"The Hobbit" is a 1937 novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien and can be considered as the introduction to his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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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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269 views

Where do beings of Middle Earth learn to speak and write?

How do Elves, Dwarves, Men, Hobbits, and Orcs (especially Orcs) learn to speak? Do they have schools? And how do the rest learn to write as well? Where is elvish, or english taught?
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If Radagast gave Gandalf his staff in The Lord of the Rings, what happened to him?

Did he get another staff? If so, did he make his own? Did he have extra staves just lying around in case this exact situation occurred? Did he become staff-less?
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316 views

How fast does information about the presence of orcs/goblins reach “Sting”?

In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins has a sword called "Sting" that glows blue when it detects the presence of orcs/goblins. When Gollum killed the last goblin nearby, it stopped glowing blue. How fast ...
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How did the Great Goblin recognize Glamdring and Orcrist?

In the chapter four of The Hobbit, the Goblins appear to instantaneously recognize Glamdring and Orcist from the battle of Gondolin. The Great Goblin gave a truly awful howl of rage when he looked ...
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238 views

Why do Elves have certain ages if they're immortal? [duplicate]

(I'm only on The Fellowship of the Ring). After seeing The Hobbit trilogy (and reading the book) I noticed that some elves are older than others. How do they age? Why are some older and younger than ...
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1answer
156 views

Why do the dwarven hoards of Erebor contain elven heirlooms?

In the film The Hobbit, after the dragon Smaug is dead, Thranduil comes with some elves to Erebor and wants his heirlooms, the white gems of Lasgalen, back. Why do the dwarves have these in the ...
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171 views

Are there any other planets besides Arda in Ea?

Did Tolkien mention anything about other planets in his mythology or did he invent just the one planet for his stories?
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How far is it between Hobbiton and the Lonely Mountain?

Although The Hobbit provides approximate times for the stages of Bilbo's and the dwarves' journey, it does not indicate how far they traveled. They left Hobbiton near the end of April and reached the ...
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678 views

Are Gandalf and Radagast actually cousins?

In The Hobbit, Gandalf introduces himself to Beorn by mentioning Beorn might know of Gandalf's cousin Radagast. Did Gandalf mean Radagast was his actual cousin, or did he mean Radagast was just a ...
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288 views

How deep down into the Earth did Erebor and Moria go?

Watching the movies, I pay a lot of attention to the darkness below the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and the Erebor mines. My question is this: How far down do the mines go? Is there any information as to ...
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128 views

Why don't any characters sing in the 2nd and 3rd Hobbit films?

Tolkien's books have a lot of songs in them, which sometimes become actual songs sung by the characters in the films. The films seems to favor having the characters sing on screen more and more, as ...
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Why is the Depiction of the Last Alliance in Rivendell faded out in Lord of the Rings but in Color in The Hobbit?

I noticed this and it troubles me because it was a (somewhat inaccurate) painting of Isildur vs Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance. In The Hobbit, when Bilbo is wandering about Rivendell by his ...
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1answer
105 views

What is the origin of the wargs, and are they featured in any of Tolkien's works other than LOTR and the Hobbit?

In The Lord of the Rings, wargs are commonly ridden by orcs and are also featured in the Hobbit films (although these are not considered canon.) Is the origin of the wargs known and are they featured ...
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1answer
358 views

Why did Gollum fail to seek out Bilbo?

After Gollum had lost the Ring, he abandoned the dark caves under the mountains with a strong intent to regain it, considering himself bereft and fully blaming Bilbo with theft. Here's Gandalf ...
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1answer
305 views

Is Mithril the metal known as Aluminum? [duplicate]

In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we are introduced to Mithril, a metal described as being stronger than steel but much lighter in weight. It is also shown to have a silver sheen and the ...
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137 views

Why would Bilbo agree to arbitration in the Khuzdul language?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Dwarves present Bilbo a contract. It's presumably in Westron, but through the magic of Translation Convention, it appears on-screen in its entirety in ...
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How are the lands of the Shire governed?

In the Lord of the Rings books 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 ...
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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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236 views

Did Tolkien ever explain why he mentioned Gondolin in The Hobbit

In The Hobbit, the most obvious reference Tolkien included to his already-extant legendarium was to the story of the fall of Gondolin. The swords Orcrist and Glamdring were identified (by Elrond) as ...
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1answer
174 views

How much does Beorn know about the Istari?

In this scene, Beorn says that he has never heard of Gandalf the Grey. Yet in this scene, he speaks to Gandalf at length in a way that shows the earlier scene was merely a pretense, and that he ...
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190 views

Did Gandalf know Bilbo had the One Ring?

From the movie, you can see that Gandalf knows Bilbo found something special during their adventure, but Bilbo did not tell him the truth in the end, nor did Gandalf pursue it. His final words seem to ...
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1answer
74 views

Was there a relationship between the idea of Song creating the World and the amount of songs in LOTR?

In-universe, the World was created when Ainur sang the music by Eru. Did Tolkien ever indicate if that fact deliberately bears some relationship on the amount of songs he presented in Middle Earth ...
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269 views

Does Shelob have tusks?

In a recent conversation on Mos Eisley, a debate started as to whether or not Shelob had tusks. Does she have tusks, or fangs; what is her in-book description? ^^ not Shelob, but the picture that ...
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654 views

Who was the Queen of Mirkwood?

I hope this has not been asked a lot, but I have been working on a costume, and I wish to try and come as close to what could have been canon since Tolkien and his universe is very dear to me. So I ...
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111 views

How is Gollum dressed in the books? [duplicate]

In Jackson films, Gollum is dressed in loincloth. What was his manner of dress (in Hobbit/LOTR timeframe) in the books?
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1answer
162 views

How did Smaug get the treasure into the mountain? [duplicate]

Correct me if I'm wrong- I've seen the movies and read the book but it has been a while. Smaug not only hoarded the treasure that was already under the mountain but he also collected the treasure of ...
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Is Bolg part of Azog? [duplicate]

In the Hobbit Part 3 Movie, Legolas calls Bolg "the spawn of Azog." My understanding is that Azog is his father (from the wikia), but how exactly does an Orc reproduce? The term spawn is what really ...
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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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What is the best/most popular pipe-weed in middle earth?

Is it ever stated, or agreed upon by the hobbits, men, dwarves, or elves that there is a "best" or "most popular" pipe Weed? Or, more specifically, do any characters state their personal preference? ...
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Did Thráin have one of the seven rings?

In the Hobbit film it emphasises Thráin's lust for gold and the insanity this bought on. Was this caused by only the gold, or did he posses one of the Seven rings given to Dwarfs which could corrupt? ...
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198 views

Is “Dragon Sickness” a figurative or literal curse?

"Dragon Sickness" played a major role in The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies as Thorin became obsessed with wealth and gold, and paranoid about keeping it. This kept up even to the point of being ...
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1answer
403 views

How many Hobbit clans/families have 'feet' in their surnames?

How many hobbit clans or families include feet in their last names? According to the movies, it seems like every other clan seems to have feet in their last name. Is this typical or is this just in ...
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551 views

How did Gerontius Took get to be so old?

Until Bilbo turned 131, Gerontius Took (AKA "The Old Took") was the longest-living hobbit ever, reaching 130 years-old. Bilbo had the ring to help extend his life, and even then, his age took a huge ...
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Why does Gandalf show such reverence for Galadriel and Elrond?

Particularly in the Hobbit movies, Elrond mentions that Gandalf answers to Galadriel. Though Gandalf is a Maiar, one of Ainur, shouldn't he be regarded as one of the elders one above the Noldor?
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374 views

In JRRT’s writings, did Gandalf ever use his staff as a physical weapon?

The movies certainly portray Gandalf using his staff as a weapon, but is this explicitly described in JRRT’s writings? For the purposes of this question, using the staff to work magic would not ...
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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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Does Gandalf need to eat, drink, and sleep?

Gandalf is a Maia, a sort of angel in human shape. Does that mean he needs to eat and drink and sleep like everyone else? At the start of The Hobbit (book and movie) we see him eating and drinking ...
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Why do the trolls have civilized names?

In The Hobbit, the trolls' names, Tom, William, and Bert, don't seem to fit their "uncivilized" characters. Why did Tolkien give them those names?
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Do the dwarves know what a “hobbit” is?

This seems like a very strange question, I know. It actually has three parts: Does anyone of Thorins company ever call Bilbo a "hobbit"? If so, how would they know what a hobbit was unless Gandalf ...
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366 views

Was there any (significant) technological development during the Third Age

The Third Age lasted about 3000 years. In Hobbit and Lord of the Rings we see the last years of it and Middle Earth is in something like a "dark age". The human empires are either destroyed or have ...
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1answer
199 views

How did Gollum know about the rescue party from Dol Guldur?

...Legolas continued[,] 'In the days of fair weather we led Gollum through the woods; and there was a high tree standing alone far from the others which he liked to climb. Often we let him ...
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1answer
4k views

Will there be another book/movie about The Hobbit / LOTR?

I have been wondering since the last movie of The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies whether there will be a book or a movie to close the gap after the end of The Hobbit where Legolas Greenleaf gets ...
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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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Why model Smaug after a cat?

In the 1977 animated film version of the Hobbit, the dragon Smaug is drawn similar to a cat- the shape of his head is distinctly feline (complete with whiskers), and his posture when awoken from his ...
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All about Sting- Is there an explanation of it's origin and function? [duplicate]

For such an important tool and weapon, it gets little respect from most non-hobbitses. Is there more information about it in any of the texts?
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Which of his races did Tolkien draw?

This question isn't as broad as it might appear at first glance. I've seen drawings of dragons, Dwarves, Trolls, and Hobbits by Tolkien, and I'm primarily interested in only a few other races. He ...
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732 views

Do all elven blades glow blue in the presence of orcs?

There have been a couple of questions that I believe are related to this one, for example this one that asks why Sting glowed blue in the presence of orcs, and this one about the origins of Sting ...
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1answer
397 views

Why does the One Ring make the wearer's clothes invisible?

The One Ring turns the person wearing it invisible. Is there an explanation of how it does this? It appears that direct contact with the skin activates the Ring's invisibility effects; why would it ...