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* Radagast the [[Bird-tamer]]
* Radagast the [[Bird-tamer]]
* Radagast [[the Simple]]
* Radagast [[the Simple]]
* Radagast [[the Fool]] (names mockingly given to Radagast by Saruman)<ref name=II2/>
* Radagast [[the Fool]] (names mockingly given to Radagast by Saruman)<ref name=II2>{{FR|II2}}</ref>

Revision as of 18:57, 9 May 2012

"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
This article or section needs more/new/more-detailed sources to conform to a higher standard and to provide proof for claims made.
Template:Istari infobox
"Radagast the Brown! ... Radagast the Bird-tamer! Radagast the Simple! Radagast the Fool! Yet he had just the wit to play the part that I set him."
Saruman, The Council of Elrond

Radagast the Brown was one of the Wizards, a good friend of Gandalf, and had a strong affinity for animals. He lived at Rhosgobel, on the western eaves of Mirkwood, near the Gladden Fields on the Great River.



Radagast, like the other Wizards, came from Valinor around the year 1000 of the Third Age and was one of the Maiar of the Valië Yavanna. His original name was Aiwendil (pron. [aɪˈwendil]). Yavanna forced Curumo to accept Radagast as a companion, which may have been one of the reasons Saruman was contemptuous of him.

The wizard's home was in Rhosgobel on the western borders of Mirkwood. He was a friend of Beorn as well as a friend to the forest's many creatures, especially birds whom he communicated with. Despite this, Gandalf was still more knowledgeable of the animals, and more respected by them than Radagast. Radagast spent most of his time with the wildlife instead of Men and Elves, whom he found more difficult to deal with. Radagast grew neglectful and easygoing, and he lacked courage, however he remained of good will.

In the summer of 3018 Radagast was unwittingly used by Saruman to lure Gandalf to Orthanc, sending him to Bree with a message for Gandalf. In this message Saruman asked Gandalf to come to Orthanc, where Saruman trapped and captured him. Luckily, Radagast didn't mean any harm to Gandalf, and wasn't aware of Saruman's plan. So Radagast also helped rescue the grey wizard by alerting the Eagles of Gandalf's journey there.

Radagast is without a doubt a mysterious character. While there is little doubt that his heart was in the right place, he did not possess that same selflessness that allowed Gandalf to fulfil the task set to him by the Valar, to aid the free people. Deigning to leave his wooded home, Radagast remained in Northern Mirkwood with the birds and the beasts and the trees.


Radagast by Angelo Montanini



In a manuscript written by Tolkien in 1954, the name Radagast is said to mean "tender of beasts" in Adûnaic, the language of Númenor.[2] However, in a later note Tolkien said that the name is in the language of the Men of the Vales of Anduin, and that its meaning is not interpretable.[3]

As stated by Hammond and Scull, several theories have appeared concerning the inspiration of the name Radagast.[4] One such theory has been proposed by Douglas A. Anderson, who notes the name Redigast in Slavic mythology.[5]


The name Aiwendil is likely Quenya, perhaps derived from aiwe ("(small) bird") and ndil ("devoted to").[4][6]

Portrayal in adaptations

1981: BBC Radio's The Lord of the Ring:

Donald Gee provided the voice of Radagast. He is however not the person who sends the Eagle to save Gandalf from Orthanc.

1987-: Mithril Miniatures:

Radagast has been issued in a couple of different versions: figure LR3 "Radagast the Brown" is seen with a cat and an owl;[7] an older version of the figure portrays Radagast without beard and with a different bird.[8] There is also a "Radagast Mounted" (MS539), where Radagast (again without beard) is portrayed mounted on a horse.[9]

1988: J.R.R. Tolkien's War in Middle Earth:

Radagast is a non-playable character in this game.

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

The character Radagast and virtually all references to him were removed. He was originally to appear in a background scene, but this was removed because it was thought it would only confuse people.[source?] He later appeared on a Decipher Card, played by Weta's John Harding.

2001-: The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game:

The hero figure Radagast the Brown, is a user of subtle magics,in contrast to the more overt kinds used by Gandalf and Saruman. However, he has some unique powers nonetheless.[10]

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Radagast can be found encamped in the Lone-lands, north along the Great Road. He is friendly to the local people, the Eglain, and helps the to combat the rise of evil in the swamps of Agamaur.[11]

2011: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North:

The characters Eradan, Farin and Andriel travel to Mirkwood and search of Radagast and arrive just in time to rescue him from a giant spider. He thanks them for the rescue and provides them with information about the Dragon Urgost.[12]

2012-13: The Hobbit films:

Radagast will be played by Sylvester McCoy.[13]

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Istari"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Istari", note 4
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 240-1
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 167
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", pp. 348, 378 (entries AIWĒ- and NIL-, NDIL-)
  7. Mithril Wizards Miniatures at (accessed 8 October 2011)
  8. Lord of the Rings (Mithril) at (accessed 8 October 2011; cf. Radgast (image))
  9. 32mm Fellowship Figures - MS539 Radagast Mounted at (accessed 8 October 2011)
  10. Radagast the Brown at Games-Workshop-com (accessed 8 October 2011)
  11. NPC: Radagast the Brown at (accessed 8 October 2011)
  12. Allies at (accessed 8 October 2011)
  13. Ian McKellen, "2 Elves and another Wizard" dated 10 May 2011, Ian McKellen's website (accessed 23 December 2011)