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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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31
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7answers
8k views

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 ...
29
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6answers
7k views

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 ...
29
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6answers
6k views

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?
28
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8answers
9k views

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 ...
28
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3answers
3k views

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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4answers
10k 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
11k views

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?
25
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1answer
3k views

How and why did the Elves sense Sauron's treachery when he put on the One Ring?

This question was borne out of another asking why the Dwarven rings produced greed and not invisibility shown here. Consider the following: Sauron encouraged and assisted the Elves in forging the ...
22
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9answers
4k views

Was Durin's Bane a servant of Sauron?

Just wondering if Durin's Bane was under orders from Sauron when he fought Gandalf and if Sauron would have the power to control a Balrog? Sauron did have servants in Moria but if the Balrog served ...
22
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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 ...
18
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2answers
21k views

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 ...
17
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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?
15
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
13
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6answers
4k views

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 ...
10
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1answer
787 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.
8
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4answers
5k views

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 ...
8
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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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

What exactly happened to Gandalf's spirit after he “died” fighting the Balrog? [duplicate]

In the Two Towers movie, when Aragorn and company meet the newly reincarnated Gandalf the White, he has the following conversation with them GANDALF VOICEOVER: From the lowest dungeon to the ...
6
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3answers
4k 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 ...
5
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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 ...
3
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1answer
5k 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
2k views

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 ...
71
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9answers
37k views

Would Smaug have actually followed and allied with Sauron had he lived on?

I know Gandalf was worried Smaug would have joined Sauron, but was that just him being cautious? Would Smaug actually join up with Sauron? How does he benefit from that? All it does is bring more ...
55
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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: ...
46
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6answers
33k 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
17k 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 ...
28
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6answers
13k 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'.
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?
25
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6answers
12k views

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 ...
25
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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 ...
24
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4answers
27k 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 ...
24
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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 ...
23
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2answers
5k 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 ...
23
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3answers
5k views

Why did Aragorn and Theoden ride out at the Hornburg?

In the Battle of the Hornburg from The Two Towers, Aragorn and Theoden say "We must ride out." Why did they do this? Was it just a matter of honor? Did they ride out on their horses in the middle of ...
21
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2answers
6k views

In The Lord of the Rings, what exactly does “Elf-friend” mean?

The term elf-friend is used a number of times in the Lord of the Rings. First, when Frodo and the Hobbits leave the Shire, they encounter Gildor who says the following to Frodo: I name you Elf-...
20
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4answers
20k views

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 ...
19
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3answers
8k views

How did the One Ring abandon Gollum?

I'm sorry I have to mix a little movie line with The Hobbit the novel. In Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring, Lady Galadriel, while narrating the beginning of the movie, mentions that the ...
17
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2answers
3k views

Was Gandalf ignorant of the effects of Frodo having the ring for 17 years?

In an answer of mine for the question 'Who are all the characters to have touched The One Ring?', someone astutely asked 'how come?' Was Gandalf aware of the Rings' effects on a holder before ...
17
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4answers
40k views

How has Galadriel acquired evil mode?

One thing that intrigues me, is the berserk / evil / turbo-charged mode of Galadriel in face of danger (in Dol Guldur, during The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies) or during a possible temptation (...
16
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2answers
2k views

How much did Tolkien write about the worshippers of Sauron? The Easterlings, the Harad, the Khand

Watching The Lord of the Rings movies I was really captivated by the elephant riders and the men in brazen scale armor who aided the orcs against the forces of Gondor and Rohan. From what I know ...
16
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5answers
45k views

What are the differences between Orcs and Uruks?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy mentions the existence of Orcs and Uruks. I know that Orcs used to be Elves as Saruman says that they were once Elves, but what did Uruks used to be and why are they ...
16
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2answers
8k views

Did Aragorn touch the Palantir in the book?

In the LOTR The Two Towers movie, Pippin takes a look at the Palantir and Aragorn grabs it for a second to save him. Later in the extended version of the LOTR The Return of the King, Aragorn again ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Has JKR ever talked about the inspiration of creating the Horcrux idea? Is it related to the One Ring?

Although not completely analogous, there do seem to be some similarities between Sauron's "soul" embodied in the One Ring and Voldemort's "soul" embodied in a Horcrux. Has JKR ever talked about the ...
15
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1answer
2k views

How old did Gandalf appear to be when he came to Middle Earth?

Gandalf (as with all the Istari) did not have a corporeal form before coming to Middle-earth and was essentially ageless. We also know that Gandalf did age, albeit very slowly, while on Middle Earth. ...
14
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4answers
2k views

Why are the Istari only allowed to inspire?

It its known that the Istari were sent to Middle Earth to aid in the battle against Sauron, being only allowed to inspire and no direct actions could be taken. But, why is this? Could this rule be ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Who exactly was the squint-eyed southerner in the Lord of the Rings?

Who exactly is he? He is mentioned once in the Fellowship of the Ring as one of the instrumental characters who cause the Nazgûl to attack the Prancing Pony Inn at Bree. Is he a servant of Sauron or ...