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Old 01-08-2004, 04:07 PM   #1
Gorthol
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Sting Saruman taking ring from Gandalf..

Why didn't he when capturing Gandalf in the tower, anyone?
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Old 01-08-2004, 04:12 PM   #2
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i dont know if Sauruman knew about the ring.

if he did, would he really want it though, it had no special power, except that it could insprie people and keep there courage high
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Old 01-08-2004, 04:41 PM   #3
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Isn't there a loremaster around?? I was expecting a quick answer, I have people in another forum calling this a flaw in the books:

"And the Grey Messenger took the Ring, and kept it ever secret; yet the White Messenger (who was skilled to uncover all secrets) after a time became aware of this gift, and begrudged it, and it was the beginning of the hidden ill-will that he bore to the Grey, which afterwards became manifest." Unfinished tales, The Istari

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 5:42 PM January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Gorthol ]

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 7:19 PM January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Gorthol ]
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Old 01-08-2004, 04:48 PM   #4
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when did gandalf have the ring?
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Old 01-08-2004, 04:52 PM   #5
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arrrgh! This is just getting worse, to my knowledge Gandalf had Narya during all of his stay in ME, he got it from Cirdan.
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Old 01-08-2004, 05:05 PM   #6
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Oh, I know THAT, I assumed they were talking about the One Ring. Maybe he didn't know Gandalf had the ring of fire.
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Old 01-08-2004, 05:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
But the Red Ring remained hidden until the end, and none save Elrond and Galadriel and Cirdan knew to whom it had been committed. ("Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age")
Gandalf never openly wore Narya until after the War of the Ring, so Saruman did not know that he possessed it.
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Old 01-08-2004, 05:58 PM   #8
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But the Red Ring remained hidden until the end, and none save Elrond and Galadriel and Círdan knew to whom it had been committed.
This is contradicting my citat from Unfinished Tales above, could you please explain this Lord of Angmar? Could it be so, that the statement in Silmarillion (the one you gave) means that no one of the "ordinary" people of ME i.e. elves, men, dwarves, etc.. did know who wore it, but Saruman is excluded from these?
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Old 01-08-2004, 06:03 PM   #9
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Quite right, they are indeed contradictory. I believe that the Three Rings were imbued with the virtue of allowing their bearers to make the ring invisible so as not to draw attention, but Saruman being a master of Ringlore would have known this. Could this be a topic for Continuity errors in Tolkien?
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Old 01-08-2004, 06:05 PM   #10
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Saruman probably knew that Cirdan had given Gandalf "something," and that "something" possessed a great deal of power. After he started his research of Ring-lore, he probably discovered who the bearers, or possible bearers, of the Elven Rings were, Elrond, Galadriel, and Cirdan being the obvious first choices. Now, upon the Istari's landing at Mithlond, Cirdan had given something of great power to Gandalf. Now... what could that certain something have been? It doesn't take a lot of effort to put two and two together.
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Old 01-09-2004, 08:04 AM   #11
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But the rings are invisseble for those who do not posses them. For only Frodo saw that Galadriel had the ring. And the quote clearly says that only Galadriel, Elrond and Cirdan knew that Gandalf had the ring. So speaking of putting one and one together, they only knew because they had rings of their own and could see it. Cirdan ofcourse, gave the ring to Gandalf, that's how he knew. And the ring could only be seen by bearers when openly revealed, for Frodo did notice before that Galadriel wore the elven ring, nor did he ever notice with Elrond either. That's the most obvious reason I can think of.

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Old 01-09-2004, 10:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
And the quote clearly says that only Galadriel, Elrond and Cirdan knew that Gandalf had the ring.
Haven't you read the whole thread? The citat from Unfinished Tales I presented above states that Saruman knew Gandalf had it..

In Silmarillion is said:

Of the Three Rings that the Elves had preserved unsullied no open word was ever spoken among the Wise, and few even of the Eldar knew where they were bestowed. Yet after the fall of Sauron their power was ever at work, and where they abode there mirth also dwelt and all things were unstained by the griefs of time. Therefore ere the Third Age was ended the Elves perceived that the Ring of Sapphire was with Elrond, in the fair valley of Rivendell, upon whose house the stars of heaven most brightly shone; whereas the Ring of Adamant was in the Land of Lórien where dwelt the Lady Galadriel. A queen she was of the woodland Elves, the wife of Celeborn of Doriath, yet she herself was of the Noldor and remembered the Day before days in Valinor, and she was the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth. But the Red Ring remained hidden until the end, and none save Elrond and Galadriel and Círdan knew to whom it had been committed.

As I interpret this text, no one of the ordinary races (elves, dwarves, men) knew who had Narya except Cirdan, Galadriel and Elrond. I think Saruman could have been excluded when Tolkien wrote this, he is expressing the fact that ..and few even of the Eldar knew where they were bestowed.

The Istari part in Unfinished Tales was written in 1954, pretty late.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 10:15 AM January 10, 2004: Message edited by: Gorthol ]
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:17 AM   #13
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Getting back to the original question--knowing Saruman knew Gandalf had that ring, there would have to be a very good reason he didn't take it. Maybe he did hide it from Saruman, decieving him into thinking he left it somewhere for safe keeping perhaps. Or maybe becaues the ring was Elven, it would have somehow conflicted with the One Ring of Sauron or its power in some way. Whatever it is, Tolkien doesn't explain it, and none of the characters seem to think it odd that Saruman didn't take a potential weapon from his enemy.
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:56 PM   #14
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I don’t think that Saruman knew about Gandalf’s ring. If he had, then he would have taken it from Gandalf right away, since he knew the connection that the 3 had with the One, feeling the power of the One whenever someone wore it. He could also, with the aid of Narya, know who the bearers of Vilya and Nenya were (and probably he would try to seize them from Galadriel and Elrond, knowing the terrible amount of power he could have with the 3 Rings on his hand… and the attack on Rohan would have been diverted towards Lórien and Rivendell).

And second, and most importantly, if Saruman knew about who the 3 bearers were, Sauron would have gotten the information when he “spoke” with Saruman through the palantír.

And I think the story would be a lot different in the end…
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Old 01-09-2004, 01:36 PM   #15
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By Gorthol:
Quote:
"And the Grey Messenger took the Ring, and kept it ever secret; yet the White Messenger (who was skilled to uncover all secrets) after a time became aware of this gift, and begrudged it, and it was the beginning of the hidden ill-will that he bore to the Grey, which afterwards became manifest." Unfinished tales, The Istari
and

by Lord of Angmar
Quote:
But the Red Ring remained hidden until the end, and none save Elrond and Galadriel and Cirdan knew to whom it had been committed. ("Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age")
Let us first bear in mind that the works of Tolkien sometimes disagree with each other.

Second, let's keep things nice and polite.

Third, Gorthol:
Quote:
As I interpret this text, no one of the ordinary races (elves, dwarves, men) knew who had Narya except Cirdan, Galadriel and Elrond. I think Saruman could have been excluded when Tolkien wrote this, he is expressing the fact that ..and few even of the Eldar knew where they were bestowed.
Saruman is not one of the Eldar. He is a so-called Wizard - a Maia in the shape of an old man.

Elves, dwarves and men ar just as ordinary - or extraordinary - as any other race of ME, be that Ents, Hobbits or Orcs or whatevers.

This thread could perhaps be something for the New Silmarillion forum?
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Old 01-09-2004, 05:10 PM   #16
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The accounts in 'Unfinished Tales' and LOTR are manifestly incompatible and there is nothing to be gained by far-fetched attempts to reconcile them. Saruman did not know Gandalf had the Red Ring in LOTR, or else it would have been mentioned by him, in his great outburst of resentment against Gandalf in 'The Voice of Saruman', if nowhere else. And someone as obsessed with ring-lore as he was would have tried to get hold of it, if he knew about it. Gandalf must also have had the ring on him in Orthanc - he had no home to leave it safely behind in, and no reason to leave it behind anyway. The interesting point (to me) is that the elven ring was absolutely no help to Gandalf in his captivity. This probably shouldn't be surprising, however, since we are told time and again that their purpose did not involve power and control.
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Old 01-09-2004, 05:15 PM   #17
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I don’t think that even Saruman was able to perceive the presence of the 3 rings. Not even Sauron, a more powerful ainu whose will was bent in finding them during the Wars of Elves and Sauron, was able to find out specifically the bearers of the 3 (he only thought that the 2 greatest of the Eldar, Galadriel and Gil-Galad had one or all of them). So my guess is that Saruman, a maiar with decreased power, would not be able to know it.
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Old 01-10-2004, 12:39 AM   #18
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And let us not forget that of all these more or less powerful rings, the three elven were the only ones not influenced by Sauron when they were made. They were made by Celebrimbor alone.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Let us first bear in mind that the works of Tolkien sometimes disagree with each other.
Well, that's all I need to know, cause these 2 citats presented in this thread is clearly contradictary and thus you could call it a "flaw" in the history of ME..
Quote:
Saruman is not one of the Eldar. He is a so-called Wizard - a Maia in the shape of an old man. Elves, dwarves and men ar just as ordinary - or extraordinary - as any other race of ME, be that Ents, Hobbits or Orcs or whatevers.
Man, you misunderstood me, I know very well the origin of Saruman. And no, I don't consider Maiar as an ordinary race of Middle-earth at all, they lived in Aman most of them and very few ever came to the Hither Lands. I think it would have been quite easy to understand what I meant, if you really had tried.

Quote:
The accounts in 'Unfinished Tales' and LOTR are manifestly incompatible and there is nothing to be gained by far-fetched attempts to reconcile them.
The accounts we were talking about comes from 'Unfinished Tales' and Silmarillion. I was merely telling you how the text might be interpreted, maybe far-feteched.. but it was merely a try to come up with an explanation and understand the contradictary texts.
Quote:
..the three elven were the only ones not influenced by Sauron when they were made. They were made by Celebrimbor alone.
The Three were also them influenced by Sauron, made by Celebrimbor alone yes, but still influenced by Sauron.

c. 1500 The Elven-smiths instructed by Sauron reach the height of their skill. They begin the forging of the Rings of Power.
c. 1590 The Three Rings are completed in Eregion.


It was in Eregion that the counsels of Sauron were most gladly received, for in that land the Noldor desired ever to increase the skill and subtlety of their works... Therefore they hearkened to Sauron, and they learned of him many things, for his knowledge was great. In those days the smiths of Ost-in-Edhil surpassed all that they had contrived before; and they took thought, and they made Rings of Power. But Sauron guided their labours, and he was aware of all that they did; for his desire was to set a bond upon the Elves and to bring them under his vigilance... and he came against them with open war, demanding that all the rings should be delivered to him, since the Elven-smiths could not have attained to their making without his lore and counsel.
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Old 01-10-2004, 03:00 PM   #20
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Saruman probably figured that the Red ring was unnecassary for his power. He continaully thinks that he is stronger than Gandalf
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Old 01-10-2004, 06:46 PM   #21
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He wanted it. He probably just gave up on trying to get it after realizing that the One Ring was still abroad, and that it could be found. Who would settle for one of the Elven Rings when you could find the Master Ring itself?
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Old 01-11-2004, 09:22 AM   #22
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If he gained the ring off Gandalf what could he do with it?
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Old 01-11-2004, 09:57 AM   #23
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Saruman probably figured that the Red ring was unnecassary for his power. He continaully thinks that he is stronger than Gandalf
Still this wouldn't explain why he didn't take it, if he knew Gandalf had it. His envy and his interest in the rings of Power should have been enough for him to seize it.

Quote:
Who would settle for one of the Elven Rings when you could find the Master Ring itself?
Well, Sauron were in the same situation, he could also find the One Ring, still he wanted control of the other as well.. this isn't sufficent to say that Saruman would have been uninterested in Narya.

Quote:
If he gained the ring off Gandalf what could he do with it?
Well he might not have been able to do anything with it directly, but if he seized it Gandalf could not have used it to "rekindle" hearts to fight against him (and Sauron). Also being a ring loremaster as Saruman were, I find it hard to believe that he wouldn't have taken it for study or simply of envy.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:10 AM   #24
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I think he would probably take it to study, and perhaps try to make more Rings of his own. Remember, when Gandalf goes to see him in The Fellowship of the Ring, Saruman calls himself "Ring-maker," and Gandalf sees a new Ring on Saruman's hand. Perhaps Saruman would study it more closely, and realize how to "subdue" a race or rule a race through a Ring, which, of course, would be disastrous.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:24 AM   #25
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The only reason Sauron wanted to find the 3 rings in the 2nd age, was because they were hidden and nobody was wearing them, so he couldn't control anyone, he only wanted 2 give them out again, to ensnare people, like he did with the others!
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:30 AM   #26
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Well, we could probably just rule it out as an error, but where's the fun in that? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Perhaps Saruman, in his rashness, forgot about Narya? Gandalf may have concentrated on keeping Saruman's mind away from Narya. This may be hard to believe but it is a theory.

And if Saruman should remember Narya he knew where it was and that it couldn't escape him. More pressing matters were on his mind.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:31 AM   #27
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Rudeboy, that is not exactly accurate. The bearers of the Three Elven Rings were often wearing them, as evidenced by Frodo seeing the Ring of Adamant on Galadriel's finger in Lothlorien. And Sauron could not exert any real "control" over any of the bearers of the Three Rings as he could with the Ringwraiths or the wearers of the Seven Dwarven Rings (remember, Sauron never actually helped make, or touched the Three). The One Ring and the Three were bound together in that the Three ceased to hold any 'magical' power after the One was destroyed, but that is the limit of their connection.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:55 AM   #28
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I, too, cannot imagine Saruman not wanting Narya if it came within his sphere of influence. What I do wonder is if Gandalf had some means of defense, so that the ring could not simply be taken from him, much like the inability of the Witch King to simply pick Frodo up and shake him down for the One Ring. They could have seized the Ring when Frodo wore it but not otherwise unless he gave it up by loss of his will to keep it from the Nazgul. Perhaps there was some property of Narya that allowed its bearer to retain it by will in this way? I wouldn't think that Saruman could wrest it from Gandalf without a rather big fight, anyway! And, unless Saruman gained possession of the One Ring, he couldn't take advantage of Narya save to take it from Gandalf, which I think would be VERY difficult. I would think that knowing Gandalf held Narya would just enrage him and make him seek out the One Ring with all the more diligence.

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Old 01-12-2004, 04:39 PM   #29
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The problem with Gandalf somehow distracting Saruman from Narya is that he was trapped in Saruman's place of power and, by his own explicit admission in recounting his tale at Rivendell, was completely powerless. I don't see that the 'Unfinished Tales' version can be reconciled with LOTR without Saruman looking like a light-minded idiot, instead of a wily and powerful opponent obsessed with ring-lore, and without calling Gandalf a liar (or exaggerator at best).

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 5:40 PM January 12, 2004: Message edited by: Lost One ]
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:36 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost One View Post
The problem with Gandalf somehow distracting Saruman from Narya is that he was trapped in Saruman's place of power and, by his own explicit admission in recounting his tale at Rivendell, was completely powerless.
In fairness, when he said that he was still concealing the existence of Narya from the people he was talking to...

I wonder whether Thrain provides an answer to this very interesting question. He, too, was imprisoned by a rogue Maia while carrying objects of great importance - and he, too, managed to keep them a secret. In Thrain's case, he was willing to give up his Ring (surely the easiest to hide!) to Sauron in order to keep the map and key to Erebor safe. Is it unreasonable to say that Gandalf, a being of higher order facing one of less power than Sauron, and not suffering torture either, was able to preserve even a Ring of Power? Perhaps he was "completely powerless" to escape because he was exerting all his power to keep Narya safe.

Perhaps the answer is as simple as this: Gandalf would be a tough nut to crack. Saruman decided to let him moulder away on top of Orthanc for a while before he tried to take a Ring of Power from him, even in his seemingly-defeated state. There was lots to do, and the Dark Lord's plans were not yet ready to be launched... and it wasn't like Gandalf was going anywhere, right? Hey, what's that flapping noise?

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Old 01-22-2023, 08:22 PM   #31
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Great old thread! Thanks for reawakening it!

As posters mentioned above (years ago now) there is an apparent disconnect between what is written in the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. One suggests that the location of Narya was not known by others, and the other suggests that Saruman knew Gandalf wielded that Ring. LoTR is silent on this issue.

Setting aside whether the two statements can be reconciled, let's assume that Saruman knew or suspected that Gandalf wore Narya. Gandalf arrives at Orthanc. Saruman discloses his intentions regarding the One Ring. Gandalf rejects him. The two Wizards have a wild magical duel. Gandalf is defeated and is magically restrained and imprisoned on the pinnacle of Orthanc. Considering this, our dilemma is unsolvable. Knowing that Gandalf had Narya, which Saruman obviously coveted, and having defeated Gandalf in a violent magical duel, Saruman should have forcibly taken Narya. This makes no sense... Wait a minute...

The magical duel was an element only of the movies, of course. There is no such duel in the books. FoTR states that when Gandalf arrived at Isengard, he was met at the strongly guarded gates and was escorted to Orthanc where he entered, and the guards led him to Saruman's "high chamber." Gandalf is offered his choices; join with Saruman or work for Sauron. Gandalf choses neither, and "they," meaning the guards and perhaps also Saruman, take him to the pinnacle, until Saruman "can find means to persuade" him. This seems to mean that Saruman could not easily defeat Gandalf via force.

While the books imply a hierarchy among the Wizards, white, grey, brown, blue, there is no clear indication that Saruman was significantly more "powerful" than Gandalf. The grey wizard certainly respected the white. But recall that Galadriel wanted Gandalf, not Saruman, placed in charge of the White Counsel. Recall also that when the wizards were sent to Middle Earth, they were "incarnated." They did not assume the guise of old men, they were old men, and they were forbidden from meeting preternatural force with force.

Note that while Gandalf was deemed one of the wise and had deep knowledge and skills, he rarely displayed any significant "magical" ability. He designed fireworks, and caused a flash in the Goblin's cave when they captured the Dwarves that killed a few Orcs and let him escape. During the Battle of Five Armies, he actually fights with a sword, though Bilbo suspected that he was planning some last magical act. It is not until he is resurrected as Gandalf the White that he exercises real power.

Perhaps Saruman does not attempt to take Narya from Gandalf by force simply because he is not sure that he could do so. Surely Gandalf would resist any such attempt. Perhaps Saruman was content to lock Gandalf away under guard until he saw the error of his ways through slow duress, or Sauron ultimately prevailed. Keep in mind that the real prize was not Narya, but the One Ring, and Saruman knew that Gandalf was aware of its whereabouts. Even so, Saruman did not attempt to use force to compel Gandalf to reveal where the Ring could be found.
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Old 01-23-2023, 04:28 AM   #32
Huinesoron
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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
As posters mentioned above (years ago now) there is an apparent disconnect between what is written in the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. One suggests that the location of Narya was not known by others, and the other suggests that Saruman knew Gandalf wielded that Ring. LoTR is silent on this issue.
Obviously Tolkien's drafts can contradict themselves, but in this case I don't think they even do. Leaving aside the fact that knowing Gandalf has Narya is different to deducing it, the Silm quote has context:

Quote:
Therefore ere the Third Age was ended the Elves perceived that the Ring of Sapphire was with Elrond, in the fair valley of Rivendell... whereas the Ring of Adamant was in the Land of Lórien... But the Red Ring remained hidden until the end, and none save Elrond and Galadriel and Círdan knew to whom it had been committed.
"None" refers to the Eldar; it's not a blanket statement, but just a description of what the Elves had figured out. It's actually not entirely clear that they knew who wore Nenya and Vilya - just which realms they were in. They couldn't figure out where Narya was, because there was no third realm being preserved like those two. Saruman was working from different perception, and different assumptions.

Fantastic point about the (lack of) magical duel. If we take "persuade" at face value, Saruman might even have still been hoping to win Gandalf to his cause (presumably as "with our powers combined we could take down Sauron", which is Gandalf's ostensible goal). Generally speaking, breaking someone's fingers and stealing one of the world's most powerful artefacts from them isn't a great way to get their help.

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