Did Saruman inadvertently save the quest from ruin?

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by BalrogRingDestroyer, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. BalrogRingDestroyer

    BalrogRingDestroyer Member

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    I know Saruman messed up a lot of things by delaying Gandalf and the mess he made in Rohan, but Saruman's interference at the Falls of Rauros seems like it saved the quest from disaster.

    Here is why:

    Had not the Isengard orcs, I think they were called Urak hai, overpowered the Mordor orcs, Merry and Pippin would have been taken toward Mordor, not Isengard. It's possible that Aragorn, Gimili, and Legolas might not have been able to rescue them in time (especially if the bad guys crossed the river, where there was a Nazgul on the other side.)

    Had Merry and Pippin been taken to Mordor, Sauron would have tortued them until they told the plan, so he'd know the Ring would be headed his direction, even if he didn't know the whereabouts of Frodo, he could block the way and the quest would be ruined and Sauron would have won.


    Furthermore, because Merry and Pippin were taken toward Isengard, they were able to rouse the Ents, though I suppose the Ents wouldn't have needed to go march on Isengard had Saruman not turned traitor.


    However, when Pippin messed with the Plantir, something he wouldn't have done had he not gone to Isengard, Sauron thought that Saruman had captured the Ring. It is unsaid if the Nazgul headed that way ever got to Isengard or not (Treebeard doesn't mention it and I think the Nazgul would have been peeved that Saruman lost the Hobbits, even if he'd been convinced by Saruman that there was no treachery.)

    Because of this mess, Sauron mistakenly believed that the Hobbits got away, though, based on what Gandalf said, he also believed that Saruman had tried to trick him, as the orcs were supposed to return to Mordor. However, the mess with both the Isengard orcs and the Mordor orcs getting killed by each other and the Rohirrim ensured that it took a while for Sauron to realize what had happened.


    At any rate, Sauron mistakenly believed that the Ring was with them, especially with Aragorn, which meant that he sent his goons toward Minas Tirith, which made Sauron's attention away from his own land, hence allowing Frodo, Sam, and Gollum to get up Cirith Ungol without being noticed.

    (Of course, Sauron may have just wanted to crush Minas Tirith anyway as that would pretty much cause the fall of Gondor and leave Rohan, Isengard, and the Shire wide open for invasion and be the end of the free peoples of the West and he had goons already planning to retake Erebor and Mirkwood too.)
     
  2. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Currently in hiding

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    Yes -- and recognized by Gandalf in "The White Rider". One of the many ironic reversals in LOTR, another being the Palantir episode you mention.

    "Oft evil will shall evil mar".

    At least in Middle Earth.
     

  3. BalrogRingDestroyer

    BalrogRingDestroyer Member

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    Though it's likely that had Saruman not turned traitor, that Grima wouldn't have told the Nazgul where the Shire was (I heard that's what happened in the cannon, if not outright told in the novel.) Also, likely they would have gone through the Gap of Rohan rather than risking Moria. On the other hand, they wouldn't have gotten that stuff from Galadriel had they gone that route either. Also, going through Rohan would likely have meant that they'd have gone toward Gondor as it was closer whereas the route they went, the Falls of Rauros were about midway between the Black Gate and Minas Tirith. Had they gone to Gondor, I think Denethor would have snapped and used his soldiers to take the Ring by force, which would have been a disaster.
     
  4. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Currently in hiding

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    That sounds right .

    BTW, the material in Unfinished Tales makes it fairly certain that it wasn't Wormtongue but the (ahem) "squint-eyed southerner" who was accosted by the Riders.

    As I recall, it was Grima in the BBC Radio production, which makes a kind of sense, as they would want to limit the number of characters to keep track of.

    Highly unlikely, anyway, for such an important influence in the court of Theoden to take time off for treks to the Shire.
     

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