When it comes to the world of J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth, there are two names that reign supreme in the halls of lore and legend. Both feared and admired, Sauron and Saruman are two of the most prominent and powerful villains ever written. However, despite their similarities and an allegiance to evil, they are very different entities with unique quirks and intentions. In this article, we’ll delve into the difference between Sauron and Saruman and give you a comprehensive breakdown of their respective roles and capabilities.
Who is Sauron?
Sauron is the major antagonist in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is a supernatural being who originally served the god-like Vala Melkor, a being who sought to dominate all creation. After Melkor’s defeat through the intervention of the other Valar, Sauron becomes the primary antagonist in Middle Earth. He is described as an incredibly powerful and malevolent Maia, a class of spirits that serve the Valar.
Sauron is depicted as a black, humanoid figure with an all-seeing eye, the symbol of his power and malice. He is often referred to as the Dark Lord or the Enemy and is considered the chief executor of evil in Middle Earth according to the lore. Sauron’s obsession is with power and domination, and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, including using any form of corruption, deception or violence necessary.
What is Saruman?
Saruman, on the other hand, is also a Maia, although he serves a different Vala. He originates from Valinor, the land of the gods, and was one of the chief members of the Council of the Wise, which was formed to counter the growing threat of Sauron. Saruman is depicted as a tall, imposing figure, with grey hair and piercing eyes, and is known as the White Wizard.
Saruman initially opposes Sauron, and his primary objective is to gain knowledge and understanding of the dark lord’s power in order to defeat him. However, over time, Saruman becomes increasingly obsessed with his own power and begins to ally himself with Sauron in the hopes of gaining supremacy over Middle Earth. Ultimately, his allegiance to evil becomes his undoing, and he is destroyed by his own corruption.
Key Differences Between Sauron and Saruman
Power Level: Sauron is much more powerful than Saruman, both in terms of physical might and his ability to control and influence others. Sauron is essentially immortal, which means he can’t be killed by ordinary means, while Saruman can be harmed or even killed.
Motivation: Sauron’s primary motivation is power, and he seeks to dominate all of Middle Earth in order to achieve it. Saruman, meanwhile, starts out with good intentions, but his desire for knowledge and power eventually corrupts him and leads him to betray the forces of good.
Methods: Sauron is more straightforward and brutal in his methods, using deception, destruction, and violence to achieve his objectives. Saruman, on the other hand, is more cunning and manipulative, using his knowledge of science and magic to create weapons and devices that will give him an edge in the battle against the good.
Allies: Sauron has a vast army of orcs, trolls, and other malevolent creatures at his disposal, while Saruman has an army of Uruk-Hai, a race of super-soldiers created through a combination of magic and science.
Fate: Sauron’s fate is to be destroyed utterly, unlike Saruman who is ultimately subdued and imprisoned.
In conclusion, while Sauron and Saruman have many similarities, they are ultimately very different beings with different motivations, methods, and fates. Sauron is a being that seeks to dominate and control all of Middle Earth through destruction and violence, while Saruman originally sought to fight Sauron’s power but ultimately became corrupted and turned to evil. While Sauron is obsessed with power, Saruman seeks to gain knowledge and investigate the power of Sauron. Sauron is ultimately destroyed utterly, while Saruman is subdued and imprisoned. Despite their differences, however, both Sauron and Saruman stand as some of the most iconic villains ever created, and their legacy in the world of fantasy literature will forever be remembered as some of the best examples of villainous characters.