178 votes
Accepted

What did Frodo mean by "He told me the true story"?

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 ...
Daniel Roseman's user avatar
135 votes
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Why was the Balrog beneath Moria

Silmarillion, Chapter XXIV Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath: The Balrogs were destroyed, save some few that fled and hid themselves in caverns inaccessible at the roots of the earth
Yaroslav  Kornachevskyi's user avatar
121 votes
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How far did Gandalf and the Balrog drop from the bridge in Moria?

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 ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
  • 41.2k
95 votes
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What does Sauron need with mithril?

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 ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
90 votes
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Why did Peter Jackson replace Glorfindel's role with Arwen?

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 ...
Mwr247's user avatar
  • 15.8k
90 votes

Why did Gandalf use a sword against the Balrog?

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 ...
Voronwé's user avatar
  • 26.4k
84 votes
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How did they have time to build Balin a tomb?

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 ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.3k
82 votes

How far did Gandalf and the Balrog drop from the bridge in Moria?

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 ...
Blackwood's user avatar
  • 21.1k
79 votes
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Why wasn't there a representative from Rohan at the Council of Elrond?

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 ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.3k
79 votes
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What did Aragorn mean when he warned Gandalf about entering Moria?

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 ...
Voronwé's user avatar
  • 26.4k
76 votes
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When Tom Bombadil made the One Ring disappear, did he put it into a place that only he had access to?

There is no answer to this for two reasons: First, Tolkien deliberately did not write about the details of his magic system. He felt that magic was closely related to wonder, and for magic to produce ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
  • 41.2k
74 votes
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Why didn't the Fellowship use horses for transportation?

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: ...
DaaaahWhoosh's user avatar
  • 11.9k
74 votes
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Why did Nazgûl spare the other hobbits at Weathertop?

The Nazgûl 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 ...
Shamshiel's user avatar
  • 25k
73 votes
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Why didn't the Fellowship help Gandalf when he faced the Balrog?

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 ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 690k
69 votes

What did Frodo mean by "He told me the true story"?

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 ...
isanae's user avatar
  • 11k
68 votes
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What is the importance of Galadriel giving a new bow to Legolas?

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 ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 15.9k
65 votes
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How did Strider already know Frodo's real identity at the Inn of the Prancing Pony?

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 ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.3k
63 votes
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Why is the name Strider considered offensive?

"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 ...
Blackwood's user avatar
  • 21.1k
56 votes
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Why was Gandalf unsure if Bilbo's ring was the One Ring if he had seen an image of Sauron's Eye when he was about to pick it up?

You've linked together too many things that shouldn't really be linked at this point in the movie. First of all, I wouldn't put too much weight on elements Peter Jackson put into his movies that weren'...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 15.8k
55 votes

Why wasn't Aragorn more stealthy at Weathertop?

Shortly beforehand, they see the riders on the road below Weathertop: They could all see the black specks, but neither Frodo nor Merry could make out their shapes for certain; yet something told them ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 20.3k
51 votes
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How does Gandalf end up on the roof of Orthanc in Isengard?

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 ...
Tonny's user avatar
  • 3,354
46 votes

What does Sauron need with mithril?

One possible assumption could be the creation of Grond, the great ram that smashes the gates of Gondor, emphasis mine: Great engines crawled across the field; and in the midst was a huge ram, great ...
Tjafaas's user avatar
  • 1,591
46 votes
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Why was Boromir sent alone to Rivendell?

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 ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.3k
45 votes

Continuity error in Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring?

It's easy to find an explanation. Farmer Maggot's crops might be vast and huge, known for hiring farming hands who are very aggressive towards the thieves. He might have a small farm, but he may be so ...
VienLa's user avatar
  • 1,776
44 votes

Why did Merry (apparently) not get to experience the first adventures with the other three hobbits?

It was all part of the "conspiracy" between Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Fatty Bolger to protect Frodo's plans to flee the Shire as Gandalf had recommended. "If you can think of any way of ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 15.8k
42 votes

How did Frodo know where the Bree village was?

This is one of the differences between the books and the films. The books In the books, Gandalf simply tells Frodo to head for Rivendell. He never mentions Bree at all. ‘No indeed!’ said Frodo. ‘But ...
Blackwood's user avatar
  • 21.1k
41 votes
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Why did the One Ring not slip off Frodo's hand?

Not much opportunity, and not meant to happen Keep in mind that Frodo didn't wear the Ring for very long while the Nazgûl were near. Even if the Ring was trying to slip off his finger, it might not ...
Blackwood's user avatar
  • 21.1k
40 votes
Accepted

What did Gandalf mean when he told the Balrog to "go back to the Shadow"?

It is significant that the word "Shadow" is capitalized. There are 224 occurrances of the word "shadow" in the Fellowship of the Ring (including preface and prologues), and Tolkien is very specific ...
Victim of Circumstance's user avatar
40 votes
Accepted

What did Sauron think the free peoples did with his ring following the events on Amon Hen?

I think the movie interpreted this scene differently from how it was meant to be interpreted. Here's the passage from "The Breaking of the Fellowship", the final chapter of The Fellowship ...
chepner's user avatar
  • 3,824
40 votes
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Does Lord of the Rings (or the Hobbit) mention how the Orcs were first created?

Within The Lord of the Rings, the following three explanations are given: You do not know, perhaps, how strong we are. Maybe you have heard of Trolls? They are mighty strong. But Trolls are only ...
ibid's user avatar
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