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What did Tolkien write about the beard style of male dwarves other than of Thorin and Co (and Gimli)?

So far as I know, the only thing Tolkien specified about other dwarves' beards was in the description of Dain's army as they arrive at the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit. (Certainly, this is the only ...
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2 votes

Was Sauron's body destroyed before or after the ring was cut from his hand?

A new answer to a very old question, but I stumbled on some relevant material that does not appear to be mentioned elsewhere... Sauron's body was still in existence after Isildur took the Ring. Of the ...
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1 vote

Do we know if Gollum/Sméagol was called to the Halls of Mandos?

I think this is entirely unclear in the available text. Once you start prodding, a host of related questions arise. Gandalf tells Frodo that continued wearing of the one ring by a mortal would ...
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21 votes
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Did Sauron ever consider that the Valar and/or Eru Ilúvatar may not allow him to conquer Middle-earth?

Sauron could not, of course, be a 'sincere' atheist. Though one of the minor spirits created before the world, he knew Eru, according to his measure. He probably deluded himself with the notion that ...
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0 votes

What is the true origin of the Orcs?

At the point in the story where Sauron realizes that the Ring is at Mount Doom and is in imminent peril, it is stated that the orcs had wills only when Sauron (their master) was pushing his will into ...
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119 votes

What does Gandalf the White mean by his strange speech about Boromir?

What Gandalf has to say probably has to be understood from Tolkien's religious point of view. The Lord of the Rings is subtly—but significantly—influenced by the author's devout Catholicism, ...
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2 votes
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Where were the Three during the Last Alliance?

Once Sauron forged the One, the wearers of the other rings heard him intone the words inscribed on the Master Ring as he took control over them. It is unknown who was wearing the lesser rings at this ...
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5 votes
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How to translate "The Eye of Sauron is always watching" to Black Speech?

That phrase cannot be translated into Tolkien's Black Speech because Tolkien never created translations for any of those words. Tolkien created a grand total of around 32 words of Black Speech. None ...
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2 votes

What were the giant rock throwing creatures in "The Hobbit"?

Note: this answer largely copied from an answer I wrote on Literature Stack Exchange; since that question is very related to this one, I figured I'd place it here as well for reference. (The relevant ...
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39 votes

Is there a longer audio clip than this where Tolkien discusses the Eagles?

The clip you linked is not an actual recording of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a person on YouTube doing an impression of Tolkien as a joke. I thought this was pretty obvious by both the voice (which sounds ...
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13 votes

Is there a longer audio clip than this where Tolkien discusses the Eagles?

If you scroll down into the comments below that video, you'll learn that the individual who posted it (Asher Puls) has stated that this is a satirical impersonation. JD It’s a shame that this isn’t ...
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8 votes
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Translation for a LOTR tattoo

With contributions from and credit to @Yasskier and @Little Pickle, "Until the stars are all alight" is a line from "A Walking Song" which was was the name given to the song that ...
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4 votes

Translation for a LOTR tattoo

Be warned that most online "translators" don't really translate. They don't even do proper transliteration. This, for example, mentioned in the comments, is NOT a Sindarin translator as it ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Where did the Elves go when they said they were leaving Middle-earth?

When Elves become weary of their years in Middle-earth (or just too burdened with Sea-longing), they take ship from the Grey Havens to Valinor (also known as the Undying Lands), the home of the Valar ...
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1 vote

How much did the livelihood of the Rohirrim rely on agriculture?

In a word, the livelihood of the Rohirrim relied on agriculture "wholly" or perhaps "totally" and to what are you comparing that? Hunting-gathering? Nomadic life has almost nothing ...
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20 votes

How much did the livelihood of the Rohirrim rely on agriculture?

The only relevant quote I can think of from LoTR itself is from Book 3, Chapter 7, Helm's Deep, where Théoden regrets that Saruman's army is burning the countryside behind them: ‘They bring fire,’ ...
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1 vote

Why did both Frodo and Aragorn keep Gollum a secret for seemingly no reason?

Adding to the other answer, since there can only be speculation on this answer : For Aragorn, another plausible reason may be that he felt confident in his own capabilities to defend Frodo from Gollum ...
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3 votes

Why did both Frodo and Aragorn keep Gollum a secret for seemingly no reason?

A plausible answer -- Tolkien does not give a reason -- is that Aragorn hoped to capture Gollum and needed to not scare him off. Had he told the Company, "Gollum -- you know, the one who hates ...
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10 votes

What exactly did Galadriel fear/know/assume would happen if she had accepted the Ring?

The Ring corrupts according to the nature of the person wearing it. The greater the wearer is, the greater the corruption. And Galadriel is great indeed -- one of the greatest of all the Elves, ...
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1 vote

Was Tolkien implying (heat/locomotive) engines in The Lost Road?

The most straightforward reading of that passage does appear to be that it is indeed a description of ironclad steamships. In support of this idea, I can refer to another passage, from chapter four ...
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-1 votes

Why were the Hobbit and Lord of the Ring movies released in reverse order to the books?

The Hobbit arrived first in my social circle in circa late 70's. Intrigued with the following LOTR book, borrowed in the same circle, after a bite to eat, each and every work date night, I read it ...
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0 votes

Where is the place Gandalf tells the Witch-king to go?

I think that this question is more complicated than it looks and several of the answers -- while thoughtful and well-researched -- may be trying to make things too simple and to deduce the best ...
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7 votes

Why did Tar-Calion listen to Sauron and become so evil?

There are two reasons behind Ar-Pharazon's initial decision to take Sauron prisoner (the Adunaic name is used more widely than the Quenya (Tar-Calion), so I'll use the former). The first is pride. Ar-...
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3 votes

Why not march over Rivendell and take the ring?

He apparently lacked the strength. 'The the Nine had indeed arisen I felt assured, apart from the words of Saruman which might be lies. Long ere I came to Isengard I had heard tidings by the way that ...
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11 votes
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What counts as being "given" the One Ring?

With respect to the One Ring, the difference between giving and taking seems to break down. Sauron didn't give it to Isildur. The latter took it. Isildur didn't give it to anyone. It fell off as he ...
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0 votes

Why didn't Gollum grow old and die after he lost the One Ring to Bilbo?

Another point to consider: a number of times, some speak of the 'ring wanting to return to its master; purposefully abandoning Ilsidor; having a will of its own'. Then, it did not expect to be ...
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6 votes

Were the Dwarves in the Music of the Ainur?

It's implicit, but Yes Perhaps the single most important passage for the comprehension of Tolkien's mythology is something Ilúvatar says at the end of Ainulindalë: "Thou shalt see that no theme ...
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