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].

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20
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3answers
2k views

Where does the tea come from?

We know that Hobbits drink a lot of tea, but I can't find any piece of information leading to the source of tea leaves. Judging on equivalence of coordinates, Hobbits should not be able to cultivate ...
8
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3answers
641 views

How are numbers written in the languages of The Lord of the Rings?

I have found some examples but I am not sure if any of them are right. Are there any concrete examples of Tolkien numerals?
5
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1answer
236 views

Did Fangorn not meet Radagast? [duplicate]

In The Two Towers, Fangorn describes Gandalf as the wizard with the greatest love of trees. Why would he not think of Radagast in this way?
43
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5answers
10k views

Is there an in-universe explanation of how Frodo's arrival in Valinor was recorded in the Red Book?

In the chapter "The Grey Havens", we have: And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard ...
11
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2answers
627 views

What dragon(s) was Bilbo talking about during his 111th birthday?

In The Fellowship of the Ring film during Bilbo's 111th birthday when Merry and Pippin shot off the dragon firework, Bilbo exclaims, Nonsense! There hasn't been a dragon in these parts in ages! ...
5
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2answers
464 views

When did Sauron acquire fellbeasts?

I am focusing on the fellbeasts acting as Nazgul mount. What are fellbeasts and when did Sauron acquire them? Are they Sauron's own creation or did he collaborate with them? Do they appear in any ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Did Sauron ever betray Morgoth?

Sauron was given the title "Sauron the Deceiver" because he used charm and deception to gain control over others. He taught ring-craft to the elves and gave Rings of Power to men and dwarves so that ...
26
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3answers
10k views

How did Gollum know Sauron was gathering the Haradrim to make war?

When Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins spy on the Haradrim army and their oliphaunts, Gollum explains why they are marching north. Samwise: Who are they? ...
63
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5answers
13k views

Why does Sauron not permit his followers to use his name?

From The Two Towers, chapter 1, "The Departure of Boromir": Upon their shields [the orcs] bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre of a black field; on the front of their iron helms ...
3
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2answers
394 views

Are the Istari *still* Maiar?

While (I think) there is no argument over the Istari being originally Maiar - are they still Maiar? Did they cease being Maiar when they incarnated themselves? Clarification: many official (e.g. UT) ...
-5
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1answer
426 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 ...
50
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2answers
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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, ...
0
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1answer
255 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 ...
15
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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 "...
53
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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 ...
45
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4answers
11k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
287 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 ...
7
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2answers
697 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 ...
6
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4answers
1k 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?
77
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4answers
17k 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 ...
6
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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?
18
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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 ...
7
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1answer
346 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 ...
12
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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 ...
36
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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 ...
21
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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 ...
74
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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, ...
9
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1answer
566 views

How did Gandalf chase the Balrog to Zirakzigil?

In The Two Towers movie adaptation, when Gandalf the White reunites with members of the Fellowship, he explains that he fell "through fire and water, from the lowest dungeon to the highest peak". It'...
0
votes
1answer
442 views

How could Sauron physically acquire the ring? [duplicate]

In The Lord of the Rings Sauron is essentially a spirit which has taken the form of the great eye. If the fellowship had failed, how would the forces of Mordor actually give the ring to him? In the ...
28
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2answers
7k views

Could Sauron have read Tom Bombadil's mind if Tom had held the Palantir?

Imagine an alternate version of The Return of the King, in which Gandalf travels to Tom Bombadil's house after the Battle of Helm's Deep/Hornburg in order to give the Palantir to Tom for safekeeping. ...
5
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1answer
237 views

Is there any other references about Aragorn being in Moria before? [duplicate]

‘I too once passed the Dimril Gate.’ said Aragorn quietly; ‘but though I also came out again, the memory is very evil. I do not wish to enter Moria a second time.’ (The Lord of the Rings, A Journey ...
37
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2answers
7k views

Are all Ringwraiths called Nazgûl in LotR?

I knew before that the Black Riders and Ringwraiths and Nazguls are one and the same. But even before that, when I was little and saw the movies when they first came out, I thought the Nazgul referred ...
2
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3answers
732 views

What are the significance of towers in Lord of the Rings?

Leaving aside Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul which have towers as part of their overall structure, there are two very important towers, sometimes called the titular towers of the second book of the ...
31
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2answers
9k views

How did Gollum enter Moria?

We know from the books that Gollum already was in Moria when the Fellowship entered. We also know that he did not enter from the West but from the East. However, as far as I know, we do not know ...
25
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1answer
5k views

How did Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli know what Uruk-hai were?

In Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, we see Saruman as he takes the initial steps towards creating a new army. The orcs under his command proceed surprisingly quickly, and ...
12
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3answers
5k views

How did Frodo know where the Bree village was?

How did Frodo know where the Bree village was? I've never read the books, but in the movie Gandalf just tells Frodo go to Bree expecting Frodo to know where that is. So if Frodo knows where Bree is, ...
-5
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1answer
202 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 ...
6
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2answers
3k views

Where were Frodo and Sam captured by Faramir?

Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are on their way to Mordor when they are captured by Faramir's company. Before releasing them, Faramir takes them to Osgiliath. In "movie time", the journey to Osgiliath seems ...
7
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1answer
470 views

Why did Gandalf conceal his identity in Fangorn Forest?

Note: This question mostly pertains to the film, not the book. In The Two Towers when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are tracking Merry and Pippin, they discover that the trail leads into Fangorn Forest....
7
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1answer
424 views

How does anyone know that Gollum had the Ring? [duplicate]

Sauron learned that Bilbo had the One Ring by torturing Gollum. But how did he know that Gollum had ever possessed the Ring? Did Smeagol show someone the Ring before he became Gollum? Someone who ...
55
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2answers
10k views

Who is “He that flies” in Lord of the Rings?

In the chapter 7 of book three in Lord of the Rings titled "Helm's Deep", the scout says the following. ‘It is very great,’ said the scout. ‘He that flies counts every foeman twice, yet I have ...
2
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1answer
430 views

How did the men of Gondor and Rohan communicate and join forces during the siege of Minas Tirith?

At the battle of the Pelennor Fields, Gondorian soldiers are trapped inside the city walls with a giant army of orcs and evil men outside the walls. After the arrival of the Rohirrim, were the men of ...
36
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2answers
4k views

How is it possible that Gollum speaks Westron?

In the "Concerning Hobbits" section of the Prologue to The Lord of the Rings, after the explanation of how the three breeds of Hobbits gradually moved to Eriador it says “in those days also they ...
-10
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1answer
276 views

Source for Frodo/Gandalf exchange about wounds in “The Return of the King”

Could someone kindly tell me exactly where in the book this quote is found? I need it for an exam tomorrow. 'Are you in pain, Frodo?' said Gandalf quietly as he rode by Frodo's side. 'Well, ...
-13
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1answer
180 views

Where does this Return of the King quote come from? [closed]

Is there a page reference for this quote from Return of the King? The Hobbits Frodo and Bilbo (and later Samwise), although of mortal kind, by virtue of having borne the One Ring also bore a ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

Who manned the Beacons of Minas Tirith? [duplicate]

In both Tolkien’s and Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings there are beacons for Gondor to call for aid in times of need. Only in the Peter Jackson film of Return of the King do the beacons go from Gondor ...
0
votes
1answer
403 views

How did Shelob stab Frodo through his mithril shirt? [duplicate]

How come Shelob's sting was able to pierce through the Mithril armor worn by Frodo and poison him?
6
votes
2answers
483 views

Who made the Nazgûl's swords?

In Mordor, who created the swords for the Nazgûl? As they were kings of men from different places before the became wraiths I'd say that their swords were made by men, but I am not sure.
8
votes
2answers
503 views

What is the point of the Rammas Echor?

In the Return of the King novel, the men of Gondor build a defensive wall around Minas Tirith, known as the Rammas Echor or Outwall. The area that the wall encloses stretches almost out to Osgiliath, ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

Are there any examples in any of JRR Tolkien's writings where one can see through the eyes or take control of another being?

I know the palantír can be used to see afar or communicate with other palantíri, but is there a device, character, or magical ability that allows one character to possess the consciousness and/or body ...