A collection of J. R. R. Tolkien's works edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977 which describe (incompletely) the universe in which Middle Earth is found

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How did Luthien defeat Sauron with such ease?

I haven't read the Silmarillion yet (I know that I should!), but I've read bits of it, and one thing that strikes me is how Luthien, a half-Maia, defeats a full Maia of great power like Sauron? I ...
25
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1answer
2k views

What would've happened had Melkor won?

I'm interested to know if there were any notes on what would've happened has Melkor successfully overthrown the other Valar and assumed complete control of Arda. Obvious answers like "He'd kill ...
3
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1answer
181 views

Was Sauron capable of breaking the girdle of Melian?

One would presume that Morgoth would have the power, but is there any hint Sauron could have broken it as well?
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73 views

Is there a measure of power of LotR characters? [duplicate]

I just watched the "battle" between Galadriel and Sauron in The Battle of Five Armies. I read both The Hobbit and LotR so I know it never really happened but seeing Gandalf fail against Sauron I ...
3
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2answers
83 views

Are there any orchestral pieces that render Ainulindalë?

Although I knew vaguely about the Ainur and the time before Earth, I only just recently read Ainulindalë in The Silmarillion. While reading I couldn't escape the thought of a piece of music that ...
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1answer
310 views

What was the moral behind The Children of Húrin?

I've been a fan of Tolkien pretty much all my life. When I read The Children of Húrin I found it really dark and full of what seemed to me really wise ideas and expressions. I know Tolkien was a huge ...
38
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4answers
6k views

Did Tolkien ever specify that Orodruin was a volcano?

It is incredibly clear that Orodruin (Mount Doom) was a volcano. It is a mountain with fire inside of it, and it periodically belches forth ash, smoke, and rock. This is what volcanoes do best ...
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3answers
263 views

How are beings distinguished with respect to 'power' in Middle Earth?

Many characters are referred to, both in canon, and by the community, as being 'powerful'. Gandalf is a powerful wizard; Sauron is very powerful; Morgoth is one of the most powerful beings to have ...
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2answers
113 views

Is there a companion or guide to The Silmarillion?

Since I finished reading The Silmarillion, and learned a little bit about how it was assembled, I've been curious as to whether there is some way to get a better sense of what the source material ...
11
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1answer
220 views

Why did Christopher Tolkien remove all references to England and Ælfwine from the published Silmarillion?

Reading through the History of Middle-Earth series, it's quite clear the Tolkien had England and Eriol/Ælfwine of England in his mind though most of the history of developing the legendarium. The idea ...
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2answers
114 views

How tall were the Valar in their physical raiment?

From all my readings of the Silmarillion and other Middle-Earth writings (such as the HoME series), I always got a clear impression that the Valar were much taller than the Elves or Men. However, I ...
8
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2answers
389 views

What “defenses” is Tolkien talking about?

In the chapter Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age in The Silmarillion, after the final battle of the War of the Last Alliance, the following passage occurs: And northward, beyond the Falls of ...
9
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1answer
125 views

Were Men forbidden from going to Aman prior to the creation of Númenor?

From the text of the Akallabêth, it is clear that following the creation of Númenor, the "Ban of the Valar" forbade the Edain from sailing anywhere near Aman, or even Tol Eressëa. And the earlier ...
5
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1answer
382 views

Did Tolkien borrow some of the Ring's properties from the Silmarils?

In The Lord of the Rings, the One Ring has many powers which make it incredibly dangerous to anyone who holds it, or even comes within close proximity to it. It inspires jealousy, possessiveness, ...
6
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1answer
220 views

What is the cover art from this edition of The Silmarillion a picture of?

The artwork on the cover of my copy of The Silmarillion is a drawing by Tolkien himself. It shows a huge mountain silhouetted by a blue moon, witha Viking-style ship in the lower foreground. ...
9
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3answers
331 views

What happened to Huan the Wolfhound after he died?

I just finished reading the chapter of The Silmarillion devoted to Beren and Lúthien, which contains the greatest character in all of Tolkien's work, in my opinion: Huan, the Wolfhound of the Valar. ...
40
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7answers
3k views

Did Sauron and Finrod Felagund really get into a singing fight?

In The Silmarillion, in the chapter "Of Beren and Lúthien", we read of what can only be called a singing fight, at least if we take the account at face value. I won't repeat it in its entirety, but ...
6
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2answers
328 views

Is there any evidence to support the popular belief that Elves prefer bows to other weapons?

Judging by the LotR movies, and even by Legolas' actions in the books of The Lord of the Rings, it seems that Elves use bows and arrows far more often than any other weapons. But in The Silmarillion, ...
8
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1answer
150 views

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 ...
13
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1answer
503 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
170 views

Does a copy of the Noldolantë exist?

One of the most tragic stories in The Silmarillion is that of the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. But we are given very few details about it, which is unfortunate, considering how important the episode was ...
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1answer
114 views

What is society like in Aman?

I know the Valar and Maia are the highest, second would be the Vanyar and the Noldor and Teleri are equal? Why does the Noldor and Teleri have a king when practically the Vanyar King and the Valar ...
27
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3answers
719 views

Did Mandos make any decisions that didn't prove to be disastrous?

Mandos is the great judge of the Valar, and his decisions are widely respected by all the other Valar. But most of his judgements have disastrous consequences for the Valar, the Elves, and all of ...
2
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2answers
219 views

Was Melkor/Morgoth a Vala or not?

I had always been under the impression that Melkor was a Vala. It seemed to be almost common knowledge among Tolkien fans, including the ones here on SE. Then I came across this line in The ...
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1answer
96 views

Are there any more Valar?

If I'm not mistaken, a total of 14 Valar, not including Melkor, are named in The Silmarillion. Are these the only Valar, or are there others who are not named/mentioned? Bonus question: As I ...
6
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1answer
230 views

Why did it take the Valar years to realize that the Elves had awoken?

In The Silmarillion, we are told that Morgoth was the first to realize that the Elves were awake, and that Elves who wandered alone or in small groups occasionally disappeared, and that this went on ...
9
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1answer
399 views

What does Tolkien say about Ancalagon's physical appearance, especially his size?

Questions like this one dealing with Ancalagon in particular, and Middle-earth's dragons in general, clearly show that Ancalagon was ridiculously, absurdly, unimaginably enormous. The ...
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2answers
308 views

Who does Tolkien include in the category “The Wise”?

I know the wizards (Istari) are considered to be among "the Wise", and I believe the Elves (Eldar) are as well, but are all Elves among "the Wise", or only some of them? And does anyone else qualify ...
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2answers
562 views

How has Galadriel acquired evil mode?

One thing that intrigues me, is the berserk / evil / turbo-charged mode of Galadriel in face of danger (in Dol Guldur, during The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies) or during a possible temptation ...
3
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1answer
172 views

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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3answers
664 views

Is there any plate armor in Tolkien's world?

As far as I can recall, no one ever wears plate armor in The Lord of the Rings - only leather and chain mail. But most depictions of Sauron and Morgoth show them wearing heavy black plate armor - ...
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2answers
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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 ...
15
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2answers
717 views

When did Gandalf become a Maia?

Obviously in the final legendarium, Gandalf was always a Maia as he is Olórin, one of the Ainur who was present at the singing of the Music. What I want to know is: did Tolkien always consider ...
4
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1answer
173 views

Did Tolkien ever discuss his views of heroism?

Reading The Lord of the Rings, and reading about it (especially here), I get the impression that Tolkien perceived heroism to be inextricably intertwined with several other virtues, including mercy, ...
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1answer
146 views

Why did the Valar hold different attitudes towards Elves and Men?

When Elves awoke, the Valar wanted to protect the Elves and therefore summoned them to Aman: Then again the Valar were gathered in council, and they were divided in debate. For some, and of ...
26
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
270 views

Is the One Ring Sauron's phyllactery/horcrux?

Inspired by this question What is earliest version of a "horcrux"?; is the Ring keeping Sauron alive? I always thought that the Ring was only a source of power; while without it Sauron ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Which Middle-Earth baddie am I thinking of?

This is a tricky question that I am not sure I should even ask, but here it is: A few years ago, I read something online about Tolkien's works, especially LotR and The Silmarillion. It related to ...
11
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3answers
840 views

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" ...
13
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
181 views

What places were important to the Elves in the First Age?

Can anybody explain about the different realms of the Noldor (such as Gondolin) as well as other Elven places (like Doriath) in times before the War of Wrath? Also, a mention of the different things ...
4
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1answer
226 views

What about the Vanyar?

In the Silmarillion, we learn much about the origins of the elves and of their leaders. There is a lot of info about the people of the Teleri and the main plots are woven around the fate of the ...
6
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2answers
444 views

What's the difference between the “spiritual” beings in Tolkien's universe?

I'm looking for a brief synopsis of the Maiar, Valar, Ainur, and whatever Eru Ilúvatar is, and what the distinguishing characteristics of each group are. The specific information I am looking for is ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What is the difference between Aman, Valinor, the Undying Lands, etc?

In perusing Lord of the Rings questions and answers on this site, I have seen several terms used seemingly interchangeably for what seems to be the same place - Aman/Valinor/the Undying Lands. I also ...
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1answer
255 views

Could thangorodrim be used to destroy the ring [duplicate]

What happened to thangorodrim's three volcanic peaks? I know ancalagon fell on the fortess, but the actual mountain must still exist. Could the fellowship have travelled to thangorodrim and thrown the ...
4
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2answers
657 views

Since when did Eru forbid men from going to the undying land?

I read it in the Silmarillion that the Valar forbade Númenóreans going to the undying land. Was this rule made by Eru himself and did he loved Elves more than Men? Both Elves and Men were the Children ...
5
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1answer
251 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
96 views

How large was Morgoth in the First Age of the Sun? [duplicate]

Morgoth wore one body which he was unable to change during the First Age of the Sun, the last 500 years or so of the Elder Days. Morgoth shouldn't have been able to make his body grow bigger or ...
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2answers
118 views

Where did the Drúedain live on Númenor?

Drúedain were deformed beings or something of that nature living in Númenor . But I'm interested as to which province they lived in.
16
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1answer
2k views

What were the contents of the Phial of Galadriel?

I have read that the phial contained a part of Eärendil's star, but do we know how that came to be in Galadriel's possession?