The finale of season 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has finally revealed the identity of the one person we have all been looking for since the first episode. Of course, the one that turned out to be Sauron was Halbrand instead of the Stranger that crash-landed on Middle-Earth in the form of a meteor. We all know that the Stranger, who is also a Maia like Sauron, most probably came from Valinor. So, if that’s the case, where did Sauron come from, and how did he get to Middle-Earth?
Sauron was one of the Ainur created by Eru Ilúvatar before the dawn of time, and that means that he came from the thought of the creator god. After Morgoth established his strongholds in Middle-Earth, Sauron left Valinor and openly declared himself an ally of the Black Foe of the World.
In a way, Sauron has always been around, just like the other Ainur. But because he was wise, deceitful, and cunning, he stayed in Valinor for a while before he decided to openly declare himself Morgoth’s ally. That was when he went to Middle-Earth to join up with the original dark lord. Now, with that said, let’s look at where Sauron came from and how he got to Middle-Earth.
Where Did Sauron Come From?
One of the biggest revelations in the history of television was in relation to the identity of Sauron, who has been missing ever since the end of the First Age when Morgoth was defeated. However, the season 1 finale of The Rings of Power finally allowed us to see who Sauron was, as he had been hiding in the form of a Man named Halbrand, who was able to deceive everyone with the simplicity of his approach.
Of course, this was the big twist in the episode as the early scenes made us believe that the Stranger was Sauron because that was who the Dweller, the Nomad, and the Ascetic believed. When they were talking to the Stranger, they said that he was cast out from a place we can only presume is Valinor. That was the reason why he arrived on Middle-Earth as a meteor man that crash-landed near the encampment of the Harfoots.
With that said, we know that the Stranger and Sauron are similar in the sense that they are both Ainur, specifically Maia. That was probably the reason why the Dweller and her companions mistook the Stranger for Sauron. So, if the Stranger came from Valinor, where did Sauron come from?
Halbrand gave us a clue in relation to where he originated and how he came to be. When Galadriel demanded him to tell her his name, Halbrand said, “I have been awake since the breaking of the first silence.”
This implies that he has existed ever since the beginning of the universe in JRR Tolkien’s Legendarium. Of course, he isn’t wrong because that is how he and the other Ainur came about in Tolkien’s writings.
Before the dawn of time and the creation of the universe, there existed only Eru Ilúvatar, who is the supreme god of all creation. Ilúvatar decided to create the Ainur through his thoughts so that they would assist him in the creation of the universe. As such, he gave birth to countless Ainur, or divine spirits, that were incredibly powerful but not as powerful as the creator god. Among the Ainur, 14 of the strongest became the Valar, while the rest were known to be Maiar.
Known as Mairon back then, Sauron was one of the Maiar and was said to be the most powerful and most gifted of all of the Maiar. He was associated with order and control, and that meant that the thing that he desired the most was to put all things in order. This was the reason why he began to admire Morgoth, as he believed that the most powerful of the Ainur had the means to help him bring about his desires and designs. During that time, he was still in Valinor and was secretly feeding his master information about Valar.
It was during the time when Morgoth established bases and fortresses in Middle-Earth that Sauron left Valinor and announced that he was always on the side of the dark lord. This happened during the Years of the Trees.
As such, Sauron was like all of the Ainur in the sense that he came from nothing but the thought of Eru Ilúvatar. Meanwhile, after the Years of the Lamps, he joined the other Ainur in Valinor, which was the westernmost land of Arda. But when he decided to leave Valinor to rendezvous with Morgoth, that was when he finally decided to go to Middle-Earth.
How Did Sauron Get To Middle-Earth?
In the books, it was never explained how Sauron was able to get to Middle-Earth from Valinor. All we know is that he fled to Middle-Earth to ally himself with Morgoth, as he was given command over the fortress of Angband.
It is possible, however, that he fled as a spirit and was only able to take his physical form and shape the moment he arrived in Middle-Earth. After all, in their most essential forms, the Ainur are spirits that are free to roam around the world and go wherever they want to go. But they needed to take a physical form if they wanted to physically be in Middle-Earth and interact with the many different people and creatures there.
That is why it is possible that he didn’t come to Middle-Earth in the form of a meteor man, as the Stranger did. Instead, he may have only taken his physical form when he arrived on Middle-Earth. Or it is even possible that he already took shape back in Valinor but decided to sail all the way to Middle-Earth during a time when Valinor was yet to be separated from the rest of the world.
Tolkien was pretty vague in this discussion, as Sauron may have used a lot of different means to get to Middle-Earth all the way from Valinor. But the point is that, ever since he arrived on Middle-Earth, he never left the lands as he merely stayed there the entire time while taking different shapes and names so that he could deceive people and hide from the eyes of the Elves.