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Sauron (Middle-earth)

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You cannot hide. I see you. There is no life in the Void. Only death.
~ Sauron to Frodo when he puts the One Ring on.
There is no light, wizard... that can defeat darkness.
~ Sauron to Gandalf

Sauron, once a Maia known as Mairon, is the primary antagonist of J. R. R. Tolkien's classic fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings, the secondary antagonist of The Silmarillion and the ultimate main antagonist of the Middle-earth saga. He serves as the titular main antagonist of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, as well as one of the main antagonists in The Hobbit trilogy along with Smaug and his chieftain Azog. He is the main antagonist in The Fellowship Of The Ring and The Return Of The King, the secondary antagonist and Bigger Bad in The Two Towers, the supporting antagonist in An Unexpected Journey and the quartenary antagonist in The Desolation Of Smaug and The Battle Of The Five Armies.

Sauron was a fallen Maia, the Dark Lord of Mordor for the Second and Third Age, the Necromancer of Dol Guldur, the creator of the One Ring and a former lieutenant of the Valar Morgoth in the First Age.

During the First Age, Sauron served under Morgoth, but after his master's "banishment", Sauron then took up the mantle and title of Dark Lord, creating the One Ring to use as a tool for enslaving the free peoples of Middle-earth during the Second and Third Age.

At the end of the Second Age, a Last Alliance of Men and Elves marched upon Mordor to defeat Sauron and his armies. The Alliance was victorious and Sauron was physically destroyed by Isildur, after killing his father King Elendil the Tall. Isildur took the One Ring, only to later be killed by Orcs.

Sauron was not spiritually destroyed and took control of the abandoned fortress Dol Guldur disgised as a Necromancer in order to regain his former strength and summon his Ringwraiths to him, only to be vanquished by the White Council, sending him fleeing to the East.

Sauron then reclaimed his power over Mordor, taking the Form of a Great Eye, turning Saruman to his side and sending armies to conquer all of Middle-Earth. However, the One Ring was destroyed and thrown into the fires of Mount Doom by Frodo Baggins, destroying the Dark Lord Sauron as well and sending his armies fleeing and Mordor collapsing, finally freeing the peoples of Middle-Earth from Sauron's cruelty.

In the live action adaptations by Sir Peter Jackson, Sauron was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Hobbit trilogy (who also portrayed Smaug in the same trilogy) and was played by Sala Baker and voiced by Alan Howard in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.


The First Age


Sauron during the First Age.

Sauron was a powerful Maia, which is the equivalent of an angel, and Melkor was a Vala, the equivalent of an Archangel. Sauron's original name was Mairon and he took part in the Music of the Ainur. Sauron became enamoured of Arda when it was formed and he corrupted many other Maiar which became Balrogs. Sauron then worshiped Melkor and followed him into Arda and set about serving Melkor. Sauron became the High General of Angband along with the Balrog lord Gothmog. Many other Maiar came to Melkor and became the Dragons, Giant Spiders and Maiar possessed the bodies of Wolves and became Werewolves. Sauron was possibly given the task of corrupting Elves into Orcs. Eventually the Valar couldn't stand the evil and came into Middle Earth and defeated Melkor, "but Sauron they could not find" and Sauron came back to Angband when Melkor was returned from Valinor. 

Sauron played a large part in the War of the Jewels because he could cast illusions and make his enemies think things were going differently. He cast a spell which made Turin think that his dead wife was still alive and then he took him to Angband. His most famous conquest was when he captured the island of Tol Sirion and renamed it Tol in Gorhauth, the Isle of Werewolves, and bought many Werewolves there. He would feed prisoners to Werewolves and he was left to his own devices there. Melkor saw it as a big victory because Tol Sirion was an Elvish fortress and this made Elves unable to pass through that place.

Eventually a human named Beren appeared, with the Elf Prince Fingon and ten other Elves, disguised as Orcs. However Sauron saw them and was suspicious as all Orcs had to report to him. He had them brought before him and defeated Fingon in a contest of magic, stripping the disguises. Sauron threw all 12 into his deepest dungeon till they would tell him their purpose. Ten were consumed by werewolves, Sauron wanting Fingon left alive. But when a werewolf came for Beren, Fingon broke free, he and the werewolf killing each other. Sauron saw the Elf Princess Luthien had come to rescue Beren, so he sent werewolves to capture her. However each of them were slain by Huan, the Hound of Valinor. Finally Sauron sent Draugluin, sire and lord of werewolves, but they were killed by Huan, though survived long enough to tell Sauron Huan was here. Sauron knew the prophecy that Huan would not die till he encountered the biggest wolf to ever walk the world. So Sauron took the form of the biggest Werewolf yet and fought Huan. Luthien drew her magic veil over Sauron's eyes and as he stumbled Huan fought him. Sauron turned into a snake, and from monster to his own form. But Huan held him by the throat and Luthien told him to hand the Isle to her or go back in shame to Melkor. Sauron gave her control of the Isle and when released he turned into a Vampire and flew, dripping blood over the trees.

Later on, when Melkor was defeated, Sauron actually repented and went to the Valar asking repentance, but was told he would have to face Manwe. Sauron was far too proud to humble himself and he then refused and returned to Mordor.

Second Age

In the Second Age, Sauron established himself in Mordor. He later went to the Elves of Eregion in the guise of Annatar and taught them how to create the Rings of Power. The twenty Rings of power were so created around the 16th century: the Elves made the Seven Rings and the Nine Rings with his influence, but also created the Three without his knowledge or influence. Sauron himself created the One Ring in Mount Doom in Mordor to control all the other rings; into this Ring he put part of his own life force and power.

Sauron revealed himself and went to war against the Elves, capturing the Seven and the Nine, which he gave to seven Dwarven and nine human leaders respectively. While the Dwarves could not be controlled, he gained power over the human ring-bearers. They became his servants and became the Nazgûl.

At some point, the last King of Numenor, Ar-Pharazôn, challenged Sauron for Lordship of Middle-Earth. Morder's armies fled in fear of Numenor's great armies and Sauron came down from Barad-dur, made himself into an attractive form, (one that Numenor would admire) and was brought to Numenor. There he quickly grew from prisoner to adviser, using the Numenorians contempt for the Elves and Valar to convince them to worship Morgoth hoping to restore his master.

As Ar-Pharazôn began to grow old, Sauron tricked him to attack the Undying Lands, saying that whoever rules the Undying Lands lives forever. Most Numenorians were in favor of it, as they feared death, despite warnings from the Elves and Valar, Numenor sent a massive armada and army to seize the undying lands, in response, Iluvatar, (God) sunk Ar-Pharazôn's fleet and imprisoned the king and hios troops inside a cave (where they remain to this day) and sank Numenor, Sauron survived and returned to Mordor. As punishment for his role in the destruction of Numenor, Sauron could no longer assume an attractive form, for that is what he had used to seduce the Numenoreans.

Towards the end of the Second Age the Last Alliance of Elves and Men fought against him near and in Mordor.

After a years-long siege of his fortress Barad-dur, Sauron himself went out. He killed King Elendil and the High Elf King Gil-galad but his physical body was in turn destroyed by them after a fierce fight; only after Elendil's son Isildur cut of the Ring from his hand with the remains of his father's sword Narsil. Isildur kept the Ring as a weregeld against the counsel of the Elves Elrond and Círdan who asked him to destroy it. Because Sauron was an angel from before the world and before Time, Sauron himself did not die fully, (because the Ring held his spirit) but was able to reform again and retake his old position.

Third Age

His spirit went into hiding for an age first in Dol Guldur (where he was eventually banished) and then in Mordor. He soon captured Gollum and, after torturing him, discovered that Bilbo Baggins of the Shire had the Ring. So he sent the Nazgûl to find Frodo (who now had the ring), kill him, and take the ring back to Sauron so he could take his full powers again. Saruman also joined forces with Sauron, who commanded him to build him an army for Mordor. Saruman crossed orcs with men to make an army of Uruk-hai, but most of them were killed in the Battle of the Hornburg that took place in the land of Rohan.

After his defeat at the Hornburg, Sauron decided to attack Gondor, and sent an army of orcs, Southrons and Easterlings over to Minas Tirith to destroy it. The soldiers of Gondor fought against the army, which also had several trolls and Oliphaunts in it; they were later helped to gain victory by the Riders of Rohan, led by King Théoden, and by an army of soldiers brought by Aragorn from Gondor southern fiefs.

Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam entered Mordor through the secret passage of Cirith Ungol; Sauron nearly discovered Frodo and Sam, but his attention was diverted away from them when the Army of the West (led by Aragorn, Gandalf, Eomer and Prince Imrahil) came to draw out his forces to give Frodo and Sam a chance to get to Mount Doom. Eventually they reached Mount Doom, but Frodo decided to take the ring for himself at the last second. Gollum attacked and bit Frodo's finger off, taking the ring back, but overjoyed by his conquest he didn't pay attention and fell in the lava pit along with his "precious". This completely obliterated Sauron's powers and sent him into the Void where his master Morgoth already was; in the process the very foundations of Barad-dûr and the Black Gate were destroyed, and Mordor's armies were all exorcised from Sauron's control, and could barely fight, and were easily destroyed.

In Sir Peter Jackson's films

The Hobbit trilogy

Sauron necromancer dol guldur

Sauron as The Necromancer

While he was only mentioned in the novel, Sauron appears in the prequel trilogy of The Hobbit as the Necromancer. Although Sauron appears little throughout the story, his presence, like in Lord of the Rings before it, is constantly felt, and he is an active threat in the story through his servant Azog. He is portrayed and voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch who also voices and portrays Smaug.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

After Radagast the Brown discovers Dol Guldur, the spirit of the Witch-King attacks him and vanishes, leaving only his Morgul blade behind for Radagast to take back with him, but not before witnessing the Necromancer and fleeing in panic. He tells Gandalf this and Gandalf eventually told the White Council, with all members not believing him except for Lady Galadriel, who sent Gandalf on a quest to confirm that this mysterious necromancer was indeed Sauron returned.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug


Sauron reveals himself within a flaming eye.

After Gandalf, Bilbo and the Dwarf company manage to avoid the pack of Orcs led by Azog the Defiler (sent by Sauron), Gandalf eventually parted from them and travelled with Radagast to Dol Guldur to discover the truth. Gandalf sent Radagast back to send a message to Galadriel while he goes on in alone. After unsuccessfully trying to convince the evil inside to reveal itself, he was ambushed by Azog and several Orcs. After defeating and escaping them, Gandalf fleed deeper into the ruined fortress, where he realized the truth, that this Necromancer was indeed (as he assumed) the Dark Lord returned.

Gandalf encountered the Necromancer inside the fortress of revealed to be the dark spirit of Sauron, who then revealed that he was gathering all his forces and regaining his strength, enough to prepare for war, to take over Erebor, reclaim the kingdom of Angmar, conquer the other kingdoms of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth and then finally find and take back the One Ring.

Gandalf tried to fight off the Dark Lord, and although he accomplished reppeling him a few times, he eventually proved to be no match for Sauron. After defeating Gandalf, destroying his staff and imprisoning him, Sauron sent his minions to Erebor to find Thorin and his company inside the mountain, where they were currently facing a conflict with Smaug the Dragon, who was on his way to destroy Esgaroth, Lake-town.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Sauron Flaming

Sauron attacks the White Council

He is briefly seen in the beginning of the final Hobbit film when Galadriel, Saruman and Elrond assault Dol-Guldur to save Gandalf. Elrond and Saruman battle the spirits of the Nazgul while Gandalf escapes with the help of Radagast the Brown.

Sauron once again takes the form of the Eye and appears before the group and monologues the fall of the East and the rise of the ancient Kingdom of Angmar before he says that "the time of the Elves is over, the Age of the Orc has begun." He attempts to corrupt Galadriel but she enters her "Dark Queen" state and uses all of her power to banish Sauron's spirit out of Dol Guldur and sent the villain and the spirits of the Nazgul into Mordor. Moments after, Saruman decides to take matters into his hands with Sauron, which would have most likely resulted in their alliance.

Sauron's armies eventually met with defeat at the hands of the armies of elves, men, dwarves and the Eagles during the Battle of the Five Armies, which ended with the deaths of Azog and Bolg.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Sauron naturally also appears in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films 2001-2003, although various changes were made.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Eye of Sauron

Sauron as he later appeared as an eye in Jackson's films

Sauron appears as the main antagonist. As foretold in the opening prologue, Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor, forged the One Ring of Power to Rule Them All in the fires of Mount Doom. He conquered many lands in Middle Earth, until the Last Alliance of Men and Elves fought against him on the slopes of Mount Doom. They defeated his army of orcs easily, but Sauron proved to be a bigger challenge. He slaughtered many of the men and Elves and killed the Gondor King, Elendil, with a huge mace.

Elendil's son Isildur grabbed his father's sword, but Sauron stepped on it, breaking it. Isildur cut off Sauron's fingers, including the one with the One Ring on it, destroying Sauron's body, but he survived as a spirit, unable to die unless the One Ring was destroyed, which could only be done if it was thrown into the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged.

Thousands of years later, after the One Ring was found by Gollum, and later taken by Bilbo Baggins, Sauron became obsessed with finding the ring. Over the 15 years after Bilbo gave the ring to Frodo, Sauron regained much of his former strength, though unable to take physical form, he existed as an eye, called the Eye of Sauron, shown as a real manifestation on top of Barad-dûr. Saruman also went over to his side and he sent the Ringwraiths after Frodo to kill him and take the One Ring back. They failed.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Sauron reappears as the secondary antagonist and Bigger Bad. Saruman sent an army of 10,000 Uruk-hai to invade Rohan, but eventually they were defeated when Gandalf, the Rohirrim and the Ents of Fangorn Forest arrived. Saruman himself was killed by Gríma Wormtongue at Isengard and Wormtongue was killed by Legolas. Sauron's defeat at Helm's Deep showed him that the men were still able to resist him.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Sauron reappears as the main antagonist. After the defeat at Helm's Deep, he decided to attack Gondor with another powerful army of orcs, led by the hideous orc Gothmog and the Witch-king of Angmar. The men of Gondor and Rohan fought against them, but it wasn't until Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli showed up with the Army of the Dead that Sauron's army was defeated. In the battle, the Witch-King was killed by Éowyn, and Gothmog was killed by Aragorn and Gimli.

In the meantime, Frodo and Sam were making their way into Mordor with the One Ring to destroy it. Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Éomer, Merry, Pippin, and what remained of the men of Gondor and Rohan went to the Black Gates to draw Sauron's army out and his attention away from the two hobbits after a meeting with the Mouth of Sauron. Gollum attacked Frodo and Sam as they made their way up Mount Doom. In the end, Frodo decided to keep the ring for himself, and put it on, thus attracting the attention of Sauron and the eight remaining Nazgûl.

Before anything else could happen, however, Gollum bit Frodo's finger off and took the ring back. Frodo fought Gollum, resulting in them both falling over the cliff. Frodo held onto the edge and survived and he and Sam escaped, but Gollum fell into the lava with the One Ring. With the ring destroyed, Sauron could no longer survive. Barad-dûr collapsed, and Sauron was destroyed in a shock wave of energy that collapsed the foundations of Mordor and in the process, the marjority of the Orcs were all destroyed whereas the surviving Orcs run away, never able to form such great armies again, while the eight remaining Nazgul were all destroyed by the fires of Mt. Doom therefore, freeing Middle-Earth from slavery and destroying the ancient threat to Elves and Men.


Lego Game The Lord of the Rings

Sauron also appeared in the new 2012 Lego Game: Lego The Lord of the Rings.

How to unlock Sauron as a playable character in the game, there will be a bonus level where the player gets to play as Sauron and his messenger, Mouth of Sauron.

After getting 1,000,000 studs (which is the only way to finish the bonus level), the level will be completed and then your reward will be to unlock the playable characters: Mouth of Sauron and Sauron.

Lego Game The Hobbit

Sauron is also featured in the 2014 Lego video game of The Hobbit as well, appearing as a collectable minifigure in both fiery form and necromancer form.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Sauron appears as the main antagonist in Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor.

Sauron's commanders

Servants of Sauron


Build me an army worthy of Mordor
~ Sauron orders Saruman to bring forth a Great Army of Orcs
~ Sauron as he faces Aragorn
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone...
~ Sauron chanting the One Ring Poem
We grow in number. We grow in strength. You will lead my armies.
~ Sauron to Azog
War is Coming. Death will come to all!
~ Sauron dismisses Azog as he discusses Thorin Oakenshield
You cannot fight the shadow. Even now you fade. One light...alone in the darkness.
~ Sauron to Galadriel

Allusions in other works

  • Sauron appeared in a Family Guy episode as the Eye of Sauron, having lost his contact lens.
  • Sauron is the main character of Legendary Frog's parody series of flash videos, One Ring to Rule them All. In the first video, he hires Wayne the goblin as his evil henchman, receives some evil pizza he ordered, and hears from Wayne that the union of orcs are on strike. The second video follows the plot of Frodo and Sam going to Mordor to destroy the One Ring, but Sauron stupidly attempts to lower them into the fires of Mount Doom with the ring, oblivious to the fact that the ring will be destroyed, and it eventually is during the battle with Gollum, who spits the ring into the lava, but Sauron and Wayne survive. In the third video, Sauron receives a visit from his old master (or college roommate) Melkor, who steals his spices and seasonings for Legolas, who ironically is hired by Sauron to steal Wayne's girlfriend, a hippie elf chick, back from him. Sauron is portrayed as extremely stupid and often says "The One Ring... TO RULE THEM ALL!"
  • In an episode of Supernatural, Season 7, a character refers to Dick Roman as the Eye of Sauron.
  • Sauron is confirmed to have inspired My Little Pony antagonist King Sombra, who looks slightly similar in appearance and is stripped of his physical form by Celestia and Luna, leaving him in shadow form. Meghan McCarthy said he is meant to be a "dark presence". Ironically, his horn looks similar to Sauron's spikes in Legendary Frog's videos.
  • Dark Mind, the final boss from Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, is similar in appearance to the Eye of Sauron.
  • Lord Darkar, the main villain of Season 2 of Winx Club, shares some similarities to Sauron before he lost his power, and may have been inspired by him.
  • The Ore Club from the Kid Icarus series (also featured in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U) resembles the Eye of Sauron.
  • The Eye of Sauron has a cameo appearance in Gravity Falls.
  • In A Study In Fear, Atmos insults Sauron and similar villains, as they are the cause of him being overworked to study the secretly dark and macabre in film. Sauron sends down the Hand of Sauron, a basic minion of darkness, to threaten him with a wooden sword. After Atmos apologises, Sauron knocks him unconscious and takes over his body.



  • Despite being the main antagonist and having the series named after him, Sauron doesn't have many appearances.
  • Aragorn-v-Sauron

    Aragorn vs Sauron in Sword combat

    He was originally intended to somehow return to physical form and fight Aragorn at the tail end of the Battle of the Black Gate, but the filmmakers decided against it and replaced Sauron with a powerful troll. Sketches of the intended battle were shown in a bonus feature on one of the disks of the Extended Edition, under "Abandoned Concept: Aragorn vs. Sauron."
  • Another difference from the book is that while Sauron takes the form of a great eye in the film, unable to take physical form without the ring, Gollum implies in the books that he still has a physical form and the Eye is only his battle symbol; he says Sauron has only four fingers on one hand.
  • Randall Flagg in Stephen King's novels is based on Sauron, due to him being an immortal demon who wants to corrupt humans.
  • He is easily mistaken to be the tertiary antagonist in the Hobbit trilogy. This is false; Sauron is the true main antagonist because he had far bigger plans than anyone else.
  • listed Sauron and Saruman as #7 on their "Top 10 Iconic Movie Villains" list.
  • The character is spoofed in My Life As A Teenage Robot as the eye villain Infrared Ivan.
  • Malefor might have been inspired from Sauron as they have many similarities.
  • Sauron shares many similarities with Nyarlathotep.
    • Both are Dark Fantasy Villains.
    • Both are Complete Monsters.
    • Both are Dark Lords.
    • Both are Immortal Deities.
    • Both are shape-shifters.
    • Both are Master Manipulators and Sadistic Tricksters.
    • Both are Misanthropes.

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