Quenya 


masculine name. Abhorred

The Dark Lord of the Second and Third Ages, originally a Maia corrupted by Morgoth (LotR/51, S/32). In The Silmarillion, he was given the epithet “the Cruel” (S/32), and Christopher Tolkien translated his name as “Abhorred” (SI/Sauron). J.R.R. Tolkien said that this name was used in Sindarin, but was probably originally Quenya (PE17/183). Elsewhere Tolkien stated that this name was derived from primitive ✶Thaurond- containing the element ✶thaurā “detestable” (Let/380) and was associated with the adjective saura “cruel, foul, evil” of similar origin (PE17/68, 183-4).

Conceptual Development: According to Christoper Tolkien, the earliest precursor of this character was Tevildo “Prince of Cats” from the Lost Tales (LT2/54), but this early appearance was radically different from Sauron’s later role in the tales. This character first emerged in his later form as the shape-shifting lord of werewolves in The Lays of Beleriand from the 1920s, where he was initially named ᴱN. Thû (LB/16, 227-8).

In the early Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, he kept the name N. Thû (or N. Gorthû), but Tolkien also coined his Quenya name: first ᴹQ. Sûr (LR/15) and then ᴹQ. Sauron (LR/30). The name ᴹQ. Sauron appeared in The Etymologies from the 1930s as a derivative of the root ᴹ√THUS “✱smell, stench”, the same root from which Thû was derived (Ety/THUS). At this stage, his name was associated with the adjective ᴹQ. saura “foul, evil-smelling, putrid”.

This association with foul smells persisted into Tolkien’s notes from the 1950s, where he initially derived Sauron from either √THOW or √SAW with senses similar to earlier ᴹ√THUS (PE17/68, PE17/183). He eventually decided that Q. saura was instead derived from √THAW meaning “cruel” (PE17/184), and this seems to have been the basis of later derivations.


  • S. Gorthaur “?Mist of Fear” ✧ SI/Gorthaur; SI/Sauron; WJI/Gorsodh; WJI/Gorthaur; S/032


  • Thaurond- ✧ Let/380; SA/thaur
  • THOW “stink” ✧ PE17/068


saura“cruel, evil, vile; stinking, foul; bad, unhealthy, ill, wretched, stinking, foul, [ᴹQ.] evil-smelling, putrid; [Q.] cruel, evil, vile; [Q.] bad, unhealthy, ill, wretched”

Phonetic Developments

θaurond- > Sauron[tʰaurond] > [θaurond] > [θauron] > [sauron]✧ Let/380
ÞOWO > Þauson > Sauron[tʰauson] > [θauson] > [θauzon] > [sauzon] > [sauron]✧ PE17/068
Quenya [LBI/Sauron; Let/380; LotRI/Sauron; LT1I/Sauron; LT2I/Sauron; MRI/Sauron; PE17/032; PE17/068; PE17/183; PMI/Sauron; S/032; SA/thaur; SI/Gorthaur; SI/Sauron; UTI/Sauron; WJI/Gorsodh; WJI/Gorthaur; WJI/Sauron] Group: Eldamo. Published by


the abhorred

Sauro (þ) (1), usually in longer form Sauron (þ), masc. name "the Abhorred", name of a Maia, the second Dark Lord (said to be the name by which he was "afterwards called", MR:147; according to PE17:183, his original name was Mairon, q.v.). Earlier Thauron (SA:thaur, THUS), archaic *Θaurond- (Letters:380, where the initial Greek letter represents th). The stem of Sauron* would then be Saurond-. Another form of the name is Súro**.



Thauron (þauron) masc. name, earlier form of Sauron, before the change th > s (SA:thaur, cf. Letters:380, which suggests a stem _θ_aurond-; the initial Greek letter represents th). See Sauro, Sauron.


foul, evil-smelling, putrid

saura (þ) adj. "foul, evil-smelling, putrid" (THUS), "foul, vile" (PE17:183). This adjective underlies the name Sauro, Sauron (q.v.) Alternatively explained to mean "cruel" (PE17:184); a deleted gloss defined the word as "bad, unhealthy, ill, wretched" (PE17:172). Tolkien did not consistently hold that the initial s represents older þ; sometimes he derived saura (and so implicitly Sauron) from stems with original s-.