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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Is there a difference between “elvish” and “elven”?

Throughout Tolkien's works, we frequently come across the terms "elvish" and "elven". Is there a difference between these terms? For example, does one refer to characteristics of the Elves ...
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How did non-native plants find their way to Middle-earth?

I am reading The Return of the King, and when I got to the chapters concerning the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, something struck me. Earlier in the story, Theoden was shocked to see Merry and ...
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Name suffixes/prefixes in Middle-earth

I know that there are some things in languages of Middle-earth that name someone the son or daughter of another, for instance Thranduilion meaning son of Thranduil. What language is that specific ...
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Were personal relationships in Middle-earth different from our own?

Now that I am almost done reading The Lord of the Rings, I am curious about the apparent lack of interest many characters and races seem to show towards their friends and relatives. In The ...
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Do Peredhil lose their pointed ears when they choose to be counted as Edain?

Reading Do Tolkien's Elves have pointy ears? got me thinking: Elrond and Elros were born Peredhil, and given the choice whether to belong to the Eldar or the Edain. In choosing, does their ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Are there businesses in Mordor?

This is a fairly straightforward question. In The Two Towers, it is revealed that Sauron pays his armies. When Merry and Pippin are abducted by Orcs, the Orcs argue about what to do with them. An ...
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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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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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Did Elrond Half-Elven have any title?

Elrond is clearly in charge at Rivendell, and is an important and powerful person in the world at large. He is a ring-bearer, having received Vilya from his great-uncle Gil-galad. He also held a ...
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Timespan of events occurring in Middle Earth [duplicate]

I haven't read the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit novels, I have just watched the movies. I want to know the timeline for events as per the movies. I want to know the exact timespan between the ...
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Why were the doors of Moria made so easy to open?

Dwarves are supposed to be suspicious and secretive. Why allow anyone who knew the elvish word for "friend" to enter?
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What is the last written record from Arda?

What is the youngest written record from Arda? I’m not refering to the last thing that we know has happened, or what Tolkien had in mind (e.g., in Wikipedia’s Timeline of Arda, the last entry from ...
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Why didn't Aragorn cut a better deal with the Army of the dead and was the deal really limited to one battle? [duplicate]

I know it was already asked, "Why didn't Aragorn keep going with the army of the dead?" and the obvious answer that he gave his word and had to keep to it. I'm not sure why somebody didn't read what I ...
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Why didn't the elves stop Sauron from giving out the 16 rings of power?

It is said that the elves became aware of Sauron's deceit when he tried to use the One Ring on them. So they would obviously have guessed that the bearers of the other 16 rings would be vulnerable as ...
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If one of the Ring-wraiths found the One Ring, shouldn't they be able to break free from Sauron's control?

We are told that Sauron achieved control over the nine men because they wore the nine rings of power and the ruling ring controls the other rings and their wearers.So, if a Nazgul would find the One ...
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Why does Frodo fall into the dead marsh?

In the Two Towers movie, Frodo follows the lights and looks down into the marshes and sees a dead body. Then he "jumps" into the marsh. Why does he do this?
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Why was the Westron tongue accepted as the common tongue in Middle-Earth?

Which race(s) originally spoke the Westron language in Middle-Earth and what are the reasons for it being adopted as the common tongue in Middle-Earth. When was this done?
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Second edition of the Silmarillion

I have come to learn that there is a second edition of the Silmarillion. The primary difference seems to be a large introduction, mostly consisting of a letter written by Tolkien. Is this letter ...
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What languages do the Orcs in Middle Earth speak?

Do orcs from different parts of Middle-Earth all speak the black speech? In the Lord of the Rings films, the orcs are shown to speak in the common tongue. Even those from Mordor.But in The Hobbit, ...
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Why did Sauron have Amandil dismissed from Ar-Pharazôn's Council?

Before the coming of Sauron, Ar-Pharazôn allowed Amandil to be on his council, knowing he was one of the Faithful. However, when Sauron showed up, Ar-Pharazôn kicked him off the Council. I was ...
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How could Gimli strike the Ring

I was wondering why Frodo was unable to cast the One Ring into the fire but Gimli struck it with his axe during the Council of Elrond? Wouldn't any dwarf be attracted to the jewel, amplifying the ...
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How come Annuminas (and Arnor in general) got depopulated?

Before Angmar was formed, it seems as though Arnor should have prospered: No external threats, a prosperous ally to the South, Elvish advisors to the East and West... why was there a depopulation? ...
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How did demolishing the bridge to the lake town Esgaroth help against Smaug’s attack?

From Chapter XIV of The Hobbit, describing the preparations the men of the lake-town Esgaroth made against Smaug’s attack: Every vessel in the town was filled with water, every warrior was armed, ...
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What is the correct name for the style of sword the Uruk Hai use?

What is the correct name for the style of sword the Uruk Hai use? I specifically mean the flat blade which either does not taper, or tapers slightly outwards as it gets further from the grip, with no ...
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Why was the ring necessary for Sauron to control Middle Earth? [duplicate]

Sauron seems to have quite a bit of power while he does not have the ring. What does the one ring in his possession allow him to do that he cannot without it? He still controls thousands of orcs, ...
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What does Kili say to Tauriel in dwarvish when he gives her the moon rune, in The Battle of The Five Armies?

Can anyone find the meaning of what Kili says to Tauriel when he gives her the moon rune in The Battle of the Five Armies, in both English and Dwarvish? The scene right after they arrive on the ...
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Tauriel and Kili relationship: Can a dwarf and an elf reproduce? [duplicate]

The title sums it all, I just am seeking an answer in the Middle Earth world, not the Tolkien nor the Peter Jackson's world. I believe it is already a singularity to find a dwarf attracted to an elf ...
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Why did Tolkien choose to end this blood line?

Spoilers for the Hobbit ahead At the end of the Battle of the Five Armies, Does Tolkien discuss why he did so in any letters/writings? Is there any literary or historical (as important for the ...
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How can the Orcs be so easily killed?

Orcs can be slayed with very little effort even by the un-warrior humans, despite their fully developed figures, average-to-tall heights, muscular bodies. (See The Hobbit series, where a dwarf would ...
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Why do Elves remain in Middle Earth?

Once there are ships that can take them to the Undying Lands, what is the motivation for the Elves to stay in a war-torn, darkened land full of Men and Orcs and other undesirable creatures? We know ...
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Unknown feature on Middle Earth's map?

On Christopher Tolkien's map of Middle Earth, one feature has always caught my eye, and to my knowledge has never been explained: The mass in the middle of the Sea of Rhûn: Has this ever been ...
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Why did Balin leave Erebor for Moria?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf and his team enter the dwarf caves, they come across Balin's grave. Why did Balin leave Erebor and end up there? Also, how did he die?
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The city of Erebor

What happens to the city of Erebor after the Hobbit series? Because the city doesn't show up in the Lord of the rings series.
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How much of the Middle Earth universe had Tolkien invented when he wrote The Hobbit?

This question was inspired by a comment from Darth Satan. The Hobbit is a very different sort of work from Lord of the Rings: written in a style more like a children's book and less like an epic ...
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In The Hobbit, what was the first race created?

Since there are many species of different creatures in The Hobbit, I was pondering on the subject of how and when each race was created. Which race was created first and which order were the other ...
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Which earth locations most closely resemble locations from the works of Tolkien? [closed]

I hope this question survives and is not a dupe so I am happy to improve if required. I know that Jackson and the film crew picked suitable existing locations but which real life places most ...
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Were orcs stronger in the first age?

I was thinking about how most beings were stronger in earlier times than in say, the third age. Did this apply to orcs as well? Did the power Morgoth put into the orcs in the first age make them ...
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Why was Gimli of such a low rank, compared to the other representatives chosen for the Fellowship?

Part of the members of the Fellowship were chosen as representatives of their race: Legolas for the Elves, Boromir for mankind and Gimli for the dwarves. Of those three, two were the heirs of a ruler ...
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Geographical error in the Silmarillion?

The following passage makes no sense: for nigh and two years after the Dagor Bragollach the Noldor still defended the western pass about the sources of Sirion, for the power of Ulmo was in that ...
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In Tolkien's Middle-earth, how far does Wilderland extend?

I was editing my answer to this question, in which I tried to describe the size of Wilderland, and found myself not quite sure what it included. Is Mirkwood part of Wilderland? Does it extend all the ...
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Why didn't Bilbo and the Dwarves simply enter by the front entrance? [duplicate]

When the dwarves and Bilbo arrived at Lonely Mountain, they went to the top to seek the open key hole to enter. When Smaug first conquered the mountain, he blew up the entrance gate... why didn't ...
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Was any attempt made to rehabilitate or colonize Mordor after the Second Age?

This question discussed what happened to Mordor after the events of The Lord of the Rings, but what happened after the defeat of Sauron at the end of the Second Age? There were literally thousands of ...
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Would the One Ring have stayed hidden if Bilbo hadn't turned up?

Gollum managed to keep the One Ring safe in his possession for over 600 years. His cave is very well hidden, the goblins living nearby appear to be unaware of it and aside from Bilbo's visit there ...
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Are there other instances where JRRT employed avian spies?

In both the book, and the movie, the Fellowship sees a dark cloud approaching before Legolas's keen eyes see the cloud is really a flock of birds likely spying for Saruman and the Fellowship hides ...