Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The recently concluded first season of rings of strength It left some burning questions for fans, which likely won’t be answered until the highly anticipated second season. In the meantime, fans will likely reconsider the award-winning Lord of the rings trilogy, which featured iconic heroes like Frodo and Gandalf, as well as legendary villains like Sauron and Saruman.
Saruman says several memorable lines over the course of the trilogy, some of which sum up his character perfectly. The best of them often capture his personality, motives, and main actions in the trilogy. As viewers revisit or discover movies for the first time, this is the perfect time to look at quotes that reflect Saruman’s character.
“I gave you a chance to help me willingly.”
Saruman and Gandalf once share similar values and allies, as wizards were sent to do good as envoys to the Valar. It soon becomes clear in the first movie that Saruman and Gandalf are now rivals, as the white wizard has been corrupted by Sauron and the One Ring.
Indeed, it is easy to see his certainty in his decision and his ruthlessness in the way he treats Gandalf when he reproaches the wizard for not “helping” him “willingly”. He goes so far as to warn him that he has “chosen the path of pain” before flinging him over Orthanc in a show of strength and cruelty.
Against the power of Mordor there can be no victory.
Saruman is allied with whoever he thinks is the strongest in him LotRBecause he is convinced that the only way to survive in the future is to be on Sauron’s side. This is illustrated in the way he attempts to persuade Gandalf to join him by explaining that “there can be no victory” over Mordor.
He even scoffs at the idea of Gandalf’s hope in “The Hobbit” that “could deal with Sauron’s will.” The lines highlight his certainty in the side he chooses, while also hinting at Saruman’s tendency to undermine anything and anyone with no absolute power.
“We just have to remove those who oppose us.”
He may be an antagonist, but there is no denying that Saruman is cunning and strategist. It appears that he is not receiving specific orders from Sauron, only orders about his target. So when “orders from Mordor” arrive, Saruman plans to “lead the war machine with sword, spear, and the iron fist of the orc”.
His intricate plots to “remove those who oppose them” end up providing Sauron with a formidable army. It proves that the magician is incredibly smart, even if, unfortunately, he is using his talents on the wrong side.
“Reserve your pity and mercy – it is of no use to me!”
Despite witnessing the fall of Isengard and knowing he has lost, Saruman refuses to concede or even admit defeat when Gandalf and his allies confront him. Even the good Gandalf offers his life to be “survived” if only he “descends” from Orthanc.
The proud and selfish wizard can never give up his vanity, although he manages to insult Gandalf’s comrades and says that he does not need their “pity” and “mercy”. It’s a foolish final choice he makes that leads to his horrific demise.
“Your love of the halves leaves has obviously slowed your mind.”
One of Saruman’s most famous quotes is said during his first conversation with Gandalf, who recounts what he learned about the Ring. Gandalf comments that he couldn’t believe he was in the county the whole time, which elicits Saruman’s rude reaction about how he “didn’t have the intelligence to see him”.
He pushes the insult further by accusing Gandalf of “half-sibling love” of having “slowed down” his “mind”. He is an excellent example of how sublime Saruman can be – he always thinks he is better than his peers. Plus, it’s not hard to imagine him thinking that he would have felt the Ring existed much earlier.
“Tear them all.”
Not every wizard is as good a friend to nature as Gandalf, it seems, because Saruman has no interest in destroying part of the Fangorn Forest for the sake of war. His cruelty to Ents and trees when he orders his servants to “rip them all apart” does not come without consequences.
It is a line that reflects how far Saruman has gone thanks to his service to Sauron. He probably wouldn’t have dared touch the forest knowing about the Ents had he not been so obsessed with building an army for the Dark Lord of Mordor.
“You don’t know pain, you don’t know fear.”
Saruman creates Uruk-hai by raising Orcs and Men to create a stronger being worthy of Mordor’s army. He views them as tools more than anything else, which is evident in how they are provoked to pursue the Fellowship by reminding them that they “know neither pain” nor “fear”.
His “Uruk-hai fight” is a symbol of the kind of horrific things Saruman can do while serving Sauron. He will destroy forests, create terrifying monsters, and destroy anyone in his path. This kind of boundless evil from him and his master is part of what makes them such effective opponents.
“The world is changing.”
Saruman, like Gandalf, is a Mayar sent by the Valar to promote peace and order in Middle-earth. Saruman lost his original purpose during the events of the trilogy, however, declaring that “the world is changing” and that “a new order will rise” (a system that includes him alongside Sauron).
His terrifying discourse on “How the Ancient World Will Burn in the Fires of Industry” underscores how radically Saruman deviated from what had once been a respected and noble magician. The longer he served Saruman, the more he believed in twisted visions of a dark future.
“Let these peasants stand against you a long time ago.”
Saruman’s first display of Sauron’s wrath takes place on the outskirts of Rohan where a small village is attacked and its citizens murdered. Saruman declares with some pride that “these peasants” have “stand against ‘Sauron’ for a very long time”.
The fact that he calls the citizens of Rohan “peasants” is indicative of his inflated arrogance, as he sees humans as inferior and expendable beings who must be removed from Middle-earth. The same men he was supposed to help became victims of Sauron’s brutal war LotR.
“So I chose death.”
When Gandalf escapes from Orthanc thanks to Gwaihir’s help, Saruman realizes that his pleas to his old friend to stand with him and Sauron are now useless. He declares that Gandalf “chosen death,” which is among the most memorable lines of the trilogy.
Some fans may interpret this as a feeling of constant sadness for Saruman, who is disappointed by his old friend’s refusal to join him. She could also easily align with Saruman’s more ruthless side, as he is quick to decide Gandalf’s fate, truly believing that he would be defeated by Sauron’s army.
Next: 15 Movies To Watch If You Like The Lord Of The Rings (other than The Hobbit)