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Recently I started reading about the wolfhound Huan and how he was a very powerful dog that aided man and elves. That made me realise that there were some very courageous animals in the LOTR universe.

That being said, does Tolkien ever talk about hero creatures? Are there any creatures (excluding the most obvious; dragons and eagles) that have gone above and beyond the call of duty in order to help Middle Earth?

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  • Lots of horses, it appears there wasn't many combative creatures
    – EricSSH
    Oct 1, 2014 at 23:40
  • The Mûmakil seem pretty anti-heroic.
    – Valorum
    Oct 1, 2014 at 23:41
  • This is opinion based. Oct 2, 2014 at 1:27
  • Voting to close, as this is basically a list-of question with no right, wrong, or complete answer. The Wikipedia list page is a good summary. Oct 2, 2014 at 15:58
  • I don't see why you count eagles as heroic and "having gone above and beyond the call of duty"? Can you give an example of heroic deeds of eagles? The eagle Manwe sent to stop Fingon from killing Maedhros doesn't seem particularly heroic to me.
    – b_jonas
    Jun 20, 2015 at 20:53

4 Answers 4

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The thrush who tells Bard how to kill Smaug would seem to qualify:

Suddenly out of the dark something fluttered to his shoulder. He started-but it was only an old thrush. Unafraid it perched by his ear and it brought him news. Marvelling he found he could understand its tongue, for he was of the race of Dale.

"Wait! Wait!" it said to him. "The moon is rising. Look for the hollow of the left breast as he flies and turns above you!"

Otherwise Tolkien doesn't really deal with creatures (beyond the obvious exceptions such as Huan); his tales are primarily about Men and Elves.

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  • I've read in some cases that the thrush was actually Eru or an Ainur acting in the interest of Middle Earth.
    – TylerH
    Oct 2, 2014 at 13:25
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Certainly Gandalf's horse Shadowfax should make the cut as a magical animal who helped to save Middle Earth.

  • One of the fastest and smartest horses in Middle Earth. Gandalf would have been lost without him several times. Brave, smart and descended from magical horses called Mearas.
  • Shadowfax was the Lord of all horses.
  • He was a descendant of Felaróf, of the race of the Mearas, the greatest horses of Middle-earth.
  • Shadowfax was capable of comprehending human speech and was said to run faster than the wind.
  • Originally belonging to the House of Eorl, Lord of Rohan, Shadowfax was too wild to be tamed by the Rohirrim.
  • Eventually he was given to Gandalf the White by Théoden, the then-king of Rohan. Shadowfax's coat is described as silvery-grey in daylight and hardly to be seen at night. REF: Lord of the Rings Wiki: Shadowfax
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Bill the Pony. Not only did he faithfully carry the Fellowship's equipment, but he played a small part in the victory at the Battle of Bywater.

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Treebard the ent. The oldest Ent. Also portrayed n the Two towers movie.

Helped assault Isengaard and helped Pipin and Meriadoc.

WIKI reference : The eldest of the species of Ents, he is said to live in the ancient Forest of Fangorn and stands fourteen feet (4 m) in height and is tree-like in appearance, with leafy hair and a rigid structure. Fangorn Forest lies next to Isengard where Saruman the White resides. His motto is "Do not be hasty."

In The Two Towers he meets with Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, two Hobbits of the Shire known also as Merry and Pippin.[1] Treebeard is known to have a strong hatred of Orcs, and, after Saruman's betrayal of the Ents, of Saruman as well. During his initial encounter with the two hobbits, he is so agitated that he misidentifies them as orcs.

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    Ents are people... huorns are a bit more animalistic (or plant-like, I suppose), but ents are on a par with the other races in terms of intellect, culture and erudition.
    – Cugel
    Oct 2, 2014 at 9:31
  • 1
    err.. ok. depending how you think of it. I would say intelligent creatures. potato, potato. ty for the input.
    – Cherubel
    Oct 2, 2014 at 9:52

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