Why did Saruman turn evil??

Saruman, also known by Saruman the White or Carumo is a Wizard that plays a major role in the fantasy plots of The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien. Saruman, the first Istari order member, was one of the Emissaries of Valar to Middle Earth in Third Age. He was the leader of the Wizards when the White Council was established to oppose Sauron.

Saruman, the leader of the Wizards, is a character with many powers. Although he was well-versed in magic, mechanics and ringlore, his greatest strength was his ability to speak, which allowed him to bend the minds of even the most powerful.

His vast knowledge of dark magic was what actually led to his desire for power and the One Ring. He was motivated by self-interest to gain power for himself, which led him to ally Isengard with Mordor. Saruman is morally “grey” because he is not an agent of good nor evil.

Yet, despite holding a high ranking in the quest to do good, why did Saruman become evil?

The Reasons Saruman is Evil

Why did Saruman turn evil??

Saruman’s switch to the evil side is simple. It is because of his natural personality as a craftman and not a diplomat. He prefers to use his talents and gifts to amass power and respect, rather than use it for solving conflicts and bringing about peace. Due to Saruman’s nimble nature, the Valar initially resisted sending him to Middle Earth. This is what led his stepbrother Sauron to follow his lead. Radagast was sent along with Saruman to serve as a buffer, to help him learn patience and kindness towards the weaker creatures around him.

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The gamble by the Valar was wrong. Radagast became too engrossed in the creatures of Middle Earth and trusted Saruman, leaving him alone without any supervision. This trust was also used by Saruman to his advantage, learning from Radagast how he could use wargs or crows for his benefit. Treebeard used Treebeard’s trust the same way but Treebeard noticed his cunning intentions.

His jealousy and insecurity towards Gandalf would have been his first inkling that he might lean towards the evil side. Alatar and Saruman volunteered to be emissaries to Middle Earth. Gandalf was selected by Manwe, even though Gandalf initially refused to go. Varda added salt to the injury by saying that Gandalf would travel, but not as the third messenger. Saruman would have a hard time forgetting this, and his feelings toward Gandalf might be traced back to the very beginning of their mission.

Why did Saruman turn evil??

Saruman, like Sauron, was ambitious and longed for power. Although he was not a traitor, his plans and focus were all on the pursuit of power. He realized that he was not strong enough to take on Sauron, whose power, which was amplified and unbridled, was the One Ring. So he became his servant.

Because he was not loyal to anyone except Aule and was a traitor at his core, he could not be trusted. He was driven by his desire for power and envy to Gandalf to give up his Maiar duties to become a Valar. He deceived and plotted against his master even though he was a servant to Sauron. However, he was eventually exposed. He was paranoid about Gandalf because he believed he was being scheming against Gandalf due to his desire for power. This is why he justified his scheming against White Council.

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Why did Saruman turn evil??

Saruman loved to acquire knowledge. However, this led him to dig too deeply into the secrets of Ring-lore. He wanted to be able to coordinate and order actions and rule Middle Earth. The more knowledge he acquired, the greater his desire to acquire power. Although he claimed his intention was to guide men and elves to a better way, he only wanted to be in power.

Even though we can label him as someone who changed from good to bad, it is important to note that Saruman did not consider himself to be evil. He believed that Gandalf would follow his path. He believed his auctions would accomplish the greater good. Gandalf was even justified by him, stating that his departure was to redeem Sauron.

We can summarize that Saruman chose the path he chose because of his pride, ambitions, insecurity, and despair.

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