Also called the White Council, the alliance of the great among the Elves and Wizards formed in the Third Age to organize and coordinate the defence against Sauron and his servants.
The Council was formed in the year III 24631, following the return of Sauron from the East and the end of the Watchful Peace. Under the leadership of Saruman the White, it met intermittently over nearly five hundred years. In later centuries, Saruman's secret desire to gain the Ring for himself undermined the Council, and though they succeeded in driving Sauron from Dol Guldur, they did little to hamper his overarching plans. The last formal meeting of the Council was held in III 2953. After that meeting, Saruman withdrew to his fortress of Isengard, though the other individual members - especially Gandalf the Grey - continued to work towards the defeat of the Dark Lord.
For a list of known and suspected members of the Council, see the entry for White Council.
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