It may be that this was due to the fact that Orcs in the Third Age were much more numerous than in the First Age. The territories they occupied were greater (after all the Orcs of the First Age were kept in Thangorodrim, thus on Morgoth's doorstep).
There was marshalled the whole power of the Throne of Morgoth, and it had become great beyond count, so that Anfauglith could not contain it; and all the North was aflame with war.
Of course Moria (where Azog dwelt) was populated by Sauron with his creatures (around 2480, III Age), but reading the appedices in the Lord of the Rings, I got the impression that even if they got orders from Sauron, they weren't specific.
The Orcs of Mordor, fighting at The Black Gate however were close to Sauron. I think that he and his Nazgul controlled their every movement. That is why The Lidless Eye had to concentrate fully on those events, leaving Orodruin totally unwatched.
`It's going well, they say.'
'They would.' grunted Gorbag. `We'll see. But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d'you say? – if we get a chance, you and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a few trusty lads, somewhere where there's good loot nice and handy, and no big bosses.'
'Ah! ' said Shagrat. `Like old times.'
Even so, there was still Durin's Bane lurking around there, who was awoken in 1980 III by the Dwarves, and of which Sauron was apparently unaware. In the end, it was the Balrog who took care of things, which was of course also good for Sauron's cause.
As far as Shagrat and Gorbag go. I think they are the exeption to the rule. They cannot possibly represent a meaning percentage of Sauron's army. It's impossible that a considerable number of his Orcs were dreaming about their own realms. Sauron would'nt give them so much freedom, because he could'nt keep discipline in his ranks
But if he knew, would'nt he put the Deamon of Fire to some better use? Like attacking Lorien or try to transport him to Mordor...That would be much more useful to him than just "blocking" Moria.
I think Shagrat and Gorbag are the proof that all Orcs are untrustworthy, undisciplined creatures that can only be commanded by means of fear and dread, and by promising them the lands (and heads) of their enemies
Nor the Balrog, nor Shelob would easily submit to Sauron, to say the least.
When it comes to the Balrog, he was "just" a servant. before he fled under the Mountains. He probably could be subdued again. And by who if not Sauron (with or without the Ring, I wonder...)
If there are such writings, they would have to totally change my perception of Orcs.
Sauron was "just" a servant too
Sauron and the Balrog are in the same league.
On another note, that "Orc chieftain" in PJ's ROTK really looked like Sloth from the Goonies, didn't he ?
Not any more. Sauron in the Third Age is the single most powerful being in Middle Earth. No single person could withstand him one to one. It took nothing short of the alliance of the free peoples to temporarily overthrow him. The Balrog could not withstand Sauron who was one of the the Maia, long ago servant of Aule. The Fire Demon was a twisted creation of Morgoth. In my opinion Sauron could controll the Balrog with or without the Ring on his finger. It would be difficult without the Ring, but certainly Sauron was capable of it. And the fact that he was unable to take physical form weakened him for a time. But when he regained his power he was once again as mighty as ever.
Do not underestimate Sauron.
So Sauron could have controlled him only when he had the Ring.
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