109

The Ringwraiths couldn't fly on their own or teleport. To get from point A (near Rivendell) to point B (Mordor) they had to travel every foot in between. In LotR, they walk, ride horseback and ride flying mounts. With their horses gone, their only option was to get new transport or walk back to Mordor -- a very long way! 'You cannot destroy Ringwraiths ...


90

It's mentioned in his authorised biography that Tolkien had a personal liking of mushrooms, stretching as far back as his idyllic childhood days in Hall Green, Birmingham, the very same memories that supposedly inspired his writings about the Shire. According to his younger brother Hilary Tolkien, his recollection is that a particularly loathsome farmer (...


69

Sauron could not read Tom Bombadil’s mind without Tom’s permission, palantír or no palantír. In fact, he could not read anyone’s mind without their permission. Tolkien explains what we would call telepathy as ‘sanwe’, communication from mind to mind. Pengolodh says that all minds (sáma, pl. sámar) are equal in status, though they differ in capacity and ...


66

Nazgûl is Black Speech and is translated as Ringwraiths or sometimes Ring-wraiths. Nazg means ring and gûl means wraith/spirit in the broadest of terms. gûl is a loan from the "Black Speech" and refers to evil and necromantic arts. Cf. Nazgûl (nazg-gûl). Parma Eldalamberon XVII, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings"...


40

I think that the passage that best explains the apparently contradictory versions of Galadriel's status in the Third Age is given in the chapter The History of Galadriel and Celeborn in Unfinished Tales. Pride still moved her when, at the end of the Elder Days after the final overthrow of Morgoth, she refused the pardon of the Valar for all who had fought ...


39

This is all we know. It seems clear that pursued both by Elves and Orcs Gollum crossed the Anduin, probably by swimming, and so eluded the hunt of Sauron; but being still hunted by Elves, and not yet daring to pass near Lŏrien (only the lure of the Ring itself made him dare to do this afterwards), he hid himself in Moria.10 That was probably in the autumn ...


26

I don't have the movie available, but using the book it's possible to come up with some explanations. Simple and short: Uruk means ork. Despite being Black Speech (the language of Mordor) it seems to be a widely used and known term, as evidenced by Gandalf using it during their camping trip to Moria and nobody asking "uruwhat?" Then we have Hai, which ...


17

Given that we really don't know where Tom Bombadil sits in the spectrum of documented Middle Earth "powers", it's impossible to say what he can or can't do. He may be a Maia. He may be a Vala. He may be something else entirely, perhaps a nature spirit of Middle Earth, created when it was, or even Ilúvatar personified. First, though, let's redefine the ...


16

So why do the people assembled at Rivendell seem to think that just because the Nine have lost their mounts, the threat is somehow temporarily over? They know the flood couldn't have killed or hurt the Nazgul. They know that they have no physical form to begin with that might have been hurt in the flooding. So what gives? "What gives" is the Bruinen flow ...


15

Initially, the Balrog held onto Gandalf to keep the latter from escaping. However, as the wizard got the upper hand, the monster fled, up a single long stair. Then Gandalf managed to keep them together, either by holding onto the Balrog's heel or (if he was speaking metaphorically) by following closely after it, as it climbed and climbed: From The Two ...


13

The Houses of Healing does seem to be an intentionally placed transition chapter, as suggested by this particular blog writer. This chapter is a cooldown from the previous one, designed to act as the first part of a transition to the final climactic moment of Book Five. Three key characters have been left terribly wounded by their efforts to save Gondor ...


9

It's Gorbag's suggestion to Shagrat at the high pass above Minas Morgul. They have just taken the unconscious Frodo prisoner and Sam hears them though he and they are in different tunnels. "...But anyway, if it does go well, there should be a lot more room. What d'you say? - if we get a chance, you and me'll slip off and set up somewhere on our own with a ...


8

We ought to look carefully at how Tolkien used the word tower in The Lord of the Rings. The oldest and primary sense of the word is (per the Oxford English Dictionary), A building lofty in proportion to the size of its base, either isolated, or forming part of a castle, church, or other edifice, or of the walls of a town, with this meaning ...


8

They are not consistent There is no definitive version of Tolkien's word on Middle-Earth. They were written, revised, scrapped, re-started, re-revised, scrapped again, restarted and so on over many years. The Silmarillion itself was started three times after the publication of the Lord of the Rings and never reached a state in which he was willing to submit ...


8

From the second chapter, "The Shadow of the Past" (emphasis mine): He lived alone, as Bilbo had done; but he had a good many friends [...] Frodo went tramping all over the Shire with them; but more often he wandered by himself, and to the amazement of sensible folk he was sometimes seen far from home walking in the hills and woods under the starlight. ...


8

He would have found an unguarded entrance There is no reason to believe that Gollum entered Moria by the main east entrance (over the bridge that the Fellowship uses to leave Moria). As mentioned in the question, that would be very difficult, even for the stealthy Gollum, if the orcs kept any sort of watch on it. Systems of caves and tunnels as large as ...


7

No plausible canon explanation The question asks us to compare the time it took Frodo to travel by pony from Rivendell to the Shire to the time it took Bilbo and the dwarves to travel by pony from the Shire to Rivendell (not the time it took Frodo to get from the Shire to Rivendell - that journey was largely on foot and not by road). I don't completely ...


6

Tolkien provides the following description of the boundaries of Gondor following Hyarmendacil's victory over the Men of Harad in TA 1050. The might of Hyarmendacil no enemy dared to contest during the remainder of his long reign. He was king for one hundred and thirty-four years, the longest reign but one of all the Line of Anárion. In his day Gondor ...


6

Elves in LOTR are really different of what you might found in other genre like Dungeons and Dragons where there are smaller frail humans with longevity and better archery skills. They are the first comers, they were meant to be superior beings. They are taller, stronger, near immortal, fairer and generaly a lot more poised than other beings. They are not ...


6

In The Atlas of Middle-earth, Karen Wynn Fonstad uses her knowledge of cartography to estimate many details of the geography of Middle-earth. To do this, she uses the maps drawn by Tolkien as well as clues from the text of the books. Here are some of her conclusions related to mountain ranges. Misty Mountains The Misty Mountains are 900 miles from north to ...


6

In the books he isn't a giant eye but has a spirit form and a physical form, even in the Third Age. But Sauron also was thrown down, and with the hilt-shard of Narsil Isildur cut the Ruling Ring from the hand of Sauron and took it for his own. Then Sauron was for that time vanquished, and he forsook his body, and his spirit fled far away and hid in waste ...


5

Unfortunately, there is no mention anywhere else in Tokien's oeuvre of when Strider's earlier adventures in Moria occurred, nor what they amounted to. I too wondered about this question, but (unless I missed it) there was no information about it to be found it, neither in the author's completed works, nor in the notes published in The History of Middle ...


4

To add on to TheLethalCarrot's answer, it's interesting to note that in the earlier versions of the story the term Nazgûl seemed to be (inconsistently) used to specifically refer to them when in winged form: But Wizard King takes to air and becomes Nazgûl[1], rallies host of Morghul, and assails king. [...] At same time [Sauron] sends Wizard ...


4

I would only add some additional remarks to the existing excellent answers. Regarding Orthranc: It is not isolated: it is inside the Circle of Isengard, an ancient and formidable, though not very sophisticated stone fortress. Nor is it randomly placed: Isengard was originally built by second age Numenoreans to guard the gap between the White Mountains and ...


4

Eagles are intelligent and can speak. They are sympathetic to the cause of the West in in the wars of the Third Age, but they do not offer a free taxi service. The few times we are told of them carrying people, it is because of great need and on their own terms. It is either obvious where the people should be dropped off, or it is arranged in advance. ...


3

It is likely that Sauron's purpose in creating the Ruling Ring was indeed complete dominion over the Elves through their rings, but by the time of LOTR the Ring means something very different to Sauron and the Free Peoples. In addition to controlling the other Rings, The Ruling Ring focuses and multiplies the willpower of its master. Armies will flock to ...


3

Remember how Galdriel corrects Sam when he speaks of elvish magic. I don't think that either Tolkien or the elves would think of Sam's words as "magic", as in say these words and this will happen. Sam is saying a prayer to Elbereth (Varda) one of the two most powerful guardians living on Arda (the world). The words are in What does Sam shout when he uses ...


2

As you say, towers are designed to guard and to spy. That doesn't mean that they are only useful as part of a fortified wall (like the Towers of the Teeth that guard the Black Gate), or to spy on a land from the border (like the tower of Cirith Ungol that was built to spy on Mordor). Towers are strong defensive structures that can protect those inside. ...


2

He wore the Ring for about an hour Although there is some discussion about this in the comments on the question, I believe the quote from the start of Book VI ("he drew out the Ring and put it on again") means that Sam was not wearing the Ring when he regained consciousness. As he was certainly wearing the Ring when he lost consciousness at the end of ...


2

There's another small peculiarity, the words roots and beginning are put together again here in Gandalf's description of Gollum to Frodo in Chapter 2 of The Fellowship. It would be cool and shady under those mountains. The Sun could not watch me there. The roots of those mountains must be roots indeed; there must be great secrets buried there which ...


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