TTT, Book 3, Chapter 11 - The Palantir

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TTT, Book 3, Chapter 11 - The Palantir

Postby Notta Hobbit » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:26 pm

Summary

The entire group turns back toward Rohan. Gandalf explains to Merry that the king will be returning to Helm's Deep, then secretively to Dunharrow. He worries about communication between Isengard and Mordor. After moonrise they bed down, but Pippin is restless and steals the ball from Gandalf's sleeping grasp. He becomes entrapped by it and collapses, awakening the camp. He confesses to Gandalf and it becomes clear that he has been seen by Sauron. Gandalf realizes that they have a palantir, which explains the communication mystery. It also means that Sauron thinks Saruman has a hobbit captive, which is actually lucky as it will distract him temporarily. Gandalf gives the palantir to Aragorn, who is going to Minas Tirith. Suddenly a Nazgul passes overhead, and Gandalf decides to ride ahead to Minas Tirith immediately, taking Pippin to protect him. On the way he tells him the history of the palantiri.

Questions
1. Gandalf admits that he was suspicious that the ball was a palantir right away, so why didn't he guard it better? He's a magician; couldn't he have put some kind of spell on it?
2. Do you agree with Aragorn that Merry would have done no better than Pippin with the stone?
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Re: TTT, Book 3, Chapter 11 - The Palantir

Postby Morwenna » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:33 am

1. I don't think Gandalf realized the fascination that the ball would have for Pippin. He figured that holding onto it himself was sufficient. And he wasn't immediately certain that it was a palantir. If he had been, he would have been more careful. (But in retrospect, it's a good thing that Gandalf and Pippin beat everyone else to Minas Tirith!) Also see the next reply.

2. Maybe yes and maybe no. Aragorn was warning Merry against the same kind of folly as Pippin's, and also against arrogance. Merry wasn't swayed by Pippin's urgings before the theft. And Merry was a bit more mature anyway. On the other hand, Merry never touched it; handling it might have fueled Pippin's curiosity, especially with the will of Sauron at the other end. As for Pippin's handling of the contact with Sauron, who knows? Merry might have done better or worse, but there was little to handle once Sauron got the response "A hobbit." And jolly good thing too.
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Re: TTT, Book 3, Chapter 11 - The Palantir

Postby Notta Hobbit » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:39 pm

Yes, I've often thought that this was one of the very best plot twists in the whole story.
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Re: TTT, Book 3, Chapter 11 - The Palantir

Postby Morwenna » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:52 am

"Oft evil will shall evil mar."
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