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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Why did Thranduil not help the Dwarves in Erebor?

Why does Thranduil not help the Dwarves of Erebor (and Men of Dale) when Smaug was attacking? Was it that he simply did not want to risk the lives of his people after already witnessing two kingdoms ...
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79 views

Naming of Middle Earth: inspired by Norse mythology? [duplicate]

Was Middle Earth named thus because Tolkien was inspired by Norse mythology? I got this idea after reading this.
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213 views

What is the origin of the Great Eagles?

What do we know about the origin of the Great Eagles in LOTR? We know quite a bit about the origins of Elves, Men, Dwarves, and (somewhat) the servants of Morgoth (dragons, orcs, etc.). But I don't ...
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1answer
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Where have all the dragons gone?

Related to the question: How could Thranduil have met a dragon? It seems that there was a time in Tolkien's legendarium when dragons roamed the land and were a real and physical force to be reckoned ...
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Did Gandalf have a teacher/mentor?

Did Gandalf have a teacher/mentor? If yes, who was his teacher/mentor? If no, from where did he get his knowledge? How did he became so wise? This question doesn't ask if he had a teacher to learn ...
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Did the events of LOTR War in the North take place in Tolkien’s writings?

I played LOTR War in the North and I wonder if the characters from the game were really mentioned by Tolkien. Did this war really take place in parallel with adventure of the Fellowship? Who are ...
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Is there any information on the (external) etymology of “Gandalf”?

It is well known that Tolkien was, first and foremost, a linguist. His familiarity with Germanic languages comes into play more than once- think of Beorn (similar to Norwegian bjørn "bear"). It ...
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5answers
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Who or what is the oldest sentient being in Tolkien's lore?

The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Histories of Middle Earth, all lore related to this universe is acceptable fodder. Regardless of their power, susceptibility to The One Ring, ...
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4answers
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Where is Middle Earth And Is It Flat or Curved? [duplicate]

After seeing this article about what Middle Earth would look like from space, and reading one of the first comments, which indicates that there are hints that Middle Earth is flat, I'm left with what ...
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1answer
306 views

What's outside of Middle Earth? [duplicate]

I wonder who lives outside of Middle Earth and what is their life like? What are the names of the continents? is there a big good map of Arda?
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183 views

Compasses on Arda

Would a compass work on Arda? Or rather, beginning in what age would a compass work on Arda? ... and the follow-up question: Why don't Frodo and Sam use a compass in the Emyn Muil?
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329 views

Of Half-elven and mortal life

When half-elvens choose mortal life, how would their bodies behave? Half-elven are always elves by nature. Ever since they're born, their physical body and behaviour would be elvish - they have keen ...
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2answers
166 views

How many Entmoots do we know about?

In LOTR (the movie at least, not sure about the book) Treebeard says of the Entmoot: "something is about to happen that has not happened for an age." How many Entmoots do we know about? Did Tolkien ...
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1answer
308 views

What did ships in Middle-earth look like?

I was wondering what the different ships of the different peoples look like, specifically Elves, Gondorians/Numenoreans, and Corsairs The elvish ships are often described to have swan-shaped prow: ...
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Sailing West from Middle Earth as a Human

Before the Changing of the World, anyone could get to Valinor by simply sailing west. Even the hostile, invading army of Numenor landed there without much difficulty, it seems. Then Eru stepped in, ...
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How well-known is the theology of Middle Earth, in Middle Earth?

One thing that is notably absent in Middle Earth is any mention of temples, churches, priests or religious rites. There are passing mentions of Men who would "worship" Sauron, but generally the world ...
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11answers
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Would the One Ring even work for anyone but Sauron?

The temptation of the One Ring, we quickly learn, is always tied up with power: each character's fantasies of possessing it seem to be about what they would do with great power. Even Sam, as I ...
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162 views

Were all Ainur made at the Beginning?

The Ainulindalë says that the Ainur were created at the beginning of time, and seemingly all at once. Were there any of their order, Valar or Maiar, who were "born" later? I can find a reference to ...
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1answer
271 views

Who was the strongest fighter in Tolkien's mythology? [closed]

Excluding the Valar (that could be Tulkas), Who was the strongest fighter in Tolkien's mythology? I know there is not a "chi" meter like dragon Ball or something, but based on the fights and the ...
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4answers
476 views

Did anyone see Hobbits coming?

Hobbits have a curious habit of finding their way into the most important moments of history during the Third Age. Whether it's Gollum carrying the Ring for longer than anyone but Sauron and then ...
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0answers
53 views

Who is aware of Gandalf and Saruman's true nature? [duplicate]

Gandalf, Saruman and the other wizards are Maia, beings like angels or demigods. Is this fact widely known? Which characters know their true nature?
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0answers
292 views

numenor vs. gondolin [closed]

If the forces of Numenor and the forces of Gondolin were to meet, which do you think would win? Aside from their mortality, the inhabitants of Numenor had made huge strides in technology. In a passage ...
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620 views

How was Morgoth defeated?

How was he defeated if he's the strongest being? He begged for mercy and got thrown into the Outer Dark where he currently dwells.
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What happens to individuals when they die in Middle Earth? [duplicate]

Is there any concept of an after-life in Tolken's Middle Earth and does it vary for the races? What I have been able to glean: The elves can go to the undying lands when they choose but it is not ...
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3answers
733 views

Why did Sauron keep the road to the Cracks of Doom maintained so well?

In Return of the King, we learn that Sauron keeps the road from Barad-dur to the Cracks of Doom in very good condition. Since Oroduin errupts every so often, lava and rocks have to be cleared off and ...
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Why didn't Sauron kill Gandalf

I saw Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug today. I loved it, but there was one thing I didn't entirely understand. I tried to search the internet for an answer, but I didn't find one. I know an Istari ...
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How could the Istari have prominent beards and still be considered elves by Men?

The beards of the Istari Gandalf and Saruman¹ feature prominently in Tolkien's works, while elves are not able to grow beards². Despite this discrepancy which is easy to spot for Men, they believed ...
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Why is Arwen the only Elf thats dying due to war? [duplicate]

I understand how Arwen is dying due to the evil succumbing over middle earth. However, I'm struggling to understand how Arwen can fight/protect Frodo in 'Fellowship' against the Nazgul but cant fight ...
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Was Tolkien's “round-world version” really his definitive view of Arda?

I've heard many times that, in his final years, Tokien rejected the idea of a flat Arda, and embraced a new story in which the world was always round and the Sun and Moon existed from the beginning. ...
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Why did Aragorn and Theoden ride out at the Hornburg?

In the Battle of the Hornburg from The Two Towers, Aragorn and Theoden say "We must ride out." Why did they do this? Was it just a matter of honor? Did they ride out on their horses in the middle of ...
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0answers
103 views

Wizards never seem to use their full powers in middle earth, why? [duplicate]

The Wizards we've seen so far out of Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit have been Gandalf, Sauron and Radagast. Aside from being incredibly amazing they don't seem to possess any great powers? Or have ...
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1answer
301 views

How long had it been since Gandalf and Galadriel last met

When Gandalf sees Galadriel in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, he says that it has been a long time, and implies that time has aged him but not her. Given that they are both rather old by this ...
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Quenya for “hold” as in “to hold a belief”

Does anyone know if there is any word in Quenya that is well suited for translating “hold” as in “to hold a belief?” The context if “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost: ...
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4answers
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Why aren't there any recognizable elf children in Middle-Earth?

Why aren't there any recognizable Elf children in Middle-Earth? I don't remember reading about younglings, only adults. Hobbit children, goblin imps and human children are all represented in the LOTR ...
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How big were Hobbit children?

We know that Hobbits were 3 to 3.5 feet tall, Bandobras Took almost 4. But how big were hobbit children (relative to their age, of course)?
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Did Saruman copy from Radagast?

We know that, although publicly he scorned Gandalf, Saruman copied him and also smoked, and imitated Sauron, as often said in The Lord of the Rings. But I just saw a quote about Radagast, saying that ...
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3answers
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Were there any other 'wizards' in middle earth apart from the Istari?

We know Gandalf, Radagast, Saruman, Pallando and Alatar, who are all Istari, Maiar in physical form. The elves can also do 'magic', and Sauron, being a Maiar himself. Were there any other people with ...
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371 views

Do Tolkien's elves have pointy ears?

I think we all imagine elves with pointy ears – but do they really have pointy ears? (canonical references please)
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1answer
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Is there any mention of the lands east of Mordor?

Sauron seems to have huge armies east of Mordor, the Blue Wizards went there and didn't come back, and early maps of Arda when it was still flat show rough landmarks, but not much, and everything ...
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3answers
489 views

Did Ilúvatar anticipate Melkor?

Did Ilúvatar know that Melkor would 'turn bad'? Was it part of his vast design? Tolkien often hints that also Morgoth's evil is part of the grand plan, and that he does the will of Ilúvatar in the ...
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1answer
395 views

What did Numenorean swords / Andúril look like?

I was wondering what Andúril looks like, and I know that distinctive look John Howe gives it, with the holes on the ends. As far as I remember, John Howe wrote in his site that all Numenorean ...
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1answer
410 views

Looking for canon Quenya and Sindarin dictionary

Are there any canonical English <-> Elvish dictionaries, that means with no added material? Some Grammar would also be useful.
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1answer
345 views

What do we know about the Black Speech of Mordor?

We know the Ring Verse (Ash Nazg . . .), and single words like 'Ghâsh' (Fire). Do we know any more about canonical Black Speech?
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1answer
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Is the “^” significant in the word Nazgûl?

I noticed how Nazgûl always has a "^" over the u. Does that mean anything about how I pronounce the word? Or is it just decoration? Or, in other words: What does the "^" mean in Tolkien's Languages?
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1answer
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What happened to Frodo's sword?

In 'A Knife in the Dark', Frodo slashes at the Black Rider. Later in the Book, it is said that no weapons can harm the Nazgûl and survive. Why didn't Frodo's blade melt? He still has it afterwards, as ...
6
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1answer
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How big were various armies in the War of the Ring?

I'd like to know (roughly) how big various armies in the war of the Ring were, and if possible how they were made up. That includes for example Saruman's Forces Gondor's Soldiors The Rohirrim The ...
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2answers
359 views

Looking for canonical descriptions of Orthanc

I'm trying to make a model of Orthanc, but am having trouble deciding what it looks like. I'd love to have some material, including Tolkien's pictures and sketches. Please write from what chapter any ...
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Middle Earth JRRT and CT maps

I am looking for a list* of maps of Middle Earth which appear only in JRR Tolkien's and CT's books and writings or were authorized by JRRT**? From my reading so far I have: The Hobbit: "Thror's ...
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860 views

Why did they take a Palantir with them when they left for the west?

The Palantíri were made by the Ñoldor in Eldamar, possibly by Fëanor himself in Aman during the Elder Days in the Time of the Trees, and then given by the Elves to the Númenóreans, who kept them as ...
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In the third age, which of these beings is more powerful? [closed]

I want to make a comparison here between some of the most powerful beings in Middle-Earth during the Third Age. I know Sauron was the most powerful of all even when he lost the ring, but one of the ...