A peek at the last entry of Sauron’s personal journal found upon the seashore in Lindon after the ruin of Númenor…[1]

 

 

 

Sauron’s Journal, Second Age, 3319

 

This is a great day!  All my setbacks have been overcome!  I’ve won everything!

 

I had overrun all of Eriador by II 1700, driven Elrond’s expedition from Lindon to the succor of Ost-in-Edhil into a remote valley of the foothills of the northern Hithaeglir (or “Misty Mountains”: you know, Rivendell; only he didn’t found it until II 1697), and Gil-galad was trying to hold the line of the Lhûn with little success.  I had six of the Seven Rings[2] – the king of the those rotten rock-eaters had the seventh locked up in his holes under the mountains – and all of the Nine, plus all the lesser rings the Noldor had made under my tutelage in Ost-in-Edhil.  I squeezed all their hiding places out of those wretched little Mírdain!  Except the Three.  I never did get the location of the Three Rings out of Celebrimbor.  I hate those snooty Noldor!  This one was worse than his father: he wouldn’t fight other Elves[3]; but I’ll get my Three anyway.  How many places could he have hidden them?  Gil-galad must have had them all.[4]  But I hung the dead body of that bloody Noldo on a pole[5]: with all the broken limbs and joints, it flopped like a toy!  I had my herald carry him in front like a banner, and all the orcs and Easterlings cheered!  It was just a matter of time until I smashed my way across the Lhûn and into Mithlond.  Nothin’ left but th’ rapin’ an’ th’ lootin’ an’ th’ pillagin’ an’ th’ burnin’, baby! 

 

And then some Númenórean admiral named Ciryatur landed a force behind me[6] (at Vinyalondë, Aldarion’s first port in Middle-earth – I knew I should have paid more attention to those dratted Edain[7]!  But they were so far away, and all my people are scared of the Sea…[8]), while Tar-Minastir and the main Númenórean force took position alongside Gil-galad on the Lhûn.  There was a terrific battle at Sarn Ford, and after the debacle that followed, I barely made it back to Mordor with my personal guard![9]

 

The only reason I didn’t win the war I fought with the Elves in II 1693 – 1700 was that Tar- Minastir’s forces defeated me.  (The question of whether that fleet was sent by Tar-Minastir; by his aunt, Tar-Telperiën, the second Ruling Queen, who did not give up the throne until II 1731; or whether he was regent for military affairs, a co-ruler with his aunt (she retired and died the same year; that didn’t happen again until Tar-Atanamir refused to lay down his life three generations later) can wait for another day.[10]) 

 

I finally conquered the whole interior of Middle-earth.  Easterlings, Southrons, even some of the Dwarves out east.[11]  Everything but the coasts: those blasted Sea-kings still held the coasts.  I talked to the Númenórean prince I made a Nazgûl, and he told me that the only way I’d ever beat them was if I conquered Númenor itself.[12] 

 

1560 years later, these stinkin’ Númenóreans show up again, not north, but south, at Umbar, this time, and the whole friggin’ military drops its weapons and runs!  (Where are those darned Nazgûl?[13])  But I kept my wits about me.  After all, I am a Maia, and they are but Men.  I played it cool, bowed down to that pompous, preening Ar-Pharazôn, their so-called “King,” and that moron did exactly what I wanted: he took me back with him![14] 

 

Seven years I worked on that arrogant little worm.  Do you know he actually married his first cousin to become king?[15]  Too bad he didn’t have a sister!  (I had no idea Edain would do that, or Morgoth and I would’ve had them doing it ages ago: we could only get the most corrupt Easterlings and the Orcs to do that in the First Age.[16])  I told him Melkor was really his Master, that he controlled the Dark beyond Death.  I told him Melkor made the world out of the primeval Darkness, and that only the Darkness is holy.  I told him that Melkor could make more worlds for him out of the Darkness, and that he could rule them all.[17]  And the old goat bought it, hook, line, and sinker!

 

I talked that old weasel into blocking off the road to the top of Minul-Târik[18]: don’t want anybody making nice with Eru![19]  (*Shudder!*)  Had him put an armed guard at a couple of points: kill first, identify later we told ’em.  I told him Eru was a phantom of the Valar.  (*Snicker!*)  If only that idiot Pharazôn knew even a moment of what I saw during the Music, he’d never dare believe such a blatant lie: but he is such an arrogant little Man![20]  But that nobleman, Arbazân[21] – he’s an old friend of Pharazôn’s.  (I think one of his sons was betrothed to Pharazôn’s wife, Zimraphel.[22]  Pharazôn doesn’t want to talk about that – or what happened to the young man, who vanished!  Hah!)  My spies tell me that Arbazân’s family still calls him by an Elvish name, “Amandil.”  Every time he would get Pharazôn off by himself, he’d talk him back down.  I had Pharazôn banish him.  But of course, I couldn’t let Arbazân go back to his estates in the west of the island, so we had all his family and retainers and friends brought east, to Rómenna, where we could keep an eye on ’em.[23]  (“Keep an eye on ’em”!  Why does that phrase strike my fancy so?  I love it, but I hate it…  Ah, phoo!  On to the work at hand!) 

 

I told that old man that if he went to Valinor, he could live forever.[24]  I told him that Eru was a lie devised by the Valar and their Elvish lap-dogs[25] so that the Elves could live there, just doing nothing but playing their little fairy harps, and making those ridiculous songs (Ooo – I hate those songs!  They remind of something… And the songs these Númenóreans sing, their folk songs: they’re even worse!  That music, it just grates on me…[26]), and idling about, while Men do all the work in Middle-earth, and for what?  To die!  The elves don’t die!  I told him that eternal life was his for the taking, just one more conquest away.  I told him, “Doubtless the gift of everlasting life is not for all, and only for such as are worthy, being men of might and pride and great lineage still, it is against all justice that this gift, which is his least due, should be withheld from Pharazôn the king, mightiest of the sons of Earth.  To whom only Manwë can compare, if even he.”[27]  Old Pharazôn looked at me and asked if I thought he could defeat the Valar.  I answered, “Great kings do not brook denials, and take what is their due.”[28]  He bought it!

 

I had him build a temple to Melkor right in the middle of Armenelos[29]!  Five hundred feet high, 50-foot walls, circular, with an enormous dome with an enormous hole in the middle – and I had ’em cover it all in silver.  It gleamed for a while, but I had them bring me sacrifices to Melkor, and slowly it turned black.[30]  Animals at first, but it wasn’t long before I began to have them bring me … Men!  Prisoners from Middle-earth were the first of those.  Those people from Middle-earth already knew me: and they were terrified of me in Númenor just like they were terrified of me in Mordor![31]  It was great!  Then I had them bring a couple of the “Faithful,” those poor, frightened naïfs who still believe, “The Valar are watching over us.”  Watching over you!  Hah!  You’d better believe they’re watching over you, you morons!  Scared to death, they are, that you’ll mess up their perfect Valinor!  Why do you think they were trying to frighten you with those clouds?  “The Eagles of Manwë!”  Hah!  I stood out on top of them temple when a lightning storm came, and the lightning fell all around me.  Those Númenóreans, they think I’m a god now![32]  (I might even be able to dispense with Morgoth.  Ah, what’ll he know about it?  He’s been thrown out in the Void – and tied up in that chain, no less, with his head down on his knees with his feet cut off!  I’ll be the Dark Lord![33])  Pharazôn even got up and made a big speech: “The Lords of the West have made the war.  They strike the first blow, but the next will be ours!”[34]  How those little sheep bleated and cheered!  It was magnificent!

 

Pharazôn has a huge fleet!  I’d never imagined anything like it!  It’s bigger than the force that took down Morgoth at the end of the First Age.[35]  They’ll kill the Elves, of course; some of them are powerful enough that groups of them together might even be able to unhouse a Maia![36]  What a delicious thought!  What was that guy’s name – oh, yes, Olórin.  I hated him!  I hope they find him and take him apart!  He’ll have a merry time getting himself reassembled, even if the Valar help him!  A lot of the noblemen are old like Pharazôn, and if they don’t kill them, the fëar of those Men will begin to try to escape their hröar, and then – whoa, Nelly! – those Men will be in pain like they’ve never imagined!  If their fëar cannot escape, not even their senses will be intelligible to them; and if they can escape – some of these Númenóreans are still very strong that way – they will leave their hröar behind, but the hröar will not die!  One way or another, all of those Men will be turned into monsters right inside Valinor.[37]  Hah!  The Valar will have to slaughter them, kill ’em all!  Let ’em explain that to Eru![38]

 

Oh, how I laughed when I heard that martinet, Pharazôn, blow his trumpet to sail the fleet!  That was almost thirty-nine days ago.  And the storms – how I’ve laughed at the storms.  I’m laughing right now, sitting in my temple, just thinking about all that I’m going to be able to do, now that I’ve got those dratted Edain out of the way – for good![39] 

 

But these earthquakes keep getting worse…

 

 

 

 


 

 



[1] Translation by Alcuin

[2] The Dwarves maintained that the Ring of the House of Durin “was given to the King of Khazad-dûm, Durin III by the Elvensmiths themselves, and not by Sauron.”  Return of the King, “Appendix A”, “III Durin’s Folk”, p 445

[3] Celebrimbor’s father was Curufin, fifth and favorite son of Fëanor.  Curufin was involved in all three kin-slayings of Elf by Elf: the rape of Alqualondë, the Ruin of Doriath, and the assault on the havens at the Mouths of Sirion.  He and his brother Caranthir attempted to usurp the rule of Nargothrond from Orodreth, who was regent in the absence of his bother Finrod, who had left to assist Beren in his quest for the Silmaril.  Celebrimbor became estranged from his father because of this act of treachery to both Finrod and Orodreth.  Later, after Orodreth was restored to the rule of Nargothrond and the brothers were exiled (Celebrimbor remained in Nargothrond), Curufin and Caranthir attempted to murder Beren and kidnap Lúthien.  You may confirm this information for yourself in The Silmarillion if you have not already read it: and if you have not already read it but are digging this deeply into the footnotes, you should read it!  No further documentation is provided in this translation on this general topic.

[4] Unfinished Tales, “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”, p 238.  Gil-galad had only two of the Three Rings.  Celebrimbor sent one of the Three (Nenya) to Galadriel, as Sauron already suspected.  I assume that Sauron ignored this for the purpose of dramatic hyperbole.

[5] Unfinished Tales, “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”, p 238

[6] Ibid, p 239

[7] Sauron is making no distinction here between the “Edain,” who lived in Beleriand and fought against him and his master, Morgoth, and the “Dúnedain,” their descendents in Númenor.

[8] Peoples of Middle-earth, “Tal-Elmar”, pp 426-427.  Sauron’s servants’ fear of the Sea is for dramatic effect and may be an exaggeration.  See also Unfinished Tales, “Aldarion and Erendis”, p 188.  Unfinished Tales, “Aldarion and Erendis”, p 213-214 footnote 1 reports that the kinsfolk of the Edain who dwelled in Eriador whom Aldarion met in his early voyages “feared the Sea, and would not look upon it.”  In Unfinished Tales, “The Drúedain”, p 388 footnote 7 states that the Drúedain were also afraid of the Sea, even those that had migrated to Númenor with their friends.

[9] Unfinished Tales, “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”, p 239

[10] The situation regarding the nature of the relationship of the reigns of Tar-Telperiën and Tar-Minastir is outside the scope of this piece, which is intended as a parody.  Suffice it to say that all the texts agree that Tar-Minastir sent the fleet, but the “The Line of Elros” in Unfinished Tales says Tar-Telperiën remained on the throne for more than 30 years after the conclusion of the war.  The best interpretation, in my opinion, is that Tar-Minastir was appointed as regent or co-regent for military affairs because the expedition was of such unprecedented magnitude in the history of Númenor to that point, and that he may himself have led the expedition to Lindon.

[11] On the cooperation with Sauron by some of the houses of the eastern Dwarves and their servitude to him, see Peoples of Middle-earth, “Of Dwarves and Men”, p 323, footnote 28; and The Hobbit, “Over Hill and Under Hill”, p 70.  Sauron’s claim (in this translation) that he had “conquered the whole interior of Middle-earth” is clearly an exaggeration, but it reflected his ambitions.

[12] Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, pp 333-334.  While there is no evidence that Sauron discussed an invasion of Númenor with the three Nazgûl that were Númenóreans in life, had he actually contemplated an invasion of the island (as seems likely from the Silmarillion text), it would seem logical that he use their knowledge.

[13] Since the Nazgûl would have fought had Sauron commanded them to do so, it is likely he sent them into hiding for a short while, and that they acted as his regents in his absence.  Sauron put up no resistance to Ar-Pharazôn.

[14] Ar-Pharazôn was not taken in by Sauron’s show of obeisance.  He took Sauron to Númenor “as a hostage for himself and all his servants in Middle-earth.”  Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, pp 334-335.  For Tolkien’s explanation of Sauron’s motives, see Morgoth’s Ring, “Myths Transformed”, “Notes on Motives in the Silmarillion”, p 398:

…Sauron‘s whole true motive was the destruction of the Númenóreans, [but] this was a particular matter of revenge upon Ar-Pharazôn, for humiliation.  Sauron … would have been content for the Númenóreans to exist, as his subjects, and indeed he used a great many of them that he corrupted to his allegiance.

[15] This was against the laws of the Númenóreans, who tolerated marriage between cousins in the second degree, but not in the first.  Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 333

[16] There is absolutely no evidence for anything in this sentence.  It is fabricated of whole cloth for dramatic effect.  That the orcs were corrupted by Morgoth is unquestioned, but there is to my knowledge nothing Tolkien translated that even began to address this issue.  For what he did write about it, the best source may be Morgoth’s Ring, “Orcs”, pp 416-422.

[17] Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 335-336, ff.

[18] The Adûnaic name of Meneltarma; see the index in Sauron Defeated for many references.  Public use of Sindarin (or Quenya) was forbidden: Unfinished Tales, “The Line of Elros,” p 223, entry on Ar-Gimilzôr.  (Tar-Palantir, heir of Ar-Gimilzôr, reversed his father’s harsh decree.  Though it is not stated that Ar-Pharazôn renewed it, I believe this is a logical conclusion given the character of Ar-Pharazôn and his zeal to pursue the policies of his grandfather and his father, Palantir’s brother Gimilkhâd, who was the leader during his brother’s reign of the King’s Men party, the anti-Valar faction of Númenor that by time constituted the majority of Númenóreans. Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 332.

[19] Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 336

[20] Sauron, like all Ainur, had first-hand knowledge of Eru, and so it was impossible for him to be an atheist.  That he was still willing to rebel against his Creator was a mark of extraordinary evil – and probably of some ultimate foolishness of unimaginable depth.  Morgoth’s Ring, “Myths Transformed”, “Notes on Motives in the Silmarillion”, p 397.

[21] Arbazân is the Adûnaic form of Amandil, 18th and last Lord of Andúnië and Elendil’s father. Sauron Defeated, “The Drowning of Anadûnê”, p 369 ff.

[22] Peoples of Middle-earth, “The History of the Akallabêth”, pp 159-160

[23] It was in fact Ar-Gimilzôr, Ar-Pharazôn’s grandfather, who banished the Faithful to Rómenna: Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 331.  It is likely that Tar-Palantir rescinded this command, and that Ar-Pharazôn renewed it.

[24] Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 339

[25] Ibid, p 335

[26] The reference is, of course, to the Ainulindalë.  See a passing reference to this in Morgoth’s Ring, “Myths Transformed”, “Notes on Motives in the Silmarillion”, p 395.

[27] The quote is taken from Sauron Defeated, “The Drowning of Anadûnê”, p 348.  See also Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 339-340, in virtually identical language.

[28] Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 340

[29] Although the use of Elvish was forbidden in Númenor at the time, place names are often kept out of habit and long usage.  Notice that Sauron did not use the Elvish name Meneltarma for the volcano: that might have been a deliberate slight on his part due to its connection with Eru.

[30] Ibid, p 337-338

[31] Sauron encouraged the Men of Middle-earth to worship him.  Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 183, p 243-244: “Sauron desired to be a God-King, and was held to be this by his servants…”

[32] Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 343

[33] Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 183, p 243, footnote †: “By the end of the Third Age, [Sauron] claimed to be Morgoth returned.”

[34] Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 340

[35] Nowhere am I aware that Tolkien explicitly states in any of his translations of the great works of that period that the Great Armada of Ar-Pharazôn was larger than that of the Host of the West, but his description of it darkening “the sea … like an archipelago of a thousand isles, their masts like a forest upon the mountains, and their sails like a brooding cloud… advancing in a line the end of which diminished beyond sight” (Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, p 343) is unsurpassed in any description of the fleet of the Host of the West, and this armada is clearly intended to be vastly larger than that which Ar-Pharazôn led to Middle-earth in the expedition in which he captured Sauron.  Added later: Landroval in Entmoot pointed out to me that in Letter 131 to Milton Waldman, Tolkien describes the Númenórean force sent against Valinor as “the greatest of all armadas” (Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, page 156).

[36] As Sauron later confirmed this himself, to his great discomfit, in his confrontation with Gil-galad and Elendil.

[37] Morgoth’s Ring, “Aman and Mortal Men”, pp 429-430.  The hröar and fëar are a reference to the bodies and souls, respectively, of the Men.  Mortals were of course forbidden to enter Aman, or Valinor, except in rare instances.  Any Mortal who did so did not lose his Mortality, as Sauron lied to Ar-Pharazôn, but the natural balance between the hröa and fëa would be upset.  Once in Valinor, it was believed the fëa of a Mortal would seek to leave the hröa, and that if it were unable to do this, the fëa would go mad; while if the fëa departed, the hröa would act without guidance, effectively becoming a monster.

[38] Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 156, p 206: “The Valar ... were not allowed to destroy [Men], or coerce them with any 'divine' display of the powers they held over the physical world.”  I am asserting here that part of Sauron’s plan was to draw the Valar and Maiar themselves into rebellion against Eru.

[39] Silmarillion, “Akallabêth”, pp 437