Who is Morgoth? JRR Tolkien is the father of fantasy for a reason. From the beloved works of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to the sprawling text of The Silmarillion, no one has managed to create a fictional world with the level of detail that he has. Amazon’s latest TV series, The Rings of Power, proves that fact as the show dives into The Second Age and introduces fans to new Rings of Power characters from the pages of Tolkien’s novels.
Set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, The Second Age details the beginnings of Sauron (the main villain in Peter Jackson’s fantasy movies) and the One Ring to Rule them all. However, the show also touches on Sauron’s backstory, and who his master was – Morgoth. Listen, Middle-earth has a vast history, and before the Second Age, there was the First Age, and before there was Sauron, there was the OG Dark Lord that is essentially the root of all evil in the beloved IP.
But, if you are unfamiliar with The Silmarillion, you may not know who is Morgoth. So, The Digital Fix is here to help. We’ve got the low down on the Tolkien lore and are ready to deliver a history lesson of the ultimate big bad that was around since the creation of the fantastical universe.
Who is Morgoth?
Like we said above, Morgoth was the original Dark Lord, and the master of Sauron. That’s right, the big bad from the Lord of the Rings is actually number two when it comes to terrifying Middle-earth villains. Morgoth pre-dates the creation of Middle-earth and Valinor (The Undying Lands).
Originally known as Melkor, he is one of the Ainur – an angel-like god figure who was ushered into Arda (Tolkien’s version of Earth) by the supreme creator-god Eru Ilúvatar. Still with us? Good.
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One of the most powerful but also the most rebellious of these sub-god figures (which would go on to be known as the Valar), Morgoth desired to create life and, as such, basically defied Ilúvatar’s will, in an effort to do so.
Morgoth would go on to create Orcs, and other evil forces, and literally plunged the world into darkness. Basically, if you haven’t guessed already, he is the Middle-earth version of the Devil who was hell-bent in bending Arda to his vision and corrupting everything that Ilúvatar created.
In The Rings of Power, we are told briefly about the events of the First Age, which involved a hefty war that all kicked off thanks to the fact that dear old Morgoth killed the Elven king Finwë, destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor (which were basically the source of life and light in the land of the Valar), and stole the Silmarils.
As Morgoth continued his crusade to shape the world, he gathered many followers, one of which was Mairon, one of the Maiar (spirits that were created to help the Valar) of Aulë – who would later become his second in command and better known as Lord Sauron.
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Morgoth’s deeds and the war against him lasted for several centuries. The War of Wrath kicked off at the end of the First Age – which was a war against Morgoth fought with Elves, Men and the Valar. Eventually, Morgoth was defeated and expelled from Arda – but that wasn’t before the long conflict literally caused a section of Middle-earth to sink into the sea. Talk about going out with a bang, right?
Obviously, this is a very brief description of Morgoth and all of his evil deeds. To say that Tolkien’s work is detailed is an understatement. However, the big takeaway that you need to know for The Rings of Power is that Sauron is essentially picking up where Morgoth left off, and Morgoth himself still has influence over Middle-earth despite being exiled into the void.