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Old 06-15-2002, 05:47 PM   #1
Thingol
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Sting The Palantiri

I have two questions about these stones. First why was Pippin so drawn to the Orthanc Stone? The Palantiri had existed for thousands of years and had had numerous guardians. (The Unfinished Tales says that each stone had its own guardian, and that the King would only look into it when he needed to obtain information personally) These guardians obviously wouldn't have felt drawn to their palantir at all times. Denethor is not characterized as being drawn to his palantir either, he looks into it of his own accord, not because he feels that he has to. In The Silmarillion it talks about an 8th master stone residing in Tol-Erresea. My second question is, when Sauron captured the Ithil Stone and twisted it to his use, why didn't the keeper(s) of the master stone do anything? Even Gandalf was afraid to confront Sauron by looking into the stone, would Sauron have been strong enough to retch the master stone away from the control of its keeper(s)? Somehow I doubt it, Aragorn was able to bend the Orthanc Stone to his will because the stone was rightfully his. The keeper of the master stone would have also been the rightful air. So this raises the question of what was the keeper of the master stone (if the master stone even actually exists, I’ve never seen any mention of it outside of the Silmarillion) doing while Sauron was twisting the other stones to his evil purpose?
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Old 06-15-2002, 05:53 PM   #2
Tigerlily Gamgee
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Silmaril

<font color=gold>Well, as for Pippin being drawn to the stone. I think that just has a lot to do with the fact that Sauron's power was breathing in it at the time. It's sort of how they are drawn to the Ring as well. I imagine Sauron's power would have the same affect on anyone who would gaze into the palatir.
As for the master stone. I thought that it was lost, so I don't know how to answer this. I'm sure one of our more scholarly members can jump in.
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Old 06-15-2002, 06:06 PM   #3
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Sting

That fool of a Took seemed rather drawn to trouble in general, to my mind. * gentle good-natured joking smile with just a hint of gruffness *

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Old 06-15-2002, 06:18 PM   #4
Thingol
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Sting

In The Lord of the Rings and The Unfinished Tales Tolkien refers to the stone that was situated in the Dome of Stars in Osgiliath as the master of the seven seeing stones. That stone was lost in the kin strife of Gondor in the third age. However, in the Simarillion an 8th stone is mentioned, supposedly located in Tol-Eressia. This stone is also said to be the master stone.

[ June 15, 2002: Message edited by: Thingol ]
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Old 06-16-2002, 06:03 PM   #5
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Sting

Quote:
My second question is, when Sauron captured the Ithil Stone and twisted it to his use, why didn't the keeper(s) of the master stone do anything? Even Gandalf was afraid to confront Sauron by looking into the stone, would Sauron have been strong enough to retch the master stone away from the control of its keeper(s)? Somehow I doubt it, Aragorn was able to bend the Orthanc Stone to his will because the stone was rightfully his.
i doubt that the keeper(s) of the master stone would even have the power to confront sauron and bend his palantir to their will.
Botht he orthanc and ithil stones were those of the lesser ones compared to arnor or Annuminas. The only reason aragorn succesfully used the stone is because he had a strong enough will to. Him being "entitled" to it has nothing to do with it.
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Old 06-16-2002, 07:43 PM   #6
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Sting

Now, Gandalf, be nice to Pippin; I wouldn’t say you’re terribly adept at staying away from trouble yourself. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

And now for Belin’s wild hypothesis about Pippin (and, trust me, I have a lot of those): Maybe, since the stones called to each other, Sauron was reaching through them to exert a similar pull on their users. Denethor seems to have been more and more drawn to and dependant upon his, after all, and before Pippin looked in the Orthanc-Stone, Gandalf was thinking of looking in it, even though he afterward admitted that it might not have been such a good idea for him to have done so, so perhaps it was working on his mind as well after he’d touched it. Pippin, as usual, was in the wrong place at the wrong time (or maybe it was the right place at the right time, after all).

And on the other hand, stepping from a literal level to a literary one, I wonder if it isn’t somehow parallel to Frodo’s experience with the Ring, in its own small way.

--Belin Ibaimendi
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Old 06-16-2002, 08:11 PM   #7
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Sting

I agree with you, Belin. I think when Pippin got a brief glimpse of the Orthanc Stone as it rolled down the steps towards the pool, and then even touched it, that was all it took to make him want to gaze into it again.

I think it may have had the same effect on Denethor as well. Sauron's will was flowing into these stones, making people want to gaze into them. Sauron could then "twist" the message and drive the user to despair by showing them lies and half-truths about he strengths. Plus luring people to use the Palantir was a great way for Sauron to get info on the actions of his enemies, as he tried to do with Pippin.

Only Aragorn was up to looking into the Face of the Dark Lord and beating him at his own game.
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Old 06-16-2002, 08:26 PM   #8
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Thingol, for the first question I'd always gotten the impression (not exactly sure from where, but still, there it is) that the palantiri were naturally rather "magnetic" objects and that the weaker one's mind, the harder it would be to resist taking a peek. I'm not sure what it's possible to compare them with in the real world, but think of those fairy tales where the hero goes into the magic room and can touch ANYTHING except the dazzling magical golden firebird in its cage in the corner. Of course, after that it takes a huge and constant effort on his part *not* to touch the thing. (And of course, he fails, touches the object and falls into its power, since if he didn't everything would go smoothly and the story would end before it really began). The palantir is a bit similar in the sense that there's a very strong pull from the object itself, so that touching it will affect one's mind greatly, and the fact that it's expressly forbidden is the final straw that makes the hero/Pippin desperate to have it. And of course Pippin gives in to the pull that seizes on him after he touches the palantir the first time, and merry hell ensues.

And really there's nothing to imply that the pull of the palantiri wasn't always there, it's just that the strength of mind of the people around them was at a different level. Denethor is a very powerful man with enough mental strength to read minds; ultimately he can't control the palantir but he can do a good job holding its power at bay for a while. The guards appointed for the palantiri surely were picked from men who were noble and strong-minded enough to resist the pull for a good while - also there's no reason to suppose they would ever have touched one, and thus been so strongly tempted; it's not the kind of job you can see being handed to just anyone who walked in off the street. Pippin, though, was a hobbit, and while hobbits are stronger than they look (He and Frodo both survive ordeals that might have destroyed an ordinary man) he might as well have come from another planet in this case; there was nothing in Pippin's background that even remotely resembled the palantir or required using mental resistance that way. It's not hard to see why Pippin went off the deep end when even Gandalf and Denethor had to struggle.
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Old 06-16-2002, 10:31 PM   #9
Thingol
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Sting

Well first off Tolkien stated in The Unfinished Tales that being entitled to the Palantiri had quite a bit to do with ones ability to use them. In The Two Towers Gandalf was afraid to look into the Orthanc Stone, but Aragorn doesn't fear to take it because it was his birthright. And in The Return of the King Aragorn states that it was because he was the rightful heir to the palantir that he was able to turn the stone to his will. I would assume that because the Ithil Stone was a lesser stone, that would make the keeper(s) of the master stone's resistance to Sauron easier. Also Kalimac, it says that the guardians of the palantiri used them frequently. The Kings of Arnor and Gondor only used the palantiri when they urgently needed to obtain sensitive information personally. I like Belin's theory that Sauron was reaching through the stones to exert a pull on their users. As Kalimac said Pippin did not exactly have a will of adamant, so he would easily succumb to the allure of the palantir. Somehow Sauron must have been able to affect the nature of all the other palantiri. But if Sauron was affecting all of the other palantiri then what was the keeper(s) of the master stone doing?
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Old 06-17-2002, 11:04 AM   #10
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Sting

Ok. Him being an heir of elendil would help him. But the true reason he used the palantir the way he wanted to was because he had a strong enough will. Denethor didnt
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Old 06-17-2002, 12:52 PM   #11
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I haven't read the books in quite awhile and everything is vague so excuse my ignorance. But I thought he [Aragorn] looked into the Palantir to reveal himself to Sauron.
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Old 06-17-2002, 01:07 PM   #12
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do show him that isildur's heir was alive, yea.
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Old 06-18-2002, 10:40 AM   #13
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This is my first post here, as I only yesterday was recommended to visit the site. But I would say that a very good reason Pippin was drawn to the palantir was...he was Pippin. He's a younger hobbit that, throughout the books, shows a remarkable ability to get into trouble. Whether he was stealing from farmer Maggot's crop or dropping rocks into wells in Moria, he was always up to something. The palantir would have seemed an almost unresistable object to his curious mind. And the best way to get a curious fellow like Pip to do something is...to tell him not to. Also, it makes for an interesting and exciting moment in the story. Not everything has to be the result of supernatural powers and influence.
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Old 06-18-2002, 10:44 AM   #14
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And yes, I just caught the typo in my signature, hehe.
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Old 06-18-2002, 09:35 PM   #15
Kalimac
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OK Thingol, you got me [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] - I haven't read the Unfinished Tales yet (well, bits and pieces, but mostly about Ungoliant/Ungwe Lianti for some reason), still getting through the Silmarillion. Sorry for jumping to conclusions about the guardians.

Now that I've read the thread over again, I'm wondering if maybe Gandalf the Grey was on the right track - maybe the pull had less to do with Sauron (comparatively) than with Pippin. The reason I say this is because of the famous stone-in-the-well incident in FOTR, where Pippin feels "a curious attraction to the well" and drops the stone in, thus bringing down hordes of Orcs around their ears and almost getting everyone killed. This is really similar to Pippin feeling attracted to the Palantir, foolishly looking into it and getting (as the Mines of Moria) quite a bit more than he bargained for. Also interesting that in both cases Pippin was humbled by a stone. And while the Mines of Moria were certainly evil, it's hard to believe that Sauron was lurking in the well the same way he was lurking in the Palantir. Maybe it was just something about Pippin - his taste for pranks may have been twisted by the evil of his surroundings into an unfortunate ability to "tune in" to the well or the Palantir or whatever, to be attracted to whatever it was that would wreak the most havoc. Does that make any sense at all or am I just theorizing to the point of absurdity?

Just another thought on it; it's true that Pippin is not alone in not having a will of adamant, but he really seems to be the only one who tunes into those things quite that way. Boromir wasn't exactly a master of resisting temptation, but as far as we know he never gave the well a thought one way or the other - though how Boromir would have reacted to the Palantir is an interesting what-if, considering how Denethor was. Personally my thought is that Boromir, not having the long-sight in the least and being more the straight-up warrior type, wouldn't have had the thought occur to him that the stone could be useful, but who knows.
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