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Hall of Fire this weekend: The Istari

November 14, 2015 at 9:22 am by Demosthenes  - 

This weekend (Saturday November 14 at 6pm EST), Hall of Fire will be going wizarding as we examine the nature of those who were sent to Middle-earth to oppose Sauron — the Istari.

Wizard is a translation of Quenya istar (Sindarin ithron): one of the members of an “order” (as they call it), claiming to possess, and exhibiting, eminent knowledge of the history and nature of the World.

The translation (through suitable in its relation to “wise” and other ancient words of knowing, similar to that of istar in Quenya) is not perhaps happy, since Heren Istarion or “Order of Wizards” was quite distinct from “wizards” and “magicians” of later legend; they belonged solely to the Third Age and then departed, and none save maybe Elrond, Círdan and Galadriel discovered of what kind they were or whence they came. (Unfinished Tales)

The Istari

Unfinished Tales confirms for us that the Istari were angelic beings known as Maiar taken corporeal form.

Is this why they are both fallible and able to be tempted? How does it affect their nature, and how they present themselves to the peoples of Middle-earth? How does it make them different from elves, hobbit or dwarves?

Gildor also describes them as “sutble and quick to anger”, but how do we see this? Why could that be the case? Or is he, in fact, mistaken? And why are the Istari so secretive?

Join us on Saturday November 14 at 6pm EST when we’ll be examing all this and more as we talk about The Isatri.

Upcoming discussions

Saturday November 14: The Istari
Saturday November 21: Feanor
Saturday November 28: The Rankin/Bass animated Hobbit

gandalf-1024x688Gandalf by John Howe.

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Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire on November 14, 2015 by