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Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power- Who Is the Dark Lord Sauron?

By Rishabh Shandilya
August 23,2022

The upcoming Lord of the Rings: Rings of power miniseries is based solely on Second Age. Just as Sauron was the primary antagonist in all prominent Lord of the Rings as well as The Hobbit films, he would likely play a major role in the new miniseries as well. However, the Ring’s inventor wasn’t always a bad guy.

If you look at Peter Jackson’s prequel series, The Dark Lord is a relatively uncomplicated and enigmatic figure. When first mentioned, he is nicknamed “The Dark Lord,” or Sauron, since he put all of his evil intent and lust for power into the One Ring. Consequently, it seems that Sauron was always bad, even in his early days, which is not true.

Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power Sauron

Not a Man, Rather an Idea

The earlier installments make the mistake of not providing the sufficient history for Sauron, which is where the misconception originates. Following the exposition of the Ring’s history, many of his “showings” are reduced to a glowing eye above Mordor’s tower: a floating, scary god-like apparition. Sauron doesn’t seem to be a man but rather a concept, the embodiment of evil itself.

However, J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, The Silmarillion, provides greater detail on the subject’s history, which is hinted at in the opening of the first book. As a soul from the very dawn of civilization, Sauron was a Maiar. Those Maiar came down to Arda, the planet that contains Middle-earth. Curumo and Olórin are two more Maiar that are well-known figures in the Middle-earth canon, while Saruman and Gandalf are two others.

Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power Sauron

Sauron, like Saruman, was trained by Aul the Smith, one of the earliest creatures Eru made for Arda. Mairon means “the admirable” in Ancient Greek, therefore it was his actual moniker. Mairon was renowned for his meticulous tendencies stemming from his need for order. His job was to make Arda habitable for the animals who would live there, but his need for perfection ultimately led to his demise. Thus, interest in the Dark Lord, Morgoth, grew.

Morgoth wanted to either rule all of Middle-earth or wipe it off the map entirely. Mairon was given the name Sauron throughout his time of servitude to Morgoth. Sauron vanished in Middle-earth when Morgoth was vanquished, only to reemerge in Mordor many centuries later. Sauron, in contrast to the First Lord, never intended to obliterate Middle-earth. Rather, he sought absolute authority that would allow him to establish and enforce control in whatever way he wished.

Why Sauron Forged the One Ring

Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power Sauron

Sauron planned to utilize this tactic to gain dominion over the Noldor of Middle-earth by capturing and enslaving the people who wore the various rings of power. Sauron sought to rule all of Middle-earth, and he could not have done it without the cooperation of the Elves. Exactly for this purpose, the One Ring was created. At Mount Doom’s Orodruin, Sauron forged the Ruling Ring, investing much of his own incredible strength in it so that he could utilize it to control anybody who wore one of the rings he produced.

    “And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring; for the power of the Elven-rings was very great, and that which should govern them must be a thing of surpassing potency; and Sauron forged it in the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow”.
    • Sauron gambled a great deal of his own strength on something that may be stolen from him. In the end, the Alliance of Men, and Elves triumphed against Sauron, and Isildur severed the One Ring from his grasp, breaking the war to a close. Sauron was ultimately defeated when he was cut off from his source of strength, and he then vanished from Middle-earth.

Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power Sauron

Sauron’s origins are in benevolence, hence he didn’t start being wicked. His arrogance and his fixation to secure dominance are what transforms him into the evil we now know. Even if you grant that he has wicked intents and is the major adversary of the epic, you may still claim that he himself is not evil.

While his goals are selfish and unethical, they are motivated by his need for order, which is abstract and value-free. However, his fixation causes him to behave in a categorically bad way.