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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55
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3answers
9k views

What is the oldest object in Middle-earth?

After reading a question (or was it elsewhere?) discussing which Rings of Power were made first, it caused me to wonder which item (not just the rings) is the oldest. There are various ancient ...
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12answers
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Who or what is the oldest sentient being in Tolkien's lore?

The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Histories of Middle Earth, all lore related to this universe is acceptable fodder. Regardless of their power, susceptibility to The One Ring, ...
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Is There More to Arwen Than Her Obsessive Love for Aragorn?

It's me again -- still reading my way through The Lord of the Rings, but quite familiar with Peter Jackson's trilogy, which I really like. It occurs to me, though, that Arwen is almost the Lord of ...
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Why does Frodo cry “O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!” at Weathertop?

At Weathertop, Frodo and the band are beset by the Ring-wraiths, at which point Frodo feels compelled to put on the ring, and he does. When the Witch King attacks Frodo and just before Strider comes ...
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3answers
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Was Galadriel's temptation of Boromir instrumental to his fall?

We know Galadriel tempted the members of the Fellowship, did she tempt Boromir with visions of taking the Ring and saving Gondor? In the books, Boromir willingly accepts the judgement of the council ...
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They defeated a ring-bearing Sauron once, why couldn't they do it again?

Why did everyone believe that if Sauron reclaimed the One Ring the world would succumb to him, just like that? Didn't he already fail twice in attempts at world domination, and once even while ...
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5answers
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Where did “you shall not pass” come from?

One of the most memorable lines from the Lord of the Rings movies is when Gandalf stands before the Balrog and says "You shall not pass." EDIT: Actually, he says "you cannot pass" in the movie too. ...
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6answers
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Without a physical form, what would Sauron have done had he recovered the Ring?

Assuming one of Sauron's servants managed to recover the Ring, what exactly would Sauron do with it? He had no physical body to manipulate it and no finger to put it on. I guess he would have ...
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Is there a legal system in Middle-earth?

I was re-watching the Hobbit films last weekend, and noticed in "An Unexpected Journey", there is a scene in Bag End where the Dwarves present Bilbo with a contract, outlining the many potential ...
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Is there any canonical reference to the fate of the Blue Wizards: Alatar and Pallando?

All I've ever been able to find is that they arrived in Middle-earth and left to go do something outside of the scope of the story. Has anyone ever found any additional information?
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Why did Peter Jackson add the Nazgûls attack scene in Bree when it was not present in the original story, nor very important for the plot?

Although it's a very good scene from the film, I don't see why Peter Jackson added it to the story (remember). In the books, the Hobbits do not meet the Nazgûl in Bree, and that does not really ...
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How far did Gandalf and the Balrog drop from the bridge in Moria?

As best I can tell, in this dramatic scene from The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf falls for 71 seconds, mostly in free-fall while fighting a Balrog. True, the Balrog hits the walls of the abyss a ...
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Why does Gandalf the White not remember his original name?

'Gandalf,' the old man repeated, as if recalling from old memory a long disused word. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' Why wouldn't he remember being Gandalf right away? Why would Eru send ...
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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')....
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Unknown feature on Middle-earth's map?

On Christopher Tolkien's map of Middle-earth, one feature has always caught my eye, and to my knowledge has never been explained: The mass in the middle of the Sea of Rhûn: Has this ever been talked ...
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Why didn't Saruman break Gandalf's staff on Orthanc as Gandalf broke Saruman's?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers after becoming Gandalf the White, Gandalf cast Saruman from the Order and the Council. He also got the power to break Saruman's staff, which was very powerful. ...
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Why model Smaug after a cat?

In the 1977 animated film version of the Hobbit, the dragon Smaug is drawn similar to a cat- the shape of his head is distinctly feline (complete with whiskers), and his posture when awoken from his ...
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Would Gandalf have been promoted to the White if he had not fought the Balrog?

Gandalf was promoted to a White wizard after his body was destroyed in the battle with the Balrog. This was done mainly to replace Saruman as he had joined Sauron (or at least swayed significantly ...
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Are there any female characters in the Hobbit?

I believe Bilbo's mother, Belladonna Took, is mentioned briefly in the beginning, but are there any female characters who actually appear in the novel, rather than being merely referenced? Even ...
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What is the place that Gandalf falls to after the battle with the Balrog?

I was wondering; what is the name of the place Gandalf falls to when the Balrog drags him down, after the fight in Moria? What information from the Legendarium is there available about this place?
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How can a storm cloud in Middle-earth “move behind the sun”?

This is probably the most trivial question I've ever asked here, and relates to something mentioned in passing. The passage occurs in The Two Towers, Book IV, "The Taming of Smeagol". While ...
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Did Gandalf cast a spell on Butterbur's beer?

In Lord of the Rings, Gandalf says to Butterbur after learning the Hobbits have left with Strider : "May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!" Did ...
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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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Why didn't Gollum ever become a wraith?

Inspired by this answer regarding the long-term effects of The One Ring: Sméagol possessed the ring for close to 500 years, and although he clearly didn't wear it constantly, it had some terrible ...
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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 ...
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How powerful were the nine really?

It is explained numerous times how powerful and deadly the Nazgul are — however, on multiple occasions, they failed their master badly. Some examples: Frodo and the Hobbits escaped both during the ...
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When did Bilbo and Frodo learn that Gandalf was a Maia?

It is obvious that the common Hobbits (and men) knew nothing of the true nature of the Istari. When the Istari arrived in Middle-earth they were considered "strange elves" (as a matter of fact, ...
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Does Gollum know that others call him Gollum?

I don't recall any of the characters in Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit calling Sméagol Gollum in his face. It seems to be more of a private epithet. Is this correct? Does Gollum know that others call ...
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What kind of power was hoped-for/expected to be gained from the One Ring?

Several characters tried to get hold of the One Ring on Frodo's journey to Mount Doom, some by force like Boromir, some by persuasion like Galadriel. All spoke of gaining power and using it against ...
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Where do the Dwarves put all the stone from the Mines of Moria?

In Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring heads into the Mines of Moria to escape from the Watcher in the Water after attempting to cross over the Misty Mountains. Inside the Mines of Moria ...
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Did JRR Tolkien ever write any music for the many songs in The Lord of the Rings?

Due to the number of songs in The Lord of the Rings, I have recently been wondering if Tolkien had any musical training and if any "official" music was written (by him or anyone else on his behalf) to ...
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Do orcs drink water?

At least in the film version of Return of the King, Frodo and Sam run out of water while trekking across Mordor, apparently having been unable to refill their water pouches in the tower or at any ...
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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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How does Galadriel know that Gandalf 'survives' his encounter with the Balrog?

In The Two Towers, when Gandalf meets Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli for the first time since the Balrog encounter, he briefly gives some details of the encounter which to me are (perhaps intentionally) ...
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Why did it take longer to go to Rivendell in The Hobbit than in The Fellowship of the Ring?

Both The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring involve traveling to Rivendell; however, although approximately the same route is taken, the journey took longer in The Hobbit. In The Hobbit, Gandalf, ...
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Did Frodo and Gimli ever discuss the adventures of Bilbo and Glóin with each other?

Bilbo and Glóin journey to the Lonely Mountain together in The Hobbit, and share in many adventures including battling a dragon. Considering that Bilbo recounted his adventures to Frodo, and ...
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How did Gandalf get each of his various names?

Gandalf goes by many names in Tolkien's works. Gandalf himself says in The Two Towers: "Many are my names in many countries. Mithrandir among the elves, Tharkûn to the dwarves; Olórin I was in my ...
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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 ...
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Could Gandalf not have made his own One Ring?

Sauron created The One Ring to gain control over the other ring-bearers, but it also amplified his power. Since it's a bad idea for anyone to claim The One Ring, wouldn't it be possible for Gandalf to ...
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How did Gandalf get his staff back after being captured by Saruman in Orthanc?

In the books, it doesn't explicitly describe Gandalf's staff being taken or broken during his imprisonment in/on Orthanc, but in the film, Saruman is shown with Gandalf's staff, and Gandalf is shown ...
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Why Did J.R.R. Tolkien Capitalize Certain Words Throughout His Books?

Why did J.R.R. Tolkien randomly capitalize various words throughout his books? My husband asked me this question today and we were wondering if there's any rhyme or reason to Tolkien's capitalization ...
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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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Is “Lord of the Rings” a trilogy of books in Tolkien's opinion?

Is "Lord of the Rings" a trilogy of books? It was published as 3 separate books, but can it be called a trilogy? Was it intended to be a trilogy by Tolkien himself? The question arose in comment ...
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Why was Tom Bombadil so unconcerned about the fate of Middle-earth?

I know he saves the hobbits from the barrow-wight and gives them weapons which affect the Nazgûl, Sauron's greatest servants. But I've always wondered why a high power, which Tom Bombadil obviously is,...
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Did Shadowfax go to Valinor?

I seem to recall that Shadowfax was taken with Gandalf to Valinor, but I have not been able to find a clear reference in the Lord of the Rings. Is there any writing by Tolkien adressing this question?
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Were there two elves named Glorfindel?

In the Silmarilion, an elf named Glorfindel is killed in a duel with a balrog at the battle for Gondolin. (He kills the balrog as well.) Then in The Fellowship of the Ring, an elf named Glorfindel ...
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How on (middle) earth did Eärendil kill a dragon as huge as Ancalagon?

We know that Ancalagon was killed by Earendil, but how exactly was he killed? Ancalagon was so incredibly massive and Earendil was just a dude in a ship with some Eagles. This image ↓ isn't canon but ...
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Why would Gandalf (as ring-lord) be worse than Sauron?

I've just come across a point that I've thought about before, and thought it would be good to get some other stances on it. See this letter, emphasis mine: In the 'Mirror of Galadriel', 1381, it ...
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Did Tolkien think about language evolution when the speakers are immortal?

Tolkien, being a linguist, designed his fictional languages rather carefully. Quenya and Sindarin were closely related, having both descended from the primordial speech of the elves. Tolkien, of ...
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How could Saruman lose the battle of Helm's Deep?

Saruman isn't stupid. In fact, he's called Saruman the Wise, so he must have known a thing or two about strategy. In the Battle of Helm's Deep/Battle of the Hornburg, according to this wiki, 10 000 ...