The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-20-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,437
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Sauron's Super Army?

In the Second Age, Sauron acted to gather all Middle-earth under his sway. He was able to pretty much have his way with the Eldar, sacking Eregion of the Noldor, holding at bay Elrond, and advancing toward the Grey Havens, which was lightly held by Gil-galad. It was only a force of Númenor, sent by Tar-Minastir, that turned the tide.
Ever after, Sauron hated Númenor and wanted its ruin. When he was challenged by Ar-Pharazôn later, he saw that Númenor was too strong for him to conquer by force, so he resorted to cunning. Over time he gained power over Pharazôn, becoming a trusted counselor. There came a point when the majority of the Númenóreans looked on Sauron as a god, and followed his commands. I think it would be fair to say that by then he ruled Númenor in all but name.

That being the case, did Sauron not accomplish his goal of removing Númenor as a threat to him? Why did he have to follow through with trying to get them all killed? Why could he not have used them in Middle-earth to fight for him? Even if Pharazôn had any lingering misgivings, he was old. He would die soon enough, and what would stop Sauron from standing behind the new king? Or even taking the sceptre himself? Then, he could have ruled over his greatest enemies, using them against the Eldar in Middle-earth.

Would anything have kept that from being a viable plan? Or was Sauron a proto Bond Villain™, eschewing practicality in favor of an Evil Scheme?
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 09:05 PM   #2
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 721
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
"Sauron desired to be a God-King, and was held to be this by his servants." (Letter 183)
You say Sauron was looked on as a God in Númenor, but Professor Tolkien explicitly tells us in Morgoth's Ring that he wasn't. In Númenor he was, regardless of how powerful he became, still a prisoner and hostage, and only the representative of their new "god" (Morgoth). We have to factor in Sauron's pride. He could never be King or God in Númenor the way he was in Middle-earth, and I think that fact frustrated him to no end. I think ruling from behind the throne was never really good enough for him. We know that in the Third Age the remaining Black Númenórean societies did revere him as a God - after their old king and realm had been destroyed. I think this was the only way for Sauron to accomplish what he truly desired. And as Professor Tolkien points out, he had been partially (but not completely) infected by Morgoth's nihilism - wishing to destroy what he could not openly rule. Sauron was, I believe, in many ways an idealist (his largely all-or-nothing scheme with the Rings of Power, for example, a potential masterstroke which failed to ensnare anyone but Men, leaving him still vulnerable rather than completely in control) and didn't always behave in a completely pragmatic or necessarily even rational manner regarding his plans and ambitions.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.

Last edited by Zigûr; 07-20-2013 at 09:08 PM.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annûn, Ithilien
Posts: 460
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
That being the case, did Sauron not accomplish his goal of removing Númenor as a threat to him? Why did he have to follow through with trying to get them all killed? Why could he not have used them in Middle-earth to fight for him? Even if Pharazôn had any lingering misgivings, he was old. He would die soon enough, and what would stop Sauron from standing behind the new king? Or even taking the sceptre himself? Then, he could have ruled over his greatest enemies, using them against the Eldar in Middle-earth.
Elendil was closely related to the King's House. I think most of the King's Men were perished in Númenor's downfall and his household as well. Ar-Pharazôn's wife died in Númenor, and he was stayed in Aman. I don't know if anyone else had more right to be king than someone from his household, the Lords of Andúnië, even though his line was from the female.

"Highest in honour after the house of the Kings were the Lords of Andúnië; for they were of the line of Elros, being descended from Silmariën, daughter of Tar-elendil, the fourth king of Númenor." [Sil, p. 331]

I do not think Númenor itself was the threat rather than the King's of Men. The Númenoreans were High Men and had great abilities of mind and body that surpassed that of other men. As you know, even though Sauron destroyed Númenor it was with the aid of the Númenoreans afterwards that the Elves defeated him. The Faithful, I doubt, would fight for him and they held the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor. You will note the Black Númenoreans that Gondor had its squabbles with. These would probably be more ripe for Sauron to use as allies. And we know a man of Númenorean decent was his Mouth during the War of the Ring.

Sauron hated them, most of all the Faithful.
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2013, 05:32 AM   #4
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,437
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
You say Sauron was looked on as a God in Númenor, but Professor Tolkien explicitly tells us in Morgoth's Ring that he wasn't. In Númenor he was, regardless of how powerful he became, still a prisoner and hostage, and only the representative of their new "god" (Morgoth).
I was using the Akallabêth, which states that when a bolt of lightning struck the temple devoted to Sauron's religion:

Quote:
...Sauron stood there upon the pinnacle and defied the lightning and was unharmed; and in that hour men called him a god and did all that he would.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
We have to factor in Sauron's pride. He could never be King or God in Númenor the way he was in Middle-earth, and I think that fact frustrated him to no end. I think ruling from behind the throne was never really good enough for him.
I wonder though if simply waiting a bit longer, maybe for the death of Pharazôn, might not have actually given Sauron the sceptre. Or coud he not have possibly arranged for Pharazôn to give it to him? After all, Pharazôn had no heir, apparently.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.

Last edited by Inziladun; 07-21-2013 at 12:48 PM. Reason: typo correction for clarity
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2013, 06:14 AM   #5
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 721
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I was using the Akallabêth, which states that when a bolt of lightning struck the temple devoted to Sauron's temple:
Quote:
...Sauron stood there upon the pinnacle and defied the lightning and was unharmed; and in that hour men called him a god and did all that he would.
That's a fair point and one I hadn't considered. We must remember however that, apart from this moment of hysteria (in the absence of the King) Sauron was generally regarded by most of the population and the administration as the High Priest of Melkor (or "Arûn-Mulkhêr" as I believe the Númenóreans called him) and not a god himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I wonder though if simply waiting a bit longer, maybe for the death of Pharazôn, might not have actually given Sauron the sceptre. Or coud he not have possibly arranged for Pharazôn to give it to him? After all, Pharazôn had no heir, apparently.
I suppose I don't find Sauron being legitimately made King of Númenor to seem like a particularly likely scenario, although I don't really have much to base that on besides the fact that he was not a Man or descendant of Elros. I assume from prior contact with the Elves, especially the warning of Gil-Galad, that the Númenóreans knew or at least had some idea of what manner of being Sauron was. Additionally, Ar-Pharazôn wished to rule the world. Might not some of his potential heirs (even if he lacked a direct one) have held similar desires which would obstruct Sauron's potential ascension?

Númenor had become a murderous, barbarous society in which "men took weapons in those days and slew one another for little cause; for they were become quick to anger, and Sauron, or those whom he had bound to himself, went about the land setting man against man, so that the people murmured against the King and the lords, or against any that had aught that they had not; and the men of power took cruel revenge." It seems to me that this was a society where it would not necessarily be easy for Sauron to centralise power in his own hands, having instigated so much unrest.

I think we also have to remember that Sauron did not actually intend for Númenor itself to be destroyed, nor did he expect Eru's intervention. At least, my interpretation is that those elements loyal directly to the King would attack Aman and be destroyed by the Valar, leaving him in control of a remnant so that he could return to Middle-earth and resume his wars against the Elves. I think he must have known that, partially with his help, Númenor had become too powerful for him to control directly, and while there he had abandoned his kingship in Middle-earth (I assume he had left the Nazgûl in charge in his absence). Again, I think to some extent Sauron must simply have lusted for the destruction of a nation and people who had repeatedly thwarted his plans and humiliated him.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2013, 07:31 AM   #6
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 2,919
Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Formendacil is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Narya

Sauron certainly neutralised Númenor as an enemy--but only insofar as he preyed upon their own desire for world supremacy. As long as Sauron was still their defeated captive and was pushing them towards a goal they long sought, he was able to get them to do what he wanted. Had he tried to push them back to war in Middle-earth though, it seems likely that the Númenóreans would have become suspicious he was trying to use them as a powerplay--not least because they had little interest in looking east: they'd already found and taken what they wanted there; the things they still wanted lay westward.

It's worth pointing out that we have no idea who Ar-Pharazôn's heir was. Amandil and Elendil were closer kin to him through his grandmother, Inzilbêth, than through their shared descent from Tar-Elendil. Presumably any one of the "King's Men" kings closer to Pharazôn had other descendants.

All things considered too, Sauron was much more interested in getting the Valar to act against Númenor than in destroying his enemies in Middle-earth--after all, he still had the Ring there and Númenor and Valinor were each comparatively greater than all of his Middle-earthbound enemies. I don't think he expected Valinor to ever get involved in Middle-earth again; he seems to have read their reluctance to enter the War of Wrath and their failure to pursue him after he left their custody as a sign they had given up, but I think he wasn't beyond spiting them--and maybe he wanted to use the Númenóreans as a test-case to see how far they could be pushed. No danger to him if they proved angry enough to sail east and wipe the island out.

What he didn't expect was Eru stepping in personally--and note that the consequence was that his body was destroyed and he had to rebuild it before the War of the Last Alliance. Granted, it took him far less time than it did AFTER that war, but it should be considered that the War of the Last Alliance would have gone MUCH differently if Númenor had been wiped out "conventionally" and Sauron been able to return to Middle-earth with body intact--and I think we can assume that this is what he was planning for.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 08:57 AM   #7
Mornorngûr
Animated Skeleton
 
Mornorngûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Angband
Posts: 36
Mornorngûr has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
I think we also have to remember that Sauron did not actually intend for Númenor itself to be destroyed, nor did he expect Eru's intervention. At least, my interpretation is that those elements loyal directly to the King would attack Aman and be destroyed by the Valar, leaving him in control of a remnant so that he could return to Middle-earth and resume his wars against the Elves. I think he must have known that, partially with his help, Númenor had become too powerful for him to control directly, and while there he had abandoned his kingship in Middle-earth (I assume he had left the Nazgûl in charge in his absence). Again, I think to some extent Sauron must simply have lusted for the destruction of a nation and people who had repeatedly thwarted his plans and humiliated him.
Why didn't Sauron just give Ar-Pharazôn a 'Ring of Power'? (one of 'The Nine'), or maybe he could have given out all of 'The Nine' among the 'Kings men'?. This way their lives would have been extended and he could have feigned that because of loyalty to his cause (and to Melkor), that eternal life had been granted. This of course would have been a lie. However by the time that they discovered this, they would have been to far gone and under his control (due to the One Ring) to do anything about it, and Sauron would have accomplished dominion over Númenor.

Thoughts?
__________________
Then Sauron laughed: 'Patience! Not long shall ye abide. But first a song
I will sing to you, to ears intent.' Then his flaming eyes he on them bent,
and darkness black fell round them all.
Mornorngûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 721
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mornorngûr View Post
Why didn't Sauron just give Ar-Pharazôn a 'Ring of Power'? (one of 'The Nine'), or maybe he could have given out all of 'The Nine' among the 'Kings men'?. This way their lives would have been extended and he could have feigned that because of loyalty to his cause (and to Melkor), that eternal life had been granted. This of course would have been a lie. However by the time that they discovered this, they would have been to far gone and under his control (due to the One Ring) to do anything about it, and Sauron would have accomplished dominion over Númenor.
Apart from the practical reason that the Nine had already been dispensed by that point in time and there were no Great Rings remaining for him to give out, I think that Sauron simply did not want most of the Númenoréans to survive. He wanted, I think, to kill Ar-Pharazôn and destroy the armies and fleets of Númenor to cripple their strength and eliminate the threat they posed to his plans of domination in Middle-earth.

The entire plot, convincing Ar-Pharazôn to attack Aman, seems to be similar to the scheme with the Rings of Power to me. Gandalf observed Sauron's philosophy thus: "he that strikes the first blow, if he strikes it had enough, may need to strike no more." ("The White Rider") Sauron was always developing master plans to eliminate his enemies in a single motion. The forging of the Rings was one such scheme, to bring the Elves under his control instantaneously. This scheme failed. Númenor succeeded, to an extent, but he lost his body and the Faithful survived; by eliminating his power-rivals he granted Gil-Galad a formidable ally. The War of the Ring was a similar scheme - to let the blow fall on all of his enemies simultaneously and destroy them all at once. This was the nature of Sauron's character: impatient and ruthless. The problem with this attitude was that his plans had no contingency, and when they failed they did so disastrously.

I do not believe that ruling Númenor was ever of interest to Sauron. He just wanted to get rid of them, because he hated and feared them. Without them he only had to deal with the Noldor. Temporarily being the power behind the throne was simply the most efficient means of doing this because they could not be defeated by force of arms.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 10:24 AM   #9
Mornorngûr
Animated Skeleton
 
Mornorngûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Angband
Posts: 36
Mornorngûr has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Apart from the practical reason that the Nine had already been dispensed by that point in time and there were no Great Rings remaining for him to give out, I think that Sauron simply did not want most of the Númenoréans to survive.
I thought that Sauron actually held 'The Nine'? After the Men he gave them to were corrupted, did he not take them back? or did the Nazgul still have them?.

Actually I have just been doing some research and it is clear to me that Sauron actually held them and therefore could re-distribute them if he wished.
__________________
Then Sauron laughed: 'Patience! Not long shall ye abide. But first a song
I will sing to you, to ears intent.' Then his flaming eyes he on them bent,
and darkness black fell round them all.

Last edited by Mornorngûr; 08-30-2013 at 10:45 AM.
Mornorngûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 05:43 PM   #10
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mornorngûr View Post
I thought that Sauron actually held 'The Nine'? After the Men he gave them to were corrupted, did he not take them back? or did the Nazgul still have them?.

Actually I have just been doing some research and it is clear to me that Sauron actually held them and therefore could re-distribute them if he wished.
Yes and no. Sauron did hold them physically, but each ring was still tied to a Nazgul. It's sort of the flipside of their being bonded to their rings, the rings are bonded to them. I tend to think that, as long as a ring was "occupied" it couldn't be given to another person; one ring, one slave. Otherwise, Sauron could have simply kept distributing the rings freely until he had THOUSANDS of ringwrathis If a Nazgul was somehow destroyed, I imagine it just might be possible for that ring to be reassigned (some people thing this may have happened, that, when the Witch King was slain, his ring was then either given to or slated to be given to the Mouth so as to grant that loyal servant immortality and further power to serve his master.)
That being said there is the fact that Sauron did have the ability to grant powers to Men WITHOUT making them ringwraths. The Mouth presumably had some powers granted to him (he's already supposed to be far older than a mortal man is supposed to live naturally) And there were at least two Chief's of the Easterlings that Sauron was supposed to have granted powers of some sort to. He also presumably had a few "special servants" among the Near and Far Haradrians (given how big a part of his armed forces they were, he'd want their leaders to be EXTRA loyal to him). Why he chose not to take this route in Numenor is unknown. Maybe he wanted to simply winnow out the indifferent of Numenor (who might serve him as long as those in power did, but who would rapidly change sides back should things go badly for then under Sauron's rule and leave only those who were TRULY devoted to him as a god (the Black Numenorians and therefore presumably, their decendants, the Corsairs of Umbar)
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 10:43 PM   #11
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annûn, Ithilien
Posts: 460
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mornorngûr View Post
Actually I have just been doing some research and it is clear to me that Sauron actually held them and therefore could re-distribute them if he wished.
I agree with Alfirin, yes he held them, but the Rings worked in a certain way. If Sauron could freely distribute them and create an unlimited number of Wraiths why had he limited himself to only 9 in thousands of years? We know that the Wraiths would not disobey their Lord so he need not fear any rebellion from them.
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 03:32 PM   #12
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,437
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegorn View Post
I agree with Alfirin, yes he held them, but the Rings worked in a certain way. If Sauron could freely distribute them and create an unlimited number of Wraiths why had he limited himself to only 9 in thousands of years? We know that the Wraiths would not disobey their Lord so he need not fear any rebellion from them.
I wonder if the maximum number of ring-slaves was not connected to the fact that even Sauron must have a limit to his power.

The Silmarillion makes note of the way in which Morgoth's own power was diluted by his expending it in the domination of his servants. Sauron, one could think, could have been 'watered down' similarly, since domination was the ultimate purpose of the rings he made. Maybe the more wraiths there were to share his power (which fundamentally they did), the weaker he would become, and as the Ring-lord, he should have been aware of that.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 05:07 PM   #13
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 721
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I wonder if the maximum number of ring-slaves was not connected to the fact that even Sauron must have a limit to his power.
I think this seems likely. When we hear about, for instance, the Lord of the Nazgûl being stronger during the War of the Ring due to being invested with "added demonic force" (Letter 210) it would seem likely to me that Sauron could only perform feats like this within a limited pool of power. Like Morgoth that power could not simply arise ex nihilo. Morgoth spent his strength on invigorating his servants repeatedly, with dragons, balrogs and so on. Beyond controlling his armies, Sauron's much lesser strength seems to have been confined to things like invigorating his most powerful servant. Presumably there would be, in the same way, a limit on the number of wraiths he could control, with or without the One.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 05:55 PM   #14
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
That also might explain why Sauron never made any attempts to make addional mortal/dwarven rings on his own. He made the One Ring from scratch himself so he had the skill, plus he had the original mortal and dwarven rings as protoypes so technically I don't see a reason he could not have done it (though it is also likely that the nature of the One Rings spell was such that it could only control those rings in existence at it's creation, not rings made after it; that you couldn't add more retroactively). Heck depending on how much of Celembrimbor's work Sauron was privy to; he might have known enough that, had he had the power and the spell allowed it, he could have made addional ELVEN rings, and see if he could find wearers among elves less "pure" than those who held the originals, or (if one of the theories is accurate) among particualry clever and loyal Orc captains.
It also occurs to me that extra mortal rings would have given Sauron an addional advantage beyond an unlimited number of wraiths, it could have given him an indefensible method of dealing with any and all opposition. As far as we know all of those who took the mortal rings did so willingly, but I'm not sure this is a prerequisite for the rings power and corruption to work. If he had unlimited mortal rings it would offer him the option of forcibly bonding anyone who was too much trouble to him. Capture the individual, force a ring on his finger and then either keep him chained up until the corruption did it's job or stab him through the heart with a Morgul blade (assuming my theories are correct and 1. the blade part of a Morgul knife can be replaced for additional uses (so they aren't quite as rare and valuable as they seem) and 2. If a Morgul knife is actually inserted DIRECTLY into the heart, wraithification occurs INSTANTLY). In short the amount of uses Sauron could have put additional rings or ring re-use to are so large it's is safe to assume that if he could have, he would have and that since he didn't he couldn't.
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2013, 12:41 PM   #15
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,437
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
As far as we know all of those who took the mortal rings did so willingly, but I'm not sure this is a prerequisite for the rings power and corruption to work. If he had unlimited mortal rings it would offer him the option of forcibly bonding anyone who was too much trouble to him. Capture the individual, force a ring on his finger and then either keep him chained up until the corruption did it's job or stab him through the heart with a Morgul blade (assuming my theories are correct and 1. the blade part of a Morgul knife can be replaced for additional uses (so they aren't quite as rare and valuable as they seem) and 2. If a Morgul knife is actually inserted DIRECTLY into the heart, wraithification occurs INSTANTLY). In short the amount of uses Sauron could have put additional rings or ring re-use to are so large it's is safe to assume that if he could have, he would have and that since he didn't he couldn't.
That's interesting about the idea of forcible "wraithification". I would think that the reason Sauron didn't use that tack was that a willfully evil mind was more preferable for his purposes than an innocent/unwilling mind. And like I said, I think that the mere acceptance of something like a Ring of Power, which gave influence over the physical and spiritual world beyond the original measure of the wearer, was in itself a "sin", leaving the user more vulnerable to its effects. Someone having a ring forced on them might take a good deal longer to transform, as they would know from the start to be wary and to attempt to fight its effects. And those effects in the end might not have been quite the same as for a willing bearer, as maybe the difference of the influence of the One on Gollum and Bilbo might indicate.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2013, 06:58 PM   #16
Alfirin
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
All true. I never meant that I thought it did happen merely that, in a world where the ring supply was unlimited, Sauron might have attempted the experiment. It probably would take longer, but it mostly likey would happen in the end. Consider Frodo himself, as far as we can tell he did not "want" the power of the ring initially, but it did beat him down eventually. But I agree it might have taken a bit longer, perhaps too long in the case of simply waiting. Plus there is the matter of keeping the person alive until then (something tells me that Sauron's minions are probably not all that good at things like force feeding so unless Sauron was willing to expend addional power in keeping the individual alive a lot would probably simply starve themselves to death before succumbing. Plus, we are probably talking about a lot of people of Numenorian/Gondorian blood causing another problem with keeping them alive (I tend to interpret their ability to "give up life" as also allowing them to, in hopeless situations, simply WILL themselves to death.) So the "knife trick" would probably have to be real. But if it was then possibly forcible wraithification would have been possible and Sauron would had whole platoons of Nazgul "Poissible motto "Some are Born Wraith, Some Achieve Wraithness, and Some have Wraithness thrust upon them.
Alfirin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 08:56 AM   #17
Mornorngûr
Animated Skeleton
 
Mornorngûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Angband
Posts: 36
Mornorngûr has just left Hobbiton.
Great reply's people, and I agree with what you have said here for the most part. Of course I wasn't saying that he could have re-distributed the rings, it was just an interesting idea that came to my mind. However I still think that there was some possibility of corrupting Ar-Pharazon with a ring of power that belonged to the Dwarves, if he had recovered any at this point?.
__________________
Then Sauron laughed: 'Patience! Not long shall ye abide. But first a song
I will sing to you, to ears intent.' Then his flaming eyes he on them bent,
and darkness black fell round them all.
Mornorngûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 02:43 PM   #18
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,437
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mornorngûr View Post
However I still think that there was some possibility of corrupting Ar-Pharazon with a ring of power that belonged to the Dwarves, if he had recovered any at this point?.
There's no concrete information as to exactly what was the manner of disposition of the Seven (or Nine, of course), nor do we know how quickly Sauron recovered the three that survived. I wouldn't think though, that there had been sufficient time for him to have recovered any before the Downfall of Númenor, for him to have had enough time to satisfactorily observe their effects on the wearers, and to have brought about their recovery. After all, it wasn't until the lifetime of Thorin Oakenshield's father Thráin in the Third Age that that ring, spoken of by Thráin as "the last of the Seven" was taken back.

I think there are other reasons too that would have held Sauron back from trying to turn a Númenórean king.
For one thing, it really wasn't necessary to do that to Ar-Pharazôn. He was for all practical purposes a puppet ruler when Sauron was in Númenor, and when Sauron already had that sort of control, using one of the precious Rings would have been overkill.

More importantly though, Sauron might not have wanted the masses in Númenor seeing what the end product of the wraith-process really entailed. It might have frightened them enough to have turned them off their path in which they strove for immortality. My thought of that is that the state of the Nazgûl was actually what immortality was for a mortal. They could not get new life, only a lengthening of what they had already, and seeing that displayed openly in the figure of their king might have led to some serious soul-searching which could have derailed Sauron's plans.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2013, 09:12 AM   #19
Mornorngûr
Animated Skeleton
 
Mornorngûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Angband
Posts: 36
Mornorngûr has just left Hobbiton.
Yeah I guess you are right, Iziladun. Sauron probably wouldnt have recovered any of 'The 7' by this time, and he would not have been able to to determine their effects on the wearers.

Quote:
More importantly though, Sauron might not have wanted the masses in Númenor seeing what the end product of the wraith-process really entailed. It might have frightened them enough to have turned them off their path in which they strove for immortality. My thought of that is that the state of the Nazgûl was actually what immortality was for a mortal. They could not get new life, only a lengthening of what they had already, and seeing that displayed openly in the figure of their king might have led to some serious soul-searching which could have derailed Sauron's plans.
I suppose this was indeed the only kind of immortality to be had by a mortal and like you say seeing it would have terrified them. 'The Faithful' did not agree with how Ar-Pharazon was ruling (under Sauron) and still more Numenorians would have been horrified if their king became a Wraith, and would turn away from him.
__________________
Then Sauron laughed: 'Patience! Not long shall ye abide. But first a song
I will sing to you, to ears intent.' Then his flaming eyes he on them bent,
and darkness black fell round them all.
Mornorngûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 05:47 AM   #20
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 721
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Just to briefly revive this thread if I may, I noticed the following when doing a bit of reading for another thread the other day, from Akallabêth as Sauron laughs in the temple at the departure of Ar-Pharazôn:

"and a third time, even as he laughed at his own thought, thinking what he would do now in the world, being rid of the Edain for ever"

This would put it fairly plainly in my view that Sauron quite determinedly did not want to rule the Númenoréans - he wanted to exterminate them. Not necessarily the most practical course of action, but Sauron was a very evil being, and surely sheer hatred must at times have trumped reason, especially regarding those enemies who had obstructed his plans and humiliated him.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 08:05 AM   #21
NogrodtheGreat
Pile O'Bones
 
NogrodtheGreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 20
NogrodtheGreat has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via Skype™ to NogrodtheGreat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
This would put it fairly plainly in my view that Sauron quite determinedly did not want to rule the Númenoréans - he wanted to exterminate them. Not necessarily the most practical course of action, but Sauron was a very evil being, and surely sheer hatred must at times have trumped reason, especially regarding those enemies who had obstructed his plans and humiliated him.
This is interesting and perhaps correct, but it is belied by Sauron's utter patience and meticulousness in his take down of the Numenoreans. In some sense he was supremely rational in the way he went about it. I think in the end you are correct - Sauron wanted to destroy them, but not only because of his hatred. He wanted Numenor out of the geopolitical picture, for one.

With this achieved, he wouldn't have had much trouble destroying Gil-galad and then taking all of Middle-earth. Only the formation of Gondor and Arnor really stopped him in the end - without the Last Alliance and its manpower he probably would have conquered the world.
NogrodtheGreat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #22
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 721
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NogrodtheGreat View Post
This is interesting and perhaps correct, but it is belied by Sauron's utter patience and meticulousness in his take down of the Numenoreans. In some sense he was supremely rational in the way he went about it. I think in the end you are correct - Sauron wanted to destroy them, but not only because of his hatred. He wanted Numenor out of the geopolitical picture, for one.
Yes, I think that's true - I think I might have explored similar ideas in an earlier post. I just think that the issue of his malice contributes better to our understanding of why he destroyed them rather than trying to incorporate them into his regime. I think we probably have three complimentary reasons:

1) To limit the resistance to him in Middle-earth and eliminate a rival for power.
2) Because they would have been too difficult to wholly absorb into an existing empire (especially, in my view, the way he would have wanted: with himself as their King and God, not just the High Priest of an illusory divinity who manipulated their de jure leader).
3) Because he hated them and wanted revenge.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2013, 06:08 AM   #23
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annûn, Ithilien
Posts: 460
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
Sauron most certainly wanted them gone. His armies could not stand up to them and he felt they could topple his own base. It's quite amazing when I think about it because the Last Alliance was supposed to be the likeness of the army assembled to topple Melkor at the end of the First Age, and yet, with no Alliance, the Númenóreans themselves could overwhelm Sauron's forces. Also, remember Ar-Pharazôn would not let Sauron go around talking about he was the King of the World. So the idea of him being a King over the Númenóreans even though he had so manipulated them due to their fear of death, was not going to happen. The only thing they were crazy about at Númenór was their Doom. So Sauron made use of this fear and had them put an end to themselves, for the most part.
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2018, 03:37 AM   #24
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 721
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Reviving this thread for a specific purpose:

The Silmarillion thread going at the moment had me looking around for quotes about Ar-Pharazôn's invasion of Aman, and I came upon this good quote from The Peoples of Middle-earth, in the Tale of Years of the Second Age, about Sauron in Númenor:
Quote:
So great was his power over the hearts of the most of that people that maybe had he wished he could have taken the sceptre; but all that he wished was to bring Númenor to ruin.
This suggests to me that Sauron really was in a "destruction first" mindset by the end of the Second Age; he cared more about destroying Númenor than ruling it.

Wish I'd been able to find this quote five years ago! Can't believe it's been that long
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2018, 03:25 PM   #25
popo
Newly Deceased
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
popo has just left Hobbiton.
Tolkien novice here, but reading the Silmarillion yesterday and I came upon the line the OP was based upon:
"[Sauron] gathered again under his government all the evil things of the days of Morgoth that remained on earth or beneath it"

Do the lore experts here consider this the best evidence that Sauron held sway over Balrogs - espeically Durin's Bane? To me the quote seems an expicit yes!
However I've seen other threads here debating who's interest Durin's Bane would have acted under in FOTR, his own or Sauron's.
popo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2018, 05:26 PM   #26
Pervinca Took
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Treetops, C/O Great Smials
Posts: 1,663
Pervinca Took is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Welcome aboard, Popo.
__________________
"Sit by the firelight's glow; tell us an old tale we know. Tell of adventures strange and rare; never to change, ever to share! Stories we tell will cast their spell, now and for always."
Pervinca Took is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2018, 03:13 AM   #27
Huinesoron
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The Fair City of Nargothrond
Posts: 513
Huinesoron is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by popo View Post
Tolkien novice here, but reading the Silmarillion yesterday and I came upon the line the OP was based upon:
"[Sauron] gathered again under his government all the evil things of the days of Morgoth that remained on earth or beneath it"

Do the lore experts here consider this the best evidence that Sauron held sway over Balrogs - espeically Durin's Bane? To me the quote seems an expicit yes!
However I've seen other threads here debating who's interest Durin's Bane would have acted under in FOTR, his own or Sauron's.
That seems pretty conclusive, doesn't it? I think on that evidence, I'd have to agree that both the dragons and the balrog(s, if there was more than one, which is probably unlikely) were under Sauron's sway - in the Second Age, at least. Given his multiple defeats at the close of the Second (I count three in the space of two generations), it seems likely that influence would have lessened or faded entirely in the Third Age.

In fact, we know it did, because Gandalf's fear in The Quest of Erebor (found in Unfinished Tales) was specifically that Smaug might join Sauron - not that he was already on his team.

An interesting question arises about Shelob and her kin - were they 'evil things of the days of Morgoth'? But Shelob definitely comes across never having been subordinate to Sauron, though she fears him. I think the explanation is that Ungoliant and her spawn stem from an older time - they're not an evil brought by Morgoth, unlike the orcs and even the balrogs.

Coming back to the balrog and the dragons... how strong must the Elves and Numenoreans have been?! We're explicitly told in the same passage as the quote you found that Sauron feared to pass the Ered Luin, and that his armies couldn't withstand the might of Numenor. But we also know that a single dragon was able to bring three great nations of the Third Age - Erebor, Dale, and the Woodland Realm - to their knees, destroying two and preventing the other from making a move against him.

I think the answer may lie in Lake-Town. I know that the River Running is a prime trade route, but who in their right mind sets up shop right under the eye of a dragon? Well... actually, until Thorin showed up, it worked pretty well for them, because Smaug didn't come out. He seems to have been quite content to sit in his mountain, cuddling his gold. Similarly, Durin's Bane never sets foot outside Moria, even though it could probably slaughter its way through most of Lorien if it chose.

The big players on Team Morgoth don't like to leave their holes much. Sauron is probably the most 'outgoing', and even he spends most of his time sitting in a tower somewhere. Come to think of it, when he starts moving around, bad things happen to him - he got shot by Beren in Dorthonion, beaten by Minastir in Lindon, sunk by Iluvatar in Numenor, and stabbed by Isildur on Dagorlad! Why risk that when you can just throw an army of orcs at the problem, or - if you're cunning enough - make yourself some undead sorcerers?

Accepting then that Durin's Bane and the dragons were under Sauron's 'government', that doesn't mean he could just send them wherever he wanted. Remember that Morgoth himself had trouble controlling Glaurung, who snuck off when he was half-grown, and later pretty much just decided not to go home. I'm sure the balrog said it would do something about those dwarves mucking about up above it... but, y'know, maybe later? Why not let them mine out all the mithril first, save us the bother...?

hS
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2018, 03:30 AM   #28
Eldorion
Pile O'Bones
 
Eldorion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Maryland, United States
Posts: 18
Eldorion has just left Hobbiton.
If Durin's Bane was under Sauron's control in the Second Age, then I'd think that Sauron would have ordered it to do something other than hibernate for 5000 years. In all seriousness, even if you don't think the Balrog was literally asleep for all that time, he was stuck underneath the most powerful Dwarf realm in northwest Middle-earth, one that Sauron was unable to force his way into during the War of the Elves and Sauron. There was no opportunity for them to be in contact since the Balrog had already gone to ground by the time Sauron started dipping his toes back into the Dark Lord game.

[Edit: I went back and double-checked Appendix A and it's pretty clear that the Balrog was asleep for most of its 5000 year disappearance, though it's left uncertain whether the Dwarves in T.A. 1980 were the ones who woke it, or if the Balrog had already been "awakened by the malice of Sauron" but remained trapped in "prison" beneath Khazad-dûm. Either way, it was out of commission during the much earlier time period that the "gathered under his government" quote refers to.]

I agree with Huinesoron's points about the evident limits of Sauron's control over evil creatures such as Smaug in the late Third Age. Note also that the Moria orcs served neither Sauron nor Saruman (cf. the chapter "The Uruk-hai"), which would be a weird setup if they were sharing the mines with a Balrog in the loyal service of Sauron.

Last edited by Eldorion; 04-13-2018 at 03:47 AM.
Eldorion is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:36 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.