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The deep history of Sauron and Saruman


Feb 18, 2019
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Has anyone ever though about the history between Sauron and Saruman before the events at the end of the Third Age.

As Mairon and Curumo respectively, they were both affiliated with the Valar Aule. As such, surely they must have known each other in their youth? Might this have played a part in the Valar's decision to send Curumo (later Saruman) to Middle Earth to lead the free people's against Sauron?

Might it also have played a part in their later alliance?


not from 'Straya
Aug 19, 2019
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One thing that appears to remain unclear, as far as I know, is when "exactly" Sauron switched his allegiance from Aulë to Melkor. As he is called in origin a Maia of Aulë, I would assume it would have to had been after the (undifferentiated) Ainur of the Music descended into Arda to form it, at which point the distinction between Valar and Maiar seems to have been made (though this could have been a later construct for the benefit of the Eldar). But, just as an example, had he already joined Melkor before the destruction of the first primeval lights of Middle-earth, Illuin and Ormal? Was he perhaps one of Melkor's "secret friends and spies among the Maiar" mentioned in Chapter 1 of the Quenta Silmarillion? Or was he "impressed" at Melkor's being able to do so much damage in his assault on the Valar, which basically ended with the latter's rather ignominious departure to the uttermost west of Arda, to Valinor in Aman, that he switched his allegiance?

What part any of the later (Third Age from ca. the year 1000) Istari played in the Valar's war on Morgoth after Oromë had found them (though Melkor had done so earlier) is not recorded. That Sauron was his lieutenant in command of his secondary fortress of Angband in the north-west of Middle-earth as a guard against Valinor, is (and that it was not as thoroughly destroyed as was Melkor's primary stronghold of Utumno).
After the Eldar had removed to Valinor under the guidance of the Valar, through the three Valinorean Ages of the captivity of Melkor there until the destruction of the Two Trees, again very little (except perhaps that Olórin was very fond of the Elves - though he seems to have gone among them in disembodied form quite often). After the rebellion of the Noldor, for the rest of the First Age (the about 600 years of the Sun) Aman was closed off from Middle-earth. Nor was it opened much (and forbidden for Men) in the Second Age.

So there appears to have been little occasion of any "the history between Sauron and Saruman before the events at the end of the Third Age."

Saruman being selected as an emissary by Aulë might well have been on the surmise that he would be able to understand Sauron best, perhaps anticipate moves and devise counter-moves due to a similarity in character. As it did turn out, that similarity unfortunately also extended to character defects, as even shown by their Vala Aulë in his creation of the Dwarves.
As to Saruman's "alliance" with Sauron, I wouldn't see this as being entirely, perhaps even primarily, voluntary. My impression is that Saruman was trapped by Sauron via their respective Palantiri. At least at the time that Saruman spoke to Gandalf before imprisoning the latter at the top of Orthanc, Saruman seems still to have had a hope of getting hold of the One Ring himself. And he would have been, even more than Gandalf, one of the few (perhaps only these two could have pulled it off) who could have used the One Ring to overthrow Sauron - in the process becoming a clone of his, as JRRT stressed.
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