The name given to five powerful beings sent to Middle-earth by the Valar in the early part of the Third Age to help its people against the returning darkness. They landed at the Grey Havens, but three of the five quickly set out into the far eastern lands of Middle-earth. Of those, one returned and later became notorious as the traitor Saruman. The fates of his two companions - the so-called Blue Wizards - remained mysterious. Meanwhile, the two other Wizards of the five remained in the west of Middle-earth. One, Radagast, became fascinated by birds and beasts, and fell away from his mission. The last of the five was known by many names, but most commonly as Gandalf, and he succeeded in organising the resistance against Sauron and played a pivotal role in the defeat of the Dark Lord.
For a list of the Five Wizards, see the entry for Wizards.
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