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Old 02-24-2005, 10:27 AM   #1
Snorri Swifthammer
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(What If?) Enemies of the 4th Age

So I've been idly speculating on a What If? scenario for Middle-Earth.

I've been thinking what if a new Enemy arose in the 4th age to challenge the Free Peoples. Now I'm trying to think of a leader for these new forces of evil and have come up with two ideas.

1. Mouth of Sauron - He is still alive (in the books) and at least has some influence in Mordor. Perhaps he could rally the remains of the forces of Mordor and strike against Gondor in revenge of his master.

2. Alatar and Pallando - (Sorry alatar!) Both these wizards disappeared somewhere into the East. We know the Easterlings allied with the forces of Mordor. What if A&P where corrputed by their power and set themselves up as Wizard-Kings of the East? They could certainly cause alot of trouble.

So what other forces of evil are still moving in the 4th age? Who would you think could pull together an army? Remember this is just idle speculation, I'm not staying to any sort of canon ideas of Middle-Earth, just a fun thought experiment.
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:02 AM   #2
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I severely doubt that the Mouth of Sauron survived the destruction of the Ring and consequent defeat of Sauron, particularly if, as is suggested, his years had been unnaturally lengthened by means of Sauron's power.
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:06 AM   #3
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alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.alatar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Agree that MoS is candidate #1, or at least an heir (genetic or otherwise) of his.

Child of Aragorn/Arwen vs Son of Mouth?

However, if it were follow the Tolkien formula, it would be a few thousand years later, and so we'd be talking descendents.

As for the Blue Wizards, who's to say? Now that fellow Maia Sauron and Saruman were literally 'blown away,' Gandalf on a one way cruise and with all of the power elves (Big E, Big G, Big C) leaving the scene, the West (as these guys are out starting cults in the East) may look like easy pickings.
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:38 PM   #4
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Lalwend is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwend is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Snorri, you ought to get hold of a copy of Volume 12 of Histories of Middle Earth (HoME). In here you'll find The New Shadow, an adandoned story which Tolkien wrote set in the 4th age, some years after the War of the Ring. In it, some Men are found to be hatching evil plots and there are certain sectors of society who admire Orcs. It's really interesting, but also depressing, as you can tell that Tolkien just did not know how to approach this idea of more evil arising. It seemed that the idea of more evil somehow spoiled the success at the end of LotR, and after reading it, I was glad that he didn't write any more about the 4th age. But if you want to see some ideas about what happened next, check out some of the RPGs!
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:48 PM   #5
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
I think that Tolkien's feelings about industrialisation might have given him scope for evil in the later ages of Middle Earth - expanding on the microcosm shown in the scouring of the shire. But you might have needed a bit of a time delay... I think it would have devalued the triumph of the War of the Ring if a mjor threat had arisen too soon. However in the apppendices it does refer to Eomer and Aragorn fighting together again in a "mopping" up exercises in the south. However I don't think there is a personnage in the books that would have the power to "face up" against Aragorn at the height of his power.
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Old 02-24-2005, 05:09 PM   #6
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One word: Herumor.

"And a cold voice rang forth from the blade.

Yea, I will drink thy blood, that I may forget the blood of Beleg my master, and of Brandir slain unjustly. I will slay thee swiftly."
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:37 AM   #7
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Interesting having only read the first two volumes of HoME so far I had no idea who Herumor is. Having just looked it up I now understand what you mean. I think you may have apoint Neurion. And thank you, that can be my new Tolkien fact for the day!
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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I've been thinking about preparing to run a 4th Age Middle-earth RPG campaign in the future sometime. I read up on some of the old Other Hands fanzine about some possible new threats in the 4th Age. They suggested that Sauron had a child which was a female Elven/Maia before he lost his physical form. Thought that idea was interesting, but I like the Blue Wizards better.

The idea I had dealt with two of the fallen Istari Wizards taking up Sauron's reigns. I thought that Alatar and Pallando would team together, both being the Blue wizards of the East. I've always had a liking for Radagast, and figured though semi-fallen, the Valar would give him another chance at fighting against the evil in the lands of Middle-earth for their forgiveness.

As far as I know (though I haven't read up on it yet) all three of the remaining Istari remained on Middle-earth and did not take the ships at the Grey Havens.

I thought the idea of two fallen Istari teaming up, was an interesting idea for a Sauron-like archenemy, though less in intensity than the Great Eye.

I did a little reading in Unfinished Tales on the Ithryn Luin "The Blue Wizards."

The names Alatar and Pallando are from the Istari chapter, which I have always found to be an interesting read.

Note #3 by Christopher Tolkien at the end of the Istari chapter, was quite interesting to me.

"In a letter written in 1958 my father said that he knew nothing clearly about 'the other two', since they were not concerned in the history of the North-west of Middle-earth. 'I think,' he wrote, 'they went as emissaries to distant regions, East and South, far out of Numenorean range: missionaries to enemy-occupied lands, as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and "magic" traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron."

I like the idea they were founders of secret cults and magic traditions. Perhaps one of the Blue Wizards set himself up as a God of a new religion/cult with followers that he bent to his will, while the other one focused on teaching and spreading magical knowledge to the men, dwarves, or other races there, but then turned those followers of that magical tradition into his pawns. Perhaps both of them set up magical religions and set up theocracies with them as the head of the governments.

Perhaps they both set themselves up as God-Kings and were corrupted that way.

I think that Sauron had something to do with both of them falling from their mission. Perhaps Sauron gave both powerful artifacts and secret diabolic knowledge so that they wouldn't oppose his will against the North-west of Middle-earth. Perhaps some of the missing Palintir were given to both of these Wizards as bribes to ignore Sauron's plans. Perhaps both of these Wizards had kingdoms of their own, and supplied armies of Easterlings to aid Sauron's cause for his great gifts to them.

With Sauron out of the picture, would these God-Kings seek to find more knowledge, and extend their kingdom in Mordor perhaps? I see however that a two-headed beast, might turn on itself before the end, and perhaps Radagast's job would be to bring about a civil war, that would make evil mar itself. Just some ideas.

It might be interesting, if Radagast preferred the Druedain as a race. Maybe in the East or South there are more Druedain that fled the North-west when they were hunted by the other races of men. It would make sense since they are a wilderness loving people.

Ghan-buri-Ghan was the leader of the Druedain that helped the Riders of Rohan on their way to Gondor, in case anyone doesn't know who the Druedain are.

In "The New Shadow" (one of Tolkien's last short writings found in The Peoples of Middle-earth) Herumor is a name that seems to have something to do with the new cult/rebellion that has sprung up after Aragorn's lasting peace. The story was never finished, and we are left wondering what tenets that this new cult believes in. It is most likely a Satanic/Morgothic religion probably wishing for the 1st Dark Lord to return and bring about the end of the world.

Christopher points out that the name Herumor is found in Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (The Silmarillion) as that of a renegade Numenorean who became powerful among the Haradrim in the time before the Last Alliance.

Could Herumor be a name of one of the high ranking members of a new cult that sprung up in the East and South because of Alatar's and Pallando's wishes? Is Herumor another name of Alatar or Pallando, pretending to be one of these Numenoreans? Perhaps Herumor was a pawn of the two Blue Wizards?

I see the seeds of of a new campaign in my head.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:07 PM   #9
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I was also wondering about Saruman's Ring (I saw a thread on it) and the rings of the Nazgul (that I assume are littered near the remains of Mount Doom).

I know the Elven rings "lessened" but does that mean they are absolutely worthless, or were they just reduced in power somehow? If they are only lessened then perhaps there is still some minor abilities on the rings that others find. Plus you could always say there are other rings that are lesser rings. I guess my question is, after the One was destroyed, did it make all of the other Rings of Power null and void. I think it probably did to a big extent.

I picture Rhun, Nurn, and Harad again being the main areas where armies would spring up, but who's to say that there aren't any more wild creatures far to the East and far to the South.

I kind of like the idea of evil Dwarves that have latched onto Pallando's and Alatars cult/religion. I see perhaps the worship of Morgoth/Melkor being a part of that religion. Maybe the magic they teach is more like being dark sorcerers, that need the bodies of sacrifices to fuel their magic?

I think any 4th age campaign, should be named "The New Shadow" as Tolkien named his short story set in the 4th age (found in the Peoples of Middle-earth, the History of Middle-earth part 12).
A sane being would have given up, but Samwise burned with a magnificent madness; a growing obsession to surmount every obstacle. He knew he would try again, fail perhaps, and try once more, a thousand thousand times if need be.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:58 AM   #10
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With the passing of the Third Age, the last physical remnants of Morgoth's power went from Middle-earth.
Sauron desroyed, the Nazgul gone, the last Great Dragon killed, the Balrog slain, the orcs exterminated or reduced to a mere nuisance. If any of the Istari remain, now that their job is done they will become just old, old men, soon to die. There is no possibility of the return of Evil Incarnate, embodied in a person or other creature.

The Elves have left or are fading, the Dwarves are dwindling, the East and the South have been rendered impotent for many generations. The only threat to the Re-united Kingdom and the North-West of Middle-earth must come from within, from the ordinary evil inherent in mankind.

The greatest threat will come from a power struggle between Aragorn's grandsons or great-grandsons. The Kingdom is too big and its population centres too far apart for it to be stable. It is almost inevitable that Arnor and Gondor will break apart again and they will go to war over the possession of the empty lands between them.

Human ambition, not pure evil, will, sooner or later, bring Aragorn's dreams crashing down.
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:11 PM   #11
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Well, we know that Aragorn and omer dealt with any such threats:

And wherever King Elessar went with war King omer went with him; and beyond the Sea of Rhn and on the far fields of the South the thunder of the cavalry of the Mark was heard, and the White Horse upon Green flew in many winds until omer grew old.
Anyway, I find Selmo's idea much better. As Tolkien himself probably realised as he wrote A New Shadow there were no more really great enemies left. All had been crushed in the War of the Ring and any story that would come afterwards wuld be nothing compared to what had happened in the ages before.
Maybe also rising tensions between Rohan and Gondor and also eventually the beginning of an industrial revolution, like the changes made by Saruman in Isengard and the Shire.
Who knows what would happen?
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:52 AM   #12
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What about the Variags of Khand? I do remember Elessar making peace with the peoples of Harad, but what of the people of Khand?
The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dr he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it...
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:50 AM   #13
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Any evil to arise would not be as grand as beffore. Forst the greatest, Morgoth, then Sauron, much weaker, then who knows what next. If it was first a Vala, then Maia, maybe the next could be Child of Illùvatar. So I agree with Selmo's point here. Or maybe an evil elf?
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:10 AM   #14
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The Witch King sounds like a likely candidate.
Morgoth falls, his greatest servant rises--->Sauron falls, his greatest servant rises?

The crown rolled away with a clang. Éowyn fell forward upon her fallen foe. But lo! the mantle and hauberk were empty. Shapeless they lay now on the ground, torn and tumbled; and a cry went up into the shuddering air, and faded to a shrill wailing, passing with the wind, a voice bodiless and thin that died, and was swallowed up, and was never heard again in that age of this world.
From The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
How about the next age?

And while we're on the subject, wasn't this the basic premise of the MERP pen-and-paper RPG? Fighting new evils in the Fourth Age? I believe they had some really far-out ideas, including Sauron's half-elf daughter(born from some Elf maiden he seduced in Eregion), Dark Elves of the East etc.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:58 PM   #15
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In the history of men, whether fiction or non-fiction, there are never a lack of villians.

A previous poster states: "I've always had a liking for Radagast". Me too. It seems he is likable, but in the wrong place at the wrong time. A good story would be the 3rd age from Radagast viewpoint. I've always had a thought that since he so knowlegable of flora and fauna, and the master of shape an hue, he may be able to find the Entwives -- and perhaps if they were lost for so long, perhaps it is because they were disgruntled and didn't want to be found. Maybe the good Radagast in the 4th age might broker a reunion at the end? Perhaps maybe turn other good works by clumsy mistake?
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