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Old 12-04-2005, 10:11 PM   #1
ManofDale
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What if??

What if Smaug was never destroyed and became swayed under the influence of Sauron with promises of gold (However he might ensnare him to his dark will), would the Eagles be able to contend with Smaug and the Nazgul on their Fell Beasts at the same time? What are your thoughts on this? Please elaborate as well on possible outcomes...
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:53 PM   #2
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My first thought here is that Smaug's will is his own and would not be held under Sauron's sway because while Sauron is powerful he is no Morgoth and controlling a dragons is something I don't see possible especially without his ring.

Now as for an Eagle taking on a dragon there is no competition, a dragon is much greater.
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Old 12-04-2005, 11:12 PM   #3
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but it'd make for an interesting story, as it is believed that the fire of the dragons could destroy the Ring!!

I don't believe either that Sauron could control the will of a Dragon, yet it is possible that they could work together, trying to outsmart each other yet moving towards the same goal in the beginning. Something along the lines of destroying the oposittion first and then they'd probably kill each other. After all we should consider that Smaug fell of a single (Well placed) arrow and Sauron could probably defeat him if caught of guard, but Smaug would be too smart to be easily tricked.
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Old 12-04-2005, 11:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
My first thought here is that Smaug's will is his own and would not be held under Sauron's sway...
I'm not so sure.

Gandalf says this in UT, The Quest of Erebor-
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The Dragon Sauron might use with terrible effect. Often I said to myself: 'I must find some means of dealing with Smaug.'
Gandalf thought Sauron would be able to "use" Smaug.
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Old 12-04-2005, 11:43 PM   #5
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I see your point but Sauron also thought he used Shelob but he didn't control her, so my point remains valid if it is seen that Smaug is his own master. Using a creature like that can be unpredictable.
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:41 AM   #6
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I'm inclined to agree with mormegil here. While, as the phantom points out with that quote from UT, Smaug could be used by Sauron, the control Sauron would have over him IMHO would be very limited- like Shelob, as astutely pointed out by morm.

I suppose the same thing may be said of the Balrog of Khazad-Dum also; if Sauron tried to persuade Smaug or the Balrog to his service, they would probably start out by following his instructions, yet Smaug's desire for gold and riches and the Balrog's desire to....kill....would in the end overcome their 'servitude' to Sauron and they would serve only themselves, destroying for pleasure. Not that this is totally out of line with Sauron's desires- only they probably wouldn't completely obey all his desires.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:26 PM   #7
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Now as for an Eagle taking on a dragon there is no competition, a dragon is much greater
Actually the eagles fought the winged dragons in the War of Wrath, so I think it is entirely possible that the eagles would be able to fight with a dragon, maybe not one on one but certainly with a group of them.

I don't think Sauron would have been able to completely control Smaug even with the ring, but they certainly would have come to an agreement and worked together, with Sauron perhaps allowing Smaug to control some land in the north, as there Smaug could have destroyed the last elven realms there such as Rivendell.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:48 AM   #8
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Yes, the Eagles would have been greater in those days but they could probably challenge Smaug if they fought together.

I don't think Smaug's fire would have been hot enough to destroy the One Ring (if any Dragon's fire ever could have).

Was the initial post asking what would have happened at the Black Gate? If so, more Eagles would have died (possibly) but it would have had no effect on Frodo's quest. Unless Sauron convinced Smaug to guard Mount Doom. That could be an idea.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:58 AM   #9
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I don't think Smaug's fire would have been hot enough to destroy the One Ring (if any Dragon's fire ever could have).
I don't have time now but remind me to check tonight. I'm almost sure that in The Fellowship of The Ring, either when Gandalf throws the Ring to Frodo's fire or when, at Elrond's council they talk about destroying it, someone (probably Gandalf) says that the fire of the dragons might have been able to, but there are none left.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:10 AM   #10
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I'm almost sure that in The Fellowship of The Ring, either when Gandalf throws the Ring to Frodo's fire or when, at Elrond's council they talk about destroying it, someone (probably Gandalf) says that the fire of the dragons might have been able to, but there are none left.
I believe Gandalf observes that not even Ancalagon the Black
could have destroyed the One Ring.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:12 AM   #11
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Then I guess I'm wrong =) Still, I'll dobule check
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:16 AM   #12
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That would be an interesting scenario...I imagine that Sauron (if he couldn't "control" Smaug) would at least try to make an ally of him. Rather like Morgoth and Ungoliant joining up to take down the Two Trees, each had something the other could profit from.

Hmm...maybe instead of just sending the Nazgul, Sauron could have sent Smaug to the Shire and laid it to ruin and then searched for the Ring in the ashes. Gandalf feared for Rivendell from the Dragon, I doubt the Shire could hold up longer than that.

But does Ringlust take hold on dragons, aside from their love of gold in general?

Very interesting thoughts.
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddwen
But does Ringlust take hold on dragons, aside from their love of gold in general?
That's another very interesting question.... We know that Dragons were very powerful and had some sort of 'magical' powers, at least over the minds of humans and hobbits (see Turin and... what was the name of the dragon?... and Bilbo and Smaug) and they did have a lust for power and gold, so I would guess that not only they'd have ringlust but also, should they be able to somehow put the ring on, they would be able to use it.

But then, we know nothing about this, so it's all a guess.
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Oddwen
Hmm...maybe instead of just sending the Nazgul, Sauron could have sent Smaug to the Shire and laid it to ruin and then searched for the Ring in the ashes.
But wouldn't the Ring be destroyed in the dragon's fire, making an ashes search fruitless?
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:53 AM   #15
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You're in luck, ManofDale, Gandalf himself answers your question....
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'It might all have gone very differently indeed. The main attack was diverted southwards, it is true; and yet even so with his far-stretched right hand Sauron could have done terrible harm in the north, while we defended Gondor, if King Brand and king Dain had not stood in his path. When you think of the great battle of Pelennor, do not forget the Battle of Dale. Think of what might have been. Dragon-fire and savage swords in Eriador! There might be no Queen in Gondor. We might only hope to return from the victory here to ruin and ash
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:13 AM   #16
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Ring

On a related point about isildur claiming the
Ring as weregild, did Gilgalad have descendents?
And if so, wouldn't they have had an equal claim
to the Ring- and so to have argued to destroy it?
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Old 12-07-2005, 11:35 AM   #17
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Gil-galad's descendants would not have had as close a personal cliam to the ring, Tuor because Isildur himself cut the Ring from Sauron's hand. You might argue that elves are wiser than humans, and therefore should control the all-powerful ring, but then again, they themselves are susceptible to the Ringlust (Galadriel's struggle), and are just as vulnerable as Men. In my opinion then, Isildur has the highest claim for the ring; his own descendant (Aragorn) has no more trouble than Galadriel in not taking the Ring.

I think that the Ring would not affect Smaug as much as you might think. After all, Smaug's confrontations with Bilbo proved that he could not easily be wiled and fooled. That and his inherent magical powers would combine to form his own personal magic mental block. That would also prevent Sauron from controlling him. Dragons were just too darn powerful.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by bilbo_baggins
I think that the Ring would not affect Smaug as much as you might think. After all, Smaug's confrontations with Bilbo proved that he could not easily be wiled and fooled
I'm not sure that Bilbo would have been able to fool the Witch King, Galadriel, even Argorn.... They are all very smart and mentally strong people yet they did suffer ringlust.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuor of Gondolin
On a related point about Isildur claiming the Ring as weregild, did Gilgalad have descendents?
Regardless of weregild claims, the point is moot since Gil-galad left no known offspring, and seems to have been single all of his life. For that reason, after his death, Elrond was the de facto Seventh High King of the Noldor- although the decimation and migration of the Noldor that occurred as a result of the War of the Last Alliance meant that actually claiming any such title would have been a rather silly thing to do...
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farael
I'm not sure that Bilbo would have been able to fool the Witch King, Galadriel, even Argorn.... They are all very smart and mentally strong people yet they did suffer ringlust.
But the Hobbits had inherent sneaking abilities. In his forward "On Hobbits" Tolkien describes how they can hide themselves, be unseen, and be quieter than air. Is this not fooling capabilities? Yet Smaug knew that Bilbo was there.
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by bilbo_baggins
But the Hobbits had inherent sneaking abilities. In his forward "On Hobbits" Tolkien describes how they can hide themselves, be unseen, and be quieter than air. Is this not fooling capabilities? Yet Smaug knew that Bilbo was there.
I think that refers to the Hobbits being able to sneak making very little sound, a physical skill yet creatures like Smaug, The Witch King, Galadriel or Tom Bombadil had a different kind of 'perception'... for example, Tom can see Frodo even when he's wearing the ring, so we see that they see the world differently. I don't think it's the same to be able to sneak by than to have a strong mental precense
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Old 12-07-2005, 04:18 PM   #22
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Will we know have to get into a discussion of what Tom Bombadil is? Tom is the eternal LoTR exception in my mind. Dragons were actually created by Morgoth. How could they be even as powerful?
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilbo_baggins
Will we know have to get into a discussion of what Tom Bombadil is? Tom is the eternal LoTR exception in my mind. Dragons were actually created by Morgoth. How could they be even as powerful?
Morgoth could not create, only corrupt things. So I guess either dragons already existed and he used them for his own means or that there were things like dragons which he perverted into things like Smaug.
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:45 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Farael
Morgoth could not create, only corrupt things. So I guess either dragons already existed and he used them for his own means or that there were things like dragons which he perverted into things like Smaug.
It could be that the dragons were corrupted by Morgoth, as their origins are unknown beyond that they emerged from Angband. They could have been extant creatures, corrupted to his needs, but we do know that Morgoth 'bred' dragons. Smaug is said to have been the greatest of his kind so he could have been one of those bred by Morgoth or a descendant of them.

It's worth bearing in mind that Sauron followed Morgoth and so may indeed have had much knowledge of dragons and how to control them - maybe with gold . In any case it is clear that Gandalf believed him to be a significant threat, so we can assume that he at least suspected Sauron would be able to control Smaug.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:28 PM   #25
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While I do not believe that Sauron could have fully controlled Smaug willingly, I do believe he could have tricked or manipulated the Wyrm through his greed and Vanity, after all was this not how Bilbo tricked the old boy into giving him a second glance of his jewel encrusted 'waistcoat', revealing to him the dragons only weakness.


I believe that Sauron could and would have made promises to Smuag that his greed would not and could not resist, after all was this not Saurons art to take such weaknesses and twist and manipulate them to his will.
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Old 12-07-2005, 11:30 PM   #26
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I must say I agree with Lawende and Nerindel when they say that Sauron could have tempted Smaug to do his bidding yet I don't think he could have controled Smaug for too long. Sooner or later, either Smaug would ask too much from Sauron or perhaps Sauron himself would feel he did not need Smaug anymore and try to get rid of him.

Tricksy, these evil creatures are
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:27 AM   #27
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Question

I think Smaug's own pride and sense of superiority would not allow him to be controlled by others not even Sauron, but I do believe that feeding his greed with promises of riches and perhaps even the northlands themselves Sauron could thus manipulate the dragon to his will, elimanating any threat from Rivendell or perhaps even Lorien. This to me would be the threat Gandalf feared. However the flaw in this plan would be if Smaug happened upon the ring a trinket I do not think he would give up willingly and then Sauron himself would be forced to destroy the Wyrm and take the ring.


Quote:
Yet Smaug knew that Bilbo was there.
It was only the Wrym's heightened sense of smell and hearing that led him to know that Bilbo was there, even wearing the ring. But still he could not see him. so really it is irrelivent how quiet or sneaky Bilbo was if the Wyrm was awake he would smell him, like many real life predatory animals of today.

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"Well, theif! I smell you and feel your air. I hear your breath. Come along! Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!"
And as for Morgoth not being able to create Dragons I'm not entirely convinced If we can dismiss this possibility? For if Aule could make the dwarves and Yavanna the ents, then is it not then pausible that Morgoth could have created the dragons?
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Nerindel
And as for Morgoth not being able to create Dragons I'm not entirely convinced If we can dismiss this possibility? For if Aule could make the dwarves and Yavanna the ents, then is it not then pausible that Morgoth could have created the dragons?
Actually, Aule made the dwarves but they did not have a conscience of themselves until Eru himself gave them one. Before that they were just outgrowths of the conscience of Aule. The Ents were trees (created by Yvanna) given a soul by.... I can't remember right now but I would guess Eru again?... so neither of the Valar created life by themselves. And of course, it is quite unlikely that Eru would have helped Morgoth create the Dragons.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:23 AM   #29
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Hmm off course, good point Farael. So that leads me back to the thought that Morgoth possibly could have twisted and corrupted the dragon's already given life by Eru, like Lalwendė Suggested.

Quote:
It could be that the dragons were corrupted by Morgoth, as their origins are unknown beyond that they emerged from Angband. They could have been extant creatures, corrupted to his needs, but we do know that Morgoth 'bred' dragons. Smaug is said to have been the greatest of his kind so he could have been one of those bred by Morgoth or a descendant of them.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:28 AM   #30
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Well who's to say that Eru picking sides? I'm not claiming to be rooting for Melkor or anything, but if Eru gave life to Aule's creation and Yavanna's creation, why not give life to Melkor's creation? The Dwarves you will remember, play an enormous, fate-of-the-world changing role in Middle-Earth. So why can the Valar have all the abilities to affect all life? I think Melkor created Dragons from scratch, and that somehow he gave them life.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:33 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by bilbo_baggins
Well who's to say that Eru picking sides? I'm not claiming to be rooting for Melkor or anything, but if Eru gave life to Aule's creation and Yavanna's creation, why not give life to Melkor's creation? The Dwarves you will remember, play an enormous, fate-of-the-world changing role in Middle-Earth. So why can the Valar have all the abilities to affect all life? I think Melkor created Dragons from scratch, and that somehow he gave them life.
I beg to differ, as it is said more than once in The Silmarillion that Morgoth could not create, only corrupt what had been created already, but I do respect your view points... after all, we are all entitled to our own ideas
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:59 AM   #32
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Then if Dragons were created from extant creatures, were they not possibly corrupted (if they could be corrupted) from the deep crawling things beneath the earth mentioned by Gandalf? In that case, Sauron would have no control over Dragons, because he had no control over the creatures of the earth. He might have allied with Smaug, but the dragon would eventually get the better of him.
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:03 AM   #33
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We're missing the most important question here.

Let's assume that Smaug had ring-lust and the desire for the power. How on Middle-earth could he use the ring? I don't think it would fit.
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:55 AM   #34
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With regard to the origins of Dragons, you might find some useful thoughts here:

The source of dragons
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Old 12-08-2005, 03:33 PM   #35
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With regard to the origins of Dragons, you might find some useful thoughts here:

The source of dragons
Awesome link! I just finished reading it, very interesting... as usual, nothing was really agreed upon, but it still had some information. Now I know that the Dinosaurs did not became extinct.... but they all became Dragons!
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Old 12-08-2005, 03:46 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morm
Let's assume that Smaug had ring-lust and the desire for the power. How on Middle-earth could he use the ring? I don't think it would fit.
The Ring could resize itself - remember it would "slip off where it had once been tight". But I don't know how or if it would fit on a dragon's claw.

Although - probably the Ring itself didn't see Smaug as a viable wearer. Otherwise it would have just slipped off Bilbo's finger in the cave.

Maybe Smaug would have just hoarded it with the rest of his gold, and been reluctant to leave it. Or even driven mad by not being able to wear it.

And Smaug did have power, of a sort. He ruined entire cities and gathered their treasure to him, and kept everyone in that region in terror of him. Not quite unlike Sauron, though Smaug seemed content, and Sauron desired it on a larger scale.
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Old 12-10-2005, 01:11 PM   #37
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Smaug had an influence to cause greed in others like Bilbo if you recall who was found in awe of all his horde. Also the Master was subject to "dragon disease" which I can only say is greed and he died out in the desert. I think Smaug would able to overpower the One Ring as he sees it as just another trinket, like the Arkenstone etc.
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:45 PM   #38
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Tolkien wrote about 'evil' beings and their allegiance to Sauron. As part of Morgoth's force, creatures like orcs, trolls, and dragons could refuse Sauron's command and still maintain allegiance to their original 'commander' Morgoth. This does not mean they would, necessarily, since we see loads of orcs on Sauron's side.

Smaug could've been used by Sauron. Durin's Bane would've been a more difficult situation, but as greedy as Smaug was, I don't think he would've required much persuasion to join Sauron's army.

As for the Ring not fitting Smaug's finger - why wouldn't it? Surely you don't think that Sauron, Isildur, Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam all wore the same ring size!
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:17 AM   #39
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As for the Ring not fitting Smaug's finger - why wouldn't it? Surely you don't think that Sauron, Isildur, Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam all wore the same ring size!
While I said that in a bit of jest, no I do not think that they all wore the same ring size however it is reasonable to assume that they were of a similar size and Sauron probably the largest finger so that the ring would at least fit on the smaller hand. However with Smaug I just don't see it fitting though this obviously isn't the actual topic.

Legolas, I like your point about the control of creatures. However, while I agree that Sauron had great control over many of the more mindless species such as orcs and trolls, dragons are shown to be much more willful and independent. Hence Glaurung being sent with an army and then occupying the territory essentially under Morgoth's command but under his own counsel. Therefore I don't think Smaug would answer to Sauron. I think he would be a detriment and cause problems on his own but would not obey Sauron's will per se. As stated earlier Sauron could not seem to control the 'greater' evil beings ie. Ungolian and the Balrog. The same would logically apply to Smaug.
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:07 PM   #40
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Nothing translates directly to Smaug not obeying Sauron. Glaurung followed Morgoth's order. The fact that he used his own 'counsel' is an even greater asset - he can obey the commands of Sauron, and think further for himself to act in situations where Sauron isn't present to give explicit directions.

The dragons of the Third Age were weak in comparison to the dragons of the First Age. Smaug wasn't exactly the most cunning being either, as we see in The Hobbit. He'd be dealing with Sauron. Sauron has displayed his intelligence several times over the history we have...he wouldn't have simply barged into the Lonely Mountain and began barking orders at Smaug like a mule pulling a plow or anything.

It would have been cunning - one of Sauron's strength is his mental perception. Even Saruman fell to his mental strength, and that was from a distance. In the (unlikely, I think) event that Smaug was opposed to joining Sauron's army in a very direct role in return for benefits, it still would've been easy to pull him into the same trap Saruman fell into.

We don't know that Durin's Bane would refuse Sauron's command - we just know that the balrog would have an easier time if he wanted to do his own thing. We don't have an example of Sauron being defied the balrog, so the assumption that the balrog would is completely unfounded. I also think the point is taken to the extreme - when we think of the balrog joining Sauron's forces, it seems that many take it as the balrog becoming Sauron's mindless servant. This would certainly not be the case. Why would Sauron waste a balrog's strength and intelligence as a mindless fighter? Durin's Bane - a creature capable of killing Gandalf, or at least exhausting him to the point of death - would have been almost a second-in-command should he join Sauron.

As for Sauron not being able to control Ungoliant - who could? Even Morgoth had difficulty with Ungoliant.

Sauron still used Smaug, Durin's Bane, and Shelob indirectly with cunning. Obviously Sauron fell in the end, but from a military standpoint, he was the victor for much of the war. Until the unforseeable adventures of Gandalf, Bilbo, and Thorin's company, Smaug was in a strategic position to hold the dwarves and men of the north from advancing east or south to aid the elves and men. Durin's Bane destroyed an entire dwarven colony. Shelob was well-placed as a guardian of Mordor's western boundary.

How narrow were the defeats of these three? The fight against Smaug would've been hopeless without the small hole in his armor; Durin's Bane would've been a match for any other single force in Middle-earth save Gandalf, whom he still removed from the equation until Eru's intervention; Frodo and Sam didn't exactly dominate Shelob.
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