- "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... Only two came forward; Curumo and Alatar... and Alatar took Pallando as a friend."
- —Prior to the arrival of the Istari in the West
Alatar (Quenya; IPA: [ˈalatar] - "After-Comer"), also called Morinehtar (Quenya; [moriˈneçtar]) was a Maia and an immortal Istar wizard. He travelled to Middle-earth in the Second Age with Rómestámo (Pallando), and they became the Ithryn Luin, or "Blue Wizards".
They travelled to the east of Arda, to countries in far eastern Middle-earth such as Rhûn and Khand, where they were sent to stir up rebellions against those serving Sauron. In this, they were successful, and they later returned to Middle-earth in the Third Age and travelled East and South once again, but they never returned to the West after their journey with Saruman. It is possible that they became the founders of secret and magical cults, but their ultimate fate remains unknown.
- "Their task was to circumvent Sauron: to bring help to the few tribes of Men that had rebelled from Melkor-worship, to stir up rebellion... and after his first fall to search out his hiding and to cause dissension and disarray among the dark East... They must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of the East... who both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise have... outnumbered the West."
- —J.R.R. Tolkien
Alatar was originally a Maia of Oromë the Huntsman named Morinehtar, and presumably lived in his forests on the continent of Aman, west of Middle-earth. The other servants of Oromë included Rómestámo (later Pallando), who was a friend of Morinehtar's, and whom he later chose to journey with him. At some point in the Second Age, around the forging of the Rings of Power, Mohrinehtar and Rómestámo were chosen to become the first of the Istari, and were sent to the East of Middle-earth to stir up rebellion against Sauron and assist the few tribes of Men who had refused to worship Morgoth in the First Age.
- "I think that they went as emissaries to distant regions, east and south, .... Missionaries to enemy occupied lands as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and "magic" traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron."
- —J.R.R. Tolkien
During the Third Age, the Valar selected Morinehtar, renamed Alatar, meaning "after-comer", and Pallando to be two of the five Maiar to travel from the Undying Lands to Middle-earth and serve as Istari wizards. Alatar, Curumo (Saruman the White) and Olórin (Gandalf the Grey) were assigned the objective of encouraging the peoples of Middle-earth to oppose Sauron. However, two more joined the original three Wizards and they became five. Aiwendil (Radagast the Brown) was chosen by Yavanna to travel with Curumo, and Alatar took Pallando the Blue as a companion. Upon arrival in Middle-earth, Alatar and Pallando were dressed in robes of sea-blue. Due to this, they were called the Blue Wizards (or Ithryn Luin, in Sindarin). With Saruman, they travelled east in an attempt to help free the last Men of Númenor, who were now Haradrim and Easterlings. Later, Saruman came back to the west alone. However, Alatar and Pallando were never seen again, and their ultimate fates are unknown.
When Alatar came to Middle-earth, he was clothed in flesh and had the appearance of a wizened old man, though he did not look as old as Gandalf. He and Pallando were dressed in robes of sea-blue, which was why they were named "the Blue Wizards". He had a white beard which was not as long as Gandalf's or Saruman's. He carried a staff, as did the other Wizards, which he could use to channel his magic.
Alatar probably means "after-comer" (as he was one of the original two Maiar to be chosen to become Wizards and follow Sauron to Middle earth). J.R.R. Tolkien specifically stated that neither Alatar nor Pallando had a name in the West of Middle-earth, unlike the other three Wizards, who all had two names. Therefore, Tolkien probably intended "Alatar" to be more of a title or a description than a name. Later in his life, Tolkien wrote a note, suggesting that the names of the Blue Wizards were Morinehtar and Rómestámo. It is not clear whether these names were intended to replace the names Alatar and Pallando, or whether Morinehtar and Rómestámo were alternate names for the Blue Wizards, possibly those given to them by the peoples of Middle-earth.
Portrayal in adaptations
The Hobbit trilogy
When talking to Bilbo, Gandalf the Grey mentions the two Blue Wizards in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. When Bilbo asks how many Wizards there are, Gandalf states that there is him, Saruman, the two Blue Wizards (whose names he cannot remember), and Radagast the Brown. They are never mentioned in the Lord of the Rings films, only referenced by Saruman who mentions "the rods of the five wizards" in the extended edition of the third film.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Kazakh||Алатар (Cyrillic) Alatar (Latin)|
|Serbian||Алатар (Cyrillic) Alatar (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Алатар (Cyrillic) Alatar (Latin)|
- Unfinished Tales, Part Four, chapter II: "The Istari" Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "Unfinished" defined multiple times with different content
- The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter X: "The Voice of Saruman"
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), "The Third Age"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth, XIII: "Last Writings"