Hail and well met everyone!
Last week we left off with Sauron being defeated by the armies of Numenor’s King Tar-Minastir in the War of the Elves. Though defeated he was not completely destroyed and fled back to Mordor once again to regroup and gain his power back over the next few centuries.
This week we pick up with the beginning of Sauron becoming a “prisoner” of the Numenoreans and watching his cunning unfold in the second age.
These Men lived on the island of Numenor in the sea between Middle-earth and Valinor. The Numenoreans, who were then proud, came to Middle-earth with astounding force of arms. King Ar-Pharazon marched his troops all the way to Mordor without a single battle, and demanded that Sauron abase himself before the King. Sauron could see clearly that even the most powerful of his servants could not stand against the Numenoreans, and so came from Barad-dur without any offer of battle. He assumed a fair form and flattered Ar-Pharazon, but the King demanded that Sauron come back to Numenor as a hostage. Sauron feigned unhappiness at this development but secretly was delighted, for this presented him with an opportunity to destroy the Numenoreans from within. After only a few short years in Numenor he grew from captive to the King’s most trusted adviser, and nearly all the King’s court fawned upon him. Drawing on their fear of death, he converted many Numenoreans to the worship of Morgoth, lying that Morgoth had the power to save them from mortality. As his power and influence reached its peak, he raised a great Temple in which he performed human sacrifices to Morgoth. Finally, he convinced Ar-Pharazon to rebel against the Valar and attack Valinor itself and claim it for himself.
But here, Sauron’s cunning overreached itself, for Eru then directly intervened – Numenor was drowned under the sea, and the great navy of Numenor was destroyed and the army that reached Aman was buried under mountains of falling rock and imprisoned in the Caves of the Forgotten. The world was bent, so that thereafter, only Elven-Ships could sail into the Utter West. Sauron’s body was destroyed, but his spirit was not diminished, and he fled back to Mordor once again bearing the Ring, where he slowly rebuilt a new body and his strength during the time known as the Dark Years. From this point on, he lost the ability to assume a fair shape, and ruled now through terror and force. A few faithful Numenoreans led by Elendil were saved from the flood, and they founded both Gondor and Arnor.
After losing his body in the destruction of Numenor and a brief period of renewed war, Elendil and his people allied with the Elven-king, Gil-Galad to create the Last Alliance, and together fought Sauron. They finally defeated his armies at the Battle of Dagorlad, and laid siege to Barad-dur for seven years. Finally, Sauron himself came forth and fought both Elendil and Gil-galad, slaying them both singlehandedly. Then Isildur, son of Elendil, took up his father’s broken sword, Narsil and cut the One Ring from Sauron’s finger. Sauron’s physical body was destroyed. With nearly all of his power stored in the ring, the dark lord was vanquished when it was cut from his finger. Without their leader’s dark will driving them on, Sauron’s armies were routed and fled, and thus, his campaign to defeat the free peoples was seemingly ended, and his greatest weapon taken from him.
But while Isildur had taken the ring, he could not bring himself to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged, instead he became corrupted by the One Ring and kept it for himself. He was eventually betrayed by it a few years later, and slain by orcs at the Gladden Fields. The Ring fell into the river Anduin, and was lost for centuries before being found by a hobbit named Deagol.
Though this weeks story is a bit shorter we once again leave off at a pivotal point in Middle-Earth history and a perfect transition point with the One Ring being lost. So, for you die hard fans you know exactly where the story is going next, but for those of you who may not…you will just have to wait until next week to see.
I’m your host Iogro Merrybelly and I bid you a fine farewell.