Saruman is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth world, appearing mainly in The Lord of the Rings. He is one of the Istari, a group commonly called "Wizards" by the people of Middle-earth. Saruman became corrupted and is one of the story's villains. Tolkien meant Saruman, amongst others, to represent the modern society that Britain was growing into at the time (especially its evils and the corruption and industrialization of the green countryside of the then starting to die agriculturial business that made up the main employers of the Home Counties, which in J.R.R. Tolkien's eyes was a great evil).
When he betrayed his trust, Gandalf cast him out, yet spared his life. Saruman was so deranged as to take Gandalf's mercy as cruelty. His henchman was Gríma, nicknamed Wormtongue in Rohan, who was sent to spy on and enthrall Théoden.