FAQ / What was the form of Sauron in the Third Age

In the Second Age Sauron's form was fair to behold.

... but long he sought to persuade the Elves to his service, fot he knew that the Firstborn had the greater power; and he went far and wide among them, and his hue was still of one both fair and wise....

...for Sauron took to himself the name Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, and they [the elves of Ost-in-Edhil] had at first much profit from the friendship.

The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power

Sauron kept this form for many, many years until he was taken as hostage by Ar-Pharazôn King of Númenor.

Sauron soon became the kings chief councilor and set the Númenóreans down the path to their doom.

But in his triumph Sauron became caught in his own evil web.

And Sauron, sitting in his black seat in the midst of the Temple, and laughed when he heard the trumpets of Ar-Pharazôn sounding for batttle; and againhe laughed when he heard the thunder of the storm; and a third time, even as he laughed at his own thought, thinking what he would do now in the world, being rid of the Edain for ever, he was taken in the midst of his mirth, and his seat and his temple feel into the abyss. But Sauron was not of mortal flesh, and though he was robbed now of that shape in which he appeared fair to the eyes of Men, yet his spirit arose out of the deep and past as a shadow and a black wind over the sea, and came back to middle earth and to Mordor, that was his home. There he took up again his great Ring in Barad-dûr, and dwelt there, dark and silent, until he wrought himself a new guise, an image of malice and hatred made visible; and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure.
The Silmarillion: Akallabêth

'... Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.'

'... Then Sauron was vanquished and his spirit fled and was hidden for long years, until his shadow took shape again in Mirkwood. ...'

The Fellowship of the Ring: The Shadows of the Past

'... You would have become a wraith under the dominion of the Dark Lord; and he would have tormented you for trying to keep his Ring, if any greater torment were possible then being robbed of it and seeing it on his hand.'
The Fellowship of the Ring: Many Meetings

From the above quote we can see that Sauron would have at least had a hand with fingers so he could wear the OneRing.

... [Gandalf] dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in DolGuldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemey of old, at length taking shape and power again.
The Fellowship of the Ring: The Council of Elrond a tale which allows the incarnation of great spirits in a physical and desructible form their power must be far greater when actually physically present. Sauron should be thought of as very terrible. The form that he took was that of a man of more than human stature, but not gigantic.
The Letters of J.R.R.Tolkien: Letter #246

The above makes it plain that Sauron general form was to be that of a man. The form would not be fair. The evil of his spirit could no longer be disguised, and that evil would be manifest outwardly on his bodily form.

I picture Sauron as having nine fingers [Isildur having cut one off already] and a great scar on his face that runs through his one destroyed eye leaving him with one red and lidless eye.

Not a pretty picture.


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