Saruman (Quenya; IPA: [‘saruman] – “Man Of Skill”) the White, of Many Colours, The White Wizard, Head of the White Council, Lord of Isengard, Sharkey, The Boss also calledCurumo (Quenya; IPA: [‘kurumo] – “Skillful One”) or Curunír (Sindarin; IPA: [‘kuruni:r] – “Man Of Skill”), was a Wizard, or Istar, who lived in Middle-earth during the Third Age. Originally, he was the chief of the wizards and of the White Council that opposed Sauron. His extensive studies of dark magic, however, eventually led him to desire the One Ring for himself. Thinking he could ally himself with Sauron and then betray him, Saruman allied Isengard with Mordor in the War of the Ring, in which he was defeated.
Saruman was the first of the five Wizards to arrive in Middle-earth, at the end of the first millennium of the Third Age. He was said to be the eldest of the order, and Gandalf acknowledged him as the chief of the Istari. He was an antagonist of the Free Peoples in the War of the Ring, as recounted in The Lord Of The Rings. Many feared the White Wizard and his compelling voice; even Sauron himself. His dwelling was the fortress of Orthanc in Isengard, below Methedras.
He studied deeply the arts of Sauron, the better to oppose him, but he soon became enamored of Sauron’s devices, especially the One Ring. He betrayed his mission, and sought the power of the Ring for himself. He initially advocated an alliance with Sauron, but he soon betrayed Sauron as well, as his ultimate goal was to supplant Sauron and rule Middle-earth. But his plans came to nought, and his power was broken in the Battle of the Hornburg and the Battle of Isengard.
Saruman, before his fall, was the chief of both the wizards and of the White Council (a league of all those opposed to Sauron). His knowledge and skill, especially of Sauron’s devices, was said to be great (the name “Saruman” means “man of skill”). However, his deep study of the One Ring and Sauron’s other magic corrupted him, and his overweening lust for power led to his downfall. He is one of the few characters in Middle-earth who is morally “grey” – serving neither good nor evil. He betrays both sides and ultimately works for his own ends.
Author: J. Ossorio