Questions tagged [j-r-r-tolkien]

For questions about the English author J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien or about any of his literary works, most famously The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and the other works making up the Middle-Earth legendarium.

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12
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3answers
2k views

Isn't Gríma Wormtongue a very… revealing name?

Something which strikes me both while reading the book and watching the movie is the very striking name "Wormtongue". He might as well be named "Evil Dude". He seems over-the-top ...
2
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0answers
65 views

If Sauron made The One ring, why couldn't he just make another, even better, instead of searching for the first?

As all of us who have read Silmarillion know, Sauron wasn't the original "Lord of Darkness". In fact, he is a much lesser, and later, one. Melkor (AKA "Morgoth") was the original. ...
3
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1answer
59 views

Where can I locate the letter J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to A.A. Milne?

AKA the author of Winnie the Pooh? This web page ( https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/JRRTolkien ) claims far far down that Tolkien once wrote a strongly worded letter to A.A. Milne ...
38
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2answers
10k views

Was the title “The Lord of the Rings” picked on purpose to be ambiguous?

In one sense, it might refer to "the lord of" the rings, as in the person or entity currently in possession of The One ring. In another way, it could (IMO) mean that The One ring is "...
2
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0answers
32 views

What Tolkien essentially means by “Fall, Mortality and The Machine”?

I recently started reading The Silmarillion, and came across the below passage in a letter Tolkien sent to Milton Waldman. "Anyway all this stuff is mainly concerned with Fall, Mortality, and the ...
7
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2answers
111 views

Was the One Ring's malevolent nature foreshadowed in the Hobbit? If so, how?

Tolkien's legendary series The Lord of the Rings is centered around a magical artifact known as the "One Ring", and part of this story recounts the tale of a Hobbit traveling to destroy this ...
3
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1answer
72 views

Why does Tolkien barely mention the Ring in terms of Frodo's physical handling of it?

As I'm approaching the end of The Two Towers, I'm increasingly frustrated by how, other than in the very beginning of the story in the first book, we never hear a single phrase such as: Frodo ...
3
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1answer
84 views

How is it possible that Sam only realizes that Gollum wants the Ring so very late?

At roughly page 277 (I'm reading a translation) of The Two Towers, where Gollum is talking to himself as Frodo is sleeping, it says: Sam had lain still, fascinated by this debate, but watching every ...
14
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6answers
4k views

Does Théoden actually say that he misses Gríma (his “old advisor”) at one point in The Two Towers?

At roughly page 155 of The Two Towers, assuming that the English original follows roughly the same page numbers as my rather sloppy Swedish translation from 1970, king Théoden mentions that he now ...
5
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2answers
100 views

Why did Gimli think that Gandalf would sneak around their camp in the middle of the night, not say a word and scare away their horses?

I'm a quarter into The Two Towers. Just before Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli enter the Ent woods, they camp outside in the night as they suddenly see a sketchy, strange old man standing there, not saying ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Is a fish “Alive with breath” or “Alive without breath”?

J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit contains many lovely riddles, posed in-universe by Gollum and Bilbo to each other. Most of them are original compositions by Tolkien himself, as he explained in one of ...
4
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1answer
193 views

How did the dwarves possibly “dig out” gigantic hallways in the mountains to create Moria with such “primitive” technology?

I've just come out from Moria with the Fellowship of the Ring. They didn't quite see or hear me, but I was hovering around there and mentally "saw" their journey through reading about it in ...
9
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2answers
4k views

What were the ages of Bilbo and Frodo for these six major plot points?

I recently begun re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm over halfway through The Fellowship of the Ring now. In spite of having the story in "fresh memory", I still can't remember the ...
7
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0answers
81 views

What exactly did the hobbits eat in the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring when journeying for many days?

Near the very end of the first part, it's mentioned that they now only have "old bread and dried fruit" left of their food, having wandered around for many days in the nothingness outside of ...
9
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1answer
124 views

In the middle part of The Fellowship of the Ring, how did Strider find and interpret that rock message supposedly from Gandalf?

Maybe this is explained later, and if so, please don't mention the resolution. However, if it's never mentioned again, I'd like to hear some reasoning. Basically, Strider leads the hobbits and that ...
1
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1answer
101 views

Is there something I'm missing about the numerous songs in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

I'm currently re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring (Swedish translation from 1971) after 20+ years. I'm 170 pages in. One thing that strikes me, and which I didn't remember at all, is the numerous ...
22
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2answers
4k views

Bilbo’s song of Eärendil in “The Fellowship of the Ring”

In The Fellowship of the Ring, the character Bilbo Baggins recites a poem beginning with these lines: Eärendil was a mariner that tarried in Arvernien; he built a boat of timber felled in Nimbrethil ...
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2answers
92 views

How was Thangorodrim “broken” in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

From The Fellowship of the Ring, book II, chapter II, page 273: 'And not so many, nor so fair, as when Thangorodrim was broken, and the Elves deemed that evil was ended for ever, and it was not so.' ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What did Elrond mean by telling the council “it is so ordered …”?

This phrase has been taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, book II, chapter II, page 271: Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, we must find ...
0
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1answer
167 views

What does “cheek” mean in the following phrase below in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

This is taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, book II, chapter 1, page 266: If he had the cheek to make verses about Eärendil in the house of Elrond, it was my affair.
4
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1answer
99 views

What did Bilbo mean by telling Frodo that Aragorn “thought the whole thing rather above my head”?

This phrase is taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, book II, chapter 1, page 265 (emphasis added): "You needn't," said Bilbo. "As a matter of fact it was all mine. Except that ...
1
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1answer
389 views

What is the meaning/significance of Aragorn putting a green stone into Bilbo's song?

This poem is taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, book II, chapter 1 (page 265): As a matter of fact it was all mine. Except that Aragorn insisted on my putting in a green stone.
3
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1answer
124 views

Meaning of lines from Bilbo's “Song of Eärendil” in “The Lord of the Rings”

This poem is taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, book II, chapter 1 (page 263): Through Evernight he back was borne on black and roaring waves that ran o'er leagues unlit and foundered shores that ...
16
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6answers
5k views

How could Thorin and co. journey all the way to Erebor without discussing how to deal with Smaug?

Thorin and co. with the hobbit take such an immense journey to Erebor as known to everyone who has read the book. But isn't it absurd that 14 men do undertake such a perilous journey without ever ...
0
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1answer
56 views

Meaning of “the throbbing air about him” in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

This phrase is taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, book II, chapter 1 (page 261): At first the beauty of the melodies and of the interwoven words in elven-tongues, even though he understood them ...
2
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1answer
187 views

Why did Bilbo tell himself “Wake up, indeed”?

This phrase is taken from The Fellowship of the Rings, Book II, Chapter 1 (page 258): Why, sitting and thinking. I do a lot of that nowadays, and this is the best place to do it in, as a rule. Wake ...
2
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1answer
76 views

What does “other light” mean in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

This phrase is taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter 1 "Many Meetings" (page 258): The doors were thrown open, and they went across a wide passage and through other doors, ...
2
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1answer
182 views

Meaning of “the morning will speed you upon your way” in “The Fellowship of the Ring”

From book 1, Chapter 8, of The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien: "There you'll find an old inn that is called The Prancing Pony. Barliman Butterbur is the worthy keeper. There you can ...
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1answer
156 views

What's the meaning of 'Spring' in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

From book 1, Chapter 6, of The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien: Then another clear voice, as young and as ancient as Spring, like the song of glad water flowing down into the night from ...
6
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1answer
3k views

What's the meaning of Tom Bombadil's poem?

From book 1, Chapter 6,of The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien: Tom Bombadil's Song Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow! Tom Bom, ...
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2answers
96 views

What is the meaning of “Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good.”?

From Book 1, Chapter 2, of The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien: Don't tempt me! For I don't wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity ...
0
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1answer
163 views

What's the meaning of “ leave him open to the summons ” in The Lord Of The Rings?

From book 1|Chapter 2 of The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien The Ring of the Enemy would leave its marks,too, leave him open to the summons. What is the meaning of the phrase in bold?
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2answers
221 views

What does “once removed either way” mean?

From Book I Chapter 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien: Mr. Drogo married poor Miss Primula Brandybuck. She was our Mr. Bilbo's first cousin on the mother's side (her mother being ...
0
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1answer
146 views

What does “set out fair and square” mean in the characterization of the Hobbits?

This is taken from from The Fellowship of the Ring prologue where JRRT lays out some of the characteristics of Hobbits: The genealogical trees at the end of the Red Book of Westmarch are a small ...
1
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1answer
171 views

What do “nothing that lived” and “doughty at bay” mean?

The following quote is from the chapter "Concerning Hobbits" in The Fellowship of the Ring: Though slow to quarrel, and for sport killing nothing that lived, they were doughty at bay, and at need ...
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2answers
245 views

What does “rough handling by grief” mean in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

From the Prologue ("Concerning Hobbits") to The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien: Nonetheless, ease and peace had left this people still curiously tough. They were, if it came to ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What does “they were in name his subjects” mean?

While there was still a king they were in name his subjects, but they were, in fact, ruled by their own chieftains and meddled not at all with events in the world outside. What does "they were in ...
0
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1answer
94 views

What does “reckoning of years” mean?

About this time legend among the Hobbits first becomes history with a reckoning of years. What does "reckoning of years" mean in this passage from The Lord of the Rings?
3
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1answer
347 views

What is the internal order of Christopher Tolkien's last three books in the Middle-earth legendarium?

Christopher John Reuel Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien's third son, died very recently. He is best know for editing and publishing materials he inherited from his father, including these three books: The ...
46
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7answers
8k views

What is Tom Bombadil's importance in The Lord of the Rings?

Tom Bombadil is definitely one of the weirdest characters in all of The Lord of the Rings, he just comes out of nowhere, stumbling upon Frodo and Sam while singing. His actions are just incredibly ...
14
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1answer
819 views

What was supposedly satanic about the Lord of the Rings?

From a comment on another recent question I learned that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have (in certain places and at certain times) been banned for supposedly satanic themes. A quick bit of ...
17
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1answer
558 views

What is the significance of Sauron never having a physical presence in the Lord of the Rings?

So I noticed that in Lord of the Rings Sauron acts as a very interesting villain. He never makes a corporeal appearance, nor does he have any acting dialogue. He's mentioned plenty of times through ...
6
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1answer
169 views

The origin of Tolkien's use of the term “hobbit”

In a footnote on page 29 of The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun Verlyn Flieger notes the word korigans appears in the 1891 compendium of folklore known as The Denham Tracts (Vol. II, p. 79) where it is ...
10
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3answers
710 views

Could Shelob have kept the ring for herself?

In the Lord of the Rings, Gollum/Smeagol’s plan is to lead Frodo and Sam into the pass of Cirith Ungol, where he was gonna leave them to be consumed by Shelob and take the ring from the remains. ...
3
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1answer
95 views

Where does Tolkein talk about hybridization of humans and other beings, in “On Fairy Stories”?

Where does Tolkien talk about hybridization of humans and other beings, in "On Fairy Stories"? I just re-read it, and can't find the spot. Is it just a small mention, related to the Frog Prince or ...
5
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1answer
398 views

“What a piece of work is man” - echo in The Lord of the Rings?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, after Gandalf tells Frodo the story of the One Ring and challenges him to destroy it, Frodo looks at the ring and we read this description: how rich and beautiful was ...
5
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2answers
478 views

How much did The Lord of the Rings cost when it was first published in 1954/1955?

What was the original price (first edition/first printing by Allen & Unwin, London) of The Lord of the Rings books when they were first sold in 1954/1955?
15
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4answers
453 views

Is it a common theme in (western) storytelling that the antagonists are located to the east?

I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this question. I was reading some Lord of the Rings-lore the other day and it got me thinking about the location of "evil" in storytelling. In LOTR, ...
14
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3answers
899 views

In what way is The Lord of the Rings metafiction?

As a student, I read metafictional novels such as Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino. When I checked the Wikipedia article Metafiction, I found, much ...
8
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1answer
78 views

What is the “Eastern wolf” in this poem?

I'm reading through J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur and in I.29 - I.33 it says [...] But what foe dareth war here to wake or the walls assail of this island-realm while Arthur liveth, ...