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Mouth of Sauron

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'''The Mouth of Sauron''' was the [[Dark Lord]] [[Sauron]]'s servant and representative at the end of the [[Third Age]]. He had the title Lieutenant of [[Barad-dûr]], since he was so strongly devoted to the Dark Lord. The Mouth of Sauron was one of the [[Black Númenóreans]].
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'''The Mouth of Sauron''' was the [[Dark Lord]] [[Sauron]]'s servant and representative at the end of the [[Third Age]]. He had the title Lieutenant of [[Barad-dûr]], since he was so strongly devoted to the Dark Lord. The Mouth of Sauron was one of the [[Black Númenóreans]].<ref name="Gate">{{RK|V10}}</ref>
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
 
===Origins===
 
===Origins===
The Mouth of Sauron had served Sauron all his life; a [[Man]] of great stature, he was potentially the equal of the [[Dúnedain]], but had fallen into darkness. As a Black Númenórean he probably came from the [[Haven of Umbar]], and it is stated that "he entered the service of the [[Dark Tower]] when it first rose again"; this can be interpreted in two ways:
+
The Mouth of Sauron had served Sauron all his life; a [[Man]] of great stature, he was potentially the equal of the [[Dúnedain]], but had fallen into darkness. As a Black Númenórean he probably came from [[Umbar]], and it is stated that "he entered the service of the [[Dark Tower]] when it first rose again";<ref name="Gate"/> this can be interpreted in two ways:
*Referring to the power of Sauron rather than the construction of [[Barad-dûr]], in which case, the tower ''first'' rose again some time after {{SA|3220}}. In that case he stayed alive long enough like a [[Nazgûl|Ringwraith]]; perhaps he wore a [[Ring of Power]], but a lesser one since he did not become a wraith.
+
*Referring to the power of Sauron rather than the construction of [[Barad-dûr]], in which case, the tower ''first'' rose again some time after {{SA|3220}}.<ref>{{App|SA}}, 3220</ref> In that case he lived as long as a [[Nazgûl|Ringwraith]]; perhaps he wore a [[Rings of Power|Ring of Power]], but a lesser one since he did not become a wraith.
*Referring to the rebuilding of {{TA|2951}}; Umbar had been defeated by [[Gondor]] under "[[Thorongil]]" [[Third Age 2980|some years later]], so the Mouth might have fled to Mordor then.
+
*Referring to the rebuilding of Barad-dûr in {{TA|2951}};<ref>{{App|TA}}, 2951</ref> Umbar had been defeated by [[Gondor]] under "[[Thorongil]]" [[Third Age 2980|some years later]],<ref>{{App|TA}}, 2980</ref> so the Mouth might have removed to Mordor then.
  
In any case, the Mouth had even forgotten his original name; either he was a small child when converted by Sauron, or had remained alive far more than 500 years ([[Gollum]] still remembered his name).
+
In any case, the Mouth had even forgotten his original name; either he was a small child when converted by Sauron, or had remained alive far more than 500 years ([[Gollum]] still remembered his name after this much time). He had learned much sorcery during his time under Sauron, and knew many of the Dark Lord's plans. Being more cruel than an [[Orcs|Orc]] and cunning, he rose in power and favor.<ref name="Gate"/>
  
He had learned much sorcery during his time under Sauron, and knew many of the Dark Lord's plans. Being more cruel than an [[Orcs|Orc]] and cunning, he rose in power and favor.
+
===Late [[Third Age]]===
 +
During the [[Council of Elrond]], the [[Dwarves]] of [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]] spoke of a man who had come to offer Sauron's friendship and ask about [[Hobbits]]. As a token of their friendship he asked for a "trifle", a ring, "the least of rings", that the [[Bilbo Baggins|thief]] had stolen.<ref>{{FR|II2}}</ref> Though the man's identity is unknown, it is possible that he was the Mouth of Sauron.
  
During the [[Council of Elrond]], the [[Dwarves]] of [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]] spoke of a Man who had come to tell them of the power of Mordor and persuade them to join its forces. Though the Man's identity is unknown, it is possible that he was the Mouth of Sauron.
+
The Mouth of Sauron briefly appeared when he haggled with the army of the west in front of the [[Morannon]], trying to convince [[Aragorn]] and [[Gandalf]] to give up and let Sauron win the battle for [[Middle-earth]]. Though he came before Aragorn and his men as an ambassador, he used quite insolent speech when he dealt with them. He tried to intimidate the army into surrendering by showing them the ''[[mithril]]'' coat of [[Frodo Baggins]] to make them think that the [[Ringbearer]] had been captured. When Gandalf turned down his proposal, the Mouth of Sauron set all the armies of [[Barad-dûr]] upon them.<ref name="Gate"/>
 
+
The Mouth of Sauron briefly appeared when he haggled with the army of the west in front of the [[Morannon]], trying to convince [[Aragorn]] and [[Gandalf]] to give up and let Sauron win the battle for [[Middle-earth]]. Though he came before Aragorn and his men as an ambassador, he used quite insolent speech when he dealt with them. He tried to intimidate the army into surrendering by showing them the ''[[mithril]]'' coat of [[Frodo Baggins]] to make them think that the [[Ringbearer]] had been captured. When Gandalf turned down his proposal, the Mouth of Sauron set all the armies of [[Barad-dûr]] upon them.
+
  
 
The Mouth's fate is nowhere recorded, and it is probable he died in the assault before the Morannon. If he had survived, it is likely that he would have been one of the leaders in the retreat of Sauron's evil servants after the fall of Barad-dûr.
 
The Mouth's fate is nowhere recorded, and it is probable he died in the assault before the Morannon. If he had survived, it is likely that he would have been one of the leaders in the retreat of Sauron's evil servants after the fall of Barad-dûr.
  
==Name==
+
==Names==
The name of the Mouth of Sauron itself poses an inconsistency in the narrative. Aragorn mentions that the name "Sauron" (meaning "Abominable") is the name used by his enemies, and according to [[Aragorn]], Sauron himself did not permit it pronounced.<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', ''[[The Two Towers]]'', "[[The Departure of Boromir]]"</ref> Therefore it could be considered strange for a servant of Sauron to have a title that includes the word "Sauron".
+
The name of the Mouth of Sauron itself poses an inconsistency in the narrative. Aragorn mentions that the name "Sauron" (meaning "Abominable") is the name used by his enemies, and according to [[Aragorn]], Sauron himself did not permit it pronounced.<ref>{{TT|III1}}</ref> Therefore it would be strange for a servant of Sauron to have a title that includes the word "Sauron".
  
== Portrayal in Adaptations ==
+
In an early manuscript, the name of the messenger is said to be '''Mordu''',<ref name=Mordu>{{HM|WR}}, pp. 256, 267 (Christopher Tolkien notes that the reading is uncertain.)</ref> apparently meaning "Black Darkness" or "Black Night".<ref>{{webcite|author=Mark Fisher|articleurl=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/m/mouthofsauron.html|articlename=Mouth of Sauron|dated=|website=EoA|accessed=14 December 2013}}</ref>
<center><gallery>
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File:The Return of the King (1980 film) - Mouth of Sauron.jpg|<center>''[[The Return of the King (1980 film)|The Return of the King]]'' [[1980]] film</center>
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File:The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy - Mouth of Sauron.jpg|<center>[[Bruce Spence]] in ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]''</center>
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</gallery></center>
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== Portrayal in adaptations ==
 +
{{Gallery
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|title=Mouth of Sauron in adaptations
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|File:The Return of the King (1980 film) - Mouth of Sauron.jpg|[[The Return of the King (1980 film)|''The Return of the King'' (1980 film)]]
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|File:The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy - Mouth of Sauron.jpg|[[Bruce Spence]] in ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]''
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}}
 
'''1980: ''[[The Return of the King (1980 film)|The Return of the King]]'':'''
 
'''1980: ''[[The Return of the King (1980 film)|The Return of the King]]'':'''
 
:The Mouth of Sauron briefly appears at the Black Gate. He was here portrayed by [[Don Messick]].
 
:The Mouth of Sauron briefly appears at the Black Gate. He was here portrayed by [[Don Messick]].
  
 
'''1981: [[The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1981 radio series)]]:'''
 
'''1981: [[The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1981 radio series)]]:'''
:The Mouth of Sauron's role is expanded. He is portrayed as the person who tortures [[Gollum]] into telling Sauron of "Baggins" and "Shire", though he is not named until the credits.<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Michael Bakewell]], [[Brian Sibley]] (eds.) [[The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1981 radio series)]], "[[The Long Awaited Party]]"</ref> [[John Rye]] provided the voice of the Mouth of Sauron, as well as the Voice of Sauron, symbolising the function of the Lieutenant of Barad-dûr.  
+
:The Mouth of Sauron's role is expanded. He is portrayed as the person who tortures [[Gollum]] into telling Sauron of "Baggins" and "Shire", though he is not named until the credits.<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Michael Bakewell]], [[Brian Sibley]] (eds.) [[The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1981 radio series)]], "[[The Long Awaited Party]]"</ref> [[John Rye]] provided the voice of the Mouth of Sauron, symbolising the function of the Lieutenant of Barad-dûr.  
  
 
'''2003: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]''
 
'''2003: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]''
Line 54: Line 57:
 
:In the story itself, Aragorn decapitates the Mouth of Sauron with [[Andúril|his sword]].  This sequence is often criticized by purist and outsider alike; through human history it was considered a crime of war to execute messengers or heralds.  In the book, the Mouth actually specifically points out that as an ambassador he is protected by the laws of war, and Gandalf acknowledges this:
 
:In the story itself, Aragorn decapitates the Mouth of Sauron with [[Andúril|his sword]].  This sequence is often criticized by purist and outsider alike; through human history it was considered a crime of war to execute messengers or heralds.  In the book, the Mouth actually specifically points out that as an ambassador he is protected by the laws of war, and Gandalf acknowledges this:
  
::''"...though Aragorn did not stir nor move hand to weapon, the other quailed and gave back as if menaced with a blow.  "I am a herald and an ambassador, and may not be assailed!" he cried.  "Where such laws hold," said Gandalf, "it is also the custom for ambassadors to use less insolence.  But no one has threatened you.  You have naught to fear from us..."'' -- Book VI, Chapter 10, "The Black Gate Opens"
+
::''"...though Aragorn did not stir nor move hand to weapon, the other quailed and gave back as if menaced with a blow.  "I am a herald and an ambassador, and may not be assailed!" he cried.  "Where such laws hold," said Gandalf, "it is also the custom for ambassadors to use less insolence.  But no one has threatened you.  You have naught to fear from us..."'' -- Book V, Chapter 10, "The Black Gate Opens"
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
* [[:Category:Images of the Mouth of Sauron|Images of The Mouth of Sauron]]
+
* [[:Category:Images of the Mouth of Sauron|Images of the Mouth of Sauron]]
  
 
{{references}}
 
{{references}}

Latest revision as of 14:01, 27 May 2014

John Howe - The Mouth of Sauron 01.jpg
The Mouth of Sauron
Biographical Information
Other namesLieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr, Mordu[1]
DestroyedProbably T.A. 3019
RealmMordor
Physical Description
RaceBlack Númenóreans
GenderMale
AppearanceRode a black horse, wore a great helm

The Mouth of Sauron was the Dark Lord Sauron's servant and representative at the end of the Third Age. He had the title Lieutenant of Barad-dûr, since he was so strongly devoted to the Dark Lord. The Mouth of Sauron was one of the Black Númenóreans.[2]

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Origins

The Mouth of Sauron had served Sauron all his life; a Man of great stature, he was potentially the equal of the Dúnedain, but had fallen into darkness. As a Black Númenórean he probably came from Umbar, and it is stated that "he entered the service of the Dark Tower when it first rose again";[2] this can be interpreted in two ways:

  • Referring to the power of Sauron rather than the construction of Barad-dûr, in which case, the tower first rose again some time after S.A. 3220.[3] In that case he lived as long as a Ringwraith; perhaps he wore a Ring of Power, but a lesser one since he did not become a wraith.
  • Referring to the rebuilding of Barad-dûr in T.A. 2951;[4] Umbar had been defeated by Gondor under "Thorongil" some years later,[5] so the Mouth might have removed to Mordor then.

In any case, the Mouth had even forgotten his original name; either he was a small child when converted by Sauron, or had remained alive far more than 500 years (Gollum still remembered his name after this much time). He had learned much sorcery during his time under Sauron, and knew many of the Dark Lord's plans. Being more cruel than an Orc and cunning, he rose in power and favor.[2]

[edit] Late Third Age

During the Council of Elrond, the Dwarves of Erebor spoke of a man who had come to offer Sauron's friendship and ask about Hobbits. As a token of their friendship he asked for a "trifle", a ring, "the least of rings", that the thief had stolen.[6] Though the man's identity is unknown, it is possible that he was the Mouth of Sauron.

The Mouth of Sauron briefly appeared when he haggled with the army of the west in front of the Morannon, trying to convince Aragorn and Gandalf to give up and let Sauron win the battle for Middle-earth. Though he came before Aragorn and his men as an ambassador, he used quite insolent speech when he dealt with them. He tried to intimidate the army into surrendering by showing them the mithril coat of Frodo Baggins to make them think that the Ringbearer had been captured. When Gandalf turned down his proposal, the Mouth of Sauron set all the armies of Barad-dûr upon them.[2]

The Mouth's fate is nowhere recorded, and it is probable he died in the assault before the Morannon. If he had survived, it is likely that he would have been one of the leaders in the retreat of Sauron's evil servants after the fall of Barad-dûr.

[edit] Names

The name of the Mouth of Sauron itself poses an inconsistency in the narrative. Aragorn mentions that the name "Sauron" (meaning "Abominable") is the name used by his enemies, and according to Aragorn, Sauron himself did not permit it pronounced.[7] Therefore it would be strange for a servant of Sauron to have a title that includes the word "Sauron".

In an early manuscript, the name of the messenger is said to be Mordu,[1] apparently meaning "Black Darkness" or "Black Night".[8]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

Mouth of Sauron in adaptations

1980: The Return of the King:

The Mouth of Sauron briefly appears at the Black Gate. He was here portrayed by Don Messick.

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

The Mouth of Sauron's role is expanded. He is portrayed as the person who tortures Gollum into telling Sauron of "Baggins" and "Shire", though he is not named until the credits.[9] John Rye provided the voice of the Mouth of Sauron, symbolising the function of the Lieutenant of Barad-dûr.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Mouth of Sauron does not appear in the theatrical cut of the movie, but he does appear in the extended version, played by an unrecognizable Bruce Spence. His helmet, with the words "LAMMEN GORTHAUR" (Sindarin for "Voice of (Sauron) The Abominable") in Cirth written on it, covers his entire face except for his mouth, which is horribly diseased and disfigured by all the evil he has spoken, and disproportionately large, creating an unsettling effect. In fact, much of this spectacle is a result of CGI effects. Actually Jackson conceived this idea long after the footage had been shot and asked his special effects team to create the effect digitally.
The extended DVD cast commentary mentions that Jackson considered different depictions of the character, such as having Kate Winslet (who starred in Heavenly Creatures, another Jackson film) play the role, partially to emphasize the temptations Aragorn was facing.
In the story itself, Aragorn decapitates the Mouth of Sauron with his sword. This sequence is often criticized by purist and outsider alike; through human history it was considered a crime of war to execute messengers or heralds. In the book, the Mouth actually specifically points out that as an ambassador he is protected by the laws of war, and Gandalf acknowledges this:
"...though Aragorn did not stir nor move hand to weapon, the other quailed and gave back as if menaced with a blow. "I am a herald and an ambassador, and may not be assailed!" he cried. "Where such laws hold," said Gandalf, "it is also the custom for ambassadors to use less insolence. But no one has threatened you. You have naught to fear from us..." -- Book V, Chapter 10, "The Black Gate Opens"

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, pp. 256, 267 (Christopher Tolkien notes that the reading is uncertain.)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Black Gate Opens"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", 3220
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", 2951
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", 2980
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Departure of Boromir"
  8. Mark Fisher, "Mouth of Sauron" , Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 14 December 2013)
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Bakewell, Brian Sibley (eds.) The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series), "The Long Awaited Party"