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A day in the life of… Sauron

Most of the time I spend in my office near the top of the Dark Tower. It is quite spacious and comfortable and in winter I have a fire. My secretary, Lushlug, sits in the outer office and receives visitors. She’s an orc from Moria and a treasure.

I have a big marble desk, but it tends to intimidate visitors – sometimes useful, of course! – so usually I sit in my favourite armchair. There is a map table in the centre of the room, which we get up to peer at constantly.

Behind my desk is a little door and a flight of stairs to my private apartments. Occasionally I pop up for a nap and leave poor Lushlug to handle all the callers and messages.

Every morning I rise at dawn and do my exercises. It is important to stay healthy and fit in a stressful job like mine. My servant brings me a frugal breakfast of tea and toast, perhaps a little fruit, then I dress in simple black robes and descend the stairs. There are already dozens of messages in my in-tray and a queue of visitors. Nobody likes starting the day with bad news, but I always tell my minions – my colleagues, I prefer to call them – to let me know the worst.

My Number Two is the Lord of the Nazgûl. He has an impressive CV – Witch-king of Angmar for over 600 years – and, despite some sizeable egos, has welded the Nazgûl into a great team. He is in charge of Minas Morgul, our tower on the front line. He rides or flies over when he can, which isn’t often these days.

Apart from Lushlug, the person I spend most time with is my second Nazgûl, Khamûl. He is very bright and open-minded and we spend a lot of the day just bouncing ideas off each other.

Normally I have lunch at my desk, but once a week I go down to the staff canteen, as I think this is good for morale. Several hundred people work here in the Tower in various capacities. I don’t visit Minas Morgul as often as I should. A good manager should be able to delegate, but sometimes you need to go and have a look yourself.

People often ask me for my recipe for success. I say I’ve been doing this for over 16,000 years now and still haven’t cracked it. “Come back in another 16,000,” I tell them. But I have learned one or two things. If I had a business motto carved in stone above the Black Gate of Mordor, it would simply be: “Think big.”

In the evenings I send Lushlug home and sit in my armchair, reading reports or mulling over developments. Sometimes Khamûl and I share a bottle of Dorwinion wine. My best ideas often come to me then.

I go to bed at midnight. Six hours of sleep do me. I have strange dreams, but I never remember them in the morning.