In this scene, Gandalf mentioned the Shire and Frodo, hence letting Saruman know that Frodo has the Ring and it's in the Shire. But why did he tell Saruman that Frodo has the ring? It's kinda betrayal to Frodo.

The script of the video:

Saruman: You are sure of this?

Gandalf: Beyond any doubt.

Saruman: The Ring of Power has been found.

Gandalf: All these long years it was in the Shire, under my very nose.

Follow-up Question:

Does Saruman know Frodo? If yes, then how did he find out about it?

  • 1
    I suggest you ask your follow-up question as a separate question. But you might not have to
    – Edlothiad
    May 1, 2017 at 17:36
  • As I commented in the answer this is only in the film. In the book he was wise enough to not inherently trust Saruman. Understandable seeing as how he delayed things before and perhaps also his scorn of hobbits (despite becoming interested in them quite a lot: too much for the comfort of the hobbits). In the book Radagast tells him about the Nazgûl (Saruman had informed Radagast and asked him to seek out Gandalf as a way to trap Gandalf; submit or suffer). It was Radagast's honour that would help Gandalf be freed, in the end. Only in the book does he go to Isengard about the One.
    – Pryftan
    Dec 21, 2017 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


Saruman was the head of the Istari Order and Gandalf trusted him.

Gandalf, before Saruman revealed himself to him, believed that Saruman was still the head of their order and had no intentions of going against them.

Hobbits are, or were, no concern of his. Yet he is great among the Wise. He is the chief of my order and the head of the Council. His knowledge is deep, but his pride has grown with it, and he takes ill any meddling. The lore of the Elven-rings, great and small, is his province. He has long studied it, seeking the lost secrets of their making; but when the Rings were debated in the Council, all that he would reveal to us of his ring-lore told against my fears. So my doubt slept – but uneasily. Still I watched and I waited.
Fellowship of the Ring - Book One, Chapter II: The Shadow of the Past

Gandalf, at the beginning still has faith in Saruman and believes his councils, putting his trust and faith in him.

Saruman expected Gandalf to inform him of everything that went on and ensure Gandalf was aware of such.

“That may be so,” he said, “but the thought is late in coming to you. How long, I wonder, have you concealed from me, the head of the Council, a matter of greatest import?” Fellowship of the Ring - Book Two, Chapter II: The Council of Elrond

However, Saruman knows he needs Gandalf on his side to truly be successful, this is because he knows that Olorin is deemed amongst the wise of the Maiar. When he reveals himself to Gandalf, he didn't expect Gandalf to escape from his capture on top of Orthanc. After Gandalf escapes he speeds as quickly as he can to warn Frodo and Elrond of Saruman's betrayal.

With regards to your follow up question, it is unlikely Saruman knew Frodo before the events of the Ring, as Saruman often talks down upon the Hobbits

What brings you now from your lurking-place in the Shire? Fellowship of the Ring - Book Two, Chapter II: The Council of Elrond

Describing the Shire as a "lurking-place" seems to suggest Saruman disapproves of Gandalf's interaction with the Hobbit folk. This is further supported by Saruman's apparent lack of care for Hobbits.

I could only watch and wait. I might perhaps have consulted Saruman the White, but something always held me back.’ ‘Who is he?’ asked Frodo. ‘I have never heard of him before.’ ‘Maybe not,’ answered Gandalf. ‘Hobbits are, or were, no concern of his... Fellowship of the Ring - Book One, Chapter II: The Shadow of the Past

The above seems to, however, suggest that Saruman might have begun to take a care for Hobbits, and towards the end (likely through Bill Ferny), gained knowledge of Frodo and learnt who he was, before the Scouring of the Shire.

  • 1
    But technically Gandalf only says this in the film; in the book there is this: ' "Saruman," I said, standing away from him, "only one hand at a time can wield the One, and you know that well, so do not trouble to say we! But I would not give it, nay, I would not give even news of it to you, now that I learn your mind. You were head of the Council, but you have unmasked yourself at last. Well, the choices are, it seems, to submit to Sauron, or to yourself. I will take neither. Have you others to offer? " ' Only in the film does he say this; the council in book is for the Nine.
    – Pryftan
    Dec 21, 2017 at 17:29
  • ..only in the film does he say what the question asks, I meant.
    – Pryftan
    Dec 21, 2017 at 17:35
  • I don't understand your comment
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 22, 2017 at 8:50
  • 1
    Does it make sense? Yes. Did what PJ do make sense? Definitely not. Something else that always has amused me is how he has the four hobbits (which as you know at the time was only three: also in the original) hide from the Nazgûl in the hollow tree when in the book they only rest there; they would hide elsewhere. Yet in The Return of the Shadow we find out that at one point the Nazgûl were there: only that in that time the Ring could be used to hide from the Nazgûl. Odd that PJ would do that (though I suspect he never read HoME at all). But that explains this decision and question too: odd.
    – Pryftan
    Dec 22, 2017 at 23:38
  • 2
    You're probably right. Sadly and terrifyingly too. But it makes sense given how much he messed up... I just found it funny (here 'amusing' and also 'strange') that he would have some things that are closer to the original drafts: though not wholly of course. Let's hope Christopher's sons maintain the boycott and disapproval of PJ's films so they never get The Silmarillion. But I guess in time they will. Anyway, this is for another part of the site so I'll stop here. If nothing else you might have explained the problem with PJ and the films and for that I thank you: never gave it much thought.
    – Pryftan
    Dec 24, 2017 at 1:16

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