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Tolkien writes in letter 192 that Eru directly intervened in the destruction of the ring (see the answer here).

Was Sauron aware that Eru was there ready to step in and give a cheeky push to Gollum? Would that explain his all consuming fear?

  • Phantom DV strikes again – user46509 Oct 7 '16 at 12:01
  • I haven't read all the source material, but from your linked answer, etc, it appears to me that Eru didn't "push" or "trip" Gollum, but rather caused/allowed a situation to occur precariously close to the edge and Gollum to be so overcome with triumph that... oops. Frodo took the ring impossibly far before he failed. Right up to the edge of the precipice, where Gollum grabbed it and was overcome with triumph and tripped. Ironically, in doing so Gollum ended up playing the "If I can't have precious, no one can" card. (Not on purpose, but by Eru's ordering of time, place, and reaction.) – Wayne Oct 7 '16 at 13:11
  • To talk of him being “there” seems to be inappropriately spatial thinking — “was ready” should be enough. – PJTraill Feb 23 '17 at 23:04
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We don't know if Sauron detected Eru's intervention...

This simply isn't something Tolkien deals with in any of his writings. It's certainly possible he detected it, but there's no confirmation one way or the other.

...but it didn't account for his fear

Tolkien writes in the essay "Notes on Motives" that Sauron almost certainly believed Eru had abandoned the world:

He probably deluded himself with the notion that the Valar (including Melkor) having failed, Eru had simply abandoned Ea, or at any rate Arda, and would not concern himself with it any more. It would appear that he interpreted the 'change of the world' at the Downfall of Numenor, when Aman was removed from the physical world, in this sense: Valar (and Elves) were removed from effective control, and Men under God's curse and wrath.

History of Middle-earth X Morgoth's Ring Part 5: "Myths Transformed" Chapter VII "Notes on motives in the Silmarillion"

There's no reason to believe that Sauron would have expected Eru to intervene at this point.

  • While Sauron's un-awareness is well-supported by canon sources, and I 100% agree with the answer, it bothered me for quite a while how Sauron completely overlooked the fact that the presence of Istari in Middle Earth is a sign of Valar's involvement in the world's affairs. Istari were evidently sent from Valinor on some sort of a mission, and while Sauron did not consider them a threat, he must have known better who stands behind them and what this means for him. – void_ptr Oct 6 '16 at 18:37
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    @void_ptr Later in the Motives essay: "If he thought about the Istari, especially Saruman and Gandalf, he imagined them as emissaries from the Valar, seeking to establish their lost power again and 'colonize' Middle-earth, as a mere effort of defeated imperialists (without knowledge or sanction of Eru)." Sauron evidently didn't think much of the Valar by this point – Jason Baker Oct 6 '16 at 18:39
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    That's an excellent point - in essence, Sauron considered Valar as power-hungry and rebellious (against Eru) as he was himself, leading him to underestimate the threat they presented. Big mistake, but at least we can see where he was coming from. – void_ptr Oct 6 '16 at 18:44
  • @void_ptr To be fair, Sauron would have won by the very nature of the Ring, were it not for Eru stepping in. – Slacklord the Terrible Oct 6 '16 at 18:46
  • @Axelrod True, but one can equally argue that without Gandalf's idea to distract Sauron with Aragorn's diversion, ringbearers would not have gotten in the target range of Mt Doom for Eru to activate his "trip Gollum" plan. Anyhow, I think I'm a bit off-topic here with what Valar and Istari did, since the question is specifically about Eru. Again, the answer is spot on. – void_ptr Oct 6 '16 at 18:52

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