcolan
Movies Moderator and General Dogsbody
Posts: 5799
Send Message
Post
on: November 04, 2016 02:15
There are already a couple of threads in the Book forum about Tom so you might want to read those first.
Who Is Tom Bombadil?
Fight, Flight And Tom B.


[Edited on 11/04/2016 by tarcolan]
Members Online
Print Friendly, PDF & Email