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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Who were Sauron's bodyguard and generals during the second age?

Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Oct 16 2017, 8:02pm

Post #1 of 23 (2529 views)
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Who were Sauron's bodyguard and generals during the second age? Can't Post

Besides the nazgul, who commanded the army during the war of the elves, where he had multiple attacking forces? A high ranking orc or evil men? And what about his bodyguard? Olog-hai?


squire
Half-elven


Oct 16 2017, 8:32pm

Post #2 of 23 (2502 views)
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Good questions [In reply to] Can't Post

As you note, that was a time when Sauron's presence in Middle-earth was marked by full-out warfare and empire-building across all the lands. Just as he was Morgoth's lieutenant in the First Age, he must have had lieutenants of his own in the Second (and as we know he did in the Third).

However, Tolkien spent the least time on his Second Age as he developed his vast legendarium - most likely because it just fell into place between the two epics he was really interested in: the wars of the Jewels and of the Ring, respectively in the First and Third Ages. There's not a lot of info about Sauron in that time, outside of his activities with the Ring-making Elves, and at the end, in Numenor.

I don't remember ever hearing about his generals, outside of the Battle of the Pellenor Fields. And the idea of him having a bodyguard is intriguing, but completely open-ended. Maybe someone else has read about such a thing in some lesser-known Tolkien source?

And, out of curiosity, why do you want to know? Are you working on something that needs this information?



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Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Oct 16 2017, 9:06pm

Post #3 of 23 (2496 views)
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Curious. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm just curious about this subject. Since black numenorean hasn't shown up yet until the downfall of Numenor, I guess orcs who are smarter and stronger than ordinary, are the generals of his armies. Perhaps evil men like Mouth of Sauron? His bodyguards were probably trolls with armor.


squire
Half-elven


Oct 16 2017, 9:48pm

Post #4 of 23 (2495 views)
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A question about trolls as bodyguards in the S.A. [In reply to] Can't Post

If I remember, the opening chapter of The Lord of the Rings makes a point that, as the Shadow awakened in the decades after Bilbo's adventure, the trolls became more advanced and capable - the contrast being, obviously, with the dullards who clown around in The Hobbit.

Should we take this as a 'new thing' for LotR, so that up until the end of the Third Age trolls in Middle-earth had always been no more than predatory highwaymen? If so, it would be unlikely that Sauron would use them as his elite fighting bodyguard in the Second Age.

I can't remember if trolls even are mentioned in The Silmarillion, among the evil beasties of the First Age.



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Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Oct 16 2017, 9:55pm

Post #5 of 23 (2489 views)
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Evil men? [In reply to] Can't Post

During the war of the elves, it was stated that Sauron's forces were orcs, men and other evil creatures. What where these creatures? Bats, Oliphant, insects or perhaps lesser wights?

I guess southrons, easterlings and orcs were the bulk of his forces. And some hundreds of primitive cave trolls.


(This post was edited by Victariongreyjoy on Oct 16 2017, 9:58pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 16 2017, 10:04pm

Post #6 of 23 (2481 views)
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Not Olog-hai or Uruk-hai [In reply to] Can't Post

Neither the Uruk-hai or Olog-hai would have existed in the Second Age. Those variations on the Orc and the Troll did not appear until late in the Third Age.

Sauron seduced followers to his service from among the Númenóreans and other Men of Middle-earth. He wouldn't have had enough Rings of Power for all of them.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 16 2017, 10:06pm)


Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Oct 16 2017, 10:39pm

Post #7 of 23 (2471 views)
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Trolls and orcs [In reply to] Can't Post

So his army were regular orcs, trolls and men from the east? Could these men be leading commanders of an orc batalion? Or a high ranking orc?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 16 2017, 11:06pm

Post #8 of 23 (2469 views)
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Sauron's Officers [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So his army were regular orcs, trolls and men from the east? Could these men be leading commanders of an orc batalion? Or a high ranking orc?


Tolkien doesn't give us that much to go on. Probably few Orcs were sophisticated enough to rise to a high rank in his armies. His high-ranking officers were first of all, the Nine before and after they became Wraiths. Then Black Númenóreans and Men of the East and South that he had corrupted or were already prone to evil to achieve power.

In the First Age, Sauron's servants included such creatures as Werewolves and Vampire-like spirits such as his messenger Thurningwethil.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 16 2017, 11:10pm)


Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Oct 17 2017, 2:32pm

Post #9 of 23 (2418 views)
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Nazgul during the war of the elves [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
So his army were regular orcs, trolls and men from the east? Could these men be leading commanders of an orc batalion? Or a high ranking orc?


Tolkien doesn't give us that much to go on. Probably few Orcs were sophisticated enough to rise to a high rank in his armies. His high-ranking officers were first of all, the Nine before and after they became Wraiths. Then Black Númenóreans and Men of the East and South that he had corrupted or were already prone to evil to achieve power.

In the First Age, Sauron's servants included such creatures as Werewolves and Vampire-like spirits such as his messenger Thurningwethil.


Do you think the nazgul were present during this war? They were perhaps the strategist and pulled of strings behind the scenes?

If there were to be a movie adaptation of Akallabêth, would it be okay to make up some high ranking orcs like Azog or Lutz, leading an army? Or are they more suitable for corrupted men like Black Numenoreans?


(This post was edited by Victariongreyjoy on Oct 17 2017, 2:34pm)


Elthir
Grey Havens

Oct 17 2017, 3:02pm

Post #10 of 23 (2423 views)
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Mothgog's goodly guard [In reply to] Can't Post

"I can't remember if trolls even are mentioned in The Silmarillion, among the evil beasties of the First Age."

I remember finding them hard to locate in the text, after the troll guard of Mothgog.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 17 2017, 3:48pm

Post #11 of 23 (2405 views)
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The Nine Rings and the Nazgûl [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Do you think the nazgul were present during this war? They were perhaps the strategist and pulled of strings behind the scenes?

If there were to be a movie adaptation of Akallabêth, would it be okay to make up some high ranking orcs like Azog or Lutz, leading an army? Or are they more suitable for corrupted men like Black Numenoreans?


Do you mean: were the Nazgûl present during the War of the Elves and Sauron (S.A. 1693-1701)? Definitely not. It seems that Sauron was not able to collect and then distribute the majority of the Rings of Power until after the end of that war (possibly not until after S.A. 1800 when the Númenóreans began to establish dominions in Middle-earth. The Nazgûl did not even appear in their undead form until around S.A. 2251, five and a half centuries after the death of Celebrimbor.

It was after Sauron declared himself "King of Men" that Ar-Pharazôn mobilized against him. Sauron surrendered to Ar-Pharazôn and was taken as a captive to Númenor (leading to the ultimate downfall of both Ar-Pharazôn and Númenor). I would think that Sauron would have wanted to emphasize his dominion over Men and his generals, in addition to the Ringwraiths, would have been Easterlings and perhaps some Southrons leading his forces. However, according to Tolkien he was overwhelmed by the size of Ar-Pharazôn's army and surrendered without a fight. Introducing any Orc commanders here would be moot; it would make more sense to introduce some into the earlier War of the Elves and Sauron.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 17 2017, 3:50pm)


Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Oct 17 2017, 4:08pm

Post #12 of 23 (2377 views)
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Mothgog? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
"I can't remember if trolls even are mentioned in The Silmarillion, among the evil beasties of the First Age."

I remember finding them hard to locate in the text, after the troll guard of Mothgog.


I suppose you mean Morgoth?


Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Oct 17 2017, 4:11pm

Post #13 of 23 (2370 views)
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Trolls were a part of Sauron's army in S.A? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
Do you think the nazgul were present during this war? They were perhaps the strategist and pulled of strings behind the scenes?

If there were to be a movie adaptation of Akallabêth, would it be okay to make up some high ranking orcs like Azog or Lutz, leading an army? Or are they more suitable for corrupted men like Black Numenoreans?


Do you mean: were the Nazgûl present during the War of the Elves and Sauron (S.A. 1693-1701)? Definitely not. It seems that Sauron was not able to collect and then distribute the majority of the Rings of Power until after the end of that war (possibly not until after S.A. 1800 when the Númenóreans began to establish dominions in Middle-earth. The Nazgûl did not even appear in their undead form until around S.A. 2251, five and a half centuries after the death of Celebrimbor.

It was after Sauron declared himself "King of Men" that Ar-Pharazôn mobilized against him. Sauron surrendered to Ar-Pharazôn and was taken as a captive to Númenor (leading to the ultimate downfall of both Ar-Pharazôn and Númenor). I would think that Sauron would have wanted to emphasize his dominion over Men and his generals, in addition to the Ringwraiths, would have been Easterlings and perhaps some Southrons leading his forces. However, according to Tolkien he was overwhelmed by the size of Ar-Pharazôn's army and surrendered without a fight. Introducing any Orc commanders here would be moot; it would make more sense to introduce some into the earlier War of the Elves and Sauron.


But they were a part of his army during the war of elves and the battle of Dagorlad? It seems so strange that Tolkien never concrete stated this in the Akallabêth, that we as readers have to use our imaginations to depict this.


squire
Half-elven


Oct 17 2017, 4:24pm

Post #14 of 23 (2372 views)
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The composition of Sauron's army was the last thing on Tolkien's mind [In reply to] Can't Post

What he wanted was to get Sauron to Numenor, where he could bring about a second Fall of Man.

To do that Tolkien even concocted the idea of the dark emperor of all of Middle-earth actually conceding a war based entirely on the glory and glamor of Numenor's amphibious army. That sounds pretty over the top unless we acknowledge the whole episode to be a device that serves a different plot entirely. Likewise Tolkien suggests it shouldn't 'boggle the mind' that Sauron's spirit could fly back to Mordor after the downfall ... carrying the Ring in mid-air! Again, the point is simply to get Sauron back to his home base so the Final Battle can take place as the Third Age story demands.

So orders of battle in Second Age Middle-earth remain up to any readers to imagine, pretty much, anything they want.



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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 17 2017, 5:57pm

Post #15 of 23 (2359 views)
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Trolls and Orcs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But they were a part of his army during the war of elves and the battle of Dagorlad? It seems so strange that Tolkien never concrete stated this in the Akallabêth, that we as readers have to use our imaginations to depict this.


Sauron almost certainly made use of the Trolls throughout the Second Age, but they were limited by their stupidity and would not have been effective leaders. The Trolls of the Twilight were also unable to withstand daylight, further limiting their usefulness.

Likewise, Sauron did have Orcs in his armies, though he might have kept their use to a minimum during the time when he was trying to assert his dominion over Men. Orcs definitely took part in the Battle of Dagorlad and elsewhere fought against the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.


Quote
'Yes, yes,' said Gollum. 'All dead, all rotten. Elves and Men and Orcs. The Dead Marches. There was a great battle, long ago, yes, so they told him when Sméagol was young, when I was young before the Precious came. It was a great battle. Tall Men with long swords, and terrible Elves, and Orcses shrieking. They fought on the plain for days and months at the Black Gates. But the Marshes have grown since then, swallowed up the graves; always creeping, creeping.'


No references to Trolls at the Battle of Dagorlad, but some were probably there.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 17 2017, 6:03pm)


Victariongreyjoy
Rivendell


Oct 17 2017, 7:51pm

Post #16 of 23 (2336 views)
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Sauron's armies were much stronger in the third age. [In reply to] Can't Post

From what information we have gathered together so far in this thread, it seems Sauron was stronger physically in S.A, but his army were weaker in someway. In the T.A, he is weaker himself, but his forces were much bigger and stronger. Haradrim, Corsairs, Easterlings, Uruk-Hai, Olog-Hai, Witch King, Nazguls and Isengard's army. I honestly believe if he possessed all of these except for Isengard's Uruks in the S.A, I think he would control Middle Earth, and not even Numenor could stand against him.

Btw, since he didn't utilize so much trolls during the S.A, do you think they were his bodyguards perhaps? Maybe they were trained to be a little bit smarter to defend him from threats?


(This post was edited by Victariongreyjoy on Oct 17 2017, 7:56pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 17 2017, 8:43pm

Post #17 of 23 (2331 views)
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Troll-guard [In reply to] Can't Post

It is at least possible that Sauron maintained a personal guard of Trolls highly trained and disciplined in comparison to other Trolls. Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs had such guards. Such Trolls might have been the template from which the Olog-hai were bred.

"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."


Elthir
Grey Havens

Oct 18 2017, 6:41am

Post #18 of 23 (2316 views)
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I believe Mothgog is pronounced Gothmog. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was referring to the troll guard of Gothmog in the First Age tales. Sorry...

... I invented the silly screwed up "Mothgog" to do battle with the moth in the films, and couldn't resist.


squire
Half-elven


Oct 18 2017, 7:49pm

Post #19 of 23 (2235 views)
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Don't feed the trolls, but do invent them [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah, yes, there it is: in The Silmarillion's account "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad", Chapter 20. The episode also known as the Battle of Unnumbered Tears.
Last of all Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew Húrin cried: “Aurë entuluva! Day shall come again!” Seventy times he uttered that cry; but they took him at last alive, by the command of Morgoth... (Sil, 195. bold by squire)

Now, looking into it, I believe this is the only mention of the word troll in the entire Silmarillion. And referring to the indexes of the books, I think that troll does not occur at all in The History of Middle-earth, Tolkien's many drafts of the Silmarillion from the beginning in the late 1910s, until the revisions he began to produce in the 1940s and 1950s - in other words, until after he had written The Hobbit and of course The Lord of the Rings.

This insertion of a troll-guard for Gothmog comes from the text of the Narn i Chin Hurin, the more colorfully narrated tale of Hurin and Turin that Tolkien began rewriting in the 1950s. No previous account of Hurin's heroic delaying action at the famous battle mentions them - in fact the early versions don't even mention Gothmog; rather their emphasis is that Hurin killed 100 orcs, before he was taken alive by Morgoth's orders. (Note that here he only kills 70.)

I have to conclude that even this one mention of trolls in the Sil is a retrofit of sorts, much like the appearance of Galadriel, Olorin (Gandalf), and the Ents, all of whom did not 'exist' in the Silmarillion's universe before 1938.

Back to the original question: I have to say, it seems Tolkien, in his later years of composition, was perfectly willing to invent a "troll-guard" for the General of the Balrogs in the First Age -- after first developing in LotR the idea of fierce fighting trolls (as opposed to lumpish comic ones in The Hobbit). It would be hard to complain that a body-guard of trolls for Second Age Sauron, in a game or fan-fiction, is not something Tolkien would do. Tolkien didn't do it, it's true. But clearly, he could have done it.



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InTheChair
Lorien

Oct 23 2017, 10:55am

Post #20 of 23 (2092 views)
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Avoid elves and you can't go to much wrong [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Do you think the nazgul were present during this war? They were perhaps the strategist and pulled of strings behind the scenes?


I think the nine appeared already during the second age. If they were at that time in wraith mode, or were still men is difficult to say.

But it is probably to men you must look for Saurons chief allies in the second age.

Because so little is written about the second age there are very few names mentioned.

Herumor and Fuinur were the names of two Black Numenoreans that possibly allied themselves with Sauron. This must have been very late in the second age, after the downfall of Numenor

Apart from that I know nothing except that it was said about the big battle at Dagorlad that in that battle representatives from all races except the elves fought on both sides, so you could if you wish even consider dwarves as possible allies to Sauron.

Then I suppose we know from history that Sauron had alliegance from the werewolves, so something like the dissapearing werewolf we meet in FotR is another possibliity.

It's easier to say what he didn't have. There were no Balrogs for certain. There might have been cold-drakes to the north but these I think would not ally themselves with Saurons wars, as they were still recovering from the end of the first age.

No orc, unless a maia spirit in orc form would live long enough to be Saurons captain in both second and third ages, so if you reuse names from the LotR:s be sure to make them different characters from those.

Apart from that I'd say you're free to use Men, Orcs, Werewolves, Trolls, Wights, and even Dwarves.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 23 2017, 2:51pm

Post #21 of 23 (2088 views)
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The Ringwraiths [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think the nine appeared already during the second age. If they were at that time in wraith mode, or were still men is difficult to say.


That's not difficult at all. Tolkien recorded that the Bearers of the Nine Rings first appeared as the Nazgûl around the year 2250 (Second Age). It seems likely that Sauron began to distribute the Nine Rings to various Lords, Heroes and Sorcerers of Men after S.A. 1800 when the Númenóreans began to establish dominions in Middle-earth rather than to come as explorers and teachers.

Sauron humbled himself before Ar-Pharazôn in the year S.A.. 3262 and was taken to Númenor where he corrupted the King and many others. The Fall of Númenor took place in 3319.


In Reply To
Herumor and Fuinur were the names of two Black Numenoreans that possibly allied themselves with Sauron. This must have been very late in the second age, after the downfall of Numenor


Yes, that would be correct.

"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."


InTheChair
Lorien

Oct 30 2017, 5:52pm

Post #22 of 23 (1694 views)
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Would men facd away quicker than Hobbits? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
That's not difficult at all. Tolkien recorded that the Bearers of the Nine Rings first appeared as the Nazgûl around the year 2250 (Second Age).


I don't know. Even assuming that 2250 is about 450 years after they recieved their rings, the example of Gollum suggest that they don't need to be completely wraithed after this period, though they would certainly be under dominion of their rings. Still they might, especially the stronger more powerful ones, become visible at this time by removing their rings. Or at least such a thing seems a possiblity. They would still be considerd Nazgul if wearing their rings.

I'd say once they all reappear in the third age, they would be wraithed. Their beeings drawn back to Middle Earth only by the rings as anchors.


(This post was edited by InTheChair on Oct 30 2017, 5:54pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 30 2017, 6:01pm

Post #23 of 23 (1688 views)
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Quite possibly. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Would men facd away quicker than Hobbits?

I don't know. Even assuming that 2250 is about 450 years after they recieved their rings, the example of Gollum suggest that they don't need to be completely wraithed after this period, though they would certainly be under dominion of their rings. Still they might, especially the stronger more powerful ones, become visible at this time by removing their rings. Or at least such a thing seems a possiblity. They would still be considerd Nazgul if wearing their rings.


Here, yes, I think they wold have faded, if only because they are directly under the control of Sauron in his full strength and not hiding away in possession of a semi-dormant Ring.

"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 30 2017, 6:03pm)

 
 

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