Saruman begins searching Gladden Fields for the One Ring
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
An event in the aftermath of the second meeting of the White Council; see that entry for more information:
The White Council meets. Gandalf urges an attack on Dol Guldur. Saruman overrules him. Saruman begins to search near the Gladden Fields.
The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age
Then the White Council was summoned; and Mithrandir urged them to swift deeds, but Curunír spoke against him, and counselled them to wait yet and to watch. ...
Thus the Wise were troubled, but none as yet perceived that Curunír had turned to dark thoughts and was already a traitor in heart: for he desired that he and no other should find the Great Ring, so that he might wield it himself and order all the world to his will. Too long he had studied the ways of Sauron in hope to defeat him, and now he envied him as a rival rather than hated his works. And he deemed that the Ring, which was Sauron's, would seek for its master as he became manifest once more; but if he were driven out again, then it would lie hid. Therefore he was willing to play with peril and let Sauron be for a time, hoping by his craft to forestall both his friends and the Enemy, when the Ring should appear.
He set a watch upon the Gladden Fields....
The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
[Saruman] does not reveal his thought to the Council, but sets a watch upon Anduin and the Gladden Fields, where he himself secretly searches for the One Ring.
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 8, The Tale of Years of the Third Age: Notes
Long afterwards, as the Third Age of the Elvish World waned and the War of the Ring approached, it was revealed to the Council of Elrond that the Ring had been found, sunk near the edge of the Gladden Fields and close to the western bank; though no trace of Isildur's body was ever discovered. They were also then aware that Saruman had been secretly searching in the same region; but though he had not found the Ring (which had long before been carried off), they did not yet know what else he might have discovered.
But King Elessar ... began ... the restoration of Orthanc.... Then all the secrets of the tower were searched. Many [jewels and heirlooms of Eorl] were found, ... and other such things, more ancient and beautiful, from mounds and tombs far and wide. Saruman in his degradation had become not a dragon but a jackdaw. At last behind a hidden door ... a steel closet was revealed. Maybe it had been intended to receive the Ring; but it was almost bare. In a casket on a high shelf two things were laid. One was a small case of gold, attached to a fine chain; it was empty, and bore no letter or token, but beyond all doubt it had once borne the Ring about Isildur's neck. Next to it lay a treasure without price, long mourned as lost for ever: the Elendilmir itself, ... that had been lost when Isildur fled into the dark and came back no more. ...
When men considered this secret hoard more closely, they were dismayed. For it seemed to them that these things, and certainly the Elendilmir, could not have been found, unless they had been upon Isildur's body when he sank; but if that had been in deep water of strong flow they would in time have been swept far away. Therefore Isildur must have fallen not into the deep stream but into shallow water, no more than shoulder-high. Why then, though an Age had passed, were there no traces of his bones? Had Saruman found them, and scorned them -- burned them with dishonour in one of his furnaces? If that were so, it was a shameful deed; but not his worst.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: The Sources of the Legend of Isildur's Death
Elena Tiriel 30Sep05