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Old 06-25-2018, 03:04 AM   #9
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Regarding Sauron and Numenor, Tolkien actually wrote in a Letter that "Sauron's personal 'surrender' was voluntary and cunning: he got free transport to Númenor! He naturally had the One Ring, and so very soon dominated the minds and wills of most of the Númenoreans." (Letter 211) So its not exactly clear if Ar-Pharazon "defeated" Sauron or how the battle would have went if Sauron had decided to fight it out. Considering how the War of the last Alliance went, it may have ended with a victory for Ar-Pharazon, but we cant be completely sure of that. After all, Sauron was severely weakened after the corruption and the drowning of Numenor (and his "death"). So a hypothetical war may have went differently during Ar-Pharazons landing. Not only because Sauron was a lot more powerful, but also because Ar-Pharazon did not have the help of the Elves (or the Dwarves for that matter, both of whom fought with Arnor/Gondor during the War of the last Alliance).

Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
I would definitely agree Middle-earth suffers from entropy, a decline from the grand to the mundane. I would disagree that Sauron got more powerful. Actually, his only true power was the domination of lesser beings, in a netherworldly ability to corrupt, and the Rings allowed him to do that with greater efficacy. However, Sauron as a Maia exhibits the same personal decline that his predecessor Morgoth did; but whereas Morgoth dissipated his power into Middle-earth itself, Sauron placed his potency in the One Ring.
I would argue that that statement is not supported by the text. Tolkien himself wrote in his Letter Nr. 131: "While he [Sauron] wore it [the One Ring], his power on earth was actually enhanced. But even if he did not wear it, that power [his original power that he poured into the ring, minus the "extra-power"] existed and was in 'rapport' with himself: he was not 'diminished'."


Where then does that "extra power" that "enhanced" Sauron come from, because the One Ring must draw from some source after all? Sauron cant create "power" ex nihilo? Tolkien never explicitly spells it out as far as i am aware, but i speculate that the One Ring was a tool that somehow allowed Sauron to manipulate, draw from, "tap into" the Morgoth Element, the dispersed power of his former Master. After all, gold is one of the elements that is associated the most with Melkor and Mount Doom may have been some kind of "Hot Spot" regarding the Morgoth Element. Maybe that is how all the Rings of Power worked, because Melkor was not the only Ainu that poured his power into Arda during its creation. Nenya, the Ring of Water, would then allow a sufficiently powerful wearer to draw from the dispersed Power of Ulmo, Vilya (the Ring of Air) from the dispersed Power of Manwe, and Narya (The Ring of Fire) from the dispersed Power of Aule.

All that seems highly "blasphemous" of course, because if the Rings worked like that, then the Noldor of Middle-Earth are essentially "usurping" the power of the Valar, taking the place of the Gods, replacing them, more or less, pure Hubris! But it would fit the whole Ring-theme, the initial motivation (to re-create Valinor/Paradise in Middle-Earth) and the character of the Noldor, their rebellious, stubborn nature (and the character of Sauron: after all, the Noldor received the necessary technology and know-how from him!).

All conjecture and speculation of course. But it is the only explanation that makes sense. The Ring-Scheme failed completely, the Elves never use their Rings and the Rings also do not work as intended with the Dwarves. Only after his initial Plan failed completely did Sauron give the Rings out to human leaders, surely a poor substitute for powerful elven lords. I fail to see how exactly Sauron became "enhanced" and more powerful after this political manoeuvre. No, the ability of the One Ring to dominate the lesser Rings cannot sufficiently explain the stated growth of Saurons power, that has to come from somewhere else.

Last edited by denethorthefirst; 06-25-2018 at 04:09 AM.
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