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Old 03-29-2007, 03:40 PM   #1
Celegost
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Pipe The Wizards of Middle-Earth...

I was reading the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring when I found something in the Concerning Pipe-Weed section which made me think.....Are there other Wizards in Middle-Earth besides the Istari? Throughout The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, Tolkien writes about Wizards as if they are a whole other race of beings.
For example, in the aforementioned sentence: "And certainly it was from Bree that the art of smoking the genuine weed spread in the recent centuries among Dwarves and such other folk, Rangers, Wizards , or Wanderers as still passed to and fro through that ancient road-meeting." the use of Wizards suggests that more than one Wizard smoked pipe-weed. This is odd because the Hobbits could only have known of one Wizard who smoked pipe-weed (Gandalf), because even though Saruman did as well, he had it transported to Isengard secretly. Radagast might have visited Bree once or twice, but I thought he was more interested in Nature, as for the other two, they travelled into the east, far away from Bree.
There are lots more descriptions of Wizards as if there are a lot more of them besides the Istari, especially in the Hobbit (but I cant be bothered to look them up right now).
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
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Narya Wizards and Sorcerers

perhaps there were more than just the five who knew how to use such powers to fit the needs of their tasks. perhaps there were ancient records of magic spells that taught one to use such arcane power. perhaps such powers could allow one even to feed upon the souls of others. but such is merely my speculation. if there even were any tomes or spellbooks.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:53 PM   #3
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The Istari

Of this Order the number is unknown; but of those that came to the North of Middle-earth, where there was most hope (because of the remnant of the Dunedain and of the Eldar that abode there), the chiefs were five.


THE ISTARI, UNFINISHED TALES.

This could be read to imply there were others who were not the chief five.
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narfforc
This could be read to imply there were others who were not the chief five.
However, LotR implies that there were only five:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tale of Years, RotK
The two highest of this order (of whom it is said there were five) were called by the Eldar Curunir, "the Man of Skill", and Mithrandir, "the Grey Pilgrim", but by Men in the North Saruman and Gandalf.
There are various similar statements in the letters, such as:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letter #203
There were five wizards and that is just a unique part of history.
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Old 03-30-2007, 05:57 AM   #5
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I know for a fact that the account from the Unfinished Tales is older, thus the idea that there were only 5 wizards seems to me as the more likely idea.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celegost
This is odd because the Hobbits could only have known of one Wizard who smoked pipe-weed (Gandalf), because even though Saruman did as well, he had it transported to Isengard secretly.
Concerning pipe-weed was added to the Red Book after Frodo's time.
Presumably, the writer was familliar with Merry and Pippin's accounts of finding Saruman's stash of pipe-weed at Orthanc.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:23 AM   #7
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A related thread which raises a sightly different issue than that raised here, but which speaks to the point raised by narfforc:

How many Istari came to Middle-earth?

Edit: It is quite possible that those not "in the know" about the Istari (ie the vast majority of Middle-earth inhabitants) would have made little or no distinction between the Istari and other Men considered to have magical powers, simply referring to them all collectively as Wizards.
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