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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Saruman, Ring- Maker
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Solicitr
Rohan

Sep 13, 9:41pm

Post #26 of 42 (1295 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

you're right about Gandalf rather bluffing there; but the context was how he was going to deal with being punished by Sauron, which was a rather more serious matter than Saruman alone.

Can we come up with anything better than the obvious: Gandalf wasn't yet a Ringbearer when Tolkien wrote that section?


CuriousG
Half-elven


Sep 14, 3:13pm

Post #27 of 42 (1228 views)
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That's probably the best answer [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf later fights the Nazgul and the Balrog, so we know what he's capable of. Let's assume Saruman knew too, and that trying to take Narya from him would lead to an epic battle that he wasn't certain to win. So, better to leave it to Sauron to deal with, no matter how much he wanted it himself. And Saruman knew the real prize was the One, anyway.


InTheChair
Lorien

Oct 7, 6:25pm

Post #28 of 42 (753 views)
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Saruman was a little loose with his trinkets, though it was at least not him that dropped the Palantir [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Though with Narya, Gandalf was able to keep it invisible. Does that mean he could make it unfeelable too? Otherwise, all Saruman would have to do is grope among his fingers until he found it.



If we assume Gandalf had it on his finger, and carried it with him at the time at least, and I don't know where else he would deem it safe to leave it.

We don't know if Saruman took Gandalfs staff or not. Possibly a wizards staff is only as powerful as the Wizard makes it, and Saruman beeing more unwise after the model of Sauron, put more of his own power into his staff, so that when Gandalf broke it he may have lost, at least temporarily some of it, which might explain his dismay. While Gandalf staff then in theory could have been little more than a staff. Though all such things are speculation. If Saruman did take or destroy Gandalf staff, Gandalf could as you noted, quickly replace it with another, and it is also true that after Saruman left Orthanc, and the party going home, caught up with him, he also was again leaning on a Staff, though nothing is hinted about it having any kinds of power. Especially I do not think this Staff is mentioned, or plays any role in the Scouring of the Shire, though I may have forgotten something there.

Gandalf again is presumed to have carried his Staff, and perhaps Narya, when he died after defeating the Balrog, though here it could be assumed that he was returned to the same body. I think that may even be stated. So that could mean that the Staff of Gandalf the Grey, and the Staff of Gandalf the White was the identical Staff. Same one he used to light his way through Moria.


There were a couple of other heirlooms that Saruman also left haphazardly behind him when he left Orthanc. Of course it comes from Unifinished Tales and so was never published, and perhaps we may assume that Treebeard would not have allowed it, or that Saruman could not have kept it hidden from him, but he has in his safe at the time the Elendilmir(?) the star of the North, as well as the cask of the One Ring, though neither of these might have held any power or use for Saruman.




(This post was edited by InTheChair on Oct 7, 6:38pm)


InTheChair
Lorien

Oct 7, 6:35pm

Post #29 of 42 (752 views)
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Maybe [In reply to] Can't Post

When Saruman at the time was not known as a Traitor, and still nurtured hopes of keeping his duplicity hidden, which succeeded until Gandalf reached Rivendell, at least Elrond seemed affected by the news, it could have proven unwise for him to take Narya from Gandalf by force, if this meant that the bearers of the other two would then become aware of it. That's a big if.

I don't how much Saruman knew about who held the Three. I believe he knew that Gandalf had gotten one from Cirdan, and begrudged Gandalf the gift. He might at least have guessed that the other two were with other members of the White Counsil. Indeed poor Saruman might have felt left out as the only prominent member of the White Counsil who did not possess a ring of Power. No wonder he tried to make one of his own. Gotta keep up appearances.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Oct 8, 2:18pm

Post #30 of 42 (686 views)
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Gandalf keeping his staff [In reply to] Can't Post

This came out later than this discussion, thanks to one of Gramma's postings. If Frodo's dreams are to be trusted for accuracy, he had this one in Tom Bombadil's house where Gandalf had his staff when rescued:

Quote
It seemed to Frodo that he was lifted up, and passing over he saw that the rock-wall was a circle of hills, and that within it was a plain, and in the midst of the plain stood a pinnacle of stone, like a vast tower but not made by hands. On its top stood the figure of a man. The moon as it rose seemed to hang for a moment above his head and glistened in his white hair as the wind stirred it. Up from the dark plain below came the crying of fell voices, and the howling of many wolves. Suddenly a shadow, like the shape of great wings, passed across the moon. The figure lifted his arms and a light flashed from the staff that he wielded. A mighty eagle swept down and bore him away. The voices wailed and the wolves yammered.

Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Lord of the Rings: One Volume (p. 127). HMH Books. Kindle Edition.



InTheChair
Lorien

Oct 8, 6:40pm

Post #31 of 42 (669 views)
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He might have kept his staff at Orthanc [In reply to] Can't Post

I have also now remembered this passage when Gandalf fights the Balrog

Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand.

So it seems that Gandalf 'Staff-breaker' Ilúvatarson broke both his own staff and Sarumans staff.

The possibility must then be that Gandalf may have kept the same staff from the moment he met Bilbo unitl he lost it at the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm, but must then have gotten a new one after his body was carried to Lorien. So only Narya might have been left with his body when he walked paths he would not tell us about. (Unless like Sauron in Numenor he has somehow the ability carry it with him in spite of the separation of body and soul.)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 9, 12:05am

Post #32 of 42 (649 views)
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There's another character who also breaks his staff in LOTR. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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squire
Half-elven


Oct 9, 3:13am

Post #33 of 42 (636 views)
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Quite right. [In reply to] Can't Post

With a squeal Gollum let go. Then Sam waded in; not waiting to change the staff from left to right he dealt another savage blow. Quick as a snake Gollum slithered aside. and the stroke aimed at his head fell across his back. The staff cracked and broke.

Then Denethor leaped upon the table, and standing there wreathed in fire and smoke he took up the staff of his stewardship that lay at his feet and broke it on his knee. Casting the pieces into the blaze he bowed and laid himself on the table,

And perhaps symbolically:
No,’ said Gandalf. ‘Nor does age lie so heavily on your shoulders as some would have you think. Cast aside your prop!’
From the king’s hand the black staff fell clattering on the stones.



squire online:
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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 9, 6:30pm

Post #34 of 42 (576 views)
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I forgot about Denethor. [In reply to] Can't Post

For some reason I thought his staff was called a "rod".


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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squire
Half-elven


Oct 9, 6:39pm

Post #35 of 42 (573 views)
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Well, it was. [In reply to] Can't Post

At the foot of the dais, upon the lowest step which was broad and deep, there was a stone chair, black and unadorned, and on it sat an old man gazing at his lap. In his hand was a white rod with a golden knob. He did not look up. - LR V.1

It seems to be the preferred term:
Nonetheless the Stewards never sat on the ancient throne; and they wore no crown, and held no sceptre. They bore a white rod only as the token of their office;... - LR App. A.I.iv.

I would guess that Tolkien felt staff and rod were nearly synonymous for purposes of euphony or variety. Saruman's staff was broken, we agree. But as Merry puts it:
'Remember Saruman was once Gandalf’s superior: head of the Council, whatever that may be exactly. He was Saruman the White. Gandalf is the White now. Saruman came when he was told, and his rod was taken; and then he was just told to go, and he went!' - LR III.11




squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Solicitr
Rohan

Oct 9, 10:59pm

Post #36 of 42 (553 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...an old man gazing at his lap. In his hand was a white rod with a golden knob.


And to think they let children read that book!


uncle Iorlas
Rivendell


Oct 10, 3:15pm

Post #37 of 42 (493 views)
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I was thinking of Helm [In reply to] Can't Post

although that was figurative.

As for items of value that Gandalf had before and after the bridge, he still retains Glamdring, of course. I have always thought it was pretty clear they popped him right back into his old body, otherwise might as well place it more advantageously next to a road (or in the Sammath Naur with Frodo in his hand).

We can probably imagine that anything else was burned away. Do we ever see him smoke after he comes back? Just occurred to me.

One sad thought: did the Book of Mazarbul perish among his appertinences somewhere in the deeps?


CuriousG
Half-elven


Oct 10, 3:24pm

Post #38 of 42 (490 views)
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It looks like Gimli kept the book [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote

We will take this book, the Book of Mazarbul, and look at it more closely later. You had better keep it, Gimli, and take it back to Dáin, if you get a chance. It will interest him, though it will grieve him deeply. Come, let us go! The morning is passing.’

Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Lord of the Rings: One Volume (p. 323). HMH Books. Kindle Edition.



uncle Iorlas
Rivendell


Oct 10, 3:35pm

Post #39 of 42 (486 views)
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oh right [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, you have genuinely made me feel better,


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 10, 3:40pm

Post #40 of 42 (485 views)
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If Gimli lost the book... [In reply to] Can't Post

...it probably would have happened during the pursuit of the Orc-band that captured Merry & Pippin.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 10, 4:08pm

Post #41 of 42 (480 views)
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Has anyone noticed your Theoden/Denethor staff connection before? [In reply to] Can't Post

A number of critics have discussed how Tolkien sets up Theoden and Denethor in parallel, but I can't recall any of them mentioning the different ways they discard their staves.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
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squire
Half-elven


Oct 10, 6:23pm

Post #42 of 42 (471 views)
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Not that I know of [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a fairly thin reed as a point of comparison, so to speak.

Theoden's 'staff' is a walking stick for support, akin to Sam's that broke on Gollum's back.

Denethor's 'staff' is, more properly, a mere rod held in hand as a symbol of authority, to be replaced by the Sceptre of Annuminas soon enough. It is not, evidently, long enough to serve as a cane much less a hiking staff.

But... given that Denethor's rod is only called a 'staff' once, and that is when he discards it rather violently, I believe you have in fact found yet another of the author's purposed connections between Theoden and Denethor.

Interestingly, Gandalf's 'staff', broken in the fight with the balrog, served both as a walking stick and a 'wand' or rod of authority.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.

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