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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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44
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9answers
31k views

Why did Smaug gather a treasure of gold and other precious objects?

In The Hobbit, the Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf are on a mission to rob Smaug. But why did he have so much to steal from? He's a Dragon! He is not the kind of dragon that eats gold and gems. He doesn't ...
44
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2answers
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Why does Saruman travel to Fangorn forest?

When Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas find the dead bodies of the orcs that they had pursued to the edge of Fangorn, they see an old man robed in white: Suddenly Gimli looked up, and there just on the ...
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3answers
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How deep down into the Earth did Erebor and Moria go?

Watching the movies, I pay a lot of attention to the darkness below the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and the Erebor mines. My question is this: How far down do the mines go? Is there any information as to ...
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3answers
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How could the One Ring betray Isildur?

From Galadriel in Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring It betrayed Isildur to his death Why does Galadriel say it's a betrayal by the One Ring? Wasn't it Isildur who let it fall? How could a ...
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1answer
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What caused the oathbreakers in the Paths of the Dead to turn into shades?

In Return of the King, we are told that the shades who populate the Paths of the Dead are the spirits of oathbreakers who refused to aid Isildur in the first fight against Sauron. First, we are told ...
43
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4answers
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Did the Ent-Wives become trolls?

In LOTR, is the disappearance of the Ent-Wives during or before the War of the Last Alliance connected with the appearance of the Trolls? Since Orcs were corrupted Elves, did Sauron enslave the Ent-...
43
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2answers
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How is it that Legolas always has a quiver full of arrows?

In the movie version of Lord of the Rings, Legolas is seen many times shooting arrow after arrow, yet he never seems to run out. For example, after the long battle at the end of The Fellowship of the ...
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7answers
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Why didn't Gandalf say anything when he saw Bilbo's ring?

I don't know how the story is in the book (I would like to know), but in the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Thorin asks Bilbo why he came back, and Gandalf tries to evade the question after ...
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4answers
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Do the Ents go to the Undying Lands?

In the book The Two Towers Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin the sad story of the Entwives, who were lost (literally lost - they didn't die); he says the Ents believe that they "may meet [the Entwives] ...
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4answers
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What gave Isildur the power to successfully curse the Men of Dunharrow? [duplicate]

The swarms of dead men fighting for the good side always seemed wrong to me. I know they did it to be released from their plight, but.... It's one thing to curse somebody, it's quite another to back ...
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2answers
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Who are the rest of members at Elrond's Council?

In Peter Jackson's film The Fellowship of the Ring, when the Council of Elrond takes place it shows a total of 22 members: We all know the names of the ones who were part of the Fellowship, but I ...
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8answers
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Do Balrogs Have Wings?

Apparently there is controversy over whether a Balrog has wings, either literal or figurative. Do Balrogs have working, usable wings? NOTE: I prefer an answer based on LOTR canon, meaning the books ...
27
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2answers
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Do any sea creatures exist in The Lord of the Rings?

Are there any water based creatures in The Lord of the Rings aside from the Watcher in the Water who attacked the Fellowship in Moria?
18
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2answers
4k views

What happened after the Ring was dropped into Mount Doom?

In the Peter Jackson movie, once the One Ring is thrown into the volcano in Mount Doom, why does the mountain and tower collapse, and the ground disappears everywhere where the orcs are standing but ...
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2answers
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Were Uruks (as a breed) created by Sauron or Saruman in LOTR books?

In the LOTR movie it's implied that Saruman bred and created Uruk-hai. But the Wiki is a bit ambigous on the books - the impression I got was that it was a Saruman stealing the idea from Sauron who ...
10
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1answer
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If one of the Ring-wraiths found the One Ring, shouldn't they be able to break free from Sauron's control?

We are told that Sauron achieved control over the nine men because they wore the nine rings of power and the ruling ring controls the other rings and their wearers.So, if a Nazgul would find the One ...
8
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2answers
812 views

What is the nature of an Ainu's fair form?

When Númenor was sunk, Sauron was forced to flee the island by abandoning his physical body so that his spirit could return to Middle-earth. It was said that, henceforth, he could no longer assume a ...
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0answers
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Who is the oldest character in LotR trilogy? [duplicate]

Who is the oldest character in the trilogy, what is his role, race and powers?
95
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4answers
21k views

Why weren't the Three Rings for the Elven-kings destroyed as well?

At the end of The Return of the King, after the One Ring is destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, the rings were carried out of Middle-Earth. IIRC it may have been Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf ...
134
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4answers
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Who created the Secret Stairs as a way into Mordor and for what purpose?

Given how there were Orcs guarding the Tower of Círith Ungol at the top of the stairs, we can infer that the existence of these stairways was definitely not a secret. Perhaps the path was meant to ...
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3answers
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Who is / was the “Lord of the Rings”?

Who is the Lord, as referred to in the title? Frodo? Sauron? Someone else? Or is it more of an abstract title, not referring to a single person, like "He who wields the One Ring"?
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11answers
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Why were the Elves so great at archery?

It seems that there is an underlying assumption (I don't know of an explicit quote to confirm) that Elves in Middle-earth are exceptional archers, compared to other races. Am I correct in that ...
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2answers
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In The Lord of the Rings, what important background information is contained in the poems?

From Jeff's answer to a separate Lord Of The Rings question: ... the songs and poems give some relatively important background information I don't recall any information that seemed important (as ...
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3answers
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Why do Sauron's servants sometimes use the name “Sauron”?

Why do some of the Dark Lord's servants refer to him as "Sauron", such as his emissar, The Mouth of Sauron, and some of his agents sent to the dwarves: "'As a small token only of your friendship ...
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7answers
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Why didn't Gimli know Moria had fallen?

Between Gandalf's fear of Moria, and the amount of time that has obviously passed (due to the condition of the remains of the dwarves in Moria), why is Gimli so unaware of the fall of his kin? At ...
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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, ...
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2answers
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Do the beacon lighters really live on top of the mountains?

Following this image I found online: Do the beacon lighters really live on top of the mountains? It seems really cold on top of some of these mountains and there are no villages or whatsoever.
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7answers
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Why Were the Weapons in Middle-earth So Rudimentary?

Again, I'm re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy and am still on book one, so my question is going to refer to the movies. During the time The Lord of the Rings stories take place, Middle-earth is ...
102
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6answers
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Why Does Samwise Gamgee Call Frodo Baggins 'Mr. Frodo'?

I haven't finished my re-read of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I just finished The Two Towers), but, at least in the movies, Samwise Gamgee consistently refers to Frodo Baggins as "Mr. Frodo." Why ...
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6answers
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Which are the Two Towers in The Lord of the Rings?

I always wondered which are the two towers that are referred to in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. My memory is a bit hazy right now but there are at least 5 Towers that are mentioned in the ...
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6answers
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What was Gandalf's plan for getting the Ring to Mt. Doom?

I'm currently re-reading Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time, and a question occurred to me. When Gandalf hears from Faramir that Frodo and Sam were heading for Cirith Ungol, he is shocked. ...
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7answers
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Why was Bilbo not discovered by Sauron during his extended stay with the Wood Elves? [duplicate]

Currently reading The Hobbit to my daughter, and we came to the Barrels out of Bond chapter where the Dwarves are captured and imprisoned by the Wood Elves. Bilbo sneaks in with his magic ring of ...
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1answer
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Does a transcription of Tolkien's handwriting in this image exist?

In his answer to another question I asked here, Jason Baker included the following image, taken from a page of Tolkien's "Synoptic Time Scheme for The Lord of the Rings". We had some difficulty ...
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8answers
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Was Gandalf “meant” to confront the Balrog?

We know Frodo was meant to have the Ring, but did Tolkien ever discuss Gandalf traveling through Moria and having his confrontation with the Balrog? We know he initially pushed the Fellowship to go ...
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2answers
11k views

What was the “Watcher in the water”?

In the Fellowship of the Ring, our heroes encounter a creature called "The Watcher in the water" which was guarding the Doors of Durin, the ancient and abandoned entrance to the Mines of Moria. What ...
33
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3answers
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Would Sauron's army reach the Undying Lands if the Ring was not destroyed?

Frodo casts the Ring into Mount Doom and saves Middle Earth. Subsequently he-- along with Gandalf and all the Elves-- exits Middle Earth and goes to a place called the Undying Lands, the haven for the ...
33
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1answer
10k views

How much of Gandalf's power is tied to his staff?

Before Gandalf freed Théoden from Saruman/Gríma's hold, he refused to give away his staff. Háma: I cannot allow you before Théoden King so armed, Gandalf Greyhame... by order of Gríma Wormtongue. ...
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6answers
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Why didn't Sauron guard Mount Doom?

This fact had always bugged me. When Frodo finally goes to the Cracks of Doom he is met with practically no resistance. This seems uncharacteristic of Sauron which in my humble opinion makes it a tiny ...
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9answers
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Why did the Nazgul start on horseback?

If the Nazgul had access to the fell beasts - why did they ride on horseback to hunt the ring bearer?
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6answers
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Would Gollum qualify, as a Ringbearer, to go to the Undying Lands?

If Gollum had not died in Mount Doom, would he have been allowed to join the elves, Bilbo, and Frodo in the Undying Lands? He was, after all, by far the longest-lasting bearer of the One Ring (not ...
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6answers
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Is Goldberry a regular mortal woman?

Having read the Lord of the Rings a number of times I was always curious about the significance of Goldberry. I have not managed to find any reference to her origins within the other Middle-earth ...
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6answers
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Is the One Ring only loyal to Sauron or would it serve any powerful being?

I had this exchange on What would have happened if the Balrog of Moria had taken possession of The One Ring? with Jeremy French. Jeremy French: But how would he have got it to fit? ...
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3answers
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Did J.R.R. Tolkien ever write a deeper connection between The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the ring?

There seems to be a bit of a gap between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. While we know the outcomes from The Hobbit to Lord of the Rings, we don't know what happened between ...
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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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3answers
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Is there a list of the names used for Sauron in Lord of the Rings?

In the preface to The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, authors Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull mention a surprising fact: Dr. Richard E. Blackwelder once counted in The Lord of the ...
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2answers
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Did Sauron survive?

According to Tolkien himself Sauron had a physical form in the third age: ...in a tale which allows the incarnation of great spirits in a physical and destructible form their power must be far ...
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1answer
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Sauron, Gollum, and the ring

How did Sauron know to torture Gollum on the whereabouts of the ring? We know that Gollum said "Baggins" and "Shire" while being tortured, but why did they think he might know in the first place?
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4answers
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In LOTR, are the Dead Men of Dunharrow invincible?

These were the soldiers that abandoned Isildur in this war against Sauron. But it seemed in the movies during the battle of Pelennor Fields and the attack on the corsairs they could not be killed. ...
33
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4answers
3k views

What were the wolves that attacked the Fellowship of the Ring?

Shortly after they were defeated by the mountain of Caradhras, the Fellowship decided to go through Moria so that they could pass the Misty Mountains. One night on their way to Moria, they were ...
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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 ...