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Ozil23

Top ten most powerful middle earth characters (3rd age)

45 posts in this topic

 

not sure he did resist it.. no one could resist it. In fact I would argue the allegory of evil in the world is that Sam is responsible for it. Everyone tainted by the ring is removed form middle earth by Carin that boat guy.. except Sam. So a seed of evil, of the taint remained to fester.

There were a few who resisted the ring. Galadriel, Sam, Gandalf. They were tempted but did not give into temptation. Sam never gives into the temptation to wear the ring after Frodo is stabbed by Shelob and as the book recounts Sam gives the ring back to Frodo willingly unlike Bilbo.

 

 

Sam would likely have been corrupted by the ring in time, but just within the confines of the story written, he was the only one to HOLD the ring and resist its direct temptations (visions of power and grandeur), then hand it over willingly.  Plus, he DID wear the ring after Frodo was poisoned by Shelob.  That's how he escaped the Orcs who discovered Frodo's body.

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Regarding gandalf and galadriel I always looked at it as a healthy fear they knew their limit. And I stand corrected on Sam. I forgot he actually put the ring on.

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1. Sauron

2. Actual ring-bearer

Balrog

Glorfindel

Elrond

Gandalf

Saruman

Gwaihir

Witch King

actual steward of Gondor

Edited by Scroll Lock

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The quote thingy doesn't like me, but I'd like to respond to the discussion regarding Sauron's power and alleged physical form.

 

It's only in the films that Gandalf (or was it Saruman?) said that he could not take physical form. In the books there is evidence that he can and does take physical form. Gollum mentions the four fingers on his black hand ('they are enough'); several times characters talk about him 'coming forth' or 'arriving' after his servants have won the day. Moreover, the Red Eye is not his physical form but an embodiment or visual representation of his ceaseless Will that goes here and there.

 

The confusion sets in because Sauron, like Gandalf and some of the Noldor, exists in both the spirit realm and the physical realm simultaneously. Sauron seems to be the superior power in that he has the most experience in manipulating both the physical and the spiritual. He's been at this for Ages. And its his evil Will (spiritual power) that literally holds the Dark Tower together. It keeps the Nine in their power, keeps all of the evil creatures in his control fighting. Men worship him as their lord and god. He is a master of deception, strategy, and treachery. Its his cunning and desire for domination that culminates the greatest events of two Ages.

 

For that reason, he's got to be the most powerful being in the Third Age.

 

This is, of course, entirely subjective. 'Uncloaked', Gandalf would surely be Sauron's equal, if not superior. The White Council, united as one, stood against him and drove him out of Dol Guldur (though he was not quite as 'energized' then). And Sauron's critical misstep was, of course, the creation of the Ring. He put all of his eggs in one basket.

 

Anyways, there is a lot of interesting talk on him in Tolkien's letters and more that could be said but this little post went way longer than I meant for it to. Good discussion! :)

Raven1015 and Djenni like this

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Sauron, without a doubt, was the mightiest spirit to dwell in Middle-earth.  It is written in the Silmarillian he is the greatest of all the Maiar.  So much so, the Vala sent five other Maiar (the Istari) to keep the Great Darkness at bay in Middle-earth.  In addition, second to him in power, were the Balrogs - also Maiar, but corrupted by Morgoth.  Obviously, Gandalf defeated a Balrog, which automatically illustrates he is equal in power.  Saruman would have similar power, if not greater, so I would group him in there somewhere at the top. 

 

To say Sauron had no real power is far-fetched.  It took an army led by Celeborn, Galadriel, and Saruman to make Sauron consider fleeing Dol Guldur back to Barad-dur and that was when he was in his weaker, necromancer form.  By the time of the War of the Ring took place, he was easily more powerful than any living being in Middle-earth, with the exception of Tom Bombadil.  However, the only real chance they had in defeating Sauron himself was destroying the ring of power.  The only reason I bring Tom Bombadil into this is because his origin is unclear as he could have been an AWOL Vala for all we know.  IMO, Bombadil's power was greater than any other good living being, but maybe not greater than Sauron. 

 

With much of Sauron's power, the Witch-king was very strong, but I would not be willing to bet he could defeat Gandalf.  If you think about it, if he was, he would have tried at the gates to Minas Tirith.  Gandalf was his single greatest threat and obstacle to winning that battle.  Had he smitten Gandalf right there and then, the battle would have been over.  WIthout the White Wizard, they would have lost all will and hope to win the fight.  I think that Peter Jackson's movies give a warped sense of the hiearchy of the characters, especially with The Hobbit movies.  I do love the movies, though.

 

I think people bring up an interest point about Shelob.  Ungoliant dwelled with Morgoth, a Vala, and become so powerful that even he feared her.  Her offspring could certainly be more powerful than a Maiar, but with her defeat to one Samwise Gamgee it is hard to say.  I just don't see Samwise defeating any other person of power that would make my list, so I just can't include Shelob.  Not to mention, Samwise used powers provided by Galadriel to defeat Shelob...probably couldn't have done it without.

 

With that said, I would go in this order as top ten:

 

Sauron (greatest of all the Maiar)

Tom Bombadil (possibly a greater Maiar or Vala but uncertain)

The 5 Istari (Maiar wizards sent by the Vala)

Balrog (great Maiar)

Galadriel (immortal Elf)

Celeborn (immortal Elf)

Edited by Gunny_J
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Not sure if I would be able to rank them. Sauron, Smaug and the Balrog should be up there. Gandalf, Saruman and Radagast are forces to be reckoned with, as are Gwaihir and the other eagles. Oh, and elven rulers like Galadriel, Elrond and Glorfindel (who even the Nazgûl feared).

Edited by Olorin93

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I'm pretty sure Legolas and Gimli were the two most powerful beings in the 3rd age. They were able to jump into absurd battles, which would doom any being including the Witch King, and come out feeling like they just had a day at the spa.

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This is, of course, entirely subjective. 'Uncloaked', Gandalf would surely be Sauron's equal, if not superior. The White Council, united as one, stood against him and drove him out of Dol Guldur (though he was not quite as 'energized' then). And Sauron's critical misstep was, of course, the creation of the Ring. He put all of his eggs in one basket.

 

 

From what Tolkien wrote we are sure that Gandalf is not superior and probably not even equal to Sauron.Gandalf was afraid Sauron and that's why he didn't want to join the other Istari wen Manwe asked him to.Gandalf is probably wiser and his wisdom is his true power.His wisdom was the reason Cirdan gave him the ring of fire (Narya) and Galadriel suggested him to be the head of the White Council.

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Treebeard (as in fangorn Forrest). Some would argue this a place but its the same and that is one of the points of it in the lord of the ring.

Very passive though but powerfull and oldest of beings in middle earth.

Edited by Svarteryttaren

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1. Eru Ilúvatar

2. Tulkas the strong

3. Melkor

4. Manwe

5. Sauron (with ring and in tangible form)

6. lady Galardier

7. Ulmo

8. Balrog

9. Saruman the white

10. Gandalf the grey

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informations only from books and movies, no assumption.

 

1. Sauron

2. Tom Bombadil

3. lady Galardier

4. Balrog

5. Gandalf

6. Saruman

7. the Witch king

8. Elrond

9. Smaug

10. blue wizards (Allatar and Pallando)

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wasn't it Saruman that screwed with Denethor?

 

Anyway, imo he didn't "do" any of that stuff. His minions did, he couldn't do anything. Like he didn't do anything to Saruman, Saruman just gave in to his own desires for power and submitted to fear.

And yes he did turn Saruman, through the Palantir. You think he would've just gone mad on his own?

 

From the timeline in Appendix B:

  • 2851 - Saruman begins searching the Gladden Fields
  • 2939 - Saruman learns that Sauron's agents are also searching the Gladden Fields, and therefore deduces that Sauron has tracked the Ring there. He does not inform the White Council.
  • 2953 - At the last meeting of the White Council, Saruman claims that the Ring was swept into the sea. He also begins spying on Gandalf and installing his agents around the Shire.
  • c. 3000 - Saruman first uses the palantir and is "ensnared by Sauron."

It's clear that Saruman was already heading down a dark path, and his communion with Sauron merely hastened the decay. The books don't mention when he first learned of Isildur's fate, but he's taking concrete steps to secure the Ring for himself a century and a half before he uses the palantir. Sauron's influence is not insignificant--Saruman switches from patient opportunism and espionage to overt warfare--but he already had a foothold in the wizard's heart.

 

By the time of the War of the Ring took place, he was easily more powerful than any living being in Middle-earth, with the exception of Tom Bombadil.  However, the only real chance they had in defeating Sauron himself was destroying the ring of power.  The only reason I bring Tom Bombadil into this is because his origin is unclear as he could have been an AWOL Vala for all we know.  IMO, Bombadil's power was greater than any other good living being, but maybe not greater than Sauron. 

 

The Council of Elrond briefly floats the idea of giving the Ring to Tom Bombadil for safekeeping. They reject it, in part because not even he could withstand Sauron's power forever (Glorfindel: "Could that power be defied by Bombadil alone? I think not. I think that in the end, if all else is conquered, Bombadil will fall, Last as he was First, and then Night will come.")

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Power levels, or at least dangerous-ness, was brought up by Gandalf the White in the text:

 

Gimli:  "I thought Fangorn was dangerous."

Gandalf: "Dangerous!  And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord."

 

So according to Gandalf, the power rankings would run:

 

1) Sauron

2) Gandalf the White

 

From the text we can deduce that Saruman > Gandalf the Grey (with ring) > Durin's Bane.  Witch King tops Sauron's servants. Galadriel and Elrond (with their rings) top the elves.  No one has power over Bombadil, yet the council decided that Sauron > Bombadil.  Glorfindel's balrog-killing past gives him a leg up.  Aragorn must be reckoned high with Narsil reforged.

 

Power in the ability to command others may result in a different list.  Denethor would top human rulers, though personally less powerful than Aragorn, he had much more resources to command, certainly more than any other free human realm and likely more than any of Sauron's subordinates.  Sauron himself would be #1, Saruman would be in the top ten.  Treebeard couldn't command, but the force he led was not just undefeated, it steamrolled available opposition.  Thranduil withstood his attack from Sauron's forces without the help of Gandalf or Aragorn -- Celeborn and Galadriel withstood three attacks.  Of course, we have the testimony of Gondorians that these were lesser efforts than those aimed at Gondor.

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1. Eru Ilúvatar

2. Tulkas the strong

3. Melkor

4. Manwe

5. Sauron (with ring and in tangible form)

6. lady Galardier

7. Ulmo

8. Balrog

9. Saruman the white

10. Gandalf the grey

 

A lot of these appear in First age , not 3rd age as suggested by topic. 

 

If there was to be a similar topic for the whole history of middle earth, I doubt there would be any one from 3rd age (only possible Sauron, Elrond and Galadriel but they were all "born" in 1st age after all) 

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