The Eye

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Kinarear 18/Dec/2006 at 02:58 PM
Horse-groom of the Mark Points: 450 Posts: 198 Joined: 30/Oct/2006

I know I should propably know the answer to this question but I havent read the books for a while. So why exactly was sauron an eye? Not that Ive got anything against eyes but why?

What say you?

KingODuckingham 18/Dec/2006 at 03:03 PM
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He wasn’t. He had a corporeal body that he had reformed after his destruction at the end of the Second Age.
Morgil 18/Dec/2006 at 04:07 PM
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That Sauron was unable to take a physical form was simply an invention of Peter "The Butcher of Middle-earth" Jackson" and crew.  While his physical form was destroyed when Isildur cut the Ring from his hand, Sauron was able to again take on another long before the War of the Ring. Other than the impact the loss of the Ring had, the only restriction Sauron suffered from was that he was unable to assume a fair form after the downfall of Numenore.  
halfir 18/Dec/2006 at 04:09 PM
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Kinarear: Tolkien expresses KingODuckingham’s ’corporeal body’ in this way in Letter # 200:

Letter # 200:

’It was because of this preoccupation with The Children of God that the spirits so often took the form and likeness of the Children, especially after their appearance. It was thus that Sauron appeared in this shape. It is mythologically supposed that when this shape was ’real’, that is a physical actuality in the physical world and not a vision transferred from mind to mind{Such as the Eye!- Halfirian comment} it took some time to build up. It was then destructible like other physical organism. But that of course did not destroy the spirit, nor dismiss it from the world to which it was bound until the end. After the battle with Gilgalad and Elendil, Sauron took a long while time to re-build, longer than he had done after the Downfall of Numenor. (I suppose because each building -up used up some of the inherent energy of the spirit, which might be called the ’will’ or the effective link between the indestructible mind and being and the realization of its imagination). The impossibility of re-building aftre the destruction of the Ring, is sufficiently clear ’mythologically’ in the present book.’ (My bold emphasis)

And the "Eye’ motif- meaning the overpowering will of Sauron, not his physical reality, had first started with Morgoth, cf:

It is true, of course, that Morgoth held the Orcs in dire thraldom, for in their corruption they had almost lost all possibility of resisting the domination of his will. So great indeed did the pressure on them  become ere Angband fell that, if he turned his thought towards them, they were conscious of his ’eye’ wherever they might be....this servitude to a central will  that reduced the Orcs to an almost ant-like life was seen even more plainly in the Second and Third Age under the tyranny of Sauron, Morgoth’s chief Lieutenant."(HOME 10 Morgoth’s Ring Myths Transformed- Text 10 - my bold emphasis and underline)

Morgil: the only restriction Sauron suffered from was that he was unable to assume a fair form after the downfall of Numenore.  

Not quite correct, he could not regenerate his lost finger!

Morgil 18/Dec/2006 at 06:24 PM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2614 Posts: 3542 Joined: 10/Dec/2008
halfir...Darn! I knew I should have included that quote from Gollum.
halfir 18/Dec/2006 at 06:41 PM
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X(

In an earlier thread of mine on Sauron’s Regenerative Powers:

http://www.lotrplaza.com/archive/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=46&TopicID=11635&PagePosition=8

Elwing, observing on the inability of Sauron to regenerate the finger wrote:

I did some research on this a while back. The Encyclopedia of Arda brings out that it is a peculiar shape-changing characteristic of the Ainur that the wounds they sustain in one form go with them into another. One instance of this is the four-fingered Sauron that Gollum saw, still carrying the injury he had suffered during the war of the Last Alliance.

Another example of this can be seen in Sauron’s fight with Huan in the Silmarillion, Chapter 19, entitled of Beren and Luthien. There, Sauron is in his wolf-shape when Huan grabs him by the throat. In an effort to elude Huan’s grip, he changes to a serpent. Finally Sauron yielded himself, and Huan released him. It was after Huan released him that he changed form yet again to that of a vampire. Yet the Sil says he fled, "dripping blood from his throat upon the trees". So he still had the wound in vampire form that Huan had given him while he was a wolf and serpent.

The only thing is Gollum didn’t see any wound on his throat. So maybe after milleniums have past, the spirit of the Maiar finally heals, because that is what seems to be hurt when they sustain a wound, considering that they have to carry it into the next form.

(I don’t think that her last paragraph necessarilly follows: because Gollum doesn’t mention it does not mean it does not exist- but that is a separate argument for another thread).

King Gothmog 20/Dec/2006 at 02:14 PM
Scavenger of Mordor Points: 1082 Posts: 506 Joined: 27/Jul/2006

I have to place my agreement with Halfir here, on the throat thing.  In my opinion Sauron was ment to be the angelic being.  They were not ment to come to Arda and fight so why would they heal?  And even if they did why would they heal what men and elves can’t when they take similar forms on Arda.

As for the eye, it’s been stated numerous times that Sauron had corporal form, but to be completely honest after I read the books for the first time I was still confused at what the eye ment. 

Magradhaid 20/Dec/2006 at 03:14 PM
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halfir, Sauron’s throat not healing reminds me of how Morgoth didn’t heal from the wounds from Ringil and Thorondor.
Thaliondae Suchi-ru 23/Dec/2006 at 11:32 AM
Archer of Mordor Points: 3278 Posts: 4716 Joined: 07/May/2006
At no time was sauron the large Flaming eye which you see in the Lord of the Rings Films. Saurons physical body was destroyed upon the slopes of mount Doom when Isildur took the ring from his lifeless finger. Then the maia became a spectral being, a spirit in a word and as he gained power again he gained another form. Though of course it was completely wrong and misleading, i did find the "eye" very cool
SigilMor 24/Dec/2006 at 02:25 PM
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Sauron wasn’t an eye. That was Peter Jackson changing everything to make it a more interesting movie. His symbol was a lidless red eye though. I don’t think he really had a flaming lidless eye at the top of his tower though. It did make it look cool though.