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.

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Did Tolkien originally intend to write a very different Lord of the Rings?

Lord of the Rings is a big story with a dramatic buildup. At first it seems like the quest would unfold in a The Hobbit-like manner, with an eclectic band on a journey of adventure, but the story gets ...
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Why did Isildur have the King of the Mountains swear an oath on the stone of Erech?

The King of the Mountains, leader of the Dead Men of Dunharrow, made the oath (which later he broke) upon the Stone of Erech, a great black stone brought by Isildur from Numenor. This makes no sense ...
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1answer
143 views

Why did the Fellowship scatter so chaotically at Parth Galen?

In the book Fellowship of the Ring, when the Fellowship is camped at Parth Galen above the Falls of Rauros, Frodo walks off alone to decide what to do next. Boromir slips off after Frodo and tries to ...
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133 views

How would Sauron have contacted Smaug?

I asked this question a while back and received some very good responses about the status of Sauron in Morgoth's army, and what Smaug might have done in the scenario. If the question was still fairly ...
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1answer
221 views

Why didn't the White Council destroy Dol Guldur after driving Sauron out?

I mean this would have saved a lot of problems - no garrison or servants of Sauron could return there, meaning no attack on Lorien or Thranduil's realm. We see after the war of the ring that Galadriel ...
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1answer
271 views

Why or How Smeagol's “name” became Gollum? [duplicate]

The corrupting effects of the One Ring on the hobbit Sméagol are well-known: when his relative Déagol found the Ring, Sméagol became instantly affected by its influence and strangled Déagol when he ...
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1answer
207 views

Why do the Dwarves in LOTR call Moria 'Moria'

Moria Sindarin: "Black Chasm" First it is not a very flattering name, second it is the name given by the Dwarves enemy. So why is it used by Gimli when referring to the mines. It has other more ...
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1answer
115 views

What happened to Moria? [duplicate]

In The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring, the Fellowship passes through the Mines of Moria, which is an evil infested wasteland. It is unknown to Gimli how this happened as he still ...
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1answer
158 views

Any solid evidence about the fading of Elves and their leaving from Middle Earth

By the time of War of Ring, almost all Elves were leaving Middle Earth. It raised a lot of questions from people who've only seen the film. They asked:"Why did the Elves leave in the middle of war?" ...
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1answer
200 views

Did George Lucas ever suggest that he was influenced or inspired by Tolkien?

The question is simple. I have seen bits and pieces in Lord of the Rings that remind me of Star Wars. This is hardly surprising, as both works are epic moral sagas about a struggle between ultimate ...
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Why did Tolkien reverse the more common traditional genders assigned to the sun and moon?

In most cultures throughout history, from ancient Rome to China, from the Americas to Africa, there has been a general trend (although there have been plenty of exceptions) in assigning a gender to ...
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Do the Lord of the Rings movies portray Faramir in a far more negative light than the books do?

I've just reached the part of The Two Towers where Faramir makes his first appearance. I know I will be able to judge for myself soon enough, but even with the cursory glance I've gotten of Faramir, ...
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2answers
216 views

Is the One Ring Sauron's phyllactery/horcrux?

Inspired by this question What is earliest version of a "horcrux"?; is the Ring keeping Sauron alive? I always thought that the Ring was only a source of power; while without it Sauron ...
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2answers
272 views

Did Sauron know who held the other two elven rings?

In Book II: The Ring Goes South, chapter 7, Galadriel states that Sauron is only starting to suspect that she is holding one of the three great elf rings, Nenya. How about the other two rings? ...
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4answers
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Why does Gandalf think he's not strong enough to reveal himself to Sauron via the palantir

We know Aragorn is strong enough to reveal himself (due to being rightful owner of the palantir) but why is it that Gandalf does not think he could endure Sauron? Does he, in the back of his mind, ...
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3answers
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How does one fight the Nazgûl?

In Fellowship of the Ring, it is said in several places that Aragorn, Glorfindel, and perhaps even a few other people, were able to fight off Nazgûl; they can't fend off all nine at once, but if they ...
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1answer
241 views

Was there a significant difference between Gollum and Smeagol by the time of Lord of the Rings?

This question may be impossible to answer, but I am asking what Tolkien said about this issue, not what people think about it personally. In the movies, Smeagol seems to be very different from ...
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1answer
249 views

How much did Tolkien write about the connection between WWI and his work?

I know Tolkien often downplayed the influence his experiences as a messenger in World War I had on his writing, but he wasn't being entirely truthful- perhaps the memories were too horrific to think ...
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676 views

What does Galadriel mean by “All shall love me and despair”?

In Fellowship of the Ring, when Frodo offers Galadriel the Ring, she loses control of herself and exclaims: And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord ...
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1answer
306 views

What were Saruman's original intentions, and how did they change over time?

The discussion sparked by this question led to a suggestion that I open a separate question on a related subject. Sauron started out good, became bad, briefly repented, the went full-on evil. ...
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2answers
931 views

Which Middle-Earth baddie am I thinking of?

This is a tricky question that I am not sure I should even ask, but here it is: A few years ago, I read something online about Tolkien's works, especially LotR and The Silmarillion. It related to ...
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889 views

Was Bilbo Baggins an actual burglar?

This is assuming that Gandalf did not have a sixth sense about Bilbo having a much bigger role to play in the quest; and ignoring the fact that Hobbits are generally more difficult to be detected ...
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3answers
2k views

Why did Sauron react the way he did when Frodo put the Ring on inside Mount Doom?

As I have mentioned before, I am only reading the LotR books for the first time right now, and I am only halfway through the second book at the moment, so my knowledge of the third book is based ...
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1answer
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Why didn't Sauron get personally, bodily involved in the events of Lord of the Rings? [duplicate]

As has been said in response to many questions on this board, such as this one, the big fiery eye from the movies was not Sauron's true physical form in the books. He had a real, roughly humanoid, ...
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How did Gollum physically change after finding the Ring?

To be clear, I don't mean "by what means did the Ring physically change Gollum?", but rather "what were the overall physical changes affected on Gollum by his experiences after he found the Ring?". ...
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How can a storm cloud in Middle-earth “move behind the sun”?

This is probably the most trivial question I've ever asked here, and relates to something mentioned in passing. The passage occurs in The Two Towers, Book IV, "The Taming of Smeagol". While ...
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4answers
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Why didn't Gandalf know what the Palantir was?

In the book The Two Towers, Gandalf is puzzled as to how Saruman had been communicating with Sauron. Grima Wormtongue, rather conveniently, then throws Saruman's Palantir out the window of Orthanc, ...
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1answer
243 views

What did Sauron mean when he “talked” to Pippin?

When Pippin... um... 'borrows' the Palantir taken from Orthanc, he hears (for lack of a better word) Sauron say the following in his head: Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send ...
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1k views

Vampires in Middle Earth

I think I read somewhere there were vampires in middle earth. Does anyone have any knowledge of these Vampires and any noteworthy events in history they were apart of?
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What did Haldir mean by Elves not having dealings with Dwarves since the Dark Days even though they fought together in The Hobbit?

In both the Fellowship of the Ring novel and movie, when the fellowship lose Gandalf and travel to Lothlórien, they are greeted by Haldir and his Elven comrades. When the elves realise Gimli is with ...
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How had Saruman “cheated” Sauron?

In the book The Two Towers, when Gandalf confronts Saruman after Isengard is destroyed, Gandalf urges Saruman to surrender, more or less, and lists the reasons why he should do so: Isengard is in ...
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When Eru reshaped Arda, did he also change the cosmos?

According to The Silmarillion, Arda (Earth) was originally flat; when Numenor tried to invade Aman, Eru Iluvatar reshaped the planet. He made Arda spherical, and set Aman apart as a separate "planet" ...
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1answer
193 views

What creatures were dragons made in mockery of? [duplicate]

I've been wondering about this for years. It seems like a pretty obvious question, so I'm surprised not to have found it addressed among the other Tolkien minutiae on this site. Hopefully I haven't ...
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Why do human lifespans vary so much in Middle-earth?

The LotR project's statistics section offers some confusing numbers in regards to human life expectancy. Their figures are based on a survey of all characters for whom the relevant data exists, and ...
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1answer
239 views

How much Dwarvish appears in Tolkien's work?

The comments on this question led to an interesting conversation about the Dwarvish language (apparently known as Khuzdul among the Dwarves themselves). The conversation centered on Gimli's battle ...
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1answer
270 views

Do any post RoTK stories exist? [closed]

I just finished another read through of LoTR and I would like to read about the events of the fourth age. I have read the appendices which offer a quick summary of some events, but is there any ...
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1answer
121 views

Most accurate Map of Arda before Beleriand was lost

I am making my own Lotr themed Risk game and I am having trouble finding a very accurate map of Arda before beleriand was lost. This map should include Valinor and Numenor as well. The best I can ...
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1answer
359 views

Why did the Rohirrim throw his spear?

In the film LOTR: The Two Towers, there's a scene where Merry and Pippin are saved by a Rohirrim who throws his spear into the body of an orc that was about to kill them. The Rohorrim then charge in ...
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1answer
651 views

Are there businesses in Mordor?

This is a fairly straightforward question. In The Two Towers, it is revealed that Sauron pays his armies. This made me wonder how he got the money to pay them - did he use magic to make it appear ...
5
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1answer
345 views

Doesn't Radagast care about trees?

In the book The Two Towers, Treebeard refers to Gandalf as "the only wizard that really cares about trees". But in Fellowship of the Ring, we met the wizard Radagast the Brown, whose special focus is ...
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Do the Ents go to the Undying Lands?

In the book The Two Towers Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin the sad story of the Entwives, who were lost (literally lost - they didn't die); he says the Ents believe that they "may meet [the Entwives] ...
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3answers
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In the view at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, where is Mordor?

This is a screenshot near the end of the movie Fellowship of the Ring: Frodo said: "Mordor...". I think he was talking about the area in front of him. Was the mountains area in front Mordor? Was ...
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1answer
215 views

In Lord of the Rings, What is an Elf-Lord?

95% of my knowledge regarding Lord of the Rings comes from reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy SE, so I apologize for my ignorance. In many questions, I often see a powerful elf (Glorfindel, Elrond, Galadriel, ...
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1answer
164 views

What about the Vanyar?

In the Silmarillion, we learn much about the origins of the elves and of their leaders. There is a lot of info about the people of the Teleri and the main plots are woven around the fate of the ...
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What is Elrond's position/status, as compared to Galadriel's?

In the Lord of the Rings books, Galadriel of Lorien is even more exalted than in the movies. She is essentially a queen, and the deference shown to her far exceeds that shown to Elrond of Rivendell. ...
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1answer
456 views

How did Saruman's army reach Helm's Deep so quickly?

In the Lord of the Rings movies, when Saruman sends his army to attack Helm's Deep, he says "This night the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan. March to Helm's Deep. Leave none alive. ...
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2answers
485 views

Why would Glorfindel or another high elf draw Mordor's attention but the Istari dont?

Elrond proclaims that if he had the elves of old at his disposal, that it would do nothing but arouse the power of Mordor. Gandalf seems to claim the same thing about Glorfindel (will find the quote ...
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135 views

Was Sauron aware that the Istari were maiar? [duplicate]

It seems apart from Saruman, Sauron doesn't pay much attention to the Istari and doesn't do a great deal to try and counter them (aside from corrupting Saruman for his own needs) which comes to my ...
76
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4answers
7k views

How many axes did Gimli bring on the quest of the Fellowship?

In the LotR movies, Gimli leaves Rivendell with the Fellowship directly following the Council of Elrond. Yet he seems to have an absurd number of axes with him. One is destroyed when he tries to ...
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268 views

What's the difference between the “spiritual” beings in Tolkien's universe?

I'm looking for a brief synopsis of the Maiar, Valar, Ainur, and whatever Eru Illúvatar is, and what the distinguishing characteristics of each group are. The specific information I am looking for is ...