Looking for the Palantirs

Discussion in 'Books' started by Aragorn Elessar, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Aragorn Elessar

    Aragorn Elessar Envinyatar

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    I'm reading LOTR for the first time, and just finished the first book of TTT (Book III), and it occured to me that it just might not be so hard to find the lost seeing stones.

    Now as far as I understand, the Palantirs (is it a countable word?) can communicate with each other. So maybe it'd be possible to look through one (after Sauron's defeated, of course), and see where the other five are (assuming that they could find the one that Sauron got from Minas Ithil)?

    Or must there be someone else on the other side with the other Palantir for it to work? So that you can't just see where the others are through one if there wasn't anyone using it (as the one from Orthanc needed to be "switched on" by Pippin by holding and looking at it)?
     
  2. byzantine warrior

    byzantine warrior Autokratos Konstantinou

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    the plural is palantiri and i dont think the palantiri need to be turned on because in the silmarillion in akkalabeth the seeing stones can see tol eressea because the master stone was there and im pretty sure that the lord of tol eressea wouldnt keep his hands on the palantir everyminute of every day
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    It seems very hard to establish the true working of these stones. For one, it wasn't the chief purpose of the stones to contact one another; they were designed to look far, as a telescope. And yes, it was possible to look from one stone into the other, but that power is little described far as I know. The best I could find is this passage in the Unfinished Tales:

    "Wether he (Denethor II) ever thus made contact with the Orthanc-stone and Saruman is not told; probably he did, and did so with profit to himself. Sauron could not break in on these cenferences: only the surveyor using the Master Stone of Osgiliath could 'eavesdrop'. While two of he other Stones were in response, the third would find them blank."

    And so indeed, normally one could look in one Stone and see the surroundings of the other. Whether this Stone on it's turn could "ampilfy" the vision of a remote Stone is a bit unclear, but probably did. But then there are other problems. For one, the location of the lost Stones is unkown making it presumably harder to call upon them. According to the UT, the Stones were "polarised", with top and bottom and each "side" had it's own orientation. If the stone was orientated properly, a look into the East side of a stone would give vision of the world West of the surveyor. If the location of a stone is unknown, locating the stone by chance would be extremely difficult, to my vision.
    After finding a Stone, the vision of this stone would be just black at first, for most would be burried. It is possible to look through solid matter with the Stones but even than, discovering the scape of the stone would be very hard to determin because the perspective would be strange. Probably only the horison would give a recognisable picture.
     
  4. Aragorn Elessar

    Aragorn Elessar Envinyatar

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    Great explanation and points Turambar, thanks! And thanks BW for the plural of the word.
     
  5. *elwen*

    *elwen* New Member

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    the way that they look into the Palantir in the movie was WRONG. like the thing that christopher lee was doing--like holding his hands over the Palantir and look weird and freaky and all that--was wrong. so dun have that planted in yr mind...

    Correct way of looking into a Palantir:
    If you want to look into the west side of the world, you're suppose to stand in the east side of the ball and look REALLY hard into the ball (like you need to have a strong will and all that or the process will just break you--like what happened to Denethor :) he was pretty mental in the end..). you're also suppose to stand some distance from the ball, too, to get a good focus. Tolkien has a specific distance. dunno. can look up if u guys want to know. so the thing that christopher lee did was pretty cool but not right.

    Range of vision:
    There are two "big" ones that can look in all four directions. One in the north realm and one in the south realm. Supposedly these two were so big that you need at least two men to lift it up. The rest of them can only look into ONE direction.

    How well can you see stuff?
    this will depend on WHO is looking. if the looker has a strong will, then he'll have a pretty good view of the things in the ball. he can "zoom in" for a more detailed-vision if he so wishes but that would require A LOT of will. a normal person would just see shadows and blurred images. Stewards of Gondor can have a pretty good view. Men from the West would probably have a even higher level of vision.

    p.s. u can't HEAR stuff technically.. so conversations would be more like a mind-to-mind thing. this's definitely not video-cellphone.

    Where are the stones now?
    Some of the palantir was lost. like dropped in the bottom of the sea during war and all that. none were "destroyed" but most were lost. The ones that i know now: One was/is in Orthanc, one was in Weathertop, one near grey havens (not exact location), one was/is Minas Anor, and one was/is Minas Ithil. others i have to look up :p o.. the land in West has one too. that's why Gildor was going towards West in the beginning of the book. He was going to the the one near grey havens to look into the West. so the grey havens one definitely looks towards west.

    >Whether this Stone on it's turn could "ampilfy" the vision of a remote Stone is a bit >unclear, but probably did.
    don't think so. cuz looking in one stone requires a lot of strength already. dun think they have the will strong enough to look into one stone through another one. very unlikely.
     
  6. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Impressive Data, *elwen*. Indeed, it seems that the "lesser" palantiri had only one-direction view. Never noticed that up 'till now. Oh, and Denethor going mental was Sauron's doing. Sauron convinced Denethor that he couldn't win. The only reason he wasn't corrupted the way Saruman was, is that he had an inherited right to use it (just as Aragorn). The legitmate users had more power over the Stones than anyone else. That's why Gandalf didn't rage Aragorn the way he did Pippin after learning he used the Stone. BTW, the heirs of Elendil were the rightfull users and, at absence, the Stewards.