Was Sauron the Dark lord, Enemy of the free peoples of Middle Earth, always evil, even back before he descended into Arda with his master Morgoth? Or was he corrupted and seduced by Morgoth into joining his cult?

Morgoth was pure evil, was Sauron too or was he a good Maiar turned evil?

3 Answers 3


No, he was not.

For nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so. I fear to take the Ring to hide it. I will not take the Ring to wield it.

(LotR, Council of Elrond)

He was drawn to Morgoth because of his love of order and Getting Things Done, the latter quality of which Morgoth had in abundance.

[I]t had been [Sauron's] virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction. (It was the apparent will and power of Melkor to affect his designs quickly and masterfully that had first attracted Sauron to him.)

(Morgoth's Ring)


No, he wasn't evil at first. But he was one of the first who turned evil.

In The Silmarillion, Sauron is described as a Maia of Aulë the Smith, named Mairon (which is not mentioned in The Silmarillion), meaning "the admirable." He wasn't as powerful as Valar but he was one of the most powerful Maiar.

At first, he was as Eru had created him: good and uncorrupt. His greatest virtue was his love of order and perfection, disliking anything wasteful. Dark Lord Morgoth took this as defect and corrupted him.

After allying himself with Morgoth, Mairon maintained his appearance of being faithful to the Valar, but secretly fed Morgoth information about their dealings.

Sauron during the First Age.

He was good at first. Dark Lord turned him evil.

  • 1
    Nitpick, in the Silmarillion he's not named as Mairon. Jul 21, 2016 at 11:25
  • @MattGutting Care to enlighten? x
    – apollo
    Jul 21, 2016 at 11:59
  • In the Silmarillion (in the "Valaquenta"), all we hear is that he was called "Sauron, or Gorthaur the Cruel". We don't get the name "Mairon"; that only appears in the History of Middle-earth. It might also be helpful to put Elrond's quote from the Council as a straightforward answer: "Nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so." Jul 21, 2016 at 13:21
  • 1
    Just too add, Tolkien Gateway and the Lotr wikia need to be taken with a pinch of salt. They have quite a few inaccuracies in them where people have assumed things.
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 21, 2016 at 13:39
  • 1
    @MattGutting - Not even that. The name Mairon does not in fact occur anywhere in HoMe. It's only source is a linguistic writing published in Parma Eldalamberon #17. The use of it online is generally an indication that one has been sourcing their answer from a wiki.
    – ibid
    Sep 30, 2021 at 7:35

Short answer, no. Sauron was a maiar, all of which were created to aid the Valar in creating Arda. Sauron and the Balrogs are Maiar that were corrupted by Morgoth. There is a youtube video explaining most of the Silmarillion and evidence for this answer is given there.

In the books the exact quote supporting this is:

"But he was not alone. For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that down into his darkness; and others were corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts...Among those of his servants that have names the greatest was the spirit whom the Eldar called Sauron, or Gorthaur the Cruel."

Whether Sauron was corrupted or 'drawn to his splendour' is not made clear (that I know of) but it is implied that at some point he was in fact good even if he turned to the darkness very quickly he was still created to do good.

  • The Maiar were not created to aid the Valar. All Maiar and Valar were members of the same order (the Ainur) and all took part in the creation of Eä to one degree or another. Some of the Ainur then entered into Eä; the most powerful of them were later referred to as the Valar, with the rest comprising the Maiar.
    – chepner
    Aug 28, 2019 at 23:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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