The Istari

Gandalf and Saruman

For all of you Lord of the Rings fans out there, I would like to dedicate a category of this blog to the different people groups of the Lord of the Rings world. There are many different people groups, and sometimes their powers and abilities become hard to decipher. For those who have only seen Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations, some things may have been unclear or confusing. Tolkien’s works were long, in-depth, and intricate. He truly did create a new world of characters, people, and history.

Let’s begin with the Istari. This is the name given to the wizards of Middle-Earth. According to Middle-Earth lore, only five wizards have ever been recorded to exist in Middel-Earth. The two most well-known of the Istari are Gandalf and Saruman. These two wizards play important roles in the Lord of the Rings story. If you watch the Lord of the Rings films or read the books, you may see them referred to by other lesser-known names. Saruman is known as Eldar Curunir or “Man of Skill”. Gandalf is known as Mithrandir or “The Grey Pilgrim”. Radagast is another wizard who is close with nature and animals. The Istari were sent to earth to unite all peoples of Middle-Earth against Sauron. They were disguised in the form of elderly men who aged slowly and had powers of mind and hand. The Istari were ordered not to use their powers to overtake Elves or Men, but to help all the people of Middle-Earth to defeat Sauron.

Saruman traveled in the East and eventually settled down in Isengard. Here Saruman would eventually desire to find the One Ring for himself. He would raise an army of Uruk-hai and other minions in order to find the One Ring. Gandalf, on the other hand, traveled mostly in the West where the Eldar (the high elves of the West) dwell. He became very close friends with the Eldar. Gandalf never settled down permanently, hence his alias the “Grey Pilgrim”.




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