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Old 11-13-2018, 04:51 PM   #1
R.R.J Tolkien
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What is the Chance of the Valar Fighting for the Free People During the Third age?

What is the Chance of the Valar Fighting for the Free People During the Third age?


“Long years in Arda [Melkor] held dominion over most of the lands of earth.”
-Valaquenta


If Sauron had the upper hand and was winning the war of the ring would the valar send help? Or, even, why did the valar not destroy Sauron in the third age the first place? I think there are a few reasons. In the first age of course the valar intervened and fought against Melkor and Sauron, yet they are not perfect divine beings but created by Eru, just look at Melkor. When the valar did come to ME it was usually by the efforts of a few to convince the rest to act.Even during the first age they most often neglected middle earth even when arda was under the dominion of melkor and darkness. Even those who lived in ME like melian who married an elf, left Doriath to destruction and returned to the west.

“They [valar] became more and more enamored of valinor, and went there more often and stayed their longer. Middle-earth was left to little defended, and too little protected against Melkor.”
-J.R.R Tolkien Myths Transformed


The valar resided in Aman, not middle earth, and they rarely came to ME and only fought in two battle [against morgoth who was no longer in ME in the third age] in the first age and none in the second.

“Middle earth they [valar] left it for long unguarded, and the lordship of Morgoth was uncontested save by the valor of the Noldor”
-Of men the sillmarillion



In Morgoths Ring Ainulindale D it reads “But in valinor the valar dwelt with all their kin and folk and because of the beauty and bliss of that realm they came seldom now to Middle earth” What was omitted the earlier version C where yavanna and orome came to ME to visit. Tolkien seemed to be moving towards a more distant valar even in the first age. So the valar in part neglected a corrupted Middle Earth [by morgoth] because they dwelt in paradise, hard to blame them. So instead of protecting middle earth they

“The valar took refuge from Melkor....and built and fortified Valinor.”
-Myths Transformed


It might seem odd but another reason was their love of middle earths natural beauty and not wanting to see it further destroyed caused some valar to not intervene with its affairs. In the later sillmarillion it reads “Aule was grieved, and it is said that he [and others of the valar] had before been unwilling to strive with Melkor, foreboding the hurts of the world that must come of that strife.” Morgoth had put some of his power into the matter of earth itself and caused corruption and the “fall”, to destroy him would also hurt the earth itself.

“These lands upon either side of sirdon were ruinous and desolate because of the war of powers.”
-Grey Annals the war of the Jewels


But other reasons also must have played a role. The valar must of felt betrayed by the children of iluvatar. In the first age the elves betrayed them and left paradise for middle earth and brought death to valinor. A few times elves sent boats west to ask the valar for help. They all went unanswered and it appears at times they were killed by Osse.

“His ship [Voronwe] foundered in a great storm within sight og land, and he alone survived for Ulmo saved him from the wrath of Osse.”
-Grey Annals the war of the Jewels

“During the period of the exile of the Noldor the valar had for the time being cut all communications between Aman and Middle-earth.”
-MR -Athrabeth Finrod Andreth


Men more often sided with Morgoth in the fist age and fought against the valar in the war of wrath. In the second age Amadil went west to ask the valar for help but was denied. Than the numoneeans attacked the valar and almost brought destruction to valinor. As a result eru remade the world and removed valinor and it became distant from ME.

“We of the eldar believe that men are often a grief to Manwe, who knows most the mind of illuvatar.”
-Morgoths Ring Ainulindale D [latest version]



Eru might not have allowed the valar to interfere after this change in the world. So we read in Morgoths Ring “Many other valinor creatures....have not yet been seen upon Middle-earth and perchance never now shall be, since the fashion of the world has changed.”

“Valinor and even eressea are removed, remaining only in the memory of the earth.”
-Letters 131

And we read in the later sillmarillion during the first age Orome hunted melkors servants “but the valaroma [his horn] is blown no more upon Middle-earth since the change of the world and the fading of the elves.” So we see also the fading of the elves as a cause for the neglect of ME by the valar. The Sillmarillion in of Fenor it reads “Melkor most hated the Eldar....because.... he saw the reason for the arising of the valar, and his own downfall.” Andreth [human] in the first age says

“The valar do not trouble us [mankind] either with care or instruction.”
-Andreth Athrabeth Finrod AH Andreth

“There came no vala to guide men, or summon them to dwell in valinor and men have feared the valar, rather than loved them, and have not understood the purposes of the powers being at variance with them.”
-Of men the sillmarillion

“The dealings of the Ainur have indeed been motley with the elves.”
-On the beginnings of days



And by the war of the ring, very few Noldor elves were left on ME and even those few were leaving. The war of the ring was the time for mankind to rule ME.

“Manwe knew that before long the dominion of men must begin. And the making of history would then be committed to them.... Manwe knew of Sauron, of course.... Sauron however was a problem that men had to deal with.... Sauron's first defeat was achieved by the Numenoreans alone.”
-Myths Transformed


The strength of the valor was also greatly reduced by the third age and might have contributed to their reluctance to act. Feanor argued in the first age after the destruction of the two trees they could not even protect Valor from Morgoth how could they protect Middle-earth. In Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth Tolkien says of the valar “They had sufficient power for their functions.” Their main functions were to create the world, help the Noldor elves and most of all to fight morgoth. By the third age those were no longer needed functions and the valar became obsolete and likely since the power Eru granted them was no longer in need, their power was reduced. After the destruction of Morgoth we read in myths transformed “it was also, in a sense the end of manwe's prime function and task as Eldar king.”

“The valar were like architects..... they become less and less important as the plan was more and more nearly achieved. Men will also fade when they complete their function.”
-J.R.R Tolkien Myths Transformed


Further the valar had lost a great deal of power creating the world as well as healing the world's ills of Melkor and the war of wrath. By the third age it is likely they were reduced a good deal, even maiar such as Gandlaf it is said, was scarred of Sauron and did not want to go to ME. Sauron's power was great.

“Sauron was greater, effectively, in the Second Age, than Morgoth at the end of the First.”
-MR Myths Transformed


Of course one would say, the Valar did act, they sent the Istari. True. Would they just have sent more maiar to help if the battle went ill for the free peoples? I am not sure. Maiar at times sided with Melkor and Sauron and at least one of the Istari, Sauroman, turned against the free people. In this way the valar hurt rather than helped the free peoples. The two blue wizards did nothing to help the free people and most likely followed sauroman's lead.

“I really do not know anything clearly about the other two – since they do not concern the history of the N.W. I think they went as emissaries to distant regions, East and South, far out of Nśmenórean range: missionaries to 'enemy-occupied' lands, as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and 'magic' traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron.”
-J.R.R Tolkien Letters 211


If this is true and these wizards started cults [evil magic of sauron/sauroman] for the eastlings, than three of the maiar helped Sauron rather than the free people. Of the two who helped the free people. Radagast did little as he fell in love with birds and the animals of Mirkwood and did not concern himself with anything outside of his animals. The only maiar that fulfilled his role was Gandalf. Surly this was not the intention of the valar. I think it could be argued they hurt rather than helped the free peoples. Asking the valar for more help might do the same.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:02 AM   #2
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Arguably, mankind and Middle Earth were in more danger in the Second Age (from themselves and Sauron) than the Third, and it took Ar-Pharazon attempting an amphibious assault of Valinor for them to act.

I don't see the Valar as lifting a finger, really.
  • Sauron was but a Maiar and could only become just-so powerful
  • Most of the elves had already relocated to Valinor
  • The Third Age was an age of Men, and I can't think of any time in the Silmarillion when the Valar exercised naked power on mankind's behalf (collectively, not individually, and not in the way they did for elvenkind & opposing the Vala, Morgoth). Men had the gift of death and the gift of self-determination, and I've always had the impression that they were much more left to their own fates.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:51 AM   #3
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Arguably, mankind and Middle Earth were in more danger in the Second Age (from themselves and Sauron) than the Third, and it took Ar-Pharazon attempting an amphibious assault of Valinor for them to act.
And even in that case, the Valar themselves didn't act; they merely petitioned Iluvatar to intervene, and Iluvatar took action.

It seems that the Valar had been somewhat traumatized by the destruction wrought in their earlier wars with Melkor. In the later versions of the legends, they don't even come themselves at the end of the First Age; the host they send is made up of Maiar and Elves led by Eonwe.

That's not to say that they would necessarily have abandoned Middle-earth entirely. I think that if Sauron had achieved total victory at the end of the Third Age, the Valar would have responded by sending more covert emissaries along the lines of the Istari to try to work against him. But I don't think they would have come against him in force.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:21 AM   #4
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I think in the event of a total and crushing Sauronic victory, the valar would have been left with no choice but to intervene directly. Becuase Sauron would be able to rule unopposed as a god king until the very end of Arda at that point if they did not.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:28 AM   #5
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Personally I don't think the Valar would have ever directly intervened. Even if Sauron had triumphed and the Ring had survived, in the end, even if it took thousands of years, his empire would have destroyed itself. It was the nature of evil in Arda to be fissiparous.

The fact that the Valar sent the Istari to Middle-earth in the Third Age is testament to their responsibility to minimise the sufferings of the Children of Eru in the face of the evils of Melkor. While I believe Sauron's empire would inevitably have failed, it would have been against the morals, duty and purpose of the Valar to allow the Children's suffering to be needlessly prolonged.
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:57 PM   #6
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I think in the event of a total and crushing Sauronic victory, the valar would have been left with no choice but to intervene directly. Becuase Sauron would be able to rule unopposed as a god king until the very end of Arda at that point if they did not.
and yet Morgoth and sauron both did that for long time periods.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:19 PM   #7
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and yet Morgoth and sauron both did that for long time periods.
Well let's imagine a Sauron victory scenario.

Frodo doesn't lose the ring in at Mount Doom and leaves-he is eventually slain by the Nazgul who perhaps pretend to obey him or only do so in the most basic fashion.

The ring is presented to Sauron, who puts it on. Immediately the elf lords sense this and remove their rings.

At the black gate Gandalf and Aragorn are both slain along with the host of the free people's gathered, Minas Tirith is sacked and burned and Gondor falls in months, Rohan is overwhelmed, once Sauron's human armies of Rhun take Erebor and slay all the dwarves and Northmen present, Lorien and Mirkwood are overrun-the elves either make a last ditch attempt to fleet to their ships or they are surrounded and cut down. Galadriel might allow her people time to flee. While she herself perishes.

Sauron's host regroups in Eriador, and with all resistance crushed reaches Rivendale, by now the elves have hit the gas and are only fighting a delaying action to allow their kin to escape.

Sauron reigns triumphant over Arda.

The elves are broken. The dwarves isolated or destroyed, it matters not, and men all kneel to him, and those that don't face fire and sword.

The heir of Isildur is dead, and Mithrandir has failed.

Sauron now has total dominion over Middle Earth.

There is no last refuge, no place to hide-maybe some holdouts in the mountains remain, or refugee camps but they can be destroyed at his leisure.

In this scenario-the valar have two choices-intervene directly and decisively or let Sauron rule indefinitely. Maybe nurturing every flower that grows and every hope of a whipped slave or dreaming child. But it will take eons in this scenario for this little resistance to coalesce into something that could defeat Sauron.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:03 AM   #8
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Sauron now has total dominion over Middle Earth.

There is no last refuge, no place to hide-maybe some holdouts in the mountains remain, or refugee camps but they can be destroyed at his leisure.

In this scenario-the valar have two choices-intervene directly and decisively or let Sauron rule indefinitely. Maybe nurturing every flower that grows and every hope of a whipped slave or dreaming child. But it will take eons in this scenario for this little resistance to coalesce into something that could defeat Sauron.
I think that's the point though. No matter how outwardly absolute his rule is in the immediate aftermath, it is not quite as absolute and unchangeable as he thinks. Pockets of free people would remain hidden away, and in far away lands people may live free from his rule. Yes, it may take a long time to see Sauron's rule erode enough to crumble down, and it may take another (or the very same) Gandalf to find and rouse these people, and maybe his rule would collapse from within rather than from external frontal attacks... But I think that would be the choice of intervention. This is the way the Valar were headed since the beginning of Arda - from the "gardners" of the world, actively weeding and planting, to onlookers, allowing the Children to exercise their own will. They let the Children, in particular the Men, take responsibility for their world. I think that shift in particular was evident in LOTR. They can nudge and guide, but they would not bring in an army with trumpets blaring and sink another continent in another war of the Ainur.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:56 AM   #9
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I think that's the point though. No matter how outwardly absolute his rule is in the immediate aftermath, it is not quite as absolute and unchangeable as he thinks.
Agreed. That's true of every historical empire (it's notable that the Romans 'wiped out' the pre-invasion tribal names in Britain, only to have them reappear on gravestones less than a generation after the legions withdrew), and it's especially true in Middle-earth, which was written by Tolkien and has a clear focus on 'there is always hope'.

Where does that hope lie? Let's take your premise, Rhun charioteer, and run with it. Sam manages to kill Gollum in Shelob's lair (he cracks his head on a rock), and so Frodo successfully claims the Ring. Sam tries to reason with him, but fails. The Nazgul arrive, and - per Galadriel back in Lorien, I think - take Frodo captive and present him to Sauron. (Sam may actually survive and stay hidden; I'm sure there's a story in that.)

Sauron reclaims the Ring. But... what's happened outside the Black Gate? Tolkien seems to imply that the Armies of the West were on the verge of victory when the Ring was destroyed, and there's been time between for them to achieve it. That means, far from all being dead, Aragorn and Gandalf are now pressing through the Black Gate - and Aragorn is carrying the sword of Elendil.

I think, far from a quick defeat for the West, we're looking at a second Siege of Mordor. The Ring doesn't make Sauron all-powerful, or else he wouldn't have been defeated so often in the Second Age. He'll want to stall, to have time to bring up more of his forces - and that means there's time for the likes of Legolas and Gimli - and Eomer - to run back home and bring up reinforcements.

But okay: assume they fail. Assume Tolkien decided to be a miserable grump and make them lose. Every significant military force among the Free Peoples has been wiped out. What does Sauron do?

Well, he's not Morgoth. He doesn't want to burn Gondor - he wants to rule it. (Witness Minas Morgul - and Numenor.) He may end up in permanent war with Erebor - Thorin Stonehelm doesn't seem the kind to submit - but I don't think he could easily break the Lonely Mountain.

Rohan goes over to the Dunlendings. Gondor, under Steward Faramir, is probably forced into some version of Sauron's offer made at the Black Gate; I think Faramir would probably accept it for the good of the people, now that all hope of military resistance is over.

The elves, of course, don't get that chance, and I think you're right that they flee or die. Lorien and Rivendell at least have to go. Eriador... I mean, does Sauron care? There's nothing there except the Shire. Oh... yeah. The Shire. Where the Hobbits live. Like the Hobbits who stole his Ring. Yes, Sauron cares, and there's goblins swarming out of the Misty Mountains to attack it.

Merry and Pippin are both still alive, and guided by Gandalf. What would they do in the face of an oncoming orcish rabble? Well... both Theoden and Denethor, their respective liege-lords, evacuated their own civilians in the face of invasion. Could the sons of the Thain and the Master pull off a mass exodus of the Shire? They probably have a couple of years, so it's certainly doable.

I think probably yes. The hobbits scatter and go into hiding, not letting the Big Folk or the Orcs see them. When the army arrives, it is to untended fields and empty houses. Sauron, needless to say, is furious.

That's the stage set. We have at least three formerly-free groups who could conceivably start a rebellion, but unless Sauron loosened his grip, there's not really anything they could do. And why would he ever do that?

Oh, yeah: because he's Sauron. He's gotten revenge on the Numenoreans. He's been thwarted of his revenge against the Hobbits (he probably has hunting parties roaming through Eriador after them). He's finally gotten rid of the elves. What's his next play?

Valinor. Ultimately, after all his own grievances, Sauron still wants to get back at the Valar for their humiliation of his master. That's why he turned the Numenoreans, Saruman, the Noldor by way of Ring-making. It is his ultimate obsession.

I have no idea what he'd do. But it seems not unlikely that it would be enough to get Manwe to once again put in a call to Iluvatar: "hey, your kids are acting up again, here's the keys, we'll let you sort it out." Last time that happened, the entire shape of the world was changed. Can we even conceive of what the One would do this time around?

... maybe.

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'How or when shall healing come? To what manner of being shall those who see that time be re-made? And what of us who before it go out into darkness unhealed? To such questions only those of the "Old Hope" (as they call themselves) have any guess of an answer.'

'Those of the Old Hope?' said Finrod. 'Who are they?'

'A few,' she said; 'but their number has grown since we came to this land, and they see that the Nameless can (as they think) be defied. Yet that is no good reason. To defy him does not undo his work of old. And if the valor of the Eldar fails here, then their despair will be deeper. For it was not on the might of Men, or of any of the peoples of Arda, that the old hope was grounded.'

'What then was this hope, if you know?' Finrod asked.

'They say,' answered Andreth: 'they say that the One will himself enter into Arda, and heal Men and all the Marring from the beginning to the end. This they say also, or they feign, is a rumor that has come down through years uncounted, even from the days of our undoing.'
Merry Christmas. ^_^

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Old 12-12-2018, 12:46 AM   #10
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Agreed. That's true of every historical empire (it's notable that the Romans 'wiped out' the pre-invasion tribal names in Britain, only to have them reappear on gravestones less than a generation after the legions withdrew), and it's especially true in Middle-earth, which was written by Tolkien and has a clear focus on 'there is always hope'.

Where does that hope lie? Let's take your premise, Rhun charioteer, and run with it. Sam manages to kill Gollum in Shelob's lair (he cracks his head on a rock), and so Frodo successfully claims the Ring. Sam tries to reason with him, but fails. The Nazgul arrive, and - per Galadriel back in Lorien, I think - take Frodo captive and present him to Sauron. (Sam may actually survive and stay hidden; I'm sure there's a story in that.)

Sauron reclaims the Ring. But... what's happened outside the Black Gate? Tolkien seems to imply that the Armies of the West were on the verge of victory when the Ring was destroyed, and there's been time between for them to achieve it. That means, far from all being dead, Aragorn and Gandalf are now pressing through the Black Gate - and Aragorn is carrying the sword of Elendil.

I think, far from a quick defeat for the West, we're looking at a second Siege of Mordor. The Ring doesn't make Sauron all-powerful, or else he wouldn't have been defeated so often in the Second Age. He'll want to stall, to have time to bring up more of his forces - and that means there's time for the likes of Legolas and Gimli - and Eomer - to run back home and bring up reinforcements.

But okay: assume they fail. Assume Tolkien decided to be a miserable grump and make them lose. Every significant military force among the Free Peoples has been wiped out. What does Sauron do?

Well, he's not Morgoth. He doesn't want to burn Gondor - he wants to rule it. (Witness Minas Morgul - and Numenor.) He may end up in permanent war with Erebor - Thorin Stonehelm doesn't seem the kind to submit - but I don't think he could easily break the Lonely Mountain.

Rohan goes over to the Dunlendings. Gondor, under Steward Faramir, is probably forced into some version of Sauron's offer made at the Black Gate; I think Faramir would probably accept it for the good of the people, now that all hope of military resistance is over.

The elves, of course, don't get that chance, and I think you're right that they flee or die. Lorien and Rivendell at least have to go. Eriador... I mean, does Sauron care? There's nothing there except the Shire. Oh... yeah. The Shire. Where the Hobbits live. Like the Hobbits who stole his Ring. Yes, Sauron cares, and there's goblins swarming out of the Misty Mountains to attack it.

Merry and Pippin are both still alive, and guided by Gandalf. What would they do in the face of an oncoming orcish rabble? Well... both Theoden and Denethor, their respective liege-lords, evacuated their own civilians in the face of invasion. Could the sons of the Thain and the Master pull off a mass exodus of the Shire? They probably have a couple of years, so it's certainly doable.

I think probably yes. The hobbits scatter and go into hiding, not letting the Big Folk or the Orcs see them. When the army arrives, it is to untended fields and empty houses. Sauron, needless to say, is furious.

That's the stage set. We have at least three formerly-free groups who could conceivably start a rebellion, but unless Sauron loosened his grip, there's not really anything they could do. And why would he ever do that?

Oh, yeah: because he's Sauron. He's gotten revenge on the Numenoreans. He's been thwarted of his revenge against the Hobbits (he probably has hunting parties roaming through Eriador after them). He's finally gotten rid of the elves. What's his next play?

Valinor. Ultimately, after all his own grievances, Sauron still wants to get back at the Valar for their humiliation of his master. That's why he turned the Numenoreans, Saruman, the Noldor by way of Ring-making. It is his ultimate obsession.

I have no idea what he'd do. But it seems not unlikely that it would be enough to get Manwe to once again put in a call to Iluvatar: "hey, your kids are acting up again, here's the keys, we'll let you sort it out." Last time that happened, the entire shape of the world was changed. Can we even conceive of what the One would do this time around?

... maybe.



Merry Christmas. ^_^

hS
Regarding the dwarves and dale-as I understand it Rhunish forces were on the verge of victory at Erebor and then word reached them of the destruction of Sauron and then the defenders sallied and defeated the demoralized besiegers.

If the men of Rhun storm Erebor-that will be the strategic hammer that will open a lot of middle earth to envelopment by Sauron's forces-Mirkwood and Lorien will hard pressed-not just by orcs but Sauron's human soldiers(who ironically are his best).

If the ring is captured and the army of the west crushed-Sauron still has the army in Mordor and now can attack a weakened and exhausted Gondor and Rohan.

Military victory against Sauron as I understand it at least was not possible-in military and strategic terms he had stacked the deck.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:52 AM   #11
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Agreed. That's true of every historical empire (it's notable that the Romans 'wiped out' the pre-invasion tribal names in Britain, only to have them reappear on gravestones less than a generation after the legions withdrew), and it's especially true in Middle-earth, which was written by Tolkien and has a clear focus on 'there is always hope'.

Where does that hope lie? Let's take your premise, Rhun charioteer, and run with it. Sam manages to kill Gollum in Shelob's lair (he cracks his head on a rock), and so Frodo successfully claims the Ring. Sam tries to reason with him, but fails. The Nazgul arrive, and - per Galadriel back in Lorien, I think - take Frodo captive and present him to Sauron. (Sam may actually survive and stay hidden; I'm sure there's a story in that.)

Sauron reclaims the Ring. But... what's happened outside the Black Gate? Tolkien seems to imply that the Armies of the West were on the verge of victory when the Ring was destroyed, and there's been time between for them to achieve it. That means, far from all being dead, Aragorn and Gandalf are now pressing through the Black Gate - and Aragorn is carrying the sword of Elendil.

I think, far from a quick defeat for the West, we're looking at a second Siege of Mordor. The Ring doesn't make Sauron all-powerful, or else he wouldn't have been defeated so often in the Second Age. He'll want to stall, to have time to bring up more of his forces - and that means there's time for the likes of Legolas and Gimli - and Eomer - to run back home and bring up reinforcements.

But okay: assume they fail. Assume Tolkien decided to be a miserable grump and make them lose. Every significant military force among the Free Peoples has been wiped out. What does Sauron do?

Well, he's not Morgoth. He doesn't want to burn Gondor - he wants to rule it. (Witness Minas Morgul - and Numenor.) He may end up in permanent war with Erebor - Thorin Stonehelm doesn't seem the kind to submit - but I don't think he could easily break the Lonely Mountain.

Rohan goes over to the Dunlendings. Gondor, under Steward Faramir, is probably forced into some version of Sauron's offer made at the Black Gate; I think Faramir would probably accept it for the good of the people, now that all hope of military resistance is over.

The elves, of course, don't get that chance, and I think you're right that they flee or die. Lorien and Rivendell at least have to go. Eriador... I mean, does Sauron care? There's nothing there except the Shire. Oh... yeah. The Shire. Where the Hobbits live. Like the Hobbits who stole his Ring. Yes, Sauron cares, and there's goblins swarming out of the Misty Mountains to attack it.

Merry and Pippin are both still alive, and guided by Gandalf. What would they do in the face of an oncoming orcish rabble? Well... both Theoden and Denethor, their respective liege-lords, evacuated their own civilians in the face of invasion. Could the sons of the Thain and the Master pull off a mass exodus of the Shire? They probably have a couple of years, so it's certainly doable.

I think probably yes. The hobbits scatter and go into hiding, not letting the Big Folk or the Orcs see them. When the army arrives, it is to untended fields and empty houses. Sauron, needless to say, is furious.

That's the stage set. We have at least three formerly-free groups who could conceivably start a rebellion, but unless Sauron loosened his grip, there's not really anything they could do. And why would he ever do that?

Oh, yeah: because he's Sauron. He's gotten revenge on the Numenoreans. He's been thwarted of his revenge against the Hobbits (he probably has hunting parties roaming through Eriador after them). He's finally gotten rid of the elves. What's his next play?

Valinor. Ultimately, after all his own grievances, Sauron still wants to get back at the Valar for their humiliation of his master. That's why he turned the Numenoreans, Saruman, the Noldor by way of Ring-making. It is his ultimate obsession.

I have no idea what he'd do. But it seems not unlikely that it would be enough to get Manwe to once again put in a call to Iluvatar: "hey, your kids are acting up again, here's the keys, we'll let you sort it out." Last time that happened, the entire shape of the world was changed. Can we even conceive of what the One would do this time around?

... maybe.



Merry Christmas. ^_^

hS
Regarding the dwarves and dale-as I understand it Rhunish forces were on the verge of victory at Erebor and then word reached them of the destruction of Sauron and then the defenders sallied and defeated the demoralized besiegers.

If the men of Rhun storm Erebor-that will be the strategic hammer that will open a lot of middle earth to envelopment by Sauron's forces-Mirkwood and Lorien will hard pressed-not just by orcs but Sauron's human soldiers(who ironically are his best).

If the ring is captured and the army of the west crushed-Sauron still has the army in Mordor and now can attack a weakened and exhausted Gondor and Rohan.

Military victory against Sauron as I understand it at least was not possible-in military and strategic terms he had stacked the deck.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:10 AM   #12
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Valinor. Ultimately, after all his own grievances, Sauron still wants to get back at the Valar for their humiliation of his master. That's why he turned the Numenoreans, Saruman, the Noldor by way of Ring-making. It is his ultimate obsession.
Hmm. I don't think Sauron would have cared by that point about Morgoth's defeat by the Valar:

"He probably deluded himself with the notion that the Valar (including Melkor) having failed, Eru had simply abandoned Eä, or at any rate Arda, and would not concern himself with it any more. It would appear that he interpreted the 'change of the world' at the Downfall of Nśmenor, when Aman was removed from the physical world, in this sense: Valar (and Elves) were removed from effective control, and Men under God's curse and wrath." (Myths Transformed)

I think he thought the Valar had already lost before the Third Age began and that Morgoth had proved to be as weak as the rest. My interpretation is that Sauron eventually considered Morgoth and Manwė to both be fools who had equally failed to produce order at all costs, which was the only goal he considered worthwhile and the objective he deluded himself into thinking all powerful people aspired to exclusively.
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Old 12-13-2018, 05:14 AM   #13
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Regarding the dwarves and dale-as I understand it Rhunish forces were on the verge of victory at Erebor and then word reached them of the destruction of Sauron and then the defenders sallied and defeated the demoralized besiegers.
I'm not sure you're right about Erebor. Certainly the Mountain was under siege, but how well could they withstand that? I'm remembering that Moria held against Sauron's entire army during his conquest of Eregion; could a fully-fortified Erebor not stand up to a rabble out of the east? I agree that they couldn't break free, but they might well just stay locked away there.

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Hmm. I don't think Sauron would have cared by that point about Morgoth's defeat by the Valar:

"He probably deluded himself with the notion that the Valar (including Melkor) having failed, Eru had simply abandoned Eä, or at any rate Arda, and would not concern himself with it any more. It would appear that he interpreted the 'change of the world' at the Downfall of Nśmenor, when Aman was removed from the physical world, in this sense: Valar (and Elves) were removed from effective control, and Men under God's curse and wrath." (Myths Transformed)

I think he thought the Valar had already lost before the Third Age began and that Morgoth had proved to be as weak as the rest. My interpretation is that Sauron eventually considered Morgoth and Manwė to both be fools who had equally failed to produce order at all costs, which was the only goal he considered worthwhile and the objective he deluded himself into thinking all powerful people aspired to exclusively.
This is an interesting thought. Then what is Sauron's goal by the end of the Third Age? Not destruction - the fact that he has empires under his sway in the south and east proves that. Just ruling everything? I think the answer hinges on this exchange:

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‘These are the terms,’ said the Messenger, and smiled as he eyed them one by one. ‘The rabble of Gondor and its deluded allies shall withdraw at once beyond the Anduin, first taking oaths never again to assail Sauron the Great in arms, open or secret. All lands east of Anduin shall be Sauron’s for ever, solely. West of the Anduin as far as the Misty Mountains and the Gap of Rohan shall be tributary to Mordor, and men there shall bear no weapons, but shall have leave to govern their own affairs. But they shall help to rebuild Isengard which they have wantonly destroyed, and that shall be Sauron’s, and there his lieutenant shall dwell: not Saruman, but one more worthy of trust.’

Looking in the Messenger’s eyes they read his thought. He was to be that lieutenant, and gather all that remained of the West under his sway; he would be their tyrant and they his slaves.

But Gandalf said: ‘This is much to demand for the delivery of one servant: that your Master should receive in exchange what he must else fight many a war to gain! Or has the field of Gondor destroyed his hope in war, so that he falls to haggling? And if indeed we rated this prisoner so high, what surety have we that Sauron the Base Master of Treachery, will keep his part? Where is this prisoner? Let him be brought forth and yielded to us, and then we will consider these demands.’

It seemed then to Gandalf, intent, watching him as a man engaged in fencing with a deadly foe, that for the taking of a breath the Messenger was at a loss; yet swiftly he laughed again.

‘Do not bandy words in your insolence with the Mouth of Sauron!’ he cried. ‘Surety you crave! Sauron gives none. If you sue for his clemency you must first do his bidding. These are his terms. Take them or leave them!’
  • What did Sauron hope to achieve with this deal? Was what he asked for actually his end goal, or was it just a step on the way to outright conquest down the line?
  • Why did he make the offer in the first place? If he felt he could destroy the army, then them accepting this offer would actually be a step down from the total victory he was on the verge of achieving.

Actually... I'm forgetting here that Sauron at this point thinks Aragorn has the One Ring. He may well be afraid that a battle will lead to his orcs being taken from him or something. Hrm. Still, I think the first question stands.

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Old 12-13-2018, 03:02 PM   #14
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I'm not sure you're right about Erebor. Certainly the Mountain was under siege, but how well could they withstand that? I'm remembering that Moria held against Sauron's entire army during his conquest of Eregion; could a fully-fortified Erebor not stand up to a rabble out of the east? I agree that they couldn't break free, but they might well just stay locked away there.



This is an interesting thought. Then what is Sauron's goal by the end of the Third Age? Not destruction - the fact that he has empires under his sway in the south and east proves that. Just ruling everything? I think the answer hinges on this exchange:


  • What did Sauron hope to achieve with this deal? Was what he asked for actually his end goal, or was it just a step on the way to outright conquest down the line?
  • Why did he make the offer in the first place? If he felt he could destroy the army, then them accepting this offer would actually be a step down from the total victory he was on the verge of achieving.

Actually... I'm forgetting here that Sauron at this point thinks Aragorn has the One Ring. He may well be afraid that a battle will lead to his orcs being taken from him or something. Hrm. Still, I think the first question stands.

hS
As I understand it, the easterlings were Sauron's best troops-the dwarf king had fallen, and so had the king of Dale,

And the easterlings weren't "rabble" but rather Sauron's best. Think my screen avatar(Peter Jackson's portrayal)-that is always how I imagined them. With the best armour, weapons, training and discipline amongst Sauron's armies.

Sure Erebor would be able to hold out for a long time-but eventually the mountain would have been breached and the easterlings would have poured west.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:55 PM   #15
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I think the point isn't that organized resistance in key centres would be holding Sauron's might back. At the Council of Elrond they predict that if Sauron gets the Ring, sooner or later even the most strongly defended strongholds would fall, and eventually he would have all official control over Western Middle-earth. But unless he butchers every single person - and that is NOT his goal; whatever the end-game is, it's about control, not anihilation, - he cannot wipe out all forms of resistance. In the words of Beregond, "Hope and memory shall live still in some hidden valley where the grass is green". Even if the fortresses fall and there is no major defense point left, people will find a way to carry on the message. Of course any overt rebellion must be put down immediately, but with generations of patience slow work may pay off.

Historically, it is possible to force people to assimilate into a new rule sufficiently to make them forget the messages of their past generations. However, I feel like Gondor has such a deep-rooted history that it would be hard to unroot completely, even with severe prohibitions, deportations, and other measures. Would Sauron really have to slaughter all the Numenorian descendants to keep order in his new world? Would he foresee the need for such a step before it's too late, before small groups are scattered far and wide, requiring significantly more effort to find and eliminate?
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:52 AM   #16
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As I understand it, the easterlings were Sauron's best troops-the dwarf king had fallen, and so had the king of Dale,

And the easterlings weren't "rabble" but rather Sauron's best. Think my screen avatar(Peter Jackson's portrayal)-that is always how I imagined them. With the best armour, weapons, training and discipline amongst Sauron's armies.
I honestly don't think the book really says anything about the armour, weapons and training of the Easterlings beyond the fact that some of them (unfamiliar to the Men of Gondor) wielded axes, that some of them travelled in wagons and that some of their chieftains rode in chariots.

I'm not sure what I would consider to be the best of Sauron's forces. The Corsairs of Umbar seem to be feared, and the Orcs of Sauron's "trained armies" give the impression of being formidable, the ones who were "so completely under his will that they would sacrifice themselves without hesitation at his command", as well as the ones who "were by training as tough as Dwarves in enduring hardship" but we don't hear much more. In fact those quotes from Morgoth's Ring about Orc military training might be one of the only examples I can think of in which Tolkien discusses training in Sauron's forces.

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he cannot wipe out all forms of resistance. In the words of Beregond, "Hope and memory shall live still in some hidden valley where the grass is green". Even if the fortresses fall and there is no major defense point left, people will find a way to carry on the message. Of course any overt rebellion must be put down immediately, but with generations of patience slow work may pay off.
My thoughts exactly. I think Sauron would have found his ultimate goal, "divine honour from all rational creatures and absolute temporal power over the whole world", much more challenging than he expected.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:03 AM   #17
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I honestly don't think the book really says anything about the armour, weapons and training of the Easterlings beyond the fact that some of them (unfamiliar to the Men of Gondor) wielded axes, that some of them travelled in wagons and that some of their chieftains rode in chariots.

I'm not sure what I would consider to be the best of Sauron's forces. The Corsairs of Umbar seem to be feared, and the Orcs of Sauron's "trained armies" give the impression of being formidable, the ones who were "so completely under his will that they would sacrifice themselves without hesitation at his command", as well as the ones who "were by training as tough as Dwarves in enduring hardship" but we don't hear much more. In fact those quotes from Morgoth's Ring about Orc military training might be one of the only examples I can think of in which Tolkien discusses training in Sauron's forces.


My thoughts exactly. I think Sauron would have found his ultimate goal, "divine honour from all rational creatures and absolute temporal power over the whole world", much more challenging than he expected.
I seem to recall some easterlings made a stand at the River Anduin and fought till the last man while the orcs fled. This always spoke volumes to me about their combat quality.
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