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Old 01-05-2017, 04:23 PM   #1
Mithadan
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Ring Sauron's Great Miscalculation

Gandalf, at one point, refers to Sauron as a "wise fool." Wise because he is one of the Maiar and had achieved much and was steeped in lore and knowledge. A fool because he did not understand the motivations and minds of Men and Elves. Indeed, at times, Sauron may have been more foolish than wise.

We have discussed elsewhere that the making of "magical" things by Elves and the Ainur, to some extent, requires that the maker sacrifice some of his or her own individual "power" by placing it into the thing that is made. Perhaps, in some cases, the power derives, in part, from an outside source. The Silmarils had some of the essence of the light of the Two Trees in them. The Phial of Galadriel has the light of the Star of Earendil. The Three Elvish Rings may have derived some of their power from air, fire and water.

Tolkien states in Letter 131 that the chief power of all the Rings of Power was "the preservation or slowing of decay." He describes this as an "Elvish motive", namely the desire to preserve the beauty of their lands and avert the fading that they are doomed to. In the same letter, he suggests that the Elves remaining in Middle Earth wanted to create an image of Valinor in the mortal lands, and that this was an error, partly conceived by Sauron as an attack upon the Valar. The Rings of Power had other aspects resulting from Sauron's involvement. They caused invisibility (except for the Three he notes in the letter). And their tendency to slow decay made them a powerful temptation to Men, JRRT says in another letter; a way to avoid or delay death. I believe that even the lesser rings were never intended for Men or Dwarves. Sauron seized the Seven and the Nine, and possibly other lesser rings in the war upon Eregion.

So Sauron makes the One Ring and imbues it with a large part of his own native strength. JRRT says in Letter 131 that the One "contained the powers of all the others, and controlled them, so its wearer could see the thoughts of all those that used the lesser rings, could govern all that they did, and in the end could utterly enslave them." Note Tolkien's use of the word "could" rather than "would" in this quote.

Wise fool. Nice idea. Control and enslave the lords of the Elves that were "using" the Rings. Now I will quote a bit from earlier in this post. "A fool because he did not understand the motivations and minds of Men and Elves." Sauron puts on the One, the Elves perceive him, and what do they do? They take the Rings off and don't use them. Sauron apparently did not expect this.

I posit that Sauron was a fool in creating the One. It did not succeed in its purpose. The creation of the One placed a large portion of his strength in an OBJECT that could be lost or destroyed. If he had not created the One and invested time and effort into trying to fool the Elves, he could have retained all his strength in himself and would have been no worse off. And ultimately, what happens? He loses the Ring when it is cut off his finger by Isildur, and eventually it is destroyed, also destroying him. The creation of the One Ring was a colossal miscalculation.
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:47 PM   #2
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Nice thread, sir.

I agree with your position.
The inability of Evil to understand Good seems to be a common happening.

Morgoth was unable to foresee a situation when the Valar could ever again help the Eldar and Edain, thinking them as merciless as he. A special emissary to plead for their cause was not on his radar.

Sauron, I think, later could not imaging the Valar taking any sort of pity on any of the Nśmenóreans; indeed he'd done his best to make them abhorrent in their pride and greed.

As Galadriel noted:

Quote:
'I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all of his mind that concerns the Elves. And he gropes ever to see me and my thought. But still the door is closed!'
FOTR The Mirror of Galadriel

If we take it a step further and consider Saruman, it seems he was utterly amazed by Gandalf's offer to let him go free from Orthanc, wither he wished. The inability to perceive mercy, coupled with hate and envy of Gandalf, led to his rejection of a last chance to put aside his devotion to self.

So it seems to me Sauron's blindness was to be expected. He'd had a long time to be immersed in Morgoth's own self-absorbing delusions, and, maybe, seeing the success of Morgoth with fomenting such strife among the Elves with Fėanor and his sons, thought he might be able to accomplish something similar, not understanding that the Elves had actually learned from their mistakes.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:30 AM   #3
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...one of them relatively narrow and slightly off the main path.

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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
I believe that even the lesser rings were never intended for Men or Dwarves. Sauron seized the Seven and the Nine, and possibly other lesser rings in the war upon Eregion.
I'd never really thought about that.

When you say "never intended" I assume the implication is "the elves never intended."

Why did the elves make so many rings, or perhaps, how did Sauron persuade them to make so many? I assume handing out the Seven and the Nine was always his intention. Or rather, did Sauron just make use of the number of rings that he was able to get his hands on? He handed out seven to the dwarves because there were seven dwarf houses and then the Nine were the ones left over from that.

Point Two:

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The inability of Evil to understand Good seems to be a common happening.
But neither is this conception inability unique. Tolkien represents Good as being unable to comprehend Evil as well. Manwe was unable to understand Melkor and the changes that had happened in Melkor, which is why Melkor got off so lightly with the Chaining.
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:53 PM   #4
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Making the Ring was certainly a mistake, but I think it's a mistake completely consistent with Sauron's character:
Gandalf describes Sauron's policies thus:
Quote:
he that strikes the first blow, if he strikes it hard enough, may need to strike no more
As we know Professor Tolkien also says the following:
Quote:
it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction
Given Sauron's nature, I think that such a "master plan", while certainly a miscalculation, was one he was practically bound to make, especially when coupled with his inability to comprehend the motives of good and altruistic people. This characteristic I think is another byproduct of his obsession with order, as his belief in the fundamental truth and logic of his own worldview made him incapable of believing that anyone could perceive the world differently.
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:04 PM   #5
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Tolkien played with the idea of Sauron's single-mindedness, his monomania, leading to his grand miscalculation. Tolkien pictured Sauron as a single, lidless eye who was blind to all else but the One Ring, In many ways, Sauron was just as addicted to the Ring as Gollum or any other ringbearer, intent upon its reacquisition, much to his own folly.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:20 AM   #6
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Tolkien represents Good as being unable to comprehend Evil as well. Manwe was unable to understand Melkor and the changes that had happened in Melkor, which is why Melkor got off so lightly with the Chaining.
That's true. But Evil's blindness seems to be more consistent.

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Tolkien played with the idea of Sauron's single-mindedness, his monomania, leading to his grand miscalculation. Tolkien pictured Sauron as a single, lidless eye who was blind to all else but the One Ring, In many ways, Sauron was just as addicted to the Ring as Gollum or any other ringbearer, intent upon its reacquisition, much to his own folly.
I think that's something else Sauron didn't count on when hatching the rings plot: that he himself would be consumed by lust for his own One Ring. Why would that be so? The power and will it contained was his own. Was it turned into an external force when imparted into the Ring, independent of his own fea?
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:51 AM   #7
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Was it turned into an external force when imparted into the Ring, independent of his own fea?
Thematically I would say yes. Within the logic of the narrative I would say that it probably had much the same effect upon him psychologically as other bearers.

I note this from "Myths Transformed" as well about Sauron's situation after the Ring's destruction:
Quote:
[Sauron] was said to have fallen below the point of ever recovering, though he had previously recovered. What is probably meant is that a 'wicked' spirit becomes fixed in a certain desire or ambition, and if it cannot repent then this desire becomes virtually its whole being. But the desire may be wholly beyond the weakness it has fallen to, and it will then be unable to withdraw its attention from the unobtainable desire, even to attend to itself. It will then remain for ever in impotent desire or memory of desire.
It seems to me that it was because the Ring was so crucial to Sauron's ambitions, especially after he lost it, that it became such an object of obsession. When he had it, he needed it, and when he lost it he desperately wanted it back. Perhaps that's the source of how the Ring engendered obsession in all of its bearers, because by its nature it was an object that was utterly essential to the fulfilment of its maker's fixations and to his survival; perhaps it influenced others in the same way because that was what it was: a thing essential to Sauron, and thus essential to anyone who bore it for any length of time.

The thought also occurs that the creation of the Ring was an inevitable mistake for Sauron because it was the technological implementation of his god complex; it gave him fake omniscience and omnipotence (over other Ring bearers) and allowed him to bestow counterfeit immortality upon his servants. He wanted to be a god and the Ring (and Rings) seem to have been quite an effective (if ultimately rather pathetic) way that he could pretend to be one.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:26 AM   #8
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That's true. But Evil's blindness seems to be more consistent.
Either that or the points in the stories where Good had the advantage and initiative where such insights matter more are fewer and further between.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:43 AM   #9
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Sauron was also a victim of very mundane poor intelligence. After the Ford of Bruinen he lost track of the Ring and never got a good fix on it again, even though he came very close at times. At best he learned - days after the fact - that it had been at Sarn Gebir; and it would have been entirely natural for him to assume that it was headed for either Rohan or Gondor (especially after Pippin's fortuitous blunder on Dol Baran). Aragorn then had the wit and the will to reinforce this misconception.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:55 PM   #10
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By "poor intelligence" I assume that you mean lack of strategic or military intelligence, i.e. where is the ring, as opposed to pure stupidity. Or maybe I am wrong.

The lack of "intelligence" relates to the efforts of Gandalf in concealing the path of the Ring, and, candidly, Sauron's failure to perceive that his opponents might seek to destroy the Ring rather than use it against him. So, perhaps, Sauron's "poor intelligence" was really a lack of understanding. The Ring was not being brought to Imladris to be wielded. It was not being brought to Lothlorien to be wielded. It was not being brought to Gondor or even Rohan to be wielded. it was not to be wielded at all, but rather destroyed.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:35 PM   #11
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By "poor intelligence" I assume that you mean lack of strategic or military intelligence, i.e. where is the ring, as opposed to pure stupidity. Or maybe I am wrong.

The lack of "intelligence" relates to the efforts of Gandalf in concealing the path of the Ring, and, candidly, Sauron's failure to perceive that his opponents might seek to destroy the Ring rather than use it against him. So, perhaps, Sauron's "poor intelligence" was really a lack of understanding. The Ring was not being brought to Imladris to be wielded. It was not being brought to Lothlorien to be wielded. It was not being brought to Gondor or even Rohan to be wielded. it was not to be wielded at all, but rather destroyed.
The phrase "poor intelligence" also covers poor assumptions since in intelligence complete information is rare so assumptions are part and parcel of the thing.

So Sauron's poor intelligence was many-layered.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:13 PM   #12
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One thing that Tolkien was very aware of, as a former Army signals officer,* is that it takes time for information to be relayed. Reading through Tolkien's detailed chronologies, one is struck by how carefully he tracked when Sauron, Saruman, the Witch-king etc actually learned a significant piece of intel- and the time-lag was significant, usually significant enough to make it "non-actionable."

One thing I hate about the movies is that PJ pretty much assumes that everything is known instantaneously across Middle-earth. Everyone knows way too much about what is going on, whereas the books are notable for how much most characters don't know.

*In 1916, realtime communication on the battlefield was restricted to field telephones, which only extended to your own front lines and even then were often knocked out, by shells, damp or just plain unreliability. Wireless was confined to divisional radio stations communicating in Morse code with higher headquarters. At the battalion level, it was still flares, carrier pigeons, and foot- or horse-borne couriers just like Waterloo. No wonder the commanders had no idea what was happening once the Tommies went over the top!
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:40 AM   #13
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I posit that Sauron was a fool in creating the One. It did not succeed in its purpose. The creation of the One placed a large portion of his strength in an OBJECT that could be lost or destroyed. If he had not created the One and invested time and effort into trying to fool the Elves, he could have retained all his strength in himself and would have been no worse off. And ultimately, what happens? He loses the Ring when it is cut off his finger by Isildur, and eventually it is destroyed, also destroying him. The creation of the One Ring was a colossal miscalculation.
Hello Mithadan, it's a really interesting topic. I vary from seeing Sauron (Maia of Aule) as suffering from autocentric self-centred 'foolishness' and at my most unforgiving as suffering from monocentric lock. The two ideas place egocentrism on a continuum, with the latter serving, perhaps, ideas about egoic greed and narcissism in evil emotional pleasure of Sauronic greed, fed by the deployment of the Rings of Power, which divert to Sauron, autocentric control over Ring Bearers. It's the common interpretation of the mythology, where Tolkien cites Sauron at Eregion as passing some kind of critical point in egocentric, sadistic 'runaway mode', and uses actual word lust and greed in a conjoined reference to that tipping point leading to the War of Elves and Sauron (i'd need to lookup the citation - recognising Morth-oron is not far away hahahah).

It's interesting that Tolkien refers to 'seduction' and 'lust' in how he describes what I always saw as the basis of the 'egocentric blindness' (autocetric lock) or Vanity of Narcissism where Suaron becomes nauseatingly self-referential, in imagining everyone wants, in the end to be 'evilly pleasured' by power and greed. Think legally here Mithadan and Morthoron, as in 'intention elements and evidentiary weight for culpability analyses. We use 'psychopathy' in law and society as the analogue, where we suggest that 'wise foolishness' perhaps is the analogue for the 'absence of seeing/perspective taking/empathy' of psychopathy. It is interesting that the implications of a singularity of monocentrism, is inconsistent with positing that Sauron had not another 'plan' post Third Age. He needed beings NOT to be OF his 'self' as well, so he could avoid boredom, if nothing else. hahahha

It's interesting that the Rings imbue a Sauronic solution about 'lack of affective empathy' inherent in psychopathic (the lust/greed motif) by making the Ring Owner 'able to see' the actual thoughts of each bearer. This, I think is what 'wise foolishness' might be Tolkien's idea. It follows the ideas in The Return of the King about Sauron's failure to infer that 'they want to what? destroy the Ring').

The topic of sadistic greed of Sauron, however, has Tolkien's Christianity in a biasing (again the legal idea of bias works well here) motivation of perpetrators. The bias tends to obviate any likelihood that Sauron had any beneficent motivation. We know this is incorrect. His Orcs were sentients, and had will. He wanted to thrive, and had a parental relationship with them. And frankly, they were much better at coping with dust and impoverished environments than vain, conceited Elves, determined to make creepy artifacts in their own images, which is a nausea at times I have about how Elves make things. At times, I see Sauron's point about Galadriel, whose vanity had NO end (e.g. she was "UNfriends" with Feanor "FOREVER"), and that mirror was offensive. Anyhows, hahah that's for another topic, and no doubt it upsets Elf lovers.

More recently, however, I've wondered a great deal about the Ring Command upon Sméagol at Orodruin. If you place Gollum betwixt the Barad Dur and Frodo, then the 'Vanity Inversion' (theory, okay ) of the Ring Command it was that struck Gollum OF the Ring, and not BY Frodo's residual Hobbitish Flesh. I wonder, then, was it instead, the Vanity Vector traces to the Barad Dur, implying that Gollum's awareness of Frodo made Gollum enabled with Free Will, at exactly that point forwards.

At the Sammath Naur, then, Gollum and Sméagol both exert Free Will in the Sméagol/Deagol analogue, this time, with Frodo in the 'Smeagol' role and Gollum atoning for Deagol. This is a Vanity Direction theory. It's premise is that the Ring not Frodo self-commanded OF itself OF Sauronic Origin, directionally TO Gollum, WITHOUT Frodo's contribution.

I also have a 'Sauronic Foresight' hypothesis, if anyone is interested, after this post is looked at.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:24 AM   #14
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The bias tends to obviate any likelihood that Sauron had any beneficent motivation. We know this is incorrect. His Orcs were sentients, and had will. He wanted to thrive, and had a parental relationship with them. And frankly, they were much better at coping with dust and impoverished environments than vain, conceited Elves, determined to make creepy artifacts in their own images, which is a nausea at times I have about how Elves make things. At times, I see Sauron's point about Galadriel, whose vanity had NO end (e.g. she was "UNfriends" with Feanor "FOREVER"), and that mirror was offensive. Anyhows, hahah that's for another topic, and no doubt it upsets Elf lovers.
I disagree with your assessment of Sauron's relationship with the orcs.

First, there is a wide range of possible interpretations about the level of sentience for the orcs, but operating from the assumption that they all had full sentience Sauron deserves no credit for this because he didn't make them, or at least was not the prime engineer in their creation.

Second, at best he regarded them as "useful servants." In the context of the expression of that very sentiment he didn't care if Shelob ate some of them. The Witch-king, and by extension Sauron himself, did not care how many of them were killed in the assault on Minas Tirith. He never seems to have gone to the bother to effectively equip and train the orcs. Saruman seems to have done a better job on that front.

Orcs may have been better able to exist on a more primitive and impoverished level than the Elves but Sauron never did anything to raise them above that status. They were trapped in miserable conditions in a brutal tribal society barely able to function at even the most basic level. Orcs functioned adequately enough, in Sauron's mind, for the purposes he desired and so he kept them trapped at that level. He didn't care about them. He certainly didn't have a parental attitude toward them.

As an aside, I would argue that orcs didn't function to a serviceable level at all. In the narrative we see the entire garrison of one significant border fortress exterminated and the remaining garrison of an even more significant border fortress seriously depleted all through a petty little tribal conflict over a single piece of loot.

It can hardly be overstated how "non-functional" this is in a military context...or indeed in any context.

I'm not convinced that in the event of Sauron's victory that he would have even kept orcs around. They were not good slaves. In the event of his dominance they would have served their purpose. He might well have extirpated them. He was always more interested in Men and Elves anyway. Orcs were just a tool for him to achieve domination over them.
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:52 PM   #15
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He never seems to have gone to the bother to effectively equip and train the orcs.
The essay on Orcs in Morgoth's Ring does mention "trained armies" of Sauron's Orcs: "the Orcs of his own trained armies were so completely under his will that they would sacrifice themselves without hesitation at his command." He also points out that "many were by training as tough as Dwarves in enduring hardship," which is interesting. I like the idea that Dwarves are the standard for endurance, and it's noteworthy that some Orcs were trained to comparable levels.

Also, when Frodo and Sam are with the Orcs in Mordor, the column collides with a "troop of heavy-armed uruks from Barad-dūr". I think you're right that Sauron didn't care about the Orcs, but at least some of them may have been better soldiers than we give them credit for. It seems to me that there were "lesser" Orcs used as "cannon fodder" as it were, but also better, tougher Orcs used as heavy shock troops, not elite in any sense by the standards of the Free Peoples, but strong and as professional as you could get in Mordor.

As you point out, however, the tendency of Orcs to fight amongst themselves if not wholly dominated by the will of a powerful Ainu seems to have been one of their most serious shortcomings as soldiers. The essay on Orcs even points out that Orcs "hated one another, and must be kept ever at war with some 'enemy' to prevent them from slaying one another." This certainly explains the incident at Cirith Ungol, in which idle Orcs on guard duty fall to violence amongst themselves. Also, Sauron's will was occupied elsewhere at the time, upon his forces in Gondor.

The essay on Orcs also mentions of Morgoth's armies that "orks who dwelt long under the immediate attention of his will - as garrisons of his strongholds or elements of armies trained for special purposes in his war-designs - would act like herds, obeying instantly, as if with one will, his commands even if ordered to sacrifice their lives in his service". In this manner, the "training" of Orcs might seem to involve and include a heavy dose of brainwashing, conditioning them to accept their Master's commands without hesitation.

As such I would argue that there probably were fairly well-trained and well-equipped Orc forces in Sauron's hosts, but that they still needed to be heavily monitored and centrally directed to prevent them from relapsing into their natural tendency to fight each other and cause chaos.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:26 PM   #16
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I disagree with your assessment of Sauron's relationship with the orcs.

First, there is a wide range of possible interpretations about the level of sentience for the orcs, but operating from the assumption that they all had full sentience Sauron deserves no credit for this because he didn't make them, or at least was not the prime engineer in their creation.

Second, at best he regarded them as "useful servants." In the context of the expression of that very sentiment he didn't care if Shelob ate some of them. The Witch-king, and by extension Sauron himself, did not care how many of them were killed in the assault on Minas Tirith. He never seems to have gone to the bother to effectively equip and train the orcs. Saruman seems to have done a better job on that front.

Orcs may have been better able to exist on a more primitive and impoverished level than the Elves but Sauron never did anything to raise them above that status. They were trapped in miserable conditions in a brutal tribal society barely able to function at even the most basic level. Orcs functioned adequately enough, in Sauron's mind, for the purposes he desired and so he kept them trapped at that level. He didn't care about them. He certainly didn't have a parental attitude toward them.

As an aside, I would argue that orcs didn't function to a serviceable level at all. In the narrative we see the entire garrison of one significant border fortress exterminated and the remaining garrison of an even more significant border fortress seriously depleted all through a petty little tribal conflict over a single piece of loot.

It can hardly be overstated how "non-functional" this is in a military context...or indeed in any context.

I'm not convinced that in the event of Sauron's victory that he would have even kept orcs around. They were not good slaves. In the event of his dominance they would have served their purpose. He might well have extirpated them. He was always more interested in Men and Elves anyway. Orcs were just a tool for him to achieve domination over them.
Servants or no, it implies a parental relationship. We don't know what secret affectations and affections Sauron had with his Orcs in hierarchies. Certainly, if Eru's manifestation of sentience was in Elvendom and Humanity, then Aule (craftsman) who 'created' the Dwarves was channeling the architect. Likewise, Morgoth and Sauron and Orcs same, same.

@Zigur,

Hi there Zigur, great to see you. Well trained and equipped to war craft is certainly probable. We might remember also they had craftsmanship capacity in appreciation of the beauty of hatreds and rages. Do you remember the Orc blade with the leering tongue during Merry's and Pippin's captivity.

@Reader

In a competing appreciation of Sauronic purpose, I wonder: did the Three and their preservation ideology, bely the Noldorin undercurrents of greed for Elevendom's preservation, by accelerating the Fading of Ea in Middle Earth.

Certainly, it seems that the three Elvish regions (Ost In Edhil, Imladris, Cirdan's Grey Havens) with a Ring each, were syphoning lifeforce and concentrating it into small territories. Forgive the reference to physics, but that seems very Entropic to me, and rather like turning a gas flame on your stove high, to boil a small area of water, while the rest of the home is providing the biosphere of support.

So, in my 'Sauronic-Beneficence' theory, Morgoth and Sauron were aware that Ea were ill crafted, and during the insurrection in the music, they were both obviously aware that Eru would prevail and so were volunteering themselves for a dire, labour or horrific burden, bearing the sacrifice of the Vanity of the Host, by pooling the 'bleeding' energy of Ea into a repetitive Song of Sustain.

Thus, in the Second Prophesy of Mandos, where Morgoth returns through the Doors of Night, this is the parable as read by the Eyes of Vanity WITHING the Middle Earthian biosphere. It's a Vanity Inversion and only Eru sees the unfolding of the illusion FROM the Void's Beyond, where obviously, Sauron, and Morgoth were not disconnected from Eru.

I wonder then, what Middle Earth would have been like without Balrogs, and Dragons and what role these mythological creatures played in their theory about Energetics.
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:20 PM   #17
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The essay on Orcs in Morgoth's Ring does mention "trained armies" of Sauron's Orcs: "the Orcs of his own trained armies were so completely under his will that they would sacrifice themselves without hesitation at his command." He also points out that "many were by training as tough as Dwarves in enduring hardship," which is interesting. I like the idea that Dwarves are the standard for endurance, and it's noteworthy that some Orcs were trained to comparable levels.
That's a good find, but I find it interesting that we don't seem to run into such orcs much in the stories.

I've re-read the sections on the Battle of the Pelennor from The Return of the King. Humans seem to have been Saruon's most effective troops in that battle. After the arrival of Aragorn the orcs are not referenced again, but rather the Easterlings and Haradrim are stated to have stayed and fought. Even before that point the Easterlings and Haradrim are referenced as antagonists more frequently than orcs. The orcs seem to have been primarily used for manual labor in digging siege lines and manning heavy artillery.

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Servants or no, it implies a parental relationship.
There is nothing in the books that implies anything other than an exploitative relationship.

I'm quite curious as to what instances you can cite of Morgoth's or Sauron's genuine care for the welfare of their orcs.

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We don't know what secret affectations and affections Sauron had with his Orcs in hierarchies.
Perhaps not, but I would like to see any reason to think that Morgoth's or Sauron's attitudes toward the orcs were anything other than what I laid out above. And by reason I mean citations from Tolkien's writings, not speculations or personal opinions.

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were volunteering themselves for a dire, labour or horrific burden, bearing the sacrifice of the Vanity of the Host, by pooling the 'bleeding' energy of Ea into a repetitive Song of Sustain.
That is an interesting theory, but the text lays out Morgoth's motives and they don't support it.
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:47 PM   #18
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There is nothing in the books that implies anything other than an exploitative relationship.
I think Sauron's opinion of Orcs is well stated here:

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And Orcs, they were useful slaves, but he had them in plenty. If now and then Shelob caught them to stay her appetite, she was welcome: he could spare them.
TTT Shelob's Lair

I doubt Sauron (or Morgoth) had any consideration of their servants, beyond their usefulness to him. Certain minions, such as the Nazgūl or the Mouth were favored with a high status in his hierarchy and, from the view of the Orcs, were seen as privileged, but Sauron would not have hesitated to sacrifice any of them if the stakes were high enough.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:07 AM   #19
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Both addressing Orcs and getting back to the topic
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That's a good find, but I find it interesting that we don't seem to run into such orcs much in the stories.

I've re-read the sections on the Battle of the Pelennor from The Return of the King. Humans seem to have been Saruon's most effective troops in that battle. After the arrival of Aragorn the orcs are not referenced again, but rather the Easterlings and Haradrim are stated to have stayed and fought. Even before that point the Easterlings and Haradrim are referenced as antagonists more frequently than orcs. The orcs seem to have been primarily used for manual labor in digging siege lines and manning heavy artillery.
That's a good point. The main instance which comes to mind of successful assaults by heavier soldier-Orcs is that recorded in Appendix A:
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In the last years of Denethor I the race of uruks, black orcs of great strength, first appeared out of Mordor, and in 2475 they swept across Ithilien and took Osgiliath. Boromir son of Denethor (after whom Boromir of the Nine Walkers was later named) defeated them and regained Ithilien; but Osgiliath was finally ruined, and its great stone-bridge was broken.
The fact that they were defeated speaks against them; perhaps they were not deployed or commanded in a manner to complement their strength. Here I'm inclined again towards the concept of poor discipline and organisation. It's altogether likely, I suppose, that even Sauron's most robust soldiers were still used in simplistic wave-like attacks relying on numbers and, where possible, surprise, as 'swept across' somewhat implies.

If I might link this back to the topic, I wonder if this also implies another problem of Sauron's master-plan involving the One, as presumably with it in his possession he could have exerted his will more vigorously over his Orcs and perhaps used the strength of the special breed he had developed more effectively.
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Old 06-06-2017, 12:06 PM   #20
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There is nothing in the books that implies anything other than an exploitative relationship.
I agree, although still some differences between the two...

Morgoth became a nihilist, after realizing he could never obtain the Secret Fire and the power to create life, he got to the point of just trash and destroy everything. Even his own servants/orcs, he wanted everything destroyed.

It's stated Sauron never slipped that far into nihilism...he may have fell that far at some point, but not caring if Shelob eats a couple orcs, is quite a ways off from just throwing all your resources away to see the world burn.

It doesn't change the fact that every relationship between Sauron and any of his servants is purely exploitative. He may favor and show privilege to some like The Mouth and Witch-king, but it's still completely master-servant relationship. There's no care for their welfare, only they proved to be more useful pawns than orcs in his designs. This is a case of the kettle calling the pot black, but I think Denethor is right when he talks about Sauron's leadership:

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Denethor laughed bitterly: "Nay, not yet, Master Peregrin! He will not come save only to triumph over me when all is won. He uses others as his weapons. So do all great lords, if they are wise, if they are wise, Master Halfling. Or why should I sit here in my tower and think, and watch, and wait, spending even my sons? For I can still wield a brand."~The Siege of Gondor
Denethor isn't going to win any parenting of the year awards, but here is someone with actual parental relationships, saying he will even use his sons as pawns. Multiply that sentiment by thousands and you probably get close to how Sauron views his orcs, and any of his servants for that matter.

The more I've thought about the topic, the more I agree Sauron's creation of the Ring was his biggest mistake...or well maybe not the creation of the Ring itself, but his actions/decisions after losing it were. But then as Zigur argues, the creation of the One itself is what leads Sauron to the inevitable miscalculation.

Just brainstorming here...but the Ring was useless in it's aim to control the Elves, for the Elves perceived his designs and just took their rings off. It's a bittersweet victory to Galadriel, who realizes the destruction of the One will mean her small piece of "Valinor in Middle-earth" will fade, and that's the sacrifice Sauron probably never believed the Elves would be able to make.

The Ring was quite ineffective at controlling the Dwarves, because it's said Sauron was never able to fully understand the desires of Dwarves either, and therefor his attempts to control them through the Rings of Power was never complete, like it became with the 9 rings for Men.

He did achieve complete domination over the wills of the Nazgul. However, after the loss of the One, his lust to get it back, would gain him no increased advantage over the Nine. He possessed their Rings, and had complete control over their wills through his possession of the Nine. He didn't need the One to control them. And despite this fact, despite the fact that even losing in the Last Alliance, the cost of that war was far greater to Good than it was to Sauron. Sauron was defeated and lost the One, but the strength of the Noldor and Numenoreans was beaten down to a point they simply couldn't recover. By the War of the Ring, Men and Elves could no longer achieve victory against Sauron through strength of arms.

Maybe Sauron knew this, but his belief they have found the Ring and had the strength to use it against him, caused him to make some big mistakes. He was spending time and resources to reacquire an object that he no longer needed to achieve his purpose. And ironically, reacquire an object that wasn't that useful anyway, at least useful for what it was designed to do. It didn't help control the Elves, didn't help to control the Dwarves, and Men he already controlled because he held the Nine.
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Old 06-06-2017, 01:22 PM   #21
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And ironically, reacquire an object that wasn't that useful anyway, at least useful for what it was designed to do. It didn't help control the Elves, didn't help to control the Dwarves, and Men he already controlled because he held the Nine.
The Ring didn't serve any purpose in the story except as a big red button to terminate Sauron's effective existence.

Regarding Sauron's possession of the Ring, it really was irrelevant to his victory. He would have won without it, at least according to the belief of the Wise.

As you allude to, and has been implied before in the thread, one has to wonder exactly what effect Sauron regaining the Ring would have. He was apparently going to win anyway.

Which leads me to another tangent, and with a tip of the hat to a long ago member of the Downs...

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the strength of the Noldor and Numenoreans was beaten down to a point they simply couldn't recover.
As Lush might have said, "Why couldn't the Free Peoples ever get around to reproducing adequately?" They were always in a constant state of dwindling. I understand that it is at least partially thematic with Tolkien, but it is one of the aspects of Middle-earth that I have the hardest time suspending my disbelief. Vast usable swaths of Middle-earth just sat as desolate wilderness for very little reason. Even the larger numbers of the evil folks seem small compared to the great emptiness of the land.

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Old 06-07-2017, 06:40 AM   #22
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The Ring didn't serve any purpose in the story except as a big red button to terminate Sauron's effective existence.
Well, it was only the centerpiece of the tale, and what bound LOTR to The Hobbit as well.

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Regarding Sauron's possession of the Ring, it really was irrelevant to his victory. He would have won without it, at least according to the belief of the Wise.
As Gandalf noted in The Last Debate, Sauron's victory would have been 'complete' with his possession of the One, meaning he would have had the power to utterly crush the West, instead of just beating it down. As long the One continued to exist apart from Sauron, his own power was fragmented; he was 'incomplete'. Not an ideal existence. That's also, of course, another reason his 'rings' plot was ill-advised.

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As Lush might have said, "Why couldn't the Free Peoples ever get around to reproducing adequately?" They were always in a constant state of dwindling. I under stand that it is at least partially thematic with Tolkien, but it is one of the aspects of Middle-earth that I have the hardest time suspending my disbelief. Vast usable swaths of Middle-earth just sat as desolate wilderness for very little reason. Even the larger numbers of the evil folks seem small compared to the great emptiness of the land.
That's probably a topic for another thread, but concerning Arnor and Gondor at least, I think their slow procreation was attributable largely to their desire to keep their Nśmenórean blood as pure as possible, and not 'pollute' it with the blood of lesser Men.

Rohan, though it seemed to have a sizable population, seems to have also been afflicted with some racist tendencies: looking down on their Dunlending neighbors and looking warily at those without the coveted golden hair.

Orcs, and Men from Rhūn and Harad might not have been so self-constrained.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:32 AM   #23
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As Gandalf noted in The Last Debate, Sauron's victory would have been 'complete' with his possession of the One, meaning he would have had the power to utterly crush the West, instead of just beating it down.
Yes, but what does that mean? He was going to triumph militarily anyway. This would have presumably included a massacre and enslavement of all hostile populations. What could they have done against him anyway. How could it have been more complete?

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That's probably a topic for another thread, but concerning Arnor and Gondor at least, I think their slow procreation was attributable largely to their desire to keep their Nśmenórean blood as pure as possible, and not 'pollute' it with the blood of lesser Men.

Rohan, though it seemed to have a sizable population, seems to have also been afflicted with some racist tendencies: looking down on their Dunlending neighbors and looking warily at those without the coveted golden hair.

Orcs, and Men from Rhūn and Harad might not have been so self-constrained.
I had forgotten but I think the Kingdom of Dale repopulated quickly, so there is one instance.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:33 AM   #24
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Yes, but what does that mean? He was going to triumph militarily anyway. This would have presumably included a massacre and enslavement of all hostile populations. What could they have done against him anyway. How could it have been more complete?
I suspect that without the One there was a much higher possibility of resistance being maintained despite his victory, even as desperate and isolated pockets. With the One in his possession he would, presumably, be able to eradicate all opposition, however slight, and maintain this state of affairs for a much longer period of time.

For instance I imagine that his already vast empire, were the West added to it, would have been extremely unwieldy to control without the One allowing him to dominate the wills of his subjects. This may have particularly been a problem in the West as many of the older realms knew of him and his evil, which might have made their subjugation much more difficult than the wide lands to the East and South which had been blinded by the Shadow since the Elder Days.

Lacking the One would have also made it much more difficult for him to attack Rivendell and Lórien, perhaps impossible without coming himself, which would have possibly been a risk he was reluctant to take.

Overall I think it's a question of the pervasiveness and stability of his control with and without the One in his possession.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:31 AM   #25
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For instance I imagine that his already vast empire, were the West added to it, would have been extremely unwieldy to control without the One allowing him to dominate the wills of his subjects. This may have particularly been a problem in the West as many of the older realms knew of him and his evil, which might have made their subjugation much more difficult than the wide lands to the East and South which had been blinded by the Shadow since the Elder Days.~Zigur
That's an interesting hypothetical that I don't think many (or at least I haven't) really considered. If the Ring wasn't destroyed, Sauron's victory appears inevitable. If he gets the Ring back, I can see the argument that his domination over Middle-earth would be swift. If it's not destroyed, but say he never gets it back, say at the Council of Elrond it's decided to throw the Ring into the Sea. Sauron's victory would still come, as the pockets still resisting "fight the long defeat" (as Galadriel puts it)...but then how does Sauron maintain control over his whole "empire?"

He's not Morgoth, he isn't trying to destroy the world. He wants to enslave it to his will and that would be a lot harder to do without the One. It may even come to a point where Sauron realizes he can't do it without the One, and falls to nihilism like Morgoth.

I think we get a glimpse of Sauron's plans of how he would maintain control over his newly expanded empire when he wins:

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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 the Anduin shall be Sauron's fore 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 Sauoron'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 they his slaves.~The Black Gate Opens
So, if we take these terms as the truth to Sauron's new world order after his victory. Everything east of the Anduin is Sauron's empire fore ever and shall not be assailed again. Everything west of the Anduin to the Misty Mountains will be ruled from a rebuilt Isengard by Sauron's lieutenant (presumably the Mouth). I wonder about the lands then west of the Misty Mountains? Eriador and the Shire? Would he place another lieutenant in Angmar, or does Sauron think with the Kingdom of Arnor already destroyed and just viewing hobbits as little rat-spies, there would be no issues enslaving them?

Although, I agree with Zigur, without the One this would be much harder for Sauron to establish and maintain.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:36 AM   #26
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I wonder about the lands then west of the Misty Mountains? Eriador and the Shire?
I suspect that the impression the Captains of the West gained, that the Mouth of Sauron would "gather all that remained of the West under his sway", suggests that, in actual fact, everything between the Anduin and the Sea would be under the Mouth's jurisdiction (and thus Sauron's), and that the statement about the Mountains and the Gap of Rohan was just empty politicking intended to sound more reasonable. After all, despite how duplicitous the Mouth was being in any event, there was no one present to represent two of the major powers of the North, Erebor and Dale, who would have come under Sauron's 'East of the Anduin' dominion.
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:50 PM   #27
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I suspect that without the One there was a much higher possibility of resistance being maintained despite his victory, even as desperate and isolated pockets. With the One in his possession he would, presumably, be able to eradicate all opposition, however slight, and maintain this state of affairs for a much longer period of time.

For instance I imagine that his already vast empire, were the West added to it, would have been extremely unwieldy to control without the One allowing him to dominate the wills of his subjects. This may have particularly been a problem in the West as many of the older realms knew of him and his evil, which might have made their subjugation much more difficult than the wide lands to the East and South which had been blinded by the Shadow since the Elder Days.

Lacking the One would have also made it much more difficult for him to attack Rivendell and Lórien, perhaps impossible without coming himself, which would have possibly been a risk he was reluctant to take.

Overall I think it's a question of the pervasiveness and stability of his control with and without the One in his possession.
While the elimination of the defenses of Rivendell and Lorien is a good point, I'm not convinced regarding Sauron's domination of the wills of his subjects. In some respects the Ring doesn't seem to have helped him much in that regard. His forces abandoned him when confronted with the Numenoreans (which could be interpreted as a feint). The Faithful (mere men) continued to defy him, some of them in person. It is ambiguous if Sauron had the Ring with him then, but the fact that Tolkien himself laid out a scenario for Sauron's possession of the Ring in Numenor potentially strengthens the case of Sauron having it there.

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there was no one present to represent two of the major powers of the North, Erebor and Dale, who would have come under Sauron's 'East of the Anduin' dominion.
Gimli was there, but I suppose he couldn't claim to represent his people.
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:28 PM   #28
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Gimli was there, but I suppose he couldn't claim to represent his people.
I can't believe I overlooked that. I was going to include Mirkwood, but then I thought "Wait, Legolas was there." How could I have forgotten Gimli?
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The Faithful (mere men) continued to defy him, some of them in person. It is ambiguous if Sauron had the Ring with him then, but the fact that Tolkien himself laid out a scenario for Sauron's possession of the Ring in Numenor potentially strengthens the case of Sauron having it there.
Certainly the Ring wasn't guaranteed to control people, but in the same letter in which Professor Tolkien imagines Sauron having the Ring in Nśmenor he also says that "He naturally had the One Ring, and so very soon dominated the minds and wills of most of the Nśmenóreans." This implies that the Ring could be quite effective in dominating the wills of others, if not one hundred per cent. Perhaps Faithfulness was some defence.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:39 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
After all, despite how duplicitous the Mouth was being in any event, there was no one present to represent two of the major powers of the North, Erebor and Dale, who would have come under Sauron's 'East of the Anduin' dominion.
A week prior to The Black Gate there was the Battle of Dale where King Dain is slain, and King Brand, with the remaining dwarves and men hold up in Erebor and are besieged. So it's probable Sauron already felt assured Erebor and Dale under his dominion (or was about to be).

And prior to The Council of Elrond, Sauron already sent a messenger to make an offer to the dwarves of Erebor, in exchange for info on a Baggins:

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'At this we were greatly troubled, and we gave no answer. And then his fell voice was lowered, and he would have sweetened it if he could. "As a small token only of your friendship Sauron asks this," he said: "that you should find this thief," such was his word, "and get from him, willing or no, a little ring, the least of rings, that once he stole. It is but a trifle that Sauron fancies, and an earnest of your good will. Find it, and three rings that the Dwarf-sires possessed of old shall be returned to you, and the realm of Moria shall be yours fore ever. Find only news of the thief, whether he still lives and where, and you shall have great reward and lasting friendship from the Lord. Refuse, and things will not seem so well. Do you refuse?"~The Council of Elrond
The dwarves realize the messengers offer from Mordor is full of deception and refuse to help. But it establishes, if Sauron could afford to do it, he would offer some form of "false friendship" instead of spending resources on war and force of arms. When the Western powers show resistance, he uses military force.
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Old 06-09-2017, 05:01 AM   #30
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Sauron Did Achieve what He Wanted: HE'S COMING BACK

The rise of the Shadow while the Ring was severed from the Body of Sauron, implies something I have always wondered about and that has left me with indications of doubt. How did it occur. On what basis was he able to re-corporate and then ADD in *nine* Nazgul to manipulate (who remained enslaved). Presumably they were difficult to control, and with a nett power quotient loss, at the least it makes no sense that he could rise *and* control them.

Then, there's that weirdo thing that happened at the obviously corrupt Counsel of Elrond.

1. Frodo's body was already somewhat 'transparent' after being 'healed'. The Nazgul got part of Frodo's body. The process is irreversible as implied by the invisibility of 'wraithishness' residual.

2. The Nine of course did know about the Ford of Bruinen. Sauron is not stupid. They knew their horses would die. They wanted them to die. They wanted water to flush all touch of the Living from them, so they could Telekinetically, or tele-sentiently, clairsentiently have an Unviolated contact with Sauron. The UNDEAD FLESH to EYE OF SAURON, was, ergo, a triangulation to Frodo's part UNDEAD part ALIVE ruin of hobbit. And Sauron had telepathic links with the Three PRIOR at Orodruin (Agh Burzum Ishi Krimpatul), and had intimate contact with Celebrimbor for hundreds of years. Thus, he was aware of the degree of deranged depravity the Three had tapped into, in their making.

3. Has it occurred to us ever that the idea of "preservation" and the incepting need of the Elves was a vulgarity and as a Vanity of conceit, and violation of Eru's order of Ea in what it had been vested into. To believe as a Peoples that they had the right to Annexe that kind of Power in realms DIVIDED from Middle Earth, with such xenophobic impetus is the Evil of Vanity. Galadriel was the most divisive, as an abomination. Her realm was covetous, separatist and defined by her Ring. Therefore, to so greedily closet her zones of 'preservation' is abomination. Her mirror is a nausea of narcissistic self fulfilling aggrandisation. Looking her own wonder and beauty and expansive vomit.

4. In the Council of Elrond, hasn't anyone wondered how overly eager Frodo was to continue. Greedily enslaved at the unconscious level, I mean seriously, he's just had two weeks of telesentience with The Nine, and there he is rising in seeming candour.

5. The fact that Elrond acquiesced at was a malevolence of conceit, not Sauron's but Elvish in nature. The Noldor all, in Middle Earth were premised on the Kinslaying in a greedy pursuit of their vanity to own a pretty light (the Silmarils). Such rebellion against the Laws of Creation is gerationally transmitted. And Aule links together, Feanor (Noldor), Sauron and creations of Vanity. That's the parable of Aulie, in its undertones where excessive greed, beyond need of a Crafting are involved.

Sauron was atoned of excess Greed by the removal of the Ring from his body and in an atonement that was not 'emotionally felt' but implied by an endpoint--ORODRUIN. So, the Ring at its melting, was an "Unflow incident" of the reuniting of the Body of a Maia with greeds, resolving the nett areas of Sauron's residual malevolent Greeds. He is restored. He went back from 'whence he came' prior to the dividing of his Body from the Body of Ea and he was a master craftsman of Aule. The Shadow Hand at the Morthoron was the warning --DIRE-- to the hosts transliterally, that 'what thou seest, is what though art, and this time, mine hand cometh unto, into and through thee, to manifest resolution of Elvish insanity',

That is, he did GOOD. He got the last of the Elvish perversions in balance of ruinous selfish vanity and Greed to covet 'preserved' areas of enstasised reality. Galadriel has a debt of suffering yet to atone for.

Sauron's body, no doubt recorporates as Spirit of Maia, and penetrates Ea, and no doubt stands by Aule's side. You cannot slay a Maia. And Saruman's warning to Hobbits I would say is same same. Saruman's discorporation in the Shire, was the unconscious self sacrifice and made possible the manifestation of the Mallorn. And a gift of restitution from that vile vomitous conceited Galadriel "unfriends with Feanor forever". That should have warned us to heed. She hated in him that which she was, indeed. We hate what we see in others as a hatred of conceit to deny that trait exists in ourselves. She was no better. Look at her works of Vanity and how they mirror (of Galadriiel) self-ponderance and naval gazing.

As for Celebrimbor. The relationship with Sauron is of his seduction by power. Tolkien does not speak explicitly about whether or not it had sexual overtones, but relationships of POWER ALL have a sexual undertone. More often those manifest as aphrodisiac of the power master. I've no doubt that Sauron knew that much, at the least. And that because Celebrimbor COULD not speak of the latent sexual undertone of a POWER MOTIVE ('yes lord Annatar, I am indeed en-greeded to obey your master teachings LORD OF GIFTS' I shall craft a realm of defiance of the Valar and preserve'). Sauron, I wonder then, must have known that the Rings touched or not, were imbued WITH Sauronic Endeavour and BY proximity to Sauron was Celebrimbor. And Body of Elvendhom of Body of Maia, no doubt, the Rings three Afire with malevolent greeds of desire, NON discerned.

. dot (DOT)
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Old 06-09-2017, 05:09 AM   #31
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autopoietic (DOT) DOT .

The above are transgenic inferences - that is, there was no indication in the narratives that Elvish persons were immune from the trappings of Greed.

Maeglin is case in point, who was LESS prone to perversion by the Vanity of Conceit to "hide from even himself" THAN Celebrimbor (quote by Tolkien about Sauron after the War of Wrath). This comment I place 'first last' (ie I had it I mind for the big post and it governs context of overview of my prose. Celebrimbor is Noldorin and Feanor's very VAIN grandson. "I CELEBRIMBOR DID WRITE THEM". Doors to Khazad Dum. Really, did you Celebrimbor! Glad you needed to tell us how very GRAND you are, lovely VAIN ELF,

Sauron, after begging for mercy from Eonwe, pleaded in earnest (so he thought but lied even unto himself). Annatar had a new acquired wisdom about this. Entre, Eregion, and Celebrimbor.....Sauron is Coming Back and knew from Eregion that he had

3, THREE (Music of Ainur) TERMS of GOVERNANCE. Count them up. The THIRD (three Rings) manifested closure with the THIRD END of his Body Corporeal (Barad Dur toppling).
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:12 AM   #32
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Elves, immune from greed?

Um, re-read The Silmarillion.

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I've re-read the sections on the Battle of the Pelennor from The Return of the King. Humans seem to have been Saruon's most effective troops in that battle. After the arrival of Aragorn the orcs are not referenced again, but rather the Easterlings and Haradrim are stated to have stayed and fought
I think in very great part that's because the Darkness broke at dawn, and the un-planned sunshine rendered the Orcs largely ineffective. Conversely, it aided Sauron's human troops (in unpublished notes he mentioned that the Darkness adversely affected them just like the Men of the West).

(FWIW, I think that PJ really blew the significance of the change from pitch-black to brilliant sunshine in that moment. But then he blew the 'cockcrow' moment generally, preferring Giant Samurai Trolls.)
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:39 AM   #33
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I think in very great part that's because the Darkness broke at dawn, and the un-planned sunshine rendered the Orcs largely ineffective. Conversely, it aided Sauron's human troops (in unpublished notes he mentioned that the Darkness adversely affected them just like the Men of the West).
Interesting, I don't recall reading that, or it didn't register.

It brings up the question again of what the Men who followed Sauron willingly made of the situation. Their god's actions and tactics had such a clearly detrimental impact on them and he made them fight alongside vile, monstrous creatures which it would be inescapable to understand that they were his primary grunt-work servants. What benefit did the Men of Darkness think they were getting out of this arrangement?
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:52 AM   #34
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It brings up the question again of what the Men who followed Sauron willingly made of the situation. Their god's actions and tactics had such a clearly detrimental impact on them and he made them fight alongside vile, monstrous creatures which it would be inescapable to understand that they were his primary grunt-work servants. What benefit did the Men of Darkness think they were getting out of this arrangement?
Well, the men of Rhūn and Harad had a history of war with Gondor. Sauron used that old hatred and probably promised them spoil and land, like Morgoth in the First Age.
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:25 AM   #35
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Well, the men of Rhūn and Harad had a history of war with Gondor. Sauron used that old hatred and probably promised them spoil and land, like Morgoth in the First Age.
He almost certainly had; the reserves thrown into the fray by Gothmog of Morgul are said to have been mustered "for the sack of the City and the rape of Gondor".
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It brings up the question again of what the Men who followed Sauron willingly made of the situation. Their god's actions and tactics had such a clearly detrimental impact on them and he made them fight alongside vile, monstrous creatures which it would be inescapable to understand that they were his primary grunt-work servants. What benefit did the Men of Darkness think they were getting out of this arrangement?
Perhaps they were acclimatised to Orcs, or not so far from Orcs themselves after living so long under the shadow. As for Sauron's tactics, I suspect the Men had little greater understanding than any other ignorant people threatened, manipulated or pressed into power for some distant tyrant. They probably did not realise they were being so poorly used, at least until it was too late.

It's worth noting that Sauron appears to have promoted himself as an angry, vengeful god, and only appeared benevolent even to his followers early on. In the Second Age, for the Men of his empire "Sauron was both king and god; and they feared him exceedingly, for he surrounded his abode with fire." The Drowning of Anadūnź also states that "well-seeming he was at first, and just, and his rule was of benefit to all men in the needs of body. For he made them rich, whoso would serve him; but those who would not he drove out into the waste places." Thus I suspect the actions of the Men of Darkness were driven by religious terror as well as greed for the spoils of Gondor.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:07 AM   #36
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Perhaps they were acclimatised to Orcs, or not so far from Orcs themselves after living so long under the shadow.
Which brings us back to the recent orc integration thread.

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They probably did not realise they were being so poorly used, at least until it was too late.
One would think that they might notice the detrimental impact the darkness in the lead up to the battle was having on them.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:26 AM   #37
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One would think that they might notice the detrimental impact the darkness in the lead up to the battle was having on them.
Perhaps a 'god works in mysterious ways' explanation?

Did they even know that their 'god' was personally directing their campaign against Gondor?

One thing I think this raises is the issue of how the Men of Darkness conceived of their 'god'. Did they think of their 'god' as a person who lived at the top of the tower in the Dark Land, or as some more nebulous force, or as something else entirely?
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:31 AM   #38
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Did they even know that their 'god' was personally directing their campaign against Gondor?
I would think so. They were submitting themselves to the overall leadership of Mordor, and traditions of their peoples would recall, I would surmise, personal appearances by Sauron in their lands long before.

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One thing I think this raises is the issue of how the Men of Darkness conceived of their 'god'. Did they think of their 'god' as a person who lived at the top of the tower in the Dark Land, or as some more nebulous force, or as something else entirely?
I think by the time of the Third Age Sauron was The Red Eye: an abstract, remote power that could not be denied, and would reward those who aided it.
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:46 AM   #39
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I would think so. They were submitting themselves to the overall leadership of Mordor, and traditions of their peoples would recall, I would surmise, personal appearances by Sauron in their lands long before.
Yes, I suppose the "king and god" aspect covers that. Sauron wanted both temporal power and divine worship, so it would make sense for him to clearly occupy the simultaneous positions of deity and overlord in their cultures.
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:24 PM   #40
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I don't think it was, Sauron gained his most powerful servants (the Nazgul) with the use of The One Ring, this helped in the crippling of Arnor. You also fail to take into account that The One Ring greatly enhanced Saurons power which was very important given how Sauron's enemies were much more powerful at the time. His fortification of Mordor after his return to Mordor after the war of the last alliance was made easier given that the foundations of Barad dur still existed thanks to the ring.
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