The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Favorite chapters, the black gate opens

Hamfast Gamgee
SnevaH Yerg

Feb 17, 8:35pm

Views: 951
Favorite chapters, the black gate opens

Hello welcome to this read-through of this chapter. Now why have I chosen this chapter? Well. I like it in a way. It as a very emotional chapter. In that it is very gloomy. Just about all the way through. And this is after a victory over Sauron's forces in the biggest battle of the 3rd age. But that seems to matter little in this chapter as we still have the rest of Sauron's forces to take on, We do start of with a nice bitter jest from Prince Imrahil. I like my jest's bitter and Tolkien does do this part well. It is in a sharp contrast with much of the rest of the story. But in this chapter it really does look like the s** has hit the fan. There is no getting away from it, no last minute rescues like the Pelonner, now we have the good guys just expecting to be wiped. The total gloomiest seems to appear in almost every paragraph. Even little bits of hope like a seemingly good win against an ambush is shown to be a false hope. But in some ways this rings true to me. In fact, whilst Tolkien dislike analogy if we where to be analgies about life and the real world in general without getting too political, this chapter seems to be the one that fits. After all, when was the last time you heard good news from the news channels, right or left? One other thing about this chapter is that we see a bit of Sauron diplomacy. The bad guys can be diplomatic, but it is a rough form of the art. The Mouth of Sauron's diplomacy reminds me a bit of the start of the fifth battle in the Silm or possibly Sauron's dealings with Gorlim in Beren and Luthien.


Feb 18, 1:54pm

Views: 840
Gloomy? Yes, but maybe also weirdly reassuring?

Thanks for taking this chapter on HG! yes absolutely - it's gloom, gloom, gloom. Tolkien really follows through with what Gandalf told The Last Debate: there's every likelihood that this isn't going to work, but it's necessary to do the right thing anyway. I think we get a real sense that the best the Lords of the West can do is a diversion to help Frodo and Sam succeed. And that's a total act of faith because they don't know how Frodo and Sam are getting on. We readers of course do have extra information and, as is often the case in LOTR, it doesn't help - we have the now out-of-date information that Frodo has been captured.

I can think of two things Tolkien gets from this: I think there's a simple storytelling matter of suspense, and I see him as emphasizing one of the themes of the book.

As far as storytelling advantage goes, I can see similarities with much less thoughtful or profound storytellers than Tolkien. Let's choose the Star Wars screenplays written by George Lucas. Lucas seemed often to rely upon the small heroic party that has to sneak into the Throne Room and capture the Viceroy, make the tricky torpedo shot, or disable the shields on the forest moon of Endor. There are the same advantages I see Tolkien getting here: the side we're rooting for has to do more that just win the pitched battle. It gives the heroes something that only they can do.
As for thoughtful themes,Tolkien has been explicit that in Middle-earth it's essential to work out as best you can what the Right Thing To Do is,and then carry it out to the best of your abilities. You should do what you can to ensure success, but in the end the chances of it shouldn't hold you back. Gandalf has been perfectly clear about that (and so have other admirable characters such as Galadriel or Theoden). I suppose that Gandalf is speaking here as the representative of the Valar. He might also be acting as a mouthpiece for views Tolkien had about real life. Sometimes I can find that philosophy - just get on with doing the right thing - consoling.
If I get thoughtful about Tolkien being thoughtful, I wonder whether he's combining:
  • The old Norse and related cultures' ideas that humanity should side with the gods against the forces of chaos. No victory is likely within the world of time, but concepts such as honour, fate and courage make the fight worthwhile anyway. This is combined with...
  • ... what I'd suppose were his own beliefs as a Catholic that (despite all the chaos and bad stuff we see about us) the world is created and run by a benevolent and probably omnipotent god (Eru in the case of Middle-earth). Things go wrong either because of people exercising their free will in bad ways (if they can't choose to do that, they don't have free will), or because all the slaughter and mayhem is in some way part of a larger greater good. Things done in an attempt to thwart Eru's plan (or just out of pure selfishness) end up unexpectedly helping things along instead, whereas apparently tiny positive gestures can snowball into huge effects (Tolkien has shown us examples of both in this book). The net effects of good will and 'evil will shall evil mar' can lead to short-term victories for 'our side', though it's a game without a final whistle or checkmate. The ultimate victory is still not available within the world of time - it's just that there is hope that it might be available outside of the world of time.
I appreciate Tolkien not using his story as a pulpit here (c.f. CS Lewis in Narnia). I means the story doesn't collapse if you don't agree with the author theologically.

I sometimes wonder whether Tolkien hadn't spent some time thinking about 'The Problem Of Evil' - he was after all orphaned and then lost his friends in the First World War. What was the meaning of all that, he might have thought? Politics of his own times was likely just as dispiriting (if not more so) as our own can be - his life by the time he'd published LOTR had taken in World War I, the Great Depression, and the apparent failure of democracies against the rise of populist, aggressive totalitarian powers (both fascists and communists). Then there was World War II, the collapse of the British Empire, and the prospect of instant nuclear annihilation in the Cold War. Plenty to mull over!

"Yes, I am half-elven. No, it does not mean that I 'have one pointy ear' "
Sven Elven, proprietor of the Rivendell convenience store.

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Feb 18, 1:55pm)


Feb 19, 2:40am

Views: 825
I think you left out invasions of locusts, and asteroids killing all life on Earth

Yeah, pretty gloomy. On first read, I was genuinely taken aback at how things could all go so wrong, and even poor Pippin seems to die. Who cares if the Eagles are coming? They're too late!

But after many re-reads, I think this was Tolkien setting up a cliffhanger, so maybe all those re-reads have jaded me some.

(This post was edited by CuriousG on Feb 19, 2:53am)


Feb 19, 2:52am

Views: 822
The Mouth of Sauron certainly surprised me on first read

and in a way, he still fascinates me. Sauron was willing to fake diplomacy--really? Because for 99% of the book, he seems to be single-minded in killing and dominating other people. Having an ambassador, even a nasty and rude one, adds more dimension to Sauron's character.

And then my imagination is kindled by the Mouth of Sauron himself. Did he undertake real diplomatic missions to the East and South, and is that how Sauron got his allies/cronies from those areas? Was there a whole stable of Mouths of Sauron, or just one? And how much did he really know about Gandalf, because I think he dismisses him a little too readily, as if he's afraid of him and doesn't want to show it.

Otherwise, yes, it's an emotional chapter, and one where people have to face death and defeat. The "faint-hearted" have already been dismissed, so no one present tries to run away or throw away their weapons and surrender. They all look death in the face, even Pippin, whom I would vote least likely to do so. But I think that has a lot to do with Wiz's comment that they've decided to do the right thing and see it through, however it ends, so they have a sort of moral peace to comfort them no matter what happens.

I would also say that my outlook on things, even after many readings, is still in line with Denethor's: they might win a battle or two by luck or by accident, but the power of Sauron that is building against them will grind them down in the end, and it seems the tone of the whole trilogy has built up to this chapter. So what if you drown the Nazgul near Rivendell or recapture your own fleet: you're going to ultimately lose, so don't let those victories go to your head. And really, given that Frodo fails the test at the end, the whole quest does end in failure in that sense, just as the Captains of the West are nearly all wiped out. So while I replied to Wiz that I see this as a constructed cliffhanger for plot purposes (and I do), I would also say it's the theme of the book finally ripening and bearing bitter fruit. I'm just glad it doesn't all end here!!!


Feb 19, 3:55am

Views: 813
The Mouth of Sauron

In Reply To
And then my imagination is kindled by the Mouth of Sauron himself. Did he undertake real diplomatic missions to the East and South, and is that how Sauron got his allies/cronies from those areas? Was there a whole stable of Mouths of Sauron, or just one? And how much did he really know about Gandalf, because I think he dismisses him a little too readily, as if he's afraid of him and doesn't want to show it.

This does make me wonder whether the Mouth of Sauron was also the envoy who approached King Dáin and possibly other dwarven kings or lords (say in the Blue Mountains or in the East). I also wonder if Sauron was aware of the fate of Balin's colony. It seems likely to me.



Feb 19, 11:50am

Views: 785
One bit has never quite worked for me

I think Tolkien over-does it:

“‘Name the terms,’ said Gandalf steadily, but those nearby saw the anguish in his face, and now he seemed an old and wizened man, crushed, defeated at last. They did not doubt that he would accept.
[my bolds]

I can't think who would credibly imagine that Gandalf would surrender for the return of Frodo.

Obviously Gandalf is a compassionate person and the idea that Frodo has been captured and will (of course now be tortured) would be horrible. Certainly if the Ring has been captured it is hopeless and they are all going to die, but they were expecting probably to die anyway. Sauron has plenty of conventional forces to defeat them, even if he doesn't have the Ring. But it seems pretty incredible that anyone would trust Sauron whatsoever, so surrendering won't achieve anything. And in any case as a reader I couldn't bring myself to imagine that Tolkien would go for the 'they brought out the tortured prisoner' plot line. So I immediately sensed there was a plot twist to come, though on first reading I didn't work out what it was.

Other than that sentence it sort of works. It makes every sense for Gandalf to play for as much time as possible in case Frodo is still on his quest (that's the whole point of having gone to Mordor at all). And it seems credible that Sauron might like to taunt his enemies before crushing them.

Do you think that Gandalf ever really believes that Sauron has captured the Ring, or even the hobbits? We've debated this before, but I'd be interested to find out what people in this discussion think.

"Yes, I am half-elven. No, it does not mean that I 'have one pointy ear' "
Sven Elven, proprietor of the Rivendell convenience store.


Feb 19, 6:03pm

Views: 758
Foul Messengers

Maybe the Mouth went to Dain. The messenger is described vaguely enough that it could have been him; he's not even identified as wearing black, just showing up at night, which anyone can do. The things that makes me think it's a Nazgul is the hissing he made (though anyone can hiss) and that Sauron trusted only the Nazgul to recover the Ring. But Gloin also reports Dain saying the message came under a "fair cloak," and no one (the Gaffer, Farmer Maggot, etc) who meets the Nazgul in the Shire or Bree ever thinks there's anything fair about them, so the hints point in both directions.

‘Then about a year ago a messenger came to Dáin, but not from Moria – from Mordor: a horseman in the night, who called Dáin to his gate. The Lord Sauron the Great, so he said, wished for our friendship. Rings he would give for it, such as he gave of old. And he asked urgently concerning hobbits, of what kind they were, and where they dwelt. “For Sauron knows,” said he, “that one of these was known to you on a time.”

‘At this we were greatly troubled, and we gave no answer. And then his fell voice was lowered, and he would have sweetened it if he could. “As a small token only of your friendship Sauron asks this,” he said: “that you should find this thief,” such was his word, “and get from him, willing or no, a little ring, the least of rings, that once he stole. It is but a trifle that Sauron fancies, and an earnest of your good will. Find it, and three rings that the Dwarf-sires possessed of old shall be returned to you, and the realm of Moria shall be yours for ever. Find only news of the thief, whether he still lives and where, and you shall have great reward and lasting friendship from the Lord. Refuse, and things will not seem so well. Do you refuse?”

‘At that his breath came like the hiss of snakes, and all who stood by shuddered, but Dáin said: “I say neither yea nor nay. I must consider this message and what it means under its fair cloak.”

‘“Consider well, but not too long,” said he.

‘“The time of my thought is my own to spend,” answered Dáin.

‘“For the present,” said he, and rode into the darkness.

‘Heavy have the hearts of our chieftains been since that night. We needed not the fell voice of the messenger to warn us that his words held both menace and deceit; for we knew already that the power that has re-entered Mordor has not changed, and ever it betrayed us of old. Twice the messenger has returned, and has gone unanswered.


Feb 19, 6:16pm

Views: 755
My take on this is that Gandalf is being just as deceptive as Sauron & his Mouth

He's putting on a show of anguish and defeat that is so convincing that even his friends think it's real. But he really does need to stall as long as possible, because his pragmatism would say that having the combined armies of Rohan and Gondor slaughtered in a heap isn't an acceptable outcome if two minutes later Frodo has destroyed the Ring.

I can think of at least two other times when Tolkien plays with the reader's perception and deliberately creates a bubble which he then pops. First is with Saruman:


Gandalf would ascend into the tower, to discuss deep things beyond their comprehension in the high chambers of Orthanc. The door would be closed, and they would be left outside, dismissed to await allotted work or punishment. Even in the mind of Théoden the thought took shape, like a shadow of doubt: ‘He will betray us; he will go – we shall be lost.’

Then Gandalf laughed. The fantasy vanished like a puff of smoke.

And the second is Merry looking upon Theoden as the latter surveys Minas Tirith under siege and seems to despair:

The horses were uneasy. But the king sat upon Snowmane, motionless, gazing upon the agony of Minas Tirith, as if stricken suddenly by anguish, or by dread. He seemed to shrink down, cowed by age. Merry himself felt as if a great weight of horror and doubt had settled on him. His heart beat slowly. Time seemed poised in uncertainty. They were too late! Too late was worse than never! Perhaps Théoden would quail, bow his old head, turn, slink away to hide in the hills.

We know how that turned out!

But digging up examples like this isn't to dismiss your point, because on my first read, I took Gandalf at face value and really did think he was going to capitulate to the Mouth's terms. So Tolkien fooled a 12-year-old boy reading this, but I don't think an adult would buy into Gandalf, at this point in the saga, breaking down so easily. I'd just say that Tolkien likes to play with reader perceptions.


Feb 19, 7:52pm

Views: 751
I've always assumed that Gandalf noted that Sting was missing

and so concluded that only one of the hobbits was actually captured. The Mouth immediately confirms this guess by referring to "he that bore these things" and continues to talk about just one prisoner to be exchanged for the West's surrender.

And of course if Sauron had recovered the Ring, we have to imagine that everything after that moment would be different. Gandalf, later revealed to be a ring-wearer himself, would surely know the instant the One was re-claimed just as Celebrimbor did at its creation. And Sauron wouldn't then need to play a charade negotiation before simply moving on to total victory.

So Gandalf knows the Ring is still at large, carried hopefully by either Sam or Frodo. And he tests the theory that perhaps not even one hobbit is captive, simply his gear, by daring the Mouth to produce a live hobbit for inspection - and the Mouth flubs it:
" 'Let him be brought forth and yielded to us, and then we will consider these demands.’
It seemed then to Gandalf, intent, watching him as a man engaged in fencing with a deadly foe, that for the taking of a breath the Messenger was at a loss..." (LR V.10)
As CuriousG has already noted, your instincts about a plot-twist coming were good, because this "crushed, defeated at last" act of Gandalf's has already been used at Isengard, in an almost exactly similar situation. The Mouth thinks "that his sport went well", but it's actually Gandalf's sport that is going well.

Tolkien had his tropes, and he loved to play with them.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Feb 19, 9:52pm

Views: 743
Mouth of Sauron

When reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy again some years back I picked up on a comment that Aragorn makes in early Two Towers when they discuss the Helmets of the Orcs that Boromir slew.
Legolas says that Sauron does not use the runes, to which Aragorn adds, nor does he use his true name or permit it to be spoken.
Given that the rune on the helmet was an S rune I assume that by his true name, Aragorn is referring to the name Sauron. Would make sense also that Sauron forbids this name as it apparently means, the abhorred one.
Yet here at at very gates of Mordor, Saurons own most trusted Lieutenant trots out and happily announces himself to be the mouth of Sauron?

The real explanation is easy enough. Tolkien forgot to go back and correct it, or else didn't think it important.
What is the in-world explanation though?
Did the messenger really say something else? Like the mouth of Zigur or Mairon, but the chroniclers of the Red Book chose to use Saurons, true name, because even after his defeat they would never refer to him by any other name?
Or did the messenger deliberately use the name Sauron thinking that this was the only name the enemies of Sauron would recognize him by? Kind of bold to do so right in front of the greater part of his own armies.
Or did the messenger really introduce himself by his own name, but the Gondorians hated him so much, they refused to mention his name, and decided to simply refer to him as the mouth of Sauron in their history?

(This post was edited by InTheChair on Feb 19, 10:04pm)


Feb 19, 9:59pm

Views: 736
Maybe it was both a man and a nazgul.

I think in some of the early drafts to Lord of the Rings there some hints that the Witch-King, or Wizard-King as he was called first, still had the ability to go between the real and the wraith world, by wearing or removing his ring.

Could have been the Wizard-King himself, not wearing a ring, and the hissing is like a bit of his wraith personality shining through when he gets upset.

Probably it was just some other Man in Saurons service though. Possibly the Mouth of Sauron but that would be a long ride for him just to bring a message.

Interesting that he apparently also used the name Sauron. The Lord Sauron the great. Saurons speech-police corps seem to have been pretty lax.


Feb 20, 1:46am

Views: 727
A villain by any other name

‘S is for Sauron,’ said Gimli. ‘That is easy to read.’

‘Nay!’ said Legolas. ‘Sauron does not use the elf-runes.’ [Except he did on the One Ring.]

‘Neither does he use his right name, nor permit it to be spelt or spoken,’ said Aragorn. ‘And he does not use white. The Orcs in the service of Barad-dûr use the sign of the Red Eye.’ He stood for a moment in thought. ‘S is for Saruman, I guess,’

I have to wonder how Aragorn knows so much, unless he was in Mordor in disguise somehow, spying extensively.

As for the Sauron speech-police, I wonder if at this point in the book, Tolkien figured the Mouth needed to use the only name that readers are familiar without making the scene convoluted. I would otherwise interpret Aragorn's remarks to mean that Sauron doesn't permit his lowly Orcs to talk around the campfire and say, "So, who is Sauron going to kill and torture next?" and instead they have to refer to him as "our Dark Lord" or "the Almighty" or whatever.

But it's interesting that Aragorn even specifies that Sauron won't allow his name to be spelled. I'd think there would be monuments to his ego in Mordor, or murals in his Barad-Dur with captions like "Lord Sauron in all His Glory in Numenor, Causing Its Fall" or whatever. But maybe this was just a detail-of-the-moment Tolkien invented to make sure his AGL team concluded that they should be headed toward Saruman and not Sauron.


Feb 20, 4:06am

Views: 720
As InTheChair pointed out

The Fell Messenger to Dain apparently used his lord's name, as well.

We might explain that away as Gloin using shorthand rather than a direct quote, or else as this being Sauron's policy of declaring himself - but in the latter case, Aragorn and Legolas' (how is he supposed to know anything???) Information is sadly outdated.

It is true that Gorbag and Shagrat speak of Him (but the, so does Pippin), and Grishnakh of the Great Eye - but this could just be some sort of respect to, or fear of, royalty, and the latter as an image of power and/or torture (the Witch-king also referred to Sauron as the Lidless Eye).

So I guess that Tolkien indeed forgot - but the anomaly is the scene you quoted. Perhaps he had in mind Melkor being known as Morgoth - the name Feanor gave him was a direct insult and challange, which he naturally resented.

And eegarding the runes on the Ring - Gandalf says there are no equivalent letters in the Dark Speech for such delicate work. But is there any Dark Script at all? Can orcs read and write? They seem to rely on verbal messengers.

Thinking about things I don't understand


Feb 20, 6:18am

Views: 711
Then you were more perceptive than I was

In my first reading I probably missed it; and then I thought it was a hint for readers with better heads than myself; not until reading some piece of fanfic (possibly the Gandalf Diaries, or something similar), did the idea occur to me.

I had never compared this with the Orthanc confrontation; however, Gandalf has his moments of apparent despair, to which he responds with defiance rather than giving up: when the goblins light up his tree, at the Battle of Five Armies, on the Bridge of Khazad-dum, at the Gate of Minas Tirith. We might realise he is not yet defeated; but the scenes work only because we suppose that the wizard is really staring at defeat.

However, in one case this sort of math (only one casualty / prisoner, hence one might still be free, and there is still hope) is used - by Faramir comforting Frodo, in The Window on the West.

Thinking about things I don't understand

Hamfast Gamgee
SnevaH Yerg

Feb 20, 11:04am

Views: 694
Some more points

Right, some more points and possibly comments about this chapter. I like all of your postings, keep them coming! You know, given Tolkien's love of tragic endings, sometimes, did he ever consider having the army of the West defeated and our heroes making a heroic last stand and then all dying tragically? Is there any evidence anywhere of this? About the Mouth of Sauron a few more points. Why did he call himself the Mouth of Sauron? Didn't Sauron have one of his own? Or did he lose it with his finger. Or possibly as Pippin discovered Sauron doesn't communicate that way. The text says that Mouth was of the Black Numorean demoniation, I have wondered if he had the blood of the kings of Gondor in his viens somehow. From the ship-kings who defected after the kin-strife, perhaps. This would give his rule some kind of legitamacy. Or at least some justification to those men in Sauron's service. Oh, and about the Mouth, I have looked on the Interenet for pictures of him and it is hard work finding any that are not movie-related. I put out a challenge for anyone to find non-movie Mouth of Sauron! I didn't mind the movie mouth to much, putting aside Aragorn killing him as opposed to the far more subtle but more effective version in the book, but I might like to see another interpretation. I think I saw one, but I would swear it was really Richard 3rd looked an awful lot like him!


Feb 20, 1:03pm

Views: 684
Tolkien's love of tragic endings?

I think I know what you mean by this, but as I understand his approach to this kind of tale, Tolkien was most attracted to endings where Good triumphs over Evil but at a high cost to those who fought for the Good. He also felt the power of staging an eucatastrophe, an unlooked-for victory granted by the grace of God just as the hero is about to go down fighting. Both of these story structures follow his religious beliefs about the workings of God in the real world, I think.

Thus from its very conception as a tale The Lord of the Rings was never going to conclude with heroic deaths for all the main characters even if, as we could suppose, the story could still result in the destruction of the One Ring by Frodo. That would be just before his own subsequent death due to Gandalf not being available to rescue him and Sam!

The tale of Turin, I think, is the best counter-example of Tolkien actually executing a classical "tragic ending".

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Feb 20, 1:31pm

Views: 685
All Mouth....

I'd assumed that The Mouth of Sauron is a job title that you could also translate something like "Sauron's Spokesman", or "Sauron's Ambassador". But those sound like important job titles, whereas "Mouth of Sauron" sounds much more lowly - doing the big S's bidding and nothing more.

But then, reading this thread I began to think that it's quite plausible Sauron can't speak conventionally. We never get any direct dialogue or an appearance from him. Gollum claims to have seen him (or at least to have counted his fingers). Since Uncle I raised that a few weeks ago I've been trying to remember why I think Gollum's report is an inconsistency with a Sauron who is mostly portrayed as incorporeal. But I haven't remembered ,or had time to check (so any takers, off you go - what does Sauron look like, as far as we can tell from the text?) IIRC Pippin reports some of his palantir encounter with Sauron with reported speech, as if Sauron had spoken to him. But as far as I'm aware if someone wanted to claim that Sauron can only communicate psychically (or some such term) and under certain conditions, then the text doesn't contradict this. Such a Sauron might find a physical spokesman convenient.
The PJ films of course go to the perhaps rather literal-minded extreme of having Sauron as a giant electric eye. If we must be that literal-minded then it's hard to see how an eye could conventionally speak, and so maybe it would need a 'mouth'. But as I say I suspect that is over-literal (and speaks to the need to have something visual in a film). In real life we're used to reading things like "The White House has denied...." without immediately imagining at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue equipped with a giant mouth on top and able to utter speech itself.

We read that the Mouth of Sauron has forgotten any other name he might have had, which I suppose shows his subordination to Sauron's cause and will. But he does seem to have some sense of self left, because it's suggested that he's imagining himself installed in Orthanc as Sauron's viceroy.

"Yes, I am half-elven. No, it does not mean that I 'have one pointy ear' "
Sven Elven, proprietor of the Rivendell convenience store.


Feb 21, 1:38pm

Views: 657

Told a correspondent that Sauron was of humanoid form but "very terrible," of superhuman but not gigantic size.


Tolkien originally intended the end of the chapter to represent Pippin's death, not just unconsciousness.

(This post was edited by Solicitr on Feb 21, 1:39pm)


Feb 21, 8:30pm

Views: 652
Found this.

Assuming links are possible to add here?


Feb 21, 8:37pm

Views: 642
We don't hear the Balrog talk either.

I think it would need to be assumed that Sauron could talk. He did invent the Black Speech.

He also has lines of dialogue in the story of Beren and Luthien, although this could be considered a different manifestation of him.

Plus he acted as advisor for Ar-Pharazon.

The only way I guess he could not speak is if his physical form at the time of LotR:s would not allow him to form his mouth or tongue the right way, and that seems unlikely.

It is interesting that Saruman is a Necromancer though. Practicing the arts of trying to communicate with and deceive the dead. So he would likely be no stranger to communicating with just the mind.

And he was a frequent user of the Palantir.

(This post was edited by InTheChair on Feb 21, 8:38pm)


Feb 24, 2:19pm

Views: 607
Thanks Hamfast Gamgee!

Well it's Monday again, so that's the end of the official week for this post. That doesn't mean that discussion has to stop - our threads go ever on and on if required. But it does mean it's time to thank HG for starting the thread, and also everyone who has contributed to an interesting discussion! Thanks to you all.

"Yes, I am half-elven. No, it does not mean that I 'have one pointy ear' "
Sven Elven, proprietor of the Rivendell convenience store.

Hamfast Gamgee
SnevaH Yerg

Mar 2, 8:36pm

Views: 358
Thanks for that!

I don't think that I had seen that one. He does look a bit like Alan Rickman, but wears a nice dress. Suit's you, sir! And I like the black motiff. Appropriate, I suppose!

Hamfast Gamgee
SnevaH Yerg

Mar 2, 8:46pm

Views: 352
It probably wouldn't have worked like this

But I do wonder what a Mordor Cabinet or secuity council would have looked like.
Sauron: Right it is time to send out our Nazgul to claim back the Ring from this Hafling, Now, who's with me?
Mouth of Sauron: Some snarky reply
Lord of the Nazgul: A deathly stare
Chief Orc: A grunt and a bang of his sword.
Shelob: A wave of a tencticle.
Sauron: Fine we are all agreed!