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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13
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5answers
11k views

Could Gandalf have defeated Sauron?

Gandalf and Sauron both were Maiar and were created in the same way, I presume. 1.) Was Gandalf (Grey or White) powerful enough to kill/defeat Sauron? He did kill the Balrog, who was similar too. 2.)...
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2answers
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Doesn't Radagast care about trees?

In the book The Two Towers, Treebeard refers to Gandalf as "the only wizard that really cares about trees". But in Fellowship of the Ring, we met the wizard Radagast the Brown, whose special focus is ...
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8answers
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Who was more powerful: Sauron or Morgoth?

Both Morgoth and Sauron were Dark Lords. Did Tolkien express any opinion about which he considered to have the greatest power at the height of their careers (either in the books or any of the extended ...
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3answers
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How are numbers written in the languages of The Lord of the Rings?

I have found some examples but I am not sure if any of them are right. Are there any concrete examples of Tolkien numerals?
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5answers
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Could Tom Bombadil have defeated Sauron?

There is evidence that Tom Bombadil is unaffected by the One Ring's power and he has magical ways about him that can't be explained. It seems that Tom did not participate actively in the War of the ...
52
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6answers
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How can a storm cloud in Middle-earth “move behind the sun”?

This is probably the most trivial question I've ever asked here, and relates to something mentioned in passing. The passage occurs in The Two Towers, Book IV, "The Taming of Smeagol". While ...
46
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4answers
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Did Tolkien ever specify that Orodruin was a volcano?

It is incredibly clear that Orodruin (Mount Doom) was a volcano. It is a mountain with fire inside of it, and it periodically belches forth ash, smoke, and rock. This is what volcanoes do best (...
44
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6answers
14k views

Why did it take Sauron so long to regain strength?

According to the timeline of the Third age it took Sauron roughly 2460 years to regain strength and return to Middle Earth. Why did it take him that long? And if he "returns" to Middle Earth, where ...
42
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3answers
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How did Gandalf not lose his ring?

After the fight with the Balrog Gandalf says to his fellows "Naked I was sent back - for a brief time, until my task is done." (The two towers, ch. The white rider). The three rings (and the one ring)...
42
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6answers
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What powers does Galadriel have?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie Galadriel is able to speak telepathically with Gandalf, also doing so later with Frodo in The Fellowship of The Ring. Also she shows Frodo what she calls "...
37
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7answers
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Why did the Mithril coat fail to stop Shelob's sting?

Did Frodo take it off? Or was the fell spider's sting simply too strong to be stopped by Mithril? If it is the latter, that would be pretty surprising, because that would mean Shelob could possibly ...
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9answers
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What was in the One Ring that made it so powerful?

In the movie version of Fellowship of the Rings, at the beginning of film, we're shown all the rings being forged, including Sauron's One Ring of power. However, there's no indication as to what ...
31
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6answers
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How can Galadriel go into the West?

At the end of the Lord of the Rings, Galadriel hops on a boat and sails away into the West. But wasn't she banned after the kerfuffle caused by Uncle Fëanor?
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7answers
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Why didn't the Nazgûl stab more people to create more wraiths?

My understanding is that those stabbed by a Morgul blade slowly turn into a wraith. Is there a reason the Nazgûl and the Witch King of Angmar did not go around stabbing people and turning them into ...
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6answers
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Why was The One Ring “precious”?

Many of the Ringbearers (particularly those who carried it longer) used the word "precious" to describe it. Isildur described it as: "But for my part I will risk no hurt to this thing: of all the ...
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8answers
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Why do people care so much for Frodo?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, after Boromir is blinded by the greed of Men and tries attacking Frodo for the Ring, Aragorn finds Frodo and tells him to keep the Ring, saying he'd follow Frodo into ...
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3answers
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What do the Istari in The Lord of the Rings represent?

In The Lord of the Rings, the Istari are the wizards sent from Valinor by the Valar to Middle-Earth. Their purpose was to help the Men of the West (Gondor) to defeat Sauron. There are obvious ...
26
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6answers
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Why Did Boromir Succumb to the One Ring?

Why was Boromir corrupted by the One Ring when the other members of the Fellowship of the Ring were not? What was it about Boromir that he was so susceptible to the evil powers of the One Ring and ...
26
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4answers
11k views

Why did Sting glow blue when Orcs were near by?

Out of all the ancient blades made by Elvish weapon-smiths in Gondolin, why was Sting given a distinctive and unique glow whenever an Orc was close by? Secondly, why would they put it on such a ...
26
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1answer
2k views

Where did J.R.R. Tolkien state that Arwen suggested that Frodo be allowed to sail West?

In The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien by Humphrey Carpenter (assisted by Christopher Tolkien), footnote 94 states: What is meant is that it was Arwen who first thought of sending Frodo into the West, ...
25
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2answers
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How did Aragorn’s army reach Mordor so easily?

How did Aragorn’s army reach Mordor so easily, whereas Frodo took 17 months to reach Mordor with so many difficulties?
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
21
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3answers
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What is the life expectancy of a Hobbit?

I recently found a contradiction between the life expectancies of a Hobbit. A Hobbit comes of age at around 33 years old. Comparing that with a human, we come of age at around 18. Sidetracking a ...
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2answers
3k views

Could Sauron have made another ring?

Was there anything stopping Sauron from making another "one ring"? Was he too weak since his separation from the ring to craft another? Or would it have taken a long time?
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2answers
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How could Legolas walk on snow?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring when the Fellowship is climbing the mountains and are pretty much overcome by the snow; Legolas is quite able to walk on the snow, when the rest ...
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2answers
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Who are all the characters to have touched The One Ring?

Who are all the characters in The Lord of the Rings to have touched The One Ring, actually worn it on their fingers, or otherwise had it in their possession (even for a brief period of time)? Please ...
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6answers
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Does the tone of The Hobbit significantly differ from that of Lord of the Rings?

I'm rapidly approaching the conclusion of The Return of the King, and next on my list is The Hobbit. This is my first time reading Tolkien, and I have been putting it off for 24 years. I'm a little ...
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5answers
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Is the pipe-weed in Middle-earth somehow intoxicating?

Hobbits and Gandalf often smoke pipe-weed. The way it is referred to implies it may have intoxicating effects similar to marijuana. “Both the silence and the smoke seemed greatly to annoy Saruman, ...
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1answer
1k views

Translation of these Cirth runes

What is the translation of what's written below? I think it may be the poem of the One Ring, but I'm not sure.
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3answers
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Did the date of Frodo's rescue out of the fire of Mordor have any particular meaning in The Lord of the Rings?

Did the date of Frodo's rescue out of the fire of Mordor have any particular meaning in The Lord of the Rings? We read in The Return of the King (Book 6 Chapter 4) that Gandalf states to Frodo and ...
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2answers
2k views

Clear some doubts and questions about the Witch-king of Angmar

I recently found out about the war between Arnor and Angmar, and was pretty shocked to learn that the Witch-king basically wiped the floor with the Dúnedain kingdom... I mean he's basically the sole ...
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4answers
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Was Gandalf the greatest of the Istari?

I know he is described as the wisest of all Istari/Maiar (the exact word used in that instance escapes me) and I believe, I am however not sure, that he was offered the position of head of the white ...
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2answers
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How did Gerontius Took get to be so old?

Until Bilbo turned 131, Gerontius Took (AKA "The Old Took") was the longest-living hobbit ever, reaching 130 years-old. Bilbo had The Ring to help extend his life, and even then, his age took a huge ...
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3answers
1k views

How are beings distinguished with respect to 'power' in Middle Earth?

Many characters are referred to, both in canon, and by the community, as being 'powerful'. Gandalf is a powerful wizard; Sauron is very powerful; Morgoth is one of the most powerful beings to have ...
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3answers
5k views

Does Gandalf have very limited powers compared to what we think of wizards today?

Comparing Gandalf with other wizards and their spells: fireballs, healing, magic items creation, teleportation, etc. Gandalf seems much more sword oriented than spell oriented. Were the ideas of a ...
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2answers
2k views

Dagor Dagorath - Is there any indication of who may return?

As you know, this is the apocolyptic event which occurs at the end of LOTR. I've been searching non-stop but simply cannot find if any from say, War of the Ring will return. People like Gandalf, The ...
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1answer
7k views

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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2answers
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Why didn't Sauron signal the Orcs that Frodo and Sam were at Mount Doom?

Sauron literally put his eye directly on Frodo and I'm sure he knew Frodo had the Ring, and even if he didn't, why didn't he signal the Orcs to go after Frodo and Sam? He literally just let them pass....
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2answers
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Why doesn't Gandalf whip it out in the major battles? [duplicate]

The dragon in LOTR is powerful. Powerful things can exert lots of power The exertion of lots of power is useful for winning wars one wants to win Gandalf fights in wars he wants to win Gandalf is a ...
57
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1answer
7k views

Was the Stone of Minas Tirith still dangerous after Sauron was destroyed?

In the sad chapter of The Return of the King in which the Fellowship parts for the last time, Pippin says he wishes that they could use Palantiri to keep in touch. Aragorn dismisses this idea: ...
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6answers
37k views

Why does Gollum address himself as “we”?

When talking to himself or talking to other people, Gollum likes to address himself as "we," e.g.: "we likes you". There is only one Gollum, so why does Gollum talk as if there are many Gollums? And ...
33
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5answers
8k views

Why does Cirdan give Narya to Gandalf instead of Saruman?

In the Lord of the Rings I recall some mention of when Cirdan gives Narya to Gandalf when the Istari arrive in Middle Earth. I think it is in the appendices but I cannot recall exactly, but I remember ...
33
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6answers
19k views

Why are the Ringwraiths fearful of coming into contact with water?

At least twice in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Ringwraiths cower away from bodies of water. The second time (the ford of Bruinen) can be explained away by their fear of some ...
29
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6answers
16k views

How long does the average Orc live? [duplicate]

The average or expected lifespan of Hobbits, Men and Dwarfs is easily found but I can find no definitive answer for the 'expected' lifespan of an Orc. All I can find so far is, 'unknown'.
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4answers
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Did Gandalf wear his Ring of Power throughout the trilogy?

After Gandalf discovered that Sauron was back and sent Frodo on his quest to Rivendell, did he continue to wear Narya (one of the Three Rings)? It seems like a huge risk to continue to wear it after ...
25
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6answers
5k views

Were the Middle-earth Wizards born as Wizards?

In Middle-earth, Elves were born as Elves, Hobbits as Hobbits, and so on. Were the Wizards born as Wizards, or were they young men that somehow evolved as they matured into Wizards?
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3answers
4k views

From what distance can Sting detect Orcs or Goblins?

Having re-watched the Hobbit and LoTR trilogies recently and I wondered if there was any evidence in any of Tolkien's writings as to the what is the greatest range at which Sting (and other elven ...
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10answers
8k views

Are any locations in the Lord of the Rings based on real places?

I recall reading somewhere that some of the places in the Shire in the Lord of the Rings were actually based on some real locations around where Tolkien grew up in the West Midlands here in the UK (I ...
24
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4answers
31k views

Why is Sauron always portrayed as being stronger than Gandalf?

My understanding is that Sauron along with the other wizards are all Maiar. They are all timeless, so no one is older than anyone else. I would have thought that 5 Maiar (or even two in LOTR) should ...
23
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2answers
7k views

Can the Elves and Hobbits in Tolkien's Legendarium grow facial hair?

I recently re-watched the Lord of the Rings movies with my kids and noticed something, I don't think any of the Elves or the Hobbits had any type of facial hair or beards. I also couldn't think of any ...

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