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Re: Help on Saruman and Radagast question

Subject: Re: Help on Saruman and Radagast question
by Peeta on 2012/7/28 22:41:35

I've looked at this thread a number of times and never posted anything thinking I probably don't have anything to say that you all have not thought of. But after looking into the question I kind of have questions of my own and want to formulate an opinion!
So, in the Silmarillion Olorin is clearly stated to be a Maia. But earlier in the text on the Valar it states that (those listed) were the Lords, seems to me to leave it open that there were other Vala...
In Unfinished Tales, in what I take to be an earlier text from JRR (than the one with the ominous word "assume" ) he states "they (the Valar) sent members of their own high order", which CT states "the order of the Valar". This is interesting because CT seems to take it as a direct reference that his father originally thought of the Istari as Vala.
I remember reading somewhere that JRR looked at Middle Earth as one looks at ancient history and did not give himself liberty to dictate the reality of what "was". Regardless it seems that, at first at least, JRR was assuming that the Istari were of the higher order of the Valar (though not Lords), but then later on changed his mind and linked them with the order of the Maia.
The fact that in The Silmarillion it states "the Lords of the Valar" seem to indicate that there were others of the same kind (i.e. not Maia) and the casual conversation in which Manwe "asks" where Olorin is and "asks" him to go to Middle Earth ("asks" versus "commands") indicate to me that the Istari were thought of (at that time in JRR's writings) as beings of comparable 'stature' to the Valar, unlike the Maia who were completely at the bidding of the Valar.
Well, that was my best shot! And I'll be the first to admit what I have just said could be uninformed and or contradictory to writings that I'm not aware of!
Also very interesting articles on Radagast! I would like to know more about Sauron along the same lines of Maia vs. Vala, since Olorin was stated to be afraid of him (conversation between Manwe and Olorin)and in LOTR he is clearly more mighty than Sauruman who was the mightiest of the Istari...