The Return of the King

The Return of the King

by

J. R. R. Tolkien

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Saruman/Sharkey Character Analysis

Saruman was the most powerful of the wizards and was Sauron’s servant until his defeat by the Ents in Isengard. Having escaped from Orthanc, the tower of Isengard, he makes his way to the Shire. There, his greed and his desire for revenge against the hobbits lead him to briefly transform the once-idyllic landscape into a dirty and oppressively productive dictatorial society in which he uses Lotho as his puppet. Saruman, referred to as “Sharkey” by the ruffians who have overtaken the Shire, is ultimately overthrown by Frodo. Frodo refuses to kill Saruman, but when Saruman makes his departure from the Shire, his constant degradation of his servant, Wormtongue, leads Wormtongue to slit his throat.

Saruman/Sharkey Quotes in The Return of the King

The The Return of the King quotes below are all either spoken by Saruman/Sharkey or refer to Saruman/Sharkey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
).
Book 6, Chapter 8 Quotes

This was Frodo and Sam’s own country, and they found out now that they cared about it more than any other place in the world. Many of the houses that they had known were missing. Some seemed to have been burned down. The pleasant row of old hobbit-holes in the bank on the north side of the Pool were deserted, and their little gardens that used to run down bright to the water’s edge were rank with weeds. Worse, there was a whole line of ugly new houses all along Pool Side, where the Hobbiton Road ran close to the bank. An avenue of trees had stood there. They were all gone. And looking with dismay up the road towards Bag End they saw a tall chimney of brick in the distance. It was pouring out black smoke into the evening air.

Page Number: 307
Explanation and Analysis:

“No, Sam!” said Frodo. “Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and his cure is beyond us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.”

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins (speaker), Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Saruman/Sharkey
Page Number: 325
Explanation and Analysis:
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Saruman/Sharkey Character Timeline in The Return of the King

The timeline below shows where the character Saruman/Sharkey appears in The Return of the King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 5, Chapter 4
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...arriving sooner than expected. Perhaps Pippin’s use of the Seeing Stone, which alerted Sauron of Saruman’s defeat, hurried the enemy along—or perhaps Aragorn used the Stone to challenge Sauron. Pippin wonders... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 6
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...thanks Tree-beard for all his help in the war. Tree-beard tells him he’s been boring Saruman, who had been trapped in the tower, with his stories, but that Saruman fled a... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...again. The hobbits ride with Gandalf, Galadriel, and Celeborn. On their way, they come across Saruman, who looks ragged and old. Gandalf offers to help him, but Saruman refuses the offer.... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 8
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...he was taken and locked up before he could get there. Farmer Cotton says that Sharkey’s arrival was the worst development of the whole thing so far. (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
Merry asks who Sharkey is. Cotton says he’s the most wicked of all the ruffians and orders the rest... (full context)
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...is worse than Mordor, because it’s their home that’s been ruined. Frodo explains that it’s Saruman’s work, and Lotho has been tricked by Saruman into doing his bidding. At that moment,... (full context)
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
Frodo again tells Saruman to leave. As Saruman turns to go, he tries to stab Frodo, but his knife... (full context)
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
A cloud of grey mist gathers around Saruman’s body and rises above the hill before blowing away with the wind. Frodo looks at... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 9
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...keeps busy helping with repairs. By Yule, there isn’t a trace left of any of Saruman’s men’s constructions, and the bricks from those have been used to repair and fortify the... (full context)