It has been answered that the One Ring gave Sauron the ability to govern the dominion of those whom wore the other rings of power (source). However during the Second Age there was a "Last Alliance of Men and Elves" to battle Sauron and his armies.

But since the 9 rings of power were already bestowed to the Nazgûl/Ringwraiths wouldn't the entire race of Men be slaves to Sauron? If so, how did the Men rally to join the Elves in the Last Alliance of Men and Elves?

Or does this mean only that Sauron controlled the leaders of those races e.g. the Nazgûl/Ringwraiths and as such if men decided that their kings/leaders were not to be followed, they simply revolted against them?

  • 2
    What makes you assume that the 9 Nazgûl contained enough rulers to rule over 100% of men? Dec 18, 2014 at 6:29
  • Also, NOT all Nazgûl were kings, IIRC. 3 were Numenorian lords and one was an Easterling king and one was Witch-king of Angmar. Dec 18, 2014 at 6:30
  • @DVK - I'd assume that the entire point of the one ring was to govern an entire race, if not all the Nazgûl were in charge respectively of the free men, then what was the point of Sauron trying to govern men? or did he seek to govern as most as he can and kill the others?
    – Jared
    Dec 18, 2014 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


Virtually all Men were indeed under the domination of Sauron, and the Last Alliance was chiefly made between the Elves and the realms of the surviving Faithful Númenóreans, as is told in "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age":

Now Sauron prepared war against the Eldar and the Men of Westernesse, and the fires of the Mountain were wakened again [...] And Sauron gathered to him great strength of his servants out of the east and the south [...]

The formation of the Last Alliance is also described:

Now Elendil and Gil-galad took counsel together, for they perceived that Sauron would grow too strong and would overcome all his enemies one by one, if they did not unite against him. Therefore they made that League which is called the Last Alliance, and they marched east into Middle-earth gathering a great host of Elves and Men; and they halted for a while at Imladris [...] From Imladris they crossed the Misty Mountains by many passes and marched down the River Anduin.

It should be obvious from this passage that the "march east" was actually just through Arnor, a Númenórean realm which had been founded by then (note that the Alliance turned south after Rivendell, so the "march east" is just from Lindon to Rivendell).

Although I don't have a reference for it, I would expect that the Northmen of Rhovanion, as descendants of the Edain who never crossed over to Beleriand but who despite that had also rejected Morgoth in the First Age, were also included in the Alliance.

It was only after the victory of the Alliance that Men who were under Sauron's domination rejected it:

The servants of Sauron were routed and dispersed, yet they were not wholly destroyed; and though many Men turned now from evil and became subject to the heirs of Elendil.

But as we know, the Númenórean faithful were never under the domination of Sauron, and Arnor and Gondor had already been founded by the time of the Last Alliance, and — although new realms — appear to have become quite strong in a short time. Gondor in particular is described as follows:

Isildur and Anárion were borne away southwards, and at the last they brought their ships up the Great River Anduin, that flows out of Rhovanion into the western sea in the Bay of Belfalas; and they established a realm in those lands that were after called Gondor, whereas the Northern Kingdom was named Arnor. Long before in the days of their power the mariners of Númenor had established a haven and strong places about the mouths of Anduin, in despite of Sauron in the Black Land that lay nigh upon the east. In the later days to this haven came only the Faithful of Númenor, and many therefore of the folk of the coastlands in that region were in whole or in part akin to the Elf-friends and the people of Elendil, and they welcomed his sons.

So there were definitely no shortages of allies for the Alliance.

  • 2
    Amusingly, the last paragraph I quote seems to suggest that even Númenorean sailors had "one in every port".
    – user8719
    Dec 18, 2014 at 7:51
  • lol, numenoreans sailors were men indeed !
    – Joel
    Dec 18, 2014 at 12:50

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