HASA Resources

Timeline Event

Saruman begins to use the Palantír of Orthanc (estimated date)

Event Type: Artifacts

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Year: 2759

Description:
An event in the aftermath of the Invasion of Rohan from West and East; see that entry for an overview:

... afterwards there was little doubt in men's minds that Saruman went to Isengard in hope to find the Stone still there, and with the purpose of building up a power of his own.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The House of Eorl

If Beren the Steward considered the Stone at all when he gave [the keys of Orthanc] to Saruman, he probably thought that it could be in no safer hands than those of the head of the Council opposed to Sauron.

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri

Saruman had no doubt from his investigations gained a special knowledge of the Stones, things that would attract his attention, and had become convinced that the Orthanc-stone was still intact in its tower. He acquired the keys of Orthanc in 2759, nominally as warden of the tower and lieutenant of the Stewards of Gondor. At that time the matter of the Orthanc-stone would hardly concern the White Council. Only Saruman, having gained the favour of the Stewards, had yet made sufficient study of the records of Gondor to perceive the interest of the palantíri and the possible uses of those that survived; but of this he said nothing to his colleagues.

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri

[After 2941,] in his reading in the archives of Minas Tirith [Gandalf] may be assumed to have learned much about the palantíri of Gondor, though with less immediate appreciation of their possible significance than that shown by Saruman, whose mind was in contrast to Gandalf's always more attracted by artefacts and instruments of power than by persons.

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri

'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....'

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

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.

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

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 19Sep05

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