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Questions tagged [tolkiens-legendarium]

For questions about any works in J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium - The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and other works set in the same universe - or about that universe as a whole. Questions about movies, games, or other media set in the same universe should also use this tag. Questions about Tolkien himself or works by him which are not part of the Middle-earth universe should NOT use this tag use [j-r-r-tolkien] instead.

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20
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
8
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3answers
653 views

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?
5
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1answer
251 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?
10
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1answer
2k views

Was Smaug sealed inside the Lonely Mountain?

The dwarves said there was no way into the mountain before Gandalf gave Thorin the key... in the movie. So I was wondering, how did Smaug get out to eat?
27
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2answers
5k views

Did Tolkien ever write about a Heaven or Hell for Men?

I know the Gift of Men was to leave the Circles of the World, but does Tolkien ever discuss the further fate of Men? Does he talk about Heaven, Hell or Purgatory? I remember allusions to these ...
43
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5answers
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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 ...
11
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2answers
632 views

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! ...
5
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2answers
470 views

When did Sauron acquire fellbeasts?

I am focusing on the fellbeasts acting as Nazgul 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 ...
14
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3answers
2k views

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 so that ...
13
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3answers
3k views

What does “We have long ago paid the goblins of Moria,” from The Hobbit mean?

“We have long ago paid the goblins of Moria,” said Thorin. From chapter 1 of the book The Hobbit by Tolkien. What does it mean? Did the goblins pay for their murder or did the dwarves stop paying ...
29
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2answers
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Was “The Hobbit” ever abridged?

I know the Hobbit was written as a children's book (tale?) and I saw this when I searched the site for similar questions to this one. The story itself can certainly be regarded as almost a fairy tale ...
26
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3answers
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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? ...
2
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1answer
132 views

Were Malgalad/Amdír and Oropher both slain in the Battle of Dagorlad, or in two separate incidents?

It seems to be generally understood (see the Tolkien Gateway and LOTR wiki articles) that: In the Battle of Dagorlad, Oropher's company fought valiantly but he was slain with the greater part of ...
27
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2answers
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Who declared the Last Alliance to be the “last” and why?

Who named it, why and when? Some possibilities I can think of: They themselves chose it, meaning that if they would overthrow and destroy Sauron, no more such alliances would be needed. Someone gave ...
28
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2answers
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In what language did Túrin converse with Mím?

Túrin spoke the Mannish tongue of the House of Hador and also Sindarin (in a noticeably archaic Doriathrim way). On the other hand the petty-dwarves being largely isolationist and hating the Eldar, ...
63
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5answers
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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 iron helms ...
3
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2answers
397 views

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) ...
0
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1answer
174 views

How much did Hobbits of Middle Earth during the Third Age know about Vala, Maia, and the events of the First of Age? [duplicate]

This question is prompted by a previous question ( When did Bilbo and Frodo learn that Gandalf was a Maia? ). My initial instinct was that Bilbo and Frodo had no idea what a "Maia" or "Vala" was. They ...
-5
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1answer
428 views

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's master is gone and won't be ...
50
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2answers
12k views

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, ...
0
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1answer
257 views

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 ...
15
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2answers
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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 "...
53
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3answers
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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 ...
27
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1answer
5k views

How can Radagast come across Gandalf and Thorin's company?

At the moment, I'm reading The Hobbit, and I just watched the first movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It was fun to note where the movie was following word by word the book, and when it gave ...
45
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4answers
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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 ...
12
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2answers
496 views

When and how was wheeled transport introduced to Middle-Earth?

In The Lord of the Rings, wheeled transport is common. Gandalf has a cart, travelling dwarven merchants have them, Gondor had many, the siege engines of Mordor obviously use wheels to get around, and ...
7
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2answers
699 views

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 ...
6
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4answers
1k views

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?
77
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4answers
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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 ...
6
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1answer
4k views

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?
18
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3answers
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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 ...
7
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1answer
346 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
36
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2answers
11k views

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 ...
21
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2answers
5k views

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 Silmarillion is because I didn't quite understand the part of Galadriel's speech ...
74
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2answers
12k views

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 in Khazad-Dum). A number of times we see characters such as Gandalf, ...
9
votes
1answer
566 views

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'...
1
vote
1answer
444 views

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 ...
28
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2answers
7k views

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. ...
41
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1answer
9k views

Are all instances of trolls turning to stone ultimately references back to Tolkien?

Are there any antecedents other than Tolkien for trolls turning to stone? When I was a kid, I remember trolls appearing in one of the earliest episodes of The Real Ghostbusters (the fifth episode "...
5
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1answer
238 views

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 ...
37
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2answers
7k views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
733 views

What are the significance of towers in Lord of the Rings?

Leaving aside Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul which have towers as part of their overall structure, there are two very important towers, sometimes called the titular towers of the second book of the ...
31
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2answers
9k views

How did Gollum enter Moria?

We know from the books that Gollum already was in Moria when the Fellowship entered. We also know that he did not enter from the West but from the East. However, as far as I know, we do not know ...
25
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1answer
5k views

How did Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli know what Uruk-hai were?

In Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, we see Saruman as he takes the initial steps towards creating a new army. The orcs under his command proceed surprisingly quickly, and ...
12
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3answers
5k views

How did Frodo know where the Bree village was?

How did Frodo know where the Bree village was? I've never read the books, but in the movie Gandalf just tells Frodo go to Bree expecting Frodo to know where that is. So if Frodo knows where Bree is, ...
-5
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1answer
202 views

How do the Eagles decide where to drop people off?

In The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, eagles appear occasionally. How do they decide where to drop people off? Is it directed by a character? Or are they conscious enough to decide on a ...
6
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2answers
3k views

Where were Frodo and Sam captured by Faramir?

Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are on their way to Mordor when they are captured by Faramir's company. Before releasing them, Faramir takes them to Osgiliath. In "movie time", the journey to Osgiliath seems ...
7
votes
1answer
471 views

Why did Gandalf conceal his identity in Fangorn Forest?

Note: This question mostly pertains to the film, not the book. In The Two Towers when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are tracking Merry and Pippin, they discover that the trail leads into Fangorn Forest....
7
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1answer
425 views

How does anyone know that Gollum had the Ring? [duplicate]

Sauron learned that Bilbo had the One Ring by torturing Gollum. But how did he know that Gollum had ever possessed the Ring? Did Smeagol show someone the Ring before he became Gollum? Someone who ...