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Sauron not noticing the One ring

Anarchist

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To start with, Frodo and Sam entered Mordor. Shelob attacked them and poisoned Frodo. Then Sam made the choice and took the ring. Noticing the Orcs he puts it on. Now the questions start:
Why didn't Sauron notice the intrudors since Frodo was carrying the one he wants above all? It is after all a part of himself (he put much of his evilness in it). Say he just doesn't notice it, then why then, when Sam puts it on even then he doesn't notice it? Finally, why when Frodo puts it on at Mount Doom, only then he realizes that the One is in Mordor?
I can understand that he didn't notice it when it was not wore by anyone. But what the heck, Sam put it on for a rather long time. And when Frodo used it in places very far from Mordor, Sauron was able to see him. Why not now? Your opinions.
 

aragil

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My opinion is that Sauron didn't notice Frodo all the other times that Frodo wore the ring (or Bilbo, for that matter). If Sauron had, then there would have been nine black guests 'winging' their way to the farewell party for Bilbo. Even at Amon Hen Sauron was not able to pin down the ring, although Frodo did have a 'near miss'.
From what other members have posted here (with which I agree) it seems that Sauron only noticed Frodo at Sammath Naur because Frodo was claiming the ring as his own, which was a first-time event in the story.
Come to think of it, this mirrors how Celebrimbor was aware of Sauron when the Dark Lord put on the ring and claimed Middle-earth.
 

Anarchist

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Aragil I made exactly the thoughts you did but let me give you a quote fro the chapter "The breaking of the Fellowship" in the book "The fellowship of the ring":
...And suddently he felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep.He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know just exaclty where he was...
This happened after Boromir attacked Frodo and Frodo put the ring on. The Eye of Sauron noticed Frodo even from that far. And it is quite clear that at this point, Frodo didn't want the ring that much. He was balancing between keeping it on or getting it off.
 

Greenwood

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Anarchist

First, be careful not to confuse the movie with the books. It is only in the movie that Sauron is aware of Frodo wearing the Ring far from Mordor. In the books the only time Sauron is aware of Frodo wearing the Ring is at Amon Hen and at Orodruin.

Also in the books it seems that Sauron is only aware of the Ring if someone is actually wearing it, not merely carrying it. Also, in the book the only two times Sauron is aware of Frodo wearing the Ring seem to be in special places: Amon Hen (the Seat of Seeing) and Orodruin (the heart of Mordor and wear the Ring was forged). When Frodo puts the Ring on after leaving the top of Amon Hen Sauron is not aware of him (some of us have never really liked that :) ). When Sam wears the Ring in the Pass of Cirith Ungol, Sauron is not really aware of him, but I believe the book says something about Sauron being disturbed ("I feel a great disturbance in the Force, Luke." :D ), but that he is unable to pierce the webs of shadow he has created around the borders of his own land. (I can give you the exact quote this evening after I get home and check my copy of the book, unless someone else comes up with it before then.)
 

Tar-Palantir

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My personal opinion is that Amon Hen was a "special" place, an "amplifier" of sorts. As for Sam in Mordor, I tend to think that some kind of desire for power has something to do with Sauron's being able to sense when someone has the Ring on. In other words, he didn't notice when Smeagol wore it (maybe Sauron was preoccupied, but even so), Bilbo, Frodo (except at Amon Hen & Mt Doom), and Samwise either. And I'm not so sure that if Frodo had "claimed" the Ring in say....Rivendell, that Sauron would have noticed either.
 

Strider97

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Thanks Anarchist- That was the quote I was going to look up when I got home. Everytime Frodo used the ring from Weathertop on he though or felt the eye looking for him.In Mordor the strngth of the ring would have been greater and the terrain to scan that much less. Why didn't Sauron at least feel the ring. The answer is of course that it was not Tolkien's intent but the internal logic is not there. I always wondered about Tolkien's view of evil as having greater power then good but being cursed by stupidity. How could someone who on one hand could coordinate large armies, have the corsairs scheduuled to arrive, constructed the instruments of war that he did fail to protect his borders and not forsee the basic strategies of his enemies.
 

Anarchist

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:D Good one the thing about cursed with stupidity.:D Very fine opinions but they don't convince me yet about the question. Sauron was searching intently for the ring. And Sam put it inside the borders of Mordor (correct me if I am wrong). Was Sauron THAT stupid not to see a part of his evil self inside his own borders? But an idea came to me concerning the person who had the ring on and the total duration he had it on. Frodo had put the ring a couple of time before so it had the time to make it's work inside him. But Sam had put it on for the first time inside Mordor. It didn't have much chance to work on him. Added to this, Sauron's overmuching pride maybe didn't allow him even to think that anyone would have the guts to try and enter into Mordor and destroy the ring.
 

Grond

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I agree with you Strider97. If there was only one place in the whole of Middle-earth where my Ring of Power could be destroyed... you can be darn sure that anyone wanting to get there would have one hell of a time.

All of the entrances would have been guarded by Olog-hai and garrison upon garrison of orcs and the like. This is countered by Tolkien's assertion that Sauron could not comprehend anyone even toying with the idea of destroying the beautiful bauble. That is one of the weak links in the whole story for me. But it still made a beautiful story even so. :)
 

Strider97

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Anarcist- Your last point about Sauron not believiing that someone would try to destroy the ring is the reason many would give -See Thread 'Saurons Error". I agree with you that Sauron should have at least felt the rings presence when Sam put it on and used it. Frodo did not claim it for his own at Amon Hen, he simply used it. In Galadriels mirror he was not even wearing it.
 

Dhôn-Buri-Dhôn

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Well, of course, the Mirror of Galadriel may have simply given Frodo a vision of the Eye; Sauron may not have been on the other end of the line at the time.

The problem of Sam is the more difficult one, I think. If he wasn't actually inside Mordor, he was so close as to make no difference. The only explanation I can think of is that it was Sam's first use of the Ring. Sam had a down-to-earth personality; there were no Nazgul around, as there were for Frodo on Weathertop; and Cirith Ungol wasn't one of the "special places" like Amon Hen. Maybe you can think of Sauron's Eye as a kind of radar, and Sam had a very low "cross-section" at the time. Samwise = stealth technology?

Still, it's pretty careless of Sauron to miss that. Was he distracted at the time, perhaps? Was the Pelennor Fields battle underway?
 

Greenwood

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Ok. I found it. In The Tower of Cirith Ungol chapter in ROTK after Sam leaves Shelob's tunnel and his heading up to the crown of the pass he puts the Ring on for the second time. The book has the following passage: "Without any clear purpose he drew out the Ring and put it on again. Immediately he felt the great burden of its weight, and felt afresh, but now more strong and urgent than eer, the malice of the Eye of Mordor, searching, trying to pierce the shadows that it had made for its own defence, but which now hindered it in its unquiet and doubt." [emphasis added] A few paragraphs later as Sam actually crosses in to Mordor we have the following: "He took off the Ring, moved it may be by some deep premonition of danger, though to himself he thought only that he wished to see more clearly."

Thus we have Tolkien explaining Sauron's unawareness of Sam wearing the Ring on the very borders of Mordor as a result of Sauron's own powers.
 

Strider97

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"Without any clear purpose he drew out the Ring and put it on again. Immediately he felt the great burden of its weight, and felt afresh, but now more strong and urgent than eer, the malice of the Eye of Mordor, searching, trying to pierce the shadows that it had made for its own defence, but which now hindered it in its unquiet and doubt." [emphasis added] A few paragraphs later as Sam actually crosses in to Mordor we have the following: "He took off the Ring, moved it may be by some deep premonition of danger, though to himself he thought only that he wished to see more clearly."

Thus we have Tolkien explaining Sauron's unawareness of Sam wearing the Ring on the very borders of Mordor as a result of Sauron's own powers.

Thansk Greenwood- However may I use the same evidence and turn it around. "The eye was looking trying to pierce the shadows that it(Sauron) had made for its own defence". Sauron felt the presence of the ring right outside of his defensive shield. Then comes word that they have a halfling captured wearing a mithril coat, then he finds out he escapes with the aid of a large warrior-

Either he (Sauron) is incredibly stupid or Tolkien(who I usually defend to the last breath) has a plot flaw.

No way in Eru's middle earth would I not have had one nazgul and a gazillion orcs sitting their fat arses down at Mt. Doom.

Of course then we would not have a happy resolution to the story.
 
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Greenwood

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Strider97

I suppose it comes down to a question of how specific a feeling Sauron has during this episode with Sam. Going back to the Amon Hen incident, after Frodo removes the Ring Sauron completely misses him on Amon Hen: "A black shadow seemed to pass like an arm above him; it missed Amon Hen and groped out west and faded." If Sauron's awareness is equally vague when Sam has the Ring on in the Pass of Cirith Ungol, Sauron might have thought the Ring was away west of Cirith Ungol, as he did at Amon Hen. This would lead him to think that he had been troubled by someone wearing the Ring over near Minas Tirith; afterall the seige of Gondor was going on at that moment.

I am not saying you do not have a point in your reservations. Sam wearing the Ring on the very borders of Mordor has always bothered me a bit too. What I am saying is that Tolkien seems to have been aware of the plot problem himself and addressed it. Since he is the one that decides on the powers of his characters, as long as he keeps an internal consistency in the story and does not wildly violate the logic of his own story, I am willing to cut him some slack.

[edit: just correcting some old typos :D ]
 
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Strider97

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I concur that it was not wildly inconsistent and that Tolkien did see it and covered it for the purpose of the plot. History is always told from the eyes of the victor. Tolkien tells his history from the eyes of the good guys/victors- As a student of History I like to look at the story from the eyes of the losers and figure out the flaws in their strategies, characters or analysis that casued their failure. As Sun Tzu says if you only know yourself, You will be victorious half of the time; If you only know your enemy, you will be victorious half of the time; but if you know both yourself and the enemy you will be victorious all of the time.

Anyway- I just thought it was an interesting point-
 

Mithrandir

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Wow this is one good discussion here. Now everyone has very valid arguments but there is one thing I have not heard brought up.

Saron was completely distracted at this time. He was in the middle of a war at the exact same time of Sam's putting on of the ring. Not only this but he was having problems with Sauruman, and I am pretty sure he thought that Frodo was in the west with everyone else. The last thing he expected was for the ring to be brought into his own homeland, ripe for him to take. You see it was actually the perfect time for Sam to put on the ring because Sauron was too busy to see it. Sam didn't know this, but he got lucky. I feel this is where your answer lies. Tolkien did not have a plot failure, nor did he just leave it out, the answer is always there, just look hard enough.
~Mithers
 

Strider97

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I regret the words plot flaw-
I realy feel that Sauron was distracted by events and as Tolkien desribed Saurons state of mind seeing Frodo at Mt. Doom all the strategies of his enemies were laid bare before him. It was good timing for Sam to wear the ring but Tolkien acknowledged an action by Sauron, looking for the ring so he also acknowledged that Sauron knew it was somewhere close. The events caught up with him and he overlooked the fact perhaps but with everything else turning aginst him in the war you would have thought he would have considered this option.

Sauron had his trap set at the gates of Mordor.
He knew the armies massing against him were insufficient to defeat his forces.
He had 8 Nazgul left.
You would think that he would use one to find the missing halfling.
 
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Goro Shimura

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Anyone that plays chess can understand what happened to Sauron.

How often is it that a person get's several pieces up in a game... and then... just as he sets up what he thinks is an awesome attack... he finds himself destroyed with a rudimentary back rank mate.

The worst thing that can happen with you in chess is to become over confident because you think you opponent is stupid. You get so lost in your own plans that you don't realize that the seemingly pointless move he just made is actually a killer. All you think about is the final move that you want to make-- but you never get the chance!

Now... add to the above a time limit... you know you only have seconds to make a move... everything counts... the pressure is enormous....

Making strategic blunders is part of life... and history: especially when the stakes are high.

I think we tend to be over critical of the military decisions of Sauron, Gandalf, Aragorn, etc.

These are people-- not artificial intelligences!
 
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