Thursday, February 19, 2004

Just came out of a part of the story that was completely left out of the movie...Gandalf's final confrontation with Saruman, who is locked in the tower of Orthanc at Isengard. He warns his companions to beware of Saruman's voice, which casts a spell over many who listen to it, and the Riders of Rohan do actually perceive it as sweet and musical when Saruman starts speaking. He does not try too hard to reason with Gandalf, probably because he figures the battle is already lost, but he does attempt to coerce Theoden into making peace with him. The Riders standing at the foot of the tower almost hope their king will concede, and finally when Theoden says "We will have peace," it seems right to them.

However, Theoden does not stop there. He says that Rohan will have peace with Isengard when it is utterly destroyed; when Saruman no longer lurks in the tower seeking to destroy all that which is good and pure; when he has met his demise and the land is clean again, then the Rohirrim will live at peace with Isengard. (Reading this makes me want to cheer!) This passage is a powerful commentary on the seductive guises that evil wears. The voice of the Enemy often seems sweeter than the voice of good; it twists good things to its purposes and makes right and wrong seem relative. Truth, at least in this world, often comes clad in weather-stained garments and simple words, not golden-tongued rhetoric. It requires a discerning eye to see past the surface and determine what is truly good and right.


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