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Can Sauron return?

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When Gandulf died he literally died and it was Eru who sent him back. When Balrogs were defeated they physically die.

However when Sauron died with the fall of Númenor his spirit returned to Mordor and built a new body.

This seems rather unfair to me. Are certain maiar spirits able to return from death? We've never seen a Balrog or Dragon ever return.

What are your thoughts?
 

CirdanLinweilin

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Sauron was on Númenor in the Temple of Melkor and was caught in the ensuing flood. However his spirit survived, although severely weakened by the destruction, and (presumably carrying the One Ring) fled back to Middle-earth.
Remember, during The Fall of Númenor, Sauron still had the One Ring. He cannot be defeated unless The Ring is destroyed, in a certain way, in a certain place.



Furthermore, At the Climax of The Lord of the Rings,
Sauron was now permanently crippled, never to rise again,
Gandalf says this during The Last Debate:

"If [the One Ring] is destroyed, then he [Sauron] will fall; and his fall will be so low that none can foresee his arising ever again. For he will lose the best part of the strength that was native to him in his beginning...and he will be maimed for ever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but cannot again grow or take [physical] shape."
Gandalf says that "none can foresee his arising ever again", he does not say that Sauron will be gone, he simply won't arise.

Sauron will just become a mere spirit of malice, and will not be able to again take shape.

I hope this helps.
CL
 
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Thanks for clarifying.

It's interesting to read this. Makes you think are there any spirits of defeated dragons or balrogs roaming Middle-earth. Whether they can still cause harm in any way.
 

Daniel Thomas

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I believe that Saron's soul was connected to the ring sence he was the creator. Also the ring in quote said " In the land of Mordor where shadows lie." When I think of shadows I think of Saron. I think you can put the rest of it together. Hope this helps.:);) Also how do I create a thread. Please reply.
 

Erestor Arcamen

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I believe that Saron's soul was connected to the ring sence he was the creator. Also the ring in quote said " In the land of Mordor where shadows lie." When I think of shadows I think of Saron. I think you can put the rest of it together. Hope this helps.:);) Also how do I create a thread. Please reply.
You just go into the forum you want to post in and click the button that says 'Post New Thread'
 

Azrubêl

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I recommend finding some of the threads on here that have gone into (too?;)) much detail about the nature of dragons, balrogs, Maiar, monsters, etc, because it's quite fascinating how arguments can be made for them being completely different types of beings with different life-death cycles based on various passages from Tolkien.
 
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I recommend finding some of the threads on here that have gone into (too?;)) much detail about the nature of dragons, balrogs, Maiar, monsters, etc, because it's quite fascinating how arguments can be made for them being completely different types of beings with different life-death cycles based on various passages from Tolkien.
That does sound interesting. Are you able to direct to me some of these threads?
 

Elthir

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I think this is interesting (fea plural fear are Elvish words here):

"The Elves certainly held and taught that fear or "spirits" may grow of their own life (independent of the body), even as they may be hurt and healed, be diminished and renewed."
11

11 The following was added marginally after the page was written:

"If they do not sink below a certain level. Since no fea can be annihilated, reduced to zero or not-existing, it is no[t] clear what is meant. Thus Sauron was said to have fallen below the point of ever recovering, though he had previously recovered. What is probably meant is that a "wicked" spirit becomes fixed in a certain desire or ambition, and if it cannot repent then this desire becomes virtually its whole being. But the desire may be wholly beyond the weakness it has fallen to, and it will then be unable to withdraw its attention from the unobtainable desire, even to attend to itself. It will then remain for ever in impotent desire or memory of desire."

JRRT, text VII, Myths Transformed, Morgoth's Ring
 

Lotrguy

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Will he return? No, not on his own since his greater power was linked to the ring. But, when Morgoth returns I think he would revive his spirit or something like that.
 

Olorgando

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Will he return? No, not on his own since his greater power was linked to the ring. But, when Morgoth returns I think he would revive his spirit or something like that.
Yes, the Dagor Dagorath or "Battle of Battles" from the Second Prophecy of Mandos about the end or Arda.
But JRRT only went into a tiny amount of detail about this (nominally still in our own future, like the Norse Ragnarök), except for the remarkable statement that Túrin Turambar shall effect the final downfall an destruction of Morgoth (going back as far as HoMe volume 4 "The Shaping of Middle-earth").
JRRT probably simply couldn't go into much detail here, as in such a fundamental question in all beliefs he would no longer be able to tread the very fine line, as he did so masterfully in his works, between his own deeply held Catholic beliefs and his love for Norse mythology. It is not possible to reconcile Christian theology with Ragnarök.
 

Elthir

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According to Christopher Tolkien, JRRT abandoned the Second Prophecy of Mandos (note the last paragraph of Quenta Silmarillion in the constructed Silmarillion), and in the last iteration of Turin's role according to prophecy (now the prophecy of Andreth the Wise-woman), Turin was to return from the dead at the War of Wrath to slay Ancalagon.

Once Tolkien had lifted out Mandos and made the prophecy of "End Times" a Mannish myth, one would think he could retain the role of Turin as Morgoth-slayer -- after all, a Mannish myth would arguably like to see Turin get back at old Morgy. That said, and while I realize silence is not the best guide, Andreth's prophecy includes that this slaying of the Dragon will be Turin's last act with the Circles of the World, so in my opinion, this late description at least raises some doubt here.
 

Olorgando

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That whole "Mannish Myth" business, "Morgoth's Ring" and "The War of The Jewels", vols. 10 and 11 of HoMe … 😒
I have just re-read the prologues to both volumes by Christopher, and did a bit of reading in "Myths Transformed" in "Morgoth's Ring".
I must say I'm glad JRRT didn't manage this massive upheaval of his mythology, which would have been at least on the scale of that which turned the first two volumes of HoMe into the "Books of Lost Tales".
To repeat an argument, the BoLT section would have extended beyond the two officially so titled in HoMe as we have it, at least up to vol. 5 "The Lost Road" - and who knows if volumes 6 to 9 about LoTR would have escaped this fate? we might have had a third edition of LoTR … 😵
Now I find it interesting how Christopher divided material between vols. 10 and 11, as he stated in the foreword to "Morgoth's Ring".
Instead of a chronological separation of what he himself calls "... two radically distinct phases: that following the completion of The Lord of the Rings, and that following its publication.", meaning separation by external chronology of writing, he divided them into an internal chronological separation (and called it artificial himself): "... concerning the Elder Days before the Hiding of Valinor …" and "... the legends of Beleriand and the War of the Jewels ...". I don't think that this was one of Christopher's better ideas, expressly because of what he himself admitted to be the artificiality of the separation. The other way, we would have had two "cohesive editions" of the Sil, as what happened up to the rebellion and flight of the Noldor simply cannot be seen in isolation of what happened after.
I think some of JRRT‘s later writings must be taken as being those of an increasingly exhausted and frustrated writer. Even after he had retired from his Oxford professorship – a chair, not many at the university at the time! – he was kept from his “heart’s desire”, the Silmarillion, by quite a few obligations to several publishers of “professional” texts, as I believe I remember. Added to that the increasing infirmities of being between his late sixties and early eighties (and Edith was three years older than he was, as we all know), he just wasn’t making headway. And he had quite severely cut down his own “niggle room” with LoTR especially (which he my have resented subconsciously, as I suggested elsewhere).
(Sorry about this self-quote, from my "Silmarillion - To be taken as authority?" post of 10 September 2019 - it's a bad habit of old geezers, probably leading to those malicious rumors that we talk to ourselves a lot ;) )
I concentrated on the time after JRRT's retirement in this post. What Christopher states in his forewords to vols. 10 and 11 seem to clearly indicate that this phase started pretty much 10 years earlier. And also that what became of supreme importance to JRRT was the "Children of Húrin" saga. Which is why Christopher's 2007 "The Children of Húrin" is so radically different from the very late collections of writings on the other two "Great Sagas", "Beren and Lúthien" of 2017 and "The Fall of Gondolin" of 2018. "The Children of Húrin" combines the long "Narn" from "Unfinished Tales", about 90 pages, with "The Wanderings of Húrin" from "The War of The Jewels", about 60 pages.
A last note, derived from the length of "The Wanderings of Húrin": in the first external phase (pre-publication of the finished LoTR) Christopher describes his father as having a burst of creativity. Almost all of this appears to have been to provide "full stories" (and perhaps even finished lays) something like LoTR, if on a (much) smaller scale, for his major sagas. Provide, all by himself, details about "far-off vistas" which he so loved to allude to. Which must lead us to conclude that the Silmarillion as he himself envisioned it would still be a compilation, somewhat enlarged "annals", so to speak. But taking or cue from the "gestation period" of LoTR: over 10 years for "Children of Húrin", another 10 plus years for "Beren & Lúthien", another for "The Fall of Gondolin … :eek: And perhaps I'm even being too optimistic in this: while writing LoTR, JRRT didn't touch the "back story". Add in radical revisionist earthquakes … 🤢
 

Elthir

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I too, am glad that Tolkien abandoned the Elvish recasting as seen in Myths Transformed, Morgoth's Ring.

Tolkien didn't need to rewrite an Elvish Silmarillion (which I think he realized, as Christopher Tolkien did) given that Mannish Myth -- as part of an internal frame for the legendarium -- could help JRRT retain some of his most moving, older ideas (although MT is not without its charms in my opinion: the star imagines on the Dome of Varda for example).
 

Alcuin

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I think the attempt to rewrite Silmarillion into a publishable form simply overwhelmed JRR Tolkien. Christopher Tolkien made it his life’s work, and has spent the past 46 years delving into his father’s material to produce what he could, recruiting others (such as Hofstetter) to continue the effort.
 

Olorgando

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I too, am glad that Tolkien abandoned the Elvish recasting as seen in Myths Transformed, Morgoth's Ring.
Two things struck me on reading that again: first, the again apparently very (excessively) powerful Melkor, which struck me as a bit of a throwback to earlier concepts - which I was glad JRRT had abandoned, or at very least toned down, later.
And this whole business of Arda (confusingly used for both earth and our solar system) existing as a small place in the vastness of Eä, space, with many other Ainur occupied far away, Melkor having to search for Arda, three battles with him - it rang a faint bell, though the similarities are superficial: I suddenly had to think of C.S. Lewis's "That Hideous Strength", published 1945. That whole business at the end with the equivalents of the Olympians (and Ainur / Valar) - Oyéresu - being responsible for their respectively named planets, descending on earth for the final battle with our Oyarsa - Lewis had us stuck with Melkor, so to speak; superficial, as I said, but makes me wonder if JRRT had in some roundabout way been influenced by this Lewis book? 🤔
 

Alcuin

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Or Lewis by Tolkien: Tolkien was also reading parts of what we know as Silmarillion to Lewis and the Inklings, not just Lord of the Rings. There was considerable cross-fertilization between them. And the concept of Melkor appears early on in Tolkien’s mythos: how early, I do not know, but I think it was well in place by the time he met Lewis.

Melkor is essentially identical to Lucifer in the Bible. For his part, Lewis was more than familiar with the concept of a fallen seraph (or cherubim: a throne-guardian). Is there any reference to this in medieval literature: Satan searching for the earth in order to frustrate creation? There certainly is reference to battle among the angels.
 

Elthir

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With respect to my last post I should probably be more precise: I'm glad Tolkien abandoned an entire recasting of The Silmarillion, as in rewriting the whole book. In another sense he did "recast" the whole book, at least in general intention, changing the internal transmission to allow for its largely Mannish authorship (if blended and confused with Elvish tales). In this way Tolkien can keep some of the old concepts -- along with, and in comparison to, new concepts, even some notions from Myths Transformed.

The legendarium thus becomes multi-perspective, and mixed in (strategic) places. For example: "But now upon the mountain-top dark Ungoliant lay. For a while she rested, and with eyes faint with labour she saw the glimmer of the stars in the dome of Varda and the radiance of Valmar far away." JRRT, section 57, The Later Quenta Silmarilion, Morgoth's Ring

Metaphor? Or the actual Dome of Varda from Myths Transformed? Granted, it isn't the Dome of Varda in the late text, but compare this to the version written before the Dome was invented: "Now Ungoliante made a ladder of woven ropes, and upon this Morgoth (> Melkor) climbed, and sat beside her; and he looked down upon the shining plain, seeing afar off the domes of Valmar glittering in the mingling of the night."
JRRT, section 57, Quenta Silmarillion, The Lost Road And Other Writings

Genius. For another example (in my opinion): Was Tolkien's world really without a Sun until after the Two Trees died?

According to the (largely) Mannish Silmarillion? Yes.
According to the Elvish Awakening of the Quendi? No.
 
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Olorgando

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Or Lewis by Tolkien: Tolkien was also reading parts of what we know as Silmarillion to Lewis and the Inklings, not just Lord of the Rings. There was considerable cross-fertilization between them. And the concept of Melkor appears early on in Tolkien’s mythos: how early, I do not know, but I think it was well in place by the time he met Lewis.
Lewis being influenced by JRRT is much more obvious and strewn throughout "The Cosmic Trilogy" (title of my one-volume collection) or "The Space Trilogy" (Wikipedia).
The eldila in "Out of the Silent Planet", something like the Maiar, but basically invisible, capable of interplanetary travel and subservient to the Oyéresu (Valar), the names of the Adam and Eve of "Perelandra", Tor and Tinidril, and Ransom referring to "Numinor", the "true West", in his first encounter with the revived Merlin in "That Hideous Strength". But for the latter, the influence of fellow Inkling Charles Williams seems to have been more dominant. From the bits about Williams's work that I gleaned from Humphrey Carpenter's 1978 book "The Inklings", Williams's residual influence may have in part affected Lewis's "Narnia" books.
 

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