65 votes
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How powerful is Eru Ilúvatar?

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 ...
Adamant's user avatar
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50 votes

What was the first sentient race that awoke on Arda?

Ok, so here's what happened, in order: Eru Ilúvatar would create Elves and then Men in the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar. Aulë, not wanting to wait until the coming of the children to have ...
DisturbedNeo's user avatar
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50 votes
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Why does Isildur claim to have defeated Sauron when Gil-galad and Elendil did it?

Isildur may not be the most reliable narrator over here. Gollum acquired the ring by murdering his relative Déagol and taking it from him. He would later claim that it was a birthday present. ‘The ...
ibid's user avatar
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48 votes

What magical powers do balrogs have?

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 ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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46 votes
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What is the parentage of Gil-galad?

The short version is that Tolkien changed his mind on the subject repeatedly; at various points in the progression, Gil-galad has been descended from: Fëanor Finrod Fingon Orodreth, Finarfin's ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
46 votes

Did Tolkien come up with the Ents as he was writing Lord of the Rings, or before?

Tolkien did indeed create the Ents for The Lord of the Rings, only inserting them into The Silmarillion as he revised it later. From a relatively early point (probably following the hobbits' ...
Buzz's user avatar
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43 votes
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Distinguish the explanations of Galadriel's test in LotR

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 ...
Blackwood's user avatar
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43 votes

Why, in The Silmarillion, does Melkor disappear forever and leave Sauron to reign as some kind of "Melkor copy"?

Melkor and Sauron are both Ainur, beings which existed before the creation of the universe and, indeed, assisted in it. In brief, Iluvatar -- God with a capital G -- created the Ainur and asked them ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
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39 votes
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What were Fëanor's crimes?

Feanor's crimes were many. First, he spoke rebellious words against the Valar. Thus with lies and evil whisperings and false counsel Melkor kindled the hearts of the Noldor to strife; and of their ...
Shamshiel's user avatar
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38 votes

Who are the 2 most powerful entities to battle each other directly?

The battle between the 2 most powerful entities was before Melkor's first capture. After hiding in the deepest pits of Utumno, Tulkas went and wrestled with him and threw him down. But at the last ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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38 votes
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In what language did Túrin converse with Mîm?

Most likely Sindarin It was certainly not Khuzdul, as Mîm says they do not teach that tongue, futher, Mîm is described as initially speaking a foreign language: They have no name, save in the dwarf-...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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34 votes
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How tall are Aragorn and Elendil?

Elendil's height comes from the Unfinished Tales. In the Unfinished Tales, we are given one of the only measurements of the height of a person in all the works, that being of Elendil. Elendil is ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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32 votes
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Why wasn't Gandalf/Olórin head of the White Council

This is actually answered pretty straightforwardly in The Silmarillion, in the essay "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age": And Curunír (that was Saruman the White) was chosen to be ...
Matt Gutting's user avatar
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32 votes

Do you really need to read “The Silmarillion” before reading “The Children of Húrin”, “Beren and Lúthien” or “The Fall of Gondolin”?

It is not strictly necessary, but it is recommended The Silmarillion gives you an overview of the First Age. The Great Tales are stories that happen in the First Age, and they correspond to chapters ...
ibid's user avatar
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31 votes

In what language did Túrin converse with Mîm?

It would appear Mîm did indeed speak Sindarin, given this passage from Narn i Hîn Húrin from Unfinished Tales: Then Mîm clapsed Túrin about his knees, saying: "Mîm will be your friend, lord. At ...
chepner's user avatar
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30 votes

Why, in The Silmarillion, does Melkor disappear forever and leave Sauron to reign as some kind of "Melkor copy"?

The essence of the question seems to be about whether Morgoth will ever return, and the nature of Sauron, his chief servant. By the time of The Lord of the Rings, the depredations of Morgoth are ...
Buzz's user avatar
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28 votes
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Did a dragon ever attack the lands of Rohan or Gondor?

There are no recorded dragon attacks in any of Tolkien's writings on the geographic lands where Rohan and Gondor would eventually settle. This is not to necessarily say that it never happened, but one ...
ibid's user avatar
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27 votes
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Are beasts of burden in Middle-earth used by the Evil Forces considered inherently "evil"?

Some of Beasts of Burden are Probably Inherently Evil While Others Are Just Beasts Firstly, since your question references the movies, I would point out that the movie version of The Hobbit shows a ...
robopuppy's user avatar
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27 votes
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Why didn't Beren kill Morgoth when he had the chance?

Beren was a Hero Firstly, in the Legendarium, everything happens with accordance to the Music, fate is the main driver in the stories of Tolkien's Legendarium. More info on that can be found here but ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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27 votes
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Why did the Silmarils hurt Morgoth’s hand?

There is no evidence that the Silmarils were like the Ring or were in any way aware or that they had a built-in master. But this was not needed. Feanor made the Silmarils using, in part, light from ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
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25 votes
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Why was Ondolindë always referred to as Gondolin?

Tolkien, a Translator As I've stated previously, Tolkien envisioned himself, and the world around him, as part of Arda, and was therefore not an author creating a world, but a translator of histories ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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24 votes

What's the difference between the names Eru & Ilúvatar?

'Ilúvatar was the first beginning, and beyond that no wisdom of the Valar or of Eldar or of Men can go.' 'Who was Ilúvatar?' asked Eriol. 'Was he of the Gods?' 'Nay,' said Rúmil, 'that he was not, for ...
burcu's user avatar
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23 votes

Why does Isildur claim to have defeated Sauron when Gil-galad and Elendil did it?

From The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age": Then Gil-galad and Elendil passed into Mordor and encompassed the stronghold of Sauron; and they laid siege to it for seven ...
Lesser son's user avatar
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22 votes
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How could Gandalf find a Silmaril falling from Orthanc so easily?

He didn't find a Silmaril in Orthanc, he found a palantír: Will you, Aragorn, take the Orthanc-stone and guard it? It is a dangerous charge.' 'Dangerous indeed, but not to all,' said Aragorn. 'There ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
22 votes
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Did the Light of the Trees diminish after the creation of the Silmarils?

No ...Not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made...And the inner fire of the Silmarils Fëanor made of the blended light of thr Trees of Valinor... ...
Spencer's user avatar
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22 votes

What are all the prophecies in The Lord of the Rings?

I'm going to have a stab, although I make no promises about completeness. All the below prophecies were made at times of stress and all came true. Hobbit: none that I can recall LOTR: Boromir's dream, ...
Moriarty's user avatar
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21 votes

How was Eärendil's ship Vingilot able to fly?

"Flying" was not an unique trait to Vingilot. After the fall of Númenor the Valar reshaped the world, so that only elven ships following the "straight road" could reach the undying ...
HugoRune's user avatar
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21 votes
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How old did Gandalf appear to be when he came to Middle Earth?

He appeared elderly When the Istari (including Gandalf), first came to Middle-Earth, they were in the guise of old Men: Even as the first shadows were felt in Mirkwood there appeared in the west of ...
Adamant's user avatar
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21 votes
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Is there any solid evidence that Sauron was originally called Mairon?

Per Tolkien's writings on the languages of Middle-earth. Sauron's original name was Mairon, but this was altered after he was suborned by Melkor. But he continued to call himself Mairon the Admirable,...
Valorum's user avatar
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21 votes

What do the family relations between the Valar mean?

Siblinghood and marriage among the Valar come about because Eru Ilúvatar intends it. From The Silmarillion, toward the beginning of The Valaquenta: Manwë and Melkor were brethren in the thought of ...
Lesser son's user avatar
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