Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

6
votes
3answers
1k views

Do I need to learn reading Runes to fully understand Tolkien's Middle-Earth series?

I have a Kindle edition of The Hobbit. In the beginning of the book, there's author's notes saying that English in ancient times wasn't perfect. That's fine, then I saw the corrections made on Runes ...
7
votes
8answers
42k views

Who was more powerful: Sauron or Morgoth?

Both Morgoth and Sauron were Dark Lords. Did Tolkien express any opinion about which he considered to have the greatest power at the height of their careers (either in the books or any of the extended ...
7
votes
1answer
567 views

Aragorn's “guise” in the Orthanc Stone

In ROTK, Chapter 2 of Book Five, "The Passing of the Grey Company," Aragorn tells Gimli and Legolas that he has looked into the Orthanc stone and had a chat with Sauron. He says that Sauron "saw me, ...
22
votes
2answers
13k views

What happened to elves when they died or lost the will to live?

I understand that the elves want to Valinor when they died. However, sometimes they took boats to Valinor, such as at the end of Lord of the Rings, and other times they died of injury and had no ...
7
votes
2answers
554 views

Do Ainur (generally) need to return to the halls of Mandos to reincarnate?

Sauron and Gandalf both suffer physical deaths (Sauron at least twice) but do not return to the halls of Mandos for recovery, but Saruman dies and is then impotent, forbidden to return and will never ...
3
votes
1answer
275 views

A LoTR/Sillmarillion fanfic where female elf warrior/wanderer goes through the ages

Looking for a fanfic I read a long time ago but can't find. The basic premise is having an elf live and and experience (and affect) the history of Arda. Begins in Aman, follows the exile of the ...
46
votes
5answers
10k views

Why did Caradhras not want the Fellowship to pass?

I haven't read the books in a long while, but when I was re-watching the movies recently, I remembered that even though it is depicted as Saruman causing the avalanche/storm on Caradhras, the book ...
51
votes
3answers
10k views

Why don't Merry and Pippin seem taller than Frodo and Sam, even after drinking ent-draught?

I believe that in the 2nd movie, Merry and Pip meet Treebeard and drink ent-draught from Fangorn. They didn't appear any taller when we see them in ROTK though, very strangely they are the same ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How does Gandalf get his staff back in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies?

In The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Gandalf's staff was broken when he was captured, but after his rescue he somehow got his staff back. How did this happen?
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Why did Eru and the Valar treat the Undying Lands with more importance than Middle Earth?

So we learn that Eru, under the urging of the Valar, set the Undying Lands apart to prevent Sauron from carrying out an invasion, destroying Númenor in the process. Why was either the Valar or Eru ...
3
votes
1answer
355 views

Would Gurthang have had any effect on Sauron's Ring?

Could the legendary sword of Beleg Strongbow and Turin Turambar, forged by Eol of star iron, have done any damage to the One Ring? I know the answer is most likely no but I just finished my re-...
443
votes
16answers
66k views

Would the One Ring even work for anyone but Sauron?

The temptation of the One Ring, we quickly learn, is always tied up with power: each character's fantasies of possessing it seem to be about what they would do with great power. Even Sam, as I recall, ...
35
votes
10answers
22k views

What real-world substance most closely corresponds to mithril? [closed]

While reading descriptions of mithril in The Lord of the Rings, it struck me that its properties might well correspond to a real material, possibly as an alloy with other metals. Is there such a real-...
32
votes
4answers
10k views

Why did Sauron want the Seven Rings back after his return?

Sauron in the second age gave seven rings to the dwarf lords. This had many effects with the main one being greed and avarice. The reason he gave the dwarves these rings was presumably so that he ...
11
votes
0answers
290 views

What are the improvised scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

I think one of the iconic improvised scenes was when Aragorn gave an energetic scream after kicking a helmet close to the camera (as described in this link). Only finding out later that Viggo actually ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

Why didn't the Hobbits get frostbite?

This is a question that's been bothering me for the last couple of days: How is it that the hobbits of the Fellowship were able to survive such cold temperatures throughout their travels without ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

How could Gollum follow the Fellowship out of Khazad-dum?

Gollum starts following the Fellowship soon after they enter Moria. Frodo hears his faint footsteps throughout their journey to Balin's tomb in the Hall of Records. But how could Gollum follow them ...
29
votes
6answers
6k views

How can Galadriel go into the West?

At the end of the Lord of the Rings, Galadriel hops on a boat and sails away into the West. But wasn't she banned after the kerfuffle caused by Uncle Fëanor?
14
votes
1answer
254 views

Did Ar-Pharazôn and the King's Men know Melkor was Morgoth?

When Sauron corrupted the Númenoreans during Ar-Pharazôn's reign by making them worship Melkor, were the King and his followers aware that Melkor, the Lord of Darkness, was in fact the evil Morgoth ...
21
votes
2answers
8k views

Why did Teddy (Jeff Daniels' character) pick Glorfindel from the Council of Elrond

In the movie The Martian (2015), there is a really cool nod to the Lord of The Rings where they refer to one of their projects as Project Elrond - because it is a Top Secret meeting where a momentous ...
29
votes
5answers
45k views

What symbol does Gandalf put on Bilbo's door?

Do we know what the symbol is that Gandalf puts on the door of Bag End? I mean the one in the novel. Is it the same as the one in the movie?
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a connection between the Red Book of Westmarch, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings?

Ostensibly, the Red Book of Westmarch includes the stories of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. However, the narrator's style and knowledge seem quite different between the two latter books. That is, ...
-3
votes
2answers
202 views

Have the Ents ever developed technology?

They're smart, and they have got cool beards. But do the Ents ever develop any forms of technology? Everyone has cool stuff, and the trees are smarter than the Hobbits and they never developed a ...
38
votes
9answers
16k views

Why is Galadriel so awesome?

In The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies Surely, at least Saruman should be more powerful (in the modern sense of wizards being powerful) than Elrond and Galadriel, as they aren't minor gods. I ...
13
votes
1answer
635 views

When did Saruman discover Isildur's remains?

Gandalf tipped Saruman off at the White Council in 2851, by encouraging an attack on Dol Guldur. Saruman overrules him and begins to search the Gladden Fields. In 2939 Sauron's servants are searching ...
24
votes
4answers
25k views

Why is Sauron always portrayed as being stronger than Gandalf?

My understanding is that Sauron along with the other wizards are all Maiar. They are all timeless, so no one is older than anyone else. I would have thought that 5 Maiar (or even two in LOTR) should ...
39
votes
4answers
30k views

Why does Theoden call Gandalf “Stormcrow”?

In the movie The Two Towers, Theoden calls Gandalf "Gandalf Stormcrow". Where does that name come from?
5
votes
0answers
113 views

How many Faithful Númenoreans were there (in comparison to the King's Men) during Ar-Pharazôn's reign?

Are there any rough numbers as to the population of Faithful Númenoreans (vs the King's Men) during the island's final years? In addition, how many of them survived the Downfall (vs those who were ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

How big is Ancalagon exactly? [duplicate]

I've had this question for a while now and it's: How big is Ancalagon exactly? I mean, I've looked over thousands of explanations but it keeps on changing. So I'm asking now, how big exactly is this ...
5
votes
1answer
283 views

How accurate is the depiction of Minas Ithil/Morgul in “Middle-earth: Shadow of War”?

In the 2017 video game Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Minas Ithil/Morgul is depicted as a walled citadel with a sprawling city at its foot. How accurate is this when compared with Tolkien's writings?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why didn't Eru and/or the Valar intervene when Sauron corrupted Númenor?

Given that Sauron spent a whopping 47 years (Second Age 3262-3319) in Númenor corrupting the people and making them do unspeakable things (burning Nimloth, human sacrifice, Morgoth worship, ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is it called Middle-earth?

The planet is called Arda. So why do they call it "Middle-earth" if there is no planet called Earth to have a middle of?
2
votes
2answers
174 views

What were the different themes in the Great Music of the Ainur?

The LotR Wikia page on Melkor tells us: When the Ainur sang the Great Music before Eru, Melkor wove some of these alien thoughts into his music, and straightaway Discord arose around him. Some of ...
7
votes
0answers
101 views

How reliable is the Akallabêth as a primary source for the history of Númenor? (in-universe)

In Unfinished Tales, it is stated that the Akallabêth (as published in The Silmarillion) was written by Elendil after the Exiles of Númenor settled in Middle-earth. From an in-universe perspective, ...
53
votes
5answers
42k views

What is the symbolism of the colors assigned to Istari wizards?

The 5 known Istari wizards all had different colors (Saruman the White, Gandalf the Gray, Radagast the Brown and two blue ones, with the later changes of Gandalf to white and Saruman to 'many colors')....
16
votes
5answers
39k views

What are the differences between Orcs and Uruks?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy mentions the existence of Orcs and Uruks. I know that Orcs used to be Elves as Saruman says that they were once Elves, but what did Uruks used to be and why are they ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
11
votes
0answers
131 views

What was the basis for Tolkien's Westron?

It is well-documented and often-cited that Tolkien began creating his major artificial languages, Quenya and Sindarin, in order to emulate his aurally favorite languages, Finnish and Welsh. Q and S ...
-4
votes
3answers
485 views

Was it just coincidence that “Barad-dûr?” sounds like an English phrase?

The first time I heard someone talk about Barad-dûr, I thought they were talking about a "barred door." The meaning would be more than appropriate. Is there any chance Tolkien happened to realize he ...
9
votes
3answers
770 views

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 ...
29
votes
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, ...
126
votes
14answers
26k 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 ...
70
votes
5answers
18k views

Why didn't Gandalf just fight Smaug directly?

So if memory serves right, the premise of the Hobbit is that Gandalf gets this rag-tag team together to retrieve the Arkenstone, so that the Dwarves can reunite, so that they can take back their ...
4
votes
0answers
141 views

Height of Mountain Ranges in Middle Earth

What are the relative heights of mountain ranges in Middle Earth? And how would they compare to our modern world? I tend to imagine that after the First Age, the highest ranges were the White ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Does the name “Gollum” actually mean anything?

From other answers on this site, it is clear that within the general story arc, the name Gollum derived from a sound Sméagol was often inadvertently making within his throat, described as a sort of "...
58
votes
2answers
8k views

What are the revisions in the (Revised Edition) of The Hobbit?

So this past Saturday a group of my friends and I all watched the three The Lord of the Rings extended edition movies in one sitting. That night, I borrowed a copy of The Hobbit, which I've never ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the One Ring a part of Sauron's Soul?

Is The One Ring not just an object that holds a part(or most of) Sauron's power but rather also a part of his soul? (similar to Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes in Harry Potter). Sauron almost dies when his ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Ring-bearers - who can notice what about whom and when?

So, I want to get something straight with respect to the bearers of the 20 rings of power (3 Eldar, 7 Dwarves, 9 Men, 1 Boss). Before asking my question(s), here is some Motivation: Sometimes when ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Why did Saruman attack Helms Deep instead of capturing Edoras?

Saruman built an army breeding goblins with orcs to make Urukhai and started up forges and training at Isengard as well as improved its defenses. Then to counter Rohan the nearest threat, he built up ...
57
votes
11answers
23k views

Was Elrond, in Tolkien's opinion, more inherently powerful than Galadriel?

I always thought it was the other way around, but then I read this (Letter 246): "Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him – being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of the ...