Nietzschean Reflections on Tolkien’s Villains

In this post, I am publishing a theory that I have regarding the morality of the villains presented in Tolkien’s novels. Though many villains exist throughout his corpus — dragons, orcs, ungoliants, Suaraman, balrogs, and more — I will be focusing on the main two: Melkor and Sauron. Please note that what I am publishing here is at best a theory, I am not an experienced Nietzsche scholar, though I do find his writings enlightening. It should be remembered, not only for this post but all of mine, that my theories are not usually born perfect, and are almost necessarily modified over a period of time for their improvement. This post will also contain mild criticism of Abrahamic religion in general due to its efforts to create a ‘universal tribe’.

Melkor, the Evil, and the Bad

It might seem obvious to take the Christian interpretation of the Vala Melkor (Vala=singular Valar), that he is evil, as opposed to good; however, it is also true that Melkor represents the concept of  “bad” determined by master morality.

The distinctions of moral values have either originated in a ruling caste, pleasantly conscious of being different from the ruled–or among the ruled class, the slaves and dependents of all sorts. In the first case, when it is the rulers who determine the conception “good,” it is the exalted, proud disposition which is regarded as the distinguishing feature, and that which determines the order of rank. The noble type of man separates from himself the beings in whom the opposite of this exalted, proud disposition displays itself he despises them. Let it at once be noted that in this first kind of morality the antithesis “good” and “bad” means practically the same as “noble” and “despicable”,–the antithesis “good” and “EVIL” is of a different origin. -Fredrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Chapter IX, aphorism 260 (emphasis mine)

The conception that Melkor is bad, in terms of master-morality, is not immediately apparent because of his exalted behavioral disposition. However, we should examine what the essential character of Melkor is; he is a corrupter of the creation of Iluvatar (the supreme deity). He first behaves this way by producing a discordant song against the music of the Ainur. He then incarnates in the flesh, as the Valar and Maiar do, and he corrupts Arda. He destroys the Two Trees of Valinor using an ungoliant, and traps Iluvatar’s beautiful elves, mutilating them into something with the opposite qualities of their original form. He does not create value, he inverts value. Where Iluvatar creates order, he creates disorder, where Iluvatar creates beauty, he creates ugliness. Clearly Melkor, unlike another Vala Aule (creator of the Dwarves), does not create value as though he had master morality, rather he simply inverts the value of his master, Iluvatar.

The slave has an unfavourable eye for the virtues of the powerful; he has a skepticism and distrust, a REFINEMENT of distrust of everything “good” that is there honoured–he would fain persuade himself that the very happiness there is not genuine. – Fredrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, chapter IX, aphorism 260

In summary: Melkor is resentful of Iluvatar’s supreme position and place as a creator of beautiful things, and is, therefore, one who exercises slave morality. So is Melkor evil or bad? — well it depends on whether you are looking at him as simply disobedient (evil, from a slave moral viewpoint), or a producer of things which we as masters find bad — ugliness and disorder (making him bad, from a Master-moral viewpoint). Like most individuals, it would appear that in Tolkien himself, there is a mixture of master and slave morality; this is likely exaggerated by the combination of pagan and Christian cultural influences n him. Tolkien’s characters consequently often reflect this mixture of the two moralities, and we will see a similar narrative in Sauron to we already have for Melkor.

The Ring of Power and the Will to Power

It is tempting to take an approach towards the matter of the One Ring that it is a symbol of the evils of “statism”, as the ring is clearly a symbol of power. One might try to use the symbol to argue that Tolkien believed the Will to Power was evil, but as we shall see that this is not entirely true.

The ring does not represent the usual power which is held by a king, as there are many kings who appear as virtuous figures in Tolkien’s literary corpus, even those who clearly show a Will to Power  — Theoden, Thranduil, Bard the Bowman are not depicted as evil. These men and elves exercise master morality, a morality of both the Will to Power, as well as an honor for, and even a necessity for those of equal power, described in Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 260 below:

A morality of the ruling class, however, is more especially foreign and irritating to present-day taste in the sternness of its principle that one has duties only to one’s equals; that one may act towards beings of a lower rank, towards all that is foreign, just as seems good to one, or “as the heart desires,” and in any case “beyond good and evil”: it is here that sympathy and similar sentiments can have a place.The ability and obligation to exercise prolonged gratitude and prolonged revenge–both only within the circle of equals,– artfulness in retaliation, RAFFINEMENT of the idea in friendship, a certain necessity to have enemies (as outlets for the emotions of envy, quarrelsomeness, arrogance–in fact, in order to be a good FRIEND): all these are typical characteristics of the noble morality, which, as has been pointed out, is not the morality of “modern ideas,” and is therefore at present difficult to realize, and also to unearth and disclose. – Fredrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, chapter IX, aphorism 260 (emphasis mine)

Sauron, the creator of the ring, on the other hand, while possessing a vaguely independent spirit, which some might use to ascribe master-morality to him, appears to have no sense of duties towards his equals (other Maiar) and those above him (the Valar and the supreme God Iluvatar). Nor does he appear to desire friends and enemies within this circle of equals (other Maiar), but is willing to use them as puppets, as in the case of Sauraman, and hides for several centuries in Dol Guldur instead of confronting opposing Maiar directly as an outlet for his arrogance. The One Ring was forged to corrupt the kings of men and elves, the children of Iluvatar who are guided by the Valar and Maiar (mostly divinites who side with Iluvatar), so the ring represents (attempted) universal power obtained with disrespect for equal and higher powers, and resulting from ressentiment towards higher powers and their virtues (in this case Iluvatar and his creation of elves and men). This manifestation of the Will to Power is clearly, in any sense, slave-morality. It is also, in the biblical sense of the word, Luciferian.

The One Ring by Jeff-Destroy
The One Ring by Jeff-Destroy on DeviantArt

The ring is this universal power, which I have described, which so many in the mob have desired to grasp, ever since the notion of a universal power to overthrow all others entered into the consciousness of man. The will towards this universal power is the impetus behind all revolutionary movements. I believe it is manifested in each Abrahamic religion, which destroyed polytheistic religions of old, and speaks of a universal god who has a covenant with a specific group of people who must follow specific moral rules to be spiritually above all others. Politically, the desire for this ring of universal power has manifested itself in several ways: the desire for an Islamic Caliphate, the notion that the Pope should have temporal power over the world’s political leaders, and the most current madness which many Evangelicals flock towards — Zionism and universal Jewish supremacy. This perverse manifestation of the Will to Power is also the impetus behind certain secular movements such as Bolshevism, and globalist capitalism — both of which are threats to national sovereignty in favor of international power.

Evangelical Zionists (Neoconservatives) and Globalists Capitalists (Neoliberals)

Clearly, if the ring of the Abrahamic ‘universal tribe’ did not exist the world would be a much more peaceful place. If the ring in general — the conception of universal power to overthrow the diversity of sovereigns — did not exist, globalism in all its forms, religious, political, and economic would be nonexistent.

On Sauron

It’s hard to discuss the One Ring without discussing its creator. Now that we understand the One Ring to be an object which grants the universal power desired by the mob in order to topple every individual sovereign, we can clearly see that Sauron is the spirit or divinity behind creating this notion of universal power. He is the source and heart of what reactionaries call “the Cathedral”. Some might understand this spirit merely as a mode of thinking — ressentiment. Others might take a more interesting route and understand it as an actual divine presence which is trying to corrupt the world. I will briefly give some evidence for the latter of these two ideas, though I warn you that some may find it superstitious — it is interesting but is not likely to jive well with either atheists or hardcore Abrahamists, religiously speaking.

Look at Sauron’s mace from Peter Jackson’s LOTR.


The cross-section of its shaft is a hexagon, and its head has six points. Look at the Israeli flag – there’s a hexagram in the center of it.

Saturn's Active North Pole

Now look at this NASA photo of Saturn’s north pole. There’s a hexagon in the middle of it. Now, what day of the week did YHWH command the Israelites to rest on? Saturn’s day. Isn’t Saturn also the lord of the rings among the planets?  Did the creators of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Ring’s film know something that we don’t? Yes, this is likely, especially given who runs a large portion of Hollywood. Now look at where Sauron likes to hang out, in Mordor: he is represented by a single eye and is a deity associated with a volcano. Guess who probably began as a volcano deity — it was YHWH (sources 1,2,3). Guess who is often represented as an all-seeing eye from artwork in churches to the back of the US one-dollar bill. It’s YHWH, the ancient Middle-Eastern divinity associated with volcanoes and the planet Saturn, as his Judeo-Christian (Jehovah) and Freemasonic (Jahbulon) equivalents (he also has an Islamic equivalent, Allah, and possibly a Hindu one in Rudra/Shiva under the Vedic epithet Yahvah). Once I made these connections, I saw how Gandalf would have felt when he realized the identity of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur. I think Tolkien was either a genius or psychic — in the character of Sauron he described for us the very divinity which is associated with the chaos and barbarism of our current age — the Kali Yuga.

So how should the ring be destroyed? Let it disintegrate back into the fires out of which it came, the chaotic warlike culture of the Middle East. In order for this to happen the West must stop trying to intervene in the Middle East; the Anglo-Saxon hobbits who brought Zionism there must take the final step by letting the ring go. Let the Zionists and Islamists fight over that accursed land on their own. Many will realize that attempting to create a universal tribe is a mistake and will be awakened, as some already are. The West will become polytheistic and aristocratic once more.


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