So Sauron is a maia. The maia were forbidden to use their full power. But there is nothing that restricts Sauron of using the full extent of the maia power. It was said that the maiar were forbidden, but if they are only but forbidden then could a maia access all of the power? And we are talking about a fallen maia so Sauron using his full power would be logical.

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    i believe only gandalf and the rest of the "wizards" maia were forbidden the full use of their power? but regardless unless something physically prohibited sauron from using everything he possessed, we can assume he was operating with everything he had.
    – Himarm
    Nov 5, 2014 at 16:21
  • Is there some reason you suspect he might be holding himself back? He really does not seem like the type. And if you mean that he is unable to use his "full power" because the gods won't let him, then I'm not sure how that's different from just not having that power.
    – Misha R
    Mar 14, 2016 at 6:32

1 Answer 1


Yes, but that power was very limited compared to his former self. Sauron put most of his power into the ring when forging it, so when parted with it he is crippled...still an incredibly formidable foe, but not like he would be if he had the ring.

The reason the Istari(5 Maia sent to aid Middle Earth) didn't use their full power against Sauron was because they weren't allowed to. They were supposed to assists men, not save them.

  • Even Gandalf with full power could not have defeated Sauron Nov 5, 2014 at 16:41
  • Whether he could or not is not made clear, as I recall. Do you have evidence for that statement? Nov 5, 2014 at 16:44
  • @MattGutting When the Valar have the council to decide the Istari it is noted that because they will become of flesh they'll have physical restrictions, but that's part of the deal, not something the Valar forced on them. It's also noted that they aren't allowed to rule the wills of men, or try to match Sauron's power with power. There's nothing about actual restrictions placed by the Valar, just that they have rules in place.
    – Demarini
    Nov 5, 2014 at 16:52
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    @TheExtinctSurgeon Gandalf the White against a ringless Sauron could have defeated him...maybe.
    – Demarini
    Nov 5, 2014 at 16:58
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    -1 Tolkien stated that Sauron is not at all diminished when not possessing the ring. As long as it exists he has his power, when he actually holds it he is further enhanced compared to his native power.
    – Erik
    Nov 5, 2014 at 19:14

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