In Middle-earth, does there exist magic that causes the user to gain influence over another's body and actions?
At the same time, are there catalysts in Middle-earth where such a spell could be bound to?

  • 1
    What does your second sentence mean? "are there catalysts in middle earth where such a spell could be bound to?"
    – amflare
    Dec 4, 2017 at 20:49
  • I suppose a ring is a good example. I guess that's that then. If there are other examples of magic being bound to an object, I'd like to know that as well, thanks Dec 4, 2017 at 20:51
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    So do you want mind control magic or magic bound to objects?
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 4, 2017 at 21:02
  • I'll get to the point essentially. A book where you could write the actions of a person, and they perform it. Sounds more like harry potter than tolkien, but it's the idea. Dec 4, 2017 at 21:13
  • Thank you Forrest. I'd forgotten the way it was done in the books. Why all the downvotes though? My question was direct and clear about a fantasy world. Dec 4, 2017 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


Yes there is such magic. Sauron uses some on Pippin during their conversation in Orthanc.

From The Two Towers, Book III, Chapter 11, The Palantir:

Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send for it at once. Do you understand? Say just that!

And the next thing Pippin says is

It is not for you, Saruman! I will send for it at once. Do you understand? Say just that!

In addition to that encounter, Sam uses the One Ring to control some orcs (From The Return of the King, Book VI, Chapter 1, The Tower of Cirith Ungol)

For what it saw was not a small frightened hobbit trying to hold a steady sword: it saw a great silent shape, cloaked in a grey shadow, looming against the wavering light behind; in one hand it held a sword, the very light of which was a bitter pain, the other was clutched at its breast, but held concealed some nameless menace of power and doom.

For a moment the Orc crouched, and then with a hideous yelp of fear it turned and fled back as it had come.

Frodo used it to control Gollum (from The Return of the King, Book VI, Chapter 3, Mount Doom):

Then suddenly, as before under the eaves of the Emyn Muil, Sam saw these two rivals with other vision. A crouching shape, scarcely more than the shadow of a living thing, a creature now wholly ruined and defeated, yet filled with a hideous lust and rage; and before it stood stern, untouchable now by pity, a figure robed in white, but at its breast it held a wheel of fire. Out of the fire there spoke a commanding voice.

Begone, and trouble me no more! If you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom.’

The crouching shape backed away, terror in its blinking eyes, and yet at the same time insatiable desire.

Then the vision passed and Sam saw Frodo standing, hand on breast, his breath coming in great gasps, and Gollum at his feet, resting on his knees with his wide-splayed hands upon the ground.

  • 1
    That doesn't suggest that Frodo used the One Ring to control an Orcs mind, merely that the vial of Erendil lit Sam (and I'm pretty sure it was Sam) in such a way that he looked like a menacing Gondorian (Easy given the fact the orcs believed only Gondorians could get past the gate of Cirith Ungol. Secondly, Frodo didn't use it to control Gollum, as otherwise Gollum wouldn't have attacked him. Gollum has sworn an Oath on the ring to obey Frodo, this wasn't mind control but the power of an Oath in Middle-earth? Did Isildur control the minds of the dead because he didn't let them die? No.
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 5, 2017 at 7:04
  • Hobbits (and orcs) can't naturally see with "other vision" nor are they normally visible in it. They can have the vision sent to them, but that takes a lot of power (Galadriel, Elrond, Denethor and any of the Ainur could). The only source of such power available to them is the Ring, which is only useful for domination (or maybe the phial). In those instances they were basically doing the exact same thing that Sauron did to Pippin, just less effectively because Sauron has a lot more practice. It is, to say the least, a very troubling sign that indicates a growing corruption on their part. Dec 5, 2017 at 21:04
  • What sources have you gotten this "information" from? I've never read about any form of "other vision" or mind-control in Tolkien's Legendarium. How would a light be useful for domination? How were they doing what Sauron was doing? Sauron didn't necessarily control Pippins mind, he just challenged him and tempted him, telling him to ask Sauron.
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 5, 2017 at 21:12

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