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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How did Sam know what happened to Boromir?

Near the end of LOTR: Two Towers when Faramir is close to taking the ring back to Gondor, Sam pleads with Faramir not to take the ring by saying something like this: "Do you want to know what ...
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How did Tolkien and Lewis come to use the similar names "neekerbreeker" and "Nikabrik"?

I noticed today, after being reminded of the episode in The Fellowship of the Ring, when Strider and the hobbits are crossing the Midgewater Marshes, where they hear countless noisy insects, There ...
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22 votes
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Are Hobbits related (distant or no) to Elves?

I have read the LOTR trilogy more than once. I feel (from many nuances and some plain text of Tolkien's) that halflings are distantly related to Elves, perhaps descending from common lineage. Whether ...
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2 votes
1 answer
524 views

Was Sauron aware of the prophecy that Smaug would be killed and that the Dwarves would reclaim Erebor?

I was wondering if there is any mention in Tolkien's Legendarium that Sauron knew about the prophecy that Smaug would be killed and that the Dwarves would then reclaim Erebor. If so, I was thinking ...
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33 votes
4 answers
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Why did Gandalf bring Pippin along to blind the Nazgul?

At one point in The Return of the King Gandalf rides out of Minas Tirith to blind some Nazgul and immediately returns to Minas Tirith. It doesn't make sense to me why he would take Pippin along for ...
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In-universe origin of the Ring poem [duplicate]

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 throne In the Land of ...
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49 votes
1 answer
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What did Frodo and Sam eat when they crossed Mordor on foot?

If Sauron had trouble getting enough food for a large army, then maybe Sam and Frodo had problems finding food in Mordor too. Where did Sam and Frodo find food and water along the journey through ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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In the Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, why do the eagles come to the battle at the Black Gate?

So the eagles in the Lord of the Rings seem to be the starting point for many a question. I understand that they are not regular eagles that are just abnormally large, but rather servants of one of ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Why did Gondor build the tower, Cirith Ungol, near Shelob's lair?

The Ephel Dúath ("Fence of Shadow") defended Mordor on the west and south. The main pass was guarded by Minas Morgul, a city built by Gondor as Minas Ithil. The fortress Durthang lay in the northern ...
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50 votes
3 answers
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What exactly happened during Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog?

When Gandalf fights with the Balrog they begin by falling through an abyss. After reaching an underground lake, they seem to fight their way on top of a tower. Is there a description of the events ...
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78 votes
4 answers
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Does Sauron have any dialogue in any of the books?

In The Lord of the Rings film adaptions, you can hear Sauron's voice at some points but it's often hard to hear it very well. You can also hear him quite clearly in The Lego Batman Movie, although I ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Is there a shared inspiration for the 7 Dwarfs of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves (that received rings of power) from Tolkien's writings?

In The Lord of the Rings Tolkien writes that 7 Dwarves were given rings. I know that Tolkien took a lot of inspiration from different sources including ancient fables and stories, tales of the Pagan ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Who were the seven dwarves Sauron gave the Rings of Power to?

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 throne In the Land of ...
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50 votes
9 answers
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Did Sauron have the military power to control all Middle-earth?

Inspired by here: Why was the ring necessary for Sauron to control Middle-earth?, but not a question about the Ring itself, but about Sauron's military power. TL/DR: Could Sauron conquer Middle-earth ...
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19 votes
3 answers
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Who was the last elf in Middle-earth?

The elves left Middle-earth for the Undying Lands after Frodo destroyed the One Ring. Who was the last elf in Middle-earth? Was it Arwen, who remained behind for love of Aragorn, until she died of ...
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14 votes
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Did Gandalf know that the nine had risen or not?

In Chapter 1, "Many Meetings", of The Fellowship of the Ring the following exchange occurs: "Then you knew of the Riders already - before I [Frodo] met them?" "Yes, I [...
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Why was the Ring called Isildur’s Bane?

The actual question is about how anyone knew to call the ring this. Was anyone actually in a position to know that he attempted to use it to escape the ambush, and then also in a position to see that ...
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1 vote
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Was the Sith language inspired by Tolkien's Black Speech?

In The Rise of Skywalker, C-3PO claims that even though he can read the Sith language, his programming forbids him from translating it for others. This is very reminiscent of a similar scene in J. R. ...
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24 votes
3 answers
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Where does the tea come from?

We know that Hobbits drink a lot of tea, but I can't find any piece of information leading to the source of tea leaves. Judging on equivalence of coordinates, Hobbits should not be able to cultivate ...
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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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5 votes
1 answer
539 views

Did Fangorn not meet Radagast? [duplicate]

In The Two Towers, Fangorn describes Gandalf as the wizard with the greatest love of trees. Why would he not think of Radagast in this way?
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44 votes
5 answers
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Is there an in-universe explanation of how Frodo's arrival in Valinor was recorded in the Red Book?

In the chapter "The Grey Havens", we have: And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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What dragon(s) was Bilbo talking about during his 111th birthday?

In The Fellowship of the Ring film during Bilbo's 111th birthday when Merry and Pippin shot off the dragon firework, Bilbo exclaims, Nonsense! There hasn't been a dragon in these parts in ages! ...
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10 votes
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When did Sauron acquire fellbeasts?

I am focusing on the fellbeasts acting as Nazgûl mount. What are fellbeasts and when did Sauron acquire them? Are they Sauron's own creation or did he collaborate with them? Do they appear in any ...
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14 votes
3 answers
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Did Sauron ever betray Morgoth?

Sauron was given the title "Sauron the Deceiver" because he used charm and deception to gain control over others. He taught ring-craft to the elves and gave Rings of Power to men and dwarves ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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How did Gollum know Sauron was gathering the Haradrim to make war?

When Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins spy on the Haradrim army and their oliphaunts, Gollum explains why they are marching north. Samwise: Who are they? Gollum: ...
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65 votes
5 answers
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Why does Sauron not permit his followers to use his name?

From The Two Towers, chapter 1, "The Departure of Boromir": Upon their shields [the orcs] bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre of a black field; on the front of their ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Are the Istari *still* Maiar?

While (I think) there is no argument over the Istari being originally Maiar - are they still Maiar? Did they cease being Maiar when they incarnated themselves? Clarification: many official (e.g. UT) ...
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What would Saruman join forces with Sauron for?

Curumo (Saruman) is not known, AFAIK, to have forgotten his identity and his mission from the Valar. Even ignoring his commitment to the Valar - he knows that Mairon (Sauron)'s master, Melkor, is gone;...
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54 votes
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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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How did the Ring allow Sauron to retain his human form? [duplicate]

I was reading on Tolkien Gateway that Sauron fought with Gil-galad and Elendil, and both were slain. As Elendil fell, his sword was broken beneath him. Yet Sauron was thrown down, too, and Isildur ...
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15 votes
2 answers
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Why did Saruman lie?

I was looking at this interactive map of Middle-earth, and noticed that when you click on the node at Isengard, one of the dates says: The Black Riders visit Saruman who lies that Gandalf has "...
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56 votes
3 answers
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How far did Gandalf and the Balrog drop from the bridge in Moria?

As best I can tell, in this dramatic scene from The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf falls for 71 seconds, mostly in free-fall while fighting a Balrog. True, the Balrog hits the walls of the abyss a ...
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43 votes
4 answers
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Why did Gandalf use a sword against the Balrog?

Shortly after Gandalf first sees the balrog, he orders Aragorn to lead the fellowship to the bridge. Aragorn hesitates, fearing to leave Gandalf alone against such a fearsome enemy, until Gandalf ...
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4 votes
1 answer
608 views

Did Tolkien ever discuss why rings were chosen? [duplicate]

With years of reading the books and watching movies, especially with the success of the Peter Jackson movies, the fact the main magical items of The Lord of the Rings are the rings seems ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Could you willingly cast yourself into Mount Doom with the One Ring?

I'm aware that no-one can willingly cast the One Ring into Mount Doom, but could you do it if you jumped in with it? Tolkien's Letter 246 seems to imply that this was a potential path for Frodo, or ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Are there female wizards in The Lord of the Rings?

I don’t remember there being any specific ones in the canon Middle-earth, but is it possible for the wizards of that universe to be female?
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83 votes
5 answers
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Do the books ever say oliphaunts aren’t elephants?

In a comment here, Valorum states "Zero elephants. Several Oliphaunts". Which made me wonder: is there anything in Tolkien's writings to support the notion that Oliphaunts are not elephants? The ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is Sauron saying while Frodo and Gollum fight over the ring in the Crack of Doom?

At 1:41 in this clip, Sauron appears to be talking in Black Speech. What is he saying? Is this in the books?
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19 votes
3 answers
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How many oliphaunts died in all of the Lord of the Rings battles?

As elephant-like creatures called 'oliphaunts' were used in the movies and the books, I'm wondering how many died in all of the Lord of the Rings battles? Whether they were stabbed or whatever, is ...
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6 votes
1 answer
512 views

Who was the orc who wanted to leave Mordor and have his own band of brigands? [duplicate]

In The Lord of the Rings there was a conversation between two orcs, where one of them expressed the desire to leave Mordor and return to a life of small scale brigandry. Who was this orc, and in ...
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16 votes
3 answers
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Is the chapter "The Houses of Healing" meant as comic relief?

I'm re-reading the LOTR books for the first time in about 20 years, and I was struck by the change of tone in this chapter. We've just had several heavy chapters of death and destruction and this ...
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36 votes
2 answers
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Why are Hobbits so fond of mushrooms?

In both the book and the movie it would seem that Hobbits are especially fond of mushrooms, sometimes braving dangers to harvest them. I have seen somewhere an interview in which Tolkien claimed he ...
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23 votes
3 answers
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Distinguish the explanations of Galadriel's test in LotR

So, I just finished The Silmarillion, and of course The Hobbit and LotR before that. One of the reason I wanted to read The Silmarillion is because I didn't quite understand the part of Galadriel's ...
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86 votes
2 answers
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What's the big deal about the Nazgûl losing their horses?

I have only watched the movies and I am currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring (haven't finished it yet, I am at "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"). A number of times we see characters such ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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How did Gandalf chase the Balrog to Zirakzigil?

In The Two Towers movie adaptation, when Gandalf the White reunites with members of the Fellowship, he explains that he fell "through fire and water, from the lowest dungeon to the highest peak". It'...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How could Sauron physically acquire the ring? [duplicate]

In The Lord of the Rings Sauron is essentially a spirit which has taken the form of the great eye. If the fellowship had failed, how would the forces of Mordor actually give the ring to him? In the ...
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27 votes
2 answers
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Could Sauron have read Tom Bombadil's mind if Tom had held the Palantir?

Imagine an alternate version of The Return of the King, in which Gandalf travels to Tom Bombadil's house after the Battle of Helm's Deep/Hornburg in order to give the Palantir to Tom for safekeeping. ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Is there any other references about Aragorn being in Moria before? [duplicate]

‘I too once passed the Dimril Gate.’ said Aragorn quietly; ‘but though I also came out again, the memory is very evil. I do not wish to enter Moria a second time.’ (The Lord of the Rings, A Journey ...
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37 votes
2 answers
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Are all Ringwraiths called Nazgûl in LotR?

I knew before that the Black Riders and Ringwraiths and Nazguls are one and the same. But even before that, when I was little and saw the movies when they first came out, I thought the Nazgul referred ...
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