In the Wikipedia entry for Uruk-Hai, it states that some Uruk-Hai had an elf rune, equivalent to the letter "S", painted on them. It then states:

It was clear the "S" stood for Saruman, considering Sauron's general desire not to have his name written or spoken. Wikipedia Source

Although there is no source provided for that quote. Can anyone quote something in the books (or the film, for that matter) about Sauron not liking his name being written or spoken? I haven't heard of that, and although I have my own theories for why he might prefer that, I'd like to see it straight from the books!

  • 6
    Sauron is not his name but a nick name given by his enemies. Instead o S think like if lhe was nick named "Buttface" and you will understand better
    – jean
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 16:38
  • 1
    I think it would be more interesting to know why he doesn't insist that all his underlings call him by his original name, Mairon ("The Admirable"), or another ego-boosting pseudonym (such as his other aliases like Annatar, "Lord of Gifts", or Artano, "High-Smith"). Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 14:43
  • 2
    @NicolaTalbot These sissy names were useful enough to fool silly superficial elves. But after the Valar cheated and had their boss sink my body, why keep them? Would you keep running around as "Sweety Sweetface" after you just survived a disfiguring murder attempt that leaves you looking like anything but?
    – Annatar
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 12:36
  • 1
    @Annatar Yes, Lord of Gifts, you're quite right. :-) Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


Aragorn states this in The Two Towers after the death of Boromir.

'I have not seen these tokens before,' said Aragorn. 'What do they mean?' 'S is for Sauron,' said Gimli. 'That is easy to read.' 'Nay!' said Legolas. 'Sauron does not use the Elf-runes.' 'Neither does he use his right name, nor permit it to be spelt or spoken,' said Aragorn. 'And he does not use white. The Orcs in the service of Barad-dûr use the sign of the Red Eye.' He stood for a moment in thought. 'S is for Saruman, I guess,' he said at length.
The Two Towers - Chapter 1, The departure of Boromir

  • 1
    Though as this question goes into, that might not be an absolute prohibition. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/46581/…
    – Nolimon
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 15:05
  • @Nolimon I’m not sure what you mean, all I can tell from that question is why have the Orcs been shown to use the name Sauron and the answer suggest poor translation on Frodo’s part.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 15:07
  • 1
    Again the mouth of Sauron can be down to translation. However, that question bears little relevance to this question as this one is really looking for a quote. I could go into those details, but I feel like that should be left for an answer to that question.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 15:12
  • 4
    I’d have to look further into my texts (again on the train), but off the top of my head no, besides the fact that it meant “Abhorred”
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 15:49
  • 1
    @Jake If you ask why The Deceiver is concealing something, I think the answer would be self-evident. : ]
    – tex
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 21:05

Your Answer

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

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