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Annuicalar 18/Dec/2006 at 12:26 PM
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Do you know if any race of the Middle-earth can be a wizard? I know Gandalf is a Maia, but I don’t think that all of them are Maias, are they? So, can men, dwarves or elves be wizards?

Vugar 18/Dec/2006 at 12:46 PM
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The Istari (Wizards) were all indeed Maiar in origin, not just Gandalf.  I do not think Men, Dwarves, Elves, etc. could have been given the name of Wizard as it was given exclusively to those Five that "came over the Sea." (Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, The Silmarillion)  It was not something that one could become as the Istari were "were messengers sent by the Lords of the West to contest the power of Sauron" (Ibid)

Kaulargorn 18/Dec/2006 at 01:40 PM
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Right. However some people like the witch king of Angmar and captain of the wraiths had poerful abilities because they had been taught about sorcery. Similar abilities also had the Istari, but it was natural to them as they were Maiar and not human. Maiar were also the balrogs and Ungoliant, ascendant of Shelob

Tuna 18/Dec/2006 at 02:24 PM
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Kaul- But that which the Witch-king had was the power of sorcery, not the same as the inherent natural powers as possessed by the istari. They do not, therefore, deserve to even be considered as wizards w/in Tolkien’s mythology. Also, I would be very hesitant to say that Ungoliant is a Maia as I have never seen enough evidence to name her such nor have I seen a compelling argument on the plaza towards her being a Maia.
Morgil 18/Dec/2006 at 04:56 PM
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In Tolkien’s writings (well in LotR at least) "wizard" seems to be less a class or profession than a title. As already noted, the Istari were the only beings commonly called wizards. They were not the only practitioners of magic. In addition to the WK, the Mouth of Sauron  had "learned great sorcery", and a number of elves, men, and dwarves made use of spells. 
Kaulargorn 18/Dec/2006 at 05:02 PM
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Of course you both are right and that is what I was saying too. In the first post lied the question of how close could get a human or an elf to be a wizzard and as I said he can obtain some magic abilities that wizzards have in agreater extent too but they can’t become wizzards. As for Ungoliant as I remember from the Silmarillion she was a Maia
Qtpie 18/Dec/2006 at 06:11 PM
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Kaulargorn: Nowhere in the Silmarillion does it explicitly state that Ungoliant was a Maia.
Tuna I haven’t seen any evidence suggesting Ungoliant was a Maia either, but I’m going to go ahead and try to argue for it.

’For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts.’ The Silmarillion: Valaquenta

’The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda, when Melkor first looked down in envy upon the Kingdom of Manwe, and that in the beginning she was one of those that he corrupted into his service.’ The Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor

Can Ungoliant not be one of the many Maia that was drawn and corrupted into Melkor’s service, except for the fact that she disowned him? She was also able to take the form of a spider, like the Ainu who had the ability to choose what kind of shape they would like to take.

’In a ravine she lived, and took shape as a spider of monstrous form, weaving her black webs in a cleft of the mountains.’ The Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor[/B[

I know there were other ’spirits’ around in Middle-earth like the ones summoned into the Ents and Eagles.

’...in majesty they are peers, surpassing beyond compare all others, whether of the Valar and the Maiar, or of any other order that Ilúvatar has sent into Eä.’

In this quote it mentions that there were other orders in Middle-earth. Could these be spirits and such? Finally are the Maiar and Valar are the only ones who can choose what kind of shape they want to take? The ’spirits’ can’t take their own forms can they? Because if so, then Ungoliant would be a Maia since she was able to take a form.
Vugar 18/Dec/2006 at 08:32 PM
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I am going to go ahead and put forth another theory of origin for Ungoliant, one that I recall from previous threads.  This particulary theory would be the Discord theory and the supporting quote would be thus:

"Out of the discords of the Music - sc. not directly out of either of the themes, Eru’s or Melkor’s, but of their dissonance with regard one to another - evil things appeared in Arda, which did not descend from any direct plan or vision of Melkor: they were not ’his children’; and therefore, since all evil hates, hated him too." (Notes on motives in the Silmarillion, Morgoth’s Ring)

Kaulargorn 18/Dec/2006 at 11:24 PM
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Ok, guys, I just checked it. Indeed it is not clear what Ungoliant was really and obviously I remembered wrong. One theory like reffered above, is that she is a Maia. I think that this is quite possible to be true because she would almost kill Melkor if there were not the Balrogs. Something so strong as that what else could be?
Daywalker 19/Dec/2006 at 01:52 AM
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Kaulargorn - That is one good possibility but it ain’t certain in any way. Because it’s never been stated (by Master himself), all we can do is assumptions. I tend to agree with Achaius here. Evil things were ’born’ and made their way to Arda. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t maia but Melkor could corrupt them even though they weren’t at his ’service’ from the start.
Alcarináro 19/Dec/2006 at 03:12 AM
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Something so strong as that what else could be?
Perhaps... not a Maia? I fail to see what evidence has led you to the conclusion that the only beings capable of power comparable to Ungoliant (who, it should be noted, was far more dangerous and powerful at the time in question, due to consumption of light and jewels, than she had ever been before and would ever be in the future) are Ainur?
Arvellas 19/Dec/2006 at 05:39 PM
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In all the works of Tolkien I have yet read, the terms "Wizard" and "Istar" have seemed to me to be synonymous.  Various people in LOTR use what could be interpreted as magic, and/or are said to have practiced sorcery, but that does not make them "Wizards."  Being made of stone does not make a pebble a boulder, so to speak, nor does being made of carbon make charcoal a diamond.