View Full Version : Sauron's power

the real findorfin
10-04-2001, 02:20 PM
How come it is said that Sauron was more powerful with the ring, (almost as powerful as melkor) when he put his own energy into it.

Example: Sauron has 100 energy units. Gives 50 to the ring he still has 100.

Does anybody have an answer to this problem??

the real findorfin
10-04-2001, 02:27 PM
And another thing......WHO STOLE MY NAME. WHEN IT WAS ON EZBOARD I WAS FINDORFIN. NOW IM NOT....wawawawawaaaaaa!!!

10-04-2001, 05:21 PM
I think it was a thing where he put power into it, 'recharged', and put more in, 'recharged,' put more in, etc. In that way, using your terms, he started with 100 energy units, put in 5 at a time, and after a while had 40 in the ring and 90 left in himself (he couldn't 'recharge' all the way)

10-04-2001, 10:17 PM
When Sauron wore the Ring, he could not have
had more power than he'd started with. He put a great deal of his own innate power into the Ring, and when he wasn't wearing it, he was diminished. Conversely, when he was wearing it, his power was increased because he had regained his power stored in the Ring.
Even with the Ring though, I don't think he would have been nearly as powerful as Morgoth, who was of a higher order of being.

10-04-2001, 10:49 PM
Remember that when Frodo put on the ring he became invisible. He did not have access to the ring's power without wearing it. I presume that it was the Same for Sauron as well. When Frodo was using some of Sauron's power when he wore the ring, and when he claimed it for his own, he got the power for himself. Sauron didn't still have 100 units of power, he GAVE it to the ring in order for to get the recharge.

10-05-2001, 04:58 PM
Letter #131 (my insertions inside brackets, not bold):
But to achieve this (his powerful empire in the Second Age, controlled by the One Ring) he (Sauron) had been obliged to let a great part of his own inherent power (a frequent and very significant motive in myth and fairy-story) pass into the One Ring. While he wore it, his power on earth was actually enhanced. But even if he did not wear it, that power existed and was in 'rapport' with himself: he was not 'diminished'. Unless some other seized it and became possessed by it. If that happened, the new possessor could (if sufficiently strong and heroic by nature) challenge Sauron, become master of all that he had learned or done since the making of the One Ring, and so overthrow him and usurp his place.
...if the One Ring was actually unmade, annihilated, then its power would be dissolved, Sauron's own being would be diminished to vanishing point, and he would be reduced to a shadow, a mere memory of malicious will.
In other words, after making the Ring Sauron actually did have more power than he started with, and he was not diminished when he wasn't wearing the Ring.

10-05-2001, 09:24 PM
I thought that the purpose of the Ring was to deceive the Elves. I guess he was more powerful in the sense that the ring was made for the purpose of domination - and by wearing it he held dominion over his slaves and any other people that wore the rings he had helped create, except for the dwarves. I do not think it made him more powerful in any other way, but I am only speculating.

10-17-2001, 07:45 AM
I hope I'm not just re-iterating Elendur's point previously but I thought the one ring allowed him to control all the other rings, even the three elven rings in which he spent none of his power. Therefore, it makes sense he'd be more powerful with the ring than before he made it.
It's like one guy builds a TV the other a remote control. Who has more power and who spent more power?

10-22-2001, 05:39 AM
I think that the question is too arithmetical: "Sauron has 100 energy units..." Role players and computer gamers are used to calculate magical force in "units", like life points, physical strength etc. But we should always remember that this is just a model. Nobody would really ask his physician about his life points, or his body building trainer about his strength points. So it is a little strange to wonder about Saurons energy units...

There is no principle of conservation of magical energy in Middle Earth! Magic is nothing that can be measured and calculated, it is some mystical power, far above our comprehention. (See the excellent article
Let’s Put the Magic Back in Magic (http://www.gamasutra.com/features/game_design/19990312/ernest.htm) by Ernest Adams about this subject. Well, it has been written for computer game developers, but you can also apply it to pen-and-paper RPGs etc.)

Perhaps Sauron has put some of his power into the ring in order to open a gate to some mystical source of power... The power of Mount Doom? A giant ring-dragon sleeping deep under the sea around Middle-earth? Or even Melkor Himself? Who will ever know?


[ October 22, 2001: Message edited by: Ghshgl ]

10-27-2001, 08:31 PM
I don't think that anybody mentioned that when the ring was destroyed Sauron was diminished to the extent that he was unable to take form again. It follows that nearly all of his power was invested in t he ring, and the ring worked to somehow amplify his power, while giving back the power he put into it.

Eowyn of Ithilien
10-28-2001, 01:43 AM
I agree with Halbarad...the Ring was the physical manifestation of his power...it was also his Sword of Damocles

11-05-2001, 06:31 PM
Care to elaborate on the Sword of Damocles? That one is not familiar

Eowyn of Ithilien
11-06-2001, 05:04 AM
Sword of Damocles...Damocles was a rather foolish courtier...I can't remember exactly what he did but his lord decreed that he had to sit under a sword which was suspended by a single thread...Sauron's ring "hung over him" and threatened him as it were

11-06-2001, 06:23 AM
Once upon a time in Syracus, there was a very rich king named, I think, Dyonisius. A friend of him, Damocles, was jealous and saied he wanted just to live one day like a king.

No problem, said the king. He introduced Damocles in his palace, and Damocles could enjoy all the luxuries of the court, just as if he were king for himself. But suddenly he noticed a sharp sword hovering over his head, which was suspended from the ceiling by a horse hair.

The king explained to Damocles that the life as king was exactly like this: You can enjoy all the luxuries you want and all the power you have - but you are always in deadly danger.

11-08-2001, 10:10 PM
Thanks for clearing that up. I'll remember that one, it may come in useful smilies/smile.gif

Gwaihir the Windlord
11-08-2001, 10:41 PM
What do you mean by power, Findolfin? Sauron had the power to control all his armies with his will, and strengthen them. I think that was about all, after his first death.
The Ring, like Gandalf's staff, was a focal point for his energy, perhaps; it also let him percieve the minds of the wearers of the Three, a very useful ability.

11-27-2001, 05:46 AM
Right smilies/mad.gif, Sauron is like more powerful than anything left in middle earth, so even withouthit ring he is like mega stong and scary, because he is a left over from a much more powerful age. The ring then will make him so very scary and powerful that none can with stand him. I mean they say oh cant we send the ring to Bombadil he is just a pixi compared to other spirits that lived in the previous ages. Sauron was the secondin comand to Melkor, it took gods to destroy Melkor. I think this makes Sauron pretty powerful!!!!

12-10-2001, 07:38 AM
Well,I think it is like this. He had 100 power points, and put in 50 and still had "physically" 50. It had to have taken a lot of power to make a ring that could control all others. And in doing so, he gave power to the ring, thus losing his original power maybe 50%. So with the ring he was still full 100% but without he was 50%. Thus the reason he could be cast down but then drag himself back into being. And he used so much power trying to defeat the world and gain back his ring in the process in the end, and when the ring was destroyed he was utterly cast down into nothingness, just a whisper of what had once been.

12-14-2001, 09:04 AM
BorderMan, yiur way of reasoning is not complete, since it does not account for the increase in power when actually wearinbg the ring. If you do want to put it in percedntages, I'd propose something like this:

Start - Sauron: 100%

Ring forged - Sauron x%, Ring y% (with y > x in my opinion)

The increase in power when actually wearing the ring could stem from the fact that the ring is a focus point for his power, it can be channeled more easily and is more effective. This would mean that (x + y) > 100, as long as Sauron wields it. The transfer of power nito the ring would probably have created a link, similar to the link between the Nine and their rings. Destruction of the ring would then result in the end for Sauron (which is what happened).

When someone else learns to control the Ring, he/she will get the benefit of the y% that were invested in the ring. In order to be able to control the power of the ring, one would have to have considerable power of his/her own. This would enable that person to slay Sauron and usurp the title of Dark Lord.

Just my 2 cents...


12-14-2001, 12:02 PM
Welcome to the Downs Jellinek! Nice post. I think it captures conceptually what JRRT envisioned concerning the Ring's "enhancement" of Sauron's power. Another good question is how the Ring enhanced Sauron's power. The domination of the other Rings was clearly one function. But this alone does not reveal how Sauron's power was increased, particularly where the Three were hidden and not used until Sauron lost the One.