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Also Saruman was referred to as Curunir (man of skills or man of craft i.e. Saruman) and also Curunir Lan (Saruman the White)--both Quenya, Curumo--Sindarin, and Sharkey (in Orcish Sharku). And he was indeed titled Saruman the White. He [u:3o0ixpgz]later[/u:3o0ixpgz] changed it to Saruman of Many Colours and his robes to match.
P.S. Saruman also, in all his humility, called himself Saruman Ring Maker.
I think this was what lead to Gandalfs line about he who breaks a thing to see what it's made of has left the path of wisedom.
Or as Douglas Adams put it, if you take apart a cat to see how it works, the first you have is a non-working cat.
Seriously, though, I have been wondering for a long time why so few people participate sometimes, and I have a sneaking fear about what the reason may be. Please tell me whether I am on the right track or I am just being paranoid. I really doubt that the feisty agitation is caused by Saruman errors, and I picked up on these phrases:
[quote:28smif6s]I would like to just criticize alot of people.
everyone seems to try to act so educated
and everyone around him goes "Oh yes, yes, how right you are, my friend" [/quote:28smif6s]
Do you feel hesitant to step in and speak because the "air space" here seems clogged with the conversaton of snobby or uppity people? People who try to be too big for their britches? People whose egos make a big splash and give the whole place a Masterpiece Theater drawing room flavor so that you fear that you can't come in and join the party unless you put on a tux--or at least a tie--and smoke a cigarette screwed into one of those long black cigarette holder thingies? And not only that, but these PBS-like personages creating this atmosphere are [i:28smif6s]POSERS[/i:28smif6s] who don't even know what they are talking about half of the time. ....Saruman the [i:28smif6s]White[/i:28smif6s].....huh.
I wonder because, in classroom contexts, these discussion groups can fall flat if some participants feel "intimidated" by other participants' posts. The shy scholars keep away because they don't want to appear ignorant in front of the professor and they fear that the chattier ones have raised the expectation bar for everyone else. I wonder if this happens in writing classes, you know, where a viscious vibe gets going and people start chewing up everyone's papers like a pool of pirahnas (sp?). I don't think this is happening here because I think people are very friendly and welcoming. But it could be feeling "snooty" and unwelcoming for reasons nobody intended.
Is this going on? And if so, how can we remedy the situation?
What I have found nice is that most people who have read the Hobbit and anxiously await the movie, also have seen and read LotR. Reading LotR alone takes a serious commitment, as it is not an easy read. Enjoying the movie was easy, the book was a harder to get through.
What I have found is that those who can and have read these works, and what's more wish to discuss them, often to great length. Well, these are the sort of people who are more often willing and able to carry on constructive debate.
You can ask Gandalf's Beard about how an easier read story (Chronicles of Narnia) could make for a much more one sided oppresive forum.
So please Durin, comment on throughout the forum. The site would die without people disagreeing. How many posts could we all make if everyone agreed upon everything?
What I think we do all need to do is explain our thoughts. It's easy for people who disliked Jackson's LotR to simply say "IT SUCKED!". But it takes much more effort to explain why. It's our reasonings and feelings that keep me checking this sight for updates and keeps me asking the occasional loaded question.
I must admit, that on some forum threads I feel disadvantaged. I have read some of the key works of Tolkien and some bios, but stuff like the Silmarillion I hadn't read in anumber of years. I wanted to post though because I had a lot of thoughts and ideas more or less related to Tolkien. So first I tried to stick with topics on which I was on surer ground or subjective topics. Then I dug up some battered copies of my books or went to the library. I also found google an excellent aid at refreshing my memory and preventing me from making outrageous comments or mistakes. Do I still falter? Of course. And when I read some of Beren's posts I still feel like I lack the knowledge to respond adequately.
In any case, one shouldn't feel too bad about occasional mistakes. How else can we learn except by expressing that we do not know, and therefore we are receptive to new (or old) information (long forgotten).
"Have you indeed Gandalf the [i:fsgow6jq]Grey![/i:fsgow6jq]" he scoffed.' Well, now I have skipped to a section, not to far from this, maybe Paragraph or so. "' For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colors!'
'I looked then and saw that his robes, which has seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered. "I liked white better" Gandalf Said.
"White!" he sneered. "It serves as a beginning. White cloth may be dyed. The white Page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken."
Well, that is just a small part of this Chapter. Thanks! Feel free to discuss!
P.S. Thanks for the Quote.
Perhaps if Beren peaks in on this thread he might have some greater details on this topic.
P.S. It may interest you Otto's World (and others) that Isatari is another name for Ishtar/Astarte/Isis etc. --the Goddess of the ancient Sumer-Babylonian pantheon that was the basis for the Indo-European and Egyptian Pantheons.
The Christianity of Lewis and Tolkien is not in question. But they were also Very Fond of and Scholars of Medieval Neo-classicism and the Pagan mythologies of Europe the Middle East and India. It is not an attack to recognize the common roots of religious belief. There is much more discussion of this on the Fairy Story thread and the Feminism Thread.
Are you talking about Helm's Deep? Because at Helm's Deep, according to the movie, there were "10,000 strong at least." And, in the book, the defenders at Helm's Deep numbered 1,000. Not good, but in the movie, Legolas said 300, which was way off-base. Then, Gandalf arrived with another thousand. So, let's say that the ones with Theoden killed 3,000, then Gandalf killed 4,000 (surprise attack). Then, there were only 3,000 left, and these fled into the trees, who consumed them.
If you're talking about the Siege of Gondor, then that's a different story. I don't know how many men Gondor had, but it must have been quite a few (70,000?). According to the movie, Rohan came with 6,000. And their charge was very valiant, probably killing a good 10,000. According to the LOTR production team, there were "in the hundred thousands" for the number of orcs.
So, let's say Mordor has 250,000. Gondor has 70,000, and Rohan has 6,000. That's 3 to 1, which isn't as bad as Helm's Deep.
I hope that's not as clear as mud.
The first being he was not able/allowed to do this vs the balrog. During the battle through Moria he was still Gandalf the Grey. During Helms Deep he had come back as Gandalf the White. Perhaps this was a fringe benifit linked to his new clothes.
Another thought is this, "location, location, location". Excessive use of power in an underground location could net some results that neither combatant really wanted.
From the books we know a little of the instructions for the Istari, or wizards. They were to use their wisedom to guide the inhabitants of middle-earth, not use strenght to overcome and control. I forget the exact words but that is the gist of it.
I mentioned on the Dirgressions topic that one of the painful moments in the movies for me was the Army of the Dead at the siege of Gondor. It was like a dead man trump card. I felt that moment degraded all of Gondor's defense and Rohan's death charge.
As to your point regarding Gandalf the White vs Gandalf the Grey Show, I think you are correct. The thought occurred to me as I was posting, but I forgot to include it by the time I had written the other parts .
Thanks for the breakdown of the numbers Beren. I thought it was only 10,000 Orcs at Helms Deep. It wasn't clear to me though, that the numbers you mentioned for the seige of Gondor are accurate. On the Rohirrim there is no question. But the Gondorian arny appeared barely any bigger, perhaps 10 - 15,000 at best. Against Mordor's army which numbered roughly 100 - 120,000 if I recall the details on the DVDs extras as told by the Weta designers of the battle correctly. And then of course the Army of the East entered the fray adding maybe another 10 - 30,000 or so. Now that's not counting the armies arriving by ship, so I don't know if another 100,000 were coming. It depends on how many ships (you couldn't really fit that many on ships of that size). But in any case, the numbers of the Dark Armies vastly outnumbered the the Rohirrim and Gondorans by roughly 10 - 1. So the Army of the Dead "trump card" with their vast numbers rivalling that of at least the Orcs were an absolute necessity to save the Armies of Men (and one Woman) from certain destruction.
As you point out, that is a figure from the films. In the books, best estimates are that the Army of Mordor wass 45,000-60,000 or so. I recall PJ using the figure of 250,000 once, but in any event they radically increased the number of evil soldiers, while leaving the number of good soldiers the same (6,000 Rohirrim), or possibly even less (no soldiers from the fiefs of Gondor). Only then is the Army of the Dead "trump card" necessary for the battle to be winnable.
And as an interesting side note, the book is not even clear on whether or not the Dead Men (not called "The Army of the Dead" could even physically fight.
The movie strongly implies that they can. The strongest evidence was the army phisically pulling down an Oliphaunt.
The book, however, never shows direct combat, or a physical altercation. Instead the Dead strike such fear and madness in the Umbarians manning the ships that most threw themselves into the river. They die in a panic or retreat. The Dead themselves do not slay them with sword. Then it is Aragorn and his rangers, boltered by the southern Fiefs of Gondor no longer held at bay by the Cosairs that come to the Pellenor Fields. Of course, you add even more men who were the Gondorians enslaved to serve on the ships in the first place.
In the battle of Helms Deep the numbers of men defending are around the 1000-2000 mark, if I remember correctly there arnt actually any elves. The armies of sauron number about 10,000. Now this seems an impossible situation however certain things have to be factored in. First it is a siege situation, which is significant, sieges can hold out against vastly superior numbers for a very long time.
However the siege was not maintained instead an assualt was lead on the fortress by Sarumans armies. In this situation you have a lot of almost defenceless soldiers clambering up ladders towards some very desperate men with big pointy sticks and a lot of projectiles. As a result any assualt on a fortified position is going to inflict extremely heavy casualties on the attacking army. So as it was whilst it was an unfortunate situation for the defenders it was not completely hopeless.
We then have to remember that a flanking manouver was carried out by Gandalf and about 3000 horsemen. Now not only does a flanking assualt cause extremely high casualties to an army. Gandalfs horses were moving at speed down a steep slope. Even when dead the momentum from a horse at that speed will do a lot of damage. Think a small biological avalanche. Couple this with the ability of horsemen to out manouver and out reach an enemy, and we have a situation in which the armies of Saruman were doomed from the moment Gandalf arrived. This was then of course tidied up by the angry Huorns at the door step.
Now as for the battle of Pelenor fields. In the books there is no trump card for the defenders. The undead army never actually make it as far as Pelenor, instead they drive away the besieging corsairs allowing the full armies of the various western fiefdoms of Gondor to leave thier homes and come to thier Stewards aid. I must admit a great disappointment at this edit from the book. However given the amount of effort PJ and Co put into the films styling adding another 5 or so factions not to mention Rangers and 2 identical Elven twins, would have caused a huge amount of extra work that was not completely necesary.
Anyway as mentioned before these flanking manouvers would of course cause a huge amount of damage to the attacking army, coupled with thier assault on the city, a huge number of mounted troops and a second flanking manouver instigated by both archers, horsemen and footmen. The second flanking manouver was of course completely unexpected and deeply demoralising as the orcs expected reinforcments to arrive and in thier moment of triumph, suddenly had a vast hostile army on thier rear. These are clearly tactical/lucky military victories.
Some one earlier mentioned Gandalf and the Balrog. I would like to point out that the balrog is a minor spirit many of which were slain by the Eldar in one on one combat so it is unreasonable to assume Gandalf was barely a match for it. Instead we must look to the very opening of that scene for a reason to his feebleness. I cannot quote as I have no copy of tLotR to hand however if my memory serves me well. The first encounter with the Balrog is actually in Balins tomb and not in the great hall. From there they flee out of a back door and down the stair case, Gandalf however stays behind to block the path. I cannot remember if it is stated in the book the appendices or unfinished tales, but he plans to do this by blocking the door with a rune of power. Unfortunately he is not fast enough in his casting and before he can complete this the door is smashed in by the Balrog. The shock of the breaking of his incomplete spell temporarily stuns Gandalf and he is actually knocked backwards down the staircase. So the Gandalf who faces the Balrog has had no time to recover from this magical assualt and is significantly weakend during the duel. This accounts for his battle and seeming weakness.
Balrogs were hardly minor spirits, far from it. They were among the most powerful servants of Morgoth in the First Age, and were "of all elf-banes most deadly, save the One who sits in the Dark Tower [Sauron]", according to Legolas (FOTR, "The Mirror of Galadriel". We also know of only two Balrogs who were slain by Elves: Gothmog (killed by Ecthelion) and an unnamed one killed by Glorfindel. Both Ecthelion and Glorfindel were mighty elf-lords of Gondolin, and both of them died as a result of their battle. Several other Balrogs were killed in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, but we don't know any specifics. It is possible that they were killed by Maia (such as Eonwe).
In short - don't underestimate Balrogs!
Pity, it was a very important part of the book and after seeing it, I wished they'd just
left the thing out altogether !
Saruman; In LotR, it is mentioned that Aragorn in his earlier guise as Thorongil, is at odds
with Denethor as to which of the two wizards (Saruman or Gandalf) should be welcomed by
the steward Ecthelion. Why is this ? What does Thorongil know about Saruman that makes
him suspicious ? This is all before any of the ring business !
You know, all this does make me wonder who were the [i:3fgia2e7]Choosers[/i:3fgia2e7] in this debate over leadership.
Elrond and Galadriel were on Gandalf's side, I think, while Denethor was on Sarumans side, is that right(?) Who else were involved, I wonder? And wasn't Aragorn (Thorongil) pretending to be an (unknown) soldier, irrespective of the fact that he became a great Captain of Gondorion men? So how much pull would one such as Thorongil have in the debate, if any?
My thinking is that Saruman the Wise was actually [i:3fgia2e7]Wise[/i:3fgia2e7], right up until he replaced Reason with Madness that is, and until he changed into that robe of many colors, which apparently wasn't the right fashion statement to make, as far as the dowdy old Grey Pilgrim was concerned.
Let's face it, Gandalf had seen the Ring, guessed it was no trinket, and then spent sixty years thinking it over. I suspect Saruman might not have been so slow witted about it!
Hey! Hail Manwe! Perhaps you would have picked Saruman yourself at the time. Maybe we all would have! It's always easy to be Wise after the fact. GB might even have picked Sauron - we know how [i:3fgia2e7]Liberal[/i:3fgia2e7] he is!
Btw, were Saruman's eyebrows always quite so bushy?
NB This is probably a bit of a tangent, but just how close were Gandalf and Aragorn?
And how long did the two of them sneak around in shadowy back alleys searching for Gollum?
And why did Ian Mc Kellen seem such a good choice to play Gandalf?
Elrond and Galadriel were on Gandalf's side, I think, while Denethor was on Sarumans side, is that right(?) Who else were involved, I wonder? And wasn't Aragorn (Thorongil) pretending to be an (unknown) soldier, irrespective of the fact that he became a great Captain of Gondorion men? So how much pull would one such as Thorongil have in the debate, if any?[/quote:1op3ebd9]
This confused me initially; I think you might have mixed a few things up, Odo. The discussion in Gondor over which wizard to listen to was wholly separate from the choosing of the leader of the White Council. In fact, the two events were separated by some 500 years (Appendix B). Additionally, I don't believe that Denethor (or for that matter, any other humans) were involved in the White Council. I'm not entirely certain who chose the leader of the White Council, but it may have been that the Council itself discussed the matter. In Gondor the process was almost certainly less formal (since the "position" itself was informal), involving merely occasional advising.
Halfwise: Why Aragorn warned against trusting Saruman, I do not know; but it may be that he simply preferred Gandalf, his friend.
[quote="pettytyrant101":1op3ebd9]Far as I can remember Isengard was part of Gondor and that would make Saruman an appointment of Gondor.[/quote:1op3ebd9]
What are you saying Saruman was appointed to? He was certainly allowed to take up Isengard and even possess the Keys of Orthanc; and though I'm not sure I'd call that an appointment, I suppose it could be.
I can admit to you (off the record, mind) that a lack of book-learning can have it's disadvantages. For a start, you can't always tell when some so-called Academic type is even quoting things properly. That's the trouble with these pretend Lore Masters using books as back-up, for all too often they leave logic, clear thinking and pure commonsense at the door, bringing only their egos and will to dominate inside a discussion. Yes, I should have learned by now that one should be very wary discussing serious matters with such folk: Scotsmen, Physicists, British-Americans, and the like. I mean, [i:1cb2km8r]really[/i:1cb2km8r], they do test you sometimes with their half-baked book-learning and their pretense to being Lore Masters. They're a joke, really!
Now you're back, and commonsense returns, and Mr Tyrant has been lulled off to sleep, we might talk a bit more maturely, think you?
I seem to remember that Saruman argued for a long time against taking action against Dol Guldur. Who in the White Council supported him, do you think? And did Saruman, as someone mentioned somewhere, really recover Isildur's remains? I don't remember seeing [i:1cb2km8r]that [/i:1cb2km8r]anywhere in Tolkien.
[quote:v7498l9n]I seem to remember that Saruman argued for a long time against taking action against Dol Guldur.[/quote:v7498l9n]
Indeed he did. A footnote to the annal for the year T.A. 2851 in Appendix B reveals that Saruman hoped that the Ring might reveal itself as a way of seeking its way back to Sauron. He changed his mind 90 years later after Sauron's servants began searching for the Ring near where it had been lost since he thought that Sauron, in Dol Guldur, was in a position to potentially regain the Ring.
[quote:v7498l9n]Who in the White Council supported him, do you think?[/quote:v7498l9n]
I don't know for sure. Appendix B said that Saruman overruled Gandalf, which may mean that he simply used his authority as the leader. It is of course possible though that he had supporters, but I really wouldn't know who they were. We don't even know the full membership of the White Council.
[quote:v7498l9n]And did Saruman, as someone mentioned somewhere, really recover Isildur's remains? I don't remember seeing [i:v7498l9n]that[/i:v7498l9n] anywhere in Tolkien.[/quote:v7498l9n]
He almost certainly did. It was an inference based on possessions of Isildur found in Orthanc after the War of the Ring. The thought process is outlined in Unfinished Tales > Disaster of the Gladden Fields > The sources of the legend of Isildur's death: "When men considered this secret hoard more closely, they were dismayed. For it seemed to them that these things, and certainly the Elendilmir, could not have been found, unless they had been upon Isildur's body when he sank; but if that had been in deep water of strong flow the would in time have been swept far away. Therefore Isildur must have fallen not into the deep stream but into shallow water, no more than shoulder-high. Why then, though an Age had passed, were there no traces of his bones? Had Saruman found them, and scorned them - burned them with dishonour in one of his furnaces? If that was so, it was a shameful deed; but not his worst."
As regards the White Council as far as I can tell it seems to be a bit of an immortals club. I can't even find any hints that the heirs of Isildur got a seat on it, just Elves and Wizards and seems very unlikely the Stewards had anything to do with it either and there's is no mention (at least that I can find) of dwarves on the Council. Given the immortal nature of the Council I suspect that when Gandalf was overruled it was simply because they all knew who was supposed to be the really Wise one, Saruman, and he was the only one who was a ring specialised. So they deffered to his knowledge. A modern equivalent may be someone who is sceptical that climate change is man made and has grave doubts over it but accepts what the climate scientists say because they are the experts and know best.
though her designs went amiss ! it seems unlikely then that Saruman would be allowed to overrule him.
At least in her presence ! (Why did she prefer Gandalf anyway)?
I see what your saying pettytyrant and I agree it seems Saruman was deffered to because of his expertise in
ring-lore etc, and in Gondor Aragorn may have just been 'sticking up' for his mate !
The thing is though; It seems that there were signs throughout the books that Saruman was 'mis-trusted' (perhaps
not the apt word) by someone or another (Galadriel ? Aragorn/Thorongil, even Cirdan)! It surprises me that he was
given so much sway !
It always fascinated me that Saruman got himself into such a strong position,
yet still chose to let Gandalf run around helping everyone ! As the 'leader', you'd
think he'd have kept a tighter reign on him !
I just wanted to chime in on Gandalf vs Saruman. For all Saruman's wisdom, he always seems to have been a stuck up sort with a superiority complex. It' s no wonder really then, that many preferred Gandalf, who was much more kindly and compassionate.
I was wondering where you were! I'm so sorry to hear about that; I hope that she gets better quick.
My best wishes also.I hope all goes well.
Mind you, Saruman would hate the idea, I'm sure, so I guess that's good!