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 towhether 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Getting quite frustrated about a trend in what could be called Early Modern Reconstructionist Witchcraft: a trend of taking particular ideas about reported historical practises in early modern and often also medieval Europe (and especially England and Scotland) and attempting to codify them as The True Witchcraft - often partially or completely devoid of the actual cultural and religious context of these practices (and without critical analysis of whether they *were* actual practices, when they come via trial reports), and often along with an American fetishisation of Europe. It’s giving me a thumping headache.
Look, being inspired by the imagery of witchcraft in early modern (& earlier & later) England, Scotland, Western Europe is great. Flying ointments, diabolical Sabbats, wild hunts & furious hosts and faery rades, familiar spirits, Diana and Habondia and their spiritual sisters - it’s great stuff, it’s juicy, it’s a real current in historical thought that’s affected our present day ideas. The image of the cunning wo/man (whether of the mystic-cottage-full-of-herbs variety or the canny sometimes-rip-off-merchant practising what Pratchett termed Headology one [and the two are not exclusive]) is fertile inspiration for modern practice. I draw on this stuff myself, obviously!
But please, please be wary of anyone trying to tell you that modern, developing practises derived from (often selective) historical reports and modern interpretations of them are What People Did And How People Thought/Believed Back Then! Especially if the same people are deriding twentieth-century witchcrafts inspired by people like Murray - because those witchcrafts were *also* based on (often selective) historical and archaeological information of their day and the contemporary interpretations of them. (And extra especially if those people have books or classes to sell!)
The reaching for ‘authenticity’ is an understandable urge, and can be a real spiritual and magical hunger for roots and meaning. But claims of *historical* authenticity in contemporary, reconstructed practices should always be treated with wariness - because there’s always more evidence to come along, new ways of looking at the past to develop, and what seems like an obvious historical survival today is going to look like Murray’s witch cult and Frazer’s Golden Bough in ten, twenty, fifty years’ time. (And hey, people can and do still draw valid personal inspiration from those, we just need to understand they’re not History Fact.)
Any practice that looks back to the past is necessarily a child of historiography as much as history. And historiography is a constantly evolving thing. So…just be thoughtful, okay? If stuff speaks to you, that’s great, work that current ‘til your arse falls off. Just be wary of believing - or making - claims that what you’re doing is More Real, More Accurate, More Authentic, More Historical than what other people are doing.
YOU’RE A GENIUS NONNY! THIS IS A PERFECT AU. Here’s my HCs:
–Yurio is the tiger. He is significantly less cuddly to Viktor than Raj is to Jasmine in the original. At least, when they’re around other people. Anytime someone is aggravating Viktor, Yurio the tiger is there, extremely ferocious, BUT IT’S NOT BECAUSE I LIKE HIM AND HE’S MY HUMAN OR ANYTHING.
–Yuuri spends a lot of time trying to hide what he thinks are his rough edges, because here he is, some kid raised in the slums pretending to be a prince and trying to woo VIKTOR NIKIFOROV, actual prince of the land. Viktor likes that he knows his way around markets and alleys. He likes that Yuuri’s not stuffy, and has no idea how much the golden bangles Viktor wears are. When Yuuri appears on his balcony, he’s already trying to take Yuuri’s hand to ELOPE TOGETHER before Yuuri even mentions the words “magic flying carpet.” Yuuri, meanwhile, was so drunk the first time they met and ran through the city market together that he doesn’t realize Viktor already knows he’s been a “street rat.”
–”A Whole New World” definitely still happens, except after doing quadruple loops through the air on Yuuri’s magic carpet they touch down and Yuuri shows Viktor where to get delicious katsudon. In the process Viktor meets Yuuko, as well as a lot of other common folk. There’s so many people and so much love that later, when Viktor is dropped off at the palace and has to lay back down in his canopy bed, surrounded by cold gold and a lot of servants that refuse to look him in the eye… he cries. “Yuuri,” he whispers into his pillow, “Yuuri, don’t leave again.”
–Yuuri shows up the next day with swordsmen, dancing girls, twenty golden camels, and a whole parade. “It’s too much,” he hisses to Genie from his throne on an elephant.
“IT’S AMAZING,” Viktor calls from his balcony. “YUURI! I love you!”
–JJafar is their “evil nemesis,” but at some point it becomes clear that he doesn’t want to take over Agrabah and be its king. He just really, really wants Viktor to pay attention to him, and maybe let JJafar pet his tiger, Yurio, without nearly losing a hand.
–”Don’t you have any wishes of your own?” Yuuri asks his genie, who beams and pinches his cheek and firmly says:
“To be free, Yuuri– and then I’m going to be the best ice skater Agrabah has ever seen. So I can share my love with everyone!”
“What is ice,” says Yuuri, because they live in a desert. “What is skating?”
“Exactly,” says Phichit the tropical genie.
–”Please give me some of Viktor’s time,” is the first wish Yuuri makes.
At their wedding, Phichit waves happily at him from the front row and Yuuri thinks genies really can do anything. Then Viktor takes his hands and lovingly says, “when I first fell in love with you at that marketplace all those years ago…”
The 1920 was a decade of the Gregorian calendar in North America frequently referred to as the “Roaring Twenties” or the “Jazz Age”, while in Europe as the “Golden Age Twenties”. The era brought about several novel and highly visible social and cultural trends. These trends, such as Jazz and Art Deco, made possible by sustained economic prosperity, were most visible in major cities like New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin and London.
I love the fact that Baam’s eyes look more vibrant with Rachel’s lighthouses reflected on it, like stars. What I love more is that final focus on Baam’s eyes, and Rachel at the center but covered by the black of his iris. I’d like to think this is intentional symbolism, because in all the previous focuses on Baam’s eyes, Rachel can be clearly seen on the reflection. Whereas in this one, she is obscured, which probably alludes to Baam’s confusion about her betrayal. (You could even say that his eye got duller in that panel. And yes, I have stared at those panels for a very long time because I love them) [x]
Prompt: You fell asleep on me in the subway and I should probably wake you up and it’s my stop next but it’s ok, I can always catch the subway back…
Ryan sighed as he waited for the subway to come. He was coming home from a late night at work, and he was really tired. Ryan just wanted to get home and relax for a bit. Sadly, the subway was a little bit late, so he had to wait even longer.
When it finally came, he let out a sigh and got in. It was empty; it usually was at this time of night. Ryan sat down in a spot that seemed the most clean and waited. He was mindlessly playing a game on his phone while he was waiting for his stop.
"I'm not a racist" I hate this default. It doesn't matter if you're an orphan feeding, cancer curing, peace making giant with twenty golden hearts. Racism is something we are capable of as human beings and even the "best" of us fuck up. It's indefensible. I appreciate how you make the distinction between people who say racist things and are quick to apologize and try harder, and those who just get stupid mad.
Yeah, you really don’t have to defend your racist shit. It’s so easy to just say my bad and then move on.
“i really want you to write a prompt with jealous even in s1, like what if they were together in s1 and those gifs are from evens pov, i mean, look at isak flirting like he doesn’t have a bf”
Fucking Julian Dahl.
Even never normally let the jealousy take charge of him and his mood, but this was the last straw. It had to be the last straw, since Isak was his. Not Julian’s. His.
He had been lenient with Julian ever since Isak introduced him to Even as a childhood friend a couple of weeks ago. Even couldn’t help but let the slight jealousy go a little at the time given how happy and relaxed Isak was around his old friends. Keeping Isak’s mood high and his mind off of what was currently happening at home with his parents was Even’s main priority, so seeing his little moody teenager being free and happy for a change, be it even with fucking Julian Dahl was more than enough. The two boys had started talking again when they found out that they shared a couple of classes with each other at Nissen, since their friendship was abruptly interrupted when the summer holiday started and everything went to shit at Isak’s home. Even was comfortable with all the small talk and the inside jokes between the two younger boys of course, but Isak was ever so slightly starting to share with Julian his special smile, his special laugh and everything that Even thought was only shown between him and Isak. Yes, Isak was only in his first year of Nissen. And yes, it was important that he had a stable friendship group.
But in the heat of the moment Even decided that this had gone too far.
The tall boy stood there on the opposite side of the school grounds circled by his classmates from the previous lesson, perfectly placed in relation to Isak so that he could tactically zone out of the immature mumblings from those around him and dream about his golden boy for twenty minutes like he usually did. But Even had lost control over his jealousy and decided that today it had gone too far.
He clenched his fists ever so slightly, staring at Isak so intensely that his eyes might as well have had been lasers and walked over in Isak’s direction with one thing on his mind: he’s mine.
As he neared his small smiling sunshine, he made sure to gently bump into Julian with enough force to make him realise that Even was now dominating this space. He came round to Isak’s side, perched on the bench with him, wrapped his arm around his waist and sneakily pulled him into his side.
“Hey, baby.” Even smiled to Isak, stealing his attention away from Julian.
“Hey! Even!” He smiled even wider back, “You remember Julian, my old friend from Grefsen-”
“Yes, you’ve mentioned him before.” Even nodded politely to Julian with a forced nice-guy smile on his lips, trying his best to make sure that Julian finally got the message to just back off already.
Julian quickly noticed the game that was being played here, “Hi, Even! So good to see you again. You know, Isak was just mentioning about how we should all go out one night and have pre-drinks together.” What the hell? That’s not for you to join in on. Get your own group of friends.
Even winced at the thought of being near Julian anywhere outside of school, and immediately knew what he was doing. He knew how he was taking a slight advantage of Isak’s fragile state. Sneaky little bugger.
“Oh my word, yes! That would be so great. Us three and the boys all together, like in the old days. Well, not exactly like that but, you know. Jonas would enjoy spending time time with you again, we all would.” Isak responded with a little too much excitement in his voice than Even could handle. Why am I letting Julian get to me like this.
“Oh cool. I heard that some first year girls were having a party with the ‘97 guys this Friday, so we could do it then.” Julian responded, a smug smile spreading over his lips accompanied by confidence in his voice. You’re not getting away from this easily, Julian.
“We can go to that one, can’t we, Even?” Isak nudged him slightly, suddenly turning Even’s attention back to his sunshine boy. Oh how wonderful and sweet he could be in innocent moments like these.
“Great, so it’s a date.” Julian confidently told them before walking away with his hands in his pockets and a smile on his face. What’s that guy’s problem? Can’t he see that he doesn’t stand a chance here?
Even hadn’t dropped his dead-pan face of no remorse until Isak gently stroked away the frowns that were collecting on his forehead. “What’s on your mind?”
Fucking Julian Dahl.
“You, of course, like always.” Even still didn’t feel confident enough to expose Isak with a kiss in front of all his classmates at school, so he just lent down to his ear and whispered “I’ve just really fallen for you.”
He could feel Isak blush from under his hold around his waist, even just from those couple of words. So he tightened his grip a little more and pulled him in closer, “Fy faen, you look so good with your hair like that.”
Little did it take for Isak to melt from the inside in response to Even’s words, so he tried to hide his shy smile and red face from him by looking at the ground, his eyes looking for an object to focus on, but finding none.
“Look at me.” Even brought his hand to Isak’s chin and softly tilted it upwards so that they were now facing each other at a slight angle. “You, Isak Valtersen, are a beautiful boy. Don’t let anyone else other than me say so, okay?” His big blue eyes now catching Isak’s attention.
Even pressed their foreheads together and for a second, or two, it was just a beautiful boy and a caring boy that were uncomfortably perched on a bench in the middle of the day, in the middle of Oslo, and to them it felt like being in the centre of the universe.
Thanks to @beanievaltersen for beta'ing! You da bomb.com🌟