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98

Canon One of the opening paragraphs of "The Istari", an essay printed in Unfinished Tales, largely answers this (emphasis mine): [The Wizards] came from over the Sea out of the Uttermost West; though this was for long known only to Círdan, Guardian of the Third Ring, master of the Grey Havens, who saw their landings upon the western shores. Emissaries ...


94

There's a couple of nice quotes from text 10 of the "History of Middle Earth" (Morgoth's Ring) that directly address the issue of orc immortality and orc lifespans: "They needed food and drink, and rest, though many were by training as tough as Dwarves in enduring hardship. They could be slain, and they were subject to disease; but apart from these ills ...


87

Short version: The rights to "The Silmarillion" belong to Tolkien estate Peter Jackson's movie adaptations were NOT positively recieved by the estate, especially Christopher Tolkien. He expressed that directly to Jackson, and Jackson stated so in an interview. From the article linked below: Christopher Tolkien, the son of J.R.R. Tolkien and the editor ...


80

Who is more powerful, the President of the United States or the marine guarding him? In personal one-on-one combat I'm certain the marine would defeat the President. However, it is the President that commands the military of the United States. Similarly, other Middle-earth creatures may have been more powerful individually (Balrog, Dragons, etc) but ...


69

No, Tolkien never uses the word "volcano" to describe Orodruin. The closest he comes is "Mountain of Fire", an epithet (note the capitalization) that gets frequently applied to it. In Fellowship, for example (emphasis mine): Then all listened while Elrond in his clear voice spoke of Sauron and the Rings of Power, and their forging in the Second Age of ...


65

Eru created the Ainur and they sang the world into existence, presumably including Tom Bombadil so yes, the Ainur would be the eldest after Eru. Since Bombadil is in essence an Earth elemental and tightly tied to Middle Earth, he could only be as old as the world itself and so younger than the Ainur (and the Maia like Gandalf). Another contender would be ...


62

Creation of living thinking beings is explicitly something that can only be done by Eru. Even when Aulë tried, in creating the Dwarves, he succeeded only in creating puppets, until Eru himself gave them life. There is no reason to think that Melkor would have been able to do this, even if he had tried.


61

Eru is far and away the most powerful entity in the legendarium Why? Well (All quotes are from the Silmarillion)... Eru created the Ainur There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. The plan for the ...


59

This blog post from 2011 discusses Gimli and Feanor, and their requests of Galadriel, in a bit more detail. There's some comparisons to Aule's creation of the dwarves, as well as a reference to a letter that may perhaps contain an answer: In a letter that invites us to see the exchange between Galadriel and Gimli against the back-drop of the earlier ...


51

The best answer one can give is "it depends". First question: are we counting as of the beginning of the series, or as of the end? Or are we looking for the longest-lived character, regardless of whether or not they're still alive by the time of the books? If we count everyone who appears in the trilogy or the Silmarillion, then it would be Eru (i.e. the ...


51

I can find no prose version of this story; it didn't change very much across revisions, so it doesn't get a lot of treatment in History of Middle-earth (aside from the longer version of the Lay in The Lays of Beleriand, which is where the poetry excerpt in the published Silmarillion is taken from). The nearest to prose I can find is the line immediately ...


51

Ok, so here's what happened, in order: Eru Ilúvatar would create Elves and then Men in the coming of the children of Iluvatar. Aulë, not wanting to wait until the coming of the children to have beings to whom he could teach his crafts, created 7 Dwarves in secret. But Aulë did not actually have the power to create life, so these Dwarves were not technically ...


50

Perhaps the best answer is why do we need to define Orcs as having a single origin? It is possible that all of these answers are correct or none of them are. Tolkien may have decided there may have simply been a number of ways Orcs came into existence. From purely a scientific point of view, there have been at least three different hominid species to have ...


49

There is no canon answer to this. As you point out, literally the only description we have of this is that Before the rising of the sun Eärendil slew Ancalagon the Black, the mightiest of the dragon-host, and cast him from the sky; and he fell upon the towers of Thangorodrim, and they were broken in his ruin. (The Silmarillion, Chapter 24, "Of the ...


48

It is not known. We do not know what he did during the whole duration War of the Ring or afterwards. Tolkien doesn't have any mention of him. We do know that by mistake he had Gandalf captured by Saruman By the time of the War of the Ring Radagast did not dwell any more in Rhosgobel. In summer T.A. 3018 Saruman told Radagast that he was willing to help ...


46

According to The Silmarillion, Sauron was weakened after killing Gil-Galad and Elendil. That allowed Isildur to make the "Coup de Grace" of cutting off the Ring. Peter Jackson's version is actually pretty close to what Tolkien wrote. Here's the relevant passage from The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age: Then Gil-galad and Elendil ...


46

As Daniel Roseman says, the ability to create what Tolkien calls "rational incarnate" life is solely given to Eru Ilúvatar, the capital-G God of Tolkien's Legendarium. No matter how hard he tried, Morgoth simply didn't have the power to grant souls to his creations. Tolkien draws an explicit comparison to Aulë and his dwarves in an essay printed in Morgoth's ...


46

Magic in Middle-earth is rather different to "conventional" magic. One must first remember that what one often thinks of as magic as used in other systems (like Harry Potter or D&D) was not prevalent in Tolkien's Middle-earth. As Tolkien himself says in Letter 155, it is a complex matter, and that his works used it far too casually. Stating that it's "...


43

I was about to answer in depth, but then an image search showed me an existing answer online, though there's quite a bit of extraneous text there. I'll borrow the maps from that blog: This is a map of Beleriand, in the first age. Conveniently, the Blue Mountains are circled: And now a map of Middle Earth in the third age: These are the same Ered Luin, ...


41

Not all the Valar are 'paired'. Neither Nienna nor Ulmo have spouses. So the idea of a 'female counterpart' is much weaker than you might think. The Valar who are espoused do not necessarily have complementary functions. My memory is that the 'pairing' of the Valar was done after Melkor's rebellion. In other words, as I understand it, there were Ainur, both ...


41

There's no reason to assume that the elves, even Celebrimbor and the wisest of Eregion, would assume that any knowledgeable stranger would be suspicious, or even that he would necessarily be a Maia. The main characters in the books Tolkien wrote are Valar and Maiar, Elves, Men and Dwarves, but they're not the only ones in the world. It's unclear what ...


41

Correcting some Misconceptions There are a couple of misconceptions in the question (and the ensuing discussion in comments) that I want to clear up before moving on: Galadriel can actually do this. Well, I mean, obviously she can; she does...in the movie. But this is an exaggeration of the Jacksonverse that has limited (but not no) support from the text. ...


41

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 ...


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