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Saruman the Ring-maker?
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Lightfoot
Rivendell


Aug 1 2013, 12:39am

Post #1 of 41 (1146 views)
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Saruman the Ring-maker? Can't Post

I was re-reading the Lord of The Rings today and noticed something new in the chapter "The Council of Elrond" Two quotes mention Saruman having/making his one rings. I am intrigued as I have never noticed this before. Does this mean that he actually forged his own ring of power?? Your thoughts please...
Here are the quotes:
"But I rode to the foot of Orthnac, and came to the stair of Saruman; and there he met me and led me up to his high chamber. HE WORE A RING ON HIS FINGER." pg 338 The Council of Elrond

and then

" For I am Saruman, the wise, SARUMAN RING-MAKER, Saruman of many Colors!" - pg. 339

My edition is Ballantine Books - the 66 printing May 1978

Faithful servant yet master's bane,
Lightfoot's foal, swift Snowmane



sevilodorf
Gondor


Aug 1 2013, 1:54am

Post #2 of 41 (583 views)
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My unscholarly thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

There's bound to be a scholarly answer somewhere/somewhen, but as for my own thoughts... yeah, I think he tried. I don't think he succeeded. Sauron was no doubt sniggering at Saruman's feeble attempts.

Maybe Saruman didn't want to make Sauron's mistake of putting so much of himself into the ring.

Gandalf also refers to rings (plural) Magic rings are well magical and they are rare and curious.... at this point in the text he has no idea which ring Bilbo has.... which seems infinitely strange to us that he's let the matter go for sixty years without investigating it. Can this be blamed on Saruman's soothing words? or simply the product of LOTR becoming more than Tolkien imagined when he wrote out The Hobbit?

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com





(This post was edited by sevilodorf on Aug 1 2013, 1:55am)


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 1 2013, 2:49am

Post #3 of 41 (509 views)
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Agreed, Sevilodorf (shoulder to shoulder as an unscholar with you!) [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if the "Saruman of Many Colors, Ring-Maker..." is either the hint that he did make a ring of small power: the color changing effect we see and therefore a very minor item. Perhaps it ended up in the Shire somewhere, after the Scouring and his death there...

...or it was a bluff on Saruman's part, and maybe wishful thinking.

I cannot say I have ever come across any other information either way! Would love to know if anyone else has.

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to here from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 1 2013, 2:50am

Post #4 of 41 (478 views)
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Welcome Lightfoot! [In reply to] Can't Post

And great question BTW! Smile

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to here from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 1 2013, 4:06am

Post #5 of 41 (578 views)
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Well, we know that Saruman spent many years studying Ring-lore. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's only logical that he would try to make use of it. I've always thought that Saruman did make an attempt at a Ring of Power for himself as a result of all his study. He may originally have had the idea of trying to make a Ring with which to help fight Sauron, but as his other aims were corrupted, so would the use of his ring be. Though he clearly would not have been able to make anything nearly as powerful as the One or the Three, he still could have used a lesser ring to some effect. And, like Sauron, he used it to amplify his will and used it to dominate the minds of others, such as his Uruk-hai, and possibly Grima Wormtongue and through him, Theoden. As other Rings, it would enhance his native abilities such as his persuasive voice. I think the feeling expressed by Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli as they chased the Uruk-hai into Rohan may well be attributed to the effect of Saruman's ring. Aragorn says:


Quote
"There is something strange at work in this land. I distrust the silence. I distrust even the pale Moon. The stars are faint; and I am weary as I have seldom been before, weary as no Ranger should be with a clear trail to follow. There is some will that lends speed to our foes and sets an unseen barrier before us: a weariness that is in the heart more than in the limb."
"Truly!', said Legolas. 'That I have known since we first came down from the Emyn Muil. For the will is not behind but before us." He pointed away over the land of Rohan into the darkling West under the sickle moon.
"Saruman!' muttered Aragorn. "But he shall not turn us back!..."


Now, normally one's will could not be imposed from such a distance. We have only a few other examples of this sort of thing throughout the books and all of them are attributed to a Ring-wearer, even if it's not explicitly attributed to their ring. All of the Rings of Power appear to intensify and impose the will of the bearer on his or her surroundings. Sauron's armies scattered aimlessly when the Ring was destroyed and his will was no longer imposed on them. Galadriel made it clear that the preservation of Lothlorien was due to the power of Nenya, both to preserve it from corruption ("on the land of Lorien there was no stain") and to hide it (when Frodo looked over the land from Cerin Amroth, all the land outside was covered in shadow). Elrond used Vilya to hide, protect and preserve Rivendell. And Narya was used by Gandalf to aid him in his task of aiding the Free Peoples against Sauron. In "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age", when Cirdan gives Narya to Gandalf, he tells him that Narya "will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of old". This is a very good description of the healing of Theden - who seemed old and infirm because of a sickness of the mind and will, not the body, and whom Gandalf seems to heal by the strength of his will. But we also see such things as Gandalf's voice and will striving against Sauron at Amon Hen, telling Frodo to take off the Ring.

It's one of those things that can be argued either way, because the exact effect of the rings is more often implied than explicitly stated in the text, but I think there's a pretty good case for reading it this way.

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 1 2013, 4:29am

Post #6 of 41 (480 views)
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Wonderfully put together Silverlode [In reply to] Can't Post

if he ventured into the realm of ringmaking it makes sense that he did it to bolster his voice and his will.

If he did have some sort of ring with power in it, I wonder if it would have been crafted with the same weakness as the Three, untouched by Sauron but dependent on the One's existence for its function (brought into being with the same 'magic')? In which case that would explain why Gandalf would not ever be noted to seek it out after Saruman's fall...if it merely faded to a trinket after the One was gone there would be no concern about it's later use.

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to here from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 1 2013, 5:03am

Post #7 of 41 (587 views)
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It seems likely. [In reply to] Can't Post

Since the Elves originally learned their ringmaking with Sauron's assistance while in the guise of Annatar, it seems that the One was made in such a way as to control all rings made by such methods. Which would mean that no matter when it was made or by whom, any magic ring and the mind and will of its wearer would be susceptible to the One's control. So unless Saruman invented a whole new method of ring-creation (unlikely), any lore he could possibly have had access to would only have helped him to make a ring which could be controlled by the One. Especially so, I imagine, if he was making experiments in Ring Theory with the idea of eventually crafting a Ring that could in turn control the One. He would then have simply been following established methods and his early attempts would only be lesser versions of the rings he was studying.

So yes, I'm assuming that once the One was destroyed, Saruman's ring would be powerless too. And since his staff was broken, all he would have left to him was his innate abilities limited by his form as an old man. He still retains enough persuasive abilities to talk Treebeard into letting him go, and he wreaks his petty havoc in the Shire without any indication that he can control minds. He's reduced to controlling by money and force, rather than by his will.

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



Lightfoot
Rivendell


Aug 1 2013, 12:21pm

Post #8 of 41 (459 views)
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Brilliant (even if unscholarly) work [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that Saruman's ring would be subject to the One Ring and yes it would also make sense that it would enhance his will. I don't believe that his ring was ever mentioned again throughout the books, but I will have to double check on that.Thanks for all the input!

Faithful servant yet master's bane,
Lightfoot's foal, swift Snowmane



Elizabeth
Valinor


Aug 1 2013, 4:32pm

Post #9 of 41 (430 views)
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An amateur effort. [In reply to] Can't Post

As Silverlode and others have noted, he did evidently try ring-making, and it may have had some effect (e.g. as Aragorn observed). But it clearly wasn't very effective, as he was defeated well before the One was destroyed.








elaen32
Gondor


Aug 1 2013, 4:35pm

Post #10 of 41 (404 views)
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That's really interesting, Silverlode [In reply to] Can't Post

I've often had the passing thought, when reading this chapter, as to why Gandalf particularly mentions that Saruman is wearing a ring. What ring? Why mention it? And then it is mentioned no more, and I too forget about it as I read on. Your comments make absolute sense to me and would certainly explain the feeling of a "barrier" that the Three Travellers feel.
I love it that one can read this book so many times and still come up with something newSmile


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to here from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



Elwen
Lorien


Aug 1 2013, 5:36pm

Post #11 of 41 (420 views)
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I think it's clear he did dabble, from the passages you cite... [In reply to] Can't Post

In the end though, his ring making, like his transformation of Isengard, ends up looking like "a little copy, a child's model or a slave's flattery."

Before kids, exercising with LOTR meant listening to the soundtrack while I ran.

After kids, exercising with LOTR means having an all out dance party with the little ones to the "Break the Dam Release the River" disco mix form the Lego game.


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Aug 1 2013, 8:11pm

Post #12 of 41 (404 views)
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This makes perfect sense. [In reply to] Can't Post

I always assumed that, yes, Saruman had tried his hand at ring-making, and had made the ring he wore when Gandalf met him at Orthanc (or, at least, that he wanted Gandalf to believe that he had made that ring). However, I just assumed that he didn't make a very good ring and never could use it for anything. Your explanation makes more sense.

I wonder what happened to Saruman's minor ring? Presumably, it didn't just disintegrate when Sauron was defeated. I can't see Saruman just tossing it away. Perhaps he still had it on him when he died in the Shire?

"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."


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 1 2013, 8:20pm

Post #13 of 41 (392 views)
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An interesting Mathom floating around??? // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

I wonder what happened to Saruman's minor ring? Presumably, it didn't just disintegrate when Sauron was defeated. I can't see Saruman just tossing it away. Perhaps he still had it on him when he died in the Shire?


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








Werde Spinner
Rohan


Aug 1 2013, 8:45pm

Post #14 of 41 (405 views)
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Oh, yikes. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hobbits: "Ooh, look, pretty ring..."

Frodo: "What are you looking at?"

Hobbits: "No... you can't see it. It is my precious..."

Frodo: "Here we go again."

More seriously, I suppose that if it had lost its power it would have become a harmless trinket, something hobbits really could have concievably passed around as a mathom? Or would some lingering malice remain in it and drive hobbits to collect shiny objects, just like Saruman did? Let's just hope no one tried using it as a wedding ring. Can't foresee that turning out well at all.

"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."


Brethil
Half-elven


Aug 2 2013, 12:57am

Post #15 of 41 (393 views)
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The mathom as a wedding-ring... [In reply to] Can't Post

Merry: "Pip, how come you do EVERYTHING Diamond says?"

Pip: A bit confused. "I just don't know...when she says something I just feel like I have to do it!"

Hmmmm.....

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Aug 2 2013, 10:07am

Post #16 of 41 (379 views)
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It's open to speculate - How far had Sauron got with his Ring-lore? Versus; how bonkers had he become? [In reply to] Can't Post

That all sounds very plausible! I like it! I also have an alternative reading - not because I don't like the one already proposed, but because it's fun to have several alternatives.

I note a passage in the Foreword to the LOTR 2e:

Quote
[Imagining a storyline that was an analogy to World War 2, an analogy, Tolkien says would dictate that the Ring was seized and used against Sauron]

"... Barad-dur would not have been destroyed but occupied. Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth."


So that suggests that Saruman can't have made a Great Ring all by himself by the time Gandalf notices a ring, because to do so he would need information only to be found in Mordor. He may of course have made a Lesser Ring, with various powers, such as the ones already suggested.

Saruman was also going Crazypretty bonkersCrazy by the time Gandalf notices the ring on his (Saruman's) finger. So I think it is also plausible that his ring is as authentic as the declaration by Idi Amin (Dictator of Uganda) that he had become King of Scotland. In the world beyond Saruman's increasing delusions, it might be an ordinary ring.

  • Alternatively, he could know full well that it is not a (very) magical ring, but be wearing it as a bluff. Or partly as a bluff. Or its just jewellery for now, but he'll make it magical later (Crazy"when I've finished my excellent and so far very successful scheme of using the palantir to bring Sauron under my control".Crazy)
  • Or, Sauron is having a fun time trolling him by Sly"instructing him in fake Ring Lore"Sly over the palantir.
  • Or, conversely, Sauron is having a fun time Sly"instructing him in genuine Ring Lore"Sly over the palantir. In that reading, Sauron, is up to his old trick again - help someone make a tool for their eventual subjugation by Sauron. (In that case, what Gandalf sees could be a Great Ring: Sauron obviously knows how to make them!)


Finally can I add a further welcome to the Fellowship of the Room, Lightfoot - great question. See what fun we have here?!

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Lightfoot
Rivendell


Aug 2 2013, 12:28pm

Post #17 of 41 (371 views)
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Thanks for the warm welcome [In reply to] Can't Post

 I have been a "lurker" for a few weeks now and it is a lot more fun to actually belong to the fellowship of the room than to simply haunt it! NoWizardme - I love the idea of fake ring lore! Although I bet sending real lore in order to subjugate Saruman would seem to be more likely given Sauron's past history.
I would love to see a psychology profile of Saruman when he decided to abandon his white robes and pit himself against the free peoples and Sauron at the same time! Also I do hope that this was the proper place to post my questionWink

Faithful servant yet master's bane,
Lightfoot's foal, swift Snowmane



Werde Spinner
Rohan


Aug 2 2013, 4:24pm

Post #18 of 41 (336 views)
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I love the idea [In reply to] Can't Post

of Sauron trolling Saruman by giving him fake information (Laugh) but I agree that it is more likely that he is feeding him real Ring-lore through the palantir. Suuuuure, Saruman, making a Ring turned out so well for the Dwarves... and for the Men...

I'm sure Sauron could have taught Saruman how to make a fully-functional ring, and then turned him into a Istari Nazgul. The scary part is that Saruman would have made (I think) a pretty powerful Nazgul, seeing as how he would have been a Maia to begin with, not a mere man. He could have interfered very disastrously with the quest if that had happened!

"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."


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Aug 2 2013, 4:41pm

Post #19 of 41 (331 views)
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An extra line for the poem?… [In reply to] Can't Post

"An new ring for the Wizard, who didn't learn. "

Fits reasonably after
"…in their halls of stone"

And before "…one for the Dark Lord…"

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Aug 2 2013, 5:04pm

Post #20 of 41 (320 views)
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Sounds good to me! [In reply to] Can't Post

And thus Saruman would be immortalized in verse as a cautionary tale in Middle-earth forever. Laugh

I've actually seen someone summarize The Sil and LOTR as, "Why Jewelry Is Evil: an Essay in Very Many Parts by J. R. R. Tolkien." Could not really disagree... Wink

"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."


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Aug 2 2013, 6:29pm

Post #21 of 41 (311 views)
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I've just invented the ArkenRingMaril - you don't think it will cause any problems? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


elaen32
Gondor


Aug 2 2013, 6:37pm

Post #22 of 41 (304 views)
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Love these alternatives NoWiz! [In reply to] Can't Post

Saruman was certainly delusional by this point- I have a very silly alternative view- that his "Ring" was in fact out of a Dale Christmas Cracker that Gandalf had brought to the White Council Christmas party one year. Saruman had forgotten this in his madness and thought that he had a ring of power.Laugh
Sorry- it's just that on reading the thread, for some reason, I had a mind's-eye vision of one of those tacky bits of jewellery one gets in crackers. Maybe I'm the one going crackers?!Crazy


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



elaen32
Gondor


Aug 2 2013, 6:41pm

Post #23 of 41 (307 views)
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Pretty scary WS [In reply to] Can't Post

But in his way, Saruman was already somewhat of a Nazgul, but not yet as completely as Sauron liked to think. He certainly was in Sauron's thrall, but had enough of his own will and insight to think in a self-serving way still.


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



Werde Spinner
Rohan


Aug 2 2013, 8:29pm

Post #24 of 41 (312 views)
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Oooh, shiny. [In reply to] Can't Post

*drifts off to go look at the shiny*

Hmm, will it cause any problems? Well, based on the examples of every other piece of jewelry in Middle-earth.... naaaaah. What could possibly go wrong? Sure, let's have Sauron, Celebrimbor, and the Dwarves make that, right away!! However, to make it *really* complete, it must be set in the Nauglafring. And then it will bring ruin to all the kingdoms of Middle-earth. And we will be left standing around the ruins scratching our heads and saying, "I don't know what happened."

Oh, wait, Nauglamir. Crazy Read the older version of the story, cannot get the old name out of my head.

*returns to staring, entranced, at the shiny*

"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."


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Aug 3 2013, 1:42am

Post #25 of 41 (306 views)
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Of course it would be Pippin. [In reply to] Can't Post

He has the worst luck, doesn't he? That stone in Moria and all. Either that, or his family is just doomed to shenanigans. Look at Pearl, for instance.

"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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