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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Can Fallen/ Evil Maiar Repent?

Registered User

Feb 5 2018, 3:10pm

Post #1 of 7 (2191 views)
Can Fallen/ Evil Maiar Repent? Can't Post

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but can fallen/ evil Maiar (i.e. Gothmog, Ungoliant, even Saruman) change their ways and, in sense, repent?

Let me know, Thanks!


Feb 5 2018, 3:52pm

Post #2 of 7 (2170 views)
Hypothetically, yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

I would have to say that it is possible, if only because Gandalf seemed to think so and I'm not about to argue with him! Wink Also, the Valar seemed to believe that redemption was possible.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


Feb 5 2018, 6:38pm

Post #3 of 7 (2151 views)
Theologically... [In reply to] Can't Post

Tollers was a devout Roman Catholic and St. Thomas Aquinas, with whom he was of course familiar, wrote that repentance is always always possible. The sin that prevents it is, of course, Pride. Unsure

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mmak. But we got him!


Feb 5 2018, 7:54pm

Post #4 of 7 (2138 views)
Oss did [In reply to] Can't Post

Although his rebellion didn't last very long and he didn't have a chance to do nearly as much evil as Gothmog or Sauron (TS, Valaquenta).

Melkor hated the Sea, for he could not subdue it. It is said that in the making of Arda he endeavoured to draw Oss to his allegiance, promising to him all the realm and power of Ulmo, if he would serve him. So it was that long ago there arose great tumults in the sea that wrought ruin to the lands. But Uinen, at the prayer of Aul, restrained Oss and brought him before Ulmo; and he was pardoned and returned to his allegiance, to which he has remained faithful. For the most part; for the delight in violence has never wholly departed from him, and at times he will rage in his wilfulness without any command from Ulmo his lord. Therefore those who dwell by the sea or go up in ships may love him, but they do not trust him.

(This post was edited by Eldorion on Feb 5 2018, 7:54pm)


Feb 8 2018, 9:25pm

Post #5 of 7 (2036 views)
Osse is a good example; Sauron [In reply to] Can't Post

was given the chance to repent after Morgoths defeat when Beleriand was destroyed at the end of the 1st Age, and I recall Tolkien saying that Sauron came pretty close, but ultimately stayed away from Valinor out of fear, not out of commitment to being evil.


Feb 9 2018, 2:16am

Post #6 of 7 (2028 views)
Good point! [In reply to] Can't Post

The passage I think you're referring to is from "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" or as I prefer to call it, OTROP, since that rolls off the tongue somewhat easier. Tongue

When Thangorodrim was broken and Morgoth overthrown, Sauron put on his fair hue again and did obeisance to Enw the herald of Manw, and abjured all his evil deeds. And some hold that this was not at first falsely done, but that Sauron in truth repented, if only out of fear, being dismayed by the fall of Morgoth and the great wrath of the Lords of the West. But it was not within the power of Enw to pardon those of his own order, and he commanded Sauron to return to Aman and there receive the judgement of Manw. Then Sauron was ashamed, and he was unwilling to return in humiliation and to receive from the Valar a sentence, it might be, of long servitude in proof of his good faith; for under Morgoth his power had been great. Therefore when Enw departed he hid himself in Middle-earth; and he fell back into evil, for the bonds that Morgoth bad laid upon him were very strong.

(This post was edited by Eldorion on Feb 9 2018, 2:17am)


Feb 10 2018, 11:27pm

Post #7 of 7 (1948 views)
Thanks for finding that passage; exactly what I was thinking of [In reply to] Can't Post

but of course, I couldn't remember where I'd read it. Smile

I'll add OTROP to the list of acronyms I should understand. I used to struggle with LOL, but I'm making progress.


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