Amph Did Sauron Really Appear As A Giant Eye?

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by -Courtney-, Apr 29, 2006.

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  1. -Courtney- Jedi Knight

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    In the movies he was, of course, a giant flaming eye. But I don't recall his appearance ever described in the novel.
  2. raisedbywolves Jedi Youngling

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    Jul 1, 2005
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    As I remember from the books (it's been a while though!) Sauron gave the other characters the feeling of being watched by a giant eye, or it was mentioned that he could see everything as if he were a great eye. And an eye was a symbol of allegiance for his soldiers.

    But I think that the actual enormous, flaming eye was a way of putting him on film, that was thought up by Jackson and company. It would've been pretty lame if Frodo just kept saying, "Oh my gosh, I feel like a big eye is looking at me right now!", right?
  3. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    I always took the Eye as just some manifestation of Sauron's power, and that he was actually hanging out in Mordor somewhere.

    After all, he's a walking person in the intro to Fellowship, IIRC.
  4. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
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    According to the Encyclopedia of Arda Sauron did indeed have a physical form as confirmed in letters by Tolkien.

    I liked the Eye of Sauron effect in the films.
  5. Excellence Jedi Knight

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    Jul 28, 2002
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    This belongs in the LOTR thread.

    But according to the ROTK appendix, the Numenorians that I haven't spelled right invaded America, and were so powerful Sauron surrender on sight of their mighty king. Taken back to off-shore land somewhere, he tricked the mighty king into doing something they were forbidden, and they all were destroyed.

    But Sauron's spirit survived where his body didn't, and hitched a ride with the survivors when they beached on America. Thus was the pride of Numenor wasted.

    This is embarrassing, that a LOTR disliker and largely ignorant like myself knows this. Then agan . . . you need knoweldge of your foe to combat the poes, right? ;)
  6. DarthAJ Jedi Padawan

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    Dec 9, 2004
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    ^^^
    Dude no offense but its not really "America". Its Middle Earth...and the off shore land is Valinor.
  7. Excellence Jedi Knight

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    Close enough is good enough, right?
  8. Bacon164 Jedi Master

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    I thought that Middle-Earth was a manifestation of Europe, if anything... not America. After all, Tolkien's purpose with the books was to create a mythology for Britain, if I'm not mistaken.

    But when I read the books I got the impression that the Eye was Sauron's psychological impact on a character, not really anything substantial. As for his actual physical presence, hmm... the books were a bit light on this entire aspect, but there are some passages from Denethor saying something along the lines of, "If he wanted to, he could kill us all himself" or something.
  9. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

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    May 28, 2002
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    This belongs in the LOTR thread.

    No, it doesn't. We don't want to constrict discussion of all of LOTR to one thread. It is perfectly fine to start threads on smaller issues like this, for everyone's future reference.
  10. Excellence Jedi Knight

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    You've opened the floodgate, then. Release the hydro, Smithers! ;)
  11. -Courtney- Jedi Knight

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    Yeah the giant flaming eye is a cool effect, it works onscreen because it is large & dramatic & looks like the personification of evil.
    As for the novel, I think that Tolkien was scarce on details maybe to let the reader to build up an image of him themselves.
    -----
    Bloody Americans, think they own everything & you don't even like LOTR! I bet your favourite movie is Tank Girl...
  12. Zebra3 Jedi Master

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    Aug 28, 2004
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    Bacon's right. Tolkien was indeed writing LOTR to be a British mythology. Not surprising, considering he was British.

    As for the eye thing, that's always seemed to be more metaphorical than literal in the books. But we never really see him in the novels, we just feel his presence through the characters. In a novel you can have a villian not be present and still drive the story. But that's just bad storytelling in movies (eh, for the most part) because they're such a literal medium. So the audience needs to see the villan to accept his/her impact on the story. Thus the tall Sauron figure and the big flaming eye.
  13. varza Jedi Padawan

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    Nov 7, 2002
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    ouch...[face_beatup] I don't own anything and love LOTR and hate Tank Girl [face_peace] lol!

    this is a good quesiton - I wondered about this as well but always forget to ask, thanks for asking!

    And true - LOTR is based in a mythical UK - where would ever get America from? Thats just weird
  14. JediNemesis Jedi Padawan

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    Mar 27, 2003
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    Sauron's physical shell (the armoured giant you see in the intro to FOTR) was destroyed in that battle. In the film, IIRC, we see the armour collapsing into a heap with black dust spilling out of it.

    Sauron being the kind of being he is, though, his spirit survived, in insubstantial form in Barad-Dur. I think the idea of the flaming Eye atop the tower was a little bit of dramatic license on the part of Jackson & co, but Sauron's presence is compared to that of an all-seeing Eye in the books.

    Which, as someone said, would be really hard to get convincingly on film.
  15. Excellence Jedi Knight

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    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    He's Barad-Ur's pilot light. [face_laugh]

    Yep, LOTR is English, all right. The voice and appliance descriptions reads closely to Doctor Who books.
  16. Raja_Io Jedi Master

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    Aug 28, 2005
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    I'd comment the bloody American thing, but I tend to get a bit agressive in those matters, so never mind.

    As for Sauron, for me it was always obvious that the Eye was a symbol, an impression of Sauron's overwhelming presence and the power of his spirit.

    I found the visualisation of it in FOTR quite impressive. I mean, it was definitely literal: eye+fire+the Black Speech. But it appeared only in the visions, so I liked it. At last, it was just a movie. But the headlight thing in ROTK, oh my... Only made me laugh. I still giggle at the scene in which Sam and Frodo are hiding behind that rock [face_laugh]
  17. Excellence Jedi Knight

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    I understand Dathomir is a harsh sojourn, but surely even they have evolutionised humour. [face_thinking]
  18. Raja_Io Jedi Master

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    Er... you mean, the Great Eye was a joke of Jackson? :confused: o_O
  19. Excellence Jedi Knight

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    Jackson? And how'd you get Jackson from a pilot light? [face_thinking]
  20. severian28 Jedi Master

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    While it is " mythical " in its tone and defined as fantasy since go, Tolkiens story is actually an alternate history of pre-historic earth, much the same way Howards' Hyperborea is. I think you could get America just from the fact that Valinor is across the pond eastward - at least judging from the Silmarillion maps and the plight of Feanor. It only becomes an abstract location when we get to LotR. The only thing Tolkien ever references to concerning this matter is the inspiration for the Shire, which was some place in Britain. The idea that that immense world could only be symbolic of the United Kingdom is actually a little weird. Call it Europe, if anything.
  21. severian28 Jedi Master

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    Apr 1, 2004
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    Dont even like LotR? Maybe you missed the part of the books history where Americans turned it into a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Or all the Tolkien verses from LotR graffitied on every wall, in every highy school year book, in every city in America in the sixties. Or the domestic box office gross of the films in America. Just alot more people here dude. Its really that simple. Alot of people in the U.K. undoubtedly endear to the story more personally then America. But on the other hand theres certainly more people in America that " love " it. And as far as the Eye goes, wasnt the line of Boromirs about the Eye always watching actually in the novel FotR?
  22. Excellence Jedi Knight

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    Jul 28, 2002
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    It's about elfing time they copulated the series with new children. Prequels and sequels, like a real series. That has enormous potential if done right.
  23. Amon_Amarth Jedi Master

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    Jan 27, 2005
    star 6
    Interesting question. I can't remember the detail since it has been quite a while since I read the book, but the Eye was a symbol of Sauron's Orcs. A symbol that distinguished his and Saruman's soldiers. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure if Sauron was described as a physical giant eye...
  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Feb 18, 2001
    star 10
    For the love of...

    Americans, nobody was being serious. Australian and British humour is highly irreverant and doesn't take itself or it's subject matter seriously. This is not something you should get fired up over and take literally, responding with redundant remarks about it being more English than American etc. ;) :D

    I'm fairly certain there was mention of Sauron's hand in the books, in non-flashback sequences... Gollum, for example, remarks that Sauron only has 4 fingers on the "black hand", but they are "enough." This makes sense, because what use does a flaming eye have for a ring? o_O

    Jackson described Sauron as a floating eyeball, so it's possible this detail of Sauron was overlooked when writing the script...

    E_S

  25. varza Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2002
    star 4
    I understood that... sigh...

    It was the artists interpretation only I think with the eye of Sauron... as for what he would use it for? Hum... well eyes usually have a brow? Maybe a piercing?
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