Rhûn is an important linchpin in Sauron’s future base of power. The inhabitants of these lands, the Ostlings, were more than an important part of his force. It is also in his influence over Rhûn that the Dark Lord’s greatest strength is revealed.
The Threat of Rhûn – The Ostlings
There are some opposites that cannot be reconciled. Fire and water, cat and mouse, the Ostlings and the free peoples of the West. The inhabitants of Rhûn are in conflict with the West through all three ages.
In the First Age, they were secretly allied with the renegade Valar Melkor. Melkor’s successor Sauron also recruited troops for his armies here. The Ostlanders have a rather primitive culture and are born for battle.
This elite, drilled for war, makes up a crucial part of Sauron’s force and is therefore strategically extremely important to him. Even in the Third Age at the time of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Western peoples still have to contend with them.
Sauron: The master of manipulation
In the literary original, Sauron gives one of his rings of power to Khamûl, a king of the Eastlings. He gains great power from the ring and becomes a powerful sorcerer until the power of the ring corrupts him and turns him into one of the Nazgûl.
Here Sauron’s true strength is revealed, which is in no way based on physical strength or magical ability. His true strength is to scatter discord and play people off against each other. Over and over again.
Isildur, Boromir, Theodin and whole nations succumb to his manipulation and his promise of power. But this power is only borrowed, because in the end he remains the string-puller, ruler and Lord of the Rings.
The conflicts between the Eastlings and the free peoples in the West, by the way, only came to an end when Aragorn managed to reconcile the two peoples after the Ring Wars.