I have recently been re reading the Two Towers and one thing confused me a lot. Faramir says to Frodo:

"There are no travellers in these lands, only servants of the eye and the white hand"

The white hand clearly means Saruman, but throughout the books Saruman never seems to be in conflict with Gondor or even have any influence in those parts.

Is it possible Saruman may have learnt about Frodo and was in fact hunting him in secret? Why else would his servants be lingering so close to the rival he means to betray?


The actual quote from the Two Towers is:

The tall green man laughed grimly. 'I am Faramir, Captain of Gondor,' he said. 'But there are no travellers in this land: only the servants of the Dark Tower, or of the White.'

This is not a reference to Saruman but rather to the White Tower, i.e Minas Tirith.

Your answer is therefore: there were no servants of Saruman in Ithilien.

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    @Lexible - Minas Tirith is referred to as the white Tower elsewhere in the texts.
    – user8719
    Apr 11 '15 at 20:15
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    @DarthMelkor While Minas Ithil is actually white and local. :D
    – Lexible
    Apr 11 '15 at 22:54
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    It would also be completely redundant. Sauron controlled Minas Ithil/Morgul. Any 'servant of Minas Ithil' would also be a servant of the Dark Tower/Barad-Dur. Apr 11 '15 at 23:50
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    @Lexible - it could be for sure, but balance of probability based on the text is that it's not. It's also the case that Faramir and his men were in Ithilien, so which tower were they servants of?
    – user8719
    Apr 12 '15 at 1:45
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    @Shadur - there were also no Balrogs in Ithilien as far as Faramir knows; if you're going to go down that route you could literally speculate about anything being there, but is it even being constructive?
    – user8719
    Apr 12 '15 at 13:39

Interesting question. I don't have canon about it, but probably it was because the Red Eye and the White Hand had contacts and had a collaboration agreement together, like the 2 orc bands that attacked together the 9 companions, killed Boromir, and took Pippin and Merry at the falls of Rauros. Furthermore, in Ithilien and Anorien, there would be spies, errand riders and "diplomatic" embassies from Saruman to Sauron. Not only orcs, but also men of Dunland. And maybe as you say also a watch for the ringbearer of whom Saruman was certainly aware, even if not of his final destination, just in case. Like the band at Rauros was on the watch.

And Saruman's plan was to attack Gondor after Rohan, no question about that. Which brings to another obscure point: maybe Denethor and Saruman were aware of each other through the Palantiri.

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