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Morgoth's Power VS. Sauron's

Bucky

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Who Had More?

Easy Question, Right?

Yes it is, but the answer will surprise you, right out of 'Morgoth's Ring', Myth's Transformed', Essay #7, Page 394:

'Sauron was 'greater', effectively, in the Second Age, than Morgoth at the end of the First. Why? Because, though he was far smaller by stature, he had not fallen so low. Eventually, he also squandered his power (of being) in the endeavour to control others. But he was not obliged to expend so much of himself To gain domination over Arda, Morgoth had to let most of his being pass into the physical constituents of the earth...'

Therefore, the term, 'Morgoth's Ring'. The earth, Arda, was Morgoth's Ring in which Morgoth had poured his power, just as Sauron poured his power into his Ring.
And, just like Sauron, Morgoth's power was no longer in himself. But unlike Sauron, Morgoth could never recover his Ring & slip it back on his finger......


Furthermore, we have this to add to the debate:

Morgoth could no longer change shape. He had lost that ability at the time of the slaying of the Two Trees, yet Sauron could & often did change shape up until going down in the Drowning of Numenor.
Morgoth no longer had the strength to fight Ungoliant because of 'the power that had gone out of him' The Silmarillion says & had to rely on his Balrogs to rescue him - And 'Myths Transformed' #8, Page 410 says 'Morgoth had corrupted many spirits - some great, as Sauron, some less so, as Balrogs.', so the Balrogs had not the might of Sauron even, although 7 of them were together that saved Morgoth from Ungoliant.
Also, Morgoth, a Vala, no longer had the power to asail Arien, the Maia that carried the Sun.
Finally, Morgoth even feared to fight Fingolfin, whereas Sauron took out Finrod in Minas Tirith....

If we look, we have only one instance of Morgoth using magic in the First Age: When he binds Hurin to the chair by magical force & makes him see through his own eyes for 27 years. Powerful indeed I must admit.

Meanwhile, Sauron, as Morgoth's first Leiutenant, in a limited role along with the Balrogs, Glaurung, the werewolves & orcs, is seen creating a phantom of a dead wife to ensnare one of Barahir's 11 companions, defeating the mighty Elf Finrod in a song of power, fighting the mighty hound of the Valar Huan as a werewolf (albeit in a losing cause) & shifting shapes constantly.
After this, we see him deceive the Elves into making the Rings of Power, then gain control over the Nazgul with Nine of them, set up as his own Dark Lord & conquer most of Middle-earth & then encompass the Fall of Numenor through guile...
Not bad.

Thoughts?
 

Mike

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Obviously learning from the mistakes of his master.

But let me get this straight...Sauron was more powerful, because he was less evil? Or am I reading this wrong?
 

Bucky

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"But let me get this straight...Sauron was more powerful, because he was less evil? Or am I reading this wrong?"


In a way, but because he hadn't spent his power on his 'evilness' (yet), so I guess, yes.

The essay goes on furthur to say that Morgoth was so nihilistic that if his orcs would've destroyed Elves & Men, Morgoth would've then destroyed the Orcs because he hated everything. Sauron, on the other hand, Tolkien wrote, would've been happy to just control everyone.
So, I guess Sauron is a kinder, gentler Dark Lord. ;)
 

YayGollum

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I think of Mel as just another misunderstood artist. Not so much a nihilist, just a guy who (in the case of Orcs) was all interested in elves, decided to through out the bits he wasn't a fan of, and made his own version. They were quite useful to him, but, yeah, if all of the elves were gotten rid of, Mel would have eventually gotten rid of Orcs, too, since nobody thought that they were so great. *sniff* Poor guy. Always so excited. Ulmo won't shut up about how cool water is, Mel shows up to make ice and snow, Ulmo does mention that he never would have thought of that, but whines that the stuff is uncomfortable. Mel's eye twitches, he hides in his room and mutters, "Nobody understands me!" Whereas, the evil torturer Sauron is all tricksy and power-hungry. Way more evil.

But towards your question on who had more, it looks as if you answered that all by yourself. Mel had more in the beginning, Sauron had more when Mel was tossed into the Void and got to be the big boss (and he probably had more for a while even while he was just some underling), but, in the end, Mel still wins because Sauron became just some powerless spirit, most likely wandering and festering Middle Earth for the rest of time, while Mel still has whatever power he had when he was tossed into the Void. Still not dead, still having fun in the Void, most probably leading all kinds of different songs out there, making all kinds of buddies of the Ainur who decided not to come to Arda. :D
 

Eledhwen

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I guess what you're saying, Bucky, is that Sauron was more economical (stingy) in the expending of his power than Morgoth. Unlike Sauron, Morgoth, in his twisted evil way, wanted not just to rule the earth but to sculpt it to his own design which (as Yay might say) included getting rid of all those nassty little flowers and horrid prancy elf creatures.

However, Melkor's dischord affected the foundations of the earth, entwined with the song of the Ainur in its formation; and so the undoing of his power was no small matter. When it eventually became inescapable, it cost Beleriand, where he had been most active. And surely (or so I hypothesise), this destruction also took with it much of the power spent on it by the rest of the Ainur; not least Yavanna.

There is a theme throughout Tolkien's writing that the Opus Major cannot be repeated, as if it were a unique organic birth. Great works, once made and destroyed, could not be repeated. In a way, every great artist had his/her own 'Ring', though not all sought power (note Sauron's error with the dwarf rings).

And so, Sauron, having seen what the spending of his power into Middle-Earth cost Morgoth, sought to find a vessel that would hold his power to himself and avoid its dissipation. The One Ring. How could it fail? His power would never leave him. It was on his own finger.
 

YayGollum

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Ah, to clarify, I wouldn't call Mel twisted. He just looks at things at a new and exciting angle! :rolleyes: Certainly not evil. Towards flowers, Yavannah made them, then he made weeds. He said, "Check these out, yo!" Yavannah whines, "Sure, I wouldn't have thought of that, but that's because I'm not made out of evil." Mel blinks innocently and wonders, "But I'm just working with what you gave me. Wouldn't that make you evil?" Towards horrid prancy elveses, hey, he was interested in them in the first place. Took a few, used them as raw materials (didn't dry up the well!) for some awesome new ideas that he had been thinking about, then tried to make some friends (Hm! I am not thinking of some elf character to make for an R. P. G. An old friend of Mel's from Valinor) with them in Valinor. When that didn't pan out especially well, he kept a bit of an overly large grudge. So he's tempermental, not evil. :rolleyes:

Also, what error did Sauron make with the Dwarf rings? I figured that he wouldn't have been capable of making anything to mess with Dwarves too much, because Dwarves are easily the best, designed to resist evil, and they should have been the first choice to destroy the One Ring. :rolleyes:

Anyways, yes, power levels... Mel = easily more raw power, distributed after a while, Sauron = a significant bit less, which only got to be better because Mel wasn't too stingy. Also, Sauron is way more evil and manipulative. Mel knew that he was the best from the beginning, he went looking for some source of all power Flame stuff to cement his position. Sauron always tricked people, hid and waited, or just latched himself to Mel, pathetically. :rolleyes:
 

Bucky

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Mel still wins because Sauron became just some powerless spirit, most likely wandering and festering Middle Earth for the rest of time, while Mel still has whatever power he had when he was tossed into the Void. Still not dead, still having fun in the Void, most probably leading all kinds of different songs out there, making all kinds of buddies of the Ainur who decided not to come to Arda.

Well, Tolkien says exactly that.....
He says Sauron, after the destruction of the Ring, becomes a powerless spirit, unable to regenerate. Morgoth, meanwhile, is in the Void & I recall somewhere JRRT states that Morgoth in time, will indeed recover his power. Now, where is that? - It must be in HoME Volume 10 or 11 I bet.


Unlike Sauron, Morgoth, in his twisted evil way, wanted not just to rule the earth but to sculpt it to his own design which (as Yay might say) included getting rid of all those nassty little flowers and horrid prancy elf creatures.

It's funny, but in that Essay, Tolkien actually mentions that Morgoth is more interested, say, 'In a volcanic eruption than a tree'.....
Also, it dawns on me that if Morgoth did get rid of all the Men, Elves & finally Orcs & trolls, would he then move on to his dragons, werewolves & finally 'minor spirits' & Balrogs & Sauron (if possible). I think, when Morgoth found himself alone, or left with just Sauron, the Balrogs & Ancalagon the Black, he'd be one unhappy mofo, & they'd all either sit around b#tching at one another before ending up in one heck of a battle!


However, Melkor's dischord affected the foundations of the earth, entwined with the song of the Ainur in its formation; and so the undoing of his power was no small matter. When it eventually became inescapable, it cost Beleriand, where he had been most active. And surely (or so I hypothesise), this destruction also took with it much of the power spent on it by the rest of the Ainur; not least Yavanna.

Well put, especially about Beleriand. We in fact see that Yavanna's greatest work, The Two Trees, which, she could only accomplish once within Arda, like Feanor's Silmarils, is destroyed by Melkor's guile.

Sauron always tricked people, hid and waited, or just latched himself to Mel, pathetically.

I would say he was wiser. He couldn't defeat Ar-Pharazon militarily, so he feigned to bow down in fealty. He goes there & pretends that he wants them to worship 'Melkor, Lord of Darkness' & 'Giver of Gifts' when obviously "Worship me, Dark Lord Sauron" just won't due right then & there. Next thing you know, The Faithful are being burned alive, Sauron is standing on the top of his temple defying the lightning from the Valar & Ar-Pharazon is on his way to attack Valinor & Numenor is on it's way to a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.....
Then, there's the deal with Annatar, 'Lord of Gifts', where he mascarades as an ambassader from the Valar (foreshadowing the Istari), making the Rings of Power to enslave the Peoples of Middle-earth after he makes the Ruling Ring.
Sauron is nothing if not tricksey.....
As far as hitching himself to Melkor, Melkor seduced him to his service, not vice-versa.
 

YayGollum

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Sure, sure. I'm not writing that the evil torturer Sauron wasn't smart. Was merely writing that I prefer Mel for his honesty. Sauron, if he hadn't been so evil to poor Smeagol, would most likely summon a few evil laughs of glee from myself. :rolleyes:

And towards the idea of what would happen if Mel had somehow succeeded at wiping out everyone who wasn't his underling already, I would think that he would be kept occupied by ruling Arda for a bit, would have all kinds of fun with moving things around, putting different spins on old things. After a while, though, he'd muster forces and head for the Void again, of course. What else was there to contest? Time to find that source of all power!
 

Bucky

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After a while, though, he'd muster forces and head for the Void again, of course. What else was there to contest? Time to find that source of all power!

A quite hopeless endeaver however as Eru is the source of life - quite like what Satan is & has been trying to do to God ever since the Fall...
And, odd that Morgoth is based on Satan, so maybe not too far off track as a theory.

YayGollum, yoy seem to be a bit obsessed with bad guys. So, in traditional' terms of how bad guys are uin Middle-earth, who would be your 'top Ten?;
including Dark Lords, Men, Elves & Orcs, Dragons & Werewolves whatever is considered 'evil', from dawn of time to the the of TLOR.

Mine:
1. Melkor/Morgoth
2. Sauron
3. Witch-king; Lord of the Nazgul
4. Gollum
5. Glaurung
6. Gothmog
7. Smaug
8. Carcaroth
9. Durin's Bane
10. Saruman
Honorable mention: Feanor, Eol, Maeglin, Ungoliant, Shelob, Wormtongue, Lotho Pimple & Ar-Pharazon.

This list is not rated just on power, but more on signifigance in story.
 

YayGollum

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You would put the WitchKing, Smaug, and Durin's Bane over Feanor, Ungoliant, and Ar-Pharazon on a scale based on significance? :confused: But oh well. I wouldn't call myself obsessed with the bad guys. They're just usually more interesting than the same old sickeningly selfless heroic types.

YayGollum's Top Ten (Popularly Seen As) Evil Dudes On A Scale Based On Entertainment Value:

1. Gollum
2. Feanor
3. Mel
4. Glaurung
5. Mim
6. Saeros
7. Ungoliant
8. Sauron
9. Eol
10. Grima

Honorable Mention: That one unnamed Orc that was overheard talking about having spotted poor Smeagol and shot at him. Deep into Mordor. He was a little guy made for tracking, apparently. Was hanging out with some bigger Orc, who he ended up killing, I think. He was cool.

Based On Power Level (At Their Best):

1. Eru
2. Mel
3. Ungoliant
4. Sauron
5. Glaurung
6. Ancalagon
7. Gothmog
8. Saruman
9. Smaug
10. Shelob

Honorable Mention: But Gollum wins when it comes to the power of awesome? :rolleyes:

Most Evil (According To One Point Of View):

1. The evil sam (doesn't deserve capitalization!)
2. Elbereth (Inciter!)
3. The evil Aragorn (Argh! The only one not swayed by Gollum's power of pity!)
4. The evil torturer Gandalf (besides the obvious torture fetish, nobody ever calls the guy on toying with people's brains, "Oh, you are afraid of that which can easily kill you? I shall inject false courage into your brain! Free will? Detritus, I say! I know what's best!")
5. The evil torturer Sauron
6. The evil thief Bilbo Baggins
7. Saruman (evil brain powers, the most evil of all evil powers)
8. The WitchKing (imprisoning souls)
9. Thranduil (imprisoning Dwarves?)
10. Tulkas? Sauron?

Honorable Mention: I suppose that Eru should be first, but that's just too obvious. :rolleyes:
 

Master of maps

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ummmmm....... Call me crazy, but i think that the mere fact that morgoth is the one who turned sauron to the "dark side", is an indicator that he is probibly the more evil one out of the two, because by causing sauron to turn evil, he brought about another grueling series of events in which a dark lord tried to enslave everybody and bring ruin to middle earth. So he effectively caused many more wars and trouble than sauron ever managed. Also, i agree with Bucky when he said that sauron became nothing but a lowly spirit when he met his end, whereas melkor was merely cast into the void, and will one day regain the power that he originaly had.

But nevertheless, if you see anything wrong with what i have suggested (apart from my spelling;)), feel free to notify me!
 

Eledhwen

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So according to YayGollum, Melkor/Morgoth wins in both the entertainment and power categories; but doesn't even get a mention in the unnamed person's list (but who for the sake of argument we will name YayGollum). I particularly like the honourable mentions, for those the academy forgot about during their lifetimes dedicated to evil, and suddenly noticed after their 80th birthdays (a long time after, in the case of Gollum and Eru).

Master of Maps said:
Melkor was merely cast into the void, and will one day regain the power that he originaly had.
Where does it say he will regain power? (And welcome to the Forum, by the way!)
 

Illuin

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Funny thread :). Just a side note though; I’ve been reading Tolkien for many, many years…and love his work as much as life itself…but there is one thing I have never understood. Sauron and Morgoth hang out and spend most of their time locked away in their fortresses and towers. What the heck do they do in there for crying out loud? Do they have HD big screen TV’s or something? What’s up with that? How do they pass the time? Silly of course; but if it were me I’d go freaking nuts :eek: !
 
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Confusticated

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It's funny, but in that Essay, Tolkien actually mentions that Morgoth is more interested, say, 'In a volcanic eruption than a tree'.....
Also, it dawns on me that if Morgoth did get rid of all the Men, Elves & finally Orcs & trolls, would he then move on to his dragons, werewolves & finally 'minor spirits' & Balrogs & Sauron (if possible). I think, when Morgoth found himself alone, or left with just Sauron, the Balrogs & Ancalagon the Black, he'd be one unhappy mofo, & they'd all either sit around b#tching at one another before ending up in one heck of a battle!
Yep, JRRT even says in Myth's Transformed that:

This as sheer nihilism, and negation its one ultimate object: Morgoth would no doubt, if he had been victorious, have ultimately destroyed even his own 'creatures', such as the Orcs, when they had served his sole purpose in using them: the destruction of Elves and Men.
And also "...even if left alone he could only have gone raging on till all was leveled again into a formless chaos. And yet even so he would have been defeated, because it would still have 'existed' independent of his own mind, and a world in potential."
 

Eledhwen

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Nóm said:
And also "...even if left alone he could only have gone raging on till all was leveled again into a formless chaos. And yet even so he would have been defeated, because it would still have 'existed' independent of his own mind, and a world in potential."
Morgoth must have known this; the words of Illuvatar at the beginning, showing him how his dischord would ultimately beautify would have been the revelation. I believe that that was the moment he could have most easily repented, but did not. Every sign of remorse he showed was feigned. Were the Ainur right to choose to believe that Melkor had any potential for goodness? Was their hope born of brotherly love, or knowledge of the consequences for Middle-earth of restraining him?

Melkor and Sauron both had persuasive voices. Melkor's voice had the power to alter the creation song itself; no wonder he managed to persuade his peers that he was reformed. Sauron too won over his captors in Numenor and that place was also destroyed as a result.
 

Arvedui

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How do you define "greatest" in the context Tolkien refers to?

Sauron was probably "greater" in personal stature in the Second Age than Morgoth was at the end of the First.
But I think that the best way to compare "greatness" is to look at their individual Ring. To destroy Sauron (not completely, though) one would have to destroy his Ring of Gold. But to destroy Morgoth one would have to destroy Arda itself, as it was infested by Morgoth.
This last bit will also serve to explain the possibility of Morgoth being able to creep back in from the Void.
 

Illuin

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Sauron was probably "greater" in personal stature in the Second Age than Morgoth was at the end of the First.

Only in the sense that he may have been a bit wiser (more cautious, rather) than Mel only because he knew how to walk the fine line between attempting to rule Middle-Earth and remaining “low-key” enough to keep the Valar off his back (because he wasn't trying to obliterate everything under the sun...he just wanted to be boss). Other than that, I think Sauron was a wuss; and at NO TIME did he have anything on Mel; not even close. Hides like a baby in his tower for seven years while his army gets slaughtered; and when he finally shows up, he is taken down my a Man and a mediocre Elf. He was like the incompetent loser rich kid that is rich only because he inherited the wealth, or the schoolyard bully who is a bully only because all of his buddies are always surrounding him. I would have loved to see Fëanor mess him up real good. If he ran into Sauron on the street; Lugbúrz would have been mugged; another city statistic. I mean really; he had his ass handed to him by Old Yeller :p.
 
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Arvedui

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I don't quite agree, Illuin.
Cautiousness or wisdom were not the main factors, methinks. I think that the key to understanding Tolkien's statement is in the periods mentioned. These periods reflect when Morgoth was at his weakest (he was just about to be captured) and when Sauron was at his strongest (before he made the Ring and put a fair bit of his powers into it).

But it does seem that we are seeing eye to eye on the strength of Sauron compared to others :)
 

Illuin

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Cautiousness or wisdom were not the main factors, methinks. I think that the key to understanding Tolkien's statement is in the periods mentioned. These periods reflect when Morgoth was at his weakest (he was just about to be captured) and when Sauron was at his strongest (before he made the Ring and put a fair bit of his powers into it).

But it does seem that we are seeing eye to eye on the strength of Sauron compared to others


Well….exactly. Nothing else needs to be said :D.
 

Bucky

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I think that the key to understanding Tolkien's statement is in the periods mentioned. These periods reflect when Morgoth was at his weakest (he was just about to be captured) and when Sauron was at his strongest (before he made the Ring and put a fair bit of his powers into it).

Well, exactly.....

Additionally, There's a WORLD of difference between Morgoth & Melkor.

 

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