Q. Sauron (Saurond-) [þ] m. “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.
References ✧ LBI; Let/380; LotRI; LT1I; LT2I; MRI; PE17/32, 68, 183; PMI; S/32; SA/thaur; SI/Gorthaur, Sauron; UTI; WJI/Gorsodh, Gorthaur, Sauron
|saura||“cruel, evil, vile; stinking, foul; bad, unhealthy, ill, wretched”||✧ PE17/68; PE17/183|
|✶θaurond- > Sauron||[tʰaurond] > [θaurond] > [θauron] > [sauron]||✧ Let/380|
|√ÞOWO > Þauson > Sauron||[tʰauson] > [θauson] > [θauzon] > [sauzon] > [sauron]||✧ PE17/68|
ᴹQ. Sauron [þ] m.
References ✧ Ety/THUS; LB/232; LR/29-30, 47, 56, 283, 333; LRI; RS/215; RSI; SD/246, 250, 310; SDI1/Sauron; SDI2/Sauron, Zigûr; SM/120; SMI; TII; WRI
|saura||“foul, evil-smelling, putrid”||✧ Ety/THUS|
ᴹQ. Sûr [þ] m.
References ✧ Ety/THUS; LR/15, 30; LRI
|ᴹ√THUS > Súro||[tʰūro] > [θūro] > [sūro]||✧ Ety/THUS|