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You cannot hide. I see you. There is no life in the Void. Only death.
~ Sauron taunting Frodo when the latter puts on the One Ring.

Sauron is the main antagonist of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth live-action film saga. He serves as the overarching antagonist of The Hobbit trilogy and the titular main antagonist of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, specifically as the titular overarching antagonist of both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, and the titular main antagonist of The Return of the King.

He is the dark lord of Mordor who forged the One Ring to Rule Them All in order to conquer Middle-earth. After his initial defeat and the loss of his physical form after losing the ring, he resurfaced in the Third Age when Frodo Baggins began his quest to destroy the ring, during which he amassed his army to continue his reign of terror. He is the archenemy of the Fellowship of the Ring, especially Aragorn.

He was portrayed by Sala Baker and voiced by the late Alan Howard in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Hobbit trilogy, who also played Dormammu in Doctor Strange and Shere Khan in Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

Background

  • He deceived the Elves, the seven Dwarf-lords, and the kings of Men, with the Rings of Power, which would help them rule each of their races, hiding the fact that he was going to create the One Ring in Mount Doom to rule over the other Rings of Power. Upon its creation, he used the One Ring's powers to wage war upon the people of Middle-earth, conquering many of its kingdoms and killing thousands of people in his reign of terror.
  • When the last alliance of Men and Elves made a final stand against Sauron's forces, he killed King Elendil of Gondor and many dozens of soldiers who were standing in his way.
  • Due to the One Ring's creation, he thereby corrupted the nine kings of Men who wore their Rings of Power into the Nazgûl and turn them into slaves to his will, which is a fate worse than death, and also indirectly caused the corruption of Isildur and Gollum, as well as Gondor's disgracing.

The Hobbit trilogy

  • He became the Necromancer of Dol Guldur and formed an orc alliance with Smaug and Azog the Defiler to use them to reclaim Middle-earth, and polluted and poisoned the forests of Greenwood into Mirkwood by using evil creatures such as Great Spiders to plague the land. This caused Radagast to venture into Dol Guldur, where Sauron attacked him.
  • After Azog took Thráin II to Dol Guldur as his prisoner, Sauron tortured Thráin through his mind using witchcraft, leading him to be driven mentally insane and try to kill Gandalf after using Dol Guldur itself as bait, as Sauron knew that he would come to make him reveal himself.
  • As Gandalf tried to rescue Thráin from Dol Guldur, Sauron sent Azog and his fellow Gundabad orcs to attack them both and taunted Gandalf about being unable to defeat him, making his point by personally killing Thráin right in front of him.
  • He attacked Gandalf and broke his staff during their fight, before imprisoning him in a cage where he watched in horror as his forces were marching to Erebor to conquer it due to its strategic position, restore Angmar to help him in his conquests, and once again declare war on Middle-earth.
  • He attacked Galadriel, Elrond, Saruman, and Radagast when they came to rescue Gandalf and tried to get Galadriel to stop fighting him by taunting her about being alone and showing her his might.
  • As he fights Galadriel atop Dol Guldur, there is a blink-and-miss-it shot of Sauron when he used to be a benevolent Maia, showing that he is capable of understanding good and evil yet chose to be evil for the sake of power and control, confirming his moral agency.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

  • After he was banished back into Mordor alongside the Nazgûl, he successfully convinced Saruman that he was going to win instead of the forces of goodness, thus leading Saruman to become his servant.
  • He had his servants capture and torture Gollum to find out where the One Ring is and later on sent the Nazgûl to find and kill Frodo and reclaim the Ring, which led to the Witch-king wounding Frodo with a Morgul Blade.
  • When Frodo puts on the One Ring for the first time, Sauron tries to pin him at the spot by showing him a vision of himself as the Eye so that Frodo couldn't flee.
  • He ordered Saruman to send an army of over 10,000 Uruk-hai soldiers to attack Helm's Deep and slaughter everyone living there, including the women and children.
  • Once Pippin accidentally used Saruman's palantír to contact him, Sauron shows him a terrifying vision of the White Tree of Gondor burning, and also psychologically tortures him because he didn't tell him his name.
  • He sent a powerful army of orcs, led by the Witch-king of Angmar and Gothmog, to destroy Minas Tirith and kill its inhabitants so that the free peoples of Middle-earth couldn't stand against him under one banner.
  • He showed Aragorn visions of Arwen's death to mentally torment him out of petty spite once he provoked him with the sword Narsil, as its original owner was Elendil and Isildur used it to sever his finger wearing the Ring 3,060 years ago.
  • He sent the Mouth of Sauron to taunt Frodo's friends and allies at the Black Gate by lying to them about him being tortured to his death, and when that failed, he had his armies surround and attack the remnants of Gondor and Rohan's armies.
  • When Frodo was possessed by the One Ring and put it on, Sauron sent the Nazgûl to Mount Doom to murder Frodo so he can reclaim the Ring, but only because he saw it as a tool to help him reconquer Middle-earth and remain undefeated, despite the One Ring being a possessed object and his own creation.
  • He is responsible for all the mental torment and trauma Frodo suffered from, resulting in the latter never fully recovering and eventually leaving Middle-earth.
  • While he is no coward and has boldly scaled down an entire army with his mace, it does not make him honorable, as his underhanded methods and his bloodlust show that he is far past what minimal honor he could have had.

Trivia

  • He is one of the four most evil versions of Sauron, alongside the version from the novels (specifically The Silmarillion), the version from the Shadow of Mordor games and the version from Conquest.
  • He is the only Pure Evil character in the Middle-earth film franchise to also be Pure Evil in the novel franchise.
  • This version of Sauron's role in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit is expanded over his novel counterpart's as well as the other film versions as he is given more personality and shown doing more acts, such as mentally abusing Aragorn and Frodo. The novel version of Sauron was made Pure Evil due to his role in The Silmarillion.
  • Despite being Pure Evil like in the book, due to the absence of his actions in The Silmarillion, as well as the absence of Morgoth, his underlings Azog, Saruman and Gothmog also qualify as Pure Evil in the Peter Jackson films due to their actions being comparable to his.

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See Also
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Ainur
Sauron (Peter Jackson | Conquest | Shadow of Mordor) | Morgoth | Saruman

Orcs
Azog | Gothmog

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