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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39
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4answers
11k views

How did Sauron's army know that the Ring was destroyed?

In the final battle, Frodo and Gollum fight and ultimately the Ring falls into the molten lava. The instant that the Ring is destroyed, Sauron knows it has been destroyed by his actions as the Eye. ...
52
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7answers
14k views

Why didn't Saruman break Gandalf's staff on Orthanc as Gandalf broke Saruman's?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers after becoming Gandalf the White, Gandalf cast Saruman from the Order and the Council. He also got the power to break Saruman's staff, which was very powerful. ...
37
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3answers
39k views

What are the main reasons the elves did not show up in force to defeat Sauron?

During The Great Battle of the Last Alliance, there were an estimated 100,000 elves that fought with the armies of Isildur. This was one of the first scenes in the first LOTR movie. However, in the ...
11
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2answers
779 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
597 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 ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Why did Fellowship of the Ring stay in Lothlorien for so long?

When the fellowship of the ring left Lothlorien, Sam commented on the position of the moon and questioned how long they had stayed in Lothlorien. Aragorn replied to Sam as follows: The old moon ...
2
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3answers
810 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 ...
63
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4answers
16k 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 ...
18
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7answers
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What is the Elven Diet?

It seems that a lot of emphasis is given to both the Hobbits and the Dwarves in regards to their diet, but I don't recall much being said about the Elves. (It has been about 15 years since I read LOTR ...
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2answers
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Why did the LOTR and Hobbit films use the “Wilhelm Scream” so much?

I was wondering if there was a reason the director (or people who choose sound effects) littered the LOTR and Hobbit films with so many "Wilhelm Screams"? It really ruined the movies for me, to a ...
26
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3answers
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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? ...
31
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5answers
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Was Isildur a Coward?

A controversial question, I know, and I'm not asking gratuitously. I have no irons in this fire and haven't formed a conclusive opinion one way or another. I'm asking because I don't quite thoroughly ...
64
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5answers
14k 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 ...
80
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5answers
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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 ...
3
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2answers
467 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) ...
35
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2answers
4k views

Does any of The Hobbit's negative impression of Wood Elves survive in Tolkien's other writing?

In The Lord of the Rings, the only Wood Elf we get to know is Legolas, who is obviously awesome. But in The Hobbit, the image we get of Wood Elves is far less positive. We are told that they "are ...
10
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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
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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
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9answers
127k 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?
51
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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, ...
26
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6answers
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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
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1answer
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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
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1answer
293 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
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3answers
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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 ...
53
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3answers
15k 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
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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 "...
45
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4answers
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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
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3answers
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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
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1answer
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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
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12answers
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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
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1answer
312 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 ...
-4
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1answer
225 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 ...
42
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2answers
7k 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
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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
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3answers
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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
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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
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4answers
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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
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2answers
748 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 ...
78
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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 ...
451
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17answers
70k 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
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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
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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
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6answers
4k 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
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6answers
32k 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
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2answers
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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
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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 ...
50
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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 ...
139
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14answers
28k 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 ...
13
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6answers
24k 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 ...