Lindariel wrote:Philipa, Cirdan gave Narya to Gandalf when Gandalf first arrived in Middle-earth as an Istari. Gandalf landed at Mithlond after the other wizards had already preceeded him, and Cirdan was moved to give him Marya because he sensed something in Gandalf that he did not sense in the other four Wizards. Gandalf had Narya for his entire tenure as a Wizard in Middle-earth, and then took it with him when he sailed back to Valinor with the other Ring-Bearers.
Merry, it wasn't that the Valar thought Gandalf wasn't up to the task -- he doubted himself! The first three Wizards -- Saruman (from Aule's people) and the two Blue Wizards (from Orome's Maiar, I think) -- were volunteers. Then Yavanna chose Radagast because she was concerned for her living things. Finally Varda urged Manwe to send Olorin/Gandalf, because she was privately concerned about Saruman's pride. When Olorin was summoned and offered the task, he expressed doubts that he would be able to go up against Sauron. His humility ultimately made him the ideal candidate!
Perhaps even a Maia / Istari needs a little self confidence builder too?
I wonder... did Radagast and the other unknown Istari ever cross the ocean to the West? Just a speculation, I can't see Radagast leaving the forest and animals he loved.