Curunír (Man-of-Skill); Saruman; Sharkey

Associations with the Valar

Curumo was one of only two Maiar to initially volunteer for work in Middle-earth as an Istari. He was chosen by Aulë, a somewhat obvious paralleling with the early life of Sauron. When travelling to Middle-earth, he was begged by Yavanna to take Radagast with him.

It seems that Radagast’s presence was unwelcome to Curumo, and this may have formed the starting point for Saruman’s later scorn and contempt for the other wizard. He later used Radagast as an unwitting aide to trap Gandalf into coming to Orthanc.

Curumo in Middle-earth

Curumo was the first of the Istari to enter Middle-earth. He was clad in white and had a noble manner and bearing. His hair was raven black and his voice was fair. He had great skills in crafts and hand-work, and he was regarded by most as head of the Order of the Istari. He was known as the ‘White Messenger’.

After a time, through his skill in uncovering all secrets, he became aware that Gandalf bore Narya. He started to begrudge Gandalf this power and responsibility.

The name of Curumo

It seems that Curumo was Saruman’s name in Quenya, while Curunír was the Sindarin form meaning ‘the one of cunning devices’. Saruman, his name among the Northern Men, was also related to the words skill, cunning and cunning device.

Curumo as Saruman

– After arriving in Middle Earth, Saruman wandered in the East, initially with Alatar and Pallando, acquiring arcane knowledge and learning many new skills. He began to strengthen his will and trained himself for eventual dominance – forgetting one of the chief injunctions of his Order.
– He was chosen to be Chief of the White Council because he had most studied the devices of Sauron – but only after Gandalf refused the post. He then started studying the lore of the Rings of Power, their making and their history.
– Even around the time that Gandalf went into Dol Guldur, Saruman had already turned to dark thoughts. He wanted to find the One Ring so that he might wield it and bend the world to his will. He began to envy Sauron as a rival and started to judge himself of the same level of ability.

– Appeared at the Coronation of King Fréaláf of Rohan, declared himself a friend of Rohan and Gondor, and later was able to persuade Steward Beren of Gondor to grant him the Keys of Orthanc.
– Found the Palantír of Orthanc high in the tower.
– Suspected long before anyone else that the Ring was awake and seeking its Master. Overruled Gandalf’s suggestion that Dol Guldur should be attacked and Sauron driven out. Began to secretly explore the shallows of the Gladden for the Ring.
– Began to spy on Gandalf, withdrew from the Council and took Isengard and Orthanc for his own, rebuilding the fortress and gathering Orcs and Wild Men to him.
– c. 3000 of the Third Age, Saruman used the Palantír. He cast his gaze upon Barad-dûr – and he was caught.
– Eventually he was cast out of the Order of the Istari and the White Council.
– Journeyed to the Shire, which had been ravaged on his order. Murdered at the doors of Bag End.