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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Is there an informant or spy?

Blkcpt
Rivendell

Sep 26 2013, 4:58am

Post #1 of 19 (1063 views)
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Is there an informant or spy? Can't Post

Gandalf very strangely asks Thorin if he told anyone of their quest. And then later when the goblin king wants to torture them he looks to the youngest dwarf and says to start with the youngest. Almost as if he had intimate knowledge of everyone in the company. Just some speculation...it's been a slow few months.


(This post was edited by Blkcpt on Sep 26 2013, 5:02am)


Fleuz
Lorien


Sep 26 2013, 5:05am

Post #2 of 19 (563 views)
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I thought that, too [In reply to] Can't Post

when I first watched it.
Meanwhile I think it was just an intimidating question in the hast of the moment.

But it would be interesting if not...


Old Pilgrim
Rivendell


Sep 26 2013, 5:29am

Post #3 of 19 (530 views)
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It can be [In reply to] Can't Post

Thrain if he still lives during the events of AUJ. He had a very good knowledge of his son and other dwarven companions and if he was tortured by Bolg in Dol Guldur he could told many useful things to the orcs and the Necromancer.


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 26 2013, 5:35am

Post #4 of 19 (527 views)
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In canon [In reply to] Can't Post

Kili is the youngest.

Did the crew make Ori the youngest, or is the Great Goblin just stupid?

I am inclined to believe the latter Wink

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 26 2013, 6:14am

Post #5 of 19 (511 views)
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Come to that... [In reply to] Can't Post

how did Saruman know that the dwarves were coming to Rivendell - and enough in advance that he had time to get there and make a fuss about it? It's quite a trip from Isengard to Rivendell, and he wasn't usually a roamer. The dwarves *may* have been there a while by the time he arrived, but Elrond didn't seem sure what their quest was until he read their map, and by that time Saruman was already there and upset, based on Elrond's comment to Gandalf. So just what did Saruman hear, and from whom, that sent him up to Rivendell in a temper?

It's possible that Saruman was watching Gandalf via palantir and that's why he knew things he hadn't been told. They might be beginning the "traitor" setup already, but it would be a little early for the orc connection, as I've always thought Saruman's breeding program didn't start until he came under the influence of Sauron - and that would have been after Sauron set up in Mordor, I think. (Am I wrong? Do we have any solid dates for when Saruman turned?)

Azog has clearly sent word throughout orcdom that he is after Thorin, because the Goblin King tells Thorin he knows someone who is looking for him and then sends word. But the question is, who told Azog where to find Thorin? It's possible that it's TraitorSaruman who set Azog on their track, but if it wasn't, clearly somebody somewhere was talking about Thorin's quest to the wrong people.

Let's see, non-Saruman options....it isn't likely that Gandalf had told anyone that he was getting involved with Thorin's obsession, but someone might have seen them meeting and talking together before he started searching for a Thief to make the Lucky 14. Suspect #1: Somebody at the Prancing Pony in Bree. This would be a possible Saruman connection too, if someone there (a Bill Ferny or half-orc type) was in his pay as an informant.

Thorin was also meeting with all his kin, trying to convince them to join him on his quest, but the only one mentioned by name is Dain. Is there a spy among Dain's people, perhaps? Dain himself seems unlikely, unless he were tricked or they were going for a massive redemption arc. I haven't seen anything to indicate that his role is big enough for the latter, though. But maybe he's got a shifty second-in command?

Or possibly I'm overthinking this. Crazy

Silverlode

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



Eleniel
Grey Havens


Sep 26 2013, 6:21am

Post #6 of 19 (516 views)
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From the Tale of Years, Appendix B... [In reply to] Can't Post

...we know that Saruman only dared to look into the palantir of Orthanc around the year 3000 of the Third Age, so he came under the direct influence of Sauron relatively late in the proceedings - but his fall from grace began far earlier....






In Reply To



It's possible that Saruman was watching Gandalf via palantir
and that's why he knew things he hadn't been told. They might be beginning the
"traitor" setup already, but it would be a little early for the orc connection,
as I've always thought Saruman's breeding program didn't start until he came
under the influence of Sauron - and that would have been after Sauron set up in
Mordor, I think. (Am I wrong? Do we have any solid dates for when Saruman
turned?)






"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort


Old Pilgrim
Rivendell


Sep 26 2013, 6:38am

Post #7 of 19 (448 views)
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Thrain would [In reply to] Can't Post

be the best answer. Gandalf was with Thrain since he recieved the key and the map from him "for save keeping" which means that Thrain is still not completely mad at that time. I believe that Thrain was dying so he gave his key to Gandalf who may told him in exchange of Thorin's plans believing that Thrain won't survive and there is no danger of giving him such information. Thrain may not die, but is captured by Azog and Bolg and as they torture him him in Dol Guldur they learned of Thorin's plan.

I don't think Saruman is involved in this while his knowledge of the dwarves coming to Rivendell may be simply the result of previous Gandalf activities. Gandalf wasn't surprised at all when Saruman told him about dwarven company so he must either suspect that Saruman is spying on him or he was talking of his plans with the council before the events of AUJ.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 26 2013, 6:49am

Post #8 of 19 (450 views)
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Hmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

So if we're following the Tale of Years, Saruman wouldn't have had his information from the palantir. That's interesting.

If the filmmakers went with the Tale of Years on this, then Saruman had to have another source of information, which would make the orc connection more likely. But I think it's quite possible that it's still a possibility in play in the movie.

It all depends how blatant they want to be about Saruman's fall in these films. If they reveal, or strongly hint, his treachery in DOS or TABA, then the feel of audiences watching LOTR will shift from "Oh no! Didn't see that coming!" to "Noooo, Gandalf! It's a trap!" when Gandalf rides to Isengard.

Weighing against too much Saruman involvement is the fact that Christopher Lee said in interviews that at the time of The Hobbit, Saruman was still noble and of good intentions.

I'll be quite interested to see what they do with this plot point.

Silverlode

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



DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 26 2013, 6:56am

Post #9 of 19 (442 views)
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I had the impression that ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Saruman finds out about their Quest in between Gandalf arriving at the White Council (the night scene) and the actual Council scene (the morning scene) (i.e. he learns of it off-screen).

Elrond does say "there are some who would not deem it wise". But I didn't think that referred specifically to the Dwarve's Quest. To me that says: "Let's not be hasty, what does Saruman the Wise think". And Saruman always disagrees. He later says: "Always you must meddle. Looking for trouble where none exists."



AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Sep 26 2013, 9:23am

Post #10 of 19 (390 views)
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There is the Pallantir once harboured in Minas Ithil. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a thought. Saruman has seen many things from Orthanc. Sauron doubtless saw many in the Ithil stone. It is said that he trusted it to none save himself. And certainly he used it, to the chagrin of Saruman. "It was not Sauron's way to commit such instruments to the use of subordinates, nor had he any servant whose mental powers were superior to Saruman's."

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Sep 26 2013, 9:30am

Post #11 of 19 (396 views)
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I cannot really say anything about the filmverse based on the historic lore anymore, at least for some things, because [In reply to] Can't Post

they have become so divergent. I would say, no, Saruman would not have had any reason to disrupt the quest of Erebor. He didn't want Sauron receiving aid from a great Dragon, he merely wanted to lay hands on Sauron's Ring. He was willing to let Sauron be in hopes of the One coming to his own attention whilst trying to return to Sauron, but he wouldn't have done anything to aid in strengthening Sauron's defenses or destroying his other foes. That would have been counterproductive to the eventual confrontation and attempt to subdue and subordinate Sauron that he envisioned would be possible if and once he attained The Ring for himself.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 26 2013, 1:48pm

Post #12 of 19 (313 views)
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I do not believe that there is a spy within Thorin's company [In reply to] Can't Post

It is certainly possible that someone within the company has loose lips (especially when drinking?). More likely is that, as Thorin pointed out, someone else (Azog? The Necromancer?) read the same signs as Balin and came to the same conclusions--that the time was ripe for Thorin to return to Erebor. From there it was just a matter of posting a watch to catch the Dwarves on their way back East.

The Rivendell Elves (like the Wood-elves of Mirkwood) get much news from birds and beasts. However, it is also possible that Thorin & Co. were spied upon by Elves during their journey and were never even aware of their presence. Saruman could have learned of them from the Elves. Or, Saruman may have found and begun to use the Orthanc-stone sooner in the film-continuity than in Tolkien's chronology.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


nhui06
Rivendell

Sep 26 2013, 3:58pm

Post #13 of 19 (249 views)
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Thrain [In reply to] Can't Post

Pretty sure it was Thrain. All signs point to Thrain being captured and tortured in Dol Guldur (probably by Bolg). From there, the Necromencer learned of Smaug and Thorin's quest to reclaim Erebor, probably wants Smaug all for himself, so sends Azog and Co (who was hungry for revenge anyways) to go stop the Dwarves. Willing to bet this will be the story in DOS.


Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Sep 26 2013, 5:12pm

Post #14 of 19 (229 views)
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If we focus on Thrain, then the question becomes [In reply to] Can't Post

just how long has Thorin been planning this expedition (in the movie universe)?

Surely it wasn't before Thrain disappeared during Azanulbizar. (A good chunk of the company probably weren't even born yet.)

Or, if Gandalf told Thrain when he got the key from him, how did Gandalf know? Obviously he would have to have met with Thorin and discussed the quest before meeting Thrain. And then the question is raised as to how Thrain was forced to give the information after he had met with Gandalf. At what point was Thrain imprisoned and/or tortured? Why didn't Gandalf help save him? When does the overthrow of Dol Guldur happen relative to all this? (And wouldn't it be ironic if, after his sharp questions to Thorin about who he told about the quest, Gandalf turned out to be the culprit? Unsure)

The only other option that I can see is that Thrain guessed that once Thorin got the key, he'd be heading to Erebor pronto. In that case, Thrain could have met Gandalf at some point by "chance" before he was in danger, and given Gandalf the key, and the timing of Gandalf's later encounter with Thrain, presumably at Dol Guldur, would not be significant in terms of giving up secrets.

Am I missing anything? Smile

I certainly hope this timeline issue will be resolved in the next two movies--assuming, of course, that the quest information did come from Thrain.


"Our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again."
--G. K. Chesterton



Thranderz
Rohan


Sep 26 2013, 7:40pm

Post #15 of 19 (188 views)
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Over-thinking is part of the fun of speculation! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
how did Saruman know that the dwarves were coming to Rivendell - and enough in advance that he had time to get there and make a fuss about it? It's quite a trip from Isengard to Rivendell, and he wasn't usually a roamer. The dwarves *may* have been there a while by the time he arrived, but Elrond didn't seem sure what their quest was until he read their map, and by that time Saruman was already there and upset, based on Elrond's comment to Gandalf. So just what did Saruman hear, and from whom, that sent him up to Rivendell in a temper?

It's possible that Saruman was watching Gandalf via palantir and that's why he knew things he hadn't been told. They might be beginning the "traitor" setup already, but it would be a little early for the orc connection, as I've always thought Saruman's breeding program didn't start until he came under the influence of Sauron - and that would have been after Sauron set up in Mordor, I think. (Am I wrong? Do we have any solid dates for when Saruman turned?)

Azog has clearly sent word throughout orcdom that he is after Thorin, because the Goblin King tells Thorin he knows someone who is looking for him and then sends word. But the question is, who told Azog where to find Thorin? It's possible that it's TraitorSaruman who set Azog on their track, but if it wasn't, clearly somebody somewhere was talking about Thorin's quest to the wrong people.

Let's see, non-Saruman options....it isn't likely that Gandalf had told anyone that he was getting involved with Thorin's obsession, but someone might have seen them meeting and talking together before he started searching for a Thief to make the Lucky 14. Suspect #1: Somebody at the Prancing Pony in Bree. This would be a possible Saruman connection too, if someone there (a Bill Ferny or half-orc type) was in his pay as an informant.

Thorin was also meeting with all his kin, trying to convince them to join him on his quest, but the only one mentioned by name is Dain. Is there a spy among Dain's people, perhaps? Dain himself seems unlikely, unless he were tricked or they were going for a massive redemption arc. I haven't seen anything to indicate that his role is big enough for the latter, though. But maybe he's got a shifty second-in command?

Or possibly I'm overthinking this. Crazy


I simply walked into Mordor.


Cillendor
Lorien

Sep 27 2013, 7:59pm

Post #16 of 19 (95 views)
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That is true, but [In reply to] Can't Post

I get the feeling that Jackson and Lee have different ideas about Saruman's role. There was the whole controversy about Saruman's death scene not even being in theatrical ROTK, and then so many of his lines in AUJ were cut short. He wasn't portrayed as evil, but definitely still somewhat of a jerk. I could see Jackson making the role more sinister than Lee expects. Part of it is that all of the things he said about Saruman were said earlier in the filming. Changes could easily have been made since then. Lee knows a lot about the lore and seems to have been speaking about the "book version", IMO.


In Reply To
Weighing against too much Saruman involvement is the fact that Christopher Lee said in interviews that at the time of The Hobbit, Saruman was still noble and of good intentions.



AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 12:57am

Post #17 of 19 (70 views)
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Pallantir, Pallantir, Pallantir. Sauron had one. He did NOT leave it idling in Minas Ithil. [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien says Sauron was not apt to leave such a treasure in the keeping of any servant, not even one of THe Nine, and also that none of his servants had the mental power to overcome Saruman in a test of mind and will (which Sauron later, at least partly, did). The Pallantir was probably with him in Dol Guldur. Thus, he would have been able to know when Thorin departed, and the involvement of Gandalf would have been enough for him to want to disrupt whatever it was.

In Reply To
Pretty sure it was Thrain. All signs point to Thrain being captured and tortured in Dol Guldur (probably by Bolg). From there, the Necromencer learned of Smaug and Thorin's quest to reclaim Erebor, probably wants Smaug all for himself, so sends Azog and Co (who was hungry for revenge anyways) to go stop the Dwarves. Willing to bet this will be the story in DOS.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Yngwulff
Gondor


Sep 29 2013, 3:54am

Post #18 of 19 (34 views)
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Sauruman did not use the Palantir til later, but [In reply to] Can't Post

If you recall he had other spies.
May have been one in Bree, could be shown in prologue if this theory is true.
He also used birds ect to spy for him

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.



AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Sep 29 2013, 6:14am

Post #19 of 19 (59 views)
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Not Saruman's pallantir in Orthanc. Sauron's Pallantir, the Ithil Stone. [In reply to] Can't Post

It was taken in 2000ThirdAge, when The Nine seized Minas Ithil, but, by Tolkien's account, Sauron would not have left the stone in their keeping.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

 
 

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