Critics say J. R. R. Tolkien has created a world parallel to ours or rather say - a mirror reflection of times and eras of the real human history. A great polyglot, philologist, writer and person he has masterfully succeeded in creating the world of Middle-earth - a world filled with vivid characters, its own history and numerous events so real that the feeling of allegory is inevitable, although he himself has always opposed finding allegories whatsoever between the world of Arda and our real world.
The history of Tolkien’s Middle-earth is being divided into four ages tracing the human progress and the regress of the mysterious race of the Elves.
The FirstAge lays the foundation of human existence and introduces a lot of questions and dilemmas in the fields of philosophy and theology still subject to numerous discussions and interpretations.
The ThirdAge reveals the steady process of human progress, time when mankind has to prove its right of establishment and survival. These two periods are often determined as the greatest ones for the Elves (FirstAge) and Men (ThirdAge), (why not and for Hobbits as well).
Thus they frame the SecondAge which seems in its background not properly assessed although it is the longest one and filled with great and unforgettable events and characters and it has different essence for Iluvatar’s children ( Elves, Men, Dwarves, etc.).
I think these years introduce not only Tolkien’s-world problems, but also some of our real world.
The most significant factors in the SecondAge are the Numenoreans, the Elves and Evil, represented by Sauron.
For the Numenoreans the SecondAge is a period of a rapid development, which later unfortunately leads to the fall of the Kingdom of Numenor. In fact, even before the civilization of the Numenoreans, we can trace the same scenario concerning the historical development of earlier and later kingdoms and civilizations in the overall history of Middle-earth. These historical processes can be easily paralleled to the real world history, too.
The Numenoreans are a free people. Yet, the progress of their civilization is limited by some restrictions set by the immortal Gods from the Blessed Realm. The natural human curiosity and desire to explore referred to as the Gift of Illuvatar to the race of Men, unfortunately leads to a point in their history when they - Men break the rules and that causes their unfortunate final doom. They are just like the Renaissance people who desired progress and braking Church’s rules suffered severe punishments.
Other representatives of the race of Men are the peoples living in Middle-earth during the SecondAge.
Actually, they are not of great importance for the entire history, but it should be mentioned that they, as societies and as individuals, are not as developed as the Edain on the isle of Numenor. They are mostly influenced by Sauron and his evil which becomes the main reason for their doom.
I would match them with the people from the so called ‘Dark Ages’ of the real-world history (after the fall of the Western Roman Empire). They live in a place and time when the greatness of their ancestors is forgotten and Evil is ruling them and their world.
The third and one of the most impressive races of the SecondAge are the Elves. They are a personification of immortality, wisdom and implacability. The race of Elves in Tolkien’s world, if attempted to be paralleled to our real world, cannot be matched to any age and/or existing civilization. Therefore it is difficult to find any allegory between them and us, real people. Elves prove that no one can oppose fate, no matter how great you are. Describing elven hopes, actions and desires one could possibly conclude that through them Tolkien had tried to reveal his idea that perfection is not possible, or at least cannot be part of the human real world. That explains why the writer had ‘convicted’ them to live in the undying lands of the Gods - Valinor, an imaginary place where perfection can exist…. unfortunately only as an imagination and a dream.
Another interesting character and certainly of greatest importance in the Second Age is Sauron as personification of Evil. During the FirstAge Melkor is the embodiment of the Shadow, but he accomplishes his plans mostly by using force.
Of course Morgoth is foreseeing, combinative and capable of compromising his enemies. During the SecondAge, however, Sauron proves that evil is in progress again. He uses brutal force only in some cases. Gorthang prefers manipulating human foibles, deceives elven wisdom and then attacks. That is why he can be defined as the student who becomes better than the teacher.
|The Numenoreans |
At the very beginning of the SecondAge it is mentioned that Evil is not dead and people will suffer because of it.
Evil causes people’s fear of death at the peak of the human civilization existence.
- But Manwe put forth Morgoth and shut him beyond the World, I the Void that is without, and he cannot himself return again into the World, present and visible, while the Lords of the West are still enthroned. Yet the seeds that he had planted still grew and sprouted, bearing evil fruit, if any would tend them.
Throughout the years and with the development of the Numenoraens’ society that fear grows stronger and stronger, because Elros’s heirs realize death is the only thing they cannot change.
At the very beginning of the SecondAge, the people from the three houses of the Edain have the chance to live without grief. What is from greatest interest to us, is Elros’s choice. He chooses mortal life unlike his brother Elrond. That proves Manwe’s words that death is actually a gift, a way to escape from grief. This idea is very similar to some Early Christian ones. According to them life is just a hardship filled with grief and death is a gift, a deliverance from the hard terrestrial life. Later these ideas become part of some believes considered as heretic which precede the Renaissance break-through in human phylosophy.
After the establishment of Numenor, for about 600 years the Edain live without understanding sea trips, because they are satisfied with what they have. That can be explained with the fact that after Morgoth’s defeat the three kindreds are totally exhausted from wars, grief and all deeds of Melkor’s sevants. All results from the dark ages of the First Age should be overcome. That is why during the first 600 years the Numenoreans do their best to improve their culture, technique and way of life.
Their love towards sea is normal. It is their natural border and the only way to contact with the Elves and the peoples left behind in Middle-earth, Men, Elves, Dwarves etc. What is more, undertaking sea voyaging the Numenoreans can satisfy their natural curiosity and striving for progress and happiness.
- ….the Dunedain dwelt under the protection of the Valar and in the friendship of the Eldar, and they increase in stature both of mind and body.
- …For the Dunedain became mighty on crafts, so that if they had had the mind they could easily have surpassed the evil kings of Middle-earth in the making of war and forging weapons, but they were become men at peace. Above all arts they nourished ship-building and sea-craft, and they became marines whose like shall never be again since the world was diminished.
When the Edain overcome the crisis and achieve high level of culture and
technical development they are able to start long and dangerous sea-trips. The natural human curiosity and desire for improvement give them an impetus to sail and reach unknown, beautiful or perilous places. Thus sea-faring becomes the most important factor in the process of development of the Numenorean society.
Having these facts in mind I would say there is an obvious allegory between the Renaissance people and the Numenoreans. During the Renaissance men realise that there are large horizons to be explored and they go exploring; they realize there are a lot of essential things to be learnt and understood and implemented , so we witness a strong outbreak in the field of philosophy and education. This naturally gifted curiosity makes people undertake long sea-voyages proving the Earth is round, reach America (it should be mentioned that they are lead also by economical reasons, just as the Numenoreans are).
In addition to the Numenoreans trips I would say that not everything is
allowed. They cannot sail everywhere they want.
It is easy to understand why the Numenoreans do not desire to reach Valinor
in the beginning. They have not yet achieved the development and cognition
which are required in order to realize the essence of the Blessed Realm and
to desire it. When they defend Sauron in 1700-1701 the Numenoreans gain
enough self-esteem. They have almost everything, except access to Valinor.
Just because of the typical human nature they start to wish for things that
are not allowed. At that moment the Shadow is firstly seen in Numenor.
- But the Lords of Valinor forbade them to sail so far westward that the coasts of Numenor could be seen and for the Dunedain were content, though they did not fully understand the purpose of this ban. But the design of Manwe was that the Numenoreans should be tempted to seek for the Blessed Realm nor desire to overpass the limits set to their bliss, becoming enamoured of the immortality of the Valar and the Eldar and lands where all things endure.
People start considering they are able and have all rights to reach the Blessed Realm. If men reach it, the will realize they cannot posses it, but they will not stop their feelings of desire for it. What is more, Manwe tries to help them. He knows the Numenoreans cannot understand Iluvatar’s thoughts and plans, because he himself cannot fully understand them. Thus the idea that full cognition is beyond the grasp of mind incognizable is proved. In addition, I would say that this philosophy is similar to some old church canons. According to them people cannot learn everything and cannot achieve absolute cognition, because it is incognizable. That’s why, just before the Numenoreans, in the beginning of the Renaissance some things concerning gaining of knowledge are forbidden by the Catholic Church.
Moreover, when something is forbidden people start dreaming of it more than
ever. The desire for that thing cannot be stopped. So here another allegory
between real people and the Numenoraens can be found. Throughout the years
they become almost as mighty and developed as the Elves. They are all around the Earth - southwards, eastwards and northwards except westwards, because it is forbidden to sail westwards:
What is more, this passage can be matched with the Bible motive of the
forbidden fruit. The Numenoreans’ inability to achieve everything they want creates discontent among the Edain. That calls faith Manwe’s reaction, who sends his message to speak with people:
- Eastwards they must sail, but ever west their hearts return.Now this gaining grew ever greater with the years, and the Numenoreans began to hunger for the Undying city that they saw from afar and the desire of everlasting life, to escape from death and the ending of delight, grew stronger upon them, and ever is their power and glory grew greater their.
I believe this words represent Tolkien’s personal view. Nobody can achieve
everything he wants, nobody can posses everything. That’s why it is
impossible for people to posses the best features of the two kindreds. If it
is so, they will reach the perfection they desire, but as I mentioned
Tolkien states that perfection is impossible, no matter how much people are
trying to achieve it. Another allegory can be made having that in mind. The
Numenoreans are just like us, real men. Just like us, they are never
satisfied with what they have, because there is always something more to do
in order to live in a perfect world. Desire for better life makes us
striving for perfection. That is the best impetus for people and the main
reason for human progress. However, allegory can be made again with Early
Christianity. As I stated, one of its ideas is that human life is a period of suffering, pain and grieve after which comes happiness:
- Whereas you and your people are not of the Firstborn, but are mortal ones as Iluvatar made you. Yet it seems that you will and to return when you please to your homes. That cannot be.
With these words Tolkien determines which fate is better, elves’ one or
- Thus you escape and leave the world, and are not bound to it, in hope or in weariness. Which of us therefore should envy the others.
However, the Numenoreans don’t stop even for a moment thinking for
the Blessed Realm and still desire what they cannot posses or achieve.
Later, that leads to the coming of the shadow during Tar-Anamatar? Band.
Tar-Ancalimon’s reign. However, there are some people who stay faithful to
the Valar. They do that not because they understand Manwe’s words, but
because they want to keep their friendship with elves and fear Gods:
The fear of death is not just a part from books. It is a part of our life.
Even nowadays many people fear death. Others say they do not have any fear
of it because they believe there is something better after it. Their
believes are very similar to some ideas about death in ‘The Silmarillion’.
- And the other hand was the lesser party and they were called the Elendili,the Elf-friends; for though they remained loyal indeed to the King and the House of Elros, they wished to keep the friendship of the Eldar, and they hearkened to the counsel of the Lords of the West. The Numenoreans even they, who named themselves the Faithful, did not wholly escape from the affection of their people, and were troubled by the thoughts of death.
Later, with the development of the Numenorean civilization, Edain’s
self-esteem grows and raises. It is biggest during Ar-Pharason?’s reign.
Typically, a real man does not see any reason of concreting with the Valar,
because he believes in his abilities, his human strength- thoughts innate
for the Renaissance way of thinking and Renaissance man:
These sentences describe a typical human feature. When people have been
self-esteem and feel superior towards others, they do not listen to anybody.
Just like real people the Numenoreans, want to bite more than they can chew
and they start a parallel policy of expansion. That leads to the fall of
- And he determined without counsel of the Valar and aid of any wisdom but his own, that the title king of Men he would himself claim, and would compel Sauron to become his vassal and his servant; for in his pride he deemed that no king should ever arise so mighty as to vie with their of Earendil.
Few Numenoreans survive and dwell in Middle-earth. Although they cannot see
the shores of Eressea anymore they still desire the Blessed Realm. Even in
the heyday of Gondorean civilization, when people are almost as great as
Numenoreans, they still cannot find peace of mind, because only Valinor is
in their thoughts.:
People’s desire for immortal lands cannot be smothered. The thoughts of Valinor and immortality make them continue searching for the Undying Lands till they reach them or till the end of days:
- For even after the ruin of the beats of the Dunedan were still set wetwards.
But then again Tolkien gives the hypothetical chance to people to reach the
Blessed Realm. It should be mentioned that Tolkien allows men to reach the Undying Lands, perhaps in order to asses people’s continuous strive for a better life, for progress. But he also warns that uncontrollable progress can lead to destruction of a human civilization (see Tolkien’s words about cars).
- And tales and rumours arose along the shores of the water who by some fate or grace or favour of the Valar, had entered in upon the Straight Way and seen the face of the world sink, below them, and so had some to the lamplight on the margin of Aman, and there had looked upon the White Mountain, dreadful and beautiful, before they died.
Describing the fate of those who have seen the White Mountain, Tolkien enthusiastically states that people will never achieve their greatest dream - perfection. It is impossible, not typical of the world in which they are doomed to live.
In conclusion, I would say that the Numenoreans embody the real human spirit
and strive for progress and development. They fear death as much as real
people do. Thus we have strong feelings that Tolkien describes real people.
Yes, I do think there is allegory between the Numenoreans and real men. Just
like us they can overcome every crisis, just like us they built great
civilization, just like us they never stop searching for better life
(immortality in Numenoreans' case) and progress. Just like real men the
Numenoreans do not accept impossibility, but pursue opportunities, and they do everything to achieve their dreams. So they meet their doom. Thus Tolkien
addresses a warning to us - that uncontrollable progress and continuous strife for perfection may lead to destruction of the human civilization.
The decline of the race of the Elves becomes effective when they arrive and settle in Beleriand. From that moment on starts a process of retrogression of the Firstborn. It continues during the whole SecondAge and finishes wby ith the end of the ThirdAge. Despite the Elven progress, after many elves have returned to Valinor, death of the great Elven kings - Turgon, FŽanor, Thingol, Fingolfin, Finrod, etc., during the SecondAge definitely speak of the "fading" of the race of Elves.
However, Elves are still strong. That is proved by the presence and the actions of Gil-gald, Galadriel, Celebrimbor,Cirdan, Elrond and others. Their presence in Midle-earth in fact show both - their willingness to return to Valinor but on the other hand, their love for Middle-earth. But throughout the history of ME Tolkien proves that Elves cannot live in a place filled with grief and death and that they are doomed to leave the mortal lands or to die there. That is why they leave, one by one or die trying to defend their love.
In comparison to the Numenorian history, the Elves' one is described in a different way. It is important to be mentioned that Elves are conflicting personalities. They realize that only united they will be able to defeat evil, but still are influenced by this very same evil and its manipulation power. They long for Valinor, but at the same time love Middle-earth and do not want to leave it. They still achieve the greatest creations in Middle-earth, but have lost much of their previous greatness.
Characters like Gil-galad and Galadriel are to be considered as an embodiment of Elves.
According to ‘The Silmarillion’ Gil-galad is a son of Fingon (later he’s described as Orodreth’s son). He is the best High King of all Noldors in ME.
It can be stated that Gil-galad’s personality represents most of the characteristic elven features of the Elves of the SecondAge. He is the only one who can unite all Elves. Galadriel, Cirdan, Elrond are isolated in a way and they are not able to unite all - elves, people, dwarves, in a fight against evil. Erernion embodies in his personality most positive features of his ancestors. The reign of Gil-galad is a time of prosperity(if it can be called in such a way) for the Firstborn in the SeconAge?.
What is more, Ereinron is very good in terms of foreign affairs. Unlike
Thingol and Turgon, he realizes he is not able to oppose evil alone. That is why he welcomes the relationships with Aldarion and Tar-Meneldur, and ask them for help. Furthermore Erenion establishes relationships with the dwarves, no matter of what had once happened in the Halls of Thingol.
- There he (Sauron) found that the power of Gil-galad had grown great in the years of his absence, and it was spread now over wide regions of the north and west, and had passed beyond the Misty Mountains and the Great River even to the borders of Greenwood the Great, and was drawing high to the stony places where once he had dwelt secure.
These facts have some strong positive outcomes. In growing friendly contacts with the Numenoreans and the dwarves the elvish culture infiltrates more steadily into the societies of all peoples of Middle-earth. This was important because it fortified the relations among the forces of good and Durin and the Numenoreans sent help to Erenion in the very last moment when sauron attacks Gil-galad. It should be also mentioned that Gil-galad has good relationships with the Sindar, something unusual for a Noldor king. Thanks to that Amrot of Lorinand helps him in the battle against Sauron.
Thus Erenion represents the development of the Noldor during the SecondAge, in terms of relationships. From Elves who are selfish towards other kindreds of the Firstborn and other peoples of Arda, they become real diplomats, flexible and capable of uniting the peoples of Middle-earth for a common cause.
Despite the elven development in terms of diplomacy, they are still in a
process of regress. Yes, they loose their previous power, but the wisdom of
the Eldar is not lost. So, wise leaders as Gil-galad, Cirdan, Galadriel,
Elrond are still able to recognize evil and oppose it:
Thus Ereinion and Elrond, through ancient wisdom manage to protect lands .
- … while in Lindon Gil-galad shut out Sauron’s emissaries and even Sauron himself.Only to Lindon he did not come, for Gil-galad and Elrond devoted him and his fair-seeming, and though they knew not who in touch he was they would not admit him to that land.
Later when Sauron assaults Eregion, Gil-galad is the last remaining
resisting force in front of the face of evil in Middle-earth. Thus Orodreth’s son becomes the elf of greatest importance to all good peoples of Middle-earth. Not by chance Gil-galad receives Nariya and Viliya! He is the only elf who is able to organise an opposition against Sauron. What is more, he makes use of the wisdom of his ancestors and gives Viliya to Elrond and Nariya to Cirdan.
The last years of the SecondAge are again represented mostly by Gil-galad and his activities. Once again dominate his abilities and wisdom when together with Elendil they become allies:
But people are not the only ones who participate in the Alliance:
- …for they perceived that Sauron would grow too strong and would overcome all his enemies one by one of they did not unite against him. Therefore they made that league which is called the Last Alliance…
In conclusion I would say that Erenion ‘Gil-galad’ embodies all good elven features. He manages to overcome all negative points of his ancestors and becomes one of the best Noldor kings ever. Unfortunately, Enerion faces Turgon, Finrod, Fingolfin, Fingon’s doom - dies in battle with evil. In my view, this proves Tolkien’s idea that Elves are not able to defeat evil. No matter how great they are, no matter how much they want to win they will never be able to gain a victory over Sauron. With Gil-galad’s death dies the last hope of all Elves to live and stay in Middle-earth. And if during the SecondAge it seems as if the Firstborn can live and develop their civilization in the "mortal lands", after Erenion’s death all Elves start going back to Valinor.
- All living things were divided in that day and some of every kind, even of beasts and birds, were found in citter host, save the Elves only. They alone were followed Gil-galad. Of the Dwarves few fought upon either side; but the united of Durin of Moria fought against Sauron.
Because of some contradictions about Galadriel’s personality, I suppose there would be discussions and even critics for what I have written, for Galadriel the fair is probably one of the most interesting and complicated characters in Tolkien’s world.
She participates in the Noldor rebellion in Valinor and stays in Middle-earth till the end of the ThirdAge. Throughout these thousand years her character is unique and her actions conflicting.
As a personification of Elves, Nerven is the wisest Eldar, and she
has typical ambitions to rule over lands and to develop herself. But at the
same time she is an obstinate and egoistic individual who has to cover the long way of cognition and realize that her doom is Valinor.
In the very beginning of the SecondAge we find the first question about
Galadriel. Why does she stay in Middle-earth after the end of the FirstAge?
In a letter from 1867 Tolkien declares:
This letter shows the first reason for Galadriel’s stay. She joins the rebels became she wants to rule over lands, because she wants to be a Queen. Thus she is led by egoistic purposes which Tolkien cannot accept. Once she becomes a part of Middle-earth her fate is bounded by it. That is why Valar do not allow her to come back to Valinor. During the FirstAge she does not participate actively in the battles against Morgoth and during the SecondAge, either, not until the year 700 until she decides to involve in the events. Probably Galadriel’s inactivity is on of the reasons for her ban to return to Valinor. Her fellows expiate with grief and death for their right to return to the Blessed Realm, bur she does not participate, she is led by her egoistical aims. After the year 700 Nerven starts realizing she must play a key role in Middle-earth history and that her life is bounded by the land of people.
- The exiles were allowed to return - save for a few chief actors in the rebellion of whom at the time of the Lord of the Rings only Galadriel remained. At the time her lament in Lorien she believed this is to be perennial as long as the Earth endured-Home she concludes her lament with a wish or prayers that Frodo may as a special grace be granted a purgatorial but not penal) sojourn in Eressea the solitary the in sight of Aman, though for her the way is closed. Her reward for her services against Sauron and above all for her rejection of the temptation to take the Ring when offered to her. So at the end we see her taking ship.
On the other hand in a later and primarily philological essay, certainly
written after the publication of the Road Goes Ever On, the story is
This passage changes the reason why Galadriel stays in Middle-earth after
the end of the First age. This time she is not obliged to do it. But just
like in the letter from 1467 these sentences prove that Nerven has to cover
the long way of cognition and realize that Middle-earth does not belong to the race of the Elves any more. When she finds out this answer that will be the end of the elven time in Middle-earth, because the person who most desires it will have understood her place is in Valinor.
- …Pride still moved her when, at the end of the Elder Days after the final overthrow of Morgoth, she refused the pardon of the Valar for all who had fought against him, and in Middle-earth. It was not until two long ages more had passed, when at last all that she had desired in her youth came to here hand, the Ring of Power and the dominion of Middle-earth of which she dreamed that her wisdom was full grown and she rejected it and passing the Last test departed from Middle-earth for ever.
It is interesting to be mentioned that after thousand years the best among
Elves have to realize such things. Thus Tolkien states that everyone, even
the Firstborn, has to learn a lot, because Iluvatar’s thoughts and ideas are unrecognizable. That is why I think Galadriel’s actions throughout the SecondAge represent the slowly process of maturing of lost elves. They realize mortal lands should be left, but before that people will need their help.
Although Nerven gets involved with Middle-earth affairs, till Gil-galad’s death she is not a recognized leader of most Elves. Just like him she is combinative person and established her kingdom near Moria:
So later Galadriel becomes continuator of Gil-galad’s acts. Because of her Noldorian origin she has positive attitude towards dwarves:
- In any case, Galadriel was more far-sighted in this plan than Celeborn; and she perceived from the beginning that Middle-earth could nor be saved from ‘the residue of evil’ that Morgoth had left behind him save by a union of all the people who were in their way and in their measure opposed to him.
Thanks to her contacts with them both cultures are enriched and later that helps her to become Sauron’s main opponent. Gorthang is stopped not by her might but by her wisdom. Nerven unmasks him, but does not manage to prevent his acts. As a prove of her importance she receives Nenya, but after the revoult of Mirdain she leaves Eregion and does not participate actively in Middle-earth affairs till Gil-galad’s death.
- …and she had a natural sympathy with their (dwarves) minds and their passionate love of crafts of hands…
A.C. 1800. The sea-longing grows very much in Galadriel and she decides to
dwell near the sea. this is a turning point in her life, because:
That is the moment when she starts realizing she does not have any future in
Middle-earth but that before she leaves it Sauron should be defeated. Thus
the wisest among elves finds out what mission is and understands that the Firstborn are doomed to leave Middle-earth.
- she deemed it her duty to remain in Middle-earth while Sauron was still unconquered.
As a whole I would say it is very difficult to describe Galadriel’s
personality and acts as well as all elven acts. Nerven embodies in her
personality the glory and the wisdom of the Eldar, but on the other hand she
personaficates elven indecisiveness and the long way elves should cover to
realize they are doomed to return to the Undying Lands.
Describing Gil-galad and Galadriel as embodiment of elves in Middle-earth,
Tolkien states his belief that nobody can walk against fate, no matter how
great, powerful or wise he is. They are bound by Middle-earth. The Firstborn
are free to return to Valmor but they have some obligations towards all good
creatures. They become people’s teachers in a way. In the FirstAge elves are those who are the biggest enemies of evil. In the SecondAge people
become equal to them in terms of opposing Sauron and in the ThirdAge people
have to fight (of course with the help from Galadriel,Gandalf etc.) and
prove their right to survive in Middle-earth.
But at the same time evil is evolving as well.
Sauron is Melkor’s “right hand” and I would also say his best student.
After Morgoth is overthrown he becomes the personalization of evil in
Middle-earth. But Evil develops too, it finds new ways of corrupting, deceiving, destroying and achieving its aims.
Although Morgoth is a great deceiver and manipulates some of his enemies,
he mostly uses brutal force. That can be interpreted even as a mistake.
Sauron’s acts are different and I would add they are better and more subtle, hence - more effective. He infiltrates with the Elves and the Numenoreans, manipulating them without using force. He uses it only when it is necessary. A most interesting fact is that Sauron does not try to create evil, but awakens seeds of evil, which are saved by Melkor in every person in ancient times.
He makes use of human weaknesses and fears and of the elven desires for progress and glory, in order to achieve his aims. Thus evil becomes an enemy who is around and in us, thing that should be unasked.
AC 500 years Sauron’s presence is felt for the first time. He shows
cautiousness and dwells in Mordor, from where he can observe all events in
Middle-earth. For about 200 years he has the chance to learn all strong and
weak points of his enemies and...
Gorthaur does everything possible to hide his real personality and to
break a tail for his plans. At that moment we see evil with a new face – beautiful and unrecognizable. Only the great wisdom of Gil-galad, Galadriel, Elrond and Cirdan perceive it, but even they cannot define it.
What is more, the Maia bears their suspicions, attacks and even anger in
order to conceal his true identity:
- when he felt himself to be secure he sent emissaries to Errador, and finally, in about the year 1200 of the SecondAge, came himself, wearing the fairest form that could contrive.
Although he does not have success with elven leaders Sauron manages to
deceive Noldors from Eregion:
- He perceived at once that Galadriel would be his chief adversary and obstacle and he endeavoured therefore to placate her, bearing her scorn with outward patience and courtesy.
Curufin’s son is an easy target for Sauron. He is leaded by thoughts of glory and mastery, thoughts that cause Feanor and his sons’ death.
Celebrimbor cannot escape his fate of inheritor of Feanor. That uses Sauron
and Celembrimbor is deceived. Thus Gorthaur achieves his first victory,
taking advantage not of his power, but of elven desires and ambitions. He
continues providing such policy until things change and there is no other
alternative but use force:
- But Sauron had better fortune with the Noldor of Eregion and especially Celebrimbor, who desired in his heart to rival the skill and fame of Feanor.
During the war from 1645 Sauron demonstrates all his fury. Gorthang shows
that if everything happens according to his plans he can be "kind", but if
it is not as he wants he can be brutal enough.
- When Sauron learned of the repentance and revolt of Celebrimbor his disguise fell and his wrath was revealed; and gathering a great force he moved over Calenardhon (Rohan) to the mission of Eriador in the year 1695.
Sauron demonstrates that every kind of resistance will be smashed:
And Sauron would have won if the Numenoreans hadn’t come to help Gil-galad and Elrond. He makes a mistake that causes his loss. The Dark Lord does not include Tar-Minastir and the Numenoreans in his plan. Just like Morgoth he underestimates Men’s importance. Thus Gorthaur looses the first war because of Men and never forgets that.
- Then Celebrimbor was put to torment…
- In black anger he (Sauron) turned back to battle; and bearing as a banner Celebrimbar’s body hung upon a pole, short though with Orc-arrows, he turned upon the forces of Elrond.
More than 1000 years he lives in Mordor and does nothing to achieve his aims, but watching. He stays in Mordor not only because the Numenoreans are great, but also because he is waiting for the right moment to come. Sauron knows that the seeds of evil need time to grow up and that the Numenoreans’ might and glory will soon influence negatively on people. Gorthaur’s actions are well-thought. After he has achieved what he wants during his contacts with the Mirdain ( he receives the Rings of Power), now the Dark Lord can face the next problem - the Numenoreans and their destruction.
He starts providing policy of expansion and provokes Ar-Pharazon? the Golden
to take act. The Numenorean king marches upon Middle-earth:
After Sauron deceives the wisdom of the Elves he confines providing same policy towards Men. He realizes that he will not win a war against the might and glory of Numenor and the only way to destroy then is to do it from inside; to become one of them. That is why his inmost wish is to go to Numenor. Thus evil becomes opponent which is not in front of people, but around them and slowly achieves its aims. What is more, Sauron does his best to deceive the Edain and it becomes almost impossible his actions to be unmasked.
- And Sauron came. Even from his mighty tower of Barad-dur he came and made no after of battle. For he perceived that the power and majesty of the kings of the Sea surpassed ill rumour of them, so that he could not trust even the greatest of his servants to withstand them; and he saw not his time yet to work his will with the Dunedain. And he was crafty, well skilled to gain what he would by subtlety ihen force might and avail. Therfore he humbled himself before Ar-Pharazon? and smoothed his tongue; and men wondered, for all that he said seemed fair and wise.
Gorthaurs’ acts can be best described by the long-known saying: ‘Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.:
This passage shows that evil is evolving taking advantage of human progress and desire for cognition and winning their trust in order to use them for achieving its own purposes and interests:
- Yet such was the coming of his mind and mouth, and the strength of his hidden will, that ere three years had passed he had become closest to the secret counsels of the king; for flattery sweet as honey was ever on his tongue and knowledge he had of many things yet unrevealed to Men.
When Gorthaur wins Numenoreans’ trust he directs them to the dark side of our world. So Sauron de facto starts ruleing over Numenor. He gives people some things they long for - power (to rule over Middle-earth) and wealth. But they do not receive what they desire most-immortality. And just when fear of death obsesses Ar-Pharazon?’s mind and soul, Sauron incites the Numenorean king to set sail for Valinor and conquer The Undying Lands. At that time he shows his real face. The time of cult of Melkor is the heyday of Sauron’s might and actions:
- For now, having the ears of men, Sauron with many arguments gainsaid all that the Valar had taught; and he made men think that in the world, in the east and even in the west, there lay yet many seas and many lands for their winning, wherein was wealth uncounted. And still if they should at the last come to the end of those lands and seas, beyond all lay the Ancient Darkness.
Ar-Pharazon? sets sail for Valinor and Gorthaur achieves exactly what he
wants. But the Dark Lord makes a great mistake; a mistake that Melkor once made: he believes in his power too much and forgets that the Lords of the West are always observing the Children of Iluvatar. He thinks nobody can stop him and his authority will spread everywhere, a mistake that led to crucial consequences.
- But the Temple itself was unshaken, and Sauron stood there upon the pinnacle and defied the lightening and was unharmed; and in that hour men called him a god and did all that he could.
The fall of Numenor has its cost, Sauron looses his beauty. This loss is
acceptable, Numenor is destroyed, the Elves once deceived will not ever
believe Gorthaur’s appearance, so there is no matter whether he will
continue his actions with or without his beautiful mask:
The Dark Lord creates a guise that will help him in the future. Now he is brutal, furious and ready to destroy Middle-earth:
- There he took up again his great King in Barad-dur, 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.
He looses the war and The One Ring. But then comes the question why happens so?
- Now Sauron prepared war against the Eldar and the Men of Westernesse, and the fires of the Mountains were wakened again.And Sauron gathered to him great strength of his servants out of the east and the south; and among them were not a few of the high race of Numenor.
First of all I should mentioned that Sauron does not use the right moment to attack.He has underestimated the power of Gil-galad and that of the Faithful.But those who found Gondor and Arnor are still Numenoreans and they have not lost still the might and glory of their civilization.
Gorthaur obviously does not manage to separate Men and Elves.His teacher succeeded once and that is why he managed to destroy all his enemies,one by one,except for The Lords of The Wets. That Sauron does not.Thus he has a far more difficult task:to destroy both elves and men united.It would have been easier if he had tried to separate them and eliminate them one by one.
In conclusion I would say that Sauron is the better evil,evil that is in progress,just like every living thing.And it also makes mistakes and then suffers,but later receives the chance not to make them again (III age).