Mark Reads ‘The Two Towers’: Chapter 10

In the tenth chapter of The Two Towers, Gandalf and company attempt to confront Saruman in the Orthanc tower. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Lord of the Rings.


Seriously, I am just so in love with this book.

I knew we would eventually have to meet Saruman, but I was unsure where Tolkien would take the wizard’s characterization. When we finally do get a chance to experience him without it being filtered through Gandalf, it’s every bit of satisfying as I hoped.

The truth is that I’ve never really read a book like this in my whole life. I know that I’ve generally avoided high fantasy, and I imagine that once I do start reading books from that genre after this, I’ll find a lot that’s in common with Tolkien’s epic novel. For now, though, I don’t know that I really have anything to compare it to that’s not a series that came after it. I use the word “scope” a lot to discuss this book, and I find myself returning to it again: the fact that the scope of this novel is so immense and Tolkien still has time to subtly build characters on top of it is just so impressive to me. I’m even more fascinated by his choice to avoid narrating from the main character for ten chapters in a row. Like, this is a sixth of the entire novel where the main character is still off doing something that we’re completely unaware of. It’s so fantastic because in the process, he’s made all of the other members of the Company interesting, too.

But let’s finally talk about the disgraced and fallen wizard, Saruman. I liked that before we even got here, it was clear that Tolkien was giving us a portrait of a man who wanted power, but could never quite execute it the way he desired. I’m still drawn to the idea in the last chapter that Saruman’s tower is just a poor imitation of what he wishes he were, and that he’ll always live in the shadow of Sauron. What we see here in chapter ten is an extension of that, and I’m far more intrigued by a flawed villain than one who is just evil for the sake of it. (Ahem – Orcs.)

I do like that it also takes Gandalf a sentence or two to be convinced of practically anything, including taking his friends with him to confront Saruman. But this detail sort of set me on edge:

‘And Saruman has powers you do not guess. Beware of his voice!’

WELL, OKAY. How do they speak with him if his voice can be a possible weapon?

You just DEAL WITH IT. God, I wish I was much more talented at making GIFs because I really need a Gandalf DEAL WITH IT image for this chapter. When Saruman does arrive and when he does speak, I suddenly understand not only what Gandalf was referring to, but why he himself is such a powerful wizard. Saruman’s trick involves tone. I imagine it’s a form of magic that he once mastered, but he uses the tone of his voice to convey a feeling, so much so that he could pretty much say whatever he wanted and those under his spell would believe he said something.

Mostly they remembered only that it was a delight to hear the voice speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves. When others spoke they seemed harsh and uncouth by contrast; and if they gainsaid the voice, anger was kindled in the hearts of those under the spell.

Wow, that’s just downright unsettling. What’s mind-blowing to me, though, is how Tolkien chooses to use this very power as Saruman’s ultimate downfall. What we experience is how quickly the wizard cycles through different attitudes. He starts off acting injured, as if these visitors are just being rude for showing up to bother. Like, how dare they come to his house and yell at him! Gosh, have some tact!

He then immediately acts like he is a wronged friend of Théoden. To me, it felt like desperation. In this last-ditch effort to further deceive and trick those before him, he tried to pick out different methods to convince each person there. At first, though, especially when he gives an impassioned speech about peace to Théoden, I worried that any one of these characters might fall under Saruman’s spell. Éomer was quick to disprove this, insulting Saruman rapidly in the midst of his monologue, but Théoden was so quiet. OH GOD, YOU MUST RESIST. DON’T BELIEVE HIM. HE’S A LIAR.

‘We will have peace,’ said Théoden at last thickly and with an effort.


‘Yes, we will have peace,’ he said, now in a clear voice, ‘we will have peace, when you and all your works have perished – and the works of your dark master to whom you would deliver us. You are a liar, Saruman, and a corrupter of men’s hearts. You hold out your hand to me, and I perceive only a finger of the claw of Mordor.’


‘When you hang from a gibbet at your window for the sport of your own crows, I will have peace with you and Orthanc.’

NEVER HAS THE THREAT OF VIOLENCE BEEN SO BEAUTIFUL. It’s here that Saruman begins his descent into failure by making a critical error: he gets upset. I think that his voice magic thingy might have worked if he had committed to keeping the same voice and tone, but by momentarily revealing his anger, he breaks. I’ll bring this up later when Gandalf comments on it, but it’s important to note how Saruman brings about his failure. It’s clear, too, that when he finally turns to speak to Gandalf, it’s his last effort. What blows me away is how blatantly he lies. Even if he tries to use the power of his voice to move others, the actual words that are coming out of his mouth are wholly untrue. HE LIVES IN A TOWER CONSTRUCTED OF LIES. Yet even for a moment, all those aside from Gandalf begin to worry that the wizard is taken in. It’s why I love the fact that what dispels this fantasy is laughter. Gandalf laughs at Saruman because his lies are so absurd they’re humorous. It simply does not work on him, for he knows the truth of what happened to him the last time he came to the Orthanc, and nothing this man can say will change.

In a very Gandalf-like fashion, the powerful wizard offers Saruman a choice: to leave his tower, surrender the key to Orthanc, his staff, and then he is free to go wherever he pleases. Gandalf even offers him protection if he stays to help them. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t accept, but that’s not meant to shock me. What Gandalf does next is surprising to me: he reminds everyone that he is Gandalf the White, now the most powerful wizard in all of Middle-earth. I got chills when he ordered Saruman back to the iron rail and he obeyed.

‘I am Gandalf the White, who has returned from death. You have no colour now, and I cast you from the order and from the Council.’

He raised his hand, and spoke slowly in a clear cold voice. ‘Saruman, your staff is broken.’ There was a crack, and the staff split asunder in Saruman’s hand, and the head of it fell down at Gandalf’s feet.


!!!!!!!!! THIS IS SO AMAZING!!!!! Oh, holy shit, Gandalf. Incredible. And it only gets better! The ramifications of this – of Saruman being kicked out of the Council – have another twist that seems worse to me. Saruman is now stuck in his own tower with WORMTONGUE. Who, by the way, threw out some sort of dark crystal globe at Gandalf and apparently it’s important? I have no idea what it is, but let’s just appreciate this punishment. I don’t doubt that Saruman is irritated with Wormtongue, but now he’s stuck there. HAHAHA THIS IS SO BRILLIANT.

But the truth is that Saruman is riddled with conflicts, and it’s this sort of thing that was his undoing. Gandalf elaborates on this as they all leave Orthanc, but the man wants to command while also being unable to do so. He wanted to be a “tyrant” to his foes while simultaneously being their counselor. He is terrified of Mordor, yet desires to be Mordor. He is a walking contradiction, and it’s going to destroy him if Sauron doesn’t do it first.

Yet I think my favorite thing in all of chapter ten is at the very end. As our heroes all bid goodbye to the Ents and to Treebird, promising strange friendships and visits to the Fangorn, the great elder Ent wonders aloud what will happen to Saruman, and Gandalf tells him that the failed wizard must never be allowed to escape.

‘Leave it to the Ents!’ said Treebeard. ‘We shall search the valley from head to foot and peer under every pebble. Trees are coming back to live here, old trees, wild trees. The Watchwood we will call it. Not a squirrel will go here, but I shall know of it. Leave it to the Ents! Until seven times the years in which he tormented us have passed, we shall not tire of watching him.’


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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311 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Two Towers’: Chapter 10

  1. Alice says:

    The voice of Saruman…yeah! :|What a power…So seductive and treacherous! I will <3 Theoden 4ever !!! And yeah,Gandalf is again such a BAMF and Saruman was sooo OWNED ^_^

    In this order : Igor Kordej-Orthanc(that looks interesting 🙂 ) and a John Howe-Saruman sketch.

    And this is in my mind when Gandalf says “Saruman…your staff is broken!!” :p :D.Art by Greg Horn.

    • Alice says:

      OMG!!!!!First!..I can't belive it!<3 xD

    • blossomingpeach says:

      I really loved what John Howe had to say about that sketch of Saruman:

      "And no, he DOESN'T look like Christopher Lee. I was actually thinking of the other Lee – Alan – trying to imagine how his darker side, which he keeps well-hidden under the graceful mantle of the perfect gentleman, might look."

      I love all these images. Thanks for compiling them, Alice!

    • cait0716 says:

      I always love these art-spam posts!

      • Alice says:

        Thank you guys :).I love art very much,and I'm fascinated by the artwork that the LOTR created around it.

    • blossomingpeach says:

      Was just examining the top picture more closely: So that's Gandalf in white standing at the top of the steps and Saruman on the balcony above? He totally looks like a woman with a fur-lined hooded coat. Maybe he's getting ready to freeze the waters flooding Isengard and go ice skating!

      • Alice says:

        😀 exactly.But I found it to be exotic,and interesting.Also I thought that I would show another artist,and not the established ones like Lee,Howe,Nasmith or Hildebrandts

        • blossomingpeach says:

          🙂 Yes–it's so interesting to see all the different artistic interpretations of the same scenes!

        • Alice says:

          …and also look at purple Grima above Saruman's huuuge mane :p.This image is so much fun,looking to see all the small details

  2. Tauriel_ says:

    The REAL "Voice of Saruman" (spoilers for the end of the book and the films)

    😀 😀 😀

    • flootzavut says:

      That was so unexpected and so awesome. I LOL'd

      And by the way, one of the two top comments really made me laugh: ROT13'd for, kind of, spoilers.

      Fnehzna ybirq gb gebyy… Ohg gura ur gbbx na neebj gb gur xarr k3

    • JustMalyn says:

      THIS IS THE BEST. I've seen it before, but I still laughed SO HARD.

    • jademg says:

      omg. I just found that the other day, and I am so glad someone posted it!!

  3. Juliana Moreli says:

    This chapter shows you how tense the situation could be if Saruman could got hold of the rest middle-earth inhabitants. He's a smooth talker…

  4. Nowaybackfromhere says:

    So…I get what you're saying about the Orcs…I do. BUT there's a reason for the Orcs being oneside. I don't think it's discussed in the LotR, but it's part of the back story of the world itself. It doesn't quite make up for the Orcs one dimensional quality, but they weren't left hanging without a backstory. (There's a simplified version mentioned briefly in the movies though!)

    • NeonProdigy says:

      Personally, I'm going to have to stick with Mark (and Terry Pratchett) on this one. The orcs get a pretty raw deal in the series, and it's pretty problematic to me when reading LotR.

      On a completely unrelated note, I'm looking forward to when Mark finally gets to Discworld~

      • ARITHMANCER says:

        In his review of Chapter 7, Mark made a comment I find quite insifghtful that frames the Orc question in what seems to me the right way:

        "What about the half-orc and goblin-men? I mean, I can’t get over the fact that Sarumen BRED THESE CREATURES FOR WAR. Like, what kind of fucked up existence is that? You are created by a wizard to do his evil deeds. What the hell?"

        Vg frrzf gb zr gung gur cbvag vf abg gur bepf' ynpx bs nzovthvgl naq zbeny ntrapl, juvpu n punenpgrevfgvp gurl unir, naq erny yvsr uhznaf qb abg. Gur cbvag vf gur qrcenivgl bs gubfr jub perngrq naq hfr gur Bepf nf gur gbbyf gb pneel bhg gurve rivy, jurgure vg jnf Zbetbgu perngvat gur bevtvany Bepf, be Fnheba, be Fnehzna oerrqvat uvf "vzcebirzragf" gb gurz.

        • MasterGhandalf says:

          I've always had a certain degree of sympathy for the orcs, particularly after learning their history in the Sil: onfvpnyyl, gur bayl ernfba gur bepf rkvfg nf n enpr vf orpnhfr Zryxbe jnf na hggreyl ubeevoyr orvat naq qrpvqrq gb oerrq n arj enpr bs orvatf sebz gur ryirf fbyryl fb ur'q unir fynirf gb qbzvangr naq gbezrag. Lbhe nirentr bep yvirf uvf yvsr xabjvat ur rkvfgf gb or n shyyl rkcraqnoyr fynir gb vzzbegny cbjref orlbaq uvf pbageby, jub ur ungrf ohg pnaabg rire or gehyl serr bs. Fznyy jbaqre gurl'er fb shyy bs ungr naq entr nyy gur gvzr- V cebonoyl jbhyq or gbb! Ng gur raq bs gur qnl, gur bep vf yrff gur snpr bs rivy guna gur ivpgvz bs vg, jub orpbzrf n crecrgengbe va ghea orpnhfr vg'f nyy ur xabjf.

          • flootzavut says:

            I think that might be the best summary of orcs that I've read. Gurl ner gur tha, engure guna gur unaq gung ubyqf gur tha naq chyyf gur gevttre. Gur bep urunivbhe vf nccnyyvat, ohg gurer ner ernfbaf naq ybtvp oruvaq vg gung znxr bar cvgl gurz, engure guna ungr gurz.

  5. Becky_J_ says:

    There's not a whole lot to this chapter… pretty much it's Sauruman trying to be all charming and everyone else not falling for it.

    Actually, it reminds me a lot of the boggart in HP…. he tries to beguile too many people at once, and turns into a half-slug fails to make anyone fall entirely under his spell.

    My favorite part of the chapter? When Legolas is all "Oh yeah, later, after we save the world, we're gonna come back and frolick in the forest" and Treebeard's all "Yeah, that sounds awesome, I love elves!" and Legolas is all "LOL no, he's a dwarf" and Treebeard's all "Uh DUDE DO YOU SEE THAT AXE" and Legolas is all "LOL DON'T WORRY he just used that axe to kill FORTY TWO ORCS" and Treebeard's all "FORTY TWO?? holy shit THAT'S A LOT LOL OKAY HE'S WELCOME HERE."

    Also, this is how I feel the ENTIRE time Sauruman is talking…..
    <img src=""&gt;

  6. Long pre-written comment is long.Anyway…

    This chapter is one of my favorites in the entire series, and there are some really great chapters to come. The tension of this confrontation and the way it’s battled out- not with force this time but with words and the power of speech- is wonderful to read. There are so many wonderful lines and character moments in this that I hardly know where to begin, so, in reverse order, here are my top five moments:

    5 )Eomer having a wonderful evaluation of the entire situation at the Tower. “Now we feel the peril we were warned of. Have we ridden forth to victory only to stand at last amazed by an old liar with honey on his forked tongue? So would the trapped wolf speak to the hounds, if he could.” I love this moment so much. It’s such a great character bit for Eomer, he just can’t keep his mouth shut when he sees something obvious.

    4) Gimli. “The words of this wizard stand on their heads. In the language of Orthanc, help means ruin and saving means slaying, that is plain. But we do not come here to beg.” If I hadn’t absolutely loved Gimli before, I would at this point. Everything about him is awesome.

    3) Treebeard talking about how the hobbits have made him feel young again. And that he added them to the lists. “Ents the earthborn, old as mountains/ the wide walkers, water-drinking/ and hungry as hunters, the Hobbit-children/ the laughing-folk, the little people.”

    2)Gandalf breaking Saruman’s staff and casting him out of the council. It’s such a just fate for Saruman, who “will not serve, only command.” He’s destroyed homes and lost all his integrity and is guilty of treason and many atrocities. Yet he’s still shown mercy, once again. Once again, the acknowledgement that mercy is given not out of something deserved but something given in the hope of something greater, or even out of respect for what might have been.

    1) Theoden’s speech. At this point, he became one of my favorite characters and that never changed. I loved that he struggles with his doubts. I love that he was very much affected by Saruman’s voice, because it makes the moment where he stands up and throws everything the Orthanc wizard has done back before him. His speech that defies Saruman is easily one of the best in the book. I love it when characters who are weak or who struggle still have this struggle and still manage to do the right thing, and Theoden has all this and more. He’s wonderful in this chapter, finally shaking free of the last influence that once held him.

    • flootzavut says:

      Theoden is one of my favourite characters in the books. V pel jura ur qvrf…

      • thimbledore says:

        V ybir Gurbqra fb zhpu gbb, ohg gou, V nz ernyyl vagb gur jnl ur qvrf — nyzbfg cebhq bs vg? Vf gung jrveq? Vg erzvaqf zr fgebatyl bs gur cneg va Orbjhys jurer ur'f orra xvat sbe 50 crnprshy lrnef, ohg ur'f ba gur oevax bs onggyr lrg ntnva naq ur'f erpnyyvat gur onqnffrel bs uvf lbhgu.

        V guvax creuncf V nz n ovg zbeovqyl sbaq bs gur "terng jneevbe qvrf va n oynmr bs onggyrsvryq tybel nsgre n cerggl ybat, enq yvsr" gebcr. ^^;;

        • flootzavut says:

          It might be weird :p but I do know what you mean.

          Va n jnl, gur jnl ur qvrf znxrf uvz rira zber bs n onqnff, naq xvaq bs vf fnq orpnhfr vg fubjf jung n trahvaryl oenir naq abiry naq pbhentrbhf crefba ur vf.

          Vg vf n snibhevgr fprar va gur zbivrf sbe zr – V guvax Oreaneq Uvyy vf n jbaqreshy Gurbqra, naq ng gur evfx bs nyfb frrzvat yvxr n jrveqb, V ybir ubj ur qvrf, ubj ur qryviref uvf yvarf, rirelguvat. Nyfb ur qbrf gung fcrrpu orsber gurl evqr qbja vagb gur senl naq gura fjbeq enggyvat nybat gur fcrnef, naq vg nyy nqqf gb uvf oynmr bs tybel…

          • Fiona says:

            V xabj rknpgyl jung lbh zrna. Vg'f bar bs gubfr terng zbzragf sbe Oreaneq Uvyy gbb nf ur'q genvarq fb uneq jvgu nyy gur evqvat naq gung jnf uvf vqrn. Cyhf ur'f yrsg unaqrq (yvxr V nz) naq unq gb qb rirelguvat jvgu gur jebat unaq gb znxr gur fubg jbex.

            Nu V ybir nyy bs gur npgbef fb zhpu, ng gur evfx bs fbhaqvat yvxr n pbzcyrgr perrcre V jvfu V pbhyq uht gurz nyy.

            • flootzavut says:

              Lrnu V ybir gung gurl qvq vg naq vg jbexrq fb ornhgvshyyl.

              Naq vs lbh'er n perrcre, wbva gur pyho – gurl'er nyy fb njrfbzr <3

        • Vs gung'f jrveq, V'z wbvavat lbh. Gurbqra'f qrngu fprar vf bar bs gur orfg, naq uvf punenpgre nep nf n jubyr vf bar bs zl snibevgrf. Guvax nobhg jura jr svefg frr uvz- ur'f jrnx, vasvez, pevccyrq ol qbhog naq oneryl noyr gb guvax sbe uvzfrys, yrg nybar qb uvf qhgl nf n xvat gb uvf crbcyr. Naq guebhtubhg ur fgehttyrf jvgu gung uvfgbel- vg jnfa'g rnfl sbe uvz gb fgnaq hc gb Fnehzna nf jr fnj urer, abe qb V guvax vg jnf na rnfl pubvpr sbe uvz gb yrnq uvf pbhagel gb gur svryqf bs Cryraabe. Lrg ur jnf noyr gb svaq gur fgeratgu qb vg naq qvr va fhpu n jnl gung, nf ur chg vg, ur jbhyq abg or nfunzrq va gur pbzcnal bs uvf naprfgbef. Vg'f bar bs gur srj snagnfl qrnguf gung qvq abg fgevxr zr nf "yrg'f xvyy bss na rkgen punenpgre" ohg engure, "Guvf vf n cneg bs uvf qrirybczrag nf n punenpgre, rira nf ur yrnirf gur fgbel." Vg'f ornhgvshy naq tybevbhf.

          GY;QE V jubyrurnegrqyl nterr 🙂

          • flootzavut says:

            "Vg'f ornhgvshy naq tybevbhf."

            Yes. Fnq, ohg va n jnl gung znxrf lbh fnq sbe gur punenpgre, abg natel jvgu gur jevgre.

        • msw188 says:

          Znlor "cebhq" vfa'g gur evtug jbeq. V qba'g guvax guvf vf jrveq vs lbh ybbx ng vg n ovg qvssreragyl. Gurbqra qvrf UNCCL. Ur jnf qevira gb n fgngr bs qrovyvgngvba ol Jbezgbathr, ohg ur jnf erarjrq gb gur cbvag jurer ur pbhyq qvr va n jnl bs uvf bja pubbfvat – qbvat onggyr jvgu gur sbeprf bs rivy. Va gur zbzrag bs uvf qrngu, ur srryf gung ur znqr n qvssrerapr, naq fnlf fb. V'z abg fb fher jr nf ernqref ner "cebhq" bs uvz fb zhpu nf jr ner unccl sbe uvz, naq creuncf rira jvfu gung jr zvtug qvr va n fvzvyne jnl (unccl, naq srryvat gung jr unq hfrq bhe yvirf gb znxr n qvssrerapr).

  7. castlewayjay says:

    I know Tolkien himself never meant it this way, but Saruman always brings to mind HItler in this chapter. Hitler came to power partly because of his voice – his speeches, his power in speaking to indivduals and crowds. Chilling.

    My favorite line in the chapter tells us why the good guys are fighting, it is so important: Theoden says to Saruman "…for were you ten times as wise you would have no right to rule me and mine for your own profit as you desired…"
    Indeed. No right at all.

    and once again, a villain is offered mercy, a continuing theme.

    what a great book.

    • SGC51 says:

      Christopher Lee made this comparison in the special features of the extended edition dvds.

    • blossomingpeach says:

      I love how Gandalf spells out his philosophy in Fellowship, and stays true to that ever after:

      "He deserves death."
      "Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."

      He gives people he's beaten choices and pity and he is not hasty to give anyone a final judgement (i.e. kill them). Love Gandalf. <3

  8. Saphling says:

    One could make a loooot of comparisons between the power of Saruman's voice and other charismatic public speakers in the real world. Not naming names, because this is not the place for grumbling over politics. The charismatic speakers talk, and people agree because it sounds like wisdom and they want to be wise too, no matter what is actually being said. Then they get terribly protective and angry on the speaker's behalf when others start pointing out inconsistencies and problems in what the speaker has said, and then they start villifying those that disagree. It's all too common an occurance.

    • Zoli says:

      This was my thought. I was like "man, I wish we could just laugh at the blatant lies that are reported today and make them go away!" but alas, it doesn't work nearly as well. Clearly it only works for wizards.

    • rubyjoo says:

      I think this is one of the most brilliant pieces of writing in the whole book. Tolkien perfectly conveys, when he describes the effect that Saruman has upon different listeners, the power of language and the spoken word. He understands so well, perhaps that's why his written words have such power over me.

    • Katherine says:

      Just wanted to say…it's blatantly obvious who you're referring to, and I agree.

      • rabidsamfan says:

        Not really. I could make a flippin' list, and it would have people from all sorts of places on the political spectrum. And throughout history, come to think of it…

      • Saphling says:

        That's… interesting, because I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular; I was thinking more of the whole picture of modern politics. I could name nine or ten people in the American political field alone that could fit the bill.

      • Delta1212 says:

        My first thought was “How dare you!” and I don’t even actually know who you’re thinking of.

        Apparently it really does work. 🙁

    • ZeynepD says:

      The charismatic speakers talk, and people agree because it sounds like wisdom and they want to be wise too, no matter what is actually being said.

      Yes. And that's why the sentence in the book ("…desire by swift agreement to seem wise themselves…") was such a lightning-bolt moment for me when I first read it. It doesn't even need to happen on the public, political scale; it's how cliques form around charismatic people.

      • Saphling says:

        Doesn't Cordelia make a statement to that effect in Buffy?

        (Paraphrasing) "It's like they're so busy agreeing with me that they don't even hear what I'm saying!"

        • Katarina_H says:

          Of course, Cordelia out-cools Saruman any day of the week. 🙂

          And I agree with this whole thread.

  9. El Famous Burrito says:

    WORMTONGUE: The way you handled that Gandalf…ooh you are a smooth talker. You are, you are!

  10. Lugija says:

    We shall have peace.

    <img src=""&gt;

    I see no harm in that.

  11. ferriswheeljunky says:

    V xabj vg'f fb sne njnl, ohg V'z nyernql ybbxvat sbejneq gb Znex'f ernpgvba jura ur trgf gb gur Fpbhetvat bs gur Fuver.

    • cait0716 says:

      Lrnu, V xrrc frrvat uvagf bs vg. Yvxr gur snpg gung gur cvcr-jrrq pnzr sebz gur Fuver. V unira'g ernq gur obbxf va n irel ybat gvzr, naq fvapr vg jnf phg bhg bs gur zbivrf V oneryl erzrzore nalguvat rkprcg gung gur Fpbhetvat unccraf. Ohg guvf sberfunqbjvat vf znxvat zr grafr.

    • blossomingpeach says:

      Naq uvf ernpgvba jura ur svaqf bhg vg'f abg va gur zbivr! V guvax zbfg bs hf jub fnj gur zbivrf va gur gurngref jrer cercnerq sbe vg abg orvat gurer, ohg ur'yy unir ab jneavat.

      • flootzavut says:

        I didn't know, V jnf fhecevfrq ohg abg… vs gung znxrf frafr??!?

        • blossomingpeach says:

          That totally makes sense. 🙂 Tvira gur yratgu bs gur zbivr naq gur snpg gung gurer jrer NYERNQL gra raqvatf, ol gur gvzr lbh trg gb gur uboovgf pbzvat onpx ubzr, lbh xabj gur zbivr vf jvaqvat qbja.

          • flootzavut says:

            Yeah, it's a bit of a clue! 😉 LOL 😀 You kind of wonder… but it's really not a shock jura vg qbrfa'g unccra!

            V jnf phevbhf, jura V jngpurq gur RR, jurgure vg zvtug znxr n ovg bs na nccrnenapr, ohg n ybg bs gur sberfunqbjvat unqa'g unccrarq naq V svtherq gung onfvpnyyl, gurl jrer nqqvat fprarf gung jrer onfvpnyyl svavfurq naq whfg tbg phg bhg, naq gur Fpbhevat jnf fbzrguvat gung, vs gurl jrer tbvat gb qb vg, jbhyq unir gb unir orra n OVT guvat, naq gnxra cynpr va gur znva svyzvat ohefg.

            V guvax vg'f bar bs gubfr guvatf gurl jbhyq whfg UNIR gb rvgure gbgnyyl pbzzvg gb vg (va juvpu pnfr gurl jbhyq unir chg vg vagb gur gurgevpny) be zvff vg bhg nygbtrgure. Vg jbhyq or gbb ovt bs n pbzzvgzrag bs erfbheprf (gvzr naq zbarl) gb qb whfg sbe n fcrpvny rqvgvba QIQ.

            Vg'f bar bs gur ernfbaf V pna gbgnyyl haqrefgnaq jul gurl zvffrq vg bhg. Svanapvny ernfbaf, naq gur snpg gurer ner n onmvyyvba raqvatf nyernql… V fhfcrpg vs gurl'q oebhtug vg vagb gur GR n snve ahzore bs sbyxf jbhyq whfg unir zvffrq vg ng gur pvarzn :Q YBY – gur Fpbhevat jbhyq jbex orggre nf cneg bs n zvav-frevrf, va n zbivr gurer ner bayl fb znal pyvznkrf lbh pna unir orsber lbhe nhqvrapr trgf grgpul!

            V svaq vg fgenatr gung fbzr crbcyr pbzcynva nobhg vg abg orvat va gur rkgraqrq rqvgvba – gurl jbhyq unir unq gb punatr fb zhpu, naq svyz fb zhpu arj fghss, vg whfg jbhyq abg (VZB) unir orra n ernyvfgvp cebcbfvgvba. Vg jbhyqa'g whfg or n arj fprar (be rkgraqrq fprar) urer naq gurer, vg jbhyq onfvpnyyl unir orraerznxvat gur ragver raqvat bs gur zbivr! Nf fbba nf V gubhtug nobhg gur ybtvfgvpf bs vg, V ernyvfrq vg jnf arire ba gur pneqf.

            I think I waffled quite a lot – I'm lacking in sleep – so fingers crossed that I made some sense 😉

          • thimbledore says:

            Naq Fnehzna'f raqvat ng guvf cbvag va gur fgbel srryf fb svany. Gur Ragf' cyna gb thneq uvz sbe ntrf vf dhvgr fngvfslvat naq qbrfa'g ernyyl pbzr npebff yvxr n ybbfr raq gb or gvrq hc yngre. V qba'g jnag gb fnl gur Fpbhevat frrzf gnpxrq ba, fvapr V ybir vg, ohg vg srryf cerggl qvfpergr sebz gur erfg bs rirelguvat.

            Gur obbx tnir gur svyz perj n ernyyl tbbq bhg gurer naq gurl gbbx vg. Ivbyragyl. Ba n cbvagl jurry guvat. b_B Rrrrj.

            • flootzavut says:

              V sbetrg juvpu pbzzragnel vg jnf, ohg V jnf jngpuvat bar bs gur pbzzragnevrf gb gung fprar, naq gurl cbvagrq bhg:

              1) Va fbzr sbyxyber, jvmneqf unq gb or xvyyrq guerr gvzrf. Fnehzna jnf fgnoorq, vzcnyrq, gura qebjarq!

              2) Puevfgbcure Yrr, snzbhf sbe uvf Unzzre Ubeebe zbivrf, trgf n fgnxr guebhtu gur urneg…

              Vg'f whfg nyfb bppheerq gb zr, gung fvapr Fnehzna naq Tevzn trg bssrq ng guvf fgntr va gur zbivrf, Znex znl jryy gjvt gung gur Fpbhevat jba'g or ba gur pneqf – nsgre nyy, gung'f gurve qbvat. V'z cerggl fher ur'f jngpuvat gur RRf. Vg erznvaf gb or frra. V qba'g guvax V rfcrpvnyyl gjvttrq gung, juvpu frrzf cerggl qrafr jura V ybbx onpx ba vg…

              Edited because I made SUCH a balls up of the ROT13…

              • thimbledore says:

                UNUNUN. Vg'f nyy fb pyrne gb zr! Ivtb gur Pnecnguvna sebz Tubfgohfgref VV vf GBGNYYL n Gbyxvra jvmneq. "Ur jnf cbvfbarq, fgnoorq, fubg, uhat, fgergpurq, qvfrzobjyrq, qenja naq dhnegrerq."

                • flootzavut says:

                  *laughs* excellent!

                  I have probably spent too much time over the last few days doing Google Image searches for goodlooking LOTR actors, because on my first read through I totally read that as being about Viggo, and was really confused… :$

        • BetB says:

          "V jnf fhecevfrq ohg abg… vs gung znxrf frafr??!?"

          Gung znxrf n ybg bs frafr jvgu Gbyxvra. Ur'f qebccvat uvagf nyy bire gur cynpr nobhg jung'f tbvat gb unccra! Gubfr uvagf ner pbhcyrq jvgu qbhogf naq bgure pybnxf fb lbh arire xabj rknpgyl ubj guvatf jvyy pbzr nobhg.

          • flootzavut says:

            V guvax V jnf n ybg zber fhecevfrq jura V ernq vg – vg jnf, vs zrzbel freirf, gur bayl bar bs gur obbxf gung V'q svavfurq va shyy ybat cevbe gb frrvat gur zbivr. V guvax V znl unir orra nyvggyr fnq gung vg jnf gbgnyyl zvffrq sebz gur zbivrf, ohg nf fbba nf lbh guvax nobhg vg, vg'f boivbhf jul vg jnf na rnfl phg sbe gurz. Yvxr V fnvq va cerivbhf pbzzrag ^ hc gurer fbzrjurer! – V guvax gur Fpbhevat jbhyq jbex va gur pbagrkg bs n zvav-frevrf, orpnhfr vg jbhyq or lbhe "pyvznfk bs gur jrrx", ohg va n zbivr jura lbh'ir nyernql unq fb znal raqvatf, vs gurl'q yrsg vg va vg jbhyq or n ybg bs rkcrafr naq erwvttvat bs gur zbivr.

            V'z jnssyvat ntnva naq vg'f nyjnlf uneq gb xrrc genpx va EBG13 fb V'z tbaan fuhg hc *teva*

  12. cait0716 says:

    Okay, this is possibly not the most flattering comparison, but reading about Saruman's power had me thinking about Moloch the Corrupter from I Robot…You Jane. They're both smooth talkers who can bring people to their side. Of course, Moloch's power lies in his words while Saruman's lies in his voice.

    And then you go and mention that he's defeated by laughter and my brain immediately went to those…things…from Harry Potter. Why can't I remember what they're called? But it did conjure up a nice image of Neville bursting into laughter.

    I also thought it was interesting that Gandalf mentioned the "Five Wizards" in this chapter. We've met him, Saruman, and the Brown one. So I guess there's two more out there? But more than that, it sort of fills out the other races. From the ring poem, we got nine men, seven dwarves, three elves, and one Sauron. I wonder if the wizards turned down rings because they didn't need power or if Sauron just didn't bother to include them or what.

    • JustMalyn says:

      BOGGARTS! 🙂 Ahhh, Snape as Neville's grandmother. That was the most wonderful thing ever.

    • SGC51 says:

      You are thinking of a Boggart

    • castlewayjay says:

      Jvmneqf va Gbyxvra’f Zvqqyr Rnegu ner onfvpnyyl yvxr natryf. gurl jrer frag gb nffvfg Zvqqyr Rnegu; gurl ner abg BS Zvqqyr Rnegu. V guvax fbzrjurer vg vf zragvbarq gung gur bgure jvmneqf ner bss va gur rnfg jbexvat qhevat gur crevbq bs YBGE. Gur bayl bar bs gur jvmneqf vavgvnyyl vagrerfgrq va evatf be evat-yber jnf Fnehzna, naq jr frr jurer gung tbg uvz

    • MasterGhandalf says:

      The five wizards are Saruman the white, Gandalf the Grey, Radagast the Brown, naq gur Oyhr Jvmneqf- V qba'g guvax zragvbavat gurz vf n fcbvyre, fvapr gurl'er abg ng nyy vzcbegnag gb gur fgbel ng unaq, ohg V'z ebg13vat gur ynfg cneg whfg gb or fnsr. Gur jvmneqf qvqa'g trg evatf ynetryl orpnhfr gurl jrera'g nebhaq jura gur evatf jrer znqr- gurl jrer frag gb Zvqqyr-rnegu gb uryc enyyl gur Serr Crbcyrf ntnvafg Fnheba zhpu yngre. Tnaqnys, gubhtu, jvryqf bar bs gur Guerr ryira evatf, tvira gb uvz ol gur rys-ybeq Pveqna gur Fuvcjevtug- fcrpvsvpnyyl, guvf vf Aneln, gur Evat bs Sver.

      • cait0716 says:

        Nu, pbby, gunaxf sbe gur vasb. Naq vg vf n fcbvyre, fvapr Znex qbrfa'g xabj gung gubfr jvmneqf qba'g pbzr gb cynl n cneg yngre va gur fgbel.

      • Katarina_H says:

        I now can't help but imagine what it would be like if there were a whole lot of wizards and they had to use very specific colours: Albert the Lime-green, Ulf the Mauve, Hogarth the Cadmium and so on.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      My own mind went to "Tvttyr ng gur tubfgvrf". (spoilers for an upcoming series on the list)

  13. knut_knut says:

    Not a squirrel will go here, but I shall know of it
    DO NOT LET THE SQUIRRELS IN, TREEBEARD! They are the true enemy

    I love how Saruman’s power is his voice. Like most people have already said, it calls to mind politicians and people in power who are charismatic and sound like they know what they’re doing. It’s pretty disturbing.

  14. msw188 says:

    Well, I love this chapter too, and I wish I could say something more about it, but Mark has really already said everything for me. It IS such a focused chapter that there might not be a whole lot to say, but what's there is so awesome. I don't think I could do better than simply to quote the master himself:

    "I got chills when he ordered Saruman back to the iron rail and he OBEYED."

    (I'm not sure how to keep the italics, so I'll caps it instead, because holy shit I'm pretty sure I came on here meaning to post those exact words)

  15. plaidpants says:

    Fb V'ir ernyyl sbetbggra whfg ubj zhpu bs guvf obbx jnf phg bhg bs GG naq fghpx ba (oevrsyl) ng gur ortvaavat bs gur EbgX. V'z fb vzcngvrag ng guvf cbvag gb trg onpx gb Sebqb naq Fnz, fb juvyr V xabj guvf fghss vf vzcbegnag, V'z whfg yvxr, TRG BA JVGU VG!

    Anyway, Eomer is just amazing, he always seems to know when people are trying to confuse/intimidate/mess with him.

    • baruchan says:

      Anyway, Eomer is just amazing, he always seems to know when people are trying to confuse/intimidate/mess with him.

      I remember when I first read the books that it was in this chapter when I fell even MORE in love with Eomer. I love it when he's grumpy whenever he's being fed bullshit.

      • Skyweir says:

        V arire yvxrq Rbzre. Ur vf xvaq n frkvfg qhpur, pbzcyrgryl pyhryrff nobhg gur qrrc qrcerffvba bs uvf fvfgre sbe vafgnapr. Gur jnl ur gerngf ure ng Qhauneebj znxrf zr jnag gb chapu uvz.
        Uvf fcrrpu ba gur svryq bs Cryraabe, jura ur ubabef Gurbqra sbe snyyvat va onggyr, ohg vf pbzcyrgryl cvffrq gung Rbjla vf gurer, nyfb pbzrf gb zvaq. Vg'f va gur jnl ur jbeqf vg "yngre, jbzra jvyy jrrc", nf vs gung vf abg fbzrguvat znayl zna zra yvxr ur qbrf.

        Abe qb V rire ernyyl frr uvz pbzzragvat ng nyy gung Rbjla onfvpyl fnirf gur qnl, juvyr ur tbrf ba naq ba nobhg Gurbqra (jub onfvpyl bayl trgf uvzfrys xvyyrq).

        • msw188 says:

          Lrnu, rira ncneg sebz gur frkvfz, V nyjnlf ybbxrq ng Rbzre nf n ernyyl zvabe punenpgre, naq engure vapbafrdhragvny. Cenpgvpnyyl n fgbel-gryyvat gbby va fbzr cynprf, yvxr urer, jurer uvf cyrn gb Gurbqra srryf zber yvxr n frghc sbe Fnehzna gb tb vagb zber ohyyfuvg nobhg abg orvat n zheqrere. Ur pbafvfgragyl fbhaqf yvxr n lbhat jneevbe guebhtu naq guebhtu, jvgubhg zhpu qrcgu, vapyhqvat uvf enaqbz pbzzragf guebja nobhg qhevat jne cercnengvba fprarf ("Abj gurer vf ubcr bs ivpgbel!" "Ohg jr zhfg uheel! Zhaqohet vf ba sver!" gurfr ner nyy cnencuenfvatf)

          Nyy gung fnvq, V qba'g zvaq uvf ernpgvba jura ur frrf Rbjla. Gurbqra vf uvf hapyr, naq jnf byq, naq vf noyr gb unir n svany jbeq jvgu uvz. Rbjla vf uvf FVFGRE, naq va uvf zvaq jnfa'g rira fhccbfrq gb or urer. Ur qbrfa'g xabj vs fur unq nal rssrpg ba gur onggyr, be jnagrq gb or gurer be abg; nyy ur frrf vf ure ylvat gurer qrnq, nf vg frrzf gb uvz. Naq ur SYVCF GUR SHPX BHG. V ernyyl yvxr Xney Heona'f qryvirel bs guvf va EBGX gbb. V'z abg n jbzna, ohg V'q yvxr gb guvax gung guvf ernpgvba vfa'g n frkvfg guvat. Vs Rbjla jnf n lbhatre oebgure jub jnf fhccbfrq gb or onpx ubzr pbzznaqvat gur crbcyr bs Ebuna, V guvax gur ernpgvba jbhyq or gur fnzr.

  16. Katherine says:

    This has always been my favourite chapter, because Tolkien writes Saruman so well. It was also one that I worried they couldn't possibly get right in the movies, because how can you infuse a voice with such power?

    And then, the first time I heard Christopher Lee as Saruman speak, I knew he could do the scene perfectly, word-for-word, and was probably the only actor who could.

    Naq gura gurl YRSG GUR FPRAR BHG fb gung gurl'q unir gvzr gb znxr Uryz'f Qrrc rkgerzryl ybat naq gverfbzr, naq gb ehva Snenzve'f punenpgre naq chg va nabgure tenghvgbhf onggyr. ENTR.

    • blossomingpeach says:

      Christopher Lee is so awesome. I love how he's like the biggest Tolkien fanboy ever.

      • Saphling says:

        I know that he is knowledgeable about Tolkien and knew him personally, but Christopher Lee doesn't have the sheer fanboyish glee for LotR and Tolkien that Stephen Colbert does.

  17. stellaaaaakris says:

    Saruman's voice is like a slightly less powerful Imperius Curse. It can cause you to think things you normally wouldn't even consider and is highly dangerous.

    He is a walking contradiction
    So Saruman is a Starburst.

    And Gandalf is a badass. I LOVELOVELOVE how he just owns Saruman and breaks his staff. It is a thing of beauty.

  18. drippingmercury says:

    "Dotard! What is the house of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the floor among the dogs?"

    <img src=""/&gt;

    I just love Saruman's trash talk. ROHAN IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVERYTHING STFU

    • Zoli says:

      I want to love this gif but then my amazing hatred for Joffrey comes back.

      Also, I saw the trailer for S2 the other day and the actor playing Joffrey is doing an amazing job with his smarm and I'm impressed but I also really really really want to see horrible things happen to Joffrey as a character. SO CONFLICTING. D:

      Hopefully seeing Joffrey be awful will be mitigated by Tyrion being awesome.

      • drippingmercury says:

        Ugh, yes the guy playing him is really great at acting like a such a little shit. Apparently people yell at him for killing Ned when they see him on the street. Poor guy!

        S2 is going to be so hard to watch. Poor Sansa 🙁

        • Jemima Aslana says:

          Yeah, sounds like he's going through the same thing Tom Felton did after the first HP films. As much as I know I would LOVE to just give it my all playing a nefarious villain, this aspect of having an audience with less wisdom than a drunk hobbit's left foot is really something that makes me not even dream of being an actress. Ever. At all.

  19. rabidsamfan says:

    This is one of the chapters where Tolkien's choice of the omniscient third person really shines. We not only get Merry and Pippin feeling unimportant and unsafe as they listen to the parley, we get the point of view of the Riders as well, all of them acting as witnesses to the exchange. And Gimli, too, comparing how Gandalf and Saruman look and then interrupting Saruman's lies. It isn't a narrative choice that you see often anymore. Can you imagine how different the Harry Potter books would be if we'd known Neville's side of things as well as Harry's?

    But Tolkien does a lot of things differently, and that's one of his charms. Even when you're getting very impatient waiting to find out what's happening to Frodo and Sam!

  20. Ryan Lohner says:

    What does it say about me that this is where my mind immediately went during Gandalf laughing at Saruman? (Mark shouldn't watch, as it's from a show on his list)

  21. bugeye says:

    I think this is where we get some understanding of the Magic. No one is turned into a frog, no HP spells. Middle Earth Magic is really based on insight, knowledge, strategy. Really seeing everyone's hopes,desires,secret fears, seeing the big whole picture, and seeing all the ways to manipulate. A voice that can compel, flatter. Strength of will over others. Magic is really mind over matter. It is more the Force; a strength and energy.

    I like the Magic here, especially when you get to see what's behind the curtain

    • rubyjoo says:

      I like the magic here, too, bugeye. Even when Gandalf is casting an apparently "real" spell, like when in FotR, he holds back the Balrog behind the doors in the Mines of Moria, he totters down the steps afterwards, absolutely wiped out by his efforts. It really does seem more like his strength of will and mind over matter, as you say, rather than a twiddling of magic wands.

    • castlewayjay says:

      Gandalf – strong in the force? Nah…

  22. arctic_hare says:

    Listy, because I'm feeling ~sassy~ and in the mood to annoy those silly list-haters (who should remove themselves via the exit on the left).

    – "Here and there gloomy pools remained, covered with scum and wreckage" My immediate reaction: "Isengard, the wizard fortress. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." (Except you can, in Mordor. WE WILL IGNORE THIS FOR THE JOKE KTHX.)

    – Pippin, it may make you feel better that a lot of us here want you? Though, uh, I suppose not in the way you have in mind here…

    – saruman you are creepy

    – ILU, Gimli.

    – Eomer continues to be awesome, because he is having none of this bullshit either.

    – HOT DAMN, THEODEN. YOU TELL HIM. SARUMAN JUST GOT TOLD. I love his speech to him, it is a thing of beauty. I mean, if Saruman were genuine and sincere in wanting peace, if there was a legit two-sided grievance between them, I'd be all for reconciliation. But Saruman is the betrayer. He has been the aggressor, seeking to exterminate Rohan for his own selfish desires of power. And now he's trying to use the Force his ~magic voice~ to charm and deceive them. I don't trust him either. He made his bed, he can lie in it. I love that he is given that choice by Gandalf, though. Too bad he squanders that last chance. 🙁

    – Also he reveals his true colors when he insults Rohan. DO NOT. INSULT. ROHAN. IN FRONT. OF ME.

    – "For the common good"? Oh, uh, how about… NO.


    – "Wood-demons"? Now you insult the Ents? YOU HAVE ANNOYED ME FOR THE LAST TIME, SARUMAN. I find your lack of appreciation for awesome disturbing.

    – Aw, now I see the problem. Saruman is just jealous of Gandalf's shopping trips and fabulous wardrobe. 🙁 Poor old guy.

    – So basically it's going to be The Real World: Orthanc. Neato. I wonder if there's fic about this premise.

    – <3 <3 Gimli and Legolas bromance <3 <3 even Treebeard sees how amazing it is <3 <3 HE IS ONE OF US.

    – yay hobbits in the long list 😀

    – Movie stuffs: V whfg jnag gb frg nfvqr n ohyyrg cbvag gb zragvba gung V nofbyhgryl nqber Puevfgbcure Yrr nf Fnehzna naq qba'g guvax nalobql ryfr pbhyq unir orra zber cresrpg. Ur vf jbaqreshy naq onqnff naq V jnf guevyyrq jura ur svanyyl tbg xavtugrq n srj lrnef ntb. FB BIREQHR.

    • flootzavut says:

      "Pippin, it may make you feel better that a lot of us here want you? Though, uh, I suppose not in the way you have in mind here… "

      Bwahahahahahaha I LOL'd 🙂

      And amen to your ROT13 comment <3 he's amazing, and he was perfect.

    • monkeybutter says:

      "Isengard, the wizard fortress. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." (Except you can, in Mordor. WE WILL IGNORE THIS FOR THE JOKE KTHX.)

      Always second-rate. I almost pity Saruman, but he had to go and insult the Ents.

      I agree with your rot13. 🙂

    • Geolojazz says:


      …Sorry, force of habit. After watching Hot Fuzz, I repeat that phrase in my head every time I hear it…

      • Fiona says:


        The greater good.

        I can't stop doing it either, especially as I've lived in the west country all of my life so I have the accent down already :). I go to where it was filmed pretty regularly and I have to resist running around pretending to shoot pedestrians now or try not to laugh too much when I see a swan.

    • Fiona says:

      He really is brilliant, especially once you start reading more about his life. He's a serious BAMF :).

      Behind the scenes movie stuff: V cnegvphyneyl yvxr gur 'abj guvf vf jung vg fbhaqf yvxr jura lbh fgno fbzrbar va gur onpx' pbairefngvba gung Crgre Wnpxfba gnyxf nobhg. V pna whfg vzntvar uvz rqtvat njnl sebz uvz nsgrejneqf yvxr O_O.

    • Alice says:

      I <3 your rot13 comment too. Naq jura V urneq gung ur vf fhpu n UHTR Gbyxvra sna,gung ur ernqf gur obbx rirel lrne naq gung orvat vaibyirq va guvf zbivr jnf n qernz bs uvf znqr zr <3 uvz rira zber! orpnhfr ur srnerq gung va uvf yvsr gvzr ab bar jvyy rire nqncg guvf obbxf.

    • Let me love your list! <3

    • msw188 says:

      " I find your lack of appreciation for awesome disturbing. "

      Hahaha, just letting you know I laughed out loud at this with a mouthful of pasta, and it was almost an unfortunate turn of events.

  23. rabbitape says:

    He lives in a tower constructed of lies — this is now my go-to line for my enemies. I haven't needed one yet, but once I do start collecting enemies, I'll be ready. It's bumping out a line used by a friend who had a delicate, quiet way of speaking, but still packed a punch: "Her soul is like a stone…rolling into hell."

  24. Dreamflower says:

    Re-reading this chapter, this time I was struck by all the possibilities of what could have happened, and how differently things COULD have come out. Truly everything was depending on those who were with Gandalf being ABLE to throw off Saruman's Voice.

    And yet, with little more than a warning, Gandalf gives his companions the choice. He COULD have just gone up there to deal with his fellow wizard alone and not exposed the others to Saruman's malice. He COULD have interrupted Saruman when things got dicey. And yet he simply stands back and gives all of the others the choice to risk being enspelled for the privilege of MAKING THEIR OWN CHOICES! Gandalf truly IS about the freedom of the Free Peoples; he knows his own power and his own mandate to topple Sauron do not include the right to trample on the rights of others. And so he trusts his companions to keep their wits and make their own choices the right ones, and because of that trust, they do.

    Saruman, OTOH is all about doing what he thinks best and IMPOSING his will on others. He thinks he knows best, and all others are too drearily stupid to manage their lives without his say-so.

    The AU possibilities in this chapter alone are boundless; what if Theoden had not been able to throw off the spell? There could have been several outcomes to that. What if Saruman had accepted Gandalf's mercy? What sort of help could he have given the West if he had chosen to do so? And yet the way it actually unfolds seems completely inevitable.

    Nyfb V jnag gb fznpx Gerrorneq sbe orvat fb birepbasvqrag nobhg Fnehzna. Nf jr svaq bhg gb gur uboovgf' erterg ur jnf abg arneyl fhpu n tbbq wnvyre nf ur fnvq ur jbhyq or!!!!

    • flootzavut says:

      "Nyfb V jnag gb fznpx Gerrorneq sbe orvat fb birepbasvqrag nobhg Fnehzna. Nf jr svaq bhg gb gur uboovgf' erterg ur jnf abg arneyl fhpu n tbbq wnvyre nf ur fnvq ur jbhyq or!!!!"

      Gbb gehr, fnqyl! Lbh jbhyq guvax Ragf jbhyq abg or fb unfgl nobhg guvaxvat gurl pbhyq unaqyr uvz naq nyy jbhyq or jryy!

      • castlewayjay says:

        Gur Ragf jrer gbb zrepvshy. Fnehzna hfrq uvf ibvpr gb fjnl Gerrorneq naq znxr Gerrorneq cvgl uvz jvgu uvf fgvyy-zvtugl cbjref bs crefhnfvba. V pna’g fgnl znq ng Gerrorneq

    • castlewayjay says:

      such a good point about choices – too me that's what the whole book's about – the choices the characters make, how they choose to face evil. Yes, there's an element of fate throughout the book, or of a higher power, but Tolkien always lets his characters make their own choices.

    • John Elliott says:

      I remember reading one suggestion about what would have happened if Saruman had accepted Gandalf's mercy: Fnehzna hfrf uvf cbjref bs crefhnfvba gb gnyx Qrargube qbja sebz uvf cler.

  25. sageofmudora says:

    At one point, the Eleventh Doctor refers to himself as a "Space Gandalf." In that context he was trying to dissuade Amy from flirting with him, but the statement is true in several ways. Both are powerful, ancient beings who travel about, helping others, finding companions and introducing them to awesome adventures, and giving villains second chances before causing their ruin.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      I've actually been trying to think up ideas for a fanfic where the Doctor takes Amy and Rory to meet Tolkien. My favorite one so far: they fight an alien from a planet called Udun, and Tolkien is eventually forced to face it alone, so he pulls Gandalf's speech to the Balrog out of his ass and actually makes it afraid he's much more powerful than he looks, and runs away.

  26. Anzel89 says:

    Can I just say. V ybir gung Znex unfa'g chg gbtrgure, Ybatobggbz Yrns = Cbffvoyr ceboyrzf va gur Fuver. V erzrzore zl svefg ernq guebhtu naq guvf vf jurer V fgnegrq gb trg jbeevrq sbe vg. Abj vg jvyy or fb zhpu fjrrgre jura jr trg gb gung frpgvba naq ur unf n sernx bhg. XD

    "Jub, ol gur jnl, guerj bhg fbzr fbeg bs qnex pelfgny tybor ng Tnaqnys naq nccneragyl vg’f vzcbegnag?"

    Jryy Uryyb Gurer Cnynagíe!! Lbh'er nobhg gb pnhfr Cvccva ybgf bs ceboyrzf. V fgvyy svaq vg Vebavp gung Cvccva vf gur svefg punenpgre gb unir na npghny "pbairefngvba" jvgu Fnheba.

    Also, Gandalf is a BAD ASS. That is all.

  27. PewPewPew says:

    I love this chapter, except, well, I can't help it: the staff is broken, and in my head, I just sigh loudly "PHALLUSES" and sigh loudly again, and summon this comic:

    It is the fault of one of my literature professors that literally anything longer than it is wide is now, in my head, a phallic symbol.

    • flootzavut says:

      That comic is AWESOME, thanks for that 😀

    • Katarina_H says:

      Heh, your comment made me remember two things. First, how a friend and I used to play "the Freud game" as teens, where we pointed at everything we saw and decided whether it was a phallus, a vulva or the sexual act.

      Second, Swedish comedian Jonas Gardell's stand-up skit of LotR, where he among other things claimed that gur rlr bs Fnheba jnf n oheavat ihyin naq gung gur Sryybjfuvc xrcg jneavat rnpu bgure abg gb ybbx ng vg.

    • JustMalyn says:

      So…I'm not the only one to have thought that? Damn you, Freud!!!!!! Also, YES to the comic 🙂

    • Rheinman says:

      You don't think all the RINGS kind of balance that out? Pity there's not a significant chalice or grail in the story, then we can get really Freudian.

  28. rubyjoo says:

    "The truth is that I’ve never really read a book like this in my whole life. I know that I’ve generally avoided high fantasy, and I imagine that once I do start reading books from that genre after this, I’ll find a lot that’s in common with Tolkien’s epic novel."

    When I first read LotR, I also had never come across anything like it before. And I think I speak for many. No other fantasy novel comes close, IMO. All others pale in comparison. Like Saruman, they are cheap imitations of the One. My life has been wasted in a doomed search to find another book that amazed me as much as this and it really is a pointless and futile exercise.

    • fourthage says:

      Yes, this. I read LotR fairly young, and I quite literally imprinted on it.

      • rubyjoo says:

        I was a teenager, fourthage, but that was a long, long time ago and I've had plenty of time to find something that measures up to it. As I said, a fruitless search. But it would have been interesting to have read it when I was even younger to see what sort of effect it might have had on my unformed mind, LOL! At 19, it had a serious enough effect on my "formed" mind.

        • fourthage says:

          I first read it in elementary school (over 20 years ago), and then re-read it on such a regular basis after that that I cannot remember what my first reading experience was like. Which makes me a little sad, but as a result I know the book in my bones, so it's a fair trade.

    • Dreamflower says:

      I no longer even try. It's pointless. Books are no longer being written in the way JRRT wrote LotR and his legendarium of Middle-earth. Modern publishers won't tolerate it, and people are no longer educated in the sort of mindset that enables it.

      Truly, it took someone who had the education in languages and the history of languages, plus the life experience in war to write a book of this type. No one else could have done it. And he spent his entire life on it all. LotR would not be what it is without the underpinnings of what became the Silmarillion.

      • Amen to this entire comment thread. Seriously. I've read a lot of great fantasy books, and a lot books that I've enjoyed, but I've never come across anything like what Tolkien did here. He was truly one of a kind. Everything in his life has an influence on this work of his. His experience in the war, his love of the English countryside, hell, his marriage and courtship- all of these things brought about LOTR as we know it. That's not ever going to be duplicated.

      • msw188 says:

        I think this is precisely the issue here. It is conceivable that someone could spend their entire lifetime constructing a world from the language up, as Tolkien did, and arrive at a world with similar depth and scope. This alone demands a very unique sort of person. However, no one of our lifetimes has lived through a war on the scale of the War of the Ring. There could potentially be authors so skilled that they could convey such an epic battle of good versus evil without having experienced one; however, the chances of this being the same person as the one who also has the interest and the talent to build the world are slim to none.

        And that's all for the best, probably. The Lord of the Rings (and the Silmarillion) has already been written. I'm not sure the world needs another one, any more than Middle Earth needs an alternate history and/or story.

    • Wheelrider says:

      Yep. I've realized that I don't even read much fiction anymore, because most of it seems so one-dimensional. (Obviously not true for all.) I'm drawn more to scientific nonfiction – the wonders of the "real" world.

      • flootzavut says:

        I LOVE scientific non-fiction 🙂 I tend to err on the side of stuff that is at the kind of level I can actually cope with, as someone who last studied science at the age of 16, but I love it. Even when it stretches my brain a little further than it will easily go!

        • Wheelrider says:

          Yes! And that's part of what's so appealing about LoTR – brain-stretching, in imagination and language!

          • flootzavut says:


            I'm currently reading a couple of books about quantum physics – I have to keep taking it in in small bits otherwise I'd lose the plot!

            That said, vg qbrfa'g gjvfg zl oenva nf zhpu nf gur ynathntr cbegvba bs gur nccraqvprf va YBGE!

        • rabidsamfan says:

          Branch out to history and read 1491 and 1493 — between them they will utterly upend your ideas about what the Americas were like before Columbus and what the world was like afterwards. Honeybees and earthworms as invasive species?

          • flootzavut says:

            I'll have a look-see – as a Brit my American history is almost non-existent, it would be really interesting to read about that period 🙂

    • Katarina_H says:

      I think it would be pointless to find another story that is LotR, but I also think that there are plenty really good fantasy novels and that some of the best have very little in common with LotR. Like the Moomin books. There's no more sense in expecting every book to be LotR than it is in expecting every book to be Hamlet.

      Of course, it all depends on what one wants from a book. In sheer worldbuilding, I don't think anyone comes close to Tolkien. (Possibly some joined worlds, such as the Star Trek one, but from a single pen? I can't think of any.)

      • rubyjoo says:

        Great story, Katie! I worked for 3 years in the Soviet Union and noticed that the classics were acceptable. I think that was because the USSR were trying to convince its people that the Dickensian conditions described in so many books were still prevalent in the UK and that the people were better off where they were. The Russians were a bit too canny to be fooled by that one, LOL! I think that Animal Farm was a banned book and was passed around quietly in dog-eared or even hand-written copies. If I had known about LotR, I would have smuggled in a few of them!

        • flootzavut says:

          I think this reply got stuck on the wrong comment, rubyjoo!

          One of my teachers at uni was a Russian woman who learned French during the Soviet period, she said the first time she went to France she got a lot of strange looks because she'd learned from Moliere, etc, and her French was beautiful – but hopelessly outdated!

    • Sadie_TARDIS says:

      Re: fantasy novels… I am currently being pleasantly surprised in that area by ASOIAF. Not to imply that they really share anything in common with Tolkien's work, apart from the detailed world-building, but they are definitely a fantasy series worthy of standing with the work of the masters. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that GRRM's books were already being written and published prior to the release of the Lord of the Rings films, but they don't smack of blatant, shallow Tolkien plagiarization in the same manner that certain… other… "epic" fantasy series do: a phenomenon which has been almost certainly galvanized by the sudden accessibility of Tolkien's world through the films to those who would likely not have been exposed to it otherwise. ASOIAF is that rare fantasy epic that doesn't, in fact, have "Tolkien" stamped all over it, and thus, ironically, becomes more worthy of renown and comparison to Tolkien's works.

      Just my opinion. 🙂

      • Jemima Aslana says:

        Hmmm, being compared to Tolkien specifically for being it's own like Tolkien's was. I think you may be on to something there.

        I tend to just get so sick of the whole "Our quest is to destroy/get rid of this (usually small and seemingly insignificant) magical item, and everyone (often dressed in black or otherwise associated with that colour) will hunt us for it, but we must go to [one specific location of bad news] and thus break the [evil one]'s power." It is so painfully common, and even if it isn't nicked in full for other books even just parts of it show up so clearly in other works. (Eddings and Salvatore, I'm looking at you)

        Oh and wizards changing colours? Happens in SO many settings you wouldn't believe it. Tolkien invented this shit, and it has pretty much become a trope of wizardry. *sigh*

        Give me Audley, give me Miéville, give me Tchaikovsky. Any day.

    • Segreant says:

      Dunno if this'll help or not, but though I feel this way as well, there is another set of books that I think comes really close. "The Name of the Wind" and "Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss: they're not the same by a long shot, but it's the only thing I've ever read that feels similar in sheer scope. The plot and structure are fairly standard in some ways and an utter departure in others, but (to me at least) the world feels big and real and heavy with lore in a way I haven't seen since Tolkien.

    • Zoli says:

      I don't necessarily mind that most fantasy worlds don't have the depth of Tolkien. Not everyone can do that, and not everyone should have to. However, I don't really read most "sword and sorcery" fantasy books any more. I prefer subgenres, which seem to be a little less bound by convention (ie, less inclined to rip off Tolkien). But worlds dealing with historical fantasy (Naomi Novik's Temeraire books), crime fantasy (The Lies of Locke Lamora), urban fantasy (Mercy Thompson, Kate Daniels books) and steampunk (Parasol Protectorate) are all really awesome and I love reading about those worlds. I also tend to read a lot of YA books these days which also seem more interested in pushing the envelope than standard fantasy.

      • castlewayjay says:

        less bound by convention (ie, less inclined to rip off Tolkien) – love this comment. sums up so many poor imitators. I read fantasy, but I don't read Tolkien imitators. or much of what is called modern "high fantasy". same thing, really.

        • rubyjoo says:

          I've got very wide tastes in literature, from the great classics to popular rubbish. What I'm looking for is another book that has the same impact on me as LotR – in whatever genre. I've read the first three books by GRR Martin and thought I might be getting close – excellent writing skills and interesting characters. But, I've given up and drifted away because his books just don't go anywhere and I don't like some of the "tricks" he employs to mess around with my emotions. I still get pleasure from reading but I feel I peaked too soon when I read LotR.

          • rabidsamfan says:

            I tried reading GRRM and gave up after three chapters because none of the characters appealed to me. *shrug*

            The most unusual fantasy world I've ever encountered was in "The Chimes of Alyafaleyn" by Grace Chetwin. Read the kindle version, if you try it – when it was first published the publishers made her leave out a lot.

    • Katie says:

      Ooh, this has turned into a "when I first read LOTR" threads, which I love. Perhaps selfishly, because my own story of that is kind of awesome.

      So I grew up in Soviet Union, where a lot of things were banned. A lot of Western literature included, obviously. But strangely enough, a lot of old classics and adventure and fantasy stories were not. So there were entire series that included Charles Dickens and Jules Verne and Charlotte Bronte that were completely legal and I grew up reading them from a very young age (there was no other entertainment, really). When I was around six, I once visited my grand aunt, who had a great collection of children's books. And I found this little book with a pale green cover and the word "Hobbit" on it. And I stayed indoors a whole sunny week of summer until I finished the book. And one of the most vivid memories of my childhood is putting down that book and saying out loud "Oh, I wish there was more!" And I had no idea there was. Neither did my aunt. And somehow I managed to stay ignorant of that throughout the fall of the Soviet Union and my early teenage years. And when I was about 16, (ten years later!!!) I made friends with a boy who had long hair and who listened to hard rock, wore mostly black and generally kept to himself to mess about with computers. And one day he wore a black t-shirt that he himself had had printed with white runes and an Alan Lee portrait of Gandalf. I got so excited, and told him that isn't it weird that he's wearing a character I used to love as a kid in The Hobbit. And I told him how I still remembered wishing so badly that there was more to the story. The look he gave me when he said "you mean you don't know about The Lord of The Rings?" is probably the most vivid memory I have of my teenage years. I honestly thought he was playing some cruel joke on me, until the next day when he brought the three beautiful glorious books with him. It was just unbelievable.

      I guess that experience makes me perfectly prepared to be a fan of G.R.R. Martin 🙂

      • flootzavut says:

        That IS awesome 🙂 Just 'cause I'm nosy – which bit of the USSR?

        I replied to rubyjoo (who I think meant to reply to YOU, her comment is up there ^ somewhere), about one of my teachers at uni. She was a Russian woman who learned French during the Soviet period, she said the first time she went to France she got a lot of strange looks because she'd learned from Moliere, etc, and her French was beautiful – but hopelessly outdated!

        • rubyjoo says:

          I'm English but went to Moscow to work for the English and American embassies. Interestingly, two of my English friends out there had got their degrees in Russian but had been taught by elderly Russian emigres who had fled from the communists. The Russians raised their eyebrows at the way they spoke because it was so antiquated and based on literature, in a similar fashion to your teacher at university, LOL! The Russians I met were such Anglophiles who claimed Shakespeare as their own and knew more about English literature than the English. They would have loved LotR.

          • flootzavut says:

            Heehee, I guess being at uni in the late 90s and early 00s had its benefits, our teachers were a wee bit more up to date 😉 😀

            My teacher when I was in Ulyanovsk was a total Shakespeare nerd even though she spoke almost no English! I recall her setting us an essay about Shakespeare, and when one of my friends dared to express a less than glowing opinion, she was less than happy about it *grin* … she probably would have loved something so intense and detailed 😀 I have a set of Shakespeare Tragedies in Russian upstairs! Sadly, I was not into LOTR and I don't think I ever even looked for The Hobbit. missed opportunity, as seeing as I found The Moomins in Dom Knigi in St Pete, and a friend bought Harry Potter for me in Russian, I'm sure there must have been JRRT there somewhere *sad*

            In my experience the Russians in the big cities tended to look at us as "yay, someone to practise my English on", whereas when I was out in the sticks (relatively!) they were less worried about English. Some of the kids would ask to meet up "to practise" and then they'd bring along their friend… who spoke no English! It was nice actually, they tended to be more interested in us as people (rather than portable language labs…), and also we got good Russian practice. It was very different being a Brit there than it was being on in St Pete, and I'm really glad I got to see a little more of the culture etc.

            • rubyjoo says:

              St Pete?! Leningrad, surely, LOL!

              I'm not quite sure how my answer to Katie got stuck in the wrong place – although I had to try hard to make it post. Thank you for pointing it out to people who might be trying to follow this exchange of views. Her little story brought back memories.

  29. ABBryant says:

    When doing the prop design, Weta couldn't find a good enough color that was actual ston for the ball thing so the one in the movie is heavily laquered wood.

  30. CoyoteSister says:

    I think my favorite part of this whole chapter is Gandalf– first laughing, but then the seriously sick burn he gives immediately after!

    Saruman, Saruman! Saruman, you missed your path in life. You should have been the king's jester and earned your bread, and stripes too, by mimicking his counsellors.

    That alone! I mean, Saruman was the head of the White Council. He was the wisest wizard, the most persuasive, the one everyone respected. Gandalf basically goes LOL dude, you should have been a professional comedian/fool, because NOBODY IS BUYING THIS SHIT. And then! AND THEN!!!

    Understand one another? I fear I am beyond your comprehension.


    ETA: Oh! Oh oh oh! And if you people haven't seen it yet, Neil Gaiman put up a written copy of a speech about Tolkien. …and Lewis and Chesterton. I don't believe there are any spoilers except, perhaps, for Narnia (which I think Mark has already read?) and it's really quite good and worth reading.

    • That essay is awesome. Thank you so much for linking to it!

    • @sab39 says:

      "And then! AND THEN!!!"

      … do the smart thing. Let someone else try first.

    • castlewayjay says:

      It's amazing what nerve Saruman had, thinking Gandalf would listen to him after he had held Gandalf PRISONER!!!!

    • flootzavut says:

      "For the next four or five years I continued to read them. I would read other books, of course, but in my heart I knew that I read them only because there wasn’t an infinite number of Narnia books to read."

      Hah! Replace Narnia with "Favourite series of your choice" and I think we've all done that <3

    • castlewayjay says:

      thank you so much for that link – I have read it before & loved reading it again.
      I like this line about reading Tolkien "And I read Lord of the Rings until I no longer needed to read it any longer, because it was inside me"

  31. ARITHMANCER says:

    Depends on the author's intentions. If Rowling went around sticking us in the heads of random characters all the time, it would start to look strange that Snape was never one of them…

    • flootzavut says:

      Oh, definitely – not just different strokes for different folks, but different tools for different objectives.

      But unfortunately, with 3rd person omni being somewhat out of fashion, some people – on writing websites etc – seem to take this view that it is, in its essentials, "bad"… and I think that's poppycock, because some of my favourite books use omniscient narrators. It's a shame that some people seem to take "less fashionable" to me "do not do it, it's bad" 🙁

      • ARITHMANCER says:

        It's suitable for "big" books with lots of characters. Many recognized "classic" authors used it for these sorts of works: Tolstoy (War and Peace), Dickens (Tale of Two Cities), Hugo (Les Miserables), Eliot (Middlemarch)… I'm having trouble thinking of someone 20th century with the same name recognition, but I am also having trouble thinking of a 20th century novel that is "big" in the sense I mean but not in the "genre" ghetto.

        I don't let fashion and experts on writing bother me, because they tend to turn up their noses at about 90% of what I loveto read (spy thrillers, fantasy/SF, mysteries).

        • emillikan says:

          This made me think of Neal Stephenson – are you a fan? Many of my friends would turn their noses up at 1,000-pp rambling sci-fi novels, but I think he's one of the best writers out there right now, regardless of genre.

          • ARITHMANCER says:

            I've not actually read him. But 1000 pages does not necessarioy scare me off, I may look into him. Do you have a recommendation of a book that might be a good one to try, to get a sense of his writing?

            • Emily says:

              I recommend The Diamond Age as a start. It’s only about 500 pp but it’s the best intro to his work, I think. 🙂

        • flootzavut says:

          Terry Pratchett uses a kind of omniscient where he dips into his various characters' heads, and I don't think I've once been confused. I did, with a couple of friends, on a writing site, once work out how to technically describe that but blowed if I can remember!

          I just find it sad that some people will dismiss it out of hand as a valid technique, when clearly it CAN be used, very well!

    • rabidsamfan says:

      Oh, I don't know. If Rowling had always stayed in student's heads, we wouldn't miss seeing things from the teacher's side. Tolkien rarely shows us things from Gandalf's side, for example.

      • Jemima Aslana says:

        In fact he very rarely places us inside the heads of any of the elves either. Seems to me he made a conscious decision to not place us in the minds and memories of those who have the longest memories. If he'd done that, think of the constant info-dumping there'd have been! How long would the two major info-dump chapters in Fellowship have been, had they not only included all that was spoken of but also all that Gandalf and Elrond respectively would think of but decide not to say? :-p

  32. Hotaru_hime says:

    My favorite parts are when Theoden resists Saruman and tells him he wants him dead and when Gandalf breaks his power. BOOM. No more staff, no more council powers, YOU ARE OUT.
    Treebeard and Gimli are friends in that they share a hatred of orcs! How cute!

  33. rubyjoo says:

    "What will you say of your torches in Westfold and the children that lie dead there? And they hewed Hama's body before the gates of the Hornburg, after he was dead."

    Tolkien touches so lightly on the atrocities of war. So, why am I feeling so upset? He just knows how to turn the screws, doesn't he?

  34. Cereus says:

    One of my favorite parts:

    "“Will you not consult with me? Will you not come up?”

    So great was the power that Saruman exerted in this last effort that none who stood within hearing were unmoved. But now the spell was wholly different. They heard the gentle remonstrance of a kindly king for an erring but much-loved minister. But they were shut out, listening at a door to words not meant for them: ill mannered children or stupid servants overhearing the elusive discourse of their elders and wondering how it would affect their lot. Of loftier mould these two were made: reverend and wise. It was inevitable they should make alliance."

    …And Saruman sets up the idea that there are greater and lesser levels of people. And that not everyone has the right to be involved in important decisions.

    Which Gandalf counters quite well. 🙂

    BTW: ILU, Gandalf.

  35. Anzel89 says:

    I seriously just found this and it is relevant to discussions.


    • flootzavut says:

      Someone posted another version of that – I'd never seen it before. HYSTERICAL! I don't think that'll get old, it's been done sooooo well 🙂

  36. Icarus says:

    What I marvel at most is that you're able to read just one chapter a day. I could not.

    It's such a pleasure to see Tolkien's masterpiece through new eyes.

  37. Robin says:

    I wish I was better at making gifs/drawing, cause I really think there needs to be a Théoden/X-Men 'peace was never an option' macro….

  38. ADB says:

    Movie Comment:

    V yvxr ubj gur Ragf qvqa'g whfg tb gb onggyr hagvy gurl fnj ubj vg nssrpgrq gurz. Vg znxrf gurz zber 3-qvzrafvbany punenpgref.

    V yvxr gur punatrf znqr jvgu Snenzve naq znxvat uvz na bofgnpyr hagvy, gehyl snprq jvgu uvf oebgure'f pubvpr, ur GURA frrf gur yvtug.

    V yvxr gur Jnet onggyr naq gur Ryirf ng Uryz'f Qrrc naq gur snpg gung Gbz Obzonqvy vf n ab-fubj naq Fnz trggvat frag njnl fb gung ur pna unir n Ovt Qnza Urebrf zbzrag if. Furybo.

    Ohg V ungr…UNGR…U.N.G.R. gung guvf fprar jnf yrsg bhg bs gur gurngevpny irefvba, naq gur rkgraqrq rqvgvba bayl unf n fznyy cvrpr bs vg. V pna;g rira jngpu gur gurngevpny nalzber orpnhfr vg ynpxf guvf ng gur Zbhgu bs Fnheba. Guvf vf bar bs zl snibevgr fprarf sebz gur obbx.

  39. Weston says:

    ‘And Saruman has powers you do not guess. Beware of his voice!’

    Now imagining Saruman as the Dragonborn. #FusRoDah

  40. mawguy says:

    can't believe no one's posted this yet. well, here goes:

    <img src=""&gt;

  41. ladysugarquill says:

    I’m still drawn to the idea in the last chapter that Saruman’s tower is just a poor imitation of what he wishes he were, and that he’ll always live in the shadow of Sauron.
    Xvaq bs jung unccrarq orsber jvgu Fnheba naq Zbetbgu…

    he tried to pick out different methods to convince each person there.
    He made a Boggart's mistake.

    Until seven times the years in which he tormented us have passed, we shall not tire of watching him.’
    Vs bayl gurl'q npghnyyl qbar vg… 🙁

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