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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8
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What happened to the Rangers of the North after the War of the Ring?

In The Return of the King, Halbarad and at least two dozen other Rangers of the North come to Aragorn's aid. Halbarad, and possibly some others, die in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and it is ...
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1answer
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How did Shadowfax 'appear' when Gandalf summoned him?

Considering the following quote: 'They have not returned,' said Legolas. 'It will be a weary walk!' 'I shall not walk. Time presses,' said Gandalf. Then lifting up his head he gave a long ...
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When did Gandalf become a Maia?

Obviously in the final legendarium, Gandalf was always a Maia as he is Olórin, one of the Ainur who was present at the singing of the Music. What I want to know is: did Tolkien always consider ...
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Which creatures in Tolkien's literature can be female?

In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, there are many different types of creatures. Hobbits, elves, dwarves, ents, humans, and giant spiders all have female members mentioned somewhere in the story. But, ...
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Is there any evidence pointing to the planned future development of Arda?

Is there any evidence in Tolkien's writing, notes or letters pointing to the planned future development of Arda? More specifically, did he envision the Age of Man to usher in the industrial progress ...
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Is there any hint that some of the beings in Tolkien's lore may have survived into “our” times?

In Tolkien's lore, they are many very old beings. Is there any indication that some or even one would have been truly immortal and survived into what we would call "our" history or Age? Galadriel, ...
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How big were various armies in the War of the Ring?

I'd like to know (roughly) how big various armies in the war of the Ring were, and if possible how they were made up. That includes for example Saruman's Forces Gondor's Soldiers The Rohirrim The ...
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1answer
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Why did the Witch King wait till the gate was broken before entering Minas Tirith?

In The Return of the King, the Witch King of Angmar is mounted on a flying fell beast. When the gate of Minas Tirith is broken down, he quickly rushes in to confront Gandalf. But he is mounted on ...
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Why did Isildur have the King of the Mountains swear an oath on the stone of Erech?

The King of the Mountains, leader of the Dead Men of Dunharrow, made the oath (which later he broke) upon the Stone of Erech, a great black stone brought by Isildur from Numenor. This makes no sense ...
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Did Sauron originally intend for a prolonged siege of Minas Tirith?

In The Return of the King, Gandalf realizes that Aragorn's decision to use the Palantir to reveal himself to Sauron scared the Dark Lord so much that it actually forced his hand, leading him to send ...
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1answer
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Why didn't Sauron get personally, bodily involved in the events of Lord of the Rings? [duplicate]

As has been said in response to many questions on this board, such as this one, the big fiery eye from the movies was not Sauron's true physical form in the books. He had a real, roughly humanoid, ...
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Is it Éowyn or Merry who kills the Lord of the Nazgûl (or both)?

In the Lord of the Rings when the Lord of the Nazgûl is killed, there seems to be some confusion as to exactly who is responsible? Is the reason down to the sword of the Barrow Downs that Merry stabs ...
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Do Tolkien's works describe either Galadriel or Arwen as being more beautiful than the other?

If I recall correctly, both Arwen and Galadriel are described as being the fairest women in Middle-earth. Since I am not interested in an opinion based answer, I am instead asking for a side by side ...
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Why does Sauron release Gollum/Smeagol after he has interrogated him?

In the Lord of the Rings in the chapter "The Shadow of the Past", Gandalf explains to Frodo that Gollum was captured and interrogated by the enemy in Mordor. He then explains that later Aragorn ...
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1answer
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How did Gollum physically change after finding the Ring?

To be clear, I don't mean "by what means did the Ring physically change Gollum?", but rather "what were the overall physical changes affected on Gollum by his experiences after he found the Ring?". ...
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Any solid evidence about the fading of Elves and their leaving from Middle Earth

By the time of War of Ring, almost all Elves were leaving Middle Earth. It raised a lot of questions from people who've only seen the film. They asked:"Why did the Elves leave in the middle of war?" ...
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Why not send the Ring to the Undying Lands? [duplicate]

This is sort of a multi-part question that adds up to one larger question: Can Sauron get to the Undying Lands? (another question seems to have produced the answer to this - "No") Is the One Ring ...
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Are there any statistics on how many people skip poetry in LOTR?

I know that some people find it impossible to read through the songs/poems in LOTR text and just skip them. Are there any sort of statistics on what percentage of readers do this?
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What did Haldir mean by Elves not having dealings with Dwarves since the Dark Days even though they fought together in The Hobbit?

In both the Fellowship of the Ring novel and movie, when the fellowship lose Gandalf and travel to Lothlórien, they are greeted by Haldir and his Elven comrades. When the elves realise Gimli is with ...
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1answer
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How much Dwarvish appears in Tolkien's work?

The comments on this question led to an interesting conversation about the Dwarvish language (apparently known as Khuzdul among the Dwarves themselves). The conversation centered on Gimli's battle ...
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What about the Vanyar?

In the Silmarillion, we learn much about the origins of the elves and of their leaders. There is a lot of info about the people of the Teleri and the main plots are woven around the fate of the Noldor,...
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What is the difference between Aman, Valinor, the Undying Lands, etc?

In perusing Lord of the Rings questions and answers on this site, I have seen several terms used seemingly interchangeably for what seems to be the same place - Aman/Valinor/the Undying Lands. I also ...
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What can Gandalf do, and what can't he do to help? [duplicate]

From what I've read on these forums the race or type of being Gandalf is sort of god-like immortal, like the rest of the wizards. I think I remember reading that they can't interfere in some way. ...
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Was there a trinity in Eru? [duplicate]

Being that Tolkien was a Catholic, I wouldn't be surprised if he made Eru three different people, but I can't think of any references to it. If so, who are the three persons?
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What is the last written record from Arda?

What is the youngest written record from Arda? I’m not refering to the last thing that we know has happened, or what Tolkien had in mind (e.g., in Wikipedia’s Timeline of Arda, the last entry from ...
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Who exactly is Goldberry? [duplicate]

I am currently re-reading the Lord of the Rings. While reading the chapter "In the House of Tom Bombadil", where the four hobbits meet Tom and Goldberry, I thought a lot about the speculations and ...
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How powerful are Tom Bombadil's songs?

Bombadil's songs sound whimsical and goofy on the surface but obviously carry great power and authority. His song saves the Hobbits from being killed by a mean old Willow tree and forces some nasty ...
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Height of the LoTR Races

Is the height of races (men, elves, orcs, goblins, etc) ever mentioned by Tolkien? If not, did the movies just make up the certain heights?
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Erebor's architectural influences?

I understand Tolkien drew heavily on real world architecture for the buildings and other physical structures in LOTR. What were Erebor's influences? I'm particularly here thinking of the recent (...
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What would the Valar do if they knew Saruman had joined Sauron? [closed]

As we wall know Saruman was a Maiar and Istari, and was a student of Manwë, and is known to be wise if not wiser than the rest of the Maiar Posse, my question is what would the Valar do to Saruman if ...
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Sauron's sight details?

I am aware that the "Eye of Sauron" in Peter Jackson's movies was not Sauron's actual physical form. What the answers at 'Was the "Eye of Sauron" Sauron's actual physical form?' don't ...
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What is the function of a Wizard's staff? [duplicate]

In the Middle Earth universe, "Wizards" are actually Maia, angelic or god-like beings who have taken mortal form (and accepted some Human frailties) to act as guides and advisors in the struggle ...
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What did ships in Middle-earth look like?

I was wondering what the different ships of the different peoples look like, specifically Elves, Gondorians/Númenoreans, and Corsairs. The elvish ships are often described to have swan-shaped prow: .....
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Would the One Ring created by Sauron make a mortal creature immortal?

The One Ring extended Gollum/Sméagol's life and vitality by 478 years and Bilbo's vitality by 60 years. Did it have the power to make them truly immortal if they had kept it, or did it just grossly ...
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What is the origin of the Great Eagles?

What do we know about the origin of the Great Eagles in LOTR? We know quite a bit about the origins of Elves, Men, Dwarves, and (somewhat) the servants of Morgoth (dragons, orcs, etc.). But I don't ...
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How could Gimli strike the Ring

I was wondering why Frodo was unable to cast the One Ring into the fire but Gimli struck it with his axe during the Council of Elrond? Wouldn't any dwarf be attracted to the jewel, amplifying the ...
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What languages do the Orcs in Middle Earth speak?

Do orcs from different parts of Middle-Earth all speak the black speech? In the Lord of the Rings films, the orcs are shown to speak in the common tongue. Even those from Mordor.But in The Hobbit, ...
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1answer
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What do the Valar actually do in the Third Age?

I know Tolkien never gave us Third Age details of the Valar aside from sending in the Maiar, AKA "Istari", but we don't seem to know much more about The Valar in the Third Age. Does Manwe really just ...
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Why is Dwarven armor not highly treasured?

I'm reading through the Silmarillion when I came across this passage: ... yet, in the tempering of steel alone of all crafts the Dwarves were never outmatched even by the Noldor, and in the making ...
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How old are the Uruk-hai when they first go to battle?

In The Two Towers (movie), I've heard some witty remarks about how weird it is that one Uruk says "meat is back on menu, boys!". The weird part is that some Uruk-hai would know about the word menu, ...
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The Red Book of Westmarch - Gold or Silver?

A friend of mine is designing a box to look like the Red Book of Westmarch. We could use the movies as a reference, but I was wondering if it's ever mentioned anywhere in the text whether or not the ...
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Did the 7 Dwarven Rings impact the enmity between Dwarves and Elves?

Was the enmity between Elves and Dwarves made worse - in clear attributable way - due to the negative influence of the Seven Dwarven Rings? This question arose because someone noted in an answer ...
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Does the 'Doom/Gift of Man' apply to Hobbits?

According to the mass of Tolkien's backstory material, does the 'Doom/Gift of Man' apply to Hobbits? I'm reasonably certain that this question is not answered in the trilogy itself, but I wonder if ...
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What are Gandalf's powers?

Gandalf is a wizard. He is also the Tolkien equivalent of a mortal angel (if I understand what the Maiar are correctly.) What are his powers though? Specifically what magics does he use in The Hobbit ...
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How big were Hobbit children?

We know that Hobbits were 3 to 3.5 feet tall, Bandobras Took almost 4. But how big were hobbit children (relative to their age, of course)?
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Does Legolas perform such deft feats in the novel as he does in the movies?

In the movies, we see Legolas performing some skillful displays of balance. Here are just a few I remember at the moment: Walking on snow when the fellowship were travelling through Caradhras (...
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1answer
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Does Legolas ever take arrows belonging to the enemy? [duplicate]

Been a while since I last read LoTR but I remember Legolas would sometimes take the arrows he loosed from the enemies' body. Obviously he has a limited supply and there are times where he couldn't ...
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How can an old dead tree suddenly spring to life and cast its petals on Aragorn's coronation?

There's a dead, gnarly old tree in the courtyard outside of Denethor's 'throne room' on the top level of Minas Tirith. Gandalf told Pippin that it's called the White Tree of Gondor. We see it several ...
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Why were Aragorn and Arwen buried in separate places?

Is there any evidence from Tolkien which gives reasons as to why the said characters are buried away from each other? From what I gather: Aragorn died on March 1, 120 of the Fourth Age and was buried ...
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The search for the One Ring

Was anyone looking for the One Ring (to destroy it) before Gollum or Bilbo found it? I know Sauron wasn't particularly prevalent after Isildur took the ring, but I was just curious as to whether ...