This weeks Bugle article takes a look into the background of Sauron. This will be a four part series so keep your eyes pealed for the weeks to come.
Before the creation of Ea, Sauron was one of the countless Ainur spirits created by Eru Iluvatar, though at this time he was known as Mairon the Admirable, and partook in the Ainulindale, or Music of the Ainur. However, unlike many other spirits, Mairon did not align himself with Melkor upon the introduction of his discord themes, and thus, did not initially fall under his sway. When the Music was completed, Mairon was one of the spirits who descended into Arda.
Upon his arrival in Arda, Mairon was one of the Maiar who aligned himself with Aulë the Smith, and learned much from him in the ways of forging and crafting, becoming a great craftsman, and mighty in the lore of Aule’s people. Although he was a Maia spirit, and not as mighty as the Valar, Mairon was one of the most powerful Maiar, being far stronger than others such as Olorin and Curunír (who was also a servant of Aule).
During this time, Mairon was as Eru had created him: good and uncorrupt. His greatest virtue was his love of order and perfection, disliking anything wasteful. However, this would also prove to be the source of his fall, for in the Dark Lord Morgoth, Mairon saw the will and power that would help him achieve his own goals and desires faster than if he had pursed them on his own. So great was his allegiance that even in later days, after Morgoth was defeated and locked outside the confines of the world, Sauron encouraged and coerced some Men to worship Morgoth as the one and true god. However, while Morgoth wanted to either control or destroy the very matter of Arda itself, Mairon’s desire was to dominate the minds and wills of its creatures.
After allying himself with Morgoth, Mairon maintained his appearance of being faithful to the Valar, but secretly fed Morgoth information about their dealings. It was only when Morgoth established his strongholds in Middle-Earth that Sauron left the Blessed Realms and openly declared his allegiance, and ever after remained a foe of the Valar and the Free Peoples of Middle Earth. TheSindar in Beleriand called him “Gorthaur” (“Dread Abomination”), and the Noldor, “Sauron” (“The Abhorred” or ‘The Abominable”–a mockery of his original name) At first, he was a spy for Morgoth, telling him of the Valar’s doings.
Sauron bears a coat of arms that is black charged with a red eye. An interesting dichotomy is set up between his deceptive nature and his symbol. While rarely appearing personally and deceiving all but the most wary, he represented himself as an all seeing eye that could pierce all disguises.
During the First Age, the Noldorin Elves left the Blessed Realm of Valinor in the Utter West (against the counsel of the Valar) in order to wage war on Morgoth, who had stolen the Silmarils of Fëanor, enchanted gems that glowed with light from the now-destroyed Trees of Valinor. In that war, Sauron was counted as the “greatest of [Morgoth’s] servants that have names” (Valaquenta). He was soon feared as a lord of terrible phantoms and dreadful beasts–a shape shifter, sorcerer, and a cunning servant of his dark master.
After his defeat by Lúthien, Sauron played little part in the events of the First Age (possibly hiding from Morgoth’s wrath), and after his master was defeated and taken to Valinor in chains, Sauron seemed to repent and pled to Eönwë and the victorious Host of the West for mercy. Although his plea was probably genuine, Sauron was unwilling to return to the Utter West for judgment, and so he fled and hid somewhere in Middle-earth.
Next week we will take a look into Sauron during the Second Age. Until then, I’m Iogro Merrybelly signing off for the evening.