175

This is partly explained in the introduction. It's basically what these days we would call a retcon. In the originally published version of The Hobbit, Gollum is willing to give the Ring to Bilbo as a prize for winning the riddle game. When Tolkien began writing The Lord of the Rings, he decided to make the Ring the focus; and clearly it had to be of such ...


112

Tolkien is not at all specific: 'Long time I fell,' he [Gandalf] said at last, slowly, as if thinking back with difficulty. 'Long I fell, and he [the Balrog] fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into the deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart.' 'Deep is the abyss that is ...


89

Presumably for weapon-making In an early draft of Fellowship, Tolkien wrote a margin note saying: Mithril is now nearly all lost. Orcs plunder it and pay tribute to Sauron who is collecting it - we don't know why - for some secret purpose of his weapons not for beauty. History of Middle-earth 7 The Treason of Isengard Chapter IX: "The Mines of Moria ...


87

Because roles needed consolidation There are way too many characters in the Lord of the Rings books to properly cover them all in movie form. Just as scenes are often cut for time (most extra details in scenes), plot structure (scouring of the shire), or irrelevance to the core narrative (Tom Bombadil), so too are characters of minor roles often cut or ...


83

Balin died before they were all slain Balin having gone to look into Mirrormere, which was out the Eastern gate of Moria, had been shot by an Arrow. His body was however recovered and later the Dwarves must've built him a tomb. However their doom seemed to be reasonably after his death. This is evident given the Dwarves were slain at the West gate, having ...


83

Because using a sword was effective. (Keep in mind that Balrogs envisioned by Tolkien were not as big as what Peter Jackson depicts in the movies.) 'Do as I say!' said Gandalf fiercely. 'Swords are no more use here. Go!' The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm In the books, Gandalf says that particular line ...


78

The One ring slowly gets into people's minds. I'm pretty sure Boromir was full of good intentions during the council of Elrond, but day by day, he became obsessed with the ring and then tried to take it by force.


78

Aragorn knew of the dangers of Moria Moria was plain notorious. The name "Moria" itself means The Black Pit in Sindarin. The fall of Khazad-dûm was well-known in Middle-earth, and it became widespread knowledge that there was a nameless terror, or to the Dwarves, Durin's Bane, lurking in the former Dwarven kingdom. So much so that even the Hobbits had heard ...


76

Karen Wynn Fonstad's highly regarded The Atlas of Middle-earth includes a diagram showing a vertical cross section of Moria. In the diagram, the horizontal distance of 20 miles from the guardroom to the bridge appears that to be about 2.5 times the vertical drop from the "First Deep" to the bottom of the abyss. Accounting for the 7:1 exaggeration of height ...


75

The Council of Elrond was just a collection of random people there at the time. Rohan wasn’t “represented” because no one from Rohan happened to be at the Council of Elrond at the time when Frodo arrived with the Ring. The Council wasn’t a long-in-the-planning event, it was a spontaneous meeting held with the “important” peoples who were in Rivendell at the ...


72

In the novel, the events played out slightly differently. Gandalf was already at the rear of the pack. The Hobbits, Gimli and Legolas had already made it to the arch when the Balrog appeared. They stayed inside the arch (obeying Gandalf) whereas the humans, Aragorn and Boromir decided to stand with Gandalf. 'Over the bridge!' cried Gandalf, recalling his ...


67

John D. Rateliff, in his History of the Hobbit series, has the original chapter as well as an interesting commentary. I quote here the original version of The Hobbit as an addendum to the accepted answer. After the first riddle, Gollum, in good faith, says he will give a present to Bilbo if he wins: 'Does it guess easy? - it must have a competition with ...


66

It seems this question has been asked many times on the Internet, for instance here it is on Reddit, and here it is on some Tolkien forum. In both cases, the answer can be summarized in a few points: They're going through the mountains, off the beaten path. They're not going to get much use out of horses in such terrain, and even if they'd avoided Moria ...


66

The Nazgul were there to take the Ring. Frodo had the Ring. So they targeted Frodo. Before they could slay (or wraithify, at any rate) Frodo and take the Ring, Aragorn drove them off - but not before they poisoned Frodo. After that, they were not terribly worried, since: They tried to pierce your heart with a Morgul-knife which remains in the wound. If ...


64

Because he's going to Gondor, which is on the way to Mordor, and because Aragorn vouches for him. Seriously, that's it (emphasis mine): 'And I will choose you companions to go with you, as far as they will or fortune allows. The number must be few, since your hope is in speed and secrecy. Had I a host of Elves in armour of the Elder Days, it would avail ...


64

A Wizard told him Two things are of note. Strider (Aragorn) was aware of their travels and knew how Gandalf had sent them. After finding out that Gandalf was lost, he went searching for the Hobbits himself. Fortunately, as they left Bombadil on the borders of his land, Aragorn was behind the hedge and managed to catch a snippet of their conversation. “...


60

This is after Elrond told Isildur's tale, of how he took the ring – but shouldn't have: Boromir...cried: ‘I have heard of the Great Ring of him that we do no name; but we believed that it perished from the world in the ruin of his first realm. Isildur took it! That is tidings indeed.’  ‘Alas, yes,’ said Elrond. ‘Isildur took it, as should not ...


58

Legolas' Mirkwood bow was relatively short, and not especially powerful or long-ranged. From Fellowship: Arrows fell among them. One struck Frodo and sprang back. Another pierced Gandalf's hat and stuck there like a black feather ... Legolas turned and set an arrow to the string, though it was a long shot for his small bow. We can see here that ...


56

"Strider" wasn't an insulting name Aragorn was known to the people of Bree as a stern outsider who kept to himself. That was enough for him to be looked on with suspicion even by good people like Butterbur. When Bill Ferny speaks insultingly of him, he says '‘I suppose you know who you’ve taken up with? That’s Stick-at-naught Strider, that is! Though I’...


55

Glorfindel was too powerful. He had lived in Valinor in the time of the Two Trees, had killed a balrog (and been killed by it) and then was resurrected and returned to Middle Earth. As such, he existed (was visible) in both the unseen and seen worlds. A being of his power would stick out like a sore thumb to Sauron and the Nazgul. The fellowship was all ...


48

He didn't willingly drop down in the books: With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard's knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. 'Fly, you fools!' he ...


48

From "The Lord of the Rings", chapter "The Council of Elrond". Gandalf tells of his imprisonment in Orthanc (or ON Orthanc is better said...): They took me and they set me alone on the pinnacle of Orthanc, in the place where Saruman was accustomed to watch the stars. There is no descent save by a narrow stair of many thousand steps, and the valley ...


47

I don't think those three stories are particularly different. They all share the same core: Bilbo gets lost in the caves beneath the Misty Mountains, where he finds the Ring, after it was dropped by Gollum (or, more precisely, where it dropped itself away from Gollum). This is the essence - the ring wanted to leave Gollum and be picked up by someone else to ...


47

Elbereth Gilthoniel refers to Varda Starkindler, one of the Valar. Frodo's cry is comparable to a Catholic calling on an angel or one of the saints when faced with a supernatural evil creature. Tolkien himself was a devout Catholic and would undoubtedly have had this in mind. It is unlikely that Frodo expected direct intervention from the Valar -- any more ...


45

The only indication we get for why he went alone is because the way was "full of doubt and danger..." Boromir wouldn't allow his brother to go, because of the above fears, and decided he would go himself. His father likely demanded he take people with him but Boromir would've had the same fears for them as he did for his brother. Therefore my brother, ...


43

Tolkien comments on this briefly in Letter 210. The whole letter is worth a read, since he scathingly (and quite hilariously) rips into a script for a proposed film version, but I'll only quote the relevant section (bold is my emphasis, italic is Tolkien's): [The Black Riders'] peril is almost entirely due to the unreasoning fear which they inspire (like ...


42

I don't think so. Gandalf makes it clear, before leaving the hobbits prior to the Scouring of the Shire, that it is up to them now: "I am not coming to the Shire. You must settle its affairs yourselves; that is what you have been trained for. Do you not yet understand? My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to ...


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