Other Names: Istari (Q), Wizards
Location(s): Aman, Arda
Parents: Eru Ilúvatar (creator)
"With the Valar came other spirits whose being also began before the World, of the same order as the Valar but of less degree. These are the Maiar, the people of the Valar, and their servants and helpers."
"...in Middle-earth, the Maiar have seldom appeared in form visible to Elves and Men."
The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, Of the Maiar
Maiar (plural), Maia (singular)
Istari (plural), Istar (singular)
"They first appeared in Middle-earth about the year 1000 of the Third Age, but for long they went about in simple guise, as it were of Men already old in years but hale in body, travellers and wanderers, gaining knowledge of Middle-earth and all that dwelt therein, but revealing to none their powers and purposes."
"Emissaries they were from the Lords of the West, the Valar... For with the consent of Eru they sent members of their own high order, but clad in bodies as of Men, real and not feigned..."
"...were messengers sent to contest the power of Sauron, and to unite all those who had the will to resist him; but they were forbidden to match his power with power, or to seek to dominate Elves or Men by force or fear."
Unfinished Tales, Part Four, II - The Istari