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And new Palantir Champ is..........!

Tar-Palantir

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A passage Harad quoted in the movie forum about Aragorn's struggle against Sauron for control of the Palantir of Orthanc brought a couple of questions to mind.

1) "...and in the end I wrenched the Stone to my own will" - Aragorn. Just how powerful was Aragorn? Saruman had this stone and couldn't (wouldn't?) take control of it away from Sauron. Saruman's originally a Maia and Aragorn's got a much diluted strain of Maia in him. Could virtue have anything to do with this?

2) "Yes, Master Gimli, he saw me, but in other guise than you see me here" - Aragorn again. What other guise? When Frodo was fading at the Ford, he saw Glorfindel "in other guise", but not Aragorn. Was Aragorn a throwback? In other words, even though his Elven & Maiar blood was diluted by generations, did he somehow get a share comparable to Elrond?
 
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Harad

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The point made is that of "ownership." The palantirs "belonged" to the Kings of Numernor. Therefore Aragorn has the "right" to them. That together with his innate strength allows him to "defeat" Sauron, the interloper.
 

Grond

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Tar-Palantir, there is a chapter in Unfinished Tales entitled The Palantiri. You need to read it and you will understand it all.

As far as the guise is concerned. I'm not sure if Aragorn had a special set of Armor and Helm that he wore when he looked into the Palantir and wrenched it to his will. It may have been a real guise or it may have been a guise that he was able to project to Sauron through the sphere. The chapter referenced above makes it clear that the balls did not enable one to "talk" to another holder but rather they imparted a "silent communication" through the mind. This description would lead me to believe that Aragorn simply projected himself as the rightful King of Arnor and Gondor and showed Sauron the sword that had cut off his finger/hand and then Sauron promptly peed himself and unleashed his armies. :)
 

HLGStrider

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I always saw him sort of cross legged with the banner he had from Arwen behind him and his sword accross his lap... Sometimes he was wearing a helm...

I suppose that being the rightful owner was part of it but then how come the strength was enough "barely" as Aragorn put it... It also needs a little bit of will power and virtue, I believe. If it just needed the right of ownership, Denthor would've had more claim to it than Sauron, being at least of Aragorn's race and probably having some noble blood in him (I don't know Denethor's lineage very well, but it was an old one and he was Numenorean... wasn't he?). Anyway, Aragorn was perfect.... As I've said before "NO NO! Bad Dark Lord. My Plantir. Go get your own..." Then he hits Sauron with a rolled up newspaper.
 

Ged

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I don't think it required wizardry or even rightful ownership for Aragorn to control the globe. What it took was great strength of mind. Strength not to be dominated and overborne by the great will of Sauron.

This is something Aragorn had in full measure. Saruman did not. It wasn't Saruman's inferior magical powers that caused him to be trapped when he looked in the Palantir.
 
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Harad

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'A struggle somewhat grimmer for my part than the battle of the Hornburg,' answered Aragorn. 'I have looked in the Stone of Orthanc, my friends.'
'You have looked in that accursed stone of wizardry!' exclaimed Gimli with fear and astonishment in his face. 'Did you say aught to - him? Even Gandalf feared that encounter.'
'You forget to whom you speak,' said Aragorn sternly, and his eyes glinted. 'Did I not openly proclaim my title before the doors of Edoras? What do you fear that I should say to him? Nay, Gimli,' he said in a softer voice, and the grimness left his face, and he looked like one who has laboured in sleepless pain for many nights. 'Nay, my friends, I and the lawful master of the Stone, and I had both the right and the strength to use it, or so I judged. The right cannot be doubted. The strength was enough - barely.'
He drew a deep breath. 'It was a bitter struggle, and the weariness is slow to pass. I spoke no word to him, and in the end I wrenched the Stone to my own will. That alone he will find hard to endure. And he beheld me. Yes, Master Gimli, he saw me, but in other guise than you see me here. If that will aid him, then I have done ill. But I do not think so. To know that I lived and walked the earth was a blow to his heart, I deem; for he knew it not till now. The eyes in Orthanc did not see through the armour of Théoden; but Sauron has not forgotten Isildur and the sword of Elendil. Now in the very hour of his great designs the heir of Isildur and the Sword are revealed; for l showed the blade re-forged to him. He is not so mighty yet that he is above fear; nay, doubt ever gnaws him.'
One can not tell whether "the right" (of ownership) was important in and of itself, or if it only gave Aragorn the needed confidence. In either case it was enuf together with "the strength."
 

Grond

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You two need to read the Unfinished Tales chapter on the Palantiri. It does matter very much thay Aragorn was a rightful user and it also mattered very much that he had great will. The UT make it clear that the stones are much more powerful in the hands of their rightful owner. It goes on to say that even Sauron was not able to reap the full benefits from his stone because it wasn't his.
 
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Harad

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Hopefully I am not one of the "you two," since I started the replies stating that ownership was the key.

And from UT, again "ownership" is key with Denethor:

In the case of Denethor, the Steward was strengthened, even against Sauron himself, by the fact the Stones were far more amenable to legitimate users: most of all to true "Heirs of Elendil" (as Aragorn), but also to one with inherited authority(as Denethor), as compared to Saruman, or Sauron. It may noted that the effects were different. Saruman fell under the domination of Sauron and desired his victory, or no longer opposed it. Denethor remained steadfast in his rejection Sauron, but was made to believe that his victory was inevitable, and so fell into despair. The reasons for this difference were doubt that in the first place Denethor was a man of great strength of will, and maintained the integrity of his personality until the final blow of the (apparently) mortal wound of his only surviving son. He was proud, but this was by no means merely personal: he loved Gondor and its people, and deemed himself appointed by destiny to lead them in this desperate time. And in the second place the Anor-stone was his by right, and nothing but expediency was against his use of it in his grave anxieties. He must have guessed that the Ithil-stone was in evil hands, and risked contact with it, trusting his strength. His trust was not entirely unjustified. Sauron failed to dominate him and could only influence him by deceits. Probably he did not at first look towards Mordor, but was content with such "far views" as the Stone would afford; hence his surprising knowledge of events far off. Whether he ever thus made contact with the Orthanc-stone and Saruman is not told; probably he did, and did so with profit to himself. Sauron could not break in on these conferences: only the surveyor using the Master Stone of Osgiliath could "eavesdrop." While two of the other Stones were in response, the third would find them both blank.
And a little snippet, for those, oh so long ago, touting the Palantir as an intelligence gathering "eye" in the sky for Sauron (or Saruman):

It must also be considered that the Stones were only a small item in Sauron's vast designs and operations: a means of dominating and deluding two of his opponents, but he would not (and could not) have the Ithil-stone under perpetual observation. It was not his way to commit such instruments to the use of subordinates; nor had he any servant whose mental power were superior to Saruman's or even Denethor's.
 

Grond

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For the record, Harad is the one who brought up the importance of the ownership issue and I am just agreeing with him (miracles never cease) and supporting his assertions. :)
 

HLGStrider

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I think I was one of them...

I was not saying that Ownership wasn't important, I was saying that strength of will certainly wouldn't hurt.

I have read that chapter, but it has been awhile... I don't own the book and it took forever to get out of the library... we have a lousy library in this town.
 

Eonwe

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"I am the lawful master of the Stone, and I had both the right and the strength to use it, or so I judged. The right cannot be doubted. The strength was enough--barely."

"It was a bitter struggle...I spoke no word to him, and in the end I wrenched the Stone to my own will...And he beheld me...in other guise than you see me here...The eyes in Orthanc did not see through the armour of Theoden" -- Aragorn talking to Gimli and Legolas RotK The Passing of the Grey Company

I would say that by virtue of his right to use the Stone, and to his great strength of will, he was more able to use the Palantir in his way than Saruman as some have said here.

Although I don't understand "eyes in Orthanc" (I would take it to mean the eye of Orthanc, the palantir he used), I think he was wearing some armor that Theoden let him use? Answer to #2?

As far as Sauron's power with the palantir:

"The Stones of Seeing do not lie, and not even the Lord of Barad-dur can make them do so. He can, maybe, by his will choose what things will be seen by weaker minds, or cause them to mistake the meaning of what they see. Nonetheless it cannot be doubted that when Denethor saw great forces arrayed against him in Mordor, and more still being gathered, he saw that which truly is." -- Gandalf speaking to the lords of the west RotK The Last Debate

Of course the chapter Grond mentions in UT shows that with enough time, strength of will, concentration etc. a person with great will using the Palantir (even a being not its owner, as Gandalf says to Pippin, he wishes himself to see through the Palantir and make it see back in time and distance to Feanor in Aman) could see quite a bit of detail out on the plains of Rohan for instance. Apparently not subject to the curvature of the earth :confused:
 

Elanor2

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To Eonwe
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Apparently not subject to the curvature of the earth ?
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Correct there. This is specifically mentioned in the Unfinished Tales when describing a bit the stone of the Grey Havens.
 

HLGStrider

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I always took the Eyes of Orthanc to mean Sauraman himself... saying that Sauramen didn't notice Aragorn at the tower that afternoon because he was dressed like the Rohan knights, who the wizard apparently didn't view too highly.
 

Eonwe

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If so, can you explain to me how it fits in the above quote? I.e. he is talking about being seen by Sauron, yet he is not recognized by the eyes of Orthanc because of the armor? Is he saying he still had the armor on, and since Saruman didn't recognize him, Sauron will not either?
 

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