Title: His Staff Was Broken on the Stone
Characters: Gandalf, Saruman
Source: TTT Ch 10, The Voice of Saruman and The Tempest Act V Scene I
Disclaimer: Middle-earth belongs to Tolkien and his heirs: I wander there for fun, not profit
Thinking about The Tempest in the context of Middle-earth brought me, perhaps inevitably, to magicians at the ending of their powers; and hence to...
Gandalf stands before Orthanc, Isengard’s flotsam and jetsam all around, and sees what the head of his Order has become:
…he has bedimmed the noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds; tempest and war have risen at his command. Men of stone city and of rolling plain, Elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves; Halflings and Dwarves, have suffered for his pride.
Mercy disdained, his magic’s at an end.
If he’d but abjure folly and evil, he might yet be free; but he will none. So I must break his staff; and Isen’s floods released shall drown his books…
…he has bedimmed the noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds and Elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves are direct quotes from The Tempest Act V Scene I. Prospero, of course, has the wisdom to give up power of his own volition, to break his own staff and to announce that he himself will drown his book; sadly, Saruman is less wise...