The Voice of Saruman

From Tolkien Gateway
The Voice of Saruman
Chapter of The Two Towers
EventKing Théoden and Gandalf come before Saruman outside Orthanc.
Date5 March 3019
Preceded byFlotsam and Jetsam
Followed byThe Palantír

The Voice of Saruman is the tenth chapter of the first book in The Two Towers.


Gandalf warned everyone about Saruman's voice, which had powers beyond their imagination. Théoden, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli decided to go with Gandalf to get a first hand view of Saruman. When Saruman did appear, his voice sounded like the sweetest anyone had ever heard. He spoke to Théoden and tried to persuade him to be his friend. Gandalf didn't say a word because he had to let Théoden make his own choices: either succumb to Saruman's wizardry or fight it. Gimli was not taken in and neither was Éomer. Eventually Théoden was able to control himself and he rejected Saruman's appeal.

Théoden's men had fallen under Saruman's spell and were confused by their leader's rejection. Saruman was angered and when his voice changed the men realized their mistake in falling for his tricks. Gandalf gave Saruman a chance to discard his evil ways, but Saruman not only did not take Gandalf's offer, he even tried to persuade Gandalf to join him. When Gandalf asked him once more to come out of Orthanc, Saruman turned away. Gandalf raised his hand and commanded Saruman's staff to break. Saruman's staff broke and he fell back. At that Wormtongue hurled an object at Gandalf but missed and Pippin picked it up. Gandalf retrieved it, recognizing it at once as a palantír (a seeing stone). Gandalf knew that though Saruman was a lost cause, this was a great treasure.

Gandalf asked Treebeard to pour back the water into Orthanc so that Saruman could never escape. Treebeard agreed.


Tolkien wrote this chapter, along with the five final chapter of Book III were writen as a whole (not in consequence) during his spare time in summer and autumn 1942. The dialogue between the two Wizards was rewritten in several versions.[1]