"In all the deeds of Melkor the Morgoth upon Arda, in his vast works and in the deceits of his cunning, Sauron had a part, and was only less evil than his master in that for long he served another and not himself. But in after years he rose like a shadow of Morgoth and a ghost of his malice, and walked behind him on the same ruinous path down into the Void."
Sauron the Great, also called Gorthaur the Cruel by the Eldar
Originally of the Maia of Aulë
The DarkLord. The master of the DarkTower.
In the Tolkienian cosmology, a diety diminishes as it projects power over a terrestrial realm. A good diety grows weary, and an evil one fades, and loses powers.
Tolkien's moral theme is simple: Acts with good intentions, even mistakes, come back to help the do-er, often in ways not expected. And acts with evil intentions, no matter how carefully planned, always harm the do-er, always in ways not expected.
Sauron did not just plot to rule all of space; he did that for many centuries in Angband, and in the SecondAge when Middle-earth had no other super powers. Sauron plotted to rule over all of time, so that none could foretell any far future without him in charge.
To fulfill this plot, Sauron taught and learned from the elvish smiths of Eregion. Recall they were 2nd and 3rd generation Feänorean Noldor, descendants of the creator of the Silmarils.
After teaching them how to make rings of power, and how to invest in them permanence and resistance to change, Sauron took what he learned about those rings, returned to the SammathNaur, and forged the OneRing. He bound those rings' permanence - including the three made without his "help" - up with his own Ring. And into this ring he transferred the greater part of the strength native to him at his beginning - the strength that would diminish over time as he exerted force.
Putting his strength into a physical object, outside his immortal essense, gave his enemies a way to cut that ring off.
Seeking the OneRing, and inspiring other evil creatures to seek it, tipped the WhiteCouncil off that the Ring might not be lost.
Releasing Gollum to seek the Ring gave the Hobbits commissioned to destroy it a spy on their "side".
And putting his strength into an artifact gave Sauron's opponents hope they could destroy the artifact.
Sauron: The Dark Lord of Middle Earth
The fearsome ruler of Mordor, and the forger of the One Ring, Sauron aimed to control all the Free Peoples of Middle earth. But he was not always a Dark lord. We shall delve into the dark past surrounding him…
Sauron was a Maiar. An angelic being that carried out services for the powers known as the Valar. Sauron was a servant of the Vala Aulë, whose domain was the elements of the earth itself. Aulë was a smith, and he taught Sauron many things about forging, smithing, and creating. This in turn would help him later forge the Rings of Power.
Sauron wanted to rule and to shape things to his own will. This in turn is what attracted him to Melkor, who later became known as Morgoth: The Dark Enemy. Sauron served Morgoth from his stronghold Angband and performed many horrible deeds in Morgoth's name. When Morgoth was taken prisoner after the defeat at the battle of powers, Sauron escaped and hid for many years from the Valar.
When Morgoth was released from prison, he stole the three Silmarils and rebuilt his stronghold Angband. In the years of his absence, Sauron had grown strong and cruel. He became a powerful sorcerer and could appear as pleasing as he wished. He returned to Morgoth and served as his lieutenant once again.
Sauron attacked the Elven fortress of Tol Sirion in 457 of the First Age. Forcing the Elves to flee. He renamed it the Isle of Werewolves, and watched the passes from the watchtower, allowing Morgoth’s army into Beleriand.
Sauron was ordered by Morgoth to kill Barahir, a man who led a group of resistors against Morgoth. Sauron tricked a man of Barahir’s company named Gorlim, by promising to reunite him with his wife. After Gorlim told him where Barahir was, Sauron revealed that his wife was dead and fulfilled his promise by killing Gorlim as well.
Sauron killed Barahir, but needed Barahir’s ring, which his son Beren had retrieved. After four years of hiding, Beren set out with Finrod Felagund. Aiming to retrieve one of the Silmarils on Morgoth’s crown. Finrod disguised them as orcs. But Sauron was not fooled by their disguise and challenged them. Sauron battled with Finrod in songs of power. Sauron won, and cast Beren and his companions into a werewolf pit. One by one, each was devoured until only Beren remained.
Luthien, Beren’s love came to the Isle of Werewolves in order to rescue Beren with the great hound Huan. Sauron sent his werewolves against them, but Huan slew them all. Including Draugin, the greatest, who reported to Sauron before he died. Sauron then attacked them himself in the form of a werewolf. Huan leaped away in fear, but Luthien cast her magic cloak over his eyes and Huan attacked.
Sauron was pinned down. Luthien ordered him to surrender both Beren and the Isle of Werewolves or she would send him bodiless to Morgoth. Sauron surrendered, fled disguised as a Vampire, and wandered through the woods of Taur-Nu-Fuin?, filling it with horror.
The War of Wrath had ended in 590 of the First Age. Morgoth was punished, Sauron’s role is not known. He came forward shortly after, fearing the wrath of the Valar renouncing his evil ways to Eonwe, the servant of the Vala Manwe. Eonwe told Sauron he must go to the Undying Lands to stand trial before the Valar. Sauron could not bear the shame and humiliation. Wanting to escape punishment, he fled. To continue his evil ways.
After 500 years of obscurity in the Second Age, Sauron began gaining power again. He believed that the Valar had forsaken Middle Earth, and decided that he could take it for his own. Unlike his former master Morgoth, Sauron did not aim to destroy Middle Earth, but conquer and control it. It was in this respect that Sauron had been wiser than Morgoth.
In the year 1000 of the Second Age, Sauron chose the land of Mordor as his realm. Not only was it difficult in accessibility thanks to mountains on three sides, but also in the mountain Orodruin (Later Mount Doom) Sauron saw the use of a powerful forge at his disposal. He then proceeded to build his stronghold Barad-Dûr?, The Dark tower.
Sauron knew that to control Middle Earth, he needed the power of the Elves. Therefore, in 1200 S.A., he went to Lindon disguised as a fair Maia calling himself Annatar, the Lord of gifts. King Gil-Galad did not recognize him, but was suspicious and did not let Sauron enter.
Sauron then went to Eregion, the home of the great Elven smiths. Knowing that the smiths were ever eager to improve their skills, Sauron posed as a servant of Aule, and promised to teach them many things about crafting. Celebrimbor and the Elves were happy to learn, and began crafting the rings of power in 1500 S.A.
In 1600 S.A., Sauron began forging the One Ring, which he planned to use to control the races of Middle Earth. The One Ring allowed him to perceive, and control the thoughts of the bearers of the lesser rings.
When Sauron wore the One Ring, his power was greatly enhanced, but there were two inherent dangers. If one with great strength and will were to claim the One, they could become Sauron’s’ master. The other danger was that if someone were to destroy the Ring, Sauron would be reduced to nothing more than a formless shadow incapable of manifesting in the world. Sauron did not believe that anyone could destroy the Ring, as not even he had the will to do so.
Sauron then put on the One Ring in an attempt to control the Elves. However, the elves were aware of his treachery, and removed their rings. Enraged, Sauron invaded Eriador with a massive force in 1695. Lord Elrond came with a force from Lindon to aid the elves of Eregion, but they were greatly outnumbered, and Eregion was destroyed. After endlessly torturing Celebrimbor in an attempt to discover the locations of the rings, Sauron learned where the Seven and Nine were, but not of the Three. He slew Celebrimbor, and mounted his body like a banner in front of his army. Sauron then attempted to invade Lindon, but a massive fleet from Númenór came, and destroyed Sauron’s army. Sauron barely escaped with his personal guard in 1701.
Sauron began to rebuild his forces. He gathered massive hordes of Orcs and other corrupted creatures. He also extended his influence to the kingdoms of men around him, declaring himself king and god. He created his deadliest servants by giving the Nine Rings to men, three of which were said to be lords of Númenór. The Nazgul, as they were called, first appeared around the year 2251 of the Second Age.
Sauron’s strength increased, as well as his pride. He proclaimed himself Lord of Men and of the Earth. He began attacking Númenóreans settlements, which he had previously not dared to do. He hated the people of Númenór for their role in his defeat in Lindon and wanted revenge. However, the power of Númenór was too great for Sauron to contend. In 3262, a great Númenórean fleet arrived, and was so massive that Sauron’s army refused to fight such a force. Sauron thought he might be able to destroy the men of Númenór from the inside, so he climbed down from Barad-Dûr?, and allowed the king, Ar-Pharazôn, to take him as a captive to Númenór.
In Númenór, Sauron learned of the dissent of men towards Eru for making them mortal. Men resented the fact they were fated to die, and forbidden to enter the Undying Lands, although entering would not relieve them of their mortality. Sauron preyed on these feelings, and became a trusted advisor to the king. He persuaded the men of Númenór to forsake Eru entirely, and begin worshipping Morgoth. The men began initiating ritualistic sacrifices in hopes to gain immortality, but to no avail. Sauron then told them to sail to the Undying Lands themselves. Therefore, it was that in 3319, Ar-Pharazôn built his fleet, and sailed to the Undying Lands. However, the moment he set foot on Valinor, a tremendous wave swallowed all of Númenór, destroying Sauron’s body with it. Sauron had not foreseen the destruction of Númenór, and went back to Mordor in spirit form. His body was lost, and he could never again assume a pleasant form. He built himself a new body of great size and stature, yet it was terrible to behold.
However, a group of Númenóreans, known as the Faithful, who had not been corrupted by Sauron’s words, set sail to Middle Earth in 3320, and founded the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor later that year.
Sauron began rebuilding his army once again. Former supporters from the corrupted kingdoms of men returned to his service. Among them were corrupted men from Númenór known as Black Númenóreans. Sauron captured Minas Ithil, but struck before he had sufficient strength, and was repelled by Anárion who retook Minas Ithil.
In 3434, the Last Alliance of men and Elves marched against the armies of Mordor. Later that year, the battle of Dagorlad began. The forces of men and Elves drove the forces of Mordor to the tower of Barad-Dûr?, where they laid siege to it for seven years. In 3441, Sauron descended from his tower, and began to fight the enemy forces along with his army. In the resulting battle, Elendil and Gil-Galad defeated Sauron, but were both killed in the act. Isildur, one of the sons of Elendil took the Ring, but did not destroy it as Elrond urged him to do. Sauron’s spirit fled his body, but he was in a much-weakened state, and could not yet rebuild his power. He had to wait, but as he knew of the weakness of men, and the will of the One Ring, he could plan for the future.
Sauron had nearly been destroyed when the Ring was cut from his finger. Fortunately, for him, Isildur did not destroy the Ring, but kept it. Isildur was then killed in the disastrous battle of Gladden Fields in the year 2 of the Third Age. The Ring fell into the Anduin River, and was lost for 2,500 years. Sauron fled to the forest of Greenwood the Great. He then built a stronghold called Dol Guldur around the year 1000 T.A. Darkness crept into Greenwood, and it became known as Mirkwood. It was not known at the time that the darkness was caused by Sauron. Therefore, the local folk called the mysterious presence “The Necromancer”.
Sauron’s fortress of Barad-Dûr? had been destroyed. He needed time and power to rebuild it. He spent a long time rebuilding a body of great stature, although he was incapable of inhabiting it without the One Ring. In the year 1300, he sent the Witch King to form the kingdom of Angmar. For 600 years, Angmar waged war with the fragmented kingdom of Arnor. Therefore, it was that in 1975 of the Third Age, the Witch King was driven out, but the campaign had been a success, and Arnor was annihilated along with the majority of the Dúnedain, reducing them to a scattered people.
The Great Plague hit Middle-Earth? in 1636. It was most likely caused by Sauron for the very purpose that it accomplished. It weakened Gondor, and allowed the Witch King take Minas Ithil in 1980. It was renamed Minas Morgul, and the Ithil Stone was taken to Mordor for later use.
In 1851, T.A. Sauron’s emissaries provoked men of the east known as Wainriders to attack Gondor. They were defeated, but king Narmacil II was slain. In 1899, the Wainriders went south, allied with the warriors of Khand and Harad, and attacked Gondor again. They attacked in 1944, and king Ondoher was slain, and Gondor was on the brink of destruction. However, the captain of Gondor Eärnil saved the kingdom by driving the men of darkness at the Battle of the Camp.
In 2050, King Eärnur of Gondor went to Minas Morgul to challenge the Witch King to a duel. Ignoring the protests of his advisors, he fought the witch king, and was subsequently killed, breaking the line of kings. Thus began the caretaking of the Stewards.
Sauron continued to dwell in Dol Guldur. In 2063, Gandalf the Grey went to Mirkwood, suspicious of Sauron’s presence in Mirkwood. Sauron fled to avoid Gandalf, and returned with a massive force in 2460.
Sauron still needed the One Ring to restore his body and his power. However, the Ring had been lost when Isildur died. In 2463, a small hobbit-like character named Deagol found the Ring in the bottom of the Anduin River. Deagol was murdered by his friend Sméagol, who then took the Ring into the Misty Mountains and became the creature Gollum.
Sauron then invaded Calenardhon in 2510. However, Eorl the Young and his band of riders saved Gondor. In gratitude, Gondor gave Eorl Calenardhon, which was renamed Rohan. Sauron then captured Thrain II in 2845. He took the last of the seven Dwarven Rings, and locked Thrain in the dungeons of Dol Guldur. It was here that Gandalf learned that the Necromancer was indeed Sauron. Gandalf went to the White Council, and pleaded with them to invade Mirkwood. To his surprise, Saruman agreed. Previously, Saruman had overruled Gandalf because he was searching for the Ring. Now that Sauron was searching for the Ring in Gladden fields, Saruman searched in Mirkwood.
Unknown to everyone else, in 2941, a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins found the One Ring while wandering lost in the caverns in the Misty Mountains. For another 60 years, the One remained unknown in the Shire. Gandalf had been aware that Bilbo had a magic ring, but did not know it was the One Ring. The ring passed to Frodo in 3001.
Sauron had returned to Mordor in 2951, and amassed large amounts of Orcs, Trolls, Corrupted men, and Nazgul. He used the Palantir to contact Lord Denethor of Gondor. Sauron could not break Denethor’s will, but he filled Denethor with despair as he showed him the might of Mordor.
Sauron learned of the heir of Elendil in 3018 during the War of the Ring. He panicked, and attacked Minas Tirith sooner than he wanted, for he feared what the King of Gondor could do if he reunited the race of Men.
The battle of the Pelennor Fields was devastating to Sauron. He lost a huge amount of his army, but retained enough so he could attack Minas Tirith soon enough. However, Aragorn and the Men of the West rode out to the Black Gate. He sent his messenger, the Mouth of Sauron, to attempt to corrupt the will of Aragorn and his companions. The Mouth was slain, and the Men were undeterred. Sauron threw everything at them, and watched in delight as he slowly anticipated their defeat. Suddenly, something caught his attention. He looked at Mount Doom to see the One Ring, just barely out of his reach. He sent the Nazgul after it, but only could watch in horror as it fell into the fires of Mount Doom
Thus was the end of Sauron, the second greatest enemy of Middle-earth. After the Ring was destroyed, Sauron forever wandered the earth as a formless shadow, incapable of manifesting in the world.
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