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Old 09-22-2002, 08:41 AM   #1
Eomer of the Rohirrim
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Sting Saruman's mysterious hair

Now I am sorry if this question has been asked many times before but the search engine on this site treats me with contempt and I can't work with it.

In Unfinished Tales, Saruman (although I think he is referred to as 'The White Wizard') is said to have 'raven' hair. In every artist's impression of Saruman I have ever seen he has White hair.

This is surely nothing to do with age is it? Or is it something to do with his 'many colours' phase. Thoughts?
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Old 09-22-2002, 09:34 AM   #2
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Sting

Interesting. UT says that he had 'raven hair' when he arrived, but in LotR "The Voice of Saruman" it is said that 'his hair and beard were white, but strands of black still showed about his lips and ears.' I suppose we must conclude that he had aged in those two thousand or so years.
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Old 09-22-2002, 01:32 PM   #3
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Silmaril

I always thought of him with white hair - I guess I just never picked up on the raven hair thing.

I believe, however, that the threads of black amidst the whiteness of his beard are symbolic of the tainting of his soul that has taken place - he is not pure, no matter what everyone in ME thinks. He has a blackness to him.
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Old 09-22-2002, 06:53 PM   #4
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Sting

Maybe he got "older" as time went on?
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Old 09-26-2002, 12:49 PM   #5
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He's an immortal being. He couldn't age even if he wanted to.

I like Elenna's theory of the balck representing the evil in his soul.

[ September 26, 2002: Message edited by: Susan Delgado ]
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Old 09-26-2002, 03:40 PM   #6
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Sting

His physical incarnation was not immortal in the sense that it was not subject to aging in physical appearance - it was explicitly stated that he was subject to this aging.

From "The Istari", Unfinished Tales:
Quote:
...and Men perceived that they did not die, but remained the same (unless it were that they aged somewhat in looks)
Quote:
For with the consent of Eru they sent members of their own high order, but clad in bodies of as of Men, real and not feigned, but subject to the fears and pains and weariness of earth, able to hunger and thirst and be slain; though because of their noble spirits they did not die, and aged only by the cares and labours of many long years.
From Appendix B, Lord of the Rings:
Quote:
They came therefore in the shape of Men, though they were never young and aged only slowly, and they had many powers of mind and hand.
Whether or not the hair change was an indication of this aging, I don't know, but his body did age.

[ September 26, 2002: Message edited by: Legalos ]
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Old 09-26-2002, 07:23 PM   #7
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Sting

Maybe the people who are doing the drawing haven't read the UT? It is kind of customary to give old, powerful wizards white hair and beards
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Old 09-29-2002, 06:50 AM   #8
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Sting

I don't quite understand what you mean about the black strands showing through. That would make sense if he arrived with white hair and acquired black strands with time. But he arrived with total raven hair which surely means that the Valar didn't judge the level of evil with hair colour.
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:43 AM   #9
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Boots

*curtsies to everyone here*

Elenna, Susan, and others,

I would be very wary of associating black with Saruman's evil ways. Look closely at the chapter, "The Council of Elrond" and the references to "Saruman of the Many Colours".

Saruman brags that, "The white page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken."

Gandalf replies, "And he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."

When Saruman is finally cast out, he is of no colour; Gandalf says, "You have no colour now, and I cast you from the order and from the Council." ("The Voice of Saruman", TTT).

I would argue that the nature of evil in LOTR is not an easy black/white designation.

Respectfully,
Bethberry

[ September 29, 2002: Message edited by: Bethberry ]
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Old 09-29-2002, 09:39 AM   #10
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Silmaril

I think he'd look even more creepy than he already does if he had black hair.
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Old 09-30-2002, 08:57 AM   #11
Eomer of the Rohirrim
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Sting

Whatever. Faramir had raven hair. It means little.
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