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I know this is a bone of contention among some but whilst reading LOTR recently (again) this paragraph brought the question again to my mind........

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If it is destroyed, the he will fall; and his fall will be so low that none can forsee his arising ever again. For he will lose the best part of the strength that was native to him in his beginning and all that was made or begun with that power will crumble, and he will be maimed for ever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but cannot grow or take shape. And so a great evil of this world will be removed


Question Smilie Does this prove that Sauron did not actually manage to fully take a 'shape'??

Also......

Question Smilie Who would the other evils be if Sauron was destroyed?

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Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary


Please move this thread or lock it if you think this subject has been exhusted Moderator Smilie
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Who would the other evils be if Sauron was destroyed?

The new evils would just sprout from the seeds Morgoth had planted :

From the Silmarillion, chapter War of Wrath :
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Yet the lies that Melkor, the mighty and accursed, Morgoth Bauglir, the Power of Terror and of Hate, sowed in the hearts of Elves and Men are a seed that does not die and cannot be destroyed; and ever and anon it sprouts anew, and will bear dark fruit even unto the latest days.

The new evils would just sprout from Men : it’s mentioned in the appendices of LOTR that there were still a couple of wars with Easterlings before there was peace, for instance.
And as the events in LOTR are just part of an Era that is forgotton now, we can easily think of examples of this new evil : just look at the history of mankind and what ppl did to each other (and still do). Men don’t need a Dark Lord to do evil.

Anyway, JRRT started on a sequel to LOTR where the ‘new evil’ would be a dark cult amongst youngsters, but he quickly resented the idea :

From Letters:
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Except the beginning of a tale supposed to refer to the end of the reign of Eldaron about 100 years after the death of Aragorn. Then I of course discovered that the King's Peace would contain no tales worth recounting; and his wars would have little interest after the overthrow of Sauron; but that almost certainly a restlessness would appear about then, owing to the (it seems) inevitable boredom of Men with the good: there would be secret societies practising dark cults, and 'orc-cults' among adolescents



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Does this prove that Sauron did not actually manage to fully take a 'shape'??

I think Gandalf meant that Sauron would change from a mighty Dark Lord into a pretty harmless –but still mean- ghost that likes to roam in old castles and mansions, like the cousins of Casper.

I think that Sauron would still be able to harm an individual who ran into him, but was completely unable to again form a threat to Middle-Earth. Sauron went from hero to zero.
Thank you Miruvor Super Wow Smilie I ilke to read other peoples thoughts on this. Genius Smilie

I haven't read the Letters yet....
The new evils would sprout from elves, dwarves, men, balrogs, etc. Dark and dischordant music was played into the creation of Middle Earth by Morgoth, so as long as Middle-Earth exists, evil will exist, according to Eru.
A world without evil cannot exist. There will always be evil, just as there will always be good. Morgoth had sown his seeds well, and now even as he is gone, his seeds will grow and blossom. But of course, they will always have what the other Valar planted to contend with. It's a battle that never ends, and let's say good and evil are evenly matched... Cool Smilie
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Dark and dischordant music was played into the creation of Middle Earth by Morgoth, so as long as Middle-Earth exists, evil will exist, according to Eru.

The Music of the Ainur is not the creation of Arda. The Music just generated a vision before the Ainur, it granted them a model to strive for (it's like Eru showed them a picture of Michelangelo's David and ordered his Ainur to reproduce it from a rock of marbled stone, which he provided for them). After seeing this model, the Valar (including Melkor) created the world on the sketchbook Eru provided for them (Eä), each following their own interpretation of the vision they saw :

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For the Great Music had been but the growth and flowering of thought in the Tuneless Halls, and the Vision only a foreshowing; but now they had entered in at the beginning of Time, and the Valar perceived that the World had been but foreshadowed and foresung, and they must achieve it.
(from the Ainulindalë)

During the Music of the Ainur, evil didn't yet exist; only the origins of evil were present : the longing to have more power and glory than others, and to dominate the others. Nothing is evil in the beginning, as evil cannot originate from Eru.

Not even during the first war between Melkor and the Valar, during their labours on Arda, evil existed, as Melkor was chased out of Arda by Tulkas Astaldo and Almaren was completed - the Spring of the Earth began.

Only when Melkor returned and built Utumno, evil and hatred began to (literally) leak out of him and irreparably spoiled Arda for all time, at least until its breaking :

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Now Melkor began the delving and building of a vast fortress, deep under Earth, beneath dark mountains where the beams of Illuin were cold and dim. That stronghold was named Utumno. And though the Valar knew naught of it as yet, nonetheless the evil of Melkor and the blight of his hatred flowed out thence, and the Spring of Arda was marred. Green things fell sick and rotted, and rivers were choked with weeds and slime, and fens were made, rank and poisonous, the breeding place of flies; and forests grew dark and perilous, the haunts of fear; and beasts became monsters of horn and ivory and dyed the earth with blood. Then the Valar knew indeed that Melkor was at work again, and they sought for his hiding place. But Melkor, trusting in the strength of Utumno and the might of his servants, came forth suddenly to war, and struck the first blow, ere the Valar were prepared; and he assailed the lights of Illuin and Ormal, and cast down their pillars and broke their lamps. In the overthrow of the mighty pillars lands were broken and seas arose in tumult; and when the lamps were spilled destroying flame was poured out over the Earth. And the shape of Arda and the symmetry of its waters and its lands was marred in that time, so that the first designs of the Valar were never after restored.
(from chapter 1 of the Quenta Silmarillion)

After the breaking of Almaren only Valinor, the Blessed Realm, the Undying Lands, on the continent of Aman was impregnable and unspoiled by Melkor's evil, as it was blessed by the Valar.
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During the Music of the Ainur, evil didn't yet exist; only the origins of evil were present : the longing to have more power and glory than others, and to dominate the others. Nothing is evil in the beginning, as evil cannot originate from Eru.


So, why do you think "the origins of evil" would not be classified as evil? Evil does not originate from Eru, but evil was present, and since we can't know why Eru allowed it to exist, it seems to just be a part of his plan. Evil, even as a seed, is evil.
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After the breaking of Almaren only Valinor, the Blessed Realm, the Undying Lands, on the continent of Aman was impregnable and unspoiled by Melkor's evil, as it was blessed by the Valar.
I read this to say that Melkor and Ungoliant were unable to despoil the Two Trees, which of course they were, or do I just have the time frame wrong?
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So, why do you think "the origins of evil" would not be classified as evil? Evil does not originate from Eru, but evil was present, and since we can't know why Eru allowed it to exist, it seems to just be a part of his plan. Evil, even as a seed, is evil.

Evil doesn't exist. Evil is in the eye of the beholder. To Morgoth and his minions, the Valar and their minions and the Children of Illúvatar who followed them were evil (and vice versa). Morgoth and his minions thought they were doing good as much as the Valar thought they were doing. Morgoth considered none of his actions during the history of Arda, to be evil.

My definition of 'evil' in JRRT's works has nothing to do with 'bad' or 'good', my definition is 'not accepting the creation plan of the Creator and wanting to destroy the creation, as to be able to recreate it and rule on own terms'. In that way, Melkor was not evil from the very beginning - he only wanted to put in things which sprung from his own mind, because Eru had granted him more powers, and talents than the other Ainur. He merely wasn't a teamplayer and wanted to create everything on his own, and rule everything - he wanted his own interpretation of the Music to dominate.

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I read this to say that Melkor and Ungoliant were unable to despoil the Two Trees, which of course they were, or do I just have the time frame wrong?

They merely destroyed the Two Trees with brute force. My point was that Melkor's (dissipated) hatred and malice were unable to enter the Valar's realm and influence it.

The question is whether Melkor -after he was freed from his prison in Valinor- was able to partially spoil the hearts and minds of some Noldor so that they not only started the rebellion against the Valar, but also numerous other atrocities -- the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, the burning of the Swan Ships, the 2nd and 3rd Kinslayings... i believe this to be the case with the sons of Fëanor.

But perhaps 'spoiling' is not the word here. I doubt Melkor changed them - he just influenced them, which is arguably already a change. Anyway, i believe Melkor was merely able to use their fiery tempers to direct and manipulate them into the path he had set for them -- the path of utter chaos.

As soon as Melkor built Utumno, his hatred and malice dissipated into Arda, influencing everything and everyone within it. Hatred became omnipresent, like bacteria, or like Frank Herbert's spice on the planet Dune, it became a vital part of Arda, apart from the blessings of the Valar -- some Children of Illúvatar would not be affected by it, but others would.

This is the reason why the whole of Arda is Morgoth's Ring, and the reason why it has to be cast back into the fires of Quasar Doom, so that all 'evil' (Morgoth's essence would be more apt) could be vanquished forever.
Good post, Mir. In my opinion, evil was still seeded from the beginning, but I really like what you said. I better go read the beginning of the Silmarillion again, so that I can have all of my own facts straight. I'll get back to you... Read Smilie
I think it likely however that sauron was to be found in the dagor dagorath along with many others of morgoth servants.