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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What happened to the Maiar after the Third Age?

The Maiar were (I think) bound to the world until its end and are immortal. Once the Fourth Age started, did any of them remain in Middle-earth? Some Maiar were already in Valinor, and presumably ...
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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 ...
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Did Tolkien have Pippin die originally?

According to the movie mistakes website for Return of the King, it is mentioned that Tolkien had Pippin originally killed off at the Battle of the Black Gates. He was pursuaded by his dear friend C.S. ...
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Why does the Morgul blade dissolve after Aragorn touches it?

When Aragorn touches the Morgul blade in the Fellowship movie, it dissolves.What is the reason for this?
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Why did it take Gondor and Rivendell so long to send aid to Arnor?

Considering the battle the petty-realms had with the witch king lasted for hundreds of years, one would think Gondor and Rivendell would act quicker, surely? So why is it not until Arnor is pretty ...
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Why does Gimli say that Galadriel is an “elf witch” who seduces men?

In Fellowship movie, Gimli warns the Hobbits about the "elf witch" who lives in Lorien.He says that men who look upon her "fall under her spell and are never seen again" It seems to me that Gimli is ...
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Was the ring Narya ever intended to be passed to a mortal?

The ring Narya was one of three made by the Elvish prince Celebrimbor with the aid of Sauron. This particular ring was described as having the following abilities: To inspire and invoke courage from ...
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How long can Frodo live in the Undying Lands? [duplicate]

Does he live "unto the ending of the world" like the elves and the Gods? Or does he die after his short hobbit lifespan?
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Is there any explanation for Denethor's strange behaviour in the Return of the King?

In the first part, we are told that Denethor had been a good and wise Steward and had "held the forces of Mordor at bay" for long. When Pippin and Gandalf visit Minas Tirith, he seems quite different ...
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How did Sauron communicate through the palantír?

Did he possess one of the Palantíri at Barad-dûr? Or could he just "tap into" Palantír conversations at his will?
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Why does Saruman explain the origin of the Orcs to the Uruk-hai chief?

In the Fellowship movie, Saruman gives a long speech to the (newly created) Uruk-hai chief about how the Orcs first came into being and then proceeds to ask him about his loyalty. Why does he do this? ...
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Was Galadriel ever jealous of Arwen's beauty? [closed]

Is there anything in the books or movies which seem to indicate that Galadriel was jealous of Arwen's beauty? Especially since Galadriel is extremely prideful of her beauty? Like in I am ...
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Would a dwarf become a wraith if stabbed by the Witch King's blade?

Gandalf confirms it would have happened to Frodo if untreated. If they had succeeded, you would have become like they are, only weaker and under their command. You would have became a wraith under ...
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What happened to Arnor after the fall of Angmar in TA 1975

From what I can understand Arnor was invaded by Angmar, but Angmar itself was defeated by Gondor shortly afterwards in TA 1975. Formally Arnor was restored by Aragorn when he was crowned the King of ...