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Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Saruman
Rating: Australian G
Disclaimer: The characters and locations of "The Lord of the Rings"are the property of the Tolkien estate. No money is solicited for or made from this work of fan fiction.

Though Isengard be strong and hard...

Below me twitches the remains of a great creature. A creature of my own creation. A creature of my own making. A creature destroyed.

Not much, I suppose, compared to the workings of other craftsmen. I daresay my master could have made it better. A dwarf would have made it more efficient. A man would have made it more powerful. An elf? An elf would not have made it at all. The elves have not the wit to admire such things, to see the beauty in the made as well as in the grown. The forming is a beauty in and of itself. Not many elves take pride in the patterns of molten metal, in the way that it swirls, in the way that it shines, with that brilliant fire from within. The metal is alive when it is poured, and yet the elves cannot see this.

They will not see it. They prefer to shroud themselves in trees and vines, let growing things envelop them. They never really want to know why something happens.

Ha! Let them sit there in their little havens, safe from all change. 'Tis their loss. They will never know the sheer beauty which can be found in that subtle change from life to death. They will never know the subtle change from death to life, either. Changeless, ageless, forever young.

I have seen the looks they gave me. The ones which said that they could not understand why a creature of my power would deign to wear the shape of an old man. The ones which turned away rapidly, so that they would not have to see the decrepit shape of one who was once clothed in light. I nearly did not believe it. Was beauty so important to them that they would look away from that which was not beautiful? Had they not learned the lesson from “Annatar”, who clothed his spite in beauty? Fools, all of them.

Yet Men are no better. They spread out across the landscape, great sprawling masses of them, too caught up in their own petty rivalries, their own petty feuding, to think on how they might improve themselves. Too caught up in fighting to stay where they are to think of how they might progress. Too easily fooled, too easily tricked. I would almost be doing them a kindness by exterminating them.

Of course, some of them are worth sparing. Some of them understand the joy that can be found in fitting the pieces together. Some of them understand the peace of the making – a strange peace, found amidst noise and clamour, yet peace, none the less. Some few who understand the purpose of what I create, who do not write it off as “magic”, but attempt to comprehend the beauty. There are some Men worth saving, but so very few.

The halflings at times are only slightly more intelligent than their sheep. Farmers, growers, almost as bad as elves for their love of greenery. Lazy, sleepy, yet this is a laziness of the mind, not of the body. They will work their bodies hard for many a year, drawing plough through field, digging the earth, tilling the ground, planting, reaping, cooking, cleaning. Yet not a one of them seems to question anything. Not a one of them appears to think enough of their own comfort to be interested in gaining themselves further time to enjoy their little indulgences. I say again, they are scarcely more intelligent than their sheep.

Dwarves? Dwarves are just as bad. They hollow out the mountains, seek out the gems, spend years on carving a rockface. Speak to them of shortening the time they spend in their mines, and they will look at you blankly. Speak to them of improving their forges, and they will be affronted. Their hearts are stout, their souls are brave, but their minds are shut tighter than their own famous doors.

I worked so hard to create this. It could have become the beginning of something wonderful. An army, outfitted in armour, produced within a short space of time. The elves, the Men, the dwarves – none of them would be able to create such a force on such short notice. Yet I was able to. I was able to do this, because I did not let myself be trapped by the petty assumptions and values that limit their thinking. I was able to do this, because I could look past the restrictions they had bound themselves in. I was able to do this, because I could see the advantage in training each worker to do one piece of the task of creating a helm, rather than spending five times as long training a blacksmith. I was able to see the sense in giving each worker a single chore to do, one they could concentrate on, rather than splitting their concentration on a thousand little tasks.

Yet now, the whole beautiful creation is being killed. Killed by a group of slow-moving, stupid tree-herders, and their moronic herds. The work I put into creating this, the beauty of the machinery in motion, the shine and glitter, the smooth clockwork of the forges and the assembly areas, all of this is destroyed, all because a few sacrifices had to be made.

Forges must be fired. Forges must be fuelled. A few trees are pulled down, and these accursed Ents are behaving as though they had been personally injured. I wonder whether they consider the damage they are doing to my machinery, my staff, to be injurious? I wonder whether they even think on the notion at all.

I could weep. I stand here, in my tower, watching the work of my lifetime destroyed, and I could weep in frustration. Do none of them understand what I was working to achieve? Do none of them care that what I made could have saved the men, elves and dwarves of Middle Earth so much time, so much effort? Do none of them care at all, that I have laid out the fruits of my wisdom before them, and had them rejected?

© 2003 Meg Thornton

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