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Thread: Sauron's Motivation

  1. #21
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    'Bad guy syndrome' as you put it is not sufficient. People criticise Tolkien for his characters either being either inexplicably and irredeemibly bad, or being unquestionably and universally good, but the fact is that is a crass and ignorant view of his creation. Tolkien did not do simple evil, he didnt really do simple good either, but i think Tolkien beleive's man's base nature is to do good and so showed them doing it rather than explaining why.
    Eh. The notions of both "good" and "evil" are pretty pathetic and pointless when divorced from context and motivation. Intention is required for any directed action, and it's pretty much impossible to develop a realistic motivation for their intentions.

  2. #22

    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by Condottiere View Post
    There's no actual encounter with Sauron in LotR, though he gets a few mentions in The Silmarillion, where he's already corrupted.
    Well, Gollum does encounter Sauron in the LotR. Sauron personally tortures Gollum at the tower of Barad-dr (though this is told in a flashback, so might not categorize as a direct encounter).

  3. #23
    Chapter Master Dr Death's Avatar
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Sauron personally tortures Gollum at the tower of Barad-dr
    Not quite true- Gollum only refers to 'four fingers on the Black Hand, but it is enough'. It has become assumed fact therefore that Sauron personally totured him, but if you note the capitals it does seem that Gollum is speaking metaphorically rather than literally. I wrote a lengthy post expressing my doubt and the reasons for it based on that particular passage on thelastalliance.com which you can read here: Analysis on tla my username is Samwise but you should recognise the avatar.

    Eh. The notions of both "good" and "evil" are pretty pathetic and pointless when divorced from context and motivation. Intention is required for any directed action, and it's pretty much impossible to develop a realistic motivation for their intentions.
    Well what i mean is that people are fundamentally good in that they recognise the benefits of being good- the most basic principle of social contract is 'an eye for an eye' and people soon realise that by not poking someone's eye out they dont get theirs poked out. Therefore it is profitable to do good. I dont have time to go into the entire evolution of goodness from that basic premise leads people to behave in a way acceptable to others. Equally people will not provoke or anger someone unless they have reason to- very few people logically and purposefully do evil for no reason other than the love of evil itself- there has to be a pay-off for it, a motivation to break society's codes.

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  4. #24
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Death View Post
    Well what i mean is that people are fundamentally good in that they recognise the benefits of being good- the most basic principle of social contract is 'an eye for an eye' and people soon realise that by not poking someone's eye out they dont get theirs poked out. Therefore it is profitable to do good. I dont have time to go into the entire evolution of goodness from that basic premise leads people to behave in a way acceptable to others. Equally people will not provoke or anger someone unless they have reason to- very few people logically and purposefully do evil for no reason other than the love of evil itself- there has to be a pay-off for it, a motivation to break society's codes.
    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.

  5. #25
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    It seems to me that Tolkien is coming from more of an Augustinian view here. The corruption of initially good character has no bottom. Whereas total destruction of all things or dominance over everything you see seems like a one-dimensional motivation, in Tolkien's view the dissolution of moral character inevitably ends up in the absurd and demonic. Melkor and Sauron may seem foolish, but it's a masterful commentary on Tolkien's view of the nature of evil as being ultimately self destructive.

  6. #26
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    morgoth had a plan an ultimately futile one but he had one: overthrow the others and have all the power of creation or in aboslute basic: he wanted what daddy had given his siblings. jealous big brother kind of thing

    sauron however after the war of wrath was left adrift with no true purpose without his master at that point he had 2 choices repent and take his pnishment from the valar or run and hide. he chose the latter and he fell into a circle of doing what hed always done bacause it was what hed always done which is corrupting men trying to control everything(lots more to this i know but cbf writing it all).
    what his plan was after he succeeded was probably the rest of the world not including valinor while sauron himself could of got there him not being any of the mortal races and all i very much doubt he could get anything else there with him not even sure the valar would let him in but he should be able to get there without intervention.

  7. #27
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelust View Post
    It seems to me that Tolkien is coming from more of an Augustinian view here. The corruption of initially good character has no bottom. Whereas total destruction of all things or dominance over everything you see seems like a one-dimensional motivation, in Tolkien's view the dissolution of moral character inevitably ends up in the absurd and demonic. Melkor and Sauron may seem foolish, but it's a masterful commentary on Tolkien's view of the nature of evil as being ultimately self destructive.
    No, it's nonsense, because that idea is simplistic and foolish in itself. It simply does not reflect reality in any way, shape or form. Now I know spiritual beings don't reflect reality in any form either, but I would have liked a little more substance to the villains in his works than this guy:

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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah S View Post
    No, it's nonsense, because that idea is simplistic and foolish in itself. It simply does not reflect reality in any way, shape or form. Now I know spiritual beings don't reflect reality in any form either, but I would have liked a little more substance to the villains in his works than this guy:
    Sarah: No to what exactly? No, it's not his view, or no it's not true? I was just stating what I believe the author's in-universe philosophy to be. Whether you think that view is foolish or nonsense is outside the scope of simple Middle Earth background, though I think the we can, at the very least, hold a little skepticism as to the answer to the question when you consider that we don't really have many case-study examples of such a thing happening over thousands of years with limited intervention.

    Edit: Or no it's not a masterful commentary...?
    Last edited by Angelust; 28-04-2009 at 05:04.

  9. #29
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Sorry. That should have read "No, it's not masterful, it's nonsense..."

  10. #30
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    By the way, totally off topic and honestly not meant to be offensive, but...

    Is that guy suckling your tit in your profile picture? I keep squinting at it wondering what the hell is going on...

  11. #31
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Both girls, eating a strawberry.

    Edit:
    That's a different pic from the same shoot, but you get the idea I'm sure...
    Last edited by Sarah S; 28-04-2009 at 05:36.

  12. #32
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Totally wouldn't have guessed that.

  13. #33
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Yeah, the small picture does make me look a little boy-ish...

  14. #34
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    The above is a form of motivation.

    Anyway, back to the topic.

    One thing that should be remembered is that Sauron is a relic of the First Age, and actually, even from an era before that. His evil is ancient, and his present corrupted form is an indication of the path he is following. Since he can no longer revert to a fairer form since it's destruction during the drowning of Numenor, this either shows that he invested too much power in the Ring or that he lost arcane power during this event.

  15. #35
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    It's just the angle, and the fact that it looks like you're gettin busy on the other chick.

  16. #36
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Then howcome sauron could only be killed when the ring was lopped off huis body??
    Was it because it contained half his life force??

  17. #37
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Was Sauron killed? Like Saruman, I think he no longer had the power to maintain a corporeal form in this world.

  18. #38
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Quote Originally Posted by VeriNasti View Post
    Then howcome sauron could only be killed when the ring was lopped off huis body??
    Was it because it contained half his life force??
    Again, in the canon the ring was only cut from his body AFTER he was defeated in combat by Gil-galad and Elendil.
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  19. #39
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    I still maintain that sauron just reels off like a stock villain in the end.

    Big faceless evil guy, wants to rule the world, wants to blow it all up. No real motivation to do it except that hes EVIL.

    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 ).


    Compare:

    Sauron - Blofel

    Orks and ringwraiths - SPECTRE and various named assasins.

    The one ring - Moon laser.

    And so on and so forth.


    What I'm trying to convince you, is that the ideology and deep meaning you're seeing, is not actually within the text. It's something you've added yourself. What I'm also saying, is that this is no bad thing. A good book should allow you to fill in characteristics in the heros and villains, because you will relate to them so much more, and thusly enjoy the story to a higher degree.

    Lets look at it this way:

    I could interpet Sauron as a "meteor heading for the ground". He is not a being of pure evil, he is an entity that came into existance, that holds no moral compass, because he isn't human. His destruction of middle earth is as impartial as of the big rock in Armageddon. The good guys must stop this force of nature, because they wish to survive.

    I could interpret Sauron as Alexander of Macedon. The people he's trying to conquor are misinformed, and while relishing their freedom intially, might have embraced a united world once he had brought it all under single rule.

    You Could label Sauron as "the government" and the fellowship as "hippies", with them rebelling against the control that an organised society requires, so that they can continue their decadent and freespirated lifestyles.


    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.

  20. #40
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    Re: Sauron's Motivation

    Thanks The Hoff
    BTW canon??
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