I'm currently revisiting J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. A timely choice with the Rings of Power series going strong. Very nostalgic reading, given how deep into those works I was during my teen years. Morgoth has to be the most Metal villain ever! I mean, his first villainous act is to literally sing his own song in his own way when all the other gods pretty much tell him to sing their way or no way. I would totally do the same thing if I were him, too. I'd be like: Oh, you don't like my improvements to your celestial symphony? Ha! I'll create my own then! But seriously, between that and his awesome armor and epic mace of doom, he's easily one of the best villains in the whole epic high fantasy genre. There's this whole notion where he is corrupting the world of Arda and thwarting the other gods at every turn just because he can, and to be fair he really is; but if you read between the lines, it is like he really thinks that he should be the one in charge, and that he has all the best ideas. He looks at the Elves and is like: "Hey, I can do better! Just watch me!" and he takes some of the Elves and from them creates the Orcs. Tolkien's Orcs are basically tortured, insane Elves. So, in creating them, Melkor was both trying to make his own thing but at the same time stick it to the gods and be as spiteful as possible about it. So, there is this dual nature to him where he is highly intelligent and boundlessly creative, yet he feels he has been held back so much by the other gods that he is also very vengeful towards them and all their works. But psychologically, this sort of behavior never just appears... so something made Melkor this way and I'd wager that the society of the Valar was very restrictive, and maybe to someone like Melkor even oppressive and repressive. So, it may have started out like in any society where you have authoritarian rulers who like to mess over individuals, and Melkor just one day had enough and decided to rebel. Given I was very rebellious back during my teens, I always kind of had this admiration for Melkor and felt a bit sorry for him... seeing a bit of him in myself and a bit of myself in him. Then again, I always tend to sympathize more with certain villains than heroes, something that irritated my mother to no end when I was growing up and she could not for the life of her get me to idolize Luke Skywalker because I was pretty much already like a combination of Princess Leia and Anakin Skywalker. She practically screamed the day I told her that Darth Vader was my favorite character! Lol. I cannot help but notice how in LOTR Sauron has a lot in common with Darth Vader... both were seduced to the Dark Side by a powerful Dark Lord whom they chose to serve. Both had fire as a part of their backstory... Anakin's final transformation into Vader was literally a trial by fire. And Sauron, back when he was still good was a lesser god who was pretty much a fire elemental that helped out Aule the god of blacksmithing. Like Vader, after the island of Numenor was sunk beneath the ocean, something happened to Sauron whereby he could no longer take on a beautiful appearance ever again. I saw it that he was so scarred in mind and spirit by that point, that when he took on a new body after his old one in all likelihood perished with Numenor's destruction... it probably was just as scarred and likely hideous looking. They never described his body after that but used words like black and burning to describe it. So that kind of reminds me a lot of Darth Vader's body after his fateful duel with Obi-Wan on the lava planet. Both took to wearing dark armor after that too! And way before that happened, when he could still appear in a "fair" form, Sauron went by the name of Annatar, which is very strongly similar to Anakin. Then there is how both of them eventually came to live in a dark tower in what was basically a volcanic wasteland. Darth Vader's castle on the lava planet Mustafar looks strikingly similar too, to Sauron's Dark Tower in the desolate land of Mordor. Even the names Mustafar and Mordor have several similarities. Also, both had a construct to which their spirits were bound. Sauron bound himself in spirit to his One Ring and Darth Vader was bound to his armor up until he was able to be redeemed, which freed him from it. The only difference was that Sauron never got redeemed, so his spirit one would presume would have ended up going to the Void, where Morgoth was banished to, previously. So, if anyone who was a Tolkien fan ever wondered what a redeemed Sauron would look like... that would be Anakin Skywalker. Lol!
Which would make the lady vampire Thuringwethil pretty much Sauron's evil version of Padme Amidala. Ironically, Thuringwethil did actually die kind of tragically. While in her bat form, she was killed and then the Elf Luthien cut off her skin and wore it in order to trick Melkor into thinking that she was actually Thuringwethil as part of a scheme that her and her human boyfriend Beren dreamed up to steal the three Silmaril jewels that Melkor had in his iron crown. It did not end well though, for Beren, in the end. So, in their case thieving did not pay! A part of me always also identified strongly with both Anakin and Sauron because in my own life I had my own Padme Amidala in the form of my first love Andrea whose death at her father's hands back when I was sixteen kind-of sent me down my own path to the Dark Side. Though to be fair, Sauron was already quite dark before Thuringwethil was slain... and my head canon was always that she was kind of his girlfriend. They never gave her an origin in the Silmarillion either, she was just there. So, I just always imagined that she had been an angelic spirit once just like Sauron and Melkor had been, and that when they fell... she also fell, around the same time that all the Balrogs fell, and the like. I have a whole lot of spiritual reasons also why I see a bit of myself in all those darker characters, but that is another matter. But yeah... another interesting thing reading all these stories again now at this point in my life is that I can pick up on nuances that I never imagined picking up in back when I was younger and reading them. Especially the striking similarities between Numenor and Atlantis and how very right Tolkien got his take on how and why the place was destroyed in the end. Again, I have spiritual reasons why I have such an interest in certain elements of these tales. Fun fact! I actually have successfully used the Elvish language in mystical arts. When I was about fifteen, I was using crystals and experimenting with channeling magical energy through them... I did an incantation in Elvish and right afterward a beam of rainbow light shone through the crystals from outside my bedroom window. Sure, to a skeptic that may seem like a coincidence! But the uncanny part is that it happened the moment I did the incantation, and it went away right after my magical working was complete. It was actually a spell to channel divine energy through the crystals in order to receive the gods' blessings. So, I would have to say it definitely worked! So, for an invented language... Tolkien's Elvish actually does contain real magical power. I've also used the Black Speech in various darker magical workings, combined with Old English and Latin... with very powerful results. So, Tolkien's writings are unique in that (probably due to them being partly derived in spots from ancient myths and legends as well as from religion) they contain elements that can be of actual use to practicing Pagans such as myself. Of course, when it comes to magic... words are not what is important. You could use gibberish if you wanted to, so long as your will and your intent were strong enough to make the magic work. But when choosing apt words for such a focus (words are always just there to focus one's thoughts, will, and intent), one could do a lot worse than to use Elvish! ;)