Saruman the White
If Pip hadn’t already stolen my affection with his deft Hobbit ways, he’d be the one I’d be raving about all the time.
Saruman has “Ealasaid’s type” written all over him, and not just in the film.
In the book, Saruman and his past are explained in greater detail. Saruman the White was leader of the White Council, which met to decide what to do about Sauron. Wise, cunning, and a very patient fellow, Saruman started out as a very good person… but when he spent years researching Sauron’s ringmaking, he stopped hating Sauron as an enemy and began to respect him as an opponent… and then to be jealous of his power. Saruman, in spite of his power and brilliant mind, was swayed by temptation.
Saruman in the film is pretty similar to Saruman in the book, although the film suggests that Saruman wants to join sides with Sauron, while in the book it is perfectly clear that Saruman is on nobody’s side but his own.
Well, and it annoys me that they call Saruman’s halfbreeds “Uruk-hai” in the film when the Uruk-hai in the book are simply another breed of Orc, and the halfbreeds have no name of their own. *sigh*
At any rate, Christopher Lee is the perfect choice for Saruman – tall, dark-eyed, venerable, and with the ability to be truly nasty. Lee’s got those amazing hands, which fit Saruman’s cleverness in devising machinery of his own.
Plus, of course, he has a beautiful, low voice; Saruman’s voice is magical and he can use it to sway the minds of his hearers. Saruman could probably read you the phone book and make you think he was the most amazing creature on the planet, worth following and dying for. Lee’s voice works for that. Mm-hm.
I mean, really, what’s not to love?
I’m definitely looking forward to the next two films in the series; Saruman’s story is a fascinating one, and can easily be used to examine Tolkien’s fascination with the vulnerability of great power. Saruman is eventually laid low in what could be seen as the most painful way of any nasty character in the book.
However, I’m not entirely looking forward to the last bit of Saruman’s tale, as I still have trouble forgiving him for everything he does after Frodo speaks to him on the road. I won’t go into details since I know some of my readers haven’t finished reading LotR, but those of you who have will probably know what I’m talking about.
To sum up this ramble: Saruman rocks the house, even if he does a couple things that even a villain-lover like myself finds unpalatable.
Saruman the White Aaaah, Saruman.
Saruman the White
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