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Old 10-01-2017, 01:51 AM   #1
Rhun charioteer
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If Sauron prevailed...

Imagine this... Frodo manages to overpower Gollum and throw him into the lava. He then pushes Sam aside with the Ring. The Nazgul return and Frodo only exerts limited control over them before he is lead to Sauron and either killed or turned into a wraith.

With the Ring back on his finger Sauron comes forth from Barad Dur in triumphant confidence. Aragorn and the army of the west are smashed and Gandalf is killed.

The elves take their rings off and make a mad dash with every available ship to the west. Lothlorien and the Woodland realm hold out for months before the forces of darkness overwhelm and encircle them. Galadriel and Thranduil are slain. Some of their people do make it to the ships and flee.

Gondor falls quickly and the forces of Rhun smash the Dwarves and Dale. A combined force from the northwest, south and east strike the residual forces of Rohan and sweep them away. The remaining men of the west Dunedain and middle men are either killed, enslaved, or swear fealty to Sauron the Great.The shire and Eriador burn.

In this dystopian scenario with the elves having fled or dead, and the free men broken utterly, and with the Istari mission an utter failure with Gandalf presumably killed again would the Valar intervene directly? Or would they nurture every flower and seed of resistance as Gandalf hinted but leaving Middle Earth under Sauron's thrall for millennia anyway?

Thoughts?
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:30 PM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:56 PM   #3
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In short, I think that if for some reason Gandalf's plan to defeat Sauron would have been foiled, Ilúvatar, through the Valar, would have found some other means of bringing about Sauron's demise. The existence of an evil, incarnate divine spirit overpowering Middle-earth would not have been allowed indefinitely.
Then again, who knows how many more lives would have been lost, and how more more destruction wrought on the land, had Sauron endured another thousand years or so.
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:34 PM   #4
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And some of us, even who check the Downs OCD-style, need time to work the grey cells and produce an intelligent-sounding answer.

As to what would happen immediately after Sauron's success, I haven't yet decided. But what occurred to me is Sauron won't be able to triumph forever. One of the themes that runs through Tolkien's works is that evil always undoes itself, sooner or later, one way or the other. In the long run, Sauron's actions will turn on him. He will weaken, or the resistance will strengthen, but either way there will be something that would spark his downfall (if imagination permits, you could even say that Saruman's ghost will come to haunt him and counteract all his plans ). And I think the Valar would exploit that moment - perhaps send another Istari mission, or communicate more directly in an Ulmo-talking-to-Tuor fashion. I suppose that brings me to say that I don't think the Valar would intervene in Middle-Earth until the time came, but neither would they turn their back on it. Later Age Valar take a minimally-interventional approach, and they will not launch a second War of Wrath, but I don't think they've gotten so huorny and inward-turned that they will not feel compassion for the fate of Middle -earth.

I agree with Inzil that evil will not be allowed to rule indefinitely and that Valar or Iluvatar would help, but I disagree that the demise would necessarily be at their hands. I would think that the overall trend through the Ages is for the great powers to take increasingly indirect approaches, and let Middle-earth inhabitants decide their fate (thus also making them take more responsibility for it). The other trend is that "fighting force with force" gradually becomes "evil will make its own undoing [which may be exploited smartly to increase that undoing]".

Rhun, I'm curious, did you have a theory already when posting the thread, or are you also torn between multiple scenarios?
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:10 AM   #5
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This topic was discussed here:
http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthread.php?t=18770
My opinion is that Sauron's realm would have eventually torn itself apart through internal strife and civil war. A major theme of Professor Tolkien's work is the fissiparous nature of evil and I believe that thematic consistency would dictate that Sauron would, in time, lose control of parts of his own empire. Ring or no Ring, Sauron's will and attention was not omniscient or omnipresent, and Cirith Ungol alone shows how easily his own servants could fall to fighting each other. This was especially a problem with Orcs, as Professor Tolkien observes in the essay 'Orcs' published in Morgoth's Ring.
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All his Orcs hated one another, and must be kept ever at war with some 'enemy' to prevent them from slaying one another.
While Men, not Orcs, would probably be the majority of Sauron's population, we might imagine Men becoming Orc-like under Sauron's repressive, degrading regime and developing similar traits.

Oppression breeds rebellion as well.

That being said, such a process might be expected to take hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
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Old 10-02-2017, 04:28 PM   #6
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Ring or no Ring, Sauron's will and attention was not omniscient or omnipresent, and Cirith Ungol alone shows how easily his own servants could fall to fighting each other. This was especially a problem with Orcs, as Professor Tolkien observes in the essay 'Orcs' published in Morgoth's Ring.
Then again, as Frodo, who, through possession of the Ring had special insight into Sauron's will and his rule over his servants noted to Sam, the two Orcs hunting them after their escape would have forgotten all about whatever quarrel they had if they'd spotted the Hobbits.
So maybe, as long as Sauron gave his subjects an external enemy to vent their anger and lust for conflict toward, his realm could have endured. Perhaps the utter subjugation of the West, once accomplished, would have indeed led to an insane plan to conquer even Valinor, and take down the 'false gods' of the West. I can see Sauron eventually getting arrogant enough to try it, or at least to feign that was an ultimate goal of his.

For a 1984 parallel, the "war' against the West need not even be actual. Sauron could manufacture 'attacks' by the remaining Elves and Men and blame the Valar, turning whatever hate and frustration fumed in Mordor's minions always away from himself.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
And some of us, even who check the Downs OCD-style, need time to work the grey cells and produce an intelligent-sounding answer.

As to what would happen immediately after Sauron's success, I haven't yet decided. But what occurred to me is Sauron won't be able to triumph forever. One of the themes that runs through Tolkien's works is that evil always undoes itself, sooner or later, one way or the other. In the long run, Sauron's actions will turn on him. He will weaken, or the resistance will strengthen, but either way there will be something that would spark his downfall (if imagination permits, you could even say that Saruman's ghost will come to haunt him and counteract all his plans ). And I think the Valar would exploit that moment - perhaps send another Istari mission, or communicate more directly in an Ulmo-talking-to-Tuor fashion. I suppose that brings me to say that I don't think the Valar would intervene in Middle-Earth until the time came, but neither would they turn their back on it. Later Age Valar take a minimally-interventional approach, and they will not launch a second War of Wrath, but I don't think they've gotten so huorny and inward-turned that they will not feel compassion for the fate of Middle -earth.

I agree with Inzil that evil will not be allowed to rule indefinitely and that Valar or Iluvatar would help, but I disagree that the demise would necessarily be at their hands. I would think that the overall trend through the Ages is for the great powers to take increasingly indirect approaches, and let Middle-earth inhabitants decide their fate (thus also making them take more responsibility for it). The other trend is that "fighting force with force" gradually becomes "evil will make its own undoing [which may be exploited smartly to increase that undoing]".

Rhun, I'm curious, did you have a theory already when posting the thread, or are you also torn between multiple scenarios?
It was just one fanficcy dystopian scenario. I just wanted to give it some color and detail so the discussion would have more to chew on.
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:05 PM   #8
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So maybe, as long as Sauron gave his subjects an external enemy to vent their anger and lust for conflict toward, his realm could have endured. Perhaps the utter subjugation of the West, once accomplished, would have indeed led to an insane plan to conquer even Valinor, and take down the 'false gods' of the West. I can see Sauron eventually getting arrogant enough to try it, or at least to feign that was an ultimate goal of his.

For a 1984 parallel, the "war' against the West need not even be actual. Sauron could manufacture 'attacks' by the remaining Elves and Men and blame the Valar, turning whatever hate and frustration fumed in Mordor's minions always away from himself.
I think something like the second scenario seems fitting. While I imagine Sauron would not have even admitted the existence of the Valar to his minions unless he had to, I can see him constantly finding new "undesirables" within his own realm to target for terrorisation and destruction in order to keep the rest of the populace in line. This would be consistent with real-world totalitarian policy, as Hannah Arendt for instance interpreted it.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:19 PM   #9
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I think something like the second scenario seems fitting. While I imagine Sauron would not have even admitted the existence of the Valar to his minions unless he had to, I can see him constantly finding new "undesirables" within his own realm to target for terrorisation and destruction in order to keep the rest of the populace in line. This would be consistent with real-world totalitarian policy, as Hannah Arendt for instance interpreted it.
I want to point out that an enemy need not be people. Easiest I can think of is hunger. Convince people that they need to work together for their own survival, to produce enough food. If Sauron is like Saruman in this respect, he's all about industry. Convince people they need to turn gears and build roads and complete other projects. They'll have to accept help from each other and they'll be too tired to rebel. It's all ruined by the less altruistic and trusting individuals, but then again Shagrat and Gorbag made a career and various Snagas would desert and break rules here and there. As a long term plan, this won't last, but it can sure help bridge gaps between armed conflicts.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:22 PM   #10
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But with everyone under his thumb and some men(there will be) even exploiting the situation to oppress other men couldn't it go on either forever or a very very long time.

Any revolt will be crushed, any disloyal orcs destroyed. Sauron in theory could reign over Arda for thousands of years as an immortal god king to his subjects terrible and mighty, the lord of men and the earth.

It would be cruel and nearly a dereliction of duty of the Valar to allow this state to remain unchallenged.
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:28 AM   #11
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Sauron in theory could reign over Arda for thousands of years as an immortal god king to his subjects terrible and mighty, the lord of men and the earth.

It would be cruel and nearly a dereliction of duty of the Valar to allow this state to remain unchallenged.
Like I said, I don't think the Valar would have tolerated Sauron indefinitely. A renegade Maia making himself king and god over Middle-earth was an insult to their authority, not to mention "unfair" to the lesser beings in his path. There would have been another plan to bring him down, though it would almost certainly have involved more cataclysmic damage and loss of life.
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