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Gutlord Grom
25-04-2009, 04:03
So why does Sauron want to conquer Middle Earth? Because all he seems to do with his armies is burn places down, kill people, despoil their lands and enslave the survivors. But there doesn't seem to be a reason to do this. I mean why rule over a bunch of burned out hell holes with minions who are about as disciplined as a herd of cats. Just seems kinda pointless to me. I mean sure, its high fantasy, but that's just kinda pointless.

What does the One Ring do, exactly? It makes you invisible, and that may be all well and good, but apparently Sauron homes in on this thing whenever someone wears it( though when no one does, he can't see it). Does it grant magical power? Or is it just the ultimate bling of Middle Earth?

Why does Sauron even forge the One Ring? I mean if it gets cut off, he loses his corporeal form. And apparently it contains all his cunning, malice and power (though I'm not sure why he needs in on an easily removable gold band), and this allows him to bind the other rings of power, yet this doesn't seem to affect the Dwarven and Elven wearers of the rings.

VeriNasti
25-04-2009, 04:14
Sauron has no control over the Elf rings as they made them thereselves - Celebrimbor made them. The dwarf rings were bound by the one ring yet they did not wear them very often.

Sauron also happens to be the lieutanent of Morgoth the uber god of evil and he wants to kind of get revenge for him since the elves kind of killed him (don't quote me on this)

The one ring contains the majority of saurons life force and makes him effectively invulnaerbale to all attacks to his body bar his little ring finger.

Hope this helps

Condottiere
25-04-2009, 04:52
The One Ring is a Force Multiplier, vested with a portion of Sauon's being, and probably needs to feed off the life essence of the Bearer in order to activate, which is why it can only really affect the environment if worn.

It might be able to suck energy from life that is in close proximity and be able to manipulate events in a minor way.

As to whether it has sentience, I'd say yes, in the way a PC with a specific and highly sophisticated program has sentience.

The Ring allows the Wielder to impose his will on the other Ring Bearers, or at least with the Elven versions, once localized, to know their minds.I haven't seen any evidence of great magical power, but I believe that the Ring also helped in constructing the foundations of Sauron's fortress.

As to Sauron's motivations, it might be similar to Kim Jong Il's - survival of himself and his regime; independence from interference of the Gods.

Angelust
25-04-2009, 07:24
Wikipedia can usually turn up a lot of answers, though just reading through Tolkein's stuff can be a much more pleasant way to learn.

1) Part of Tolkein's Middle-Earth philosophy includes the idea that evil is largely a parasite of good, drawing from Augustinian and subsequently Roman Catholic theology. Sauron's only "goal" is to be the most powerful ruler and lord over all things. Whatever he can bend to his will shall be ruled, and whatever refuses shall be destroyed. It's ultimately the ego and pride of the Miltonic satan. Tolkien, I believe, has pretty masterfully shown his view that evil, like you mentioned, is conclusively absurd.

2) The ring has certain properties, but it's main "magical" property is to allow the wearer to exert his influence over others, basically allowing him/her to forcefully coerce others to do their will (at least as far as I know). The full usefulness of the ring depends on the wearer, however, as a Hobbit with the One Ring can really only turn invisible and see the spirit world, though Gandalf or Saruman wearing the One Ring would possibly be able to overthrow Sauron himself. I'm not sure if the ring would allow you to throw fire around and shoot lightning out of your fingers or anything like that, but it's basically a ring of dominance. In Middle Earth, evil power is largely in the ability to corrupt and bend people to your will. In the end, all of Sauron's forces were just on different levels of dissipation and corruption. The orcs were tortured and corrupted of old, as were some of the Maiar and other beasts. Saruman, the fallen kingdoms, and the ringwraiths are all good examples of what Sauron and the Ring are likely to do given time.

3) Someone with more Tolkien lore will probably be able to answer why he crafted the ring itself. For one, I think gold was specially tainted by Morgoth himself to instill greed and avarice in man, but Sauron making the ring may have been to give him greater corporeal power? I'm not sure...someone correct me on this...

The Hoff
25-04-2009, 07:42
The one ring contains the majority of Sauron's life force and makes him effectively invulnerable to all attacks to his body bar his little ring finger.


That is actually inaccurate. The ring does not confer any form of protection in the corporeal sense.

Tolkien's history of the Second Age and the Last Alliance make it very clear that Gil-Galad and Elendil defeated Sauron in normal combat, at the cost of both their lives. It was only then, when Sauron was lying in the dirt, that Isildur came and cut the ring from his body.


Edit: As to why Sauron would be willing to bind a great part of his native power into a single object, it may be that this was an unexpected outcome of the rings creation. The Great Rings (The Three, Seven and Nine) were supposedly very powerful indeed. As stated in the Lore, the object that controls them would need to be one of surpassing power, Sauron must have stretched his knowledge and powers to the very limit in its creation, which may have led to the unexpected outcome. This is mere speculation of course, as I too have always wondered at the logic of placing so much of his innate power into so small an object.

Dr Death
25-04-2009, 09:03
In HoME 10 'Morgoth's Ring' is an essay written by Tolkien entitled 'Notes on motives in the Silmarillion' and this spells out the philosophical differences between Morgoth and his servant Sauron.

Morgoth was a nihilist- he was so envious of the power of creation held by Tolkien's 'God' figure: Eru, that he denied that his own power 'subcreation' was dependant on Eru to grant. Where the Dwarves were an act of subcreation done out of love and so invested with independant life by Eru, Morgoth out of envy and spite dedicated himself to undoing creation, beleiving that the energy and lifeforce he possessed was limitless. In doing so he diminished himself and became much as Sauron without the Ring, only instead of a single item, 'Morgoth's Ring' was the whole of Middle-earth, marred by the investment of his malice in it and leaving Melkor reduced in being because of it. Morgoth's goal was chaos- to undo, to subvert, to deny that he was dependant on any force other than his own.

Sauron in many ways was the opposite. Sauron was a maiar of Aule, the Valar who's act of subcreation made the dwarves. Sauron's desires were for creation but this 'good' desire was slowly turned into a desire for control, the creation and maintain of order, of systems, of submission to his will. Morgoth, though philosphically opposite to Sauron's aims was a way to obtain the power Sauron desired. When Morgoth was thrust beyond the circles of the world into the Void, Sauron was left with the tools Morgoth had fashioned in pursuit of his aims- a hostile world, the servants of evil, orcs and trolls and he turned these to his own aims, not of destroying the world but of enslaving it. Sauron was not an aetheist- he knew and beleived in the creative powers of Eru, however after the defeat of Morgoth, and after the downfall of Numenor where the world was broken and the undying lands removed from the map Sauron became convinced that Eru and the Valar had grown bored of Arda and abandoned it. This power vacuum of Lord and Master of Arda was what he aimed to fill.

The Ring was one tool of domination Sauron made himself. Through it his powers of manipulation grew, or perhaps more accurately were concentrated. Those Rings that Sauron had been involved in making (the Seven and the Nine) were open avenues for the corruption of their bearers by Sauron using the One. The Elven Rings were not intrinsically evil- Celebrimbor had made them solely and Sauron had no hand in them. Nevertheless they were tied by the means of creation to the One and seem to have played on the elvish desire for stasis- the maintainance of an 'ideal' state which would not evolve. The 'dream-like' quality of Rivendell and Lothlorien was maintained by the power of the elven rings borne by Elrond and Galadriel. Both were 'bubbles' in which was formed a likeness to the state of harmony of Valinor. With the destruction of the Ring the ability to replicate such a likeness would be gone, and could only be found again by travelling to Valinor itself.

The One had powers beyond it's manipulation of other Rings though. Since it contained a large portion of Sauron's 'being' it was in many ways sentient. It's effect was dependant on the level of will the 'borrower' could exert (Sauron, being it's creator was in perfect harmony with it and so could get the most from it). With those who were either too weak and good intentioned to contend or were already seduced by it (hobbits and men such as Isildur) it would grant invisibility but at the cost of wasting the individual, sapping their sense of identity as in the case of Gollum. Those with sufficient will and desire to contend with Sauron could use the inherent 'power of being' Sauron had invested in it. Sauron's will though would corrupt their intentions- the power the Ring gave them would become addictive. "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

So yes, that's a basic summary of it all. Tolkien puts it far better though and so whatever anyone tells you it's always worth going back to the sources for a good read :D.

Dr Death

Phoenix Blaze
25-04-2009, 11:49
I like to think that, in a similar way to Morgoth losing more and more of his power as he warped new and evil creatures, Sauron expended himself while making the ring. And being only a Maiar and not one of the Valar, that was all he could accomplish.

Interestingly enough, I think he made the One Ring before the downfall of Numenor. I'm sure in Akallabeth, it details of how he fled to Mordor and once again took up his One Ring. Or something to that effect.

In many ways, Sauron is a more complex and more interesting character than Morgoth. But, there is a sadness in that, his actions in the 2nd and 3rd age, were merely the after effects of Morgoth's dominance over him, almost as if conquering and enslaving is all he knows.

Sarah S
25-04-2009, 17:54
2) The ring has certain properties, but it's main "magical" property is to allow the wearer to exert his influence over others, basically allowing him/her to forcefully coerce others to do their will (at least as far as I know). The full usefulness of the ring depends on the wearer, however, as a Hobbit with the One Ring can really only turn invisible and see the spirit world, though Gandalf or Saruman wearing the One Ring would possibly be able to overthrow Sauron himself. I'm not sure if the ring would allow you to throw fire around and shoot lightning out of your fingers or anything like that, but it's basically a ring of dominance. In Middle Earth, evil power is largely in the ability to corrupt and bend people to your will. In the end, all of Sauron's forces were just on different levels of dissipation and corruption. The orcs were tortured and corrupted of old, as were some of the Maiar and other beasts. Saruman, the fallen kingdoms, and the ringwraiths are all good examples of what Sauron and the Ring are likely to do given time.

Even Frodo realizes that he could don the ring and command Gollum to leap to his death - and Gollum would do so.

So yes, the chief power of the ring is in its ability to dominate the will of others.

Brandir
25-04-2009, 20:10
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/

Condottiere
25-04-2009, 20:15
Gollum Acceptance Speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuUGdXGhurQ)

Everyone has an opinion.

Faeslayer
25-04-2009, 20:23
Maybe he's lonely.

Did anyone stop and think about that?

Iracundus
26-04-2009, 02:12
Morgoth was a nihilist- he was so envious of the power of creation held by Tolkien's 'God' figure: Eru, that he denied that his own power 'subcreation' was dependant on Eru to grant. Where the Dwarves were an act of subcreation done out of love and so invested with independant life by Eru, Morgoth out of envy and spite dedicated himself to undoing creation, beleiving that the energy and lifeforce he possessed was limitless. In doing so he diminished himself and became much as Sauron without the Ring, only instead of a single item, 'Morgoth's Ring' was the whole of Middle-earth, marred by the investment of his malice in it and leaving Melkor reduced in being because of it. Morgoth's goal was chaos- to undo, to subvert, to deny that he was dependant on any force other than his own.

A key difference between Morgoth and the other Valar, one which Tolkien spells out, is that Morgoth wanted all of creation to be of his own thought, rather than accepting that he had only a partial share in it along with the other Valar. Whereas the other Valar could still love and make use of a creation that had a component of Morgoth in it, Morgoth could not accept any creation that had any other entity's share and role in it. That is why Tolkien wrote that Morgoth's goal was ultimately futile. Even if nobody had opposed him, Morgoth would have raged and destroyed the world, but then still ultimately have been unable to totally unmake it. It would still have been a world in potential, and one in which he still would have had only a partial share in shaping.



Sauron in many ways was the opposite. Sauron was a maiar of Aule, the Valar who's act of subcreation made the dwarves. Sauron's desires were for creation but this 'good' desire was slowly turned into a desire for control, the creation and maintain of order, of systems, of submission to his will. Morgoth, though philosphically opposite to Sauron's aims was a way to obtain the power Sauron desired. When Morgoth was thrust beyond the circles of the world into the Void, Sauron was left with the tools Morgoth had fashioned in pursuit of his aims- a hostile world, the servants of evil, orcs and trolls and he turned these to his own aims, not of destroying the world but of enslaving it. Sauron was not an aetheist- he knew and beleived in the creative powers of Eru, however after the defeat of Morgoth, and after the downfall of Numenor where the world was broken and the undying lands removed from the map Sauron became convinced that Eru and the Valar had grown bored of Arda and abandoned it. This power vacuum of Lord and Master of Arda was what he aimed to fill.

One "what if?" question which I don't think Tolkien answered specifically, was what Sauron would do if he had theoretically accomplished his goal of dominating Middle Earth? Attack the Valar? Sit in his tower til the end of time? Unlike Morgoth, Sauron did not want to unmake the world.

Condottiere
26-04-2009, 06:39
One "what if?" question which I don't think Tolkien answered specifically, was what Sauron would do if he had theoretically accomplished his goal of dominating Middle Earth? Attack the Valar? Sit in his tower til the end of time? Unlike Morgoth, Sauron did not want to unmake the world.I still come up with North Korea as a model.

Once Sauron felt strong enough, he may have been tempted to extend his empire westwards.

Dr Death
26-04-2009, 08:24
One "what if?" question which I don't think Tolkien answered specifically, was what Sauron would do if he had theoretically accomplished his goal of dominating Middle Earth? Attack the Valar? Sit in his tower til the end of time? Unlike Morgoth, Sauron did not want to unmake the world.

Well Sauron could no more return to Valinor than any other unworthy. Even if he could, he had fled the Valar at the end of the War of Wrath to escape judgement and, not being a true Aetheist like Morgoth, could not deny that the Valar were eminently more powerful than him. Sauron's ambitions were all founded on the Valar's absence- the beleif that after the War of Wrath and even moreso after the Downfall of Numenor, they had abandoned Middle-earth to it's fate. In Middle-earth Sauron, being now the one surviving active Maiar (the Istari had not arrived and the others such as the Balrogs had fled and hidden themselves) was now in a perfect position to make its inhabitants his thralls.

What his plans after the conquest might have been i dont know- bear in mind the 'map' we know is only a small part of the whole world, vast tracts of land doubtless populated by potential subjects existed south and east of it. Perhaps in the end Sauron's insanity would grow- with his conquest complete he might seek then to further hold sway over the wills of his subjects, tightening and tightening his grip on their lives until they had surrendered even the basic degree of free will. Perhaps he would even grow bored and repent in time, but the dominion he exerted would have done it's damage and freedom that comes out of boredom of the master is no freedom at all- he may well be chained in the Halls of Waiting like Melkor was after the wars of the powers that destroyed Utumno.

So in short- no idea :p

Dr Death

Dexter099
27-04-2009, 01:15
Eru didn't create the dwarves, it was one of the other gaiar, or something like that.

Dr Death
27-04-2009, 09:10
Aule conceived of them, he was the one that formed them, but when Eru found out about it, rather than have Aule destroy them for such unlisenced 'subcreation' Eru gave them life, free will and incorperated them into his scheme.

Dr Death

xxRavenxx
27-04-2009, 16:02
I think the issue with analising motivation and concept like this is that its essentially a futility.

We can all apply our phyche to help us interpret why things happened and why characters acted, but at the end of the day its just our own interpretation, and shaped purely by our own belief systems.

A more literal way to interpret would be this:

Why did sauron want to rule middle-earth?

Because hes the bad guy, and thats what they do.

Why did he bind his powers to a ring, enabling himself to be defeated?

Bad guy syndrome. Its a miracle he didn't tie everyone up and carefully explain how to cut the ring off and melt it while he was at it... Or at least play with moon lazers.

What powers did the ring have?

Anything thats usefull for the story at any given point. Welcome to deus ex machina. If frodo had needed to cut through solid rock to get somewhere, I'm pretty sure the ring would have been able to. ;)

Dr Death
27-04-2009, 16:57
But if you're going to invest in mythology or fiction Raven, you need something more than that. Any fiction writer has to create the laws of their world- whether they're doing fantasy fiction or realistic fiction if they want it to be plausible or perhaps a better word is meaningful. Tolkien was not alone but certainly unusual in the level of depth and personal investment he placed into making things have plausability, have meaning (not allegorical meaning but applicable meaning- meaning that the reader could draw from it).

'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.

His interest in corruption (a term used repeatedly in and about his works) is particularly notable. Tolkien was i think disturbed by people's capacity for evil- he needed for his own peace of mind and explaination for why people, real people, though he uses fictional people to display it, could and would do truly awful things such as those he had seen during WW1. Elrond says that even Sauron was not originally evil, and through later and disperate writings you find why he became evil, what motivated his fall. It's these writings that we, as fans of his work analyse to draw our conclusions.

Dr Death

xxRavenxx
27-04-2009, 18:10
My point was more to emphasise the core aspect of literature:

That each person would interpret reasoning differently if its not expressly stated.

Sauron seems a good example of it.

He's evil. We're told that. His motivation, however, isnt so clear cut.

Does he want power?

To rule?

To destroy?

Why?

Each person has their theory. All we know in the end is that he, because of his literary creator, is identifiably and irredemably evil.

The glory of a book is its ability to be molded by our mind. For us to fill in gaps with potent imagery of our own, to stimulate our own sence of awe, fear, etc.

An interesting question - prior to watching the movies, who here didnt imagine gandalf to look something like their grandfather, or a similar kindly old figure they knew?

In essence, what I'm saying, is that I dont believe you can pin any specific set of values to sauron (nor most other good villains). Most writers leave enough ambiguity in them that we can apply our own fears, dark desires, and horrors to them, to flesh them out into our own personal creation. I don't believe that anyone can draw the conclusions for anyone else. The sauron I read about, is a different sauron to the one you did.

Condottiere
27-04-2009, 18:53
There's no actual encounter with Sauron in LotR, though he gets a few mentions in The Silmarillion, where he's already corrupted. The encounters with the Ringwraiths are about as close as the characters and the reader get to the essence that is Sauron, and if he shaped them into pale imitations of himself, I'd say what he originally desired was the ability to control and shape his environment, and eventually, just control the world through corrupting it.

Sarah S
27-04-2009, 19:45
'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.

Sahlertz
27-04-2009, 20:57
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).

Dr Death
27-04-2009, 21:29
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 (http://thelastalliance.com/index.php?pid=view_replies&thread_id=63203&forum_id=4&page=1) 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.

Dr Death (i would like to note this is my 1000th post- break out the booze and have a drink in celebration:rolleyes: )

Sarah S
27-04-2009, 22:24
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.

Angelust
28-04-2009, 01:39
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.

helvexis
28-04-2009, 01:55
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.

Sarah S
28-04-2009, 03:22
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:

Angelust
28-04-2009, 03:58
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...?

Sarah S
28-04-2009, 04:02
Sorry. That should have read "No, it's not masterful, it's nonsense..."

Angelust
28-04-2009, 04:06
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...

Sarah S
28-04-2009, 04:21
Both girls, eating a strawberry.

Edit:
That's a different pic from the same shoot, but you get the idea I'm sure...

Angelust
28-04-2009, 04:50
Totally wouldn't have guessed that.

Sarah S
28-04-2009, 04:52
Yeah, the small picture does make me look a little boy-ish... :(

Condottiere
28-04-2009, 05:10
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.

Angelust
28-04-2009, 05:44
It's just the angle, and the fact that it looks like you're gettin busy on the other chick.

VeriNasti
28-04-2009, 06:59
Then howcome sauron could only be killed when the ring was lopped off huis body??
Was it because it contained half his life force??

Condottiere
28-04-2009, 07:25
Was Sauron killed? Like Saruman, I think he no longer had the power to maintain a corporeal form in this world.

The Hoff
28-04-2009, 07:48
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.

xxRavenxx
28-04-2009, 08:26
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.

VeriNasti
28-04-2009, 09:04
Thanks The Hoff
BTW canon??

The Hoff
28-04-2009, 09:45
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 :)

Dr Death
28-04-2009, 09:48
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 :D.

Dr Death

Angelust
28-04-2009, 19:29
Agree w/ Dr. Death.

Condottiere
28-04-2009, 20:05
Sauron does suffer from hubris - eventually he would have extended his reach westwards.

xxRavenxx
28-04-2009, 22:33
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.

iamfanboy
29-04-2009, 00:49
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.

Angelust
29-04-2009, 07:29
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...

Dr Death
29-04-2009, 08:49
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

Condottiere
29-04-2009, 10:00
And here I thought that unlike Warhammer, Tolkien is non-controversial.

xxRavenxx
29-04-2009, 16:29
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.

Kushan Blackrazor
30-04-2009, 05:32
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.

Dr Death
30-04-2009, 09:30
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

xxRavenxx
30-04-2009, 17:20
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.

Dr Death
30-04-2009, 17:58
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

de Selby
30-04-2009, 18:36
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.

Bergioyn
19-05-2009, 05:08
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.

jprp
21-03-2014, 22:16
Why does the USA want to conquer Earth?;)