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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Why did Frodo not bring a lot of money with him on his very possibly one-way escape out into the unknown?

When they first meet Strider in the Pony Inn, and he starts talking about wanting a "reward", Frodo, believing that he's referring to a monetary such, thinks about the fact that he only ...
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18 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is the significance of Denethor eating the tomato?

The scene in which Faramir is leading a battle and Denethor is eating the tomato while Pippin sings. What is the significance of that? Ostensibly it's to show that Denethor isn't interested or has ...
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14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Was it confirmed by anybody that an orc was modeled after Harvey Weinstein?

I just stumbled upon the story from 2021 that one orc in The Lord of the Rings from director Peter Jackson was modeled after Harvey Weinstein: One orc among many in the Lord of the Rings movies was ...
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15 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why does Frodo keep referring to the party as if he were alone? (In the first book.)

Frodo keeps saying that he ("I") am going to take this or that way, even though they are four Hobbits and as many ponies. They are a whole little party/fellowship already before Rivendell. I ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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What type of writing did the Hobbits use?

In the books, is there any information on what type of letters the Hobbits used when writing or printing? The Elvish scripts, runes, or something else? Thanks!
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16 votes
1 answer
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Why did Merry (apparently) not get to experience the first adventures with the other three hobbits?

I feel like an idiot for asking about this, since I'm currently and carefully (or so I thought) reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I'm at the chapter where they are just at the ferry with Merry ...
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1 vote
2 answers
445 views

Why didn't the Valar make a Ring of Power?

Sauron made the One Ring to rule them all by transferring some of his essence into it as a power amplifier. Morgoth also did this in a different way, using the whole of Arda as a Ring. Why didn't the ...
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41 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why not march over Rivendell and take the ring?

After the battle on Weathertop the Nazgûl learn Frodo has the one ring and follow him to Rivendell, where Glorfindel defeats them. They have however by that time acquired the knowledge about the one ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why was this speech by Bilbo added to the Hobbit movie?

After the goblin ordeal, when the dwarves and Gandalf are waiting and wondering where Bilbo is, in the movie, he shows up after taking off the Ring and gives a great speech something along the lines ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Did the eagles from Tolkien's works have other appearances where they saved the day?

The eagles play a pivotal deus ex machina role in both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I have not read any of the background works about Middle Earth and would like to know if they played any ...
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26 votes
3 answers
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How can the bear-man refer to a "Jack-in-the-box" in The Hobbit?

The Hobbit is supposedly set waaay back in our world. Yet, Beorn refers to "jack-in-the-box" as in the toy, when the dwarves show up in pairs. How can this be? How can anyone in that world/...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Why didn't Helm's Deep have a trebuchet? [duplicate]

I am wondering if there is a reason why Helm's Deep did not have a trebuchet(s). There were trebuchets mounted at numerous locations throughout the city of Minas Tirith in Gondor, so the Gondorians ...
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38 votes
1 answer
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Looking for a picture of the doll that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to invent Tom Bombadil

English Literature Professor Jane Beal, in her article "Who is Tom Bombadil?: Interpreting the Light in Frodo Baggins and Tom Bombadil's Role in the Healing of Traumatic Memory in J.R.R. Tolkien'...
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10 votes
3 answers
480 views

Would it be possible to sail from Aman to Middle-earth in the Fourth Age?

Following Ilúvatar's intervention in the Second Age, we know that no ship sailed by men could ever again reach Aman in the West. By implication, then, the ship leaving the Grey Havens at the end of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
660 views

Did Sauron have a sword?

In J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings lore there were present the common types of weapons as bows, arrows, spears, axes, pikes, maces, swords, etc. In high fantasy, swords have played a preponderant ...
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45 votes
1 answer
6k views

Do dwarf women have beards?

In light of Amazon's recent depiction of a non-bearded dwarf woman, and some of the recent controversy around this, the question is what exactly did Tolkien say about bearded dwarf women? Popular ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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How did Sauron withstand the seven-year siege of Barad-dûr?

We all know that the Siege of Barad-dûr, a key event of the War of the Last Alliance, lasted seven years (S.A. 3434-3441). During that period of time the Last Alliance of Elves and Men kept the bulk ...
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4 votes
1 answer
200 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
310 views

Why does Glorfindel have a saddle?

In FotR I, ch. XII, Glorfindel mentions his saddle: 'You shall ride my horse,' said Glorfindel. 'I will shorten the stirrups up to the saddle-skins, and you must sit as tight as you can. Later in ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why did Peter Jackson add Aragorn's line "Let's hunt some orc"?

In the final sequences of the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Aragorn says the phrase "Let's hunt some Orc". Was Aragorn referring to a particular Orc? The ...
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9 votes
1 answer
427 views

Why didn't Bilbo see what Frodo saw when he put on the ring?

When Frodo put on the ring at Amon Hen, he could see telescopically for hundreds of miles. And when he put it on at Weathertop, everything became dim and dark except the Ringwraiths. Yet the first ...
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5 votes
2 answers
392 views

Were Isildur's traces of the ring in the right order?

Copied from this answer, as I don't have an English copy of LotR: Already the writing upon it, which at first was as clear as red flame, fadeth and is now only barely to be read. It is fashioned in ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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What's with the Red Arrow?

In The Lord of the Rings, Book V, chapter 3, "The Muster of Rohan", Hirgon brings the Red arrow from Denethor, as a sign that Gondor desperately needs Rohan's help in the coming battles. He ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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Why didn't Eru Ilúvatar trip Isildur?

Eru tripped Gollum, according to the LOTR wiki, thus destroying the One Ring. If he wanted it destroyed, why didn't he do something earlier, when Isildur took the Ring for his own when he was at the ...
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14 votes
1 answer
645 views

If Frodo had put on the One Ring in Moria, would he have been invisible to the Balrog?

I am wondering if a Balrog would have been able to see someone who was wearing the One Ring. Smaug was unable to see Bilbo when he was wearing the One Ring, so it makes me think that if Frodo had put ...
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0 votes
1 answer
395 views

What’s the threshold of power for a wielder of the one ring to defeat Sauron?

Through the series I recall there are different implications (or at least that’s my recollection of it) on who could use the ring to obtain enough power to defeat (and replace as Dark Lord) Sauron and ...
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2 votes
0 answers
149 views

Was Saruman truly a puppet? [duplicate]

This quote got me thinking: The world is changing. Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard... and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman... and the union of ...
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14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there any solid evidence that Sauron was originally called Mairon?

It's common knowledge now that Mairon was a smith of Aule and one of the greatest smiths to be known before he became corrupted and commonly known as Sauron. I want to know if anyone knows any ...
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18 votes
2 answers
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Was Tolkien's concept of an Oliphaunt borrowed from Afrikaans?

The Afrikaans word for an Elephant is an 'Olifant' which is phonetically similar if not identical to the mythical elephant-like creatures called the Oliphaunt. There is even a scene in the movie where ...
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10 votes
1 answer
950 views

How do spells work in Middle-earth?

Here are a few instances where spells (or something similar) appear in the books. Gandalf's fire spells: "Naur an edraith ammen", "Naur dan i-ngaurhoth". The spell or password ...
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13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Meaning of a passage from "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"

See below a passage from Unfinished Tales (The Battles of the Fords of Isen, Note 2, page 364). (I recommend you re-read the first section of The Battles of the Fords of Isen to refresh your memory.) ...
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3 votes
1 answer
310 views

Are the Istari speaking the langauge of Eru Iluvatar when speaking spells?

Eru Illuvatar and the Ainur express 'magic,' or their godly powers, through the usage of song and words. Is the magic we see in Middle-Earth a translation of Eru's language, or is it vaguely ...
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5 votes
1 answer
422 views

Since the Mirror of Galadriel could show what might happen in the future, could it have shown Frodo that he would succeed at destroying the One Ring?

I am wondering that if the Mirror of Galadriel could show Frodo what might take place in the future, could it have shown him that he would succeed in his quest to destroy the One Ring?
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Similarities between The Wheel of Time and Tolkien's Legendarium

Did Robert Jordan ever remark on the similarities between The Wheel of Time and Tolkien's Legendarium? Especially names from The Silmarillion (Hurin, Huan &c.) and characters/themes (not names, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
261 views

What are the differences in the description of Meduseld, the Golden Hall at Edoras?

I recently read that the description of the Golden Hall I am familiar with might be incomplete. In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter 6, "the King of the Golden Hall"...
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8 votes
2 answers
346 views

Any significant textual differences between the 1954-5 Lord of the Rings and later editions?

I know that Tolkien made meaningful changes to the content of The Hobbit — both in the 1955 second edition and the 1966 third edition — to align it better with the world and plot depicted in The Lord ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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Does the German movie translation of Lord of the Rings intentionally use 'du' in this way?

Over on the German Language StackExchange, RDBury asks Is Gandalf really on 'du' terms with the Balrog? (Odd 'duzen' example) I don't speak German, but I get the impression from their question: ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
463 views

Why did Sauron need a large army when he could have used the Nazgûl to kill all his enemies in Middle-earth? [closed]

I am curious as to why Sauron went to the trouble of raising a large army to conquer Middle-earth when he could have used the Nazgûl to kill all his enemies in Middle-earth such as all the armies of ...
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  • 2,283
5 votes
1 answer
659 views

What did the Valar think of Eru Ilúvatar sending Gandalf back to Middle-earth?

I would like to know if there is anything written in LOTR canon about what the Valar had thought about Eru Ilúvatar sending Gandalf back to Middle-earth as Gandalf the White. For example, did all of ...
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

How fast did the Three Hunters go?

In LOTR book 3, Éomer comments on the Three Hunters' speed: 'It is now the fourth day since he was slain,' answered Aragorn, 'and since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
378 views

Why were the Easterlings and Haradrim fighting for Sauron? [duplicate]

Sauron's army contained a mixture of Orcs, Easterlings and Haradrim. From my understanding of the books and films the Orcs are created by Sauron and act as his slaves. So the Orcs don't have much of a ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
329 views

In Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Films, what is the eventual fate of Samwise? [closed]

Reference this related question for context. In the film adaptation, the ship that Frodo and Bilbo took was the last ship to leave for the Undying Lands. So, in-universe of the films, what eventually ...
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7 votes
1 answer
935 views

Why were they called the Corsairs of Umbar?

In Tolkien's Middle-earth, the region of Umbar is some distance almost due south of Gondor. It's inhabited by a fierce seagoing people, descendants of evil Númenóreans and Haradrim, feared for their ...
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7 votes
1 answer
779 views

Are elves born in Valinor after the year of the trees Calaquendi?

Calaquendi are the group of elves in Tolkien’s Legendarium that beheld the light of the two trees in Valinor. It consists of the Vanyar, Noldor, Falmari, and Thingol out of all Umanyar. Can the status ...
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10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why didn't Frodo tell the others that Boromir would try to take the One Ring?

In the movie LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring, I am wondering why Frodo didn't tell Aragorn, or one of the others in the fellowship, that Galadriel had told him that Boromir would try to take the One ...
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14 votes
3 answers
3k views

What was the first official film adaptation made of J.R.R. Tolkien's work?

Peter Jackson has made six large budget films adapting The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and before that there were the animated Rankin Bass and Ralph Bakshi films. However those films began in ...
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6 votes
0 answers
351 views

Did Orcs retain any features of elves?

From the LotR.Fandom article on Orcs: Before Oromë first found the Elves at Cuiviénen, Melkor kidnapped some of them and cruelly tortured them, twisting them into the first Orcs. From the LotR....
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17 votes
1 answer
3k views

If the House of Elrond is the Last Homely House east of the Sea, what are the others?

As the books call it, Elrond's house is the Last Homely House east of the Sea. But if Rivendell is the last homely house, what are the other homely houses east of the sea? Or does Rivendell count as ...
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28 votes
6 answers
7k views

Why is it hard to get the Ring to the Grey Havens?

At the Council of Elrond, the idea of dropping the Ring in the Sea is raised. One of the objections is that the Sauron would expect them to do it, and that it would be impossible to get it there: ‘...
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4 votes
0 answers
250 views

Were elves inspired from Celtic/Irish mythology or Germanic mythology? [closed]

Celtic mythology has the Tuatha Dé Danann, druids, Arthurian legends, Camelot and Summer Isles of the Divine, things associated with wood elves. Germanic mythology has light elves (Ljósálfar) who ...
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