Sauron and his Tower

At the end of the Second Age, Sauron was defeated and the Barad-Dur was broken down to it’s foundations - but no more as they were apparently OneRingFortified.

In TA 1000, Sauron seems reasonably secure that he has lots of power and nobody has The One, so he hides hid identity and becomes The Necomancer/Sorcerer of Dol-Goldur has control over the Nazgul and sends them to set up Angmar in the North. Meanwhile, he’s conquering, dominating and subjecting Easterlings and Haradrim (many of whom have Numenor lineage).

The Council of The White, led by Saruman who perhaps was a shill in the game - ‘defeat’ the Necromancer just as a narrow victory is gained up in the Lonely Mountain against Smaug – a fire-breathing, flying dragon - cream of Morgoth’s crop - a creature that NOBODY wants to deal with, least of all Sauron, err Necromancer.

The Crux:

You win, says this powerful being that required major firepower of Gandalf, Saruman and Galadriel to remove. Necromancer goes back to - lo and behold - a rebuilt Barad-dur - easily a 600 foot tower. Now he controls the Haradrim, the Easterlings - and best I can see - remains a figure of menace in Dol-Guldur.

Plus this guy can find contractors that can build a tower to rival Numenorean towers (orthanc) and have them built secretly. And make no mistake - Barad-Dur was a fortress.

Who was at fault? What level of neglect was there?

I guess this is kind of a “Who lost China?” situation. Who let Sauron slip through the collective fingers of the White Council?

First, I doubt that Sauron was deliberately using Smaug as a diversion. Remember that Sauron was a Maia, under no compulsion to limit his powers (like the Istari were). He could handle Smaug if necessary. And the loss of Smaug hurt Sauron’s potential military capabilities, since the addition of the dragon to his forces in the North as well as the absence of both Dale and the Kingdom Under the Mountain would have certainly given Sauron a huge advantage, assuming the quest to Mount Doom hadn’t been a factor.

That said, I think Saruman was instrumental in keeping the White Council distracted from the Necromancer. Even before his domination/influence by Sauron, Saruman was waxing possessive over the lost Ring, and had definite plans to use its power in defiance of the limitations that the Valar had placed on the Istari. Saruman suspected that the Necromancer was Sauron and wanted him to stay put in hopes that the Ring would be drawn to him and come out of hiding.

So my opinion is that Saruman was at fault. The White Council could hardly be faulted for trusting him. He’d been hand-picked by the Valar to lead the Wizards in Middle-Earth, so had a near-divine endorsement. He misused that trust to his own ends, which at the time were still being rationalized as being for the good of Middle-Earth. By the time the Council shook itself awake and sent Gandalf to Dol Guldur (at which point Sauron slunk away to the East for 400 years), the Dark Lord was well on his way to an amazing recovery.

My question was about the implied complacency/neglect that allowed Sauron/Necromancer to face a big defeat at Dol-Goldur - yet still have influence over the Nazgul - at least one of whom would remain a figure of menace at DG – and his retreat to a newly rebuilt Barad-Dur – which was a suprise to everyone.

I’d think much of it was Saruman influencing Sauron – and Sauron influencing Saruman - advantage Sauron.

The Barad-Dur was built by Sauron with the power of The One in the Second Age - and its foundations could not be unmade while The One existed. That in itself is fantastic – what had Aule taught Sauron to accomplish that feat?

The Barar-Dur was rebuilt by TA 2951 - apparently undetected by scouts - under the auspices of a Maia who rivaled Aule.


Maybe I’ve answered my own question. Sauron was that good:)

I think this is the crux of the issue. I’ve seen no reference to scouts. In fact, I’ve seen lots of references to “the vigilance of the men of the west was diminished” and such. I say there weren’t scouts and when the White Council strove against the Necromancer, they thought they had destroyed him, or forced him into some dark place. In reality he fled back to Barad-Dur, which had been rebuilt while he was holding the attention away from Mordor by presenting a threat in Dol-Guldur. Barad-Dur had been completely rebuilt before the White Council moved against the Necromancer. The rebuilding was missed by the west because they weren’t even watching. They thought the silent watchers and other automatic warnings were enough(and they had no king to use the Palantir). They were way wrong.

Sending scouts was not something they did. The vigilance on Mordor was gone well before TA 1000. The civil war, plague, necromancer, orcs in the Misty Mountains, dragons in the Dwarven homelands, all these things kept the focus away from Mordor. Imagine how hard it was after TA 2002 when Minas Ithil fell to the Ringwraiths and became Minas Morgul. Having to pass near the Morgul Vale to keep watch on Mordor would be even more dangerous. It was nearly 800 years from the fall of Minas Ithil to the time Dol Guldur was finally defeated(around the same time as Bilbo found the ring and Smaug was killed) and Barad-Dur would have needed to be complete for Sauron to flee back to. Even if he didn’t start rebuilding it until TA 2002 when his agents already controlled a major access point into Mordor and could block spies.


Am I the only one who sees a very ironic parallel to Saddam Hussein, the Gulf War in 90/91, the breakdown of the UN inspection policy, and his rise again to power under the very noses of the world, requiring the intervention of a new alliance under a close descendent of the hero from the first defeat? Nah, I must just be imagining things…Timmy

The ghost of Professor Tolkien will smack you, Timmy, for imposing allegory on his tale.

Saddam Hussein is dead; he’s in heaven making weapons of mass destruction without God knowing. South Park said so.

Oh, I wouldn’t say tower, exactly. I mean, Mrs. Sauron is impressed, and all. But tower might be stretching a point. So to speak.

TA 1000 is when the Istari (Wizards) started arriving in ME. Cirdan was so moved as to give his Elven Ring of Power, Narya to Gandalf. (the same Ring Gil-Gilad entrusted to Cirdan before going off to defeat Sauron)

At that time, Sauron was a 1000 year old Trivia question - besides the fact that Elrond@Rivendell/Cirdan@Mithlond/Galadriel@Lorien/Dwarven Kingdoms were content that Barad-Dur had been knocked down to its foundations - which it turns out - could not be destroyed until The One was.

At that time, The One Ring was a journal entry in Isildur’s diary scrolls.

And The White Hand of Saruman was just a glint in Sauron’s Eye :stuck_out_tongue: