nine riders

Nicholas: Nice work.

Jack, without thinking: Good. Thanks, Dad.

[An extended pause.]

Jack: Why is everyone staring at me.

Merida: You just called North, Dad. You said “Thanks Dad”.

Jack: What? No I didn’t, I said “Thanks Man”.

Nicholas: Do you see me as a father figure, Frost?

Jack, flustered: No! If anything I see you as a bother figure!

Hiccup: Hey! Show your father some respect!

Jack, still flustered: I didn’t call him Dad!

Nicholas: No, no no no no, Jack, I take it as a compliment.

Rapunzel: It’s not a big deal! I called Flynn “Dad” once, and he’s my fiancé.

Jack: Guys! Jump on that! Rapunzel has psycho-sexual issues!

Merida: Old news! But you calling North “Daddy”?

Jack: Hey. “Daddy” is not on the table here.

Pitch: But… You did call him “Dad”, dude. 

Jack: You shut up. You’ve done nothing but lie since you got here.

Pitch: Alright, alright. I was lying about the hold up. But the Dad thing? That happened.

Jack, loudly: Aha!

Nicholas: I believe you…

Jack: Thank you.

Nicholas: …Son.

Jack: *Sighs*

Nicholas: You want to talk about it later over a… Game of catch?

Jack, quietly, with his voice cracking: I’d like that.

Thesis on Morgoth and Sauron and their roles as Dark Lords (Part 2/4)

For my Tolkien project, I decided I was going to explore the dynamics of Morgoth and Sauron and see if I could make an estimate as to whether or not one was more effective as dark lord than the other. I did this in regard as I would not be able to debate whether or not one was more powerful (seeing as the Valar are higher beings then the Maiar, and seeing that Melkor was the eldest, he of course is indisputably stronger than Sauron).

However, just because you’re more powerful doesn’t always mean you’re more effective. We see this all throughout history in examples where generals themselves might not be very capable in battle but are able to gain mastery by being clever strategist. Therefore that inspired me to research if one could argue whether or not Morgoth or Sauron came closer to accomplishing their dominion over Middle Earth (or Beleriand).

I did this by looking at a few key characteristics– longevity of rule (but more importantly, what was achieved), servants (those who served under them and attributed to their victories), their primary enemies (or the state of those they fought against), as well as their defeat (and what caused the finale fall). Then I concluded with their legacy and the impact they have throughout the legendarium.


Servants 

  • Armies are what win wars and it’s important to employ those who will help you and not hurt you under your command. What is also important is your relationship with said army and servants. Those who desire your victory will work harder to accomplish it. Those who are merely doing so in order to survive do not possess the same initiative.

General Disclaimer

  • I am not at all an expert, just a very passionate individual in Tolkien’s lore. Therefore some of what is stated throughout this essay may be based upon faulted research and weighed heavily by personal interpretation and opinion. So please do keep such in mind. Most of the information here was found within The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Unfinished Tales, as well as Tolkien Gateway and Wikipedia.


Morgoth

Major Servants (* most of these summaries taken from the Tolkien Gateway)

  • Sauron: The greatest and most trusted servant of Morgoth before and during the First Age. Originally a Maia of Aulë named “Mairon”, he was ensnared by Melkor and as “Gorthaur” he became Morgoth’s lieutenant in his Wars of Beleriand. He demonstrated the ability to take the form of a wolf, a serpent, and a vampire.

  • Glaurung: First of the dragons and one of the foremost lieutenants of Morgoth during the First Age– possessed a unique power to charm and ensare his prey and said to be the mightiest of dragons.

  • Ancalagon: Greatest of the winged Dragons of Morgoth. Morgoth unleashed the winged dragons, with Ancalagon at their van. Ancalagon drove back the forces of the Valar, but was stopped by Eärendil.
  • Gothmog: High-captain of Angband, one of the chief servants of Morgoth with a rank equal to that of Sauron. One of the Maiar that followed Melkor to exile, and because of either his brilliant mind or because of his ability to assume an immensely powerful physical form, he was made the Lord of Balrogs.
  • Carcharoth: Bred from the foul breed of Draugluin, the first Werewolf, and fed with elvish and mannish flesh by Morgoth himself. He was the greatest, most powerful wolf to ever live. Carcharoth was set as a guard on the Gates of Angband, and later he mortally wounded both Huan, the Hound of Valinor, and Beren



Minor Servants

  • Dragons: Also known as the Great Worms; they were evil creatures seen mostly in the northern Middle-earth. Greedy, cunning, seductive and malicious, a creation by Morgoth out of fire and sorcery sometime in the First Age. Included species such as fire-drakes and cold-drakes.
  • Balrogs: Balrogath (“Balrog-kind”) were Maiar corrupted by Morgoth during the creation of Arda, who cloaked themselves in shadow and flame and carried whips and swords. Famed Balrogs include Gothmog, slain by Ecthelion, and Durin’s Bane, slain by Olórin (Gandalf).
  • Draugluin: The first werewolf. Bred from wolves and inhabited with an evil spirit sent by Morgoth himself, Draugluin was the sire of all Werewolves of Beleriand, and dwelled with his master Sauron in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, the former watchtower of Finrod Felagund. He was slain by Huan during the Quest for the Silmaril, though informed Sauron that Huan was present. Beren and Lúthien used his pelt to sneak into Angband
  • Giants, Goblins, Trolls: Twisted creatures, created by Morgoth.
  • Orcs: Orcs were the footsoldiers of evil overlords - Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman. Made in the mockery of elves sometime during the Great Darkness.
  • Ungoliant (and her children): Ungoliant was an evil spirit in a form that greatly resembled a massive Spider. Ungoliant’s origins are shrouded in mystery. It is thought that she may have been one of the Maiar, or a lesser spirit, whom Melkor corrupted long ago, but she is not listed among the Ainur. It is also said that she came from the darkness above the skies of Arda, leading some to believe that she may be an incarnation of darkness or emptiness itself.
  • Maeglin: Maeglin was an Elf, the son of Eöl the Dark Elf and Aredhel daughter of Fingolfin. He lived in the First Age of Middle-earth and was a lord of Gondolin, chief of the House of the Mole. Morgoth promised both Gondolin and Idril in return for the location of the hidden city, thus luring Maeglin into the greatest treachery done in the Elder Days. He gave him a token that would allegedly keep him safe from the sack.


Conclusion

  • If one thing could be noted is that Morgoth had a decent understanding of hierarchy. He expressed a remarkable ability within the Silmarillion to gain trust in those around him– something in which could be his greatest ability besides strength.

  • It could easily be said that Morgoth possessed greater servants than Sauron; seeing as many were of his own creations. He had the Balrogs under his authority, as well as dragons and being of unknown origins. He wasn’t suffering in terms of followers and it could even be said that he was a decent lord in terms of servitude.
  • While man suffered under his lash, the orcs were seen as masters in their own right. Maeglin was offered Gondolin upon it’s surrender and the hand of the woman he loved. Gothmog led armies; Glaurung, Ancalagon, and Carchathor were given life. Morgoth didn’t make empty promises– perhaps they weren’t always honest, but he was able to give individuals a purpose.
  • He didn’t abuse what trust was granted to him once he had what he desired and therefore possessed a rather impressive relationship with those who followed him. While some, such as Ungoliant, would come to betray him– such were few and far between, unlike Sauron whose servants often had their own ideas..


Sauron
Major Servants

  • Nazgûl: Known as the Nine Riders or Black Riders, were Sauron’s “most terrible servants” in Middle-earth. Sometime during the Second, Sauron gave nine Rings of Power to powerful mortal Men. It is said that three of the Nine were lords of Númenor corrupted by Sauron, and one was a king among the Easterlings
  • One-Ring: An artifact created by Sauron in the Second Age for the purpose of ruling over the Free peoples of Middle-earth, mainly the Elves. It was also known as the Ruling Ring, Great Ring of Power and Isildur’s Bane because it caused the death of Isildur.
  • Thuringwethil: Vampire servant of Sauron during the First Age. She was Sauron’s messenger, but was caught in the battle between her master, Lúthien and Huan at Tol-in-Gaurhoth (“Isle of Werewolves”). She was slain either by the Hound of Valinor or in the collapse of Minas Tirith. Lúthien later used her cloak to sneak into Angband during the Quest for the Silmaril. Because of Thuringwethil’s ability to change forms, she may have been a Maia
  • Witch-king: The Witch-king of Angmar was the chief of the Nazgûl, King of Angmar and Sauron’s great captain in his wars. A wraith, the Witch-king of Angmar was nearly indestructible, a terrifying warrior, and a cunning strategist.

  • Mouth of Sauron: Sauron’s servant and representative at the end of the Third Age. He had the title Lieutenant of Barad-dûr, since he was so strongly devoted to the Dark Lord. The Mouth of Sauron was one of the Black Númenóreans.
  • Saurman: Saruman the White was the first of the order of Wizards (or Istari) who came to Middle-earth as Emissaries of the Valar in the Third Age. He was the leader of the White Council. In Sindarin his name was Curunír, which meant “Man of Skill”. It soon became clear that Saruman desired to possess the One Ring himself.
  • Shelob: A great spider-like creature akin to those of Nan Dungortheb in Beleriand, the last offspring of the demonic Ungoliant. Shelob fed off with all living things, such as Elves and Men, but as these became scarce in the area, she fed upon orcs. Sauron would sometimes send her captured prisoners for whom he had no further use and amuse himself watching how she played with her prey.


Minor Servants

  • Ar-Pharazôn: Ar-Pharazôn the Golden was the twenty-fifth and last King of Númenor. He was the son of Gimilkhâd, who was the younger brother of the twenty-fourth King, Tar-Palantir. Ar-Pharazôn’s willful rule, and his great pride, led directly to the world-changing Downfall of Númenor and the founding of the realms in exile of Arnor and Gondor.
  • Fellbeasts: Winged creatures with beak and claws, similar to birds but much larger than any other flying beast. They were used as winged mounts of the Nazgûl
  • Giants, Goblins, Trolls: Twisted creatures, created by Morgoth.
  • Orcs: Orcs were the footsoldiers of evil overlords - Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman. Made in the mockery of elves sometime during the Great Darkness.
  • Smeagle/Golum: was a creature who bore the One Ring. He lived in the Misty Mountains for most of his life. In T.A. 2941, he lost the Ring to Bilbo Baggins. For the rest of his life he sought to recover his "precious”. Eventually he would come to seize the Ring from Frodo in Sammath Naur. In his euphoria he died and destroyed the Ring after falling into the cracks of Mount Doom.
  • Werewolves: Wolves, inhabited by dreadful spirits, they were created (or a least corrupted from some other form) by Sauron, who was their master, and who took the shape of a great wolf himself at least once.
  • Wargs: An evil breed of demonic wolves, suggesting that they were inhabited by evil spirits. The origin of the breed is unknown - perhaps they were among the creatures bred by Morgoth in the Elder Days. In any case, Gandalf listed the Wargs among Sauron’s servants in the late Third Age.
  • Vampire Bats: Vampires were mysterious bat-like creatures in the service of Morgoth and of Sauron. The only vampire whose name is recorded in the annals of Arda is Sauron’s servant Thuringwethil, but Sauron himself took the form of a vampire on at least one occasion, to flee Huan.
  • Flies: Tiresome, flying insects.


Conclusion

  • For an individual who was as persuasive and charismatic as he, it was almost more so beneficial to be an enemy of Sauron than among his servants, to which he arguably held a weak relationship with.
  • The orcs within the Lord of the Rings constantly confess to fearing him and seem almost bitter of their existence– often being fed to Shelob; who she herself remarked that Sauron believed her to be nothing more then a pet, in which he was gravely mistaken.
  • Saurman and Golum both expressed a willingness to betray Sauron as soon as they were able and the Nazgûl, his chief servants, were only obeying on the account that their fates were doomed to the One Ring.
  • Even Ar-Pharazôn humored Sauron in a mere attempt for immortality and therefore many trusted little in the Dark Lord himself.
  • One could then argue is that Sauron’s greatest servant was the One Ring, which in reality, was him. Which– if one were familiar with the characteristic of Sauron, would be of no surprise that he trusted himself first and foremost.
  • Therefore Sauron was ignorant in the needs and desires of those in servitude to him and perhaps that was why he favored the more animalistic creatures in his service. Something to which couldn’t and wouldn’t doubt him.


Overall Conclusion

  • Both possessed a various assortment of powerful individuals under their authority. However, Morgoth expressed a more natural ability to lead and keep those beneath his authority, sedated. Sauron was perfect at manipulating those around him, but could not establish a relationship as seemed almost natural to Morgoth. Besides, Morgoth even had the undying loyalty of Sauron, who trusted himself most of all. If he could seduce a maiar such as he, then that speaks levels to Morgoth’s influence in those who listened.
2

“They were once Men. Great kings of Men. Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to them nine rings of power. Blinded by their greed, they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness. Now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the Ring, drawn to the power of the One. They will never stop hunting you.”
-Aragorn to Frodo

Frodo stirred. And suddenly his heart went out to Faramir. “The storm has burst at last,” he thought. “This great array of spears and swords is going to Osgiliath. Will Faramir get across in time? He guessed it, but did he know the hour? And who can now hold the fords when the King of the Nine Riders comes? And other armies will come. I am too late. All is lost. I tarried on the way. All is lost. Even if my errand is performed, no one will ever know. There will be no one I can tell. It will be in vain.” Overcome with weakness he wept. And still the host of Morgul crossed the bridge.
Then at a great distance, as if it came out of memories of The Shire, some sunlit early morning, when the day called and doors were opening, he heard Sam’s voice speaking. “Wake up, Mr Frodo! Wake up!” Had the voice added: “Your breakfast is ready,” he would hardly have been surprised. […]
Frodo raised his head and then stood up. Despair had not left him, but the weakness had passed. He even smiled grimly, feeling now as clearly as a moment before he had felt the opposite, that what he had to do, he had to do, if he could, and that whether Faramir or Aragorn or Elrond or Galadriel or Gandalf or anyone else ever knew about it was beside the purpose.
— 

The Two Towers, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol, p.925-926

Probably the most impressive and awe-inspiring thing I ever read.

Today in Middle-Earth: Elrond names the Company of the Ring: Frodo, Sam; Gandalf; Legolas for Elves; Gimli for Dwarves; Aragorn for Men; Boromir; Merry and Pippin (December 18th, 3018 T.A.)

‘And I will choose you companions to go with you, as far as they will or fortune allows. The number must be few, since your hope is in speed and secrecy. Had I a host of Elves in armour of the Elder Days, it would avail little, save to arouse the power of Mordor.’

‘The Company of the Ring shall be Nine; and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders that are evil.’

anonymous asked:

Sorry. I'm drunk and I think your blog is cool.

right now I’m trying to figure out how you tame a fellbeast and picturing all the fearsome nine riders cloaked and darkness and wearing twisted parodies of crowns gingerly offering their gauntled hands out for these giant monstrosities to sniff

orcs waving stolen Gondorian flags and banging on shields to get the fell beasts accustomed to the chaos of the battlefield (though the attrition rate for that job was pretty fucking high, a startled fellbeast goes in teeth-first)

when they’re trying to break the fellbeasts to the saddle, every orc off-duty shows up at the training field—there really is nothing like watching a once-proud king of men thrown in the dust from ten thousand feet, watching them sitting up dazedly, collecting their scattered armor and mutter about more hassle than it’s worth

…so yes, the answer to your question is yes.