A lesser Ring of Binding


In   the  mid   Second  Age ,   Sauron   the  Maia   recounted   his repentance of past deeds as the chief servant of Morgoth and again committed himself  to  the domination of Middle-earth and its peoples. In S.A. 1000, he chose Mordor as the land that could most properly serve as the center of his realm and began   the   construction   of   the  Barad-dur .   From  the   first, Sauron recognized Numenor and the kingdoms of the Elves as his chief rivals for domination of the continent. To combat the   growing   influence   of   Numenor   and   her   colonies   in Middle-earth , Sauron realized he would need many powerful servants.  As Morgoth's Lieutenant  in  the First  AgeSauron knew well  how  the hearts of Man might  be  turned against one another. To this end, Sauron devised the Binding Rings , powerful   artifacts   that   could  bind  the   spirit  of   a  Mannish servant to Middle-earth indefinitely.

The three Rings of Binding which have dominated much of the history of Rhûn were relatively early works in Sauron's career as a ring-smith. When Sauron forged them he had not yet discovered the secrets that led to the more potent Rings of Power   he would make   in  later  years.  For   this   reason,   the Binding Rings impart to their wielders a great deal less than the   Rings   of   Power ,   and   carry   with   them   important restrictions  that  make  them  inferior.  For one,  Sauron knew that   the original  bearers of   the  rings must  have substantial power  themselves,  as well as a strong will  and devotion  to the  service of  Mordor.  Secondly,   the Binding Rings could neither extend the life of the bearer, nor allow the spirit of the bearer to maintain any physical form after the expiration of his body. Instead, the Binding Rings would bind the bearer's undead spirit to the ring after his body had expired. The spirit might then possess the body of the next bearer, assuming that the new bearer was not so strong-willed that he might resist the possessing spirit. Choosing a successor-host then, was a delicate matter where strength of body and mind had to be weighed against the strength of the will to resist. This was a matter that was not completely understood by Sauron and his servants until many centuries later.

By   the   end   of   the   thirteenth   century  of   the  Second  Age, Sauron completed several  Binding Rings and was  ready  to begin   the   long   search   for   a   suitable  Mannish   servant   to become the first bearer. At the time, however, his attentions were being drawn to the more urgent and promising matter of binding  the Elves of Eregion ,  and so Rhûn was spared  for some years more before Sauron was able to properly focus on the task of subjugating its peoples.

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