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There where 3 people using the Palantir at the end of the thrird age.

Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jul 20 2018, 8:20pm

Post #1 of 6 (2232 views)
There where 3 people using the Palantir at the end of the thrird age. Can't Post

Sauron, Saruman and Denethor. I wonder if they ever did go all online together as it where and if they did, what type of conversations they had!


Jul 20 2018, 8:58pm

Post #2 of 6 (2219 views)
More, if we count singles uses [In reply to] Can't Post

First, Pippin. Then Aragorn.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


Jul 20 2018, 9:37pm

Post #3 of 6 (2216 views)
As it turns out, the answer is no, they didn't [In reply to] Can't Post

Denethor was too strong to be entrapped into speaking to Sauron; what we are told is that Sauron instead directed what Denethor saw in Mordor and the other evil lands, and also how Denethor interpreted what he saw, which was always in the worst possible way for Gondor's prospects in the coming war. Gandalf, speaking for the author as he so often does, tells us this:
'In the days of his wisdom Denethor did not presume to use [the palantir], nor to challenge Sauron, knowing the limits of his own strength. But his wisdom failed; and I fear that as the peril of his realm grew he looked in the Stone and was deceived: far too often, I guess, since Boromir departed. He was too great to be subdued to the will of the Dark Power, he saw nonetheless only those things which that Power permitted him to see. The knowledge which he obtained was, doubtless, often of service to him; yet the vision of the great might of Mordor that was shown to him fed the despair of his heart until it overthrew his mind.’ - LR V.7

Denethor and Saruman might well have communicated, had they known of the other's stone and had they wished - but, I think, only before Saruman essentially had his stone 'locked' to the one in Mordor. We are told nothing about such communication, so it's idle to speculate. The only clue we have to the question of the stone of Minas Tirith looking towards the vicinity of Orthanc is when we learn that Denethor had knowledge of the triumph of Rohan before Gandalf arrived to tell him about it.
[Gandalf:] 'Is it naught to you that Théoden has fought a great battle and that Isengard is overthrown, and that I have broken the staff of Saruman?’
[Denethor:] ‘It is much to me. But I know already sufficient of these deeds for my own counsel against the menace of the East.’ He turned his dark eyes on Gandalf, and now Pippin saw a likeness between the two, and he felt the strain between them, almost as if he saw a line of smouldering fire, drawn from eye to eye, that might suddenly burst into flame.
...Denethor and Gandalf still looked each other in the eye, as if reading the other’s mind. But it was Denethor who first withdrew his gaze.
‘Yea,’ he said; ‘for though the Stones be lost, they say, still the lords of Gondor have keener sight than lesser men, and many messages come to them.' - LR V.1

This has always seemed to me to be Denethor rather weakly denying Gandalf's inquiry as to whether he had used the stone to view the Rohan battle. Gandalf was not fooled, we might guess, since Denethor pulled back first; the wizard later confirms his knowledge of Denethor's secret in the same speech I first quoted above:
‘Though the Stewards deemed that it was a secret kept only by themselves, long ago I guessed that here in the White Tower, one at least of the Seven Seeing Stones was preserved.' Ibid. V.7

Finally, as to three-way conversations, I believe Tolkien later decided that such things were impossible except by means of the "Master Stone" which had been at Osgiliath. It was long lost by the time of the War of the Ring. That detail comes from his very interesting but nerdy essay, almost a user manual, on the palantiri in Unfinished Tales.

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Grey Havens

Jul 20 2018, 10:19pm

Post #4 of 6 (2208 views)
What knowledge do we have of Saruman's use of his stone? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've always assumed he was "caught" and deceived in much the same way as Denethor. Allowed to see what Sauron wanted him to see, made to believe the things he did were the wisest choices. At least until the end (certainly before he began breeding his own orcs) when Saruman knew Sauron was on the other side of the palantir and entered into partnership with him. (holding secretly... though I'm sure Sauron knew.... to the idea that he - Saruman- was wilier and would triumph in the end).

Given Saruman's disdain for hobbits he would not have looked north and west often. If he had might the Ring have felt the stone in some manner and attracted the attention of Saruman?

Is it possible that Sauron turned his own stone toward the Shire once it was brought to his attention? Frodo feels the Ring's attraction more powerfully in the prescence of the Nazgul... perhaps they were sent specifically because he knew the ring was there rather than other servants of the Dark Lord who would have been less obvious. (While Sauron was fairly arrogant about his strength it always seemed to me that sending the Nazgul to seek and capture was rather like saying -- Hey the hobbits have something I really really want -- It was bound to attract the attention of those who guarded the North. who would then do everything simply to keep you from getting it even if they didn't know what it was-- ) .

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Jul 20 2018, 11:47pm

Post #5 of 6 (2203 views)
You have forgotten the Palantír of Elostirion.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Which was held by Cirdan in the Tower Hills and was only aligned with the Master-stone in the Tower of Avallonë. It couldn't communicate with the other six Palantíri.

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Jul 21 2018, 12:51am

Post #6 of 6 (2195 views)
Saruman and the Orthanc-stone [In reply to] Can't Post

Saruman's case seems to be different from the deceptions that Sauron perpetrated upon Denethor. Sauron seems to have dominated Saruman's will from the moment the White Wizard attempted to use the palantír of Orthanc. The "Tale of Years" sums up the situation in Appendix B:

Year 3000 (T.A.): "The shadow of Mordor lengthens. Saruman dares to use the palantír of Orthanc, but becomes ensnared by Sauron, who has the Ithil Stone. He becomes a traitor to the Council. His spies report that the Shire is being closely guarded by the Rangers."

Now whether Saruman had, in his own mind, turned against and betrayed the White Council in 2953 when he insisted that the Master Ring had been washed down the Anduin into the Sea, I cannot say. However, it was shortly after that he took Isengard for his own and began to fortify it, and sent spies to keep tabs on Gandalf and later in Bree and the Southfarthing. It was also about this time that Saruman began supporting the enemies of Rohan. And Saruman's lies to the Council began over a century earlier during the meeting of the White Council of 2851 when he vetoed Gandalf's proposal to attack Dol Guldur while secretly searching the Gladden Fields for the One Ring.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


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