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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Why didn't Saruman take Narya from Gandalf?

Kassandros
Rohan


Nov 28 2012, 4:28pm

Post #1 of 19 (1000 views)
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Why didn't Saruman take Narya from Gandalf? Can't Post

Either book canon or film canon.

Did Saruman not know Gandalf had Narya, even with his Palantir? Did Gandalf never trust him with this secret? Was he somehow unable to physically take it from him? Or did Saruman perhaps fear the influence of The One if he had one of the elven rings?

Just thought about this when looking at the new White Council photos and thinking, "Poor Saruman is the only one who didn't have a ring of power - no wonder he wanted The One for himself!"

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 28 2012, 4:55pm

Post #2 of 19 (700 views)
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From the Unfinished Tales: [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
And the Grey Messenger [Gandalf] took the Ring, and kept it ever secret; yet the White Messenger [Saruman] (who was skilled to uncover all secrets) after a time became aware of this gift, and begrudged it, and it was the beginning of the hidden ill-will that he bore to the Grey, which afterwards became manifest.


This shows that Gandalf secretly concealed the Ring, and that Saruman did know he possessed it. At the same time, we aren't told exactly how Gandalf concealed the ring, nor when Saruman became aware of it.

Saruman may have become aware of the Ring after Gandalf escaped Orthanc - perhaps coming back as Gandalf the White had something to do with it? Even if Saruman did know about the Ring before Gandalf's escape, it was well hidden by Gandalf - he may not have even had it on him!

Even still, why would Saruman want the Ring? Elrond says they cannot be used for war, nor give the wearer "power":


Quote
[T]hey were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength or domination ... but understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained.


Apart from being the owner, it wouldn't have given Saruman any special powers.

That's how I interpret it, anyway.

Smile

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Kassandros
Rohan


Nov 28 2012, 5:27pm

Post #3 of 19 (557 views)
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That just makes it all the more curious! [In reply to] Can't Post

Based on that quote, Saruman must have known about Narya before the confrontation at Orthanc, because Tolkien says, "it was the beginning of the hidden ill will he bore to the Grey." His ill-will was only hidden before Gandalf visited Orthanc, so this proves that Saruman knew about it by that time.

And since he "begrudged" Gandalf having it, wouldn't this make him want to take it? I've always assumed Gandalf had Narya on his person at all times, but I suppose this could be incorrect.

Thanks for bringing up that passage, Daniel!

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 28 2012, 6:14pm

Post #4 of 19 (571 views)
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Assuming Saruman did know of the Ring, I can think of several reasons why he didn't take it [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Saruman couldn't find the Ring on Gandalf - Gandalf either concealed it too well, or he didn't have it on himself
2. Saruman hoped that Gandalf would join the dark side. He didn't search Gandalf.
3. Gandalf escaped before Saruman searched
4. The UT are not canon, so Saruman didn't know of the Ring
5. Tolkien simply didnt think it was an important plot point
6. In Saruman's excitement, he forgot what he was supposed to do!

Wink

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Lissuin
Tol Eressea


Nov 28 2012, 6:42pm

Post #5 of 19 (543 views)
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Narya and the Ruby Slippers [In reply to] Can't Post

were created by Celebrimbor, ruler of Eregion, and bestowed untold powers upon the wearer. Like the slippers, the ring may only be parted from the owner if given up voluntarily or upon their death.

We are told.


ForestPark
Rivendell


Nov 28 2012, 10:45pm

Post #6 of 19 (490 views)
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One word.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Keistering !


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Nov 29 2012, 12:35am

Post #7 of 19 (482 views)
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Saruman: Gandalf, lay down your Ring [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf: Come and get it.

In short imprisoning someone is very different to taking something from their person by force.



Lissuin, where did you get that info?


zarabia
Grey Havens


Nov 29 2012, 6:26am

Post #8 of 19 (452 views)
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Two things [In reply to] Can't Post

One: Wow! good question; I've never thought of that.

Two: Maybe it's like Nenya which, as Galadriel tells Frodo, can only be seen by a ring bearer. Saruman could know that Gandalf has the ring, but can't see it even if Gandalf is wearing it right under his (Saruman's) nose.

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime

(This post was edited by zarabia on Nov 29 2012, 6:28am)


Lissuin
Tol Eressea


Nov 29 2012, 7:06am

Post #9 of 19 (471 views)
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Uhhh, [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink


DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 29 2012, 10:45am

Post #10 of 19 (451 views)
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You had me! [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought it was a much better explanation than mine! Laugh

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Plurmo
Rohan

Nov 29 2012, 3:09pm

Post #11 of 19 (464 views)
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Narya is the quintessential conservative Ring [In reply to] Can't Post

Its purpose is to inspire others to become dwarves... I mean, to inspire others to resist domination and tyranny. Now Saruman the Ringmaker, Saruman of Many Colours, Saruman Benneton, has become the epitome of what, in the context of Middle-earth, could be called "Liberalism" (here I use the word in the american sense.) He intents on being a tyrant rulling upon a cultureless and memoryless multitude of cross-breeded (from orcs, men, hobbit, dwarf, talking purses, moths, anything goes) creatures without a sense of family, peoplehood, continuum or history. Because of this "modern leftist" nature, Saruman is also obssessed by the idea of erasing the free, traditionalist and heroic people of Rohan. Erasing its peoplehood, that is, while turning the men, woman an children of Rohan into organic components of his cross-bred slave people.

Saruman has no need for Narya for he wants to become a tyrant. He could have taken it from Gandalf to keep it away, but the value of a Ring of Power is in the Ringwearer itself. It is Gandalf who is the missionary for freedom, not Narya.

If Saruman begrudged something it was that the trust of the wise elves was put firstly in Gandalf and not in him, the greatest of the Wizard Order. He was an Ainur after all and that means a sensitivity to the opinions of the children of Iluvatar.


Kassandros
Rohan


Nov 29 2012, 5:04pm

Post #12 of 19 (458 views)
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I have no idea if this is serious or a joke. [In reply to] Can't Post

Either way, I'm not going to start a political discussion here. But if that's what you think American Liberalism is about, you are, very, very mistaken. Liberalism usually gets criticized for being nieve because it is a philosophy based on compassion and pity. Liberals want to help those in need. Conservatives believe that "greed is good," and that everyone should fend for themselves and take care of their own. "I am not my brother's keeper," and all that.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...

(This post was edited by Kassandros on Nov 29 2012, 5:07pm)


Kassandros
Rohan


Nov 29 2012, 5:09pm

Post #13 of 19 (419 views)
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2 and 3 sound good to me. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Lissuin
Tol Eressea


Nov 29 2012, 6:01pm

Post #14 of 19 (414 views)
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"Look! Here's someone who can help you!" [In reply to] Can't Post

The answer is contained in the ancient Blue Book of Baum, passed down through the family of Dorothy Gale.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ry4ArfMSLg

Thanks to ForestPark for the link. Smile


Eye's on Guard
Lorien


Nov 30 2012, 6:26am

Post #15 of 19 (464 views)
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Just to clarify... [In reply to] Can't Post

(Not trying to argue politics here) Most conservatives are for helping those in need just as most liberals are. They just gravitate more toward individual, charity, and church-based giving as more feasible than big government programs.

Thus, liberals think conservatives are heartless and conservatives think liberals are naive based on how the other side views the role of government.


Kassandros
Rohan


Nov 30 2012, 5:08pm

Post #16 of 19 (460 views)
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Fair enough. [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a reasonable assessment. Anyone who wants to have an honest conversation about the merits of the liberal vs. conservative worldview can do so in the Off-Topic forum, but I don't really come to TORN to talk politics. Couldn't let those outlandishly offensive comments stand, though. It is kind of funny how everyone sees their own politics in Lord of the Rings, though.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Plurmo
Rohan

Dec 4 2012, 5:01pm

Post #17 of 19 (355 views)
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Conservatism is about permanence. [In reply to] Can't Post

Middle-earth is the context here.

For the high elves, obssessed as they were with the problem of fading, preservation from undesirable change was the main objective of their ring making. As such their three Rings of Power were conservative in nature.

With Saruman positioning himself as a multiculturalist playing politics of grievance in order to become a tyrant ruling over peoples without shared memory apart from imagined or amplified (by the ruler) grievances there would be no use (for him) of conservative rings of Power.

Middle-earth is the context.


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Dec 7 2012, 12:52am

Post #18 of 19 (366 views)
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Saruman begrudged Gandalf having the ring to the extent that it drove a wedge between them [In reply to] Can't Post

And yet deemed it so useless as to be utterly uninterested in possessing it?

A convoluted reading, to my eye.

LR


Plurmo
Rohan

Dec 7 2012, 5:47pm

Post #19 of 19 (432 views)
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You seem to be thinking about an earlier Saruman, [In reply to] Can't Post

invested in the secret study of ringmaking. A Saruman that would be all too desirous of even the lesser of the Ring of Power for studying purposes. A Saruman that could, unlikely as it seems, risk his disguise and his life trying to take Narya from Gandalf in an ambush out in the open.

In my analysis I consider a Saruman already aware of the (virtual) finding of the Ring of Sauron. It is a Saruman in open treason to the Council, acting as a tyrant in the making.

It's not a matter of Narya being itself "useless" and Saruman "utterly uninterested in possessing it" and anything else. It is the overwhelming presence of the One Ring changing completely Saruman's priorities. Saruman do know the difference between the One Ring and the other Rings. To Gandalf, a mere custodian of Narya, he announces that he is a veritable ring-maker himself (that is way above custodian in the mind of a disciple of Aulė and settles the issue of who is the greater wizard) and that he no longer cares about making things. He wants to become things. He wants to become a Power. Narya becomes a small trifle and the doom of the Balrog is settled.

 
 

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