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Saruman's Ring!

Úlairi

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I have posted this thread before, but it did not get the attention is deserved, so I am posting it again hoping to get the answers I want. Don't be afraid to post, an opinion is neither right nor wrong, so, post away! Now, we know that Saruman had quite an extensive knowledge on the Lore of the Rings. Gandalf said in the Council of Elrond that:
"He ever goes deeper into the Lore of the Rings, finding the lost secrets of their making."
Gandalf says later in the chapter:
"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."
Saruman says later in the chapter:
"For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!"
Now it says that Saruman wore a ring on his finger, that he was ever looking for the lost secrets of the making of the Rings of Power and he even said that he was a Ring-maker!!! This therefore brings me to the conclusion that Saruman made a Ring of Power for himself!!! Yet I do not remember nor believe that there is any reference to Saruman's Ring ever again! So, with these quotes, do you guys think that Saruman made a Ring of Power or not??? OPINIONS PLEASE!!!
 
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Gothmog

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If Saruman made a ring of power, then it was probably on the same level as the Elven Rings either comprable to the Three, the Severn or the Nine, and therefore less powerful than the One Ring. Saruman wanted to get hold of the One, he would have been less worried about this if his Ring was as great and he would have probably been able to find the other ring quite easily if this was the case.

The Actual power of his ring is not told, but the Elves in their work started off with minor rings and worked up to the Great Rings. I know that Saruman was a Maia as was Sauron, but Saruman was lessened when he became an Istari and Sauron had once been a Maia of Alue and retained much of the lore of that people. So Saruman would knot have the knowledge to make a ring to match the One, and would have difficulty in making any ring of power without learning about them from elsewhere.
 

gimli_alvevenn

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If Gothmog's opinion is corect, then that can explain another side of Sarumans lure to the one ring, for Galadriel did tell Frodo that the ring of power makes the bearers of the three elven rings sad and miserable, that.

But then again, there is said nothing about Sauron making this ring, so I can not really agree with myself, but here is an opinion, Ulairi.
 

Grond

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Greenwood, Saruon came from the people of Aule. Saruman came from the people of Aule. Sauron was instrumental in forging the Great Rings and ultimately the One Ruling Ring. Why would you make a blanket statement of "No" on a Saruman created Ring of Power when you so adamantly insist that Saruman developed his own refined Orcs (Uruk-hai) which were exclusively his and his alone?

A Ring of Power (albeit less powerful than the Ruling Ring) would do a lot in explaining how Saruman developed and maintained all that he did for so many years and kept it hidden from the White Council and his close neighbors Rohan and Gondor. And the fact that JRRT did not specifically point this out does not mean it wasn't so. He never fully defined Uruk-hai either and you have no problem in reading the Author's thoughts on that issue. ;)
 

Turgon

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I always viewed Saruman's ring as being as symbol of his pretentions to the power of Sauron. Maybe it had power to a lesser or greater degree; but as a pretender to kingship may fashion himself a crown to legitimise his claim, so Saruman fashioned himself a ring. Just a thought, so don't quote me on that!
 

Greenwood

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Grond

Yes, Saruman made a ring in imitation of the elven rings, but there is no evidence that Saruman's ring (mentioned only once in LOTR) had any power at all and was anything more than a conceit on Saruman's part. If Saruman's ring actually had any power why didn't Saruman use it against the ents or anyone else? If Saruman's ring had any power why wouldn't Gandalf take it from him? Gandalf broke Saruman's staff as a symbol of breaking his power and casting him from the order of wizards. Why would he leave him with a ring of power? If Saruman's ring had a power of its own wouldn't it be the most powerful ring in Middle-earth after the destruction of the One Ring? Ther is no reason it should loose its power after the destruction of the One Ring, as the elven rings did. After all Sauron made the One Ring with knowledge of the existence of all the other rings and as a way of controlling them. Saruman's ring is made by Saruman over three thousand years later. Why would its power, if it had any, be bound to the power of Sauron's Ring? In short there is zero evidence from the story or, as far as I know, any of Tolkien's writings that the ring Saruman wore had any power invested in it whatsoever.

As for the Uruk-hai, if Tolkien had only used the term once in LOTR, with no further mention or indication of their nature, as he does with Saruman's ring, I would not base anything on that single instance. But, Tolkien uses Uruk-hai nine times in LOTR, plus once more in the Appendices. I think Tolkien makes it quite clear what he means by Uruk-hai, Saruman's elite orc troops. I would also point out that it was your own excellent research that turned up the quote from Tolkien in Morgoth's Ring that Saruman had indeed developed his own breed of orcs by crossing them with men. What I find hard to fathom is why it seems so hard to accept that this special orc strain might not have a name of its own?
 
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Lantarion

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I don't think anybody could have made any more Rings of Power without Celebrimbor, and the original Elves who forged them. Without Celebrimbor, Sauron could not have made his own Elven Rings. Without Sauron, Celebrimbor could not have made the Rings as great as they were. Had Sauron been able to make his own magical Rings, he wouldn't have gone to all that trouble to wrench the specific Elven Rings from the Elves.
And yes, Saruman made a ring, but it was not a Ring of Power: if Sauron couldn't have made a ring as great as the Elven Rings (the One only dominated them because Sauron knew their weaknesses and their essenses), then Saruman certainly couldn't. He made a ring, to imitate Sauron and his quest for the One Ring, but it was not anywhere near as potent as the Elven Rings, nevermind the One. Saruman was the mightiest of the Istari in Middle-Earth, and had some amazing magical powers. He, like Sauron, probably transferred some of that power into his new ring to make his old works better, and so he would be able to make even deadlier and destructive machines and battleplans. Might the Ents have survived, if Saruman hadn't made his onw little ring? Hmmm..
And Greenwood, I think Saruman's power had already been made more potent through his staff (like with Gandalf), and Saruman just got greedy and wanted more. So the power of his ring was linked to his staff, which in turn was linked to his own 'energy' or magical power; so when Gandalf destroyed his staff, he destroyed his magical powers.
 

Úlairi

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Good points!

There are some good opinions here, but Pontifex, Saruman still had a little power left within him, his voice, the most deceitful voice in Middle-earth. He used that to corrupt the Shire-folk. Perhaps the Ring was somehow connected to his staff, and in a way lost most of his power. The Ring was definitely not a Ring of Power, but it could have been a powerful Ring, not subject to the One, not equal with the three or maybe the seven or the nine. But it is possible that the Ring that he made was a Ring with powers:

"I am Saruman Ring-maker!"
He clearly states that he made the Ring, now in all the history of Middle-earth, whenever a Ring had been made it had some power within it, for good (The Elven Rings), or bad (the One). The ring Saruman made may have been another obsession with Gandalf. In UT, it says that Saruman was so jealous of Gandalf, he mimicked Gandlaf by buying weed from the Shire and in many other ways, Gandalf had one of the three, and it said that that made Saruman insanely jealous of Gandalf, so perhaps he forged a ring of his own due to his jealousy for Gandalf.
 

grishnak

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or maybe

Perhaps the ring gave saruman the power of speech. In LotR Saruman captivates his listeners, making them almost fully under his power. It may not have givin him the power to take over the world, but would surtenly aid him. He corrupted wormtounge, and that itself almost brought down rohan. Long before that Saruman had convinced the council that the ring was gone forever.
his convincing speach maay have beeen something that he picked up n the way, or maybe the ring.
 

Úlairi

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He would have forged it in Orthanc, absoluely no disputes there, Beleg! That is an interesting concept about giving him the power of speech. Let's say your theory is correct, if someone else got hold of it, could they put you under control with your voice?
 

e.Blackstar

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*bumpity bump*

Ring of Power, sure. But only as much power as Saruman had in the first place...maybe it worked as a focuser or something, but he could only pour as much power into it as he already had. :eek:
 

Valandil

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I think Saruman had attempted to make a ring of power. I suspect it may not have been even as powerful as the Nine, the Seven or the Three - because while those were made by Elves and he was a Maia, he was not working under the tutelage of Sauron, I suspect. For I doubt Sauron would assist him - and imagine that Saruman tried to make it in secret - out of his pretension to copy Sauron, as Turgon says so well. OTOH - with their connection by Palantir, it's possible that Sauron learned of Saruman's attempts - but they probably only made him laugh, if he did. It is also possible that Saruman was able to shield his thoughts from Sauron.

As you say Blackstar, I suspect Saruman had to pour some of himself into it, so it may have done little more than whatever he could do without it. I HAVE wondered at times though if it perhaps gave him some measure of control over Orcs - and if it was from the creation of his own ring onward that he began to associate with Orcs.

I wonder what order some of those things went in: daring to use the Palantir, coming under Sauron's influence, making his own ring, his relationship with Orcs... and if they all sort of came almost together... or if spread out over centuries.
 

Inderjit S

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Note the comments of the three hunters about the will of Saruman driving the Orks on, and other such references about how Saruman exerted some sort of influence on them and their unusual weariness-not a physical one, but an emotional one. Tolkien also comments in his preface about how Saruman would eventually learn the secrets behind the making of the one ring-his ring was problably just a essay in craft, like the early efforts of the Mirdain, with limited powers.
 

Snaga

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I've always felt that this was a 'lesser' ring, as Inderjit says. Of course there is not a shred of evidence on this point, and there is no reason to suppose that Saruman couldn't, in time, make very powerful rings. But we might also judge that Saruman's great desire to gain the One Ring suggests that he could not match Sauron's craft (or why not make the Two Ring?;) ). I don't agree that Celebrimbor would have been uniquely skilled, necessarily. Indeed, what would Celebrimbor have achieved in ring-lore, without Sauron's instruction?
 

Erestor Arcamen

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I always understood his ring to be a symbol of his power too, cause when he says:
"For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!"
I always understood it for Saruman was giving himself the title Ring-maker because that was what he desired for himself to become and what he wrongly foresaw himself becoming in the future.
 

barclay

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My assumption after reading the books- and I've also listened to many audio versions- was always that Saruman did make a new Ring of Power, which had some use. His boast to Gandalf of being a 'ring maker' would never have occurred if it were merely a token. But surely it was weaker than the Three, or it would have been discussed much more. It likely however was greater than any of the Nine- especially considering Gandalf's musing at some point that Saruman could trap and subject a Nazgul.

Saruman first discovered the Palantir in Orthanc, which inevitably through his own curiousity led him to converse with and become ensnared by Sauron. That part is plain.
It seems also to be strongly suggested that quite a bit of double agency was going on at least at first. Both Sauron and Saruman feigned false friendship- but Sauron had the mastery. Saruman thought he wheedled critical information from Sauron he needed- in addition to his long ring lore study- to craft a ring- something he now greatly desired, through careful flattery. Gandalf had made references in the books that Saruman's desire to defeat Sauron as an 'evil' gradually turned to envy and even imitation, so all this makes sense.

But Sauron was aware of this- after all it was nothing he wasn't well accustomed to and dealt with many times before. Naturally then, just like he did to the Elves, he helped Saruman make a ring that indeed did work- but that also in some way made Saruman dependent upon himself or that further trapped Saruman into his service. Its not a great stretch of imagination to believe that the help he gave Saurman also bound his new ring to the One, which Sauron knew had reappeared and hoped, even expected to regain. In fact, its likely that there was no other way to make a real Ring of Power actually work than to bind it to the One.
Of course all bets were off if Saruman were to find the One first. Saruman could wield it, and possibly even defeat Sauron in battle though certainly never destroy him that way.

Its also easily conceivable that once the One was destroyed, Saruman's ring "shorted out", as we know the Three did and all the other Rings of Power. After all it was Sauron himself who taught everyone how to make them originally. Its possible that whatever part of himself Sauron sacrificed and put into the One Ring, could have been a sort of engine that was critical in order to make the other rings work at all.
Gandalf also seemed satisifed that this was true, and with the One destroyed, he paid no further heed to Saruman's ring- though he had clearly noted it earlier. Something Saruman most certainly would have taken with him leaving Isengard, and been wearing during his escape if it continued to have any use at all. And of course, Saruman himself seemed to confirm this again with the comment, "Its of some comfort to know you brought down your own house when you ruined mine".

So, by all this the assumptions are as follows 1) Saruman made a Ring of Power that did work in some way, probably magnifying his native powers somewhat, though lesser than the Three. But in actuality it also further ensnared him to Sauron, it was traitorous- just like the Seven, and the Nine; 2) This ring lost its potency after the One was destroyed, and became useless- freeing Saruman from Sauron but also diminishing his own abilities.
 
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barclay

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I'm glad to see people still alive! My reply sure was late lol
It seems logical to assume that one of the powers or benefits that Saruman's ring gave him was some kind of special abilities concerning the Nazgul. That would make sense given the fact that they were sometimes used as messengers between Orthanc and Mordor.
It adds an interesting twist had he joined Gandalf and been with him at the siege of Minas Tirith, what would have happened. Could he have commanded the Witch King at the gates, even ordered him to turn around and "go back"? I think in that particular scene we would have found out what his ring could do. As it is we'll never know.
 
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