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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**Unfinished Tales Discussion - The Hunt for the Ring
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CuriousG
Half-elven


Mar 14 2014, 5:04pm

Post #51 of 61 (1452 views)
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Thanks for the answers, Elwen [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm of a like mind about Saruman: I don't think there was any way to get along with him, but I thought I'd ask. When we get to the Istari chapter, we'll see that problems with his psyche began way back in Valinor.

Very interesting idea about threatening the Nazgul's rings. Maybe if he destroyed them, the Nazgul would die? A drastic act, but that would scare them.


Dame Ioreth
Tol Eressea


Mar 14 2014, 6:33pm

Post #52 of 61 (1449 views)
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Would they die? [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually no, that's not the whole question... Would they die in the same way they would have if they had lived a normal life? Or would they simply cease to exist?

I got the feeling that the fading of the kings put them on a similar path to the elves fading. In other words, once they faded, if they hadn't gone back to the West, they were just... gone. What men had to look forward to was something different, some other way of being with Eru once they died. The rings took that option away from them because taking the rings was a choice that bound their soul/spirit/essence to Melkor's servant Sauron and took them away from Eru. So if the rings were withdrawn, there would be nothing left of them.

This is just my own headcanon though, a way to make sense of things so I may be way off the mark.

Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings







(This post was edited by Dame Ioreth on Mar 14 2014, 6:35pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 15 2014, 12:46am

Post #53 of 61 (1454 views)
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Well, I had another take [In reply to] Can't Post

I always thought that the Nine rings acted as anchors for their souls (feas if we get technical), thus they could not escape Arda. I thought that once free, they would be unbound and go to wherever their souls/feas go. It seems a little bit beyond Sauron's power to alter the destination and fate of souls. Considering that the Valar could not alter the Elven or Mannish fates or mortality, I think a Maiar would stand less chance.

Just my head-canon.

Watch out it has a hair trigger!!Wink

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Dame Ioreth
Tol Eressea


Mar 15 2014, 7:18pm

Post #54 of 61 (1433 views)
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That does sound more feasible. [In reply to] Can't Post

(Oh sorry, I kind of punned there.) Blush

What I meant was it fits better with the rest of the stories. New head-canon adopted. I'll watch that hair trigger though. Thanks! Smile

Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings







elaen32
Gondor


Mar 15 2014, 9:44pm

Post #55 of 61 (1414 views)
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Subtle clever punning though [In reply to] Can't Post

I had to read it twice to get it- or maybe I'm just slow...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 April. Happy writing!



Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 15 2014, 10:01pm

Post #56 of 61 (1407 views)
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*snert* // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





BallyWhooo
Bree

Mar 16 2014, 6:55pm

Post #57 of 61 (1406 views)
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very interesting questions and thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

I definitely need to go back and re-read this section. I had quite forgotten it!

Some opinion on some of the "whys"

Nazgul - I think evil things having to shun sunlight and fear it is a common element to the evil spirit in most of Tolkiens beings: Trolls get turned to stone in it. All the orcs in Mordor are weakened by it. Saruman has to specially breed an army of orcs to deal with it; Gollum hates it... or rather his evil side does. He'd been so long without it, that he couldn't deal with how exposed he was when walking around in it. The water part I don't know about. That seems particular to the Nazgul. Traveling in disguise I think was a required strategy in the hunt for the Ring. Without it, the Nazgul couldn't question folks about the Ring. Imagine if you were suddenly addressed by a voice from nowhere! I think at the Ford they were more than just unrobed; I think they were defeated by the valley's magic and banished from it. The blow was slow great to them that their spirits lost "coherence" and possibly couldn't even act as a group until they got back to Sauron. Sauron could REALLY hurt them by forcibly taking their rings of power from them, just as Gandalf indicates to Frodo will most certainly happen to anyone who bears one for long. Think of Gollum's torment until he finally caught up with the Fellowship and at least could feel its presence near him.

The difference between Gollum and everyone else Sauron is controlling or attempting to control, is that Gollum, like Bilbo and Frodo, owned the thing (or It owned them) and so I think like Frodo seeing Glorfindel in the other world, Gollum could see the Sauron others couldn't see... and it was pretty powerless in the end without the Ring... and It's power over him was so complete that he could resist Sauron's attempts to break his mind and reveal the whereabouts of the Ring... only physical torture would eventually conquer that resistance. Sauron's only thought is to obtain the Ring... "all his thought is bent on it"... and there's certainly plenty to keep you busy in trying to obtain it by every means possible.

I think the whole being able to know the minds of others thing was possible only because both parties were willing to allow it. Galadriel, I think, comments that Sauron cannot yet perceive her mind in order to root out an Elvish Ring of Power. I imagine one of the reasons why Galadriel did not much like Saruman and preferred Gandalf to have been the leader of the Council is because Saruman probably wasn't willing to communicate and relate in this way.


Meneldor
Valinor


Mar 16 2014, 7:12pm

Post #58 of 61 (1402 views)
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That's what I was thinking. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I imagine one of the reasons why Galadriel did not much like Saruman and preferred Gandalf to have been the leader of the Council is because Saruman probably wasn't willing to communicate and relate in this way.

As Gandalf's true self was cloaked to the world, I suspect Saruman kept his mind cloaked to all, especially perceptive people of power like Galadriel. So if Galadriel couldn't read him, she would have no evidence to support her objections to his leadership of the White Council, but at the same time, she would be inclined to mistrust him. That fits with my perception of the situation.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Mar 16 2014, 9:36pm

Post #59 of 61 (1393 views)
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Great observation, Bally! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The difference between Gollum and everyone else Sauron is controlling or attempting to control, is that Gollum, like Bilbo and Frodo, owned the thing (or It owned them) and so I think like Frodo seeing Glorfindel in the other world, Gollum could see the Sauron others couldn't see... and it was pretty powerless in the end without the Ring... and It's power over him was so complete that he could resist Sauron's attempts to break his mind and reveal the whereabouts of the Ring...



sador
Half-elven


Mar 19 2014, 7:06am

Post #60 of 61 (1398 views)
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At long last - to your questions [In reply to] Can't Post

Why is Golllum indomitable but the Nazgul are not?
Because he is a hobbit. At least, I think that's what Tolkien meant.
More rationally - the Nazgul were completely subservient to Sauron for years; also, at first they had the ambition to fall prey to his influence (like Ar-Pharazon). Gollum's greatest hope is to eat fish three times a day, fresh from the Sea (The Black Gate is Closed).
But as I wrote before - there is no way that Gollum managed to hide from Sauron that he wanted the Ring for himself. This was the one thing Sauron would have detected, unless Gollum could have put on a very convincing act of absolute grovelling - which according to this very Tale, he did not.


Why does a small band of the Dunedain of Arnor stand a better chance of withstanding the Nazgul (possibly led by Aragorn) than the more numerous Dunedain of Gondor led by Boromir and Faramir?
Because of the distance from Mordor (in a Letter, which Brethil should easily find, Tolkien suggested that the Witch-king's power actually grew near Mordor); because of the numbers (Osgiliath wasn't attacked by the Nine alone - they also had a great force of orcs in there train); and because of the terror, turning defeat into a rout (the Dunedain followed Aragorn to the Paths of the Dead; while Boromir and Faramir managed to keep only two more with them, and later Faramir kept a small company with him at the Pelennor Fields).
But with all that - it is only a speculation that maybe with Aragorn the Dunedain would have held, probably inspired by the Wraithes wimpish behaviour at Weathertop, and Gandalf's remark in Many Partings (which if read carefully, implies that Glorfindel and Aragorn on horse were stronger than himself - which I'm pretty sure JRRT never intended).


The Saruman-Gandalf jealousy was profound and caused great harm. Was Gandalf partly responsible for it in his benign detachment? What could he have done to defuse Saruman's rivalry, if anything?
In the context of LotR - hardly so; but he never practiced such a benign detachment, and at first clearly admitted Saruman's superiority.
In the context of the post-LotR writings - yes, for sure. But this discussion belongs more properly in the chapter about the Istari.


If Galadriel could see into the hearts of everyone, could she see into Saruman's? Why didn't she detect his treachery sooner?
Because he wasn't treacherous before, only weak. And had this been a real history, I'm pretty sure she would have preceived this weakness, considering that she admitted in LotR to have the very same weakness for a long time.
Saruman's words regarding her in Many Partings indicate the same - he speaks with the hatred of a long-time rival. Of course, the question whose ambition fed the other's is open, as is the major difference that she had passed the ultimate test, while he fell before it even was relevant.

What do you make of the Saruman repentance version? Is that a little too contrived that it didn't work out at the last minute? Even so, doesn't it make him a more complex, partially sympathetic character?
That's what I love about the LotR Galadriel - that in a quasi-religious book, there is at least one case of true repentance!
I like those near-repentances, as long as they are counterbalanced by successful ones. In LotR, we have Boromir repenting too late for it to make a difference (or be put to the test), Wormtongue, Saruman and Denethor considering it and chosing otherwise (in the films, Jackson emphasized Denethor's near-repentance, but made it another "too late" case), and Gollum's chance spoiled by Sam on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol. This near-repentance of Saruman is very similar to Gollum's.


Does this chapter seem oddly comforting, seeing Sauron cautious and in doubt and his servants making mistakes?
Comforting as to what?


Is Sauron acting like the typical evil overlord in this story, or is he atypical?
I can do no better than repost Curious' excellent fourteen rules for Evil Overlords.


Should any of this have appeared in LOTR, either the main story or the appendices?
No. Only a tiny bit in the Tale of Years, where it actually does (fitting with version C).


Finale:
What, no questions about smoking?!?


One big problem with the logic in LOTR is exacerbated by all the detail given here regarding Aragorn taking Gollum on a needlessly long journey to Thranduil's realm instead of to Lorien or Rivendell. Was Tolkien contriving this plot point as an excuse to insert Legolas into the story and have a non-Rivendell, non-Lorien Elf in the Fellowship?
Not quite; when he first wrote the Council, he had no idea what was happening on Lorien.
I've re-checked the relevant chapters in HoME, but could not find any clue when did Tolkien add Gandalf's words that messages came from Lorien about Aragorn passing that way with Gollum. I suspect it was rather late.
When you think about it, Thranduil's realm is about the most stupid place in the world to keep Gollum in; not only the distance is daunting (and there was no way Aragorn would have made this appointment with Thranduil in advance), but it's also right on Dol Guldur's doorstep.



Thank you, CuriousG, for this discussion!


CuriousG
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 8:52pm

Post #61 of 61 (1406 views)
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And thank you for all your answers, Sador! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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