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Unfinished Tales - The Istari by XteveAbanto Unfinished Tales - The Istari by XteveAbanto
Throwback Thursday Tolkien style! :D Finally, here's my versions of Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast in their 'younger/original' Maiar forms as Olorin, Curumo, and Aiwendil. :)

'...Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten.' - Gandalf the Grey

Manwë summoned the Valar for a council at which it was resolved to send out three emissaries to Middle-Earth and he asked who would go. They would have to loose might and clothe themselves in flesh to win the trust of Elves and Men but this would also imperil them, diminish there wisdom and knowledge and bring upon them fear, the care and weariness of the flesh. Only two came forward; Curumo (Saruman) and Alatar. Curumo was chosen by Aulë among "his" Maiar and Alatar was send by Oromë. Manwë asked where Olórin (Gandalf) was and Olórin just returned from a journey and coming to the meeting asked what he wanted from him and Manwë told that he wished him to go as the third to Middle-Earth. Olórin answered that he meant himself to weak for such a task and that he feared Sauron. Then Manwë said that that was all the more reason why he should go and he commanded him to go as the third. There Varda broke in and said "Not as the third." and Curumo remembered that.

The narrative goes on to tell how Curumo (Saruman) takes Aiwendil (Radagast) at the pleading of Yavanna, and that Pallando is brought by Alatar as a friend (the Blue Wizards). With Olórin (Gandalf) added to the mix, the total of five Istari mentioned in the appendix to the Lord of the Rings is reached.

Five Maiar were ultimately chosen and they each came over the Sea appearing as mortals well into the later years of their existence. They were hearty beings but still subject to the weaknesses of the physical form. They felt hunger and weariness but they did not age. Nor were they vulnerable to sickness or natural deaths, though their physical bodies could be slain. The Istari were forbidden to reveal their true natures and display any supernatural powers so as not to intimidate the peoples of Middle-Earth.
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The-Misfit Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015   Digital Artist
I absolutely love the young version of saruman! He looks exactly how I thought he would. Amazing work
Helegris-Nimbereth Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Student General Artist
Hi! This is beautiful, so I was wondering if I could post it on tumblr with credits to you and all? I have a Gandalf blog, and I simply wish to share this version of him with others. It's perfectly fine if you'd rather I didn't!
Ravel22 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013
Thank you again for sharing  what I think,is 1 of  the best books/series ever!
SarkaSkorpikova Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love your versions of the Istari. Gandalf looks amazing :) He's perfect. 
Hedonistbyheart Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
Oh this is is magnificent!
I love how Olorin looks like smoke and fog and wind all in one, soft and ethereal, reminiscent of  his status as the Grey Pilgrim and at the same time referencing Manwe too. Curumo (Curunir?) looks refined and beautiful and much more conscious of his appearance, which one might expect from a maia of Aule, as well as he does have an unsettling air that I imagine Mairon might have had too. Aiwendil looks like a young ent which is very fitting and I love how bright he is.
Absolutely incredible work.
CuruwenXayide Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
nice done but, well Olórin looks like an woman.....if the gray haired one supose too be him ofc... *cough*
whittingtonrhett Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
holy lord man! this is friggin amazing! I can't tell you how many times I have tried to envision this and wondered how to draw it, but you took it, and knocked it out of the dang park! their looks and designs are all recognizeable and look awesome! and the detail of the painting makes it look real. I have a TON of Tolkien art in my Gallery as well, but my stuff all leans towards my comic book art style. but I love seeing fine art like this! I wish I could do stuff like that. I am totally faimilar with this part in Unfinished Tales so perhaps thats why I was so excited to see this done. :)
JackieHJ Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Student General Artist
Wonderful rendition, they're so easily recognizable even from their movie interpretations, yet still different.
LimeGreenBunny Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is really cool! I love how different their faces are...I especially like the look of Saruman's face. Must be the nose :D
Eternal-Mothra Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
PS: Radagast is very attractive, wow!
Eternal-Mothra Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
This is beyond amazing.
KIA-13-7 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
incredible, just awesome
MarsieSinclaire Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh wow! So amazing! How I love Gandalf's hair XD It looks sooooo soft*^*
DrummerWench Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
Really like this idea--showing them as "clothed" Maiar as they might appear in the West. Great renditions, displaying them in forms that somewhat resemble their "aged" bodies.
Meisiluosi Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
A very interesting rendition! (And especially Curumo and Aiwendil look really awesome.)
Elaini-the-Mystic Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
The Ainur are capable to change their body like they change their clothes, unless something strange and evil happens that prevents it (such in the case of Morgoth and Sauron). Do you think Gandalf would return to this form when he gets back? :)
Simati Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What I like about your picture is that you made them appear as diffrent from the movie, but with ressemblances in the same time... Very nice !
spicedwinefanfic Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
This is incredibly original. Love it!
MariaB9 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is amazing, I love it!
The-Original-RPer Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So that's why Gandalf was so very much a 'lame' wizard. He had power and a lot of it, but was forbidden to show it.

Sort of makes the turning of Saruman all the more sad when you know they were not just fellow wizards but actually fellow beings from the 'Good' side. Essentially family if 'the West' has such things--but the real question is then, does that make Gandalf, Radaghast and Saruman essentially angels?

Well, whether they are or not, this is a beautiful bit of work! The airbrush effect lends a very otherworldly and dream-like quality that suits the counsel of the West.
Odilicious Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Superb characters!
RosephDream Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
Wow! And I thought that the Silmarillion had all the information of the Istari! Now I have to read the Unfinished Tales :love:!
Chimerari Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
absolutely gorgeous <333
I'm not familiar with their Maiar forms, so I'm guessing the one with white hair is Saruman? Radagast is easy to spot
XteveAbanto Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! That's actually Gandalf. :) The guy the in the middle is Saruman. He actually had raven-black hair when he came to Middle-Earth.
Chimerari Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
ah thanks, I realized my mistake soon after ;P
anyway,keep up the great work <333
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June 30, 2013
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