Questions tagged [the-lord-of-the-rings]

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].

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
27
votes
9answers
8k views

Is Tolkien prejudiced against the East?

In Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series, there are generally two groups of Men. The good ones are coming from the West (Dúnedain, Men of the West), and the bad ones, the Easterlings, mostly fight ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Who are the 2 most powerful entities to battle each other directly?

I was thinking the other day, which were the 2 most powerful entities/characters that came into direct combat with each other. I know that the Gandalf/Durin's Bane battle may have been the instance of ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Do the elves have pity for other races?

It is made obvious many times that they are far more beautiful, skilled, tall, and physically strong than everyone else. Considering this, did they 'look down' upon all the other peoples? In the '...
43
votes
9answers
112k views

How old is Gandalf?

In the Lord of The Rings trilogy, does anyone know how old Gandalf is? I remember reading that Gandalf was much older than he looked. Do the books ever say how old he is?
50
votes
2answers
12k views

When did Bilbo and Frodo learn that Gandalf was a Maia?

It is obvious that the common Hobbits (and men) knew nothing of the true nature of the Istari. When the Istari arrived in Middle-earth they were considered "strange elves" (as a matter of fact, ...
-5
votes
1answer
302 views

What would Saruman join forces with Sauron for?

Curumo (Saruman) is not known, AFAIK, to have forgotten his identity and his mission from the Valar. Even ignoring his commitment to the Valar - he knows that Mairon's master is gone and won't be ...
26
votes
6answers
5k views

Why does Gandalf say “the West that is forgotten”?

Inspired by this question and namely by this passage (emphasis mine): “Many are my names in many countries: Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Dwarves; Olórin I was in my youth in the West ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

If Gandalf was a Maia, why couldn't he change form? [duplicate]

According to The LOTR wiki, Gandalf and Saruman are amongst the named Maiar. Again, a quote from Wiki: Maiar, like Valar, do not array themselves in a fixed form, but can freely change their ...
0
votes
1answer
194 views

How did the Ring allow Sauron to retain his human form? [duplicate]

I was reading on Tolkien Gateway that Sauron fought with Gil-galad and Elendil, and both were slain. As Elendil fell, his sword was broken beneath him. Yet Sauron was thrown down, too, and Isildur ...
30
votes
3answers
6k views

Why was a fox able to think about the hobbits on the road to Rivendell?

When Frodo, Pippin, and Sam were traveling to Rivendell, they slept under a tree the first night. Tolkien writes about a fox that wonders to himself why three hobbits were sleeping under a tree. Why ...
52
votes
3answers
14k views

How far did Gandalf and the Balrog drop from the bridge in Moria?

As best I can tell, in this dramatic scene from The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf falls for 71 seconds, mostly in free-fall while fighting a Balrog. True, the Balrog hits the walls of the abyss a ...
15
votes
2answers
8k views

Why did Saruman lie?

I was looking at this interactive map of Middle-earth, and noticed that when you click on the node at Isengard, one of the dates says: The Black Riders visit Saruman who lies that Gandalf has "...
45
votes
4answers
10k views

Why did Gandalf use a sword against the Balrog?

Shortly after Gandalf first sees the balrog, he orders Aragorn to lead the fellowship to the bridge. Aragorn hesitates, fearing to leave Gandalf alone against such a fearsome enemy, until Gandalf ...
29
votes
3answers
6k views

How many times did Frodo wear The Ring in all movies/books combined?

I am trying to make a quiz and this is a question that I puzzled myself with. How many times did Frodo wear The Ring in all movies/books combined?
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What is Sauron saying while Frodo and Gollum fight over the ring in the Crack of Doom?

At 1:41 in this clip, Sauron appears to be talking in Black Speech. What is he saying? Is this in the books?
138
votes
12answers
22k views

What is the significance of Saruman's Ring?

At the council of Elrond, Gandalf tells of his encounter with Saruman. But I rode to the foot of Orthanc, and came to the stair of Saruman; and there he met me and led me up to his high chamber. ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Did Tolkien ever discuss why rings were chosen? [duplicate]

With years of reading the books and watching movies, especially with the success of the Peter Jackson movies, the fact the main magical items of The Lord of the Rings are the rings seems ...
-5
votes
1answer
190 views

How do the Eagles decide where to drop people off?

In The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, eagles appear occasionally. How do they decide where to drop people off? Is it directed by a character? Or are they conscious enough to decide on a ...
41
votes
2answers
6k views

Was it reckless to allow Wormtongue to go free?

When Grima Wormtongue is evicted from Theoden's court in The Two Towers he is given free leave to go wherever he wants. Gandalf, Theoden and the whole company are in no doubt that he is a plant of ...
85
votes
8answers
19k views

Why did Gollum ever take off the ring in the first place?

Bilbo was able to take the ring because Gollum had taken it off. If you had the ring, and were accustomed to wearing it, why would you ever take it off anyway?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the chapter “The Houses of Healing” meant as comic relief?

I'm re-reading the LOTR books for the first time in about 20 years, and I was struck by the change of tone in this chapter. We've just had several heavy chapters of death and destruction and this ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there any canon evidence of a second “One Ring?”

In the videogame "Middle-Earth: Shadow of War" the opening scene shows Talion, really Celebrimbor, forging a second Ring of Power to combat the original One Ring. My question is whether this is ...
6
votes
4answers
870 views

Are there female wizards in The Lord of the Rings?

I don’t remember there being any specific ones in the canon Middle-earth, but is it possible for the wizards of that universe to be female?
7
votes
2answers
630 views

Could you willingly cast yourself into Mount Doom with the One Ring?

I'm aware that no-one can willingly cast the One Ring into Mount Doom, but could you do it if you jumped in with it? Tolkien's Letter 246 seems to imply that this was a potential path for Frodo, or ...
76
votes
4answers
16k views

Do the books ever say oliphaunts aren’t elephants?

In a comment here, Valorum states "Zero elephants. Several Oliphaunts". Which made me wonder: is there anything in Tolkien's writings to support the notion that Oliphaunts are not elephants? The ...
450
votes
17answers
68k views

Would the One Ring even work for anyone but Sauron?

The temptation of the One Ring, we quickly learn, is always tied up with power: each character's fantasies of possessing it seem to be about what they would do with great power. Even Sam, as I recall, ...
26
votes
3answers
7k 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Why didn't Gandalf carry the Ring in Maia form?

I understand that the Istari - the only other Maiar besides the Balrog to come into close proximity to the Ring - are constrained within a mortal body and subject to its mortal weaknesses, which ...
5
votes
7answers
3k views

Could an Elf kill Sauron in single combat?

An elf named Glorfindel killed a Balrog in the First Age. Balrogs are Maiar that were corrupted by Morgoth. We know they can be killed by powerful beings, like the wizards, in single combat because ...
95
votes
6answers
30k views

Did Eru Ilúvatar trip Gollum?

The LOTR wiki lists four times Eru Ilúvatar intervened in the history of Arda: creating Elves and Men removing Aman from the spherical Earth resurrecting Gandalf making Gollum trip In a letter ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Could the likes of Feanor or Fingolfin have willingly destroyed the one ring?

We know they were pretty powerful guys in most aspects, did Tolkien ever mention if the Eldar would be able to destroy the One Ring?
19
votes
3answers
7k views

How many oliphaunts died in all of the Lord of the Rings battles?

As elephant-like creatures called 'oliphaunts' were used in the movies and the books, I'm wondering how many died in all of the Lord of the Rings battles? Whether they were stabbed or whatever, is ...
75
votes
6answers
21k views

Why didn't Sauron guard Mount Doom?

This fact had always bugged me. When Frodo finally goes to the Cracks of Doom he is met with practically no resistance. This seems uncharacteristic of Sauron which in my humble opinion makes it a tiny ...
50
votes
3answers
11k views

Where do the Dwarves put all the stone from the Mines of Moria?

In Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring heads into the Mines of Moria to escape from the Watcher in the Water after attempting to cross over the Misty Mountains. Inside the Mines of Moria ...
138
votes
14answers
27k views

Why is Shelob considered evil?

Shelob is an "evil thing in spider form," according to Tolkien. Now, we know that she is the "last child of Ungoliant to trouble the unhappy world," we know that she is fairly deficient in charm, and ...
12
votes
6answers
20k views

What makes Galadriel so powerful?

I have seen Galadriel being more powerful than most of the others (in the movies, such as The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies) and I wonder why that is, and also what makes her weak after using ...
31
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
27
votes
6answers
12k views

How much Elven ancestry does Aragorn have?

I know Aragorn is descended from Elros the half-Elf, and from what I've been able to find, there are somewhere between 64 and 99 generations separating Elros from Aragorn. I can't do the math, I don'...
29
votes
9answers
24k views

How long could we expect Eldarion to live?

Elrond (who was 50% Elven) lived well over 6,000 years before departing Middle-Earth. Because of his distant Elven lineage Aragorn lived over 200 years before he died. As a 3/4 elf Arwen was immortal ...
7
votes
2answers
601 views

What is the angular stone in Fangorn Forest?

In The Two Towers movie, Treebeard leads Merry and Pippin to the location of the Entmoot, which appears to be a small clearing in the forest with a curious angular rock jutting from the ground. Is ...
36
votes
2answers
11k views

Why are Hobbits so fond of mushrooms?

In both the book and the movie it would seem that Hobbits are especially fond of mushrooms, sometimes braving dangers to harvest them. I have seen somewhere an interview in which Tolkien claimed he ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Who is the disapproving hobbit?

During one of The Lord of the Rings films I have a memory of a very curmudgeonly old hobbit, sweeping his porch or walk, I think, as he looks disapprovingly at some of the protagonists going down the ...
16
votes
2answers
763 views

Did Gondor ever reach the previous height of its power during the Fourth Age?

As far as I know the peak of Gondor's glory during the rule of the House of Anarion was during the reign of Hyrarmendacil I; the kingdom extended to most of ME, including Greenwood the Great, Rhun, ...
7
votes
1answer
320 views

Who was the orc who wanted to leave Mordor and have his own band of brigands? [duplicate]

In The Lord of the Rings there was a conversation between two orcs, where one of them expressed the desire to leave Mordor and return to a life of small scale brigandry. Who was this orc, and in ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Ring-bearers - who can notice what about whom and when?

So, I want to get something straight with respect to the bearers of the 20 rings of power (3 Eldar, 7 Dwarves, 9 Men, 1 Boss). Before asking my question(s), here is some Motivation: Sometimes when ...
74
votes
2answers
12k views

What's the big deal about the Nazgûl losing their horses?

I have only watched the movies and I am currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring (haven't finished it yet, I am at the Bridge in Khazad-Dum). A number of times we see characters such as Gandalf, ...
13
votes
2answers
13k views

What do the Rings of Power actually do to the races that wear them?

So, I've been reading Lord of The Rings, and other Tolkien books, and I've always wondered something. What did the other rings of power, given to the various races by Sauron actually do?
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Distinguish the explanations of Galadriel's test in LotR

So, I just finished The Silmarillion, and of course The Hobbit and LotR before that. One of the reason I wanted to read Silmarillion is because I didn't quite understand the part of Galadriel's speech ...
49
votes
4answers
20k views

Is “Lord of the Rings” a trilogy of books in Tolkien's opinion?

Is "Lord of the Rings" a trilogy of books? It was published as 3 separate books, but can it be called a trilogy? Was it intended to be a trilogy by Tolkien himself? The question arose in comment ...
21
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...