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  1. #26
    I see your quote from FotR and raise you a quote from the only character with any significant page time in the books who actually saw Sauron:

    Quote Originally Posted by TTT, IV.3, pg 627
    'Yes, He has only four on the Black Hand, but they are enough,' said Gollum shuddering.
    The Eye was Sauron's heraldic symbol, just like the White Hand was for Saruman, the White Horse for Rohan, and the White Tree for Gondor. You find it on all sorts of versions of the Professor's work because people don't do their homework.

    The Éored of the West-Mark ~ Lore-accurate Rohirric Kinship on Landroval

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamatram View Post
    I don't know all I know is that if there was no eye of sauron why is it on the covet of the 50th anniversary edition of the lotr I have. Also why would the eye be in so many iterations of tolkiens' work
    I imagine it as a manifestation of Sauron's will, rather than as anything physical. It was certainly real enough to those he decided to turn its awful gaze on, because we're told that '...the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure' (Akallabeth). It sounds to me to be rather in the tradition of how almost nobody could meet Morgoth's gaze, although obviously it'd be less powerful than that. It's first mentioned after Sauron's physical form had been destroyed during the Downfall of Numenor, when he took on 'a form of malice and hatred made visible' and kept it forever after, as he was no longer able to appear in a majestic form as he had before.

    It's actually pretty subtle by mythical standards: in Irish myth the gaze of Balor's Evil Eye was so fierce it could kill with a glance, and even burn holes in things

  3. #28
    We're getting a bit off topic from the OP, but if I could for a moment: While I do agree that there is a misunderstanding, especially from the film trilogy, that Sauron is in fact a Red Eye (he is not), it isn’t quite correct to say that the eye is only a symbol. In the time of the War of the Ring, Sauron is a being with a physical body (Cala_Romello
    quoted one of the few descriptions of his physical body) but there is also an actual Red Eye at the top of Barad-dur that, although it is not Sauron, is controlled by him and through which he can ‘see’.

    Then he saw, rising black, blacker and darker than the vast shades amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dur. One moment only it stared out, but 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 to them: it was gazing north.
    The Return of the King, Mount Doom.
    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend," Faramir in TTT by JRRT.

  4. #29
    Last I remember, the Ring's main power was to dominate the wills of others. Makes sense for somebody like Sauron - it's far easier to subvert and deceive and intimidate people to doing what you want than to physically exert yourself and crush them under your heel. That's why so many oppressive regimes have relied on propaganda and misinformation to keep themselves going.
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  5. #30
    Ok so the eye was more a symbol than it was sauron himself. The way I see it now is the eye if there is an eye was more a tool for sauron to use like the mouth of sauron was. The eye was for him to see far away, while the mouth was for "negotiations".
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  6. #31
    the eye as sauron's symbol is delightfully ironic. its supposed to convey that he sees all, yet in the end he is utterly blind to the one thing that matters. in this way, its much like morgoth's iron crown, which is supposed to symbolize that he is master of arda, but in reality the crown is the master of him, because he is unable to take it off despite being a great weight to him. both symbolize the ironic self-defeating nature of evil in tolkien's world.

    anyway, the sauron-as-a-giant-eye thing is a bit of a stretch, but its understandable in a film, which is a visual medium.

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by bamatram View Post
    Ok so the eye was more a symbol than it was sauron himself. The way I see it now is the eye if there is an eye was more a tool for sauron to use like the mouth of sauron was. The eye was for him to see far away, while the mouth was for "negotiations".
    Yes, I mostly agree with your understanding. One further detail however: I think that the Red Eye of Sauron was, like you say, a tool for him, something that he had full control over, while the Mouth of Sauron was actually a man, who would have had some of his own thoughts or purposes. Check out this description from when the Captains of the West come to the Gate of Mordor:

    The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was not Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dur he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it, and he said: “I am the Mouth of Sauron.” But it is told that he was a renegade, who came of the race of those that are named the Black Numenoreans; for they established their dwellings in Middle-earth during the years of Sauron’s domination, and they worshipped him, being enamored of evil knowledge. And he entered the service of the Dark Tower when it first rose again, and because of his cunning he grew ever higher in the Lord’s favour; and he learned great sorcery, and knew much of the mind of Sauron; and he was more cruel than any orc. (The Return of the King, The Black Gate Opens)
    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend," Faramir in TTT by JRRT.

  8. #33
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    I'd just like to add, the "Eye" was more than his heraldry and even more than a reference to his Palantír.

    The Eye is ofttimes used when Sauron (*) focuses his will and dominance -and possibly but not necessarily his gaze- on someone. The subject's vision is obscured and blurred by a red ring that looks like an eye, as Frodo sees while in Mordor, and looking in Galadriel's mirror. It is also occasionally mentioned in the Silmarillion, long before Sauron took up the whole Eye heraldry and obtained a Palantír.


    (*) And also Melkor, it isn't unique to Sauron alone: see HOME 10: Morgoth's Ring. The Eye of Morgoth is mentioned.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
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  9. #34
    One of the things that always puzzled me was how the War of the Last Alliance ended in personal combat between Sauron and Gil-Galad and Elendil (and likely others, since at least both Isildur and Elrond were there) on the slopes of Mt. Doom.

    Mt Doom is not exceptionally close to Barad-Dur (looks to be on the order of 50 miles or more depending upon what map you look at), which is a fair distance when you don't have an automobile and can't fly (and I think it safe to assume that Sauron could not fly at this point, as he could no longer change form and we have no mention of beasts similar to those that the Nazgul had in the Third Age).

    So, he had to get free of the siege of Barad-Dur and travel all the way to Mt Doom for the fight--if we assume that the fight was why he was there, ITFP, which I find questionable.

    I find it more reasonable to think that Sauron had some other purpose for going there and being there--and that it was not his intention to fight anyone in the sense that there was some sort of formal duel.

    If I were to speculate, it seems to me that the only reason for Sauron to go there would be to unmake the Ring, himself--perhaps in fear that, should the Allies get their hands on it, they might well unmake it and basically destroy him. He may have realized or thought, at that point, that the Ring was a liability. It obviously had failed in its designed purpose, seeing that he was now on the losing end of a long and bitter fight--and he could not bank on the fact that the Ring would NOT be destroyed, particularly if Gil-Galad and Elendil survived.

    Thus it would seem to me that he somehow snuck out of Barad-Dur (unsuccessfully) and was brought to bay at Mt Doom, just shy of his goal... of course, this IS mere speculation--but I find it interesting.
    Last edited by Kosomot; Mar 25 2013 at 01:57 AM.

  10. #35
    Your theory is an interesting one Kosomot, and I had never picked up before on the distance between these 2 points in relation to the events at the Siege of Barad-dur. However, I think your theory falls short in 3 areas:

    1. I do not have any source material with me ATM to verify, but I believe that what happened was Sauron grew tired of the siege and decided to enter the combat himself to break it. He lead a sortie of troops and killed many men and elves, driving them all the way back to Mount Doom before he was challenged by Gil-galad and Elendil, at which point the story becomes familiar to all. Can someone else verify whether this is correct?

    2. Everything we know indicates that a great deal of Sauron’s native power went into the ring itself, and that he would be physically destroyed when the ring was destroyed. What basis is there for assuming that Sauron could somehow un-make the ring and retain his power and physical presence by destroying it himself? Although not impossible, I find it unlikely.

    3. Even if we accept #2 as possible, if Sauron was so afraid of the ring being destroyed at the end of the 2nd Age that he would consider doing it himself, why did he have such little fear of this happening at the end of the 3rd Age? When Frodo and Sam came to Mount Doom, they found it unguarded. Surely if Sauron had previously contemplated destroying the ring himself, he would have been more wary of others trying to do the same and he would have kept a vigilant watch at his most vulnerable point? Instead, it seems that he was more concerned about someone else such as Saruman or Aragorn taking the ring and using it against him, or that he would simply lose the war by strength of arms.

    I find it more reasonable to think that Sauron was so tied to the one ring that he couldn’t have even considered destroying it, and that he also thought anyone else who might acquire the ring would desire to use it, not destroy it. The failure of Isildur to destroy it when he had the chance would have reinforced this idea in Sauron’s mind.
    Just my 2 cents.
    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend," Faramir in TTT by JRRT.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairymore View Post
    I have two questions about the power of the one ring and the Nine(Nazgul).

    What power did the one ring really have?
    The two that are clear to me are 1. Turn the wearer invisible and 2. Corrupt the hearts of those around it. However i have a difficult time understanding how it can be used to do greater harm in a larger scale. I thought that having the ring gave Sauron the power to control the others but the Dwarfs were not affected when they had the 7 and the Elves were never under his influence when they wore the 3. Also the 9 (Nazgul) were still under the control of Sauron even when he did not have the ring.
    Ideas like the ring gives the bearer the powers to shoot lightning from their finger tips or the power to turn mountains into valleys are false. All this makes it even harder to understand how it would make Sauron stronger if he ever got it back.

    What made the Nazgul so threatening?
    What was it about the 9 that made them so much stronger than regular people? They are wraiths, they wear black robes and have no face which i can imagine is intimidating but when you live in a world with nazgul, orcs, trolls, and other vile creatures a robed figure shouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. They also needed mounts to travel, weapons to fight and could be killed by regular weapons. So why where they so threatening?
    With the ring, Sauron poured a large amount of his power into it when he made it, Hes not up to his full strength with out it, What power it has when its on his hand, I cant say. Much more then what was shown with Gollum or the Hobbits I'm sure.

    With the Nazgul, its the overwhelming sense of evil,dread and hopelessness that they projected, that made them creatures to be feared. Its makes for a powerful weapon when the bravest of man is cowed and frozen in fear.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairymore View Post
    I have two questions about the power of the one ring and the Nine(Nazgul).

    What power did the one ring really have?
    The two that are clear to me are 1. Turn the wearer invisible and 2. Corrupt the hearts of those around it. However i have a difficult time understanding how it can be used to do greater harm in a larger scale. I thought that having the ring gave Sauron the power to control the others but the Dwarfs were not affected when they had the 7 and the Elves were never under his influence when they wore the 3. Also the 9 (Nazgul) were still under the control of Sauron even when he did not have the ring.
    Ideas like the ring gives the bearer the powers to shoot lightning from their finger tips or the power to turn mountains into valleys are false. All this makes it even harder to understand how it would make Sauron stronger if he ever got it back.
    The One Ring was specifically made to be stronger than the other Rings and able to control those rings and their bearers. To make the Ring that strong, Sauron poured his own powers into it. Therefore the Ring would have at least some of the power that Sauron had, e.g. the ability to bend the will of others.

    Also, I've always thought of the rings (and the staff of the Istari for that matter) as tools for focusing and improving the power of the bearer.
    Where the One Ring would 'only' give hobbits the ability to become invisible, it would make it possible for stronger entities such as Gandalf and Galadriel to use their inherent powers through the ring for greater effect.
    Sauron showed skill in seducing others and bending their will even before making the Ring, and the Ring empowered his abilities with the Ringwraiths as the prime example.
    Gandalf, Galadriel or some other strong entity would have their own powers empowered through the ring (just as the Elven Rings empowered their abilities to grow and heal their lands like Lothlorien), however unlike Sauron, they don't have the power to truly master the One Ring, at some point it would lead to their doom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fairymore View Post
    What made the Nazgul so threatening?
    What was it about the 9 that made them so much stronger than regular people? They are wraiths, they wear black robes and have no face which i can imagine is intimidating but when you live in a world with nazgul, orcs, trolls, and other vile creatures a robed figure shouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. They also needed mounts to travel, weapons to fight and could be killed by regular weapons. So why where they so threatening?
    Since when was it possible to kill them with regular weapons? As far as I remember, the dagger Meriadoc used was some sort of Westernesse dagger, which made the Witch King vulnerable to the hit from Eowyn.
    The Nazgul had several weaknesses, but if you don't know what those weaknesses are (e.g. Elbereth, Fire and Westernesse weapons), I would guess you're completely unable to win a fight against even one of them.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by LichKingOfAngmar View Post
    As I recall, Sauron never had power over the Three, because the Three existed before the others (since they were the Silmarils). If he got the One back though, I'm pretty sure he would have had power over what remained of the Seven, and of course he always had power over the Nine.
    They where not the Silmarils as they were thrown away into the sea, fires of the earth, and the other to the heavens on the brow of Earendil,the rings were connected to the One Ring and could have been controlled had they not had a vision of what Anatar was up to and removed and hid the rings. It was only after the One thought lost did the Elves wear the rings again.

    Quote Originally Posted by LichKingOfAngmar View Post
    The One would have amplified Sauron's power, and make him pretty much unstoppable since the last time he had the One (Battle of Dagorlad, was it? When it was cut off?) it took the combined armies of Men and Elves, and some of the greatest heroes in the world (i.e. Elendil and Gil-galad) to defeat him, he nearly annihilated their forces and really only lost because Isildur got lucky. There wasn't any such force in the Third Age, or even close to it, so if he had gotten the One back nothing would have been able to withstand him.

 

 
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