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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
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Marmoon
The Shire


Mar 9 2019, 5:41pm

Post #1 of 56 (2000 views)
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Annatar Can't Post

Who is this mysterious Dark Lord that haunts from the shadows in the Third Age? What is this about forging a master Ring long ago? The principle threat is Sauron regaining it, whereby he might return. Return to what? What is the extent of his power? These questions can be explored in the Second Age. His fair-form of Annatar could be great for emotional performances and developing him as a real character.

In the films, Sauron is a thin character who mostly appears in the background or ancient past: menacingly posing in full body armor and taking a little action on the battlefield, mumbling black speech from the One Ring, a flaming eye piercing Frodo through the wraith-world with scanty dialogue (I see you!) and overseeing the Plateau of Gorgoroth at the climax, and a wispy Necromancer with more black speech for good measure. The only direct threat he poses is enslaving the mind of the ring-bearers - not exactly evocative of world domination - and the closet thing to a physical performance is a dilating, forlorn-looking Eye as Barad-dr crumbles. Peter Jackson rightly avoided the temptation to bring Sauron to life to engage in mortal combat with Aragorn at the Black Gate, but we can understand his desire for a payoff with the trilogys arch-villain. When it comes to film, characters need to be personified in a way that books can circumvent, such as with inner dialogue or psychological tension. Jackson did not even have substantial flashbacks of Sauron to harken back to for the final moments. For audiences returning to the films after the series, Sauron looming and his Ring rediscovered will carry much higher stakes and the emotional weight of his demise at the end will be more impactful if he is given a proper story and character development.


Mari D.
Rivendell


Mar 9 2019, 7:44pm

Post #2 of 56 (1868 views)
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Good point .. looking forward to this effect :-) / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


MoreMorgoth
Rivendell

Mar 9 2019, 10:40pm

Post #3 of 56 (1825 views)
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appearance???? [In reply to] Can't Post

So the Sauron / Annatar of the Second Age is not the black battle armor wearing giant that we saw in the other films - so what should he look like? Should he be knock down gorgeous or what? Tall - how tall? What about the clothes he wears? Should he be armed?

Anybody with ideas on this?


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 9 2019, 11:36pm

Post #4 of 56 (1807 views)
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When he's Annatar [In reply to] Can't Post

He should look like an Elf, fair and beautiful. I've always imagined him with honey-blonde hair, somewhat androgynous, tall, and very imposing, with a voice that is destructively persuasive.
He does also go to Numenor, later, and I'd expect that there he takes the form of a man - it doesn't say specifically in the book itself, but that's the implication I take away: when in Numenor, I imagine him as a handsome, broad-shouldered man who looks about thirty, with shoulder-length brown hair, dark eyes, and an air of mystery: he is a prisoner in Numenor, but he knows that no cage can hold him, so he is confident, always smiling, very cordial and friendly (until he wins over the King), and just all around charming: and a very magnetic personality.

"We are Kree"


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Mar 10 2019, 12:04am

Post #5 of 56 (1798 views)
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Wonder who should play him then. [In reply to] Can't Post

That would be a challenging part.


Marmoon
The Shire


Mar 10 2019, 12:21am

Post #6 of 56 (1784 views)
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Multiple guises [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I agree. I imagine he took appearances that his hosts were likely to accept and not question his belonging amongst them. Descriptions of him being "fair" may have been subjective, varying to the standards of the people he sought to win over. I also wonder if he had many guises for each race - backups in case his cover was blown, or had been blown before, or if he was running multiple schemes at one time.


Marmoon
The Shire


Mar 10 2019, 12:32am

Post #7 of 56 (1780 views)
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Difficulty [In reply to] Can't Post

A tall, versatile, conventionally attractive actor, I would think. If taking different guises for Elves and Men, his versatility will be put to the test. The audience will need to be convinced, to explain why everyone falls for his tricks. This might be the most difficult role to cast.


Mari D.
Rivendell


Mar 10 2019, 1:33am

Post #8 of 56 (1764 views)
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I wouldn't mind [In reply to] Can't Post

if he were acting so cleverly that even the viewers don't get his true identity or strategies sometimes ... I certainly hope for a convincing villain - I was rather disappointed with Fantastics Beasts II's Grindelwald ... not charming enough by far, and why do they so often have to make villains look weird or ugly?

With Annatar, I'm hoping he'll be so convincingly good-looking and smart, fooling the Elves so shrewdly that as a viewer you sometimes actually get close to wishing to trust him as well. Or at least, you would really like to like him. And the only thing keeping you from it is in some moments, well ... that you know he's the bad guy from LotR.

Not sure if this could be pulled off but if so, I think he'd be an even creepier villain than those crude, ugly-looking, dislikemeatonce examples ... because what's more subtle is harder to discern, guard, and fight against ... and so can feel even more umsettling.


(This post was edited by Mari D. on Mar 10 2019, 1:45am)


Mari D.
Rivendell


Mar 10 2019, 1:57am

Post #9 of 56 (1752 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
He should look like an Elf, fair and beautiful. I've always imagined him with honey-blonde hair, somewhat androgynous

This part of your description fits what I'd imagine perfectly.
I'd add lordly and some measure of dignified, which is more a matter of posture and movement though, maybe.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 2:22am

Post #10 of 56 (1744 views)
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Definitely [In reply to] Can't Post

And very graceful, I'd imagine, someone who walks quietly.

"We are Kree"


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 2:25am

Post #11 of 56 (1746 views)
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I agree with this completely [In reply to] Can't Post

Annatar should charm, and be a very likable personality, even after we watch him do horrible things. None of the "kick the dog" moments that are so overused - for instance, you mentioned Grindelwald, who really did not need the useless scenes where he killed his pet, or a baby, etc. Annatar/Sauron should be someone you understand, and whose actions are done apparently by necessity. He wouldn't hesitate to kill, but the audience should still feel reluctantly willing to forgive him for all of his evil deeds.

"We are Kree"


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 2:29am

Post #12 of 56 (1746 views)
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Well, if it's various guises, as I hope, [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if it could be several actors? You could even do something almost like Dr Who. I like the idea of a group of people playing Sauron, though it would be difficult - with Dr Who, the character's personality changes with every new iteration, but with Sauron he'd have to still be recognizably Sauron, and each actor would have to be giving it his all (or her all, I suppose: could Sauron take a female form at some point? I'm getting ahead of myself now)

"We are Kree"


Felagund
Lorien


Mar 10 2019, 1:12pm

Post #13 of 56 (1678 views)
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Sauron the Deceiver or Sauron's failed redemption? [In reply to] Can't Post

If the writers choose to bring Sauron out of the shadow of ambiguity, they'll have options as to how to develop him. With a bit of elision, the Annatar phase of Sauron's 'career' could be construed as him still having some vestigial 'good', and his subsequent betrayal of the Elves being the definitive end of his shot at 'redemption'. I explored this theme a few years back; link below if there's interest:

http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=308970;guest=224976234#308970

Or the writers could just go for: 'Sauron was out to deceive and ensnare the Elves from the start'.

And because Sauron's other alias with the Elves at the time barely gets mentioned, here's a shout out for Aulendil! The name's translation ('Devoted to the service of Aul') is just as pertinent to what Sauron is doing in this period.

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


Marmoon
The Shire


Mar 10 2019, 1:23pm

Post #14 of 56 (1677 views)
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Murderous impulses [In reply to] Can't Post

The show may be written such that the (casual) audience doesn't know about his murderous impulses - remember, Annatar was close with Elves of Eregion for around 400 years. I think it would make sense if he kept his evil deeds to a minimum, lest word get out about terrors and deaths only when he was not around. The wise elves might connect the dots. If we are introduced to him during this period and the show follows him for a while as a humble, generous, sympathetic character, it will make his true reveal more shocking and the audiences' feelings more ambiguous.


Asger
Rivendell


Mar 10 2019, 9:07pm

Post #15 of 56 (1613 views)
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Annatar - Lord of Gifts [In reply to] Can't Post

Isnt that Santa Claus? Make him fat and jolly! Everybodys favourite uncle Nicholas <:-)

"Don't take life seriously, it ain't nohow permanent!" Pogo
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Archestratie
Rivendell

Mar 11 2019, 1:53pm

Post #16 of 56 (1561 views)
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PJ did it [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So the Sauron / Annatar of the Second Age is not the black battle armor wearing giant that we saw in the other films - so what should he look like? Should he be knock down gorgeous or what? Tall - how tall? What about the clothes he wears? Should he be armed?

Anybody with ideas on this?


Jackson did cast an actor as Anatar/Sauron for the LotR movies. Here's what he looked like in his appearance toward the end of RotK at the battle of the Black Gate:

https://i.pinimg.com/...060bd448fc1e8055.png

That's what he should look like.


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Mar 11 2019, 5:56pm)


Helcaraxe
The Shire


Mar 11 2019, 3:59pm

Post #17 of 56 (1535 views)
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Annatar [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
So the Sauron / Annatar of the Second Age is not the black battle armor wearing giant that we saw in the other films - so what should he look like? Should he be knock down gorgeous or what? Tall - how tall? What about the clothes he wears? Should he be armed?

Anybody with ideas on this?


Jackson did cast an actor as Anatar/Sauron for the LotR movies. Here's what he looked like in his appearance toward the end of RotK at the battle of the Black Gate:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/df/fa/51/dffa51baba2f15d1060bd448fc1e8055.png

That's what he should look like.


A touch of the Bill Skarsgard about that!! Wonder what he would look like in a blond wig??
Smile

"Don't Touch Me!!" - Thomas Covenent


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Mar 11 2019, 5:09pm

Post #18 of 56 (1510 views)
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WOW! [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a stunning example of "looks fair but feels foul"!

And that is what I think Annatar needs to encapsulate- that opposite to Aragorn, who looks foul but feels fair. Frodo's speaking, in part, I think from the ring- that sudden innermost awareness that the ring proffered him, when he says that a servant of the Enemy would look fairer and feel fouler.

Annatar needs to look gorgeous, but at the same time have *just* enough of an air about him- an unseen look, a sideways glance, a strange cold light (not starlight, not the "flame of westernesse", not the flame imperishable, not the light of the trees, etc like elves would have) in his eyes that belies his beauty to reveal his innermost black heart, BUT that can be mistaken for elves as starlight just the same. The elves cannot see those subtle hints, at least the majority (we know that Gil-galad didn't trust him, for example, so there needs to be enough of a hint that he could "feel" it or see it, or a comment as to such), but in moments where Annatar is not looking at the elves or they're not looking at him, we could see just that tiniest flash, that slight eye-twitch, that slight look, that indicates that he is not what he seems.

That he looks fair, but feels foul.

I think this image you shared captures this in spades! I know LOTR was eons ago in the film world (as far as actor aging, etc), but I wonder if this actor was young enough (unless it was completely digital?) that he could reprise his role as Annatar for the series without being too aged to do so? I think he would be a fantastic choice, whoever he is, because he's got that look down perfectly!

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MoreMorgoth
Rivendell

Mar 11 2019, 5:49pm

Post #19 of 56 (1490 views)
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Annatar in movies [In reply to] Can't Post

That actor is one good looking guy. I get the idea you and others have described. I would be supportive of that.

I see him in very flowing robes that are at first plain but become more intricate and colorful over time as he gains influence.


Eldy
Gondor


Mar 11 2019, 5:50pm

Post #20 of 56 (1490 views)
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While I think Jackson's Annatar is a good look... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it in the series, I kinda want Annatar to be a redhead since that's how Sauron (Mairon) is often depicted in First Age fanart. Tongue He was able to shift form easily enough in the First Age to suppose he might not have ever worn a particularly fair form in front of his enemies, so it wouldn't necessarily give away his identity, though this is just speculation/headcanon rather than something with a rigorous Lore justification.

Though actually, I really like Elena Kukanova's depiction of Sauron as the high priest of Melkor which Althoun posted yesterday. Depending on your definition of fair it might be stretching that definition, but I think he's attractive in a more ... starting to show through the seams way, as the whole human sacrifice thing picks up. Works for me, anyway. I'd imagine him putting an effort into looking a little less strange at the start, but slipping back into a role to some extent as things go on. Gotta play up the part if you're regularly sacrificing innocents in front of a crowd, y'know?



Follow-up image here, which is a bit NSFW due to blood (you'll have to be signed in or verify your age on DA to view it).


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 11 2019, 6:44pm

Post #21 of 56 (1477 views)
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This image is pretty cool [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the golden mask: so creepy, and it really has that stylistic flair I would expect from Numenor.

"We are Kree"


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Mar 11 2019, 10:34pm

Post #22 of 56 (1441 views)
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Don't forget the beast Sauron [In reply to] Can't Post

The form he was in whilst in charge of Mordor before Numenor defeated him in battle. Now in the past I would think that they would put a man in a suit to show this, but today I suspect that would be done by CGI. Maybe an actor could show his face.


squire
Half-elven


Mar 11 2019, 11:07pm

Post #23 of 56 (1425 views)
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How beastly [In reply to] Can't Post

I missed that! What was his Second Age beast-form while ruling Mordor, and where does it say he took that form?

I agree that it's very hard to do convincing man-beast characters.



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Voronw_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 11 2019, 11:31pm

Post #24 of 56 (1419 views)
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I'm curious too! [In reply to] Can't Post

Off the top of my head, the only beast-form that I recall Sauron taking was when he took the form of the greatest werewolf ever to live in order to try to defeat Huan (unsuccessfully, as it turned out). But that was in the First Age, not the Second, and long before he was ruling Mordor.

I look forward to learning more!

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 12 2019, 1:16am

Post #25 of 56 (1399 views)
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Beast Sauron? I don't remember that one [In reply to] Can't Post

Is this in Unfinished Tales? I don't have a copy of that, so I might be forgetting details from it.

(I should really get a copy of it, now that the show seems to be using material from it so extensively: and besides, the Tale of Aldarion & Erendis is just so great, and I love reading of Galadriel & Celeborn, etc).

"We are Kree"

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