Questions tagged [the-silmarillion]

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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76
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7answers
140k views

What is the true origin of the orcs?

There are a bunch of theories about the true origin of the orcs. Tolkien tried out a few different origins for his Orcs throughout his life but died before he could fully revise The Silmarillion with ...
71
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6answers
16k views

Are Tolkien's orcs immortal?

Orcs were the most commonplace villains serving the Dark Powers in all of Tolkien's Legendarium, a race of sentient beings bred by the evil Vala Melkor (Morgoth) during the time of the Great Darkness. ...
46
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6answers
11k views

Can the Valar or Maiar die?

In "The Lord of the Rings" and the "The Silmarillion" some Maiar (Sauron, several Balrogs, Saruman) are defeated. But did these Maiar actually die and if they did, do they go to Halls of Mandos or ...
54
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12answers
22k views

Who or what is the oldest sentient being in Tolkien's lore?

The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Histories of Middle Earth, all lore related to this universe is acceptable fodder. Regardless of their power, susceptibility to The One Ring, ...
44
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7answers
8k views

Why aren't the Valar considered gods?

As an avid Tolkien fan and an increasingly active member of this site, I cannot count the number of times I've seen people refer to the Valar or Maiar as gods, only to be corrected by other members (...
46
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3answers
5k views

Were there two elves named Glorfindel?

In the Silmarilion, an elf named Glorfindel is killed in a duel with a balrog at the battle for Gondolin. (He kills the balrog as well.) Then in The Fellowship of the Ring, an elf named Glorfindel ...
59
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3answers
13k views

Why do people say that Peter Jackson can not make LOTR/Hobbit sequels?

I was reading a couple of posts on forums where people said that "The Silmarillion" would make a great basis for an action movie, a sequel (or would that be prequel?) to LOTR and Hobbit. But someone ...
40
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2answers
8k views

What happened to Radagast The Brown?

Radagast The Brown disappeared from Arda after the first book The Fellowship of the Ring. What happened to him?
43
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3answers
13k views

How were hobbits created?

How were hobbits created? I can't find any reference in The Silmarillion about this. Are they just men who have shrunken over generations or what?
31
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5answers
8k views

How many Balrogs were there?

There are guesstimates of their numbers ranging from as little as 3 all the way up to hundreds. Still other accounts say there were actually a thousand strong. We know five were 'killed' by Tuor, ...
23
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4answers
3k views

What happened to Huan the Wolfhound after he died?

I just finished reading the chapter of The Silmarillion devoted to Beren and Lúthien, which contains the greatest character in all of Tolkien's work, in my opinion: Huan, the Wolfhound of the Valar. ...
9
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1answer
735 views

How many of the Ainur were unable to change their physical form?

The Ainur are spirits who do not need bodies, but they can assume them. From the Ainulindalë in the Silmarillion: Their shape comes of their knowledge of the visible World, rather than of the World ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Did Ilúvatar anticipate Melkor?

Did Ilúvatar know that Melkor would 'turn bad'? Was it part of his vast design? Tolkien often hints that also Morgoth's evil is part of the grand plan, and that he does the will of Ilúvatar in the ...
20
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2answers
4k views

Other than Morgoth, were any of the Valar ever susceptible to physical injury?

Among Tolkien's mythology, Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth is well known. Morgoth suffered serious injury during the fight, and was left with permanent scars. He had also previously suffered burns from ...
8
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2answers
786 views

What is the nature of an Ainu's fair form?

When Númenor was sunk, Sauron was forced to flee the island by abandoning his physical body so that his spirit could return to Middle-earth. It was said that, henceforth, he could no longer assume a ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Second prophecy of Mandos

Does anybody know anything about the mysterious "Second Prophecy of Mandos"? It seems to be about the end of the world.
26
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1answer
2k views

Why did Christopher Tolkien remove all references to England and Ælfwine from the published Silmarillion?

Reading through the History of Middle-Earth series, it's quite clear the Tolkien had England and Eriol/Ælfwine of England in his mind though most of the history of developing the legendarium. The idea ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Why did the Valar abandon the Moriquendi and Men?

There is plenty of discussion on this site about why the Valar didn't intervene in more obvious ways in the Second and Third Ages, but I'm asking about the First Age. Between the return of Melkor to ...
27
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1answer
3k views

What is the parentage of Gil-galad?

In The Silmarillion, we're told that Gil-galad is the son of Fingon, son of Fingolfin: Great was the lamentation in Hithlum when the fall of Fingolfin became known, and Fingon in sorrow took the ...
27
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3answers
11k views

How large a form did Melkor take for his duel with Fingolfin?

After the Elves took many casualties in the Dagor Bragollach, Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, rode up to the gates of Angband and challenged Melkor to single battle in such a way that he couldn't ...
19
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1answer
2k views

The One Ring and Númenor

Did Sauron have his great Ring while in Númenor? How did he save it then, while in spirit form? He ... fell into the abyss. But Sauron was not of mortal flesh, and though he was robbed now of ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Are any of the original elves that awoke at Cuiviénen named?

This came up because a friend told me he thought Glorfindel was an "original elf". As far as I know, the earliest mention of Glorfindel is at the Fall Of Gondolin, which is a far cry from Cuiviénen. ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Who does Tolkien include in the category “The Wise”?

I know the wizards (Istari) are considered to be among "the Wise", and I believe the Elves (Eldar) are as well, but are all Elves among "the Wise", or only some of them? And does anyone else qualify ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Was Melkor/Morgoth a Vala or not?

I had always been under the impression that Melkor was a Vala. It seemed to be almost common knowledge among Tolkien fans, including the ones here on SE. Then I came across this line in The ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Are there any other planets besides Arda in Ea?

Did Tolkien mention anything about other planets in his mythology or did he invent just the one planet for his stories?
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2answers
2k views

Is there anything in Lord of the Rings that could have survived into our age? [duplicate]

If The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion took place in different ages than us, but on Earth, is there any suggestion in those works that some elements would or could have been immortal or ...
6
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1answer
2k views

What about the Vanyar?

In the Silmarillion, we learn much about the origins of the elves and of their leaders. There is a lot of info about the people of the Teleri and the main plots are woven around the fate of the Noldor,...
6
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between the “spiritual” beings in Tolkien's universe?

I'm looking for a brief synopsis of the Maiar, Valar, Ainur, and whatever Eru Ilúvatar is, and what the distinguishing characteristics of each group are. The specific information I am looking for is ...
83
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6answers
147k views

Is there a hidden significance behind the fact Galadriel gave 3 hairs to Gimli instead of one?

I just saw an interesting interpretation of Galadriel's gift to Gimli on Reddit today, I retraced the source of the image to this tumblr post: If you’ve read the Silmarillion, you know who ...
98
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6answers
15k views

Tolkien calls Sauron Morgoth's Greatest Servant - But does he ever really earn that with his actions?

Alright, so there is a great, incredibly well informed community here so let me ask a question that's been bothering me since I finished the Silmarillion. I'll lay out my reasoning for why it's a ...
47
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10answers
46k views

How on (middle) earth did Eärendil kill a dragon as huge as Ancalagon?

We know that Ancalagon was killed by Earendil, but how exactly was he killed? Ancalagon was so incredibly massive and Earendil was just a dude in a ship with some Eagles. This image ↓ isn't canon but ...
47
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3answers
3k views

Did Mandos make any decisions that didn't prove to be disastrous?

Mandos is the great judge of the Valar, and his decisions are widely respected by all the other Valar. But most of his judgements have disastrous consequences for the Valar, the Elves, and all of ...
32
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1answer
4k views

What would've happened had Melkor won?

I'm interested to know if there were any notes on what would've happened has Melkor successfully overthrown the other Valar and assumed complete control of Arda. Obvious answers like "He'd kill ...
25
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4answers
24k views

If the Arkenstone isn't a Silmaril, then what is it?

It is discussed at great length, whether or not the Arkenstone is one of the Silmarils1, and the most accepted answer is that it is not2. The Arkenstone however, has undeniable 'powers' or properties ...
11
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5answers
2k views

Why did Fëanor refuse to give even one of the Silmarils to Yavanna to revive the trees?

Right near the beginning Of the Flight of the Noldor: Yavanna spoke before the Valar, saying: "The Light of the Trees has passed away, and lives now only in the Silmarils of Fëanor. Foresighted was ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Learning Quenya and/or Sindarin

If someone wanted to learn to speak Tolkien's Elvish languages (Quenya and Sindarin) is there a guide to how to go about doing so? Are there any authoritative sources regarding which language should ...
46
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4answers
8k views

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 (...
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 ...
17
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1answer
1k views

Who were the seven forefathers of the Dwarves, besides Durin?

It is told in the Silmarillion that Aule created the seven fathers of the dwarves. The most prominent of course being Durin, the ancestor of most (all?) dwarves that feature in LotR and The Hobbit. ...
6
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1answer
864 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 ...
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 ...
4
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1answer
680 views

About The Lighting In Arda After The Destruction Of The Two Lamps

It is Known that Melkor (Morgoth) destroyed the Two Lamps, Ormal And Illuin. Meanwhile Valinor was lit by the Two Trees, and in Middle-earth the first light that Elves-Quendi beheld was that of the ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Tuor, Beren and Luthien - the gifts of Mortality and Immortality from Eru vs the Valar

According to the legendarium It was a tradition under the Eldar and Edain that they [Idril and Tuor] arrived in Valinor, and that Tuor alone of Men was counted among the Eldar, immortal as other ...
3
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1answer
669 views

How did Tuor get to live in Valinor?

Tuor wed Idril then had Earendil in Gondolin, then after Gondolin fell and they had escaped Tuor and Idril set sail into the West and the Valar don't seem to be bothered by this and he gained ...
17
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5answers
37k 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 (...
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. ...
11
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2answers
3k views

How could Orcs survive in subterranean settings?

In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring the Fellowship encounters many Orcs (or goblins) living in the Mines of Moria. In The Hobbit our heroes encounter a tribe of goblins inhabiting caves ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Since when did Eru forbid men from going to the undying land?

I read it in the Silmarillion that the Valar forbade Númenóreans going to the undying land. Was this rule made by Eru himself and did he loved Elves more than Men? Both Elves and Men were the Children ...
4
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1answer
1k views

What do we know about the Ainur who stayed in the Timeless Halls?

This is my understanding: Before Ilúvatar created Eä, he created the Ainur, who were with him in his Timeless Halls. At Eä’s creation, some of the Ainur chose to enter the world and be bound to it. ...
45
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8answers
8k views

Did Sauron and Finrod Felagund really get into a singing fight?

In The Silmarillion, in the chapter "Of Beren and Lúthien", we read of what can only be called a singing fight, at least if we take the account at face value. I won't repeat it in its entirety, but ...