The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Immortal. In Middle-earth c. III 1000 to 3 November III 3019 (c.2,000 years)
Race
Division
Order
Meaning
Not explicitly given, but almost certainly 'skilful one''
Other Names
Titles

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 24 September 2011
  • This entry is complete

Curumo

The Quenya name of Saruman

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

A Maia of the people of Aulë the Maker. Curumo's name refers to his own skill in the crafts of making, and it appears that he was high in the estimation of his master. When the Valar decided to send emissaries to Middle-earth, Aulë selected Curumo for the task, and he was the first to stand forward. Aulë's spouse Yavanna requested that he take another of the Maiar across the Great Sea with him: Aiwendil the friend of birds.

Three others were selected, and in Middle-earth, these messengers from the West became known as the Five Wizards. Curumo was the first to arrive, and he received a new name in the Sindarin language, Curunír1, 'skilled one', which in the Common Tongue became Saruman. He eventually turned away from the path that had been set for him, seeking power for himself in Middle-earth. When his body was destroyed, the Valar refused to receive his spirit, and he never returned into the West from which he had come.


Notes

1

Curunír is the Sindarin equivalent of Quenya Curumo. Since we're explicitly told that he was given the name Curunír by the Elves of Middle-earth, it seems a remarkable coincidence that they happened to choose a translation of his original name. The natural presumption would be that Curumo simply told the Elves his name, which they then adapted to Sindarin, but that notion sits awkwardly with a comment in Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings, which states that the Wizards '... revealed their true names to few, but used such names as were given to them.'

An alternative explanation would be that Curumo was not in fact this Maia's true name, but instead a later translation of Curunír back from Sindarin into Quenya, and thus an invention of tellers of tales in Middle-earth who needed a suitable form of the name for their stories of Curunír's time in Valinor.

See also...

Aiwendil, Alatar, Maiar

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2000, 2011. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.