Jul 31 2012, 1:41am
I was having a re-think as you do and for him to take off with minimum contest is quite unconvincing. The wording is he feigned to give way before them so there had to be a pretense of him needing to do so, so the White Council would not pursue him further. This allowed him the additional 10 years or whatever to build up and declare himself in Mordor. Whether the feigning involved a battle or not who knows, but there is comment of Sarumans devices (whether this means machines or stratagems who knows) driving him out so we do know some effort was expended by the White Council.
(This post was edited by ElendilTheShort on Jul 31 2012, 1:42am)