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S. Gorthaur, m. “?Mist of Fear”
Sindarin name of Q. Sauron, glossed “the Cruel” in The Silmarillion (S/32), but it is unclear whether this is an accurate translation. According to Christopher Tolkien, it is a combination of gor “horror” and thaur “abominable” (SA/gor, thaur).
Conceptual Development: The earliest precursor of this name was ᴱN. Thû from the Lays of Beleriand from the 1920s (LB/16), appearing in its extended form N. Gorthû as a late revision to the Lays (LB/232) and in the Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s (LR/333). The name was revised to Gorthaur in Silmarillion revisions from the 1950s-60s (WJ/240).
The meaning of this name is unclear. In his “Words, Phrases and Passages from The Lord of the Rings” from the 1950s-60s, Tolkien indicated that Gorthu was the proper form, derived from primitive ✶ñgor(o)-thūsō “Mist of Fear”, and apparently Gorthaur was a later variation (PE17/183). The source of the etymology that Christopher Tolkien used in the The Silmarillion appendix (given above) remains unpublished.
|gor||“horror, dread, fear”||✧ SA/gor.001|
|thaur||“abominable, horrible”||✧ SA/thaur.001-1|
N. Gorthû m. “*Fear Stench”
See S. Gorthaur for discussion.