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For questions about The Silmarillion, a collection of works by J.R.R. Tolkien posthumously published by his son, Christopher in 1977. Always use in conjunction with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag.

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Has Christopher Tolkien said how he would have done “On the Ruin of Doriath” differently?

The chapter On the Ruin of Doriath in The Silmarillion is known to have been a rather extensive synthesis by CJRT of JRRT's existing texts (plus a bit of his own creativity), which were less cohesive/...
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1answer
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What magical powers do balrogs have?

J. R. R. Tolkien wrote: For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to ...
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2answers
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Why was Ondolindë always referred to as Gondolin?

Did Tolkien ever say why Gondolin was so-called by its Sindarin name, instead of the Quenya: Ondolindë? Thingol forbade his people from using Quenya or responding to people who used it, as a response ...
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2answers
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Why is Eärendil born a Man and Dior born an Elf?

The first two unions of Eldar and Edain produced Dior, son of Beren and Lúthien, and Eärendil, son of Tuor and Idril. Dior is treated an elf in the narrative, as are his children. However, Eärendil ...
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3answers
579 views

Why would the Valar release Melkor?

Once the Valar discovered Melkor had returned from beyond and started causing havoc in Middle-earth, destroying the Two Lamps and capturing, torturing, and mutilating Elves into what would later be ...
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1answer
480 views

Why did Manwe not understand the concept of Evil?

Manwe and Morgoth were brothers from their very creation. Morgoth whom created evil and wrote into the Music of the Ainur, chords of discord that would affect the events of Arda to come, had corrupted ...
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1answer
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Why did the people of Nargothrond heed the Sons of Feanor over Finrod Felagund?

When Beren came to Nargothrond to seek aid for his quest from Finrod to Angband the Sons of Feanor. Celegorm and Curufin stood out in the crowd reciting the Oath of Feanor, and stating that Finrod is ...
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2answers
170 views

Why did the Vanyar leave Tirion for Taniquetil?

It is stated that once the Calaquendi Elves got to Valinor from their Great Journey from Middle-earth, both the Noldor and Vanyar built and resided in the city of Tirion on Tuna. Later on the Vanyar ...
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1answer
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How tall are Aragorn and Elendil?

On both Tolkien Gateway and the Lord of the Rings wikia it says that Elendil is 7’11 (241cm) and Aragon is 6’6 (198cm). I have read the Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion and neither of them ...
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Looking for Tolkien's quote about sadness of kings

I have been searching for a quote by Tolkien, presumably from Silmarillion, which says (paraphrasing here) that the great kings had a sadness in them because they had seen the suffering from the past ...
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3answers
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What exactly were Laurelin and Telperion?

There are things we do know about Laurelin and Telperion. They glowed, they had names, they seem to have had genders. And they were very, very important - and not only that, but irreplaceable. And ...
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1answer
505 views

What Are Middle-earth Giants?

I was playing LOTR War in the North the other day. Despite its inaccuracy, there was one part where I had to fight a stone giant. I don't recall this from any of the books I've read, which are ...
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1answer
426 views

Why aren't there werewolves anymore in the Third Age? [duplicate]

Who was the responsible for their disappearance? Are they hidden to the South maybe?
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2answers
342 views

How aware are Middle-earth races about their deities? [duplicate]

From the point of view of the reader, we’re made aware (via The Silmarillion mostly) about the different powers in Middle-earth and the creation of Arda. For the reader there’s Eru, the Valar and the ...
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1answer
221 views

What was the fate of Daeron the Minstrel of Doriath?

Daeron was a servant of Elu Thingol of Doriath as a minstrel and a courtier of Lúthien Tinuviel (as well as a snitch). Daeron was jealous of Beren and Lúthien's relationship and sold them out to ...
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Did the Two Trees illuminate the whole of Arda or just Valinor? [duplicate]

After the destruction of the Two Lamps (Ormal and Illuin), the Valar created two massive Trees (Laurelin and Telperion) in Valinor and gave them light that was left over from the Lamps that gave Elves ...
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2answers
537 views

How much of Arda did Morgoth destroy before the Coming of the Elves?

How much carnage did Morgoth lay upon Middle-earth during the early days of Arda before the Awakening of the Elves at Cuiviénen?
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1answer
481 views

What is the significance of Turin Turambar?

What is the quality that he possesses that makes him unique among the Edain, and why is he, of all Men, the one that is going to kill Morgoth in the Dagor Dagorath?
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Why did Morgoth place a price on Beren's head?

After Beren slew the party of Orcs that had killed his father, Barahir, and their band of outlaws, and reclaimed the Ring of Finrod (as it was called before being renamed), Morgoth placed a price ...
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2answers
508 views

Did Ungoliant possess either the Flame Imperishable or some alternate version of it?

As I understand, life in Arda was brought forth either by Eru Directly, or after the rough draft, Eru gave the go-ahead for that form of life to be legitimatized by giving it the Flame Imperishable. ...
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3answers
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Who are the 2 most powerful entities to battle each other directly?

I was thinking the other day, which were the 2 most powerful entities/characters that came into direct combat with each other. I know that the Gandalf/Durin's Bane battle may have been the instance of ...
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512 views

Do Men have a greater degree of free will than Elves?

Related to this question. The Music that Eru and the Ainur made works as fate for the first Ages covering history until the Dominion of Man. [I]t is said that after the departure of the Valar there ...
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1answer
179 views

How were the Years of the Trees divided into ages?

When Melkor is condemned to the prison of Mandos, it is for three ages. There was Melkor doomed to abide for three ages long, before his cause should be tried anew, or he should plead again for ...
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2answers
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Could Aulë have been corrupted by Melkor?

Aulë was most like Melkor and both had the same desire to create life, independent of Ilúvatar. Melkor was jealous of him, for Aulë was most like himself in thought and in powers. [...] Both, ...
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1answer
378 views

Reason for this material's resilience against evil

Othram (the outermost wall of Minas Tirith), Orthanc, the Black Stone of Erech, the Palantiri, and Gurthang are all black/obsidian in color, nigh indestructible and/or only able to be shaped by ...
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Why didn't Beren kill Morgoth when he had the chance?

Beren had Morgoth at his mercy, and he could've drove his knife into Morgoth while he slept. Suddenly he fell, as a hill sliding in avalanche, and hurled like thunder from his throne lay prone ...
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1answer
256 views

Physical bodies and 'Mortality' of the Istari vs other embodied Ainur

The Istari were "clad in the bodies of Men, real and not feigned", unlike most Ainur who were inherently spirits and used bodies "only as we use raiment". However, Morgoth became permanently embodied ...
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1answer
646 views

What happened to the first 3 Elves to wake at Cuiviénen?

Imin, Tata, and Enel were the first Elves to awake in the Cuivienyarna. They were called the 'elf-fathers' as they later awoke all the other Elves at the bay of Cuiviénen. And so it was that the ...
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1answer
325 views

Did Thingol ever forgive the House of Fingolfin for the Kinslaying at Alqualondë?

Thingol was originally the leader of the Nelyar Elves awoken in Middle-Earth. This title was later given to his brother. Thingol then became first King of the Northern Elven Kingdom of Doriath. Being ...
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1answer
387 views

What is the fate of all Ents who die? [duplicate]

After death, the Elves would spawn in the Halls of Mandos and remain there until the end of days, Man will leave Arda, never to return, and Dwarves will return to the Earth from which they were made. ...
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1answer
599 views

What was the purpose of Sauron's human sacrifices?

When Sauron was in Numenor, he corrupted the locals into worshipping Melkor, offering him human sacrifices. The victims were mostly the Faithful, who opposed Sauron and his puppet king. So, why did ...
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What was the fate of Dior Eluchil? [duplicate]

Dior was the second King of Doriath and the son of Beren and Lúthien, so that made him half man, half elf and Maia. However, since Dior died before Manwë decreed any half-blood person could choose ...
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1answer
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Wouldn't Glorfindel had met Tuor in Valinor?

We're told that Tuor was allowed in Valinor and was supposedly given immortality (within Arda). Now, after Glorfindel died in the fall of Gondolin, went to Mandos and was re-embodied after a "short ...
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2answers
544 views

Balrogs: Valar, Maiar or Spirits?

I encountered the following bit, regarding Balrogs, in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Letter 144: The Balrogs, of whom the whips were the chief weapons, were primeval spirits of destroying fire, ...
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What are the planets in Eä? [duplicate]

In the Silmarillion The Sun and Moon are actually Maia bearing lamps, Arien and Tilion. Is there any writing on the sources of Mars, Jupiter and the other planets?
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Are beasts of burden in Middle-earth used by the Evil Forces considered inherently “evil”?

As I was recently re-watching the LOTR trilogy, it occurred to me that only the evil forces use (besides horses/oxen) what I consider "beasts of burden", such as Cave Trolls, Oliphants, Fell Beasts, ...
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2answers
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In the absence of the Doom of the Noldor, would Feanor and co. have had a chance against Morgoth? [closed]

This is something that just occurred to me recently - I had always assumed not, but I realized the key quote might not mean what I thought it meant. Vala he is, thou saist. Then thou hast sworn in ...
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1answer
385 views

Is there more information about dwarves wearing masks in battle?

In the Silmarillion, it says that during the Fifth Battle, it was the custom of the Naugrim to wear great masks in battle, hideous to look upon, and the masks stood them in great stead against the ...
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1answer
525 views

Do dwarves always stop fighting when their leader is killed?

In The Silmarillion, it says that during the Fifth Battle, when Glaurung killed Azaghâl, the Lord of the Belegost, the dwarves stopped fighting and carried his body away "with slow steps", "singing a ...
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2answers
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What became of Lenwë and the Nandor who stayed with him?

Then one arose in the host of Olwë, which was ever the hindmost on the road; Lenwë he was called. He forsook the westward march, and led away a numerous people, southwards down the great river, and ...
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1answer
543 views

Have the inhabitants of Middle-earth ever used siege engines?

When Fingolfin faced the Thangorodrim, apparently he didn't really know what to do, other than noticing that it would not fall from the voices of trumpets. Did anyone (other than Morgoth, Sauron, ...
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1answer
410 views

How did the Girdle of Melian work?

The Girdle of Melian is described like: "unseen wail of shadow and bewilderment". But how it exactly impeded intruders? Did it contain physical obstacles like tricky rivers, self-spawning precipices,...
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1answer
287 views

Why didn't the Noldor use the palantíri?

Fëanor is thought to have made the palantíri, or at least similar far-seeing crystals. Why didn't his sons make use of them in the War of the Jewels? They would be able to espy the orc raids leaving ...
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2answers
456 views

Are there any other Wraiths, Wights and Ghosts?

Are there any examples of Wraiths, Wights or Ghosts appearing elsewhere in Tolkien's work? Specifically, is there any mention of other ghosts/spirits that are not either the 9 Nazgûl, the Barrow-...
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1answer
349 views

Heraldry of the Twelve Houses of Gondolin

On Tolkien Gateway (supposedly considered a good source for canon) in the entry for the Twelve Houses of the Gondolindrim, the following image is shown to represent the coat of arms: Granted that ...
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Middle-Earth Holidays/Festivals/Celebrations [duplicate]

In the west we celebrate many types of holiday. Christmas, Halloween, and Valentines Day, just to name a few. However, I would like to know if there are any similar types of occasions in middle-earth, ...
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52 views

Legitimation among the Noldor [duplicate]

My theory is, that the Kingship among the Noldor wasn't as ideologically well-founded as among Men, they didn't think that their Kings were appointed to this role by the Valar or Eru, nor attributed ...
13
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1answer
672 views

What happened to the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin?

I think Túrin wore the helm last in the battle on Amon Rudh. Tolkien Gateway claims that he also wore it in the Battle of Tumhalad, but I find that rather weird since Túrin tried to hide his true ...
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2answers
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Did the Sindar use horses in the Ages of the Stars?

The Noldor used horses effectively during the Siege of Angbad. They also had famous steeds descending from Valinor. Nienor, Morwen and their escorts got horses from Thingol, as they went to ...
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694 views

Poisoned weapons in Middle-earth

Poisoned weapons in Middle-earth are normally connected with the evil powers, since the orcs are regularly reported to shot poisoned arrows. But I can remember some cases, when non-evil people are ...