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Old 04-12-2011, 02:10 PM   #1
Alfirin
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Sauron's Hroa and the Missing Finger

Hi all,
This is probably garbage but I was wondering. when Saurons physical body in it's final iteration is described, the general consensus is that it is basically the same as his penultimate body (the one he had when he faced Isildur) minus the finger Isildur cut off. My question is as follows, does anyone else think it is possible that the reason they looked the same is that they were the same. That is that when Isildur cut the ring for Sauron it drove the fea from his body ("killed him") but did not destroy said body, and the time it took for sauron to gain enough power to "grow a new one" was really the time it took for him to gain enough strenght to re-occupy the old one. Sauron had many loyal followers at the Battle with Isildur; in the confusion they could have borne his body away somewhere safe. And since we do not really know how "human" Saurons body was, It's a little hard to say how subject it would be to the ravages of decay in his fea's absence. My question would be sort of as follows, if Sauron did build himself a new body from scratch, why would he 1. make it just like the previos one (which had already proved to be defeatable) and 2. leave his hand damaged. if he could grow a new body he could presumably grown a new finger. The concept that he kept it missing as a reminder seems a bit tenuous (Sauron would need no reminder that he did not have the Ring) and it would seem that one would want all ones fingers for day to day activities. Besides if he ever did get back the ring, one would assume he would have liked somewhere to put it (with him wearing the nine mortal rings and the four dwarven rings, plus possibly the three eleven rings (if his post ring recovery plan involve taking them for his own as well after her conquered the elves.) one would think his nine remaining fingers would be running short of room. Unless we are to belive that, if he ever got his hands on the One ring again its first effect would be to cause his missing finger to re-sprout then. Also re-occupying a pre existing body would likey take less strength (which Sauron was running short of) than making a brand new one. at least that's my opinion.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
My question is as follows, does anyone else think it is possible that the reason they looked the same is that they were the same. That is that when Isildur cut the ring for Sauron it drove the fea from his body ("killed him") but did not destroy said body, and the time it took for sauron to gain enough power to "grow a new one" was really the time it took for him to gain enough strenght to re-occupy the old one.
I think there are some arguments against that. Sauron's spirit was forced out of his Second Age body while Sauron was in Mordor.

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Then Sauron was for that time vanquished, and he forsook his body, and his spirit fled far away, and hid in waste places; and he took no visible shape again for many long years.
Silm Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

The next we see of him is in Dol Guldur in his "Necromancer" guise.

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For coming out of the wastes of the East he took up his abode in the south of the forest, and slowly he grew and took shape there again...
(Same source, emphasis added.)

"He took shape there again", I think, points to a new form.

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Sauron had many loyal followers at the Battle with Isildur; in the confusion they could have borne his body away somewhere safe.
The Last Alliance had been victorious and controlled Mordor, so I don't see how Sauron's body could have been snatched away like that. In any case, Isildur, Elrond, and Círdan had been present, and it doesn't seem likely any of Sauron's servants stuck around to face them, when even the Nazgûl had run away.

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My question would be sort of as follows, if Sauron did build himself a new body from scratch, why would he 1. make it just like the previos one (which had already proved to be defeatable) and 2. leave his hand damaged. if he could grow a new body he could presumably grown a new finger.
Sauron's power was diminished each time he was forced to rebody, so maybe he couldn't have it exactly the way he wanted, at least not without additional expenditure of his remaining power. Also, and this is only a theory, perhaps his remaining "maimed" in his physical appearance was somehow tied to his "maimed" (Ringless) spirit. After all, Sauron had lost his original Mair ability to appear in any guise he wanted.

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Also re-occupying a pre existing body would likey take less strength (which Sauron was running short of) than making a brand new one. at least that's my opinion.
That's likely true. However, Sauron's body was fully incarnate, wasn't it? Like the Istari. Look what happened to Saruman's body when he was killed.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:42 PM   #3
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I do rather like this theory. Nice and quite Gothic, this cosmic corpse reanimation.

On the other hand, the logic of Tolkien magic often deals with permanent, irreversible diminution; on the evil side sometimes to do with a vague sense of punishment by, ish, Eru. Morgoth got left with a permanent limp by Fingolfin, Sauron could be Annatar, fair of face, no longer after Numenor was drowned, that sort of thing...
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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The Last Alliance had been victorious and controlled Mordor, so I don't see how Sauron's body could have been snatched away like that. In any case, Isildur, Elrond, and Círdan had been present, and it doesn't seem likely any of Sauron's servants stuck around to face them, when even the Nazgûl had run away.
My only real answer to that (and I admit it's weak) is that it could have been grabbed by those fleeing, say a residual Wainrider (if any of them had survived the dead Marshes) and his chariot (sauron is supposed to be only slightly above normal human stature so a single chariot would proably have been enough to convey it. As for how they could of gotten away with it, stopping them may not have been high on Elrond, Isildur and Cirdan's itinerary. Sauron was dead as far as they were concerned and his army was in full retreat, the fact they had picked up his body on the way may not have mattered much to them, any more than pusuing the retreating force and making sure they were slaughtered to a man (orc?). They may have thought his forces simply wanted to bury him (or given the kind of forces Suron commanded, eat him), which could have been fine with them one fewer stinking corpse to deal with. The good guys seem to have taken care to bury the dead of both sides (remeber all of the faces in the dead marshes were from graves the, good and bad guys). In fact that may have been the retreating forces actual plant, only being checked later say when they caught up with the WK (as Saurons second in Command (more or less) one would assume any residual army would rally around him, if they could find him and he gave them order to bear the body somewhere safe (with his knowedge of magics dark (he probably was no slouch at necromancy either, if he could call up the barrow wights) he may have guessed what might happen down the road. In fact the only person of the three I can imagine caring if the body was lost would be Isildur, and that only if his desire for showing off his triumph meant he wanted to march Home with Sauron's head on a pike.

Sauron's power was diminished each time he was forced to rebody, so maybe he couldn't have it exactly the way he wanted, at least not without additional expenditure of his remaining power. Also, and this is only a theory, perhaps his remaining "maimed" in his physical appearance was somehow tied to his "maimed" (Ringless) spirit. After all, Sauron had lost his original Mair ability to appear in any guise he wanted.


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That's likely true. However, Sauron's body was fully incarnate, wasn't it? Like the Istari. Look what happened to Saruman's body when he was killed.
Incarnate yes, but incarnate isn't the same thing as human. Saruman and the Istari weren't merely sent incarnate they were specifically sent as incarnate and human. Thier maiar spirit was what kept them immune from age, more or less; when Saruman was killed what you had left was a human corpse that was centuries if not millenia old all the withering may just have been time catching up with it. Sauron's body may not have been so based. Maybe it was based on an elven plan, how quickly do elven bodies rot? (the closest we get to seeing a dead elf face to face (as far as I know) is in the Dead marshes and Frodo may have had trouble telling noble man from elf there (he does say that some of the faces he sees are "fair" and "noble"). Maybe as long as he had the ring, sauron could keep his body renewed (it does prolong life indefinitely after all) so his dead body might have been as one who had died as a normal person the centuries he had lived not touching it. And if the whole thing was done to purpose the body could have had help to last, maybe the WK had it mummified or enblamed (if he ever examined any of the barrows, he might have had insight into how to do this). Putting an enbalmed body back to full life and heath would have taken more effort than one as it was when the spirit left, but still probably less than making one from scratch.
Actually if he did make one from scratch there might be another reason to make it the same (if he only got one chance) If his consciousness returned before he re-incarnated and more importantly his ability to communicate he may have been able to find out what of his former trappings were left, and took a form that would allow him to re-use them without trouble. Even if his body had not survived things like his armor, his throne etc. might have been kept (or retrived) over the years. they would be small things, but weakend as he was, every little bit might have helped. But I'm basically freewheeling by now
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:55 PM   #5
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I say that cutting off the finger somehow maimed Sauron's fea as well. If he made a new body from scratch, what's a finger? If he was using his old body, how did he get it to Dol Guldur from Mordor where the Battle of the Last Alliance occured?


Well, possibly, in Dol Guldur he still didn't have his body yet; it was just his spirit that was "taking shape" in a metaphorical sense - not just a whisp of smoke floating around, but something with a definite goal/purpose/characteristics/etc.

EDIT: or maybe he formed his new body in the image of his old body... he could not appear in any other appearace, as I recall. But that still doesn't explain the finger.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:14 PM   #6
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If he had formed his new body in the same image as his old body, or even had his old body been salvaged from the battlefield, could the fact that the Ring being cut from *that particular* finger have contributed to his fingerless-ness? Seems like a theory you could speculate about, since the sudden absence of a greater part of his power that was in the Ring could have easily affected the re-incarnation of his newer form. But then again I'm just speculating.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:00 PM   #7
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Or, Tolkien thought the mention of the missing finger was a great bit of symbolism and merely wrote it in because it further emphasized Sauron's loss of the Ring. Sometimes the simplest explanations are the most reasonable.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:08 PM   #8
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Because when Sauron took back the Nine Rings he had the perfect amount of fingers for it.

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Old 04-12-2011, 08:47 PM   #9
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Because when Sauron took back the Nine Rings he had the perfect amount of fingers for it.
But he hoped to find the One. Where would he put it? On his big toe?

Morth, I think you hit the nail on the head. Applause!
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:53 PM   #10
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My only real answer to that (and I admit it's weak) is that it could have been grabbed by those fleeing, say a residual Wainrider (if any of them had survived the dead Marshes) and his chariot (sauron is supposed to be only slightly above normal human stature so a single chariot would proably have been enough to convey it.
But what would have been the motive? The rank-and-file troop wouldn't have known a great deal about Sauron, and thus would likely have had no inkling he could ever return. Why take the trouble to retrieve the body of their fallen leader when it was all they could do to save themselves?
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:13 AM   #11
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But what would have been the motive? The rank-and-file troop wouldn't have known a great deal about Sauron, and thus would likely have had no inkling he could ever return. Why take the trouble to retrieve the body of their fallen leader when it was all they could do to save themselves?
As I thought I said
1. To bury him, perhaps so his tomb could be a rallying point for further battles (granted this implies the existance in the ranks of men or orcs who hold a certain veneration for thier leader, above and beyond the fear
2. Given that we know that orcs (and possibly some of the other members of the forces) are cannibalistic, maybe they wanted to do an act of sympathetic cannibalism. It's not all that uncommon in our worlds history, your enemy was strong you eat him, his strength becomes yours. And if any knew Sauron enough to know he was more or less a god (or god like being) to a cannibalistic tribe that might have been a further inducement.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:27 AM   #12
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On a (slightly) more serious note I'm with Morthoron on this as well.

If it needed to be explained internally then maybe (!) something like: the loss of the One somehow scarred the fea, so much so that the fea rebuilding its hroa could not overcome this 'spiritual scar' and thus Sauron was forced to reflect this in the body.

Or something like that but better

But again I think it was just too 'poetic' or 'right' (for JRRT) on an external level -- just like I think Tolkien knew that Sauron must take the Ring to Numenor (he couldn't leave it behind), and so Sauron's fea 'must' have somehow carried the physical One back to Middle-earth, his spirit being so tied to the One.

Or something.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:20 AM   #13
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1. To bury him, perhaps so his tomb could be a rallying point for further battles (granted this implies the existance in the ranks of men or orcs who hold a certain veneration for thier leader, above and beyond the fear
Given the apparent attitudes of the Orcs we see close up in the books regarding Sauron, I find it hard to believe they honestly cared enough about Sauron to have wanted to honourably dispose of his body. Moreover, it seems the majority of Men who served him were from the East and South, and I doubt their service was as much out of veneration for Sauron as it was for hate of the West and a desire for loot and pillage. The fall of Sauron would have made them think they'd backed the wrong side and their primary objective would have been to merely get home alive.

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2. Given that we know that orcs (and possibly some of the other members of the forces) are cannibalistic, maybe they wanted to do an act of sympathetic cannibalism. It's not all that uncommon in our worlds history, your enemy was strong you eat him, his strength becomes yours. And if any knew Sauron enough to know he was more or less a god (or god like being) to a cannibalistic tribe that might have been a further inducement.
Well, maybe. But if Orcs took Sauron's empty body to do so, it seems it would have been long digested by the time he was ready to rebody.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:01 PM   #14
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Well, maybe. But if Orcs took Sauron's empty body to do so, it seems it would have been long digested by the time he was ready to rebody.
Unless the WK caught up with them and stopped them (they were presumably almost as afraid of him as sauron hinself and if he said "Do not eat this, carry it here, they would have likey obeyed him)
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:30 AM   #15
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But Alfirin, do you have evidence for any of this? I mean, a footnote or a letter or anything? Because honestly, all I'm seeing here is a long, long chain of "and ifs".
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:18 AM   #16
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Finger bowls

I think it was prophetic based on a numerology scheme surrounding the nine major attributes of the Ring~

1. Sauron had nine fingers

2. Frodo had nine fingers

3. Bilbo gained 9 extra inches on his beltline

3. Gollum had nine teeth

4. Isildur had nine lives (but used them all by the time he crossed the Anduin)

5. Samwise Gamgee was elected to public office nine times

6. Tom Bombadil had nine sets of yellow boots

7. The Nazgul had nine ex-wives

8. Smeagol had nine personalities (two dominant so he gets a twice mention)

9. And last, Gimli, who touched it with his axe, had nine inch feet

I'm just sayin

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Old 04-14-2011, 05:20 AM   #17
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10. For 9 or ninety-nine days we could think of all kinds of ridiculous 9-related things and still not finish.

PS: Gollum had an upsidedown 9 teeth.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:32 AM   #18
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Well, I Never!

I... I... ::disconcerted smiley::
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:17 AM   #19
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Nine Nines for the Tolkien fans, on their forum black...
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:46 AM   #20
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Speaking of missing hroa, it's a good thing Sauron didn't keep the Ring elsewhere on his body. Otherwise, instead of nine, he would have none!
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:07 PM   #21
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Speaking of missing hroa, it's a good thing Sauron didn't keep the Ring elsewhere on his body. Otherwise, instead of nine, he would have none!
Makes one wonder where Gandalf was hiding Narya.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:18 PM   #22
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Makes one wonder where Gandalf was hiding Narya.
Hmmm...if one were inclined to use double entendre, one could say on his staff. But I never use entendre, whether intentionally or not.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:25 PM   #23
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Narya

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Makes one wonder where Gandalf was hiding Narya.
I've always assumed in a sort of "pocket dimension" to be called out if needed. That's really the only way I can think of to explain how he could have died, been given a new (and completely naked) body, be sent back, and still have it (unless Eru was kind enought to float it out from under the muck of the mountain and have it fly back to him.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:40 PM   #24
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I've always assumed in a sort of "pocket dimension" to be called out if needed. That's really the only way I can think of to explain how he could have died, been given a new (and completely naked) body, be sent back, and still have it (unless Eru was kind enought to float it out from under the muck of the mountain and have it fly back to him.
Well, if Sauron's disembodied spirit could somehow transport the One from the ruin of Númenor back to Middle-earth, Gandalf apparently could accomplish something similar after his physical body was "killed".
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:08 PM   #25
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Another option...

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I've always assumed in a sort of "pocket dimension" to be called out if needed. That's really the only way I can think of to explain how he could have died, been given a new (and completely naked) body, be sent back, and still have it (unless Eru was kind enought to float it out from under the muck of the mountain and have it fly back to him.
Well, Frodo saw Galadriel's ring in Lórien while Sam saw a white star shining through Galadriel's hand. Seems to me that the Three could be hidden while being worn from all but a few.

It's not clear to me just how Gandalf resurrected, whether he got a new body or the old one was rebooted. However, afterwards he was back on top of the mountain. Ring and sword apparently survived the encounter.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:17 PM   #26
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Well, Frodo saw Galadriel's ring in Lórien while Sam saw a white star shining through Galadriel's hand. Seems to me that the Three could be hidden while being worn from all but a few.

It's not clear to me just how Gandalf resurrected, whether he got a new body or the old one was rebooted. However, afterwards he was back on top of the mountain. Ring and sword apparently survived the encounter.
Well, Blantyr, answer number one is simple. Frodo saw the elven ring on Galadriels hand because he possessed the One Ring. This empowered him to see it, as it's purpose was to dominate ALL rings from that series of forgings.

As for Gandalf, there is much speculation, and alot to be read in other threads about this, but my leaning is to the argument that Eru Iluvatar sanctioned Gandalf's second incarnation and restored whatever the now White Wizard needed of his tool iventory.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:52 PM   #27
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Well, Blantyr, answer number one is simple. Frodo saw the elven ring on Galadriels hand because he possessed the One Ring. This empowered him to see it, as it's purpose was to dominate ALL rings from that series of forgings.

As for Gandalf, there is much speculation, and alot to be read in other threads about this, but my leaning is to the argument that Eru Iluvatar sanctioned Gandalf's second incarnation and restored whatever the now White Wizard needed of his tool iventory.
Then why did Eru not provide Gandalf with at least TEMPORARY clothing (good enough to last him to Lothlorien, so that he wouldn't freeze to death on top of the mountain.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:29 PM   #28
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Possily becuse Gandalf didn't need that clothing. It wouldn't assist him in saving ME. And he wouldn't die without it either.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:24 AM   #29
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Then why did Eru not provide Gandalf with at least TEMPORARY clothing (good enough to last him to Lothlorien, so that he wouldn't freeze to death on top of the mountain.
Seems to me that said reincarnation was in part a mystical experience. Hermits don't go on top of mountains just to slay balrogs, after all. Perhaps he needed a little humility to go with his promotion?

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Possily becuse Gandalf didn't need that clothing. It wouldn't assist him in saving ME. And he wouldn't die without it either.
Didn't know you needed saving at that point.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:16 AM   #30
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Seems to me that said reincarnation was in part a mystical experience. Hermits don't go on top of mountains just to slay balrogs, after all. Perhaps he needed a little humility to go with his promotion?

Bravo, lol!
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:08 AM   #31
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Scary thought

Galadriel has seen Gandalf UNCLOAKED!!!
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:21 AM   #32
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Galadriel has seen Gandalf UNCLOAKED!!!
**runs away shrieking, covering eyes and ears with all four hands**
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:13 AM   #33
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To get back to the original thrust of this thread (and resurrect it), wasn't Sauron still disembodied at the time of the War of the Ring? I always thought that without the Ring, he didn't have enough power to remake a physical body.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:20 AM   #34
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To get back to the original thrust of this thread (and resurrect it), wasn't Sauron still disembodied at the time of the War of the Ring? I always thought that without the Ring, he didn't have enough power to remake a physical body.
Apparently, while the Ring itself was still intact, Sauron was capable of being rebodied.

However, it took him a pretty long time to get his strength back, so that delay was probably due to his lacking physical possession of the One.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:28 PM   #35
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Well, Blantyr, answer number one is simple. Frodo saw the elven ring on Galadriels hand because he possessed the One Ring. This empowered him to see it, as it's purpose was to dominate ALL rings from that series of forgings.
Perhaps Frodo saw it because Artanis chose to wear it in front of him, held up her hand, and starlight glanced off it... maybe Frodo understood with certainty that this Ring was one of the Great Three, without being told, because his 'sight' had grown keener as the bearer of the One.

Some fairly recent discussion on that here: http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthr...599#post655599

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Old 07-06-2011, 01:36 PM   #36
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As for Sauron taking longer to rebuild his body in the Third Age...

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' ... It was thus that Sauron appeared in this shape. It is mythologically supposed that when this shape was 'real', that is a physical actuality in the physical world and not a vision transferred from mind to mind, it took some time to build up. It was then destructible like other physical organisms. But that of course did not destroy the spirit, nor dismiss it from the world to which it was bound until the end. After the battle with Gilgalad and Elendil, Sauron took a long while to re-build, longer than he had done after the Downfall of Númenor (I suppose because each building-up used up some of the inherent energy of the spirit, that might be called the 'will' or the effective link between the indestructible mind and being and the realization of its imagination). The impossibility of re-building after the destruction of the Ring, is sufficiently clear 'mythologically' in the present book.'
From one of Tolkien's letters... can't recall which one at the moment!

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Old 07-07-2011, 10:40 PM   #37
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Apparently, while the Ring itself was still intact, Sauron was capable of being rebodied.

However, it took him a pretty long time to get his strength back, so that delay was probably due to his lacking physical possession of the One.
Gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up. For some reason, I always thought that he was just a spirit, barely capable of manifesting physically, partly due to the lack of the Ring, and partly due to the fact that so much of his power was going into functioning essentially as an overmind for his armies.
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