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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Or the palantir as YouTube?

noWizardme
Grey Havens


Dec 21 2012, 6:59pm


Views: 293
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Or the palantir as YouTube? [In reply to] Can't Post

The palantiri are certainly most unreliable! I think one thing is that they seem to offer objectivity, but actually things are badly distorted by the will of the user,or someone manipulating the user.

So Saruman and Denethor, spying on Sauron, cannot be shown out-and-out fabrications, but Sauron can influence what they do see, and that is enough to turn it into propaganda. He can also compel the to see more.

Beyond this, if you did have a device that could theoretically see anything, you would still have to choose where to look, and how to interpret what you saw. Perhaps there's a parallel with us in the Internet age: we theoretically have access to more, and more varied, sources of information than ever before. Some of it is intended to manipulate, to be sure. In theory, the viewer can observe widely enough to form a balanced view. But that can be hard to do, requiring hard work and Judgement. And I've heard the idea that many people instead restrict themselves to information sources which re-inforce their existing prejudices, perhaps not realising that they are getting a more and more atypical view of the world. In another part of this thread, CuriousG has contrasted the palantir users with Galadriel, who says her mirror works best when left undirected. Also that viewers must be very careful when interpreting what they see. Perhaps the palantir users should have done the same.

The limits of the palantiri thus seem quite natural. Just as well, as otherwise the palantir could cause huge plot holes: a force able to see anywhere should have a huge military and political advantage, you'd think.

Subject User Time
'The problem of magic' in Tolkien noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 18 2012, 11:53am
    A thought about games noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 18 2012, 1:33pm
    Galadriel and semantics CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 20 2012, 7:37pm
        Magic vs Blessed Cyberia Send a private message to Cyberia Dec 21 2012, 12:22am
            Elvish magic (a helpful/distracting thought from "On Fairy Stories" noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 21 2012, 4:12pm
    Palantiri vs Skype CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 20 2012, 10:14pm
        Or the palantir as YouTube? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 21 2012, 6:59pm
    Gandalf's magic: a wizard's must CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 21 2012, 2:51am
        Compare & Contrast: Terry Pratchett's witches noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 27 2012, 12:55pm
            Magic and knowledge to Medieval witch hunters CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 28 2012, 2:06am
    A problem of terminology Mim Send a private message to Mim Dec 23 2012, 6:41pm
        Magic & Grace of Valar/Aman/Undying Lands Nolofinwe Send a private message to Nolofinwe Dec 24 2012, 3:38pm
            You can add to that sador Send a private message to sador Dec 24 2012, 4:33pm
            The dark side of magic: Nazgul CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 24 2012, 7:56pm
                passive elven magic Cyberia Send a private message to Cyberia Dec 24 2012, 10:10pm
                Light vs. Dark.. Nolofinwe Send a private message to Nolofinwe Dec 25 2012, 4:56am
                    Perception of Lorien (and Imladris for that matter) Nolofinwe Send a private message to Nolofinwe Dec 25 2012, 4:09pm
                        Good comparisons CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 25 2012, 4:24pm
                            Yes Nolofinwe Send a private message to Nolofinwe Dec 25 2012, 4:31pm
                Evidence of anger? Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Dec 26 2012, 2:37pm
                    Read Gandalf's explanation to Frodo CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 28 2012, 1:55am
                        Well, to be fair... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Dec 28 2012, 9:26pm
        Please do! noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 27 2012, 12:45pm
        Hobbit magic (to add to the pot!) noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 27 2012, 6:21pm
    Elves/Rivendell Nolofinwe Send a private message to Nolofinwe Dec 31 2012, 3:05pm

 
 
 

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