Middle-earth is a region within J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world Arda and the setting for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

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Was Beleriand Bigger than Second/Third Age Middle-earth?

Before it sank, Beleriand was the land of Elven-kind, then later on home to Men as well. Beleriand was the Northwestern part of Middle-earth in which the Silmarillion takes place for the First Age. ...
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When do Legolas and Gimli begin to respect and trust one another?

During the time of the Fellowship, Elves and Dwarves weren't exactly the best of friends and this has been depicted by Legolas and Gimli. However, they eventually develop an incredibly strong ...
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Tolkien's elves and pets

Tolkien's elves have better communication with animals than humans (like riding horses without needing a bridle or other control device) but is there any indication they keep pets?
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How often did Gandalf return to Hobbiton after the events of The Hobbit?

It has been a while since I read the Lord of the Rings novels (don't have a copy at the moment) but I seem to recall he went to Hobbiton at least once, as the young hobbits were always excited to see ...
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What was Tauriel doing during the events of The Lord of the Rings movies?

[Yes, The Hobbit movies are nonsense. But how could I call myself a fantasy fan if I didn't demand my nonsense be as logical as possible?] Tauriel is presented as a highly-skilled fighter and a ...
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Did maps in Middle-Earth have west on the top?

If the people of Middle-Earth made a map of their world or an area of it, did they put west on the top of the map? Or did they have north on the top like the map in the Lord of the Rings looks like? ...
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Are there any instances of Hobbits hurting their feet?

Hobbits are known to be almost permanently barefoot, with their tough feet protecting them from the ground. However, it seems that not wearing shoes or boots would have its drawbacks. If you walked ...
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Has Tolkien's estate ever sold the rights to adaptations of any Tolkien works?

Inspired by the comments on this question. J.R.R. Tolkien sold the rights to film adaptations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to United Artists in 1968 or 1969. Although he retained enough ...
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Did Legolas leave his father and people behind when he went into the West?

After Elessar's death, Legolas and Gimli also took a ship and went into the West. Strictly speaking, Legolas shouldn't have been allowed either, as Tolkien says But the promise made to the Eldar (...
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Is this map of Middle-Earth reliable? [duplicate]

I want to ask if this map of Beleriand (in the northwest of Middle-Earth) is correct. I think it isn't because Beleriand should've been sank, and you can clearly see that there is Beleriand above ...
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Is Rohan the same (country) as Arnor?

At the end of the War of the Ring when Aragorn becomes the King of The Reunited Kingdoms (Two Kingdoms). By doing so he reunited the 2 realms (Arnor & Gondor) of Elendil. As the new High King, ...
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At Elrond's Council, why were the Elves so worried about being cut off from Grey Havens?

Just re-reading the LotR for the umpteenth time (stopped counting at 30, some 15-20 years ago... :-P), just finished Elrond's council chapter. In light of various other discussions on the topic of ...
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Newly discovered map of Middle Earth: does it change anything?

I read this article with interest - in short, a working copy of the Middle Earth map was recently discovered and acquired by Oxford's Bodleian Library: This map looks fascinating but does this ...
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How did Ungoliant die? [duplicate]

Ungoliant was the mother of all spiders, most famously Shelob. Ungoliant and Melkor teamed up to suck the life out of Telperion and Laurelin and escaped under darkness, then Melkor refused to give her ...
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Why can't men sail in the waters of the Ekkaia?

Numenorean men sailed out into the outer sea but they sunk and drowned instantly. Why is this? Is it because those waters are magical and enchanted to contain the beings of Middle-earth inside the ...
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Do we ever see spells used by orcs?

Inspired by this question: Which languages was Gandalf proficient in? Gandalf says the following: "I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves or Men or Orcs, that was ever used for such ...
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How could Fëanor have hoped to defeat Morgoth?

How could Fëanor have hoped to defeat Morgoth? Even though Fingolfin managed to hurt Morgoth, he basically had no chance. Also he was just fighting Morgoth in a duel, while Fëanor would have had to ...
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How did non Durin end up in the company of Thorin II Oakenshield

I am looking at the family trees of Dwarves and ran into this question: how did non-Durin folk end up in the company of Thorin? Ori, Dori, Nori, Bifur Bofur and Bombur are all not of the Durin clan, ...
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How powerful is Eru Ilúvatar?

If Eru is the creator of all that is, does this make him the most powerful force in the Tolkien universe? Has he created beings, such as Sauron, which have more power than him?
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How large were the Great Eagles that carried Frodo and Sam?

From this question on Worldbuilding, a bird would have to be quite large to carry a passenger, even a hobbit. The Great Eagles article on Wikipedia says that the largest eagle had a wingspan of 180 ...
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What do werewolves and vampires think of each other in Middle-earth?

The TVTropes article Fur Against Fang has this to say about vampires and werewolves in Middle-earth: Werewolves despised vampires, considering them “rats with wings” and vampires regarded wolves ...
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Was Morgoth still a dominant power in Middle earth during the War of the Ring?

Morgoth poured a large part of his hate and malice into Arda. That same tactic was copied by Sauron (good student) when he poured a large part of HIS power into the One Ring. We know the Ring was ...
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Were the Eldar watching Middle-earth closely?

Were they watching the saga of the Ring and its outcome with keen interest or were they disinterested and washed their hands of the whole affair? After the way West was bent and effectively closed ...
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Why were Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast, Alatar and Pallando chosen?

Is there any commentary as to why these particular Maia were chosen to help men combat Sauron in Middle Earth? Were they assigned their tasks specifically? Did they volunteer or were they hand picked?
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What is the first use of the term “middle-earth” in Tolkien's works?

Tolkien was writing stories set in his legendarium before a lot of his concepts and nomenclature was finalized. What was the first of Tolkien's writings to use the term "middle-earth"?
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How many Great Eagles were there?

Is there any indication of how many Great Eagles existed in Middle Earth? I guess they fought in the War of Wrath. If there were only a few of them, then I wouldn't expect their participation in the ...
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Who were those “many” in whom the Eldar saw Lúthien's likeness?

A passage in The Silmarillion tells about Lúthien: Yet in her choice the Two Kindreds have been joined; and she is the forerunner of many in whom the Eldar see yet, thought all the world is ...
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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?
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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?
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Who was on the White Council?

Does Tolkien ever list the various members of the White Council? How many people were even on it? Who was on the White Council?
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Has the Tolkien Estate considered allowing other authors to write additional stories in Middle Earth?

Aside from Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle Earth, the Silmarillion and the Children of Hurin, which were all primarily Tolkien's work, has his estate ever considered allowing other authors to ...
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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?
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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, ...
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Why does Gandalf say “the West that is forgotten”?

Inspired by this question and namely by this passage (emphasis mine): “Many are my names in many countries: Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Dwarves; Olórin I was in my youth in the ...
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Do Tolkien elves know how to swim?

Since Tolkien elves seem to live primarily in deep, land-locked forests, it seems like they might not know how to swim. Or at least, strong swimming skills would not be common in their culture. Is ...
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In LOTR is there an afterlife?

We know in the Undying Lands, Valinor: ... This latter name is somewhat misleading; the land itself, while blessed, did not cause mortals to live forever In addition Valinor appears to be an ...
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How are the lands of the Shire governed?

In the Lord of the Rings Frodo moves around into various districts of the Shire; he encounters different law enforcement, leaders and townships. Is there a unifying power in the Shire? Is it split ...
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Why did Eru in LOTR create so many species?

In looking at this question it brings to mind, in-universe (all of JRT writings) did he ever say why Eru created multiple species that can communicate? Elves, Hobbits, Dwarfs? Was it just to make the ...
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Is there a legal system in Middle Earth?

I was re-watching the Hobbit films last weekend, and noticed in "An Unexpected Journey", there is a scene in Bag End where the Dwarves present Bilbo with a contract, outlining the many potential ...
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Did Tolkien create any characters based on people he knew?

Tolkien had a lot of influence from religion, mythology and geography as mentioned here to create what seems like an entire literary universe. It's also not uncommon for authors to be influenced by ...
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What was the first story set in or about Middle Earth that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote?

Many books and stories were written by Tolkien and later edited by his son Christopher, but which one was the very first of all of his Middle Earth stories?
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Is there an in-universe explanation for the reference to “big people” in The Hobbit? [duplicate]

In the first chapter of The Hobbit there is a passage which appears to describe hobbits as though they exist in the same universe as real-world humans: I suppose hobbits need some description ...
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Are there many inns in Middle-earth?

The Lord of the Rings is narrated as experienced by the hobbits of the Fellowship. That is why we get a rather detailed description of the Shire. And its inns, of course. There would be the Green ...
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Has anyone gotten married more than once in the LOTR universe?

As far as I can tell I haven't noticed in the LOTR universe any mentions of 2nd husbands or wives (assuming that two people declaring themselves partners are married). I understand that Tolkien, as a ...
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Did the Peoples of Middle Earth know of Beleriand in the Third Age?

Did the people of Middle-earth know of the lands of old that sunk west of the Blue Mountains, or was it just not common knowledge? For example: If by chance somebody brought up Beleriand, would ...
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Turin Turambar and Dagor Dagorath [closed]

I have a question about Turin's role in the Dagor Dagorath: How is Turin going to return to Middle Earth for the final day of doom?
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Other than Sauron, Gollum, Frodo and Bilbo, did anyone ever possess the One Ring for long enough to be affected by it?

Other than the four characters mentioned in the title, did anyone ever have the ring in their possession for an extended period of time? Long enough that it began to affect them mentally or ...
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How did J.R.R. Tolkien learn about the events of his books? (In-Universe)

So, according to Tolkien, all his Middle-earth novels take place in the real world, about 6,000 years before they were released. So my question is, did he ever state how he learned of the history of ...
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How Are Orcs Mortal?

Coming from this question: Are Tolkien's orcs immortal? But then if Orcs are not immortal, does that mean that they are not the result of breeding corrupted elves? Or does becoming corrupted rob you ...
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Are the Elves Aware that Gandalf (Etc.) Are Maiar? [duplicate]

I was inspired to ask this question by Why was Gandalf the Gray so underestimated? [closed] Basically, are they aware that they are basically godlike beings of immense power and wisdom on a mission ...