The Return of the King

The Return of the King

by

J. R. R. Tolkien

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Sauron is the novel’s antagonist and the Lord of the Rings as referred to by the title of Tolkien’s trilogy as a whole. His power depends on the Ring he forged long ago—now carried by Frodo—which means that when the Ring is destroyed, Sauron is destroyed with it. Sauron’s villainy is defined by greed and lust for power, as epitomized by the powers of the Ring, and manifests in his desire to destroy and control all lands and people of Middle-earth. Sauron does not himself appear in any scene, even when Aragorn brings the final battle to the Black Gate (the entrance to Sauron’s realm of Mordor). Instead, his presence is felt by the heavy shadow he casts over Middle-earth, and his plans are carried out by his servants, including the Black Riders and the Mouth of Sauron.

Sauron Quotes in The Return of the King

The The Return of the King quotes below are all either spoken by Sauron or refer to Sauron. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
).
Book 5, Chapter 3 Quotes

The world was darkling. The very air seemed brown, and all things about were black and grey and shadowless; there was a great stillness. No shape of cloud could be seen, unless it were far away westward, where the furthest groping fingers of gloom still crawled onwards and a little light leaked through them. Overhead there hung a heavy roof, sombre and featureless, and light seemed rather to be failing than growing.

Related Characters: Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry), Sauron
Related Symbols: The Shadow
Page Number: 66-67
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 5, Chapter 7 Quotes

“[O]ne at least of the Seven Seeing Stones was preserved. In the days of his wisdom Denethor would not presume to use it to challenge Sauron, knowing the limits of his own strength. But his wisdom failed; and I fear that as the peril of his realm grew he looked in the Stone and was deceived: far too often, I guess, since Boromir departed. He was too great to be subdued to the will of the Dark Power, he saw nonetheless only those things which that Power permitted him to see. The knowledge which he obtained was, doubtless, often of service to him; yet the vision of the great might of Mordor that was shown to him fed the despair of his heart until it overthrew his mind.”

Related Characters: Gandalf (speaker), Denethor, Boromir, Sauron
Related Symbols: The Seeing Stones
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 1 Quotes

In that hour of trial it was the love of his master that helped most to hold him firm; but also deep down in him lived still unconquered his plain hobbit-sense: he knew in the core of his heart that he was not large enough to bear such a burden, even if such visions were not a mere cheat to betray him. The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need a due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command.

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Sauron
Related Symbols: The Ring
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 3 Quotes

Sam guessed that among all their pains he bore the worst, the growing weight of the Ring, a burden on the body and a torment to his mind. Anxiously Sam had noted how his master’s left hand would often be raised as if to ward off a blow, or to screen his shrinking eyes from a dreadful Eye that sought to look in them. And sometimes his right hand would creep to his breast, clutching, and then slowly, as the will recovered mastery, it would be withdrawn.

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Sauron
Related Symbols: The Ring
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sauron Character Timeline in The Return of the King

The timeline below shows where the character Sauron appears in The Return of the King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 5, Chapter 2 
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...changed his plans. Aragorn says that he looked into the Seeing Stone to communicate with Sauron. As heir to the throne of Gondor, he is the master of the Stones; still,... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
...who, instead of honoring their oath to Isildur, abandoned him in the first battle against Sauron and were cursed never to rest until their oath was fulfilled. Legolas and Gimli resolve... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 4
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...the east, and Beregond tells him that this weather isn’t natural but a mechanism of Sauron’s malice, sent from Mount Doom. (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...interprets Faramir’s news about Frodo and Sam to mean they may still be alive. But Sauron’s first signs of war are arriving sooner than expected. Perhaps Pippin’s use of the Seeing... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 7
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...for Denethor’s descent into delusion. Though Denethor was strong enough to avoid complete deception by Sauron, he was still overcome by the images of threat and despair he saw in the... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Denethor must have been looking into the Stone. Gandalf confirms that this is the way Sauron caused Denethor’s downfall. But now he must go down to the battlefield: he’s seen something... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 9
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...to consider Denethor’s final words—a prediction of defeat. The Seeing Stone showed Denethor only what Sauron wanted him to see, but it’s also impossible for the Stone to show false images,... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...can pose a threat to Mordor with such a weakened army. He asks Gandalf whether Sauron will even take them seriously. But Gandalf replies that Sauron considers some among them serious... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 10
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Pippin, Gimli, and Legolas join the guard as representatives of their people. They call for Sauron to meet them and atone for his destruction. At the end of a long silence,... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The Mouth of Sauron recognizes Gandalf and tells him his plan is foolish. He says he was instructed by... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The Mouth of Sauron offers to deliver Frodo if Gandalf agrees to Sauron’s terms. Gandalf asks for the terms:... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 3
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...fitfully. Even more harrowing than their hunger and exhaustion is the threat they feel from Sauron, toward whom they are moving. On the fourth day after their escape from the orc... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Sam sees a path stretching up the mountain. Unknown to him, it’s Sauron’s road from his tower to the Chambers of Fire. Sam and Frodo crawl up the... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...phial, but its light is no match for the oppressive darkness at the heart of Sauron’s dominion. He sees flashes of red before him and understands that he’s walked into the... (full context)
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...as a dark shape leaps over him. When Frodo puts on the Ring, he draws Sauron’s attention, and Sauron at once understands Aragorn’s intention was only to distract him. Sauron’s armies... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 4
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...huge shadow billows out towards them before disintegrating in the wind. Gandalf tells them that Sauron has been defeated and his reign has ended. (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 5
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...disperses and the sun shines on the river. An eagle arrives with the news that Sauron has been overthrown, and the people of the city sing in all their different languages.... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...judgments. He makes peace with the men from the south and east who fought under Sauron’s rule, and he releases the slaves of Mordor. He then comes to Beregond’s sentence. Because... (full context)
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
...on to say that he will not stay for long, now—his task was to be Sauron’s enemy, and that task is over. (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 6
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...at Galadriel and Gandalf, telling them they’ve brought their own doom in their victory over Sauron. Merry offers Saruman a pipe of Longbottom Leaf, which Saruman claims to be his anyway.... (full context)