Gríma Wormtongue hurls the Palantír from Orthanc after the Parley
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 5, 3019
An event in the Parley with Saruman in Isengard; see that entry for an overview:
He raised his hand, and spoke slowly in a clear cold voice. 'Saruman, your staff is broken.'.... 'Go!' said Gandalf. With a cry Saruman fell back and crawled away. At that moment a heavy shining thing came hurtling down from above. It glanced off the iron rail, even as Saruman left it, and passing close to Gandalf's head, it smote the stair on which he stood. The rail rang and snapped. The stair cracked and splintered in glittering sparks. But the ball was unharmed: it rolled on down the steps, a globe of crystal, dark, but glowing with a heart of fire. As it bounded away towards a pool Pippin ran after it and picked it up.
'The murderous rogue!' cried Éomer. But Gandalf was unmoved. 'No, that was not thrown by Saruman,' he said; 'nor even at his bidding, I think. It came from a window far above. A parting shot from Master Wormtongue, I fancy, but ill aimed.'
'The aim was poor, maybe, because he could not make up his mind which he hated more, you or Saruman,' said Aragorn.
'That may be so,' said Gandalf. 'Small comfort will those two have in their companionship: they will gnaw one another with words. But the punishment is just. If Wormtongue ever comes out of Orthanc alive, it will be more than he deserves.
'Here, my lad, I'll take that! I did not ask you to handle it,' he cried, turning sharply and seeing Pippin coming up the steps, slowly, as if he were bearing a great weight. He went down to meet him and hastily took the dark globe from the hobbit, wrapping it in the folds of his cloak. 'I will take care of this,' he said. 'It is not a thing, I guess, that Saruman would have chosen to cast away.'....
'Strange are the turns of fortune! Often does hatred hurt itself! I guess that, even if we had entered in, we could have found few treasures in Orthanc more precious than the thing which Wormtongue threw down at us.'
A shrill shriek; suddenly cut off, came from an open window high above.
'It seems that Saruman thinks so too,' said Gandalf. 'Let us leave them!'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 10, The Voice of Saruman
Yet even as [Gandalf] spoke his last words to Saruman, and the palantír crashed in fire upon the steps of Orthanc, his thought was ever upon Frodo and Samwise, over the long leagues his mind sought for them in hope and pity.
Maybe Frodo felt it....
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 3, The Black Gate Is Closed
Elena Tiriel 18May05, 29May05