|“||The world is changing. Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman and the union of the Two Towers? Together, my Lord Sauron, we shall rule this Middle-earth. The Old World will burn in the fires of industry, the forests will fall. A new order will rise! We will drive the machine of war with the sword and the spear and the iron fist of the Orc. We have only to remove those who oppose us…||„|
|~ Saruman to Sauron.|
|“||There will be no dawn… for men.||„|
Saruman the White is the secondary antagonist of the 1937 fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings by the late J.R.R Tolkien, and the secondary antagonist of Peter Jackson's live action film trilogy adaptation of the novels. He is the secondary antagonist of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the central antagonist of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, before finally meeting his end as a minor antagonist in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. In The Hobbit trilogy, Saruman appeared as a minor protagonist in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, he was portrayed by the late Christopher Lee, who also played Dracula in hammer Studios' Dracula films, King Haggard in The Last Unicorn, Francisco Scaramanga in The Man With the Golden Gun, Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man and Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequel films.
Role in the story
Saruman is the head of the White Council, a group of elves and wizards formed to contest the power of Sauron. Like his fellow wizard Gandalf, he is a Maiar, an angelic being sent to Middle-earth by Eru, Tolkien's analog for God. He grows to desire Sauron's power for himself, and begins communicating with him via a palantir, a crystal ball that all but the most powerful beings in Middle-earth are forbidden to use. He plans to use Sauron as a means to an end; his plan is to help Sauron conquer Middle-earth and then overthrow him; he is unaware that Sauron is planning to use him in the exact same way. He sends spies all over Middle-earth to look for the One Ring, hoping to eventually take it from Sauron and wield its power for himself.
He begins his conquest of Middle-earth by having his minion Gríma Wormtongue poison the mind and body of Theoden, King of Rohan, rendering him weak and powerless; he then has Wormtongue influence Theoden to do Sauron's bidding. Saruman then breeds the Uruk-hai, a race of incredibly strong, vicious Orcs, as his personal army. from his base at Isengard, he slowly but surely grows his empire.
When Gandalf discovers Saruman's treachery, Saruman imprisons him, but Gandalf manages to escape. Saruman then has his Orcs attack the Fellowship of the Ring and kidnap the hobbits Merry and Pippin, in hopes of eventually seizing the Ringbearer, Frodo Baggins. When Gandalf helps Theoden overcome Wormtongue's (and thus Saruman's) influence, Saruman orders his Orc army to attack Rohan while he watches from his tower sanctuary. Saruman appears to be winning the battle at first, but then a herd of Ents (giant, tree-like beings) attack on Rohan's behalf, angered by Saruman cutting down whole forests to supply his army with weapons. As the tide of battle turns against him, Saruman flees, along with Wormtongue.
He settles in the Shire, disguised as the criminal "Sharkey", and turns it into his own personal kingdom, with Wormtongue as his main enforcer. After Sauron is defeated, Frodo and his companions come back to the Shire and break Saruman's hold over it. As Saruman and Wormtongue are chased out of the Shire, the fallen wizard curses his minion and throws him down. Enraged, Wormtongue cuts Saruman's throat, killing him; moments later, Hobbit archers shoot and kill Wormtongue.
Saruman is cruel, uncaring, and treacherous. He would do anything to achieve greater power, even if it means betraying his own allies, especially the White Council.
In the books, Saruman is even deceptive toward Sauron, pretending to be his ally, when in reality, he wants to take the One Ring for himself and overthrow Sauron as the Dark Lord. In the movies, however, Saruman was a hero in The Hobbit film trilogy, but after deciding to face Sauron alone, he allowed the latter to corrupt and influence him. Eventually, in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, he became very loyal to Sauron and would do anything to help him; he even told Gandalf to join Sauron as he believed it was a wise decision.
In both cases, his schemes and treachery would lead him to his defeat.
Agents of Saruman
Allies and Armies
- Grima Wormtongue
- Lotho Sackville-Baggins
- Bill Ferny
- Ruffian Leader
- Saruman's Army
- Wulf II
- Isengard Gate Guards
- Broncho Stonecrow
- Harry Goatleaf
- Wormtongue's bodyguards
- Robin Smallburrow
- Squint-eyed Southerner
- The figure of Saruman is very different between the cinematic version and the book version.
- In the film trilogy, he is portrayed as a loyal servant of Sauron and wishes to extend the Dark Lord's dominion over the Middle-Earth but in the book original version, Saruman pretends to be an ally in order to take the ring for himself, defeat Sauron with it and rule all the Middle-Earth.
- His death is portrayed differently in the films than in the original books: in Peter Jackson's movie Saruman dies during his conversation with Gandalf and Théoden in the Orthanc tower, but in Tolkien's book he dies in the Shire where he set himself up. In both versions, however, he is killed by Grima Wormtongue.