Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Fall of Saruman

Okay, I'm rereading Lord of the Rings, yet again, because it bears rereading. Over and over again, now and forever, I like Tolkien's stuff alright?!

Anyway. I got to the reveal that Saruman is a traitor. Which is his first appearance. And it strikes me.

Saruman is one of the Maiar. He's basically an angel sent to Middle Earth to guide Elves and Men as they overcome the terror of Sauron. But for whatever reason, they aren't allowed to use their full strength against Sauron, so they get put into the bodies of old men and told they can only advise, not pit strength against strength.

Fine. But. BUT.

Saruman declares that he and the rest of the White Council need to serve Sauron to try and guide his actions toward good. But maybe, if Gandalf and he take the Ring, they can overcome him and guide Men toward good with Sauron's power? Hint hint wink wink gimme the ring you old grey fuck.

And it's bullshit and Gandalf calls him out. But. Saruman should know, very well, that Gandalf would recognize his bullshit for what it is. Because they are both angels sent to Middle Earth to help Men and Elves save it from Sauron.

Saruman is not just an old man with magic hands. He is a heavenly being. He knows better.

But he still joins with Sauron. Why?

Because he's forgotten what he is. Because he, at this point, thinks he's an old man with magic hands. Because he no longer believes in the Valar (gods). Because if he did, he'd know full well what the inevitable result of joining with Sauron would be.

So how responsible is Saruman for what he became? Because when he dies, his spirit looks back to the Valar, and all it can do is sigh as it is blown into the Darkness. Because only after death does he see how far he's fallen.

Is it his fault that, bereft of the knowledge of the Valar, he falls to Sauron? Is Saruman truly evil, or just a victim of the body he was condemned to?

And did Peter Jackson really need to cut Saruman's death from Return of the King? Seriously, man, Christopher Lee gave you the most realistic stabbing reaction military training could offer and you cut it. Thank God for extended editions.

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