16

In the preface to The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, authors Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull mention a surprising fact:

Dr. Richard E. Blackwelder once counted in The Lord of the Rings 632 named individuals (of which 314 are in the Appendices), a number which soars to 1,648 when one adds titles, nicknames, and descriptive epithets (Sauron alone has 103).
- The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. xii

I can think of several names and epithets related to Sauron: The Dark Lord, the Enemy, the Lord of Mordor, the Eye, the Nameless, the Great Foe, and of course, he is in fact the title character of the series - the Lord of the Rings. In other works, he is called Mairon, Annatar, the Necromancer, the Fair, etc.

Robert Foster's Tolkien's World From A to Z: The Complete Guide to Middle-earth lists 32 titles, names, and epithets, only about a quarter of the number mentioned by Hammond, Scull, and Blackwelder.

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The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, Robert Foster, p. 438

But still, if you had asked me how many titles, names, epithets, etc, are attributed to Sauron, I probably would have said something in the neighborhood of 20. I was shocked to read that the number is so much higher: 103!

Has anyone compiled a list of all these names, titles, epithets, and so on?

  • 4
    Mairon, Annatar, the Dark Lord of Mordor, the Abhorred Dread, Artano, Gorthaur the Cruel, the Enemy, the Dark Power, the Great Eye (TA only), the Necromancer, the Lord of the Ring, the Sorcerer, the Black Hand, the Nameless Enemy, Thauron, Thû, Sauron the Great, Sauron the Deceiver – Valorum Jun 21 '15 at 22:20
  • 1
    @Richard - Good start - we only need 112 more. – Wad Cheber Jun 21 '15 at 22:25
  • 1
    @Richard a number of those are excluded if, as appears from the quotation, we're considering only The Lord of the Rings. – Matt Gutting Jun 21 '15 at 22:56
  • 1
    Which sounds like a "Bill and Ted" title anyway. – Matt Gutting Jun 21 '15 at 23:37
  • 4
    I think the "descriptive epithets" is the key to the huge number; every time somebody calls Sauron "the power in Mordor" or "that one guy" or "ruiner of parties" or whatever, that's another descriptive epithet. I'm actually not surprised to learn that there's 103 distinct phrases like that used in the trilogy – Jason Baker Jun 22 '15 at 2:19
28
+300

So I found myself with some free time this weekend.

Spoilers: I didn't reach 103; I managed 57, and that's with a fair degree of permissiveness (some variation of "the Power" appears close to a half-dozen times; my definition of "epitaph" is pretty loose, etc.). As always, I welcome expansions or corrections:

  1. At Great Smials the books were of less interest to Shire-folk, though more important for larger history. None of them was written by Peregrin, but he and his successors collected many manuscripts written by scribes of Gondor: mainly copies or summaries of histories or legends relating to Elendil and his heirs. Only here in the Shire were to be found extensive materials for the history of Númenor and the arising of Sauron.

    Fellowship of the Ring Prologue 5: "Note on the Shire Records"

  2. [N]ow Frodo often met strange dwarves of far countries, seeking refuge in the West. They were troubled, and some spoke in whispers of the Enemy and of the Land of Mordor.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 2: "Shadow of the Past"

  3. It seemed that the evil power in Mirkwood had been driven out by the White Council only to reappear in greater strength in the old strongholds of Mordor

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 2: "Shadow of the Past"

  4. 'A mortal, Frodo, who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness. And if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades: he becomes in the end invisible permanently, and walks in the twilight under the eye of the dark power that rules the Rings.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 2: "Shadow of the Past"

  5. [L]ast night I told you of Sauron the Great, the Dark Lord.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 2: "Shadow of the Past"

  6. [L]ast night I told you of Sauron the Great, the Dark Lord.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 2: "Shadow of the Past"

  7. Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 2: "Shadow of the Past"

  8. [A]ll folk were whispering then of the new Shadow in the South, and its hatred of the West.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 2: "Shadow of the Past"

  9. 'Are you still willing to help me?' 'I am,' said Mr. Butterbur. 'More than ever. Though I don't know what the likes of me can do against, against-' he faltered.

    'Against the Shadow in the East,' said Strider quietly.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 10: "Strider"

  10. Lúthien was the daughter of Thingol, a King of Elves upon Middle-earth when the world was young; and she was the fairest maiden that has ever been among all the children of this world. As the stars above the mists of the Northern lands was her loveliness, and in her face was a shining light. In those days the Great Enemy, of whom Sauron of Mordor was but a servant, dwelt in Angband in the North, and the Elves of the West coming back to Middle-earth made war upon him to regain the Silmarils which he had stolen; and the fathers of Men aided the Elves.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 11: "A Knife in the Dark"

  11. Indeed I spoke of them once to you; for the Black Riders are the Ringwraiths, the Nine Servants of the Lord of the Rings. But I did not know that they had arisen again or I should have fled with you at once.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 1: "Many Meetings

  12. The Lord of the Ring is not Frodo, but the master of the Dark Tower of Mordor, whose power is again stretching out over the world!

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 1: "Many Meetings

  13. I have heard of the Great Ring of him that we do not name; but we believed that it perished from the world in the ruin of his first realm.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

  14. The Nameless Enemy has arisen again. Smoke rises once more from Orodruin that we call Mount Doom.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

  15. Some here will remember that many years ago I myself dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus that our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemy of old, at length taking shape and power again.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

  16. 'We were all at fault,' said Elrond, 'and but for your vigilance the Darkness, maybe, would already be upon us. But say on!'

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

  17. I spoke yet of my dread to none, knowing the peril of an untimely whisper, if it went astray. In all the long wars with the Dark Tower treason has ever been our greatest foe.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

  18. '"Until you reveal to me where the One may be found. I may find means to persuade you. Or until it is found in your despite, and the Ruler has time to turn to lighter matters: to devise, say, a fitting reward for the hindrance and insolence of Gandalf the Grey."

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

  19. I think that we may hope now that the Ringwraiths were scattered, and have been obliged to return as best they could to their Master in Mordor, empty and shapeless.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 3: "The Ring Goes South"

  20. Had I a host of Elves in armour of the Elder Days, it would avail little, save to arouse the power of Mordor.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 3: "The Ring Goes South"

  21. 'It was a Balrog of Morgoth,' said Legolas; `of all elf-banes the most deadly, save the One who sits in the Dark Tower.'

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 7: "The Mirror of Galadriel"

  22. [A]s Ring-bearer and as one that has borne it on finger and seen that which is hidden, your sight is grown keener. You have perceived my thought more clearly than many that are accounted wise. You saw the Eye of him that holds the Seven and the Nine.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 7: "The Mirror of Galadriel"

  23. The Orcs in the service of Barad-dûr use the sign of the Red Eye.

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 1: "The Departure of Boromir"

  24. 'First tell me whom you serve,' said Aragorn. 'Are you friend or foe of Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor?'

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 2: "The Riders of Rohan"

  25. 'I serve only the Lord of the Mark, Théoden King son of Thengel,' answered Éomer. 'We do not serve the Power of the Black Land far away, but neither are we yet at open war with him; and if you are fleeing from him, then you had best leave this land.

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 2: "The Riders of Rohan"

  26. Some years ago the Lord of the Black Land wished to purchase horses of us at great price, but we refused him. for he puts beasts to evil use.

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 2: "The Riders of Rohan"

  27. 'Is Saruman the master or the Great Eye?'

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 3: "The Uruk-hai"

    I've been avoiding including references to the Eye, because the references so far have been referring to a physical Eye, which is not the same thing as Sauron. In this case, however, Grishnákh is clearly using "the Great Eye" as an epithet in palce of referring to his master by name.

  28. I saw [Treebeard] four days ago striding among the trees, and I think he saw me, for he paused; but I did not speak, for I was heavy with thought, and weary after my struggle with the Eye of Mordor; and he did not speak either, nor call my name.

    The two Towers Book III Chapter 5: "The White Rider"

    I'm going to start including Eye references, as long as it's reasonably clear that the title is referring to Sauron personally, rather than a physical construct (real or imagined).

  29. You have become a fool, Saruman, and yet pitiable. You might still have turned away from folly and evil, and have been of service. But you choose to stay and gnaw the ends of your old plots. Stay then! But I warn you. you will not easily come out again. Not unless the dark hands of the East stretch out to take you. Saruman!

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 10: "The Voice of Saruman"

  30. The Eye of Barad-dûr will be looking impatiently towards the Wizard's Vale, I think; and towards Rohan. The less it sees the better.

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 11: "The Palantír"

  31. Sméagol is very afraid. He does not want to lose nice master. And he promised, master made him promise, to save the Precious. But master is going to take it to Him, straight to the Black Hand, if master will go this way.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 3: "The Black Gate is Closed"

  32. This was no assault upon the Dark Lord by the men of Gondor, risen like avenging ghosts from the graves of valour long passed away. These were Men of other race, out of the wide Eastlands, gathering to the summons of their Overlord; armies that had encamped before his Gate by night and now marched in to swell his mounting power.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 3: "The Black Gate is Closed"

  33. Indeed I was told to seek for the Precious; and I have searched and searched, of course I have. But not for the Black One.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 3: "The Black Gate is Closed"

  34. The tall green man laughed grimly. 'I am Faramir, Captain of Gondor,' he said. 'But there are no travellers in this land: only the servants of the Dark Tower, or of the White.'

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 4: "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"

  35. Think what you will, I am a friend of all enemies of the One Enemy.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 4: "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"

  36. Faramir's voice sank to a whisper. 'But this much I learned or guessed, and I have kept it ever secret in my heart since: that Isildur took somewhat from the hand of the Unnamed, ere he went away from Gondor, never to be seen among mortal men again.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 5: "The Window on the West"

  37. It is not said that evil arts were ever practised in Gondor, or that the Nameless One was ever named in honour there; and the old wisdom and beauty brought out of the West remained long in the realm of the sons of Elendil the Fair, and they linger there still.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 5: "The Window on the West"

  38. No need to worry about Shelob for a bit, I reckon. She's sat on a nail, it seems, and we shan't cry about that. Didn't you see: a nasty mess all the way back to that cursed crack of hers? If we've stopped it once, we've stopped it a hundred times. So let 'em laugh. And we've struck a bit of luck at last: got something that Lugbúrz wants.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 10: "The Choices of Master Samwise"

    I wasn't 100% sure about this one, but given that Shagrat later draws a direct parallel between Lugbúrz and the Nazgûl, it seemed safe enough.

  39. As I said, the Big Bosses, ay,' [Gorbag's] voice sank almost to a whisper, `ay, even the Biggest, can make mistakes.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 10: "The Choices of Master Samwise"

  40. 'The Eye was busy elsewhere, I suppose,' said Shagrat.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 10: "The Choices of Master Samwise"

  41. You must have seen him: little thin black fellow; like a spider himself, or perhaps more like a starved frog. He's been here before. Came out of Lugbúrz the first time, years ago, and we had word from High Up to let him pass.

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 10: "The Choices of Master Samwise"

    Also not 100% sure about this one; it's never easy to determine when the Mordor-orcs are talking about Sauron or the Nazgûl, and "High Up" could be either. Still, better to be safe.

  42. Is it naught to [Denethor] that Théoden has fought a great battle and that Isengard is overthrown, and that I [Gandalf] have broken the staff of Saruman?'

    'It is much to me. But I know already sufficient of these deeds for my own counsel against the menace of the East.'

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 1: "Minas Tirith"

  43. Isildur said to their king: “Thou shalt be the last king. And if the West prove mightier than thy Black Master, this curse I lay upon thee and thy folk: to rest never until your oath is fulfilled. For this war will last through years uncounted, and you shall be summoned once again ere the end.”

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 2: "The Passing of the Grey Company"

  44. 'Yet now under the Lord of Barad-dûr the most fell of all his captains is already master of [Denethor's] outer walls,' said Gandalf.

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 4: "The Siege of Gondor"

  45. It was no brigand or orc-chieftain that ordered the assault upon the Lord of Mordor’s greatest foe. A power and mind of malice guided it.

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 4: "The Siege of Gondor"

  46. [S]oon there were few left in Minas Tirith who had the heart to stand up and defy the hosts of Mordor. For yet another weapon, swifter than hunger, the Lord of the Dark Tower had: dread and despair.

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 4: "The Siege of Gondor"

  47. 'Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.'

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 6: "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

  48. 'Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death,' answered Gandalf. 'And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death.'

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 7: "The Pyre of Denethor"

    I wasn't initially sure whether this one is referring to Sauron or to Morgoth; but a later comment from Gandalf made it clear that it was, in fact, Sauron (emphasis mine):

    'Though the Stewards deemed that it was a secret kept only by themselves, long ago I guessed that here in the White Tower, one at least of the Seven Seeing Stones was preserved. In the days of his wisdom Denethor did not presume to use it, nor to challenge Sauron, knowing the limits of his own strength. But his wisdom failed; and I fear that as the peril of his realm grew he looked in the Stone and was deceived: far too often, I guess, since Boromir departed. He was too great to be subdued to the will of the Dark Power, he saw nonetheless only those things which that Power permitted him to see.

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 7: "The Pyre of Denethor"

  49. Go forth and fight! Vanity. For a little space you may triumph on the field, for a day. But against the Power that now arises there is no victory.

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 7: "The Pyre of Denethor"

  50. But Gandalf said: 'This is much to demand for the delivery of one servant: that your Master should receive in exchange what he must else fight many a war to gain! Or has the field of Gondor destroyed his hope in war, so that he falls to haggling? And if indeed we rated this prisoner so high, what surety have we that Sauron the Base Master of Treachery, will keep his part? Where is this prisoner? Let him be brought forth and yielded to us, and then we will consider these demands.'

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 10: "The Black Gate Opens"

  51. [Sam] felt that he had from now on only two choices: to forbear the Ring, though it would torment him; or to claim it, and challenge the Power that sat in its dark hold beyond the valley of shadows.

    Return of the King Book VI Chapter 1: "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"

  52. [F]ar away, as Frodo put on the Ring and claimed it for his own, even in Sammath Naur the very heart of his realm, the Power in Barad-dûr was shaken, and the Tower trembled from its foundations to its proud and bitter crown.

    Return of the King Book VI Chapter 3: "Mount Doom"

  53. It came to pass that in the middle of the Third Age Durin was again its king, being the sixth of that name. The power of Sauron, servant of Morgoth, was then again growing in the world, though the Shadow in the Forest that looked towards Moria was not yet known for what it was.

    Return of the King Appendix A: "Annals of the Kings and Rulers" III "Durin's Folk"

  54. It came to pass that in the middle of the Third Age Durin was again its king, being the sixth of that name. The power of Sauron, servant of Morgoth, was then again growing in the world, though the Shadow in the Forest that looked towards Moria was not yet known for what it was.

    Return of the King Appendix A: "Annals of the Kings and Rulers" III "Durin's Folk"

  55. 2060 The power of Dol Guldur grows. The Wise fear that it may be Sauron taking shape again.

    Return of the King Appendix B: "The Tale of Years" (ii) The Third Age

  56. 'Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that maybe an encouraging thought.'

    Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 2: "The Shadow of the Past"

  57. The Lord of the Ring is not Frodo, but the master of the Dark Tower of Mordor, whose power is again stretching out over the world!

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 1: "Many Meetings

  • +1 Lots of work. Comment: The "Morgul-Lord" refers to the Witch King, not Sauron. Also, "The Great Eye" is less an epithet, and more a synecdoche along the lines of "the Crown has a policy of X". ;) – Lexible Sep 8 '15 at 4:06
  • @Lexible Quite right; not sure what I was thinking there. Fixed now. As to the Great Eye: I had a similar thought at first, but the more I thought of it the more I figured that, when you're talking about an immortal God-King, the difference between "the Crown" and the actual King himself insignificant – Jason Baker Sep 8 '15 at 4:10
  • And "Lugburz" is not synecdoche, but a metonym, being another name for Barad-Dûr which is Sauron's seat, and symbolizes his will. :) AHHH! "The Lidless Eye!" Totally the creepy bestastic! – Lexible Sep 8 '15 at 4:11
  • 2
    You evidently had an awful lot of spare time; +1 – Often Right Sep 8 '15 at 7:44
  • I'm not sure if ´#32 Black Hand is Sauron. Wasn't Black Hand his Lieutenant? – Zikato Sep 8 '15 at 11:39
6

Blackwelder's chief work about Tolkien and Middle-Earth was A Tolkien Thesaurus, published in 1990; his other work on the topic was the shorter manuscript entitled Tolkien Phraseology. It was quite an extensive piece of work:

He spent four years compiling a concordance to the names of characters, animals, and plants in Tolkien's work, which was published in 1990 by Garland Press as A Tolkien Thesaurus. A fifteen-page companion booklet, Tolkien Phraseology, was published by Marquette in 1990.

I don't have A Tolkien Thesaurus, but I would bet anything that it contains the list of Sauron's 103 "titles, nicknames, and descriptive epithets".

0

Don't forget all the early names for Sauron, including Thû and Tevildo, Prince of Cats.

(Interesting; the Lidless Eye that Frodo sees in the Mirror of Galadriel is described as a cat's eye with a fairly ordinary pupil, merely ringed with flame).

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