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  • Updated 13 July 2021
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White Messenger

Leader of the emissaries of the Valar

In approximately the thousandth year of the Third Age, a series of emissaries or messengers sailed into the Grey Havens from across the wide Western Sea. The first of these to arrive in Middle-earth appeared to be a black-haired Man clad in white, and he became known as the White Messenger. He was followed by others of the same kind clad in Grey, Brown and Blue. Of the five who landed in Lindon, the White Messenger was described as the most commanding and subtle, and was considered to be the chief of the Order.

Over the years that followed, as these Messengers travelled across Middle-earth, they became known by the people who lived there as Istari or Wizards, and they each acquired names. The White Messenger became known in Elvish as Curunír 'Lân, or to the Men of Middle-earth as Saruman the White When the White Council was formed to oppose the forces of the Shadow, it was Curunír who was chosen as its leader.

For all his evident authority, when the Wizards had first come to the Grey Havens, Círdan the Shipwright had determined that it was not Curunír who carried the greater wisdom, but his companion the Grey Messenger, later called Mithrandir or Gandalf. At that time Círdan passed the Red Ring Narya to the Grey Messenger and, though this was done in secret, Curunír discovered it and began to foster a sense of resentment against his Grey companion.

Círdan's assessment of the Messengers proved to be foresightful. Curunír turned away from the Order and the Council to pursue his own agenda, and was ensnared into allying himself with Sauron. At this time he entirely abandoned his role as the White Messenger to claim the title of 'Many Colours'. Eventually Gandalf the Grey passed out of the world and was returned as Gandalf the White, taking on the power and authority of the head of the Order of Wizards. The treacherous original White Messenger was thus supplanted, and the new White Messenger, Gandalf, went on to lead the forces of the Westlands to victory against the Dark Lord.


See also...

Grey Messenger

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About this entry:

  • Updated 13 July 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

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