Did Sauron have the power to bring Melkor back from the Timeless Void? Did he have the power but not the intention, or was it simply impossible?

As far as I know, Sauron suffered the same fate as Melkor, but he came back from his death, which is referred to as "The Void" by Galadriel. In this quote, Galadriel says, "Go back to the Void from whence you came!" So is it possible for a being to come back from the Void?

  • 4
    Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/230438/…
    – Warcupine
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 13:05
  • "Go back to the Void from whence you came!" is just a weird sort of way to try and curse Sauron (and/or Melkor): the Void they came from was the same Void all the Ainur—Olórin, Manwë, Varda, etc.—came from, which, in Tolkien's world, is the mind of Ilúvatar… in effect "Go be with God who created you!"
    – Lexible
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


No. It was simply impossible for Sauron.

In the context of your question, Galadriel is implying that Sauron return to the "nothingness" that exists outside Eä (the Universe), which is where he, a follower of Morgoth and abhorrently evil in his own right, belongs.

Among those of his servants that have names the greatest was that spirit whom the Eldar called Sauron, or Gorthaur the Cruel. In his beginning he was of the Maiar of Aule, and he remained mighty in the lore of that people. In all the deeds of Melkor the Morgoth upon Arda, in his vast works and in the deceits of his cunning, Sauron had a part, and was only less evil than his master in that for long he served another and not himself. But in after years he rose like a shadow of Morgoth and a ghost of his malice, and walked behind him on the same ruinous path down into the Void.

The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, Of the Enemies

Note that the "Void" referred to at the beginning of The Silmarillion and after Iluvatar created Eä is different. After Eä was created whatever lay outside of it is now the Void. Thus it is not incorrect to say that Sauron had never been to the Void. He was present in the Void before Eä was created, not referring to the Void which is now the outside of said Universe.

So when Morgoth was cast by the Valar through the Door of Night, beyond the Walls of the World, into the Timeless Void, he is outside Eä, the universe. After the destruction of his Ring Sauron is now in a immensely diminished form - a mere spirit* - and it's unlikely and even more improbable that he'd be up to the task of resurrecting his master. However even if Sauron was alive, it'd still impossible for him to bring Melkor back. Why? Because...

Manwë put forth Morgoth and shut him beyond the World in the Void that is without; and he cannot himself return again into the World, present and visible, while the Lords of the West are still enthroned.

And Sauron, a Maiar, definitely did not have the ability to challenge the Valar themselves. Much less Manwë.

And so Melkor remains in the void until the Dagor Dagorath.

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    There's no indication that Sauron was cast into the void and as Gandalf described it he wasn't killed merely weakened to the point of irrelevancy by the Ring's destruction
    – IG_42
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 0:37
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    @IG_42: You mean other than the part where it says he walked 'the same ruinous path down into the Void'? It also seems important that when the Ring was destroyed there rose 'a huge shape of shadow[...]filling all the sky' until a 'great wind took it, and it was all blown away'; suggesting the possible intervention of Manwe.
    – Shamshiel
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 9:43
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    @IG_42: It's also worth nothing that when Gandalf died incarnate, he ended up 'strayed out of Time' and could only return through the intervention of Eru. So we do know that under at least some conditions Ainur can end up in the Void without anyone's intervention.
    – Shamshiel
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 9:56
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    @MatCauthon: Tolkien actually specifically says that Gandalf left the universe in a letter, thus why it had to be Eru that brought him back. Sent back by whom, and whence? Not by the 'gods' whose business is only with this embodied world and its time; for he passed 'out of thought and time'.
    – Shamshiel
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 15:40
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    @MatCauthon: Tolkien just doesn't always capitalize it. Ctrl + F and you see many examples of this. He makes clear that Gandalf was beyond the power of the Valar and only Eru could have brought him back. There's no other way to interpret it. He does this with other nouns too. Tolkien specifically contrasts it with 'the embodied world and its time.' The 'embodied world' is the material universe!
    – Shamshiel
    Commented Jun 24, 2020 at 0:06


He neither had the power or will to do so.

The Barrier to the Void was sealed by the Valar , and let's not forget that Sauron is a Maia ( junior to the Valar ). This suggests that he did not have the power. Perhaps it might have been possible with the One Ring, but I seriously doubt this ( as the Ring contains Sauron's Maia power, which is still inferior to the power of the Valar who sealed the barrier ).

He did not have the will to do so : if Morgoth was back , Sauron would go back to being his Lieutenant. In Sauron's perspective, this isn't a good idea. Melkor might even snatch the Ring from Sauron ...

PS : It is said that Morgoth will break through the barrier and wage a final war against the Valar - ( a reincarnated ) Turin will kill Melkor and the world will end.

  • Do you have sources? Especially about Sauron's will?
    – Sekhemty
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 14:22
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    I don't know about that. Sauron didn't leave a Will before he died - did he ? Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 14:25
  • Just my little joke; Anyone who understands Sauron would know what he would Will. Sauron claimed that he was Melkor returned, thus lulling Melkor's remaining servants to his service. He wanted to take Melkor's place as King of Arda ( or at least middle Earth ) , and there is no doubt to reason why he would lose his position Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 14:28
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    Re, "Maia power...power of the Valar." Where did Tolkein ever say that the Maiar were a different kind of being from the Valar?... that they have a different sort of power? I thought that "Valar" was just the name of a certain group of Ainur who took on certain roles for themselves and, that "Maiar" was the name of a different group who accepted lesser roles. Rather than declare that it is impossible for a Maia to expand their own power and ambition or, for a Vala to allow theirs to atrophy, I would merely say that we have no example of it ever happening. Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 14:57
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    @SolomonSlow They aren't different per se, they are just lesser. Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 15:07

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