In the Peter Jackson-verse, the Nazgul know Frodo has the Ring, as he almost willingly gives it to them at Osgiliath. So in turn Sauron would know that a halfling still has the Ring - unlike in the books where he thinks Aragorn is wielding it.

Is there an inclination to why Sauron would still attack early?

  • Actually, they only know that some hobbit has it. It's not until Weathertop that they actually see Frodo wearing it. But they also learn that Aragorn is helping Frodo at that point, so there's no reason to think Aragorn wouldn't take the ring after the events of Weathertop. – Omegacron Dec 30 '14 at 21:28
  • @Omegacron He also puts the ring on to escape Boromir, so Sauron knows for a fact Aragorn doesn't have it at that point. – Demarini Dec 30 '14 at 21:40
  • There certainly seems to be an intelligence advantage in capturing anyone who might know where the ring is heading. Note that in the books, Sauron doesn't even countenance that they might be heading to the Crack to destroy the One Ring. He's got a major psychological blind spot. – Valorum Dec 30 '14 at 21:41
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    @Demarini - Sauron doesn't detect Frodo when he puts on the Ring – user8719 Dec 30 '14 at 22:03
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    @Omegacron - I suspect that the incident the OP is referring to is when Frodo (in the movie) offers the Ring to a Nazgul in Osgiliath (this incident not occurring at all in the books, of course). – user8719 Dec 30 '14 at 22:07

If we're going strictly by the movies?

The last time Sauron knew who had the ring was when Frodo put it on to get away from Boromir. The Fellowship had not disbanded then, so Sauron was still in the dark(heh) of the actual whereabouts of the ring.

The next time Sauron is given a hint to where the ring is(a wrong hint) is when Pippin uses the Palantir. Whether Sauron knew the fate of Orthanc/Saruman? I'm not sure, but the news surely would have spread to him quickly. So what does Sauron know at this point?

  • A hobbit previously held the ring, and could still be holding it.
  • A hobbit was just using the Palantir that Saruman used.
  • Saruman knew a halfling had the ring.

He thought for sure that Pippin was the hobbit that had the ring, and probably assumed he was hanging out with Gandalf and Aragorn still(correct assumption this time, +1 for Sauron).

He was getting desperate for the ring, and Aragorn taking it and leading the armies of Gondor is what he feared most...and what he suspected would most likely happen. Striking fast, in his mind, was his only option.

  • I fear this answer is not really close to correct? 1- Sauron doesn't detect someone when they use the ring. 2- Sauron didn't fear Aragorn would use the ring against him, but rather that Aragorn would unite the free people under one banner(which would then give men the strength to fight Mordors armies). To my knowledge Aragorn wouldn't even be able to stand a chance against Sauron even if he claimed the ring- as he was Dunedain and Sauron Maiar. – LepelLeLama Dec 31 '14 at 5:45
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    @LepelLelLama We're going by the movies. Sauron specifically say "I see you" to Frodo when he puts the ring on. And I don't see why Sauron wouldn't fear Aragorn claiming the ring. Sauron feared the fact that someone might claim the ring themselves, be it anyone, never mind the a descendant of the ones who put him in this jam in the first place. But I mean I guess I could have been more specific instead of just saying armies of Gondor, but the point was that Sauron fears Aragorn's leadership. My fault for poor phrasing I guess. – Demarini Dec 31 '14 at 8:03
  • Ok I understand from movies the "I see you" phrase, so you are right about that. But even in the movies (I think it was Gandalf?) it is said that Sauron fears that Aragorn will unite the people under one banner- so Im still not convinced Sauron fears Aragorn claiming the ring. – LepelLeLama Dec 31 '14 at 8:13
  • I think it's both. He fears him uniting the people under one banner because that might actually have a chance at defeating him. He fears Aragorn taking the ring because he won't easily give it up. Compare the ease of taking the ring from a hobbit compared to Aragorn. I think with an army at his back, and being as good a swordsman that he is already, it would be no easy task to get the ring back from Aragorn. – Demarini Dec 31 '14 at 10:51
  • @LepelLeLama Sauron most certainly does detect when someone uses the ring in the movies. A perfect example is when Frodo and Sam are in the mountain, Sauron is watching the battle at the gate when Frodo puts the ring on. It immediately alerts Sauron. – Robert Dec 31 '14 at 13:19

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