View Full Version : Is the Necromancer for Real?

09-04-2006, 01:43
Well, I know this sounds unimaginative, but...
I was wondering if Sauron himself would manifest as a physical entity (other than the manifestation of a great eye). Wasn´t that the whole point of him getting the Ring back?

Apologies if this question has emerged before, but it just struck me as I was reading the Black Gobbo.

09-04-2006, 02:40
I am not sure what you are quite getting at. By the time of the War of the Ring, Sauron had physical form. Gollum describes seeing him, saying something along the lines of "he has four fingers on one hand," or someting like that. At the time of his rise as the Necromancer, we don't really know if he had a physical prescence or not. I picture him as being very insubstantial, a shadowy malice, desperate to pull himeslf together.

09-04-2006, 03:05
Hmmm. I didn´t recall that Gollum part. Maybe it was psychological torture, kinda like what got whomever touched the Palantír?

I was talking about actual physical form. Seeing as he disintegrated once the Ring was cut off, I would suppose that keeping his physical integrity depended on it.

My doubt was if he could actually be corporeal, as it wouldn´t be too far off seeing him present in the battle at the gates of Mordor, in the end of ROTK.

God of War
09-04-2006, 04:11
He would need a form to be the necromancer and be driven from dol guldur, as tolkien describes in the hobbit. Also, what page is the gollum thing on? Not doubting, I would just like to read it. That's my two cents. On a side note Jon_Irenicus, if you have the rotk extended edition, there's a little documentary about them having planned on having sauron fight aragorn at the end. A goofy idea, but it's a cool documentary. Take a look if you can.

09-04-2006, 04:39
Yes, I heard about it. Regretably, I´ve been unable to get the extended version so far. I´ll grab it from a friend someday :)

He could have been driven from dol guldur per means of an offensive presence to himself. No need for a physical form, methinks.

Dr Death
09-04-2006, 09:11
The Gollum quote always struck me as off, i have always taken it to be metaphorical. What people always forget is the second part of the quote "but it is enough" which suggests to me that Gollum is commenting rather on Saurons power and the power that lies "in his hands" than making a physical description. Equally one of the fellowship (i beleive gimli) remarks during the passage of Caradhras "his arm has grown long if he thinks he can reach us here" it doesnt nessercarily mean that Sauron does have some abnormally long arm, but is a metaphor for other facets of his ability.

As for the Necromancer, i picture him as being partially incorporeal, a highly localised "force" rather than an actual physical being, you could imagine a broiling pit of shade which could at times coalece into physical features or be seen to have such features in it, but it otherwise something that you cannot easily pin down. Thus when the Necromancer is driven from Dol Guldur its almost an excorcism rather than beating a physical being out a building.

Dr Death

09-04-2006, 12:45
I think that's one of the big mistakes that the film makes - Sauron is supposed to be a physical form in LotR, but Peter Jackson got it wrong.

09-04-2006, 13:20
From where I'm sitting, I always got the impression that Sauron was just a malevolent presence, and there was very little to suggest a corporeal body besides Gollum's very brief statement.
Much as I hate to say it, I think that in this instant, Peter Jackson got it... right.

For the record, my opinion is that the description of four fingers relates to images that would have been brought up in Gollum's mind - intentionally or as a side-effect - during whatever psychic scourging he recieved. But then you might ask why he would project an image of an incomplete form/hand? Well, Gollum's opinion has been mentioned before - "...but it is enough." (And we all know how much Sauron liked the old psychological warfare) There's also a bit in the Sil that states that Sauron was bound to a dark form after the sinking of Numenor, and couldn't take any other. It's a long shot, but perhaps this also includes spiritual manifestations of severed appendages? :p

09-04-2006, 13:23
Well, that's the Dark form we see in the battle of the last alliance (I think that's what it's called... so long since I last read the books).

Actually... I think that reminds me, can't he possess bodies?

09-04-2006, 14:21
I suggest you read the movie goers guides here (http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/)

09-04-2006, 17:38
Im also on the side of him having a (weak) corporeal form in LotR. I dont really have backing in the form of quotes, but its what I remember from reading it..

09-04-2006, 17:40
Oh, oh! From Encyclopedia of Arda:

In fact, there's no clear description of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings itself - we have to resort to Tolkien's correspondence for that. What there are, though, are numerous comments and references that only really make sense if Sauron has a physical form (not least, of course, the fact that a disembodied Dark Lord wouldn't have been able to wear his own Ring).

Dr Death
09-04-2006, 18:48
Im still doubious of claims that Sauron had much in the way of a physical form. There is very little that cannot be debated that say he had physical form. Take the Encyclopedia of Arda article, http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/faq/sauronshape.html which i will now attempt to counter-

1) The quote of Gollum- "'He has only four on the Black Hand, but they are enough." This as i have already stated could well be taken to be metaphorical, it does not nessercarily mean that there is a physical black hand (or indeed that it's black come to think of it) or any number of missing fingers. The manner in which Gollum states it "the black hand" as opposed to "his" or "a" black hand, further suggests symbolism.

2) The quote of Gandalf(?) "...if the Nameless One himself should come, not even he could enter here while we yet live" This is very much conjecture and "what if". I beleive this line was spoken to Pippin to comfort him, showing the strength of the defence of Minas Tirith, its a "what if" line, "what if sauron came here in physical form" it doesnt reflect upon the actual nature of Sauron's being and current status.

3) "And the prisoner is to be kept safe and intact ... until He [Sauron] sends or comes Himself". Orcs are ignorant, even serving in his forces they wouldnt nessercarily know whether he had the ability to come himself. Also note the fact that sending for the prisoner is placed before Sauron coming himself.

4) "He [Sauron] will not come save only to triumph over me when all is won". All is won? Including the reclaimation of the Ring? Which to Denethors mind would seem quite likely knowing of Frodo's passage of Cirith Ungol, and (through the Palantir) quite possibly knowing he had been captured.

5) "Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Justice shall be done upon him." This doesnt really proove Sauron has physical form, rather implies what i beleive which is that he is a localised evil, like the wraiths after the ford of bruinen. When Sauron's spirit is dispursed, he is spread thinly, and must reconstitute. By the time of the War of the Ring, Sauron's spirit had concentrated into a single space, in the prescence of the ring it would likely solidify, allowing him to "put on" (or "form around" the ring, giving him full form)

6) "...the year 1000 of the Third Age, when the shadow of Sauron began first to grow again to new shape." As above. The "new shape" Sauron was forming was the projection of the eye. not nessercarily a physical one, but an image, a projection of the soul.

7) "Sauron should be thought of as very terrible. The form that he took was that of a man of more than human stature, but not gigantic." I beleive this letter actually refers to him in the second age, though im not sure. If so, it becomes meaningless because it doesnt refer to the time period in which we are dealing.

So you see there are ways to argue against the existance of Saurons physical form in the 3rd age. There is so much conjecture about it though that it really is up for grabs- like the old Balrog/Wing debate.

Dr Death

09-04-2006, 19:19
I think I´m following Dr. Death. Maybe the Necromancer will be ethereal, like the army of the dead (I can´t recall their rules, but I think this is one of them)?

But then again, the miniature looks like it´s a ghostly apparition rather than a fully fledged monster like in the Last Alliance battle.