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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A question about Sauron's role in the Hobbit...possible spoilers
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adnan
Rivendell

Nov 7 2010, 10:50pm

Post #1 of 31 (2029 views)
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A question about Sauron's role in the Hobbit...possible spoilers Can't Post

I'm a huge fan of the Hobbit book, but dont know much about the events prior to it.

If the Necromancer is indeed Sauron (and apparently will be shown as such in The Hobbit's sub-plot), could anyone explain to me what exactly happens to him to transform him from a person-like being to the eye that we see in the LOTR movies?

I would love a thorough explanation of this if anyone could help me :)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Nov 7 2010, 11:08pm

Post #2 of 31 (610 views)
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Sauron was not the Eye. [In reply to] Can't Post

The eye was a powerful manifestation of Sauron. Sauron was actually this hideous black dude that did not come out of the house much. How he became black and hideous is another story and much longer than I have time to lay ought right now.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

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adnan
Rivendell


Nov 7 2010, 11:13pm

Post #3 of 31 (561 views)
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OK... [In reply to] Can't Post

So you're telling me we should be looking forward to a black actor being announced soon to play the Necromancer/Sauron for The Hobbit's sub-plot?


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 7 2010, 11:15pm

Post #4 of 31 (545 views)
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It's up to the filmmakers to explain that one. [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien never told us what form the Necromancer held in The Hobbit, nor did he tell us exactly what form Sauron had achieved by the time of LOTR.

In the books, the Eye of Sauron refers to an ability to see and perceive from afar (with or without a palantir), not that Sauron himself was a just giant flaming eyeball. In fact, Gollum says that "he has only nine fingers on the black hand, but they are enough". Gollum didn't meet Sauron until after the events of The Hobbit, so presumably by the time of LOTR he had a pretty definite form of some kind. So there really wasn't any transformation from form to eyeball. If anything, I would think that Sauron's form was more definite in LOTR than in The Hobbit.

By showing Sauron only as an eyeball on a tower rather than implying that the Eye belonged to someone in the tower, the filmmakers have set up this problem. I don't know how they'll go about explaining it. It will be interesting to see.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


Darkstone
Immortal


Nov 7 2010, 11:20pm

Post #5 of 31 (534 views)
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You never know. [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if a Black actor is cast, he may not be playing Sauron. They might be casting for unnamed Black Numenoreans as well.

******************************************
NARFOT since 1967.

NARFOP since 2001.

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adnan
Rivendell


Nov 7 2010, 11:25pm

Post #6 of 31 (516 views)
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Interesting... [In reply to] Can't Post

See that's exactly what confuses me somewhat... are we to assume that Sauron was actually always hiding during the entire LOTR trilogy in the Tower and merely using the eye to see the happenings of Middle Earth. They actually showed him in physical form in the prologue of the big battle in the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring...so I was wondering if that's how they will show him as the necromancer or perhaps in a more wizard-like form as far as the Hobbit movies go.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Nov 7 2010, 11:34pm

Post #7 of 31 (498 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

See that's exactly what confuses me somewhat... are we to assume that Sauron was actually always hiding during the entire LOTR trilogy in the Tower and merely using the eye to see the happenings of Middle Earth.

It's exactly what happens in the book. Smile


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim?


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 7 2010, 11:47pm

Post #8 of 31 (510 views)
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The problem is... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sauron's form in the Prologue doesn't help at all in this, because that battle took place nearly three thousand years before The Hobbbit. Sauron lost his form when he lost the Ring. Presumably he had slowly regathered strength enough to take some sort of form by the time of The Hobbit, though we don't know how much.

My reading of the book has always been that the Eye of Sauron in LOTR was not an external thing at all - not something he was using to see, but his own eye, referred to in capital letters because he was a mighty being and was able to see and perceive more than most, both physically and in spirit - as do Gandalf and the Elves to a lesser extent. We know also that Sauron had the Ithil-stone, the palantir seeing-stone that was taken from Minas Ithil when the Nine Nazgul took it over and it became Minas Morgul. So that would have added to his ability to see things from afar. I picture the real situation as being a bit more like Saruman using his palantir, but with much greater effect as Sauron was a much more powerful being. But that's all speculation, because Tolkien didn't go into any detail.

The Hobbit takes place only 60 years before LOTR. Sauron had had almost 3000 years to rebuild himself. In that scheme of things, I don't think the last 60 years would make that tremendous a difference. In book terms, I think the Necromancer and Sauron would probably not have been that different.

In terms of the movie - apparently they did want us to believe that the only form Sauron had managed was one very large eyeball...so what they'll do with the Necromancer is anyone's guess. If it were me, I think I'd show as little as possible and leave a lot to the imagination, but they may decide to go a completely different route, with Sauron being more like the Sauron of the Prologue, but defeated or reduced in some way when he is driven out of Mirkwood. I think that approach would be a mistake, as it would destroy much of the impact of LOTR, so I hope they are more restrained than that. Nothing has been said yet to hint at which way they are planning to approach this.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


Plurmo
Rohan

Nov 8 2010, 12:31am

Post #9 of 31 (480 views)
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They could choose to show his spiritual form instead. [In reply to] Can't Post

Through the eyes of Gandalf and some others he could be seen as the Maia that he is. Perhaps an unstable form based on Annatar (Flagg's Avatar.) From this pure spiritual presence could be issued the commanding voice in a confrontation with the White Council.

Anyway if a confrontation happens inside Dol Guldur he can assume any form, because that place is supposed (by me at least) to be a strongly sorcerous environment itself. Inside Dol Guldur the whole conflict could happen between the angelic forms of the protagonists, in my opinion.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Nov 8 2010, 12:57am

Post #10 of 31 (513 views)
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Perhaps a black actor might be cast but in this case it is more like burnt toast black. [In reply to] Can't Post

or coal black. Also he is supposed to be hideous to look upon.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Nov 8 2010, 1:08am

Post #11 of 31 (461 views)
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The films never say that Sauron is only the manifested Eye. [In reply to] Can't Post

Also in the extended version you can catch a glimpse of Sauron in the palantir when Aragorn uses it.
I think that the necromancer will be Sauron without armor and that is all I would venture to guess.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Nov 8 2010, 2:18am

Post #12 of 31 (444 views)
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*rubs eyes* [In reply to] Can't Post

I read that as 'the angelic forms of the proctologists'.

Maybe that's in another movie.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Saurons master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Elizabeth
Valinor


Nov 8 2010, 2:28am

Post #13 of 31 (463 views)
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He is no longer capable of assuming a "fair form". [In reply to] Can't Post

He lost that capability in the Fall of Numenor. As charming as the idea of his appearing as Annatar at the Black Gate was, it would have been wildly inappropriate. (But I'm glad we have a few frames of it!)

I'm also hoping there won't be any "confrontation at Dol Guldur", because there wasn't any in the books. I'm resigned, though, to the probability that the filmmakers will find it irresistible.






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Plurmo
Rohan

Nov 8 2010, 2:51am

Post #14 of 31 (438 views)
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In the movies it is said that [In reply to] Can't Post

Sauron is 'concealed in his fortress' and that his gaze is his main form of expression. On the other hand it says that 'his spirit has lost none of its potency.'

I was always fascinated by this image:

'black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world...'

Which I interpret as the shadow of Sauron being lifted (extricated) from Middle-earth. This shadow and the despair and hopelessness it caused were, to me, his physical presence upon the world, his black form, his potent spirit.

But this was not shown in the movie. Therefore the possibility exists that they would show a more anthropomorphic form of his potent spirit, which could pass for a physical body (a memory of his old self imprinted in the soul, like the case of Glorfindel), even if it was not necessarily so. But to show this 'physical' expression of his spirit wielding a real weapon would be strange.


Plurmo
Rohan

Nov 8 2010, 2:52am

Post #15 of 31 (401 views)
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Nah, that's you really reading the contortions of my mind [In reply to] Can't Post

while I try to write absurd things in a foreign language.Laugh


Plurmo
Rohan

Nov 8 2010, 3:06am

Post #16 of 31 (415 views)
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I agree completely with you. [In reply to] Can't Post

If his spirit had a memory it would be of his old black self. But it seems that the filmmakers wanted Annatar as some spiritual forgery ('an unstable form based on Annatar'). I don't know what passes in their minds, but I understand the temptation of showing complete evil as a form of beauty.

Unlike Sauron's presence, which I don't care that much and think it would diminish a bit the tale of Smaug, I really wanted to see some of the evil abodes from inside, especially Dol Guldur, even if it was only from Gandalf's viewpoint while doing a quiet spy work.


DeadRabbits
Lorien


Nov 8 2010, 9:43am

Post #17 of 31 (430 views)
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PJ will provide a backstory for Sauron [In reply to] Can't Post

The following quote is from an interview with PJ and GDT in Empire Magazine from 2009:

Jackson: We're developing a lot more character and personality in the villain side of the story, too. We are having to deal with Sauron a little bit more specifically in this; how exactly he manifests himself and what form he's in, and how that is ultimately going to lead into what he becomes in the trilogy - and what he has been in the ancient past. That is something we are absolutely dealing with, much more so than what's in the book.'

http://deltorofilms.blogspot.com/...magazine-hobbit.html

It looks like we're going to learn a lot more about The Dark Lord in TH than we did in LOTR...

Now now Bill, you swore this was a battle between warriors, not a bunch of miss nancies, so warriors is what I brought


Flagg
Tol Eressea


Nov 8 2010, 5:31pm

Post #18 of 31 (335 views)
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Does anyone think it's possible [In reply to] Can't Post

that Sauron brought the Ithil-stone with him from Mordor to Dol Guldur? If so, perhaps we could see the Eye there, but have it connected or 'tethered' in some way to the Ithil-stone. This would make the connection between the Eye and the palantr clear to the audience, and help to clarily that Sauron was projecting the Eye from his throne in Barad-dr via the stone during the events of the LotR films. It would remove the confusion of whether or not he had a physical form the whole time.


Arathorn
The Shire

Nov 8 2010, 6:31pm

Post #19 of 31 (313 views)
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I have [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Sauron's form in the Prologue doesn't help at all in this, because that battle took place nearly three thousand years before The Hobbbit. Sauron lost his form when he lost the Ring. Presumably he had slowly regathered strength enough to take some sort of form by the time of The Hobbit, though we don't know how much.

My reading of the book has always been that the Eye of Sauron in LOTR was not an external thing at all - not something he was using to see, but his own eye, referred to in capital letters because he was a mighty being and was able to see and perceive more than most, both physically and in spirit - as do Gandalf and the Elves to a lesser extent. We know also that Sauron had the Ithil-stone, the palantir seeing-stone that was taken from Minas Ithil when the Nine Nazgul took it over and it became Minas Morgul. So that would have added to his ability to see things from afar. I picture the real situation as being a bit more like Saruman using his palantir, but with much greater effect as Sauron was a much more powerful being. But that's all speculation, because Tolkien didn't go into any detail.

The same reading as you about the Eye.
Concerning his overall form, we know he could only appear as some evil presence after the fall of Numenor, and he apparently took an appearance close to Morgoth - big bad warrior. I think it's quite probable if not downright obvious that not only he had regained physical form (it took him a few decades the first time, but he had the Ring to help him), but he picked up his former appearance again. The mere fact he has 9 fingers and not 10 seems to hint that either he's stuck in this form, or he chose it deliberately to remind him to plot his revenge. Concerning the PJ / GDT quote about dealing more directly with Sauron, and why he appears this way in LOTR movies, could it be that he tries to physically show himself and act/fight when the White Council attacks, which leads to him being defeated in battle - leading to him only using his minions in LOTR? Hard to fathom, but he was farther from his true powerbase and faced many of the most powerful beings in Middle-Earth at the same time.

"Gods don't like people not doing much work. People who aren't busy all the time may start to think."
- Terry Pratchett, Small Gods



Mooseboy018
Gondor


Nov 8 2010, 10:41pm

Post #20 of 31 (330 views)
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Physical Form... [In reply to] Can't Post

I always liked the sketch Warren Mahy did of a possible design for Sauron's physical form. It can be found in the Return of the King art book on page 176.


Felagund
Lorien


Nov 9 2010, 10:14pm

Post #21 of 31 (266 views)
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Sauron's 'defeat' at Dol Guldur [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with you Silverlode, it'd be a mistake if the film-makers opt to have Sauron defeated and somehow reduced to 'eye ball' status during the White Council's attack on Dol Guldur. The LoTR and Unfinished Tales are clear that Sauron was prepared for the assault and left according to his own plans - the reason being that he finally felt ready to re-occupy Mordor, which the Nazgl had been making ready for him for the past 1,000 years.

What's more, the scale of Sauron's so-called defeat is apparent when it's revealed that the Nazgl are back in Dol Guldur, dominating southern Mirkwood a mere 10 years after the White Council won their victory. The White Council's assault brought about the formal 'demise 'of The Necromancer identity, only to presage the return of an even greater evil - a resurgent Sauron. If the films represent The Necromancer's defeat as somehow reducing Sauron's power or capacity to assume his physical form, it would be a reversal of what Tolkien actually wrote.


Felagund
Lorien


Nov 9 2010, 10:31pm

Post #22 of 31 (231 views)
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Not hiding: Sauron seems to have preferred his fortress over campaigns [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not really hiding. Sauron, like his old master, Morgoth, seems to have preferred directing operations from his fortress. Sure, Sauron was weaker during the War of the Ring but even when he was at full strength (ie. in possession of the One Ring) at the end of the Second Age, it was only desperation / frustration that led him to come out of Barad-dr and challenge the leaders of the Last Alliance to a duel. Morgoth, who was substantially more powerful than Sauron and who had even less to fear from Elves and Men, rarely left Angband.

I don't think Sauron led any of his armies in the field after the War of the Elves and Sauron. That he barely escaped the crushing finale at the Battle of the Gwathl, with only his personal guard in tow, might have something to do with his reluctance to play general thereafter.


Eruonen
Tol Eressea


Nov 10 2010, 3:35am

Post #23 of 31 (205 views)
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You are the winner of todays most obscure reference [In reply to] Can't Post

Battle of the Gwathl, or Grey Flood, in the War of the Elves and Sauron. Thanks, something to reacquaint myself with in the long history of Middle Earth.

Funny how often Sauron's forces were defeated. Though he personally could not be defeated his armies could be.....after all, he could not control a world by himself. The question is, could he have defeated the allies by himself....what specifically were his martial powers?


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Nov 10 2010, 3:36am)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Nov 10 2010, 4:15am

Post #24 of 31 (204 views)
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Entirely, I think, is a bridge to far. [In reply to] Can't Post

He resigned himself to the attack and made plans to assure it would not be catastrophic for him, but it drove him off from his original intent of besieging the Elves, which by all accounts, especially Gandalf's, would have been far more disastrous for his foes.

In Reply To
I agree with you Silverlode, it'd be a mistake if the film-makers opt to have Sauron defeated and somehow reduced to 'eye ball' status during the White Council's attack on Dol Guldur. The LoTR and Unfinished Tales are clear that Sauron was prepared for the assault and left according to his own plans - the reason being that he finally felt ready to re-occupy Mordor, which the Nazgl had been making ready for him for the past 1,000 years.

What's more, the scale of Sauron's so-called defeat is apparent when it's revealed that the Nazgl are back in Dol Guldur, dominating southern Mirkwood a mere 10 years after the White Council won their victory. The White Council's assault brought about the formal 'demise 'of The Necromancer identity, only to presage the return of an even greater evil - a resurgent Sauron. If the films represent The Necromancer's defeat as somehow reducing Sauron's power or capacity to assume his physical form, it would be a reversal of what Tolkien actually wrote.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Flagg
Tol Eressea


Nov 10 2010, 2:03pm

Post #25 of 31 (174 views)
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Sauron's powers [In reply to] Can't Post

are highly ambiguous... we're really left to fill that in with our imagination. I think that, as an apprentice of Aul, he must have been a phenomenal smith, and his armour and weapons were probably imbued with all sorts of special qualities.

That makes me wonder: was it ever stated exactly what sort of Maiar the Balrogs were? We know they were 'spirits of fire', originally like Arien, the Maia who piloted the vessel of Anor. Since Arien was initially a servant of Vna, can we assume that the Balrogs once served Vna too? I've always been slightly confused as to the exact reason why Sauron was not considered a Balrog. Considering their apprenticeship to Aul, should Sauron and Saruman be seen as belonging to the same 'group' of Maiar, as the Balrogs and Arien belong to another? If so, we may be able to make vague guesses as to Sauron's other powers based on what Saruman can do.

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