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Topic: The Palantiri's powers

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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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Posts: 812
Date: Feb 6, 2013
The Palantiri's powers

In the Two Towers Gandalf describes the Palantiri to Pippin and goes on to talk about how much he would have liked to use it/them. What I had never thought about was that they, the palantiri, could look across time as well as space.

" - to look across the wide seas of water and of time toTirion the Fair, and perceive the unimaginable hand and mind of Feanor at their work, while both the White Tree and the Golden were in flower!" TTT Ch. 11 (p. 260 in my book)

I had thought that when one looked into a palantir the other side had to have one too. In other words, I thought it was like talking on a telephone. One can't have a conversation with Alexander Bell by picking up a phone now. Does that mean the palantiri could have shown the whole history of ME like a movie?



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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Feb 6, 2013

This, of course, is just a theory of mine:

     I feel, that the Palantiri can definitely be used to visually communicate between one another much like a telephone they can relay visions of the topography between them, allowing the viewer to stop and concentrate on any particular area that lie in the expanse of distance, but only in accordance with the viewer's innate intellectual prowess. I always imagined if someone were to place them on the edges of ME, everything in between could be seen.


     To stick with my guess that would give the Palantiri the same potency that the Rings of Power were said to have: Each has a magic that is proportional to the the possessor at the time. If Bilbo could vanish, as meek as he was, imagine what power the Ring would have if in the hands of Aragorn, Gandalf etc. I think invisibility wouldn't be the power of the Ring at that point. As for the Palantiri, it was a tremendous bane to the Elves and Men and an equal boon to Sauron having come into possession of one of these.

     I think that Sauron, having possessed one of these was able to deceive others like Denethor and Saruman into seeing what He thought the future would be like, therefore fooling the observer into thinking that certain events were coming to pass or were about to come to fruition. Altering what the Palantir showed others was a feat that, in my opinion, could not have been accomplished by anyone else on Middle-earth. It was no wonder Saruman was swayed to think that Gandalf's mission against he Dark Lord was foolish and pointless. And Denethor didn't stand a chance.

     In the Eldar Days I believe that the Palantiri were solely used for the purpose of communication and for a King to view lands beyond earthly sight but it was Sauron who learned to pervert the images and cast his own devious will into them for the purpose of dismaying and disheartening those who possessed the others, which He was certain were possessed by the Elves and Men. Good topic Laurelin!!



-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Wednesday 6th of February 2013 06:28:42 AM

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Feb 8, 2013
Laurelin wrote:

In the Two Towers Gandalf describes the Palantiri to Pippin and goes on to talk about how much he would have liked to use it/them. What I had never thought about was that they, the palantiri, could look across time as well as space.

" - to look across the wide seas of water and of time toTirion the Fair, and perceive the unimaginable hand and mind of Feanor at their work, while both the White Tree and the Golden were in flower!" TTT Ch. 11 (p. 260 in my book)

I had thought that when one looked into a palantir the other side had to have one too. In other words, I thought it was like talking on a telephone. One can't have a conversation with Alexander Bell by picking up a phone now. Does that mean the palantiri could have shown the whole history of ME like a movie?


 The 'Master-stone' was kept in  Avallone, Tol Eressea. Presumably this is what Gandalf is refering to? From this stone you might be able to see Tirion. I'm just guessing.

As for going back in time - maybe once Valinor was taken out of the 'Circles of the World' it was also taken out of Time itself? So if one connects to it via the Palantir they, in essense, see a timeless land and randomly see various parts of it's past and maybe it's future? The concept of a place or thing existing outside of time is hard for us to grasp but some notable people - like CS Lewis, Thomas Aquinas, Boethius etc - have used this concept to explain how God can have knowledge of the past, present and future all in one single moment, as he exists beyond Time. Anyway, that's a slightly different subject!



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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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Posts: 812
Date: Feb 8, 2013

What you both say, Jaido and Glorfindel, makes sense. I can see how the innate power of the person looking into the palntir would make a difference. But that also would lead to the question, would Gandalf have been able to wrestle with Sauron thorugh the palantir and come out on top? Meaning, if Saruman, who was supposed to have been the wisest of the wizards succumbed to Sauron, would Gandalf?

And I can see how that Tiime in Valinor meant nothing, so if Gandalf could have looked into the stone he could have choosen what and when to see in Valinor. I wonder if there isn't a danger in that too; by looking at the bliss of Valinor, could one get so wrapped up in the happiness there that one never wants to "return" to the real world? Just a thought.

Oh, and don't forget Madeline L'Engle... especially Many Waters

 



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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Feb 8, 2013
I think that Gandalf was mentally and spiritually fortified enough to contest with Sauron via the Palantir, for but only a moment, and he would never willingly volunteer for the undertaking. Gandalf (rightfully) feared The Lord of the Rings' treachery. Sauron would feign treating with Gandalf while he systematically harvested information about Gandalf's whereabouts and who he was with and their numbers and so on, even if Gandalf did not say as much....
Saruman was indeed wisest of the council or so says a humble wandering Gandalf the Grey. But I remember reading that, at one point in time Saruman began to admire the precision and craftiness of Sauron and I feel at that moment he became susceptible to suggestion from Sauron. Gandalf on the other hand distrusted Sauron even when they were all in Valinor.

And as for seeing Valinor, I'm with Glorfindel. I think that Gandalf was speaking of a time when that was possible. In the Time of the Trees.

And I do agree with you Laurelin that anyone who had seen Valinor for themselves would desire it ever after, especially after coming to Middle-earth where nothing is everlasting. When the Wizards came off the boats they must have thought they arrived at purgatory and felt a measure of being "cast out"...but for their duty to the Lords of the West, they probably didn't like the feel of the place. I can only imagine....

And this Madeline L'Engle...any relation to Laura Ingalls...I know that one.....

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