Today we will look at Tolkiens villain Sauron and then a comic book called I kill giants, finally we will look a great free audio book app. Plus stick around for the giveaway you can win.
Soul of Sauron:
Is anyone beyond redemption? That’s a question I thought of when I read a passage from of the Rings of power and the third age at the end of the Silmarillion about Sauron. Which we will get too in a minute but first let’s take a brief look at Saurons early origins.
Sauron has far more history than what the LOTR films tell, and we will explore some of his history before the trilogy.
Despite being the title character of The Lord of the Rings, Sauron is notable in that he never directly appears during the events of the trilogy. Nowhere is any detailed description given of what he looks like, other than in vague terms.
He is one of the Maiar spirits originally named Mairon, meaning "the admirable, the same “race” as Gandalf, Saruman and Radagast. However he is by far the most powerful of Maiar spirits.
Thousands of years before the events of the LOTR Sauron was corrupted to evil by Morgoth the brother of Manwe king of the Valar. Sauron liked order and perfection which made him the best candidate to be in charge of the army of Morgoth which included the Balrogs Orcs and Dragons to name a few.
In The Silmarillion, Sauron is described as being a shape changer, and took many forms, including that of a serpent, a vampire, and a great wolf. After Morgoth's fall, Sauron appeared in fair form as "Annatar", the Lord of Gifts, and maintained this appearance until the Fall of Númenor, in which he was unable to ever take fair form ever again. The History of Middle-earth includes a passage vaguely describing how the Númenoreans saw him: "Upon that ship which was cast highest and stood dry upon a hill there was a man, but greater than any even of the race of Numenor in stature...And it seemed to men that Sauron was great; though they feared the light of his eyes. To many he appeared fair, to others terrible; but to some evil."
In addition to his physical appearance, Sauron also apparently had an aura of incredible malevolence. A passage in The Silmarillion describes him as having a "dreadful presence," and daunting eyes. Furthermore, his mere presence could bend all but the strongest wills.
Mentioning his eyes again
…And some hold that this was not at first falsely done, but that Sauron in truth repented…, …Therefore when Eönwë departed he hid himself in Middle-earth; and he fell back into evil, for the bonds that Morgoth had laid upon him were very strong.”
After the fall of Morgoth it is said in the Silmarillion, Sauron came before Eönwë who was a Maia serving Manwë, Eönwë was referred to as the "greatest of arms in Arda," meaning that he was the best with weapons.
Sauron renounced his evil deeds, but it was not in Eonwe powers to forgive another Maia, he would have to petition to Manwe himself. Sauron was unwilling to do this.
After the fall of Morgoth Sauron hit rock bottom and hid for centuries in Middle Earth. I found this fascinating, why? Because it shows a human side of Sauron and no one is beyond redemption. Tolkien gave us glimpse into the soul of Sauron. Even though Sauron ultimately chose to stay evil, for a brief moment he did consider the move to good. However he didn’t want to face judgement and rehabilitation Manwe would bestow upon him. Maybe because of his love for perfection he couldn’t face his own imperfection. Like I said for brief moment there could have been redemption. A glimpse at the world which could have been if Sauron would have repented. But this didn’t happen and the dark lord spend many millennia causing chaos and death try to force order upon middle earth.
Regarding Sauron's personality, Tolkien had this to say from his letters:
In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible. He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth. But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit. Sauron desired to be a God-King, and was held to be this by his servants, by a triple treachery: 1. Because of his admiration of Strength he had become a follower of Morgoth and fell with him down into the depths of evil, becoming his chief agent in Middle-earth. 2. when Morgoth was defeated by the Valar finally he forsook his allegiance; but out of fear only; he did not present himself to the Valar or sue for pardon, and remained in Middle-earth. 3. When he found how greatly his knowledge was admired by all other rational creatures and how easy it was to influence them, his pride became boundless.
Among Sauron's chief powers were deception and disguise: he trick the elves into making the rings of power and he trick the Numenorians to take on the Valar
There is more to Sauron that I haven’t touched on here, maybe another episode we can dive deeper. If you have watched the movies, but haven’t read the books I encourage you to do say if you don’t like to read try audio books, which leads to my next section
With Amazon buying the rights to Tolkien literature I hope they explore each main character like Sauron and tell their stories. Maybe a 12 episode series on Sauron exploring his origin and early years. Up until the fall of Morgoth. Who would you like to see them do a series on?
Hoopla is free at most public libraries. Sometimes it’s easier to listen, that’s why you are here now. With driving or running or working around the house audio is easier to help pass the time.
Most public libraries give you access to these, the selection is mediocre IMO. Audible is going to give you a much bigger selection. Along with the audio books you also get access to ebooks and comic books too. This is how I found the Mark Milar Jupiter series. Avaiable for IOS and Android.
Image comics I kill Giants comic book Barbara Thorson, a girl struggling with life by escaping into a fantasy life of magic and monsters. Released July 2008. Barbara is a confused girl dealing with trauma in her life. This causes her to be overly blunt with people in her life even people who want to be her friends. This may be a bit foreign to readers, but for me being around kids who have been traumatized I can understand the confusion, maybe you can too. However Barbara does have some witty comebacks to the mean people in her life and she’s obsessed with DND. At first it is difficult to tell if Barbara is out of touch with reality or not. She dresses weird with bunny ears. Many readers can relate as we all want to escape real lifes struggles and stress even if it’s only for a short time. However eventually you have to face them and you find out you find out you are stronger than you think. It’s a B/W comic book and the writer scribbled the entire story line in less than an hour on a yellow legal pad while his dad was going through physical therapy. To find the perfect giant the writer Joe Kelly asked Jim the artist for about 50 versions of giants before he settled on the one he wanted. The entire story is great, it shows as nerds we like escapism, and like Barbara we can be a bit snarky and crass.
Podcast shout out:
Day Dream instruction Manual Eddie and company look at all things nerdy and not so nerdy.
We will be giving away a copy of the game Mintworks a cool game by five24labs. Mint Works is a light and straightforward worker placement game. Its compact size makes it easy to put in your pocket and take it anywhere. Its simple rules make it easy to introduce new players to the genre of worker placement.
The reason I wanted to give this away because it’s a simple compact game and I know the creator personally.
To enter in the drawing email me firstname.lastname@example.org, put in the subject line mintworks, then include your full name in the body. Or on Instagram DM me with mintworks and you full name. Either method will get an entry into the contest. Please only one entry per person.