TF Episode 20: The Voice of Saruman

Standing at the base of the Tower of the Cunning Mind, Gandalf warned Pippin and the others to beware of Saruman’s voice—but what power did Saruman of Many Colours have over the company, if his most dangerous weapon was his speech? In this episode, recorded on the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 2021, Professor Rachel Fulton Brown considers what Tolkien reveals about the dangers of trusting politicians by way of his characterization of Saruman and Gandalf as “messengers” of a particular kind. What kind of creatures were the Istari, and why did they have the powers—and limitations—that they did to influence events in Middle-earth? What does Saruman’s temptation and fall reveal about the meaning of Power, and how did Gandalf defeat such a powerful foe? —Aired February 21, 2021

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