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

Éomer’s outburst carries much the same sentiment as Gimli’s, and is treated the same way by Saruman. He even gets angrier this time. Saruman calls Éomer merely a soldier, unfit to meddle in higher matters than war. Once again, he turns to Théoden for an answer. Finally, the king speaks. There will be peace between them, when Saruman has paid for the damage done to Rohan. In a powerful monologue, he ends Saruman’s mastery over his mind.

Step off.

Step off.

The most important question is probably whether or not Théoden really needs to repeat “We will have peace” three times, but that just adds to the epic. As a general rule: repeating things makes them more powerful, you know? Repeating things makes them more powerful. I SAID, REPEATING THINGS MAKES THEM MORE POWERFUL.

See what I did there?

And, add along, Théoden’s complete dismissal of Saruman gives his men a bit of a slap to the face. They stop going along with everything that Saruman says. Once again, it’s good to be the king. Your men tend to agree with you, even when breaking magical spells.

Meanwhile, Gandalf still says nothing.

Stupid cloud.

Stupid cloud.

It’s looking more and more like he actually won’t need to help with this one. See, letting the mortals deal with their own problems has its advantages. If Saruman had learned this lesson, he probably wouldn’t have gone off the deep end and tried to ally with Sauron to save them all.

That’s generally a bad idea.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-elsewhither

That’s such a silly word! I feel like Théoden could have picked a better word to use to prove his point more emphatically. Oh, well.

“Harsh as an old raven’s their master’s voice sounded in their ears…”

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Saruman’s plan of action is pretty clear: play the victim, and convince Théoden that Gandalf’s ideas will lead him into ruin. That should work, right?

Maybe if he forgets that whole army you sent against him...

Maybe if he forgets that whole army you sent against him…

Frighteningly, the plan starts working. Théoden is unable to speak, and his men feel in their minds the need to agree with Saruman. In this hesitant moment, Saruman holds sway over all. Gimli speaks, briefly angering Saruman and breaking the spell, although the wizard calms himself down and gets back to work again. This time, Éomer speaks, pleading with Théoden to remember Gandalf’s warning.

Oh yeah, Gandalf. Why doesn’t he just pipe in and tell Théoden to do something? I guess it has something to do with that “Don’t meddle too much in the affairs of mortals” thing he has. Bugger.

In the scheme of things, however, this shows just how powerful Saruman is. It isn’t just the lesser men he’s reaching, but Théoden as well. Possibly not as strongly, but even the king is moved by his voice. The more Théoden hesitates, the more time Saruman has to work his magic. It happens in most action or sci-fi movies: don’t let the captured evil person speak, or he’ll just wreak havoc on your mind.

This is your brain on Saruman.

This is your brain on Saruman.

Does Gimli have more power, as he can speak out at first? Maybe. Dwarves are known to be a sturdy folk. But, are they the Toydarians of Middle-earth?

No. Because Toydarians are stupid.

“‘Have we ridden forth to victory, only to stand at last amazed by an old liar with honey on his forked tongue? So would…'”

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And so the face-off begins.

With less Nic Cage.

With less Nic Cage.

Gandalf commands Saruman to show himself, although only Wormtongue answers. This angers Théoden, who wasn’t expecting his formerly trusted advisor to show up here. Wormtongue retreats back inside after Gandalf chastises him, and Saruman comes forth, so quietly that his voice surprises everyone.

About his voice: it’s soothing, magical, and persuasive. Most of the people listening to this conversation are charmed, siding with Saruman while he’s speaking, and they find Gandalf’s retorts annoying. Such is the issue with speaking with Saruman. He tries to play the victim, using this power to his advantage.

Remember when Gandalf warned everyone about this kind of stuff? Proven. The men of lesser minds are probably getting all confused now, as if they were Stormtroopers at the mercy of a Jedi mind trick.

Oh, this makes sense now.

Oh, this makes sense now.

Overall, this is one of those points where the narrative skips forward. We hear about how Saruman’s voice deceives those of weaker will, although, in reality, he’s hardly begun speaking. The narrative comes back, just in time to catch his first words. This is a technique I’ll admit that I like, but it always feels a bit jarring. But, hey, at least the jars will last a while in the fridge.

What?

Oh, and Gimli has seen now that Gandalf and Saruman look “like, and yet unlike.” Conclusive, sir.

“‘But you, Théoden Lord of the Mark of Rohan, are declared by your noble devices, and still more by the fair counten-…'”

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Mm…yes. Quite.

Haters gonna hate.

Haters gonna hate.

Everyone arrives at the foot of Orthanc, the black tower looming menacingly over their conversation. Gandalf leads the way up the stairs to the door, with Théoden following. He wants to bring Éomer along with. Gandalf brings Aragorn as his second, and expects no one else to join. Joke’s on him! Legolas and Gimli want to come, too, as the only elf and dwarf present. Okay, you guys.

Meanwhile, all the riders sit uneasily outside. Merry and Pippin are there, too, wondering if their presence is even necessary. Why did they come on the journey in the first place?

Cheer up, lads! Hasn’t this been exciting? The battles with orcs, capture-times with orcs, hanging out with orcs…wasn’t that all fun?

Perhaps not. Well, anyway, now is no time to be bemoaning their situation. Gandalf has warned against any sort of levity. In solidarity, perhaps I should end levity as well.

GOOD.

GOOD.

JK, levity is awesome.

Besides, what else are Merry and Pippin good at? Honestly, they’re the most comic-relief type characters in this book. Other than Tom Bombadil, of course.

Casual Tom Bombadil reference.

What do I want to say tonight? I feel like I have something…but I’m running out of ideas as I type. Bollocks.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-chiselled

Just like Chris Malleo.

“‘What did we come for? We are not wanted.'”

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Huzzah for pre-work blog writing! The one problem of working at a bar now is that there’s no WAY I want to do anything by the time I get home. So…here we are.

Illustrated beautifully.

Illustrated beautifully.

Back at the ranch…er, Isengard, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli have decided it’s time to head back out into the ring, which is now mostly drained. Orthanc looms up in the center, and they can see riders approaching; Treebeard, Gandalf, and Théoden have finished meeting. They come together in the shadow of the tower.

Gandalf explains that he has one more thing to do before leaving Isengard: meet with Saruman. He will take anyone who wants to come with him, but warns that they must not joke in the presence of the White Wizard.

Tricksy, that wizard is! Gimli wants to get a look at him, just to see if he looks like Gandalf, though Gandalf wants him to be cautious. Saruman could easily change his appearance for Gimli if he thought that it would gain him an advantage in order to escape. Watch out!

Of course, Gimli and company don’t feel as angry at Saruman anymore. Pipe-weed has that affect on people.

Testify.

Testify.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-SARUMAN

Seriously, what’s up with the problem of all-caps names in chapter titles? It’s the same word! I feel personally offended. I want to write a letter to the editor, but that editor is a machine. Of course, you could write a letter to the editor of this blog…and that would be me. I don’t know what I’d do. Zoinks.

“‘And are you yet wise enough to detect all his counterfeits?'”

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