Alone on the pinnacle of Orthanc:
Alone on the pinnacle of Orthanc:
- How was Gandalf unaware of the change in the valley when he first arrived? Partly because it was dark when he arrived, but also because Saruman is likely employing deception.
- Note: In the film version, the timeline is compressed so that the change takes place after Gandalf’s arrival, and highlights the struggle between the orcs and the trees themselves.
- While Saruman can have hidden the changes from sight, the smells and sounds of the forges and the activities of the orcs would not has easily been hidden, and so would require more effort.
- Note: In early versions of the Silmarillion stories, armies of Orcs were called the Glamhoth, which translates to “noisy horde”, due to the racket and destruction that they emitted.
- It’s likely that Saruman has prepared a plan for Gandalf’s arrival, including lookouts and an elaborate series of actions ordered to hide the presence of the orcs from Gandalf.
- Saruman could have also maneuvered the landscaping, using hedges and other screens to hide his activities while maintaining the garden-like appearance for which Isengard was known.
- This would also reflect Saruman’s desire for “Rule” and “Order” in the design of his screens.
- The arrival of Gandalf is a very large gamble that Saruman making, considering that there is a possibility in his mind that Gandalf is bringing the One Ring with him to Isengard.
- Since Isengard has always been a fortress, there would have been smithying facilities in it, and given who Saruman is, an increase in that activity might be expected.
- The presence of guards would also not necessarily be suspicious, as Saruman isn’t living as a recluse, and they would serve a practical purpose necessary at any large establishment.
- However, the presence of an army would be a new and alarming phenomenon, but once Gandalf is inside the walls of Isengard, there would no reason to hide his troops’ activities.
- It’s possible that Saruman is using magical means, such as an enchantment or glamour, to conceal these activities from Gandalf, and it may be related to the use of his new ring.
- Gandalf does feel inexplicitly afraid when he enters Isengard, though he gives the benefit of the doubt to Saruman, given his need and the possible help that Saruman could provide.
- Saruman could have easily watched Gandalf’s journey in the palantir to know of his arrival, and he had given the deadline of midsummer to Radagast, which would allow him more precision.
- Saruman could have also used Radagast as a test to see if his deceits would work on Gandalf.
- Why does Saruman watch the stars? Is his interest scientific, or more esoteric and spiritual?
- This doesn’t seem to be referring to astrology, as when the old men of Gondor are cited as “asking questions of the stars”, it is done as an example of their decline and loss of wisdom.
- Note: We are told that Varda does put signs of the future in the stars, but not in the sense where the Gondorians begin to forget about the Valar and fall back on superstition unrelated to them. There is also a sense of attempting to take power of the future by their own learning, alone and separate from the Valar in a cold and logical way.
- Saruman may be looking at the stars to determine what signs are coming from the Valar regarding the situation in Middle-earth, and their view of him with regards to that.
- Since he has set himself up in opposition to the West, he needs to know if they know that yet.
- Saruman seems unlikely to engage in purely academic or theoretical research, as he is more inclined to practical use and application of knowledge, such as in engineering.
- Aside from reading in the Gondorian archives, what are Saruman’s research methods?
- In Middle-earth, stars are signs of the higher hope and larger plan of Ilúvatar through the Valar.
- While Gandalf doesn’t explain it, he does highlight its importance by mentioning the stargazing.
- Note: In the film, Saruman is clearly doing all this in service to Sauron, while in the book, it’s clear that Gandalf perceives Saruman’s forces as in opposition to Sauron, at least for right now. Saruman has not become a follower of Sauron, but he has simply fallen in the same way.
- The use of “yet” points to the complicated relationship between Saruman and Sauron, and what Saruman’s plans are based on how the war turns out, or if Sauron regains the One Ring.
- There is plausible deniability to Sauron regarding his loyalty, and if Sauron wins, he can simply point to his attacks on the Free Peoples as proof of his service if he needs to temporize.
- He has certainly not deceived Gandalf, who sees objectively the path that Saruman is walking.
- It’s not anything about these particular orcs and wolves that lead Gandalf to believe that Saruman is opposing Sauron, but as a combination of his speeches and attitudes.
- The use of the terms “rivalry” and “service” implies a kind of personal relationship with Sauron.
- Saruman’s secondary plan is to act as treacherous adviser to Sauron, as he proposed to Gandalf.
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