Sauron ~ Sauron in the First Age ~ Sauron in the Second Age ~ Sauron in the Third Age ~ Important Dates ~ Names and Titles
Sauron ~ the Dark Lord of Mordor
“The Ring misseth, maybe, the heat of Sauron’s hand, which was black yet burned like fire.”
LOTR: FOTR B2 C2
Few had stood before the throne of the Dark Lord in his impregnable fastness of Barad-dûr at the end of the Third Age in Middle Earth. And fewer still remembered a time when Sauron walked openly under the light. Elrond perhaps… maybe a few others. Sauron was born of the race of Ainur and became a mighty Maiar of Aulë. Sauron was early corrupted by Melkor and became his most trusted lieutenant.
After the War of Wrath and the defeat of his master Morgoth, the beginning of Sauron’s reign as Dark Lord began: he set himself no less a goal than the conquest of Middle-earth, and perhaps even of Númenor itself. He took the fenced and mountainous land of Mordor, and there began building his mighty Dark Tower of Barad-dûr. All of the Ainur had the ability to change their form, but none held so many different shapes as Sauron. During the First Age, his accustomed form seems to have been that of a dark sorcerer, commanding a host of evil things, and especially orcs, wolves and men.
In the Second Age, during the time when the Rings of Power were made, he took on the semblance of a noble teacher. However, his shape-changing abilities were not limitless, and after the downfall of Númenor they were severely curtailed. After his defeat in the War of the Last Alliance, things became even worse for him, and he lost his physical form altogether, he was robbed now of that shape in which he had wrought so great an evil, so that he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men, he forsook his body, and his spirit fled far away and hid in waste places; and he took no visible shape again for many long years.
At the time of the last War of the Ring the Nameless One like his Servants the Nazgûl had no form under the light of day… only a shadow that stretched out in his infinite desire for domination over all of Middle Earth.
The Ring was cut from Sauron’s hand. On the slopes of Orodruin, where Gil-galad died, and Elendil fell, and Narsil broke beneath him; but Sauron himself was Overthrown, and Isildur cut the Ring from his hand with the hilt-shard of his Father’s sword… and so the first realm of Sauron was ended and never again was able to take human form.
Sauron forged the One in the cracks of doom in Orodruin in the Second Age of the world placing a great part of his strength of old within it. All of his mind and thought are consumed by the One Ring for which he longs.
Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul
Many described the enemy as a great Eye, lidless and wreathed in Flame… the Eye of the Dark Lord was ever searching for the One Ring of Power. They are one… the Ring and the Dark Lord. All of the power of the Enemy was in motion.
On the the high-seat of seeing upon Amon Hen, Frodo with the power of the Ring was able to see into the Land of Shadow.
“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 leapt toward him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know exactly where he was. Amon Lhaw it touched. It glanced upon Tol Brandir – he threw himself from the seat, crouching, covering his head with his gray hood.”
“A black shadow seemed to pass like an arm above him; it missed Amon Hen and groped out west, and faded.”
From The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the Chapter ‘The Breaking of the Fellowship’
Upon Mount Doom, Frodo turn to the east and for only a moment see the high window atop the Dark Tower and the Eye of Sauron in all it’s terrible glory.
“…and them moved as if by some compulsion,
he turned slowly to face the East.”
“Far off the Shadows of Sauron hung; but torn by some gust of wind out of the world, or else moved by some great disquiet within, the mantling clouds swirled and for a moment drew aside; and then he saw, rising black, blacker and darker then the vast shades amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dûr.”
“One moment only it stared out, but as from some great window immeasurably high there stabbed northward a flame of red, the flicker of a piercing Eye; and then the shadows were furled again and the terrible vision was removed. The Eye was not turned toward them: it was gazing north to were the Captains of the West stood at bay, and thither all it’s malice was now bent, as the power moved to strike its deadly blow; but Frodo at that dreadful glimpse fell as one stricken mortally”
From The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the chapter ‘Mount Doom’
As Frodo Sam and Gollum marched through the Dead Marshes, Frodo was able to feel the presence of Sauron. It came form Mordor in the direction in which they were heading. The terrible presence of the Eye in the Dark Tower… ever searching… for the One Ring!
“The Eye: that horrible growing sense of a hostile will that strove with a great power to pierce all shadows of cloud, and earth, and flesh, and to see you: pin you under it’s deadly gaze, naked, immovable. So thin, so frail and thin, the veils were become that still warded it off.”
“Frodo knew just where the present habitation and heart of that will now was: as certainly as a man can tell the direction of the sun with his eyes shut. He was facing it, and its potency beat upon his brow.”
From The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the chapter ‘The Passage of the Marshes’