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Thread: Sauron's Motivation

  1. #41
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by VeriNasti View Post
    BTW canon??

    The source material, ie. JRR Tolkiens and Chris Tolkiens published works are LOTR canon.

    Peter Jackson's (may he lead apes in hell for eternity) vile and unforgivable mockery of their work is not
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    Empire army for sale, PM for information.

  2. #42
    Chapter Master Dr Death's Avatar
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    I stick with the theory that he's no more deep than Ernst Blofel. He is the bad guy. He's the one that must be stopped to stop all the henchmen. (because you need a designated linchpin, so that the heros can unpick the whole scheme in one exciting chapter ending move :P )....As I said, I stand strongly by the idea that Sauron is a deliberately bland and faceless evil, so that the reader can fill in the gap with whatever their mind feels should be there.
    Well to my view that is complete and utter ********. Tolkien was not a 'pulp fiction' author- he was not just some hack running off serialised adventures with stock characters. Anyone who has read his other writings (or even i could go as far as to say appreciated rather than simply read Lord of the Rings) can recognise that Tolkien was deeply concerned with the inner consistancy of his subcreation.

    Tolkien's mode and medium may have been 'high' and mythological but that does not make his villains or any other character simple. I can agree that as a fictional character he is 'created' and therefore has a purpose in the story but he is built up with layers of characterisation that create and guide what Tolkien can and cant write about him. In the twelve years it took Tolkien to write and complete Lord of the Rings he made many diversions back into his mythology working out how characters (and not just Sauron) related to the whole, working out what their motivations would be.

    You may call Sauron 'bland' but perhaps that is because of the many hundreds of derivatives he's had in 50 years rather than the number he was derived from. Sauron was the founder of an entire generation of 'dark lords'- omnipotent beings secluded away in their hideous lairs relying upon minions. His roots are not in the likes of Mordred who plays actively in the tales of Arthur but more in the Miltonic, biblical tradition of Satan (who we can pretty closely analogise with Melkor/Morgoth) and Beelzebub.

    Perhaps also you are mistaking applicability for simplicity. Sauron is a recognisable image of a very modern type of evil- the faceless entity which wields huge power. Sauron has other characteristics too, but the image of a person, a system that is impossible to see or deal with face to face is something that has both inspired and is recognisable in Sauron. As you yourself point out, Sauron can represent a meteor, Alexander of Macedon, the Government, any number of things, but it is that very recognisability which gives Sauron his potency and his importance. How else are those 'aspects' linked? They have little similarity between themselves, but they all reflect off the multi-facetted surface of Sauron- a triangular connection appears, just as Michael Drout recognises one existing between Denethor, The Witch King and King Lear.

    I must confess i do have a bias against people underestimating the complexity of Tolkien, i've actually studied his works at university level and seen just a fraction of the skill put into them which allows me to quite confidently say Raven that you're talking out of your backside.

    Something like Mark Hauser's ideas? I agree, and that's why the bad guys in the Tolkein literature stand out like sore thumbs. Whatever they're doing, what could the possible pay-off be for them? What possible benefit could they even be wrongly/foolishly/naively hoping for from their courses of action? I suppose it would be easy to analogize them with psychopaths, but even the Joker in Dark Knight had more motivation within his lack of motivation than either Sauron or Morgoth/Melkor.
    Well one of Tolkien's major themes is the power of good, theologically he could not allow evil to ultimately triumph. That does not mean that the victory of good is inevitable or that any of the characters know that- they can only act well and hope things will turn out well in the end, but Melkor's goal is ultimately fruitless. Morgoth's madness, stemming from envy of the power of creation is ultimately pointless, but Morgoth has renounced beleif in the unique power of Eru to create and grant the power of subcreation (as a brief note Helvexis- Morgoth had what any of the other Valar had, that's not the issue, what Morgoth wanted was what his 'daddy' had) he sought for the 'Secret Flame' which is implied to be the raw power of creation, but it seems that the secret flame is not an external powersource but an aspect of Eru himself.

    Sauron by comparison could actually get some pay off- Sauron was not interested in destroying, he merely wanted control (not that it's any less evil but still), Saruman wanted the same. To acheive such they did not have to expend themselves corrupting the very fabric of the world, but merely had to use force and coersion to acheive their ends. Tolkien memorably put it in 'Notes on Motives in the Silmarillion' that in regards to the Numenoreans "Sauron (unlike Morgoth) would have been content for the Numenoreans to exist, as his own subjects, and indeed he used a great many of them that he corrupted to his allegience" (Tolkien's emphasis).

    Sauron was content to be a big fish in a small pond. His ambitions did not stretch to Valinor or beyond the Circles of the World as Morgoth's did, just so long as anything he encountered was subject to him he was happy and in that way his goals were achievable unlike Morgoths. Had Sauron considered the Valar or Eru to have had any further interest in Middle-earth or had there been any indication of their impending arrival he simply would have fled, put off his ambitions for control until another day, as he did after the War of Wrath.

    So Sauron's motivation is complex and in fact it evolves as he becomes more and more his own little Napoleon and in his solitude inherits some of the pure destructive ambition as Morgoth (again, for the benefit of Raven, from 'Notes on motives...'). Sauron is far from bland- he's almost real .

    Dr Death
    Quote Originally Posted by mutantmaggot
    Though already, lemming-like gamers are escaping, led by a grim, black-robed Imperial Guard Sergeant, with a name label saying "Dr Death -- all your health problems solved in one fell swoop."

  3. #43
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Agree w/ Dr. Death.

  4. #44
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Sauron does suffer from hubris - eventually he would have extended his reach westwards.

  5. #45
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Firstly Dr. Death, I find it somewhat disheartening that your responce had to degrade to throwing abject insults in my direction. I havn't touted your oppinions as "************" or "talking out your ****" or whichever colourful metaphore you decide to apply. I dont see why you should feel that you need to do the same.

    I still do not agree with your point of view that only your own oppinion is applicable to Sauron, or that this deep complexity exists. As I said, I believe Sauron to be deliberately underdeveloped. It is no slight on Tolkein for this, and I believe it to be a deliberate move, common within literature.

    By leaving complex motivation and a carefully guilded personality from a character, it allows the reader to fill in the blanks.

    I hold the oppinion that Sauron means what he does to you, because its the motivation that you think he has. Subconciously it is what you would do if you were a powerful evil dictator. I'm not saying its wrong. I'm not in fact saying you are wrong in that oppinion of him, just that I feel that to try to enforce that oppinion of him onto others is wrong.

    He is a character developed enough to let you know that he is dark, mysterious and powerful. It is up to the individual to decide if he is a conquorer or a destroyer. A force of evil or greed. A clearly rationalled being making a choice in the direction he takes, or an entity pre-determined down one path.

    The marvel and joy of literature is its interpetation. That it means different things to different people. Your beliefs on Sauron are not wrong, but they do not therefore make other peoples interpretations of him wrong by default. They are oppinions, and people can hold different oppinions to each other while still both being correct.

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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    and what we're saying is that Sauron was well-developed - in Tolkien's other writings.

    He was a willing right-hand man to Melkior, a silver tongued corruptor of men and elves after the War of Wrath (silver-tongued enough to convince elves who had SEEN Sauron's handiwork that he wasn't evil any more!), and the mighty villain in the Wars of the Ring, who destroyed Numerenor and was only thwarted by the sacrifice of Good's two mightiest heroes.

  7. #47
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Raven - Reader-Response style of reading was theorized 15-20 years after Tolkien finished LOTR, Hobbit, and his other unfinished writings on Middle Earth. If you read his essays, his expansive mythopoeia, and the literature theory of C.S. Lewis and his other writer-friends, I think you can see that Tolkien at the least did not intend for his characters, plot, history, or any other facet of his story to be simply used as an independent artifact to incite the reader to imagine his own story. Although any fantasy literature can be used in this way for some kind of enjoyment, it's almost assuredly not Tolkien's aim or understanding that LOTR be subjected to the kind of critical theory of Stanley Fish or any of his lot.

    I think story-as-artifact-independent-of-author's-intention can be a great art form, especially in myth-making like George MacDonald and Novalis, but it's a pretty far stretch to say that Tolkien left Sauron purposefully bland so that the reader could project his own personality into him. You might choose to believe that literature can only be read in this fashion, but I highly doubt Tolkien or any of his other contemporaries held to some theory about Interpretive Communities or the like.

    That's what I think, anyway...

  8. #48
    Chapter Master Dr Death's Avatar
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Firstly Dr. Death, I find it somewhat disheartening that your responce had to degrade to throwing abject insults in my direction. I havn't touted your oppinions as "************" or "talking out your ****" or whichever colourful metaphore you decide to apply. I dont see why you should feel that you need to do the same.
    Well if you took offence then i am sorry, but i myself find it disheartening that someone who you've taken the time to write a full and complete response to, drawing on written evidence and the words and writings of the author in question then blindly denies any truth in your efforts or the possibility that you may actually be right without providing counter-evidence other than their own opinion.

    There is a well known principle of debate that if you fail to allow for grounds upon which you can be proved wrong then you can never be proved right. This particular habit is endemic to forum debate i find and is a tactic used by pretty much anyone who doesnt have a real argument to make. Had you responded to my argument with anything of substance rather than personal unsupported opinion (which may i note is what you accuse people who disagree with you of doing) then perhaps you might earn the authority you seem to assume you should automatically be regarded as having.

    I myself am not bothered by being 'wrong' or 'right'- my chief area of knowledge is Classical Civilisations where by and large there's no such thing as either. The only difference is between a supported, balanced argument and one that is neither: where i hope i have provided the former you have only provided the latter.

    So please dont patronise me with mock offence at my use of a 'naughty word'. I daresay everyone uses the slang term for male reproductive organs in question at least once a day without causing offence. It certainly does not alter the argument i put forward or the lack of one that you do. My only recommendation to you is to go away, have a read of Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Tolkien's letters and Morgoth's Ring and come back when you have something to base your perfectly valid hypothesis of Sauron's lack of flavour on- it's a valid point to argue if you have the evidence to argue it on.

    Dr Death
    Quote Originally Posted by mutantmaggot
    Though already, lemming-like gamers are escaping, led by a grim, black-robed Imperial Guard Sergeant, with a name label saying "Dr Death -- all your health problems solved in one fell swoop."

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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    And here I thought that unlike Warhammer, Tolkien is non-controversial.

  10. #50
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Death View Post
    So please dont patronise me with mock offence at my use of a 'naughty word'.
    It is genuine offence, not "mock offence" at the fact that you would turn round and make a remark such as you did. It is not the use of colourful language, its is the intonation your language provides.

    Had I quoted one of your posts, and followed it with "What a heap of s***, its like you're spewing faeces with every word you write", you would have been offended too.

    I take time in my posts, and believe them to at least contain some substance and a reasonably good quality use of english. To have them labeled as ******** is something I find uncalled for and offencive.

    Simply put, since I believe that you take some pride in the construction of your posts too, I would presume you wouldn't wish for it to be done to you. Have some courtasy and dont do it to others.

    As for the original debate. I presently see no point for us to continue it. I will not change your mind, nor will you change mine. We have both stated our opinions to the full, and it seems a futility to carry on unless someone else brings something to the table.

  11. #51
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by Condottiere View Post
    And here I thought that unlike Warhammer, Tolkien is non-controversial.
    Considering some of the contemporary literary criticism Tolkien received when the Lord of the Rings was published, I'm not suprised too much.

  12. #52
    Chapter Master Dr Death's Avatar
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    its is the intonation your language provides.

    Had I quoted one of your posts, and followed it with "What a heap of s***, its like you're spewing faeces with every word you write", you would have been offended too.
    Well while i am not going to argue whether what i said was offensive, which i agree it was to a degree, and intentionally so to express in plain terms my dissatisfaction with your conclusions, i find the degree of offence you are taking it in to be disproportionate and phoney. In my defence may i also note that i did not 'rub it in' as you do in your example, i proceeded immediately from the offensive word to making my own point without attempting to discredit you as a participant. The use of a specific quote to show what i was responding to indicates the specific point on which i was upbraiding you. The intention was to use that 'shock phrase' to provoke you to provide support for your argument- however clearly that has backfired since i misjudged your sensitivity. For that i am sorry.

    Simply put, since I believe that you take some pride in the construction of your posts too, I would presume you wouldn't wish for it to be done to you. Have some courtasy and dont do it to others.
    I do take pride in the construction of my posts but that doesnt mean they're beyond blunt criticism- Hitler took a lot of time and pride in his speeches but since what he was saying was ********, we could have saved a lot of time by people just making that known. I'm not comparing you to Hitler but to quote Arnold Rimmer "We have an expression too: 'If you're going to speak garbage expect pain'." Tolkien himself experienced something similar when an exhasperated Hugo Dyson exclaimed during a reading of a draft of LotR "Not another ******* elf!"

    So yes, dont take my use of the term b*****ks to mean anything beyond what it does at face value, however if you have nothing more to present in defence of your argument then i suppose this is, as you say, over.

    Dr Death
    Quote Originally Posted by mutantmaggot
    Though already, lemming-like gamers are escaping, led by a grim, black-robed Imperial Guard Sergeant, with a name label saying "Dr Death -- all your health problems solved in one fell swoop."

  13. #53
    Chapter Master xxRavenxx's Avatar
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    It is impossible, in my oppinion, to present you with a lack of something from a book.

    I cannot give you the line where he fails to mention Sauron's favorite type of pasta, for example

    So yes. this is, as I say, over.

  14. #54
    Chapter Master Dr Death's Avatar
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    No but you could give me lines where Tolkien appears to sidestep the matter of motivation where in fact it would be appropriote. You could go to Tolkien's own words, drawing an argument (albeit flimsy) from Tolkien's statements about allegory, equating that dislike of allegory with a desire to purposefully leave his villains 'vanilla'. You could read his letters, seek out statements to that effect. You could use the time Tolkien said he didnt know what Sauron was after writing Lord of the Rings, conjecturing he might be some kind of elf.

    The argument's there to be made, just make the effort to make it Raven

    Dr Death
    Quote Originally Posted by mutantmaggot
    Though already, lemming-like gamers are escaping, led by a grim, black-robed Imperial Guard Sergeant, with a name label saying "Dr Death -- all your health problems solved in one fell swoop."

  15. #55
    Chapter Master de Selby's Avatar
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Getting away from personal arguments here, I think the nature of the ring reveals Sauron's nature.

    The ring inspires avarice. Sauron is avaricious.
    The ring grants invisibility. Sauron is deceptive.
    The ring grants power. Sauron desires power over all things.

    Gandalf and Galadriel both describe their fate if they were to take the ring: the common feature is irresistable power and control over the wills of others. This is what Sauron wants. He's not a mortal being: he doesn't want wine or food or women. He wants power: the total freedom to act without consideration of the desires of anyone else. Assuming you assign no value to the lives of others this is a logical thing to seek. It's not implausible, most of the worst people and regimes in history have sought the same.

  16. #56
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandir View Post
    If one wishes to know Sauron's innermost thoughts and perhaps understand why he did what he did, I would recommend reading his blog:

    http://kunochan.com/sauron/
    This was very good and funny. I couldn't help but reading it in one sitting. Recommended.
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Why does the USA want to conquer Earth?

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