Gandalf's Rudeness to Theoden

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
It seems to me that if you frighten somebody for a couple of seconds, you are not dominating them. With Gollum, I think it's significant that Gollum expresses hatred of Aragorn for his treatment during their journey, and of Sauron and the Nazgul, but doesn't express hatred of Gandalf. With Wormtongue, maybe - but again, when the connection to Theoden is broken, he recommends allowing Wormtongue a free choice.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Let's start with a couple of seconds.... then go on to just a few minutes.... how about a few days?... A few weeks?... A few months?.... A few years?.... Oh heck, let's just make it forever!

That could well have been the very process by which Saruman fell. It is certainly the slippery slope that led decent German police men who volunteered to keep order in occupied Poland to end up shooting pregnant Jewish women in the head.

Read 'Ordinary Men', by Christopher Browning, to get the whole horrific story of Reserve Police Battalion 101s terrible slide down the slippery slope into Hell.
 
Last edited:

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
Decent German police during the occupation of Poland? Part of keeping order in occupied Poland was getting rid of the Jews.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Decent German police during the occupation of Poland? Part of keeping order in occupied Poland was getting rid of the Jews.
Read the book! They started out as decent German police. They ended up as monsters. It happened little by little. Slippery slope. Almost all of us would have done the same!
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
I've read The Nazi Doctors which looks at how doctors, whose oath is to save lives, changed their thinking so they became killers - and they were the first killers, killing severely disabled children. It's very scary.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Seems like the sort of morality which could easily lead down a slippery slope?
If it were not, Saruman had not fallen. But as it is said, only that one makes no mistakes who does nothing at all. The old maxime "the dose makes the poison" applies here as much as anywhere else. Water is necessary to live but too much of it will kill you.
 

EdythAldora

New Member
I feel like "dominion" means that from that point forward, the "dominated" one does only the bidding of his master. Once Gandalf releases Theoden from Saruman's influence, Theoden is then free to begin making his own choices and is no longer under Saruman's dominion. And thenceforth, Gandalf's only influence over Theoden is to advise him.

Also, slavish adherence to "the rules" can hardly be what was intended by the Valar when they gave the Istari their mandate. It's not necessarily just a matter of degrees, and I don't mean to imply that a good cause is justification for doing a bad thing. But the spirit of the mandate is to fight evil - namely Sauron - and in that case, thwarting Sauron's self-proclaimed ally Saruman by emphatically interrupting his influence over his unwitting (or not...Grima?) pawns doesn't really seem like a violation.
 

Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
what is the enforcement level? [of the Istari's mandate not to "dominate through fear or force"]
What a great question.

We see a whole gamut of enforcement levels in other things, all the way from essentially none at all; "let them dig their own graves" (metaphorically) when the Noldor were merely banned from returning to Valinor (and they didn't even stick to that), all the way to as complete an enforcement as can be imagined: the total destruction of Numenor. It is rather puzzling, actually.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
What a great question.

We see a whole gamut of enforcement levels in other things, all the way from essentially none at all; "let them dig their own graves" (metaphorically) when the Noldor were merely banned from returning to Valinor (and they didn't even stick to that), all the way to as complete an enforcement as can be imagined: the total destruction of Numenor. It is rather puzzling, actually.
The Valar do seem to work under the assumption that Elves are the Children of Illuvatar, whereas Men are the step-children.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
The Valar do seem to work under the assumption that Elves are the Children of Illuvatar, whereas Men are the step-children.
Do not think so. But they are like step - children to them, they were not the ones who found, discovered and taught them. They seem not to have been exactly instructed what Eru actually intended for humans - beyond maybe only Mandos, who seems to have some knowledge about have to prepare them to leave Arda.
 
Top