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

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].

2
votes
0answers
104 views

Was Durin's Bane the last Balrog on Middle-earth? [duplicate]

I am interested to know, after the death of Durin's bane by Gandalf, were there any Balrogs left in Middle-earth, or was it the last Balrog?
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Does Tolkien's Legendarium have tiers of canonicity? [duplicate]

Many big Sci-Fi and Fantasy works, such as Harry Potter and Star Wars, have so much material spanning multiple media types that they have to be pruned every now and again and redefine different levels ...
54
votes
3answers
8k views

Was Galadriel's temptation of Boromir instrumental to his fall?

We know Galadriel tempted the members of the Fellowship, did she tempt Boromir with visions of taking the Ring and saving Gondor? In the books, Boromir willingly accepts the judgement of the council ...
12
votes
2answers
603 views

Who had hung the ring about Frodo's neck on a new chain?

'Have you got it here?' Bilbo asked in a whisper. 'I can't help feeling curious, you know, after all I've heard. I should very much like just to peep at it again.' (...) When he had dressed, ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How many times did Gandalf touch the One Ring in the books?

Inspired by this question here, not sure about the LOTR novels (no copy of my books with me) but, in the movies Gandalf touches the Ring once after Bilbo drops it, and gets a vision immediately of ...
9
votes
2answers
538 views

How could the Istari act openly against Dol Guldur (or did they?)

The Istari were forbidden to "match [Sauron's] power with power". Yet the White Council was able to attack Dol Guldur and drive out Sauron. Why was that allowed? Or did the Istari just help out with ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Why don't the forces of Thranduil and Dain aid Gondor in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields? [duplicate]

It seems, that in The Hobbit movie (Battle of Five Armies), Thranduil leads a impressive force of Mirkwood elves to reclaim his treasure in Lonely Mountain, but he doesn't help in the Pelennor Fields ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did the Nazgûl not attack a second time at Weathertop?

Even Aragorn and the Hobbits are surprised at Weathertop that the Nazgûl did not try a second attack to take the ring. The following possible reasons are offered or implied: The Nazgûl where ...
51
votes
2answers
10k views

Why don't Merry and Pippin seem taller than Frodo and Sam, even after drinking ent-draught?

I believe that in the 2nd movie, Merry and Pip meet Treebeard and drink ent-draught from Fangorn. They didn't appear any taller when we see them in ROTK though, very strangely they are the same ...
11
votes
1answer
373 views

How long was Shelob's pass?

In the chapter Shelob's Lair, Tolkien describes Frodo and Sam's journey through the pass of Cirith Ungol. He tells us they don't know if 1, 2 or 3 hours have passed while travelling through the dark ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

Did the Shire import any goods?

We, of course, know that the Shire did export a few goods, such as Longbottom leaf which was at some point found in Orthanc. However, do we know if the Shire also imported any goods and traded with ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Why didn't the phantom of Saruman do anything when he saw the travellers on the borders of Fangorn?

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli see Saruman's phantom while camping outside Fangorn forest, just after the battle between Uglúk's company and the Riders of Rohan. Who does he think he sees and why does he ...
5
votes
2answers
791 views

Could the One Ring tempt someone who couldn't touch it and didn't know it was even there?

I have always thought it interesting that Gandalf briefly handles the One Ring once or twice without being affected by it, as powerful as he is. (And my understanding is that the temptation is ...
7
votes
3answers
482 views

Did Denethor ever travel outside the realm of Gondor?

Denethor, the 26th Steward of Gondor and father of Boromir and Faramir, was born in 2930TA and was around 11 yrs old around the time of the Battle of Five Armies (2941TA). Therefore, during his early ...
-9
votes
1answer
711 views

Why didn't Aragorn arrive earlier to save Boromir?

In this scene, Aragorn was with Legolas and Gimli killing several Uruk-Hai. When Legolas hears the horn of Gondor, Aragorn hears it as well. Aragorn comes goes to aid him, but he was surrounded by ...
8
votes
2answers
549 views

Were the spiders in Mirkwood and also the Eagles rational beings?

This question about Bilbo understanding the spiders after he wore the Ring in Mirkwood, got me wondering. Were the spiders really rational beings? If they could talk with purpose and in a meaningful ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What happened to Aragorn's Ranger sword?

In the films, Aragon uses his Ranger Sword during the events of the Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. He used it during the battle at Weathertop, Balin's Tomb, Amon Hen, Warg Attack, and the ...
5
votes
1answer
775 views

Did Gandalf ever have a romantic partner or a spouse?

Inspired by this question (about interspecies pairings on the LOTR universe), I was wondering whether Gandalf ever had a romantic partner or spouse? I've read the books several times, but I don't ...
19
votes
2answers
7k views

Why were Sauron and Saruman not considered Balrogs?

Balrogs are Maiar who were corrupted by Melkor to become evil. Sauron was also a Maia who was corrupted by Melkor and became evil, and Saruman was a Maia who was corrupted by Sauron to become evil. ...
-6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why didn't Legolas translate the password at Moria?

The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak friend and enter. Those words were written in Elvish. When the Fellowship was in the Walls of Moria, Gandalf translates the password. However, Gandalf could ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

In the end of LOTR, why does the Eye of Sauron burn so vigorously after the Ring gets destroyed?

In The Return of the King, after the Ring got tossed into the fires of Mount Doom, the Eye of Sauron burst into flames, and the tower of Barad-dûr then collapsed. Then then Eye shrank to a small point ...
8
votes
1answer
387 views

Reason for this material's resilience against evil

Othram (the outermost wall of Minas Tirith), Orthanc, the Black Stone of Erech, the Palantiri, and Gurthang are all black/obsidian in color, nigh indestructible and/or only able to be shaped by ...
18
votes
5answers
17k views

What was the purpose of the quote “Meat is back on the menu boys” in Lord of the Rings?

I watched the extended cut of the movie and can’t seem to figure out why the director put that quote in there. Is this a hidden joke or a slip up that made it into the movie?
65
votes
3answers
9k views

How did Faramir know that Aragorn was the King in the Houses of Healing?

When Faramir wakes, he says this: Suddenly Faramir stirred, and he opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he ...
13
votes
1answer
825 views

How did Sauron continue to hold the Nine after he was defeated in the Second Age?

The Nazgûl appeared during the Second Age. Long after that, Númenor was destroyed along with Sauron's physical form, and relatively shortly after that, Sauron was again vanquished by Isildur and his ...
9
votes
1answer
631 views

If somebody stole the nine rings from Sauron, could that person control the Ringwraiths?

This came up in the comments to another question. According to Letter #246 of J. R. R. Tolkien, Sauron ... still through their nine rings (which he held) had primary control of their wills. (...
8
votes
2answers
563 views

Could Sauron have created new Ringwraiths?

By the time of the War of the Ring, Sauron had retrieved and now held in his possession the Nine Rings of Men and (at least some of) the Seven Dwarven Rings. Since the Ringwraiths no longer possessed ...
64
votes
2answers
10k views

How large was Khazad-dûm?

Khazad-dûm is said the be the largest of the Dwarven kingdoms. In terms of scale how large was it? 40 miles end to end but how many levels? Is there a way to compare it to a modern day city in terms ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

Are the Valar vulnerable to the One Ring?

We know that the One Ring would have corrupted any mortal (humans, dwarves, hobbits, etc) or Elf who claimed it. Only Gandalf or another Maia (Saruman, say, or Radagast) could even have tried to wrest ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Who exactly was the squint-eyed southerner in the Lord of the Rings?

Who exactly is he? He is mentioned once in the Fellowship of the Ring as one of the instrumental characters who cause the Nazgûl to attack the Prancing Pony Inn at Bree. Is he a servant of Sauron or ...
-12
votes
2answers
3k views

Did Denethor really hate his sons; Boromir and Faramir?

In this video, Denethor orders his son, Boromir, to go to Rivendell. Denethor guessed that the purpose of this meeting was to decide what to do with the Weapon of the Dark Lord that has been found. ...
24
votes
3answers
8k views

Is there a difference between Narsil and Anduril?

In the movies, we see Elendil in the Prologue of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring holding the Narsil. When Elendil died at the hands of the dark lord Sauron, Narsil was broken at the ...
58
votes
5answers
13k views

Why did Gandalf not return to help Frodo and Sam?

It says on lotr.wikia: Gandalf returned as the White Wizard (named anew "Gandalf the White"), and he claimed leadership of the order of Wizards. Gandalf's power and wisdom were greatly increased, ...
61
votes
3answers
15k views

Why do the Rohirrim apparently find the H-word offensive?

In LOTR: The Two Towers, Gimli and Éomer have the following dialogue: Gimli: Give me your name, Horse-master, and I shall give you mine. Éomer: I would cut off your head, dwarf, if it stood ...
6
votes
1answer
415 views

What does Shagrat mean by “Hola”?

In the chapter "The Choices of Master Samwise", Shagrat yells Hola! Gorbag! What are you doing up here? Had enough of war already? It seems bizarre that orcs would be using Spanish words. What ...
30
votes
4answers
11k views

Why is the name Strider considered offensive?

To be clear, I am not asking why Aragorn and the Dunedain are treated as suspicious, but why the nickname 'Strider' (and Longshanks) is implied to have an insulting undertone, by Bill Ferny and ...
41
votes
3answers
11k views

How did Strider already know Frodo's real identity at the Inn of the Prancing Pony?

Strider appeared to, already, know about Frodo and that he carried the Ring. At this point in the story, Frodo was travelling under the pseudonym of Mr. Underhill. How did Strider know who Frodo was?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Does Merry have one or two swords/daggers in The Lord of the Rings?

I have only ever seen Merry with one sword/dagger - the one that Galadriel gives him in Lothlorien. So how can the sword he stabs the Nazgul king with be one he picked up from the Barrow-downs after ...
6
votes
1answer
742 views

What is this sword that Gandalf's horse was carrying?

When Gandalf arrives in Isengard, and takes off his hat to greet Saruman, there is a sword attached to the saddle of his horse, as highlighted in the picture. What is this sword? I don't think it's ...
27
votes
3answers
6k views

What was Sauron reaching for?

In the films of Lord of the Rings, in the flashback to the battle where Isildur takes the ring from Sauron's hand, why was Sauron reaching towards Isildur, thus allowing him to cut off Sauron's finger?...
6
votes
1answer
346 views

Would a Nazgûl in possession of the One Ring seek to use it? [duplicate]

All who came to possess the One Ring after Sauron, who possessed ambition for great deeds (basically not hobbits) have sought to master the Ring and use its power to serve their cause. Few, such as ...
1
vote
0answers
102 views

Which way did Gandalf mean for the fellowship to take into Mordor? [duplicate]

Before the fellowship of the ring broke and Frodo and Sam decide to go on alone, Gandalf lead the group. I've been wondering which way he meant for the group to choose into Mordor. There seem to be ...
29
votes
3answers
10k views

Why didn't the Fellowship help Gandalf when he faced the Balrog?

During the events of the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, the Fellowship witness Gandalf facing the Balrog. When Gandalf falls, he's still hanging on the cliff. And when Frodo cries out to Gandalf, Boromir ...
30
votes
1answer
12k views

Did Frodo lose a finger on Mount Doom?

In the Return of the King film, Gollum bites the finger off Frodo. In later scenes, like the Coronation of Aragorn and Leaving the Shire, we see that Frodo has gotten the finger back. How is this ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How did Gandalf get his second staff back after it was destroyed by the Witch King of Angmar?

In the Return of the King film, Gandalf's staff is destroyed by the Witch-king: During the battle of the Black Gate he uses his sword, Glamdring. But at the end of ...
24
votes
4answers
7k views

Why doesn't Sam have to say “Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima”?

Inspired in part by this question. In the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Frodo uses the light of Eärendil against Shelob, saying the phrase "Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima" to light it. At ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the name of the Mirkwood elves' realm?

Inspired by this question (that mistakenly refers to Rivendell), it occurs to me that I don't actually know the name of the realm where the Mirkwood elves live. I don't recall it ever being mentioned ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What does Frodo say when he pulls out the phial?

When Frodo travels to Shelob's Lair, what does he say when he pulls out the vial (English)? Frodo gazed in wonder at this marvellous gift that he had so long carried, not guessing its full worth ...
-3
votes
1answer
836 views

Can an orc be good? [duplicate]

In Tolkien's Legendarium, is there any way for any character to make orcs which would be as "good" as the other free races? This is independent of whether any actual "good" orcs existed in the story.
8
votes
1answer
788 views

Is the scale of Middle-earth in the Return of the King film different from the books?

I have been re-watching them recently and I have been bugged at how small the distances seem. Osgiliath is clearly visible from Minas Tirith. I realize that they are close compared to some of the ...