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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30
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3answers
6k views

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 ...
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2answers
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Can the One Ring change in size?

Does the One Ring change size with its bearer? Being that the ring is magical, does it conform to the ring bearer's hand size? In the very first battle scene Sauron get his fingers cut off, then ...
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2answers
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Was Elrond always supposed to be an Elf?

This passage in The Hobbit puzzled me: The master of [Rivendell] was an elf-friend... He was as noble and as fair as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king ...
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Why didn't Isildur's Heir come forward sooner?

In Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, we learn some things about Aragorn's family tree. There are basically two facts that together are confusing me: The Kingdom of Arnor comes to an end in ...
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2answers
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Ring-bearers - who can notice what about whom and when?

So, I want to get something straight with respect to the bearers of the 20 rings of power (3 Eldar, 7 Dwarves, 9 Men, 1 Boss). Before asking my question(s), here is some Motivation: Sometimes when ...
17
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2answers
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What were Saruman's original intentions, and how did they change over time?

The discussion sparked by this question led to a suggestion that I open a separate question on a related subject. Sauron started out good, became bad, briefly repented, the went full-on evil. ...
17
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2answers
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What do Orcs and Trolls actually look like, or rather how did Tolkien imagine them?

Bear with me, while the question seems sort of ridiculous because the movie of Jackson and fantasy-role playing games presented them in detail, in fact the original Tolkien does not describe their ...
14
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6answers
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How did non-native plants find their way to Middle-earth?

I am reading The Return of the King, and when I got to the chapters concerning the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, something struck me. Earlier in the story, Theoden was shocked to see Merry and ...
8
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2answers
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What does it mean that the elves were diminished?

The Wikipedia article on the Elves of Middle-earth says: After the destruction of the One Ring, the power of the Three Rings of the Elves would also end and the Age of Men would begin. Elves that ...
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1answer
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How exactly is the Secret Fire similar to the Holy Spirit?

The Wikipedia article on the Secret Fire/Flame Imperishable lists "Clyde S. Kilby. Tolkien & The Silmarillion. Harold Shaw, 1976, p. 59." as a reference for the following statement: Tolkien ...
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6answers
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Who's older: Treebeard or Tom Bombadil?

Tom Bombadil says this to the hobbits, in reply to the question "who are you?": (...) But you are young and I am old. Eldest, that’s what I am. Mark my words, my friends: Tom was here before the ...
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Was Gollum always a hobbit?

Gollum first appears in The Hobbit, as a pitiful creature from whom Bilbo 'steals' the ring. From what I remember, there is no mention of his hobbithood. He's just a unique creature Bilbo finds. ...
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2answers
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Why does Frodo cry “O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!” at Weathertop?

At Weathertop, Frodo and the band are beset by the Ring-wraiths, at which point Frodo feels compelled to put on the ring, and he does. When the Witch King attacks Frodo and just before Strider comes ...
43
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3answers
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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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9answers
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Why was the Balrog unconcerned with the fate of Middle Earth?

In an answer to the recent question Why was Gandalf Afraid of the Balrog of Morgoth?, it was stated that A Balrog is a terror of the First Age. And something that was a threat in the First Age ...
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10answers
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What real-world substance most closely corresponds to mithril? [closed]

While reading descriptions of mithril in The Lord of the Rings, it struck me that its properties might well correspond to a real material, possibly as an alloy with other metals. Is there such a real-...
31
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3answers
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Why does Saruman identify himself as a human?

Saruman, just before he imprisons Gandalf, says the following: The Elder Days are gone. The Middle Days are passing. The Younger Days are beginning. The time of the Elves is over, but our time is ...
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Why was the One Ring such a problem?

According to the poem: Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark ...
21
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2answers
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How much did Tolkien write about the connection between WWI and his work?

I know Tolkien often downplayed the influence his experiences as a messenger in World War I had on his writing, but he wasn't being entirely truthful- perhaps the memories were too horrific to think ...
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4answers
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What did Sauron mean when he “talked” to Pippin?

When Pippin... um... 'borrows' the Palantir taken from Orthanc, he hears (for lack of a better word) Sauron say the following in his head: Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send ...
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Did Saruman continue to exist as an ethereal Maiar after he was murdered?

Inspired by What was Saruman the White's purpose? The Istari are Maiar in corporeal form - it seems evident that some aspect of the Istari continues after the death of their corporeal (and can ...
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In the Fourth Age, what was the oldest creature left alive in Middle Earth?

After the War of the Ring, Sauron = dead. Saruman = dead. Gandalf = has left on the ship. Elrond = left. Galadriel = left. What was the oldest creature still alive in Middle-Earth in the Fourth Age?
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Why did Gandalf go out of time?

Given that the Ainur, like the Elves were bound to the universe as long as it lasted, only men being able to escape (the gift of men), why on the death of his Earthly form did Gandalf leave time and ...
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Are any of the original elves that awoke at Cuiviénen named?

This came up because a friend told me he thought Glorfindel was an "original elf". As far as I know, the earliest mention of Glorfindel is at the Fall Of Gondolin, which is a far cry from Cuiviénen. ...
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5answers
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Why did Saruman lose his power after he was banished from Orthanc?

Saruman was strong enough to defeat Gandalf the Grey, but upon banishment from Orthanc and his taking over of the Shire he seemed like nothing more than a normal old man. He apparently retained his ...
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Why can the dead men of Dunharrow kill the corsairs from the South?

When I read this question, I had another question: Why can the dead men of Dunharrow kill the corsairs from the south if they are immaterial ghost?
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Why weren't more Rings of Power forged?

Why is it that more rings of this nature/power could not be made again? Are there no elven smith's left with the capability? How were the rings of power "enchanted" with their magical properties to ...
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2answers
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Who does Tolkien include in the category “The Wise”?

I know the wizards (Istari) are considered to be among "the Wise", and I believe the Elves (Eldar) are as well, but are all Elves among "the Wise", or only some of them? And does anyone else qualify ...
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What was Saruman the White's purpose?

Every wizard in The Lord of the Rings obviously had a purpose to be sent to Middle-earth, with Gandalf's being to help out in the defeat of Sauron and Morgoth's forces, etc. However, because Saruman ...
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1answer
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Was there a significant difference between Gollum and Smeagol by the time of Lord of the Rings?

This question may be impossible to answer, but I am asking what Tolkien said about this issue, not what people think about it personally. In the movies, Smeagol seems to be very different from Gollum....
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Does the ring of power have any other power than to turn you invisible in Lord of the Rings?

Several characters refer to their desire to use the power of the ring for good but know that they would be corrupted by its use. What other powers can be drawn from the ring, or are they all ...
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Golf in Middle Earth

From the Hobbit: If you have ever seen a dragon in a pinch, you will realize that this was only poetical exaggeration applied to any hobbit, even to Old Took's great-granduncle Bullroarer, who ...
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3answers
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What material was the One Ring made of?

Is there any detail in Tolkien's work indicating what the One Ring was made of? Mithril? Platinum? Gold? Some other magical material?
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Did the Cave Trolls turn to stone when the shadows lifted from Mordor?

Did Sauron's Cave Trolls that roamed about under the shadows in and around Mordor turn to stone when shadows were lifted? Are all Trolls affected like Bert, Tom, and William in The Hobbit?
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Was Gollum completely naked in the books?

This might sound like a weird question, but here goes anyway. In the LotR and the Hobbit movies, Gollum is always shown with a piece of cloth hiding his private area. It seems dull to me that he ...
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1answer
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Why did the Dwarven Rings of Power cause greed?

I was reading through some of the questions and answers here on the Rings of Power and I just wondered why the ring effects, affected different races in a slightly different way. I know other ...
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1answer
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How Big Is the Eye of Sauron?

I've read up to chapter ten, Strider, in The Fellowship of the Ring, on a quest to re-read LOTR. I haven't read the trilogy and The Hobbit since I was a kid, so I haven't gotten to any parts featuring ...
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2answers
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How old is Treebeard?

We know for certain (from Gandalf) that Treebeard the Ent is the oldest living creature on Middle Earth: "Treebeard is Fangorn, the guardian of the forest; he is the oldest of the Ents, the oldest ...
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Why didn't the Hobbits get frostbite?

This is a question that's been bothering me for the last couple of days: How is it that the hobbits of the Fellowship were able to survive such cold temperatures throughout their travels without ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
552 views

How widespread is arboreal sentience in LOTR?

I am curious as to what we know about the intelligence of trees/tree-folk in Middle Earth. Certainly, Fangorn forest contains many self-aware trees, whether they are huorn or ent. There are hold-overs ...
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1answer
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Was Gollum evil?

Some of the questions I've read here recently have discussed Gollum, his behavior, the nature of the Gollum/Smeagol dynamic, and his manner of speech, among other things. But though many of these ...
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1answer
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How old were Aragorn and Arwen when they were married?

After the one ring was destroyed and Aragorn was crowned King of Gondor and Arnor, he and Arwen were married. Though he looks older than his bride, I'm learning that Arwen is actually older than ...
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1answer
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What do we know about the Black Speech of Mordor?

We know the Ring Verse (Ash Nazg . . .), and single words like 'Ghâsh' (Fire). Do we know any more about canonical Black Speech?
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Are there any other planets besides Arda in Ea?

Did Tolkien mention anything about other planets in his mythology or did he invent just the one planet for his stories?
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Who gave life to the dragons of Middle Earth?

We have a small amount of back story of the Giant Spiders, who were descendants of Umaiar (Fallen Maiar), but not for the want of looking I can't find anything relating to the origin of Dragons. We ...
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What's the difference between the “spiritual” beings in Tolkien's universe?

I'm looking for a brief synopsis of the Maiar, Valar, Ainur, and whatever Eru Ilúvatar is, and what the distinguishing characteristics of each group are. The specific information I am looking for is ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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Is there anything in Lord of the Rings that could have survived into our age? [duplicate]

If The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion took place in different ages than us, but on Earth, is there any suggestion in those works that some elements would or could have been immortal or ...
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1answer
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Are the LOTR + Hobbit movies racist? [closed]

As discussed in this question, there are a number of elements in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies that could be construed as racist against Muslim and non-Caucasian people, for example the fact ...