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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What “very bad things can result from Men spending too much time in Valinor”?

(very bad things can result from Men spending too much time in Valinor) (src: this SFF answer) Given the answer's poster prior history in lord-of-the-rings, my assumption is that the quoted claim ...
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4answers
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What would have happened if Saruman had gotten the One Ring?

If the Uruk Army sent by Saruman had captured Frodo and had gotten the One Ring to Saruman, what would Saruman have done with it? Would he have given the Ring back to Sauron or would he have kept the ...
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2answers
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Gandalf - open displays of power versus his restrictions as an Istar

Throughout both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings (and I need to stress that I'm talking about the books, not the movies) we see Gandalf quite liberally tossing magic about. He uses lightning in his ...
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2answers
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Was Gandalf's fight against Balrog a violation of “Inspire but don't fight instead of Men” rule?

As was discussed previously, it is known that Istari were meant to inspire and guide the mortals of Middle Earth in the fight against Sauron. Does the fight against Balrog in Moria violate that "rule"...
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3answers
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Why were the Elvish Rings of Power not made by Sauron?

Among all the rings of power, the 3 rings possessed by Elves are special in that they (unlike Men's and Dwarves' and The one) were made by Elves and not Sauron. Why? As in, Were they made before ...
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. ...
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Why didn't Elrond or Círdan take the ring from Isildur by force and destroy it?

'Alas! yes,’ said Elrond. 'Isildur took it, as should not have been. It should have been cast then into Orodruin’s fire nigh at hand where it was made. But few marked what Isildur did. He alone stood ...
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4answers
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Why did all the Ringbearers leave Middle-earth in the end?

At the end of The Return of the King, Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel left Middle-earth on a ship, along with other elves. I named those five because they were all ringbearers and it ...
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6answers
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How is Gandalf the White a “significantly more powerful figure” than Gandalf the Gray?

After his fight with the Balrog of Moria, Gandalf changed: Gandalf was sent back as a significantly more powerful figure; Gandalf the White. - "Gandalf - Gandalf the White", Wikipedia What are ...
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Why don't elves have more babies?

Is there a particular reason the elves die off so fast? After the first war against Sauron, I recall the elves being decimated, to the point that they're almost useless army-wise in the trilogy. But I'...
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Why didn't Aragorn keep going with the army of the dead?

Why did Aragorn not keep going with the army of the dead and overthrow Mordor and Sauron? As unstoppable as they seem to be in destroying all physical armies without any injuries, taking on Mordor ...
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Why does the Ring have such an obsessive possessive effect?

In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, we see in Bilbo and Frodo and, to a more extreme extent, Gollum, all bearers of the one ring, that they become extremely possessive of the ring and do ...
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5answers
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What happened to the Hobbits and the Dwarves after the Elves left?

From what I understand, The Lord of the Rings is written as the mythic past of our own world. We are constantly reminded that the race of man is becoming more and more prominent. At the end of The ...
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If Galadriel had claimed the One Ring, would Sauron have become her servant, or would have Galadriel become his servant?

This question was inspired by the Andres F answer to another question. In his answer he stated "we are told that if she ever took the One Ring, she would become way more powerful than Sauron ...
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2answers
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Does Gollum know that others call him Gollum?

I don't recall any of the characters in Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit calling Sméagol Gollum in his face. It seems to be more of a private epithet. Is this correct? Does Gollum know that others call ...
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12answers
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Why didn't Sauron fight in the final battle?

As depicted in the trilogy: Sauron did not lead his army to Minas Tirith He did not defend the gates of Mordor from Aragon's army In fact, he was never physically involved in (any) battle ever since ...
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6answers
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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'...
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4answers
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Would Gandalf have been promoted to the White if he had not fought the Balrog?

Gandalf was promoted to a White wizard after his body was destroyed in the battle with the Balrog. This was done mainly to replace Saruman as he had joined Sauron (or at least swayed significantly ...
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4answers
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What happened to the “other” Rings of Power?

In the Lord of the Rings it is said "In Eregion long ago many Elven-rings were made, magic rings as you call them, and they were, course, of various kinds: some more potent and some less. The ...
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5answers
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How could Aragorn be 88 years old while he looks relatively young?

In the extended version of The Two Towers, Aragorn says to Eowyn that he is 88 years old. He said it was due to his royal lineage or something like that. I did not remember that fact from the books, ...
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How powerful is Sauron post-ring vs. pre-ring?

Sauron was one of the Maiar, from the dawn of creation. At some point he had a mortal body, lost in the fall of Númenor. He later guided the creation of the Rings, then made the One Ring personally. ...
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2answers
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How did Thranduil know about the 'infamous' Strider when the latter was only 10 during the Battle of the Five Armies?

On the last Hobbit movie, after the Battle of the Five Armies, Legolas tells Thranduil that he won't be coming home. The latter tells him to go to find the infamous son of Arathorn, that goes by the ...
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How powerful were the nine really?

It is explained numerous times how powerful and deadly the Nazgul are — however, on multiple occasions, they failed their master badly. Some examples: Frodo and the Hobbits escaped both during the ...
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What is Elrond's position/status, as compared to Galadriel's?

In the Lord of the Rings books, Galadriel of Lorien is even more exalted than in the movies. She is essentially a queen, and the deference shown to her far exceeds that shown to Elrond of Rivendell. ...
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1answer
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Why do Bilbo and Frodo gain access to Valinor?

It's been quite some time since I read the actual books but in the movies at least at the end Frodo and Bilbo are granted passage on the last ship out of the Grey Havens to Valinor. As I understand ...
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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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What happened to Saruman after he was knifed by Grima?

Saruman was one of Maiar, like Gandalf. Meaning that he had a mortal body but presumably, when that body was killed, would simply return back to his ("spirit?") being. Is there any confirmation from ...
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Is Shelob a Maia?

Ungoliant is thought to be a Maia, long ago corrupted by Melkor, but is not counted among the Ainur, as Tolkien Gateway states. There are other theories as to what she may be, but the most popular and ...
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What were the other Rings of Power in LOTR made of?

"One Ring to rule them all"... Is there any detail in Tolkien's work indicating what those "all" rings - for Men, Elves and Dwarves - were made of? Mithril? Platinum? Gold? Some other magical ...
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Why or how did Smeagol's “name” became Gollum? [duplicate]

The corrupting effects of the One Ring on the hobbit Sméagol are well-known: when his relative Déagol found the Ring, Sméagol became instantly affected by its influence and strangled Déagol when he ...
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7answers
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Was Aragorn's claim to the throne legitimate?

In a recent post to The Toast, Austin Gilkeson argues that Aragorn, son of Arathorn's claim to Gondor's throne is invalid. The author goes into various details, but the core argument is: Gondor’s ...
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11answers
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What does Gandalf mean by “Secret Fire”, “Flame of Anor” and “Flame of Udûn”?

In Moria, when Gandalf confronts the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-dûm, Gandalf says the following: I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass! The dark fire ...
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Can the Elves do magic?

It's mentioned many times throughout Tolkien's work that the Elves (High Elves mostly) are in some way more powerful than Men. We hear many times, for example, that Rivendell and Lórien are mostly ...
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12answers
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Why did Sméagol turn into a 'creature' when addicted to the ring, but not Bilbo Baggins?

Why did Sméagol turn into a 'creature', but not Bilbo Baggins? Déagol found the ring in a river, Sméagol stole it and then turned into a weird creature. Bilbo did not turn into a creature when he ...
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10answers
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How could Saruman lose the battle of Helm's Deep?

Saruman isn't stupid. In fact, he's called Saruman the Wise, so he must have known a thing or two about strategy. In the Battle of Helm's Deep/Battle of the Hornburg, according to this wiki, 10 000 ...
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4answers
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What is in the east of Middle-earth, and why is it all subservient to Sauron?

There are a number of times in Lord of the Rings where the "east" is mentioned -- the pirate ships, the slave-driven farms. And of course all of the peoples subservient to Sauron who come to fight ...
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9answers
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How Did Éowyn Slay the Witch King of Angmar if He Wasn't Alive?

In Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn, as Strider, tells the four Hobbits about the Nazgûl, and describes them as "neither living nor dead." Gollum later tells Sam and Frodo while ...
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14answers
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Why didn't Saruman take Narya from Gandalf?

We know that Gandalf was given Narya, the Ring of Fire (one of the Elven three) by Cirdan the shipwright. When Saruman imprisoned Gandalf, why did he not attempt to take the ring from him? It would ...
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6answers
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How did Gandalf get his staff back after being captured by Saruman in Orthanc?

In the books, it doesn't explicitly describe Gandalf's staff being taken or broken during his imprisonment in/on Orthanc, but in the film, Saruman is shown with Gandalf's staff, and Gandalf is shown ...
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8answers
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How did Sam remain unaffected by the ring's power?

There are two characters who seem to be able to handle and wear the One Ring without being affected by its power. One is the mysterious Tom Bombadil. Later in the book, another character seems to have ...
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3answers
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Was there racism in Middle-earth?

According to the comments on this question, there may have been racism in Middle-earth. Was there? If so, was it rampant or isolated? Please note that I am asking about in-universe racism, not ...
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8answers
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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?
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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?
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2answers
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Why wasn't Glorfindel included in the Fellowship?

Glorfindel killed a Balrog on his own, he could've been a huge asset to the Fellowship... yet he wasn't taken along with them.
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2answers
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What did Aragorn do with his sword between the battles of Pelennor Fields and Morannon?

After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Aragorn draws his sword Andúril and says: "You shall not be sheathed again until the last battle is fought." The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King,...
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7answers
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Why are there rings for Dwarves and Elves and Men, but not Hobbits or Orcs?

Simple: every other race in Middle Earth has rings, why do Hobbits and Orcs not?
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8answers
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Why does Gollum calling the ring his own not alert Sauron?

This (and others eg: this ) answer states that Frodo claiming the ring alerted Sauron immediately of its position, which makes sense: How else would Sauron realize where the Ring and Frodo were at ...
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2answers
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After Gandalf kills the Balrog of Moria, do any more Balrogs remain in Middle-earth?

Is any reference made anywhere in Tolkien's novels about the number of Balrogs in existence after the demise of the Balrog of Moria? Since Balrogs are described as powerful magical entities that even ...
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6answers
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Without a physical form, what would Sauron have done had he recovered the Ring?

Assuming one of Sauron's servants managed to recover the Ring, what exactly would Sauron do with it? He had no physical body to manipulate it and no finger to put it on. I guess he would have ...
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1answer
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Do we know anything about Aragorn's first time in Moria?

When the Company is forced to abandon their attempt to cross the Misty Mountains via the Redhorn Gate (the pass of Caradhras), Gandalf proposes they go "neither over the mountains, nor round them, but ...