Sauron's Ability to Re-form

by Thorondor-(Valar)
Jan. 12, 2005

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    Tolkien's own words concerning Sauron's ability to reform:

    "It was because of this pre-occupation with the Children of God that the spirits so often took the form and likeness of the Children, especially after their appearance. It was thus that Sauron appeared in this shape. It is mythologically supposed that when this shape was 'real', that is a physical actuality in the physical world and not a vision transferred from mind to mind, it took some time to build up. It was then destructible like other physical organisms. But that of course did not destroy the spirit, nor dismiss it from the world to which it was bound until the end. After the battle with Gil-Galad and Elendil, Sauron took a long while to re-build, longer than he had done after the Downfall of Númenor (I suppose because each building-up used up some of the inherent energy of the spirit, which might be called the 'will' or the effective link between the indestructible mind and being and the realization of its imagination)".
(Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: #200)

    This text tells that Sauron always lost some of his 'will' when his old form was destroyed. Perhaps he had to take always lesser and lesser forms. Or was it just because the Ring was taken? And the greater the spirit or 'will' a Maia or Vala possessed, the greater form they were able to take, if they so wanted.
    If that is the case, think about Yavanna, who sometimes took a form of a great tree. How tall is a great tree in Valinor? The record redwood tree of over three-hundred feet is earthly, so her height would be even more. And is she not an Aratar, one of the greatest of the Valar?

    Unfinished Tales (Finnish version)
    Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien #200.