Unfinished Tales/






Unfinished Tales / The Istari

Content of the page
Brief Description   
Comments and Discussion   

Author:,J.R.R. Tolkien;

"Unfinished Tales"; Part IV

Brief Description    

“There was no index to The Lord of the Rings until the second edition of 1966, but my father's original rough draft has been preserved. …From it comes … the "essay on the Istari" with which this section of the book opens –an entry wholly uncharacteristic of the original index in its length, if characteristic of the way in which my father often worked.” (Chr.Tolkien)

The essay on the Istari just cited thus tells much about them and their origin that does not appear in The Lord of the Rings (and also contains some incidental remarks of great interest about Valar, their continuing concern for Middle-earth, and their recognition of ancient error, which cannot be discussed here). Most notable are the description of the Istari as "members of their own high order" (the order of Valar), and the statements about their physical embodiment. But also to be remarked are the coming of the Istari to Middle-earth at different times; Círdan's perception that Gandalf was the greatest of them; Saruman's knowledge that Gandalf possessed the Red Ring, and his jealousy; the view taken of Radagast, that he did not remain faithful to his mission; the two other "Blue Wizards," unnamed, who passed with Saruman into the East, but unlike him never returned into the Westlands; the number of the order of the Istari (said here to be unknown, though "the chiefs" of those that came to the North of Middle-earth were five); the explanation of the names Gandalf and Radagast; and the Sindarin word ithron, plural ithryn.

See also: Istari

Comments and Discussion    

FolderTolkienBooks FolderBooks

(C) The Tolkien Wiki Community Page last changed: May 12, 2003