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hilltroll
01-02-2006, 00:43
This is a theory I have had for a while now, I thought I'd post it here to see what people thought.

Did Saruman make his own Ring Of Power?

Now, we all know Saruman knew more than most about the designs and techniques of the Enemy, it being his principal study and one of the reasons he was seduced into evil. At the council of Elrond, it is reported that "he goes ever deeper into the lore of the rings, finding the lost secrets of their making." He was also once a Miar of the order of Aule, and subject to some, if not all, the knowledge Sauron had (who was also a Mair of Aule) in the field of craftmanship. Now, with this knowledge I can't but notice Gandelf mentions this:


But I rode to the foot of Orthanc, and came to the stair of Saruman; and there he met me and led me up to his high chamber. He wore a ring on his finger.

Why point out the ring? Why not mention "he had a rather snazzy pair of shoes?"

And we have Saruman's boasting as well:


For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!

Now, I may be reading far too much into this, but did Saruman manage to make a Ring of Power? He know a lot about the Ring's, second only to Sauron, and is reported wearing and claiming to make rings. Plus, there is the jealousy and competition with Gandalf, who was given a ring of power by Ciridan, which Saruman knew. Saruman also took up smoking in imitation of Gandelf.

It would also help to explain how he built up his power so quickly, building up a power base from almost nothing, drawing tribes of orcs and other fell creatures to his service, and turning them into a power that was great enough to almost overcome Rohan. And then there is the unnatural, magical haste and determination displayed by his orcs as they escaped with the Hobbits. Could this not be a sign of the ring invoking determination, and perhaps distorting time as Galadriels ring was capable of doing?

boogle
01-02-2006, 00:55
IF he had any ring at all i would imagine it could be one of the Dwarf rings, as all other were accounted for

Makaber
01-02-2006, 02:27
I think I read somewhere that it's accepted as fact that he did, but it might have been on wikipedia, in which case it loses credibility somewhat. It's certainly a very plausible theory, in any case.

The Judge
01-02-2006, 19:15
It certainly is plausible, though I would thing it would have been an imitation ring of power, copying the power and design of one of the other rings, if possible.

Pertinax
01-02-2006, 19:46
As he knows of the Ring of Power, then with his ambitions, why should he not try to emulate it.

But as any power mad person obviously seems to find, a little isn't enough...

Brandir
02-02-2006, 08:10
Yes.

The reason I give this answer is because of the following paragraph:

The real war does not resemble the legendary war in its process or its conclusion. If it had inspired or directed the development of the legend, then certainly the Ring would have been seized and used against Sauron; he would not have been annihilated but enslaved, and Barad-dûr would not have been destroyed but occupied. Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth. In that conflict both sides would have held hobbits in hatred and contempt: they would not long have survived even as slaves.
Quote taken from LOTR Foreward

The ring that Saruman wore when he imprisoned Gandalf was a lesser Ring of Power as he was still researching the skills to make a full Ring of Power.

peteratwar
02-02-2006, 09:49
There seems no doubt that Saruman was experimenting with making rings of power. It would be probable that the one he was wearing would have been one of his attempts. It seems unlikely that he had at that stage progressed very far.

boogle
02-02-2006, 17:42
so was i right?, was it a Dwarf Ring?

Reabe
02-02-2006, 19:17
so was i right?, was it a Dwarf Ring?

If he hadn't made a Lesser Ring, then I guess that would be the only option. The elves have theirs, (Both Gandalf and the Elf chick at that Forest had one, both of those being the Elf Rings. We can guess that they still had the third one somewhere) I would think the Ringwaiths still had theirs, (Theirs being the Nine Rings of Men) so the only ones of which we don't know of their whereabouts would be the Dwarfen Rings. Or a Lesser Ring that Saruman made.

Or could it of been a fake? To try and seem impressive? Maybe more copying of Gandalf? First Saruman starts smoking, then he makes a ring.

hilltroll
02-02-2006, 22:36
Don't we know for certain what happened to the seven? Didn't Sauron gather three, whilst the Dragon's consumed the other four. Of course, their is always the possibility Sauron gave one of his to Saruman, but I find that unlikely, they didn't exacty trust each other.

peteratwar
03-02-2006, 12:10
All the Great Rings of Power were/are accounted for. I can't see the remotest possibility that Sauron would have given one to Saruman who at the very best was an untrustworthy ally.

Given Saruman's predelictions, it seem most likely that he was attempting to make rings (of power) for himself.

Jon_Irenicus
03-02-2006, 17:45
The three elven rings were all acounted for: One for Círdan of the Grey Havens (which was given to Gandalf), one for Elrond, and another one for Galadriel.

Like Brandir said, and rightly, is a sort of "alternate ending", a "what if". What if Gandalf, or Galadriel, or even Aragorn had taken the One Ring as their own?

All that Saruman needed was time, to make his own Ring something he had obcessed about, in the event that he couldnīt get Sauronīs Ring.
And I very much doubt that Sauron gave him a ring. What would be the point?
Most likely Saruman was dreaming about styling himself "lord of the rings" and made a ring for himself, with or without power. Kinda like some people do while trying clothes and looking in the mirror to see how well they look. So, he had the ring so as to copy Gandalfīs one (much like the tobacco), or maybe even because of sheer narcisim.

But I would very much like to get my hands on those books by Chris Tolkien...

Edit: I re-read the thread... seems like I stole some earlier ideas... sorry mates! (Wonīt be editing the whole bugger...)




Why point out the ring? Why not mention "he had a rather snazzy pair of shoes?"

Because Saruman hadnīt seen Gandalfīs skippinī new pair of all-stars, that only debuted in TTT movie :P




It would also help to explain how he built up his power so quickly, building up a power base from almost nothing, drawing tribes of orcs and other fell creatures to his service, and turning them into a power that was great enough to almost overcome Rohan. And then there is the unnatural, magical haste and determination displayed by his orcs as they escaped with the Hobbits. Could this not be a sign of the ring invoking determination, and perhaps distorting time as Galadriels ring was capable of doing?

Actually, Saruman was supposed to be building his army for a longer time than what it shows in the movies; he may have used his powers as an Istari to conceal what was going on in Isengard. In that aspect I have to point out some failings in the movies regarding time (it was some thirty years between Bilbo leaving and Frodo leaving the Shire, for example).

And Galadriel did distort time, but only in Lothlórien. And as for that distortion... Itīs more like time froze, affecting the environment; as if it was always springtime (I think).

CaptainAdama
19-02-2006, 00:04
Just as an aside, Saruman certainly wouldn't have been emulating Gandalf in the wearing of a ring of power. Although Curunir was absolutely jealous of Mithrandir's influence with the White Council , Gandalf kept the ring secret that Cirdan had given him. See:

"The Elves returned no answer. 'Did you not hear me, Gloin?' said Elrond. 'The Three were not made by Sauron, nor did he ever touch them. But of them it is not permitted to speak. So much only in this hour of doubt I may now say. They are not idle."
The Council of Elrond

"Then Cirdan led them to the Havens, and there was a white ship lying, and upon the quay beside a great grey horse stood a figure robed all in white awaiting them. As he turned and came towards them Frodo saw that Gandalf now wore openly upon his hand the Third Ring, Narya the Great, and the stone upon it was red as fire."
The Grey Havens

There is also a pertinent passage in 'Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age' in The Silmarillion :

"Now all these things were achieved for the most part by the counsel and vigilance of Mithrandir, and in the last few days he was revealed as a lord of great reverence, and clad in white he rode into battle; but not until the time came for him to depart was it known that he has long guarded the Red Ring of Fire. At the first that Ring had been entrusted to Cirdan, Lord of the Havens; but he had surrendered it to Mithrandir, for he knew whence he came and whither at last he would return.

'Take now this Ring,' he said; 'for thy labours and thy cares will be heavy, but in all it will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill. But as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and I will dwell by the grey shores, guarding the Havens until the last ship sails. Then I shall await thee.'"

hilltroll
19-02-2006, 02:43
Sorry CaptainAdama, I disagree. From the Unfinished Tales, on the chapter on the Istari, we have this:


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

Jon_Irenicus
19-02-2006, 19:25
Beaten to it. Damn! Hilltroll is quite right.
There isnīt any doubt Saruman not only knew about the Ring, but also he was extremely jealous of Gandalf for having it.

Havoc
20-02-2006, 15:07
But if saruman knew that gandalf had the thrid elven ring why didnt he just take it when he imprisoned him in orthanc?
I havnt read the other books after LOTR so give us a break if he got it afterwards

Brandir
20-02-2006, 18:56
You have spotted a cunning flaw in the good Professor's work!

Why didn't Saruman tak/steal Gandalf's staff as well? What about Glamdring?

Reabe
20-02-2006, 22:51
Glamdring's his sword, right? I never saw Saruman as the kind of guy to go out and hit things himself, rather doing stuff at a distance.
Maybe the staff only works for that one wizard? I mean, can they make another one to replace the one destroyed? Destroying staffs seems to be very importantly shown in the movie, if not the book.

CaptainAdama
21-02-2006, 18:01
Ah...my copy of the Unfinished Tales was stolen and has yet to be replaced.

Well, I think I pulled together a pretty convincing argument otherwise...

Jon_Irenicus
21-02-2006, 19:03
Maybe he didnīt think he would need the ring.
(Though heīd still steal it, as proven once his safe was opened, stuffed full of goodies).
Then again, he was still trying to turn Gandalf on his side, so as to know about his plans and about the One Ring. This is probably why he allowed the grey wizard to keep his stuff.
Even though I do think Tolkien pondered and worked every situation from a very "realistic" point of view, regarding peopleīs atitudes for one, there are a couple of things that just wouldnīt fit these days.
Like the Ringwraiths leaving after wounding Frodo instead of just taking the ring, or Aragorn fighting with just a couple of torches (both on Weathertop).

Brandir
21-02-2006, 19:10
I seem to remember that only Ringbearers could see rings.

And did you not see and recognize the ring upon my finger? Did you see my ring? ' she asked turning again to Sam.
'No, Lady,' he answered. `To tell you the truth, I wondered what you were talking about. I saw a star through your finger.
Quote taken from LOTR Book 2 Chapter 7 The Mirror of Galadriel

Reabe
21-02-2006, 19:51
Like the Ringwraiths leaving after wounding Frodo instead of just taking the ring, or Aragorn fighting with just a couple of torches (both on Weathertop).

They were very weak, and we're talking about Aragorn here!

Jon_Irenicus
21-02-2006, 20:47
I overlooked that :p Good point... But the torches didnīt seem that great an idea because... well, he was a ranger! He fought orcs and all. He didnīt use only his bow, methinks.

Bronn Durgan
22-02-2006, 00:28
The ring on Saruman's finger was most likely a Dwarven ring, given to him as a gift from the dark lord, as a measure of his trust that Saruman would assist him in his conquest of ME.

Jon_Irenicus
22-02-2006, 01:13
But Sauron would only use that to pretend he trusted Saruman. In that case the giving of the Ring was just simbolic. But the only way heīd give him that was if the Ringwraiths took it to Isengard, and I think that that would have been too obvious for either the rangers or the White council.
Hmmm... Then again, Sarumanīs influence could have turned eyes the other way. At any rate, would Saruman really part with one of his rings?

Intrepid Adventurer
22-02-2006, 09:23
Seriously, I can find no reason satisfying enough for Saruman not to have taken Gandalf's ring. If Saruman could get his hands on an Elven Ring of Power, I'm pretty darn sure he would have taken it. Hm...

Edit: Maybe Gandalf managed to hide it from Saruman at Orthanc. Best thing I can come up with.

Jon_Irenicus
22-02-2006, 16:15
Letīs not hope he hid it in a Quentin Tarantino Pulp Fiction way...
"I have your fatherīs watch here with me, Butch..."

Maybe weīre all trying to come up with explanations, but maybe Tolkien himself forgot about it :P

The pestilent 1
22-02-2006, 22:10
I overlooked that :p Good point... But the torches didnīt seem that great an idea because... well, he was a ranger! He fought orcs and all. He didnīt use only his bow, methinks.

As I recall, the ringwraiths feared fire and water.
Hence the hesitance to cross the ford (though I guess the whole elven sanctuary thing may have done it too...) And the fleeing from Aragorn and his torch-o-doom.

And as already stated, only a ringbearer can see a ring-of power, except presumably for the one ring, which wanted to be seen.

Messiah
23-02-2006, 18:04
I havent read the book in a while. But perhaps he didnt even take his stuff to Isengard. Already being wary of Saruman..