Sauron, the fallen Maia, former Lieutenant of the Dark Lord Morgoth, and previous wielder of the One Ring of Power, has passed away after a brief several thousands of years of being a non-corporeal spirit bound to the tower of Barad-dûr. He was… very, very old.
Reports that on this day as recounted in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King — March 25 in the year TA 3019 — have confirmed that Sauron, aka Annatar, aka Gorthaur, aka Mairon, perished amid a skirmish between the Orcs of Mordor and the Army of the West, hosted by the newly revealed successor to the Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor, Aragorn II. Whether or not Sauron was directly defeated due to the conflict or because of something else entirely unrelated, thanks to the work of two halflings spotted on the scene, has yet to be determined.
Born at the dawn of Time itself, Sauron was one of the greatest of the heavenly hosts of the Maiar, the spiritual beings tasked with helping the Valar shape the world of Arda. Better known for his exploits with the fallen Valar Melkor, who would become the first Dark Lord, Sauron’s early career was defined as a Lieutenant in the Wars of Beleriand, where Sauron supported his master’s wars against the Noldor elves until Morgoth’s expulsion into the void. Ascending to the title of Dark Lord himself after thousands of years recovering in secret, Sauron shot to true infamy in the guise of Annatar, when he convinced Elves of Eregion to help forge a collection of magic rings, gifted to envoys across the mortal species of Middle-earth. It was eventually revealed that Sauron forged a singular, dominating ring of power, One above all others, through which to control wielders of the other Rings of Power. However, his plans were laid to ruin by an alliance between the Elves and Men of Middle-earth, leading to the embarrassing moment where Sauron lost both the One Ring and his corporeal form.
Forever remembered for his accounting in The Lord of the Rings for this period — a giant eye of pure evil manifested atop Barad-dûr — his famous hits include perceiving things through palantíri, whispering dire portents of destruction in the minds of Men, and his collaboration with the Istari Saruman the White. He’s survived by the broken hosts of Mordor, last seen fleeing the Black Gate on the fields of Morannon, and our thoughts go out to his followers at this unfortunate time.