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Old 03-03-2013, 06:19 AM   #1
Zigūr
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Morgoth, Sauron and the Tale of Adanel

Hello all,
Lately for my academic research I've been looking into Tolkien's theodicy, and something struck me while reading the account of the First Fall of Man in Morgoth's Ring. Now in the published version of The Silmarillion we are told this:
Quote:
But it was said afterwards among the Eldar that when Men awoke in Hildórien at the rising of the Sun the spies of Morgoth were watchful, and tidings were soon brought to him; and this seemed to him so great a matter that secretly under shadow he himself departed from Angband, and went forth into Middle-earth, leaving to Sauron the command of the War. (p.141)
In the 'Tale of Adanel' in Morgoth's Ring the figure who arrives to corrupt Men is described thus:
Quote:
Then one appeared among us, in our own form visible, but greater and more beautiful (Morgoth's Ring p.346)
Does that sound like anyone we know? I realise that the Tale is both a) unpublished material as far as the Professor was concerned, and b) a rather sketchy account by those who fled into the West, but the idea that Morgoth came among Men in "great and beautiful" form does appear to contradict the notion in the published Silmarillion that before Melkor even left Aman, before even killing the Trees and therefore precluding the existence of the Sun he "put on the form that he had worn as the tyrant of Utumno: a dark Lord, tall and terrible. In that form he remained ever after." (p. 73) The Tale also says that the corrupter of Men referred to himself as the "Giver of Gifts" (Morgoth's Ring p.346).

I also realise that Professor Tolkien eventually had an impulse to drastically overhaul the timeframe of the awakening of Men, such that perhaps in a revised history Morgoth could have come among Men in a beautiful form, and the published Silmarillion specifically mentions that Sauron was at home minding the shop while Morgoth was out on his corrupting rounds. It just seems to me that whoever came among Men seems in many ways to bear noticeable similarities to Sauron, who didn't lose his ability to assume a pleasing form for thousands of years afterwards and who called himself Annatar, Giver of Gifts, to the Elves of Eregion. Of course the fact that this figure establishes a religion worshipping himself in the 'Tale of Adanel' is more consistent with Morgoth being there in person rather than a servant doing the work, and perhaps the similarities I'm seeing are just another way in which Sauron came to be a more and more direct imitator of his old Master. I suppose he's even responsible for the Second Falls of Elves and Men (Eregion and Nśmenor) the same way Morgoth was for the First Falls (Valinor and Hildórien) although in both cases the 'Fall' was of course much more overt for Men than it was for Elves.

I find these parallels extremely interesting and I thought I'd share them with you. I don't suppose I really think that it was Sauron who went and corrupted Men; I kind of have an image in my head of Morgoth doing the mythic equivalent of hastily packing a suitcase and reeling off instructions to Sauron like how often the dogs need to be fed and what the emergency numbers are and things after hearing about the rise of Men. Nonetheless I think the similarities are intriguing, especially considering Morgoth's apparent circumstances. Is the element of mystery surrounding the identity of the corrupter of Men deliberate, do you think, or was Professor Tolkien recycling old ideas in his characterisation of Sauron to emphasise the stale, recursive nature of Evil?
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:56 AM   #2
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That's a nice find, Zigūr.

For an "in-world" explanation, I suppose it could be that Morgoth did indeed leave Beleriand for a brief time to scope out the situation. After gathering intelligence, perhaps he decided to return to Angband, where he then instructed Sauron on how to deal with the Men. Indeed, the idea of Morgoth being then bound to a "terrible" visage might give credence to the idea that if he wanted to gain something by a means other than terror and intimidation, he looked to Sauron.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
... Is the element of mystery surrounding the identity of the corrupter of Men deliberate, do you think, or was Professor Tolkien recycling old ideas in his characterisation of Sauron to emphasise the stale, recursive nature of Evil?
The concealed nature is consistant with Morgoth's habits. When first arriving in ME he worked in secret and the Valar only detected his presence by the discord he created. It seems to me that a beautiful form is quite appropriate for the stealth attack, but once others know what to look out for (discord) such disguises become useless. Once seduction has failed what other recourse does evil have but to bully? So it's off with the Laura Ashley and on with the full metal jacket.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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It is also an interesting point that if Morgoth had appeared before them in his dark and terrible form, Men probably would have been terrified of him and tried to run away from him rather than worshiping him.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:12 PM   #5
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I've long been of the opinion that this was Sauron.

Whichever way you slice it there are serious problems with it being Melkor. After his escape from Aman is, of course, impossible for reasons stated in the OP. You could move the awakening of Men back but then you've a very narrow time window for it to happen in: after the awakening of Elves but before the Captivity of Melkor. That loses the mythical impact of Men waking with the first rising of the Sun, so you need to accept the later conception of the Sun always being there, and all that implies. You also run into trouble with the Western migration of the Repenters, which should have happened a lot earlier.

All of this is resolved by making it Sauron at the Fall of Men. The temples, burning and human sacrifice are very Sauron-esque too, and there doesn't appear to be much (if anything) in the Tale of Adanel to suggest that it had to be Melkor. At the very worst stretch you could probably say that both were there but Sauron did the talking.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
Hello all,
Lately for my academic research I've been looking into Tolkien's theodicy, and something struck me while reading the account of the First Fall of Man in Morgoth's Ring. Now in the published version of The Silmarillion we are told this:

In the 'Tale of Adanel' in Morgoth's Ring the figure who arrives to corrupt Men is described thus:

Does that sound like anyone we know? I realise that the Tale is both a) unpublished material as far as the Professor was concerned, and b) a rather sketchy account by those who fled into the West, but the idea that Morgoth came among Men in "great and beautiful" form does appear to contradict the notion in the published Silmarillion that before Melkor even left Aman, before even killing the Trees and therefore precluding the existence of the Sun he "put on the form that he had worn as the tyrant of Utumno: a dark Lord, tall and terrible. In that form he remained ever after." (p. 73) The Tale also says that the corrupter of Men referred to himself as the "Giver of Gifts" (Morgoth's Ring p.346).

I also realise that Professor Tolkien eventually had an impulse to drastically overhaul the timeframe of the awakening of Men, such that perhaps in a revised history Morgoth could have come among Men in a beautiful form, and the published Silmarillion specifically mentions that Sauron was at home minding the shop while Morgoth was out on his corrupting rounds. It just seems to me that whoever came among Men seems in many ways to bear noticeable similarities to Sauron, who didn't lose his ability to assume a pleasing form for thousands of years afterwards and who called himself Annatar, Giver of Gifts, to the Elves of Eregion. Of course the fact that this figure establishes a religion worshipping himself in the 'Tale of Adanel' is more consistent with Morgoth being there in person rather than a servant doing the work, and perhaps the similarities I'm seeing are just another way in which Sauron came to be a more and more direct imitator of his old Master. I suppose he's even responsible for the Second Falls of Elves and Men (Eregion and Nśmenor) the same way Morgoth was for the First Falls (Valinor and Hildórien) although in both cases the 'Fall' was of course much more overt for Men than it was for Elves.

I find these parallels extremely interesting and I thought I'd share them with you. I don't suppose I really think that it was Sauron who went and corrupted Men; I kind of have an image in my head of Morgoth doing the mythic equivalent of hastily packing a suitcase and reeling off instructions to Sauron like how often the dogs need to be fed and what the emergency numbers are and things after hearing about the rise of Men. Nonetheless I think the similarities are intriguing, especially considering Morgoth's apparent circumstances. Is the element of mystery surrounding the identity of the corrupter of Men deliberate, do you think, or was Professor Tolkien recycling old ideas in his characterisation of Sauron to emphasise the stale, recursive nature of Evil?
When it comes to inferences about an author's intentions, there in the blurry space between words, is the dimension where our creativity must meet the author's. On the subjects of metaphysics, evil, good, perversion, corruption, tyranny, mastery, beauty and truth, the mythology reiterates some basic underlying themes--at least some that I see.

For the corruption of Men and sewing the seeds of Evil, Tolkien took a particular set of emphases, and stirring insurrection by appeals to vanity, power, through arts of seduction (not overtly sexual, but with some sexual overtones, I argue) is one of those repetitive themes. There, with Annatar, Giver of Gifts, who is an often replayed 'Sauronic' theme. The lure of Ring Lore for the already fallen Noldor--the-Elves-already-vulnerable--and ruined by Melkor's perversion of Valinor-ian truths through Melkor's earlier work.

I do not see Melkor as quite the same vassal as Sauron, (though, 'servants' they both were. Wasn't Melkor just a slave to his own desires, ultimately, in the end when you strip away the godlike powers he had), although, at times he was someone who gave Lore or its promise, in exchange during a Tolkienian 'corruption'. Melkor, in the stories we're brought about him, used language to lure Elves into seeing an enemy in the 'other' and in the Valar in Valinor. He made gross tools of power--ruined Elves (arguably), dragons, and seduced Maia--the Balrogs--for his purposes. Ungoliant was not brought to the Two Trees by being promised gifts. She was a ravenously greedy being with no bottom to the greed, and who just wanted to devour. Where is 'Giver of Gifts' in those outrageously gross indications of power in Melkor's bearing?

Granted, Maeglin was broken in Thangorodhrim, more by a 'Sauronic' promise for possession of a female Elf in some kind of rape-theme that did bear clear sexual overtones. I'm not sure that 'giver of gifts' quite applies here. Also granted, Sauron had extended periods not as a Giver of Gifts at all, but as overt tyrant who used open threats, and torture to subordinate. The Nine were more created through the covert-seduction route and through trickery.

As for how Morgoth corrupted Men, my reading of this (and I don't have a comprehensive access to academic materials) was that his appeal to Men had two dimensions of influence. One was literal and concrete, and the second metaphysical. On the former, he used the tools of a tyrant in overt power displays to compel Men into capitulation through intimidation, fear and terror. Allied to that, appeals to power, territory and overlordship, for loyal service, where 'loyal' meant enslaving and eliminating anything Valinorean, Elvish, Kelvar, etc. His second influence--another strong theme recurrent in the mythology--metaphysical. Even from beyond the Void Melkor, we're told, had ongoing influence. Men, and their vulnerability to his Shadow, was how it has been put. I've seen this theme emergent in UT's materials on Galadriel and Celeborn, where there was reference to the actual Sun being sullied by Melkor from the Void, with implications for the making of the second Elessar (with implications that it was not as potent, because the Sun -- and all of Middle Earth -- were aging and diminishing, over the Ages, because of Melkor).

I want to finish by remembering that it is the reader--human--who anthropomorphises Elvendom and all things in Middle Earth. As such, Tokien's innate humanity was borne upon his mythology, and so, his divisionist thinking about 'good' and 'evil', greatly influences his expressed notions of beauty, truth, corruption, good, evil and tyranny. I'm really not so sure about Tolkien's mind on one level. His ideas about good and evil do divide the world in some scary ways. For example, the deadlock he places about Evil and races--is rather troubling. If you scratch the surface here, you will see then that, really, Melkor and Sauron were not really necessarily fairly placed as a source of 'Evil'. The inter-subjectivity of good and evil were never really fully explored in the mythology. For example, and I've mentioned this elsewhere, Noldorin imperial Elvendom was pretty perverse when you look more closely at it. Eol's screams as he was hurled off the crags at Turgon's palace of weirdos--case in point.

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Old 05-16-2014, 09:18 PM   #7
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I'd like to note that Sauron was always there in some sense. It is implied that Sauron was probably the one to breed the Orcs though it may have been borne of Melkor's mind beforehand. It is also said concerning his lieutenant;

"In all the deeds of Melkor the Morgoth upon Arda, in his vast works and in the deceits of his cunning, Sauron had a part." [Silmarillion, p. 26]
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:03 AM   #8
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I'd like to note that Sauron was always there in some sense. It is implied that Sauron was probably the one to breed the Orcs though it may have been borne of Melkor's mind beforehand. It is also said concerning his lieutenant;

"In all the deeds of Melkor the Morgoth upon Arda, in his vast works and in the deceits of his cunning, Sauron had a part." [Silmarillion, p. 26]
An excellent point. Of course as we observed in one of the other threads recently, Sauron "thus was often able to achieve things, first conceived by Melkor, which his master did not or could not complete in the furious haste of his malice."
My reading of The Silmarillion was also a bit scanty. This remark is made shortly afterwards regarding Morgoth's desire to enslave Men and thus wield them against the Elves in war:

"But this design was slow to ripen, and was never wholly achieved; for Men (it is said) were at first very few in number, whereas Morgoth grew afraid of the growing power and union of the Eldar and came back to Angband, leaving behind at that time but few servants, and those of less might and cunning."

So perhaps Morgoth never personally revealed himself at Hildórien at all. He may have spied and devised a plan (insofar as he was capable of much planning) before, as is stated, returning to Angband and sending other servants capable of taking on a fair appearance, but ones of "less might", so evidently not Sauron, to further the corruption of Men. The phrase "at that time," however, suggests that more numerous and potentially more powerful servants arrived later, which might potentially include Sauron, I suppose. The Tale observes once Men had built a temple to Morgoth that "If at great need we dared to go to the House and pray to him to help us, we heard his voice, and received his commands." Presumably Morgoth, incarnate in Angband, could not actually hear prayers made elsewhere, nor answer them, so perhaps there was a "man behind the curtain" scenario going on. It's altogether possible then, I suppose, that the entire affair was played out by Morgoth's servants and not by Morgoth himself.
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:34 AM   #9
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Yea it was probably not Morgoth. Basically in that lore his forces were trying to turn Men away from Eru, so they rebelled against Eru and some later rebelled against Melkor. However, it was was claiming "I did this..." or "I did that..." such as creating the satellites and stars, but Varda is the one to do these things and the Valar made the Sun and moon. I'm not sure who among his servants are speaking as Melkor himself, but at least in this lore from Andreth it appears that Men were really only set on the road to rebellion, and not used much or amalgamated into Melkor's forces. Some of the Men were given power, but otherwise I don't get the idea that there was some grand plan here to put Men to use other than to delude them about who was who.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:42 AM   #10
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I'm not sure who among his servants are speaking as Melkor himself, but at least in this lore from Andreth it appears that Men were really only set on the road to rebellion, and not used much or amalgamated into Melkor's forces. Some of the Men were given power, but otherwise I don't get the idea that there was some grand plan here to put Men to use other than to delude them about who was who.
Yes it seems more like the objective achieved was to turn Men away from Eru, whereas that of amalgamating Men into a force Morgoth could bring crashing down on Beleriand in great numbers was, to judge by what actually happened, an objective which failed. It's worth noting that the corrupter of Men simply refers to himself as the "Lord" and is referred to by Men as the "Master," not by any particular name. It might be argued, then, that the Men under the Shadow did not have a very well-established idea of the identity of their "god," just that he was the Lord or Master. In that sense I can see why it was easy for Sauron to take advantage of this in the Second Age, where he appeared as Morgoth's representative, and in the Third as Morgoth returned. It must have been easy to just show up, put on a bit of a show and convince people that you were acting on behalf of or were the same person as this nebulous "Lord." Then again Sauron himself could not have come among Men in splendour in the Third Age, but they were probably used to being in fear of their "god" rather than admiring him by that point.

We know, however, that Sauron did not always play-act the "representative" even in the Second Age. Among Men in the east and south he was "both king and god." The Black Nśmenóreans "worshipped him, being enamoured of evil knowledge." The worshippers at the Temple in Armenelos when Manwė sent lightning against it called him a god as well. But I suppose it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for Sauron to set himself up as both representative and god in the process of establishing his dominion. Sauron "desired to be a God-King, and was held to be this by his servants; if he had been victorious he would have demanded divine honour from all rational creatures." This suggests to me that Sauron wanted Men to think of him, Sauron, himself as "god." He didn't want to control people by pretending to be Morgoth or setting himself up as their old "Lord" or "Master," but actually wanted to be perceived in himself as "god." This might be an arrogant relic, perhaps, of his "positive purposes": perhaps this impulse derived, in an extremely corrupt fashion, from seeing himself as the "saviour" of Middle-earth from disorder and chaos (although I daresay by that point such a motive had completely devolved from "I want power to save Middle-earth" to just "I want power because I'm proud and vain.")

I wonder how much the Nśmenóreans knew at the end of the Second Age. Did they know at the time that "Zigūr" was the same person as Sauron, the old servant of Morgoth? Did they know who "Sauron" was? When Ar-Pharazōn asked Sauron "Who is the Lord of the Darkness?" did he know (or at least suspect) what the answer would be, but was afraid to ask because the name of Melkor was forbidden? When Sauron said "It is he whose name is not now spoken; for the Valar have deceived you concerning him," he seems to be implying that even at the end of the Second Age the Nśmenóreans were still somewhat familiar with Morgoth's identity.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:04 AM   #11
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The statement from Tolkien that Sauron claimed to be Morgoth returned in the Third Age always strikes me as odd. I have an idea what Tolkien maybe tried to accomplish here, that Sauron usurped his former Master, etc. But I dont think that it fits Saurons personality at all. Ever since the War of Wrath Sauron tried to be his OWN person, a ruler and god in his own right. Why would he abandon that all of a sudden in the Third Age, for no apparent reason? I do not think that his pride would have allowed him to play-act as another person, as if he himself is not good enough, not great and powerful enough for worship. After all, he has no reason in the Third Age to act in such a way, the political benefits must have been minimal. At the time of the Third Age Sauron has been, as Sauron, a God for the humans in the East and South for thousands of years, why the sudden change of his image and persona? I am not quite sure if that statement can be considered canon, i think it clashes with Saurons established personality and his modus operandi.
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