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Old 07-20-2016, 06:55 PM   #40
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 144
Marwhini has just left Hobbiton.
Originally Posted by denethorthefirst View Post
Another thought regarding Mordor: I can't really prove it with quotes but I get the distinct impression that Saurons Rule, the "political structure" of his empire in the third age is also "medieval", that is to say feudal, indirect and "looser" than in the second age. Yes he ruled over Mordor directly, but the people and states in Khand, Harad, Far-Harad, Umbar and Rhun seem to be more or less autonomous. I guess that they had to nominally acknowledge Sauron as God-King, probably send tributes and provide troop contingents during war time, but apart from that Sauron doesn't seem to care all that much and they seem to be more or less left to themselves, they don't seem to be tightly controlled, centrally governed provinces of a continental empire (that's how I picture Saurons realm during the second age). Maybe Sauron would have turned his attention to his Vassals after his final victory against the West and complete the subjugation. While the fight against the west was still ongoing he maybe allowed a certain amount of freedom because he needed the manpower of the East and South but it wouldve been too time- and resource consuming for him to directly conquer the whole area and rule it directly (like he did in the second age).
Of course that's all speculation ...
That tends to be the impression I had as well.

But a Feudal structure is not incompatible with a Centrally ruled Tyranny.

It would just mean that all power was concentrated into the hands of a very small ruling class (The Black-Númenóreans, or their descendants, for example).

We do have a few statements, for instance, that Khamûl ruled over the East of Rhûn. And that Harad was largely a Tributary to Mordor, autonomous, and under the control of what seems to be a scattered grouping of Tribal Authorities. We really have not a lot to go on.

But the point I think people are making re-Modernity is that Tolkien was using Mordor to caricature, and mock modern-day Nation-State's Bureaucracies, which he saw during the First World War become downright "evil" in their conduct of that war (impersonal, and capricious). And thus Mordor, even if ultimately a Feudal State (Sauron as absolute Ruler, with petty Lords ruling the various strongholds) was a nightmare of everything that could go wrong in a Modern Nation-State where Ideology was more important than actual results.

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