Welcome to the last section of The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien: “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.” While the characters and situations so far have likely been unfamiliar, this book will have plenty of known characters for anyone who’s read or watched the film version of The Lord of the Rings. Ready for the last leg of the adventure? Let’s go!
Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.
“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” par 1
First, let’s go back in time, all the way to the beginning of “Akallabêth” (the last part of The Silmarillion). The Elves had been given a choice to either stay in Middle-earth or head towards Valinor. Some Elves packed up their belongings and crossed the Sea without delay. Others weren’t quite ready to leave Middle-earth yet, so they settled in and established some new realms. (All the old ones were destroyed years ago.)
Sauron had also been given a choice. He had been Morgoth’s right hand man, and they had sent Lord knows how long terrorizing Middle-earth. Now that Morgoth was banished forever, Sauron plead with the Valar and tried to put away his old, evil ways. And just as they did with Morgoth towards the beginning of The Silmarillion, the Valar believed Sauron and left him alone.
However, alone is probably the last place anyone should have left Sauron. After behaving for a while, he decided that the Valar had abandoned Middle-earth and that he should rule over the place instead. Men were easy to subjugate. However, Elves and the Dúnedain were a problem, and he especially loathed them both.
At first, Sauron tries to use his wiles to befriend the Elves (so that he can use them for their power and hopefully destroy them). Instead of just calling himself Sauron, he uses the name Annatar, Lord of Gifts. However, Gil-galad and Elrond could see through Sauron’s tricks and warned the others to avoid him at all costs. Other groups of Elves, though, aren’t as perceptive and instead listen to Sauron. Little do they know how much they are manipulated by him as he tells them lies about Gil-galad and Elrond shortchanging them and how they can make Middle-earth as great as Valinor if they just work together.
Even though Morgoth was nothing but trouble for the Noldor (who were a major part of the “Quenta Silmarillion”), the remaining Noldor decide that Sauron isn’t so bad. Because they are frustrated with the way things are, they gladly accept the knowledge and skills that Sauron has to offer. They also help him with his master plan: creating the Rings of Power. Not the best move the Noldor could make…
Next time, Sauron likes it so he decides to put a Ring on it… and immediately regrets it.