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298

TL;DR Version: Yes, it was absolutely, without question, certainly legitimate, and in any case, there were no other potential claimants to compete with him. Aragorn's claim isn't as strong as one might wish for, but it is unquestionably legitimate. And besides that, he has something his predecessors didn't - popular support, both among the commoners and ...


226

Yes. While the deceit of the ring was to offer imaginations of supreme power, it did in fact, absolutely, one hundred percent, confer real power upon its wielder - just not supreme power, which not even Sauron possessed. The other answer is incorrect. There are examples of the Ring's powers - chiefly the domination of other wills, but also the understanding ...


206

The Ring made its wearer invisible by shifting them mostly into the Unseen world. Gandalf told Frodo: You were in gravest peril while you wore the Ring, for then you were half in the wraith-world yourself. Gandalf also stated: if [a mortal] often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades: he becomes in the end invisible permanently, and ...


194

Why would Gandalf be afraid of the Balrog? Well, it's a Balrog. It's a fearful thing. :) More seriously, though, the Balrogs were terrifying beings, even for Gandalf and others of his level of power. The Balrogs are Maia as well, just as Gandalf and the rest of the Istari are. See here from the Valaquenta, the second book of the Silmarillion: For of the ...


188

Gandalf is making three very specific references as both warning and challenge to the Balrog. By identifying himself as a servant of the secret fire (or Flame imperishable), Gandalf is identifying himself as a Maia, an embodied angelic servant of the Valar protecting the light of Creation that Eru Iluvatar (or God) has set to burn at the centre of Arda (...


176

From Letter 144: Shelob (English representing C.S 'she-lob' = female spider) is a translation of Elvish Ungol 'spider'. 'Shelob' is therefore not, strictly speaking, a name, but rather a description. People aren't calling her by name, they're calling her "the Spider".


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 ...


169

It's Sauron. "Hurray!" cried Pippin, springing up. "Here is our noble cousin! Make way for Frodo, Lord of the Ring!" "Hush!" said Gandalf from the shadows at the back of the porch. "Evil things do not come into this valley; but all the same we should not name them. The Lord of the Ring is not Frodo, but the master of the Dark Tower of Mordor, whose ...


150

You're not the first to have asked this question; in fact Sam pondered the very same thing on the way to Mount Doom (RotK Book VI Chapter 2: The Land of Shadow): 'I don't like the look of things at all,' said Sam. 'Pretty hopeless, I call it – saving that where there's such a lot of folk there must be wells or water, not to mention food. And these are Men ...


150

Mordor has more than just a mountain and a tower. As you can see from Tolkien's annotated map (bottom), the Mountain of Doom and Tower of Sauron merely make up a small corner of Mordor, namely the Plateau of Gorgoroth. In addition to the Plateau (sometimes named the 'Plains'), Mordor also consists of Nurn, which is the fertile land surrounding the Sea of ...


148

It means "the accounts of people who are scared enough to flee the battle are unreliable because they tend to overestimate the size of the enemy force, but I have spoken to brave men and they confirm our enemies are indeed numerous". Here "fly" means to run away, the same as when Gandalf utters the famous "fly, you fools!".


147

Definition 4 of “father” from Collins English Dictionary: A respectful term of address for an old man. That is the sense in which Aragorn uses the word, he doesn’t think that the old man is actually his father Arathorn, who had died over eighty years earlier.


146

According to a similar discussion on another site, Tolkien is using "own" in a more archaic sense of "acknowledge" or "yield to." The Oxford English Dictionary article on own contains one definition (4.c) of "own" as "To acknowledge as having supremacy, authority, or power over oneself; to recognize or profess obedience to (a greater power, a superior, etc.)...


145

In the book, Gimli doesn't try to destroy the ring at the council, so no lost axe problem there. And he doesn't lose an axe to Saruman in the Eaves of Fangorn either. As far as the book is concerned, Gimli has one axe and keeps it throughout.


141

Bilbo DID become addicted to the Ring - when it came time to part with it, he had a full on freakout: ‘Everything?’ said Gandalf. ‘The ring as well? You agreed to that, you remember.’ ‘Well, er, yes, I suppose so,’ stammered Bilbo. ‘Where is it?’ ‘In an envelope, if you must know,’ said Bilbo impatiently. ‘There on the mantelpiece. Well, ...


140

The "Gaffer" that Sam's refers to is his father, Hamfast "Ham" Gamgee. They appear to be living in a rented Hobbit hole on Bagshot Row, presumable one owned by the Baggins family given its proximity to Bag End. No one had a more attentive audience than old Ham Gamgee, commonly known as the Gaffer. He held forth at The Ivy Bush , a small inn on the ...


137

Since Tolkien wasn’t really trying to write a story, but rather give England what he saw as a lost history, I’d like to offer up how Gandalf’s wisdom is demonstrative of magic as seen by the ancient view of magic. Tolkien had great difficulty defining magic when asked to define the boundaries of Faerie, but based on his writings about Gandalf and what he ...


135

For one thing "Prophecies" in Tolkien's work aren't the "Nostradamus" kind of prophecies that we are used to, it's not a fortune teller saying "you'll meet a tall dark witch-king and end him". Neither is it a fairy tale curse or enchantment Before your 16th summer you shall prick your finger . . . there by forcing fates hand. These are not a Tolkien prophesy....


130

Per Two Towers, Shelob isn't just an unthinking spider, feasting on prey, she's an intelligent creature that is actively seeking out other sentient intelligent beings to murder and eat. But still she was there, who was there before Sauron, and before the first stone of Barad-dûr; and she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, ...


128

There are a few reasons: Sauron Sauron is REALLY afraid that at any moment his opponents will use the One Ring and become much more powerful. He currently has the advantage but he might lose it at any moment, so he attempts this blitzkrieg instead of a regular siege. Mordor's orcs are too undisciplined for a longer siege: sooner or later they would start ...


128

Return of the King, Book IV, Chapter I: The Tower of Cirith Ungol: As he gazed at it suddenly Sam understood, almost with a shock, that this stronghold had been built not to keep enemies out of Mordor, but to keep them in. It was indeed one of the works of Gondor long ago, an eastern outpost of the defences of Ithilien, made when, after the Last Alliance, ...


127

It is quite simple: Sauron did not expect, and could not conceive, anyone would actually try to destroy the Ring instead of claiming it for themselves. "He is in great fear, not knowing what mighty one may suddenly appear, wielding the Ring, and assailing him with war, seeking to cast him down and take his place.That we should wish to cast him down and ...


126

He didn't deviate from the book...much At least one Ring-Wraith does enter Bree in the night and is seen by Merry: "I have seen them Frodo! I have seen them! Black riders!...Here. In the village. I stayed indoors for an hour. Then as you did not come back, I went out for a stroll. I had come back again and was standing just outside the light of the ...


124

Practically the very next passage after Frodo claims the Ring is one where Sauron detects Frodo. He immediately understands that the plan is to destroy the Ring, and with a certain amount of panic, immediately wills the Nazgul to fly like hell to Mount Doom to retrieve it. And far away, as Frodo put on the Ring and claimed it for his own, even in Sammath ...


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