Lord Of The Rings is one of the most beloved fantasy book and movie series of all time. Over and over, fans watch the journey of Frodo, Aragorn, Gandalf, and the rest of the Fellowship saving Middle-earth. The heroes of the story are beloved and admired by those who watched them grow and succeed against the forces of evil.
However, for great heroes, you need an equally terrible villain. Lord of The Rings finds that in the ever-menacing, ever-watching Sauron. The dark lord gets minimal screen-time and is only in physical form for a few minutes. However, he still manages to be menacing and intimidating all the same.
Still, not that many people know much about the Dark Lord Sauron, and even less about how much damage he's truly capable of doing. After all, viewers rarely got to see him in his full, armored glory. Though his giant mace speaks volumes about his ability to land a hit.
One may wonder why someone hyped up as so strong could ever lose, and some might wonder what the hype is all about. He's just a floating eye, right?
Through the depths of several Tolkien novels and appendices, we'll share more about the talents of this tremendous baddie.
Here are the 20 Powers Only True Fans Know Sauron Has (And 10 Weaknesses).
30 Power: Knowledge of The Entire World
Sauron is a member of the Maiar race. The Maiar were powerful beings that helped create the universe.
This means that Sauron has been around since the beginning of Middle-earth.
He not only has knowledge spanning the ages, but also distinct knowledge of how the world works.
Being a Maiar comes with great knowledge because of how long they have to accumulate knowledge and how much they can intelligently grasp. This ability gives Sauron an acute power over the mortals he's fighting, knowing more about the world than they ever could know.
29 Power: Shape-Shifting
The Maiar have more powers than just knowledge, however. One of their main powers is shape-shifting.
This means that Sauron has the innate ability to change into various forms.
In the past, he's held different humanoid bodies. He's also been known to change into creatures such as a bat, a vampire, a serpent, and more.
In one of his most notable fights against a fierce wolfhound named Huan, Sauron fought as a werewolf.
He used this ability many times to manipulate, deceive, and overpower others. Its a power that makes any Maiar hard to pin down, especially one with such evil intentions.
28 Weakness: Hatred
Sauron weakened himself by using his powers for hatred. Maiar abilities deliberately diminish when used improperly.
Using shape-shifting powers for evil or mockery made them nigh unusable to the dark lord.
This is why Sauron used to have many forms, and a fair amount of them, but now he's lost them all.
All he can conjure is a twisted, dark humanoid body that he encases in black armor. He's known best in this form.
Once one of his greatest talents, Sauron stripped himself of this Maiar gift by being a cruel and manipulative person.
27 Power: True Immortality
The Maiar are also immortal. It is one of their strongest and most useful abilities. There bodies can perish, but their souls can't.
Maiar will always eventually return. This is why, despite Sauron being defeated in the War of the Last Alliance, he was becoming a threat once more centuries later.
The Maiar do not always have a corporeal form, but they do not pass away, unless under special circumstances.
This power is one of the most intimidating of all. It makes the dark lord invincible compared to the other Middle-earth races.
26 Power: Living Beyond a Human Form
Once Sauron perishes, he doesn't just go away into the ether until he returns. His Maiar immortality means that he can exist in Middle-earth, he just can't take physical form.
Sauron can't attack others himself, but he's still there, keeping a watchful eye on the world. It's not like he returns to his original body, either.
His physical body can be destroyed, but he will still eventually come back.
All of this is why Sauron takes the form of the omnipresent eye as he waits for physicality to return to him.
25 Weakness: Weakened Ethereal State
Immortality, even the powerful kind that the Maiar experience, always has its catches.
While it's such a strong power to be unable to perish, without his human form, Sauron is greatly weakened. He is weakened enough for his ring to be tossed around and destroyed right under his nose.
Sauron can see a lot in his incorporeal eye form, and direct his armies and create plans at his will, but he can't stop anything himself.
Also, anything he can't see he's starkly vulnerable to-- such as two minuscule hobbits sneaking their way into Mt. Doom to destroy everything that he's accomplished.
24 Power: Fire Power
Not all of Sauron's powers are dark and deceptive. Some are bright, explosive, and charring. The best example of this is the dark lord's ability to manipulate fire.
This includes the fire and magma in the depths of Middle-earth. It's why he so heavily relies on construction through forges and fire.
Sauron has iron control over how the fire works and how to create the things he wants done.
Even more spectacular, though, is his ability to summon meteors.
That's some a fiery downpour that can cause real destruction to any army.
23 Power: Fair Form
Seen as this dark, menacing lord encased in black metal, Sauron wasn't always so intimidating to look at.
When the world was younger, Sauron had a fairer form that he used often to trick others. This form went under the alias "Annatar."
Using this form, Sauron was able to coerce the elves into making the Rings of Power. While unable to use the form now, it once served Sauron very well.
The guise of Annatar mixed with Sauron's abilities in deception and manipulation sowed the seeds of his power as the dark lord.
22 Weakness: Arrogance
Sauron thinks of himself as the strongest being, the person best fit to dominate the world. All creatures below him are insignificant pawns.
However, this is how men got the best of him.
In the movies, after slaying the king, Sauron thought that Isildur was yet but another bug to squish. He let his guard down and was mistaken.
Isildur disarmed him and defeated him.
In the books, the two kings, elf and man, were powerful enough to defeat Sauron's body. This was something the dark lord did not expect.
These arrogant miscalculations left him vulnerable and stuck in spirit form for centuries.
21 Power: The Rings of Power
Sauron also gains influence from the other Rings of Power.
He infected the rings for the dwarves and men with the seeds of his own will and corruption.
While the dwarves did not submit to him, the rings made them greedy. Four out of the seven dwarf lords were lost to dragon fire after accumulating so much wealth that they attracted the scaly beasts and perished.
The most infamous, however, are the nine rings he gave to the leaders of men. All of them fell under his will and became the Nazgul, his most feared minions.
These rings let him manipulate the leaders of the world to fall, giving him greater ability to take it for himself.
20 Power: Deception
Underneath many of his talents, Sauron's innate deceptive tactics are what do much of the work.
Sauron’s powers of deception achieved the successful distribution of the corrupted rings. His deceptive use of beautiful shape shifting let him slip out of unsavory situations.
Coercive deception also led other races of people to collapse in on themselves from in-fighting.
This power extends to all intelligent life serving him. Saruman becomes masterfully deceptive and manipulative once he is under the dark lord's influence. The orcs underneath him were once elves stolen and tricked into his lands.
He tortured them, brain-washed them, and deceived them until they became his pawns.
19 Weakness: Brute Force
Sauron excels at corruption, deception, manipulation. However, the dark lord isn't adept at doing things small. Every one of his moves is large, loud, and aggressive.
While effective in swiftly putting down nations, this way of waging war gave others an advantage when it came to small teams sneaking around him.
Stealth missions would have been a great asset to him. He likely could have gotten more knowledge of the fellowship, caused detrimental sabotage before battles, and re-obtained his ring with ease.
After all, a stealthy, deceptive man could have stolen the ring right from under the Shire far easier than the fear-spreading, alarming Ringwraiths that drove the hobbits away.
18 Power: The Eye of Sauron
The Eye is used as Sauron's symbol for intimidation. Seeing it sends fear into the hearts of all his enemies.
Being the eye in his incorporeal form also made him a perfect general.
While unable to fight, Sauron was omnipresent during battles. He was watchful, astute, and always looking for his ring.
He may have more raw power in a physical form, but his spiritual eye form wasn't weak.
This form made sure that every free person of Middle-earth knew that the dark lord was looming somewhere above, always watching.
17 Power: Superhuman Strength
Sauron draws much of his power from his Maiar heritage. The Maiar also have superhuman strength, much stronger than any of the other beings born of Middle-earth.
Because of this, Sauron is able to wield a large mace and take down several men in one blow.
Also, he's able to wear heavy, protective armor that most would collapse under.
Sauron's strength isn't often used, as he prefers being a leader, manipulator, and mental combatant. Yet the dark lord still is fearless and intimidating when it comes to face-to-face battle.
Being a genius and a strongman helps round out his powerful wheelhouse of abilities.
16 Weakness: Control Issues
Allies are few and far between in Mordor. Sauron trusts few to be on his side. He runs a meticulously managed army.
Sauron only allies with those he knew he had complete control over, like the corrupted Saruman.
This tactic does leave him as the sole leading authority in his ranks, which makes him weaker.
Men are corruptible. (Note the Nazgul and Boromir.)
If Sauron put more effort into corrupting enemies into allies, his control over Middle-earth would be even stronger.
Alas, the dark lord only trusted those whose withered under his thumb, and his battle strategies suffered for it.
15 Power: Telekinesis
Sauron prefers to wage war through the mind, and nothing expresses that better than his talent with telekinesis. Even a physical attack from him is likely to originate from his head.
In war, the tactic becomes vital. He can hit some enemies with his over-sized mace, while he can toss others across the battle-field with his mind.
In the movies, this ability is shown in The War of the Last Alliance. Sauron tosses elf and men around like rag dolls.
This makes it very hard for any foe to get anywhere close to him and his ring.
14 Power: World Manipulation
The Maiar helped build Middle-earth. Before darkness filled his heart, Sauron did, too.
To help build the world, Maiar used their abilities to manipulate the world to their will.
Sauron can do this with any element, but he is most adept with fire.
His abilities with fire and earth are used at Mt. Doom. He chose to create a fortress near the mountain because he could easily use it to build weapons, use as a natural defense mechanism, and to grow his armies.
Though his ability was once used to make the world, Sauron now manipulated the world to help manipulate all its inhabitants.
13 Weakness: Mobility
Sauron is often engaged in telekinetic, psychological, or manipulative battle. If those aren't the best option, he settles for brute force.
This is when, like in the War of the Last Alliance, he went into the fray to destroy the human and elven armies.
However, the dark lord isn't light on his feet. Small and/or swift foes would be harder for Sauron to pin down.
Still strong and dangerous, it's not recommended to fight the dark lord one on one. However, if an enemy moves quickly and cleverly, Sauron will not be fast enough to match their attacks.
12 Power: Shadow Walk
Darkness has always been Sauron's forte, even in a literal sense. One of his powers is shadow walking.
This means that Sauron knows how to meld into the shadows and travel quickly between them.
This gives him speed in darkness and shrouds him from vision. Most of Sauron's powers involve manipulation, brilliant planning, and sheer power.
However, this is one of his most covert talents. Covert isn't normally the dark lord's style, but if Sauron needs to vanish in a pinch, he has more than just The One Ring as an option.
11 Power: Morg0th's Teachings
Before Sauron, there was Morgoth. Morgoth was a member of the Ainur who helped create the world. Morgoth dissented from the Ainur and became the first dark lord.
He hated what the world became and wanted to remake it in his vision. He tried to destroy everything that the Ainur made.
When Morgoth made a stronghold in Middle-earth, Sauron left the Maiar and became his Lieutenant.
Sauron flourished under Morgoth's guidance and leadership. Once Morgoth was defeated, Sauron decided to take his title and bend Middle-earth to his will.
Because of Morgoth's mentoring, he knew much more about waging a world war.
10 Weakness: Hated By The People
Sauron accumulated few allies. He also made it clear that he planned to rule Middle-earth with an iron, malicious fist.
At all times, he was planning wars, and simultaneously, people were fearful and often plotted against him.
Saruman eventually came into the picture, but even then Sauron under-utilized him.
Without any support from the people of Middle-earth, the dark lord was in a constant war against the world.
He may want to subjugate everyone to his will, but it would be easier if he tricked a few corrupt leaders into following him. Having less people hate him and actively war against him would have given Sauron a smaller war to wage, and an easier win.
9 Power: Necromancy
The dark lord is adept in many things, but necromancy is one of the most frightening. Sauron rarely uses this power, but his few creations are bone-chilling.
His most well-known are, of course, the Ringwraiths. Also called Nazgul, the company of nine are horrific creatures who used to be nine great kings.
Sauron corrupted them through tainted rings of power. Though once men, it's been centuries since they were alive.
Sauron revitalizes and controls them through necromancy, making them fearless battle machines. The Nazgul tirelessly hunt the ring and ravage anything in their way.
Sauron's powers ensure this.
8 Power: Brilliant Commander
The armies of Mordor are intimidating, effective, and destructive. They leave nearly nothing in their wake.
In the War of the Last Alliance, Sauron's soldiers were tearing elves and men limb from limb.
In the War for The Ring, it was much of the same.
Sauron commands the armies of Mordor in a brilliant, brutal fashion.
The batallions always seem on the war-path, and always seem a step ahead. Only a ghost army was able to turn the tide and destroy his forces.
When it takes immortal warriors to shut Sauron's armies down, there is evident that sheer power is at his command.
7 Weakness: His Army Can Only Attack During Night
Sauron and his armies are powerful, but their inability to fight during the day is a severe weakness. This can sometimes be advantageous, but other times it's just a good way to give opponents more time to prepare.
Orcs and goblins are perfect for his armies. He can manipulate them easily.
However, this weakness of theirs is exactly why they didn't win fights like the Battle for Helm's Deep.
The humans had all day to prepare and fortify. They also then strategized to drag the battle out until morning came, when his armies would be severely weakened.
It's an Achilles Heel that greatly cripples the armies of Mordor.
6 Power: Corrupting Others
Sauron's ability to corrupt others led several good men to their ultimate downfall. Nine great kings, four dwarf lords, countless men, the great white wizard, and one vicious halfling were lost to his influence.
While this influence varied, from tainted rings corrupting minds or souls, to palantiri, to The One Ring itself, Sauron corrupted them all.
His will is insidious. He uses it far less than he should. However, it's gravely powerful.
Those even lightly touched by it begin to lose their minds, like Lady Galadriel in the mere presence of The One Ring.
5 Power: Blacksmithing
Before Sauron decided to overthrow Middle-earth, he was named Mairon. He was one of the most powerful of his kind and studied under Aule in the forges.
Mairon became a master craftsman, using his power over fire and his intelligence to create masterworks.
Then, under the Dark Lord Margoth, he became Sauron.
The new villain used his bountiful knowledge of blacksmithing at Mt. Doom. He created The One Ring, the forges of Mordor, and the Ringwraith swords.
The powerful weapons Sauron created through his talents and forges aided heavily him in his conquests.
4 Weakness: Neglecting Saruman
Saruman gazed too often into the Palantiri, a seeing stone that connecting him to Sauron. Because of this, the wizard was corrupted.
This was a great win for the dark lord, as it allowed him to acquire such a powerful ally. This didn't aid his as much as it should have, though.
The dark lord misused Saruman's armies and forges in Isengard.
Sauron never coordinated attacks with Saruman, leaving the large armies of Isengard and Mordor separated.
The great wizard was treated as a separate entity, neglecting the power they could achieve together. Because of this, instead of being an enormous army to destroy all nations, they remained separate and failed.
3 Power: Resurrection
Sauron is truly immortal-- if left alone, his body will reform after a few centuries. His Maiar heritage is what gives him this ability.
As long as he retains immortality, it doesn't matter how greatly someone defeats him. He's indestructible.
His master, Morgoth, was trapped behind a great door in a timeless void for this reason.
In theory, if someone opened the door, he would crawl right back out. Their kind need impenetrable prisons, otherwise Sauron would terrorize Middle-earth forever.
It's a power that makes the war against him, even when the good side is winning, feel like a losing battle.
2 Power: The One Ring
Sauron made The One Ring to help him exercise power over all other people who wore Rings of Power. He made it so powerful by imbuing a part of his soul into the ring.
This decisions made the ring a conduit that made Sauron even stronger than before.
The ring grants invisibility and immortality to its owner.
When he lost the ring, it had enough power of its own to try to corrupt every owner it had.
The bond Sauron has with the ring goes both ways: it'll do anything to find him, too. The One Ring is the most powerful artifact in all of Middle-earth and it's Sauron's greatest ally.
1 Weakness: The One Ring
Sauron draws much of his power through the ring and it even holds a part of his soul. However, that is exactly why it's his undoing.
The One Ring gave Sauron the strength to take over Middle-earth, but it also created the one way he could be destroyed.
He's still technically immortal, but losing the ring will take away all of his strength. He will forever be too weak to be a threat again.
All it takes to destroy the ring is a toss into the fires of Mt. Doom. The One Ring is the thing that makes Sauron extremely powerful, but also is his greatest weakness.
Can you think of any other of strengths or weaknesses that Sauron has in Lord of the Rings that we might have missed? Let us know in the comments!