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Fellowship of Fans > News  > The Blue Wizards Can Solve a Serious “Rings of Power” Issue

The Blue Wizards Can Solve a Serious “Rings of Power” Issue

The “Rings of Power” team is facing an interesting challenge. They’re trying to create a Middle-earth story about a part of Tolkien’s world with, well, almost no clear-cut characters.

Sure, there are the familiar faces that we all know and love, like Galadriel, Isildur, Elrond, Annatar, Celebrimbor, Círdan, and Durin III. But, truth be told, the list runs out sooner rather than later. Tolkien just didn’t give us that many names for the Second Age.

This means the RoP team needs to come up with a lot of new people if they’re going to create something that feels like a connected and coherent story. They’re already doing this in plenty, with newbies like Bronwyn, Halbrand, Arondir, Theo, and “Nori” Brandyfoot.

While necessary, though, making up completely new characters isn’t easy — especially in Tolkien’s world. The Professor put so much thought and depth into each person he invented. It’s a feat that isn’t easily replicated. (Tauriel, anyone?) It also explains why so many of the new characters have come under immediate scrutiny by the fanbase.

All of this points to the fact that “Rings of Power” really should use every pre-existing character at their disposal — which is why we’re asserting that the Blue Wizards really should be in this thing. 

(Just for the record, the following is purely conjecture. No leaks have inspired this writing …so far. However, Jaron covered the Blue Wizards extensively on The Halfling recently and was thoroughly convinced during that series that they need to be in RoP. Here’s why.)

The Blue Wizards

The Blue Wizards Travel – Ted Nasmith.

The Blue Wizards Would Be Perfect in “Rings of Power”

Okay, so why should the Sea Blues be in this thing? What is it about the azure Wizards that makes them such a good fit for a Second Age in which they’re *almost* never mentioned? Let’s start with timing, shall we?

Late Changes Make the Blue Wizards Second Age Powerhouses

In the “Last Writings” portion of “The Peoples of Middle-Earth,” we get our biggest chunk of text on the Blue Wizards. While it’s still pretty small, it includes this loaded line: “The ‘other two’ came much earlier, at the same time probably as Glorfindel, when matters became very dangerous in the Second Age.”

This late-in-life edit by the author has a huge impact on these two under-developed characters in Tolkien’s legendarium. It plucks them out from the “all five Wizards came to Middle-earth 1,000 years into the Third Age” narrative and drops them into the middle of the Second Age — right where “Rings of Power” is going to be playing out.

The Blue Wizards Are Villains

Most of the earlier mentions of the Ithryn Luin are negative. Tolkien barely acknowledges them in “The Lord of the Rings” story proper, apart from Saruman’s brief mention of the Rods of the Five Wizards. 

In letters, he’s unclear, as well. In his famous response to Rhona Beare shortly after the trilogy was published (letter 211), Tolkien didn’t even know that they were blue yet. 

Even so, this is also the text where we at least start to hear about how they traveled far and wide in the East and South. They’re referred to as “missionaries to ‘enemy-occupied’ lands.” This is also the letter where he states that “I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways…”

This likely failure of the Blue Wizards is the general theme throughout the earlier versions of the story. Gandalf is the only Wizard that is reported to return back to Valinor. The Blues are thought to have become cult leaders. In “Unfinished Tales” it even hints that they may have been “ensnared by Sauron and became his servants.” No matter what way you slice it, things don’t go well for the Blues.

The Blue Wizards Are Heroes

Hold the phone. The Blue Wizards definitely have some darker overtones throughout most of Tolkien’s writings. But then, at the very end of his life, we get a complete 180. In “Peoples of Middle-Earth,” we get a significant chunk of text (like multiple paragraphs, which is a lot for these guys) in which Tolkien completely rewrites their history.

He starts by renaming them — which, yeah, that’s Tolkien, alright. They’re rebranded as Morinehtar and Rómestámo, which mean Darkness-slayer and East-helper, respectively. 

Then we get a rewritten narrative in which these guys go into the East and South to circumvent Sauron. They help some tribes of Men rebel against the Dark Lord. They also try to figure out where he’s hiding after he loses the Ring at the end of the Third Age. 

The text ends with the kicker, “They must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of East … who would both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise have … outnumbered the West.”

So, in their final days of development, the Blue Wizards flip from downfallen Maiar in shriveled old-man bodies to heroic characters who play an integral role in both downfalls of Sauron. The best part? This rewrite is the same section of text where Tolkien says they arrived when things get dicey in the Second Age. See? It’s all coming together.

The Blue Wizards Could Be Perfect for “Rings of Power”

At this point, hopefully, you’re catching onto the point here. The Blue Wizards would be perfect candidates for the “Rings of Power” show. For those of you keeping track at home:

  • They arrive in the Second Age during the Rings of Power crisis.
  • They can function as slowly corrupting antagonists.
  • They can take on roles as lead protagonists helping to guide the resistance.

In addition, the show is clearly going East and South. In its official synopsis, it mentions going “to the furthest reaches of the map.” In Vanity Fair’s first look, we also read mentions of “Middle-earth’s Southlands” and “the village of Tirharad.”

To top it off? Who doesn’t want more Middle-earth magic? Everyone loves the dynamic that Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast bring to “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” stories. Those three certainly don’t come in the Second Age, and they shouldn’t be in the show.

But the Blue Wizards offer a perfect through-line. They’re connected to the other Three Wizards, but they’re the only ones that Tolkien said come earlier in the timeline. They have underdeveloped stories that Amazon could fill in without completely making up new characters. There are already hints of supernatural characters in the show, too, like Meteor Man.

The table’s set here, guys. Come on, McKay and Payne. Bring it home.

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Jaron Pak
Tolkien writer/expert

Jaron has spent years writing. He's spent more time reading ...Tolkien. Over and over and over again. He can't get enough of Middle-earth – including the deep-cut stuff. If he hears a quote from LOTR, he can turn to the page within a few seconds. Heck, he can quote chunks of the text on his own. He's the resident Tolkien scholar and writer for Looper. He also hosts The Halfling, a podcast that focuses on short, light-hearted, information-filled episodes of Middle-earth lore for everyone to enjoy.

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