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  1. #11
    hypersane Hive's Avatar
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    Nov 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    This is one of the things that I felt was cheapened by the movies -- where they essentially made the wizards (Istari) into AD&D spellcasters.

    The Istari are essentially angels in human skin. Their power comes not through spells and incantations as much as from their angelic nature having power over the physical world. Tolkien didn't seem as clear on this himself at the VERY beginning, but his writing of them quickly clarifies as the stories progress. Gandalf and Radagast and Saruman are actually the same classification as Sauron, believe it or not -- it's just that Sauron is a much more powerful entity.

    Illuvatar (the creator God) created the Ainur, in essence the "angels." There the Valar (the more powerful group of angels, of which there were 15?) and then the Maiar, which were the lesser angels. Sauron was a Maiar who chose to serve Melkor, a fallen Valar.

    The angels of Valinor chose to send a few Maiar in the flesh of mortal man into Middle-Earth to help the people to defend against Sauron's evil. Curumo (Saruman) was the most powerful and the first selected. Alatar (one of the "blue wizards") was another. Olorin (Gandalf) was the third chosen, despite the fact Olorin did not feel he was powerful enough for the task, but the Valar thought this made him an even more suitable emissary. Curumo was to take Aiwendil (Radagast) as a companion, and Alatar to take Pallando. The Istari were forbidding to match Sauron power for power or to dominate the people of Middle Earth. Their job was to encourage and facilitate the people in their fight against Sauron.

    The Istari all seemed to be represented by colors. The two blue wizards went into the east of Middle Earth and either lost their way/mission or were somehow destroyed by Saruman (no one is sure). Saruman the White, the most powerful, eventually fell into darkness and wanted the ring for himself. Radagast become absorbed into the study of plants and animals and nature; in the books, he is even more superfluous than the movies, he doesn't seem to like to intrude into the human drama. Gandalf the Grey is the only Istari who really stuck with the mission to embolden the people of Middle Earth against Sauron's malice.

    I understand that it's easier to film movies if you can externalize these kinds of conflicts, but a director with more abstract capabilities (like Aronofsky, for example) could have conveyed power through "essence" rather than externalizing it into old guys casting spells with obvious physical effects and hitting each other with their staves. Jackson had this issue with other key scenes too -- the balrog looked like a giant A&D/video game monster rather than a maiar (yes, the balrogs were fallen Maiar as well), and Shelob just came off as a giant spider rather than a conscious, cunning force of evil that was in the form of a spider.
    I see.

    Yeah, I can certainly see how the Istari's role and importance were downplayed in the movies now.

    Also had no idea about the origins of the balrogs and Shelob. They sound way cooler now. I figured it was just some kind of demon and a monstrous spider.

    Reading about balrogs on a LotR-wiki I stumbled upon Tolkien's creation myth and the Music of the Ainur, which really intrigues me. Gotta get my hands on Silmarillion ASAP.

    The Radagast scenes were added wholesale. In the books, Radagast appears only briefly on a few occasions, and he looks like a human wizard similar to gandalf... just one seeped in the lore of animals and plants. Tolkien did not use him for comic relief but more as just an example of beings who wanted to "be neutral" and not involve himself in the affairs of people. It's not really clear what happens to Radagast after the War ends, and I'm not sure if Tolkien mentions his fate in any of his supplemental information. (Olorin of course returns to the West, his task accomplished.)
    Comic reliefs usually just rub me the wrong way. Radagast was no exception.

  2. #12
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    5w4 sx/sp


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    J.R.R. Tolkien Reveals TRUE Meaning Of 'The Lord Of The Rings' In Unearthed Audio Recording*|*Noble Smith

    Acutally, I thought the picture accompanying this was very interesting... his body position and appearance is a bit different than anything i've seen before... even if he looks mildly soused.

    @Jennifer --


    (At the pic, at the news, at your postings in the remainder of this thread.)

    "Thag you very buch." <-- As Bilbo once said.
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

    Please comment on my johari / nohari pages.

  3. #13


    What a cock tease. Just release the full recording already.

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