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did Sauron know there were other Maiar in Middle-earth (and did he care)?

Felagund
Lorien


Aug 20 2012, 10:47pm


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did Sauron know there were other Maiar in Middle-earth (and did he care)? Can't Post

During his post-Morgoth Dark Lord 'career', Sauron acted like he was the only angelic being in Middle-earth. This, in my view, captures one of Sauron's key weaknesses - that there actually were other Maiar at work in Middle-earth made it tough for him but that he seems not to have countenanced that this could possibly happen massively compounded the dangers he faced.

The assumption that he was alone probably helped feed Sauron's megalomaniac desire to dominate the world, and quickly killed off his brief intent to benignly help Middle-earth to recover from the ravages of the War of Wrath. Part of this also stems from a deluded (as it turned out) belief that the Valar had abandoned Middle-earth. Perhaps Sauron could be forgiven for thinking the latter, at least at first. When Sauron emerged from hiding c. 500 years into the Second Age, Middle-earth was "for the most part savage and desolate, save only where the people of Beleriand came" (The Sil). There was also no attempt by Valinor to 'bring him in' - apparently running off from Eönwë (not the brightest custodian!) at the end of the First Age was all it took to avoid judgment. Ilúvatar's intervention to destroy Númenor was a stark message that Sauron wasn't completely free to lord it over the Children of Ilúvatar, but that's still not the same as Valar and Maiar wandering around Middle-earth.

My main question is did Sauron know (or care) that other Maiar actually were in Middle-earth, some of them affecting events? Also, could he have known? There were the Five Wizards / Istari in the Third Age - and according toTolkien's final writings, the Blue Wizards may have turned up even earlier, at the same time as Glorfindel, c. 1600 of the Second Age. A Balrog was hanging about in Moria, awake and angry from 1980 of the Third Age and then of course there's old Tom Bombadil, whatever he was.

All of these beings were either deliberately in hiding or self-confined (the Balrog), divorced from the world (Tom Bombadil) or in disguise (the Istari). But Sauron does encounter Saruman, through a palantír. Presumably there is some test of wills at ths point - Saruman had more than enough pride to put up a fight or at least try to escape ensnarement. Sauron also encounters Gandalf in a struggle of wills at Amon Hen, when Frodo nearly gives the game away by wearing the One Ring for too long. Sauron, in his incarnation as Mairon back in Valinor, would presumably have known both Curumo and Olórin - indeed Sauron and Curumo both served Aulë the Smith and Olórin tells Manwë that he fears Sauron. Why, when he's able to dominate Saruman, does he not recognise his old smithy mate, or even just demand to know his true identity? As for Gandalf, the parley with the Mouth of Sauron reveals that Sauron knew Gandalf's name and the fact that he'd been at work for a long time building up resistance to Mordor. Not the same as knowing Gandalf's true identity but cause for suspicion, surely?

I'm not sure where all of this leaves us, apart from the tentative conclusion that Sauron didn't care much for details and seems to have been utterly convinced that none could, or would, oppose him in the long run for mastery of Middle-earth.

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk

Subject User Time
did Sauron know there were other Maiar in Middle-earth (and did he care)? Felagund Send a private message to Felagund Aug 20 2012, 10:47pm
    In my view Sauron knew about everything Plurmo Send a private message to Plurmo Aug 21 2012, 1:50am
    he knew alright PhantomS Send a private message to PhantomS Aug 21 2012, 10:49am
        Would the balrog have obeyed Sauron's orders? Noel Q. von Schneiffel Send a private message to Noel Q. von Schneiffel Aug 21 2012, 2:16pm
            Sauron and Balrogs - henchman pecking order Felagund Send a private message to Felagund Aug 21 2012, 3:00pm
    Based on a statement that I read and agreed with a while ago, Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Aug 21 2012, 5:40pm
        Aule, Sauron and Saruman Noel Q. von Schneiffel Send a private message to Noel Q. von Schneiffel Aug 21 2012, 8:15pm
            Thanks for the reply Noel! Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Aug 21 2012, 8:18pm
                Tolkien mistrusted technology, but trusted art squire Send a private message to squire Aug 22 2012, 1:10am
                    Perhaps he tried Noel Q. von Schneiffel Send a private message to Noel Q. von Schneiffel Aug 22 2012, 5:53pm
                    the lure of Melkor: Sauron, Saruman & Ossë Felagund Send a private message to Felagund Aug 22 2012, 7:08pm
                        Both aspects of Melkor's evil seem to boil down to ego squire Send a private message to squire Aug 22 2012, 7:48pm
    Sauron and the Maiar sam90 Send a private message to sam90 Aug 24 2012, 11:37pm
        Sauron and the Istari Felagund Send a private message to Felagund Aug 26 2012, 9:24am
            Sauron and Unfinished Tales sam90 Send a private message to sam90 Aug 27 2012, 6:43pm
    It is a matter of guesswork to discern how much Sauron really knew. Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Aug 24 2012, 11:51pm
        Maiar sam90 Send a private message to sam90 Aug 25 2012, 5:53pm

 
 
 

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