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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50
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6answers
15k views

Why was Tom Bombadil so unconcerned about the fate of Middle-earth?

I know he saves the hobbits from the barrow-wight and gives them weapons which affect the Nazgûl, Sauron's greatest servants. But I've always wondered why a high power, which Tom Bombadil obviously is,...
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3answers
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Why did the Elves respect Aragorn yet consider Isildur to be weak?

After watching the first movie of the series a lot I realized how much "dislike", almost "hate", Elrond has for Man when he starts with "I was there when it happened" as he tells the story of Isildur. ...
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1answer
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Why was Frodo “wise” and Samwise a “half-wit”?

According to the sources I’ve found (for example this one), “Frodo” comes from the Old English “fród”, meaning wise. (Apparently in “Hobbit Language” Frodo’s name is “Maura”, but I don’t know if this ...
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What non-canon elements were added to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Taking into account the Lord of the Rings Appendices and all of Tolkien's other writings (including his letters) I'd like to know what elements of the film were entirely created by Peter Jackson and ...
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5answers
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Why is Galadriel always barefoot?

In both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movie trilogies Galadriel is always shown walking barefoot. Does it say in the books that she walks around barefoot or did Peter Jackson just want to show off ...
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2answers
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What are the evil things Gandalf encounters in his battle with the Balrog?

When Gandalf describes his titanic battle with the Balrog of Moria, Durin's Bane, he mentions encountering ancient creatures that gnaw at the earth, older than Sauron: Far, far below the deepest ...
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If Sauron had won, would the Valar have intervened?

In the First Age, when the Elves first awoke and were terrorized by Morgoth, the Valar came to help as soon as they learned of it, defeated and captured Morgoth. When the Noldor went against the will ...
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7answers
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Why is Arwen dying?

This question was inspired by xkcd #1256's Title text and refers specifically to a scene in the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). The exact quote is: ARAGORN: (bows) My ...
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4answers
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Why did Sauron want the Seven Rings back after his return?

Sauron in the second age gave seven rings to the dwarf lords. This had many effects with the main one being greed and avarice. The reason he gave the dwarves these rings was presumably so that he ...
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Are there real world creation myths that inspired The Silmarillion?

In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, the creation myth is based on music - the creation of elves, etc. are new themes in the music, the "devil" introduces discords that are then used to develop the ...
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Was the “One Ring” inscription a side effect or a feature?

We know that The One Ring had an inscription on it, revealed when heated by fire: One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them Was that ...
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Does a transcription of Tolkien's handwriting in this image exist? (Part 2)

Following on the success we had transcribing the text in the image on this question, I am hoping that lightning will strike twice. This image contains far more text, and is even less legible. It ...
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How powerful is Eru Ilúvatar?

If Eru is the creator of all that is, does this make him the most powerful force in the Tolkien universe? Has he created beings, such as Sauron, which have more power than him?
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Who was the oldest Elf left in Middle Earth at the start of the War of the Ring at the end of the third age?

Some of the remaining notable and named Elves' birthdates are either known, or through association can be reasonably guessed at. They are: Galadriel - birthdate YT 1362, Elrond - birthdate FA 532, ...
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Is there any hint that some of the beings in Tolkien's lore may have survived into “our” times?

In Tolkien's lore, they are many very old beings. Is there any indication that some or even one would have been truly immortal and survived into what we would call "our" history or Age? Galadriel, ...
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1answer
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How do the dead in the Halls of Mandos exist alongside the living elves in the Valinor?

Men and Elves go to the Halls of Mandos when they die, to receive judgement, whence the Men move on to their fates, and the Elves linger forever (until the End of Days, Dagor Dagorath). The Halls of ...
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Timeline of Peter Jackson's Tolkien movies

The LotR trilogy made some significant condensation to the timeline, with the Quest taking place immediately after Bilbo's 111st birthday, instead of 17 years later, as in the book. This change in ...
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What does Gandalf intend to chat with Tom Bombadil about?

This is not another "Who was Tom Bombadil" question. Close to the end of ROTK Gandalf tells one of the Hobbits that it's time for him to go and have a long talk with Tom Bombadil. Was there anything ...
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Why Does Gandalf Think Rohan Should “Stand and Fight”?

In the Two Towers film adaptation (it has been about a decade since I read the book, so if there are differences, I'd like to know about them), Gandalf derisively sneers: They flee to the mountains ...
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Why didn't Gandalf know what the Palantir was?

In the book The Two Towers, Gandalf is puzzled as to how Saruman had been communicating with Sauron. Grima Wormtongue, rather conveniently, then throws Saruman's Palantir out the window of Orthanc, ...
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Did Gandalf cast a spell on Butterbur's beer?

In Lord of the Rings, Gandalf says to Butterbur after learning the Hobbits have left with Strider : "May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!" Did ...
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Why did it take longer to go to Rivendell in The Hobbit than in The Fellowship of the Ring?

Both The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring involve traveling to Rivendell; however, although approximately the same route is taken, the journey took longer in The Hobbit. In The Hobbit, Gandalf, ...
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Lord of the Rings written to support constructed languages or the other way round?

I've heard the claim that Tolkien wrote, or at least started writing, The Lord of the Rings to support (with a history providing cultural depth) the artificial languages he was creating at the time. ...
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How did the Witch King break Gandalf's staff in the movie?

In the movie, the Witch King breaks Gandalf's staff. How did this happen and why (since it's not in the book)?
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1answer
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Was the original hobbit name of Bilbo and Frodo “Bilba” and “Froda”?

I am reading the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and in particular Appendix F, part II "On translation". Tolkien writes: To their man-children they usually gave names that had no meaning at ...
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4answers
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In the inscription of the One Ring, what or who does “them all” refer to?

Recall that Sauron has inscribed the One Ring with the following words. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In this ...
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2answers
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How did the destruction of the Ring cause Arwen to change from Evenstar to Morningstar?

Arwen Undómiel , also known as "Evenstar" (or Evening Star), became mortal by choice and her "fate became tied to the outcome of the ring" (words of Elrond in the movie, don't remember how that was ...
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How many times did Frodo wear The Ring in all movies/books combined?

I am trying to make a quiz and this is a question that I puzzled myself with. How many times did Frodo wear The Ring in all movies/books combined?
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What information exists about the Zimmerman script for Lord of the Rings?

The first proposed cinematisation of the Lord of the Rings books was a project created in 1957 by Forrest J. Ackerman, Morton Grady Zimmerman, and Al Brodax. According to Wikipedia: The proposed ...
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What is the function of a Wizard's staff? [duplicate]

In the Middle Earth universe, "Wizards" are actually Maia, angelic or god-like beings who have taken mortal form (and accepted some Human frailties) to act as guides and advisors in the struggle ...
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Why was the riddle on the way to Moria written in Elvish?

I just caught my housemates watching The Lord of The Rings. At the scene where the Fellowship enters the Mines of Moria, the writing on the entrance is in Elvish, despite this being a Dwarvish city. ...
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10answers
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What does Sauron need with mithril?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, IV A Journey in the Dark, Gandalf explains: The wealth of Moria was not in gold and jewels, the toys of the Dwarves; nor in iron, their servant. Such things ...
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Is There More to Arwen Than Her Obsessive Love for Aragorn?

It's me again -- still reading my way through The Lord of the Rings, but quite familiar with Peter Jackson's trilogy, which I really like. It occurs to me, though, that Arwen is almost the Lord of ...
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Is “Lord of the Rings” a trilogy of books in Tolkien's opinion?

Is "Lord of the Rings" a trilogy of books? It was published as 3 separate books, but can it be called a trilogy? Was it intended to be a trilogy by Tolkien himself? The question arose in comment ...
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Why did Caradhras not want the Fellowship to pass?

I haven't read the books in a long while, but when I was re-watching the movies recently, I remembered that even though it is depicted as Saruman causing the avalanche/storm on Caradhras, the book ...
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1answer
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What happened to Gandalf the Grey's body when he was sent back as Gandalf the White?

So Gandalf and the Balrog of Moria have a little fisticuffs and they both died. Presumably dead bodies lie on the mountain side somewhere. Gandalf "strayed out of thought and time", gets a can of ...
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2answers
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How tall was the Balrog of Moria?

I've read the relevant passages in the books but can't get a handle on just how tall Balrogs are meant to be. Specifically, how tall is the Balrog that Gandalf faces in Moria? The closest grasp I ...
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Are Aragorn and Arwen cousins?

I was looking at the Noldor House of Finwë descendancy and on one side it shows Arwen, daughter of Elrond as we all know. But I didn't know this part: the other side breaks off into Aragorn as a ...
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What is the picture on the front of this edition of “The Two Towers”?

The front cover of my edition of "The Two Towers" has a picture of what looks like a man mounted on some vast flying creature: The only thing that beast makes me think of is "dragon", but as far as I ...
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4answers
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Has Peter Jackson revealed why he changed the character of Aragorn?

Now that I have almost finished reading The Lord of the Rings, one of the differences between the books and movies puzzles me more than any other: In the books, Aragorn always intended, and expected, ...
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Would the One Ring have stayed hidden if Bilbo hadn't turned up?

Gollum managed to keep the One Ring safe in his possession for approximately 478 years. His cave is very well hidden, the goblins living nearby appear to be unaware of it and aside from Bilbo's visit ...
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Why is Gimli allowed to travel to Valinor?

Gimli was allowed to go to Valinor despite not being a ring bearer. Is this explained in detail or just with the one line "for his love for Galadriel"?
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How were Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel able to comunicate telepathically?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), when the company arrives in Rivendell, Gandalf is asked to attend a surprise reunion with Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman the White. While Saruman opposes ...
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Is the Eye of Sauron an artifact: similar to the Ring or to a Palantir?

In the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien describes Sauron's fortress of Barad-dûr as having a high tower, within which there exists the Eye of Sauron. In the black abyss there appeared a ...
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2answers
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Would Gandalf have been allowed to fight Smaug?

This is not a Gandalf vs Smaug debate. The question is more about whether, if presented with the opportunity, Gandalf would have been permitted (by the Valar) to fight Smaug without any limitations ...
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What is the creature that the Nazgul ride called?

What are the dragon-like creatures that the Nazgul ride in the later part of the series called? Anything in relation to the books or movie and out of universe ...
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How did the Witch King of Angmar get his sword back?

Spoilers for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: The Witch King clearly has his sword in The Fellowship of the Ring. How and when did he get his sword back? Judging by the shape of the ...
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How fast could Shadowfax gallop?

In Lord of the Rings, Shadowfax is described as very fast. Is it possible to deduce his speed from the time taken to travel between, for instance, Meduseld and Minas Tirith?
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What were the fell beasts the Nazgul flew on?

What were the fell beasts the Nazgul flew on called?
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Why did the Fellowship scatter so chaotically at Parth Galen?

In the book Fellowship of the Ring, when the Fellowship is camped at Parth Galen above the Falls of Rauros, Frodo walks off alone to decide what to do next. Boromir slips off after Frodo and tries to ...