"There is no life in the void, only death," says Sauron to Frodo immediately after a terrifying "I see you," when Frodo puts on the One Ring at the Prancing Pony in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Now, I am aware this scene might never have been a part of the book, but I would like opinions on why Peter Jackson thought Sauron might say this to Frodo.

The eye of Sauron sees you

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    Sauron is telling Frodo: "I'm going to make Middle Earth great again. Believe me, it's gonna be huge. I've had tremendous success with my Orc armies . . ."
    – RobertF
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 13:20
  • 5
    he's already built a wall...
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 14:54
  • He's padding his debate response, like any good politician. "There is no life in the void. Only death. Like, really, really dead. Not only merely dead..."
    – Ber
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 5:49
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    @RobertF "Take one look at that elf chick and tell me I'd want to rule over her... please. Believe me, there's far more attractive races I'd want to rule over, know what I mean? You've got these Southrons overrunning the Shire, and the hills are just teeming with goblins. And the Dwarves! Those guys are so crafty! When I'm ruler of Middle-Earth, I'm going to make such great deals with the Dwarves... we're gonna take all of their Mithril! Gondor is corrupt... and that marble courtyard is so ugly. I'll replace it with solid brass... Pelennor will be a world-class golf resort!"
    – Ber
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 6:07
  • A prudent New Line Sauron wouldn't say it, even if New Line Sauron saw it. If New Line Sauron had any sense he'd have exploited the knowledge he has, that his opponents don't know he has, rather than show off by giving away the store.
    – Lesser son
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 23:19

3 Answers 3


Possible related to the lies that Morgoth told Men. He perverted the "Gift of Men" to be the "Doom of Men".

Death is their fate, the gift of Ilúvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy. But Melkor has cast his shadow upon it, and confounded it with darkness, and brought forth evil out of good, and fear out of hope. Yet of old the Valar declared to the Elves in Valinor that Men shall join in the Second Music of the Ainur; whereas Ilúvatar has not revealed what he purposes for the Elves after the World’s end, and Melkor has not discovered it.

Sauron carried this on and convinced the men of Númenor to invade the Undying Lands and take immortality from the Valar.

And he said: ‘The Valar have possessed themselves of the land where there is no death; and they lie to you concerning it, hiding it as best they may, because of their avarice, and their fear lest the Kings of Men should wrest from them the deathless realm and rule the world in their stead. And though, doubtless, the gift of life unending is not for all, but only for such as are worthy, being men of might and pride and great lineage, yet against all justice is it done that this gift, which is his due, should be withheld from the King of Kings, Ar-Pharazôn, mightiest of the sons of Earth, to whom Manwë alone can be compared, if even he. But great kings do not brook denials, and take what is their due.’

  • 3
    As stated, the "void" is also different from death. While trying to cheat death is a lie he cast on the Nùmenôriens for their doom, it is unrelated with the movie's sentence. More likely he wanted to frighten Frodo, by meaning "Careful with that Ring, if you stay invisible too long , you'll end up a wraith yourself. And they aren't really living, you know...". Well, that's my bet, for what it's worth.
    – Tjafaas
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 17:23
  • @Tjafaas I know the void is different from death. That's why I think he says it - Morgoth and Sauron lied to Men and said death was the end, when they didn't know what happened to Men after death as that's a secret Eru has kept to himself
    – user46509
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 17:25
  • So is Sauron just reflecting on his own fate and doom as foretold in the Ainurindale? Is there any specific reason Sauron is saying this to Frodo?
    – Valandil
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 19:10
  • @Default_User I think he's trying to tell him he will die in vain. As death leads to the void.
    – user46509
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 19:10
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    sigh Tolkien Sauron seems to be so much more articulate than movie Sauron...
    – Ber
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 5:54

He is telling Frodo that the reason he can see Frodo clearly is because Frodo is alive and has stepped into the void when he wears the ring..in this space, normally there is no life, which means Frodo stands out against the backdrop of death."I see you. You stand out in this place bc you yet live."


He (Sauron) is in this position, where he isn't living or dead - he is in a void. He is trying to explain to Frodo that the ring causes that to happen and that he should just give it to Sauron instead of ruining his own life.

This deems him as a good person, in some way, quite a complex character, I might add.

  • 5
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have any evidence for this, or is it just your own thought? Please read How to Answer.
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 19:30

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