Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

For questions about the trilogy of movies or books, 'The Fellowship of the Ring', 'The Two Towers' and 'The Return of the King'. Always use in conjunction with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag and, for movie questions, the relevant movie tag, e.g. [fellowship-of-the-ring].

9
votes
3answers
352 views

How does Gandalf know that dragon-fire might be able to melt the rings of power, but not the One Ring?

In Fellowship of the Ring "The Shadow of the Past", Frodo asks about destroying the One Ring. Gandalf says: It has been said that dragon-fire could melt and consume the rings of power but there is ...
2
votes
0answers
132 views

What common elements of fantasy fiction were invented by J.R.R. Tolkien? [closed]

It's clear that Tolkien invented Hobbits, but many other elements of that are common in fantasy literature such as elves and dwarves were probably taken from folklore. What ideas, now common in ...
11
votes
1answer
490 views

What is the flash of light from Minas Tirith?

In LOTR The Return of the King Theoden briefly loses hope before leading the charge against the siege of Minas Tirith. However, when a "flash, as if lightning had sprung from the earth beneath the ...
12
votes
1answer
992 views

What did Balin see in the Mirrormere?

We know from the Book of Mazarbul that shortly before the downfall of his newly established kingdom, Balin went to look in the Mirrormere. Is there any canonical reference to what he saw?
25
votes
2answers
5k views

What would have happened to Saruman if Sauron acquired the One Ring?

This question is the opposite of another one. The other question asks "What would happen to Saruman if he got the One Ring?" and this one asks what would happen to Saruman if Sauron got the One Ring. ...
53
votes
4answers
11k views

Why did Peter Jackson add the Nazgûls attack scene in Bree when it was not present in the original story, nor very important for the plot?

Although it's a very good scene from the film, I don't see why Peter Jackson added it to the story (remember). In the books, the Hobbits do not meet the Nazgûl in Bree, and that does not really ...
15
votes
3answers
680 views

Does Saruman invade Rohan to please Sauron, or is it a desperate last-ditch attempt to recover the ring?

I don't really understand most of the politics of Sauron and Saruman during the time-period between the departure of the fellowship from Lórien and the moment where Aragorn shows himself in Orthanc's ...
49
votes
2answers
7k views

Did Frodo and Gimli ever discuss the adventures of Bilbo and Glóin with each other?

Bilbo and Glóin journey to the Lonely Mountain together in The Hobbit, and share in many adventures including battling a dragon. Considering that Bilbo recounted his adventures to Frodo, and ...
3
votes
1answer
360 views

Why could Isildur retain the ring? (from a “legal” point of view) [duplicate]

In this question, we've learned about the difficulty for Elrond and/or Círdan to do anything amounting to taking the ring from Isildur, once the latter decided it was his loot. It seems they tried to ...
8
votes
1answer
295 views

Was there a part 2 to Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings?

Is there any production footage of part 2 of Ralph Bakshi's Lord of The Rings 70's animated movie? At the end of the film there is dialogue indicating that there would be another film: Narrator: As ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the Hobbits of the Fellowship of the Ring wear hats?

From Bilbo's departure in The Hobbit, it follows that going on a trip without a hat was unusual. Hats were commonplace in the Shire: for example, when Pippin and Merry returned to the Shire as small ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

Did Gandalf Visit Bree between the fall of Mordor and the hobbits' journey home?

In Chapter 7 of Book 6 of The Return Of The King, Homeward Bound, Barliman Butterbur compliments Gandalf's horse Shadowfax, saying: "And you’ll be taking your horse to his stable yourself, Gandalf,...
36
votes
2answers
9k views

What version of the LoTR film shows Gandalf breaking Saruman's staff?

In the book version, Gandalf confronts Saruman and declares "Your staff is broken," at which point Saruman's staff shatters. I just re-watched the movie version on DVD, and that scene isn't shown. ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How does Gandalf know that the ring's destruction will imply Sauron's “death”? [duplicate]

During the last debate, Gandalf says: "Concerning this thing, my lords, you now all know enough for the understanding of our plight, and of Sauron's. If he regains it, your valour is vain, ...
9
votes
2answers
629 views

Why does Elrond call Mithrandir “Gandalf”?

Why does Lord Elrond call and refer to Mithrandir as Gandalf? Suggesting that it is because he is (only) half-elven would seem illogical, IMHO.
14
votes
1answer
272 views

Were the leaders of the Shire counselors of Arnor after the time of Sam, Merry, and Pippin?

In the appendices after The Return of the King, it is stated that when King Elessar traveled to Arnor, he made the Thain of the Shire, the Mayor of the Shire, and the Master of Buckland counselors of ...
25
votes
1answer
4k views

Did Sauron prefer his name not to be written or spoken?

In the Wikipedia entry for Uruk-Hai, it states that some Uruk-Hai had an elf rune, equivalent to the letter "S", painted on them. It then states: It was clear the "S" stood for Saruman, considering ...
74
votes
5answers
11k views

What was Sauron's plan for a Middle-earth conquered and ruled by him?

I have watched only the movies but the question is about Sauron in the books. Sauron is said to be an aggressor who wants to conquer Middle-earth and bring all the people living in it under his ...
6
votes
2answers
507 views

Could Orcs be used against Sauron?

Within the movie version of The Two Towers Saruman created Uruk-hai in the pits below Orthanc that were willing to kill Mordor orcs when the orcs attempted to harm the hobbits. Could Gandalf (or ...
34
votes
1answer
6k views

Why was Boromir sent alone to Rivendell?

Boromir was the first son of the Steward of Gondor and a captain of Gondor. Yet, he was sent without escort North-West with only his horse, shield, sword, and horn to investigate Faramir's dream. Why ...
36
votes
2answers
8k views

How did Gandalf know the Nazgûl crossed the river in secret?

Our heroes in Middle-earth knew the Nine Riders were coming even though the riders were keeping their movements secret. ”I have an urgent errand,” he said. “My news is evil.” Then he looked about ...
5
votes
2answers
892 views

What was “Gollum's Song” based on?

At the end of the movie version of The Two Towers, there's a song called "Gollum's Song". The Lord of the Rings wikia states that it was based on "a song sung by ...
38
votes
1answer
5k views

Why did Nazgul spare the other hobbits at Weathertop? [duplicate]

In the fight at the Weathertop, the Nazgul injured Frodo and left. They waited for him to pass to the shadow and become a wraith, but they did not kill the other hobbits on Weathertop, Sam, Merry, and ...
67
votes
4answers
15k views

Is there a passage in Lord of the Rings told from the perspective of an orc?

I distinctly remember that when I read Lord of the Rings, there was a passage told from the point of view of an orc (although obviously still told in the third person). I think the orc was ...
7
votes
1answer
349 views

Translation of these Cirth runes

What is the translation of what's written below? I think it may be the poem of the One Ring, but I'm not sure.
9
votes
1answer
352 views

The Storm of Mordor and the Nazgul

In the Lord of the Rings, book IV (in The Two Towers), Frodo and Sam encounter a storm coming from the east towards the Emyn Muil. Suddenly, they hear the screech of a – what is presumed to be &...
5
votes
3answers
680 views

Has Aragorn ever expressed fear?

In The Return of the King, just before the Battle of the Morannon near the Black Gate, Aragorn gives the following (now famous) speech before his army: Transcript: ...
5
votes
2answers
506 views

What is each side of the conflict in the Lord of the Rings trilogy called?

Wherever I look they are always being called "Good" and "Evil". Are there any canonical names for each side of the conflict? For example in World War 1 there was the Triple Alliance and the Triple ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Were Men aware that Aragorn was being raised amongst the Elves?

I have been told that Aragorn was taken and raised amongst the Elves in one of my previous questions. Was there anyone who was aware of this? If so since he is the heir of Isildur did anyone search ...
46
votes
3answers
14k views

Why did the Elves respect Aragorn yet consider Isildur to be weak?

After watching the first movie of the series a lot I realized how much "dislike", almost "hate", Elrond has for Man when he starts with "I was there when it happened" as he tells the story of Isildur. ...
1
vote
1answer
216 views

The effect on Nazgul as couriers of the One Ring [duplicate]

This may probably all be speculative, but what effect would the One Ring have upon the Nazgul, who each wore a ring of power, if they had indeed captured it during the hunt for the Ring? Would the ...
39
votes
2answers
7k views

What was the white gem Frodo wore?

In the Return of the King, the last chapter "The Grey Havens", Frodo appears to have a white gem hanging from a chain around his neck that is mentioned a couple of times: On the thirteenth of that ...
2
votes
1answer
464 views

In the Lord of the Rings movies, why didn't Aragorn just reforge Narsil at the beginning?

In the books, Aragorn reforges the sword Narsil in Rivendell. He named the remade sword "Anduril". He carries the sword throughout the Quest of the Ring, even in battles such as in Amon Hen, Helm's ...
0
votes
1answer
286 views

What was the parting conversation between Elrond and Arwen?

In The Return of the King, the chapter "Many Partings", it says: None saw her lasting meeting with Elrond her father, for they went up into the hills and there spoke long together, and bitter was ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Would Gimli and Éomer really have fought each other?

There's an ongoing disagreement bewteen Gimli and Éomer about Galadriel, one that is only resolved because Gimli accepted that Arwen was an acceptable alternative opinion. From The Return of the King,...
81
votes
3answers
13k views

What lies in Mordor besides Mount Doom and Barad-dur?

Mordor is so big on the Middle-earth map, but the only significant structures in there are the Eye of Sauron and Mount Doom. Since Mordor is so heavily guarded, I would think that there would be more ...
38
votes
5answers
9k views

Why did Peter Jackson replace Glorfindel's role with Arwen?

In the books, it was Glorfindel who saved Frodo from the Nazguls. Obviously, I'm talking about the movies, particularly the reason why Peter Jackson changed this scene from the book. Why did PJ ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

How tall are Aragorn and Elendil?

On both Tolkien Gateway and the Lord of the Rings wikia it says that Elendil is 7’11 (241cm) and Aragon is 6’6 (198cm). I have read the Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion and neither of them ...
4
votes
1answer
406 views

Why did Sauron's army choose to march at the exact moment Frodo crossed the watchers?

It seems like an extraordinary coincidence that Sauron's army set off for Minas Tirith precisely when Frodo crossed the line between the watchers. It was practically to the second! (You know - the ...
38
votes
2answers
10k views

What was Aragorn talking about when he said “Helms Deep helped them survive in the past”?

In the Lord of the Rings movie The Two Towers, during the preparation of people's movement from Edoras to Helm's Deep, Aragorn says something like: Helm’s Deep helped them survive in the past ...
-1
votes
1answer
262 views

What is the Mathom House from the book Lord of The Rings?

What is the Mathom House from the book The Lord of the Rings?
39
votes
2answers
6k views

In what way is Gandalf a steward?

In the first chapter of The Return of the King ("Minas Tirith"), just before Gandalf leaves Denethor, he says to him: "For I also am a steward. Did you not know?" What does Gandalf mean by this? ...
7
votes
1answer
322 views

How and why does Sam know to say that Sindarin phrase when he uses the Phial?

Following on from my question What does Sam shout when he uses the Phial?, I was curious to know why those words came to him, and why they were in Sindarin specifically. It would be more plausible ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

What does Sam shout when he uses the Phial?

In the Two Towers, near the beginning of chapter "The Choices of Master Samwise", Sam uses the Phial and shouts in (I assume) elvish: A Elbereth Gilthoniel o menel palan-diriel, le nallon ...
4
votes
0answers
241 views

Looking for Tolkien's quote about sadness of kings

I have been searching for a quote by Tolkien, presumably from Silmarillion, which says (paraphrasing here) that the great kings had a sadness in them because they had seen the suffering from the past ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

East Gate of Moria

Why did the Eastern Gate of Moria not have password protection, like the Western Gate with its “speak friend ‘riddle’”? Were the peoples on the east side considered more trustworthy?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Was Gandalf astray, or had the land changed, on the road to Moria?

In the Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 4. A Journey in the Dark, as the Fellowship has just been defeated by the freak blizzard on the Redhorn Gate, Gandalf is having difficulty in locating the stream ...
3
votes
0answers
107 views

Why isn’t Middle-earth filled with elves? [duplicate]

We know Elves do procreate and have children. We know they do have sex. Immortal beings with normal reproduction would fill Middle-earth if left unchecked (like rabbits). We see Elrond with 3 ...
31
votes
3answers
10k views

Why don't the people of Rohan recognize Gandalf's staff?

From this link, (specifically in number 8) 8. NO ONE TAKES GANDALF’S ‘WALKING STICK’ One of the subplots in Two Towers is Théoden’s possession by Saruman with the help of Gríma Wormtongue. Aragorn,...
46
votes
2answers
9k views

How is the name “Gandalf” pronounced?

I've been reading answers to the question asking how "Smaug" should be pronounced and I was wondering, is there an authoritative answer to the pronunciation of "Gandalf"? I first read The Hobbit ...