Discussion in 'Debates' started by Ancalagon, Oct 9, 2003.
Oh that's good
Of course you can stay in the team.
Grnt. So now I'm supposed to be debating against a full team? Not fun. But, go ahead. GoE always loses anyway.
I'll post an opening either tonight or tomorrow. I'm having problems with the topic, as there is rather precious little evidence to either side, but I'm working on it.
My apologies to everyone for the delay.
Quick Beth- you're holding up the Tournament.
The longer you take, the longer it will be until Round 9 can commence.
Anc- I hope you have chosen judges who are quick at making decisions
Aule, I'm sorry. I'm halfway tempted to refuse to debate anymore anyway, I'm so irritated with this. But, whatever. I do lots of things I don't want to.
Or rather, Sauron used him to fulfill his purposes.
Something as powerful as a dragon would not have obeyed Sauron if he did not already serve him, or owe allegiance to him.
Also, might I point out, that Morgoth had once been in control of the dragons. As Sauron was Morgoth's successor, it would only make sense that he retained control of them as well.
So say I, Bethelarien the Lone Evenstar.
Im sorry for all this back and forth, but i feel totally guilty to make Beth debate on her own, im going to drop out, i wont be coming back after this, i appologise for all this leaving and coming back.
Beth, you may be in luck in that few of the Periaur team really have huge amounts of time to devote to this debate. Let me do what I may in the short time available to me.
That quote, which I believe is Gandalf talking to the hobbits, recounted in Unfinished Tales, uses the key word 'might'. However the 'might' never came to pass, because the Quest of Erebor was successful (or at least the Black Arrow shot of Bard was!). So although Smaug was a possible tool of Sauron he did not get a chance to make use of him.
Smaug's motivation are quite clear. The account of him in the Hobbit leaves us with little doubt that he is driven by one thing, and one thing only: treasure. This was what brought him to Erebor. Once he achieved his goal, he was content to sit on the mound of gold for many many years.
There is no sign that Sauron ever made any kind of contact with Smaug, or drove him to any deed at all. I see no sign of Sauron 'retained control' of Smaug/ the dragons. When Morgoth fell, his servants fled and were scattered. Sauron didnt instantly inherit control: he had to actively exert his will in order to achieve domination. This took time: the orcs were leaderless and disorganised for a long time after this defeat. A dragon is a being of much greater stature, and much less easily subjugated. I can see no evidence that he was ever subjugated.
The closest I could come to saying that Smaug served Sauron is to say that, in attacking Erebor and driving out Thror & co, his actions suited Saurons goals quite well. But a (un)happy coincidence of Smaug actions and Saurons malevolent will, doesnt prove that Smaug served Sauron. That implies some sense of command and control from Sauron. I can't see any evidence of that, beyond Gandalf's statement of an unfulfilled possibility.
I don't think it's fair to let Beth debate alone against the four of us, so I won't debat either in this round.
Good grief. Seriously, I would rather debate against a full team. Everyone knows I'll lose anyway--GoE always loses. But at least I keep my dignity if people aren't backing out because they feel sorry for me.
But a sense of COMMAND and CONTROL from Sauron would also suggest servitude. One does not simply control a dragon because the dragon is too weak to resist, etc. Nor does Smaug just wake up one day and say "Hmmm, I think I'll do what Sauron wants me to today!" While in Sauron's service, the Dark Lord used Smaug's greed and desire for treasure to fulfill his own purposes.
There is also the matter of Morgoth. As we all know, Sauron was Morgoth's lieutenant. After Morgoth's defeat, Sauron then took his place, commanding the Orcs and other creatures that still existed. Morgoth had had lordship over the dragons--they obeyed his will. Even Glaurung, the veritable King of the Dragons, bowed to the will of Morgoth. Is it not then conceivable--even quite likely--that a lesser dragon would then bow to the will of Morgoth's successor?
Indeed it is.
Unlike my fellow team-mates (bar the esteemed Snaga the Great), I would prefer to crush Beth like a paper cup...
*attempts to crush a paper cup, aka Mr Burns in The Simpsons*
As we all know, Smaug was the greatest of the dragons remaining on Middle Earth at the time of The Hobbit and LotR. But we also know that he wasn't the only dragon present at the conclusion of the Third Age. There still dwelt in the Grey Mountains, many other dragons who had forced the Longbeards out of their homes.
But did Sauron attempt to gain their allegiance in the War of the Ring? No. One would think that a few dozen dragons would be useful in an attempt to conquer Middle Earth, but it appears that Sauron could not get them to help him. So what makes you think that Smaug would serve Sauron if none of the others did? It's simple- Smaug did not serve Sauron.
In fact, Sauron never used Dragons at all in his plans. Just because the Dragons were 'minions' of Melkor does not nessesarily mean that they also served Sauron. Melkor was far more powerful than Sauron, being a Valar, whilst Sauron was merely a Maiar. Dragons were a force to behold, and it is quite likely that Sauron did not have the strength to order them around. We never saw him using dragons whilst he tried to overrun Eriador, nor whilst harrassing Gondor.
Let us look at the definition of 'serve':
1. Smaug never worked for Sauron. He never did anything that assisted Sauron in any way. If Sauron had managed to lure Smaug into ravashing Lorien and Rivendell by means of promising bounty, it would have meant that he unwittingly served Sauron. But he didn't- Bard killed him off before Smaug could serve Sauron in that way.
2. Smaug never was a servent of Sauron. As Beth said, he never followed orders from Sauron. It can be said that he was a servent of Melkor at one stage, but never of Sauron.
Notice that Smaug kills what he wishes, rather than what Sauron wishes?
On the matter of Morgoth. Let me venture a quote.
This shows very clearly that Sauron did not simply 'inherit' an horde of willing slaves when Morgoth departed. Although dragons are not mentioned in this passage, I see no reason why they do not fit this picture. If anything, dragons seem more independent than orcs, by virtue of their greater power and therefore greater freedom of action.
Smaug might be MADE to submit to the will of Sauron. Gandalf says as much, and indeed, greed might be the key to this. But it doesnt happen by default: Sauron has to actively seek to gain Smaug's allegiance. I can't see any evidence that he did so.
Beth you will no longer need to be alone. I will help you out.
Aule serving someone can be done indirectly. Smaug served Sauron a great favor and indirectly it gave him a great gift. That gift is one of the seven dwarven rings owned by Durin’s folk.
This shows Gandalf meeting with Thrain inside Sauron’s dungeons in Dol Guldur. This shows that because of Smaug's attack on the mountain caused the ring to leave the safety of the mountain and which ultimately caused Thrain to be captured and Sauron getting the final dwarf ring he desired.Therefore Smaug served Sauron indirectly but still served him none the less.
I find that a difficult argument to accept, since it certainly was not part of Smaug or Sauron's intent, by this act to acquire this Ring of Power.
It always is shaky to use downstream consequences to justify an action, especially those that were never intended. Its pretty clear that if it hadnt been for the secret passage out that Smaug would have consumed Thror, Ring and all.
Moreover if this consequence can be taken into consideration, how about saying that it lead directly to Thorin and Co setting out to regain Erebor, which lead to Bilbo finding the One Ring, which surely did harm to Sauron's cause that easily outweighed this?!
In any event, the Periaur do not dispute that the taking of Erebor and the destruction of Dale was, in itself, good news for Sauron. That is unarguable. There really is no need to bring in other factors to reinforce the point.
The point is, and it is crucial to the debate, that Smaug did not either work for, or take orders from Sauron. There is no evidence of any kind of alliance or association between them. Smaug served only himself.
Mae govannen, Swordmaster. About time.
Hmph. I beg to differ. Not only was he directed by Sauron, but he was guilty by association.
Bear with me here.
Glaurung was the "father of all dragons." (The Silmarillion, Of the Fifth Battle)
Take this quote also with Smaug's boast: "I laid low the warriors of old..." (The Hobbit, Inside Information)
And since we know (from Thorin, in The Hobbit, An Unexpected Party) that dragons "live...practically for ever, unless they are killed", it can be understood that Smaug has been alive for quite a long time.
It can also be taken that the "warriors of old" that Smaug laid low were Elves and Men, the most logic of which would be during the Battle of Unnumbered Tears and especially during the fall of Gondolin.
Realizing this, it is only natural that Smaug would still be under the service (even if not 'active battle service') of Sauron, as Sauron was never one to just let his servants go.
*smashes Aules like a paper cup a la Mr. Burns*
That is interesting speculation, but 'of old' is an ambiguous term. Since the battles you refer to were several thousand years in the past, there is certainly scope for doubt that it is those battles that he is referring to.
This implies that contrary to your opinion Smaug was not old when Thorin last encountered him, ie when he attacked Erebor. This was less than 200 years ago: suggesting a life-span for dragons considerably less than you believe. I see no reason to date Smaug as much older than a few hundred years old. That would imply the 'warriors of old' were the defenders of Dale and the Mountain that he slew when he attacked. Lord Girion of Dale for example: Bard's ancestor.
In any case in the battles you mention above, Morgoth not Sauron was in charge, so this doesnt show that Smaug had ever taken instructions from Sauron.
Ahh, Beth...you and your selective quoting
He was referring to the warriors who were present when he descended on Erebor, as Snaga already pointed out. He also mentions that he was 'young and tender' when he attacked Erebor, putting the theory that he was present in the War of the Jewels in serious doubt.
As an additional point, lets consider what Sauron was doing at the time of Smaug's visitation upon Erebor. He was in Dol Guldur, lying low, and making a discrete search for the ring. Sauron arrives in Dol Guldur in 2460, and remains there until 2941, which was the year of Smaug's demise. He did not declare himself openly, not wishing to draw attention to himself. As for his servants, the Nazgul, who I would suggest would be the only suitable emissaries to strike up an alliance with a dragon... they were conducting the war against Gondor from Minas Ithil.
While I can't prove that noone did go on the lengthy expedition to the Withered Heath and seek out a dragon, the idea seems somewhat unlikely to me.
I guess that's really a side issue, but it helps build the picture.
Hmm...I believe that this debate is now finished.
Could you start a judgement thread now please, Anc?
Indeed Aule, this thread is closed and the judging will be up shortly.
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