The Power of the Palantir

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Bearamir 24/Jul/2006 at 12:01 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008
  Rohanya        Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 03:19
  Bard of Imladris     Points: 5850     Posts: 6651     Days: 542       
Lord halfir, may I have permission to bring in my Interior Text? (For those new, Interior Text is a Heuristic Approach, in which the self, unique, immerses itself in the data, whatever, and not as datum out there, distanced from, trusting totally in itself, for that, in essence, is how Selfhood best works.)

I think the matter of time of great importance. The Ringwraiths -- and I agree, selfless -- are a minute drop in the oceanic matter of TLOTR. A bit at the beginning, though never the whole, and 1, it would seem at the end, to be dismissed on the Fields in front of Minas Tirith. I therefore conclude that having a self is also being, externally, part of a group, united (also in public statement; it is showing the unity of the group, no?)

The issue of the Palantir is endlessly fascinating. Since we are speaking of selves, in either sense, external and internal, how do they relate to Selfhood?

I am sure they do.

Palantir are in essence, if only as Interior Text, not the final word, I admit, access to a larger mind. No, they were not just for seeing landscapes, or, in other cases, for dipping back into the primordial past. They were, in some sense, of transcending the locked-in aspects of Personhood.

Persons are locked in. Selves, by definition, have access to other minds, linked, if only to a few. This would be why the Palantir could communicate amongst themselves, or rather, why others using them could reach another layer of mind, being.

Ringwraiths have no group mind in that sense. Nor would any Ringwraith, if at all able to look into a Palantir, see. Denethor, yes, Saruman, yes, problematic via the Palantir. Yet that problematic, even via Sauron, however interpreted, does not make the Palantir any less of a group mind phenomenon.

No Ringwraith, as fact, could ever end up anywhere close to a Palantir. I say this just as physical fact. For Selfhood lacking in a secondary, even more crippling sense, has no access to any group.

Aldoriana, does that clarify?



  halfir Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 03:24
  High Lord of Imladris     Points: 18243     Posts: 20678     Days: 1597      
Rohanya: This is a thread started by Aldoriana so if permission were needed- which it isn’t- it is to her you should address the question. But, as you have posted anyway, the answer -and indeed the question- becomes academic!X(

I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble
  Rohanya Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 03:31
  Bard of Imladris     Points: 5850     Posts: 6651     Days: 542   
Yes, indeed, the answer becomes academic in the best sense. I therefore submit, Aldoriana and David, that the issue of memory, Ringwraith Style,  is linked with that of absence of selfhood (as you have, I sense, already shown), absence of group mind, and also involving the Palantiri.

However, give me a bashing if too unconventional.

Question. How did any of the Palantiri even end up in the presence of Sauron? Could the Ringwraiths have done so? Perhaps, though in forgetfulness, total, of what those Palantiri really were.

We just have to use common sense, assume they have no Selfhood, not even Personhood -- ergo, nothing at all in the memory sort, then join the dots.

So I would go further; these entities were not Selves. They were not even Persons.


  Rohanya   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 01:09
  Bard of Imladris     Points: 5850     Posts: 6651     Days: 542    
Aldoriana, perhaps we should think the matter of memory a little deeper.

Characters in TLOTR just do not seem to have these modern attributes of supposed selfhood. (So no surprise that some very limited critics found the characters, whether Elves, Hobbits, Men somehow lacking.)

Lacking, that is this interior monologue, essentially subjective, and on its own. No, the characters in TLOTR seem very much to be outside, without that, err, endless patter, nattering, inside.

So, the issue of memory, just to begin, has to recognize a very different stance on individuality, on personhood, on selfhood.

If so much is granted, then how could mere Ringwraiths have any access to memory that were purely of some personal sort, interior?

I would argue, as a result, that memory, even in the books, is much more collective than acknowledged. Going just by what little we have in TLOTR, they, the Ringwraiths were never united, as sheer external text item chapter to chapter, book to book. In twos and threes, perhaps, and more!

Yet never totally together; not even at the end, for their leader had already bitten the dust.

So, given even this second point, is there more to memory than meets the eye?

No, not making too much of the second point.

I only suggest that you clarify your notion of what a) significant memory is and b) locate that if at all possible in a group context; for we just know, even as external text, that the Ringwraiths were in some sense, One -- the 9.

9 in 1, which is, oddly, an unholy trinity done three times over.

Time I suggest for dessert. So just relax and continue on with the feast. And no thinking only. How about some feeling, too?


  Lord_Vidύm   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 03:36
  Forester of Lothlorien     Points: 1213     Posts: 1298     Days: 758   

The Ringwraiths were not 9 in 1. They were just nine. For example:
’I do not know, but it seems clear to me that this is what happened. Their Captain remained in secret away south of Bree, while two rode ahead through the village, and four more invaded the Shire. But when these were foiled in Bree and at Crickhollow, they returned to their Captain with tidings, and so left the Road unguarded for a while, except by their spies. The Captain then sent some eastward straight across country, and he himself with the rest rode along the Road in great wrath. "- LotR- FotR- The Council of Elrond.

You can see from that spot, that they were not always in one group. They were getting to become one, when they were fighting. But hello! Who would be so fool to fight alone a battle? And the Ringwraiths were pretty sufficient when used in battle together- one can spread pretty good fear, but nine can destroy all their enemies.

Oh and I am wrong, for the Ringwraiths do fight alone too. An example to such a 1 for 1, is the Witchking, who would fight Gandalf, who wounded Theoden, and who fought Eowyn. I don;t think the other 8 were there to make a group with him. No. He was alone!

So the Ringwraiths were not 9 in 1. They were what they had to be, depending on the circumstances!



Without you the Poetry within me is dead
  Deluhathol   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 07:52
  Elder of Imladris     Points: 463     Posts: 344     Days: 439   

Lord Halfir yes i do know that the palantiri are capable of affecting weak minds, i’ve stated this in my last post above. Secondly i’ve i was just disagreeing with Lord Vidum, who incidently was disagreeing with you, As for Saruman and Denethor, i never said anything about them except that sauron asked pippin, by mistake, to give him a message.
As for Dominance and delusion, i belive you will agree with me that they are forms of control.
Why would Sauron exert full control on someone like Denethor, someone like Gandalf will might see that Denethor is now a puppet of saurons, also maybe sauron may have enjoyed playing games with Denethor, watching his reactions to what he thought was impending doom.

As for saruman, already corrupted by hid studies into dark lore, may have required more than a subtlr nudge, i.e sauron asks him to aquire the ring for him, i’m sauron was no fool, and must have addressed the possibility of saruman keeping the ring for himself, Also saruman should have had a strong mind, being a maiar and all, like with aragorn, perheps sauron couldnt influence saruman directly through the palantir.

All i’ve said about dominance and delusion is pure speculation, hence no quotes.    

  halfir   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 08:08
  High Lord of Imladris     Points: 18243     Posts: 20678     Days: 1597    

Deluhathol: As for Dominance and delusion, i belive you will agree with me that they are forms of control.

Yes, I fully accept both are forms of control- although different in nature and degree. But the real nub of the issue I was seeking to establsih in opposition to Aldoriana’s attempt to use Saruman and Denethor as almost surrogate examples of Nazgul control, is that Sauron’s control over those two was nothing like as complete as his control over the Nazgul.

And if you read my post of Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 02:35 to Lord_Vidum, you will note that  Denethor was no one’s puppet, his tragedy is that ulimately he let despair overcome him- induced indeed by Sauron’s ’half-truths’ - but he never accepted Sauron’s overlordship in a way that Saruman might have done. Tolkien makes that very clear.

And of course Sauron knew that Saruman was trying to cheat him- and it served him well to allow Saruman that licence- because in buidldng up his own forces to fight the Rohirrim Saruman was effectively doing Sauron’s work for him.With that acomplished, if it had been, Sauron would then have dealt with Saruman as he  saw fit, for without the One Othanc could never stand against Mordor.



I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble
  Deluhathol   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 08:37
  Elder of Imladris     Points: 463     Posts: 344     Days: 439    
Lord Halfir Right, I agree with you on the issue with the palantiri, but just for curiosities sake, could you please elaborate on pippins words: "Its not for you Saruman!...I will send for it at once. Do you understand? Say just that!" (Chapter: The Palantir, Page 241, my bold)

Vidum  i still dont get by what you mean by "The ringwraiths were not 9 in 1", what is it your trying to prove?
  Lord_Vidύm   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 08:51
  Forester of Lothlorien     Points: 1213     Posts: 1298     Days: 758   

Deluhathol.I am trying to prove mr Rohanya, that the nazguls were not like the "three bodyguard motto" : All for one and one for all. The Nazguls were also working individually. They were just attacking in groups, when they needed to be destructive(Pelenor fields), or needed supporting(Amon Sul). However they could even fight alone(as the circumstances I gave above).

And I think I can help you with that quote. Sauron thought that Saruman had captured the Hobbit and making him seeing through the Palantir was just one of his torturings to the poor Hobbit. Sauron believed that Saruman had just got the Ring, and threatened him not to dare to touch it, for he was sending a Nazgul for him.



Without you the Poetry within me is dead
  Lord_Vidύm   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 08:53
  Forester of Lothlorien     Points: 1213     Posts: 1298     Days: 758    
I wonder why should Saruman be afraid of JUST a Nazgul? He was an Istari, and since he had abondoned the Valar, he was able to use his powers. Not even the Witchking would be able to threaten Saruman that time.

Without you the Poetry within me is dead
  Deluhathol   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 09:09
  Elder of Imladris     Points: 463     Posts: 344     Days: 439     
Vidum right, i now no what your talking about *g*, actually what i meant was, why did pippin repeat, excactly what sauron said? this has not occured any where else in the books to my knowledge, i’wm asking for an elaboration because the qoute still confuses me, sauron willed him to say it, and he did, word for word.  
  Lord_Vidύm   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 09:32
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Deluhathol , if you had the same bad experience as Pippin had, then you would remember not just every word, but every dot! Pippin felt pretty scared when he looked through the palantir, and just like after that, came Sauron, who did not just ask him questions or sending via him messages, BUT HE WAS HURTING HIM. It was like a bad experience someone would have. Each of us, if we have a bad experience, tend to say everything immidiately. Think of a kid that fell down and hit itself- what does it do? it tries to explain everything that happened to him. So happens to Pippin. He was hurted, and tells of his experience that had really STUCKED in his mind.

Without you the Poetry within me is dead
  halfir   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 17:24
  High Lord of Imladris     Points: 18243     Posts: 20678     Days: 1597    

Deluhathol: I think Lord_Vidum’s post answers your question pretty accurately. If you read TT-The Palantir it’s obvious that Pippin is still in a state of shock:

The hobbit shuddered. His eyes closed. He cried out; and sat up, staring in bewilderment at all the faces round him, plae in the moonlight.

’It is not for you, Saruman!’ he cried  in a shrill and toneless voice, shrinking away from Gandalf. ’I will send for it at once. Do you understand? Say just that!’ {my emphasis}

He has just encountered-in a mind-to-mind transfer the most powerful evil mind in ME - it’s not surprising  its impact still lingers, and he carrries out its last instruction. And it could be- I’m not saying that it is- that the shrinking away from Gandalf -means that he is confusing Gandalf with Saruman.

And Gandalf actually gives you a detailed explanation of what probably went through Sauron’s mind. Thinking the Orthanc stone still in the Tower  and that Pippin had been driven as a torture to look in it he was to eager to get the Hobbit to himself, and thus did not deeply quesion him (the questoning of course is via mind-to-mind transfer, not speech) but said he would send a Nazgul for him immediately.

Lord-Vidum: Why should Saruman be afraid of  a Nazgul? He should certainly be scared of a Nazgul and who it represents.He has lost his powers- Gandalf has broken his staff and cast him from the Order of the Istari and the Council:

He lives now in terror of the shadow of Mordor, and yet he still dreams of riding the storm. Unhappy fool! He will be devoured, if the power of the East stretches out its arms to Isengard.’ {TT-The Voice of Saruman}

He might be able to buy some time- but that is all:

’He has power still, I think, while in Orthanc, to resist the Nine Riders. He may try to do so. He may trap the Nazgul, or at least slay the thing on which he now rides in the air.’{TT-The Palantir}

The phrase ’He has power still, I think, while in Orthanc, has some interesting implications which we sought to discuss in the thread:

Is ‘k’ or ‘K’ the Key to Orthanc?

 

http://www.lotrplaza.com/archive4/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=46&TopicID=167415&PagePosition=2

but never actualy finished. Perhaps in time we can return to it.



I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble
  Aldoriana   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 21:54
  Scholar of Imladris     Points: 3073     Posts: 2157     Days: 1167    
Gentlemen, you have developed an exciting discussion which I think deserves a thread of its own.
I have asked the Moderators to do this.

Please, read Hoth’s advice in >> this thread <<.
  Rohanya   Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 23:14
  Bard of Imladris     Points: 5850     Posts: 6651     Days: 542  
Vidum, but do you not see how you prove my underlying point? Yes, the Ringwraiths were definitely not united, both as external text document, and as internal reality. For any entity of the human sort, or akin, unity with others, if only of same kind, is always positive, always in its wake enhances memory, in fact, makes memory truly what it can and ought to be, namely, the remembering of more than small self, for it is also remembering what truths etc. have already been passed on within whatever group, whether elves, men, hobbits, etc.

Again, this 9 as 1 is sheer illusion. Ringwraiths are not selves, not persons, and not, in particular, united in any real way, external or internal. Do not know quite yet how to classify them? Perhaps you can help here.
  Lord_Vidύm   Monday, July 24, 2006 at 02:19
  Forester of Lothlorien     Points: 1213     Posts: 1298     Days: 758     

Lord Halfir thanks! pretty good post, but it is still the same. Why would Sauron be so fool to send out a Nazgul alone to get Saruman? Saruman could still imprison or ’kill’ the Nazgul. That was my point. As for the Orthanc,I thought that he said so, because Orthanc could not be sieged by any kind of machines (except for Magic).

Rohanya "Do not know quite yet how to classify them? ": I would classify them to what they are. And they are Ring-wraiths. So they are Wraiths. Their only union-which i dont think is a union at last- is that they are under Sauron’s completely control, and fully-servants of the One Ring.



Without you the Poetry within me is dead
  halfir   Monday, July 24, 2006 at 02:43
  High Lord of Imladris     Points: 18243     Posts: 20678     Days: 1597   
Aldoriana: I have no problem with the ’clean-up’ but would want my post of Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 03:10 to remain in this thread as it is in rebuttal of the position taken in your last post on Nazgul and memory.

I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble
  Rohanya   Monday, July 24, 2006 at 02:47
  Bard of Imladris     Points: 5850     Posts: 6651     Days: 542    
Aldoriana, too confusing all that advice!  However, you and/or Hoth are free to delete any posts of mine here in this thread, if too bifurcating in nature. Great thread, however. I do not have the time, at this point, nor inclination to create a separate thread. Maybe I should just back out?
  Aldoriana   Monday, July 24, 2006 at 03:14
  Scholar of Imladris     Points: 3073     Posts: 2157     Days: 1167   
I would hate to see any post deleted! No, no, no!!!

The discussion that has accidentally developed is a very good one and with potentials. It has gone astray from the main topic of the present thread, however. So why not just have it separately. This is the idea!

Dear Master, when Rohanya or Hoth performs the severance, if they are able to leave your post here, I’ll be happy! If not, then perhaps you could c&p it, please?

And Rohanya, who wants you to back out?!!!
As I said, the latest discussion desrves its own thread.
If you don’t have the time to organize moving it into a new thread, no worries! I’ll ask Hoth to do it for you! ’You’ - because your post shall be the opening one, hence ’tis going to be your thread.
All right?
  halfir   Monday, July 24, 2006 at 03:46
  High Lord of Imladris     Points: 18243     Posts: 20678     Days: 1597    

Lord_Vidum: Why would Sauron be so fool to send out a Nazgul alone to get Saruman?

Why not? Sauron probably believed that he had Saruman under his control should he need to exercise it fully. As Gandalf says to Pippin {TT- The Palantir}:

’The biter bit, the hawk under the eagle’s foot, the spider in a steel web.

And Gandalf only uses ’may’- a weak modal veb in saying:

’He has power still, I think, while in Orthanc, to resist the Nine Riders. He may try to do so. He may trap the Nazgul, or at least slay the thing on which he now rides in the air.’{TT-The Palantir - my emphasis}

And the slaying refers only to the Nazgul’s steed- not to the Nazgul.

Moreover, Sauron is making moves on many fronts, and needs to husband his resources. I think it highly probable that in the first instance he would send a Nazgul for that is the message he gives to Pippin. Only after Saruman fails to further report (via the palantir he now no longer has!) will Sauron feel something is amiss.



I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble
Bearamir 24/Jul/2006 at 12:08 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008

Ladies & Gentlemen:  Please note, at the request of the thread holder *all* posts from Rohanya (July 2, 3:19pm) to Halfir (July 24, 3:46) in the "Did the Nazgul Remember " discussion have been moved to this new thread. 

The prior discussion can be found here:

http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=46&TopicID=204186&PagePostPosition=3

(Please note:  All posts were deleted and/or transferred WITHOUT penalty...but I do hope I got them all...)

halfir 24/Jul/2006 at 05:14 PM
Emeritus Points: 46547 Posts: 43664 Joined: 10/Mar/2002

Bear: As ever- many thanks.X(

Lord_Vidύm 25/Jul/2006 at 01:33 AM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004

Well, here a question for you Lord Halfir.

What are really the Palantirs? I thought they were stones that allowed contact via each other (With specific order). So how could Saruman be searching arround Gladden Fields for the Ring?

In addition I’d like to know which Palantir was able to see the ones that were sunk.

halfir 25/Jul/2006 at 02:40 AM
Emeritus Points: 46547 Posts: 43664 Joined: 10/Mar/2002

Lord_Vidum: Before I attempt to answer your question may I ask if you have a copy of Unfinished Tales? If you do, then I think you would be greatly helped by reading the chapter on The Palantiri-some  of which was used by Tolkien in his 1960 revisions to LOTR. If not, I recommend you put it high on your ’books to purchase’ list as it is an invaluable resource, when used properely and with caution, to LOTR and the Silmarillion.

If your answer is in the negative then I will proceed to - hopefully -answer your question,but I don’t want to re-invent the wheel.X(

Lord_Vidύm 25/Jul/2006 at 02:54 AM
Banned Points: 1957 Posts: 2449 Joined: 26/Jun/2004
Well I have UT, but I have read only Istari and I am still at the first chapters-of the First Age. I’ll have a look at the Palantir chapter then.
DeluhatholSilverleaf 25/Jul/2006 at 04:47 AM
New Soul Points: 1108 Posts: 3651 Joined: 18/Nov/2008
Lord Halfir  i dont have UT, and it’ll take some time for me to aquire it, so, could you please proceed? Mnay thanks!
halfir 25/Jul/2006 at 06:35 PM
Emeritus Points: 46547 Posts: 43664 Joined: 10/Mar/2002

Deluhathol: I hope this helps!X(

 

The Palantiri- Based on UT The Palantiri and ROTK App A (I,11) and The Silmarillion: Of Feanor; Of The Rings of Power and the Third Age

 

The History of the Stones

 

 

  1. Elendil brought the seven Palantiri to ME. They were gifted to him by the Eldar and said to have been created by Feanor
  2. The Palantiri were never matters of common use or knowledge.
  3. They were basically only used by kings and rulers, and their appointed wardens.
  4. They were in now way perilous in their use pre-Sauron’s possession of one, and were essentially a means of swift communication- by mind-to-mind- transfer between different parts of the kingdom.
  5. In the kin-strife of TA 1437 the Stone of Osigilaith was lost in the waters of Anduin
  6. When Arvedui –fleeing the destruction of his kingdom was drowned in the Bay of Forochel {TA 1975} the palantiri of Annuminas and Amon Sul were lost.
  7. After Arvedui’s shipwreck and drowning there was no answering stone left in the North.
  8. With the fall of Minas Ithil to  Sauron’s foces {TA 2002} the Ithil Stone was captured.{It was probably finally lost in the destruction of Barad-Dur {March 25 TA 3019}
  9. This left the Anor-stone in Minas Tirith, the Orthanc –stone, and the Stone in the tower of Elsotirion  on the Emyn Beraid (the Tower Hills). This Stone was unlike any of the others, it looked only over the sea to Eressea and the Tower of Avallone there, which held the master stone.
  10. By themselves the Stones could only see;scenes of figures in distant places or in the past.These were without explanation. BUT if another stone- in accord, was occupied by another mind, thought could be transferred (received as ‘speech’) and visions of the things in the mind of the  surveyor of one stone could be seen by the other surveyor.
  11. But prior to the advent of Denethor as Steward of Gondor, the Stones and their usage had fallen into desuetude. Indeed, the Orthanc-stone was probably overlooked- and when Beren the Steward gave Saruman the Keys to Orthanc in TA 2759 as nominal warden of the Tower and lieutenant of the Steward of Gondor he probably thought it could not have been in safer hands- Saruman at that time being Head of the White Council.
  12. And before Sauron’s and Saruman’s  acquisition of the Ithil Stone  and the Orthanc –stone , the palantiri were used for the exchange of news and information necessary for the good governance of the kingdom.
  13. Indeed it was only Sauron who used a Stone for the transference of his overpowering will, dominating the weaker surveyor and forcing him to reveal hidden thought and to submit to commands. The palantiri could not themselves survey men’s minds, minds unaware or unwilling, as the transference of thought depended on the wills of the user of either side, and thought (received as ‘speech’) was only transmittable by one stone to another in accord. Thus while Sauron could dominate the mind of Saruman via the Ithil stone, he could not similarly dominate the mind of  Denethor – as apart from his own indomitable will, Denethor’s mind was strengthened by the fact that he was a legitimate user of the Anor-stone being a duly appointed Steward of Gondor and thus one who had legitimate rights to use the palantir. So Sauron had to resort to deluding Denethor, as opposed to dominating him.

 

 

The Lore of the Stones

 

  1. Most of the lore is forgotten and thus what follows is conjecture plus recorded knowledge still existing about them.
  2. They were perfect spheres. When at rest they appeared to be made of sold glass or crystal deep black in color.
  3. The smallest were about a foot in diameter- the largest couldn’t be lifted by one man.
  4. They were virtually indestructible- apart from great heat such as that of Mount doom- which was thought to have been the fate of the Ithil-stone.
  5. Though without any external markings of any kind they had permanent poles , and were originally so placed in their sites so that they stood ’upright’: their diameters from pole to pole pointed to the earth’s center, but the permanent nether pole must then be at the bottom. The faces along the circumference in this position were the viewing faces, receiving the visions from outside, but transmitting them to the eye of a ‘surveyor’ upon the far side. A surveyor, therefore, who wished to look west would place himself on the east side of the Stone, and if he wished to shift his vision northward must move to his left, southward. But the minor Stones, those of Orthanc, Ithil, and Anor, and probably Annuminas, had also fixed orientation in their original situation, so that (for example) their west face would only look west and turned in other directions was blank.’
  6. By themselves the palantiri could only ‘see’; they did not transmit sound. Without any directing mind they would give a blurred and confused picture. And while they were not ‘blinded’ by physical objects, unless those objects received some light, they could see nothing. They could thus see though walls, but could see nothing within the room unless some light was available, and they could not provide that themselves. Moreover, by a now long-lost process known as ‘shrouding’ –carried out by Surveyors not wishing to be watched, certain things or areas could be made to appear in them only as shadow or mist. And the greater palantiri could see much further than the lesser.
  7. A viewer could by willpower cause the vision of the Stone to concentrate on some point on or near its direct line. Concentration of the willpower of a strong surveyor could also enlarge remote things, and make them clearer.
  8. However, such concentration was very tiring and was only undertaken when information was urgently desired.

As you can see use of the palantiri was no simple matter, and even with a gifted surveyor of powerful will, there were things they could not achieve. Trying to find the One with a palantir would have been like trying to find a needle in a haystack! And as for the lost palantiri, as they all were in places where light did not fall they would not have been able to be seen- and even if they were- what would have been the use?

 

I think many have a very loose understanding of the very severe limitations that the palantiri had and I hope this synopsis will clear some of them up.

 

For a full account you need to read UT- The Palantiri.

 

 

 

 

Lady d`Ecthelion 25/Jul/2006 at 08:50 PM
Doorwarden of Minas Tirith Points: 5312 Posts: 4083 Joined: 14/May/2003
And also >> this <<
I hope, these two shall help you a lot, my dear brother wraith - Deluhathol in getting a more detailed knowledge on these wondrous objects.

You know, I happen to have two copies of the UT. I could mail one of them to you, if you wish. Just e-mail me your mailing address and I shall have the pleasure!
It’s a fantastic book, you know. I absolutely love it! Master halfir might remember how once I expressed the "hierecy" that I’d prefer Tolkien to have finished those tales, instead of "wasting" so much time on the LOTR only.
halfir 25/Jul/2006 at 09:12 PM
Emeritus Points: 46547 Posts: 43664 Joined: 10/Mar/2002

Aldoriana: There is only one problem with the link you have given and that is that it states the palantiri could see the future. They could not and Tolkien nowhere ever wrote that they could. They were esssentially a communicative and information medium-not a foretelling one like the Mirror of Galadriel.

I suggest you get whoever is responsible to amend what is an otherwise excellent piece accordingly.X(

Master halfir might remember how once I expressed the "hierecy" that I’d prefer Tolkien to have finished those tales, instead of "wasting" so much time on the LOTR only

The faggots are still being assembled!X(

Lady d`Ecthelion 25/Jul/2006 at 09:42 PM
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Oh. my...
I take this "face" because it is my piece, and even if I wrote this a couple of years ago, I now can’t understand what fact about the ’seeing stones’ made me assume their ability to see in the future. Maybe I was mislead by what Sauron was showing to Denethor.
Anyway, I shall immediately correct this!

Oh my...Oh, my! ... Shame on me!
halfir 25/Jul/2006 at 11:05 PM
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X( We all make mistakes. If you want a good ex post facto laugh look at my boo-boo in the Rings of Power thread regarding the Ring Verse. Of course I had had 21 years of reading LOTR before The Silmarillion, HOME, and UT came out  so I could pray  that in aid- but it was a big boob nonetheless. X(
Lord_Vidύm 26/Jul/2006 at 02:48 AM
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Aldoriana, possibly Sauron was not showing the future to Denethor, but telling him how the future would be. And if you were shown a great army being prepared for taking your kingdom and killing your people, I think you would have made up the same scene of the future Denethor had done-ALL WERE LOST. Even worse when you would realise your beloved and most valuable son was dead.
Lord_Vidύm 26/Jul/2006 at 02:49 AM
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the stupid thing with Denethor is he said that although he might be old,he still he knew how to use the sword, he did not use it for the right reason.
halfir 26/Jul/2006 at 04:11 AM
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Lord_Vidum: The palantiri cannot lie. Therefore Sauron could only show Denethor what was. But by controllling what Denethor saw -Sauron’s could create a scenario in which the might of Sauron made the ’pitiful’ armies of the West look insignificant and clearly unable to cope. He could show Denethor Mordorian forces marching and attacking Lorien, the realm of Thranduil, and Dale,  huge numbers of allies coming in from the south, the massing of the fleet of the Corsiars of Umbar- a whole nightmare scenario. And that is what Tolkien tells us he did.

Look how Denethor viewed the military situation:

’But against the Power that arises there is no victory.To this City only the first finger of its hand has yet been stretched. All the East is moving. And even now the wind of hope cheats thee and wafts up Anduin a fleet with black sails. The West has failed. It is time for all to depart who would not be slaves.’ {ROTK-The Pyre of Denethor}

And Gandalf makes it clear that it was this edited version of the situation that Sauron contrived Denethor to see- that caused his despair and downfall:

’He was too great to be subdued by the will of the Dark Power, he saw nonetheless only those things which the power permitted him to see. The knowledge which he obtained was, doubtless often of service to him; yet the vision of the great might of Mordor that was shown to him fed the despair of his heart until it overthrew his mind." {ROTK-The Pyre of Denethor}

 

Lord_Vidύm 26/Jul/2006 at 05:32 AM
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did I say it lied? sorry if I did.

I just read the UT Palantir. Pretty weird is that Nobody knew until the WotR that the Palantir of Minas Ithil was in the hands of Sauron. So by mistakes everybody was frequenced with Sauron’s Palantir. And in addition:
Why did Denethor get old by using the Palantir?

halfir 26/Jul/2006 at 06:31 AM
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Lord_Vidum. No you didn’t say the palantiri lied, I should have qualified that sentence- which I simply used to show the fact that the palantiri could only show ’as is’. Of course, as both you and I observed, if you could ’edit’ the ’as is’ the conclusions drawn could be very different from reality-and that is just what poor Denethor did, drew the wrong conclusions- aided and abetted by Sauron’s selective ’editing’.
DeluhatholSilverleaf 26/Jul/2006 at 06:34 AM
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Hey Halfir, Aldoriana, wow i never thought there was so much palantiri lore, and my many thanks go to the both of you both! Also your piece on the palantiri was great Aldoriana, you’d really give me a copy of UT?! I think this is a example of hoe great Lotr fanatics are! I’ll send you an email!
Thanks All!
Lady d`Ecthelion 26/Jul/2006 at 06:57 AM
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My pleasure, brother wraith!
halfir 26/Jul/2006 at 11:23 PM
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Lord_Vidum: You asked:Why did Denethor get old by using the Palantir?

In ROTK- Minas Tirith Beregond tells Pippin:

’And the lord Denethor is unlike other men: he sees far. Some say that as he sits alone in his high chamber in the tower at night , and bends his thought this way and that , he can read somewhat of the future; and that he will at times search even the mind of the enemy, wrestling with him. And so it is that he is old, worn before his time."

Of course Beregond is unwittingly describing Denethor’s use of the palantir. And Tolkien -UT The Palantiri makes it clear that use of the Stones was a strain and an immeasurably greater one when  one had to grapple with Sauron to prevent him ’wrenching’ the Stone always towards himself.

This is the reason for Denethor’s premature ageing.

Kaulargorn 24/Sep/2006 at 10:45 AM
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One thing that makes the interesting subject of Palantir even more fascinating is the fact that some Palantirs are lost.So, as Denethor fights with Sauron with their thoughts, who else could watch.The Blue wizzards maybe, Tom Bobandil?And the imaginative questions continue.That’s one basic characteristics of the many fans of Tolkien’s books all over the world.
Aran Lepenque Sedai 22/Oct/2006 at 03:53 AM
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Maybe you could go to http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Main_Page. Its a very good website that may settle some of your queries. If you find anything wrong with the information, you could just edit it.
Bearamir 23/Oct/2006 at 04:47 PM
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Nathanel:  While the link you provided can be a good source for some information on Tolkien’s works, *this* forum is intended for original debate, discussion and exploration of Lord of the Rings topics.   So, while people may consult the link you provided for some inspiration to support their position, using that link to "settle" some of our queries into the topics really isn’t consistent with what we are trying to do here.
Boromir88 23/Oct/2006 at 05:03 PM
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Why did Denethor get old by using the Palantir?~Lord Vidum

halfir provides a quote showing the physical effects the palantir had on Denethor, it had made him ’aged before his time.’  I think also if we look at a historical example it may be of some help.  When people are faced with a lot of stress, difficulties, and problems, it has this aging/wearing effect, and again this is what happens to Denethor.  If we take a look at what the books say about Marie Antoinette...Marie Antoinette was revered as a very young and beautiful lady.  She was supposedly one of those eye-poppers.  When she was executed at the age of 36 it was remarked just how much she changed and people couldn’t recognize her anymore.

Of course after the revolution, Marie Antoinette along with her husband, were the ones first blamed for the problems of France.  After Louis’ execution Marie was arrested, taken from her kids and placed into a prison cell with no contact from anyone else.  Compound that with her trial as being accused of incest with her son and facing public ridicule up until her execution you can see the effects had definitely worn Marie Antoinette.  To the very point that she no longer looked like the beautiful lady she was...she afterall was only 36 at this time and yet had now grey hair and a aged looking face.

I think what happens to Denethor is very similar.  The palantir compounded his stress and his problems, on top of that the grief over the death of his wife, his first son, and the believed death of his other remaining son.  No wonder why Denethor looked ’aged before his time’ and looked worn down.

Panethor 28/Oct/2006 at 06:09 AM
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I think that this is the best forum for me to ask my question. Palandir was simply rock which someone put power on them or was some special petrifacs? I mean that if it was something with no power and then someone put power in this.
Magradhaid 28/Oct/2006 at 01:08 PM
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Aldoriana, I suspect that you might have thought palantíri could look into the future because according to Gandalf, it seems they could look into the past. "Even now my heart desires to test my will upon it, to see if I could not wrench it from him and turn it where I would – to look across the wide seas of water and of time to Tirion the Fair, and perceive the unimaginable hand and mind of Fëanor at their work, while both the White Tree and the Golden were in flower!" LotR, Bk. III, Ch. XI "The Palantír"

As for you, Panethor, the palantíri were not rocks but spheres of a crystalline/glasslike material wrought by Fëanor the Ñoldo, though I cannot begin to guess how he made them able to do what they did.

Legolas030803 15/Nov/2006 at 09:06 AM
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The palantíri is not meant to really look into the future but from what i can understand it is just for comunicating all around middle earth and to see what was going on and it was one of the reasons for the downfall of numenor because if they hadnt of abandoned using them then they would have seen what sauron was up to and they would not have fallen.  when gandalf takes the palantíri from the tower of orthanc and pippin looks into it he sees sauron as he is not as his future self but him in the present and gandalf always kept it covered.
Elros Tar-Minya 15/Nov/2006 at 10:11 AM
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Halfir I don’t know if you are still following this thread but there are a couple of things I have noticed with regards to the Palantiri and Palantir Lore. Your thread of Wednesday, July 26, 2006 at 02:35 states that:

Though without any external markings of any kind they had permanent, and were originally so placed in their sites so that they stood ’upright’: their diameters from pole to pole pointed to the earth’s center, but the permanent nether pole must then be at the bottom. The faces along the circumference in this position were the viewing faces, receiving the visions from outside, but transmitting them to the eye of a ‘surveyor’ upon the far side. A surveyor, therefore, who wished to look west would place himself on the east side of the Stone, and if he wished to shift his vision northward must move to his left, southward. But the minor Stones, those of Orthanc, Ithil, and Anor, and probably Annuminas, had also fixed orientation in their original situation, so that (for example) their west face would only look west and turned in other directions was blank.’ (my bold emphasis)

However when Gandalf is riding east with pippin he says;

The Orthanc stone so bent towards Barad-dur that, if any save a will of adamant looks into it, it will bear his mind and sight swiftly thither. LOTR, The Palantir

The stone that Sauron has is assumed to be the Ithil stone, which is of itself another of the minor stones. It appears from the text that it is has the same powers as of the Master, Osgiliath, stone’

But all those in Gondor were ever open to the view of Osgiliath. LOTR, The Palantir

Also we know that Pippins mind and sight was bourne straight to Barad-dur even if ’by chance’ he managed to align it correctly how could a ’minor’ stone have the power over another ’minor’ stone so that it would immediately take the user to it?

Can you offer any help on this other that what it says in UT?