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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Why was Gandalf the Gray so underestimated? [on hold]

The folks in Middle-Earth thought of Gandalf as a random wizard. OF course they seem to have a notion of Gandalf's wizardly powers, however, their notion underestimates him... Information about ...
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Did Eru trip Gollum?

The LOTR wiki lists four times Eru Ilúvatar intervened in the history of Arda: (1) creating Elves and Men, (2) removing Aman from the spherical Earth, (3) resurrecting Gandalf, and (4) making Gollum ...
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If the Arkenstone isn't a Silmaril, then what is it?

It is discussed at great length, whether or not the Arkenstone is one of the Silmarils1, and the most accepted answer is that it is not2. The Arkenstone however, has undeniable 'powers' or properties ...
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Why was Sting able to kill the Mirkwood spiders with ease, but not Shelob?

Bilbo slew the Mirkwood spiders in large numbers. Sam had the same weapon, Sting, and by the time he battled her, he had more weapons training than Bilbo when he saved the dwarves in Mirkwood. Why ...
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Why do the orcs get even close to Shelob's lair?

I was wondering why Shelob's diet consisted mainly of orcs (apart from the occasional Sauron's prisoner). I understand that despite she was a convenient guardian for the Cirith Ungol pass, the orcs ...
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Why Does Gandalf Think Rohan Should “Stand and Fight”?

In the Two Towers film adaptation (it has been about a decade since I read the book, so if there are differences, I'd like to know about them), Gandalf derisively sneers: They flee to the ...
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Why didn't the fellowship know that Gandalf was a maia and therefore immortal?

When he falls on the bridge of Khazad Dum, why didn't the fellowship know he was a maia and immortal and therefore return?
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character development in Lord of the Rings? [closed]

Recently I was discussing novels with a friend, who said that all major characters should change and develop across the course of any good novel. But it seems to me that in LotR (which no SFF fan can ...
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Was the Balrog afraid of Gandalf? [duplicate]

Gandalf tells the Balrog who he is to threaten it. So when the Balrog keeps coming, did it think it could still defeat Gandalf, or was the Balrog afraid and fighting for its life?
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Was there a trinity in Eru? [duplicate]

Being that Tolkien was a Catholic, I wouldn't be surprised if he made Eru three different people, but I can't think of any references to it. If so, who are the three persons?
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Why are the Elves so eager to just LEAVE - and let others sort out the problems of the world ? [duplicate]

I don't get it - The Elves just dart off - to leave this world - and let everyone else figure it out. What private venue to justice or justification of meaning do the Elves have ?
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Do Frodo and Legolas have any discussion in the entire Lord of the Rings?

Did Frodo and Legolas have any discussion in the entire Lord of the Rings? From what I remember (from the movies), Legolas said to him in Rivendell "And my bow!" and then they never talked again. Do ...
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Why do people care so much for Frodo?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, after Boromir is blinded by the greed of Men and tries attacking Frodo for the Ring, Aragorn finds Frodo and tells him to keep the Ring, saying he'll follow Frodo into ...
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Who came to know Gollum had once possessed the One Ring?

Related: Sauron, Gollum, and the Ring I've always found it interesting that Gollum possessed the One Ring for approximately five hundred years without Sauron sniffing it out; it seems actual talk of ...
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What is Woodcraft in LOTR

When Gandalf meets the The Three Hunters in Fangorn he says that Saruman has no woodcraft. What does he mean by this? What does it matter? What is woodcraft?
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What is the name of the mineral that can be found before Mithril in Moria?

I remember that in one of the Tolkien books it was explained a little bit how Mithril was obtained in Moria. Before reaching the Mithril veins there was another mineral that caused dwarves to get sick ...
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Did Saruman rescue Gollum from the Wood-Elves?

At the Council of Elrond Legolas reveals that Gollum has escaped during a well-planned Orc attack. According to Legolas the Orcs were from over the mountains and unused to the woods but they headed ...
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Sauron in the Opening battle [closed]

In the opening battle of The Fellowship of the Ring(I can't recall the name of it), Sauron is putting in work killing many men with the swing of his weapon. Eventually Isildur comes out with a hay ...
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Was the mouth of Sauron a pure black numenorean [duplicate]

I ask this, because he is very old, so much to the point where he forgets his own name. Factoring in this he must be close to the pure Numenorean bloodline. Or was he like Aragorn who was almost pure? ...
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Do Istari have memories of their time as Maiar?

Inspired by Why does Saruman identify himself as a human? As the Istari are Maiar in human form, do they have full knowledge of their past as what are basically gods, or is their quasi-human ...
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Was Thrain aware of the necromancer's presence in southern Mirkwood?

I ask this because when he foolishly went with Balin and Dwalin (I think) to retake Erebor some years before Thorin and co. actually do. He travels towards Erebor but goes through southern Mirkwood ...
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Would Black Númeoreans be more powerful than Aragorn and the Dunedain? [closed]

As Númenoreans I thought they possibly would have been. Are there any references in Tolkien's writings to support this.
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Did Gandalf know of another possible way into Mordor? [duplicate]

I'm not sure if this have been asked if it has I apologise, anyway In the books when Gandalf finds out Frodo and Sam are taking the road to the Morgul Vale and the pass of Cirith Ungol he's very ...
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Wormtongue's reward

Is it ever specifically stated that Wormtongue's reward for working for Saruman would be Éowyn or is it just implied? As for other rewards, if Wormtongue were to get Éowyn would that have been the ...
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Did J.R.R. Tolkien plan for the ring to be Sauron's?

I know that The Hobbit was published first before the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And since that was the first appearance of The One Ring, I was wondering if Tolkien had planned it to be so. So, ...
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What did Arwen mean when she saved Frodo

In the Fellowship of the Ring, after Arwen outruns the Nazguls, she notices that Frodo is in a very bad state and seems to be very near death. At this point she says; "What Grace has given ...
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did smaug fly away from erebor a lot? [duplicate]

I remember reading that smaug flew away from the mountain a lot, I know in book he doesnt know anything about the growing darkness or the ring, but maybe smaug knowing of sauron in the film can be ...
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Did Sauron know about the orcs of Mount Gundabad?

I've always wondered why the orc capital never played a part in the War of the Ring and why Sauron didn't utilize them. Is it possible that he didn't know of an orc population residing in Mount ...
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Could Azog possibly have been under Sauron's influence?

In the books, I can't remember what year it was, but Sauron sent orcs and other creatures to Moria, and then a couple hundred years after, Azog declared himself king of Moria. I think it's possible ...
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Why does Sauron (in the movieverse) attack Erebor instead of, say Gondor or the Woodland Realm? [closed]

Wouldn't attacking the Woodland realm, a surprise attack on Gondor or maybe even sending these legions of orcs, led by the witch king to Angmar be more beneficial than an attack upon the Lonely? Why ...
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How many were at that long expected party?

In the chapter "Long-expected party" Tolkien writes: “The invitations were limited to twelve dozen (a number also called by the hobbits one Gross, though the word was not considered proper to ...
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Why were the Elven cloak's abilities not utilized more?

Nature of Elvish Cloaks This wiki article appears to list all the main points that elven cloaks came into play in Tolkien's works. It seems clear that both in the books and the movie that the idea ...
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Does Aragorn have a lapse in judgment or is there another explanation?

NOTE I've edited to add further logic to my question based off the first answer given. What Seems a Correct Statement In the LOTR movie The Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn makes the statement upon ...
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What do rings in The Lord of the Rings do? [duplicate]

Rings seem to be rather important in The Lord Of The Rings, but what do magical rings do in general? I don't mean the side effects of wearing the One Ring (invisibility, long life span) but the ...
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Why did Frodo start his adventure 17 years after he inherited the One Ring?

I haven't read the books for many years, so I don't remember the exact reasons, but looking at this LOTR Timeline on lotrproject.com, I see that Frodo inherited the Ring on 23 September TA 3001, but ...
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Was Durin's Bane a servant of Sauron?

Just wondering if Durin's Bane was under orders from Sauron when he fought Gandalf and if Sauron would have the power to control a Balrog? Sauron did have servants in Moria but if the balrog served ...
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What is the significance of Gandalf's Moth

When Gandalf gets stuck in Sarumans tower a Butterfly/Moth comes to visit him and appears to prepare him that something is about to happen. In this case a Giant Eagle comes and saves him, Is there an ...
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Why is Gandalf upset when Frodo sees the script on the One Ring?

Recently I watched the first Lord the of the Rings movie, Fellowship of the Ring. Gandalf takes a envelope and throws in the fire, and picks it up and gives it to Frodo and asks him if he can see any ...
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Is there any hint that some of the beings in Tolkien's lore may have survived into “our” times?

In Tolkien's lore, they are many very old beings. Is there any indication that some or even one would have been truly immortal and survived into what we would call "our" history or Age? Galadriel, ...
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Why didn’t they just take the ring to Valinor?

At the end of ‘The Return of the King’, Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf and others boarded a boat and left Middle-earth for Valinor. Is there any canon explanation why they couldn’t just take the ring there in ...
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What Kept Gollum Alive After Losing the Ring? [duplicate]

The rings of power (or maybe just the one ring) prolongs life but does not increase it. This allowed Gollum to live way beyond a normal lifespan which is explained in the lore. However he loses the ...
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Is Middle Earth supposed to be a pre-historic England?

I understand that Arda is supposed to be set somewhere in a sort of vaguely ancient Earth, but does that mean that Middle Earth is supposed to take place in the area that eventually becomes modern-day ...
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What is the Witch King of Angmar's ring?

What would be the name of the Witch King's ring? Elrond, Aragorn and many others have rings that are 'named', so what would the Witch King's be? What does the Witch King's ring look like? Include a ...
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What would an orc do if it found the One Ring?

If an orc found the One Ring, would it try to use it? Or were the orcs "programmed" to turn it over to Sauron?
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How smart were dragons, really?

I seem to recall reading that dragons were very clever in various places throughout the Silmarillion and the Hobbit. But, at least in the Hobbit, Smaug doesn't appear to be much smarter than your ...
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How many dragons ever existed on Middle Earth?

How numerous were dragons in the time before 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit'? How many dragons did Tolkien ever mention by name?
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Gandalf and the Black Captain [duplicate]

Why does Gandalf, during the siege of Gondor, imply that he cannot defeat the Black Captain because "not by the hand of man will he fall" ? Isn't Gandalf not of mankind and thus not a man? Or does ...
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Are there other books about the history of Middle-Earth? [duplicate]

I've read these books about the history of Middle-Earth. The Shaping of Middle-earth The Return of the Shadow The Treason of Isengard The War of the Ring Sauron Defeated and really liked them. ...
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What was more powerful - the power of the ring or the willpower of Gandalf and Aragorn?

I have not read the book but have seen the movie. The ring almost tries to possess everyone like Boromir, Sam, Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, etc. But why does it never affect Gandalf and Aragorn. Was it weak ...
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Why didn't the One Ring abandon Bilbo like it abandoned Gollum?

The One Ring abandoned Gollum, expecting to be found by an orc but when Bilbo found it, why didn't it then abandon Bilbo? It could have easily fallen off when he was squeezing through the gate after ...