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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: The Arena:
Gandalf the White v/s Saruman the White

Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 16 2013, 1:07pm

Post #1 of 9 (746 views)
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Gandalf the White v/s Saruman the White Can't Post

First let me clarify. In the book (as well as the EE) Saruman lost to Gandalf the White because "he had turned from his path and had become treacherous".

So, if Saruman was still good then would he defeat Gandalf the White?

The Road goes Ever on and on.
Down from the door where it began.
How far ahead the Road has gone.
And I must follow if I can ...


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Apr 16 2013, 7:37pm

Post #2 of 9 (145 views)
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Interesting, but I still think that Gandalf the White would have won [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf posessed the greater wisdom of the two of them, being Olorin wisest of the Maiar. Saruman had cunning on his side but even in his goodie days he was incredibly arrogant. For what it's worth Gandalf also had Narya to aid him. Gandalf had the power to break Saruman's staff and cast him from the order of Wizards: Saruman probably didn't have that sort of power on his side.

This would make sense given that when the Five Wizards were sent out to complete their task all of them had a chance to succeed: when Gandalf the White was sent back he was essentially the only hope of the duty of the Istari being fulfilled: Saruman had effectively betrayed the Valar, Radagast had forsaken Men and Elves, and the Blue Wizards were goodness knows exactly where (somewhere in the East, but what they were doing is not really expanded upon).

"True courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one."


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 17 2013, 8:52am

Post #3 of 9 (121 views)
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Have to disagree. [In reply to] Can't Post

You said "Gandalf posessed the greater wisdom of the two of them, being Olorin wisest of the Maiar."

If I recall correctly, it's said he's one of the wisest of the Maiar but not the wisest.
In LOTR Gandalf stated about Saruman that "he was both stronger and wiser." Indeed Saruman was the wisest of the Istari.. One of his nicknames is wise. Saruman the wise. He was the most wisest and powerful of the wizards. That's why he was the head of the Istari.

And in his "goodie" days he was not arrogant from the start. His arrogance developed as he studied deeper and deeper into the history of the rings.

You said "Gandalf had the power to break Saruman's staff and cast him from the order of Wizards: Saruman probably didn't have that sort of power on his side."

Gandalf broke Saruman's staff because by then Saruman had grown evil and was no longer the chief of the Istari. Saruman also would have broken Gandalf's staff when he was good and was superior to Gandalf.

You said "This would make sense given that when the Five Wizards were sent out to complete their task all of them had a chance to succeed: when Gandalf the White was sent back he was essentially the only hope of the duty of the Istari being fulfilled: Saruman had effectively betrayed the Valar, Radagast had forsaken Men and Elves, and the Blue Wizards were goodness knows exactly where (somewhere in the East, but what they were doing is not really expanded upon). "

Well this really doesn't counts in this fight. I stated who would win: Gandalf the White or the good Saruman the White.
Obviously, Saruman turned evil and that's why Gandalf the White was able to beat him. But what will happen if Gandalf the White had a fight with a Saruman the White who was yet on the good side? That's what I wanted.

And my vote's on Saruman the White.

The Road goes Ever on and on.
Down from the door where it began.
How far ahead the Road has gone.
And I must follow if I can ...


Luinnár
Rivendell

Apr 17 2013, 11:54am

Post #4 of 9 (97 views)
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I'm not really sure whose side I could choose. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Bellerock
Rivendell

Apr 17 2013, 2:02pm

Post #5 of 9 (99 views)
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The seeds of evil were always there [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think you can point to a time when Saruman was purely good and then show the moments when he decided to turn bad, the seeds of evil were always there. Saruman was arrogant from the beginning and always thought he knew best. Despite his name, that is not altogether "wise". Gandalf, on the other hand, had a clear appreciation for the power of ordinary people and things. Because he knew that he didn't know everything, Gandalf the White would triumph in the end.


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Apr 17 2013, 8:44pm

Post #6 of 9 (95 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

'If I recall correctly, it's said he's one of the wisest of the Maiar but not the wisest.
In LOTR Gandalf stated about Saruman that "he was both stronger and wiser." Indeed Saruman was the wisest of the Istari.. One of his nicknames is wise. Saruman the wise. He was the most wisest and powerful of the wizards. That's why he was the head of the Istari.'

The passage entitled 'Of the Maiar' in the Silmarillion says these exact words: "Wisest of the Maiar was Olorin." It is also said somewhere else (I can't remember exactly where but it is said, though not in these *exact* words), that Saruman knew deep down in his heart that Gandalf posessed the greater wisdom and he resented this greatly, going to the level of actually trying to imitate the Grey Wizard by smoking the very pipe-weed that he had scolded his ally for using.

'Gandalf broke Saruman's staff because by then Saruman had grown evil and was no longer the chief of the Istari. Saruman also would have broken Gandalf's staff when he was good and was superior to Gandalf.'

When he was good? To be honest he was on the path towards evil for so long that frankly it's hard to pinpoint a time when he was completely "good". Saruman surely wouldn't just suddenly lose that power when he turned evil, and if he could break the staff of another wizard then he certainly made no attempt at all against Gandalf the Grey during their meeting at Orthanc, nor even carried out any threat along those lines.

'Well this really doesn't counts in this fight. I stated who would win: Gandalf the White or the good Saruman the White.
Obviously, Saruman turned evil and that's why Gandalf the White was able to beat him. But what will happen if Gandalf the White had a fight with a Saruman the White who was yet on the good side? That's what I wanted.'

Surprisingly my statement has a lot of relevance to the question you asked. If the events of LotR (including Saruman's treachery) had not happened, then Gandalf the White would never have had to exist in the first place. Gandalf as the White was undoubtedly more powerful than Saruman had ever been, given that he was able to openly use his power far more frequently than the other Istari if in need given the urgency of his now desperate mission. As Gandalf says himself in TTT, Sauron himself was the only being who would be able to match him at that time, and since we do not know how much power Saruman "lost" as such when he betrayed the Free Peoples, I think it's safe to assume that Gandalf was the stronger. Plus Narya has to count for something.

I stress that this is only my interpretation, but I agree with Bellerock: Gandalf has my vote.


Wink

"True courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one."

(This post was edited by Radagast-Aiwendil on Apr 17 2013, 8:47pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 19 2013, 12:04am

Post #7 of 9 (101 views)
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Gandalf the White // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Luinnár
Rivendell

Apr 19 2013, 11:48am

Post #8 of 9 (112 views)
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I suppose I would choose Gandalf too. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 7:42pm

Post #9 of 9 (549 views)
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Gandalf the White [In reply to] Can't Post

He has Narya. That has to count for something. (Does Shadowfax get to count for something?)

Plus, it seems, as with Glorfindel, that Gandalf Came Back Strong, so to speak, even stronger than Saruman would have been. I think the very fact that he has been dead and is now alive again adds an sort of dread. Notice how the Witch-king runs from Glorfindel. I think Gandalf's resurrection gives him a certain edge against things that can see the realm of the unseen (Elves, Wizards, etc.) and so this would obviously work on Saruman.

Gandalf seems to have an extra authority as the White above and beyond what Saruman had originally (or, if Saruman had it, he may have lost it. Thing is, did he know he had lost it? Maybe he would have only known he had lost his power to 'cast out' Gandalf or break his staff by trying and failing, and if he had done so you'd think Gandalf would have mentioned it. If he knew he had lost it, you would have expected some extra resentment there... dunno). I always get a sense of 'All Your Powers Combined' by the White Wizard, either Gandalf or Saruman, since, as they discuss, white is all colors combined and is naturally the strongest. Saruman breaks the white light, and so fractures his greater strength. Gandalf is made the White, in an emergency, to save Middle-earth; he is the last-ditch effort, the last hope, and I think Iluvatar sent him back so that he would be strong enough to ensure the Peoples of the West could resist Sauron. Therefore, I think he would strong enough to defeat anyone short of Sauron himself. Then again, this is just me rambling rather disjointedly here.

My vote's on Gandalf. Let's just go with that, and skip the convoluted reasoning that passes for logic from me at the moment...

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."

 
 

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