Sauron was not the first Dark Lord in Tolkien’s canon. Long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, another despot sought to rule over Middle-earth. Though Sauron is the principal enemy in Tolkien’s epic trilogy, the legendary villain was not always the villain he is known as.
The principal enemy of Tolkien’s extensive Middle-earth stories, as described in The Silmarillion and the History of Middle-earth, is Morgoth, originally known as Melkor. In order to take control of Arda and Valinor, Morgoth used his influence as the first and most important of the Valar to poison the universe and bend it to his will.
He was admired for his brilliance, moral character, political acumen, and irresistible charm as Melkor. Unfortunately, Morgoth’s interests changed as his corruption spread across the world, and he became a constantly dangerous presence that was impossibly tall and shrouded in a dark aura. In Tolkien’s writings, few characters or creatures have ever dared to confront him face to face.
Tracing the origins of the primordial source of evil
Quenya, Melkor’s name, means “One who rises in Might”, whereas Belegûr or Belegurth, his Sindarin name, means “Great Death.” According to Tolkien, the name “Melkor” was derived from the Akkadian word “malku,” which has the same meaning as the Hebrew word “mélekh” and means “king.”
Eru Ilvatar created Melkor in the Timeless Halls at the beginning of existence; he was stronger and wiser than the other Ainur. His brother’s name was Manwe. Melkor frequently traveled to the Void in pursuit of the Flame Imperishable because he was impatient with the emptiness of the Void beyond the Timeless Halls and wanted to make his own things.
Melkor, however, was eventually unsuccessful in finding the Flame because it belonged to Iluvatar and resided with him. Melkor kept on hunting, therefore he frequently found himself alone and apart from his friend Ainur.
He started to form opinions and feelings that were different from those of his fellow Ainur during these lonesome hours. Some of these strange ideas were included into the Great Music that the Ainur played for Eru when he did so, and chaos broke out all around him.
Two musical themes clashed in front of the Throne as some of the animals in the room synced their sounds to his. To correct the dissonance, Eru added a second and then a third theme to the music. In the end, Melkor was able to repress the Second theme, for which Manwe served as the main instrument. The third topic, Elves and Men, did not succeed in resolving the conflict even though it was not as heavily influenced by it as the second theme was. After the Music was finished, Eru rebuked Melkor, applauding his strength but reminding him that all Melkor could bring to life ultimately came from Eru himself because it was a part of Eru’s conception. In the end, Eru’s work was brilliant even in spite of their disagreement.
This punishment made Melkor feel degraded, but it also gave him anger that he repressed. As a result, the Discord had already polluted the Music before it became Arda, and extremes of heat and cold followed it. Melkor then decided to pursue the world’s interest and set out on a journey with the other Valar.
The moment the Valar entered Arda and started molding the unwrought substance, Melkor came across the Field of Arda and desired it for himself. The other Valar, however, regarded Manw as their leader because, despite not being quite as powerful as Melkor, Manwe was the only one of his peers who could accurately discern Eru’s thoughts.
Melkor became furious and attacked the other Valar. The Valar’s attempts to improve the world were thwarted by Melkor. Melkor fought alone for a very long time and won, despite the might of every other Valar and the Maiar of Arda.
Since Melkor destroyed practically every early project the other Valar tried during this time, Arda was essentially left without shape. Fortunately for them, the powerful Vala Tulkas eventually made it to Arda, where his power tipped the balance in favor of the Valar. Melkor left Arda for a bit before fleeing before he arrived.
Following Melkor’s exit, the Valar were able to calm the world’s tumults and begin to arrange it in anticipation of the arrival of the Elves. To provide illumination to the realm, they built two Great Lamps on Middle-earth and placed their abode in the center of them.
At this time, Melkor returned to Arda with the numerous Maiar entities who had been attuned to his Music. He constructed a vast castle in the far North of the world and called it Utumno. He created the Iron Mountains like a belt around the North to guard it.
The Valar knew Melkor had returned when decay spread in the North. However, before they could start looking for him, Melkor appeared from Utumno with a surprise battle and destroyed the Lamps. The fire in the Lamps burnt a large area of the world and managing the disaster caused by their shattering occupied the Valar long enough so that Melkor and his army could escape back to Utumno.
Following the loss of the Lamps, many of the Valar relocated to the land of Aman and constructed Valinor. By doing this, however, they effectively handed Melkor full rein throughout Middle-earth. As a consequence, the continent sank into darkness, and Melkor infested its regions with terrifying monsters and rot. Within this time, Melkor erected his second, more miniature castle of Angband on the western side as protection against an invasion by the Valar. Angband was brought to the Iron Mountains and given to Sauron.
Although the Valar were uncertain of where all the Children of Ilvatar would awaken, they were hesitant to declare war against Melkor for fear of severe collateral damage on a scale not witnessed since the Lamps had been broken. As a result, the majority of them settled in Aman and abandoned Middle-earth. As a result, Melkor found the Elves ahead of the other Valar, imprisoned several of them, and tortured and altered them into the very first Orcs in ridicule of the Elves.
When the Vala Orom realized where the Elves resided, the Valar took urgent action against Melkor, sparking the War of the Powers. Melkor’s forces were defeated, and he withdrew into Utumno. The Valar opened the doors after a long siege, and Melkor was caught. Melkor was bound and transported back to Valinor with Angainor. He begged forgiveness there but was banished to the Halls of Mandos for 3 Ages.
However, in their hurry to topple Melkor, the Valar kept several of Utumno’s tunnels and vaults untouched, and Sauron escaped. Furthermore, they did not catch or eradicate the Balrogs, who congregated in the Angband ruins and fell into a deep slumber in anticipation of Melkor’s return. Melkor was summoned before Manw after the Ages passed and pretended to repent.
Manwe, unable to grasp Melkor’s depravity since he was free of it, ordered his release. At first, it appeared that Melkor’s wickedness had been healed since anyone who sought his guidance and assistance at the time profited tremendously from it. Tulkas and Ulmo, on the other hand, were hesitant to forget Melkor’s misdeeds and kept a watchful eye on him. Melkor, in fact, was more blinded by hate than ever before, and he began to employ his tremendous intelligence to devise a plan to destroy Aman.
Melkor wished, above all else, to corrupt the Elves, seeing their happiness and remembering that he was overthrown for their benefit. He thought the Noldor had the ideal combination of utility and open ears of any of the three great groups of Elves, so he focused his hatred almost entirely among them. Over a long length of time, he circulated falsehoods about the Valar’s purpose in introducing the Elves to Aman, feeding them stories about the arrival of Men, the reality that the Valar hadn’t yet divulged to the Elves.
Many of the Noldor grew to think that the Valar had transported their people to Aman so that Men may inherit Middle-earth, seizing the lands and splendor that should have been theirs. Eventually, a darkness descended over the Noldor, and they openly rebelled against the Valar. The unhappy Noldor were headed by Fanor, the eldest son of the Noldor King Finwe. Despite his hatred and terror of Melkor, his enormous pride drove him to be among the most outspoken of the Noldor in voicing his displeasure.
The Valar, for their part, were oblivious of Melkor’s activities and blamed Feanor for the Noldor’s restlessness. Despite their displeasure, they allowed the situation to continue until Feanor challenged his sibling Fingolfin with assault, at which time the Valar called him to the Ring of Doom at Valinor to discuss his illegal conduct. Feanor’s statement exposed Melkor’s deceit, and Tulkas promptly departed the Ring of Doom to arrest him.
But Melkor was nowhere to be discovered. After a while, Melkor traveled to Formenos and pretended to be friends with Feanor in order to obtain the Silmarils. But, recognizing Melkor’s ambition, Feanor resisted him and closed Formenos’ doors in the presence of Arda’s most powerful being. Melkor then went south, undetected, and came across Ungoliant. She and Melkor returned to Valinor, promising to satisfy her insatiable desire by destroying the 2 Trees of Valinor. Then, during a festivity, Melkor and Ungoliant attacked unexpectedly.
Melkor slashed the Trees with a giant spear, and Ungoliant consumed the sap that spilled from the cuts, draining and poisoning them. The trees shriveled and perished fast, leaving Aman in complete darkness for a while. Melkor raced to Formenos and stormed inside the stronghold during the chaos that ensued. He killed Finwe, the father of Fanor, and took the Silmarils as well as all the other jewels that lay there. The Silmarils scorched Melkor’s palm, giving him excruciating pain, but he refused to relinquish them.
The Valar pursued him and Ungoliant to the North. However, the Unlight of Ungoliant confused them, and the pair escaped. Melkor’s vengeance was completed when the two robbers passed the Grinding Ice of the Helcaraxe and reached Middle-earth. Melkor and Ungoliant neared the wreckage of Angband in Lammoth, with Melkor intending to flee and keep his vow to sustain Ungoliant unfulfilled.
Ungoliant had seen through his scheme and halted their journey alongside him before they arrived at Angband. She insisted that he return the Formenos’ wealth to quench her appetite, and he reluctantly handed her the inferior riches he had stolen but refused to return the Silmarils. Ungoliant attacked Melkor, wrapping her dark webbing around him in retaliation for his reluctance. The Balrogs were woken from their rest in the deepest depths of Angband by his subsequent shriek of pain and despair. They rushed to his help and chased Ungoliant away. He then started rebuilding Angband and gathering his servants there.
Looking back at the evolution of Morgoth over time
When Feanor discovered his father had been killed, he condemned Melkor and dubbed him Morgoth. Morgoth, the name given by Feanor at Valmar once Melkor seized the Silmarils, translated to “Dark Enemy,” even though Feanor called him “Black Foe of the World” out loud. That name always knew him. His foes never used the name Melkor again. When he returned to Angband, he was still known as Melkor Bauglir; bauglir meant “the Constrainer.”
Morgoth finished reconstructing Angband, and the slag and rubbish from his immense tunnelings was pumped into three massive volcanoes called collectively as Thangorodrim. He proceeded to replenish his troops, spawning many Orcs and other fallen creatures. The Silmarils were placed within the Iron Crown.
Feanor pursued Morgoth to Middle-earth in revolt, aiming to reclaim the Silmarils from Morgoth. This move initiated the devastating War of the Jewels, during which the Elves were ultimately vanquished. Morgoth launched legions of Orcs upon Feanor’s troops after learning of their arrival in Middle-earth, aiming to annihilate them before they were able to erect any serious defenses.
Despite being outnumbered, the Noldor defeated the Orcs quickly and brutally; just a handful retreated to Angband. But Feanor, in his arrogance and ego, planned to attack Morgoth personally and pursued them. Eventually, he, as well as his vanguard, were well in front of the main troop, and when the Orcs saw this, they turned and fought at the gateways of Angband. Because of their closeness to Angband, a swarm of Balrogs appeared to help the Orcs, and thus the Elves with Feanor were rapidly slaughtered.
Feanor battled alone until he was killed by Gothmog, who was the Lord of Balrogs. Though a relief army headed by his sons prevented him from being slain on the battlefield, Feanor’s wounds proved fatal, and he died soon after. Morgoth dispatched an envoy to the Noldor shortly after Feanor’s death, proposing peace conditions and even offering the Silmaril. Maedhros, Feanor’s successor, agreed upon the parley, but both sides, suspecting treachery, arrived with a more enormous army than was agreed.
Sadly for the Elves, Morgoth’s army was more extensive and was backed by Balrogs. The Elven troop was rapidly destroyed, with the sole exception of Maedhros, who had been seized and bound to one of Thangorodrim’s numerous cliffs by his right hand. Morgoth sent news to the Noldor, offering to free Maedhros in exchange for the Elves leaving the North and ceasing their battle against him.
The Elves, however, knew Morgoth would not keep his vow and did not respond. Fingolfin’s host, that had been deceived and abandoned by Feanor’s host in Aman, arrived in Middle-earth at this time. Tensions immediately arose between the two troops, and Morgoth, realizing that the Noldor were split, devised a scheme to annihilate his distracted opponents. To his chagrin, the Valar disclosed the origin of the Sun and Moon, which perplexed Morgoth and his slaves for a while.
Morgoth cast up nearly impermeable puffs of smoke out from Iron Mountains to obscure Hithlum in retaliation to these new lights. During the confusion and delay caused by these new illuminations among Morgoth’s men, Fingon journeyed to Angband, helped by the very shadows Morgoth had cast upon Hithlum and freed Maedhros. By doing this, he put into motion a chain of events that brought the Noldor together and enabled them to build mighty empires in Beleriand as well as Hithlum.
The Noldor then besieged Angband in the hope of eternally containing Morgoth’s wickedness. Morgoth finally put his enemies to the test, making the Iron Mountains explode and dispatching a horde of Orcs down through all of the passes, but the Noldor quickly beat the Orcs at the Dagor Aglareb. Morgoth then set about capturing as many Elves as he could, weakening them with the strength of his will and linking their life to himself. These Elves served as his agents among the Noldor, keeping him informed of his opponents’ activities and intentions.
Morgoth dispatched an army into the North to reach Hithlum from the flank, but an army led by Fingon crushed them once more during the Battle of the Firth of Drengist. Morgoth realized that the Orcs alone were no match for the Noldor at this time, and he began experimenting with methods to produce deadlier monsters for his troops. A further century elapsed, and the appearance of the very first dragon, Glaurung, revealed the fruits of Morgoth’s hard toil. Glaurung’s unexpected entrance frightened the Elves throughout the area around Angband, but a group of archers led by Fingon fought him before he was able to accomplish much more than terrify the Elves.
Glaurung left the field since his skin was not yet wholly immune to Elven arrows because he was only half-grown. Morgoth was angry with Glaurung for showing himself earlier than his creator had anticipated. However, Glaurung’s adolescent adventure was ultimately insignificant. Morgoth had exited Angband and wandered among the forefathers of Men, it was told later after men first came in Beleriand.
He circulated his falsehoods among them, hoping to lure them into his service. He discovered that they were far easier to convince than what the Elves had all been. Morgoth, however, was concerned about the growth of the Elven kingdoms, and he departed to Angband before the work was finished. Nonetheless, most Men accepted or partially believed his falsehoods and either left the North or aided Morgoth’s army. However, a tiny group of men called the Edain stood up to him. They fortified the defense of Angband by settling in the northern part of Beleriand, contributing to the Noldor’s power.
Morgoth decided it was time to annihilate the Elves as well as their allied forces some four hundred and fifty five years after Fingolfin arrived in Middle-earth. Morgoth unleashed horrible rivers of flames and lava from Thangorodrim, as well as toxic vapors from the Iron Mountains, during a cold winter night when the Elven watch was at its weakest. The Elves were woefully underprepared for such an onslaught, and a large number of Noldor died on the Ard-Galen as the fires engulfed it and turned it into a barren wasteland known forever after as the Anfauglith.
Following these fires came Glaurung, finally fully developed, the Balrogs, and hordes of Orcs as well as other creatures in proportions the Elves hadn’t ever imagined. The Dagor Bragollach thus started. The Siege of Angband became quickly broken, and the Elves’ armies were scattered. Morgoth’s onslaught was so rapid and powerful that the many Elven cities were unable to combine their troops in any type of cohesive front, allowing Morgoth to battle the Elven armies individually, considerably blunting the strength of any resistance.
The sons of Feanor and Finarfin were toppled and defeated, with the sole exception of Maedhros with his stronghold on the hill of Himring. Fingolfin and Fingon were only just about able to protect Hithlum from Morgoth’s invasion because the mountains around it served as a protective barrier against Morgoth’s flames. The Elves were entirely driven from Dorthonion’s woodlands, and many Sindar abandoned the conflict and fled to Doriath. Fingolfin was overcome with sadness when he learned of the entirety of the calamities that had struck the Elven troops.
He rode alone at Hithlum to the doors of Angband, believing the Noldor had been crushed beyond hope of recovery in a rage that was believed to resemble Orome himself. When he reached, he struck the gates of Morgoth’s citadel, provoking the Dark Lord to a single fight. Despite Morgoth’s hesitation, Fingolfin’s demand was witnessed by everyone in Angband, and it had been delivered in such a disrespectful fashion that ignoring it would have meant losing face in front of his commanders. Morgoth emerged from Angband in black armor to challenge Fingolfin.
Morgoth repeatedly tried to crush the Elven King with the deadly hammer Grond but only succeeded in carving several burning pits in the Earth from his missing hits. Fingolfin evaded Morgoth’s strikes for a long time, wounding him seven times.
But, eventually, Fingolfin grew tired, and Morgoth forced him to his knees multiple times. Fingolfin stood each time to resume the fight until he ultimately slipped and fell into one of Morgoth’s countless trenches produced by his botched blows. Morgoth then placed his leg on Fingolfin’s throat and murdered him, despite the fact that Fingolfin hewed Morgoth’s leg with his sword with his final strike.
Morgoth then shattered the Elf’s corpse and prepared to give it to his hounds. However, the King of the Eagles, Thorondor, crashed down on Morgoth, tarnishing his face with his claws, and retrieved the elf king’s body. Morgoth was left with a permanent limp as a result of Fingolfin’s final strike, and the anguish of his 7 injuries could not be cured, nor could the scars be erased.
Despite his tremendous victory, Morgoth had committed a grave error. His bitterness and desire to kill the Elves were so strong that he attacked before his strategies were wholly formed, and in his contempt and disdain, he had miscalculated his opponents’ tenacity and heroism. Morgoth discovered that the Elves and Edain had begun to achieve tiny wins against his outlying forces, having recovered from the first shock of his invasion. As a result, he paused his approach and retreated the main Orc force to Angband.
Even while he believed that his triumph had been somewhat definitive, his personal losses were just as countless as the Elves’ losses. Morgoth then dispatched several spies, as well as messengers, to Men, pretending to be pitiful. When the Edain rebuffed his fraudulent peace proposals, he called the Easterlings to torment them militarily over the Blue Mountains. Morgoth resumed his onslaught after a seven-year hiatus. He attacked Hithlum with great might, but just as he was about to win, Cirdan, as well as a host beneath his command, arrived at the last time and assisted Fingon in driving the Orcs back.
Looking for a Silmaril, the Elf-maiden Luthien and her human partner Beren arrived in Morgoth’s court disguised. Morgoth could see through her guise, yet she was unfazed and volunteered to perform for him. Morgoth conceived a passion and an evil more heinous than every other he had yet accomplished while she sang and permitted her to keep singing. But, as he reveled in his fantasy, a darkness fell over her, and she sang a song of vast and dreadful power, casting a sleep spell.
Her music lulled Morgoth’s court to sleep, but the Silmarils blazed and grew so heavy that Morgoth’s head slumped against his chest. He collapsed from his seat, the Iron Crown slid away off him, and Beren, with Angrist, broke a Silmaril from it. Instead of quickly departing with his reward, he attempted to capture a second of the Silmarils. His knife cracked as he tried to pull the second diamond off.
Morgoth began to awaken as a shard struck his face. Beren and Luthien fled in fear, but they were not pursued since Morgoth as well as his court were not yet awake. However, at the doors of Angband, the werewolf Carcharoth noticed them and chewed off Beren’s hand, taking the Silmaril with it.
Carcharoth went insane after being touched by the sacred diamond and fled in rage from Angband, slaying everyone who crossed his wake. When Morgoth awakened, he, with his court, stormed up in chase, only to discover Thorondor dragging off the raiders. Morgoth’s fury over the theft of the Silmaril led the Iron Mountains to erupt, scaring everyone who witnessed it. However, he was ultimately unable to reclaim the gem.
Morgoth soon saw that Maedhros was forming a massive alliance against him and drove his Orcs off of the northern highlands of Beleriand. As a result, he formed a council opposing them and readied his men for a huge battle. The Battle of Nirnaeth Arnoediad started when the Elves arrived in Angband. Morgoth eventually won the war thoroughly and decisively. The Elves and Edain companions’ ability to wage war on Morgoth was utterly and forever destroyed. Except for Gondolin and Nargothrond, all of the mighty kingdoms of the Noldor in Beleriand were decimated, and Hithlum was finally conquered. Easterlings enslaved the Edain that did not leave, and Hrin was kidnapped.
During the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Morgoth also became well known for imprisoning Hurin of the House of Hador. Hurin and his family guarded Turgon in the final hours of the fight because he was the sole heir of the family of Fingolfin now since Fingon was killed. Turgon escaped the hands of the Orcs thanks to the bravery of Hurin, Huor, as well as their soldiers. Unfortunately, all except Hurin were defeated by Morgoth’s army. Hurin was seized by Gothmog and transported to Angband after fighting uncountable armies of Trolls as well as Orcs on his own.
Morgoth was aware that Hurin had visited Gondolin and so was aware of its whereabouts. He attempted to obtain the knowledge from him but was unable to despite inflicting immense suffering on his prisoner. Morgoth tormented the daughter and son of Hurin, Nienor, and Turin from afar: his thoughts followed them and brought them ill luck, despite the fact that they were not possessed.
He pushed them to madness and misery by these tactics, although it is debatable if he fooled himself in the end, as their lunacy rescued them from damnation. So Hurin remained imprisoned atop Thangorodrim, seeing his homelands fall beneath Morgoth’s shadow until he was liberated. Turin, who was courageous and decisive, nearly avoided the curse, as Morgoth feared, but he ultimately did not. He as well as his sister Nienor were both killed. Morgoth’s curse upon the Children of Hurin was thus accomplished.
Morgoth was believed to despise and loathe the House of Fingolfin the most among the sons of Finwe, particularly Fingolfin’s son Turgon because it was predicted that his downfall would arise from the House of Turgon. Morgoth wanted to locate and destroy Gondolin, one of the last free cities of the Noldor, after Turgon’s getaway from the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Despite his inability to persuade Hurin to divulge the location of the final great Elven realm, Morgoth eventually caught Maeglin, Turgon’s sister-son.
Maeglin, under unfathomable torture, surrendered the mysteries of Gondolin’s fortifications in return for his own safety. Morgoth soon attacked Gondolin. Morgoth’s armies moved on the city practically undiscovered, during a celebration and through the peaks where the guard was least attentive, thanks to Maeglin’s treacherous intelligence. By the moment the Elves recognized the danger, the kingdom had been besieged by Morgoth’s immensely superior troops and had fallen fast.
Morgoth’s long-awaited triumph was complete with the destruction of Gondolin as well as the fall of the Noldor with their allies. Other than the isle of Balar as well as the survivors in the Mouths of Sirion that were controlled by Eärendil, the great cities of the Elves all had fallen, and Morgoth regarded them as nothing. He even forgot about the Silmaril that was stolen from him and burst out laughing when he saw the final and violent Kinslaying once Feanor’s Sons completely obliterated the abode at Arvernien.
The Valar were persuaded to travel to Middle-earth to oppose Morgoth’s oppression after being convinced by Eärendil to feel empathy for the Elves as well as Edain. Morgoth, unable to comprehend compassion, did not expect the Valar to ever help the Noldor after their heinous crimes and did not anticipate Aman’s attack. But the Valar gathered their troops, and a huge, chaotic fight among Morgoth as well as the Host of Valinor began.
Morgoth evacuated all of Angband, but his gadgets, engines, and slave armies were so diverse and intense that the war spread throughout Beleriand. Morgoth’s armies were ultimately vanquished. The Balrogs were annihilated, with the exception of a few who fled and hid in tunnels in the Earth’s core while the Orcs were slain. Morgoth wailed and refused to emerge, but he had a final tool at his disposal: the terrifying Winged Dragons.
They sprang from the depths of Angband, and their onslaught was so rapid and devastating, with immense force and a storm of flames, that they pushed back the Valar’s army. But then Eärendil appeared, escorted by Thorondor and each of the great birds, then Eärendil slaughtered Ancalagon the Black, the deadliest of Morgoth’s monsters, and his corpse fell upon Thangorodrim’s towers, shattering them.
Morgoth was vanquished and fled into the depths of his mines, pleading for peace and forgiveness, but the Valar disabled him and flung him on his face. He was chained with the Angainor chain, his Iron Crown pounded into a collar around his throat, and he was dragged first from Earth and forced in through Door of Night further into Timeless Void. The remaining two Silmarils were retrieved from him, but they were soon lost again.
Morgoth lies in the Void, guarded over by Eärendil and incapable of returning to Arda as far as the Valar have control of it. However, the deceit he implanted in the minds of the Children of Iluvatar persists and will have horrific consequences until the end of time. Morgoth’s will was infused into the essence of Arda, therefore, he is never entirely gone. He had left such a deep scar on Arda that just Eru could totally mend the harm.
Those who desired to continue in Morgoth’s ways, such as Sauron, discovered that they could readily corrupt nations they wished to rule by employing Morgoth’s residual power. In later years, his servant and successor, Sauron rose like a reflection of Morgoth and a spirit of his hatred and traveled after him on the same disastrous route down into the Void, it is said.
Also, during Numenor’s last days in the Second Age, Sauron seduced King Ar-Pharazôn as well as the King’s Men into worshiping Melkor, presenting his former master as a deity of deliverance while rejecting the presence of the One. As a result, he established a religion in the Temple where the Nmenóreans sacrificed to Melkor. By the beginning of the Third Age, Sauron’s arrogance had gotten the best of him once more, and he claimed to be Morgoth resurrected. Nonetheless, according to Mandos’ Second Prophecy, Morgoth will return and invade Arda.
He will march against the Valar as well as their allies in the Last Battle but will be killed by Trin Turambar, the very Man he doomed. Trin will revenge not just himself but all descendants of the Men by ultimately conquering Morgoth. Melkor will discover how to shatter the Door of Night and re-enter the World in the final days, according to information in some of Tolkien’s works collected but not published by his son, and launch the Dagor Dagorath, which is the Battle of Battles.
Morgoth would be murdered by Trin Turambar, resurrected, or killed by Eönw, as described in The Hiding of Valinor. As a result, the Children of Hrin and all Men shall be vindicated. On the other hand, the published Silmarillion excludes this knowledge, claiming that if the Valar know how Arda will end, they have not told it.
What made Morgoth so dangerous?
Melkor could first assume any shape he desired. The Ainur took on forms that reflected their might and moods. Melkor, in his pride, malice, and strength, took on the appearance of a mountain wading in the sea, with its crest above the sky, covered in ice and topped with fire and smoke, and the light of Melkor’s eyes was like a fire that withers with warmth and pierces with a lethal frost.
Melkor is thought to be the most like Aule among all the Valar in terms of workmanship. Once the brightest, most handsome, and most mighty Ainu, he fell into Darkness due to envy, pride, and hate of others, with an everlasting desire to dominate and control. When he created Utumno, he took on a shape that was essentially manlike but enormous in stature, that of a Dark Lord, vast and terrifying.
The Valar captured this form. When he traveled across Valinor, he donned a far prettier guise, so majestic, lofty, and beneficent that only Fanor and Galadriel are documented as seeing beyond it to the venom underneath. There is some disagreement over Morgoth’s size. According to the Silmarillion, he loomed over the monarchs like a tower and threw a storm cloud shadow over him.
Morgoth must really have reached at least two times this height, and with the shadow he robed himself in, he may possibly have appeared taller. Elves usually stood approximately 6 feet tall or up to 7 feet for the Noldor. Morgoth is generally shown as looming over other species, most especially Elves, particularly Fingolfin. Melkor’s might was at first so vast that he could compete with and defeat all of Arda’s Valar and Maiar.
His strength, however, was diffused throughout time into the structure of Arda and then into his servants, reducing his might. Melkor was still acknowledged to as the strongest being in Ea at the date of his visitation to Fanor at Formenos, but this was preceding his captivity and ultimate destruction by the Valar. It’s unclear how much power he invested in his numerous slaves upon returning to Angband.
His overbearing pride was possibly his most distinguishing personality trait. Melkor longed to obtain the ability to create, which only Eru Iluvatar held, from virtually the start of his existence. When he realized he would never be capable of possessing it and that all he could do had, in essence, its ultimate source in Iluvatar alone, he became enraged and angry. When Arda was created, he craved lordship over it for the purpose of his personal self-aggrandizement rather than to govern it according to Iluvatar’s wishes.
When he was refused it, he proceeded to spend his abilities in reckless and wanton destruction, destroying the handiwork of the other Valar with his immense might. He also envied everyone who had more than he had, and he ultimately despised what he couldn’t control. He began with a longing for brilliance, but when he couldn’t have it all for himself, he turned to Darkness. With his greater power and understanding than any of the other Valar, he became a master of deceit and manipulation, and he evolved into an ultimate and consummate liar.
He spent his strength on creating wicked slaves who could give him the authority and worship he craved, distributing himself, his might, and his hate across the entire fabric of Arda. Despite his enormous strength, he was considered to be a remarkable coward, refusing to join in battle even though victory was inevitable. Much of this was because, as a solitary Valar, he finally became confined to a physical body that might be destroyed.
He possessed nearly peerless ingenuity, and he was able to fool and deceive even the other Valar to the stage where, after being freed out from the Halls of Mandos, he stood above the suspicion of all except Ulmo and Tulkas, and this was mainly due to their slowness to forgive his previous transgressions.
Many of his most heinous crimes in Arda were accomplished by treachery, deception, misdirection, and falsehoods, and he used false promises to entice many Maiar into his service. However, being a wholly pitiless and heartless monster, acts of compassion, charity, or sympathy were entirely beyond his understanding, and he appeared to have a habit of underestimating his opponents’ courage and skills.
Melkor was once Arda’s most powerful entity, next only to Eru Iluvatar. At his peak, he shattered mountain ranges and split oceans. While Eru bestowed a portion of his ideas and insights to the other Valar, making them absolute in their own specializations, Melkor was bestowed with more power and a broader range of knowledge. Melkor, on the other hand, while gifted with an incredible amount of Eru’s wisdom, did not know all and was unaware of how the Secret Fire was an ability to create that belonged only to Eru.
Melkor, although being very powerful and capable of altering or transforming the world in a variety of ways, could only distort or corrupt something that already existed, never creating anything new. In his ambition to seize power of all Arda, he scattered his essence and power over the universe, corrupting Arda as a whole, and his poison would continue to afflict the earth even after his exile, corrupting mankind and rendering the blessing of immortality intolerable for the Elves.
He had greater influence over Arda the more he disseminated his power throughout it. Melkor could generate immense firestorms and vast craters and condemn his enemies to grief and death even though much weakened; yet, his diminished might was to his detriment in moments such as his battle with Ungoliant.
The evergreen debate: Was Morgoth more powerful than Sauron?
While serving Morgoth, Sauron thrived in the shadows of his Master, with his ambitions increasing to match Morgoth’s. Prior to becoming Sauron, he was recognized as Mairon, one of the most powerful Maiar who accompanied the Valar. When the Valar ultimately defeated Morgoth at the conclusion of the First Age, he became the next Dark Lord to threaten Middle-earth. Sauron sought to employ both deception and overwhelming strength to bring Middle-earth to his heel, with his main goal being possession of the Rings of Power via the One Ring. Before their demise, Morgoth and Sauron both inflicted immense devastation on the earth and their adversaries.
The Valar were regarded as Arda’s Powers. The Valar were formed by Iluvatar, the ultimate god who created the universe, and were entrusted with molding and controlling the world he had produced. Melkor was the earliest and most powerful of the Valar, although his vision of Arda diverged drastically from Iluvatar’s.
Iluvatar, on the contrary, created Maiar like Sauron to aid the Valar in building the universe. Depending on their traits, all of the Maiar were appointed to either one or more Valar, and their capabilities matched the talents of their masters. Despite being extremely strong beings, they are inferior to the Valar merely because they were created to serve them.
Melkor was continually at odds with his fellow Valar, diverting their energies and concentration elsewhere so he might wreak devastation on the earth in the meanwhile. Sauron, on the other hand, was immensely clever. In the Second Age, he exploited his shape-shifting talents to trick the Elves into creating the Rings of Power. Sauron intended to utilize the Rings of Power to subjugate the surviving Elves on Middle-earth, who he considered as his most formidable foe.
As a result, he secretly fashioned the One Ring in Mount Doom’s flames, merging it with a portion of his essence to make it potent enough to govern the other rings. Morgoth was more crafty in this respect, as his control and torment lasted an incalculable period of time, and his poison went further than Sauron ever could muster. However, one may argue that Sauron was once emotionally and possibly politically superior to Morgoth.
Morgoth became bound to his wicked ambitions, seeking solely to crush his adversaries and destroy all that was good in the universe. Sauron was initially uninterested in utter destruction. He desired to rule Middle-earth by influencing its people. Though Morgoth’s abilities and ingenuity led to greater success over time, Sauron’s strength was his simple desire to reign.
Though Sauron’s troops were obviously strong, with Nazgûl riding on Fell Beasts, Orcs, Trolls, and Uruk-hai, other powerful monsters that might have easily changed the tide during the War of the Ring were not at Sauron’s disposal. Morgoth, the originator of all evil in Middle Earth, not only corrupted the Elves and transformed them into Orcs, but he also created dragons, who were powerful and clever monsters that were practically invulnerable and possessed overpowering hunger. Morgoth also produced the Balrogs, which were Maiar that Morgoth seduced and corrupted. They were formidable beasts.
Tolkien claims that Sauron was significantly more effective than Morgoth because he was far more crafty and wielded shape-shifting and trickery to deceive others. Morgoth, on the other hand, was actually far more formidable and powerful than Sauron and should not be underestimated or dismissed.
Why was he never shown in the movies?
While Morgoth does not appear in the film series, most probably because he no longer exists in the world at the time of the series due to his exile to the Void after the War of Wrath from The Silmarillion, his most mighty servants, such as Sauron, do, and Morgoth was mentioned in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” because when Gandalf speaks of his combat with the Balrog, he makes reference to it as “the Balrog of In “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” Galadriel refers to Sauron as a “Servant of Morgoth.” He did, however, feature in the 2019 movie “Tolkien,” which follows the author’s life. Morgoth emerges to Tolkien in this film as a massive fiery monstrous cloud out from the Somme battlefield.
Morgoth deserves a substantial presence in Amazon’s LOTR TV series
When Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings tv show debuts, it will be the series’s first live-action entertainment since the conclusion of The Hobbit movies in 2014. And, despite the fact that Amazon’s big-budget project was in the process for several years, the vast majority of story specifics have been kept in the dark. However, nuggets of information, including trailers, are finally beginning to emerge, and inferences may be drawn from them.
Morgoth, for example, is likely to make a cameo in the series. Following some early reports about Aragorn, Amazon said that the show would take place during the Second Age in Middle-earth. That suggests that many vital elves, Numenor and Sauron, will most likely be engaged in some way. However, because the Second Age spans more than three thousand years, such a timeframe is useless for plot predictions.
The next piece of information supplied by Amazon was a single promotional image depicting a lone individual in front of a massive metropolis constructed between rolling hills and numerous magnificent trees. Off in the distance, though, lies something significant that has piqued the interest of several Lord of the Rings fans: Telperion and Laurelin, the two trees of the Valar.
The earliest previews for The Rings of Power make it evident that some characters, particularly Morfydd Clark’s Galadriel, will be dealing with the mental and physical wounds of the War of Wrath. We don’t know yet whether Morgoth will feature during one of The Rings of Power’s flashbacks.
Morgoth’s influence on Middle-earth will be felt even if he does not physically appear once The Rings of Power starts. Morgoth is, therefore, a character that every fan should be familiar with if they want to fully comprehend the events about to unravel in Amazon’s newest show.
Morgoth was a terrifying foe since the presence of Iluvatar had bestowed divine abilities on him. He was a skillful, influential, and cunning politician who could captivate his opponents. Morgoth, contrary to the other Valar, had experienced dread and agony, maybe as a consequence of his own transgressions. He could sense the anguish of the Silmarils, as well as Thorondor and Fingolfin’s wounds. Morgoth’s existence was a hardship, and Luthien relieved him for a brief period of time by laying him to sleep.
Morgoth enjoyed testing individuals and turning their wills to rubble. He was proud of his extraordinary abilities, colossal stature, and intelligence, and he was confident that he would come out on top in any encounter. However, these qualities turned the tables against him. A powerful foe like Morgoth certainly deserves a chance to shine on screen, and considering how he’s been relatively under-utilized in movies and shows, his presence could be a game-changer for Amazon Prime’s Rings of Power series.