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  1. #1

    Question What was Sauron?

    I ask this because there is only one being in midle earth that is like him and that is him self.

  2. #2
    Hope this helps,

    He was a Maiar who was in the service of Morgoth back in the First Age, for more info you should read the Silmarilion
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    As noted, he was a Maia... basically, the Middle-Earth equivalent of angels. The lesser spirits who aided the Valar in making the world.

    Sauron was originally the Maia known as Mairon, who originally served Aulë before Melkor/Morgoth tempted him away.

    Five other Maiar were eventually sent to follow Mairon/Sauron into Middle-Earth to try to put things right, but they were forbidden from dominating men, or using their full power; they were explicitly forbidden from trying to match Sauron power-for-power. They were there to advise and assist, not to dominate or lead. Those five included Aulë's Maia, Curumo, who entered the world of men as Saruman. Yavanna's Maia, Aiwendil, was known as Radagast. And the Maia originally known as Olórin is our beloved Gandalf.

    As noted in the earlier post, the Silmarillion is worth a read if you're interested in the old lore and legends around Sauron. (And the 'Histories of Middle-Earth' collection is itself worth a read.)
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    Like stated he was a Maia. Just to add on another Maia was Durin's Bane. Sauron was the most powerful of the Maia in middle earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der_Sensenmann_Des_Ostens View Post
    I ask this because there is only one being in midle earth that is like him and that is him self.
    Sauron?

    He was a miserable cork-soaker.
    He was a farging icehole.
    And he was the biggest bastage of all time.
    "Just like Mary Shelly, Just like Frankenstein, Break your chains, And count your change, And try to walk the line"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boraxxe View Post
    Sauron?

    He was a miserable cork-soaker.
    He was a farging icehole.
    And he was the biggest bastage of all time.
    Love the shades of "Free Johnny Dangerously," Boraxxe.
    Slin6, did Professor T. state that Sauron was "The most powerful Maia in M-e, or are you just assuming so? I mean there was never an all out contest between him and Melian, though I believe she was said to stave off the mental probes of Morgoth in the Silmarillion.
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." -C. S. Lewis-

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Duathrandir View Post
    "The most powerful Maia in M-e, or are you just assuming so? I mean there was never an all out contest between him and Melian, though I believe she was said to stave off the mental probes of Morgoth in the Silmarillion.
    I consider it fair to state Sauron, in the 3rd Age, was the most unfettered Maiar.

    Most powerful? Too ambiguous a question.

    Eonwe, Imare, Melian, Bombadil(?) and the various Istari existed in Middle Earth at different times and each had contraints.

    Gothmog (Lord of the Balrogs), and other Balrogs, were also present at various times.

    Ungoliant gave Melkor a pause.

    Some Calaquendi, and exiled Noldor, were also formidable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duathrandir View Post
    Love the shades of "Free Johnny Dangerously," Boraxxe.
    Slin6, did Professor T. state that Sauron was "The most powerful Maia in M-e, or are you just assuming so? I mean there was never an all out contest between him and Melian, though I believe she was said to stave off the mental probes of Morgoth in the Silmarillion.
    I'm not honestly sure how my post came out like that. I had originally typed out more but did some deletion. That comment about power was meant to have a question mark on the end (yes I know it wasn't a question for anyone who will comment on that lol).

    I'm fairly certain something in Tolkien's writings gave me the impression he was the most powerful but I may have gotten it from another source. I also should have included "at the time" at the end of my comment about Sauron being the most powerful Maia in middle earth. I believe Eonwe may be able to take the title for most powerful Maia (although that may never have been said by Tolkien either).

    I do however believe Sauron was much more powerful in middle earth at the time. Melian vs Sauron could make for a good discussion. I feel that Sauron could accomplish more but I believe that because of his corruption and ability to corrupt others.

    I don't believe Tom Bom or Ungoliant were Maia. As for the Istari I only know of the 5 wizards who were ever there and wouldn't consider them as strong as Sauron.

    Also wondering were Dragons considered Maia? I believe Melkor created them so therefore they couldn't be but I'm not 100%. If anyone can confirm that it would be appreciated.
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    It's tempting to say he's not a Maia, he's a very naughty boy! But maybe I shouldn't!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCinDAUK View Post
    It's tempting to say he's not a Maia, he's a very naughty boy! But maybe I shouldn't!!!
    Haha! I just watched Life Of Brian a couple of days ago. That's funny.
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." -C. S. Lewis-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slin6 View Post
    As for the Istari I only know of the 5 wizards who were ever there and wouldn't consider them as strong as Sauron.
    Depends what is meant by "strong". Certainly none of the 5 wizards was as *destructive* as Sauron, but destructiveness isn't the only measure of strength.

    I think one could argue that Gandalf was the stronger, inasmuch as he outwitted, outmaneuvered and eventually defeated Sauron utterly. To use a sports analogy: "Scoreboard, baby."

    The Istari came to Middle Earth in mortal bodies (which eventually proved fatal to at least two of them - Gandalf the Grey and Saruman). Moreover, Gandalf and Radagast (at least) respected the "terms of engagement" they were given, to use their power against Sauron indirectly.

    As such, it's difficult to compare their true "strength" to that of Sauron, who labored under no such limitations. Even so, Sauron was defeated three times by coalitions of the free peoples: he was militarily defeated by Numenor, militarily defeated again by the Last Alliance, and finally defeated by guile at the end of the Third Age when he had an insurmountable military advantage. Sauron's greatest victory was engineering the destruction of Numenor, but he accomplished that not by any overt exercise of power but by manipulation and deceit (letting his enemies - the Numenoreans and the Valar - do the heavy lifting).

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    Sauron in the Beginning was one of the Maiar of the Vala Aule (equivalent to Angels - sentient beings not requiring a chemical body for life or a portion of life). Corrupted by the Vala Melkor/Morgoth, he used his knowledge of science and technology to tempt the Elves (failed) and to deceive the Edain (succeeded, temporarily, and at a very high price). Mentally, Sauron had no more power than either kindred of the Children of Iluvatar. His advantage was in the fact that he did not need/use a physical body unless he wanted to (prior to the Downfall of Numenor, where his ability to use a physical body was stripped from him, limiting his direct power in the physical world. He'd limited his spiritual power in creating the Ring to Rule them All. Loss of the Ruling Ring at the end of the Second Age took Sauron off the stage for 1000 years. It took more than 2000 more years before he could build up overwhelming military power once again, via proxies created by others. Sauron didn't create Orcs/goblins. Sauron didn't create Trolls or dragons, either.

    In terms of science and technology, the Vala Aule was equal to Melkor/Morgoth overall, but in learning/wisdom, Aule surpassed Melkor. Sauron probably learned less from Aule than did the Noldor (who devised gems via craft, something neither Aule nor Melkor did). The Edain learned much, if not all, of the science and technology of Aule via the Noldor. Like the Noldor, the Edain added their own enhancements such that Sauron was impressed when he arrived in Numenor and knew that his military might would not withstand the Numenorean military technology. That's why Sauron chose guile and deceit to overthrow Numenor. Sauron knew his own limitations better than generally realized, and certainly better than Melkor/Morgoth did.
    Last edited by cdq1958; Dec 30 2012 at 11:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slin6 View Post
    I'm not honestly sure how my post came out like that. I had originally typed out more but did some deletion. That comment about power was meant to have a question mark on the end (yes I know it wasn't a question for anyone who will comment on that lol).

    I'm fairly certain something in Tolkien's writings gave me the impression he was the most powerful but I may have gotten it from another source. I also should have included "at the time" at the end of my comment about Sauron being the most powerful Maia in middle earth. I believe Eonwe may be able to take the title for most powerful Maia (although that may never have been said by Tolkien either).

    I do however believe Sauron was much more powerful in middle earth at the time. Melian vs Sauron could make for a good discussion. I feel that Sauron could accomplish more but I believe that because of his corruption and ability to corrupt others.

    I don't believe Tom Bom or Ungoliant were Maia. As for the Istari I only know of the 5 wizards who were ever there and wouldn't consider them as strong as Sauron.

    Also wondering were Dragons considered Maia? I believe Melkor created them so therefore they couldn't be but I'm not 100%. If anyone can confirm that it would be appreciated.
    By definition both Tom Bombadil and Ungoliant were Maia. They both were created beings by Iluvatar, and were allowed to enter Arda and dwell in it. Bombadil certainly wasn't Istari, though, as he had found his little corner of Middle Earth before the awakening of the Children of Iluvatar and the Istari were hand picked Maia given mortal bodies sent to be emissaries to the Free Peoples and to thwart Sauron by indirect means, long after the Fall of Numenor had changed the physical shape of Arda. Ungoliant was recruited to Arda by Morgoth long before his first chaining, and abandoned him more or less when Utumno was sacked in the First Age. Dragons were created by Melkor/Morgoth, but only the mechanical ones would not have been considered living. The living dragons would have been bred from creatures derived from Yavanna, so no, not Maiar. Balrogs were Maiar. Strictly speaking, Melkor/Morgoth did not create orcs/goblin nor trolls. He bred them for nothing with life or semblance of life could Melkor/Morgoth create after his descent to evil. He could, though, impart a spirit of evil either directly (trolls/dragons) or indirectly (orcs/goblins/evil men). Doing so dispersed his spiritual power and lessened his personal prowess.
    "No sadder words of tongue or pen are the words: 'Might have been'." -- John Greenleaf Whittier
    "Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda
    On planet Earth, there is a try.
    Indeed, in a world and life full of change, the only constant is human nature (A is A, after all :P).
    We old vets need to keep in mind those who come after us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdq1958 View Post
    By definition both Tom Bombadil and Ungoliant were Maia. They both were created beings by Iluvatar, and were allowed to enter Arda and dwell in it.
    Being a spirit of some sort and being a Maia shouldn't be equated like that. There's no such hard and fast definition as you've tried to apply there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slin6 View Post
    I'm not honestly sure how my post came out like that. I had originally typed out more but did some deletion. That comment about power was meant to have a question mark on the end (yes I know it wasn't a question for anyone who will comment on that lol).

    I'm fairly certain something in Tolkien's writings gave me the impression he was the most powerful but I may have gotten it from another source. I also should have included "at the time" at the end of my comment about Sauron being the most powerful Maia in middle earth. I believe Eonwe may be able to take the title for most powerful Maia (although that may never have been said by Tolkien either).

    I do however believe Sauron was much more powerful in middle earth at the time. Melian vs Sauron could make for a good discussion. I feel that Sauron could accomplish more but I believe that because of his corruption and ability to corrupt others.

    I don't believe Tom Bom or Ungoliant were Maia. As for the Istari I only know of the 5 wizards who were ever there and wouldn't consider them as strong as Sauron.

    Also wondering were Dragons considered Maia? I believe Melkor created them so therefore they couldn't be but I'm not 100%. If anyone can confirm that it would be appreciated.
    In the listing of powerful characters in the 3rd Age in Middle-earth factors led to there being no powerful beings who wanted to directly challenge Sauron in comparison to the First Age.
    - Recall in the First Age that Luthien (daughter of Melian) stood up to Sauron and that she and Huan completely defeated Sauron at Tol-in-Gaurhoth.

    * By the time of the 3rd Age the Valar and Maiar from Valinor had decided to voluntarily hold back their involvement in Middle-earth.
    - This gave humans the chance to assume responsibility for their world.
    - It reduced the damage caused by direct battles when the good Valar/Maiar used their full power in Middle-earth.
    - And there was the fear among the Wise of being seduced by the use of power itself (such as the temptation of the Ring).

    * So in 3rd Age Middle-earth, we are left with the Istari/Wizards, sent from Valinor, who have limitations to their power.
    - And Bombadil and Galadriel are passive powerful beings (like Melian in the First Age) who can resist evil in their domains but do not try to directly do battle with the ruling Dark Lord of their time.
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    Ungoliant was actually created in Arda, never entered it(one of the byproducts of Melkor tarnishing the music) so not Maia.

    Bombadil is actually suspected in some circles of being Aule himself with Goldberry being Yavanna but the Prof. never confirmed or negated the theory to my knowlege.

    In one of his letters the Prof. stated that only one of the Istari (Gandalf) remained true to his calling to help the free people in the fight against Sauron. Everyone knows what Saruman did, Radagast ministered to Animals, not the free people, and the two blue wizards(which are mentioned only in the Unfinished tales and maybe in the History of Middle Earth) went into the east and ministered to the not as free Swarthy Men, not the Free People.
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    Tolkien said the nature of Bombadil was intentionally left vague. To quote Wikipedia's entry on Tom, which quotes the professor:

    "And even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally)."

    Concerning the Blue Wizards, Alatar and Pallando, Tolkien wrote:

    "I think that they went as emissaries to distant regions, east and south, .... Missionaries to enemy occupied lands as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and "magic" traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron."

    I wouldn't be surprised to see them to turn up in LotRO, actually, like the last king of Gondor did...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by LagunaD View Post
    "I think that they went as emissaries to distant regions, east and south, .... Missionaries to enemy occupied lands as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear that they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and "magic" traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron."

    I wouldn't be surprised to see them to turn up in LotRO, actually, like the last king of Gondor did...
    In some of his last writings Tolkien changed his mind and also changed the names of the Blue Wizards. Morinehtar and Rómestámo, who apparently stirred up disarray which prevented greater strength from the East coming to the aid of Mordor. This is found near the end of Vol. 12 of HOME - The Peoples of Middle-earth.

    If they ever show up in LOTRO it will be under different names as none of the ones we know of appear in LOTR so they are off-limits. I think the only reference to them in the book is mention of the Rods of the Five Wizards.
    "You can't fight the Enemy with his own Ring without turning into an Enemy" - J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter # 81



 

 

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