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Minas Tirith Forums » Lord of the Rings » Sauron's Biggest Mistake
Author Topic: Sauron's Biggest Mistake
Bungo
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Just thought I'd fish around for some opinions. I noticed today in 'Unfinished Tales' that JRR suggested what Sauron's biggest mistake may have been.

It was, perhaps, when he made the small and natural error of assuming that Baggins and Shire would be located in the Anduin Vale not far from where the Stoors were found and where Gollum had discovered the ring. If he had not made this wrong assumption, he could have located the true Shire weeks earlier and the game would have been over before it began.

But JRR only said "perhaps". Does anyone out there have another idea of what the Dark Lord's greatest mistake may have been? (And turning his attention to the Captains of the West while the ring was within his own borders should not count as a mistake, since it was the result of a planned tactic meant to distract him.) He didn't make many errors, which is what made him one of the ultimate bad guys.

Any takers?

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Anta ilya lyaa nyeere na Eru, ten ro varya an lyë

1 Karkawe 5:7


From: Kowloon, Hong Kong | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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I can't really think of another ecause that was the only Big mistake he made which made the difference between his total domination of ME and his death( not real deat but you know what I mean)

I will think about this a little more


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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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I need to read UT....

I think that one mistake (probably not the biggest, but still...) he made was not even sticking a couple Orcs near Mt Doom. But that is understandable since after all, the very idea that anyone could actually dispose of the Ring is totally absurd.

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~Fool of a Took
The crownless again shall be King.


From: California ainrofilaC | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tuor
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But still, you always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. There is really no strategic excuse for not guarding the only place the ring could be destroyed.

Aragorn and Theoden didn't leave their homes totally unguarded when each of their offensives. What use is it to win a victory in a foriegn field to return with your home destroyed by the enemy?

This may not have been Sauron's greatest mistake, but it was definitely one of his blunders.


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Turin Turambar
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But they he thought ppl would try to win their way to Mt. Doom by force, so if they where to do that, he would no doubt have lost if that happened
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Neithan
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Well if you are talking 3rd age only I agree. But his biggest mistake was probaly striking too quickly at the exiled Numenoreans and elves.
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Tensen_Vil
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I'd say... Pissing off Isildur.

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"'Kill!' shouted Ford. He shouted it at his towel.
The towel lept up out of Harl's hands.
This was not because it had any motive force of its own, but because Harl was so startled at the idea that it might."
--Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


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Ockle Burr
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I have to agree with Tensen 100%... losing the ring was his biggest mistake...

I don't think that guarding Mt. Doom was an option for him. If he knew there was someone out there with a ring powerful enough to destroy him, why would he assume that that person would want to destroy it? It would make no since to him. He would have guarded HIMSELF against the bearer. Boromir's ideas about how the ring should be used appealled to common sense. The Wisdom of Elrond, Gandalf and Frodo was something greater than that. Sauron never had a chance to guard against that wisdom.


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Mellon
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Biggest mistake?
Hmmm, his military blunders and mistakes are many, and each of them cost him a bit more. Bungo, I have to dissagree with your premise on looking towards the Captains of the West and letting his guard down in his own camp. That is merely an extension of what I think is his greatest mistake. His pride and arrogance concerning The Ring and what the enemy might or might not do with it was his biggest mistake. Militarily, one doesn't wage war for something that can be destroyed, undone, etc, without providing for insurance that it will not be undone. Mt. Doom should have been the most guarded piece of real estate in Middle-earth. Sauron couldn't comprehend an enemy that might destroy the least of trifles, this little ring. Underestimating your enemy is the worst military blunder imaginable.

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the takers get the honey
givers sing the blues


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Mellon
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Good point, Evenspire, and as always, well said.

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the takers get the honey
givers sing the blues


From: houston, tx usa | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Fingolfin of the Noldor
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Probably it was to leave the service of Aule other then that I can't think of anything because even when he put himself in a really stupid position (e to fight Huan, stay in numenor last allience) he was able to return
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Tensen_Vil
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Okay... let's see if I can get this right.

Yes, it's stated in the Silmarillion that they relized the truth as soon as they put on the rings and were aware of his treachery.

All they had to do was not use them. Since they weren't made with Sauron's help he couldn't see them or where they were, so all the elves had to do was not use them and he wouldn't be alerted. Frodo wasn't strong enough to use it to it's full extent.

Only the Humans became wraiths because those ring were made by Celebrimbor AND Sauron. The three were made just by Celebrimbor. The seven dwarven ones didn't do it because no Dwarf had one for long enough. Sauron took them all before it happened(probably because he didn't feel the dwarves would make good enough servants, they were too headstrong.)

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"'Kill!' shouted Ford. He shouted it at his towel.
The towel lept up out of Harl's hands.
This was not because it had any motive force of its own, but because Harl was so startled at the idea that it might."
--Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

This message has been edited by Tensen_Vil on 07-17-2001 at


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Tuor
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Sauron taught the elves how to make all the rings of power. The reason why the dwarves were not become wraiths was that dwarves were created to resist enslavement to evil. It was Aule who made it so that dwarves could not become wraiths.

I don't believe that any of the groups, 9 for men and 7 for dwarves had inherently different qualities, though individual rings do. At least the three elven rings did.


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Turin Turambar
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Sauron couldnt do anything to the elven rings because he didnt touch them, therefor didnt have any control over them, but he did w/ the other 7 and 9, the humans couldnt resist it because they where simply not strong enough(well some of them could hold off for a little bit, but not forever)and the dwarves it didnt have an effect because, like Tour said, they where made to resist enslavement, and so the rings only proved to make them greedy
And I disagree w/ u Tensen_Vil, the dwarves would have been an extremely useful ally, and if u remember sauron offered the dwarves a ring back if they wouldnt attck him or join him. And they had the rings long enough for the rings to take them over

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Turin Turambar
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O, and i forgot to post that saurons biggest mistake(or something he simply was unable to accomplish) was not being able to take Minas Tirith, because if that fell, most all of the forces that would be able to oppose him would be dead. and even if the ring was destroyed and he lost his orcs, he still had his men, the Easterlings, but if u think about that, he wouldnt have had to move his troops out of Mordor so Frodo and Sam might have been caught.

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Evenspire
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When the ring was destroyed, not only the nazgul, but Sauron himself was destroyed.

Interesting that Saruman also became something akin to smoke at his death, but Gandalf did not experience this at Khazad-dûm.


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FLOP PRIMFOOT
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I feel inclined to agree with Turin. Perhaps searching the Anduin for Baggins first is the most logical thing to do, not to mention, it is "on the way" to the Shire. Sauron obviously had no luck searching where the ring was originally lost, so he trudged on North-West. However, by making the blunder of not coming down harder on Minas Tirith seems moronic to me. When you possess the power in numbers Sauron had, it doesn't make sense to just use a flyswatter on the only real power left defying Sauron. In the end, the Lords of Gondor and Rohan et al were able to survive the feeble first blow and regroup, eventually out-witting Sauron....

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Out of doubt, out of dark to the days rising, I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.


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Mellon
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All they had to do was not use them. Since they weren't made with Sauron's help he couldn't see them or where they were, so all the elves had to do was not use them and he wouldn't be alerted
But we know at least Galadriel used her ring, and wore it. It was the power of her ring that gave Lorien its beauty, and the power of Elrond's ring that enabled him to use the power of the river Bruinen.

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the takers get the honey
givers sing the blues


From: houston, tx usa | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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quote:
Interesting that Saruman also became something akin to smoke at his death, but Gandalf did not experience this at Khazad-dûm.
Probably because Gandalf was not technically dead?
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Flammifer
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quote:
Interesting that Saruman also became something akin to smoke at his death, but Gandalf did not experience this at Khazad-dûm.
________________________________________
Probably because Gandalf was not technically dead?

Saruman debased himself and was cast from the Order of Istari (and perhaps his Angelic Maiar Grace was taken by Eru, thus metaphorically (the smoke) he became as of nothing upon his death).
Whereas Gandalf held steadfast to his raison d'être and his spiritual being remained intact.

But, Gandalf was technically dead (bodily of course).
quote:
Gandalf really died. -Letter 156
Thus Gandalf faced and suffered death… -Letter 181

And Gandalf to Grima:
quote:
I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man… -TT The King of the Golden Hall
I’m sure there must be more references to his actual death. Anyone?

Cheers [] []

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Snöwdog
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Yes, he "died", but is one technically dead if they are resurrected and remembers their life pre-death? If they didn't remember any of it, then they would have been reincarnated.
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The Flammifer
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Snowdog. Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White were the same person. Therefore he was “resurrected”. If you believe in reincarnation then you would be a different person and remember none of your previous life(s).

Therefore Gandalf the Grey physically died (yes, technically) according to the quotes above, and his “dead” body (though broken and emaciated) was brought back to life; although it took him nearly a month to fully regain his mental and physical fitness.

Cheers [] []

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Snöwdog
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quote:
Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White were the same person. Therefore he was “resurrected”. If you believe in reincarnation then you would be a different person and remember none of your previous life(s).
That's what I said. []
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Flammifer
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Should we continue to take one another out of context. I don’t think it’s necessary as I believe we are on the same page for the most part.

My previous post was simply an attempt to answer your question:
quote:
Yes, he "died", but is one technically dead if they are resurrected and remembers their life pre-death?
And my answer was an attempt to say “YES” he absolutely and “technically” died (physically), and was resurrected as the same person, same body, although enhanced in power.

Cheers [] []

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Possibly one of Sauron's biggest mistakes was his greed and desire to take over all of ME. Seriously, had he just been satisfied with been ruler of the East and South, he would probably had done that and none would have troubled him.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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