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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What are fans speculations about fiction universes turned out to be true? [on hold]

Fans of such universes often like to speculate, why such character do that, or why such party do this, what Obi-Wan though in this moment, what agenda of Tom Bombadil was, etc, etc. And I wonder, is ...
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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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How is the music in Middle-Earth? [duplicate]

As all of us know, Tolkien was a philologist and the languages always had great importance in his works (the elvish was created earlier than Middle-Earth itself, this being a world created precisely ...
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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 The One Ring turns, for instance, **the clothes** of the bearer invisible too?

First of all, forgive me for my english, buddies. The Ring has the power to become invisible people that uses It, like Bilbo and Frodo and everyone else. Is there some reference explaining better how ...
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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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286 views

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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85 views

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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199 views

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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140 views

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?
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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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Melkor or Morgoth?

Despite being the ultimate Big Bad Guy1 in the Lord of the Rings books, Sauron was not the biggest baddest guy in the Tolkien legendarium. In fact he was only a servant of Melkor/Morgoth, who was a ...
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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. ...
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318 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. ...
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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 ...
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292 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, ...
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How did Gandalf find Merry and Pippin in the Fangorn?

Is it ever stated why Gandalf entered Fangorn? Or was it just a coincidence? What I mean by that is how does he just manage to stumble upon Merry and Pippin, or did he know it was going to happen?
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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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475 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 ...
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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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What does the Elvish word “Ai!” mean?

In the chapter titled "The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm", in The Fellowship of the Ring, Legolas is the first member of the Fellowship to see the Balrog known as "Durin's Bane". He proceeds to alert the ...
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The North, South and East Wind

When Tolkien refers to the wind, is he saying the direction it is blowing or the direction it has come from? For example this passage in The Two Towers, The Departure of Boromir: ‘You left the ...