In The Return of The King, why does Gandalf take Pippin with him when he goes to Minas Tirith?

Or, in a more exact way, why does Sauron think Pippin has the One Ring?

  • 6
    “Or in more exact way” — I think you mean “And here’s another, separate question”. Apr 28, 2016 at 14:11
  • @PaulD.Waite actually the second one is the answer for the first one ,so it's not a separate question
    – Our
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:15
  • 1
    I can understand the premise of the second question (“Sauron thinks Pippin has the One Ring”) being the answer to the first question. But if that’s true, then the first question doesn’t need to be asked alongside the second question. Apr 28, 2016 at 15:43
  • Yes it is correct but when I first asked the question ,there was the first question .Then I edited but didn't the first one so that there won't be confusion.
    – Our
    Apr 28, 2016 at 16:06
  • 3
    I don’t think you’ve quite managed to avoid confusion. Apr 28, 2016 at 16:30

3 Answers 3


You partially answer your first question with your second. Sauron, probably through Saruman, guesses a hobbit has his Ring. And as Pippin is the only hobbit he sees through the Palantir, he probably thinks he is the ring bearer. Gandalf also wanted to protect Pippin from himself by separating him from the Palantir. Going cold turkey.

  • but still assuming the first hobbit he saw is the ring bearer is kind a silly assumption.
    – Our
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:21
  • By the way , when pippin looked into the palantir , did Sauron knew that Saruman had been dead ?
    – Our
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:22
  • 5
    @Leth but he was using the Palantir at Orthanc, which is in Sarumans posession and he guesses that Saruman tries to get the Ring for himself and thus captured the ring bearer. Regarding 2nd comment: in the books he isn't dead
    – Thomas
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:23
  • 4
    @Leth Not just the first hobbit, but a hobbit at Isengard when it is reasonable to assume that Saruman still has possession of the Stone. This is explicitly addressed in the book: "The Enemy, it is clear, thought that the Stone was in Orthanc -- why should he not? And that therefore the hobbit was captive there, driven to look in the glass for his torment by Saruman." (III 200). Pippin also reports Sauron's exact "words": "Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send for it at once."
    – chepner
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:32
  • 5
    @Leth : Well, given the limited amount of palantiri, it would make sense to assume you need to be rather powerfull to actually have access to one. If you know a hobbit has the One Ring, and all of a sudden you see a hobbit in one of the palantiri, the 'silly assumption' you call it, could just as well be a fairly reasonable 'connect-the-dots' deduction. Apr 28, 2016 at 15:57

Pippin looked into the Orthanc-stone, a palantir. In that palantir ('a seeing stone', as Gandalf called it in the movie version), he saw Sauron (and Sauron saw him). Sauron must have assumed the hobbit he saw, would also be the one holding the One Ring.

If that (not quite unlikely!) assumption was made, Gandalf may have prefered to keep Pippin well within his sights to keep him safe.


To keep him out of mischief

Pippin asks this very question to Gandalf while in Minas Tirith, and Gandalf answers that it is to keep him out of mischief.

Pippin looked ruefully at the small loaf and (he thought) very inadequate pat of butter which was set out for him, beside a cup of thin milk. ‘Why did you bring me here?’ he said.

‘You know quite well,’ said Gandalf. ‘To keep you out of mischief; and if you do not like being here, you can remember that you brought it on yourself.’ Pippin said no more.
The Lord of the Rings - Book V Chapter 4 - "The Siege of Gondor"

Gandalf's remark that Pippin "brought it on himself" is a reference to him looking into the Palantír, which happened right before they set out. The initial reason that Gandalf separated Pippin was to prevent him from being able to steal the Palantír again.

'I think all will be well now,' answered Gandalf. 'He was not held long, and hobbits have an amazing power of recovery. The memory, or the horror of it, will probably fade quickly. Too quickly, perhaps. Will you, Aragorn, take the Orthanc-stone and guard it? It is a dangerous charge.' ... 'But at the least keep this thing secret. You, and all others that stand here! The hobbit, Peregrin, above all should not know where it is bestowed. The evil fit may come on him again. For alas! he has handled it and looked in it, as should never have happened. He ought never to have touched it in Isengard, and there I should have been quicker. But my mind was bent on Saruman, and I did not at once guess the nature of the Stone. Then I was weary, and as I lay pondering it, sleep overcame me. Now I know!'
The Lord of the Rings - Book III Chapter 10 - "The Voice of Saruman"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.