Saruman sends more spies to the Shire
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
An event in the prelude to Bilbo's Farewell Party; see that entry for an overview:
At the time when [The Lord of the Rings] begins the Bounders... had been greatly increased. There were many reports and complaints of strange persons and creatures prowling about the borders, or over them: the first sign that all was not quite as it should be.... Few heeded the sign, and not even Bilbo yet had any notion of what it portended.
The Lord of the Rings, Prologue, Of the Ordering of the Shire
[Saruman] gathered a great host of spies, and many of these were birds; for Radagast lent him his aid, divining naught of his treachery, and deeming that this was but part of the watch upon the Enemy.
The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
[Said Gandalf,] 'Time passed with many cares, until my doubts were awakened again to sudden fear. Whence came the hobbit's ring? What, if my fear was true, should be done with it? Those things I must decide. But I spoke yet of my dread to none, knowing the peril of an untimely whisper, if it went astray. In all the long wars with the Dark Tower treason has ever been our greatest foe.
'That was seventeen years ago. Soon I became aware that spies of many sorts, even beasts and birds, were gathered round the Shire, and my fear grew. I called for the help of the Dúnedain, and their watch was doubled....'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond
Elena Tiriel 16May05, 1Sep05, 5Nov05