Refers to J.R.R Tolkien (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien) - an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

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Did Elrond want and expect Aragorn to become the King of Gondor and Arnor?

In the books of The Lord of the Rings, unlike the movies, Aragorn never seems to doubt that he will eventually claim the throne, and Elrond never seems to doubt it either. I got the impression that ...
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Does a transcription of Tolkien's handwriting in this image exist?

In his answer to another question I asked here, Jason Baker included the following image, taken from a page of Tolkien's "Synoptic Time Scheme for The Lord of the Rings". We had some difficulty ...
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Did Tolkien ever write that Sauron killed Shagrat?

Many wiki entries, as well as many other sources about Shagrat (one of the Orc captains who captured Frodo outside Shelob's lair) say he was killed by Sauron shortly after Frodo's escape. In the ...
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Was the Stone of Minas Tirith still dangerous after Sauron was destroyed?

In the sad chapter of The Return of the King in which the Fellowship parts for the last time, Pippin says he wishes that they could use Palantiri to keep in touch. Aragorn dismisses this idea: ...
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Has Peter Jackson revealed why he changed the character of Aragorn?

Now that I have almost finished reading The Lord of the Rings, one of the differences between the books and movies puzzles me more than any other: In the books, Aragorn always intended, and expected, ...
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How many battles occurred in the War of the Ring?

The question is self explanatory: how many battles took place in the War of the Ring, and what were they called? We only read about a few battles in the main text of The Lord of the Rings - Helm's ...
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What's the most glaring inconsistency in Tolkien's writing? [on hold]

There are many questions here on scifi.SE about some apparent contradictions in Tolkien's legendarium. It seems that almost always somebody gives a thorough answer showing that Tolkien was actually ...
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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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What did Aragorn do with his sword between the battles of Pelennor Fields and Morannon?

After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Aragorn draws his sword Andúril and says: "You shall not be sheathed again until the last battle is fought." The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the ...
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Why did the Witch King wait till the gate was broken before entering Minas Tirith?

In The Return of the King, the Witch King of Angmar is mounted on a flying fell beast. When the gate of Minas Tirith is broken down, he quickly rushes in to confront Gandalf. But he is mounted on ...
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Did Gandalf regret Theoden's death? [on hold]

In The Return of the King, after the Witch King of Angmar is killed, Gandalf says: Beyond hope the Captain of our foes has been destroyed, and you have heard the echo of his last despair. But he ...
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257 views

Did Sauron originally intend for a prolonged siege of Minas Tirith?

In The Return of the King, Gandalf realizes that Aragorn's decision to use the Palantir to reveal himself to Sauron scared the Dark Lord so much that it actually forced his hand, leading him to send ...
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123 views

How many men fought for Gondor at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields?

I am puzzled by the apparent lack of information online about the troop strength of the victors in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (aka the Battle of Minas Tirith). We are told in The Return of the ...
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211 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 ...
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773 views

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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30 views

What is the significance of the colours in wizard's titles? [duplicate]

In Lord of the Rings we've seen Gandalf the Grey (later white), Saruman the White, and in Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey, Radaghast the Brown. What do these colours in their titles mean?
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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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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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Did Tolkien deliberately place the Battle of the Pelennor Fields on the Ides of March?

I just realized that the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (aka the Battle of Minas Tirith) occurs on March 15th, or the infamous "Ides of March". The Ides of March was originally nothing more than a day ...
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Does the tone of The Hobbit significantly differ from that of Lord of the Rings?

I'm rapidly approaching the conclusion of The Return of the King, and next on my list is The Hobbit. This is my first time reading Tolkien, and I have been putting it off for 24 years. I'm a little ...
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259 views

Who were the greatest archers in Middle-earth?

I've read about quite a few prodigious archers in Middle-earth: Beleg, Legolas, Rangers like Aragorn (not sure about this one) as well as other Men of Gondor, Easterlings (not sure where I've seen ...
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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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Do Tolkien's works describe either Galadriel or Arwen as being more beautiful than the other?

If I recall correctly, both Arwen and Galadriel are described as being the fairest women in Middle-earth. Since I am not interested in an opinion based answer, I am instead asking for a side by side ...
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Do we know what Tolkien meant when he used the word “weapontake”?

In the book The Return of the King, Tolkien uses a word that is obscure and archaic, even for a philologist who reveled in obscure and archaic words. The context is that King Theoden and his Rohirrim ...
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148 views

Was Gollum evil?

Some of the questions I've read here recently have discussed Gollum, his behavior, the nature of the Gollum/Smeagol dynamic, and his manner of speech, among other things. But though many of these ...
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How did Aragorn and Arwen first meet, and why did they get together?

I have recently come to learn some things about Aragorn and Arwen that trouble me. According to Tolkien Gateway's entry on Aragorn, he went to live with Elrond at Rivendell when he was only two years ...
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Did Tolkien originally intend to write a very different Lord of the Rings?

Lord of the Rings is a big story with a dramatic buildup. At first it seems like the quest would unfold in a The Hobbit-like manner, with an eclectic band on a journey of adventure, but the story gets ...
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353 views

Why did Isildur have the King of the Mountains swear an oath on the stone of Erech?

The King of the Mountains, leader of the Dead Men of Dunharrow, made the oath (which later he broke) upon the Stone of Erech, a great black stone brought by Isildur from Numenor. This makes no sense ...
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244 views

Why did the Fellowship scatter so chaotically at Parth Galen?

In the book Fellowship of the Ring, when the Fellowship is camped at Parth Galen above the Falls of Rauros, Frodo walks off alone to decide what to do next. Boromir slips off after Frodo and tries to ...
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How would Sauron have contacted Smaug?

I asked this question a while back and received some very good responses about the status of Sauron in Morgoth's army, and what Smaug might have done in the scenario. If the question was still fairly ...
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Any solid evidence about the fading of Elves and their leaving from Middle Earth

By the time of War of Ring, almost all Elves were leaving Middle Earth. It raised a lot of questions from people who've only seen the film. They asked:"Why did the Elves leave in the middle of war?" ...
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Why Valar held different attitudes towards Elves and Men?

When Elves awoke, the Valar wanted to protect the Elves and thus common them to Aman: Then again the Valar were gathered in council, and they were divided in debate. For some, and of those Ulmo ...
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240 views

Did George Lucas ever suggest that he was influenced or inspired by Tolkien?

The question is simple. I have seen bits and pieces in Lord of the Rings that remind me of Star Wars. This is hardly surprising, as both works are epic moral sagas about a struggle between ultimate ...
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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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Do the Lord of the Rings movies portray Faramir in a far more negative light than the books do? If so, why?

I've just reached the part of The Two Towers where Faramir makes his first appearance. I know I will be able to judge for myself soon enough, but even with the cursory glance I've gotten of Faramir, ...
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What is earliest version of a “horcrux”? [duplicate]

I just realized a few days ago that Sauron's One Ring is kind-of like a horcrux, in that Sauron can't ever be totally destroyed as long as the One Ring exists. That set me to wondering: did Tolkien ...
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How does one fight the Nazgûl?

In Fellowship of the Ring, it is said in several places that Aragorn, Glorfindel, and perhaps even a few other people, were able to fight off Nazgûl; they can't fend off all nine at once, but if they ...
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254 views

Was there a significant difference between Gollum and Smeagol by the time of Lord of the Rings?

This question may be impossible to answer, but I am asking what Tolkien said about this issue, not what people think about it personally. In the movies, Smeagol seems to be very different from ...
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332 views

How much did Tolkien write about the connection between WWI and his work?

I know Tolkien often downplayed the influence his experiences as a messenger in World War I had on his writing, but he wasn't being entirely truthful- perhaps the memories were too horrific to think ...
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316 views

What were Saruman's original intentions, and how did they change over time?

The discussion sparked by this question led to a suggestion that I open a separate question on a related subject. Sauron started out good, became bad, briefly repented, the went full-on evil. ...
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950 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 ...
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906 views

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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Why did Sauron react the way he did when Frodo put the Ring on inside Mount Doom?

As I have mentioned before, I am only reading the LotR books for the first time right now, and I am only halfway through the second book at the moment, so my knowledge of the third book is based ...
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Why didn't Sauron get personally, bodily involved in the events of Lord of the Rings? [duplicate]

As has been said in response to many questions on this board, such as this one, the big fiery eye from the movies was not Sauron's true physical form in the books. He had a real, roughly humanoid, ...
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181 views

How did Gollum physically change after finding the Ring?

To be clear, I don't mean "by what means did the Ring physically change Gollum?", but rather "what were the overall physical changes affected on Gollum by his experiences after he found the Ring?". ...
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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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259 views

What did Sauron mean when he “talked” to Pippin?

When Pippin... um... 'borrows' the Palantir taken from Orthanc, he hears (for lack of a better word) Sauron say the following in his head: Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send ...
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Vampires in Middle Earth

I think I read somewhere there were vampires in middle earth. Does anyone have any knowledge of these Vampires and any noteworthy events in history they were apart of?
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What did Haldir mean by Elves not having dealings with Dwarves since the Dark Days even though they fought together in The Hobbit?

In both the Fellowship of the Ring novel and movie, when the fellowship lose Gandalf and travel to Lothlórien, they are greeted by Haldir and his Elven comrades. When the elves realise Gimli is with ...