Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

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Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:01 pm

A thought occurred to me earlier when checking the Saruman scene in TT when Gandalf breaks his staff. Is a wizards staff something like the magic used in the Ring? By that I mean does it hold a 'bit' of the wizard, some of his power in it, separate from the wizard? It is implied when Sarumans staff is broken that his powers die with it, save his voice. Frodo says to him in the Scouring when he threatens plague on any hobbit who touches him that "He has lost all power, save his voice..'
And Wormtongue forbids Gandalfs staff as if without it Gandalf would not have been capable of creating his mini storm and striking Wormtongue down with lightning. And at the doors Hama says "A staff for a wizard may be more than a prop for old age". So is a bit of the wizard in his staff and if so is that not the same as the Ring?

The other thing which occurred is from the Doors of Moria, Gandalf says, "I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves or Men or Orcs, that was ever used for such a purpose."
This implies orcs have magic words, and not just as might be expected magic for controlling and dominating others will, but magic for things like doors too. So does this mean orc wizards somewhere?

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:49 pm

No takers for a discussion of magic in Lotr?


On a related note, sort of, I was thinking the other day with us having members who were not about before, that it might be worth restarting some of the old debates on Tolkien we used to have, but were pretty much finished. But now we have new blood and new perspectives possibly.
Was thinking of threads like the one on how PJ dealt with the destruction of the Ring and whether it fundamentally alters the book. What do others think? Is there any appetite for Tolkien discussion at the mo?

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Ringdrotten on Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:57 pm

On the staff issue, I always thought that the staff was the tool needed to perform most types of magic, like you need a hammer to drive a nail into a piece of wood. Never thought that the wizards somehow put a little of themselves into their staffs, though that's an interesting thought. scratch

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Kafria on Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:05 pm

I certainly be up for a bit of that talk as I missed a lot of that by joining the old forum later than others. I've always beeen a bit reluctant to dive in before as my lore knowledge is not all that great, but would enjoy finding out more!


In reply to the idea of the power of a wizard being in his staff I certain feel it is in keeping with the theme from the rings, but I had a slightly different take on it. I have an idea that the wizards were chosen (Am i right in thinking Galadriel was overuled when Saruman was made leader of the white council - she wanted Gandalf?) and from this stems the idea that with this choosing they were given power. To me this is likely to be through their staff (as Saurons magic in the ring could be used by others, so this was others power given to the wizards, but without the corupting influence?) it also fits (to me) with the idea of Gandalf being returned as he still had a job to do after his fall in Moria. This is also why Saruman retains his voice as this charisma was a power of his own personality.

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:19 pm

Interesting Kafria. Gandalf of course also had Nenya the Ring of Fire, and he used a lot of fire magic, in fact its his main theme with occasional lightning thrown in. I have often wondered whether Gandlaf was always good at fire magic or is only because he has Nenya.

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Ally on Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:41 pm

Well as you said, Saruman lost all his power after the snapping of his staff, which suggests the link between staff and a wizard's magical powers. But wasn't Gandalf able to kill the Balrog without his staff?

I remember people discussing this on another website, and I'm leaning towards the theory that the staff is a mere symbolic weapon, and Wormtougne misunderstood, the staff didn't grant Gandalf his powerful magic, instead the opposite, Gandalf made the staff perform his magic, it's a useful but not vital tool. He still managed to escape from Orthanc and destory a balrog without his staff.
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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Kafria on Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:55 pm

If this is the case why did Saruman lose his powers when his staff was broken?

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Eldorion on Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:24 pm

Kafria wrote:If this is the case why did Saruman lose his powers when his staff was broken?

I always interpreted the breaking of Saruman's staff as indicative or symbolic of his loss of powers, not actually the cause of it. He had already fallen, and Gandalf had already been elevated, and at that point Gandalf was just making it clear to everyone (and maybe exercising some of his power on Saruman; we don't know how Gandalf's magic works but it's a possibility that was how he kept Saruman from leaving the balcony). At least that's how I read it. Smile
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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:20 am

"He had already fallen, and Gandalf had already been elevated"- Eldo

But that is true from the moment Gandalf reappears, yet through that time, up until Gandalf arrives Saruman seems to have retained hi spowers, he maintains his will over his slaves and when approaching him after the battle of Helms Deep Pippin asks "...can he put a spell on us from a distance?"
To which Gandalf replies, "the last is most likely."
There is no direct reference here to just his voice being his only power, rather the implication Saruman still retains his powers, and does so up until his staff breaks.

I don't really have a view on this but am just trying to follow the arguments through to see where it goes, its very interesting so far.

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Orwell on Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:49 pm

So where did it go, Petty? I've been left hanging for ever so long! Rolling Eyes

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Norc on Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:59 am

wow, this is an interesting discussion. I think we have to look at what a maia actually us. I've always had the idea that they were all "chosen" and "given powe" then sent to earth to "assist", if you get my idea. by the valar or Iluvatar, idk. The staff is more like a tool, as Ringdrotten pointed out, but i dunno.. Gandalf didn't use his staff when defeating the balrog (more or less) and didn't use when he sent off fireworks to the hobbit children. Also, Gandalfs power should (taking movie and mis-doings into account) dissapear when the staff was broken by the whitch king, though it didn't. So he doesn't really need it, but he does. Oh, and he also ahs the ring, but when was that given to him? Before he was grey or when he became white? also.. i had one more point on this.. give me a sec. yes! when he brakes Sarumans staff. When he came back he was above Saruman in order as he said "I am him, or Saruman as he should be" so.. maybe they switced places, and Gandalf could only brake his staff because he was now white and "above" Saruman (which again, why the hell did the whitch king in the movie brake Gandalf staff? we choose to ignore PJ on this i think Wink ).
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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by CC12 35 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:15 pm

who hacked Nora s account

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Norc on Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:25 pm

Suspect what do you mean? i do know my shit and i can hold a LOTR/Tolkien debate.. i mean seriously, i can, when i try.. (i think)
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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by azriel on Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:36 pm

I feel the staffs each wizard uses are symbols of regalia, much like our Monarchy use. The staff evokes power in peoples minds & feels as if a comfort to the owner. Maybe also,a vessel to channel magic ? but not necsessarily the ONLY way to channel power. I think breaking staffs is a way of showing dominance,especially if done in public. Its a form of humiliation., a shock to the system, throws you off guard for a moment before the final blow.At the bridge of Khazad-dum Gandalf uses his sword & calls upon : "You cannot pass," he said. … "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.". That doesnt work completely so Gandalf smashes down hard with his staff to bring down the bridge. As he is sent back from that to become "Gandalf the White", he is re-clothed & regained a new staff, assuminly from Manwe ? I think when he summons up power to break Sarumans staff at Orthanc in front of Theodan etc, its a kick up the bum for Saruman, He sees Gandalf as the lesser Wizard & yet this lesser wizard can defeat HIM ? Saruman ?! I would think that made him reconsider his position now as head, & (untouchable,) order of wizards ? The light ontop of Gandalfs staff as they travel thru Moria is,to me,an indication that power is being channeled from a higher Order,thru Gandy & to the staff. The religious Order do it every day. In mass they waddle around holding aloft a "Cross of Jesus". Its symbolic but its a form of channeling, albeit psychological, which can be devastating to some people or uplifting to others.
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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by CC12 35 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:27 pm

Stand outside the fireplace you ain't s we going 2 burnt oooooooh Nora can't wait slowly slide aaaway

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Orwell on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:21 am

Moon

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Norc on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:26 am

CC12 35 wrote:Stand outside the fireplace you ain't s we going 2 burnt oooooooh Nora can't wait slowly slide aaaway

i am nervous now..

Orwell! stop destroying good debates!
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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Orwell on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:53 pm

You can talk! Mad

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Orwell on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:54 pm

Btw I brought back this thread from the dim dark past to tease everyone --- not stimulate new discussion! Metal

{{{Yet again my best work goes unappreciated! Sad }}}

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:33 pm

Just to be more unappreciative- when it comes to staffs and power in them- others in ME seem to believe they have power, at least when in the right hands- Hama says something like 'a staff in the hands of a wizard may be more than a prop for old age'- and Wormtongue seems to think that if Gandalf has his staff confiscated he will at least be less powerful.
In that regard I see the wizards staffs as a bit like a lightening rod it channels and focuses power to a useful point.


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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by halfwise on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:20 pm

:carrot: :carrot: Petty's back! Cheerleader Cheerleader Metal

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Re: Staffs, Rings, Orcs and Magic

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:45 pm

Sort of Halfy- not officially fulltime back till Thursday-ish (they tell me my broadband will be on sometime between Monday and Thursday midnight! Mad )

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