J.R.R. Tolkien (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien) was 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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Are the Elves Aware that Gandalf (Etc.) Are Maiar? [duplicate]

I was inspired to ask this question by Why was Gandalf the Gray so underestimated? [closed] Basically, are they aware that they are basically godlike beings of immense power and wisdom on a mission ...
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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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Did Tolkien have Pippin die originally?

According to the movie mistakes website for Return of the King, it is mentioned that Tolkien had Pippin originally killed off at the Battle of the Black Gates. He was pursuaded by his dear friend C.S. ...
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Why did it take Gondor and Rivendell so long to send aid to Arnor?

Considering the battle the petty-realms had with the witch king lasted for hundreds of years, one would think Gondor and Rivendell would act quicker, surely? So why is it not until Arnor is pretty ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Was the ring Narya ever intended to be passed to a mortal?

The ring Narya was one of three made by the Elvish prince Celebrimbor with the aid of Sauron. This particular ring was described as having the following abilities: To inspire and invoke courage from ...
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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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Who were the nine “actors” who played the nine kings?

One of the things I liked about the production of the Lord of the Rings films was that some crew members were invited to play a sort of cameo role. Unfortunately, some members do not get credited for ...
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Is there more than 1 species of elf in the Hobbit/LOTR saga?

I recall that in the Hobbit, the company of Dwarves was captured by Wood Elves. I don't remember if LOTR mentioned elves in any other way than Elves. Is there more than a single type of Elf in the ...
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First draft of The Lord of the Rings: Who was “M”?

The first words Tolkien wrote of the Lord of the Rings are preserved in a manuscript of which the first page is reproduced in The Return of the Shadow. When he first put pen to paper he wrote in ...
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Why would Gollum like climbing trees in fair weather?

This question, asked yesterday, put a somewhat related question into my mind. As quoted in that question: ‘In the days of fair weather we led Gollum through the woods; and there was a high tree ...
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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 ...
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What did the Hobbits call the story we know as The Lord of the Rings?

I came across a jarring statement in Unfinished Tales, in the chapter "The Palantíri": It must however be noted with regard to the narrative of The Lord of the Rings that over and above such ...
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What happened to Arnor after the fall of Angmar in TA 1975

From what I can understand Arnor was invaded by Angmar, but Angmar itself was defeated by Gondor shortly afterwards in TA 1975. Formally Arnor was restored by Aragorn when he was crowned the King of ...
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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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Is there a map of Middle Earth during the second age? [duplicate]

Where can I find a map of Middle Earth during the Second Age circa SA 1600 (before the war of the Elves and Sauron)? The following site ...
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What powers did the Witch King have?

Beyond fear what actual powers does the Witch King demonstrate that make him "dangerous". his very presence can cause fear and death in men and drive his subordinates on he utters a spell that ...
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Was Sauron aware of what Gandalf was?

Is there any evidence that Gandalf's maia origin was known to Sauron. Not many of the elves even knew (Cirdan, Galadriel and Elrond maybe) This quote makes me think not. 'So!' said the Messenger. ...
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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 did the Beatles' proposal to make a Lord of the Rings movie fall through?

As a lifelong Beatles fanatic, I am well aware of their plans to make a Lord of the Rings movie. When they hit the big time, that signed a contract for 3 feature films. The first two were A Hard ...
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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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Was the creation of the Ring justified? [duplicate]

Sauron's decision to put the majority of his power into a magic ring seems to be a very big gamble even with the (potential) payoff of being able to control the other rings. Is there any description ...
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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 ...
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Was there only a single mithril-mail shirt made?

Considering mithril is both incredibly light and strong (compared to other materials such as steel) are there any references to there being more than a single mithril mail shirt (Bilbo's) ever being ...
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Why was Gandalf so emotional?

This is relating to the movie. Frodo finally relinquishes his desire for the ring, and it melts in the fires of Mount Doom. The next scene shows the eruption of Mount Doom and the destruction of Barad ...
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Was Grima the only one who knew about the weak spot in Helm's Deep?

In the movie at least of The Two Towers, Grima Wormtongue mentioned to Saruman a nasty weak spot in the outer foundations of Helm's Deep - a small tunnel which allows a wee stream to flow to and fro. ...
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Were the Eagles of the Lords of the West real eagles or cloud eagles?

Were the "Eagles of the Lords of the West", that acted as portents of the fall of Númenor real eagles or cloud eagles? Like this? or like this
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What would Sméagol have called his own race?

In the book Unfinished Tales, in the chapter The Hunt for the Ring, we find the following passage (which confirms what is said in the answers to this question): Gollum would not know the term ...
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Do we know anything about what a clock face would look like in Middle Earth?

What might a clock face look like in Middle Earth, assuming a device similar to a typical clock in the real world? Lots of sub-questions have arisen. What kind of subdivisions would there be? Are ...
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Why does the Ring have such an obsessive possessive effect?

In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, we see in Bilbo and Frodo and, to a more extreme extent, Gollum, all bearers of the one ring, that they become extremely possessive of the ring and do ...
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Who controls The Watcher in the Water?

There is a lake kraken-like creature in front of The Gates of Moria, mentioned in the book and shown in the movies and I want to know who controls it? Is it an independent creature, or it's controlled ...
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Did Tolkien create Gandalf the White out of regret for killing off Gandalf the Grey?

Are there any notes from Tolkien hinting at the possibility that Gandalf the Grey being killed was in fact the end of Gandalf, but was brought back out of regret (or even necessity)? I'm particularly ...
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Are there any orc names mentioned in LOTR movie trilogy?

There are a lot of orcs that are mentioned by name in the Lord of the Rings books; Ugluk, Grishnakh, Mauhur, Gothmog, etc. But are there any mentions of their names in Peter Jackson's movie trilogy?
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What is the proper form of the word “Dunedain”?

I have always assumed that the word in question should be written "Dúnedain", but in reading The Hunt for the Ring in Unfinished Tales, I came across a puzzling passage: Night was waning on the ...
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Is there a way to determine the respective canonical status of Tolkien's Middle-earth related works?

It is almost always difficult to determine the canonicity (if that's a word) of different works within a fictional universe, but the problems are even more complicated in regards to Tolkien's ...
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How many Stars of Elendil were there, and what happened to each of them?

In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn wears a jewel called the Elendilmir, or Star of Elendil, upon his brow. This stone, which was also known as the Star of the Dunedain and the Star of the North, was ...
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Who created the Dailir?

In the Lord of the Rings, the Sindarin Elf Beleg Cúthalion wielded what was probably the only enchanted bow mentioned in the history of Middle-Earth (at least, the only one I could find) which he ...
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How can Tolkien's characters see stars during the daytime?

In many places throughout Tolkien's works, he describes his characters seeing stars in the sky during daylight hours, usually when the characters are passing through deep, narrow canyons or ravines. ...
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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 ...
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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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From where did Thorin get those Goats?

In The Battle of The Five Armies movie, we see Thorin lead a shock troop of Fili, Kili and Dwalin to Ravenhill to take out Azog. They ride on huge-horned-rock climbing-goats. Now, I have not read the ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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, ...
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Were the orcs of Minas Morgul created by the Witch King? [duplicate]

In the Return of the King, there are the orcs that come from Minas Morgul. Were they produced in Mordor and transferred there, or were they actually created in Minas Morgul by the Witch King?