Who is the Villain Teased in The Lord of the Rings TV Series Synopsis? – Den of Geek

Indeed, Tolkien’s main novel appendices and array of non-novel stories—many of which were published posthumously under the editorial stewardship of his recently-passed son, Christopher Tolkien—depict Morgoth (as the character came to be known upon his evil turn,) as the original big bad of Middle Earth. Morgoth waged wars against the races of Elves, Men and Dwarves on an unfathomable scale, using the might of Orc armies and monstrous allies like Balrogs, Dragons, Trolls and Giant Spiders for many millennia until his final defeat and exile into the Great Void, which marked the end of Middle Earth’s First Age. That would be the last time Morgoth would ever inhabit Middle Earth, although ominous prophecies foretold his return, which never ultimately happened.

Consequently, barring an anachronistic direction from the series, Morgoth has to be eliminated from being the villain of The Lord of the Rings series. That’s where Sauron comes in, since the character—originally called Mairon, a Maiar (primordial spirits who serve the Valar)—succumbed to a desire for more power, and was thusly influenced by Morgoth’s evil, serving as one of his lieutenants throughout the malevolent lord’s epoch-spanning wars. However, after Morgoth’s final defeat, Sauron’s subsequent millennia of misdeeds would be—unlike his former master’s adherence to raw power—rooted in deceit. Yet, Tolkien left some of Sauron’s exploits open to interpretation about whether he was even truly evil—at least during certain eras—and there is room for the character to manifest in a nuanced manner on the Amazon series as a Loki of sorts for Second Age Middle Earth.

While Sauron’s own trickery in Middle Earth spans multiple millennia, his most infamous act was, of course, the ruse that inveigled the leaders of Middle Earth’s races to forge and utilize the Rings of Power, which he secretly controlled with the One Ring; a story that was famously told onscreen with powerfully pithy dialogue from Cate Blanchett’s narrating Galadriel in The Fellowship of the Rings’ prologue. However, said prologue doesn’t reveal that Sauron’s initial entreaty with the Rings came about by way of an insidious, slow-burn plot to befriend the high Elves of Middle Earth while disguised in a fair Elven-like form under the identity of “Annatar” the “Lord of Gifts.” Promising to teach forms of magic that would save the world—perhaps in case Morgoth would ever return—Sauron manipulated master Elven craftsman Celebrimbor into forging the secretly-tainted Rings of Power: three to the Elves, seven to the Dwarf lords and nine to the race of Men. You all know how that ended.

New Line Cinema

This seems likely to be the initial storyline for the series, especially since the show’s official Twitter account started early hype for the series by teasing Tolkien’s lines about the Rings of Power. Adding fuel to that notion is the fact that Peter Jackson originally had designs to utilize Sauron in his “Annatar” form for Return of the King’s climactic Battle at the Black Gate. Indeed, as you can see in the image immediately above (from a behind-the-scenes documentary), the original context of the scene—set after Aragorn appears entranced after seeing the Eye of Sauron—was that Sauron had become powerful enough to physically manifest onto the battlefield, first in his old fair form, after which he transforms into the armored figure we saw in the prologue, and starts directly attacking. However, Jackson eventually had to digitally replace Argorn’s opponent with a towering armored troll.

The other viable Sauron story would be the fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, which occurred a few hundred years after the Elves, joined by the Númenoreans, waged a first war against Sauron. After the initial defeat of his armies, Sauron was taken as a hostage to the island kingdom, which was inhabited by a race of long-lived men (of which Aragorn is a descendant). There, Sauron, again under the disguise of a fair form, insidiously ingratiated himself to the corruptible King Ar-Pharazôn, eventually leading to the rise of Morgoth worshippers promised eternal life. This culminated in an attempted invasion of the Undying Lands that angered the Valar, resulting in the island being swallowed by the sea—and Sauron retreating back to Mordor, eventually setting up the culminating War of the Last Alliance, as depicted in the movie prologue.    

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