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Topic: Perception and bias between Gandalf and Sauruman by the elves

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 7, 2013
Perception and bias between Gandalf and Sauruman by the elves

so, not having read the full "history of Middle-Earth" books I made these observations of how the Elves percieved Gandalf/ Olórin vs. Saruman/Curumo'. 


The Valar chose Saruman as the leader of the order, how did they (especially Mandos) fail to have the forsight to see he would fall to the tempation of evil?  Personalities, even of the Great Powers, do not change, so even in Valinor, Curumo must have been pridefull, willfull, and not sought the advice or aid of his "lessers" and sought rule or command of others.  Also in Valinor, he must have had thought to the crafting of machines and industry over thoughts of green, growing things and the natural world, or even just the well being of the peoples of M-E. 


He arrived in Middle-earth first, yet Cirdan must have felt something "dark" in Saruman as he did not give Narya to him. 


Also, Elrond and Galadriel didnt want Saruman to lead the White Council, as they too, must have had some foreboding in their hearts?


Do you think that it was known by the Eldar in M-E that Curumo was a Maiar of Aule as was Sauron, and thus the eldar were wary of any of Aule's maiar?



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Fought the father of dragons at great cost,

During the Battle of Unnumbered Tears,

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I Stabbed my knife into Dread Glaurung,

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Sep 9, 2013
It is an interesting question. Was it any of Aule's fault that his Maia got corrupted by Melkor?

Is the idea that because Aule created the Dwarves against the will of Eru, and because Noldor, the kindred associated with him the closest, turned out to be rebellious, that his Maiar are also not to be trusted?

It doesn't seem likely that the Elves know that Saruman is Aule's Maia. It could be that the exiled Noldor met Curumo in Valinor, but not incarnate as an aged Man. Unless he tells them (he is not supposed to), they should not be able to recognize any of the Istari, although they know that they are Maiar, since it is known where they came from. Cirdan, however, most likely never met any of the Istari before, and it seems it is his wisdom but not the knowledge of which Vala sent which Maia that makes him give Narya to Gandalf and not Saruman.

As to being wary of Aule's Maiar in general, when Sauron while trying to seduce the Elves says that he is a Maia of Aule (which is not a complete lie), Galadriel for one doesn't believe him, saying that he was "not in the train of Aule in Valinor" (Unfinished Tales, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, note 7). So Sauron is mistrusted not because he is an Aule's Maia. So perhaps there was not any negative attitude among the Elves towards Aule's followers. And Galadriel at least, who is of Noldor, likely should have a special respect for that particular Vala, as most Noldor had.

And there is nothing wrong with crafting the machinery per se - it depends how the machinery is used...



Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: May 28, 2017
I am not certain as to the bias the Elves might have had against Gandalf or Saruman, but it brings up a point about the Valar they are both trained under. Saruman was trained by Aule, therefore learning craftsmanship in several senses of the word - and perhaps it is through personal wisdom or foresight that the Elves (Galadriel, Elrond, etc.) did not completely trust him, although, they did let him have free rein over the White Council for several years, and even Gandalf trusted him.

Gandalf, on the other hand, was Nienna's Maiar. Nienna is forever weeping and in her sorrow she finds wisdom, which says a lot about Gandalf, and perhaps this lends him to the Elves' trust. However, I do believe that it is Saruman's own person and Gandalf's own person that make them who they are and how they are perceived in Middle Earth society.


All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost

The old that is strong does not wither

Deep roots are not touched by the frost.


From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring:

Renewed shall be blade that was broken

The crownless again shall be king.

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Oct 11, 2017
Interesting discussion! I was thinking that the Elves' trust was earned not only by deeds but by discussion and the attitudes relayed by personal interaction. We know that Galadriel in particular had the ability to really see into peoples' hearts to find their true character. As Saruman slowly turned his thoughts towards power instead of service, he was probably able to conceal his intention, even from Galadriel to some degree. But Gandalf would have certainly been more open, both to her and to Elrond. And I am unsure just when Gandalf becomes the bearer of one of the three. I seem to recall that it was Cirdan's ring that he gave to Gandalf, so that Gandalf was known to the Elrond and Galadriel, the bearers of the other two. There is no indication that Saruman knew about the ring that Gandalf bore, perhaps he did not have it at the time that he was imprisoned by Saruman and was only given it later? Not sure of the timeline there.

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