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Old 06-03-2007, 08:29 AM   #1
Gorthaur the Cruel
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Ring Sauron Greater than Morgoth...

I recall a quote somewhere stating that Sauron was greater than Morgoth by the end of the First Age with the Ring. Does this mean that with the Ring, Sauron rose to the might of a Vala? Or how exactly weak was Morgoth by the end of the First Age?
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:55 AM   #2
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I believe the quote in question is:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notes on motives in the Silmarillion, Myths Transformed, HoME X
Sauron was 'greater', effectively, in the Second Age than Morgoth at the end of the First. Why? Because, though he was far smaller by natural stature, he had not yet fallen so low. Eventually he also squandered his power (of being) in the endeavour to gain control of others. But he was not obliged to expend so much of himself. To gain domination over Arda, Morgoth had let most of his being pass into the physical constituents of the Earth – hence all things that were born on Earth and lived on and by it, beasts or plants or incarnate spirits, were liable to be 'stained'. Morgoth at the time of the War of the Jewels had become permanently 'incarnate': for this reason he was afraid, and waged the war almost entirely by means of devices, or of subordinates and dominated creatures.

Sauron, however, inherited the 'corruption' of Arda, and only spent his (much more limited) power on the Rings...
As it can be seen, it is not about Sauron getting more power (quite the contrary, he too lost some of his own) - but about Melkor losing his.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:22 AM   #3
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Tolkien

I actually think that Sauron had a smarter plan to take over Middle-earth than Morgoth. Morgoth did not have a very good plan. From what I have read, his plan was to use his huge numbers and force to overtake and rule Arda/ destroy what the Valar made. He used fear and made people lose hope as his primary weapon. Sauron, on the other hand, had a much smarter plan for his takeover of Middle-earth; He gained the trust of his enemy, then Tricked them into making rings of power, and then secretly made a ring of his own so that he could enslave all of the others lords of the races that had received the rings. it was quite an ingenious plan, really. He only failed because of three things;
1)Aule made the dwarves tough so that they could endure evil and resist corruption, thus the lord of the dwarves could not be corrupted through the rings.
2) The elves took off their rings when they felt his presence through th one ring, or something to that effect. He could not rule them because the three rings were hidden.
3) When all hope seemed to be lost, Isildur cut off sauron finger with the ring on it, ad then Sauron lost the ring. If he ad still had the ring, or had never lost it, he would have been the ruler of middle-earth by the Third Age.
Morgoth failed because he had utterly lost most of his power because he put much of himself into his creations, and all of his evil deeds. You have to consider how much he put out of himself to become weak from beig te strongest and most powerful being in all of Arda, or the most powerful Vala. That is why he failed. Lord knows that he had more forces than Sauron, including the supervly powerful Balrogs and Dragons, plus trolls and other creatures. He had more army power than Sauron, but Sauron had the more ingenious plan. The ingenious plan is always better.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:29 AM   #4
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Probably because they both had different intentions.
Melkor wanted to destroy everything, anything that had been created by the Valar, even his own creatures, while Sauron simply wanted to rule over all others.
Sauron even offered his enemies a chance for peace through the Mouth of Sauron. Indeed this could only come at a great price, but still it proves he didn't set out to destroy all others.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iarwain Ben-adar
The ingenious plan is always better.
Well, while I agree with that in principle, I don't think it is the case here. Both Sauron and Morgoth failed; and Sauron was defeated even when confronting non-Ainu level enemies. In fact, Sauron became so "insignificant", that Manwe considered it fit to delegate dealing with him to Men, even if he initially started off with angelic powers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myths Transfomed, HoME X
Manwe knew of Sauron, of course. He had commanded Sauron to come before him for judgement, but had left room for repentance and ultimate rehabilitation. Sauron had refused and had fled into hiding. Sauron, however, was a problem that Men had to deal with finally: the first of the many concentrations of Evil into definite power-points that they would have to combat, as it was also the last of those in 'mythological' personalized (but non-human) form.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Might
Sauron even offered his enemies a chance for peace through the Mouth of Sauron. Indeed this could only come at a great price, but still it proves he didn't set out to destroy all others.
I don't think that we can equate peace with whatever system of oppression Sauron had in mind. And, ultimately, I believe we can reasonably expect Sauron to become nihilistic too:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myths Transformed, HoME X
Sauron had not served Morgoth, even in his last stages, without becoming infected by his lust for destruction, and his hatred of God (which must end in nihilism).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valaquenta, Silmarillion
In all the deeds of Melkor the Morgoth upon Arda, in his vast works and in the deceits of his cunning, Sauron had a part, and was only less evil than his master in that for long he served another and not himself. But in after years he rose like a shadow of Morgoth and a ghost of his malice, and walked behind him on the same ruinous path down into the Void.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:42 AM   #6
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Raynor: I get your point about Sauron not having to fight the ainur. But, Melkor was an Ainur himself, the most powerful one at that, so I think that it evens itself out. Sauron was a Maia. so, the Valar sent Maiar to help defeat Sauron; the istari. Sauron was the most powerful maia in the third age (more powerful than all the Istari), and Morgoth was the most powerful Vala (more powerful than all Valar). It was all evened out. This is just another example that the quenta Silmarillion is the same as the Lord of the Rings, but on a grander scale.

The might: When you say that he offered them peace, do you really think that he would have upheld it? Look at how he tricked the elves into making the rings of power. Look at how he tricked the men of Numenor into practically killing themselves by stepping on Valinor. If he had succeeded in tricking them to agree to peace, don't you think that his past examples of trying to be kind have led to terrible things happening to the poeple that he tricked? Think about that for a while.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iarwain Ben-adar
Sauron was the most powerful maia in the third age (more powerful than all the Istari), and Morgoth was the most powerful Vala (more powerful than all Valar). It was all evened out. This is just another example that the quenta Silmarillion is the same as the Lord of the Rings, but on a grander scale.
It seems to me that Sauron had it better going for himself; after all, the five istari were forbidden "to match his power with power", and having real bodies they became susceptible to many weaknesses, including corruption - as it can be seen in the case of Saruman, who greatly helped him. He still failed.
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:11 PM   #8
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I think in Sauron's case, he was definitely wiser than Melkor in going about his evil plans. While Morgoth dissipated much of his strength into his servants, Sauron put forth his power into his Ring. To me, the Ring seems to afford him immense power (e.g. in game terms, the Ring would afford a character to tap and expend magick points to do spells without losing the total sum of magick points because of the ring) without weakening his native powers. That way, he can endeavor to rule ME without taxing much of himself thanks to the Ring. Also, Gandalf said something in the council that if Sauron were to recover the Ring, his victory would be so absolute that Arda would be subject to a second darkness. What was the first darkness? And would Sauron -- if the Ring was recovered -- be a great threat to the Lords of the West?

Edit: And with the Ring, was he mightier than Eonwe (Manwe's maia general)?
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorthaur the Cruel
Also, Gandalf said something in the council that if Sauron were to recover the Ring, his victory would be so absolute that Arda would be subject to a second darkness.
Hm, I believe you are rather referring to the last debate:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Last Debate, RotK
Concerning this thing, my lords, you now all know enough for the understanding of our plight, and of Sauron's. If he regains it, your valour is vain, and his victory will be swift and complete: so complete that none can foresee the end of it while this world lasts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorthaur the Cruel
And would Sauron -- if the Ring was recovered -- be a great threat to the Lords of the West?
What lords do you have in mind? If you are talking those of M-E, then yes, as seen from above; if you are talking about Aman & co, I really don't think so, as there is no evidence he was ever a match for them. He actually dreamt that the valar & co forgot about the whole Arda thing; such wishful thinking would not be called for if he considered himself up to the task of confronting them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorthaur the Cruel
And with the Ring, was he mightier than Eonwe (Manwe's maia general)?
"Objection, your honor; calls for speculation!"

I doubt that.
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Old 06-03-2007, 02:07 PM   #10
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I believe you have misunderstood the type of peace I am talking about.
I never said anything about a good life or freedom, the defeated would be enslaved, but Sauron hopes they will rather choose this over death.
I believe you can compare their future to the life of the slaves working for Sauron in the region of Nurnen, who after the WotR were given these lands and were freed.
It would be a Pax Mordoria, that's what I meant.

Raynor...you are probably right, Sauron would possibly eventually reach that stage.
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Old 06-03-2007, 03:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Might
I believe you have misunderstood the type of peace I am talking about.
I never said anything about a good life or freedom, the defeated would be enslaved, but Sauron hopes they will rather choose this over death.
I believe you can compare their future to the life of the slaves working for Sauron in the region of Nurnen, who after the WotR were given these lands and were freed.
It would be a Pax Mordoria, that's what I meant.
I am a member of an organisation involved in peaceful conflict resolution. One problem when dealing with conflict is that in many cases peace is seen as the absence of violent, overt conflict. The definition I adhere to is that peace represents a condition in which conflicts are dealt with constructively, not ignored. Even if there would be no more fights, that still would not be peace, since all life on Arda would be subject to oppression - therefore the use of pax mordoria would be a contradiction in terms, imo. However, I strongly believe that Sauron would have a murderous, violent regime.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:09 AM   #12
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Then I believe we have different ideas as to what the word "peace" can represent.
I mean, I would like to see all the world's conflicts resolved without use of force, believe me, but still for me if Sauron would conquer and rule over all without any more fights it would still mean "peace" to me.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Might
Then I believe we have different ideas as to what the word "peace" can represent.
I guess we do .
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:50 PM   #14
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"Just as Sauron concentrated his power in the One Ring, Morgoth dispersed his power into the very matter of Arda, thus 'the whole of Middle-earth was Morgoth's Ring'" -- JRR Tolkien

In regards to sheer power and ability, I don't believe Sauron even came close to Morgoth. Morgoth actually achieved total victory in Arda -- yes, that's right, he was utterly and unquestionably victorious -- defeating the greatest Elvish armies and the noblest houses of the Edain, not once, but several times. Morgoth crushed them, and only the direct intervention of the Valar (at Earendil's request) saved Middle-earth. The renowned Elvish kingdoms of Beleriand and the greatest heroes of the 1st Age (Feanor, Fingolfin, Fingon, Huor, Hurin, Turin, etc.) were no match against Morgoth's relentless assault.

Sauron's war record was much more spotty. He surrendered to Ar-Pharazon and the Numenoreans without a fight, he was beaten by the armies of the Last Alliance, and ultimately lost the War of the Ring. Gondor and Rohan remained unconquered, and most Hobbits were unaware there was even a war going on.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:23 PM   #15
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Sauron was humiliatingly defeated at the Isle of Werewolves, and lost every fight he was in, so no, he is certainly not greater than Morgoth. Morgoth's plan, while crude, did actually work. If it were not for the Host of the Valar, Beleriand would have been his. Sauron, on the other hand, was repeatedly thwarted by the mortal beings (and lesser elves) of Arda. His corruption of Numemor wasn't really a victory, seeing as how it had already become quite corrupt, and it was still a major loss for him in the end. His ultimate defeat was not one on the battlefield, but by Gollum falling to his death by accident. If anything, this seems symbolic of him being undeserving of a grand end.

All in all, Morgoth ruled over balrogs and dragons, was the first to corrupt men, defeated Fingolfin in combat, and was defeated by the host of Valinor. On the matter of looking cool, none of Morgoth's defeats were truly shameful, while we all know of Sauron's defeat at the Isle of Werewolves. In the end, Morgoth was the better Dark Lord, the more persistent enemy (Morgoth's Ring), and would come again for the end of the world. Sauron was like a carbon copy of Morgoth once you delve into the character, with only a few distinctions.
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:21 AM   #16
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Still, Sauron is more evil:

Quote:
"In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible."
Now that doesn't make him greater, definitely not as far as the initial power they had is concerned, but still, an interesting idea that Sauron is the more evil one.
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:47 AM   #17
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In what context does Tolkien make this statement? Does "in my story" refer to the Legedarium as a whole or is he referring to LotR specifically?
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen
In what context does Tolkien make this statement? Does "in my story" refer to the Legedarium as a whole or is he referring to LotR specifically?
A fuller version of the paragraph (emphasis added):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letter #183
In my story I do not deal in Absolute Evil. I do not think there is such a thing, since that is Zero. I do not think that at any rate any 'rational being' is wholly evil. Satan fell. In my myth Morgoth fell before Creation of the physical world. In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible. He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth.
This part of some notes written by Tolkien, unsent to anyone, in regards to a positive review by W.H. Auden of the Return of the King. Taking into consideration that Sauron is described in LotR/Silmarillion/HoME as a servant/emissary/follower of Morgoth and, also, that it would seem that "story" would refer to LotR only, not the whole Legendarium, I believe that this statement about Sauron is LotR-level only.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:13 AM   #19
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Interesting...until now I kept thinking Sauron is supposed to be more evil, but Raynor brings a good argument against this.
I also wasn't sure about the meaning of the word "story" was in this context.
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:44 AM   #20
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I actually think that Sauron had a smarter plan to take over Middle-earth than Morgoth. Morgoth did not have a very good plan. From what I have read, his plan was to use his huge numbers and force to overtake and rule Arda/ destroy what the Valar made. He used fear and made people lose hope as his primary weapon. Sauron, on the other hand, had a much smarter plan for his takeover of Middle-earth; He gained the trust of his enemy, then Tricked them into making rings of power, and then secretly made a ring of his own so that he could enslave all of the others lords of the races that had received the rings. it was quite an ingenious plan, really.

...

Morgoth failed because he had utterly lost most of his power because he put much of himself into his creations, and all of his evil deeds. You have to consider how much he put out of himself to become weak from beig te strongest and most powerful being in all of Arda, or the most powerful Vala. That is why he failed. Lord knows that he had more forces than Sauron, including the supervly powerful Balrogs and Dragons, plus trolls and other creatures. He had more army power than Sauron, but Sauron had the more ingenious plan. The ingenious plan is always better.
What you deem to be Morgoth's failure (i.e. his weakening himself by disseminating his own spirit amongst his servants and pouring his power into the world) was in some ways his greatest victory. The quote at the beginning of this thread points out the fact that Sauron "inherited" the corruption of Arda from Morgoth. Everything that abides in Arda, even "incarnate spirits" like the Istari, not to mention the Children of Iluvatar, were subject to the influence of Morgoth's evil will.

It's even possible that the enduring taint of Morgoth's evil aided Sauron in his attempts to trick and corrupt the other races, both in the making and later the implementing of the various Rings of Power. In The Children of Hurin we basically see how Turin was repeatedly plagued by unwise choices and subject to a string of coincidences that eventually led to his utter destruction. Not all of his ills came directly from Morgoth's curse of course, since Turin's own personality contributed to his downfall as well, but it's quite suggestive--like Sauron's One Ring, which always seeks to find the hand of Sauron and further his will, so too does Morgoth's ring seek constantly to perpetuate his evil.

I'd have to disagree with the assertion that Sauron's plan was more ingenious than Morgoth's as well. Morgoth was apparently familiar with Occam's Razor and figured, why should I resort to trickery when I can simply take what I want? Because as others have already pointed out, Morgoth's power was more than sufficient. The direct interference of the Valar was not something he could have defended against anyway, regardless of whether or not he poured his power into Arda or retained it for himself, so his eventual defeat at the War of Wrath wasn't really the result of a mistake on his own part.

Had he chosen to retain his own strength all that would have happened is that 1) he would have been FAR less successful in his military campaigns against the Elves (since without his multitudes of servants he'd basically have to go and sack every elvish city by himself, in some incarnate form of his choosing, which eventually would have sapped his power anyway), and 2) instead of sending Eonwe with a host of Elves in the War of Wrath, the Valar would have just come themselves a second time as they did in the breaking of Utumno. Only this time once Morgoth was dragged away and thrown into the cooler, Middle-earth would be relatively pure and free from the corruption of his evil. So it's arguable Morgoth's approach (putting forth his will into the world) was the best possible plan of action that he could have taken in furthering his goals, especially when the long-term consequences are considered.

Actually, when I think about it like that, Sauron's plan was exactly the same as Morgoth's, only on a far smaller scale. Rather than reaching everything on earth Sauron's will and corruption only extended as far as the bearers of the Rings of Power. So really, their plans were equally "ingenious," though the fact that Sauron's ring was destructible whereas Morgoth's ring was not (except by Iluvatar) is a mark in Morgoth's favor.

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Old 12-15-2008, 09:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Actually, when I think about it like that, Sauron's plan was exactly the same as Morgoth's, only on a far smaller scale.~modoturan
Yes and No.

That is both Morgoth and Sauron were in "Absolute satanic rebellion":

Quote:
But in this 'mythology' all the 'angellic' powers concerned themselves with world were capable of many degrees of error and failing between the Absolute Satanic Rebellion of Morgoth and his satellite Sauron, and the faineance of some of the other higher powers or 'gods.'~Letter 156
By "absolute satanic rebellion" I would assume that both Morgoth and Sauron opposed Eru, and they were against the Valar.

However, there is a difference between the two, and I think Iarwain was on the right track when saying Sauron's plan was smarter...maybe not smarter, but definitely wiser and more practical.

Morgoth became a nihilist, that is he believed in nothing, he solely wanted to destroy everything. The problem with that is Morgoth's goal was impossible, he essentially wanted the power that only Eru had, and that is trash everything, including everyones wills (fea). Not even the Vala had the power to destroy a person's will.

Sauron knew this was impossible, he never denied existance, he wanted to control and dominate others wills - much different than destroying everything alltogether:
Quote:
"He [Sauron] still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and co- ordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction. (It was the apparent will and power of Melkor to effect his designs quickly and masterfully that had first attracted Sauron to him.)"~Home X: Morgoth's Ring; Myths Transformed
I imagine Sauron was drawn to Morgoth in the way that Saruman was drawn to Sauron in The Lord of the Rings. Saruman does tell Gandalf about joining with Sauron, but ultimately betraying him before the end. Saruman in essense, just takes the "path of least resistance." Saruman desires to be the Dark Lord himself, and in order to achieve his desires, he thinks buttering up to Sauron - and then backstabbing him - would be the best way.

Sauron is originally drawn to Morgoth, probably because of the power and splendour of Morgoth, but also Morgoth's ability to efficiently and speedily do what he wanted. So, in this way Sauron believes to achieve his own plans (of world "domination") he take the apparent path of least resistance - following Morgoth. However, Sauron is a smart one, he recognizes Morgoth is pretty much spiralling into self-destruction, and if you want to put it this way says: "uh-uh I'm not going down on Morgoth's sinking ship." He abandons Morgoth's SS Imploder, puts on a nice face for the Maiar after Morgoth is punished, and runs to Middle-earth to start his own plans.

I don't know if Sauron ever planned to backstab Morgoth, but there is a clear difference between how they both wanted to run things. Sauron's plans ultimately were probably wiser, because his plan of control and domination was possible, Morgoth wanted to undo everything, wanted the power of Eru - not possible:
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Sauron, however, inherited the 'corruption' of Arda, and only spent his (much more limited) power on the Rings; for it was the creatures of earth, in their minds and wills, that he desired to dominate. In this way, Sauron was also wiser than Melkor-Morgoth. Sauron was not a beginner of discord; and he probably knew more of the 'Music' than did Melkor, whose mind had always been filled with his own plans and devices, and gave little attention to other things.~Home X: Morgoth's Ring; Myths Transformed
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:52 PM   #22
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A point of difference also is that Melkor/Morgoth is removed from Middle-Earth, cast into the void, to watch apart from the body of creation for eternity. Sauron it is implied, remains in existence after the destruction of the ring, but without form, a infinitely weak spirit drifting until the end of times. (Not utterly unlike what JK Rowling imitates in her books. I still think she fancies her books as some latter day follow-up to LOTR, but that is another story.)

In the end though, Melkor/Morgoth was weak when he was finally removed from Middle-Earth. At his peak of power, Sauron was stronger than his master's final form, and well would have rivaled him to an extent. But the basic difference in what each was, Valar vs. Maiar dictates that Sauron could not become as powerful as his masters limit.

We see a pattern of diminishing through the entire body of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, from even the Valar to the end of the war of the Ring. The Mouth of Sauron is another example of this. A part of The Kings Men of Numenor, the Black Numenorian, who is briefly described in the LOTR as aspiring to follow in the path of Sauron. He is another shadow of a master that was himself a shadow of another.

For that matter, again, you can look to the Valar being directly engaged in fighting Melkor/Morgoth, and the Maiar pitted against Sauron.

Seems as though there is effectively a rule of engagement.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:00 PM   #23
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We see a pattern of diminishing through the entire body of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, from even the Valar to the end of the war of the Ring. The Mouth of Sauron is another example of this. A part of The Kings Men of Numenor, the Black Numenorian, who is briefly described in the LOTR as aspiring to follow in the path of Sauron. He is another shadow of a master that was himself a shadow of another.

For that matter, again, you can look to the Valar being directly engaged in fighting Melkor/Morgoth, and the Maiar pitted against Sauron.

Seems as though there is effectively a rule of engagement.
The law of diminishing returns is very evident in Tolkien's chronology. The decline from Vala to Maia to Man, particularly in the physical overlordship of Arda, is an interesting concept in Middle-earth, but it has as its antecedent Celtic and Welsh mythology, wherein such clans as the Tuatha De Danaan physically shrink to the point they become the trooping fairies often mentioned by W. B. Yeats, or Gawaine, who starts out as demi-god but becomes quite degraded by the time Malory gets a hold of him. So too, Tolkien's Elves fade the longer they stay bound within Middle-earth, and Hobbits shrink (literally) from the sight of us Big Folk.

I suppose it is a way of describing the waning of grandeur and wonder the further man uses science to reduce magic to an algorithm, or perhaps, like the Gaels, it is a way of explaining the coming Christian predominance and the slow death of the old gods.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:11 AM   #24
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Let's not forget that in the same essay Tolkien said that Morgoth had become totally insane by the end.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:18 PM   #25
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I suppose it is a way of describing the waning of grandeur and wonder the further man uses science to reduce magic to an algorithm, or perhaps, like the Gaels, it is a way of explaining the coming Christian predominance and the slow death of the old gods.
That's an interesting take on it; I never thought of that. I had always seen it as drawing on the concept of a lost Golden Age or Eden. In Greek and Roman myth there are four or five, depending on the author, 'ages of man' each diminished from the one before. Even in the Bible, this concept comes through: after the fall of Eden there is a 'middle period' where lives are far longer than those of modern man, and then 'wane' to our own time. (Even Abraham, who's entering the 'historical' time frame, lived 175 years.)
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:59 AM   #26
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Sauron or Ëonwë?

it is said often that Gorthaur was the mightiest of the lesser Valar. such a statement is given to us about Melkor, as well, in comparison with Manwë. is then Gorthaur the mightiest, or would Ëonwë, who like Manwë in comparison to Melkor has greater authority or formal power, surpass Gorthaur?
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:22 AM   #27
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it is said often that Gorthaur was the mightiest of the lesser Valar. such a statement is given to us about Melkor, as well, in comparison with Manwë. is then Gorthaur the mightiest, or would Ëonwë, who like Manwë in comparison to Melkor has greater authority or formal power, surpass Gorthaur?
I don't recall a reference to Sauron being "the mightiest of the lesser Valar", though it is said in The Silmarillion that

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Among those of [Melkor's] servants that have names the greatest was that spirit whom the Eldar called Sauron, or Gorthaur the cruel.
Valaquenta

That just indicates Sauron was the most powerful of Melkor's minions. His relative status among all Maia would seem to be a question mark.

As for Eönwë. it was said if him that his "might in arms is surpassed by none in Adra". So in hand-to-hand combat, he might have an edge. Otherwise, though?
As the herald of Manwë, certainly Eönwë would have greater authority, but as for his "ranking" in raw power in comparison with the other Maia, I would say we can't know for sure.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:04 AM   #28
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I don't recall a reference to Sauron being "the mightiest of the lesser Valar", though it is said in The Silmarillion that

Valaquenta

That just indicates Sauron was the most powerful of Melkor's minions. His relative status among all Maia would seem to be a question mark.

As for Eönwë. it was said if him that his "might in arms is surpassed by none in Adra". So in hand-to-hand combat, he might have an edge. Otherwise, though?
As the herald of Manwë, certainly Eönwë would have greater authority, but as for his "ranking" in raw power in comparison with the other Maia, I would say we can't know for sure.
thank you for clarifying that, Inziladun as well as reminding everyone that Melkor has many other servants "whose names have not entered into these Tales"
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:16 AM   #29
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Sauron would be next to nothing if it wouldn't be for Melkor. All evil that exists in the world is because of Melkor. An evil sauron alone could easily be taken down by almost anyone. Well at least the Sauron as he is presented at the end of the third age. I'm sure Glordfindel and Galadriel could take him on.

Remember he did not have his ring nor his ability to shapeshift. He was crippled and would be not much of a threat if it wouldn't be for Morgoth's creations. (Orcs, balrogs, fellbeats, nazguls.) Remember how easily the white council chased him out of Dol Guldur. His power is in Morgoth's orcs and creatures of evil.

Put a weak morgoth against sauron alone and morgoth would easily win.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:29 AM   #30
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Sauron would be next to nothing if it wouldn't be for Melkor. All evil that exists in the world is because of Melkor. An evil sauron alone could easily be taken down by almost anyone. Well at least the Sauron as he is presented at the end of the third age. I'm sure Glordfindel and Galadriel could take him on.

Remember he did not have his ring nor his ability to shapeshift. He was crippled and would be not much of a threat if it wouldn't be for Morgoth's creations. (Orcs, balrogs, fellbeats, nazguls.) Remember how easily the white council chased him out of Dol Guldur. His power is in Morgoth's orcs and creatures of evil.

Put a weak morgoth against sauron alone and morgoth would easily win.
i agree with this because Melkor did not share every infernal secret with his vassals (assuming that Ainur magical power structures are analogous to human or elvish political systems). thus he would know precisely how to regulate his subordinates - and that probably in a terrifying way.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:01 AM   #31
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Remember how easily the white council chased him out of Dol Guldur.
Context makes it clear that, "their stroke was too late. For the Dark Lord had foreseen it, and he had long prepared all his movements; and the Ulairi, his Nine Servants, had gone before him to make ready for his coming. Therefore his flight was but a feint," [Sil, p. 375] So we have it that Sauron was already prepared to move. He was not forced out. It was but a feint.

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I'm sure Glordfindel and Galadriel could take him on.
Sure they could have, but he too could have taken them on, does that make them weak for him being able to do so? It seems that you're implying because they could take him on he is weak. So flip the script. He can take them on can he not? Does that mean Galadriel and Glorfindel are weak?

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Morgoth's creations. (Orcs, balrogs, fellbeats, nazguls
The Nazgul, Ring Wraiths, were Sauron's creation. Let's give Sauron credit where credit is due. He was a Maia under the Vala Aule, "In his beginning he was of the Maiar of Aule, and he remained mighty in the lore of that people." [Sil, p. 26] and had skill in the crafting of things. When Galadriel's phial failed to work in Sauron's forge it is said, "the forges of his ancient might, greatest in Middle-Earth; all other powers were here subdued." [RotK, p. 247] Sauron gave the Elves of Eregion the knowledge by which they crafted the Rings of Power, and he crafted in secret the One Ring so that he could control the various people through them [Rings] with it. He ensnared the men, but was not able to get the Dwarves or the Elves who did not wear their Rings until Sauron lost the One. These creations of Sauron did have some power to their merit. It is said, "There are few even in Rivendell that can ride openly against the Nine" [FotR, p. 256]. Also of Glorfindel of who you speak so glowingly, "On foot even Glorfindel and Aragorn together could not withstand all the Nine at once." [FotR, p. 270] Sauron's servants, his creations so to speak. Further Gandalf says of the Nazgul, Sauron's creations, "For even the Wise might fear to withstand the Nine, when they are gathered together under their fell chieftain. A great king and sorcerer he was of old, and now he wields a deadly fear." [FotR, p. 308] So the Ring was a mighty weapon through which he created the Nazgul and gained control over men and should he regain the One Ring gain control over all the other peoples. I also believe Sauron had a hand in the making of werewolves, those fell creatures such as Draugluin and Carcharoth. "Sauron brought werewolves, fell beasts inhabited by dreadful spirits that he had imprisoned in their bodies." [Sil., p. 198] Also we have in the Song from which that was taken,

"Men called him Thu, and as a god
in after days beneath his rod
bewildered bowed to him, and made
his ghastly temples in the shade.
Not yet by Men enthralled adored,
now was he Morgoth's mightiest lord,
Master of Wolves, whose shivering howl
for ever echoed in the hills, and foul
enchantments and dark sigaldry
did weave and wield. In glamoury
that necromancer held his hosts
of phantoms and of wandering ghosts

of misbegotten or spell-wronged
monsters
that about him thronged,
working his bidding dark and vile:
the werewolves of the Wizard's Isle." [Lay of Leithian, v. 2064-2079]

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Put a weak morgoth against sauron alone and morgoth would easily win.
Put a diminished Melkor against almost anyone and he will overcome. Take Fingolfin. I do not think you would go around saying Fingolfin is weak for it however. Why you hating on Sauron? lol
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:50 AM   #32
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Sauron was humiliatingly defeated at the Isle of Werewolves, and lost every fight he was in, so no, he is certainly not greater than Morgoth.
He did not lose every fight he was in. When he was defeated at the end of the 2nd Age, it was really a draw between himself and Gil-galad/Elendil. Speaking of the Isle do you recall this encounter? "Felagund strove with Sauron in songs of power, and the power of the King was very great; but Sauron had the mastery, as is told in the Lay of Leithian:" [Sil, p. 206]

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Sauron, on the other hand, was repeatedly thwarted by the mortal beings (and lesser elves) of Arda.
I'm not so sure about that. Concerning the so-called "lesser Elves" as you call them Gil-galad was the King of the Noldor in ME. The Last Alliance is described as follows, "the host that was there assembled was fairer and more splendid in arms than any that has been since seen in Middle-Earth, and none greater has been mustered since the host of the Valar went against Thangorodrim." [Sil, p. 364] Sauron was bested by Huan and Luthien, the same Luthien who walked up to Melkor's throne with Beren and stole a Silmaril.

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none of Morgoth's defeats were truly shameful
Tulkas shamed him. "Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Then Tulkas stood forth as champion of the Valar and wrestled with him, and cast him upon his face; and he was bound with the chain of Angainor" [Sil, p. 52] Now among the Valar "Nine were of chief power and reverence" [Sil, p. 23] and Tulkas is NOT considered among them.

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Sauron was like a carbon copy of Morgoth
I can agree to this for the most part. Sauron was of Aule's party and Melkor was most like Aule. I do think Sauron was his own guy however. He appeared to be into wolves, came up with a cool way to control the peoples of ME with the Rings of Power. It would have been interesting to see what kind of fell creatures the Elves would become who became enslaved to the Rings.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:12 AM   #33
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I can agree to this for the most part. Sauron was of Aule's party and Melkor was most like Aule. I do think Sauron was his own guy however. He appeared to be into wolves, came up with a cool way to control the peoples of ME with the Rings of Power. It would have been interesting to see what kind of fell creatures the Elves would become who became enslaved to the Rings.
Sauron was definately his own guy.

When Morgoth realized he couldn't actually RULE everyone, and make his own will the will of others, and shape the entire world in his own image, he would have had it all destroyed. And I think his goal was to destroy all of Arda, not just middle earth.

Sauron on the other hand, dreamed of some kind of twisted order to things. He still wanted to be a great Lord, and because he had played the game so well against the Valar in the past, and Morgoth was gone, he would be pretty much untouchable as the Lord of Middle Earth.

Morgoth: Wanted to destroy Arda
Sauron: Wanted to be Lord of Middle Earth

I definately dont agree that Sauron's defeats were humiliating.... he lost a one on one battle with Huan, was probably one of the most powerful physical entities of the Valar under Orome and Tulkas. Otherwise he used better guile and hid himself and his plans way better than Morgoth. He singlehandedly poisoned Numenor so thoroughly that Eru decided it to erase it from the earth. Fingolfin pretty much embarassed Morgoth in single combat... like a child fighting a grown man and leaving him with a broken nose. But Sauron was crushing men and elves with ease until he lost his ring, and even after that defeat he returned.


Morgoth was certainly the greatest malevolent force in Ea, and I would actually credit Ungoliant with being 2nd in terms of destructiveness - so much so that she destroyed herself before doing any more damage to anything else.

Sauron though, was the most consistent, the trickiest, and he adapted himself every age to suit himself best without suffering too many consequences while Morgoth suffered the wrath of the Valar on a few occasions.
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