The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy novel written by philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. It is the second best selling novel ever written with over 150 million copies sold.

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How could Saruman lose the battle of Helm's Deep?

I'm sorry but I just can't buy it. Saruman isn't stupid. In fact, he's called Saruman the Wise, so he must have known a thing or two about strategy. In the battle of Helm's Deep/Hornburk, according to ...
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Why didn't Isildur's Heir come forward sooner?

In Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, we learn some things about Aragorn's family tree. There are basically two facts that together are confusing me: The Kingdom of Arnor comes to an end in ...
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Durthang: orc castle or home of a Nazgûl?

Or would it have been just another orc infested tower like Cirith Ungol? Also would there have been many castles like Durthang in Mordor?
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Could the messenger sent by Sauron (to Erebor) be an Easterling?

Sauron sends a messenger to Erebor. My friend says that the messenger couldn't possibly be a nazgul as we know where they were located when the messenger arrives at Erebor. "Then about a year ago ...
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Why are Tolkien’s Elves tall?

As we all know Tolkien’s Elves are a noble tall and dexterous race. this is adressed in Are Tolkien Elves taller or shorter than Men? of which this question is not a duplicate I was wondering where ...
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Why did Bilbo physically age faster than Gollum?

In the LoTR movies (not sure if the books are the same) but when Gollum lost the ring to Bilbo decades ago in The Hobbit, he appeared to look the same and even move the same in The Fellowship of the ...
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Are orcs considered evil to Eru and the Valar?

It's to my understanding that orcs were once elves that were captured and tortured by Morgoth ages ago, becoming what's now orcs. Being captured and tortured is obviously not their fault, therefore ...
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Did the stewards of Gondor have the right to use the Palantiri?

Denethor was trapped by Sauron while using the Palantir. Denethor effectively went insane after realizing just how powerful Sauron was and that there was no hope to ever stop him. This did not happen ...
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Do the Ring Wraiths love Sauron?

Is it known in cannon how the Ring Wraiths felt about Sauron? They were his servants and he had complete control over them since he had the nine rings. My question is generally, do they have feelings ...
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Were the orcs of Mount Gundabad under Sauron's sway? [duplicate]

In the new trailer for the third Hobbit film we see Legolas and Tauriel outside Mount Gundabad (which strangely looks similar to Minas Morgul). Is Sauron in command of the orcs of Mount Gundabad?
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Do the Nazgûl feel pain [duplicate]

If the Nazgûl are neither dead or alive then would it really matter to them if they were set on fire? I'm talking of when Aragorn fights the Nazgûl in the film when Frodo is stabbed.
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Why did the Valar lay down their guardianship over Arda? [duplicate]

Were the Valar really angry with Numenoreans ( faithless ones) at the time and didnt want anything to do with them?, or did they not want to protect the people of Arda anymore?
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When did the ring exercise its will?

It is said that the one ring has a will of its own and can perform certain actions impossible for inanimate objects, most notably losing itself from Gollum to Bilbo. In hindsight, you could say that ...
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What happened to Saruman after he died? [duplicate]

What happened to Saruman's spirit after he was murdered? Did he flee and haunt some part of middle earth as was customary of Sauron? Or was he judged and punished by the Valar? Or do we know ...
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Why was Sméagol affected by the ring so fast, while both Frodo and Sam could handle it without immediately trying to choke each other?

I was reading this question and I noticed Daniel Roseman's comment: Point of clarification: Smeagol wasn't "hobbit-like", he was actually a hobbit. "I guess he was of hobbit-kind" means that ...
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Did leaving out Tom Bombadil create any plot holes in The Fellowship of the Ring or any subsequent LOTR films?

The article Movie vs. Book:Fellowship of the Ring shows the differences between the book and film of the Fellowship of the Ring. The film leaves out 4 entire chapters. Because of this, Tom Bombadil ...
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When were Beren and Luthien alive?

Were Beren and Luthien alive during the First Age? Second Age? Or before? Because I was interested in knowing, because when Aragorn sang about them in Fellowship of the Ring I was curious.
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Could humans in the LOTR Universe perform magic? [duplicate]

In the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Gandalf attempts to convince Saruman that the "Necromancer" i.e. Sauron, has returned, but Saruman dismisses Gandalf saying: Saruman: That's absurd. No such ...
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Were the Rings of Power at all connected before the One “bound” them?

While considering a recent question, I realized that I may not have fully understood something about the creation of the Rings of Power: were they (the 3, the 7, the 9, and even the lesser rings) at ...
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1answer
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The one ring: Did Sauron create the Middle Earth world wide web? [closed]

"One ring to rule them all..." when sauron creates the one ring does he create a "Network" among the rings of power ?
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Was Sauron's body destroyed before or after the ring was cut from his hand?

I'm a bit confused as to the ordering of events leading to Sauron's demise at the end of the second age. From the Silmarillion it appears that Sauron was hewn down by Gil-galad and Elendil, and ...
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How far south did Black Numenoreans reside?

I recently read that Umbar was the most northerly haven where Black Numenoreans resided. Does that mean that most of them during the Third Age probably lived in Far Harad? I know their numbers ...
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Why does Frodo cry “O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!” at Weathertop?

At Weathertop, Frodo and the band are beset by the Ring-wraiths, at which point Frodo feels compelled to put on the ring, and he does. When the Witch King attacks Frodo and just before Strider comes ...
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LOTR: How on (middle) earth did Eärendil kill a dragon as huge as Ancalagon?

We know that Ancalagon was killed by Earendil, but how exactly was he killed? Ancalagon was so incredibly massive and Earendil was just a dude in a ship with some Eagles. This image ↓ isn't canon but ...
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1answer
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Do elves have surnames? [duplicate]

Do elves have surnames/family name? For instance what is the surname or famous elves like Galadriel, Arwen, Legolas, ...
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Does Thorin have the last Dwarf ring?

There's a line in the first Hobbit movie which seems like foreshadowing, when Gandalf asks Sauruman, Elrond, and Galadriel why it doesn't bother them that the last dwarf ring is unaccounted for. If ...
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1answer
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What happened to Ungoliant and Shelob?

We know Ungoliant is Shelob's mother and we know that Shelob lives high up in the mountains surrounding Mordor near Cirith Ungol (note the reference to Ungoliant) and eats whoever comes up there. So ...
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What was the fate of the Dwarves in Middle Earth? [duplicate]

Elves - went into the West (for the most part). Orcs - wiped out, I suppose - maybe another good question. Hobbits - still around, but in hiding, according to Tolkein, IIRC. Humans are us, so that ...
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What happened to the Arkenstone?

The Arkenstone, a.k.a. The Heart of the Mountain was buried at the end of The Hobbit. Was it recovered at some later date? It seems unlikely that something that valuable wouldn't have been dug up ...
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Was Smaug's treasure-hoarding a bug or a feature in-universe? [duplicate]

Smaug (and all other dragons) were created by Morgoth as species as warfighting machines. As such, the desire to amass bling seems to be a somewhat... tangential feature, to put it mildly. If I was ...
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Why were the Hobbit and Lord of the Ring movies released in reverse order to the books?

The one and only Hobbit book 'The Hobbit' was published on the 21st of September, 1937. The first Lord of the Rings book 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' was published the 29th of ...
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Why is Gandalf surprised at Sauron's return in LoTR Fellowship (movie)?

In the movies, it is clear that Gandalf suspects, in An Unexpected Journey and even more so in The Desolation of Smaug, that Sauron has begun his return (especially when Sauron captures Gandalf in Dol ...
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In the films, why does Sauron choose Azog instead of the ringwraiths to lead his legions?

It seems like it would make more sense to have your most powerful servants leading your armies, rather than some orc who only cares about revenge. Is there a plot explanation or a description in film ...
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Why could Elrond not delay his one-way voyage to Valinor for a few more years?

We know from LotR that: The Children of Elrond all had the choice to be counted among either Men or Elves. That this Choice needed to be made at the time when Elrond would leave for Valinor - they ...
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Do Arwen, Gandalf and Aragorn have different afterlives?

When Arwen implied she would 'give up' her immortality for the sake of Aragorn this seems to contradict Gandalf talking about when he 'died' and then saw a white shoreline and green forests or ...
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1answer
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What would standing on top of Barad-dur, or relatively close to the Eye of Sauron, feel like? [closed]

Besides probably being hot, would there be any adverse effects if one were to stand on top of Barad-dur, close to the Eye of Sauron?
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Did the blue wizards fail or succeed in their task? [duplicate]

We know they went East with Saruman and while he returned they never returned. We know in Tolkien's early writings he had the blue wizards as starters of magical cults but he quickly changed this. ...
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Were dwarves more numerous in Rhûn than in the West?

I remember reading that four of the seven dwarf families resided in the Orocarni. Does this mean that dwarves were more common in the East than the West?
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What magic spells is a Wizard in LOTR capable of? [duplicate]

Gandalf uses his magic very rarely in the books and movies. I have not read "The Hobbit" yet, though. But what offensive/defensive Spells is Gandalf capable of? As far as I am aware, he does not use ...
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How did the Drúedain come into existence?

How did the Drúedain come into existence? Were they created by Illuvatar or one of the Valar?
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Heroic Creatures of Middle Earth

Recently I started reading about the wolfhound Huan and how he was a very powerful dog that aided man and elves. That made me realise that there were some very courageous animals in the LOTR universe. ...
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What if Sauron reacquired the One Ring? [closed]

If Sauron reacquired his ring, took control over Middle-Earth and its people, would the Valar, Maiar (besides the Istari) or Eru himself have intervened to stop him? Does any of the text say what ...
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2answers
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Did Legolas use any elven magic?

There are plenty of examples of elves (ex. Galadriel, Elrond, etc.) using magical abilities in LOTR. Even "lesser" elves than Elrond and Galadriel such as Arwen and Tauriel (in the movies at least) ...
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Who did the Elves think Annatar (Sauron) was?

Sauron posed in fair form to the Elves as "Annatar" (Lord of Gifts). Considering many of the elves Annatar appeared to have probably been alive for hundreds or even thousands of years, who did they ...
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How did Sauron regain strength?

It says that Sauron waited over a thousand years or more laying dormant regaining his strength after being destroyed when his ring was severed from him. But does the text say how he actually recovers ...
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Will Morgoth and “evil” Maiar partake in the Second Music?

I haven't finished the Silmarillion but I've been doing some reading on here. Sometime after the Last Battle, there will be another Great Music sung by the Ainur with Iluvatar. I read that Men, ...
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Why were the Three Elven Rings subject to Sauron's will?

It is my understanding that Celebrimbor forged the Three Rings of Power, and that Sauron had no part in the creation of those rings. So why is it he was able to control them. I thought that all the ...
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Why could the dwarves only enter Erebor with the secret passage?

Please bear with me as I've never read any of the LOTR books or the Hobbit, only seen the movies so far... But when the sunlight fades and the dwarves think they've lost their only chance to enter ...
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Why not let a dwarf carry the One Ring to Mount Doom, since their will cannot be dominated by the rings of power?

As we know, the dwarves did not succumb to the seven rings as men did to the nine - it merely made them even more greedy, stubborn and wrathful: For the Dwarves had proved untameable by this ...
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Are there any bad elves in the Lord of the Rings universe?

Is there ever acknowledgement of a bad elf, or even an elf doing a very bad thing (because he is bad)? I've heard that bad elves are orcs and good orcs are elves, or something like that. Similar to ...