"Sauron [...] was only less evil than his master in that for long he served another and not himself."
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Sauron (Quenya, pronounced [ˈsaʊron]) was the greatest and most trusted servant of Morgoth before and during the First Age. Originally a Maia of Aulë named "Mairon", he was ensnared by Melkor and as "Gorthaur" he became Morgoth's lieutenant in his Wars of Beleriand. From his base of Tol-in-Gaurhoth, Sauron was directly responsible for the death of Barahir and later the Noldorin king Finrod during the Quest for the Silmaril. He demonstrated the ability to take the form of a wolf, a serpent, and a vampire.
After the downfall of his master, he continually strove to conquer Middle-earth throughout the Second and Third Ages. In the Second Age, under the guise of Annatar, he deceived the Elves of Eregion, who under his guidance had created the Rings of Power, whilst he secretly forged the One Ring in Mount Doom. Thus Sauron became "The Lord of the Rings". His influence corrupted the Númenóreans - leading to the destruction of Númenor - which led to Elendil founding the Realms in Exile of Arnor and Gondor. Elves and the Dúnedain, the descendants of the Númenóreans, formed the Last Alliance and, in S.A. 3441, Elendil and Elven High King Gil-galad died destroying Sauron's body. Following Sauron's defeat, Elendil's son Isildur took the One Ring.
In the Third Age, Sauron returned to Middle-earth and, as the Necromancer, took the hill of Amon Lanc as his fortress of Dol Guldur; his chief servant, the Witch-king, formed the realm of Angmar in the north of Eriador. Following an attack by the White Council in T.A. 2941, Sauron returned to his fortress of Barad-dûr in Mordor. By T.A. 3018 Frodo Baggins was in possession of the Ring, and he was led by Gandalf as a member of the Fellowship of the Ring in the Quest of the Ring.
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