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Sauron's form?

Does Sauron have a physical body during the War of the Ring? I know he did at one point, since he had a hand from which the Ring was cut by Isildur, but didn't he lose the body along with the Ring and become a nasty bodiless presence?




Re: Sauron's form?

Hi Raksha,

At last, a question that I can answer!

didn't he lose the body along with the Ring and become a nasty bodiless presence?

A rather accurate summation, I think... though I'm not sure Sauron would approve of your irreverent tone... Here's what the Silmarillion says:

"And Sauron, sitting in his black seat in the midst of the Temple, had laughed when he heard the trumpets of Ar-Pharazôn sounding for battle; and again he had laughed when he heard the thunder of the storm; and a third time, even as he laughed at his own thought, thinking what he would do now in the world, being rid of the Edain for ever, he was taken in the midst of his mirth, and his seat and his temple fell into the abyss. But Sauron was not of mortal flesh, and though he was robbed now of that shape in which he had wrought so great an evil, so that he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men, yet his spirit arose out of the deep and passed as a shadow and a black wind over the sea, and came back to Middle-earth and to Mordor that was his home. There he took up again his great Ring in Barad-dûr, and dwelt there, dark and silent, until he wrought himself a new guise, an image of malice and hatred made visible; and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure."

The Silmarillion, Akallabêth

As usual, Tolkien was inexact... I'm not sure how an eye could "take up" a ring... but, such is the stuff that fanfic is made of, no?

- Barbara

P.S. This is one of my favorite Silm passages.... Would it be presumptuous to SSP my drabble about the first sentence? It's called Triumph Incarnate, and focuses on Sauron as drama queen....



Re: Sauron's form?

Hi Raksha!

There are a couple more quotes referring to Sauron's form; you can thank Liz/Tanaqui for reminding me of these. Gollum, who may have seen him up close and personal, so to speak, calls him the Black Hand:

"So Sméagol is very afraid. He does not want to lose nice master. And he promised, master made him promise, to save the Precious. But master is going to take it to Him, straight to the Black Hand, if master will go this way. So Sméagol must save them both, and he thinks of another way that there was, once upon a time. Nice master. Sméagol very good, always helps.'"

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 3, The Black Gate Is Closed

"'That would be Minas Ithil that Isildur the son of Elendil built ' said Frodo. 'It was Isildur who cut off the finger of the Enemy.'

'Yes, He has only four on the Black Hand, but they are enough,' said Gollum shuddering. 'And He hated Isildur's city.'"

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 3, The Black Gate Is Closed

Hope this helps!

- Barbara



Re: Sauron's form?

More quotes:

From the Appendices (various sections):

Sauron was indeed caught in the wreck of Númenor, so that the bodily form in which he long had walked perished; but he fled back to Middle-earth, a spirit of hatred borne upon the dark wind. He was unable ever again to assume a form that seemed fair to men, but became black and hideous, and his power thereafter was through terror alone. ...

In the days of Turin II the enemies of Gondor began to move again; for Sauron was grown again to power and the day of his arising was drawing near. ...

Turgon followed Turin, but of his time it is chiefly remembered that two years ere his death, Sauron arose again, and declared himself openly; and he re-entered Mordor long prepared for him. Then the Barad-dûr was raised once more, and Mount Doom burst into flame, and the last of the folk of Ithilien fled far away. ...

These were the fading years of the Eldar. For long they were at peace wielding the Three Rings while Sauron slept and the One Ring was lost; ...

2060 The power of Dol Guldur grows. The Wise fear that it may be Sauron taking shape again.

Fellowship quotes:

'But last night I told you of Sauron the Great, the Dark Lord. The rumours that you have heard are true: he has indeed arisen again and left his hold in Mirkwood and returned to his ancient fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor. That name even you hobbits have heard of, like a shadow on the borders of old stories. Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.'...

It was Gil-galad, Elven-king and Elendil of Westernesse who overthrew Sauron, though they themselves perished in the deed; and Isildur Elendil's son cut the Ring from Sauron's hand and took it for his own. Then Sauron was vanquished and his spirit fled and was hidden for long years, until his shadow took shape again in Mirkwood....

'Some here will remember that many years ago I myself dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus that our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemy of old, at length taking shape and power again. ...

From RotK:

The path was not put there for the purposes of Sam. He did not know it, but he was looking at Sauron's Road from Barad-dûr to the Sammath Naur, the Chambers of Fire. (a path implies something to move on it.. a disembodied spirit would hardly need a road!)

Hope these also help a bit.




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