🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Stature or Form of Sauron in 3rd Age

pgt

Registered User
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
Messages
169
Reaction score
2
Can anybody provide guidance on this one? I've looked but find little to no reference on the subject. But this guy has the titular role!

The 2 times I'm curious about are when Sauron seems to figure prominently in this age. That is at it's beginning and end or thereabouts. 1) final battle of the last alliance where he strikes down GIl Galid and Elendil and is then downed by Isildur where he looses his finger etc. and then 2) the quest to destroy the ring and war of the ring.

There was also the time he was run out of Guldur but that was only relayed 3rd party and I'm guessing his form to be same/similar to the form he remained in through the end of the 3rd age and his destruction.

1. I presume he was at the battle and dressed accordingly. Also that he was probably of large stature or at least a capable warrior. The movie has him as a giant. Did PJ get it right or overdo it? Any references to his appearance at that time in any of the books?

2. At the end of the 3rd age he plays more of a behind the scenes shot caller. He doesn't really come forth and interact with any of the characters save one: Pippin. Pippin conveys little if anything as to his appearance. (in fact I thought the few words he uttered to Saruman er Pippin were somewhat informal for someone of such self-importance) Input?

PS: I do recall that way back when in previous ages as mentioned in the Sil, that he did take different shapes at times. But as they say, that was then, this is now. Since it took him a very loooong time to take a form again after being vanguished by Isildur I dont' get the idea that he changes shapes at the snap of a finger (anymore). Perhaps some of his power was lost or changed or vested in the ring by then... who knows.

***Another thread on this same topic has been merged with this one effective 02/06/02***
Grond
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Elanor2

Registered User
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Location
Germany
Hi,

What I remember from the Sil (sorry, I do not have the books in front of my PC now), Sauron could adopt any form he wanted, up to a certain limit. After Morgoth was defeated, he took a pleasant form to try to lure elves and humans into believing that he had really changed hart and was good again. So I do not think that he was a giant then.

However, if I remember well, after the forging of the ring, the men from Numenor came to give battle to him in ME, but he saw that he could not win so he pretended again to submit and was taken prisoner to Numenor. There, over some thousand years he corrupted the monarchy until they disobeyed the Valar and tried to conquer Aman.

Sauron remaind in Numenor as the Valars relinquished their power to Eru so that he could change the shape or Arda, drowning Numenor and making Aman inaccesible to humans. His body was destroyed when Numenor went under, and after that he took quite some time to get into shape again. And this time he could not longer take pleasant shapes to lure people, but only horrid ones. Of course, powerful ones as well as horrid.

Regards. Elanor2
 

Walter

Flamekeeper
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
1,766
Reaction score
3
Location
Austria
For a post without "cheating" Your's is remarkably well done Elanor :D

I haven't found any references about Sauron appearing in a physical form after the battle of Dagorlad - at least not in the LotR or the Sil, so I simply assumed he had none - except for his appearance as "The (lidless) Eye" on several occasions. And I also thought that this was what Pippin saw. And whenever something has to get done that requires a physical presence it is done by the Nazgûl...

Of course I may be wrong, maybe someone with a more profound background can help some more...
 

Elanor2

Registered User
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Location
Germany
True. The only reference of Sauron "getting shape" again is when Bilbo found the ring. That time Sauron was the Nigromant in Dol Guldur (I hope I got the name right) at the south of the Mirkwood. The White coucil thought that he was one of the Nazgul, but Gandalf discovered that it was Sauron himself. However, they do not mention how, or what shape he was in at the time. Nigromant is not specific enough.
 

Gandalf714

Registered User
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Location
NJ
I think you mean necromancer Elanor2, but like you I don't have my FOTR in front of me. As to his shape, I don't recall any mention of his looks at the time of the end of 3rd Age. He may however have had a body, at the end of FOTR Frodo felt like a finger was reaching out to him.
 

Ragnarok

Grand Master (Funk)
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
Location
Chillin'
Sauron was a Maiar. The most powerful one. (I think) He could take the shape of many things, wolf and human-giant were the most likely. Sauron mustve been in physical form during the Battle of Oroduin. Gil-galad and Elendil werent attacking a big eye. :p I think he was like PJ showed him. Bigger than a normal human, clad in some kind of armour that looks scary.

BTW Elanor2, it's Necromancer. Not Nigromant, hehe. :) (A necromancer was a magician that could raise the dead at his will. What a cool dude.)
 

Walter

Flamekeeper
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
1,766
Reaction score
3
Location
Austria
Ragnarok: You are correct that Sauron was a Maia, and as such a spirit rather than a creature, who at first could assume various physical forms to his liking. However it always seemed to take a while until he could regain another physical form after his "body" died. Therefor I purposely wrote: I haven't found any references about Sauron appearing in a physical form after the battle of Dagorlad

Also please keep in mind that those of us who don't have English as our first language - like myself and probably El also - might have read the books in our native language where many of the names have been changed in the translations (e.g. Shelob is named Kankra in the german issue) so it will happen at times that one accidently makes such a mistake like El with the "Necromancer"...

If You nonetheless want to help a member correct such a "mistake" try a subtle hint (like I did at the beginning of my posting where I tried to hint that Maiar is plural and the singular form of it is Maia) ;)
 
Last edited:

Elanor2

Registered User
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Location
Germany
Necromancer. Right. I think that I used the spanish translation, nor the correct English name.
 

Elanor2

Registered User
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Location
Germany
Hi Walter. Wie gets dir?

If "Kankra" is the German name for Shelob, in Spanish is Ella-Laraña (She-TheSpider).

Ich hoffe das, wann mein Deutsch besser geworden ist, kann ich Der Herren des Ringes in Deutsch lesen.

Elanor2
 

Cian

sylvan madman
Joined
Sep 19, 2001
Messages
530
Reaction score
2
Gollum describes Sauron's "hand" in LotR, but for better 'evidence' of a Third Age (ultimately) physical Sauron, Tolkien's Letters are the thing. The Prof. is very consistent in this regard in his various letters. In one quote JRRT states that Sauron was always "de-bodied" when vanquished; another (minimally) describes Saurons "physical" form:

Tolkien on Sauron, the context is the "Palantír struggle" with Aragorn, a Third Age event of course. JRRT explains first that Aragorn was the rightful owner, and:

"Also the contest took place at a distance, and in a tale which allows the incarnation of great spirits in a physical and destructible form their power must be far greater when actually physically present. Sauron should be thought of as very terrible. The form that he took was that of a man of more than human stature, but not gigantic." JRRT
 

Dengen-Goroth

Dark Lord of Arda
Joined
Aug 19, 2001
Messages
580
Reaction score
0
Location
NJ
PJ used art depicting Melkor, not Sauron, to show him in FoTR. Sauron could no longer attain a fair shape after the fall of Numenor. He was not the most powerful of Maia. He was unable to take a true form by the war of the ring because he placed to much power into the One. He did have a physical form during the battle, though doubt he actually came out and fought. He basically hurled stones from Barad-Dur.
 

LadyEowyn

Registered User
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
60
Reaction score
0
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
Ragnarok-

A necromancer isn't a person. It's the practice of communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future. (supposedly) In other words, it's Black magic. :)
 

Grond

Morgoth's Mace
Joined
Oct 31, 2001
Messages
3,040
Reaction score
37
Location
Somewhere in a Tolkien story.
Originally posted by Dengen-Goroth
PJ used art depicting Melkor, not Sauron, to show him in FoTR. Sauron could no longer attain a fair shape after the fall of Numenor. He was not the most powerful of Maia. He was unable to take a true form by the war of the ring because he placed to much power into the One. He did have a physical form during the battle, though doubt he actually came out and fought. He basically hurled stones from Barad-Dur.
Dengen, as an astute student of Tolkien, I'm sure you realize that Sauron came down from the Barad-dur and wrestled with Elendil and Gil-galad. I don't have my book in front of me either, but know that Sauron couldn't take a form that was ever again pleasant to behold, but I'm sure that would make his form all the more terribly and awe inspiring. He would have had to be exceptionally strong to vanquish both Gil-galad and Elendil... so in this one, I'm not so sure that PJ would have been far off. Maybe 9 or 10 feet instead of 20.;)
 

LadyEowyn

Registered User
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
60
Reaction score
0
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
Grond-

You have once again posted exactly (Well, not exactly but pretty close) what I was about to post. You seem to be a faster typer then I am.=)
If you keep this up, I'll never get to post again.=)
 

Bucky

Registered User
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Messages
1,623
Reaction score
12
Location
Near New Haven
Regardless of the movie version, of course Sauron had a body at the end of the third age.
Gollum said that he only had nine fingers but that was enough.

It says in Akallabeth that Sauron could not take a pleasant shape after the drowning of Numenor.
He formed a new shape...and the eye of Sauron few could endur.

So, in the 3rd age, he still has the eye; he's probably in the same form as prior to his defeat in the 2nd age.

And, after Pippin looks in the palantir, he says 'the winged shapes grew & filled all the globe...then HE came'. Sounds like a form to me.
 

Cian

sylvan madman
Joined
Sep 19, 2001
Messages
530
Reaction score
2
Originally posted by Dengen-Goroth
He was not the most powerful of Maia. He was unable to take a true form by the war of the ring because he placed to much power into the One.
Tolkien (minimally) describes the act of self-incarnation in Letters and makes no mention of the loss of the Ring as a hindrance to a physical form ... he does make the statement that it took Sauron longer to re-build after the Last Alliance (than after the fall of Númenor) but again, the Ring is not mentioned as the possible "reason", but rather that: "... each building-up used up some of the inherent energy of the spirit, which might be called the 'will' or the effective link between the indestructible mind and being and the realization of its imagination." JRRT.

In fact Tolkien ends the 'explanation' (the "re-building" of form of Sauron) by saying: "The impossibility of re-building after the destruction of the Ring, is sufficiently clear 'mythologically' in the present book." Note after destruction of Ring, not loss.

In the quote I gave earlier Tolkien basically says that Sauron had the physical form of a Man (in a Third Age context).
 

Úlairi

Crying in the Wilderness
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
1,965
Reaction score
6
Location
Down the rabbit hole...
Cian is correct in saying that Gollum did describe Sauron's hand. In truth he does. In the Two Towers, at the Ash mountains (the mountains surrounding Mordor) Gollum says that there are four fingers on 'The Black Hand'. I believe that Sauron CAN take physical shape in LOTR yet taking the form of the 'Great Eye' is a preferred form and with that form he can see farther and can monitor the whereabouts of the Ring whenever Frodo puts it on. Remeber when, at the end of FOTR, Frodo puts on the Ring to get away from Boromir when he reaches the top of a mountain that overlooks Mordor and at once Sauron captures his gaze with the Great Eye.
 

lilhobo

Retired
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Messages
536
Reaction score
1
dont you this JRR could have used the BIG RED EYE as a metaphor rather than a "real" form for Sauron???

as an all seeing being rather than an eyeball floating around???

coz what good is a ring if u have no fingers??/
 

Bucky

Registered User
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Messages
1,623
Reaction score
12
Location
Near New Haven
Tolkien says, in The Silmarillion, in Of The Rings Of Power And The Third Age:

'There (Barad-Dur) now he brooded in the dark, until he had wrought for himself a new shape, and it was terrible, for his fair semblance had departed for ever when he was cast into the abyss at the drowning of Numenor. He took up again the great Ring and clothed himself in power, and the malice of the Eye of Sauron few even of the great among Elves and Men could endure'

It was in this form that he fought & was defeated by The Last Alliance & the ring was cut off by Isildur. Gollum certainly saw that missing finger as is previously stated.

However, I seriously doubt Sauron was able to change (in the post Numenor days) from a manly form as The Dark Lord to a big eye.
I strongly suspect that his form as a Dark Lord post Numenor was one with only one eye.
 

Thread suggestions

Top