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Radagast the Brown’s Guide to the Kelvar of Wilderland

by on August 8, 2018

Enjoy this new entry by guest writer Vardaen! -Ian


“Radagast is, of course, a worthy Wizard, a master of shapes and changes of hue; and he has much lore of herbs and beasts, and birds are especially his friends.”

LotR, FotR, Book Two, II – The Council of Elrond

Chapter 1: Of Eagles

There are a great many kelvar, or creatures, large and small that roam Wilderland that this tome cannot begin to touch on yet I must put down in writing my knowledge and understanding of some of them. Let me begin with the greatest of all the birds, the Eagles of Manwë, these creatures should not be confused with the lesser and more mundane eagles or ravenous hawks found throughout the region.

Eagles are not kindly birds. Some are cowardly and cruel. But the ancient race of the northern mountains were the greatest of all birds; they were proud and strong and noble-hearted. They did not love goblins, or fear them.1

The Eagles of the Misty Mountains or the Eagles of the Lords of the West have a sacred origin from the first age of Middle-earth. They are not simply animals, they come from Manwë the Lord of the Air, King of the Valar.

For Manwë to whom all birds are dear, and to whom they bring news upon Taniquetil from Middle-earth, had sent forth the race of Eagles, commanding them to dwell in the crags of the North, and to keep watch upon Morgoth; for Manwë still had pity for the exiled Elves. And the Eagles brought news of much that passed in those days to the sad ears of Manwë.2

It is said among the Wise that these were not just simple Kelvar of Yavanna but were in fact more. That it was Manwe himself that sent

[…] Maia spirits in Eagle form to dwell near Thangorodrim and keep watch on all that Melkor did and assist the Noldor in extreme cases.3

Lord among the eagles of that lost age was Thorondor, and his Descendants still sail the skies to this day in Wilderland. Thorondor himself was epic in size:

King of Eagles, mightiest of all bird that have ever been, whose outstretched wings spanned thirty fathoms. 4

That is 180 feet, or 60 yards for those who use the vulgar terms of measurement. Many now remember the Dragon Smaug, whose own wing span may have only measured 82 feet! Chief among the Eagles of the North, and descendant of old Thorondor is Gwaihir, and at his side are Meneldor and Landroval his brother. Whom have come at many times to aid the Free Peoples in their struggles such as at Erebor in the Battle of Five Armies.

And though the lord of the eagles became in after days the King of All Birds and wore a golden crown, and his fifteen chieftains golden collars (made of the gold that the dwarves gave them) […]5

few of his Winged Guardians and Vassals of the Windlord are known by name among the people who they have ever been aid and friends too. Yet some, like my friend Wilyador, still risk the dangers of Rhovanion to bring aid to travelers and those in need. I suppose I should put down into writing more about the other birds of Wilderland. We shall have to see what time I have for such and endeavor.

                                          -Radagast the Brown

  1. The Hobbit, Ch 6, Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
  2. Silmarillion, Chapter 13, Of the Return of the Noldor
  3. Morgoth’s Ring, Part Two, The Annals of Aman, Commentary
  4. The Silmarillion, Ch 13, Of the Return of the Noldor
  5. The Hobbit, Chapter 7, Queer Lodgings
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