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Mithadan
10-09-2001, 12:09 PM
The Silmarillion attributes the making of the Palantiri to Fanor. Yet we know that the jewels of the House of Finw were lost when Morgoth sacked Formenelos. How did the palantiri then remain available to the Eldar to gift them to the Lords of Anduni in the second age? And why were they not given to the king of Numenor?

Eldar14
10-09-2001, 02:33 PM
Well, I might be able to explain one part. When it says all of the jewels were taken, maybe it means jewels as in little shiny precious stones, which the Palantari (is it Palantari or Palantiri, I'm not sure) wouldn't be considered. Of course, that would bring up the whole discussion on the size of the Palantari [whether they are little precious stone sized, or basketball sized], but, that's all I have time for now. (I only have limited internet access at the time being)

Elenhin
10-10-2001, 08:53 AM
About the sizes of the palantiri:
Unfinished Tales tells us that the minor palantiri (such as the ones of Orthanc, Minas Anor, Minas Ithil and probably Annuminas) were about one foot in diameter. The largest ones (those in Amon Sul and Osgiliath) were too large for one man to lift - quite big, I'd say. I'd assume that the one in the towers of Emyn Beraid was somewhere in the between.

About the history of all the palantiri:
I do not think that the palantiri were counted as "jewels". They were more like "crystal balls" and I see no reason to assume that they weren't used by the Noldor when the stones were first made. They were tools of communication after all, and the Elves prabably kept one in Tuna for the Noldor, one in Formenos for Finwe and others of his house, one with the Teleri in Alqualonde, one with the Vanyar in Valmar and so on...

Now why were they given to the Faithful (Elendil, to be exact) and not the Kings of Numenor in earlier times?
While I believe that originally there were more palantiri than just seven in Valinor, I don't think that they were a very common commodity even there. If the palantiri really were made by Feanor, then they were irreplaceable (is that a word?) too, and ones which were given away from the Undying Lands were permanently lost from the Elves. So, they can't have been given just out of pure generosity (it would've been far too great a loss for that), but the Elves must have known that Elendil and his followers were in deep trouble and that they needed secret means of communication in order to avoid the inquisition - and the palantiri were just right for that.

Mithadan
10-10-2001, 09:32 AM
I tend to agree with Elenhin. The palantiri's primary use was communication (or intelligence gathering). If they existed and had such a purpose, why lock them away. They were likely distributed to various people/places and none (or maybe just one, a large stone) was in Formenos.

There were only 7 given to the Faithful. One more was apparently kept in Tol Eressea. There may have been others.

We don't know when the palantiri were given to the Faithful. Perhaps they were given to the royal family and passed on to the faithful like the Ring of Barahir.

Elendur
10-10-2001, 12:58 PM
Just to verify, in The Silmarillion, it says that the stones were given to Elendil so that he and the other Faithful people in Numenor could communicate. I remember reading it for sure but am too lazy to go get the quote. smilies/smile.gif

Telchar
10-16-2001, 03:16 AM
Interesting Mithadan - I have posed the excact same question here and much earlier in Michael Martinez board - but these answers summon it up.

Elendur, you are not quite right. The stones were given by the elves og Eressa to Elendils father Amandil.

We know of eight stones only... We know that the 8ths stone were the masterstone - We know that the Lager stones of Osgilliath and probably Amon Sl could survey the other stones while these "spoke" with each other. Maybe the Master Stone could evesdrop on all the seven stones of ME. The elves of Eressa could not give themself a better oppotunity to keep in touch with what was happening in ME. Giving the Stones to the Faithful could be considered like putting a webcam in your childs bedroom so you could stay informed from a long distance...

I aggree with those that speculate that there were more that 8 stones.

They might and they might not have been in Formenos when it was attacked... actually there would be no point in keeping more than one palantiri in the same place unless it involved transportation.


Cheers Telchar

Snowdog
09-22-2010, 04:24 PM
Giving the Stones to the Faithful could be considered like putting a web-cam in your child's bedroom so you could stay informed from a long distance...
It would be a bit more than this I think. Should the child be strong-willed and wrest the control of the Palantir away from the parent ....

Which brings up the question of how exactly do they work?

Boromir88
09-24-2010, 08:47 AM
As far as why the Eldar gave the palantiri to the Faithful and not the King of Numenor:

These stones were gifts of the Eldar to Amandil, father of Elendil, for the comfort of the Faithful on Numenor in their dark days, when the Elves might not come no longer to that land under the shadow of Sauron.~The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

This should be able to give a bit of a timeframe when Amandil received them, and they were probably the Faithful's most valuable weapon against Sauron and Ar-Pharazon. It does make sense too as far as how Amandil, Elendil, and his sons were able to coordinate the Faithful's exit from Numenor.

The palantiri were no doubt never matters of common use or common knowledge, even in Numenor.~Unfinished Tales: The Palantiri

The 7 given to Amandil were thus probably kept under tight secrecy and security, since the Eldar had gifted them to aid the Faithful. Not anything you'd want Sauron to get his hands on (as would be proven in the next Age :p) and not anything you'd give to the Kings of Numenor who were turning unfriendly to the Eldar.

Edit:

Which brings up the question of how exactly do they work?~Snowdog

I'm not sure if you mean how they work as in how one uses them (Unfinished Tales goes into good details about that) or how they are actually able to view far away places, and be used for communication?

They can't transmit sound but they transmit thoughts, which is how they appear to most commonly be used for communication.

For the most part they revealed only things near to another kindred Stone, for the Stones each called to each; but those who possessed great strength of will and of mind might learn to direct their gaze whither they would.~The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power

For the most part, the Stones were connected to eachother, somehow both visually and mentally (but not audibly). So, Telchar comparing them to webcams is a good one. How they made this connection with eachother is anyone's guess.

If we go under the assumption that Feanor made them (a pretty safe assumption). Since, Gandalf alludes to this possibility in LOTR and in The Silm:

'and other crystals he made also, wherein things far away could be seen small but clear, as with the eyes of the eagles of Manwe.'~Of Feanor and the unchainging of Melkor

Is it too outlandish to say Feanor was able to capture the light of the trees and put them into the Silmarils, that he captured the Eyes of Manwe's eagles and encased them in crystals! :p Must be a lot of blind birds in Valinor.

Morwen
09-26-2010, 12:08 PM
Is it too outlandish to say Feanor was able to capture the light of the trees and put them into the Silmarils, that he captured the Eyes of Manwe's eagles and encased them in crystals! :p Must be a lot of blind birds in Valinor.

I assumed that the stones all communicated via some sort of Middle Earth WiFi :)