Saruman was at one time, a good guy. However, with his palantir (only seven were made, and they are very mysterious), he sees nothing but doom. He decides that the only way to stay alive in this war is to join with Sauron. He tries to convince Gandalf, but he does not agree, and so he traps the wizard in his tower (Orthanc) He then creates an army -- a new breed of orc (as if they couldn't get any worse) called the Urukai. However, as he was treacherous to the Ents, they make an attack on his tower, and he is trapped inside. He escapes however, and disappears for the rest of the story...until.... the hobbits return to the shire as heroes of war, even though the Hobbit population doesn't know their great deeds. Saruman goes to the Shire and creates havok upon the hobbits. He is eventually overrun though. I guess that's what you get for betraying the good guys!