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Roger Garland - Thu, as Wolf.JPG
"Thu, as Wolf" by Roger Garland
Biographical Information
Other namesTu
LocationWizard's Isle
Physical Description

Thû, the Necromancer and Lord of Werewolves, was a character that is featured in The Book of Lost Tales the early writings that would evolve into the Silmarillion. Thû would later evolve into the character of Sauron.

Tu or Tuvon

The earliest appearance of the figure of Thû, was as a fay in Gilfanon's Tale, called Tu or Tuvon. Tu's origins are not developed, other than that he was the greatest wizard/magician in the world, and his dwelling was in deep caves near the waters that fed the Waters of Awakening. He taught lore and magic to the Dark Elves, and ruled the Hisildi.

His appearance is connected to the story of the Awakening of Men; he interprets the will of Ilúvatar, and warns Nuin that the time of Men had not come before the rising of the Sun. Afterwards, when the Sun rises, he assists and shepherds the first Men with Nuin; but Tu has to hide in his caves as the sunlight weakens him. Although in this story he is not evil, Tolkien intended Tu to become the enemy of Men when some of them turn against his Elves.[1]


Thû, as a villain, becomes the Lord of the Werewolves, replacing an earlier villain, Tevildo, the Lord of Cats.

In the Lay of Leithian Thû holds the Wizard's Isle and spots Beren and Felagund. After he interrogates them, he engages with Felagund into a battle of mind and songs, until Felagund's power fell, and they returned to their own original forms. Thû then places them in his dungeons sending a werewolf to devour one of them, hoping to learn their errand.[2] Later he sends werewolves, and Draugluin against Lúthien and Huan, and takes the form of the greatest werewolf to defeat him. However Huan bites him on his throats and is obliged to give them the keys to his tower. He then transforms into a vampire and flees.[3]


Thû is related with the root THUS-, "stench, evil mist, darkness".[4] In subsequent stories, his name evolved to Gorthû, Sûr, and finally to Thauron (pronounced Sauron in common Quenya), with similar meanings.

In another source, Thū is given as a Sindarin translation of Súlimo, an epithet of Manwe, which shows that the name could also be related with sûl ("wind").[5]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "Gilfanon's Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli and the Coming of Mankind"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "III. The Lay of Leithian: Canto VII (Beren and Felagund before Thû)"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "III. The Lay of Leithian: Canto IX (The defeat of Thû)"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p. 393, entry "THUS-"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 124