Greetings and welcome to September 3018 of the Third Age. I’ve got a feeling things are going to start picking up pretty soon. But right now, we’re still kind of just coasting out the last bits of summer.
Frodo is still in the Shire, of course. Gandalf is imprisoned by Saruman at Isengard. The Nazgûl are somewhere vaguely over there [gestures wildly]. And Boromir is somewhere in the other direction, probably around Tharbad or something.
And Speaking of Boromir…
Okay, this isn’t exactly complex by Tolkien’s standards (and we kind of already covered it), but it does require some explaining. I’ll get to the point.
Saruman knows about Boromir’s dream. You know, the one about Isildur’s Bane. That dream. And while Boromir has absolutely no idea what Isildur’s Bane might be, Saruman does.
How does he know this? Did Gandalf let it slip? No, of course not. This all goes back to Gríma Wormtongue.
Shortly after Boromir stepped off on his journey to Rivendell, he visited Rohan. While there, he clearly wasn’t coy about his dream.
What News From the North, Riders of Rohan?
Later (on February 30th, 3019 to be exact – I still have no idea how I’ll handle that one), when Aragorn talks to Éomer of Rohan, Éomer off-handedly remarks: “These are indeed strange days. Dreams and legends spring to life out of the grass.” He continues, saying “Long has Boromir son of Denethor been gone seeking an answer…”
If Éomer heard that Boromir was seeking an answer to his dream, then it’s pretty likely that Boromir stopped off at the court of Théodin, the King of Rohan and Éomer’s adopted father (actually his uncle).
And if Éomer heard Boromir’s tale, then the “servant” Gríma Wormtongue no doubt heard it too. Gríma was actually serving Sarumon, and as they old saying goes: from Gríma’s wormy tongue to Saruman’s fuzzy ears.
So What Does Saruman Think He Knows?
Saruman knows that Isildur’s Bane is the One Ring. Prior to this, he knew that the One Ring was probably still out there. He knew that Sauron wanted it, and he knew that whomever found it first would rule Middle-earth.
Because the dream mentioned Imladris, he almost certainly believed that the One Ring was being held and protected by Elrond.
At this time, Saruman had Gandalf imprisoned for about a month and a half. So it seems like this news came to him while Gandalf was there. It’s not surprising that he didn’t mention this to him.
And though Gandalf didn’t know the Saruman had designs on Rivendell, he could see that his old frenemy was raising quite an army for some sort of mischief or another.
That’s It? What’s Next?
Yep, that’s it. We’re still pretty dull here. What’s next is September 5th, and it’ll be a quick blip about Aragorn.