For more on all the Rings of Power and their uses, check out this earlier video!


Intro – 0:00
Problems with ‘power’ 1:36
Different approaches – 6:00
Many Meanings – English and Elvish – 8:29
Tolkien’s uses of power – 12:53
Defining ‘power’ in Middle-earth – 20:36
Conclusion – 24:39

Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use purposes such as criticism, commentary, parody, news, reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. All works used in this video (images, audio, etc.) belong to their respective authors and are used with permission or in accordance with the copyright holder’s stated usage policy.

🖌️Art Credits🖌️

A full list of artworks, including links, is found here:

Thumbnail Art Credits:
“Sauron” by Raymond Gustadnes:
“Hosts of Angband” by Kenneth Sofia:

Artists (in order of work’s first appearance):

1 – Nykolai Aleksander:
2 – Guillem H. Pongiluppi:
3 – Ali Shimhaq:
4 – Bre Melvin:
5 – Ralph Damiani:
6 – Jonathan Guzi:
7 – Bartek Wąsacz:
8 – Andrea Piparo:
9 – Joseph Feely:
10 – CK Goksoy:
11 – Bella Bergolts:
12 – Nam Cheon:
13 – Fabio Leone:
14 – Helena Nikulina:
15 – Murat Gül:
16 – Justin Gerard:
17 – David Greset:
20 – Asha Venger:
21 – Nemanja Bubalo:
22 – Raymond Gaustadnes:
23 – ThornSpine:
24 – MGCoco:

🎵Music Credits🎶

Where required, a license has been purchased for use of music.

Epidemic Sound:
Tracks Used: “Follow the Falcon” by David Celeste, “In This Moment” by Gavin Luke

Royalty Free Zone:
Tracks Used: “Whisper in Time,” “Voice in the Night,” “Behind the Memories”

Fesliyan Studios:
Tracks Used: “Cathedral Ambience,” “Tranquility,” “Elven Forest”

Thank you to those who have supported me on Patreon!

*Avari Tier*
Sydney Layne
David Newman
Daniel Bass
Stefan Schiller
Rob McPhee

*Sindar Tier*
Jackson Wilson
Douglas Harley
Carl Rice
Amy Rice
Susannah Darby
Eric Dreasher
Zach Burns
Daniel Stride

*Noldor Tier*
Paul Leone
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

*House of Finwe*
Dorwin Gray
Michael Donohue
Karen Donohue
Elu Thiccgol
Jarrod Carver

🔥*House of Feanor*🔥
John Love
Brendan Mooney
Lewis Maskell
Tamara Saldanha
Kevin Gilstad
Joel Bion

#lordoftherings #sauron #ringsofpower

    13 replies to "Sauron and the One Ring | Tolkien's Use of "Power""

    • Ian Shaw

      I think it not pedantry if you are not forcing your knowledge (especially with your accustomed humility) upon others, but offering it for those interested, accompanied by a willingness to engage in respectful debate. Thank you yet again for another wonderful video.

    • James Humphrey

      I think the chief insight I drew from listening to this analysis is maybe a deeper understanding of how Tolkien related to this legendarium in terms of fairy story: he assumed the role of an outside observer and reteller rather than overtly exercising authority as creator and owner of the world. Thus he gave himself plenty of latitude to let a few principles stay mysterious even as he presented the stories that depended on them; he refused to enforce a “foolish consistency.”

    • Don

      This video is like intellectual, fantasy crack for my brain. Great work!
      I find it fascinating that Sauron couldn't grasp the idea that someone would want to destroy the one ring as he's so blinded by his desire for control and domination. But, in a way, he is sort of right as when it ultimately comes down to it Frodo doesn't want to destroy it and gives in to the temptation of taking it for himself.

    • Chris Huntoon

      Some real food for thought .. where is my lembas

    • Snowy White

      You're doing great work with your video's; don't give up, love 'em!

    • Mojos Bigstick

      More linguistics please!

    • Fredrik Thylin

      When Saurons power is described it could somtimes be about his empire, armies etc.
      At other times it could be his personal power.
      We know that there is a difference between Sauron with a ring and without:
      In the second age, the elves could not use the three rings because Sauron had the one ring and they would have been dominated by Sauron (his original plan).
      In the third age the elves used their rings without fear of domination.

    • Bertie Wooster

      If One Ring can enhance Sauron's power then Sauron can make another more powerful One Ring while wearing the first one and so on and on. Therefore Tolkien invented Elder Scrolls Enchantment magic. I will excuse myself.

    • Istari

      Regarding Morgoth and Sauron and their "power," it seems to me that there might be two forms of power involved here. One would be an internal, inherent form of power that they have a certain amount of when they come into existence. This may be true of all who have a fëa. This explains the growing weakness of Morgoth as he poured this power into Arda. On the other hand, there is another externally accessible power that can be used, even drained, but can be restored.
      A simple example would be someone goes for a walk. Depending on the individual, the person may be able to a relatively short distance, or a somewhat longer one, or a very long one. But eventually the walker must rest and possibly drink and eat to restore their ability to keep walking. But they can do this and if they work on their own capabilities they can be able to walk longer before needing to rest. Perhaps some combination of these two concepts might resolve some of the peculiarities of what on the surface appear to be Tolkien contradicting himself.

    • Windwalk

      The abstract definition of power you offer here reminds me of concepts such as dao and chi, which are meant to be descriptions of manifest power rather than, say, the numerical, allegedly fixed, hierarchical power expressed in something like Dragonball.

      It's also worth noting power that falls outside the abilities of an individual. Even the mightiest elves and Ainur amass armies, and although this is not strictly the power of the Ring, this aspect must have been on Gandalf's mind during his explanation to Frodo. Tolkien was, of course, a veteran warrior and enthusiast of early mediaeval history, and LotR is more concerned with military detail than any of his other works.

      Naturally, I don't mean to refute the video discussion of Tolkienian magical power at all, but I do mean to suggest that the word is used frequently to include mundane power — even if that's just a Nazgul's attempt to verbally bully the dwarves of Erebor. 💀

    • POKE aka Filthy Judge Original Songs

      S created the ring. I feel like we can enhance ourselves through the act of creating. I know I feel strangely powerful while playing a gig or painting or even dancing. T had it right, Music IS Magic. Ainulindale 🎼

    • Spooky Ghost

      Did claiming the one ring permanently affect Frodo and contribute to his being unable to fully enjoy the world after the defeat of sauron in some way?

    • jose raul Capablanca

      This was great. I liked your broad perspective. To me devices is a very powerful way to understand both the plans,devised by Sauron, and his machinations to concentrate his power. Enough pun I Garoua d. What I mean is we can think of it like a clockwork mechanism, it takes our energy and concentrates it any a way which makes it very effective whilst limiting what it can do. Such is the one ring. I feel also in some ways it draws on the marring of Arda, to make it more powerful. Thanks as ever GNG and keep up the good work.

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