Tales from the Wilderlands
"Radagast the Brown" "The Brown Wizard"
One of the Five Wizards, Radagast was said to have been the fourth of the Wizards to appear in Middle-earth. Like all his Order, he carried a rod and had a distinctive colour (in Radagast’s case this was Brown). In his earlier life in Valinor he had been a friend to beasts and birds (his original name was Aiwendil, ‘bird-friend’) and the living things of Middle-earth became his special province2. He also had great knowledge of plants and herbs, and apparently possessed the ability to create illusions3.
Like the others of his Order, Radagast had been charged with aiding Elves and Men in their coming struggle against the Shadow. Once in Middle-earth, Radagast came to prefer the company of animals and birds to that of the people he was sent to aid, and he ultimately achieved very little. He settled at Rhosgobel, near the southern borders of Mirkwood, in a location close enough to Dol Guldur to suggest that it may have played a part in the attack on that fortress by the White Council in III 2941. At some point later in history he abandoned this homestead.
In the War of the Ring, Radagast played almost no part. His only action of any consequence was to send Gwaihir with news to Orthanc, thus unwittingly aiding Gandalf’s escape from the Pinnacle. He may also have had some role in sending the Eagles at occasional crucial moments in the War (especially in the final battle at the Gates of Mordor) but if so his actions are not recorded.
We know nothing of Radagast’s fate after the Fall of Sauron. Though he failed in his purpose to kindle resistance to the Dark Lord, it is not said that he was banned from returning to Aman, and it seems likely that he did so at some point. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility, though, that he remained among his friends the wild creatures of Middle-earth.