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".


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.


123

"Shelob" probably wasn't her name Fun fact, Sam's name is actually Banazîr and his father Ham is Ranugad. Tolkien's stories are meant to be translations of old books into English. He did, however, take certain liberties as to how to translate names. "Shelob" is a simple compound word containing she, for "female", and lob, an archaic word for "spider", ...


104

The defenders had a bunch of things going for them. First, they had nowhere to run. This is the situation Sun Zu called Desperate or Death Ground. "死地則戰" or "on desperate ground, fight". A shaky army, such as made of civilian militia, may fight ferociously if they have no other hope. This is part of Theoden's gambit of taking his people to Helm's Deep. ...


101

This was ad-libed by John Rhys-Davies, the voice actor for Treebeard It is stated by Peter Jackson in the commentary track of The Two Towers Extended Edition that John Rhys-Davies would often throw in ad-libbed lines that sounded quite nice. This is an example of one. Peter: The line at the end of this scene was an ad-lib of John’s, when he says, “I ...


96

The battle was all but lost until Gandalf turned up with the forest of Huorns, who proceeded to swallow up the Orcs altogether and scare the Dunlendings into surrender. The defenders themselves had no hope that they would win: Theoden remarks before setting out that it "seems like to be my last riding", is he would probably be killed.


90

Tolkien Gateway says: Tolkien came up with the title under deadline pressure and later expressed dissatisfaction with it. In letters and one sketch he considered several possible sets of towers, including Minas Tirith and the Barad-dûr, and even the possibility of leaving the matter ambiguous. However, he eventually settled on Orthanc and Minas Morgul and ...


89

Classically, south-facing gardens get the most light (in northern hemisphere gardens, that is). Treebeard is referring to being drawn by the increased sunlight coming from that direction. Update from the comments: the effect known as phototropism (thank you Edlothiad) has plants growing in the direction of their light source. So the Ents would seem to be ...


79

The whole fortification complex at Helm's Deep was not only meant to defend itself, but also, and mainly, to protect the whole valley from external threats. Technically speaking, Helm's Deep was the name of the valley where the Hornburg, the actual fortress, was built. The fortress itself was comprised by the proper stronghold and by a connected wall (the ...


75

The painting is known as "The Dark Tower", by John Howe. Howe is one of the greatest Tolkien illustrators, and worked with Jackson on the movies' art direction. Originally painted in 1990 for the 1991 Tolkien Calendar, the image depicts Sauron's tower of Barad Dur, in Mordor, with a Lovecraftian spin (it was based on an early Lovecraft-inspired painting ...


73

My reading of that line requires you to imagine the perspective of the Rohirrim. They're in the west, watching a huge, unnatural storm front move in from the east. Assuming that it's around mid-day (or at least not first thing in the morning), the sun will have risen into the sky (from the east). But the storm front, like a wall of cloud, is now moving in ...


68

As has been pointed out, no Elves fight at the battle of Helm's Deep in the book1. However, there is a way of justifying this, and it comes down to the succession of the High Kingship of the Noldor2, 3. The most correct answer is that Elrond had been given special authority by the last High King, Gil-galad, following Sauron's expulsion from Eriador: At ...


68

I always thought of it this way: Gandalf knows that in a contest of wills between Saruman and Sauron, Sauron won. He has no reason to believe he's that much stronger than Saruman. That answers the question as asked. However consider the risks. Sauron is no fool. He knows who Gandalf is, and possibly his greatest fear is that Gandalf will claim the ring for ...


67

The key is that Gandalf the White and Gandalf the Grey aren't quite the same person. The Gandalf that Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli knew died, and the being that came back was similar, but not quite exactly the same; as Tolkien writes in Letter 156: Gandalf really 'died', and was changed: for that seems to me the only real cheating, to represent anything ...


54

The orcs from the White Tower had just started a fight/finished killing the orcs from Mordor (Morgul) so they mean they are going to eat the dead orcs. It’s funny because right before that, the orc that was just killed wants to eat the hobbits. MAÚHUR I'm starving. We ain't 'ad nothin' but ...


52

“Shelob” may be a name of the orcs’ invention Shelob is what the orcs call her, not necessarily her real or original name. ‘You won’t go again, you say? Curse you, Snaga, you little maggot! If you think I’m so damaged that it’s safe to flout me, you’re mistaken. Come here, and I’ll squeeze your eyes out, like I did to Radbug just now. And when some ...


50

You are comparing the Uruk-Hai to humans or elves, which isn't a very relevant comparison. Instead, compare them to the other breeds of orcs that serve Sauron, which the Uruk-Hai were bred as a replacement for. Here is a confrontation between the Uruk-Hai and some northern Orcs. Uglúk is the Uruk-Hai, Grishnákh is the northern Orc. Emphases are mine. (Book ...


49

There is always some risk in being merciful The question quotes the discussion between Théoden and the others about what to do with Wormtongue. It is clear from that discussion that they are aware that Wormtongue may cause problems if he is allowed to go free. Théoden lets him go as an act of mercy in recognition of his earlier service, giving him one last ...


48

The War against the Dunlendings, TA 2758 A Dunlending man Freca, claiming descent from King Fréawine, rode to Meduseld and asked for King Helm's daughter's hand for his son Wulf. Helm, however, mocked him and killed Freca in Meduseld. His people fled for a while. However, four years later they were to return and the battle is detailed below: Four years ...


47

They landed in a lake that's not, as far as I can tell, explicitly named, but is basically the deepest part of Middle-Earth. As Ash notes in a comment, Gandalf says this about it: "Thither I came at last, to the uttermost foundations of stone". And: "at last he fled into dark tunnels. They were not made by Durin's folk...Far, far below the deepest ...


47

Transcribed by hand "That's that!" said Sam. What we I expected. And I don't like it. I suppose now we are just exactly where he wanted to bring us. Well, let's get moving away as quick as we can. The treacherous worm! That loud whistle of his wasn't pure joy at getting out of the tunnel, it was pure wickedness of some sort. And what sort we'll soon know. ...


44

I don't remember for sure in the movies, but in the book, Gandalf tells Frodo a great deal of the tale of Smeagol while Frodo is still in the Shire. (He does this in the context of telling him about the Ring and its history, and why Frodo will have to leave for Rivendell or somewhere else.) Additionally, Gandalf tells the full story to the Council of Elrond ...


44

It looks to be The Witch King of Angmar and his fell beast chilling out outside Barad-Dur. The same image is on The Lord of The Rings' wiki with the title: John Howe - The Dark Tower


44

The Deeping Wall protects the Deep behind the Keep, this is the only escape for the Defenders What you seem to be misunderstanding is the layout of Helm's Deep. The Wall, defended the actual "Helm's Deep" The space we can see middle of the picture between the two rocks. The Hornburg, the castle you seem to think they're talking about, is impenetrable, but ...


41

It doesn't need to be activated by the words. It's activated when a person of strong spirit (and hope) wields it. Seen in the case of Frodo when he first remembers of the Phial: 'The star-glass?' muttered Frodo, as one answering out of sleep.... 'Why yes! Why had I forgotten it? A light when all other lights go out! And now indeed light alone can help ...


41

tl;dr: It's just a funny* line of PJ's. * Your funny mileage may vary. From an in-universe perspective, I agree with Himarm's answer. From an out-of-universe point of view, we can add that the line, together with the whole dismemberment scene, comes from an idea of Peter Jackson's. Quoting from the production and post-production comment track in The Two ...


40

Something perhaps worth emphasizing here is that that film dialogue is not a very accurate paraphrase of the book. As already noted in another answer, the book's quote, spoken by Faramir, is: I should now take you back to Minas Tirith to answer there to Denethor, and my life will justly be forfeit, if I now choose a course that proves ill for my city. So ...


36

The page in question is from Tolkien's first draft of what would eventually become Book IV Chapter 8 of The Two Towers, which Christopher Tolkien dates to May-ish of 1944. The original page, according to HoME, is in Oxford's Bodelian Library. Christopher Tolkien transcribed this page in History of Middle-earth VIII: The verso of the page, numbered '[7]', ...


35

He has a number of problems. Sauron is known to be gathering an army in Mordor to launch an assault on Minas Tirith, which nobody reasonably expects to be able to survive for more than a short while. Meanwhile Saruman is known (from Gandalf) to be a traitor, and is building/breeding his own army of Uruk-Hai who regularly raid Rohan. To make matters worse, ...


35

Gandalf never reveals all of his powers, but some sort of telepathy is clearly one of them. "I bent my thought upon him, bidding him to make haste; for yesterday he was far away in the south of this land. Swiftly may he bear me back again!" And Hasufel and Arod were with him because they had run off just the night before to hang out! "Now I understand ...


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