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Timeline Event

Saruman seizes and fortifies Isengard

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Year: 2953

An event in the aftermath of the last meeting of the White Council; see those entries for more information:

When Turgon died Saruman took Isengard for his own, and fortified it.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion: The Stewards

[Saruman] set a watch upon the Gladden Fields; but soon he discovered that the servants of Dol Guldur were searching all the ways of the River in that region. Then he perceived that Sauron also had learned of the manner of Isildur's end, and he grew afraid and withdrew to Isengard and fortified it; and ever he probed deeper into the lore of the Rings of Power and the art of their forging. But he spoke of none of this to the Council, hoping still that he might be the first to hear news of the Ring.

The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

Certainly after the last White Council (2953) his designs towards Rohan, though he hid them, were evil. He then took Isengard for his own and began to make it a place of guarded strength and fear, as though to rival the Barad-dûr. His friends and servants he drew then from all who hated Gondor and Rohan, whether Men or other creatures more evil.

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

Saruman was beginning to store Isengard against war.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 4, The Hunt for the Ring: Other Versions of the Story

Saruman ... 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 ... [had perceived] the interest of the palantíri and the possible uses of those that survived; but of this he said nothing to his colleagues. Owing to Saruman's jealousy and hatred of Gandalf he ceased to cooperate with the Council, which last met in 2953. Without any formal declaration Saruman then seized Isengard as his own domain and paid no further attention to Gondor. The Council no doubt disapproved of this; but Saruman was a free agent, and had the right, if he wished, to act independently according to his own policy in the resistance to Sauron.

Unfinished Tales, Part 4, Ch 3, The Palantíri

He was wise, and perceived clearly that Isengard with its position and its great strength, natural and by craft, was of utmost importance. ... But in the end he turned to evil and became an enemy; and yet the Rohirrim, though they had warnings of his growing malice toward them, continued to put their main strength in the west at the Fords, until Saruman in open war showed them that the Fords were small protection without Isengard and still less against it.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Appendix

Elena Tiriel 19Dec04, 1Sep05, 28Sep05

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