The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy novel written by philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. As well as being the second best selling novel of all time (150+ million copies), the book has spawned a trilogy of billion-dollar-grossing films directed by Peter Jackson.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

7
votes
1answer
202 views

Why doesn't Gollum ever use any proper names?

Whenever Gollum references anyone, he always calls them by something other than their proper name. Off the top of my head, we have precious, my love, fat hobbit, master, "him" (Sauron), "her" ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Dáin II Ironfoot literally see the balrog?

After the Battle of Nanduhirion Dáin refuses to support the re-occupation of Moria saying "Only I have looked through the shadow of the Gate. Beyond the shadow it waits for you still. Durin's ...
9
votes
2answers
343 views

What would happen if an Istar broke the Valar's rule but saved Middle Earth anyway?

If, for example, Gandalf went full Maia, took the Ring and dumped it into Mount Doom before anyone, even Sauron, could stop him—what would happen?
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did Imrahil of Dol Amroth act as Steward of Gondor during the incapacity of Faramir?

In The Return of the King, after Denethor burns himself on his pyre and while Faramir lies in the Houses of Healing, it is Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth who is acting Steward. The Prince of Dol ...
4
votes
3answers
342 views

Did Círdan ever leave Middle-earth?

Círdan probably the longest living elf in Middle-earth has been on Middle-earth since the days of the Two Trees and is the best ship builder of the Elves. It is interesting that he never left for ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How does a mortal use a ring of power to full effect?

I ask this mainly because mortals turn invisible when they use any ring of power, also Frodo in the two towers book says to Smeagol something along the lines of "If I were to put the ring on you ...
45
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does Gandalf the White not remember his original name?

'Gandalf,' the old man repeated, as if recalling from old memory a long disused word. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' Why wouldn't he remember being Gandalf right away? Why would Eru ...
9
votes
1answer
287 views

Were the sizes of the armies in Peter Jacksons' LOTR movies true to the books?

In the books, Tolkien often mentions specific numbers of warriors/units when describing the armies. In Peter Jackson's movies, he uses dramatic camera sweeps and large overviews to show the size and ...
4
votes
2answers
278 views

Why is it called Middle-Earth?

The planet is called Arda. So why do they call it "Middle-Earth" if there is no planet called Earth to have a middle of?
6
votes
2answers
474 views

What are the differences between the Dead Men of Dunharrow and the Nazgûl?

The Dead Men and the Nazgûl were essentially both "undead" characters. While they were "undead" for various reasons, with the Nazgûl having been semi-resurrected and the Dead Men not properly dead ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the shadow that passed over the fellowship on the path from Hollin to the mountain-pass?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, III The Ring Goes South, there is an eerie passage when Aragorn guides the fellowship from Hollin (Eregion) to the mountain Caradhras: It was the cold ...
48
votes
2answers
9k views

Did Saruman know about the Ents?

When Saruman began fortifying Isengard and cutting down all the trees in the vicinity to fuel his construction, was he totally unaware of the Ents? When they attacked, they made pretty quick work of ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

Where do beings of Middle Earth learn to speak and write?

How do Elves, Dwarves, Men, Hobbits, and Orcs (especially Orcs) learn to speak? Do they have schools? And how do the rest learn to write as well? Where is elvish, or english taught?
3
votes
1answer
205 views

Was Gollum the key to destroying the Ring?

It seems that the Ring took control over Frodo, and he used it instead of throwing it to lava. It was destroyed by pushing Gollum, who was holding the Ring, into the lava. Does it mean that Frodo ...
8
votes
1answer
319 views

How fast does information about the presence of orcs/goblins reach “Sting”?

In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins has a sword called "Sting" that glows blue when it detects the presence of orcs/goblins. When Gollum killed the last goblin nearby, it stopped glowing blue. How fast ...
6
votes
2answers
348 views

Why do the Wizards have staffs over wands?

It just seems to me that something like a wand would be easier to carry, and thus be more portable. I would think that the staffs they carry all the time must be heavy and hard to travel distances ...
5
votes
3answers
207 views

Was there ever a cap on the Valar's power?

It seems like they could do whatever they wanted as long as Eru didn't have any personal bias towards it. Was there a cap on how much power they could possibly use?
5
votes
2answers
794 views

What did Hal see on the North Moors?

In The Lord of the Rings, Sam's cousin Hal sees a figure that was as big as an Elm. ‘All right,’ said Sam, laughing with the rest. ‘But what about these Tree-men, these giants, as you might call ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

Why was Frodo able to go to the Blessed Realm? [duplicate]

All along, I had the impression that, as reward for resisting the One Ring and contributing towards the journey to its ultimate demise, Bilbo (for finally abandoning it), Frodo (for having done the ...
5
votes
2answers
261 views

Are the stars on the flag of Gondor the Big Dipper?

The banner of Gondor had seven stars over a white tree. The symbolism of the tree was obvious; it represented the white tree of Gondor, descended from the white trees of Numenor, Tol Eressëa, and ...
1
vote
3answers
254 views

Why doesn't the “One Ring” make itself impossible to remove?

The "One Ring" seemed capable of changing its size, which is why Frodo wore it on a chain around his neck - to keep from accidentally losing it in the same way it was lost to Gollum. The Ring seems ...
113
votes
6answers
13k views

Was Aragorn's claim to the throne legitimate?

In a recent post to The Toast, Austin Gilkeson argues that Aragorn, son of Arathorn's claim to Gondor's throne is invalid. The author goes into various details, but the core argument is: ...
22
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is Galadriel always barefoot?

In both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movie trilogies Galadriel is always shown walking barefoot. Does it say in the books that she walks around barefoot or did Peter Jackson just want to show off ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

Is there a similarity between the breaking of Narsil and the loss of the One Ring by Sauron?

I wonder whether there is any suggestion in Tolkien's books that the breaking of Narsil led to the weakening of the strength of the men of the West and thus to the corruption of Isildur and the fall ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Why was Gandalf afraid when he saw Grond at Minas Tirith?

During the battle after he sends Pippin back up to the Citadel, three lard rams and trolls push the battering ram known as Grond toward the gate of Minas Tirith and Orcs are shouting Grond, there is a ...
-1
votes
2answers
181 views

Did Tolkien explain how biblical events relate to the Ainur in Arda?

We know his story is a parallel universe of our real world, and we know he is a devout Christian. In his story universe, therefore, Illuvatar would have been the one true God, with the Valar and Maiar ...
68
votes
2answers
9k views

Why not encase the One Ring in solid metal?

In the Lord of the Rings, the One Ring corrupts the people near it, and it seems to have a stronger effect on anyone who sees it or touches it. Sauron and the Ring Wraiths also seem to be able to ...
1
vote
1answer
278 views

Why doesn't Faramir go to the Black Gate and fight?

In the film Faramir stays behind with Eowyn. After everything Aragorn and Theoden have done for Gondor I wonder is there any dialogue in the book explaining why he did not join for the final battle ...
1
vote
1answer
241 views

Why do Elves have certain ages if they're immortal? [duplicate]

(I'm only on The Fellowship of the Ring). After seeing The Hobbit trilogy (and reading the book) I noticed that some elves are older than others. How do they age? Why are some older and younger than ...
7
votes
1answer
565 views

What was Theoden's reaction in the book when Gondor asked for aid?

In the film when Aragorn rushes in the palace to announce that the beacons of Minas Tirith are lit, we see Theoden take a moment or two before deciding that Rohan would answer their call. I wonder is ...
1
vote
2answers
223 views

How well received were the Hobbits in Valinor?

Were there Elves who were angry that Hobbits were there? Or were they curious to see another species? Or were they Welcomed to them as guests? Or simply bewildered at the sight of "outsiders" in ...
3
votes
4answers
538 views

Would Sauron have had the ability to appear in fair form again if he got the ring back?

In the First and Second Ages of Middle Earth, Sauron had the ability to change into an appealing form to Men and Elves. He could then deceive them, and used the name of Annatar. However, once he was ...
1
vote
2answers
128 views

How did the Mirror of Galadriel gain the power to show visions?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Galadriel takes Samwise and Frodo to look in a pool of water, called The Mirror of Galadriel. When they look into it, they see visions, such as Sam seeing the Shire ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

What's the difference between an orc and a goblin in the Lord of the Rings? [duplicate]

I mean, are there significant physical, mental, emotional (if any of them had emotions that is) differences that separate them?
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Why does Frodo see the eye of Sauron in Galadriel's mirror?

The Lord of the Rings, chapter 7- The Mirror of Galadriel: "But suddenly the mirror went altogether dark, as dark as if a hole had opened in the world of sight, and Frodo looked intl emptiness. In ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

Was it the ring that gave Sauron all of his strength? [duplicate]

Sauron was defeated by Isildur but he did not die. I suppose because the ring was taken from him but it was not destroyed. Having lost the ring how did he begin to gain power again? Did the ring have ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Can Olog-Hai Trolls talk in common tongue?

we know based on the Hobbit mountain trolls can talk,but can trolls in Mordor (Olog-Hai) speak in the same tongue as the peoples of Middle Earth? or do they just grunt and roar like we see in the ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Why is Smeagol called Gollum? [duplicate]

In the film Smeagol found the ring, went in the mountains and turned into Gollum. At the time when Gollum followed the Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf called him Gollum. Who gave him this name, or why ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

How much published material is there for the Lord of the Rings-universe? [duplicate]

Often, while browsing the Internet, I come across something in reference to Lord of the Rings and on googling it, it's something that I don't know about. I've seen the movies and am currently reading ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Are Frodo and Bilbo immortal after they go to Valinor? [duplicate]

In the end of the last film Frodo and Bilbo gain Access to Valinor. Are they immortal like the elves when they get there or do they die "normal"?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why didn't Sauron signal the Orcs that Frodo and Sam were at Mount Doom?

Sauron literally put his eye directly on Frodo and I'm sure he knew Frodo had the Ring, and even if he didn't, why didn't he signal the Orcs to go after Frodo and Sam? He literally just let them ...
31
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do people talk about Wizards as though they are common in The Lord of the Rings?

People say things like: "Never trust Wizards" They talk about Wizards like they're abundant, when in reality there are only five, two of whom (the blue wizards) aren't even known to be active, ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

Are there any other planets besides Arda in Ea?

Did Tolkien mention anything about other planets in his mythology or did he invent just the one planet for his stories?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did they find Eowyn so far away from Theoden

In the Return of the King movie, the last shot of Eowyn (before the Rohirrim find her) has her crying over Theoden's body. A few shots after that, the Rohirrim find her. But she isn't lying anywhere ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Do we ever get more information about the Entwives? [duplicate]

During my recent re-reading of The Two Towers I was struck again by a question that has bothered me since I was a youngling: What on earth is up with the Entwives? Treebeard says they went away in ...
4
votes
1answer
292 views

How deep down into the Earth did Erebor and Moria go?

Watching the movies, I pay a lot of attention to the darkness below the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and the Erebor mines. My question is this: How far down do the mines go? Is there any information as to ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Why don't any characters sing in the 2nd and 3rd Hobbit films?

Tolkien's books have a lot of songs in them, which sometimes become actual songs sung by the characters in the films. The films seems to favor having the characters sing on screen more and more, as ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

What is the One Ring's theme?

In the Hobbit and LOTR trilogy we hear this haunting piece (especially at 0:45) each time the One Ring is about to make it's presence felt. It's a powerful audio cue to the viewer, and is sometimes ...
7
votes
3answers
237 views

Is there a record of Gandalf's previous trips through Moria?

As far as I remember, when Aragorn and Gandalf discuss the alternative of Moria Aragorn says something like "I too have journeyed through Moria...". This would imply that Gandalf has walked the halls ...
6
votes
4answers
808 views

Why didn't the Fellowship throw the One Ring into some other volcano? [duplicate]

As I understand it, there were two things that could hypothetically destroy the One Ring: dragonfire and lava in a volcano. Unfortunately, the last dragon was killed before the events of Lord of the ...