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Archive for the ‘10 – The Voice of Saruman’ Category

With only a few short paragraphs today, we end the chapter.

Gandalf worries that Saruman may have underground ways of escaping Orthanc. Now that the water has fallen, those could be open again.

I'd feel conflicted if this were Saruman instead.

I’d feel conflicted if this were Saruman instead.

With added assurance from Treebeard that the ents will be vigilant, Gandalf must be satisfied. Treebeard plans on bringing many trees to live at Isengard once again, and they will watch over the land.

First Mentions:

-the Watchwood: The planned forest of Isengard. Does it count as a mention even in the hypothetical future sense? Sure, because I miss all the First Mentions we used to have.

By the way, the trees will act as sentinels for seven times the number of years that Saruman ravaged their kin. How many years is that, anyway, and why stop then? Clearly, Saruman just has to wait it out.

Does he have the food to make it? I hope so, for his sake, but I hope not, for the sake of Middle-earth.

Meanwhile, the trees will even report the movements of squirrels.

They're massing for attack!

They’re massing for attack!

Necessary? Sure.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Watchwood

When do we get back to Frodo and Sam? Not yet, anyway.

“‘Until seven times the years in which he tormented us have passed, we shall not tire of watching him.'”

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Now, with the business at Isengard drawing to a close, Treebeard must face his toughest task yet…

Saying goodbye to his new friends!

As pictured: hanging out.

As pictured: hanging out.

Gandalf informs Treebeard that he will take Merry and Pippin with him. This saddens Treebeard, who has grown very fond of the two. He even believes that they have made him feel younger. Normally, he wouldn’t be this hasty to make close friends. However, he hopes to see them again should everyone come out of this conflict alive. And, most importantly, he implores them to be vigilant for any sign of the entwives in the Shire. Should they see any, send word immediately!

As one final item of business, Gandalf also makes sure that the ents plan to guard Saruman within Orthanc. Treebeard says that this was the plan anyway, which makes Gandalf feel a whole lot better.

Here’s one thing: are hobbits actually that charming that an ent will forget his caution, or are we over-hyping them? I really want to say that hobbits are just that cool. I really do. But, isn’t it a little presumptuous to believe that their presence could override several ages of conditioning that taught Treebeard not to be hasty? It’s more than just a saying: it’s his way of life.

True facts and questions, brought to you by the fact that I’m reading this just so darn closely.

Albeit with less cuteness.

Albeit with less cuteness.

On a side note, Treebeard has found time to add a verse in his old list of creatures for hobbits! Remember how he didn’t know what Merry and Pippin were at first, because his list didn’t include such things? Now it does! It’s like he’s finally turned that stub of a Wikipedia article into a full-blown page. Here’s to hoping the trolls don’t mess with it.

And, literally, I mean trolls.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Huorn’s

I’m getting better at not typing “Huron” first.

“‘This is what I hoped. Now I can go and…'”

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Our time here with Saruman is done, as evidenced by the shrieking coming out of Orthanc. It seems that Saruman has discovered Wormtongue’s folly in throwing that black orb out the window. We’re going to leave them to their bickering.

Returning to the broken gate, our heroes come across Treebeard, and Gandalf introduces the three hunters to him. The ent welcomes Legolas to walk in Fangorn. However, Legolas explains his deal with Gimli to visit Fangorn together, along with the caves behind Helm’s Deep. Treebeard is…less than eager about a dwarf entering Fangorn. Especially such a smooth one as Gimli, who drops his axe on the ground as he bows in respect.

The ents will surely look upon that fondly.

The ents will surely look upon that fondly.

Treebeard had assumed that Legolas would want to bring other elves with him. Since elves have such a close relationship with trees, I guess that Treebeard is okay with all of them. Dwarves, on the other hand, are known for digging, mining, and all sorts of construction. That runs counterpoint to what a shepherd of the trees would want to see around their lands. So…how does Gimli gain the favor of Treebeard? I think we’ll just have to wait and find out.

Meanwhile, what is Gandalf’s plan for Saruman, even after all this war is ended?

Nothing. Simply nothing. Gandalf does not want to control the world, obviously, and one cannot take down Orthanc without great power. Should Saruman hole up in the tower, that would be his decision, and Gandalf would not try to force it down around him.

Orthanc: the anti-Jenga.

Orthanc: the anti-Jenga.

Everything is okay for now. Since we’ve moved past negotiations with Saruman, we can joke about how dwarves are silly and shouldn’t be allowed in forests.

“‘This is a strange friendship!'”

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A large black crystal orb comes flying at Gandalf’s head. Does he flinch? Nope.

Well put.

Well put.

The orb splashes into a pool, where Pippin runs to pick it up.

The riders assembled are put off by this projectile, and believe that Saruman threw it at them in disgust. Perhaps not, suggests Gandalf, and it was Wormtongue who threw it, unsure of whether to hit Saruman or Gandalf. Either way, it’s probably best to move further out of range of anything. They do so, as Gandalf heads off in search of Treebeard.

Before he does so, Gandalf explains a bit of what he had hoped Saruman would consent to. Actually, he wanted Saruman to help out a bit. No, that wasn’t explained explicitly as a part of the deal, but Gandalf believed that Saruman could really be useful. However, with the White Wizard’s firm denial, he has shown that he still believes in his own power, and the power of Orthanc. Gandalf rightly knows that this power is waning. Saruman cannot control people with his voice as he once could. Oh, well.

It appears that this conversation is at an end, and, believe it or not, Saruman’s spell has worn off. What’s the cure? Seeing Saruman crawl away in disgrace.

Now we can all respect him as much as we do Olympic Badminton.

Now we can all respect him as much as we do Olympic Badminton.

When most of Saruman’s power lies in his ability to look and sound superior to everyone else, he takes a big hit when this happens. In all reality, he might not have been all that powerful, but his presence had always had the effect of impressing those around him. Not anymore.

I, for one, am not impressed.

“‘He lives now in terror of the shadow of…'”

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Today is a day for Gandalf to lay down the law. Saruman wants to know (after laughing, of course) what sort of demands Gandalf has. Surely he won’t be allowed to leave entirely free, right? Most certainly not. Though Gandalf will allow Saruman to go wherever he wants, Mordor included, he must surrender both the key to Orthanc and his staff.

Saruman wants no part of that deal. With another bout of mocking laughter, he starts to retreat from his balcony. Gandalf calls him back, somewhat magically, and really goes at him. Revealing himself as Gandalf the White, he chastises Saruman’s choice, removes him from the order of wizards, and breaks his staff. BOOM.

Oh noes!

Oh noes!

As Saruman crawls away, a strange object comes hurtling out of Orthanc.

Does that sound unimportant? It sure does in the text…but it’s not.

Okay, but wait…Gandalf DESTROYS Saruman today, metaphorically speaking. I guess he’s done with being mocked. Oh, Saruman’s wizard privileges? THEY’VE JUST BEEN REVOKED. I really didn’t think it was possible to do something like that, but apparently Gandalf, as the reigning highest wizard, can. Could Saruman have done that to Gandalf, Radagast, or the Blue Wizards prior to turning traitor?

Speaking of the Blue Wizards, they kind of merit a mention today. Saruman thinks that Gandalf wants control over everything: the keys to Orthanc and Barad-dûr, the crowns of kings, and the staffs of all the wizards. He says “Five Wizards”, which includes those two elusive Blue Wizards. Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, Alatar, and Pallando. Those are all of them.

And with their powers combined, they can summon Captain Planet.

And with their powers combined, they can summon Captain Planet.

And now Saruman can stop it, because Gandalf is officially better than him.

“It glanced off the iron rail, even as Saruman left it, and…”

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Were you worried that Gandalf might give in to Saruman’s pleas?

PLEAS? PLEASE.

Our favorite wizard is doing nothing of the sort, instead reminding Saruman of their last meeting, and why he’s being so careful now. No, Gandalf will not come up into Orthanc to discuss matters. He wants Saruman to come down to his level. Now.

Get down!

Get down!

Saruman responds poorly to this suggestion, as Gandalf would expect. Do evil people have a trusting bone in their bodies? Saruman thinks that Gandalf wants the tower of Orthanc to himself. Sure, buddy.

Don’t forget that Saruman is at the height of his power right now. All the men in attendance, including Théoden, are so enthralled by his speech that they fully believe that Gandalf will (and should) go up with Saruman. Ever are men’s minds so weak. No mention of Aragorn, though, and if he’s feeling the same way. We’ve really dropped off from following our heroes recently, haven’t we?

Gandalf’s true purpose is to actually let Saruman leave under his own free will. That’s how you know he’s a good guy. Is it a good idea? I honestly don’t think so, and, to be truthful, since I know how this all ends, it isn’t a good idea at all. As much as the good guys always want to be fair, sometimes that comes back to bite them. Saruman doesn’t bite, but his actions will.

And sharks DO bite.

And sharks DO bite.

Also, don’t forget that Gandalf has gained power since his last meeting with Saruman. As Gandalf the White, he is theoretically Saruman’s equal. Thus, he can withstand a bit more of his power than before. Helpful? Absolutely. Do you see him backing down here at all? Not anymore, because he knows he’s the better man now.

“‘I do not doubt that you would find Orthanc commodious, and my departure…'”

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Did you not hear? Saruman has a smooth jazz act now. It’s very…um, persuasive?

Anyway, with Théoden’s rejection, Saruman gets even angrier. He shouts a lot, insults Théoden’s ancestral line, and gets quite nasty.

Reports indicate that Théoden's mother was a hamster.

Reports indicate that Théoden’s mother was a hamster.

Never giving up, Saruman then switches tactics. Gandalf is the next target, and Saruman tries to explain that this was all a misunderstanding. He apologizes for losing his cool at their last meeting, too. All in all, it’s an attempt to make Gandalf come over to his side. They’re of the same order, anyway.

Yes, it’s a giant “Join me, and together we will rule the galaxy as father and son” moment. Except, Gandalf maintains both hands. Oh, and he and Saruman have no father-son relationship. That would be more shocking to me than Vader and Luke.

At this point, Saruman is using all of the power within him. Every single person in attendance is somehow under his spell right now. But alas! Why can’t he use this power for good? Or, is it one of those powers where you can only use it for evil, much like how the ring is unable to be used for good, as it is an item forged with pure malice. Or, once again, to continue the Star Wars metaphor, like how one cannot use the Force choke or lightning techniques without tapping into the Dark Side.

Alternatively, both the Dark Side and the ring make you look really old.

Alternatively, both the Dark Side and the ring make you look really old.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Horsemaster

-endeavoured

Horsemaster is yet another surname (albeit mockingly) for Théoden. People like making fun of people by giving them silly last names. It’s really quite offensive. Egads!

“But they were shut out, listening at a door to words not meant for them: ill-mannered children…”

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