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Okay What Is An Istar In ‘Lord of The Rings’?

Istar this, Istar that, I-starting to really piss me off.

Elijah Wood and Sir Ian McKellen, as Frodo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, ride through Hobbiton in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
“It’s a long story, Frodo”

Is that like an elective course?

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Things are super weird on Middle Earth campus right now. Like I just found out that we have an active volcano on school grounds, and the new kid is being … super weird. And now everyone on campus is like “have you heard of Istar?” Istar this, Istar that, I-starting to really piss me off. Like can’t anything ever just make sense around here? Does everything have to be ancient and magical? I crave normalcy. Structure. A place where I can grow into the low-functioning, high anxiety adult that I was made to be.

Brb I think I need to talk to my guidance counselor Gandalf. This is all making me feel really overwhelmed.

*later that day*

OMG guess what? I talked to Gandalf and he told me what an Istar is! Well, he didn’t tell me so much as blew a ship made out of pipe smoke at me then mumble and nod sagely, but I got the gist! Istar are wizards, and Gandalf is one of them! Explains why he’s so wise.

So apparently right after the War of Wrath (wild night) Manwe, the leader of the Valar (who are students at our sister school in the Undying Lands and also basically gods of light?) heard that Sauron was back on his usual “I must become more powerful” fuckshit and summoned a council meeting of Maiar (who are sort of the helpers of the Valar). He was like “we’ve gotta remind Middle Earth that we’re not taking Sauron’s shit anymore” so he told some of the Maiar to go to Middle Earth and remind everyone that Sauron sucks. Those Maiar were Curumo (who became Saruman), Alatar (who became Morinehtar), and Olorin (who became Gandalf). Apparently this Valar named Yavanna didn’t think three wizards would be enough, so she asked Aiwendil (who became Radagast) to go Middle Earth too, and Aiwendil brought his boy Pallando (who became Rómestámo) to come with him so he wouldn’t get lonely. So cute!

For fashion reasons, these five Maiar all decided to color coordinate their outfits. Saruman wore white, Gandalf wore grey, Radagast wore brown, and Morinehtar and Romestamo both wore blue (so embarrassing right? Like they should have had a group chat going to double check no one had the same fit before they all showed up). Things were chill for a while. The two Blue Wizards eventually left Middle Earth on some study abroad program in the East? Radagast mostly spent his time around plants and animals, and Saruman and Gandalf were basically the only two wizards who kept to their mission of chilling with the kids at Middle Earth in order to protect them from Sauron. Gandalf has been super cool and helpful obvi, but tbh Sarumon kinda weird me out? Like I saw him talking to this creepy orb recently, and I swear I heard him say the name “Sauron.” Doesn’t bode well, y’all. Something tells me he might actually be friends with Sauron after all.

(featured image: New Line Cinema)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.

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