Avner Shahar-Kashtan
  • Member for 9 years, 11 months
  • Last seen more than a week ago
Why was Gandalf afraid of the Balrog of Morgoth?
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203 votes

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. ...

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Given a magical world, why is the Quibbler ridiculous?
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145 votes

Magic, in the wizarding world, is certainly powerful. To us, coming from the outside, it might seem like it can do anything. But it can't, due to various rules and stipulations we only know in part. ...

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Why hasn't Captain America been promoted?
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105 votes

Because rank follows job Army rank isn't just a question of experience, heroics or capabilities. It's not like going up a level in a D&D game. After a certain point, an officer's rank implies his ...

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Do Lord of the Rings or The Silmarillion pass the Bechdel test?
81 votes

All in all, the Lord of the Rings novels have even fewer scenes featuring women than the movies do, and the few that do show up (Arwen, Eowyn, Galadriel, Goldberry and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, and I ...

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What is the picture on the front of this edition of "The Two Towers"?
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78 votes

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 ...

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Why (and since when) is the name "Sol" used instead of "The Sun"?
76 votes

First of all, using "Sol" is basically like saying "Sun" - it's the Roman name for the Sun god and for the sun itself. Secondly, it's a common name for our sun (and by association, our solar system), ...

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Did Gandalf have a teacher/mentor?
74 votes

Gandalf is not a "wizard" in the classical fantasy sense of the word, one whose power and wisdom is learned in dusty towers poring over old books. He is a divine being, one of the Maiar, whose very ...

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What are Witches (if any) in Middle-earth?
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68 votes

In Tolkien's little conceit, the characters themselves aren't speaking English, but rather speaking Westron, a language he invented that's derived from Old English, and it is only he, the narrator, ...

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Is Legolas in The Hobbit Book?
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62 votes

No, Legolas does not appear in the original text of the Hobbit, even though Thorin's company does go through Mirkwood and meet the Wood-Elves and their king. In fact, the King isn't even named in ...

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What is the relationship between Beleriand in the Silmarillion and Middle-earth in Lord of the RIngs?
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57 votes

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, originally taken ...

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I am looking for a science fiction story were three guys plot to kill an old drunk in a bar for insurance but the old man can't be killed
56 votes

I don't know of any story or episode that contained this, but there is a true story that's very similar: the story of Michael Malloy, or Mike the Durable: Michael Malloy (1873 – February 22, 1933), ...

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What is the first reference to an internet of computers in science fiction?
55 votes

One of the earliest examples of something similar, and one often hailed as the earliest mention of many modern concepts, is E. M. Forster's The Machine Stops from 1909. The story envisions a post-...

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Who is the original in the movie The Prestige?
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53 votes

Since we see that Tesla's device clones objects at a distance, it stands to reason that it's the original that is drowned and killed, while the clone lives. However, I don't think it really matters, ...

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Why was the riddle on the way to Moria written in Elvish?
52 votes

@StuWilson and @Micah gave you the in-universe explanation, but I wanted to add an external, narrative reason. One of Tolkien's main themes in LotR and the Third Age was the estrangement of peoples ...

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Why didn't the elves take the Ring after the Council of Elrond?
51 votes

I disagree with both of your basic premises. I don't think the Elves of Lorien had much military might at all. They had the border patrols, like the one that found the Fellowship at the borders, but ...

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What are the advantages of breeding Uruk-hai for Saruman?
50 votes

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 ...

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How did Bilbo Baggins find the One Ring exactly?
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49 votes

I don't think those three stories are particularly different. They all share the same core: Bilbo gets lost in the caves beneath the Misty Mountains, where he finds the Ring, after it was dropped by ...

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Why did Andy say these words while eating cake?
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45 votes

The "cake" in question is Baklava, a popular sweet around the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. It's clear, watching the scene, that Andy greatly enjoys it, and from the formal way ...

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Is it possible that Middle-earth was overpopulated?
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45 votes

Elves live for thousands of years, but check out their birth rate. Longevity often comes at reverse corrolation to fecundity, and Middle Earth is no different. Elrond has been around for millenia, ...

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What’s the meaning of Hogwarts motto?
44 votes

I think it's a Wizarding-world equivalent of the English idiom "let sleeping dogs lie" (though I like the Hebrew equivalent better, which translates as "Don't wake the demons from their nap"). But ...

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Who did the Elves think Annatar (Sauron) was?
42 votes

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. ...

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What happened to Seneca Crane at the end of the movie?
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42 votes

Seneca Crane, the Head Gamemaker, was the one responsible for producing the Hunger Games. He's the one who thought of the trick to announce two winners, and then withdraw that rule, to further excite ...

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Why can Arwen decide her mortality?
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42 votes

For this, we need to go back a lot - ages back - and examine Arwen's parentage, and the Lay of Leithian, the story of Beren and Lúthien. This is a rather long story (the longest in the Silmarillion, I ...

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He is a wolf during the night and she is a crow during the day
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41 votes

This is almost certainly the 1985 classic Ladyhawke. I'm guessing you're remembering the "crow" part wrong, since everything else matches perfectly. From Wikipedia's Plot summary (emphases ...

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Significance of 'Mortal Men'
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40 votes

The Doom of Man, the mortality of humans, is a recurring theme in Tolkien's writing. The Elves, of course, are immortal. They don't die in flesh from natural causes, only from violence (or heartbreak)...

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Melkor or Morgoth?
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39 votes

Both names refer to the same person; Melkor is the first name he was known by, while Morgoth is a name given to him by his enemies. Melkor, the original name, is the one he had from the very ...

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Was Harry Potter inspired by The Lord of the Rings?
38 votes

Because both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings borrow from folklore and mythology, they would necessarily share many elements. And when we cherry-pick the ones that seem to match, it makes it feel ...

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Is there an Upper- and a Lower-earth along with Middle-earth?
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37 votes

Until someone comes along with a better answer based explicitly on Tolkien's writing, I will simply suggest the link to the Norse Midgard. Remember that Tolkien drew a lot of inspiration from Nordic ...

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Why do Tolkien's wizards look Human, and not Elven?
33 votes

In addition to @cfrei89's excellent answer, it should be noted that the Istari first appeared in Middle Earth at around the year 1000 of the Third Age. By this time (as can be seen in The Tale of ...

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel: Why is Spike on the cover of both?
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30 votes

How many seasons have you seen of both shows? Spike is an important major character in both, at some points. Also, Spike's cool.

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