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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17
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2answers
1k views

Are Shagrat and Gorbag really talking about “the old days” from personal experience?

In the last chapter of The Two Towers, the two orc captains, Shagrat and Gorbag discuss the current status of war and politics in Mordor. They discuss how the Nazgul are the master's preferred ...
2
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0answers
82 views

Does a traditional afterlife exist in Lord of the Rings? [duplicate]

I know that, in the Lord of the Rings and associated works, Eru Ilúvatar is basically the Christian God, with Morgoth being Satan. Since Tolkien famously hated allegory, they should be understood as ...
32
votes
7answers
11k views

Do curse words exist in Tolkien's Legendarium?

I've been (re)reading The Fellowship of the Ring, and it occurred to me that Tolkien doesn't use any curse words [from what I've been able to tell], although, insults & negative comments are still ...
5
votes
1answer
263 views

What was the fate of Daeron the Minstrel of Doriath?

Daeron was a servant of Elu Thingol of Doriath as a minstrel and a courtier of Lúthien Tinuviel (as well as a snitch). Daeron was jealous of Beren and Lúthien's relationship and sold them out to ...
4
votes
1answer
409 views

Why is that ravens and eagles considered helpful while crows are bad news?

It seems that crows are the harbingers of trouble and disaster, judging by king Theoden's choice of words, when giving a rather frosty welcome to Gandalf: 'I greet you,' he said, 'and maybe you ...
5
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6answers
3k views

Could an Elf kill Sauron in single combat?

An elf named Glorfindel killed a Balrog in the First Age. Balrogs are Maiar that were corrupted by Morgoth. We know they can be killed by powerful beings, like the wizards, in single combat because ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Who built Meduseld, the Golden Hall of Rohan?

Who built the Golden Hall in Edoras? Was it Eorl the Young, the first King of Rohan, or his son Brego? Or maybe was it started by Eorl and finished by Brego? I realize that the LOTR wikia says that ...
6
votes
1answer
583 views

How did Elrond know of the Paths of the Dead?

How did Elrond know of the passage in which Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli traveled down in The Return of the King and why would he suggest to Aragorn to take that road to summon the dead to fight for ...
14
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2answers
572 views

Was Tolkien explicitly referencing C.S. Forester's “Captain Hornblower”?

In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien named a couple of Hobbit families (Hornblower and Bracegirdle) with names that also appear in the Hornblower novels by C.S. Forester. Horatio Hornblower is ...
2
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0answers
84 views

Did the Two Trees illuminate the whole of Arda or just Valinor? [duplicate]

After the destruction of the Two Lamps (Ormal and Illuin), the Valar created two massive Trees (Laurelin and Telperion) in Valinor and gave them light that was left over from the Lamps that gave Elves ...
7
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2answers
697 views

How much of Arda did Morgoth destroy before the Coming of the Elves?

How much carnage did Morgoth lay upon Middle-earth during the early days of Arda before the Awakening of the Elves at Cuiviénen?
3
votes
1answer
644 views

What is the significance of Turin Turambar?

What is the quality that he possesses that makes him unique among the Edain, and why is he, of all Men, the one that is going to kill Morgoth in the Dagor Dagorath?
12
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2answers
3k views

Why did Morgoth place a price on Beren's head?

After Beren slew the party of Orcs that had killed his father, Barahir, and their band of outlaws, and reclaimed the Ring of Finrod (as it was called before being renamed), Morgoth placed a price ...
-5
votes
1answer
402 views

Why does Tolkien not give Aragorn a duel? [closed]

This is kinda more fan service than what makes sense from a literary perspective. Aragorn's position is confirmed as a leader and not necessarily a hero or a slayer, that is true. Yet that doesn't ...
25
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2answers
7k views

Is “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil” considered official canon?

I recently came across the book "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" and was wondering if this can be seen as official canon. To my knowledge, after the death of J.R.R. Tolkien, his son Christopher edited ...
7
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2answers
2k views

What happened between Frodo and Gollum in the Dead Marshes?

In the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, when Frodo falls in the Dead Marshes on the way to the Black Gate and gets rescued by Gollum, they have the following conversation: Frodo: "Gollum?" ...
16
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4answers
6k views

Is Smaug a reptile?

Basically, as the title asks. Dragons are often referred to as reptilian in various stories, but I don't think I remember Tolkien ever specifying this about Smaug. I looked a bit, and couldn't find ...
8
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2answers
738 views

Why was “The Lord of the Rings” translated as “In de Ban van de Ring” in Dutch?

The earliest translation of The Lord of the Rings was in Dutch, by Max Schuchart. He translated the title as In de Ban van de Ring, which translates back to English as "under the spell of the ring" or ...
15
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2answers
913 views

Do we know anything about Denethor's “heathen kings”?

I'm curious about the scene when Denethor is succumbing to despair: 'Why? Why do the fools fly?' said Denethor. 'Better to burn sooner than late, for burn we must. Go back to your bonfire! And I? I ...
1
vote
2answers
529 views

Who is the “Nameless One” and why is he called that way? [duplicate]

"Nay", they said, "not if the Nameless One himself should come, not even he could enter here while we yet live." But some answered: "While we yet live? How long? He has a weapon that has brought low ...
11
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2answers
1k views

What happened to Merry after Tom Bombadil saved them from the Barrow-wights?

In the Fellowship of the Ring, chapter "Fog on the Barrow-Downs", the hobbits are captured by the barrow-wights and Tom Bombadil saves them. After Tom wakes them, Merry says something that implies he'...
4
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2answers
465 views

Is there a more detailed description of the Battle of Dol Guldur?

In a recent question, it was mentioned that Galadriel used magic to tear down the walls of Dol Guldur; this, to me, didn't mesh well with my understanding of how magic worked, so I did some ...
5
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2answers
385 views

Is there a full text search engine for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien?

When answering to another question on this site related to A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin, another user pointed out a site where it is possible to perform searches on the full texts of the ...
40
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5answers
15k views

Why was the breaking of the wall of Helm's Deep so important in “The Two Towers” movie?

I have not read the book, and I am referring here to the movie only. I saw in the movie that the way that lead to the inside of Helm's Deep was through a gate, from a somewhat steeply inclined ramp; ...
1
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0answers
141 views

In-universe, what was Legolas doing during the events of The Hobbit (book version)? [duplicate]

In the Peter Jackson The Hobbit movies, we see that Legolas was one of the elves that personally captured the dwarves in Mirkwood forest, pursued them down the river, fought some Orcs in Lake Town, ...
4
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0answers
82 views

Did Bilbo and Gollum have different after-effects of being Ring-bearers? [duplicate]

Gollum (Smeagol) was once a Hobbit. His life was extended over 500 years while he had the Ring. Eventually Gollum lost the Ring to Bilbo, who I think had it around 50-60 years (?). At the end of ...
9
votes
2answers
523 views

Does the 2017 edition of The Atlas of Middle-earth contain any new content?

About two months ago a new edition of The Atlas of Middle-earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad was released. This edition changes the title to The Atlas of Tolkien's Middle-earth. This is the second time that ...
0
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0answers
80 views

Was Gandalf omniscient? [duplicate]

Could Gandalf predict future events? Throughout the legendarium, he seems to come up with prophecies which come true, but is this just lucky guessing/wisdom or genuine omniscience? If it is indeed ...
7
votes
1answer
473 views

What did Bilbo's cryptic birthday message mean?

What did Bilbo mean when he said I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. Is this a compliment or an insult? The other ...
44
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7answers
10k views

What is the purpose of the “Good Morning” dialogue from The Hobbit?

In the novel The Hobbit, towards the start of the story Bilbo wishes Gandalf a good morning: "Good Morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But ...
1
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0answers
103 views

Do the Nine Kings of Men still wear the rings after turning into Nazgûl? [duplicate]

Sauron gave several rings of power to many species that inhabited Middle Earth. The men were the most gullible and had been transformed into wraiths that are loyal to Sauron. After this transformation,...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

If Gandalf was a Maia, why couldn't he change form? [duplicate]

According to The LOTR wiki, Gandalf and Saruman are amongst the named Maiar. Again, a quote from Wiki: Maiar, like Valar, do not array themselves in a fixed form, but can freely change their ...
30
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5answers
6k views

Are there any plain-looking women in Tolkien's Middle-earth?

As far as I remember, Eowyn, Arwen, Galadriel, & others are catastrophically beautiful (as in 'if you go across the street looking at her you risk being trampled by a troll'). Are there any ...
4
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0answers
97 views

Why didn't Sauron give the Hobbits any rings? [duplicate]

In the movie The Lord of the Rings it said that Sauron somehow gave (presumably by proxy) several rings to Elves, Dwarves, and Men. There's also another race called Hobbits, who became quite important ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did the Witch King not kill Gandalf?

When Gandalf meets the Witch King of Angmar, he said this, 'Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!' Return of the King ...
5
votes
1answer
662 views

Why didn't Faramir recover Boromir's body?

Inspired by these two questions, Did Faramir see Boromir's actual body, or have a vision? and What happen to Boromir's body? When Faramir saw his older brother, Boromir, on the elven boat, ...
9
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3answers
1k views

How old is Middle-earth?

I'm surprised that there isn't a duplicate for this. This question about plate tectonics in Middle-earth got me thinking, that it is probably not old enough to have the lands shaped by geological ...
16
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2answers
4k views

Plate Tectonics in Middle Earth; an in-universe explanation?

I just read this article about how "Middle Earth makes no geographic sense". The idea presented is that mountain creation is primarily caused by plate tectonics, and that plates generally aren't ...
2
votes
2answers
626 views

Did Ungoliant possess either the Flame Imperishable or some alternate version of it?

As I understand, life in Arda was brought forth either by Eru Directly, or after the rough draft, Eru gave the go-ahead for that form of life to be legitimatized by giving it the Flame Imperishable. ...
27
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3answers
20k views

Does Shelob have a human form?

I watched a trailer for Shadow of War this morning and in it we see a human woman who, it turns out, is Shelob. I've only read the LOTR trilogy and, as far as I recall, we never see her appear as a ...
15
votes
1answer
939 views

What did Faramir and Tolkien have in common?

It was mentioned in Faramir's wiki that (emphasis mine): Long after completing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien would write that of all characters Faramir resembles the author most, and that he had ...
1
vote
1answer
420 views

Any indication what Sauron would do with the One Ring if he possessed it again? [duplicate]

Sauron seems hell bent on getting back the One Ring. Any word on what he planned to do with it? The question linked as duplicate is about Sauron wearing the ring, which isn't really what I am going ...
95
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6answers
16k views

How does Gandalf (or anyone) know how to destroy the Ring?

The only way to destroy the Ring is by throwing it into the fire of Orodruin. This fact doesn't seem to be common knowledge and many people in the story (like Gimli) only learn about it at the council ...
2
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0answers
97 views

Why couldn't the Fellowship use the Eagles? [duplicate]

For those unfamiliar with the video (and unable to access it), Gandalf basically summons some eagles, they fly over Mt Doom and drop the ring in. I guess my question is not so much "why they didn't" ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Why didn't the Mouth of Sauron fight the Battle of the Black Gate?

I haven't read the books, but I have watched the movies many times already. If this scene is in the books, I would like to know the reference (i.e. the page and the version of the book). In The ...
13
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3answers
4k views

Who is the disapproving hobbit?

During one of The Lord of the Rings films I have a memory of a very curmudgeonly old hobbit, sweeping his porch or walk, I think, as he looks disapprovingly at some of the protagonists going down the ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Who are the 2 most powerful entities to battle each other directly?

I was thinking the other day, which were the 2 most powerful entities/characters that came into direct combat with each other. I know that the Gandalf/Durin's Bane battle may have been the instance of ...
14
votes
4answers
7k views

Why didn't Sam just destroy the ring?

When Shelob stinged Frodo, Sam luckily gets the sword, Sting, the Phial of Galadriel, and the Ring from Shelob's lair. After Sam defeats Shelob, he saw that orcs came by to kidnap Frodo and take him ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Did Tolkien designate any elf as the most powerful warrior of his kind?

In the narration of Dagor Dagorath, Tolkien prophesies that when Melkor is released at the end of the world there will be an encounter in Valinor of Tulkas, Eönwe and Túrin Turambar to oppose him. ...
10
votes
3answers
623 views

Do Men have a greater degree of free will than Elves?

Related to this question. The Music that Eru and the Ainur made works as fate for the first Ages covering history until the Dominion of Man. [I]t is said that after the departure of the Valar there ...