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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1 answer
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Would the 3rd Age of Middle-earth have been the 'Age of Men' if Isildur had destroyed the One Ring in Mount Doom? [closed]

I am wondering if Isildur had destroyed the One Ring by throwing it down into the lava of Mount Doom, would doing this have resulted in the 3rd Age of Middle-earth being the 'Age of Men'?
48 votes
7 answers
10k 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 (...
12 votes
1 answer
693 views

Are all "C" words pronounced with a hard "K" or just Elven ones?

In the appendices of The Lord of the Rings books (Appendix E - "Writing and Spelling") it is said: APPENDIX EWRITING AND SPELLING I. PRONUNCIATION OF WORDS AND NAMES The Westron or Common ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Sam really plan to attack the orcs in Shelob's lair in the very end of The Two Towers?

‘He’s going out of harm’s way, I tell you,’ answered Shagrat. ‘See? He’s precious. I don’t trust all my lads, and none of yours; nor you neither, when you’re mad for fun. He’s going where I want him, ...
23 votes
3 answers
9k views

What are the advantages of breeding Uruk-hai for Saruman?

What advantage did Saruman gain by breeding the new species, Uruk-hai? How exactly are they superior? Wikipedia says they are "larger and stronger than other breeds of orc and consequently looked down ...
6 votes
1 answer
339 views

Where were the Three during the Last Alliance?

During the War of the Last Alliance — or basically as soon as Sauron's spirit limbed back to Middle-earth after his body got lost alongside Númenor and he got the One back from its hiding place where ...
3 votes
1 answer
533 views

How did Sauron maintain control of humans far from Mordor? [duplicate]

While as far as I know no clear details are given, in The Lord of the Rings Sauron seems to command huge numbers of humans as well as the Orcs — definitely the Haradrim and the Variags of Khand fight ...
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

What types of dragons are there in Middle-earth and how and why do they differ?

What types of dragons are there in Middle-earth and how and why do they differ?
50 votes
5 answers
17k views

When Frodo claimed "The One Ring" for himself, did he become a new Dark Lord?

From Letter 131: But to achieve this he had been obliged to let a great part of his own inherent power (a frequent and very significant motive in myth and fairy-story) pass into the One Ring. While ...
4 votes
4 answers
3k views

Are there any phoenix like creatures in Tolkien's fantasy universe?

I want to know if any creatures similar to a phoenix appear in Tolkien's Legendarium (Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit) universe? By "similar to a phoenix" I mean a creature that has some of the ...
15 votes
4 answers
65k 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 (in ...
65 votes
7 answers
67k views

Why didn't Sauron find Bilbo when he put on the ring like Frodo?

When Frodo put on the One Ring, both the Nazgûl and Sauron himself found Frodo. However when Bilbo had the ring and possibly used it many times, Sauron sought Gollum to get a hint on where to look for ...
0 votes
0 answers
60 views

Why did Sauron not *feel* the Ring approaching? [duplicate]

Gollum, a nobody who stumbled across the Ring, appears to be supernaturally drawn to it. As I understand it, Gollum felt the Ring on Frodo and that's how he started following the Fellowship at Moria. ...
21 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is earliest version of a "horcrux"? [duplicate]

I just realized a few days ago that Sauron's One Ring is kind-of like a horcrux, in that Sauron can't ever be totally destroyed as long as the One Ring exists. That set me to wondering: did Tolkien ...
3 votes
0 answers
265 views

Why didn't Morgoth corrupt the other races of Middle Earth?

I am aware that it is a hotly debated topic on what the true origins of Orcs are. However, assuming that Morgoth did create Orcs by corrupting Elves; why didn't he do the same thing for the other ...
37 votes
6 answers
23k views

How much Elven ancestry does Aragorn have?

I know Aragorn is descended from Elros the half-Elf, and from what I've been able to find, there are somewhere between 64 and 99 generations separating Elros from Aragorn. I can't do the math, I don'...
37 votes
4 answers
6k views

What happened next in Middle-earth?

This question is a follow up from this one, so credit goes to @Scholar. I'm interested in what happens after the cameras stopped rolling and everyone got on with their lives. Does the destruction of ...
-10 votes
1 answer
205 views

Was Saruman a landlord, a robber baron or something?

In The Return of the King (extended edition) there is a line where Gandalf? explains that Saruman claimed Rohan as his own. It sounded like a robber barons who used force and violence to claim ...
6 votes
5 answers
10k views

Why not send the Ring to the Undying Lands? [duplicate]

This is sort of a multi-part question that adds up to one larger question: Can Sauron get to the Undying Lands? (another question seems to have produced the answer to this - "No") Is the ...
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it possible to sneak into the Undying Lands via the Elven ships?

To get to the Undying Lands one has to take one of the Elven ships and sail into the west. This journey is meant only for the Elves, Ringbearers and a select few others. But would it be possible for ...
49 votes
6 answers
17k views

Why was Boromir allowed to join the Fellowship of the Ring?

Why was Boromir allowed to join the Fellowship of the Ring after the Council of Elrond, where he succumbed to the Ring moments after first seeing it, and explicitly said that he wanted to use it ...
10 votes
1 answer
572 views

Would Gandalf know Sauron personally?

The thought just occurred to me that the two had co-existed for eons. Even not taking the music of the Ainur into account, wouldn't they have had ample opportunity to interact with each other on Arda ...
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

By what name are the Pelennor Fields known to the commonfolk of Gondor?

I've recently discovered that "Pelennor" is not Westron, but Sindarin. Taken from tolkiengateway.net: The name Pelennor translates to "fenced, encircled land" in Sindarin. ...
8 votes
2 answers
322 views

Why were the keepers of the three Elf-rings not aware that the One Ring had been used?

All twenty Rings of Power are linked, as we know. Further, we know from the text of the Lord of the Rings that the One Ring can confer the power to "know the thoughts" of the keepers of the ...
11 votes
2 answers
7k views

How many men were really at Helm's Deep?

According to LOTR:TT movie, there were 300 men at Helm's Deep: Legolas: [in Elvish] And they should be. Three hundred... against ten thousand! (src) Is that "300" number a Jackson special, or ...
87 votes
4 answers
20k views

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 ...
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did Gollum not take the Ring when both Hobbits were fast asleep and extremely vulnerable?

It is easy to understand why he did not escape, as it would just bring him further away from the Precious, and the Hobbits would never trust him again after that. It is also pretty easy to understand ...
17 votes
2 answers
4k views

Was it Gollum who untied Sam's Elf-rope?

When Frodo and Sam are safely down on the ground after having climbed down using the Elf-rope, Sam pulls it and, to the surprise of both Hobbits, it comes back down. Frodo assumes that Sam had been ...
10 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why is Sam unsure about whether or not he has taken out the Elf-rope before in chapter 12 of Two Towers?

(It may be considered chapter 1 of "book two" of The Two Towers. I'm calling it chapter 12 based on my EPUB file names.) ‘It’s good to be able to see again,’ said Frodo, breathing deep. ‘Do ...
33 votes
6 answers
12k views

Do Tolkien's elves have pointy ears?

I think we all imagine elves with pointy ears – but do they really have pointy ears? (canonical references please)
-4 votes
1 answer
204 views

Does Sauron not have a physical, tangible presence anywhere?

Please note: I am talking only about the books! In a way, I find the story of the Lord of the Rings to be a bit of a letdown in the end. I expected there to be some sort of final confrontation between ...
17 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why did the Nazgûl not attack a second time at Weathertop?

Even Aragorn and the Hobbits are surprised at Weathertop that the Nazgûl did not try a second attack to take the ring. The following possible reasons are offered or implied: The Nazgûl were ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Could the One Ring tempt someone who couldn't touch it and didn't know it was even there?

I have always thought it interesting that Gandalf briefly handles the One Ring once or twice without being affected by it, as powerful as he is. (And my understanding is that the temptation is ...
9 votes
2 answers
897 views

Were the spiders in Mirkwood and also the Eagles rational beings?

This question about Bilbo understanding the spiders after he wore the Ring in Mirkwood, got me wondering. Were the spiders really rational beings? If they could talk with purpose and in a meaningful ...
8 votes
2 answers
711 views

Did the Kings of Gondor remember their ancient kinship with Elrond?

It seems that the Kings (or at least the Chieftains) of the North remembered, since they fostered their heirs with Elrond. Did the Kings in the south remember that Elrond was their long-uncle? Did ...
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why didn't the phantom of Saruman do anything when he saw the travellers on the borders of Fangorn?

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli see Saruman's phantom while camping outside Fangorn forest, just after the battle between Uglúk's company and the Riders of Rohan. Who does he think he sees and why does he ...
9 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why didn't the Hobbits receive any magic rings? [duplicate]

When the Rings of Power were being handed out, the only races that were given magic rings were the Men, Elves and Dwarves. It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the ...
142 votes
14 answers
32k views

Why is Shelob considered evil?

Shelob is an "evil thing in spider form," according to Tolkien. Now, we know that she is the "last child of Ungoliant to trouble the unhappy world," we know that she is fairly deficient in charm, and ...
8 votes
1 answer
566 views

Reason for this material's resilience against evil

Othram (the outermost wall of Minas Tirith), Orthanc, the Black Stone of Erech, the Palantíri, and Gurthang are all black/obsidian in color, nigh indestructible and/or only able to be shaped by ...
5 votes
1 answer
547 views

Did Sauron use telepathy (ósanwe) to interrogate Gollum?

Every now and then since the publication of the "Ósanwe-kenta" I have wondered what events in Middle-Earth had links to telepathy. Besides the obvious – Frodo putting on the Ring on Amon Hen,...
9 votes
2 answers
794 views

Who lived in Barad-dûr?

Barad-dûr was a stupendously tall tower in Mordor and home to the Dark Lord Sauron. Apart from the big man himself, who actually lived there, though? It's hard to imagine such a huge building lying ...
48 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why did Aragorn let Frodo keep the One Ring after Weathertop?

After Frodo is stabbed with a Morgul-blade on Weathertop, a shard of the blade remains inside the wound, slowly turning him into a wraith. Aragorn knows that Frodo as a wraith would be enslaved under ...
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Could Sauron have created new Ringwraiths?

By the time of the War of the Ring, Sauron had retrieved and now held in his possession the Nine Rings of Men and (at least some of) the Seven Dwarven Rings. Since the Ringwraiths no longer possessed ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What were Saruman's most despicable deeds, and which is the worst?

"If that was so, it was a shameful deed; but not his (Saruman's) worst." Unfinished Tales - Part III, The Third Age: The Disaster of the Gladden Fields Saruman, in his 'fall from grace', ...
58 votes
5 answers
14k views

Why did Gandalf not return to help Frodo and Sam?

It says on the Lord of the Rings wiki: Gandalf returned as the White Wizard (named anew "Gandalf the White"), and he claimed leadership of the order of Wizards. Gandalf's power and wisdom ...
4 votes
1 answer
195 views

What did Tolkien write about the beard style of male dwarves other than of Thorin and Co (and Gimli)?

In The Hobbit, the Dwarves' beards are described quite explicitly. The convoluted history of how Tolkien thought about Dwarf women and their facial hair over is not something I want to raise here, but ...
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does Merry have one or two swords/daggers in "The Lord of the Rings?"

I have only ever seen Merry with one sword/dagger — the one that Galadriel gives him in Lothlórien. So how can the sword he stabs the Nazgûl king with be one he picked up from the Barrow-downs after ...
6 votes
3 answers
20k views

How did Gandalf get his second staff back after it was destroyed by the Witch-king of Angmar?

In the Return of the King film, Gandalf's staff is destroyed by the Witch-king: During the battle of the Black Gate he uses his sword, Glamdring. But at the end of the ...
28 votes
3 answers
10k views

What was Sauron reaching for?

In the films of Lord of the Rings, in the flashback to the battle where Isildur takes the ring from Sauron's hand, why was Sauron reaching towards Isildur, thus allowing him to cut off Sauron's finger?...
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the name of the Mirkwood elves' realm?

Inspired by this question (that mistakenly refers to Rivendell), it occurs to me that I don't actually know the name of the realm where the Mirkwood elves live. I don't recall it ever being mentioned ...

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