Maer Goeg G
Posted May 15, 2008
I started this post as a comment in response to a statement on this site about "all wizards being dark" with specific reference to The Lord of the Rings. It grew to be very, very long in a hurry (for a comment) so I decided to make a post and link to it.
Scripture speaks clearly to the fact that all sorcery and similar acts of witchcraft are evil. However there are innumerable places in the Bible that tell of supernatural events taking place that are declared good. Therefore we can say that there are two categories of supernatural happenings. First there is the bad kind which is caused by the devil and his demonic forces.
Witches and wizards derive their abilities from this category of the supernatural. Secondly there is the good kind which is caused by God himself directly or through a lesser power be it angels, prophets, or even a donkey (Balaam's ass).
Now let's travel to the land of make-believe. we'll stroll past tales of dragons and damsels and light on a set of books bearing the similarity that they were all penned by J. R. R. Tolkien and edited and published by his son Christopher (for whom the stories were first written). Tolkien (senior) was a language master. He invented more than a dozen complete languages as a hobby. And they aren't English just with different letters. They are complete languages, with their own pronunciation, scripts, dialects, and histories (fictional of course). Since he wrote LOTR as a history for these languages the names and tales are often not in English and so he had a tough time translating these into English for us poor illiterate people to read.
When looking at the many books Tolkien wrote about his fictional universe one can see certain tendencies between each of the races. Men and Hobbits are usually the medium through which he speaks to his readers since their language is closest to English. Men in Tolkien's universe are the most easily led astray of the free peoples and are sometimes very simple in their thinking. Where they would say wizard, an elf would say Istari.
The Istari are members of a group known collectively as the Maiar, a lesser class of angelic beings. The five Istari or "wizards" as the unlearned in Tolkien's universe would call them were sent by the Valar (higher angels) to aid the free peoples in the coming struggle against "the enemy" aka. Sauron. Sauron himself was once a Maia but had fallen astray and was corrupted by his lord: Morgoth (yes, Sauron has a boss).