Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!
by Heidi J.
This editorial is for all those HP fans who are also Lord of the Rings fans. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Voldemort and Sauron go head-to-head? Two of the most powerful antagonists in fantasy literature duking it out for the title to Most Formidable Enemy. So let’s take a moment to make a fantasy leap of our own and imagine who would come out on top if Voldemort and Sauron crossed paths while they were at the height of their powers.
I guess it’s possible that if Voldemort and Sauron happened to meet, they could just decide to make an alliance of sorts. After all, while Sauron is after domination of all Middle Earth, Voldemort has made it clear that his ultimate goal is immortality. Its possible that he could simply turn to Sauron for help in achieving his quest. Sauron, after all, is immortal in a sense. (And Sauron would readily agree to such an alliance. He has manipulated immortality-hungry humans before– it led to the downfall of Númenor.) However, I think that Voldemort has a large share of that thirst for power, and sooner rather than later, it would end up in a full-blown confrontation. Bring on the duel!
Round One: The Armies Face Off
The challenge at first would not be directly personal. Come on, Voldemort or Sauron actually doing their own dirty work? What a waste of perfectly good mindless henchmen! Take a look at this line up, too. On Sauron’s side, he has a rather large and intimidating army. Countless hordes of orcs, legions of Southrons and Easterlings, hired Corsairs, trolls, lethal wolves, the Ringwraiths, and even an unwitting ally or two like the Balrog or Shelob. Voldemort’s numbers are far fewer. He has most of the remaining giants, the dementors, a reasonable-sized force of Inferi, and of course, his faithful (but rather small) circle of Death Eaters. However, even with his smaller force, I think Voldemort would be able to defeat Sauron’s masses. It would take time to destroy all of the armies, but even a mediocre wizard could probably take out a whole squad of orcs easily. Not to mention that Voldemort and his supporters could simply create more Inferi from the bodies of anyone they killed. The more numbers that Sauron threw at him, the more Voldemort could simply toss back. The dementors and the Ringwraiths have pretty similar talents; however, the Ringwraiths are only nine, while the dementors are a large group and breeding. I think Sauron would have to retreat for a bit and rethink his plan. The sheer magic of a powerful wizard like Voldemort would make Sauron naturally turn to the most powerful of his allies (or servants, rather.) The next strategy between the Evil Overlords would be to pitch their right-hand servants at each other in a more devious way.
Round Two: Servants, Spies, and Strategies
For Sauron this would mean that he would turn to Saruman. After all, Saruman is a wizard also (and an older one than Voldemort.) Surely it would be a task that he could take on and easily finish Voldemort, and Voldemort, for his part, could turn to one of his most effective servants: Severus Snape. I think Voldemort would order Snape to infiltrate the enemy side and be a spy. Snape could present himself to Saruman, offering his services and saying that he has seen which way the wind is really blowing and that he wants to throw in his lot with Sauron’s side. I don’t think that Saruman would be fooled, but we all remember that Saruman was a little power-hungry himself, and I think he would have been eager to have Snapes talent in his corner. Snapes loyalty is really difficult to pin down (judging by our own debates over whether he was Dumbledore’s man or not), and I bet Saruman would have been willing to take a risk. Especially if Snape offered to spy on Voldemort for him, taking his natural double-agent role. So who would have been the winner in this skirmish of the right-hand-men? I have rather higher respect for the talents of Snape than Saruman, I suppose, because I believe that it would end with Snape killing Saruman in a moment that he doesn’t expect. (I know, I know, it’s rather blasphemous to compare Saruman to Dumbledore, but I think that if Snape could manage to kill Dumbledore, he could certainly kill Saruman.) So when it came down to it, Sauron’s servant would fail. Round two to Voldemort!
Round Three: The Final Duel
Finally, Sauron would have to face Voldemort individually. Voldemort would be anxious for this confrontation. He’s pretty much triumphed over Sauron so far. We’ve all seen how cocky and over-confident Voldemort can be. He has such a high opinion of his own powers that he would simply show up at Mordor expecting to quickly defeat Sauron and install himself as master of Barad-dur. Look at his experiences with Harry. Harry manages to defeat or escape Voldemort four times by the end of GoF and yet Voldemort still expects to easily kill Harry at the end of OotP. Certainly after defeating Sauron twice he would Apparate confidently into Sauron’s tower himself, expecting that a well-timed Avada Kedavra would simply destroy his opponent. So here we are at last. The final duel between the oppressor of the wizarding world and the tyrant of Middle Earth. Though Sauron certainly has no power in the form of love like Harry, I think his powers of darkness far, far exceeds Voldemort’s. (Even Gandalf doubted that he could stand against Sauron personally, and I suspect that in Gandalf, Dumbledore would finally have found an equal, something JKR tells us Dumbledore never had.) Dumbledore may be the only one that Voldemort ever feared, but I think Voldemort honestly felt he was the most powerful evil force in the world. Just like other people whose considerable pride in their talents leads to a rude awakening, Voldemort would learn firsthand that he was only a schoolboy at play compared to Sauron when it comes to the powers of darkness. Yet Voldemort has hedged his bets, so to speak. Voldemort has his Horcruxes, and they would keep him from totally dying. So I have to conclude that Voldemort would end up back in the less than spirit form that he loathed. Sauron could never permanently defeat Voldemort. In the end evil would not really destroy evil. We’ll just have to leave that to Harry and Frodo.