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CoTW: Bk.3, Ch.10, "The Voice of Saruman"

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Christian Hannibal

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Sep 5, 2004, 3:58:08 PM9/5/04
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Let me just start by saying, that due to a 6-month stay in Dublin, where
apparently it still is not a given to provide students residences with an
Internet connection I have been unable to follow the discussions properly
since New Years. Therefore, I might be touching on some points that have
already been discussed. For that I'm sorry, but I simply don't have time to
start going through the google archives to read all the discussions to each
and every chapter.

Since I have now been transferred from Dublin to Warsaw, I have arrived at a
place where things such as an Internet connection is a lot easier to get
hold of than in Dublin, so from now on I should be able to participate
properly in discussions. Beginning this week with my favourite chapter: The
Voice of Saruman.

Summary:

The chapter starts by a description of Isengard after the water has
subsided, showing how polluted the entire site must have been.

Merry - in nice hobbit fashion - tells Gandalf, that he feels less
ill-disposed towards Saruman now that he (Merry) has had the chance to eat,
drink and smoke from Saruman's storeroom. (1) Gandalf says that his opinion
of Saruman has not changed and that he must have a last meeting with him.

Gandalf warns Pippin and Gimli about the dangers of Saruman - they are
advised to be aware of Saruman's voice.

Gandalf, Éomer, Théoden , Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli walk the stairs of
Orthanc to speak to Saruman, while Merry and Pippin are left at the bottom
step. (2)

Wormtongue asks from a window who it is and what they want. (3) Gandalf
demands to speak to Saruman. Then follows a description of the magical
properties of Saruman's voice. Its powerful effects are described quite
vividly, and no one could remain unmoved by it.

Saruman mentions that he knows at least two of the names of the people on
his doorstep: Théoden and Gandalf. He addresses Théoden first, trying to
convince him, that Saruman is the only one who can help him now and that the
former white wizard does not hold a grudge, even though so much harm has
been done to him. We learn that most of the men in the army started
believing Saruman's words, but that Gimli sees through the rhetoric. (4) At
this point Saruman reveals that he knows the name - and ancestry - of Gimli
as well. (5)

Éomer starts talking, when Théoden remains silent, in order to counter the
influence of the voice on hi master, just to be mocked by Saruman: "Slay
whom your lord names as enemies, and be content. Meddle not in policies
which you do not understand." Saying that only kings understand Realpolitk,
where power is more important than friendship. Again, Saruman reveals that
he knew the name of Éomer all the way long.

Saruman then makes an interesting point: that he cannot be called a
murderer, just because some men died in a battle, that Saruman claims he did
not desire. If that were the case, then all great kings of Rohan would be
murderers too. He then offers peace to Théoden, who rejects if after a few
seconds of silence, saying that he will have piece once Saruman hangs from a
gibbet. (6) (7)

After this refusal, Saruman mocks Rohan and her equestrians, just to address
Gandalf beginning with a few compliments. (8) His way of talking to Gandalf
is masterfully described as the way a kindly king would talk to "an erring,
but much loved minister." Saruman offers, that he and Gandalf should join
forces for their common good and ignore the lesser folk. Apparently, all
the people listening, even Théoden, feared that Gandalf would accept the
offer and leave them to whatever destiny the wise might decide for them. (9)

Gandalf just laughs at the offer, and after ridiculing Saruman he offers him
to come down and leave Orthanc as a free man, but with out his staff and
with out the key to Orthanc.

Saruman turns this offer into a powerful attack on Gandalf, suggesting that
all Gandalf wants is more power for himself and that Gandalf will not be
satisfied until he owns the crowns of seven kings (10) and the rods of the
Five Wizards. (11) After this rant, he turns to leave, but Gandalf orders
him to stay and Saruman obeys.

Gandalf rebukes Saruman for his pride and then declares himself as Gandalf
the White and casts Saruman from the order and the Council, breaking Saruman
's staff with a spell. (12)

Saruman leaves the balcony and at the same time, Wormtounge threw a large
shiny ball out of the window. (13) Pippin picks up the item, but Gandalf
quickly takes it from him, hiding it in his cloak, while suggesting that it
was an item of great importance.

They descend the stairs and are saluted by the host. The spell of Saruman's
voice is broken after they have seen him obey Gandalf. Merry asks whether
there could have been a different outcome to the debate and Gandalf answers
that it would not be likely, but that he had to try for several reasons.
Saruman could still have been of value if he had mended his ways. Gandalf
says that he does not wish for mastery. (14)

Treebeard approaches and Gandalf introduces him to Aragorn, Gimli and
Legolas. Legolas is of interest to the Ent, since he is an Elf and from
Mirkwood. Legolas then asks politely for permission to walk in Fangorn
Forest with his friend, to which Treebeard says that he shall be welcome
with any Elf. Legolas admits that his friend in question is not an Elf, but
Gimli the dwarf. Treebeard is somewhat sceptical of Gimli, because he is a)
a dwarf and b) an axe-bearer, but when Legolas explains that the axe is for
orc-necks and that Gimli killed 42 orcs in the battle Treebeard gives his
permission. (15)

Treebeard tells us that he has made a few new lines concerning Hobbits to
the Long List. He tells the Merry and Pippin to keep an eye open for any
sign of the Entwives and says that Saruman's heart is as rotten as a black
Huorn's. (16) That cannot be nice.

Treebeard promises Gandalf to re-flood Isengard and keep a permanent watch
over Saruman.

Possible points of discussion:

1) How does Merry now about the dangers of the loose slabs? Sounds like
e - or Pippin - might have been close to having an accident...

2) Gimli argues that he and Legolas should go with Gandalf, because they are
the only ones of their kin, but so are Merry and Pippin. Why do they not
want to go? One would think that at least Merry would want to go on behalf
of all hobbits? Are they just too afraid of Saruman? Why does not Gandalf
offer them to go? Does he fear the influence of Saruman's voice is stronger
on the hobbits - perhaps because they are simpler folk? But even if that is
the case, they must still be able to hear him from the bottom step...

3) I always found this paragraph somewhat strange. It sounds like Wormtongue
is answering the doorbell in some suburban house, where he is just trying to
avoid annoying sales-men. Surely, he must have some idea who is standing in
front of him.

4) How does Gimli see through the rhetoric? He does not strike me as being
particularly bright or anything? And why are we not told what Legolas and
Aragorn felt about the voice? Not to mention Merry and Pippin.

I wonder whether the voice has different effects on different races, just
like the Ring apparently has less of an effect on Hobbits than on Humans.

5) Why did Saruman pretend that he only knew the names of Gandalf and
Théoden? It has already been made clear to our heroes, that Wormtongue - who
knew about all the members of the company - is in the tower and would of
course have told Saruman of his encounter with the travellers in the hall of
Théoden .

6) How come Théoden is able to resist Saruman's voice? One would think that
he was prone to being convinced, since Wormtongue was able to manipulate him
so effectively and Saruman is a lot more powerful than Wormtongue.

7) A gibbet? That I the first time we hear of such things in LotR IIRC.
Seems like someone must have been executing people that way - and apparently
not just the bad guys. Do we hear of civilized people using executions
anywhere else in the books?

8) It does not seem like Saruman is very surprised by Gandalf's presence,
though he must have thought that he was dead. And if he did not, then he
does not really show any signs of wondering why Gandalf's appearance has
changed.

9) How do we know what Théoden felt? Should he have told Merry perhaps?
Seems a bit unlikely though, that he should be telling him: "Hey, for a
moment there, I thought we were screwed!"

10) Why seven? Is it just a random number or does it refer to anything? I
thought about the 7 rings for the dwarf-lords, but why would Saruman refer
to that?

11) This could turn out as a discussion of the movie-ism... The power of the
staff is evidently much different in the movies than in the book.
Apparently, you cannot just replace the staff with a new one in the book. So
what is the power of the staffs? It seems like it is not only a matter of
prestige, but that they hold actual powers, which is why Gandalf should
desire to own all five. They must have different powers then? Or what do you
think?

Oh. and we could also start a lengthy discussion about the three other
Wizards.

12) Where does Gandalf get authority to do this? You would think that things
like these cannot be so easily decided by just one member of the order.

13) Why didn't Wormtongue, who must have been in Orthanc for a while, know
what the item was? It cannot have been hidden from him or anything, since he
could get to it so easily and one would think, that Saruman must have used
it quite often.

14) I wonder whether Gandalf stresses this to make sure that everybody
understood that what Saruman said about his motives was untrue.

15) Why is there reason for Treebeard to dislike Gimli, just because he is a
dwarf? I know that dwarfs are not exactly portrayed as tree-hugging wild
life enthusiasts, but more like miners, who would not really have anything
to do with the forests. So how come Treebeard has such a bad impression of
dwarfs?

16) I had to leave all my Tolkien books except LOTR back home in Denmark, so
I cannot check whether we learn anything about black Huorns anywhere else.
UT perhaps?

17) How could PJ leave out most of this great chapter? There is so much
tension in this chapter, but perhaps not enough action for PJ? Could have
been done in very few minutes though - minutes, where you could have had a
stand-off between the two wizards that would have been so much cooler than
the stupid wrestling scene in FOTR.

18) I know that Tolkien disapproved of all interpretations of his work as an
analogy of modern issues, but I can't help thinking about whether Saruman's
demagogical rhetorical style was inspired by some politician of Tolkien's
time. Saruman's style is too subtle to be inspired by Goebbels, Hitler or
Mussolini, but do you have any other suggestions? (Slightly OT I know, but
as a student of political science and international relations I can't help
thinking of these things)

Favourite quotes:

"The treacherous are ever distrustful."

"So would the trapped wolf speak to the hounds, if he could."


--
Hannibal
"Not all those who wander are lost, but all who does not wonder...they are
truly lost..."

Remove REMOVE to reply


Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 5, 2004, 6:09:52 PM9/5/04
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Crossposted to RABT.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 5, 2004, 6:34:30 PM9/5/04
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> Christian Hannibal <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> wrote:

<snip>

>> Saruman turns this offer into a powerful attack on Gandalf,
>> suggesting that all Gandalf wants is more power for himself and that
>> Gandalf will not be satisfied until he owns the crowns of seven kings
>> (10) and the rods of the Five Wizards.

<snip>

>> 10) Why seven? Is it just a random number or does it refer to
>> anything? I thought about the 7 rings for the dwarf-lords, but why
>> would Saruman refer to that?

The number seven is an oft-repeating number in Middle-earth. Several
examples are the seven stars on the banner of Aragorn, the seven stars
on the Doors of Durin and the seven palantiri.

http://www.google.com/groups?&selm=QVPpc.1539%24nb3.17404997%40news-text.cableinet.net

That is a link to a thread I started on 'Numbers in Tolkien'. The number
seven seems to be the one most frequently used by Tolkien.

It is especially noticeable that many of the uses of the number seven
are of semi-divine origin: originating from the fact that there are
seven Kings and Queens of the Valar. Thus the seven days of the week may
have originated from the cycle of light of the two trees. The seven
stars of the Sickle of the Valar may represent the Seven Kings of the
Valar, and hence the seven stars on Durin's Door. Many of the other
'sevens' may have originated from the original Valarian seven.

The upshot of all this is my (rather speculative) theory that Saruman's
"the crowns of seven kings" might be referring to the Seven Kings of the
Valar. A poetic way of saying that Gandalf (or rather Saruman) wants to
rule all of Arda.

<snip>

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard

Raven

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Sep 5, 2004, 6:21:00 PM9/5/04
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"Christian Hannibal" <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> skrev i en meddelelse
news:chfras$83m$1...@nemesis.news.tpi.pl...

> 1) How does Merry now about the dangers of the loose slabs? Sounds like
> e - or Pippin - might have been close to having an accident...

This may be so. Or they may have observed Ents stepping on such slabs,
though the much larger Ents would only stumble a little, just as a man might
stumble in a mole hole. Or they may have seen, as water subsided and
perhaps carried floating items with it, slabs wobbling.

> 3) I always found this paragraph somewhat strange. It sounds like
> Wormtongue is answering the doorbell in some suburban house, where
> he is just trying to avoid annoying sales-men. Surely, he must have some
> idea who is standing in front of him.

My guess is that he is simply being insolent.

> 4) How does Gimli see through the rhetoric? He does not strike me as being
> particularly bright or anything? And why are we not told what Legolas and
> Aragorn felt about the voice? Not to mention Merry and Pippin.

Dwarves are elsewhere described as particularly resilient to domination,
because they were made so by Aulë who expected Melkor to attempt such. And
this is what Saruman attempts in this chapter - to dominate Gandalf and his
following, though in this instance not by brute force. Also it may be of
help to him that Dwarves apparently are not as attached to words as other
races are. Elves may almost feed on words, but Dwarves are a more practical
race. In some instances this is a weakness; in this situation it is a
strength.

> 5) Why did Saruman pretend that he only knew the names of Gandalf and
> Théoden? It has already been made clear to our heroes, that Wormtongue -
> who knew about all the members of the company - is in the tower and
> would of course have told Saruman of his encounter with the travellers
> in the hall of Théoden .

He may have suffered from the same weakness as Sauron here: to focus on
those whom he thought useful to him, and ignore the rest. They are useless
baggage, and dismissed from his thought - until they make themselves
noticed.
One, imhoe less probable, other explanation is that he at first
recognized Gandalf and Théoden, and Wormtongue whispered the rest to him
just after, while he was jabbering away.

> 6) How come Théoden is able to resist Saruman's voice? One would think
> that he was prone to being convinced, since Wormtongue was able to
> manipulate him so effectively and Saruman is a lot more powerful than
> Wormtongue.

OTOH Théoden is a king. And one who has already been burned by this
fire. He knows now that Saruman is his enemy, and applies the willpower of
a king.

> 11) This could turn out as a discussion of the movie-ism... The power of
> the staff is evidently much different in the movies than in the book.
> Apparently, you cannot just replace the staff with a new one in the book.
> So what is the power of the staffs? It seems like it is not only a matter
> of prestige, but that they hold actual powers, which is why Gandalf
> should desire to own all five. They must have different powers then?
> Or what do you think?

We cannot from this passage infer anything of the significance of the
staffs of the wizards, except that they do have some significance or other
beyond that of walking props. But at the least they may apparently be
likened to policemen's badges, or the sceptres of kings. A sceptre may in
itself be only a nice piece of jewellery in the shape of a small rod, but
symbolically, if you hold it you hold the kingship. Saruman accuses Gandalf
of desiring mastery over all his fellow wizards.

> 12) Where does Gandalf get authority to do this? You would think that
> things like these cannot be so easily decided by just one member of
> the order.

He has probably been authorized by God, who revived him. Perhaps God
never spoke to Gandalf like he spoke to Moses, but inserted a certainty into
Gandalf's heart that Gandalf had been given this authority.

> 13) Why didn't Wormtongue, who must have been in Orthanc for a while, know
> what the item was? It cannot have been hidden from him or anything, since
> he could get to it so easily and one would think, that Saruman must have
> used it quite often.

Wormtongue first spoke to the company apparently from the room inside the
same balcony that Saruman then stepped onto, or a lower one, since he speaks
from within the window above the door. But he cast the Palantír from a
higher window. It may be that during Saruman's attempt to sway the company,
Wormtongue wandered into a chamber that he was normally not permitted to
enter. He found the Palantír, thought it only a big, heavy stone, and threw
it. I find it improbable that Saruman would have shown it to Wormtongue.
It must have been precious to Saruman, a thing that seems to naturally tempt
people. It tempted Pippin. Saruman would have been far more susceptible to
such temptations than he.
In this light it may be asked how Wormtongue found the will to throw the
Palantír, rather than being captivated by it as Pippin was.

> 15) Why is there reason for Treebeard to dislike Gimli, just because he is
> a dwarf? I know that dwarfs are not exactly portrayed as tree-hugging
> wild life enthusiasts, but more like miners, who would not really have
> anything to do with the forests. So how come Treebeard has such a
> bad impression of dwarfs?

Dwarves also fell trees for fuel for their forges and smelting.

Kruk.


Kristian Damm Jensen

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Sep 6, 2004, 3:02:18 AM9/6/04
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"Christian Hannibal" <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> wrote in message news:<chfras$83m$1...@nemesis.news.tpi.pl>...

<snip>

> Summary:

<snip nice summary>

> Possible points of discussion:

<snip>

> 2) Gimli argues that he and Legolas should go with Gandalf, because they are
> the only ones of their kin, but so are Merry and Pippin. Why do they not
> want to go? One would think that at least Merry would want to go on behalf
> of all hobbits? Are they just too afraid of Saruman? Why does not Gandalf
> offer them to go? Does he fear the influence of Saruman's voice is stronger
> on the hobbits - perhaps because they are simpler folk? But even if that is
> the case, they must still be able to hear him from the bottom step...

But Hobbits are Men, too. Gandalf would know or guess that.

> 3) I always found this paragraph somewhat strange. It sounds like Wormtongue
> is answering the doorbell in some suburban house, where he is just trying to
> avoid annoying sales-men. Surely, he must have some idea who is standing in
> front of him.

Exactly. I always read this as a feeble attempt at insulting Gandalf
and Theoden.

> 4) How does Gimli see through the rhetoric? He does not strike me as being
> particularly bright or anything?

He's a dwarf and thus less easily dominated - by magic or otherwise -
than anyone else present, except maybe Gandalf.

<snip>

> 5) Why did Saruman pretend that he only knew the names of Gandalf and
> Théoden? It has already been made clear to our heroes, that Wormtongue - who
> knew about all the members of the company - is in the tower and would of
> course have told Saruman of his encounter with the travellers in the hall of
> Théoden .

Flattery and insult. He is trying to influence Gandalf and Theoden,
the others are just a nuisance. By naming these two he elevates them
above the others. Note also that when he speaks to Eomer and Gimle he
starts out angry or aggressively, and only the catches himself and
speaks more softly, convincingly.

> 6) How come Théoden is able to resist Saruman's voice? One would think that
> he was prone to being convinced, since Wormtongue was able to manipulate him
> so effectively and Saruman is a lot more powerful than Wormtongue.

Byt the time Theoden shows active resistance, the spell of the Voice
has already been broken twice, by Gimli and Eomer, and Saruman has
fallen into the trap set by Gandalf of trying to play different roles
to different people, while they are all present.

Gandalfs presence may have had some influence too, but we are not told
that Gandalf does anything actively, so I don't think so.


> 7) A gibbet? That I the first time we hear of such things in LotR IIRC.
> Seems like someone must have been executing people that way - and apparently
> not just the bad guys. Do we hear of civilized people using executions
> anywhere else in the books?

Not direcly. But later when Aragorn is to judge Beregond he says: "For
these things, of old, death was the penalty." Clearly the death
penalty was not foreign to these people. (And why should it be? I know
of know country where this penalty has been abolished for more that
100 years. That the death penalty should be wrong is a very modern
concept.)

<snip>

> 9) How do we know what Théoden felt? Should he have told Merry perhaps?
> Seems a bit unlikely though, that he should be telling him: "Hey, for a
> moment there, I thought we were screwed!"

He might have talked to Gandalf while they rode away.

<snip>

> 12) Where does Gandalf get authority to do this? You would think that things
> like these cannot be so easily decided by just one member of the order.

Eru.

> 13) Why didn't Wormtongue, who must have been in Orthanc for a while, know
> what the item was? It cannot have been hidden from him or anything, since he
> could get to it so easily and one would think, that Saruman must have used
> it quite often.

Now that's a good (and new) question.

The only reason I can think of, is that Saruman had been poring over
it when Gandalf made his call, and didn't think of putting it away.
With this explanation, this may be the first time Wormtounge saw the
palantir.

Or you might say, that he knew, but didn't care. He did after all try
to kill it's owner.

<snip>

> 15) Why is there reason for Treebeard to dislike Gimli, just because he is a
> dwarf? I know that dwarfs are not exactly portrayed as tree-hugging wild
> life enthusiasts, but more like miners, who would not really have anything
> to do with the forests. So how come Treebeard has such a bad impression of
> dwarfs?

"Nonetheless they will have need of wood." -- Aule speaking of the
dwarves in the Silmarillion. (Quoted from memory)

<snip>

> 17) How could PJ leave out most of this great chapter? There is so much
> tension in this chapter, but perhaps not enough action for PJ? Could have
> been done in very few minutes though - minutes, where you could have had a
> stand-off between the two wizards that would have been so much cooler than
> the stupid wrestling scene in FOTR.

Agreed, RotK by PJ was too much battle and too little Tolkien.

And it cluld have proved a nice counterpoint to their battle in the
first film. The kind of arch that Tolkien used so often, and which PJ
so often neglects.

> 18) I know that Tolkien disapproved of all interpretations of his work as an
> analogy of modern issues, but I can't help thinking about whether Saruman's
> demagogical rhetorical style was inspired by some politician of Tolkien's
> time. Saruman's style is too subtle to be inspired by Goebbels, Hitler or
> Mussolini, but do you have any other suggestions? (Slightly OT I know, but
> as a student of political science and international relations I can't help
> thinking of these things)

Demagagy is a greek word for a reason: The concept has been around for
2500 years, and Tolkien could find examples from almost any age he
liked (provided that age had left written sources).

Regards,
Kristia

aelfwina

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Sep 7, 2004, 10:53:27 PM9/7/04
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"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Q8M_c.1332$jW2.12...@news-text.cableinet.net...

> Crossposted to RABT.
>
> Christian Hannibal <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> wrote:
> > Let me just start by saying, that due to a 6-month stay in Dublin,

(Snip of very good summary!)

> >
> > Possible points of discussion:
> >
> >
> >
> > 1) How does Merry now about the dangers of the loose slabs? Sounds
> > like
> > e - or Pippin - might have been close to having an accident...

Ooh, I'll have to take a look at that. It's an incident I seem to have
overlooked in all my readings.


> >
> >
> >
> > 2) Gimli argues that he and Legolas should go with Gandalf, because
> > they are the only ones of their kin, but so are Merry and Pippin. Why
> > do they not want to go? One would think that at least Merry would
> > want to go on behalf of all hobbits? Are they just too afraid of
> > Saruman? Why does not Gandalf offer them to go? Does he fear the
> > influence of Saruman's voice is stronger on the hobbits - perhaps
> > because they are simpler folk? But even if that is the case, they
> > must still be able to hear him from the bottom step...
> >

Merry and Pippin probably still have a healthy fear of the wizard. And
Gandalf, suspecting *some* kind of link with Barad-dur is probably not
averse to the idea of keeping hobbits out of the limelight. (Not knowing
he'd so conveniantly have a palatir chucked at him.) Yet as you observe,
they still can see and hear what's going on. Their curiousity would not
have let them skip this altogether.


> >
> >
> > 3) I always found this paragraph somewhat strange. It sounds like
> > Wormtongue is answering the doorbell in some suburban house, where he
> > is just trying to avoid annoying sales-men. Surely, he must have some
> > idea who is standing in front of him.

I don't much imagine he's very at ease in this situation. 8-D I love your
description, LOL!


> >
> >
> >
> > 4) How does Gimli see through the rhetoric? He does not strike me as
> > being particularly bright or anything? And why are we not told what
> > Legolas and Aragorn felt about the voice? Not to mention Merry and
> > Pippin.
> >
> > I wonder whether the voice has different effects on different races,
> > just like the Ring apparently has less of an effect on Hobbits than
> > on Humans.

It's possible. We know that Dwarves are not terribly susceptible to
coercion, anyway. But also, it is later mentioned that Saruman made a
mistake in dealing with his audience individually. It seems that he was
concentrating on them one at a time, which meant that the ones he *was* not
speaking to could slip through the cracks, so to speak.


> >
> >
> >
> > 5) Why did Saruman pretend that he only knew the names of Gandalf and
> > Théoden? It has already been made clear to our heroes, that
> > Wormtongue - who knew about all the members of the company - is in
> > the tower and would of course have told Saruman of his encounter with
> > the travellers in the hall of Théoden .

Saruman's being devious; he's using an old ploy of putting people down by
pretending not to know their names. At least that's what I've always
thought. It's not a tactic you even need to be a wizard to pull off, either.


> >
> >
> >
> > 6) How come Théoden is able to resist Saruman's voice? One would
> > think that he was prone to being convinced, since Wormtongue was able
> > to manipulate him so effectively and Saruman is a lot more powerful
> > than Wormtongue.

Once bitten, twice shy, I'd say is part of it. But though Saruman is more
powerful, Wormtongue had an advantage--at some point, Theoden had trusted
him as a friend, and he'd had *years* to worm through his king's defenses,
whisper in his ears, wear him down, a little bit at a time. Saruman has
only a few moments of time, and is dealing with someone whose trust has been
shattered. Harder nut to crack.


> >
> >
> >
> > 7) A gibbet? That I the first time we hear of such things in LotR
> > IIRC. Seems like someone must have been executing people that way -
> > and apparently not just the bad guys. Do we hear of civilized people
> > using executions anywhere else in the books?

Not really, but if JRRT brought it up, it must not have been unheard of. I
wouldn't bet that it had not been used in Denethor's Gondor.


> >
> >
> >
> > 8) It does not seem like Saruman is very surprised by Gandalf's
> > presence, though he must have thought that he was dead. And if he did
> > not, then he does not really show any signs of wondering why
> > Gandalf's appearance has changed.

Palantir?


> >
> >
> >
> > 9) How do we know what Théoden felt? Should he have told Merry
> > perhaps? Seems a bit unlikely though, that he should be telling him:
> > "Hey, for a moment there, I thought we were screwed!"

Well, he might have said something somewhat similar later, if not those
exact words. I have to admit though that it seems unlikely. Still we do
have the POV.


> >
> > 10) Why seven? Is it just a random number or does it refer to
> > anything? I thought about the 7 rings for the dwarf-lords, but why
> > would Saruman refer to that?
> >
> >

Tolkien often uses 7. It's symbolic.


> >
> > 11) This could turn out as a discussion of the movie-ism... The power
> > of the staff is evidently much different in the movies than in the
> > book. Apparently, you cannot just replace the staff with a new one in
> > the book. So what is the power of the staffs? It seems like it is not
> > only a matter of prestige, but that they hold actual powers, which is
> > why Gandalf should desire to own all five. They must have different
> > powers then? Or what do you think?

I don't really think that there were any "powers" inherent in the staffs, as
in power that could be wielded with no wizard behind it; it's possible that
they were useful to focus different kinds of power that each wizard
inherently had. (Much like each of the Three.) I think the staffs are again,
symbolic of the "office" of wizard. Rather like a badge is symbolic of a
law enforcement officer. To have all five would be to say that none of the
other wizards held their "office" any more.


> >
> > Oh. and we could also start a lengthy discussion about the three other
> > Wizards.
> >

If there were much of anything to discuss except what little we know of
Radagast. Be a great place for some wild speculation!


> >
> >
> > 12) Where does Gandalf get authority to do this? You would think that
> > things like these cannot be so easily decided by just one member of
> > the order.

Gandalf's new authority came directly from Eru. I always assumed that he
was conveying the will of the Almighty who had sent him back. The other
members of the order had abdicated by their actions or inactions.


> >
> >
> >
> > 13) Why didn't Wormtongue, who must have been in Orthanc for a while,
> > know what the item was? It cannot have been hidden from him or
> > anything, since he could get to it so easily and one would think,
> > that Saruman must have used it quite often.
> >

Probably not in front of Grima. Would he want his toady to see him toadying
for Sauron?


> >
> >
> > 14) I wonder whether Gandalf stresses this to make sure that everybody
> > understood that what Saruman said about his motives was untrue.
> >
> >

I think Gandalf was just stating a fact.


> >
> > 15) Why is there reason for Treebeard to dislike Gimli, just because
> > he is a dwarf? I know that dwarfs are not exactly portrayed as
> > tree-hugging wild life enthusiasts, but more like miners, who would
> > not really have anything to do with the forests. So how come
> > Treebeard has such a bad impression of dwarfs?

Just the presence of an axe after the devestation the forest had endured
must have been enraging to Treebeard. It's possible that there might have
been some "history" of Dwarves felling trees in his forest, as well.


> >
> >
> >
> > 16) I had to leave all my Tolkien books except LOTR back home in
> > Denmark, so I cannot check whether we learn anything about black
> > Huorns anywhere else. UT perhaps?
> >
> >
> >
> > 17) How could PJ leave out most of this great chapter? There is so
> > much tension in this chapter, but perhaps not enough action for PJ?
> > Could have been done in very few minutes though - minutes, where you
> > could have had a stand-off between the two wizards that would have
> > been so much cooler than the stupid wrestling scene in FOTR.

I too missed this scene. But it's easy with 20/20 hindsight to say where he
went wrong. I'm sure if I had done it, I'd probably have gotten that right,
and screwed up something else important. Ah, well, *sigh*...

> >
> >
> >
> > 18) I know that Tolkien disapproved of all interpretations of his
> > work as an analogy of modern issues, but I can't help thinking about
> > whether Saruman's demagogical rhetorical style was inspired by some
> > politician of Tolkien's time. Saruman's style is too subtle to be
> > inspired by Goebbels, Hitler or Mussolini, but do you have any other
> > suggestions? (Slightly OT I know, but as a student of political
> > science and international relations I can't help thinking of these
> > things)

It's possible that he had several in mind. We know he was not fond of
politics and politicians.


> >
> >
> >
> > Favourite quotes:
> >
> > "The treacherous are ever distrustful."
> >
> > "So would the trapped wolf speak to the hounds, if he could."

Excellent quotes!
Barbara
>


Larry Swain

unread,
Sep 7, 2004, 11:54:32 PM9/7/04
to

aelfwina wrote:
>
> > >
> > >
> > > 5) Why did Saruman pretend that he only knew the names of Gandalf and
> > > Théoden? It has already been made clear to our heroes, that
> > > Wormtongue - who knew about all the members of the company - is in
> > > the tower and would of course have told Saruman of his encounter with
> > > the travellers in the hall of Théoden .
>
> Saruman's being devious; he's using an old ploy of putting people down by
> pretending not to know their names. At least that's what I've always
> thought. It's not a tactic you even need to be a wizard to pull off, either.
> > >

I think its much simpler than that. If he can convince Gandalf
and Theoden to back himself, then so will all the free peoples,
except Gondor. Aragorn will, at least in Saruman's thought, the
hobbits he doesn't care about, the dwarves obviously trust
Gandalf as do the elves and ents. If he convinces Theoden, then
surely the Mark will follow. No one else present matters from
Saruman's view.

> > > 8) It does not seem like Saruman is very surprised by Gandalf's
> > > presence, though he must have thought that he was dead. And if he did
> > > not, then he does not really show any signs of wondering why
> > > Gandalf's appearance has changed.
>
> Palantir?

A) Wormtongue, you will recall, had seen Gandalf at Theoden's
hall.
B) Gandalf had ridden to at least the Fords of Isen gathering
Erkenwald and his men and the huorns. He didn't go unnoticed.

Logic dictates that Gandalf's presence should be expected.

Huan the hound

unread,
Sep 8, 2004, 12:57:51 AM9/8/04
to
aelfwina posted on 9/7/04 10:53 PM:
[snip]

>>>8) It does not seem like Saruman is very surprised by Gandalf's
>>>presence, though he must have thought that he was dead. And if he did
>>>not, then he does not really show any signs of wondering why
>>>Gandalf's appearance has changed.
>
>
> Palantir?

Nah, I think he would have just had an earful about Gandalf
from Wormtongue.

Hope this isn't a dumb question, but did Saruman know
Gandalf was dead?

Huan, the hound of Valinor
--
Yet at length Draugluin escaped, and fleeing back into the
tower he died before Sauron's feet; and as he died he told
his master: 'Huan is there!'

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 8, 2004, 3:31:26 AM9/8/04
to
in <2c9e2992.04090...@posting.google.com>,
Kristian Damm Jensen <da...@ofir.dk> enriched us with:

>
> "Christian Hannibal" <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> wrote in message
> news:<chfras$83m$1...@nemesis.news.tpi.pl>...
>>

<snip>

>> 2) Gimli argues that he and Legolas should go with Gandalf, because


>> they are the only ones of their kin, but so are Merry and Pippin.
>> Why do they not want to go?

[...]


>
> But Hobbits are Men, too. Gandalf would know or guess that.

There's also another aspect to consider in this: the role of hobbits
in general in the strategic situation . . .

Merry and Pippin would have been worthy representatives of the Hobbits:
sons of the Thain and the Master of Buckland, and future Thain and
Master themselves.

As it is I suspect that the Hobbits were not the targets of Gandalf's
omission, but Saruman. Later he tells Merry,
"He had his eyes on you. If it is any comfort to your pride,
I should say that, at the moment, you and Pippin are more in
his thoughts than all the rest of us. Who you are; how you
came there, and why; what you know; whether you were captured,
and if so, how you escaped when all the Orcs perished - it is
with those little riddles that the great mind of Saruman is
troubled."

Possibly this was what Gandalf intended -- leaving the Hobbits out of
the group of 'ambassadors', but keeping them in plain view for Saruman
to see and wonder about.

>> 3) I always found this paragraph somewhat strange. It sounds like
>> Wormtongue is answering the doorbell in some suburban house, where
>> he is just trying to avoid annoying sales-men. Surely, he must have
>> some idea who is standing in front of him.
>
> Exactly. I always read this as a feeble attempt at insulting Gandalf
> and Theoden.

I saw it as a part of the formality that is used to open negotiations.
Saruman expects to negotiate and reacts accordingly, but Gandalf doesn't
want to negotiate.

Saruman also expects to enter the negotiations at least as an equal: he
may have been defeated militarily, but he was still, as he believed, the
head of the White Council, the chief of the Heren Istarion.

>> 4) How does Gimli see through the rhetoric? He does not strike me as
>> being particularly bright or anything?
>
> He's a dwarf and thus less easily dominated - by magic or otherwise -
> than anyone else present, except maybe Gandalf.

Indeed. As Raven notes they were made so by Aulë "because the power of
Melkor was yet over the Earth". This is, IMO, also the reason why the
Dwarven Ring-bearers proved "tough and heard to tame".

<snip>


>> 6) How come Théoden is able to resist Saruman's voice? One would
>> think that he was prone to being convinced, since Wormtongue was
>> able to manipulate him so effectively and Saruman is a lot more
>> powerful than Wormtongue.
>

> By the time Theoden shows active resistance, the spell of the Voice


> has already been broken twice, by Gimli and Eomer, and Saruman has
> fallen into the trap set by Gandalf of trying to play different roles
> to different people, while they are all present.
>
> Gandalfs presence may have had some influence too, but we are not told
> that Gandalf does anything actively, so I don't think so.

And the effects of Gandalf's 'healing' may have had further consequences,
rekindling Théoden's heart.

<snip>

>> 9) How do we know what Théoden felt? Should he have told Merry
>> perhaps? Seems a bit unlikely though, that he should be telling
>> him: "Hey, for a moment there, I thought we were screwed!"
>
> He might have talked to Gandalf while they rode away.

Either Gandalf (on the way to the Fords where Merry could listen in)
or to Merry or Éomer (story-internally that is).

We don't hear whether Gandalf and Théoden speaks while they ride to
the Fords, and though we know that Théoden and Merry speaks while
they ride to Dunharrow, it is said that Merry told about the Shire
and it's people, and "listening in turn to tales of the Mark and its
mighty men of old."

Story-externally it is there to emphasize the power Saruman exerts in
this last effort -- story-internally there's a few possibilities as to
how Merry (I'm sure it came through him) could have known.

>> 12) Where does Gandalf get authority to do this? You would think
>> that things like these cannot be so easily decided by just one
>> member of theorder.
>
> Eru.

Doubtlessly.

" That I should say is what the Authority wished, as a set-off
to Saruman. The 'wizards', as such, had failed; or if you
like: the crisis had become too grave and needed an
enhancement of power. So Gandalf sacrificed himself, was
accepted, and enhanced, and returned. 'Yes, that was the name.
I was Gandalf.' Of course he remains similar in personality
and idiosyncrasy, but both his wisdom and power are much
greater. When he speaks he commands attention; the old Gandalf
could not have dealt so with Théoden, nor with Saruman."
(Letters #156, 1954)

>> 13) Why didn't Wormtongue, who must have been in Orthanc for a
>> while, know what the item was? It cannot have been hidden from
>> him or anything, since he could get to it so easily and one
>> would think, that Saruman must have used it quite often.
>
> Now that's a good (and new) question.

The previous chapter:

" They all fell silent for a while. Gimli re-filled his pipe.
'There is one thing I wonder about,' he said as he lit it with
his flint and tinder: 'Wormtongue. You told Théoden he was
with Saruman. How did he get there?'
'Oh yes, I forgot about him,' said Pippin. 'He did not get
here till this morning. We had just lit the fire and had some
breakfast when Treebeard appeared again. We heard him hooming
and calling our names outside.'"

So Wormtongue had been in Orthanc for only a few hours (let's say half a
day), much of which he probably spent explaining to Saruman.

Doubtlessly he had previously been in Isengard in secret (IIRC something
along those lines is suggested somewhere), but Saruman would probably
have concealed the Palantír at those times.

> The only reason I can think of, is that Saruman had been poring over
> it when Gandalf made his call, and didn't think of putting it away.
> With this explanation, this may be the first time Wormtounge saw the
> palantir.

That would be my guess as well.

>> 15) Why is there reason for Treebeard to dislike Gimli, just because
>> he is a dwarf?

<snip>


>
> "Nonetheless they will have need of wood." -- Aule speaking of the
> dwarves in the Silmarillion. (Quoted from memory)

Following Yavanna's comment referring to the Ents: "'Eru is bountiful,'
she said. 'Now let thy children beware! For there shall walk a power in
the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril.'"

So the enmity between Dwarves and Ents were immanent in the Ents from
before their creation. Actually I think that a lot of the relation of the
Dwarves to the world they inhabit, and the peoples they share it with, is
explained in "Of Aulë and Yavanna".

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm
not sure about the former.
- Albert Einstein

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 8, 2004, 8:35:01 AM9/8/04
to
in <HWM_c.674$ne5...@news.get2net.dk>,
Raven <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> enriched us with:

>
> "Christian Hannibal" <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:chfras$83m$1...@nemesis.news.tpi.pl...
>>

<snip>

>> 11) This could turn out as a discussion of the movie-ism... The
>> power of the staff is evidently much different in the movies than in
>> the book. Apparently, you cannot just replace the staff with a new
>> one in the book. So what is the power of the staffs? It seems like
>> it is not only a matter of prestige, but that they hold actual
>> powers, which is why Gandalf should desire to own all five. They
>> must have different powers then?
>> Or what do you think?
>
> We cannot from this passage infer anything of the significance of
> the staffs of the wizards, except that they do have some significance
> or other beyond that of walking props. But at the least they may
> apparently be likened to policemen's badges, or the sceptres of
> kings. A sceptre may in itself be only a nice piece of jewellery in
> the shape of a small rod, but symbolically, if you hold it you hold
> the kingship. Saruman accuses Gandalf of desiring mastery over all
> his fellow wizards.


I'd agree with that.

The discussion of the significance of the staves is old, and I don't
think that there's any conclusive evidence to be found. That the
staves are at least symbolic is clear, and they can also be used in
magic, but whether there is any actual power in the staves themselves
is unclear.

Personally my greatest objection to the staffs holding actual power is
the nature of the Istari. These are Maiar, of the same order as Sauron,
though diminished in power. Why should they use (and be allowed to use)
externalised power? I think it more likely that the staves do not hold
power themselves, but that they can be used as conduits for power
(possibly focusing the power) and that they serve as symbols for the
Order. Thus it is not the breaking of Saruman's staff in itself that
bereaves him of his power -- it is merely a symbolic action signifying
the 'degradation' of Saruman: casting him out of the Order of the
Wizards, but the actual removal of his powers (other than his voice) is
done at another level (though I can't support this with evidence from
the books, I suspect that the power to do this was beyond even the
enhanced 'Gandalf the White' and that he was given only the authority
to judge Saruman, calling indirectly on Eru to execute the punishment
when Gandalf broke the staff -- that the breaking of the staff was the
equivalent of the judge passing sentence on the 'sinner'; the judge
doesn't carry out the sentence himself).

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer

I USHERED SOULS INTO THE NEXT WORLD. I WAS THE GRAVE OF ALL HOPE. I WAS
THE ULTIMATE REALITY. I WAS THE ASSASSIN AGAINST WHOM NO LOCK WOULD HOLD.
"Yes, point taken, but do you have any particular skills?"
- Death consults a job broker (Terry Pratchett, Mort)

Jens Kilian

unread,
Sep 8, 2004, 2:52:30 PM9/8/04
to
"Christian Hannibal" <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> writes:
> 15) Why is there reason for Treebeard to dislike Gimli, just because he is a
> dwarf? I know that dwarfs are not exactly portrayed as tree-hugging wild
> life enthusiasts, but more like miners, who would not really have anything
> to do with the forests. So how come Treebeard has such a bad impression of
> dwarfs?

"Aye, aye, there was all one wood once upon a time from here to the Mountains
of Lune, and this was just the East End."

Where have those trees gone in the time between the First and Third Ages?
They were felled by the Numenoreans for ships, and probably by the Dwarves
of the Ered Luin and of Moria, for firewood. (ISTR that Thorin & Co. dealt
in coal while they dwelt in the Ered Luin, but I don't remember if it was
charcoal or fossil coal.)

The Dwarves were not *only* miners; they would have to smelt the ore, too.
Early mining techniques also require firewood - a big fire is set at the
working face, and after it burns down the rock is drenched in cold water.
The resulting thermal stress breaks up the rock, which can then be removed.
(If you ever are in Sweden, take a tour through the old mine at Falun,
where this technique was used.)

> 17) How could PJ leave out most of this great chapter? There is so much
> tension in this chapter, but perhaps not enough action for PJ? Could have
> been done in very few minutes though - minutes, where you could have had a
> stand-off between the two wizards that would have been so much cooler than
> the stupid wrestling scene in FOTR.

Let's see what the extended version will bring...

Bye,
Jens.

AC

unread,
Sep 9, 2004, 1:30:50 PM9/9/04
to
On Sun, 05 Sep 2004 22:09:52 GMT,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>> 2) Gimli argues that he and Legolas should go with Gandalf, because
>> they are the only ones of their kin, but so are Merry and Pippin. Why
>> do they not want to go? One would think that at least Merry would
>> want to go on behalf of all hobbits? Are they just too afraid of
>> Saruman? Why does not Gandalf offer them to go? Does he fear the
>> influence of Saruman's voice is stronger on the hobbits - perhaps
>> because they are simpler folk? But even if that is the case, they
>> must still be able to hear him from the bottom step...

Considering what the Hobbits have been through, I can hardly blame them.

>> 4) How does Gimli see through the rhetoric? He does not strike me as
>> being particularly bright or anything? And why are we not told what
>> Legolas and Aragorn felt about the voice? Not to mention Merry and
>> Pippin.

Dwarves are a stubborn, unbendable lot. I don't think it has as much to do
with brains as with will. This is an underlying theme in LotR. We see that
strength of will also helps Sam, who isn't always the brightest pickle in
the jar.

>> I wonder whether the voice has different effects on different races,
>> just like the Ring apparently has less of an effect on Hobbits than
>> on Humans.

That's my hunch.

>> 6) How come Théoden is able to resist Saruman's voice? One would
>> think that he was prone to being convinced, since Wormtongue was able
>> to manipulate him so effectively and Saruman is a lot more powerful
>> than Wormtongue.

Clearly whatever Gandalf had done to bring Theoden out of his dotage was a
permanent effect. "Once fooled, twice shy" may also apply. Theoden's
rejection of Saruman's offer is my favorite part of this whole chapter, and
one of my favorite scenes in TTT (the book, never seen the movie).

>> 8) It does not seem like Saruman is very surprised by Gandalf's
>> presence, though he must have thought that he was dead. And if he did
>> not, then he does not really show any signs of wondering why
>> Gandalf's appearance has changed.

Would Saruman knew what GAndalf had gone through? I see no way in which he
could. Saruman, like Sauron, judged everyone else by his own ambitions. He
was secretly jealous of Gandalf, knew that Galadriel had pushed for Gandalf
to head the White Council, and likely thought that Gandalf had finally given
in to temptation and was styling himself a Power now.

>> 12) Where does Gandalf get authority to do this? You would think that
>> things like these cannot be so easily decided by just one member of
>> the order.

Gandalf's enhancement wasn't, in my opinion, just an increase in power or
permission to show that power, but of authority. He was now the prime mover
in the final struggle against Sauron. Clearly, as the only one of the
Istari in the Northwest of Middle Earth that even seemed to give a damn
about Saruman's treachery, and as a representative of the Valar and an
instrument of Eru, I don't think you could give him much more authority.

>> 13) Why didn't Wormtongue, who must have been in Orthanc for a while,
>> know what the item was? It cannot have been hidden from him or
>> anything, since he could get to it so easily and one would think,
>> that Saruman must have used it quite often.

It's quite likely that Saruman had all sorts of interesting things, and I
doubt he used the Palantir in front of poor ol' Grima.

>> 15) Why is there reason for Treebeard to dislike Gimli, just because
>> he is a dwarf? I know that dwarfs are not exactly portrayed as
>> tree-hugging wild life enthusiasts, but more like miners, who would
>> not really have anything to do with the forests. So how come
>> Treebeard has such a bad impression of dwarfs?

Axes, probably.

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

"My illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a whitish
fluid they force down helpless babies." - WC Fields

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Sep 9, 2004, 3:43:11 PM9/9/04
to
AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, 05 Sep 2004 22:09:52 GMT,
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

Actually, Christian Hannibal wrote the tri-indented bits. I know that
the indenting shows that I didn't write it, but there was really no
reason to snip the correct attribution.

<snip>

> Saruman, like Sauron, judged everyone else by his
> own ambitions. He was secretly jealous of Gandalf, knew that
> Galadriel had pushed for Gandalf to head the White Council, and
> likely thought that Gandalf had finally given in to temptation and
> was styling himself a Power now.

<snip>

That's an interesting point. I always thought that Saruman was being
paranoid when he accused Gandalf of wanting the staffs of the five
wizards, but maybe he really believed that Gandalf had become like him.

AC

unread,
Sep 9, 2004, 5:05:44 PM9/9/04
to
On Thu, 09 Sep 2004 19:43:11 GMT,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, 05 Sep 2004 22:09:52 GMT,
>> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>
> Actually, Christian Hannibal wrote the tri-indented bits. I know that
> the indenting shows that I didn't write it, but there was really no
> reason to snip the correct attribution.

Apologies.

>
><snip>
>
>> Saruman, like Sauron, judged everyone else by his
>> own ambitions. He was secretly jealous of Gandalf, knew that
>> Galadriel had pushed for Gandalf to head the White Council, and
>> likely thought that Gandalf had finally given in to temptation and
>> was styling himself a Power now.
>
><snip>
>
> That's an interesting point. I always thought that Saruman was being
> paranoid when he accused Gandalf of wanting the staffs of the five
> wizards, but maybe he really believed that Gandalf had become like him.

I'm quite certain that Saruman believed precisely that, and thought
Gandalf's donning the white robes and casting him from the Order was nothing
more than a coupe. I think it demonstrates just how far Saruman had fallen
from his original purpose.

Shanahan

unread,
Sep 10, 2004, 1:31:15 AM9/10/04
to
aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> creatively typed:

>> Christian Hannibal <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> wrote:
<snip>
>>> 10) Why seven? Is it just a random number or does it refer to
>>> anything? I thought about the 7 rings for the dwarf-lords, but
>>> why would Saruman refer to that?
>>>
>>>
> Tolkien often uses 7. It's symbolic.

What would you say it is symbolic *of*?

<snip>


>>> 18) I know that Tolkien disapproved of all interpretations of
>>> his work as an analogy of modern issues, but I can't help
>>> thinking about whether Saruman's demagogical rhetorical style
>>> was inspired by some politician of Tolkien's time. Saruman's
>>> style is too subtle to be inspired by Goebbels, Hitler or
>>> Mussolini, but do you have any other suggestions? (Slightly OT
>>> I know, but as a student of political science and
>>> international relations I can't help thinking of these things)
>
> It's possible that he had several in mind. We know he was not
> fond of politics and politicians.

How about Stalin and Churchill? They seem to fit the bill.

Ciaran S.
--
Could you vague that up a little for me?


Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 10, 2004, 1:38:00 AM9/10/04
to
in <Q8M_c.1332$jW2.12...@news-text.cableinet.net>,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>
> Crossposted to RABT.

Thanks, Christopher.

> Christian Hannibal <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> wrote:
>>

<snip>

CotW LotR, Bk.3, Ch. 10 'The Voice of Saruman'

<snip>

>> Merry - in nice hobbit fashion - tells Gandalf, that he feels less
>> ill-disposed towards Saruman now that he (Merry) has had the chance
>> to eat, drink and smoke from Saruman's storeroom. (1) Gandalf says
>> that his opinion of Saruman has not changed and that he must have a
>> last meeting with him.

" 'We have,' said Merry. 'But our discussions began and
ended in smoke. Still we feel less ill-disposed towards
Saruman than we did.'
'Do you indeed?' said Gandalf. 'Well, I do not. I have
now a last task to do before I go: I must pay Saruman a
farewell visit. Dangerous, and probably useless; but it
must be done. Those of you who wish may come with me - but
beware! And do not jest! This is not the time for it.'"

I've been wondering about this passage. What exactly does Gandalf mean?

His answer should mean that he doesn't feel "less ill-disposed towards
Saruman", but just how ill-disposed did he feel earlier towards Saruman?
What does he feel towards Saruman?

Saruman has betrayed his mission. He has become corrupted himself, has
tried to corrupt Gandalf and when it failed he imprisoned Gandalf. He has
built an army of Orcs and Men -- possibly even cross-breeding them ("That
would be a black evil," said Treebeard) and as the final straws he tried
to gain the One Ring for himself and launched a war of aggression against
Rohan. Saruman has certainly fallen from "his high errand," "becoming
proud and impatient and enamoured of power sought to have his own will by
force, and to oust Sauron; but he was ensnared by that dark spirit,
mightier than he." (UT 4,II 'The Istari'.)

The point is that Gandalf certainly had a lot of reason to resent
Saruman, but I think it would be more in keeping with his status (and
mission) if he rather pitied Saruman -- as I think is also implied by his
treatment of Saruman; In particular trying to persuade him to help, but
in particular by his speech to Saruman, "You have become a fool, Saruman,
and yet pitiable."


So what does he mean when he says that he doesn't feel less ill-disposed
towards Saruman? That he still doesn't want to let Saruman remain
powerful and able to work for himself or Sauron? I don't think Merry
would want that either -- all I read into his comment is that his hatred
for Saruman has lessened and he no longer wants to actively hurt Saruman,
but that should, IMO, be something that Gandalf would approve of, so why
this comment?

<snip>

>> Saruman then makes an interesting point: that he cannot be called a
>> murderer, just because some men died in a battle, that Saruman claims
>> he did not desire. If that were the case, then all great kings of
>> Rohan would be murderers too.

What do you think of his arguments?

I don't doubt that Tolkien disagrees, but is it possible to set up simple
rules -- within Middle-earth (I don't intend to launch another political
thread, my purpose here is to explore the morals of Tolkien's world) --
to distinguish between murder and justified killing when men die in war?

It would be easy to say that one is not a murderer if one's cause is
'just' and is a murderer if the cause is 'unjust' (as is Saruman's,
obviously) or if it is against Eru's will, but is there a (reasonably
simple) way to tell what is just, or what is Eru's will?

<snip>

>> 8) It does not seem like Saruman is very surprised by Gandalf's
>> presence, though he must have thought that he was dead.

I am not aware of any evidence telling if Saruman knew about Gandalf's
fall. If his Orcs had returned, then he may have learned from them what
they had heard from the Moria Orcs, but Éomer and his éored prevented
that.

So the question for me is whether Saruman had any idea that Gandalf had
fallen in Moria, and if so, how?

He probably (I almost wrote 'obviously) has some intelligence on the
Fellowship as he was able to send his Orcs to Path Galen, and he may have
known that Gandalf didn't travel with them anymore, but could he not have
thought that Gandalf might have stayed in Lórien?

>> And if he did not, then he does not really show any signs of wondering
>> why Gandalf's appearance has changed.

Saruman probably watched the events in Helm's Deep 'on-line' in the
Palantír, and even if he missed Gandalf's appearance there, he did have
half a day in Orthanc with Wormtongue, which he would have been foolish
(I know that Gandalf accuses him of being a fool, but it seems to have
been at another level) if he didn't spend at least some time questioning
Wormtongue what went wrong in Edoras -- and the explanation would
inevitably include a vivid description of Gandalf's healing of Théoden.

--
Troels Forchhammer

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to
(a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.
- (Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites)

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Sep 10, 2004, 4:00:30 PM9/10/04
to
Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> creatively typed:

>> Tolkien often uses 7. It's symbolic.
>
> What would you say it is symbolic *of*?

In some contexts: the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves.
In other contexts: the Seven Lords and Queens of the Valar.

It could even be argued that the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves originated
from the Valarian symbolism, because Aule created them.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Sep 10, 2004, 4:09:38 PM9/10/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>> Christian Hannibal <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> CotW LotR, Bk.3, Ch. 10 'The Voice of Saruman'
>
> <snip>
>
>>> Merry - in nice hobbit fashion - tells Gandalf, that he feels less
>>> ill-disposed towards Saruman now that he (Merry) has had the chance
>>> to eat, drink and smoke from Saruman's storeroom. (1) Gandalf says
>>> that his opinion of Saruman has not changed and that he must have a
>>> last meeting with him.
>
> " 'We have,' said Merry. 'But our discussions began and
> ended in smoke. Still we feel less ill-disposed towards
> Saruman than we did.'
> 'Do you indeed?' said Gandalf. 'Well, I do not. I have
> now a last task to do before I go: I must pay Saruman a
> farewell visit. Dangerous, and probably useless; but it
> must be done. Those of you who wish may come with me - but
> beware! And do not jest! This is not the time for it.'"
>
> I've been wondering about this passage. What exactly does Gandalf
> mean?

<snip>

> So what does he mean when he says that he doesn't feel less
> ill-disposed towards Saruman?

I agree with your reasoning, but you seem to set Gandalf up as this
perfect being. I think you can easily explain this comment as just
Gandalf feeling very, very angry. He knows, more than Merry does, what
is at stake here. Later, of course, we see Gandalf's pity and (much
later) Frodo's pity as well. Maybe this comment and the actually
breaking of Saruman's staff scene is the closest Tolkien can come to
righteous anger?

<snip>

>>> 8) It does not seem like Saruman is very surprised by Gandalf's
>>> presence, though he must have thought that he was dead.

<snip>

> So the question for me is whether Saruman had any idea that Gandalf
> had fallen in Moria, and if so, how?

<snip>

Maybe the palantir? Though I actually don't think that Saruman did know.
It seems that Sauron did not know, so I don't think we should expect
Saruman to know either. Just a gut feeling.

AC

unread,
Sep 10, 2004, 9:51:25 PM9/10/04
to
Troels Forchhammer wrote:

> I am not aware of any evidence telling if Saruman knew about Gandalf's
> fall. If his Orcs had returned, then he may have learned from them what
> they had heard from the Moria Orcs, but Éomer and his éored prevented
> that.
>
> So the question for me is whether Saruman had any idea that Gandalf had
> fallen in Moria, and if so, how?
>
> He probably (I almost wrote 'obviously) has some intelligence on the
> Fellowship as he was able to send his Orcs to Path Galen, and he may have
> known that Gandalf didn't travel with them anymore, but could he not have
> thought that Gandalf might have stayed in Lórien?

I suppose it's possible that Saruman, watching the Nine Walkers, might
have seen the final battle between Gandalf and the Balrog, and Gandalf's
death. I have to say, however, that the way I see Saruman's reaction,
it seems more consistent with him thinking he's talking to Gandalf the
*Grey*. I don't think he had any idea of what Gandalf had gone through,
or that Gandalf was enhanced.

Emma Pease

unread,
Sep 10, 2004, 10:09:57 PM9/10/04
to
In article <2qf3r7F...@uni-berlin.de>, AC wrote:
> Troels Forchhammer wrote:
>
>> I am not aware of any evidence telling if Saruman knew about Gandalf's
>> fall. If his Orcs had returned, then he may have learned from them what
>> they had heard from the Moria Orcs, but Éomer and his éored prevented
>> that.
>>
>> So the question for me is whether Saruman had any idea that Gandalf had
>> fallen in Moria, and if so, how?
>>
>> He probably (I almost wrote 'obviously) has some intelligence on the
>> Fellowship as he was able to send his Orcs to Path Galen, and he may have
>> known that Gandalf didn't travel with them anymore, but could he not have
>> thought that Gandalf might have stayed in Lórien?
>
> I suppose it's possible that Saruman, watching the Nine Walkers, might
> have seen the final battle between Gandalf and the Balrog, and Gandalf's
> death. I have to say, however, that the way I see Saruman's reaction,
> it seems more consistent with him thinking he's talking to Gandalf the
> *Grey*. I don't think he had any idea of what Gandalf had gone through,
> or that Gandalf was enhanced.

Saruman also got news from the Moria orcs[1] and they probably
reported that Gandalf and the Balrog had fallen into the abyss; Sauron
may have learned from the same source. When Gandalf shows up again,
Saruman and Sauron probably assumed that he had survived somehow and
not that he had died and been sent back with extra authority.

Emma

[1] The Moria orcs and the Isengard orcs had been sent out together by
Saruman to Parth Galen and if Saruman hadn't extracted all the
information he could from them, I would be surprised.


--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht

Michael Ikeda

unread,
Sep 11, 2004, 7:36:52 AM9/11/04
to
Emma Pease <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> wrote in
news:slrnck4ni...@munin.Stanford.EDU:

(snipped)

>
> Saruman also got news from the Moria orcs[1] and they probably
> reported that Gandalf and the Balrog had fallen into the abyss;
> Sauron may have learned from the same source. When Gandalf
> shows up again, Saruman and Sauron probably assumed that he had
> survived somehow and not that he had died and been sent back
> with extra authority.
>
> Emma
>
> [1] The Moria orcs and the Isengard orcs had been sent out
> together by Saruman to Parth Galen and if Saruman hadn't
> extracted all the information he could from them, I would be
> surprised.
>
>

It isn't entirely clear that the Moria orcs stopped off at Isengard
on their way to Parth Galen.

Ugluk does say that the White Hand "came out of Isengard, and led you
here" but they could have met up with the Moria orcs after the White
Hand left Isengard.

One of the Northern Orcs says just earlier "We have come all the way
from the mines to kill, and avenge our folk. I wish to kill, and
then go back north." Isengard would be a bit of a detour from Moria.

--
Michael Ikeda mmi...@erols.com
"Telling a statistician not to use sampling is like telling an
astronomer they can't say there is a moon and stars"
Lynne Billard, past president American Statistical Association

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 11, 2004, 11:16:48 AM9/11/04
to
in <slrnck1hdb.12s....@aaronclausen.alberni.net>,
AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:

>
> On Thu, 09 Sep 2004 19:43:11 GMT,
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>

<snip>

>>> Saruman, like Sauron, judged everyone else by his own ambitions.
>>> He was secretly jealous of Gandalf, knew that Galadriel had pushed
>>> for Gandalf to head the White Council, and likely thought that
>>> Gandalf had finally given in to temptation and was styling himself
>>> a Power now.

Yes, Gandalf himself says something like this about Sauron in

"For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the
scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is
desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts."
(The Council of Elrond, II,2)

Given Saruman's 'present' state, I think it very likely indeed that he
has fallen into using the same measure as his new master -- he has
forgotten what other measures he used to know.

>> That's an interesting point. I always thought that Saruman was being
>> paranoid when he accused Gandalf of wanting the staffs of the five
>> wizards, but maybe he really believed that Gandalf had become like
>> him.
>
> I'm quite certain that Saruman believed precisely that, and thought
> Gandalf's donning the white robes and casting him from the Order was
> nothing more than a coupe.

It sounds very likely to me as well.

Possibly the point here is that evil cannot understand good; measuring
all things "in the scales of [their] malice". Good, however, may know the
temptation of power ("Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like
the Dark Lord himself.")

> I think it demonstrates just how far Saruman had fallen from his
> original purpose.

Precisely.

Not only is he serving Sauron, but he is setting himself up as a power in
competition with Sauron, while at the same time becoming like Sauron.

'How the mighty are fallen . . . '


--
Troels Forchhammer

It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.
- Frodo Baggins, 'LotR' (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 11, 2004, 7:19:19 PM9/11/04
to
in <4142e353$0$6928$61fe...@news.rcn.com>,
Michael Ikeda <mmi...@erols.com> enriched us with:

<snip>

>> [1] The Moria orcs and the Isengard orcs had been sent out
>> together by Saruman to Parth Galen and if Saruman hadn't
>> extracted all the information he could from them, I would be
>> surprised.

I don't think that the Moria Orcs stopped by at Isengard. They were
pursuing the fellowship, not being part of a force sent out by Saruman,
IMO.

<snip>

> Ugluk does say that the White Hand "came out of Isengard, and led you
> here" but they could have met up with the Moria orcs after the White
> Hand left Isengard.

Exactly.

What Uglúk says is this:

" 'Aye, we must stick together,' growled Uglúk. 'I don't trust
you little swine. You've no guts outside your own sties. But
for us you'd all have run away. We are the fighting Uruk-hai!
We slew the great warrior. We took the prisoners. We are the
servants of Saruman the Wise, the White Hand: the Hand that
gives us man's-flesh to eat. We came out of Isengard, and led
you here, and we shall lead you back by the way we choose. I
am Uglúk. I have spoken.'"

"/We/ are the fighting Uruk-hai!"
"/We/ are the servants of Saruman the Wise"
"/We/ came out of Isengard"
. . . "and [then] led you here."
(my emphasis and insertion of [then]

I don't think the "we" who came out of Isengard is any different from all
the other uses of the word in this paragraph -- i.e. that it includes
only the Orcs of the White Hand.

> One of the Northern Orcs says just earlier "We have come all the way
> from the mines to kill, and avenge our folk. I wish to kill, and
> then go back north." Isengard would be a bit of a detour from Moria.

And the implication is, IMO, that the Northerners, the Moria Orcs, had
been following the fellowship down the Anduin, and met up with the
Isengard Orcs at Path Galen. The Northerners do /not/ wish to return to
Isengard; something which, IMO, implies that they didn't come from there
either.

Pippin's memory of the confrontation unfortunately doesn't help much:
first he and Merry had met some Orcs, and they had fought them until
Boromir came charging, made them fight and eventually flee. Only on their
way back did the Orcs attack again -- this time including the Isengarders
(at least I think the 'very large' Orcs were Isengarders).

The first group probably only included the Mordor Orcs ("but the Orcs did
not wish to fight, and had tried only to lay hold of them"), but the
second group was comprised of all the different kinds.

--
Troels Forchhammer

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men
are almost always bad men.
- Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887.

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 11, 2004, 7:29:13 PM9/11/04
to
in <2qf3r7F...@uni-berlin.de>,

AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> I have to say, however, that the way I see Saruman's reaction, it seems
> more consistent with him thinking he's talking to Gandalf the *Grey*.
> I don't think he had any idea of what Gandalf had gone through, or that
> Gandalf was enhanced.

That's a good point, I think.

Had he known about Gandalf's death and resurrection, he would clearly
have known that Gandalf could have been ressurected by Eru alone, and
this knowledge would, I agree, have changed his behaviour towards
Gandalf.

--
Troels Forchhammer

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of
thinking with which we created them.
- Albert Einstein

Shanahan

unread,
Sep 12, 2004, 2:53:35 AM9/12/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> creatively typed:
>> Christian Hannibal <chan...@REMOVEcool.dk> wrote:

> CotW LotR, Bk.3, Ch. 10 'The Voice of Saruman'

<snip>

>>> Saruman then makes an interesting point: that he cannot be


>>> called a murderer, just because some men died in a battle,
>>> that Saruman claims he did not desire. If that were the case,
>>> then all great kings of Rohan would be murderers too.
>
> What do you think of his arguments?
> I don't doubt that Tolkien disagrees, but is it possible to set
> up simple rules -- within Middle-earth (I don't intend to launch
> another political thread, my purpose here is to explore the
> morals of Tolkien's world) -- to distinguish between murder and
> justified killing when men die in war?
>
> It would be easy to say that one is not a murderer if one's
> cause is 'just' and is a murderer if the cause is 'unjust' (as
> is Saruman's, obviously) or if it is against Eru's will, but is
> there a (reasonably simple) way to tell what is just, or what is
> Eru's will?

I don't think that one is *not* a murderer if one's cause is just,
or
*is* a murderer if one's cause is unjust. Nor do I think Tolkien
thought that. The cause can be just, while an individual act of
killing in defense of that cause may be unjust, cruel, unnecessary,
or over-the-top: which would make it murder. Likewise, there can
be acts of justice, mercy, or nobility on the part of those who are
fighting for an unjust cause. I believe Saruman is oversimplifying
in order to confuse the moral issues, and convert his listeners.

In Tolkien's world, perhaps there is a simple way to tell what
cause is just, and what is not: the unjust cause is that of
domination, or of trying to control others' wills. But that simple
distinction does not extend to the discrete acts of individuals on
either side, as Saruman would make it seem. And to make it even
more complicated, the good or evil acts of individuals do not alter
the rightness or injustice of the cause they fight for.

Letter #183 has something to say about this:
Of course in "real life' causes are not clear cut - [...] That
being so, the right will remain an inalienable possession of the
right side and justify its cause throughout.
(I speak of causes, not of individuals. Of course to a judge whose
moral ideas have a religious or philosophical basis, or indeed to
anyone not blinded by partisan fanaticism, the rightness of the
cause will not justify the actions of its supporters, as
individuals, that are morally wicked. But though 'propaganda' may
seize on them as proofs that their cause was not in fact 'right',
that is not valid. The aggressors are themselves primarily to blame
for the evil deeds that proceed from their original violation of
justice and the passions that their own wickedness must naturally
(by their standards) have been expected to arouse. They at any rate
have no right to demand that their victims when assaulted should
not demand an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth.)
Similarly, good actions by those on the wrong side will not justify
their cause. There may be deeds on the wrong side of heroic
courage, or some of a higher moral level: deeds of mercy and
forbearance. A judge may accord them honour and rejoice to see how
some men can rise above the hate and anger of a conflict; even as
he may deplore the evil deeds on the right side and be grieved to
see how hatred once provoked can drag them down. But this will not
alter his judgement as to which side was in the right, nor his
assignment of the primary blame for all the evil that followed to
the other side.

Ciaran S.
--
Karl Marx's Shopping List:
- Dessert for potluck at Friedrich's
- Party favors for after the Revolution
- Ham and milk
- At pharmacy - find opiate antidote
- Stuff for Everybody

Michael Ikeda

unread,
Sep 12, 2004, 7:01:49 AM9/12/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in
news:dTL0d.25108$k4.4...@news1.nokia.com:

> in <2qf3r7F...@uni-berlin.de>,
> AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>>
>
> <snip>
>
>> I have to say, however, that the way I see Saruman's reaction,
>> it seems more consistent with him thinking he's talking to
>> Gandalf the *Grey*. I don't think he had any idea of what
>> Gandalf had gone through, or that Gandalf was enhanced.
>
> That's a good point, I think.
>
> Had he known about Gandalf's death and resurrection, he would
> clearly have known that Gandalf could have been ressurected by
> Eru alone, and this knowledge would, I agree, have changed his
> behaviour towards Gandalf.
>

It isn't entirely clear whether Gandalf was "sent back" directly by
Eru or by the Valar. The distinction is probably irrelevant with
regard to Saruman's likely reaction.

AC

unread,
Sep 12, 2004, 12:26:55 PM9/12/04
to
Michael Ikeda wrote:
> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in
> news:dTL0d.25108$k4.4...@news1.nokia.com:
>
>
>>in <2qf3r7F...@uni-berlin.de>,
>>AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>>
>><snip>
>>
>>>I have to say, however, that the way I see Saruman's reaction,
>>>it seems more consistent with him thinking he's talking to
>>>Gandalf the *Grey*. I don't think he had any idea of what
>>>Gandalf had gone through, or that Gandalf was enhanced.
>>
>>That's a good point, I think.
>>
>>Had he known about Gandalf's death and resurrection, he would
>>clearly have known that Gandalf could have been ressurected by
>>Eru alone, and this knowledge would, I agree, have changed his
>>behaviour towards Gandalf.
>>
>
>
> It isn't entirely clear whether Gandalf was "sent back" directly by
> Eru or by the Valar. The distinction is probably irrelevant with
> regard to Saruman's likely reaction.

--

AC

unread,
Sep 12, 2004, 12:28:52 PM9/12/04
to
Michael Ikeda wrote:
> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in
> news:dTL0d.25108$k4.4...@news1.nokia.com:

<snip>

>>Had he [Saruman] known about Gandalf's death and resurrection, he would


>>clearly have known that Gandalf could have been ressurected by
>>Eru alone, and this knowledge would, I agree, have changed his
>>behaviour towards Gandalf.
>>
>
>
> It isn't entirely clear whether Gandalf was "sent back" directly by
> Eru or by the Valar. The distinction is probably irrelevant with
> regard to Saruman's likely reaction.

"[Gandalf] was sent by a mere prudent plan of the angelic Valar or
govenors; but Authority had taken up this plan and enlarged it, at the
moment of its failure. 'Naked I was sent back for a brief time, until
my task is done'. Sent back by whom, and whence? Not by the Gods'
whose business is only with this embodied world and its time; for he
'passed out of thought and time'. Naked is alas! unclear. It was meant
just literally, 'Unclothed like a child' (not disincarnate), and so
ready to receive the white robes of the highest. Galadriel's power is
not divine, and his healing in Lorien is meant to be no more than
physical healing and refreshment."
Letter #156

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 12, 2004, 12:57:16 PM9/12/04
to
In message <news:41442c9c$0$6914$61fe...@news.rcn.com>
Michael Ikeda <mmi...@erols.com> enriched us with:
>
> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in
> news:dTL0d.25108$k4.4...@news1.nokia.com:
>>

<snip>

[Saruman knowing about Gandalf's death and resurrection]

>> Had he known about Gandalf's death and resurrection, he would
>> clearly have known that Gandalf could have been ressurected by
>> Eru alone, and this knowledge would, I agree, have changed his
>> behaviour towards Gandalf.
>
> It isn't entirely clear whether Gandalf was "sent back" directly by
> Eru or by the Valar.

It is made explicit in letter #156

"He was sent by a mere prudent plan of the angelic Valar or
governors; but Authority had taken up this plan and enlarged
it, at the moment of its failure. 'Naked I was sent back -

for a brief time, until my task is done'. Sent back by whom,

and whence? Not by the 'gods' whose business is only with

this embodied world and its time; for he passed 'out of
thought and time'."

I don't think the Valar would have that power, and I think that Saruman
knew that they didn't.

> The distinction is probably irrelevant with regard to Saruman's
> likely reaction.

That's another matter and I agree. There might have been ways for the
Valar to rescue Gandalf 'on the brink of death' and that would probably
have triggered the same reaction in Saruman, different from the one he
does show.

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid mail is <t.forch(a)email.dk>

John Jones

unread,
Sep 12, 2004, 11:52:51 AM9/12/04
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message
news:XJL0d.25107$k4.4...@news1.nokia.com...

>
> Pippin's memory of the confrontation unfortunately doesn't help much:
> first he and Merry had met some Orcs, and they had fought them until
> Boromir came charging, made them fight and eventually flee. Only on their
> way back did the Orcs attack again -- this time including the Isengarders
> (at least I think the 'very large' Orcs were Isengarders).
>
> The first group probably only included the Mordor Orcs ("but the Orcs did
> not wish to fight, and had tried only to lay hold of them"), but the
> second group was comprised of all the different kinds.
>

But this point suggests that the first group *did* include the Isengard
Orcs. The Moria-orcs wanted to kill the Fellowship; it was Saruman's (and
presumably Sauron's) orcs who had been ordered to capture halflings.
Pippin didn't try to fight the orcs; only Merry did. Boromir drove them off,
but the orcs counter-attacked after a pause, killing Boromir and capturing M
& P. I'm not sure that these were two separate groups of Orcs.


Emma Pease

unread,
Sep 13, 2004, 8:30:41 PM9/13/04
to
In article <XJL0d.25107$k4.4...@news1.nokia.com>, Troels Forchhammer wrote:
> in <4142e353$0$6928$61fe...@news.rcn.com>,
> Michael Ikeda <mmi...@erols.com> enriched us with:
>>
>> Emma Pease <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> wrote in
>> news:slrnck4ni...@munin.Stanford.EDU:
>>>
>
><snip>
>
>>> [1] The Moria orcs and the Isengard orcs had been sent out
>>> together by Saruman to Parth Galen and if Saruman hadn't
>>> extracted all the information he could from them, I would be
>>> surprised.
>
> I don't think that the Moria Orcs stopped by at Isengard. They were
> pursuing the fellowship, not being part of a force sent out by Saruman,
> IMO.

><snip>
<snip>

>> One of the Northern Orcs says just earlier "We have come all the way
>> from the mines to kill, and avenge our folk. I wish to kill, and
>> then go back north." Isengard would be a bit of a detour from Moria.
>
> And the implication is, IMO, that the Northerners, the Moria Orcs, had
> been following the fellowship down the Anduin, and met up with the
> Isengard Orcs at Path Galen. The Northerners do /not/ wish to return to
> Isengard; something which, IMO, implies that they didn't come from there
> either.
>
> Pippin's memory of the confrontation unfortunately doesn't help much:
> first he and Merry had met some Orcs, and they had fought them until
> Boromir came charging, made them fight and eventually flee. Only on their
> way back did the Orcs attack again -- this time including the Isengarders
> (at least I think the 'very large' Orcs were Isengarders).
>
> The first group probably only included the Mordor Orcs ("but the Orcs did
> not wish to fight, and had tried only to lay hold of them"), but the
> second group was comprised of all the different kinds.

I believe one of the Isengard orcs also makes a comment about what is
the use of sending out maggots (i.e., the Moria orcs) half trained.
That to me implies the Moria orcs came via or under the direction of
Isengard.

Note that the Moria orcs had no way (without aid either from Sauron or
Saruman) to know where the fellowship was.

Emma

Troels Forchhammer

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Sep 14, 2004, 7:13:56 AM9/14/04
to
in <slrnckces...@munin.Stanford.EDU>,
Emma Pease <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> I believe one of the Isengard orcs also makes a comment about what is
> the use of sending out maggots (i.e., the Moria orcs) half trained.
> That to me implies the Moria orcs came via or under the direction of
> Isengard.

" 'You'll run with me behind you,' said Uglúk. 'Run! Or you'll
never see your beloved holes again. By the White Hand! What's
the use of sending out mountain-maggots on a trip, only half
trained. Run, curse you! Run while night lasts!'"

Actually it suggests the opposite to me ;-)

As I read it there is a "we'd never do it that way in Isengard" feel over
this comment. I see it as a complaint against whoever sent out the Moria
Orcs: someone who didn't do things the way Uglúk wanted them done -- i.e.
as the White Hand did them.

> Note that the Moria orcs had no way (without aid either from Sauron or
> Saruman) to know where the fellowship was.

They were the only ones who could have -- following the fellowship down
the River from they left Lórien.

Troels Forchhammer

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Sep 14, 2004, 4:06:51 PM9/14/04
to
in <6Sn0d.4580$ue.47...@news-text.cableinet.net>,

Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>
> Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>>
>> CotW LotR, Bk.3, Ch. 10 'The Voice of Saruman'

<snip>

>> So what does he mean when he says that he doesn't feel less


>> ill-disposed towards Saruman?
>
> I agree with your reasoning, but you seem to set Gandalf up as this
> perfect being.

Well, both yes and no, I think. I do try to take outset in what we know
otherwise about his opinions and motives (and the advice he gives), as
well as both his enhanced status and his other statements about Saruman.

> I think you can easily explain this comment as just Gandalf feeling
> very, very angry.

I don't doubt that he, at some level, is angry (or perhaps disappointed)
about Saruman's treachery, and that he may have remonstrated Merry for
his Hobbit susceptibility to good food and a pipe of weed ;-) but on the
other hand I find it difficult to reconcile this statement with the focus
on pity we see elsewhere.

> He knows, more than Merry does, what is at stake here.

And knows better than any of the others how deep Saruman has fallen and
just what (and who) he has betrayed.

> Later, of course, we see Gandalf's pity and (much later) Frodo's pity
> as well.

It is there already in 'The Shadow of the Past' -- pity staying Bilbo's
hand (and it's not so much later until we see Frodo's pity, but that's
part of my task for next Monday ;-)

" 'Gollum!' cried Frodo. 'Gollum? Do you mean that this is the
very Gollum-creature that Bilbo met? How loathsome!'
'I think it is a sad story,' said the wizard, 'and it might
have happened to others, even to some hobbits that I have
known.'"

Gandalf thought that Gollum's was a "sad story" -- would he have been so
much more angry with Saruman?

> Maybe this comment and the actually breaking of Saruman's staff scene
is
> the closest Tolkien can come to righteous anger?

It is possible, I guess, that it is just righteous anger, though I think
that Gandalf's treatment of Saruman certainly wasn't without mercy.

>> So the question for me is whether Saruman had any idea that Gandalf
>> had fallen in Moria, and if so, how?
>

> Maybe the palantir? Though I actually don't think that Saruman did
> know. It seems that Sauron did not know, so I don't think we should
> expect Saruman to know either. Just a gut feeling.

I agree with that.

--
Troels Forchhammer

The idea of being *paid* to govern is terribly middle-class :-)
- Igenlode on AFPH

Emma Pease

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Sep 14, 2004, 9:25:27 PM9/14/04
to
In article <UnA1d.25312$g4.4...@news2.nokia.com>, Troels Forchhammer wrote:
> in <slrnckces...@munin.Stanford.EDU>,
> Emma Pease <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> enriched us with:
>>
>
><snip>
>
>> I believe one of the Isengard orcs also makes a comment about what is
>> the use of sending out maggots (i.e., the Moria orcs) half trained.
>> That to me implies the Moria orcs came via or under the direction of
>> Isengard.
>
> " 'You'll run with me behind you,' said Uglúk. 'Run! Or you'll
> never see your beloved holes again. By the White Hand! What's
> the use of sending out mountain-maggots on a trip, only half
> trained. Run, curse you! Run while night lasts!'"
>
> Actually it suggests the opposite to me ;-)
>
> As I read it there is a "we'd never do it that way in Isengard" feel over
> this comment. I see it as a complaint against whoever sent out the Moria
> Orcs: someone who didn't do things the way Uglúk wanted them done -- i.e.
> as the White Hand did them.

But who sent them? and who half trained them? I think Ugluck is
grousing about his own middle management.

>> Note that the Moria orcs had no way (without aid either from Sauron or
>> Saruman) to know where the fellowship was.
>
> They were the only ones who could have -- following the fellowship down

> the River from they left Lorien.

And the elves would have let them anywhere near the farewell feast to
watch? Remember elven blades can show whether orcs are nearby and I'm
sure the Elven security forces checked.[1] Both Saruman and Sauron use
birds as spies. Both Saruman and Sauron have palantirs. Either could
find the fellowship if they were on the alert.

Emma

[1] Gollum could sneak near because he was (a) good at sneaking and
(b) wouldn't set off the sword alarm.

Öjevind Lång

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Sep 15, 2004, 7:43:03 AM9/15/04
to
"Emma Pease" <em...@kanpai.stanford.edu> skrev i meddelandet
news:slrnckf6f...@munin.Stanford.EDU...

[snip]

> > As I read it there is a "we'd never do it that way in Isengard" feel
over
> > this comment. I see it as a complaint against whoever sent out the Moria
> > Orcs: someone who didn't do things the way Uglúk wanted them done --
i.e.
> > as the White Hand did them.
>
> But who sent them? and who half trained them? I think Ugluck is
> grousing about his own middle management.

I think they simply were sent by whatever surviving Orc boss there was in
Moria after the fighting with the Fellowship:

"'Not our orders!"' said one of the ealier voices. 'We have come all the way
from the Mines to kill, and to avenge our folk. I wish to kill, and then go
back north.'"

("The Uruk-hai")

I think this shows rather conclusively that the Moria orcs take orders from
neither Mordor nor Isengard; they have simply teamed up with other Orcs for
revenge on the Fellowship - they are all Orcs together. However, Uglúk and
Grishnákh won't accept that - one is the servant of Saruman and the other of
Sauron. Both try to persuade the Moia orcs to submit to *their* boss.

Öjevind


James Stein

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Sep 15, 2004, 9:06:46 AM9/15/04