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GreenhillFox
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Post How Saruman knew the Ring was found
on: October 29, 2016 08:55
I have been wondering how Saruman actually had discovered that the Ring was found.

The “Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth” relate how Saruman was looking for the Ring in the Gladden Fields. He found artefacts carried by Isildur and possibly also his remains but not the Ring. So he may have wondered if someone else (Deagol, as a matter of fact) had been there before, or if perhaps (his own misleading statements):

“Have I not earnestly studied this matter? Into Anduin the Great it fell; and long ago, while Sauron slept, it was rolled down the River to the Sea. There let it lie until the End.”

He knew that the Black Riders were looking for the Shire, for they told him so themselves. However, he was already certain that the Ring had been found before their visit when he imprisoned Gandalf. Retrieving information from Gandalf was the reason of this action, because he was aware that the Shire had something to do with it, as well as Gandalf because of his special interest in the Shire.

I found no indications about how Saruman came to know about the finding of the Ring.

I understood that the whereabouts of the Ring were known only to Gandalf, Frodo, Bilbo (but who did not know it was a Ring of Power), Gollem and Sauron. None of them either had contact with Saruman, or would have informed him.

Did anyone find any hints on Saruman’s sources of knowledge regarding this? Thank you all for any suggestions!
'There’s something mighty queer behind this.'
Lord_Sauron
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on: October 30, 2016 03:50
Over time Saruman studied the lore of the Rings of Power and wanted the One for himself, he even searched near the Anduin. However he never found it, he also dissauded the White Council from attacking Dol Guldur as he believed in time the Ring would show itself to Sauron and all Saruman had to do was beat him to it.
In the Fellowship of the Ring book chapter The Council of Elrond mentions what I think you are looking for.

'He came and laid his long hand on my arm. "And why not, Gandalf?" he whispered. "Why not? The Ruling Ring? If we could command that, then the Power would pass to us. That is in truth why I brought you here. For I have many eyes in my service, and I believe that you know where this precious thing now lies. Is it not so? Or why do the Nine ask for the Shire, and what is your business there?" As he said this a lust which he could not conceal shone suddenly in his eyes.

'"Saruman," I said, standing away from him, "only one hand at a time can wield the One, and you know that well, so do not trouble to say we! But I would not give it, nay, I would not give even news of it to you, now that I learn your mind. You were head of the Council, but you have unmasked yourself at last. Well, the choices are, it seems, to submit to Sauron, or to yourself. I will take neither. Have you others to offer?"


Don't forget also Saruman had the Palantir of Orthanc which he would have used to spie on Sauron. He would have seen the Nazgul leave Minas Morgul and knew something was suspicious. Saruman was tye one who told Radagast to find Gandalf and tell him the Nune were abroad

[Edited on 10/30/2016 by Lord_Sauron]
GreenhillFox
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on: November 01, 2016 05:15
Your answer is very much to the point Lord_Sauron. I had not missed the quote you mention; it illustrates indeed how much Saruman already knew at the time when he imprisoned Gandalf and therefore his information comes from earlier.

Thank you for your reaction.

While reviewing this I came across the following quote from the Unfinished Tales (after Sauron had learned from Gollum that Bilbo was related to the Shire and was therefore trying to find that land):

“Now Sauron learning of the capture of Gollum by the chiefs of his enemies was in great haste and fear. Yet all his ordinary spies and emissaries could bring him no tidings. And this was due largely both to the vigilance of the Dúnedain and to the treachery of Saruman, whose own servants either waylaid or misled the servants of Sauron. Of this Sauron became aware, but his arm was not yet long enough to reach Saruman in Isengard. […] At length he resolved that no others would serve him in this case but his mightiest servants, the Ringwraiths, who had no will but his own, being each utterly subservient to the ring that had enslaved him, which Sauron held.”

This implies that Saruman was already acutely aware that the Ring was in the Shire: he would not have had any other more compelling reason to hinder Sauron in finding it and to expose his own objectives in the process.

I was not systematic with my message so I try to summarize Saruman’s knowledge from these 3 posts. Early 3018 Saruman had acquired the following hard-to-get-by information:

  • The Ring was found.
  • The Ring was somewhere in the Shire (a land already known to him from before).
  • Sauron had full information on the two previous facts (and he also had the name Bilbo Balings, which Saruman did not).
  • Sauron was searching for the Shire and, following effective hindrance by Saruman, had sent out the Ringwraiths.
  • Gandalf knew where in the Shire the Ring was.

  • I doubt if Saruman had all of his information from the Palantir. I could read in “The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth”:

    “About 3000 he [Saruman] used his Palantir and was trapped by Sauron; after this time, although he thought himself free, he was actually controlled by Sauron.”

    Since Sauron became aware of Saruman’s plans, he could hardly have let Saruman learn much from the Palantir on this vital matter. Moreover, Sauron would have known all answers himself if a Palantir could have yielded these.

    All told, there’s little information on how Saruman came to all this knowledge. How, where and when Gandalf gradually discovered his own knowledge is far better explained in the books.

    Thank you all for the attention.

    [Edited on 11/01/2016 by GreenhillFox]
    'There’s something mighty queer behind this.'
    GreenhillFox
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    on: December 17, 2016 11:13
    I came across another indication on Saruman’s sources of information.

    In book 3, Chapter 1 “The Departure of Boromir”, Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn examine the orcs killed by Boromir before his death, and in particular the token some were wearing. Aragorn then made the following reflection:

    ‘S is for Saruman, I guess,’ he said at length. ‘There is evil afoot in Isengard, and the West is no longer safe. It is as Gandalf feared: by some means the traitor Saruman has had news of our journey. It is likely too that he knows of Gandalf’s fall. Pursuers from Moria may have escaped the vigilance of Lórien, or they may have avoided that land and come to Isengard by other paths. Orcs travel fast. But Saruman has many ways of learning news. Do you remember the birds?’

    Although unrelated to the starting message of this thread I just thought that this small addition may fit in the context.
    'There’s something mighty queer behind this.'
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