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The Lord of Gifts

Celebrimbor, afraid of ever falling into greed and evil as his grandfather had during the days of Morgoth, tried to distance himself from all which tied him to his family's past. He decided to become a huntsman, for even a village of smiths will need food to survive. But one day, a mysterious stranger comes on the back of a great forest creature he will later know as Ang. The stranger introduces himself as Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, whom has come to bestow upon him and his village his givings. And Celebrimbor believed him, for in his sacs and bags Ang carried for his Master potions and jewels and weapons and fine silks from distant lands.

The Yound elfling liked the Lord of Gifts almost on sight, not for what he carried nor for his fare form that would put the most hansom of his kind to shame, but for his warm words with which he spoke, for the unspoken love he saw he sowed his Ang. He liked him for how he offered to take him back home, how he reassured him of Ang's calm nature when he was still worried about the great beast, how he described the distant wonders Eä had to offer and later - so much latter, after years passed and Annatar and Ang found no need to leave their village even after all his gifts were given and so much knowledge he had passed to his people - he liked him for how much he inspired him and how he encouraged him to leave the memory of the evil behind and embrace his gift. He liked Annatar for how he took him under his wing and praised his achievements and came to love him as a brother for believing.

Celebrimbor never knew that the one he knew as Annatar was in fact just a mask worn by the evil Lord Sauron, former servant of Morgot, whom sought to use the elven smiths to take control over Eä much like his Master has done over and over again till the day he was banished to the Void, nor did he know the part he himself shall play into what will be known as the beginning of the Dark Days... or the Ring that will come of it.

- reinterpretation of beginning from Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age from The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

So remember children: if a handsome stranger bearing gifts comes all out of the blue your side of the elfin village, slowly back away then promptly run like hell. If a larger than life wolf is also with him, chances are running might not be the best escape plan, but at least don’t trust a word the bastard says by any stretch of the imagination.

So here you have him, ladies and gentlemen, Annatar – Lord of Gifts – known by most of you as the glowing eye of supreme evil in the Lord of the Rings movies, his trusted steed the wolf Ang, a young, unsuspected guid of an elfling, as well as my extremely late entry for the :icondisney-club: 25th contest: Heroes, Villains, and Sidekicks for the fake movie To Forge a Ring which focuses on the times before the well-known happenings in Lord of the Rings.

As one of the Maiar, Sauron was created by Ilúvatar before the Music of the Ainur. At the beginning of Time, he was amongst the Ainur who entered into Eä (later known as the land of Middle Earth). Here he became one of the Maiar of Aulë, a blacksmith by trade and was known as Mairon. However, he was soon ensnared by Melkor and became his greatest and most trusted servant. After the downfall of his master, he continuously strove to conquer Middle-earth throughout the Second and Third Ages.

In this scene, we have him - under the guise of Annatar - being led by Celebrimbor[1] to Eregion (ha – as if he looks like he needs directions, the little s***) where every Tolkien nerd knows is the land where he deceived the Elves into creating the Rings of Power under his guidance, while he secretly forged the One Ring in Mount Doom. I know that theoretically his entrance in the lands of the elf-smiths was nothing like this, or at least the giant wolf[2] was absent from the scene, but if Disney is to ever give me an animated feature of anything Tolkien-related I know I want Sauran riding a giant wolf.

1 - Less known as the Lord of Werewolfs, I imagined Sauron having a very tight bond with the creatures even after his Master's defeat. Much like the saying "once a dog person always a dog person" I think it would have been hard for one of the greatest enemies of Middle Earth to function all those years for the greater good of evil without at least a companion with which to plot or to which to serve the remains of his enemies to. Thus came to be the wolf Ang, named in the memory of the fortress of Angband (Sauron is secretly terribly sentimental as well as unbelievably ungifted in naming things). Ang is his most trusted friend and companion, mostly due to his inability to judge his master as well as unconditionally devoted to the Lord of Darkness.

2 - The elfling is my interpretation of Celebrimbor, who will one day become the greatest craftsman in the history of Middle-earth, and his forging of the Rings of Power led to the dominion and eventual downfall of Sauron in the War of the Ring. I know I go against all known rules to have him as a blond, for by this point he resembles more an elf of Mirkwood then a future smith. He was going through a faze. If you wish, you can picture this young one as an unwilling/unknowing-sidekick or future victim - it is your choice. Facts are that he did end up helping Sauron in the books and my scenario or not Celebrimbor did trust Annatar until his evident betrail.

Still, although it would have been more logical for me to chose the duo of Morgoth and Sauron for the contest, especially with Sauron being the most famous helper in the story of the Silmarillion, it has occurred to me that no matter how much Disney you could sprinkle over the story of Quenta Silmarillion, it could not work as a children's movie by today's standards, so I chose the part about The Rings Of Power and of The Third Age. Another reason for this is that Sauran struck me as much more interesting choice for a main villain, for unlike Morgoth whom everyone knew what to expect from, Sauron won his battle more by daring wit and careful planing - as well as well planted lies. For all we know everything this scene shows is a lie - even his relationship with Ang is questionable, because unlike Sauron the wolf is not immortal and will probably not mean anything to him in the long life of a Maia. But a good lie is measured by how much truth you can wave in it, so in the end, there must be a speck of truth for it to work. I'll just leave you fine folk to draw your own conclusions.

Getting technical however, I finally experimented some more with some dry brush settings in Photoshop and so far I am loving them. It helped give the pic a more concept-art look, but I have no idea how to text the thing. It seemed like it needed a title-text-thingy but how do u?

artwork © Jessica P. (2013)
The Silmarillion © J.R.R. Tolkien

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© 2013 - 2021 sycamoreleaf
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alexwarlorn's avatar
This trope is even older, beware Greeks bearing gifts. 
Shinzhon's avatar
I'm clearly not experienced enough to make a critique, I assure you, I could not say something else than the evidence, this is perfect ! 
TheDisney1901atDA's avatar
If you ever do make this, it better have Peter Jackson directing and Howard Shore doing the score. 

sycamoreleaf's avatar
Most definitely :nod:
Elfhild's avatar
This is awesome. Cute and morbidly amusing. Just the sort of thing that appeals to my sense of humor.

Sauron is like the Mordorian Santa Claus. Always giving gifts to good little elves, men and dwarves.
sycamoreleaf's avatar
"Sauron is like the Mordorian Santa Claus. Always giving gifts to good little elves, men and dwarves."

This is probably the most accurate thing I have ever heard and I am adopting it as my headcanon. Thank you!
Annathelle26's avatar

This is a wonderful picture, and a wonderful thought behind it!:worship:

I simply adore it:love:

sycamoreleaf's avatar
Thank you very much!
superkim111's avatar
You're welcome!
Rideo18's avatar
hehe, I really like this. I love the look on Annatar's face. He does look extremely pleased with himself. Blond Celebrimbor? ^^ Must be a phase, as you say :D
sycamoreleaf's avatar
Just keep the identity crises and lemon juice away from him for a while and he'll be ok ;)
Thank you for comment! 
MoonyMina's avatar
gorgeous drawing and nice idea :)
sycamoreleaf's avatar
Thank you very much!
RosephDream's avatar
It's nice to know that someone else had read the Silmarillion or other books :D
sycamoreleaf's avatar
Thank you! To be honest, I have reached the point where I need to smuggle new books into the house because of the "Another one!? You barely have room for what you have where are you gonna put this one?" / "But moooooooom!" moments sure to fallow ;P

The Silmarillion in particular is my favorite Tolkien work so far, quickly fallowed by the Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings books however seemed to drag out a bit more then I would have preferred and I sometimes found myself skipping bits of it here and there and the Unfinished Tails are a bit too random for me to keep up with :XD:
RosephDream's avatar

Lol, I'm trying to get all of Tolkien's books too! It's so amazing how Tolkien can have such a big imagination, it inspires me sometimes :la: My favorite book is The Silmarillion too, I love the chapter of Túrin Turambar, he reminds me of Aragorn :XD: Actually, I'm trying to buy the Lost Tales but I only found Part 2 and I REALLY need to read Part 1

sycamoreleaf's avatar
I think I was lucky to find U.T. all in one cover in that case :XD: Still, I wish thee good fortune upon thy quest.

You love the Silmarillion. I love the Silmarillion. Everyone loves the Silmarillion! Personally, I liked the Ainulindalë the most. The whole "let's create the wold by song" bit made me smile. In a good way. ;)
RosephDream's avatar

I love the words "thy, thee" in the book. :)

Yeah, that suprised me too, I mean: Music. I try to imagine the song and the melody but I just... can't. I bet that it must be very beautiful :love:

sycamoreleaf's avatar
I know. It was like reading Shakespeare, only minus the verses. Oh no wait - there was still some song there. So maybe just a lot like Shakespeare.

Personally, once the "music... well, that's original" moment passed I instantly taught of Disney's Fantasia (especially the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach moment). It suddenly seemed to make so much sense the more I was thinking about it. Music is probably the most abstract form of art and probably the only one which allows you to create complex yet simple worlds in your mind without any other apparent stimuli. In fact, the whole flow of the piece seems to resemble an Opera, with the Ainulindalë as its Overture (brief summary as well as introduction of the whole thing - sets the tone and general flow that is to follow). It's hard for me to put into words, but it seems like it makes the Ainur be both characters and audience in that exact moment, because it is clear that they all create their realms according to the music set by Eru Iluvatar, but each of them saw it in a different light, which is the reason why the theme of free will is also one that keeps re-appearing in the book: the source is the same, but the conclusions are often much too different. It depends what everyone sees. 

... But I am probably overthrowing things. Sorry for spamming your inbox and for not making sense.  
RosephDream's avatar

My, you sure know how to express yourself. I just can't found the right words to express how I felt when I read the music part. I mean, Tolkien made me think once that Hobbits were real, he describes everything in a way that makes you think that is COMPLETELY real! :wow:

No, you're not! You're not spamming! :) It's nice to know what another person thinks about the book :hug:

Gotapenname's avatar
wow that's a really coo concept
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