The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and now Rings of Power, Tolkien’s universe has been adapted to our screens for more than two decades now. Oscar winner, the trilogy of Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson remains one of the most cult film adaptations. A work drawn from the mysterious universe of Tolkien, whose spectators sometimes keep unanswered questions. If you were wondering why Sauron takes the form of an eye after his defeat by Elrond and Isildur, now is the time for us to provide you with an answer.
a cult antagonist
Spiked helmet, full armor, single ring, Sauron is one of the most famous antagonists of Hollywood cinema. Popularized via the trilogy of Lord of the Rings and barely visible in that of the Hobbit, Sauron made a notable appearance in the early Rings of Powerthe current Prime Video series. A series that should allow us to learn more about the dark lord, before he is defeated by Elrond and Isildur, leaders of a coalition between men and elves. Whereas The Lord of the Rings goes back to the events that occurred during the Third Age, that of Sauron goes back much longer.
The Sauron portrayed in Peter Jackson’s trilogy is no longer the same one who faced Isildur and Elrond centuries before. As you may have noticed, the imposing armor covering a humanoid silhouette has been swapped for a flaming eye, overlooking a gigantic tower built near Mount Doom, where the One Ring was forged there. But why this eye shape? As always with Tolkien, the clues are slim. To better understand the choice of this form, we must turn to the origins of Sauron. Its history goes back even before the First Age. The pages of Silmarillion explain how Eru Ilúvitar, Tolkien’s universe equivalent of God, created immortal angel-like creatures known as Ainur.
The Ainur then traveled out into the world to bring creatures to life as the Valar. Once Arda (Earth) was created, part of the Ainur went there to make it prosper. Fifteen Ainur stood out from the others for their power. Beings fourteen of whom became Valar (the Powers of Arda) when, the fifteenth, Melkor, eventually fell into the dark side of the Force before becoming the first Dark Lord: Morgoth. Lesser spirits were known as Maiar, and although they were also immortal and powerful, due to their status as Ainur they possessed a closer connection to the physical world.
Sauron was one of them. Disciple of Morgoth, he was present when his master decided to betray his people to become the first Dark Lord. And when Morgoth was defeated, Sauron reclaimed his place. He then took the time to hide in Middle-earth, to swell his influence there from the darkness. A metamorph, he is able to infiltrate all the peoples of Middle-earth to influence their leaders. Elves and Men finally succumbed to his misdeeds, causing the continent to kill each other.
one eye to influence them all
And in the Second Age, Sauron builds the fortress of Barad-dúr. Located near the Mountain of Doom and erected by the magic of the One Ring, it served as a base of operations. At the top of this tower, an eye. A blazing eye which Frodo describes as “surrounded by fire, but he himself was glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and watchful, and the black slit of his pupil opened into a pit, a window into nothingness.” when the Hobbit gazes into Galadriel’s mirror. In this form, Sauron will create armies of Orcs, whose armor and banners will bear the symbol of the Eye.
This eye, which Jackson presents as omnipotent, eyes the lands of Mordor to detect any intrusion. Frodo and Sam pay the price in The king’s returnbefore Aragorn and the rest of the troops amass and then charge towards the Black Gates to attract Sauron’s attention. Throughout the trilogy, Jackson insists that Sauron is too weak to assume physical form. Determined to adopt this eye form, Sauron could therefore no longer resume a humanoid form. But according to Tolkien’s stories, the reality would be quite different. And for good reason, Gollum lets Gandalf know that Sauron only has four fingers.
Although Sauron is not powerful enough to fight on the battlefield with a physical form, there is no real evidence that the Dark Lord can only opt for one form. A form more symbolic than physical which represents above all its influence. A symbol of fear, an ill omen carried by Orcs that bears witness to the imminent return of the Dark Lord. An ancient and powerful being capable of influencing the living beings of Middle-earth from a great distance. From the Palantir to the One Ring, to the evil sword depicted in Rings of Powerthe influence of Sauron is everywhere.
Saruman, once a great defender of Humanity, will even end up being corrupted by his influence. An all-seeing eye, capable of influencing everything and everyone. As soon as one sees his eye, whether it is the blazing eye of Barad-dúr or that worn by his armies, impressionable beings come under his thumb. Especially since the eye has a strong symbolism for Humanity. Used for millennia and in several civilizations, it represents omniscience, the invisible, the inexpressible, human conscience or divine omniscience, even protective or punitive authority. A form introduced by Tolkien but popularized by Peter Jackson, which will have had the merit of anchoring memories, several decades after the trilogy of Lord of the Rings.
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The Lord of the Rings: why Sauron takes the form of an eye after his defeat by Elrond and Isildur
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