Questions about Middle Earth
This forum is for those with question's about Tolkien's world and those who wish to answer them. Thus, we can all help each other better our writting and understanding of the Canon.
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The Hobbit was written primarily as a children's story and was not, originally, supposed to be connected with The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. That's why everything seems less complicated, the Elves behave strangely (in comparison to the more serious Elves of Tolkien's other writings) and there are goblins instead of orcs. "Goblin" is a more commonly used word than "Orc" so it would be easier for a younger reader to identify it and understand that these creatures are bad- there are lots of references to goblins (or goblin-like creatures) in other fairy stories after all and they are not usually portrayed in a very flattering light. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it was not until subsequent drafts and revisions of The Hobbit were made that references to the wider mythology (like Glamdring coming from Gondolin) were added. That could be why the word "goblin" is used in place of "orc" in The Hobbit. As to the difference between goblins and orcs, I'm pretty sure that there is no diffrence (or very little fundamental difference) as both words seem to be used interchangably in The Lord of the Rings. I was under the impression that the term "goblin" was used more often to desribe the smaller breeds of orcs, those from the Misty Mountains in particular, but that's the only distinction that I could find.
7/24/2006 #31
Agent Motiel
I think goblins can walk underneath the sun without weakening.
7/31/2006 #32
Nope, if you read the goblin-scenes in The Hobbit, you'll see they couldn't. (Or maybe I'm mistaken, I've only read a translation of the book, and there are many small details that get lost in a translation.)
7/31/2006 #33
The balrog really died right?
7/31/2006 #34
Yes, Gandalf killed it beyond all hope of recovery. Gandalf died too, but he was sent back to Middle-earth by the Valar. The balrog wasn't so lucky.
8/11/2006 #35
I am glad the balrog is dead!
8/13/2006 #36
Comet Wong
Were the Balrogs Ainur? In the Complete Guide to Middle Earth, Ainur defined were the Valar the Maiar whose job it was was to create and protect Middle-earth, but there were some Ainur who came to Arda to spread darkness or something like the question is Are Balrogs Ainur?
11/14/2006 #37
Elariel Erestorion
The balrogs were ainur yes, more specifically they were Maiar closely linked with fire. It is said in the Silmarillion (or HoME I can remember which)that they were akin to the Maiar who sails the ship of Anor.
11/14/2006 #38
Comet Wong
So they could have easily been more powerful than Sauron or with equal power with him, since Sauron is a Maia?...what about the Istari?...I know they are some form of Maia, yet Gandalf wasn;t as powerful as Sauron...or is there a distribution of power amongst Maia like that of the Valar? (i.e. Manwe and Varda being the strongest, then Ulmo and Yavanna, then Aule and Nienna...etc.) I have not paired them according to marriage, just in terms of thier power amongst the Valar...
11/16/2006 #39
Elariel Erestorion
Sauron was the strongest of Morgoth's servants so although in rank he was equal to the Balrogs he was more powerful. The Istari were chosen because they were Sauron's equals. As far as Gandalf being less powerful then Sauron I think that has to do with two things. 1)When the Istari were sent they were told that they were not gain rank over the peoples of middle earth by shows of power and they were limited by their rayment as old men. 2)There were some powers that Gandalf would not use for ethical reasons. Yes there is a spectrum of power among the Maiar, think about Eonwe for example.
11/17/2006 #40
Comet Wong
Oh yeah...I forgot about that part in number 1...okay that helps...thankz...But there were many Maia in Valinor right? Although the specific names of these Maia were limited...we have Melian, Osse, Uinen, Arien...etc.
11/17/2006 #41
Elariel Erestorion
An exact number was never given but the impression was given that there were a fair number. For more information see the Valaquenta in the Silmarillion.
11/19/2006 #42
So, I was flipping through this forum and came across this nifty verse and comment: [q]It is stated that elves, as the elder children were the first to awaken. If you look at the long list of ents They name off the creatures in the order they awoke. Eldest of all, the elf-children; Dwarf the delver, dark are his houses; Ent the earthborn, old as the mountains; Man the Mortal, master of horses:[/q] But, Ents were the first to "awaken" before the elves. They were created by Yavanna during the ending of Creation and were the tree shepherds and protected the forests before the Valar fled to Aman after the Lamps were kicked over. They weren't really "sentient" beings until the Elves taught them to talk and such. Much like how animals are extremely smart and such but until you can tach them to communicate with you they are really only animals. Not that the Ents are animals so much as living trees... And I'm rambling so I'll shut up.
12/10/2006 #43
Elariel Erestorion
The condition put on the awakening of the ents was the same as that placed on the the awakening of the dwarves, they were not allowed to awaken until after the elves awoke. That verse is Tolkien-verse taken directly from The Two Towers. They were created by Yavanna but not until after she found out that Aule had created Dwarves. She feared for the forest because her mate had created something that did not have a great love for those things that grew. In responce to her fears Manwe told her that she would creat the ents to protect the flora and that his eagles would protect the fauna of Middle Earth. I don't think that the elves taught them to speak so much as they taught them to speak in the manner of the children of Illuvatar. I believe that they were sentient (thinking) beings who could communicate amongst themselves in other ways prior to that. I hope that helps explain my comments that you quoted.
12/11/2006 #44
Friendly Legolas Sporker
Ok. The leader of the wargs. Speciffically the leader of the wargs who attaced Bilbo in the Hobbit wasa there any mention to his name???
6/25/2007 #45
Friendly Legolas Sporker
Ok. The leader of the wargs. Speciffically the leader of the wargs who attaced Bilbo in the Hobbit wasa there any mention to his name???
6/25/2007 #46
Comet Wong
The guy's name is Sharku...though the exact spelling eludes me...(",)
6/29/2007 #47
Friendly Legolas Sporker
6/30/2007 #48
Hamfast Gamgee
One slightly controversal thing which I have noticed about Tolkien's tales is that slaying Orcs is rather easy comparitevly speaking. It sounds heroic when characters like Gimli slay dozens in battle, but is it really? Maybe Orcs are just the grunts of the dark forces, not such great fighters after all. When a real fighter of Sauron's turns up like a Dragorn or Balrog, most are very quick to run away from!
11/17/2007 #49
Elariel Erestorion
I think that its a relative thing. Most of the fighters we see in the books have trained a long time to fight orcs so the orcs seem to be less of a threat. Also, they are much less powerfull the the main evil forces (dragons, balrogs, Sauron, Morgoth ect.) so this also leads them to seem a little harmless. However, I for one don't think I would do so well going head to head with an orc. A good example...look at the chances Finduilas had at the fall of Nargothrond...recounted in the Narn in hin Hurin.
11/17/2007 #50
Emperor Zoron
How did the Balrog die? It says it quite clearly, He smote his ruin upon the mounta inside, which would indicate that he somehow either threw, pushed, or blasted the Balrog off of Durin's Watchtower; and onto the mountain.
3/20/2008 #51

I've always wondered that as well. Watching the extended edition of the movies, I would guess that the Balrog was impaled on the mountain's summit. However, the movies aren't the best source for information. Try looking on the Encyclopedia of Arda-

9/20/2008 #52

I believe that Orcs are the grunts of the dark forces, but that does not make them easy to defeat. Compared to the other dark creatures under Sauron, such as the Fell Beasts that the Ring-Wraiths ride, they are very easy to kill, but, that does not mean that it is not hard to defeat them. Look at all the many people of Gondor, and Faramir! Faramir came back to Gondor so close to death's door. It has been a while since I have read the books, but if I remember correctly, it does not seem likely to me that he would have come back to Gondor, nearly as much as that the Orcs let him come back.

11/29/2008 #53


this is my first post here. Hope I'm doing this right. I've been a fan of Lord of the Rings for a long time but writing fanfiction of it is another thing.

My question. Did it say in the books or somewhere else if orcs got close to Rivendell at all? If so, which way did they travel from to get there?

3/15/2012 #54

Yes, they did. I believe there were regular border patrols around Rivendale, but more specifically there was the capture and subsequent torture of Elrond's wife Celebrain. I believe she was captured from the lands around Rivendale. She suffered much under their "care" and after she was rescued she sailed to Valinor (sp?) to prevent herself from fading. This would have been mentioned in the Appendices. Later in the books they could have come from Isengard. During Celebrain's capture they most likely would have come from the Misty Mountains. Orcs can also be found in Mirkwood (The Black Forest) and Moria.

3/15/2012 #55

Her sons, Elladan and Elrohir, found her right?


3/16/2012 #56


3/17/2012 #57

there was the capture and subsequent torture of Elrond's wife Celebrain. I believe she was captured from the lands around Rivendale

Actually, Celebrían was waylaid and captured in the Redhorn Pass of the Misty Mountains, which is quite a distance from Rivendell (it took the Fellowship 18 days to reach the foot of the Redhorn from Rivendell).

Did it say in the books or somewhere else if orcs got close to Rivendell at all?

We know form the Unfinished Tales and Appendix A that Imladris was besieged by Sauron's forces in the Second Age and by the forces of Angmar in the Third Age, respectively.

The books don't tell us if Orcs got close to Imladris in peacetime, but we know that Orcs did inhabit the Misty Mountains throughout the Third Age so it is likely that there were skirmished at the borders from time to time, but not much closer than that I think (after all, the geography and the power of Vilya insured that Imladris was well hidden and quite inaccessible).

I hope this answers your question.

3/18/2012 #58

It does. Thank you as well. :)

3/21/2012 #59
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