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Old 10-21-2000, 05:15 AM   #1
Voronwe
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During the council of Elrond, Gandalf mentions that Saruman had made his own ring. Did it have any power, or was it simply something to make Gandalf anxious? If it was an elven ring, did it have any connection to the minds of the bearers of the other Great Rings? And what became of this mysterious ring of Saruman's after his deafeat? Gandalf broke Saruman's staff, but he didn't (as far as we know) get hold of his ring.
Any comments?



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Old 10-21-2000, 05:51 AM   #2
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Saruman's Ring

I have also wondered about Saruman's Ring. I am inclined to think that it was a Ring of Power or something like that because he seems quite proud of his self-title &quot;Ringmaker&quot; I think he calls himslef this right after &quot;Saruman of the Many Colours&quot;. There was also a note that he says I think to Galadriel on their way home from Minas Tirith; something like &quot;I am only content to think that while you took down my power you also took down your own&quot; or something referring that while they destroyed the One Ring all the Rings and maybe Sarumans even lost their power.

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Old 10-21-2000, 07:26 AM   #3
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I am not sure Saruman's ring is mentioned somewhere else. It may well be a kind of ring of power, since Saruman - Curumo, one of Aule's people (the name itself means "master of craft"), was especially studying ring-lore. On the other hand it might have been useless badge devised only to tease Gandalf as well.

And I deem by comparing those two downfalls - of his power and of elves, he probably meant two different things - in a former case his driving out Orthank, and in a latter perished power of the elven rings.
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Old 10-25-2000, 10:25 AM   #4
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Wizards' Staffs

I've wondered about Saruman's ring, too. Saruman seems to have been, by the end at least, a very misguided and self-deluded fellow. Perhaps he fancied that he had created some sort of ring of power, but really it was just an ordinary ring? Or maybe JRRT was building in a little hook for a potential sequel?

Actually, though, what really interested me in reviving this thread was the staff reference. In a few scenes, much is made of the wizards' staffs. Saruman's power is broken when Gandalf shatters his. Gandalf convinces the door-warden of Theoden's Hall to permit him to take his staff inside, and much is made of it when he (apparently) uses the staff to create a moody meteorological moment. At other times, Gandalf uses his staff in the casting of spells.

To what extent did the wizards' power rely on their staffs? Was Gandalf's shattering of Saruman's staff just a symbolic act, like the way a commander rips off the rank insignia of a dishonored soldier in the movies? Or did he really reduce his power in some way by destroying his staff?

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Old 10-25-2000, 11:11 AM   #5
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Wizards' Staffs

I took it that when he got into lore of the rings, he propably made some rings for himself. Like test-pieces.

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Old 10-25-2000, 01:43 PM   #6
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Wizards' Staffs

I think it would be unlikely that any of the wizards would need to rely on a staff for any of their actual power. However (and this is the meerest speculation), perhaps the wizards, as maia taken on an earthly shape, would need some sort of earthly object through which to channel their power. This could be the use of a staff.

There is lots of evidence to suggest that staffs were required items for spellcasting amoung wizards. One exception, though, is when gandalf defeats the Balrog on zirak-zigal without the help of a staff (this had previously been broken on the bridge). Although perhaps, since the balrog was by nature a maia and therefore of the same order of gandalf, a spiritual being, he did not need to use it in this case.

I suspect that, when Saruman's staff was broken, his power was decreased because he had been cast out of the order of wizards, having failed in his mission. The breaking of the staff signified his final and total failure, since he had just rejected the Gandalf's offer of forgiveness.




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Old 10-25-2000, 11:15 PM   #7
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Wizards' Staffs

Saruman's ring was not merely for show. It is stated in UT that he was weakened by the power that had gone out of him in the forging of his ring. As for the Staff, look at what Gandalf could do with his staff. I believe that Saruman's staff did actually hold some real power (when conjuncted with the Wizard himself), but also that a wizard wouldn't have to rely on his staff for power -- heck, Gandalf didn't need it in the Battles of the War of the Ring. Also remember, though, that Grima (or someone) said to Hama, when he let Gandalf into Edoras with his staff, that he shoouldn't have 'for a wizard may work many enchantments with his staff', which goes back to what Mithadan has just said.

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Old 10-26-2000, 03:57 AM   #8
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Wizards' Staffs

I think that for a non-wizard, a wizard's staff would be completely useless - the power is in the wizard, not the &quot;prop&quot;. On the other hand, a staff could be some kind of chanelling device, as Voronwe said.

I guess the need (or lack of such) for a staff depends on the nature of the power if the Istari, which is something I know nothing about. Anyone else?

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Old 10-30-2000, 02:35 PM   #9
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There is also some importance in a material the staff is made of and in it's colour. For example, the one of saruman was black (when Saruman has fallen completely, probably) As for the power-chanelling, Gandalf seemingly used his sword for the same purpose (remember sword shining on the bridge, and I deem that was caused not only by the presence of the orcs)
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Old 12-02-2001, 04:35 AM   #10
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Found this link via the current theme.

imo - Sauruman's ring will likely remain a mystrery barring additional info. Seculation on my part would be that he wished to make a "one ring" himself, but failed due to
1] lack of knowledge much of sauron's skill was probably from morgoth as well as Aule. the Bauglir being a source and 'inspiration' sauruman did not have . [M.]
2] lack of power [he would need more than Sauron]
3] As M-E itself and the races therein ages artifacts of power seem to be progressivly weaker than artifacts created in prior ages.

#2 especially could have been his undoing, w/ Sauron.
In attempting to replecate and supersed sauron's Ring Powers, he probably opened himself to Sauron'es 'wavelength'. This assumes he attempted to create a Ring of power prior to being 'caught ' in the palantir.

another theory I have is that his ring may have had limited but specific uses , such as sheilding his activities and mind from the osanwe of the other ring bearers.

as re: the Staff question, I think it was a device of the Order of Wizards and that the Maiar who enrolled [ or were drafted] put a large part of their power therein - why else Sauruman's weakening. - unless gandalf's breaking of his staff was symbolic of something that had already happened on a spritual plane.

Why they would need to place much of their power therein i do not know, perhaps as a visible reminder that they were themselves outside their natural state - just as some of their power was. Perhaps it was a focusiong device, although none of the OPther maia in M-E seem to need it [Melian, Sauron, balrogs].

Perhaps also it contained an augmentation or charisma bestowed by Manwe and or Eru himself for the working of their tasks.

Sauruman's saying that Gandalf desired the 5 Istari's staff's indicate's [it seems to me] that they were much more than symbolic.

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Old 12-02-2001, 10:18 PM   #11
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RE: Wizards' Staffs/Staves

Recall that in the Old Testament, Moses' staff was "blessed" by God so that people would believe that God sent him to free them from slavery. Exodus 4:1-5

Could the staffs/staves of the Wizards be symbols of their authority to help the peoples of ME escape Sauron's reign, as well as objects through which their powers could be revealed?

RE: SARUMAN'S RING
Re-reading the passage from The Council of Elrond, I think Saruman had made a ring or rings, but found them inadequate to his purposes - which in the beginning may have been to use to combat Sauron. Perhaps his envy of the keepers of the Elven rings sparked his corruption and desire for a ring to rule the world of Men. When he realised that his ring/rings was/weren't powerful enough, he began to desire the One Ring.

(I'm just making this up as I go!)
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Old 01-05-2002, 04:06 PM   #12
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I believe that Saruman's ring allowed him to better control his armies and servants. Saruman was attempting to imitate Sauron and it is likely that the ring he made was like the one ring, but of a lesser power. The one ring allowed Sauron to dominate the wills of his servants and to dominate the wills of all of the other ring bearers. Saruman's ring was certainly not powerful enough to allow him to dominate the wills of the ring bearers, but it probably enhanced the power of his voice, allowing him to control his armies. The rings of power gave power according to the stature of the bearer and it makes sense that Saruman's ring would increase the power of his voice. After all, keeping an army of orcs under control is probably much harder than the bad guys make it look.
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Old 01-05-2002, 04:35 PM   #13
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i think that the ring would have helped him use his power to dominate others.
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Old 01-07-2002, 08:17 PM   #14
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This is my first post. I have a very different theory and maybe some will laugh and some will give it a secound thought. Ok.... [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img]

I was thinking of "The Two Towers" when Gimli, Legolas and Aragon sleeps in rohan and meets Faramir next day. That night Saruman appears and then disappears after losen the horses. Could it be a ring he is puting on his finger to disappear. It could be his magic, but this is another theory.

Then maybe he made rings, but when he was corrupted by Sauron. Not all rings were destroyed or found. Could he have found one of them that was lost or could he have gotten one from Sauron or did succeding of making one idetical to one of the seven or nine? They were for power and maybe for controling others. For it was only the lords that had the rings. Or maybe the one as you have discused?

Please respond, want to know if I'm of tracks becouse I have not read every book yet. Have not read UT. Thanks....
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Old 01-08-2002, 12:31 AM   #15
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I think the ring may have aided him in appearing there, but i don't think he was actually there in the physical sense, he made it appear that way.
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Old 01-08-2002, 04:21 AM   #16
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I belive that Saruman's ring was just a token of his disire!
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Old 01-11-2002, 04:24 AM   #17
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RE : Istari Staffs

(I know I'm a new comer to this forum but I hope you may listen to what I have to say.)

I had just started reading thru this thread when the topic of Staffs arose, and the question was asked about what power they possessed, if any.

The Istari, as Maia in mortal form, are not allowed to show their true heritage to the peoples of middle-earth, therefore it is logical to assume that the staff was a mere tool for deception, they used it to take the focus off their true nature.

Also concerning the breaking of Sarumans Staff. I beleive this merely to be a symbolic warning from Gandalf. It is stated in Unfinished tales and other writings that Gandalf had long been the more powerful and wise of the five Istari. Saruman knew this and despised Gandalf for it. When Gandalf broke Sarumans Staff it showed Saruman that he was no longer content to let him lead the order and that just like he broke the staff so easily, he could also break Saruman.


just my thoughts......
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Old 01-11-2002, 06:25 AM   #18
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Lindil - I take that quote from Saruman as meaning that he beleived Gandalf wished to useurp him as head of the Order

Morfea - I hate to tell you, but it wasn't Saruman that appeared to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli that night, it was Gandalf. Go back and reread the chapter, you find that Gandalf appears a Second time and they again think he is Saruman...then Gandalf tells them the truth and also tells them that it was him the first time
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Old 01-11-2002, 06:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
‘Wait a minute!’ cried Gimli. ‘There is another thing that I should like to know first. Was it you, Gandalf, or Saruman that we saw last night?’
‘You certainly did not see me,’ answered Gandalf, ‘therefore I must guess that you saw Saruman. Evidently we look so much alike that your desire to make an incurable dent in my hat must be excused.’
‘Good, good!’ said Gimli. ‘I am glad that it was not you.’
Gandalf laughed again. ‘Yes, my good Dwarf,’ he said, ‘it is a comfort not to be mistaken at all points. Do I not know it only too well! But, of course, I never blamed you for your welcome of me. How could I do so, who have so often counselled my friends to suspect even their own hands when dealing with the Enemy. Bless you, Gimli, son of Glóin! Maybe you will see us both together one day and judge between us!’

[img]smilies/redface.gif[/img]
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Old 01-11-2002, 06:57 AM   #20
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Larin - can you quote the part where gandalf appears a second time and is mistaken for Saruman, and then 'fesses up that it was him both times? I don't remember that ! Also, that would mean that Gandalf told a direct lie in the passage that Telchar quoted, which I don't believe Gandalf ever did before or since. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 01-11-2002, 07:25 AM   #21
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I'm sorry it was an honnest mistake..

...Morfea I apologise...perhaps I should go back and reread the chapter...
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Old 01-11-2002, 02:20 PM   #22
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Well it took four and a half hours but I finall found the source of this debate of Sarumans ring at 4:30 this morning EST Australia.


Why did it take four hours I hear you ask, well after I got off the net at 10 mins to 12 last night, I went and skimmed thru my copy of Book 2 of LoTR, I could not find any mention of Saruman having a ring. I therefore turned to my copies of The Simirillion, Unfinished Tales, The Peoples of Middle Earth, and the Appendixes of LoTR. Finally, due to frustration at having looked for 4 hours and not found any references, I turned once again to my copy of book two and started reading (properly) thru the chapter concerning the Council of Elrond... and lo and behold there it was.....

...it's now 7:20 am here...I've been up all night Studying Middle Earth..

.... I NEED COFFEE!!!!
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Old 01-22-2002, 08:50 AM   #23
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Re: Wizard's Staffs

I agree with Voronwe that it is unlikely that any of the wizards would need to rely on a staff for any of their actual power. Here's why:

When Gandalf seeks the advice of Saruman about matters concerning the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings. I would imagine, although the book doesn't specify, that Gandalf took his staff to Isengard. So Gandalf gets captured by Saruman soon after his arrival and Saruman would have done one of two things with Gandalf's staff:

1. (The HIGHLY unlikely version) He would let Gandalf keep his staff. If he did this then we could assume that the staff was of little power.

2. He would have taken the staff (far more likely). So Gandalf is eventually rescued by Gwaihir the Windlord and returns to his duties without his staff.

If he did this, and Gandalf relyed on his staff for his power then his power would have reduced significantly. However, it did not reduce significantly. So we can assume that Gandalf and other wizards don't rely on staffs for their power. They PROBABLY need staffs to channel their power, as stated already by Voronwe.

Sorry about the poor grammer.

[ January 22, 2002: Message edited by: Andurion ]

[ January 22, 2002: Message edited by: Andurion ]
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Old 09-06-2002, 02:38 PM   #24
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The staff...

One of the oft repeated questions about the lord of the rings tale is the one about the signifigance of the staffs of the wizards. Many a Freudian psychoanalyst has had a field day with Gandalf breaking Sarumans staff. Yet I believe most analysts have failed to see the deeper significancies in this. Significansies involving all maiar.

There seems to be a set of rules governing the maiar in the middle earth. This set of rules seems to have something to do with the issue of mortal vs immortal lands. I think in the mortal lands the maiar could only truly tap their immortal powers by forming some bond with this land. This seems to be especially true in the time of the istari, so the separation of the valinor from the middle earth had an effect. The ainur power has a source. Be it in valar (rebel or not) or in an assumed bond of different nature. This bond also could make them mortal/vulnerable. They could die and they could succumb to the ”temptations of flesh.”

Only after falling in love with Thingol, was Melian able to create the barriers surrounding Doriath and perhaps also to create the golden age of sindar within it. When Thingol died, Melian withered away going where the eleves go after mortal death. This I think is one of the three great love stories of the epic.

Balrogs had awesome powers but none seem to have been able to give themselves a new body after destruction of their form. Perhaps their violent power was gained by taking this (mortal-demonic) form.

Sauron is killed and takes a now body thrice. First time morgoth is still around to give it to him and unlike balrogs, he is valuable to Morgoth because of his spiritual features (great evil, witchcraft, shapechanging) and not because of the physical strenghts of an assumed permanent bodily form. He is still ainur using vala as a source for ones powers. Thus it is no wonder that the option of forgiveness of valar is open to him unlike to the balrogs. The two latter times he dies he has already bonded his spirit to the one ring. The maiar of Istari (no weaklings) outnumbered Sauron 5 to 1 and were fearful to fight him. Their sources of power were far away and he was part of the mortal world now.

Tom Bombadil has great powers, but only within his lands, to which he is in a way bonded. Radagast had bonded to the
land, but has also succumbed to it forgetting what he came to do. Radagast might well have been the most powerfull of istari, if one would rate theese matters by the terms of birds. Both withered and disappeared as the last enchantment of mortal lands died away sometime at the fourth age. It is interresting to note that the ainur having served Aule seem to be prone to succumbing to evil perhaps by starting to tap things they made to feed their ambition. The ainur who served Yawanna seem to be prone to bond with the nature and forget all obligations.

It would seem to me that Saruman had become part of the mortal lands by bonding to orthanc and to his position as a wizard and head of the white council and also to things he had made. So he had become more able to tap his powers and was able to imprison Gandalf. This explains Gandalfs rueful words at the pass of Caradras: ”his arm has indeed grown long.”

Also thus Saruman had fallen and become vulnerable. Gandalf and his friends destroyed most of those things his power was built on (isengards might, position as the white wizard leading the council). It is not the first thing to come to ones mind, but really between the two encounters of the two, Saruman had changed more then Gandalf. Perhaps Gandalf was invigorated by his death and return having been close to Valinor. But Saruman had lost all he thought was strong, theese were the words of Gandalf in the isengard. Gandalf was then able to take away the rest of Sarumans power. Breaking the staff was a bit more then symbol of taking the power away. By this logic the symbol often is the power.

Gandalf was the only on of the istari to ”succeed.” He remained in heart bonded to immortal lands and to his mission. The istari were not supposed to bond with the mortal lands. It made them stronger only in a limited sense. We can see how Saruman had ceased to be able to relate to Gandalfs thoughts and ceased to think Sauron could be resisted. He had started thinking in totally worldly terms of counting the swords, while Gandalf was always able to see light and hope in mens hearts. And Saruman had indeed become vulnerable. When he imprisoned Gandalf he was way stronger then him and could not even then take away Gandalfs power as Gandalf later did to weakened Saruman. Only Gandalf of the ainur in the mortal lands of the middle earth ever returned to west.

So the staff was important to Saruman and perhaps to other failed istari. Breaking Sarumans staff and gathering the staffs of the five wizards did really matter. It was not important to Gandalf and so taking the staff from Gandalf while he was imprisoned in orhanc would not have mattered.

Lotr is in a way a story of mortality. It is a story of the mortality of men And it is story of the passing of things immortal from the mortal lands, the passing of magic, which is in a way immortal in nature. The immortal times when gods battled on the earth are followed by timelessness of the eleves and lingering enchantment of the land. This is in turn followed by mortality, age of men with only faintest traces of fading magic and greatness.

LOTR is in my opinion to a great degree a story of acceptance of ones destiny. Of the ordeal of the men of Numenor to accept that they must die. Of the ordeal of eleves to accept that their magic and their kingdoms must fade. And to equal degree of the ordeal of many ainur to fade away from the world with the valar, and not to try and become part of the mortal lands... even though they could become gods or at least powerful natural spirits.


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Old 10-03-2002, 03:41 PM   #25
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Maia seem to be able to put power into objects which seem to amplify the power. The most obvious example of this is The One Ring, into which Sauron placed a great portion of his power and this partially accounts for why he is more powerful than other maia, including the Istari and Balrogs.(Another reason for this is that Melkor put a lot of his power in his servants to make them more powerful)

I think that although the Valar probably gave the Istari extra power, they either put some power into the staffs or made the Istari put some of their own power into them. This would most likely significantly increase the Istari's power provided they had the staff. The power of the staves, unlike the Rings of Power, could probably only be harnessed by the Wise, since they were made with the intention to aid the Istari, not rule the weak.

This would raise the question of why Gandalf had his staff after his imprisonment in Orthanc. My theory is that Saruman had the power to imprison Gandalf but had neither the athority nor the power, having fallen from his original status as the White Wizard, to take away his staff. Later, when Gandalf breaks Saruman's staff, he has been sent back to middle earth as the White Wizard and, in a very confusing passage right after he reunites with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimly, he reveals that he is, in a way, Saruman while Saruman is not. Having userpt Saruman as the leader of the Istari, he had the athority and the power to break the staff of the fallen Saruman.

As for Sarumans ring, I think he probably put as much power into it as he could, which I do not think could have been that much if he had already had to put most of it into his staff. I would agree that the main power he put into it was the power of his voice and abilty to command others. This could explain why it was so powerful and why it was essentially the only power remaining to him once his staff was broken, provided he still had his ring.

I am afraid I do not see the argument for the need of Maia to be attached phisically to middle earth in order to have power. The phisical bodies of the Maia seem to be governed by the same rules as those of the Elves, they are immortal from disease and old age but not from violent death or death by grief. When they die their souls go back to the Imortal Lands. Obviously the souls of fallen Maia do not go to Valinor. I believe Mr.Tolkien makes it quite clear that their souls are rejected by the west and are forced to follow in the footsteps of Melkor into banishment in the outer darkness in the passages describing the destruction of The Ring, and consicuently Sauron's death, and the death of Saruman.

[ December 12, 2002: Message edited by: Salocin ]
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Old 12-28-2002, 04:30 AM   #26
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I think we can assume that whatever Saruman's ring did do, or was intended to do, it was not in the end very powerful. Gandalf notices it for the first time, after Saruman has fallen into evil. After lengthy study of ringlore and constant contact with the Palantir, he has finally become influenced by Sauron. Presumably he thinks "yes, a ring, what a good idea!" and makes one for himself, one separate from Sauron's control, for his own selfish purposes. What Saruman's ring does is not as important as the fact that he made it.

The best thread I have been onto here yet talks about the feminine nature of the Rings of Power, about their qualities of Yin balancing the Yang of their male owners (Galadriel is described as having masculine qualities). Sauron commits a great sin and creates a ring for himself, and seemingly increases his power. All the others are made as gifts. Saruman commits the same act as Sauron, but doesn't appear to gain anything from it. In the end he appears to be less wise than Gandalf and less powerful than Sauron, and caught in a very dangerous predicament.
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Old 12-28-2002, 04:48 AM   #27
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Saruman was a master of illusions. The Ring probably didn't actually increase his power, but made him seem more lordly and powerful in the eye of those who beheld him, and who did actually know of the real Rings of Power.
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Old 12-28-2002, 04:20 PM   #28
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Well, Saruman's Ring is no doubt a great curiosity. It may have been some fanciful facsimile of a Ring of Power that he devised, or perhaps it is one of the Seven from Sauron, just as Gandalf has one of the Three.

Staffs are obviously a critical feature of being a Wizard. It may not be the end all. But significant, yes. But don't meddle in the affairs of Wizards. As Istari though it's hard to say where the staffs come in.
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:26 AM   #29
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I have no evidence to back this up, but I feel that in some way Sarumans ring is related to his ability to create the Uruk-Hai
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Old 04-10-2003, 12:54 PM   #30
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Unfortunately, Saruman didn't create the Uruk-Hai, Sauron did (see the FAQ on the Barrow Downs website about orcs). However he probably did create halforcs or goblin-men, which was considered an extremely heinous crime.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:21 PM   #31
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I remember on Caradras Gandalf saying he had to have something to work with, he couldn't burn snow. Perhaps the staves act as a material to channel power. They way use it as opposed to just tossing magic into the air.
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Old 04-11-2003, 12:24 PM   #32
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The One Ring's most important function was as an anchor to the physical world. Infusing much of himself into an all-but-indestructible object guaranteed Sauron's ability to regenerate if his body was slain. I also theorize that it acted as a kind of reservoir that he could put power into, then regenerate, and repeat, providing a way to increase the amount of power he could call upon beyond his natural limit. Other than this, the One Ring didn't do much. Enslaving bearers of the Rings of Power yielded very limited results, and I would debate whether the Ring actually granted Sauron invisibility as it did to the lesser bearers.

What does this have to do with the topic? Saruman knew he was incarnate, and doubtless knew that death as an incarnate would be permanent. The only way out for the Istari was to be restored by the Valar who had sent them, but Saruman had betrayed them. So what could he do? He probably discovered the true genius of having such a ring as Sauron's, and wanted an anchor and bank vault for himself. Obviously he didn't achieve what he was going for, but in time he may have.
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Old 04-11-2003, 12:54 PM   #33
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Saruman's ring, to be honest I doubt it ever existed. Saruman may have told Gandalf that he had a ring to frighten him... after all, the ring was never seen, (actually I must check this as I haven’t read that bit for a while). However, on the other hand, Saruman's desire for the ruling ring may have drove him to make one for himself, after all he, like Sauron, is a Mara. Therefore, it is not beyond possibility that the Madness of the ring drove him to make his own. Yet his ring was never seen, so how do we know if it ever existed. As Gandalf said one of Saruman's greatest weapons is his lying tong.
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Old 04-11-2003, 01:06 PM   #34
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Well Gandalf DID see Sarumans Ring,he mentions it somewhat like: "Saruman came down the stairs,he had a ring on his finger..."
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Old 04-13-2003, 09:47 PM   #35
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Also, it was said that Sauremon was more powerful than Gandalf before Gandalf was sent back, but in UT, tolkien states that Gandalf was always the most powerful, but did not have a will to dominate, so he allowed Sauremon to be the head of the order. Cirdan, seeing this, bestowed narya upon him, giving him the power to motivate. Saurumon't ring, perhaps, was an attempt, as with pipe weed and other things, to imitate Gandalf.
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Old 04-13-2003, 09:54 PM   #36
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Could it possibly be one of the lesser rings made by the elves of Eregion? i.e. not one of the three, seven or nine?
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Old 04-14-2003, 09:16 AM   #37
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that's possible if sauremon was lying when he called himself ringmaker to Gandalf when he visited orthanc, but I don't think he would lie about something like that, it sems out of character.
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Old 04-14-2003, 10:03 AM   #38
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Towards the staffs, I am pulled toward the idea that they act as a 'magic wand', so to speak. The power of the wizard is no less or no more when they are with or without this 'wand', but without it, they have little or no way of using this power. When Saruman's staff was broken, I doubt his power was diminished, at least no more than it had been already; I imagine the breaking was simply a way of ensuring that this power could not be used.

Toward the ring, I lean to the thought that it was made in imitation of The One. I have little doubt that it contained power, or at least the capabilities of augmenting power, but I don't particularly think that this ring did much. Saruman had shown (real word?... is now) us that he desired to be like others who were greater than himself: he smoked weed like Gandalf and bred orcs like Sauron, among other things, but I believe he was quite bitter about his own lack of ring, so I think, for that purpose, he made his own. His ring was an attempt to make himself more powerful. I think.
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Old 04-14-2003, 06:37 PM   #39
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I think that Sauraman's ring was only an imitation of the one ring. Sauraman wanted to make himself great and powerful qand he thought that he would have the skill to create a ring that would rival the one ring and make him powerful. Unfortunately for him, he didn't have the skill to do so and the ring he made was only for show. In the introduction at the beginning of the book where Tolkien says that it is not an allegory of WWII, he says that if it was, Sauraman would've entered Barad-dur and found the information missing from his ring lore and made another ruling ring. This says that Sauraman lacked the knowledge to make a ring so the one he had was really only for show.
As for the istari's staffs, I think they used them to channel their power but they could still do things without them. The breaking of Sauraman's staff I think was symbollic of Sauraman's spirit being broken and him losing his power by wanting to dominate others. It also showed Sauraman that Gandalf would no longer put up with him being in charge of the order.
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Old 04-28-2003, 05:54 PM   #40
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Now; I think obloquy had a damn good post, go read it! To me that cleared up a lot; that little snippet. Saruman certainly HAD a ring, that's not a thing to discuss!
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