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Old 02-18-2007, 04:43 PM   #1
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What if Isengard joined forces with Gondor?

Could Mordor be toppled if Rohan, Isengard & Gondor worked together to defeat Mordor?
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Old 02-18-2007, 05:01 PM   #2
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I am not really sure what you mean.
If Saruman wouldn't have rebelled against the rest of the Council, he would have never created any army, so Isenagard wouldn't really have had a big force.
But I am quite sure that he could have helped the Fellowship a lot.
Many things would have been different.

Gandalf would have had no need to go to Isenagrd, since Saruman wouldn't have asked Radagast to send this message in the first place. This way the problems caused by the Nazgul in Eriador could have been avoided and Frodo could have reached Rivendell much more easily.
There would have been no need to use the pass of Caradhras or the Mines of Moria, the Gap of Rohan would have been the best choice. Rohan's forces wouldn't suffer any losses and Theoden could reached Minas Tirith sooner then in the book. The Ents would have played no part in the war probably. Gollum would have died in Moria, and there wouldn't have been a Gandalf the White.

So yes, I guess if you think about it this way, you could say that if Saruman wouldn't have rebelled, the book would have had much less action. But in the end, I think it would have also meant failure for the quest. Frodo had reached a much greater level through all the difficulties he faced on his way, it was this that helped him overcome all the problems and make it to the Sammath Naur. Also, Gollum would have died in Moria, since there wouldn't have been any Fellowship to come through the west gate just as he was hiding around.

So, I guess that if Saruman would have remained a good guy the Fellowship would have failed in the end.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:31 AM   #3
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Also, say the Ring had been lost in the Sea or whatever. Mordor's army in total was much, much bigger than the combined forces of Gondor and Rohan – even without the damage Saruman gave them. If the Ring hadn't been found, and Saruman hadn't turned to evil, the result would have been a much longer and bloodier war, and all-round bad news for the good guys.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:14 PM   #4
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Saruman and Gandalf combined would have been nearer a match for Sauron without the Ring, but they would still have been under the prohibition against taking direct action in the War, and so would only have been in a position to give advice.

The point about Gollum is a good one. Frodo would never have been able to destroy the Ring on his own, and it was only through Gollum's intervention that it was eventually destroyed. I don't believe that anyone else would have been able to intervene in this manner.

The story as I see it evolving is:
  • With the combined advice of Saruman and Gandalf, and with an undiminished and undistracted Rohan available, the good guys can hold out against Sauron for longer, but they don't have sufficient strength to be able to ultimately overcome him.
  • Frodo and Sam make it to the Crack in much the same way as before, but without Gollum.
  • Frodo claims the Ring.
  • With no Gollum to intervene, Sauron eventually gets it back off him.
  • Much badness ensues.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:29 AM   #5
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Well, Boromir would've still been alive... but if the fellowship still would probably fall because Sarumans Uruk-Hai made them fight together.

Boromir might have took the ring for himself too...
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:34 PM   #6
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It seems to me the question then becomes would the forces of Isengard, Rohan, and Gondor be equal, to or superior to, the ancient armies of Gil-Galad and Elendil. It's my impression, and it's only an impression, that they would not. And the former army only prevailed through a fortuitous severing of a finger.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:45 PM   #7
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What if Saruman sent his Uruk Hai army to aid Gondor as oppose to sending it to destroy Rohan?

It is conceivable to think that the Ring was on it's way to Gondor from Saruman's & Sauron's point of view. Saruman could not have overthrown Gondor by strength of arms, but could he have helped overthrow Sauron if Gondor, Rohan & Isengard faught in league, putting their differences aside?

Saruman probably guesses that the Fellowship do not intend to use the Ring, rather they seek to hide it from Sauron. If they go to Minas Tirith, Mordor will attack in great numbers very shortly, hence Isengard is unleashed in a suprise attack on Mordor to repel the threat of the Ring being taken by Sauron. By this time, Gondor & Rohan have prepared a full strength army, which has a choice of joining arms with Isengard to overthrow Mordor once & for all - the temptation is too strong & they decide to go for it.

Would Sauron be overthrown in these circumstances?

This brings the Battle of Five Armies to mind in The Hobbit.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:55 PM   #8
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Would Gondor ever ally itself with such monsters whose very act of creation was a despicable act, I don't think so. Maybe if Boromir got the ring
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:05 PM   #9
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Well, first of all mansun, Saruman really would not have an Uruk-Hai army unless he had made a pact with Sauron.

But Saruman is very powerful and I do not doubt that he could amass a great army nonetheless if need be. And if he did so, he would surely have helped.

There would be no Uruk-Hai because Saruman created them because he was to "build an army worthy of Mordor". Sauron did not mean to get a bunch of blonde dudes and attack Helm's Deep. He meant build an evil army to strike fear into the West.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:15 PM   #10
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I don't think Saruman is as cunning a commander like the Witch King, so he probably wouldn't be that great at amassing a great army like Mordor. But Saruman was prepared to betray Mordor all along at all costs to save the Ring. Rohan & Gondor would not have faught alongside Isengard, rather they would have attacked Mordor at the latter stage of the battle when the Mordor army was shaken up & disorientated to an extent. Isengard afterall had a ferocious army, if somewhat small.
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:56 PM   #11
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Sting

Could Mordor, in theory, be overthrown if all other forces in ME united under one banner against Sauron?
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:16 AM   #12
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It depends on the moment they strike. For a good deal of the Third Age, Sauron was vulnerable, himself and the strength of his forces against all (western) M-E. Perhaps the military balance of power was tilted towards the good guys as late as 2951, when Sauron declares himself and rebuilds Barad-dur.
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ninja91
Well, first of all mansun, Saruman really would not have an Uruk-Hai army unless he had made a pact with Sauron.

But Saruman is very powerful and I do not doubt that he could amass a great army nonetheless if need be. And if he did so, he would surely have helped.

There would be no Uruk-Hai because Saruman created them because he was to "build an army worthy of Mordor". Sauron did not mean to get a bunch of blonde dudes and attack Helm's Deep. He meant build an evil army to strike fear into the West.
Very good point!

What force would Saruman have had anyway if he had not become corrupt? He would have been simply a wizard in possession of a high tower. Unless of course he had been able to bring the Dunlendings and other people around to the side of the West.

However, Saruman's move to his 'third way' was a great loss to the forces of the West as his knowledge and intelligence were so valuable, not least his Ring Lore. He was also skilled in technology and could maybe have helped by developing new kids of weaponry. And of course, he had that voice. So even without an army of his own, Saruman would have been a powerful asset.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:39 AM   #14
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There would be no Uruk-Hai because Saruman created them because he was to "build an army worthy of Mordor".
Debatable. That command from Sauron appears only in the movie. Ever since he became corrupt, Saruman wanted to take Sauron's place. Even after he is "ensnared" by Sauron, he still keeps his plans, as he confesses to Gandalf. It doesn't look like he made the uruk hai to help Sauron, quite the contrary case could be made.

If Saruman didn't became corrupt, he would agree to attack Dol Guldur in 2851, and not 90 years later, when it made little difference. It may be argued that the attack could have come sooner (perhaps 1100 when they first found out there was something fishy) if he and Gandalf joined forces and even the ring might have been found sooner, who knows. If there was proper communication between Gandalf and Saruman, Saruman might have inferred quicker about Bilbo's ring being the one. Or maybe they would have tracked it together sooner than Bilbo (Radagast would be more helpful, if Saruman would stick to his good side and offer him a chance to get involved in this.)

The best that they could have achieved would have been to kill Sauron, again and bring the ring to Mount Doom, anytime sooner than 1300, when the nazgul reappear, or the latest in 1980, when the witch-king returns to Mordor.
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:12 AM   #15
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I thought Saruman built his Uruk-Hai army with the intention of aiding Mordor initially, but the army itself was built by Saruman, not Sauron. So in theory Saruman could have done as he wished with his army.
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:29 AM   #16
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In the book, Saruman and Sauron were not really great allies, more acknowledging that the enemy of their enemy is there friend... for now

if saruman or sauron succeeded in destroying Gondor and Rohan, they would surely be at war with each other for posession of the ring.
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:31 PM   #17
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In 'The Hunt for the Ring' in Unfinished Tales it mentions Saruman's 'treachery' to Sauron. I guess Saruman did promise service to Sauron but did he ever really mean it?
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:46 PM   #18
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I guess Saruman did promise service to Sauron but did he ever really mean it?
Indeed. In The Palantir chapter, Gandalf talks about Saruman's likely fall:
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Easy it is now to guess how quickly the roving eye of Saruman was trapped and held; and how ever since he has been persuaded from afar, and daunted when persuasion would not serve. The biter bit, the hawk under the eagle's foot, the spider in a steel web! How long, I wonder, has he been constrained to come often to his glass for inspection and instruction, and the Orthanc-stone so bent towards Barad-dūr that, if any save a will of adamant now looks into it, it will bear his mind and sight swiftly thither?
and earlier, at the council of Elrond, he talks about Saruman's plans:
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This then is one choice before you. Before us. We may join with that Power. It would be wise, Gandalf. There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it. As the Power grows, its proved friends will also grow; and the Wise, such as you and I, may with patience come at last to direct its courses, to control it.
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:45 AM   #19
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But he always wanted power for himself and played the dangerous game of taking Sauron for a ride, no matter how scared he was of him. Wasn't Saruman suggesting to Gandalf that they should appear as aids to Sauron to give them time to find the Ring, and not seriously joining forces with the Dark Lord? That would mean that Saruman's army was never intended to aid Mordor.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:12 AM   #20
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I believe so Eomer...Saruman was playing a dangerous game. Saruman wanted the Ring, power, and control for himself. And I think the easiest way for him (in his mind) to get that would be to join with Sauron. It seems like a rather smart thing to do, I mean militarily the people opposing Sauron had no shot at all. So the easiest way to get what Saruman (from Saruman's POV) would be to actually join with Sauron and then betray him.

Of course these were Saruman's 'secret plans' and as he tells Gandalf; 'We can bide our time, we can keep our thoughts in our hearts...' (The Council of Elrond). Despite this I believe Sauron figured out what Saruman was up to, and Saruman really had not kept his thoughts hidden:

'I Grishnakh say this: Saruman is a fool, and a dirty treacherous fool. But the Great Eye is on him.'~The Uruk-hai

'But they shall help to rebuild Isengard which they have wantonly destroyed, and that shall be Sauron's, and there his lieutenant shall dwell: not Saruman, but one more worthy of trust.'~The Black Gate Opens

Just as some interesting side notes. When Denethor's father (Ecthelion) was the Steward; Denethor didn't like Gandalf and kept telling his dad he should trust Saruman...and in an early draft (Home VII The Treason of Isengard) Tolkien played with the idea that Boromir would side with Saruman. So, there are some loose connections with a Gondor-Isengard relationship; however once Saruman turned to evil, I doubt Gondor would have any interest in siding with him.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:32 PM   #21
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Just as some interesting side notes. When Denethor's father (Ecthelion) was the Steward; Denethor didn't like Gandalf and kept telling his dad he should trust Saruman...and in an early draft (Home VII The Treason of Isengard) Tolkien played with the idea that Boromir would side with Saruman. So, there are some loose connections with a Gondor-Isengard relationship; however once Saruman turned to evil, I doubt Gondor would have any interest in siding with him.
The obvious similarity is that Denethor, Boromir & Saurman had a desire only to command; they would not serve others or let others govern their affairs. Saruman must have gained this understanding from Ecthelion that in their hearts lay an opportunity to remove Sauron through strength of arms using the Ring or other such weapon. That is what made them all fall under the lure of Sauron, & ultimately the Ring.

But then why didn't Sauron choose to target Denethor as someone to join forces with him, if he was capable of poisoning the minds of all who challenged him with the Seeing Stones?
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Old 02-28-2007, 02:09 PM   #22
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Mansun, good question, it may seem like a smart thing to do...but I think Sauron's hatred for Isildur and Isildur's city were a stronger factor:
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'Yes, he has only four on the Black Hand, but they are enough,' said Gollum shuddering. 'And he hated Isildur's city.'~The Black Gate is Closed
It's then no surprise that Sauron hating Gondor, and Gondor probably being his strongest enemy, that it would be Gondor who bore the bulk of Sauron's attack.
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