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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.

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Was there any justification (in-Universe) for the 9-member count of Fellowship of the Ring or of its specific make-up?

The Fellowship consisted of nine members: four Hobbits, two Men, one Elf, one Dwarf, and one wizard. Is there a specific in-Universe explanation for: 9 members I have seen un-cited references that ...
177
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3answers
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Did Tolkien really explicitly consider Sam the true hero of The Lord of the Rings?

Quoting from Crouching Moron Hidden Badass: Literature on TVTropes (TVTropes link alert!!! Don't tell me I didn't warn you!): Perhaps even more aptly: Samwise Gamgee. His name roughly translates to ...
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6answers
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What was Gandalf's plan for getting the Ring to Mt. Doom?

I'm currently re-reading Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time, and a question occurred to me. When Gandalf hears from Faramir that Frodo and Sam were heading for Cirith Ungol, he is shocked. ...
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4answers
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Silmarillion & Book of Lost Tales, which should I read first? [duplicate]

Several years back I read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I recently discovered (when going through some old boxes I hadn't unpacked after moving house) that I've got a few additional books which I'...
78
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12answers
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Why didn't Sauron fight in the final battle?

As depicted in the trilogy: Sauron did not lead his army to Minas Tirith He did not defend the gates of Mordor from Aragon's army In fact, he was never physically involved in (any) battle ever since ...
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3answers
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The Silmarillion — Different versions?

I just read about the book The Silmarillion and thought I'd like to buy it, but I'm a little confused about the different versions that I found. On amazon I found foremost these two versions (I hope ...
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3answers
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What do the Istari in The Lord of the Rings represent?

In The Lord of the Rings, the Istari are the wizards sent from Valinor by the Valar to Middle-Earth. Their purpose was to help the Men of the West (Gondor) to defeat Sauron. There are obvious ...
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7answers
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In what order should Tolkien's writings on Middle-earth be read?

I've already read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which I assume would be the best start in any case. I also got about halfway through The Silmarillion several years ago and am quite familiar ...
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2answers
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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 Lord of the Rings extended edition movies in one sitting. (I'd detail my strange, warlike dreams that night, but they're ...
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3answers
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What role does Radagast the Brown play in “The Hobbit”?

Having heard that Sylvester McCoy is slated to play the role of Radagast the Brown in the upcoming film adaptations of "The Hobbit", I am wondering what role this character actually plays in those ...
31
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1answer
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How long did Frodo and Sam take?

How long did it take for Frodo and Sam to get from the Shire to Mount Doom in Mordor and drop the ring in?
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4answers
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Are there real world creation myths that inspired The Silmarillion?

In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, the creation myth is based on music - the creation of elves, etc. are new themes in the music, the "devil" introduces discords that are then used to develop the ...
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1answer
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Is Lord of the Rings extolling the ordinary or casting it off?

In Shadows of Imagination, Clyde S. Kilby asserts that The Lord of the Rings: joins the high art of the world in revealing the significance, even the glory, of the ordinary At the same time, in ...
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1answer
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How did Gandalf come to possess one of the Elf rings?

Gandalf wasn't an elf, but rather he was one of a few wizards sent to help Middle Earth. So, how did he end up with one of the Elf Rings? And, why did Frodo not notice it, when he easily noticed ...
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4answers
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Early in The Hobbit the dwarves refer to a king - which king?

From chapter two of The Hobbit, Roast Mutton: They have seldom even heard of the king round here... Which king are the dwarves referring to?
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5answers
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Are the dwarf runes from 'The Hobbit' just a script or does it have a language?

In the book 'The Hobbit', the map that the dwarves have has writing in what is the dwarf runes. The script is simple enough as the foreword includes some tips and each letter can be substituted ...
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11answers
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Did Sauron give any care to Saruman or was he just a pawn?

Did Sauron make any sort of promise or guarantee to Saruman to gain his fealty? Did Saruman consider himself an equal to Sauron? He seemed to control a reasonable Orc army, but were they actually ...
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11answers
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What real-world substance most closely corresponds to mithril?

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-...
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4answers
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What effect would the One Ring have on other people?

We know that for hobbits, the One Ring makes them invisible. But, at least according to the movie, Sauron was not invisible when he was wearing the ring. What effects would the ring have on other ...
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5answers
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Why was Gandalf involved with the Dwarves' quest to rob Smaug?

From what I understand, the Istari were sent in to help the peoples of Middle-earth get through the third age. Why then, did Gandalf help the Dwarves along (and get Bilbo involved) in their quest to ...
49
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3answers
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What special powers did the Dwarf rings give their users? [duplicate]

I think it's fairly well explained what powers were given to the One Ring, Elves, and Humans, but the dwarf rings are little explained in the series. Why were these rings important, or what kinds of ...
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8answers
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What happened to Saruman's ring in the Fourth Age?

After Gandalf defeated Saruman, what happened to Saruman's Ring? Was it destroyed? Did it still have power, and was it wielded by him or others? Was this a topic in one of Tolkien's work, or was it ...
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3answers
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What are the common themes present in both Tolkien's “Lord of the Rings” and Jordan's “Wheel of Time”?

This is probably going to be a rather detailed set of answers. Hopefully someone can come up with a "short list" of common themes. Both sets of books have a distinctive theme of good vs. evil, but ...
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5answers
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What happened to the Hobbits and the Dwarves after the Elves left?

From what I understand, The Lord of the Rings is written as the mythic past of our own world. We are constantly reminded that the race of man is becoming more and more prominent. At the end of The ...
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2answers
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In The Lord of the Rings, what important background information is contained in the poems?

From Jeff's answer to a separate Lord Of The Rings question: ... the songs and poems give some relatively important background information I don't recall any information that seemed important (as ...
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3answers
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Are there any statistics on how many people skip poetry in LOTR?

I know that some people find it impossible to read through the songs/poems in LOTR text and just skip them. Are there any sort of statistics on what percentage of readers do this?
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4answers
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What exactly happened to the Noldor?

The Noldor were numerous and powerful, yet by the time of the events of The Lord of the Rings they are few and far between. Why did this once great group of Elves all but vanish by then?
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4answers
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Why weren't the Three Rings for the Elven-kings destroyed as well?

At the end of The Return of the King, after the One Ring is destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, the rings were carried out of Middle-Earth. IIRC it may have been Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf ...
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8answers
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Are there any more races in Middle-earth?

Not counting orcs, balrogs, and the like. Are there any more diplomatic races found in the history of Middle-earth? Any singular or group of historical significance? The ones we're obviously aware of:...
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3answers
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How does one pronounce the word “Akallabêth” from the Silmarillion?

In the Silmarillion, "Akallabêth" is the story of how Numenor fell. Its an Adunaic word, not an elvish word, and I haven't found any Adunaic pronunciation guides. So, how is Akallabêth pronounced? I ...
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1answer
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What would happen to an Elf if they had used one of the Three while Sauron had the One?

Would they become wraiths and dominated by Sauron, or would they just be able to be mind-read?
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What is the significance of Saruman's Ring?

At the council of Elrond, Gandalf tells of his encounter with Saruman. But I rode to the foot of Orthanc, and came to the stair of Saruman; and there he met me and led me up to his high chamber. ...
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23answers
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Why didn't Gandalf or Frodo Fly to Mount Doom?

Why didn't Gandalf use his eagles to fly over Mount Doom and drop the ring? I know he feared what he would do if the ring overpowered him, so why not just give Frodo an eagle? And, if there would be ...
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4answers
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Can we date the technology in the Lord of the Rings movies?

In the discussion of When did the Lord of the Rings take place, there are several suggestions that it might be placed into the equivalent of 1300s England, or 600-700s (based on similarity to "Beowulf ...
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In what time period does The Lord of the Rings take place in the real world?

I know that The Lord of the Rings is located in Middle-earth and by the looks of clothes and props, we're looking at well before the 18th century. What's the best guess at the time period that The ...
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3answers
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Lord of the Rings written to support constructed languages or the other way round?

I've heard the claim that Tolkien wrote, or at least started writing, The Lord of the Rings to support (with a history providing cultural depth) the artificial languages he was creating at the time. ...
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4answers
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Did the Ent-Wives become trolls?

In LOTR, is the disappearance of the Ent-Wives during or before the War of the Last Alliance connected with the appearance of the Trolls? Since Orcs were corrupted Elves, did Sauron enslave the Ent-...
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Who or what was Tom Bombadil?

The most iconic of Middle-earth questions: Who or what was Tom Bombadil? Was he an elf? Was he akin to Gandalf, and one of the wizardly stock? Was he something… else?