Sauron ~ Sauron in the First Age ~ Sauron in the Second Age ~ Sauron in the Third Age ~ Important Dates ~ Names and Titles
The History of Sauron Stretches into the Far Past!
Originally a Maia of Aulë’s people, Sauron was early corrupted by Melkor and became his most trusted lieutenant.
In the Wars of Beleriand, Sauron was the most feared of Morgoth’s servants, but after the War of Wrath and the expulsion of the first Dark Lord, Sauron rose to become the greatest enemy of Elves and Men in the Second and Third Ages.
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Sauron’s Names and Titles
Sauron means “the Abhorred,” derived from the primitive Elvish word thaura meaning “detestable.” Letter #297
Gorthaur the Cruel
Gorthaur is the Sindarin equivalent of Sauron, containing the same element thaura as above as well as gor meaning “horror, dread.” “The Silmarillion: Index and Appendix – Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names,” entry for gor Lieutenant of Melkor Sauron was the chief of the servants of Melkor, or Morgoth. The Silmarillion: “Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor,” p. 47
This is the name of the werewolf form that Sauron took in his battle with Huan the Hound. The Silmarillion: “Of Beren and Luthien,” p. 175
Annatar, Lord of Gifts
Sauron came to the Elves of Eregion in a fair guise as Annatar, Lord of Gifts. The word anna means “gift” and the word tar means “lord.” The History of Middle-earth, vol. V, The Lost Road and Other Writings: “The Etymologies,” entries for ANA and TA3
Sauron also called himself Artano meaning “High Smith” when he worked with the Elven smiths of Eregion. The word ar means “high, royal” and tano means “craftsman, smith.” Unfinished Tales: “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn,” p. 253-54 note 7 The History of Middle-earth, vol. V, The Lost Road and Other Writings: “The Etymologies,” entry for TAN
Another name Sauron gave himself while in Eregion was Aulendil meaning “devoted to the Vala Aule.” The element ndil means “devotion.” Aule was a great smith and craftsman, and Sauron was originally one of his Maiar before he turned evil and switched his allegiance to Morgoth. Unfinished Tales: “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn,” p. 253-54 note 7 The Silmarillion:Index and “Appendix – Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names,” entry for (n)dil
Sauron the Deceiver
Sauron was called this by Elendil’s father Amandil because of the lies that Sauron used to corrupt the Men of Numenor. The Silmarillion:”Akallabeth,” p. 275
When Sauron occupied Dol Guldur in secret, he was known as the Necromancer. A necromancer is a sorcerer who can communicate with the dead, derived from the Greek nekros meaning “dead body” and manteia meaning “divination.”
The Lord of the Rings
Sauron created the One Ring in order to rule the other Rings of Power and become the Lord of the Rings. He was also called the Ring-maker. King of Men and Lord of the Earth After creating the One Ring, Sauron proclaimed himself King of Men and Lord of the Earth and he sought to master all of Middle-earth. The Silmarillion: “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age,” p. 289
Sauron was called variously the Dark Lord, the Lord of Mordor, the Lord of the Black Land, the Power of the Black Land, the Lord of Barad-dur, the Lord of the Dark Tower, the Black Master, the Black One, and the Black Hand.
The Lidless Eye
Sauron was represented by the Lidless Eye, which was his emblem. The Eye of Sauron was rimmed with red fire and the pupil was as black as a bottomless void. The Eye was ever-watchful and far-seeing.
Sauron was not actually a disembodied eye; rather, the Eye was a manifestation of his power. Sauron had a physical form in the Third Age. Tolkien wrote in Letter #246: “The form he took was that of a man of more than human stature, but not gigantic.”Also referred to as the Great Eye, the Red Eye, the Eye of Barad-dur, the Eye of Mordor, the Evil Eye, and simply the Eye.
Sauron was called the Nameless, the Nameless One, and the Nameless Enemy by those who would not speak his name.
Sauron the Base Master of Treachery
Gandalf called Sauron this after hearing Sauron’s terms of surrender at the Battle of the Morannon. (RotK, p. 166)
Sauron was referred to as the Shadow as his evil spread across Middle-earth.
Sauron was the Enemy of the free peoples of Middle-earth.
Notes 1 – This is the meaning given by Christopher Tolkien, and must be considered canonical. However, the ‘-on’ ending in this name presents an alternative interpretation. This is a genitive ending (‘of’, in other words), and where it appears in other names, it often indicates lordship or ownership. For example, Tauron (a name of Oromë) means ‘(Lord) of the Forest’. ‘Sauron’, then, could be translated ‘(Lord) of Abomination’.2 – This quote comes from The Silmarillion, 19 Of Beren and Lúthien, and hints at a peculiar characteristic of the Ainur’s shape-changing abilities. Injuries sustained in one form – in this case wounds from the battle with Huan – seem to persist to other forms. We see this again in The Lord of the Rings; Gollum says (in IV 3 The Black Gate is Closed) ‘He has only four [fingers] on the Black Hand’. This is a reference to Isildur’s cutting the Ring from his hand at the end of the Second Age, but Gollum is speaking at the end of the Third.
Though Sauron had built himself a new form since his defeat, he could not, it seems, recreate his lost finger. 3 – It is very noticeable that there is no mention of Sauron taking part in the War of Wrath. After the loss of his Isle, he fled to Dorthonion: the next we hear of him is then after the War, when he parleys with Eönwë, the captain of the Valar’s forces. The simple fact that Sauron survived Morgoth’s obliteration is very telling, and strongly suggests that he must not have taken an active part himself.
This is consistent with what we know of Sauron’s character – he always prefers to work from behind the scenes, manipulating events to his favour. On the rare occasions where he goes into battle himself, he is always defeated. This perhaps helps to explain his decision in the later Second Age not to offer battle to the armies of Númenor.Sauron’s desire to work from the shadows is most strongly represented in The Lord of the Rings itself: although he gives his name to that book, and is of pivotal importance to the plot, he never actually appears.