The battle of Black Gate at the end of ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ trilogy may be one of the most memorable scenes from the entire trilogy. However, there is a mystery regarding that scene. At one point, Sauron addresses Aragorn, but what exactly did he tell him & did it have the desired effect?
In the movie, during the battle of Black Gate, Sauron addresses Aragaron as Elessar, which, in a way, means that he was mocking him and inviting him for a re-match. Sauron most likely wanted to sow discord and doubt within Aragon, hoping he might lose his resolve just long enough to lose the battle in general. In the books, the exchange between Aragorn and Sauron never happens. Sauron instead sends his emissary to deliver the message and terms to Aragon. The Mouth of Sauron insulted Aragorn, calling him a false king through the following quote: It needs more to make a king than a piece of elvish glass, or a rabble such as this.”
Why is calling Aragorn Elessar meant to discourage him? What does Sauron have to gain from it? If you’re interested in finding out more, stay with us and keep reading!
Movies vs. books
The exchange that took place during the Battle of Black Gates was not in the books, so fans were left wondering what kind of exchange took place.
In the movies, Sauron called Aragorn out by his name. This happens once Aragorn arrives in front of the Black Gate. At that point, Sauron has a clear view of Aragorn, and at that point he addresses him.
The movie does not clearly spell out the meaning of Sauron’s act for the viewers, but it is most likely a way of recognizing that now that Aragorn is there, it is time for a rematch.
Sauron sees this as an opportunity to settle his score with Aragorn himself after their duel through Palantir, where Aragorn overpowered him, as well as the events that took place at the end of the Second Age when Aragorn’s ancestors defeated Sauron.
In the books, Aragorn wasn’t addressed by Sauron. Instead, he sent his emissary, the Mouth of Sauron, to further taunt the group and set his terms. The exact quote goes like this
Is there anyone in this rout with authority to treat with me?’ he asked. ‘Or indeed with wit to understand me? Not thou at least!’ he mocked, turning to Aragorn with scorn. ‘It needs more to make a king than a piece of elvish glass, or a rabble such as this. Why, any brigand of the hills can show as good a following!’‘The Return of the King,’ Chapter 10: ‘The Black Gate Opens’
After the remark, the Mouth of Sauron presents Sauron’s conditions, and after Gandalf rejects them on behalf of Aragorn, he returns to the Gate and calls on Sauron’s army to prepare for an attack. But what did this interaction mean?
Mouth of Sauron wanted to insult Aragon and imply that just because he has all the markings of the King, it does not make him one. He also insulted Aragorn’s troops by comparing them to a common rabble of thugs, as any type of low-life brigand can acquire.
He attempted to demoralize and intimidate the Free People by suggesting that Aragorn was too weak to lead them to battle, unlike Sauron, who has both the markings of a king and a massive army and resources to show for it.
Did Sauron think Aragorn had the Ring?
Sauron did believe that Aragorn had the Ring. According to Sauron’s assumptions, Pippin was the last holder of the Ring, as he was able to communicate with him through the Palantir.
Because the next person he communicated with was Aragorn, Sauron believed that Aragorn captured Pippin and took away his Ring. However, this was the plan all along. Gandalf wanted to make Sauron believe that Aragorn had the Ring. This would then provide a distraction once they showed up at the gate.
Gandalf believed that Sauron would never think that they were trying to destroy the Ring behind his back and that he would believe Aragorn was trying to claim the Ring, and once he acquires it, he would use it against Sauron.
Was Sauron afraid of Aragorn?
At first, Sauron was not afraid of Aragorn. He believed he was simply trying to take the Ring from him, so he did not fear him. After all, many have tried taking the Ring from him and failed.
However, after their battle for control of Orthanc Palantir, Sauron became afraid of him. During this battle, Aragorn avoided getting overpowered by Sauron and used the stone to see what he was looking for.
In addition to this, Sauron realized that Aragorn was not any man. He was, in fact, a descendant of Elendil, a man who defeated him 300 years ago.
After realizing his heritage and his power through the battle of Palantir, Sauron determined that Aragon was a threat and that he was his main opponent in the upcoming battle.
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