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Nuada
01-12-2009, 17:30
A friend of mine was saying he didn't like it that Sauron was a big cats eye, and was surprised when i told him that this is just PJ's interpretation of Sauron's form in the third age.

Before the films came out, did anyone else imagine Sauron as a big eye?

Spider
02-12-2009, 08:38
A friend of mine was saying he didn't like it that Sauron was a big cats eye, and was surprised when i told him that this is just PJ's interpretation of Sauron's form in the third age.

Before the films came out, did anyone else imagine Sauron as a big eye?

Not really.

But then Tolkien was very vague as to what he actually was looking like circa LoTR.

But we can all agree that he wasn't an evil lighthouse.

Baggers
02-12-2009, 12:34
I always took him to be in a human form. Gollum describes him as having only 4 digits on one hand which to me led me to imagine Sauron as a man.

To be honest I am not to fussed about PJ showing him as a big red eye. I always knew that the film was not going to show how I had imagined it. So I just went with the flow.

tristessa
02-12-2009, 18:18
Funnily enough, Jackson's depiction was exactly like I thought Sauron was in the books. I think there must be something Tolkien wrote that says that he's just an eye. Strange as it is!

Sniper Kelly
02-12-2009, 23:18
I always imagined him as a shadow with no tangible form.

Gilfred The Iron Knight
02-12-2009, 23:37
Tolkien never said Sauron was just a giant eye. All of Saurons orcs had the red eye as there crest on shields/flags. When Frodo looked into the mirror of Galadrial he saw an eye of fire. Therefore from this PJ thought that Sauron was a giant eye.

However Gollum was tortured by Sauron himself as is noted to have a 4 digit hand. And the fact he could actually communicate to his legions. In ROTK Aragorn asks Sauron to come forth, and if we all knew he was a giant eye Aragorns plan seems a bit:eyebrows::wtf:.

From what i have read of the books I imagine Sauron to be a Shadowy figure that is tangible and intangable at the same time, like the wraiths, with red eyes that scare the crap out of his followers

Nuada
03-12-2009, 08:53
Not defending the image of an eye here, i also imagine Sauron as a humanoid figure. But i'm not a hundred percent sure that Gollum saw the four fingers of Sauron. It may be from an old story he was told when he was still Sméagol.

This is from the chapter "The Black Gate is Closed" (page 309 in my book)
He describes men building very tall towers, one was silver-white, and in it there was a stone like the moon, and round it were great white walls. Gollum says "O yes, there were many tales about the Tower of the Moon"
Then Frodo says "That's Minas Ithil... it was Isuldur that cut the finger of the enemy"
Gollum replies "Yes He has only four on the Black Hand, but they are enough"

So that's Minas Ithil with a palantir inside it, before it became Minas Morgul. Minas Ithil fell in T.A. 2002, which is 1017 years ago.

Is that Gollum remembering a tale of the four-fingered Sauron, or is it because Gollum has seen his hand? Gollum does shudder when he says those words, so maybe that's a flashback to his torture.



There is a quote when Sam and Frodo are in Mordor that i'm guessing inspired PJs vision of the lighthouse eye. This is the quote ........... "one moment only it stared out...as from some great window immeasurably high there stabbed northward a flame of red, the flicker of a piercing Eye... The Eye was not turned on them, it was gazing north...but Frodo at that dreadful glimpse fell as one stricken mortally"

lotrchampion
03-12-2009, 14:19
I kind of imagined Sauron (after his inhabitance of Dol Guldor and his return to Barad-dur) to be like a great withered humanoid - something humanoid, but dark and abhorrent for most to look upon. After the fall of Numenor, he could only wear the form of a Dark Lord, and no longer disguise himself as Annatar. But I can't see him wearing armour and the like while sat in Barad-dur. Sat in his tower, constantly bent over the Palantir scrying across Middle-earth searching for news of his Ring - but humanoid nevertheless.

Hellfury
03-12-2009, 15:23
I figured since Sauron was maiar, that he was just an ephemeral spirit. I think the silmarillion states that, like melkor, he could change form but after a certain period he never wore a fair presence again (at least, not until aragorn called him out).

I beleive that when he communicated to his minions post isildur, that he projected himself into their minds and what those minds perceived was simply a great brown eye...er...I mean red eye. :D

Dwarf Supreme
03-12-2009, 17:14
From what i have read of the books I imagine Sauron to be a Shadowy figure that is tangible and intangable at the same time, like the wraiths, with red eyes that scare the crap out of his followers

That's pretty much how I've imagined him also.

Dr Death
04-12-2009, 11:10
I am very very skeptical of the entire argument that Sauron had a real physical form after the destruction of his 'last' one (i mean that in the sense of 'previous' here) during the Last Alliance. For me it makes more sense and is more fitting that Sauron is in the Third Age not locked down to some charred carcass in Barad-dur but is rather an almost omniscient evil sentience who's key power is symbolised by the Lidless Eye.

So much of Tolkien's writing style is characterised by inferance and metaphor and so to be honest from the very first time i read LotR to every time i go back to it now i can never buy the argument for the 'smoking gun' evidence that says Sauron has physical form. Gollum's notorious quote is to my mind plainly metaphorical. If you look at the actual quote 'Black Hand' is capitalised- he's talking about a symbol, like the Lidless Eye, or the Red Eye, or the White Hand: none of those are physical descriptions of their respective representatives- Sauron's eyes arent literally lidless (or necessarily red, though that is a bit more likely) or that Saruman's hands are necessarily white (though if we are to assume the istari are of caucasinoid appearance you could argue it).

In any case i consider Sauron far too high and mighty to be personally involved in the interrogation of a creature and character distinguished by Tolkien by his wretchedness. Nuada points out that perhaps it was a story he heard and i'm more inclined to that explaination or that it was, like the Red Eye, a projection of Sauron's will, present to those suffering torture at the hands of his lackies.

Two other pieces of evidence are commonly cited: the line of Denethor referring to Sauron emerging from the Dark Tower only once his enemies are utterly defeated, and also Aragorn calling Sauron. My argument against taking these too literally is that first off- neither have actually seen Sauron in the flesh ever (Elrond is the only character we have irrefutable proof that had, and that was three thousand years ago on the day that last form was destroyed). Therefore neither character can truly know of what they speak and so their respective statements could just be well.... wrong: Aragorn can call all he wants but Sauron might not be (in any real sense) able to respond (it's kind of symbolic anyway: Barad-dur is miles away, even Sauron takes time to travel). It's a bit like when you complain to a company "i demand to speak to the boss"- you say it, but it's highly unlikely the CEO is going to take time out of his busy schedule- you have to make do with a middle-manager. In Denethor's case i would also suggest that he is referring to Sauron after the reclaimation of the Ring.

Getting back to the main question though: Peter Jackson's interpretation does have some faults, and i do find the 'Dark Lighthouse' rather absurd (particularly in Return of the King when the eye stops being just some pyrotechnic and gains some rather comical personality) but it's grounded in the books (the line about a light from some immessurably high window someone quoted earlier) and is a fairly neat piece of visual shorthand that at least gives us some representation of a very ephemeral villain- one of the most complex (in terms of simply what he is) in literature.

Dr Death

Nuada
04-12-2009, 12:09
Sauron only assumes a new form after his body dies (Last Alliance, Fall of Numenor etc), so wouldn't his shape be the same as his "necromancer" form when he's in Dol Guldur? He doesn't die here, he flees from the white council back to Mordor.

Also, this is a bit of a rubbish point :D but my index in my LotR book is split into seperate catagories .."songs, persons beasts and monsters, places and things" The Eye is under the catagory of a "thing" :D But i guess that depends on whoever wrote the index.



In the Silmarillion Morgoth has a similar effect on his orcs...... "Morgoth held the Orcs in dire thraldom, for in their corruption they had lost almost all possibility of resisting the domination of his will. So great indeed did its pressure become upon them that, if he turned his thought towards them, they were conscious of his eye wherever they might be"

I'd say here the word "eye" represents Morgoths attention on his orcs. Personally i think the Eye of Sauron is the same in LotR



Christopher Tolkien is quoted as saying ..."my father had come to identify the Eye of Barad-dûr with the mind and will of Sauron, so that he could speak of its wrath, its fear, its thought"

Dr Death
04-12-2009, 15:59
Sauron only assumes a new form after his body dies (Last Alliance, Fall of Numenor etc), so wouldn't his shape be the same as his "necromancer" form when he's in Dol Guldur? He doesn't die here, he flees from the white council back to Mordor.

Well 'back in the day' he used to be able to shift form at will, easily and simply (see his acts of transformational acrobatics in Huan's jaws), so it's not just a 'death' thing.

What i actually quite like the idea of is that when he's occupying Dol Guldur he's not actually got a 'form'- he's haunting it. A lot of the language used about that entire shebang suggests that the White Council are effectively a crack-team of exorcists and they drive Sauron's spirit out. This is one of the scenes i'm actually very much looking forward to in the Hobbit film since it could be really really creepy and great fun- The White Council fight their way into Dol Guldur's throne room only to find it empty, and just this pulsating sense of some malignant essence inhabiting it which after a brief moment of temptation or some other battle of the minds, removes itself at leisure.


I'd say here the word "eye" represents Morgoths attention on his orcs. Personally i think the Eye of Sauron is the same in LotR

Interestingly if you have read 'A note on motives' in Morgoth's Ring, think about the 'symbol' of Melkor and Sauron respectively. Sauron is symbolised by a single unblinking eye, an emodiment of his goal of becoming the sole master of the world keeping watch over his minions (effectively Big Brother). And Melkor's symbol? 'Sable unemblazoned'- in other words: Nothing, oblivion, the literal representation of Melkor's own desires; the complete destruction of everything- he has no symbol since his motivation is to destroy not to create or rule.

Dr Death

Col. Tartleton
05-12-2009, 00:44
Sauron is an ethereal horror. He's a maiar of the highest order. The Balrogs and Istari are the lesser maiar, he's the personal lieutenant of Melkor. I'm of the opinion that Sauron has trouble maintaining a physical form anymore so great is high power.

Melkor is destroyed, Sauron sort of takes up his role in the world. I see Sauron growing in power as time goes on (especially after binding the rings). He was once just the servant so he had a physical form to deal with Melkor's enemies since Melkor I imagine to be a cosmic horror and to gaze upon him would probably drive your average person mad. With him out of the way he probably absorbed all the power he could and gave up his fair form after Numenor. The burning iron clad giant of the last alliance would have been a shell he inhabited. It doesn't really describe the body as his as much as his avatar of choice.

On this note I agree that the necromancer would be a presence not a person. The Istari and the rest of the white council would be fighting tooth and nail again the orcs and horrors there, but would have additional trouble because of the very weight on them of Sauron's presence. Sauron is very grave. The ring is incredibly heavy on the soul, his eye is not so much a physical thing but a feeling of being watched and a constant weight, a constant dread on the spirit.

So to be occupying space with his sentience is probably why gandalf is afraid of him. He had fought him before and even with the whole council they could simply convince him that they weren't going to let him have any fun so he peaced it.

de Selby
05-12-2009, 01:14
Agree with the general sense of Dr Death's posts and others who say that the Eye, the Black Hand etc are symbols of Sauron that occur to the minds of those who encounter his will, but not necessarily physical manifestations.

As for what exactly inhabits the throne-room of the Barad-dur, in my imagination the topmost chamber was filled with formless shadow and flame. Sauron's lieutenants would never pass the door, but would feel his intent as an irresistible compulsion. For the sake of cinema I'd stretch to giving the room ornate metal grille windows in the shape of The Eye.

Whitwort Stormbringer
05-12-2009, 03:13
To be completely honest I'd never even thought of Sauron's appearance before PJ's movies, and still haven't settled on anything that makes sense, so to speak.

The notion of Sauron as a big lidless eye seems to me to be equally ridiculous as the image of him being humaniod in some form. Similarly Gandalf, and all of the Istari, have no "form" to speak of, they came to Middle Earth in the guise of wise old men, not to directly meddle but to subtly influence, so as to mask their identities. Most Maiar don't have any definitive physical form, and instead take on the shape that is most representative of their nature, or that which they choose to best serve their purposes.

To me, Sauron was never anything more than the will of evil, compelling his minions to carry out his tasks, but the idea of him as the physical commander and ruler just doesn't make a lot of sense.

Condottiere
05-12-2009, 14:52
The Eye is Sauron's aspect in the spiritual world, the form both represents him and boosts his ability to spy on both the material and spiritual dimensions, rather like an active sonar, but because of this, may overlook events and persons that seem to be of no interest or do not radiate a large signature.

My impression is that Sauron in his latest manifestation is coalesced shadows, a fuzzy Darth Vader.

canucklhead
06-12-2009, 16:52
Condottiere is pretty close with that idea.

Sauron, like Melkor before him, started as all the Ainur did, able to take a form that pleased them when it seemed appropriate. Unlike the other Ainur, they meddled constantly in the affairs of Middle Earth, seeking to impose their will upon it, and in so doing, they became more and more tied to it, and more and more tied to the forms they chose to make their desire come true.

Thus, they would lose that form, (Sauron more so), when their plans were thwarted. At the last Alliance, Sauron was 'banished' from his form of the mighty warrior king. He remained as a rumour and shadow of evil, gnawing his hatred, until he could garner enough following to become once again, a thing of power. The Ring, and the Great tower, with it's shadowy eye, were simply mockeries of Valinor and the great works of the Valar, and Sauron's symbols of power, like a child playing at some petty King of the Mountain game.

Nuada
06-12-2009, 19:19
Sauron lost his ability to change his hröa (his shape/appearance) after he drowned on Númenor. That's when he's stripped of his ability
.........."That same year, Sauron's spirit returned to Mordor. The destruction of Númenor had taken him by surprise; he had only intended for Ar-Pharazon's fleet to be destroyed. Sauron's body was lost, and he was never again able to assume a pleasing form. When he rebuilt a new form for himself, it was terrible to behold."


When he fights in the Last Alliance Isuldur said Sauron was black, yet burned like fire. Gil-galad perished from Sauron's heat. You don't really get that in the film, but i still really like the WETA version of Sauron, he looked great :)

After he's killed in the Last Alliance;
............"Since the Ring that held much of Sauron's power survived, Sauron's spirit endured. He rebuilt his physical form in the shape of a man of great stature, though it took him longer to do so this time than before. Sauron hid for about 1,000 years in the wastelands. Barad-dur had been destroyed and Mordor was guarded, so around the year 1050 of the Third Age, Sauron built a new stronghold called Dol Guldur in Greenwood the Great."


I think Sauron is a shadow when he first goes into Dol Guldur, but then has a form. After going into the dungeons of Dol Guldur Gandalf says to Elrond ....."True, alas, is our guess. This is not one of the Úlairi, as many have long supposed. It is Sauron himself who has taken shape again ..."
I believe Sauron has a form, because Gandalf says "has taken shape again", and this is the shape he has until the One Ring is finally destroyed, because he's lost the ability to change his hröa

It will be interesting to see what they do in the hobbit film :D

HRM
23-12-2009, 11:01
I must say... As someone who's only ever read The Lord Of The Rings (and seen the films), and not any of Tolkien's other works, the lack of explanation as to WHO or WHAT Sauron is, or looks like, really annoys me. I like to turn my brain off to an extent while entertained; having to guess, infer or figure out what's up with the main antagonist without having it spoonfed to me is aggravating.

*shrug* Blame MTV, I guess.

brightblade
05-01-2010, 18:07
I imagined a robed figure just to give him a tangible form that his more retarded servants could comprehend. With others like the Nazgul, I never really imagined him having any form, just a malevolent presence.

I seem to remember Sauron being percieved as a great eye, constantly searching, by Frodo when he wore the ring. Maybe PJ took this literally when Tolkien may have meant it more as Frodo feeling Sauron's intent through the ring.

By the way I have a figure, named Sauron on it's tag, that is a robed figure gazing into a palantir. It is a gw figure from way back when, when I used to play merp. :)

Nuada
05-01-2010, 18:24
Merp was great. :)

I had a boardgame from the same company, called Riddle of the Ring. Do you think that's a nazgul in the picture?
http://webzoom.freewebs.com/tolkienboardgamecollecting/RiddleRingBoxICE.jpg

brightblade
05-01-2010, 22:00
I loved merp. Loved it.

I guess that is meant to be the Witch King. I also had the fellowship of the ring strategy game. Which was great. Why am I saying 'had' I have it. Only played it five or so times as it was complicated and dependant on 'rumour' generation. All the playing pieces were dice with stickers on. Hours and hours worth of stickers....:shifty:

wilsongrahams
13-01-2010, 09:35
Sauron can take on any form he chooses - as long as it is evil of course - he lost the ability to take on fair forms.

In the books, as I recall, I had imagined him as a spirit form, that changed like smoke and was often a giant eye when casting himself to view far from his lands in mind, but in more of a man shape when concentrating on where he was at that time.

Argastes
19-01-2010, 04:27
I seem to remember Sauron being percieved as a great eye, constantly searching, by Frodo when he wore the ring. Maybe PJ took this literally when Tolkien may have meant it more as Frodo feeling Sauron's intent through the ring.

Since the novels mention Sauron's orcs using a red eye as a symbol, painted onto their shields, and since they referred to him as the "Great Eye", the fiery eye was probably more than just how Frodo perceived Sauron's "gaze". It seems to have been an actual form that Sauron took some of the time.

Sauron may have never really appeared directly (except in the form of the Eye looking out from the top of Barad-Dur) to his lesser servants, since he didn't even allow them to speak or write his name. I doubt he ever really interacted directly with anyone except the Nazgul and other high-up lieutenants. Chain of command and all that.

DarkMatter2
19-01-2010, 18:11
Since the novels mention Sauron's orcs using a red eye as a symbol, painted onto their shields, and since they referred to him as the "Great Eye", the fiery eye was probably more than just how Frodo perceived Sauron's "gaze". It seems to have been an actual form that Sauron took some of the time.


The Great Eye is his magical avatar. It is how his enemies would have known him. It was probably chosen personally by Sauron to be his heraldry.

Since Tolkien never mentions that Sauron ACTUALLY appeared as a Great Eye, but he does explicitly state that he appeared in a humanoid form, it makes more sense to simply assume that the Orcs at some point in their lifecycle perceived Sauron's magical presence, or that they heard from others that Sauron appeared as an eye in visions, or, having never encountered Sauron, they simply understood the heraldry to refer to him. The Great Eye might even be metaphorical as far as the Orcs are concerned- it may refer to Sauron's ability to see others at all times and over vast distances.

yabbadabba
20-01-2010, 19:14
it may refer to Sauron's ability to see others at all times and over vast distances. might explain the colour then - my eyes go red trying to watch the telly.

Wil Grand
08-02-2010, 23:18
It's not a Peter Jackson thing at all. Whether or not he is a big eye in Tolkien's mind I don't know but Alan Lee dre Barad Dur with the red flaming eye for the illustrated version back in 1991. Just thought I'd chuck that in.

ashc
15-02-2010, 16:26
Perhaps its wrong to assume the Eye is the *only* aspect of Sauron? I imagine him using a portion of his power to maintain the eye-tower, but not neccessarily his whole essence being there.

brightblade
15-02-2010, 21:18
I like your thinking ashc, after his death as The Lord Of Gifts he could no longer assume a fair form (that is a paraphrase) and I like the idea that he was going for omnipresence.

Interesting.

ashc
15-02-2010, 23:13
Yes, Sauron already has a (large) portion of his essence within the Ring, what's to stop him from doing it again to maintain the Eye? I would imagine it using up almost all of what's left of his power, but what does Sauron need at this point? - Domination of his minions and the ability to scry for his Ring; The Eye of Sauron does both these things, and lessens the need for a strong vessel for himself; I can imagine what little is left of him then haunting the inner halls of the eye-tower like some kind of wraith.

brightblade
16-02-2010, 19:48
Works for me. Who says Sauron has to be in one place at one time once his essence has become more ephemeral?

ashc
16-02-2010, 21:16
Essentially the Ring already sets precedence for him imbuing things with his power and, in a way being in more than one place at one time.

Wil Grand
17-02-2010, 19:59
The way I see him is less than Wraithlike in his tower with his palantir. Not able to become physical due to his energies being put into his Wraiths, armie's and his eye in the tower above.

brightblade
17-02-2010, 22:04
Sauron spent a lot of time making items during the first age and was a great part of the creative force behind the rings of power during the second age. But it was the creation of the controlling ring that tied him down. The investment was just too great.

I think he made a decision that the difficulty in creating a new fair form just was just not that necessary. His will is enough to dominate his minions and his physical might when he had the ring was second to none.

I suppose if he were to regain the ring he would be able to manifest himself again and with the diminishing of the Elves and Men (in terms of might) there is none who would have been able to stand against him. Until then I imagined him taking whatever form proved efficient and possible but still a shadow of his former power. I never really imagined him as a physical eye but a massive overbearing presence. Always searching. Always vigilant but partly blinded by the absence of the One Ring.

Verm1s
17-02-2010, 23:00
I'd say the eye is a spiritual aspect of Sauron - a form that lesser beings see or imagine when they perceive his will or presence. I don't think he turned into a magic technodrome, whether or not it consisted of all or part of his essence. It's too goofy for one thing, especially or even for LotR, and creates too much of an implication that this giant eye on a stick is physically looking. "Oh, buggrit. Can't see more than a few miles. Flippin' Ephel Dúath..."*
Plus, as Wil points out, he had at least one palantir. That's plenty.

*Assuming Barad-dûr is tall, but not taller than a mountain range. I don't know.

Condottiere
18-02-2010, 10:42
The assumption is that he has the palantir of Minas Ithil, but he may have recovered the one of Osgiliath, which would have made it easier to do deep packet inspection of what Denethor and Saruman were downloading.

brightblade
18-02-2010, 20:40
Naughty, spying Sauron. Maybe that big eye is handy for resolution issues?

Jagged
19-02-2010, 16:21
I thought it a little odd that Jackson presented Sauron as a big red eye but then skipped the most famous Witch King speech that mentions it:

"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey for he will not slay they in thy turn,
he will bare thee away to the House of Lamentation where thy flesh shall be
devoured and thy mind be left naked before the Lidless Eye."

Creepy :)

Londinium
15-09-2010, 04:32
I realise this is a rather old thread but I thought I'd say my piece. I always imagined the Great Eye as a projection of Sauron rather than Sauron himself. Like Magnus in a A Thousand Sons (if you've read that) he has the magical/psychic ability to project himself in various fashions or split his spirit. Thus he could be dwelling within Barad Dur but be projecting an image of a giant eye on top of the tower to make his minions feel like they were always being watched and for the theatrical/psychological effects. The parts of the movie where the eye is actively looking for Frodo could be explained by Sauron scrying his palantir and searching for the Hobbits and his stress at not being able to find them meaning he's not seperating the two forms of himself well enough. So the eye is subconsciously searching around Mordor for them, mirroring his own searching as he's not focusing enough to have it act independently of himself.

I'm pretty sure that Peter Jackson didn't believe the eye was Sauron because in the ROTK directors commentary he mentions that Sauron was initially meant to fight Aragon at the Black Gate. A few scraps of this footage still exists but they made the decision to cut Sauron out and CGI'ed over him with the massive troll that Aragorn fights there.

brightblade
15-09-2010, 10:43
I'm pretty sure that Peter Jackson didn't believe the eye was Sauron because in the ROTK directors commentary he mentions that Sauron was initially meant to fight Aragon at the Black Gate.

RRRRRRR. Just the thought of that makes me angry.

Nearly as angry as Haldir dying at Helm's Deep. "He's not supposed to be there....... "

But that is another thread, as I run screaming into the hills. :p

ForgottenLore
15-09-2010, 17:38
But in that commentary he says their thinking was that Sauron had just managed to retake physical form and that him coming out to do battle would have come as a surprise.

Myself, the movies pretty exactly captured the impression I had from the books, that after the theft of the ring originally Sauron became non-corporeal until he could gather enough of his power to again become physical, and I always assumed that regaining the ring is what would do that.

Have to admit that there is evidence in the books that he had a physical body during the war.

@ brightblade - Oh, and if you would like to start a thread discussing elves at helm's deep, feel free, I'll comment.

R-Love
18-09-2010, 18:34
RRRRRRR. Just the thought of that makes me angry.

I'd find it hilarious, what with Aragorn's challenge at the Black Gates.

Aragorn: Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Let justice be-
Sauron: Yeah, OK
Aragaron: ...
Sauron: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. You were saying?
Aragorn (to Gandalf): You said he couldn't take physical form!
Gandalf: I thought he couldn't! Crap. We're boned.

:D

The Marshel
19-09-2010, 09:33
I've always thought of the eye as more a projection of sauron's power rather then sauron himself. I view sauron as being formless in the wotr period tbh. they eye to me is more a tool he is able to use to make himself more aware of his surroundings, similar to the palantirs.

so basically, i think it more a case of sauron taking his own eye, setting it on fire and putting it on top a tower rather then the eye being sauron himself.

Iracundus
19-09-2010, 11:15
I see Sauron as a disembodied spirit, with the Eye being the supernatural manifestation of the central focus of his spirit. Someone having an audience with Sauron would be exposed to the full gaze of the Eye and the full extent of Sauron's might and malice (thus the Witch King's quote). I don't see the Eye as a literal part of Sauron himself. Thus a person hypothetically ramming a sword into the Eye would just be sticking his sword into a fireball, without really harming Sauron.

In Tolkien's letters, there is a part where he speculates on a possible "what if" scenario if the Nazgul had reached Mount Doom in time and Frodo had truly claimed the Ring. Tolkien felt the Nazgul wouldn't have physically harmed Frodo but might have flattered him, called him "Master" (though still remaining loyal to Sauron who held the Nine), and stalled for time...until Sauron arrived and that as the mightiest will in Middle Earth at the time, no one, not even Frodo with the Ring would have then been able to stand against Sauron's full presence. This means Sauron could have left the Barad-dur but I see this more as his spirit leaving rather than an actual physical form riding out the gates.

Spider
19-09-2010, 18:38
I can't exactly remember, but isn't there some reference from Gollum that he had personally met...er been tortured by Sauron?

ForgottenLore
19-09-2010, 18:41
I can't remember the specifics but Gollum makes some kind of comment about having seen Sauron's hand during his torture.

That line is one of the main arguments that Sauron DOES have a physical body during the War of the Ring.

Son of Sanguinius
20-09-2010, 19:09
I must say... As someone who's only ever read The Lord Of The Rings (and seen the films), and not any of Tolkien's other works, the lack of explanation as to WHO or WHAT Sauron is, or looks like, really annoys me. I like to turn my brain off to an extent while entertained; having to guess, infer or figure out what's up with the main antagonist without having it spoonfed to me is aggravating.

The point is to leave it to your imagination. It's also symbolic, for me, on the part of Tolkein. He spends page after page being vividly (and at times numbingly) descriptive, but this evil that Sauron embodies is so horrific and unnatural that he doesn't have the words. Sauron represents the evil in all of us, that selfish desire that feeds on power and that drive for perfection and beauty being perverted into need for dominance and control. Very much like Fulgrim in 40k, actually. In truth, he doesn't need to describe what Sauron looks like because this evilest of evil-doers is a reflection of our own dark desires.


*shrug* Blame MTV, I guess.

Ain't that the damn truth? :D

Zogash
20-09-2010, 20:58
Another piece of evidence that Sauron actually had a physical form is Pippin's report of what he saw when he looked in the Palantír:

"[...]Then he came. He did not speak so that I could hear words. He just looked, and I understood. [...] Then suddenly he seemed to see me, and he laughed at me. [...] Then he gloated over me. [...]"

He must have had a corporeal form in Pippin's vision - how else could Pippin have seen him coming or laughing and actually recognized him as Sauron? Also, gloating requires more than just an eye - it requires several facial features to be percieved as such. And to gloat over somebody, you actually have to be in an elevated position. ;)

There is actually a very good discussion about this issue on the Encyclopedia of Arda:

http://www.glyphweb.com/ARDA/faq/sauronshape.html#2

Spider
20-09-2010, 22:23
The point is to leave it to your imagination. It's also symbolic, ....

That's how i also took it. The creepiest monsters are the ones in the shadows, who are never really seen. (except for clowns, clowns are evil).

But also, given Saurons nature (essentially a fallen angel) and the fact that his "body" has more in common with a suit of clothes for us, in that its something he and for that matter other maia put on by choice to acheive a goal...does it even really matter?

He was scary. He wasn't a evil lighthouse.


And he probably wasn't a clown.






Of course a more pertinant question is...do Balrogs have wings?


Sorry....

Zogash
21-09-2010, 01:43
Of course a more pertinant question is...do Balrogs have wings?


Sorry....


Hmm... come to think of it... who is Tom Bombadil? :D *dives for cover*

Nuada
21-09-2010, 08:43
Of course a more pertinant question is...do Balrogs have wings?


Sorry....

Yes very true there is no certain answer. Personally i've always imagined them with wings.
But there are two cases where a balrog has fallen and could have saved himself by flying.
One is when a balrog battles Gandalf and falls. You could argue there wasn't enough space, or maybe magic/injuries stopped him flying? Second is similar, fighting against Glorfindel, falling to his death from Gondolin.

Nuada
21-09-2010, 08:48
I can't remember the specifics but Gollum makes some kind of comment about having seen Sauron's hand during his torture.

That line is one of the main arguments that Sauron DOES have a physical body during the War of the Ring.

Made in an earlier post........
This is from the chapter "The Black Gate is Closed" (page 309 in my book)
He describes men building very tall towers, one was silver-white, and in it there was a stone like the moon, and round it were great white walls. Gollum says "O yes, there were many tales about the Tower of the Moon"
Then Frodo says "That's Minas Ithil... it was Isuldur that cut the finger of the enemy"
Gollum replies "Yes He has only four on the Black Hand, but they are enough"