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Timeline Event

Saruman ensnared by Sauron via the Palantíri (estimated date)

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Year: 3000

Description:

An event related to the The shadow of Mordor lengthens:
[circa] 3000
... Saruman dares to use the palantír of Orthanc, but becomes ensnared by Sauron, who has the Ithil Stone. He becomes a traitor to the Council.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

It was only Sauron who used a Stone for the transference of his superior will, dominating the weaker surveyor and forcing him to reveal hidden thought and to submit to commands. [Author's note.]

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri: Notes, Note 5

Saruman fell under the domination of Sauron and desired his victory, or no longer opposed it.

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri

'Noldor made [the palantíri].... But there is nothing that Sauron cannot turn to evil uses. Alas for Saruman! It was his downfall, as I now perceive. Perilous to us all are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves. Yet he must bear the blame. Fool! to keep it secret, for his own profit. No word did he ever speak of it to any of the Council. We had not yet given thought to the fate of the palantíri of Gondor in its ruinous wars. By Men they were almost forgotten. Even in Gondor they were a secret known only to a few....'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 11, The Palantír

'Now it appears that, as the rock of Orthanc has withstood the storms of time, so there the palantír of that tower has remained. But alone it could do nothing but see small images of things far off and days remote. Very useful, no doubt, that was to Saruman; yet it seems that he was not content. Further and further abroad he gazed, until he cast his gaze upon Barad-dûr. Then he was caught!

'Who knows where the lost Stones of Arnor and Gondor now lie buried, or drowned deep? But one at least Sauron must have obtained and mastered to his purposes. I guess that it was the Ithil-stone, for he took Minas Ithil long ago and turned it into an evil place: Minas Morgul, it has become.

'Easy it is now to guess how quickly the roving eye of Saruman was trapped and held; and how ever since he has been persuaded from afar, and daunted when persuasion would not serve.... How long, I wonder, has he been constrained to come often to his glass for inspection and instruction, and the Orthanc-stone so bent towards Barad-dûr that, if any save a will of adamant now looks into it, it will bear his mind and sight swiftly thither?'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 11, The Palantír

The Council in general must independently have known of the Stones and their ancient dispositions, but they did not regard them as of much present importance.... It must be remembered that the Stones were originally "innocent," serving no evil purpose. It was Sauron who made them sinister, and instruments of domination and deceit.

Though... the Council may have begun to doubt Saruman's designs as regarded the Ring, not even Gandalf knew that he had become an ally, or servant, of Sauron. This Gandalf only discovered in July 3018. But, although Gandalf had in latter years enlarged his own and the Council's knowledge of Gondor's history by study of its documents, his and their chief concern was still with the Ring: the possibilities latent in the Stones were not realized. It is evident that at the time of the War of the Ring the Council had not long become aware of the doubt concerning the fate of the Ithil-stone, and failed... to consider what might be the result if Sauron became possessed of one of the Stones, and anyone else should then make use of another. It needed the demonstration on Dol Baran of the effects of the Orthanc-stone on Peregrin to reveal suddenly that the "link" between Isengard and Barad-dûr (seen to exist after it was discovered that forces of Isengard had been joined with others directed by Sauron in the attack on the Fellowship at Parth Galen) was in fact the Orthanc-stone — and one other palantír.

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri

[It] is said that Sauron had at this time [3018], by means of the palantíri, at last begun to daunt Saruman, and could in any case often read his thought even when he withheld information. Thus Sauron was aware that Saruman had some guess at the place where the Ring was; and Saruman actually revealed that he had got as his prisoner Gandalf, who knew the most.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 4, The Hunt for the Ring: Notes, Note 14

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 8May05, 11May05, 21Sep05, 21Oct05

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