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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47
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6answers
19k views

Can the Elves do magic?

It's mentioned many times throughout Tolkien's work that the Elves (High Elves mostly) are in some way more powerful than Men. We hear many times, for example, that Rivendell and Lórien are mostly ...
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8answers
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What age group did Tolkien write The Hobbit for?

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit as a story for children. However, I've never seen a specific age mentioned. Did Tolkien intend the story for young children or for teens? What reading level should a child ...
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Did Mandos make any decisions that didn't prove to be disastrous?

Mandos is the great judge of the Valar, and his decisions are widely respected by all the other Valar. But most of his judgements have disastrous consequences for the Valar, the Elves, and all of ...
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Why do Sauron's servants sometimes use the name “Sauron”?

Why do some of the Dark Lord's servants refer to him as "Sauron", such as his emissar, The Mouth of Sauron, and some of his agents sent to the dwarves: "'As a small token only of your friendship ...
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4answers
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Who stabbed Frodo?

In The Lord of the Rings there are five Nazgûl that remain behind and attack the Hobbits on Weathertop. Which Nagûl stabbed Frodo? Was it the Witch-king or was he one of the four that pursued Gandalf?...
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6answers
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Why does Gollum address himself as “we”?

When talking to himself or talking to other people, Gollum likes to address himself as "we," e.g.: "we likes you". There is only one Gollum, so why does Gollum talk as if there are many Gollums? And ...
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5answers
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Is Lembas (Elven bread) magical?

I always had the feeling that Lembas bread was magical and that's what helped it be so fulfilling; however I've recently started to think that it was most probably just highly nutritious, and I had ...
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3answers
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Why did the Elves respect Aragorn yet consider Isildur to be weak?

After watching the first movie of the series a lot I realized how much "dislike", almost "hate", Elrond has for Man when he starts with "I was there when it happened" as he tells the story of Isildur. ...
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4answers
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Did Tolkien ever specify that Orodruin was a volcano?

It is incredibly clear that Orodruin (Mount Doom) was a volcano. It is a mountain with fire inside of it, and it periodically belches forth ash, smoke, and rock. This is what volcanoes do best (...
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7answers
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Why aren't the Valar considered gods?

As an avid Tolkien fan and an increasingly active member of this site, I cannot count the number of times I've seen people refer to the Valar or Maiar as gods, only to be corrected by other members (...
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When does Gandalf learn the nature of Durin’s Bane?

Durin's Bane, the Balrog of Moria, was unearthed at some time in the Third Age. Shortly afterwards, the city was abandoned, and no one with any sense came that way again for a long time. As stated ...
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2answers
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How is the name “Gandalf” pronounced?

I've been reading answers to the question asking how "Smaug" should be pronounced and I was wondering, is there an authoritative answer to the pronunciation of "Gandalf"? I first read The Hobbit ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Is the One Ring sentient?

This question about the Ring's betrayal of Isildur brought up many different interpretations of the nature of the Ruling Ring and the extent of its ability to influence or even directly control events....
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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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Is the ring poem slightly inaccurate? Who wrote it?

It is clear that the three Elven rings were not made by Sauron. The inscription on the One Ring, made by Sauron, was in some way related to its power, even if we cannot say if it was by fancy (it ...
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2answers
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Who wrote Tolkien's riddles?

In The Hobbit chapter 5, Riddles in the Dark, were the riddles composed by Tolkien himself? I always assumed either that they were, since he seemed to have a knack for writing poetry, or that they ...
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6answers
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Can the Valar or Maiar die?

In "The Lord of the Rings" and the "The Silmarillion" some Maiar (Sauron, several Balrogs, Saruman) are defeated. But did these Maiar actually die and if they did, do they go to Halls of Mandos or ...
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4answers
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How was Smaug's treasure actually divided?

If I recall correctly: The agreement was that each dwarf would receive 1/14 of the treasure. Bilbo takes the Arkenstone, and though unspoken, is willing to give up his share for it. Bard demanded 1/...
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What is the timeline for The Lord of the Rings trilogy?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy obviously covers a lot of time. How many months/years pass from the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring until the end of The Return of the King? A timeline of events ...
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4answers
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Why did Gandalf use a sword against the Balrog?

Shortly after Gandalf first sees the balrog, he orders Aragorn to lead the fellowship to the bridge. Aragorn hesitates, fearing to leave Gandalf alone against such a fearsome enemy, until Gandalf ...
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Why does Gandalf think he's not strong enough to reveal himself to Sauron via the palantir?

We know Aragorn is strong enough to reveal himself (due to being rightful owner of the palantir) but why is it that Gandalf does not think he could endure Sauron? Does he, in the back of his mind, ...
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3answers
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What did Bilbo Baggins do while the Fellowship of the Ring went on their quest?

Bilbo is responsible for leaving the One Ring for Frodo, who subsequently became hunted by the Nazgûl, Saruman, Sauron, and even Boromir in a way. Yet in the Peter Jackson film Fellowship of the Ring, ...
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5answers
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Why was Sméagol affected by the ring so fast, while both Frodo and Sam could handle it without immediately trying to choke each other?

I was reading this question and I noticed Daniel Roseman's comment: Point of clarification: Smeagol wasn't "hobbit-like", he was actually a hobbit. "I guess he was of hobbit-kind" means that he ...
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Did Sauron and Finrod Felagund really get into a singing fight?

In The Silmarillion, in the chapter "Of Beren and Lúthien", we read of what can only be called a singing fight, at least if we take the account at face value. I won't repeat it in its entirety, but ...
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3answers
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Why did Tolkien refer to goblins in The Hobbit but orcs in The Lord of the Rings?

The Wikipedia article "Orc (Middle-earth)" informs, The Hobbit generally uses the term goblin, while The Lord of the Rings prefers orc. Furthermore, Andres F.'s answer "Are orcs and goblins really ...
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Why is Tom Bombadil not included in the films?

Is there any reason, that we know of, that Tom Bombadil was left out of the films by Peter Jackson?
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1answer
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What happened to Gandalf the Grey's body when he was sent back as Gandalf the White?

So Gandalf and the Balrog of Moria have a little fisticuffs and they both died. Presumably dead bodies lie on the mountain side somewhere. Gandalf "strayed out of thought and time", gets a can of ...
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1answer
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Do we know anything about Aragorn's first time in Moria?

When the Company is forced to abandon their attempt to cross the Misty Mountains via the Redhorn Gate (the pass of Caradhras), Gandalf proposes they go "neither over the mountains, nor round them, but ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Did Tolkien ever state that The Hobbit was a children's book?

Many people just assume that simply because The Hobbit is a lighter story than LOTR and the Silmarillion, it's a children's story, but I don't believe Tolkien himself ever said it was made for ...
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5answers
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Are the Nazgûl Harmed by Water? [duplicate]

So I'm watching the LOTR trilogy and I'm on Fellowship of the Ring. It seems as if the Nazgûl actively avoid water, such as at the Bucklebury Ferry and the river at Rivendell. Does water harm the ...
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2answers
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Do the beacon lighters really live on top of the mountains?

Following this image I found online: Do the beacon lighters really live on top of the mountains? It seems really cold on top of some of these mountains and there are no villages or whatsoever.
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2answers
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Why does Saruman travel to Fangorn forest?

When Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas find the dead bodies of the orcs that they had pursued to the edge of Fangorn, they see an old man robed in white: Suddenly Gimli looked up, and there just on the ...
44
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1answer
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Why was Frodo “wise” and Samwise a “half-wit”?

According to the sources I’ve found (for example this one), “Frodo” comes from the Old English “fród”, meaning wise. (Apparently in “Hobbit Language” Frodo’s name is “Maura”, but I don’t know if this ...
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5answers
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Is there an in-universe explanation of how Frodo's arrival in Valinor was recorded in the Red Book?

In the chapter "The Grey Havens", we have: And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard ...
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5answers
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Why did Sauron keep Mount Doom alive after forging of the One Ring?

Sauron knew that the One Ring could be destroyed only in Mount Doom, where it was forged. From Sauron's perspective, no one would think about destroying the One Ring. But if someone did, then Mount ...
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9answers
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Why did Smaug gather a treasure of gold and other precious objects?

In The Hobbit, the Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf are on a mission to rob Smaug. But why did he have so much to steal from? He's a Dragon! He is not the kind of dragon that eats gold and gems. He doesn't ...
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7answers
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Why was Bilbo not discovered by Sauron during his extended stay with the Wood Elves? [duplicate]

Currently reading The Hobbit to my daughter, and we came to the Barrels out of Bond chapter where the Dwarves are captured and imprisoned by the Wood Elves. Bilbo sneaks in with his magic ring of ...
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9answers
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Why was the Balrog unconcerned with the fate of Middle Earth?

In an answer to the recent question Why was Gandalf Afraid of the Balrog of Morgoth?, it was stated that A Balrog is a terror of the First Age. And something that was a threat in the First Age ...
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6answers
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Is Goldberry a regular mortal woman?

Having read the Lord of the Rings a number of times I was always curious about the significance of Goldberry. I have not managed to find any reference to her origins within the other Middle-earth ...
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5answers
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Who did the Elves think Annatar (Sauron) was?

Sauron posed in fair form to the Elves as "Annatar" (Lord of Gifts). Considering many of the elves Annatar appeared to have probably been alive for hundreds or even thousands of years, who did they ...
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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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9answers
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How old is Gandalf?

In the Lord of The Rings trilogy, does anyone know how old Gandalf is? I remember reading that Gandalf was much older than he looked. Do the books ever say how old he is?
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2answers
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How is it that Legolas always has a quiver full of arrows?

In the movie version of Lord of the Rings, Legolas is seen many times shooting arrow after arrow, yet he never seems to run out. For example, after the long battle at the end of The Fellowship of the ...
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3answers
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Which creatures in Tolkien's literature can be female?

In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, there are many different types of creatures. Hobbits, elves, dwarves, ents, humans, and giant spiders all have female members mentioned somewhere in the story. But, ...
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3answers
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How were hobbits created?

How were hobbits created? I can't find any reference in The Silmarillion about this. Are they just men who have shrunken over generations or what?
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6answers
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Why did it take Sauron so long to regain strength?

According to the timeline of the Third age it took Sauron roughly 2460 years to regain strength and return to Middle Earth. Why did it take him that long? And if he "returns" to Middle Earth, where ...
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10answers
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What exactly happened to Thranduil's face while he was arguing with Thorin?

In the heated discussion between Thranduil and Thorin, for a moment, Thranduil's face suddenly turned very deeply scarred & wounded and then immediately returned to normal. What was this about? Is ...
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4answers
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What if a MAN actually stabbed the Witch-king instead of Éowyn?

Now we all know about the prophecy that "no living man" may slay the Witch-king of Angmar in LOTR. This prophecy was fulfilled when Éowyn, a female, stabbed the Witch-king in the head, thus killing ...