MOUTH OF SAURON (THE LORD OF THE RINGS)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Black Lieutenant
Faithless and Accursed
The Mouth of Sauron was a living man, the ambassador and messenger of Sauron, the Lieutenant of the Dark Tower of Barad-dûr in Middle-earth and one of the most devoted and dark servants of Sauron at the time of the War of the Ring. His true name had been forgotten, even by himself.
The Mouth of Sauron’s early history is unknown, as is his true name and how he first met Sauron. He was a Black Númenórean who briefly appeared in person when he haggled with the Army of the West in front of the Morannon, trying to convince Aragorn and Gandalf to give up and let Sauron win the battle for Middle-earth. Had the plans of Sauron succeeded, the Mouth of Sauron would have become the new lord of Isengard, replacing Saruman. When Gandalf turned down his proposal, the Mouth of Sauron set all the armies of Udûn upon them.
The Mouth of Sauron was the Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr, and commanded the Orc armies of Gorgoroth. The Mouth of Sauron communicated directly with the Dark Lord. A man of great stature, potentially the equal of other Dúnedain, the Mouth of Sauron had fallen into darkness.
The Black Númenóreans had established their dwellings in Middle-earth during the years of Sauron’s domination and worshipped him. The Mouth of Sauron entered the service of the Dark Tower when it first rose again (its rebuilding began in 2951 of the Third Age), and through cunning grew to power under Sauron and learned great sorcery.
War of the Ring
The Mouth of Sauron appeared briefly before the host of the West prior to the Battle of the Black Gate. He insulted the host, asking who had authority to treat with him, and dismissed Aragorn’s claim as King. But then Aragorn’s gaze frightened him, and he cried out that he was a herald and an ambassador, and must not be attacked. Gandalf assured him he would not be, so the Mouth took Gandalf to be the spokesman. He then brought forth Sam’s sword, a grey cloak with an Elven-brooch, and Frodo’s mithril-vest, and said that the fate of the “spy” who carried them would depend on their actions, and insinuated that if they did not do as Sauron demanded, the “spy” would be tortured for many years.
Gandalf asked what the terms were, and the Mouth said that the Hobbit would be allowed to go free, so long as the captains follow Mordor’s conditions: that the “rabble of Gondor and its deluded allies” withdraw beyond the Anduin River, swearing oaths “never again to assail Sauron the Great in arms, open or secret”; that all lands East of the Anduin River would belong to Sauron alone, forever; that all lands West up to the Gap of Rohan would pay tribute to Mordor; that they could no longer keep and bear arms, though Sauron would allow them to govern their own affairs so long as they helped to rebuild Isengard, which would be then ruled by a master more reliable than Saruman (presumably the Mouth himself). Gandalf replied that was too much for the ransom of one servant, and in any case he doubted that Sauron would keep his word. Gandalf demanded that the prisoner be brought forth, but of course the Mouth could not comply except to say, “These are the terms. Take them or leave them!” Gandalf responded, “These we will take!” and seized the Mithril coat, the cloak, and the sword, and utterly rejected Sauron’s terms, before telling the Mouth to be gone, as they had not come to bargain with Sauron, much less with one of his slaves. Enraged and fearful at the same time, the Mouth fled back to the Gate and set Mordor’s forces upon the West.
The Mouth served Sauron after Sauron came to Mordor. There is some dispute over the length of time this implies. If it refers to Sauron’s most recent return to Mordor, the Mouth of Sauron would have served Sauron for some 68 years when he encountered Aragorn and Gandalf. But some have stated that since Mordor “first rose again” during Sauron’s return shortly after the destruction of Númenor, the Mouth of Sauron may be well over thousands of years old. Since no mortal could live that long, and Tolkien says explicitly that he was a living man and not a wraith, he is believed to be around the same age, or less, as Aragorn. This is further suggested by drafts of The Return of the King, in which he is a renegade Man of Gondor.