Sauron was defeated by Isildur but he did not die. I suppose because the ring was taken from him but it was not destroyed. Having lost the ring how did he begin to gain power again? Did the ring have indeed its own will to help Sauron from a distance?

  • 2
    Old answers typically don't give the poster the opportunity to ask followup questions, or have a dialogue with providers of information. This is like telling someone to read the FAQ when they call tech support. While reading the FAQ can fill in some gaps it has notable missing important components of helping someone to learn.
    – Minativ7
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 19:23
  • 2
    Addendum: If this individual had not asked the question in their own way, and simply looked at your suggested link they wouldn't have learned about how Sauron was defeated in the Second Age, or the nature of the One Ring. The mindset behind marking similar questions as duplicates is detrimental to encouraging the growth of a community whose function is education and discussion.
    – Minativ7
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 7:52
  • @Minativ7 I love that thought! I have similar thoughts to some of the models here but it's not something I get into. But you're very right and it's unfortunate. Of course one could tell them to go read the material but maybe reading isn't their thing and they're strictly going after the film. Like it or not (I don't but I accept it) the films exist and as my brother points out the book is only better if said person actually reads it; my brother isn't much of a reader though so the books for him are inferior. I find it sad but that's just how he is and it's not a loss as he sees it!
    – Pryftan
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


Sauron was a Maia. A angelic being from before the creation of the universe - The Ring contained and magnified some of his natural power but it wasn't the reason he didn't die. Sauron cannot die, even after his defeat at the end of Lord of the Rings he is not truly dead - merely lacking enough power to do anything.

  • Thanks, I was not aware of that although I do remember Saruman explaining how origin of the orks...
    – Alexandra
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 17:05
  • The origin of the orks I meant.
    – Alexandra
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 17:11
  • I wonder if the book says anything about Sauron after the final battle like if he is retired somewhere or something like that. Cause in the film you get the impression that he dies.
    – Alexandra
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 17:18
  • 1
    Sauron does not die, but is permanently ruined. So much of his essence resided in the ring that when it was destroyed he became nothing more than a malevolent black cloud, that was subsequently blown away. So he exists in some dark corner of the world, powerless.
    – Minativ7
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 18:37
  • @Alexandra That's in the film and it's not quite so simple. See The Silmarillion for more info there (for one resource). But Tolkien wasn't entirely set on it always being the Elves who were corrupted. And contrary to the film's suggestion Saruman isn't the creators of the Uruk-hai (mentioning it since you must be referring to that scene when he explains the origin); that's Sauron's work as the name itself suggests (it's in Black Speech). (Morgoth of course was the first 'creator' of Orcs though)
    – Pryftan
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 22:56

Incorrect in the question:

  • Sauron was NOT defeated by Isildur.

  • Sauron was defeated by Gil-gilad and Elendil, who both died from injuries/exhaustion.

  • Isildur cut the one ring from Sauron's defeated and broken body with the shards of Narsil.

Answer to the question:

  • The One Ring is part of a magical means of binding the other users of rings of power to his will (soul). In essence the One Ring is still Sauron, its will is his will. Sauron was weakened enormously by the separation from the ring, and he went into hiding. As the ring houses a great portion of his power or soul (and is undamaged) he was able to very slowly pull himself back together.

  • Ancalagon answered the other component of the question.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.