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Old 02-05-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
Aganzir
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The Eye Sauron's hair colour

Seriously. Because I am confused.

Sauron is portrayed as a blonde in every single piece of First/Second Age fanart I've seen. I've always imagined him dark (har har). Have I missed an essential part in Tolkien's more obsolete writings or is there just some kind of a general agreement that because he likes golden objects, he must also have a golden hair?
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:10 PM   #2
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Had to have been a rinse-job. Everyone knows world domination aspirations make you gray.

Really though, it seems golden hair is usually associated in Middle-earth with the "beautiful people", so maybe that's what Sauron was aiming for then: deception and persuasion over brute force or fear.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:23 PM   #3
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I wonder whether it isn't just the painters' interpretation of the information that "in the beginning, he still looked fair".

Interesting thought, however, now you made me uncertain and I will probably never be able to figure out how did I imagine him. Because I thought I had imagined him dark-haired, but then again, I keep thinking, "the" guy who was dark-haired in his "youth" was obviously Saruman (and we know it about him). Well, Sauron certainly didn't have a beard, unlike Saruman. Hm. But now my mind is confused and I really can't say how did I imagine Sauron to look...
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:32 PM   #4
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I never really had a clear image of Sauron when he was still fair, just a kind of "this person is handsome and tricksy" impression. But I never connected him with golden hair in my mind, and was always confused when I saw him looking like Glorfindel in all the fan art.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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Sauron was clearly ginger. And not just redhead I'm talking Carrot Top. he did love him some props rings maces scary armor... a giant inflatable flaming eye.

Then there the evidence of his humor like when Frodo sees him on the seat of seeing and Sauron says "I've got my Eye on you..."

should probably have kept the inside thoughts inside on this one....
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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Sauron was clearly ginger. And not just redhead I'm talking Carrot Top. he did love him some props rings maces scary armor... a giant inflatable flaming eye.

Then there the evidence of his humor like when Frodo sees him on the seat of seeing and Sauron says "I've got my Eye on you..."

should probably have kept the inside thoughts inside on this one....

Actually you may be on to something there. Given the amount of Norse mythology Tolkein used for inspiration, and the general way Sauron behaved (especially in the First and Second ages) I've always seen a sort of Loki-ish strain in him. And a lot of depictions of Loki also give him red hair (of course I've seen a lot of blonde ones as well)
I suppose it is also possible that, in his Annatar form (since Sauron has multiple body forms, we should really be talking about his hair color on a body by body basis, with each new form, he could have had a different one.) Sauron had silver hair. Making himself look "fair" to the men of Numenor probably meant looking as Elven as possible, and silver is the only hair color that (as far as we know) Elves have and humans don't (or at least don't have often)
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:20 AM   #7
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I can only assume Agan's sudden interest in this topic is the result of discovering her true nature.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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Actually you may be on to something there. Given the amount of Norse mythology Tolkein used for inspiration, and the general way Sauron behaved (especially in the First and Second ages) I've always seen a sort of Loki-ish strain in him. And a lot of depictions of Loki also give him red hair (of course I've seen a lot of blonde ones as well)
I suppose it is also possible that, in his Annatar form (since Sauron has multiple body forms, we should really be talking about his hair color on a body by body basis, with each new form, he could have had a different one.) Sauron had silver hair. Making himself look "fair" to the men of Numenor probably meant looking as Elven as possible, and silver is the only hair color that (as far as we know) Elves have and humans don't (or at least don't have often)
Red hair isn't really a Viking thing, it's a 'Celtic fringe' (no pun intended ) thing. The Irish referred to the Vikings who invaded them as the dubgaill and finngaill which suggests they were mostly either dark or blonde haired.

But yes, there are lots of artworks made where they portray Vikings with red hair. This is probably because even now it scares people and there's a stereotype that us redheads are a bit bad tempered. I'm not going to disabuse anyone from this myth, it's quite handy...

The Elves primarily had very dark or very fair hair, so either would seem beautiful to them, surely, and whichever way you choose to picture Sauron as Annatar is equally valid.

I always picture him as very blonde though I'm not sure he would be, thinking about Tolkien's references to blonde hair and Light or divinity - see Gimli's request for some of Galadriel's hair to use in crafting a jewel that would capture her 'Light'. Would Sauron be able to clothe himself in such a way?
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #9
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Well, Sauron certainly didn't have a beard, unlike Saruman.
Even though we can argue he probably didn't sport one in Valinor.

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Making himself look "fair" to the men of Numenor probably meant looking as Elven as possible, and silver is the only hair color that (as far as we know) Elves have and humans don't (or at least don't have often)
I'm not all that sure if 'elven' constituted 'pretty' in the later days of N˙menor. But you may be right when you speak about his body by body basis... there's something for everyone.

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I can only assume Agan's sudden interest in this topic is the result of discovering her true nature.
You caught me there.

Anyway I'm happy to see I can keep imagining him dark-haired.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:44 PM   #10
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The Eye No reference to Sauron's hair colour

Aganzir, I don't believe (though I'm certainly open to correction) that there's been any reference in any of Tolkien's works to Sauron's hair colour, in the time, up to near the end of the Second Age, when he could put on a fair form. If you want to imagine the fair-looking Sauron as having dark hair, that's fine by me.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:12 PM   #11
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I can only assume Agan's sudden interest in this topic is the result of discovering her true nature.
Ah, that must be what piqued Aganir's interest in looking up Sauron fan-art on the interwebs.

Come to think of it, I kind of imagined fair Sauron blonde, or really bright anyway. He was an angelic being, and therefore that is what he looked like to me: someone who was pretty and had light coming out of him, or something. Now that I say that aloud, I feel kind of silly.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #12
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If you want to imagine the fair-looking Sauron as having dark hair, that's fine by me.
Thanks. The thing is, I first read The Silmarillion in Finnish (actually I've never read it in English, apart from the early versions in HoME) and I think the translator had opted for beautiful rather than not dark.

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Ah, that must be what piqued Aganir's interest in looking up Sauron fan-art on the interwebs.
Hey hey that's what you get if you search #silmarillion on Tumblr. It's not like I exactly wanted to see erotic pictures of Sauron and Morgoth drawn by average artists.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:44 PM   #13
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Red is the color of Sauron's hair -
Of his coif he does not stint.
Such body and bounce for one so fair,
'Tis sure the bastard tints!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:52 PM   #14
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Hey hey that's what you get if you search #silmarillion on Tumblr. It's not like I exactly wanted to see erotic pictures of Sauron and Morgoth drawn by average artists.
Oh ho, so that's what one finds on Tumblr. You can keep your average porn to yourself, thank you. I will continue to imagine Sauron as an asexual being.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:00 AM   #15
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Dark-Eye Sauron asexual?

TheGreatElvenWarrior, you made an interesting assumption about Sauron being an 'asexual being'. Would you think the same thing applied to the Ringwraiths, after they became wraiths? Perhaps these were actual topics of debate among loremasters in Middle-earth.

On a more down to earth level, I've thought that if Gondorian soldiers were more like those of WWI and WWII, they would have asked the Nazgul, and in particular their leader, about when they were last sexually active. Also, the Ringwraiths would be asked about their Dark Lord, about whether he had certain organs, and if he ever used them, or if they were just for decoration.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:57 AM   #16
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TheGreatElvenWarrior, you made an interesting assumption about Sauron being an 'asexual being'. Would you think the same thing applied to the Ringwraiths, after they became wraiths?
Well, they wouldn't exactly be able to, would they?
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:12 AM   #17
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Well, they wouldn't exactly be able to, would they?
Well, there's this one really disturbing fan-fic I read where... no, I don't think I'd better go on...
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:58 PM   #18
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Oh ho, so that's what one finds on Tumblr. You can keep your average porn to yourself, thank you. I will continue to imagine Sauron as an asexual being.
We know Morgoth wasn't asexual though, the way he fantasizes about L˙thien is quite a give away. And why would the Valar go through the trouble of getting married if they were asexual? We also know of Maia crushes, such as Tilion who kept drooling after Arien even after she said no.

Addendum: Nerwen, link?
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:14 PM   #19
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Silmaril Tilion the untimate stalker?

Aganzir, you said here: 'We also know of Maia crushes, such as Tilion who kept drooling after Arien even after she said no'. I'd rather call it an obsession; but then Arien would certainly be called 'hot':

Too bright were the eyes of Arien for even the Eldar to look on, and leaving Valinor she forsook the form and raiment which like the Valar she had worn there, and she was as a naked flame, terrible in the fullness of her splendour. (The Silmarillion, (London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1979), Chapter 11, p. 117)

Tilion is literally burnt by his obsession:

But Tilion was wayward and uncertain in speed, and held not to his appointed path; and he sought to come near to Arien, being drawn by her splendour, though the flame of Anar scorched him, and the island of the Moon was darkened. (Ibid., p. 118)(My italics)

An interesting variation on the person who plays with fire. He still hasn't learnt his lesson, though:

But Tilion went with uncertain pace, as yet he does, and was still drawn towards Arien, as he shall ever be; so that often both may be seen above the Earth together, or at times it will chance that he comes so nigh that his shadow cuts off her brightness and there is a darkness amid the day. (Ibid., p. 119)(My italics)

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:52 PM   #20
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Tilion deserves every burn he gets. Another thing I don't get on Tumblr: people swoon over characters like Maeglin because he's tall, dark and handsome - and, the little thing that's easy to overlook, whiny and clingy: "Idril y u no love me??!"

I've started compiling a list of every character's appearance, at least what's mentioned of them, because that way I won't have to dampen my inspiration by browsing through all the books first before starting to draw. (Yeah, one would probably be available online, but it's more fun this way.)
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:20 AM   #21
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Silmaril How about FŰanor?

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Tilion deserves every burn he gets. Another thing I don't get on Tumblr: people swoon over characters like Maeglin because he's tall, dark and handsome - and, the little thing that's easy to overlook, whiny and clingy: "Idril y u no love me??!"
It's just as bad with some people's attitudes towards FŰanor. Yes, he was certainly 'hot' and the greatest artist around; but he was the worst monarch, and don't get me started on his behaviour towards Fingolfin! ('See, half brother! This is sharper than thy tongue. Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father, and maybe it will rid the Noldor of one who seeks to be the master of thralls'.) Wasn't the guilty one their father FinwŰ, who decided to remarry?
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:03 PM   #22
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It's just as bad with some people's attitudes towards FŰanor. Yes, he was certainly 'hot' and the greatest artist around; but he was the worst monarch, and don't get me started on his behaviour towards Fingolfin! ('See, half brother! This is sharper than thy tongue. Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father, and maybe it will rid the Noldor of one who seeks to be the master of thralls'.) Wasn't the guilty one their father FinwŰ, who decided to remarry?
But Feanor is so awesome! I don't think he's particularly hot, though. Fire-y, rather. But not "hot" in the sense of particularly good-looking. And yes, he was quite mad, but he is also the greatest of the Children of Iluvatar in the history of Arda. He's a madman, but he's got greatness.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:26 PM   #23
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Hey hey that's what you get if you search #silmarillion on Tumblr. It's not like I exactly wanted to see erotic pictures of Sauron and Morgoth drawn by average artists.
Are you sure about that?

Also, on Ainu sexuality, I think we can safely say that it's a possibility when incarnate, as is clear with Melian. As for when they're incorporeal, I'd assume it's something like in Paradise Lost.

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But Feanor is so awesome! I don't think he's particularly hot, though. Fire-y, rather. But not "hot" in the sense of particularly good-looking.
I think you wasted a perfectly good pun there.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:41 PM   #24
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I think you wasted a perfectly good pun there.
A pun explored to some length where Arien and the Balrog are concerned.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:57 PM   #25
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Oh ho, so that's what one finds on Tumblr. You can keep your average porn to yourself, thank you. I will continue to imagine Sauron as an asexual being.
If you venture onto Tumblr bear in mind that there's an internet saying: "What has been seen cannot be unseen."



I have to say though, I've just found one called The Adventures of Mini Thorin and had some proper chuckles
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:20 AM   #26
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Silmaril FŰanor was 'hot'

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But Feanor is so awesome! I don't think he's particularly hot, though. Fire-y, rather. But not "hot" in the sense of particularly good-looking. And yes, he was quite mad, but he is also the greatest of the Children of Iluvatar in the history of Arda. He's a madman, but he's got greatness.
I have to correct you here, Galadriel. FŰanor was very good-looking, if Chapter 6 of The Silmarillion is anything to go by:

He was tall, and fair of face, and masterful, his eyes piercingly bright and his hair raven-dark; in the pursuit of all his purposes eager and steadfast....He became of all the Noldor, then or after, the most subtle in mind and the most skilled in hand. (My italics)

In Chapter 11 we read this:

For FŰanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind, in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and in subtlety alike, of all the Children of Il˙vatar, and a bright flame was in him. (My italics)

While everyone agrees that L˙thien Tin˙viel was the most beautiful of the Children of Il˙vatar, it looks as if FŰanor wasn't far behind; and he had the great addition to his good looks of being the cleverest and most artistic of all the Children.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:55 PM   #27
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While everyone agrees that L˙thien Tin˙viel was the most beautiful of the Children of Il˙vatar, it looks as if FŰanor wasn't far behind; and he had the great addition to his good looks of being the cleverest and most artistic of all the Children.
Well, I mean, all elves are beautiful, essentially, and Feanor not the least, but I always placed more emphasis on his "piercingly bright" eyes - a kind of brightness that overwhelms the more elegant Elvish beauty. That's why I am rarely satisfied with fan art of Feanor - most manage to capture the beauty, but nearly none capture that flame within him with the intensity that I perceive it to have.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:28 PM   #28
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It's just as bad with some people's attitudes towards FŰanor.
This is probably not the right time to speak about it to me because I've been experiencing massive love towards FŰanor and his sons lately. Lovely arrogant idiots.

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Are you sure about that?
Note the word average there.

Thinking about Tolkien's hair colours more generally, I'm happy the tradition of having blond heroes and dark villains isn't there (granted, everything that is a fantasy cliche became so way after Tolkien), especially if Sauron's fair means not dark. However there seem to be a lot of grey eyes - a lot more than I'm used to seeing in my daily life. Is it a (partly) British thing, or is Middle-earth special?
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:05 PM   #29
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However there seem to be a lot of grey eyes - a lot more than I'm used to seeing in my daily life. Is it a (partly) British thing, or is Middle-earth special?
I don't think it's a UK thing in particular, though lighter coloured eyes are more common in the North, possibly due to heritage, though grey eyes might be mistaken for blue quite often. And heritage can be misleading too, as the genetics of eye colour are quite complicated - my parents are both blue-eyed, each with a blue eyed and a brown eyed parent, and managed to produce one blue eyed and two green eyed children. I've also produced a green eyed child. Hair colour is much easier to trace genetically!

In general, paler eyes are more of a 'northern' thing though, as there's less melanin in the forward parts of the eye. Either Tolkien was trying to make his favoured Elves (and Rangers) seem 'northern' or he simply had a preference for that eye colour!
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:38 PM   #30
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Thinking about Tolkien's hair colours more generally, I'm happy the tradition of having blond heroes and dark villains isn't there (granted, everything that is a fantasy cliche became so way after Tolkien), especially if Sauron's fair means not dark.
That's true. But then fair could also simply mean beautiful (but not necessarily blonde). It's so complicated with all the meanings of fair, even taken just as an adjective and not a noun or verb! I remember that somewhere else on the Downs, most likely on one of the translation threads, I mentioned that in my Russian translation Frodo calls Galadriel "wise, fearless, and just", and someone - I think it was Lommy but my memory is very hazy - said that in their translation Frodo says "wise, fearless, and beautiful". In English the last word is fair. Now how do you tell which is right? And for all we know both Sauron and Galadriel could have simply been blonde.

At least it's pretty clear that Sauron wasn't just in any fashion!
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:32 AM   #31
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I've always pictured Sauron as having his head shaved, especially in his evil form, so the answer to the question is "Sauron has no hair."
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:50 PM   #32
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"Sauron has no hair."
Sauron needs no hair?
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:00 PM   #33
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Sauron needs no hair?
I like to think that in Middle-earth, that was the origination of the expression the old hairy eyeball.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:07 PM   #34
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I've always pictured Sauron as having his head shaved, especially in his evil form, so the answer to the question is "Sauron has no hair."
As seen in my display picture (which is a piece of my own devising) as well as, say, this *cough*http://fav.me/d5w1gtr*cough* (also by me) I too imagine Sauron as bald in his "Dark Lord form" - although to my mind it's because his burning skin would have burnt it all off! No eyebrows for Sauron either in this conception.

As for his fair-seeming form, I think I tend to imagine him as dark-haired. When he came among the Gwaith-i-MÝrdain I can see him wanting to put them at their ease by having an element of Noldo familiarity like one of them.

I've always read "fair" as meaning that he had a sort of aura of goodness, trustworthiness and wisdom about him, if that makes sense. I of course also put "pleasant to look upon" in there, but I'm not sold on this notion that "fair" Sauron was some kind of pretty-boy. Given that he "could appear as a commanding figure of great strength of body and supremely royal demeanour and countenance" (Letters p. 332) I've always imagined Annatar/Aulendil/Artano-Sauron as radiating a great air of authority, knowledge and wisdom which I suppose I don't associate with the rather androgynous figure apparently imagined by some. I see fair as more meaning that he conveyed a sense of legitimacy about his intentions moreso than that he was "physically attractive". To put it another way, what was more likely to engender Celebrimbor's enthusiasm (and the distrust of the other Lords of the Eldar) - an aura of power and skill or good looks?
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:51 PM   #35
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As seen in my display picture (which is a piece of my own devising) as well as, say, this *cough*http://fav.me/d5w1gtr*cough* (also by me) I too imagine Sauron as bald in his "Dark Lord form" - although to my mind it's because his burning skin would have burnt it all off! No eyebrows for Sauron either in this conception.
To be honest, I never imagined or even thought to imagine what the faces of Sauron and Morgoth looked like in their Dark Lord forms. Whenever they actually appear "onstage" as Dark Lords, they're all covered in metal! I just imagine a formidable black helmet that covers all of the hair (if any) and most of the face as well.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:31 PM   #36
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To be honest, I never imagined or even thought to imagine what the faces of Sauron and Morgoth looked like in their Dark Lord forms. Whenever they actually appear "onstage" as Dark Lords, they're all covered in metal! I just imagine a formidable black helmet that covers all of the hair (if any) and most of the face as well.
See I've never gotten anything from the descriptions of either of them as being especially "armoured" beings. In fact I have a very distinct mental image of the face of Morgoth in particular as superlatively haughty and cruel. I do imagine him wearing mail all the time out of paranoia for the safety of his body but I think of both of the Dark Lords being very confronting of visage. I've never imagined them as "faceless" opponents in person, quite the opposite, and not for the better. Not monstrous, necessarily, but hideous and incredibly intimidating.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:09 PM   #37
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I've never imagined them as "faceless" opponents in person, quite the opposite, and not for the better. Not monstrous, necessarily, but hideous and incredibly intimidating.
One of Morgoth's greatest powers was the ability to daunt people with his eyes, so I agree that he probably didn't encase his face in metal.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:00 PM   #38
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I've always thought picturing Sauron and Melkor in full armour is more artistic laziness than anything else. Just imagine...

Melkor: Behold, FŰanor! For am I not Vala also? Yea, and more than those who sit here in pride. That is why I clothe myself in this raiment of metal.

Sauron: Alas, for the weakness of the great! For a mighty king is Gil-Galad, and wise in all lore is Master Elrond, and yet they will not aid me in my labours. Can it be that they do not desire to see other lands become as blissful as their own? Or can it be that they do not trust me because all they see of me is this armour (that, I may add, conducts the heat of the forge)?
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:11 PM   #39
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Tilion deserves every burn he gets. Another thing I don't get on Tumblr: people swoon over characters like Maeglin because he's tall, dark and handsome - and, the little thing that's easy to overlook, whiny and clingy: "Idril y u no love me??!"

I've started compiling a list of every character's appearance, at least what's mentioned of them, because that way I won't have to dampen my inspiration by browsing through all the books first before starting to draw. (Yeah, one would probably be available online, but it's more fun this way.)
## Maeglin needed to go into therapy - he must have been horribly traumatised by:

the disharmony between his parents

the death of his mother at the hands of his father

seeing the execution of his father by Turgon

being in Turgon's service

longing for Idril for a long, long time

being turned down by Idril (like Feanor by Galadriel)

seeing Tuor win Idril.

Maeglin is a rootless character - security & affection are both very important, and he didn't get them, but the opposite: his mother even used him as a pawn in her relations with his father. His entire paediatric development was mucked up. Little wonder he went to the bad. He's marked down as bad in a way Feanor is not: "...and indeed desire for Idril and hatred for Tuor led Maeglin the easier to his treachery, most infamous in all the histories of the Elder Days".

http://www.freebook4u.org/fantasticf...lon/15576.html

Which is all very well, but Feanor has to take a lot of the blame, surely ? Bad staff is romantic in a way that good stuff isn't - Ar-Pharazon is a humongously bad king, but he's a fascinating character. Evil is glamorous.

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Old 03-08-2013, 09:09 AM   #40
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Question Not the same

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## Maeglin needed to go into therapy - he must have been horribly traumatised by:


being turned down by Idril (like Feanor by Galadriel)
I'm afraid that's not the same. FŰanor was not interested in his niece Galadriel in the same way that Maeglin was interested in his cousin Idril. His niece's hair was a particular blend of silver and gold, said to be like the blending of the lights of the Two Trees. Not only did it give him the idea of making the Silmarils; FŰanor also asked her for some of her hair, which she refused.
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