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 reference to Sport in Middle Earth?

I'm currently reading The Hobbit and came across this curious excerpt from Thorin: If we don't get blown off, or drowned, or struck by lightning, we shall be picked up by some giant and kicked ...
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Is it important to read The History of Middle-earth in order?

I'm almost done reading The Silmarillion, and I have a few options available as far as what I should read next: Unfinished Tales, the Reader's Companion to LotR, and The Return of the Shadow. This ...
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Where did the Dwarves get their food from?

In Tolkien's writings, dwarves are practically always (to my knowledge) pictured as living in underground halls, inside mountains, etc. We never hear about dwarves working fields and pastures, or even ...
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Are there gender-specific terms for Elves?

In Tolkien's world, "Men" (i.e., humans) are one thing and "Elves" are another. However, within the category of "Men", there are obviously subcategories for each gender (i.e., men and women, or male ...
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Are there handicapped Elves?

In The Silmarillion, we read about Maedhros, whose hand was amputated in order to free him from the manacle which had kept him suspended from the mountain called Thangorodrim. The hand never grew ...
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Do the Tolkien elves need to eat to survive?

On the one hand, they are physically very similar to humans, and the only crucial difference is that they don't age or fall ill. This, as well as frequent mention of food being eaten by elves, gives ...
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Is there a land mass or island in the middle of the Sea of Rhun? [duplicate]

I've seen some conflicting maps regarding a landmass/island of sorts (?) in the Sea of Rhun, does anyone have evidence supporting this (or ruling it out)
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How can there be hill trolls present in the chapter “The Black Gate Opens?” [duplicate]

In The Return of the King, the chapter "The Black Gate Opens" where Gandalf, the King of Gondor, and their allies make a final war against Sauron before the Morannon we are told: ...the sun now ...
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In the Fourth Age, what was the oldest creature left alive in Middle Earth?

After the War of the Ring, Sauron = dead. Saruman = dead. Gandalf = has left on the ship. Elrond = left. Galadriel = left. What was the oldest creature still alive in Middle-Earth in the Fourth Age?
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Which King took possession of the Stone of Orthanc?

In The Return of the King, when the Fellowship finally parts ways, Pippin says that he wishes they each had palantiri so they could communicate with each other over long distances. Aragorn responds: ...
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Why did the Valar abandon the Moriquendi and Men?

There is plenty of discussion on this site about why the Valar didn't intervene in more obvious ways in the Second and Third Ages, but I'm asking about the First Age. Between the return of Melkor to ...
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What happened next in Middle-earth?

This question is a follow up from this one, so credit goes to @Scholar. I'm interested in what happens after the cameras stopped rolling and everyone got on with their lives. Does the destruction ...
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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?