On Feb 28, 6:48 am, Steuard Jensen <steu...@slimy.com
> Consider: You are Sauron, in the early stages of a war against Gondor
> and a hunt for your Ring that has recently resurfaced. You have just
> met an unexpected challenge from an upstart heir of Isildur who
> somehow managed to turn the tide of battle at Minas Tirith when your
> victory there seemed all but certain. It seems very likely that this
> "Aragorn" has claimed your Ring and is using it (or planning to use
> it) to challenge you. In fact, he is now leading a significant but
> still laughably small army to *attack* the gates of your realm.
> Clearly, Aragorn's plan must be to use the Ring to make this assault
> something other than a suicide mission. He must expect to ______ ___
> ______ _ ______ ___ ________ _______ [...]. Therefore, your best
> response is to gather as many of your own troops as possible in Udun
> in order to repel his assault: Orcs, Men, Trolls, and the rest, with
> the surviving Nazgul circling overhead to sew despair in your enemies.
> By doing this, you will be able to crush his tiny force and recover
> the Ring for yourself!
he must expect to "crush the assault mercilessly and quickly before
the new ring lord learns to wield his new weapon more effectively,
or before another more capable ring lord seizes it (Gandalf,
I don't have my books here, but I recall it clear in the discussions
in Cormallen that Sauron likely was dealing with fear (in his
grave doubt, and his typical misunderstanding of men. He can't be
sure exactly what happened at Pelargir, but it can be accounted
for as 'ring-like', where suddenly an army that he was moving to
the field suddenly becomes an army of his opponent.
If Aragorn was of the sort of Boromir or Denethor, the stroke
at Morannon would make sense to Sauron as a stroke of folly
(as pointed out by Gandalf), a new ring bearer with an extreme
case of overconfidence.
A constant theme of the ME history has been the inability
of the Eldar and Maia to understand men. Constantly in the
stories, men are surprising the first-born, or the more powerful
at times. Great humility is accepted largely to be weakness by the
powerful in ME both good and evil, yet the success of Gandalf's
plan, the ascension of Aragorn, and of course the Hobbits' success
in the ring's destruction were accomplished because of the
measures of humility in each.
Even Galadriel's rehabilitation at the mirror was accomplished
by humility rather than pride.
Because Sauron never did understand humility and its'
strength, he knew that a rookie ring-lord would likely make
massive errors while he learned what he could/couldn't
do with the ring. Sauron would figure that such an
improbable victory at the Pelennor Fields would give
such a man a greater hunger and an arrogance that
far outstripped his abilities. Certainly he would have learned
that in his seduction of the Nazgul centuries previously.
Aragorn did all he could to confirm this, going so far
as to dismiss and daunt the lowly "Mouth".
While the Nazgul couldn't directly challenge
the ring lord, they could inspire courage in the Mordor
minions, undo the courage of the ring-lord's legion,
and be there to pick up the pieces if the ring-lord falls
in the confusion of battle.
Another aspect of explanation for Sauron's thinking
is that in all his actions from his return to Barad-dur,
action and haste has been far more important than
patience. Everything he'd done was to move quickly
to gain initiative on the West, to close the areas of
search, to track down the ring, and then to crush
his opponents quickly before they had time to arm
themselves, gather allies, etc.
From Gandalf's standpoint, he saw Sauron's stroke
at Gondor as pre-mature, Aragorn revealed himself,
a strange power eliminated Saruman, etc. Of course
he stated it was a near disaster, but Sauron was not
able to bring his full force to bear on Minas Tirith.
From Sauron's standpoint, unequipped for humility,
he was unable to see the failure at Gladden Fields as
striking too soon, he likely believed his forces didn't
strike quick enough. Had he begun a day or two sooner,
Minas Tirith would have stood as a defensive bastion
against the arrival of the straw heads from the west and
from Isildur's heir from the south, and his forces
wouldn't have been caught in the open.
So he hastened, rather than chastened.
I've always been intrigued at the parallel between the way
Sauron prosecuted his war and Hitler prosecuted his.
I don't know enough about the history of the writing, and
when key concepts were formed. 'nuther topic tho.