When Morgoth ruled in Utumno, he took the form of a dark lord, tall and terrible. Thereafter, before approaching Ungoliant after escaping from the Valar's service, he took the same form, in which he would remain for ever. Once in Angband, he forged an Iron Crown and proclaimed himself "King of the World". He will, though, be often called Dark Lord since then. In the Third Age, Tom Bombadil will remember him by this title.
In the Second Age, his former lieutenant Sauron followed in his footsteps. He first tried to subdue the Free Peoples with the Rings of Power, disguised as Annatar, but after being discovered, he began conquering Middle-earth with military power, also taking pretentious titles like "Lord of the Earth". Since then though, he will often be called Dark Lord or Dark Power, especially by the Free Peoples who avoid the mere uttering of his name.
Although not mentioned as a "Dark Lord", Saruman also rebelled against the Order of the Wizards and followed his own agenda, having the ambition to follow the examples and steps of the Dark Lords before him; by the time of the War of the Ring he had his own army of Orcs and Men of Darkness, and spies, to establish his own power, although in a much smaller scale.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Darkening of Valinor"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", entry "Dark Lord"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"