On top of the fact that we were treated to a big twist that finally revealed that Sauron was hiding in the form of Halbrand the entire time, the season 1 finale of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power also showed that he wanted Galadriel to join him because he was the only one who could truly see her light. It was a somewhat romantic moment mired by the fact that Sauron was the one who was involved in it. So, does that mean that Sauron is in love with Galadriel?
It is possible that Sauron only admired Galadriel’s power and determination instead of actually loving her. Knowing how strong she is, Sauron most likely only offered Galadriel the chance to be his queen to eliminate her as the biggest threat to his quest for dominion over Middle-Earth.
While it may be true that Sauron truly admired Galadriel, to say that he was in love is to say that he was a changed man. Had Sauron been in love with Galadriel, he would have actually been sincere in turning over a new leaf in life. But it is clear that Sauron is still as deceitful and cunning as he always was. Now, let’s look at what Sauron truly feels for Galadriel.
Is Sauron In Love With Galadriel?
The finale of season 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power allowed us to see a big reveal in the form of Halbrand’s true identity as Sauron himself. Yes, that’s right. Halbrand was Sauron the entire time, but the thing is that he actually had goals that weren’t as evil as anyone would think because he wanted to heal Middle-Earth and undo the damage he caused to the world back when he was still on Morgoth’s side in the First Age.
In telling Galadriel his plans of healing Middle-Earth, Halbrand offered Galadriel a chance to be his queen as he said that he alone saw her light. It was already clear back in episode 6 that he had feelings for Galadriel as he felt comfortable being by her side when they were fighting the Orcs. So, does that mean that Sauron is in love with Galadriel?
It is difficult to define what love is when it comes to the context of The Rings of Power and what kind of entity Sauron is. That’s because we all know that Sauron is a divine spirit called an Ainur, specifically a Maia. Of course, it isn’t a secret that Maiar have fallen in love with Elves in the past, but the one thing we know is that the Ainur are entirely different in terms of the way they think and act, as they often do so based on the way they were created by Eru Ilúvatar.
In Sauron’s case, he was an Ainur with a natural tendency to love and adore everything that is perfect. He loved order and perfection so much that he became obsessed with them. That was why he joined up with Morgoth, as he believed that only the original dark lord had the power that would allow him to fulfill his grandest desires in life, which is to seek order and perfection by being the one in control over the entire world.
With that in mind, it is possible that Sauron truly admired Galadriel in the sense that he saw her beauty and perfection in the way that she fought and in how she was single-minded in her approach to defeating her enemies. The way that she convinced Halbrand back in Númenor to return to Middle-Earth and convince Queen Regent Míriel to bring a Númenorean army was what allowed Sauron to admire the determination within Galadriel. And he said it himself when he thanked her for all of the things that she did for him, as Galadriel seemingly set him on the right track by giving him the push that he needed.
In a sense, Sauron saw Galadriel’s greatness and her ability to give him the determination that he needed to continue on with his quest for his grandest desires in life. But the thing is that this isn’t what love is when it comes to how JRR Tolkien has written his characters.
Probably the greatest example of a true love story in Tolkien’s characters is the way he portrayed the romance between Aragorn and Arwen. As an Elf, Arwen had a choice to live an immortal life by going to Valinor and leaving Middle-Earth behind. Aragorn was aware of this, and that was the reason why he didn’t force Arwen to be with him. Nevertheless, the selflessness was clear when Arwen gave up her immortal life to be with Aragorn.
So, if we were to use that as an example of what love is in the purview of Tolkien’s writings, it is clear that Sauron didn’t love Galadriel. Sure, he admired the Elf because of her beauty and power, but that was not the kind of love that was true because he was never willing to give up his grand goal of dominating Middle-Earth and putting everything in the world under his control.
It is possible that, like all of the things that were beautiful and perfect, Sauron merely wanted to be in control over Galadriel, and that was the reason why he wanted her to be his queen. Of course, adding Galadriel to his ranks would also mean that he would have one less threat (possibly the biggest threat) to his goal of dominating Middle-Earth.
As such, it is possible that this is nothing more than just mere infatuation on the side of Sauron, similar to how Fëanor was infatuated with Galadriel’s beauty and the light that was captured by her hair. This isn’t love because Sauron wasn’t willing to give up his desire to dominate the world as he still sought to be the one in control over all of creation. Had he been truly in love, he would have easily given up the life of a dark lord.
Did Sauron Love Galadriel In The Books?
The way that JRR Tolkien wrote Galadriel and her relationship with Sauron was actually quite minimal because of the fact that their interactions were minimal, especially back in the Second Age. Of course, The Rings of Power also has a different take on Galadriel’s storyline, especially considering that the series has focused heavily on her as the main character.
In the books, however, Galadriel didn’t interact with Sauron a lot in the Second Age. That meant that there was no opportunity to explore the relationship between the two characters. But the fact is that Galadriel was the only one among the Elves that doubted Annatar, who Sauron said he was when he introduced himself to Celebrimbor and the Elves.
Because of the fact that Galadriel was the only one that actually had a clue about Annatar’s goals, Sauron feared her power. In fact, Galadriel was the only Elf that Sauron feared the most, as he believed her to be the only one capable of becoming his equal. That means that, in the books, Sauron saw Galadriel in a different light as she was always a threat that he feared.
The way that The Rings of Power portrayed this relationship is different, but there are still parallels between it and Tolkien’s writings. Halbrand most likely wants Galadriel to be his queen not out of love but out of fear because he knows that she is the greatest threat to his goals.