tolkiens legendarium - When did the Ring exercise its will?

It is said that the One Ring has a will of its own and can perform certain actions impossible for inanimate objects, most notably losing itself from Gollum to Bilbo. In hindsight, you could say that it had terrible judgement, since it indirectly placed itself in the possession of its destroyers.I vaguely remember the Ring exercising its will at many other points in the books though. At which points did the Ring do so, and what actions were these?...Read more

tolkiens legendarium - Does Gandalf have very limited powers compared to what we think of wizards today?

Comparing Gandalf with other wizards and their spells: fireballs, healing, magic items creation, teleportation, etc.Gandalf seems much more sword oriented than spell oriented. Were the ideas of a wizard not consolidated at the time of writing or is Gandalf a lot more powerful than he seems to be?My theory is that Tolkien started to advance the idea of a Wizard, before Gandalf we had only a few famous, Merlin, e.g....Read more

tolkiens legendarium - Did Sauron and Finrod Felagund really get into a singing fight?

In The Silmarillion, in the chapter "Of Beren and Lúthien", we read of what can only be called a singing fight, at least if we take the account at face value. I won't repeat it in its entirety, but here is a small sample of the text: [Sauron] chanted a song of wizardry, Of piercing, opening, of treachery, Revealing, uncovering, betraying. Then sudden Felagund there swaying Sang in answer a song of staying, Resisting, battling against power, Of secrets kept, strength like a tower...I don't want this to become a rant, but suffice it to sa...Read more

tolkiens legendarium - Where is the equator in Middle-earth?

In Unfinished Tales, the Essay on the Istari Aragorn claims to have penetrated the `far contries of Rhun and Harad where the stars are strange'.and then links to the appendix, item #10: The 'strange stars' apply strictly only to the Harad, and must mean that Aragorn travelled or voyaged some distance into the southern hemisphere.So where is the equator in Middle-earth? Certainly it must be south of the Harnen river and be off the canonical map(s)....Read more

tolkiens legendarium - Are there orcs who were well known before becoming one?

The primary means of creating Orcs (besides breeding if that is even possible) is to capture elves and men and through physical torture, forcefully shape them into one.Are there any named beings who are known to us before they were captured and turned into orcs, and how many/which of those survived the process?Edit: Does not have to be actual person-names. Identities such as titles etc. is accepted too, as long as they weren't purely anonymous....Read more

tolkiens legendarium - How many Balrogs were there?

There are guesstimates of their numbers ranging from as little as 3 all the way up to hundreds. Still other accounts say there were actually a thousand strong. We know five were 'killed' by Tuor, three by Ecthelion, and two score (40) by the warriors of the king's house. Combine those with the one disturbed in Moria in the TA, that makes at least 49 Balrogs.Is there any other indication in Tolkien's works of a total number or mentions of any others?...Read more

tolkiens legendarium - Magic and Men in Lord of the Rings

In both The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarilion, it is suggested thatmen can learn to use magic. Quotes demonstrating this follow:(from The Lord of the Rings): The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it, and he said: 'I am the Mouth of Sauron.' But it is told that he was a renegade, who came of the race of those that are named the Black Númenóreans; for they established their dwellings in Middle-earth during the years of Sauron's domination, and they worshippe...Read more