The Shalafi's Who's Who in Lord of the Rings and Beowulf

From Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship

Frodo: Son of Drogo Baggins and Primula Brandybuck, Frodo was born on September 22, 2968 of the Third Age. He had no brothers or sisters.

When he was just 12, he lost both his parents in a boating accident on the Brandywine River. From then on, he lived with his cousins and extended family in Brandy Hall. Nine years after his parents died, his cousin Bilbo Baggins adopted him, and he moved into Bag End. Although Bilbo referred to him as a nephew, Frodo was actually a first cousin once removed (on his mother's side) and a second cousin once removed (on his father's side).

Bilbo's adopting him as an heir annoyed another branch of the family, the Sackville-Bagginses. They (especially Lobelia) had been waiting to inherit Bag End.

He lived with Bilbo and was said to have inherited some of his peculiarities. It was rumoured that they went to visit the Elves together, that Frodo had learned Elvish and that Frodo had read Bilbo's account of his adventure with the Dwarves.

When Bilbo left the Shire in 3001 of the Third Age, Frodo inherited his whole estate, including Bilbo's magic ring.

Seventeen years later, Frodo left the Shire on his and Bilbo's birthday, because Gandalf had told him that the ring was actually Sauron's One Ring. He sold Bag End to the Sackville-Bagginses, and set off to Crickhollow where he had a small cottage as a decoy.

After some disastrous short-cuts and meeting Tom Bombadil, Frodo and his companions (Meriadoc, Peregrin and Samwise) got to Bree. Gandalf was not there, but they met up with a Ranger named Strider, and followed him to Rivendell.

At Weathertop Frodo was stabbed in his left shoulder by one of the Nazgûl, and only got to Rivendell just in time for Elrond to heal him.

At the Council of Elrond, held once he was well, he was declared the Ringbearer and one of the Fellowship of the Ring. Before they left, Bilbo gave Frodo his sword, Sting and his mithril mailshirt.

In Lothlórien, Galadriel gave him a phial with the light of Eärendil's star, as a light when all others go out.

Eventually, he and Samwise separated from the rest of the Fellowship, and continued on their own. The creature Gollum followed them, and they made him their guide.

When the time came for Frodo to drop the ring into the Cracks of Doom, he could not do it, and claimed the ring for himself. Gollum then attacked him, and got the ring by biting off Frodo's finger. Gollum then fell backwards into the fire.

Frodo and Sam were rescued by the Eagles, and were greatly praised by all when they had rested and recovered.

For a time after the War of the Ring, Frodo was the Mayor of the Shire. He never married, and that added to the list of things other hobbits thought was 'odd' about him.

He passed over the Sea with the last of the Ringbearers on September 29, 3021 of the Third Age.

Gandalf: 'Gandalf' is said to mean 'elf of the wand' in the tongue of Northern men. He had many names, including Incánus, Mithrandir, Olórin, Tharkûn and Stormcrow.

Gandalf was a Maiar who was chosen to join the Istari - five wizards who were sent to Middle-earth. When he arrived at the Grey Havens, Círdan realised that he was the wisest of the Istari, and entrusted him with Narya, the Ring of Fire. He was also the last to arrive.

He looked older than the others of his order, grey-haired, dressed in grey and leaning on a staff. He wore a blue hat and a silver scarf with his ash-grey cloak.

He was a wanderer, a pilgrim. He never lived in a fixed place or gathered wealth or belongings. He travelled around and befriended people in need. He became very friendly with the Elves, especially Elrond. He was also the only Istari to pay any attention to the hobbits.

He was famous among the hobbits for his fireworks, and for sending innocent hobbits off into the blue for adventures. One of these hobbits was Bilbo Baggins, who went on the Quest of Erebor. From the hobbits he got his love for pipe-weed.

He played a large part in the War of the Ring, being a councillor, advisor and a member of the Fellowship. When the Fellowship passed through Moria he battled a Balrog and fell into the shadow. He died, but he was sent back again to fulfill what his original Istari mission.

When he was sent back, he was clothed all in white, and had become Gandalf the White. When the war was over, he crowned Aragorn King of Gondor.

He then sailed on a ship to the West, with the other Ring-bearers.

Aragorn: Also called: Estel, Elfstone, Elessar, Strider, Longshanks, Wingfoot, Thorongil, Envinyatar ('The Renewer'), Dúnadan, Chieftain of the Dúnedain, Telcontar.

Son of Arathorn and Gilraen, and an only child. He was born on March 1st, 2931 of the Third Age, he was the thirty-ninth generation of the heirs of Isildur.

Aragorn was only two years old when his father died, so his mother took him to live in Rivendell. There, he was given the name Estel to hide his true identity and heritage because Sauron was searching to see if any heir of Isildur lived.

Estel often went out into the wild with Elrond's sons, Elladan and Elrohir. One day they returned, and Estel had done great things on the hunt. Elrond decided that now was the time to tell him his true heritage. Elrond gave to Aragorn the tokens of his house, the Ring of Barahir and the Shards of Narsil.

The next day he was walking in the woods of Rivendell when he met Arwen for the first time. He had been singing of Lúthien and thought that she had appeared to him. From that moment on he loved her.

Elrond could see that was in Aragorn's heart, and told him that he shall have no wife until he has proved himself worthy, and that Arwen would live the life of the Elves as long as he was in Middle-earth.

The next day he said farewell to Elrond, Arwen and his mother, and went into the wild. He fought in the cause against Sauron, and made friends with Gandalf the Grey. For a while he journeyed with Gandalf and gained much wisdom from him.

More and more he travelled alone, and under different names. He rode with the Rohirrim and fought for Gondor under the name of Thorongil. He ventured into the East to reveal the plots of Sauron.

When he was forty-nine he stopped in Lothlórien. He didn't know at first that Arwen was there. They met, and decided that one day they would be married.

When Elrond next saw him, he told him that Arwen would not wed anyone less than King of both Gondor and Arnor. Aragorn went back into the wild, and Arwen thought of him often, and started to make a standard that the heir of Elendil and could use.

Just before the War of the Ring he met the hobbits in Bree, where he was known as Strider. He led them to Rivendell and was made a member of the Fellowship. When Gandalf fell he was their leader.

In the War of the Ring, he took the Paths of the Dead, and came in the enemy's ships to save the battle. It was on one of these ships that the standard Arwen had made was unfurled.

When the war was over, and Sauron destroyed, he was crowned King, and wed Arwen in Gondor. They had children, a son called Eldarion and some daughters.

In 16 of the Fourth Age he met his friends in The Shire by the Brandywine Bridge, and he gave the Star of the Dúnedain to Samwise.

On March 1st, 120 of the Fourth Age he died, with Arwen by his side.

Legolas: Legolas Greenleaf was the son of King Thranduil of the Mirkwood Realm. The name 'Legolas' literally meant 'green leaf'. A Sindarin elf, his birthdate is not known.

He lived in Mirkwood until he was sent to Rivendell to tell the news of Gollum escaping. There he ended up becoming part of the Fellowship of the Ring. He travelled with Aragorn and Gimli, and named Gimli 'elf-friend'. He fought at the Battle of the Hornburg and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. He travelled on the Paths of the Dead, and often rode with Gimli behind him on his horse.

After the War of the Ring he lived in Ithilien with elves from Mirkwood.

When Aragorn died, he finally followed the sea-longing the gulls had awoken in him, and sailed West in a boat he built himself. He took Gimli with him, because of their great friendship. He passed into the West in 120 of the Fourth Age.

Gimli: Gimli son of Glóin, also called 'Elf-friend' and 'Lockbearer', was born in TA 2879, but there is no record of the year of his death. 'Gimli' means 'fire' in one of the Mannish tongues.

Part of the Fellowship of the Ring, he was strange among dwarves for his friendship with the elf Legolas. In Lothlórien he was so taken by Galadriel's beauty that he asked for a lock of her hair, which is why he was known as Lockbearer. When the Fellowship was broken, he travelled across Rohan with Aragorn and Legolas, chasing orcs.

After the War of the Ring, he brought some of his people south from Erebor to the Glittering Caves, where he was Lord. He and his people did many things for Rohan and Gondor. They even forged new gates for Minas Tirith out of mithril, to replace the ones the Witch-king broke.

It is said that Legolas took Gimli with him to the Undying Lands. He was therefore the first and only dwarf ever to have made this journey. It is said he went not only to be with Legolas but also to see again the beauty of Galadriel.

Boromir: The name 'Boromir' meant 'Faithful Jewel'.

Boromir was the eldest son of Finduilas of Dol Amroth and Denethor II, the Steward of Gondor at the time of The Fellowship. He had a younger brother named Faramir.

He was sent to Lord Elrond in Rivendell for advice after Faramir has a strange dream. He ended up a member of the Fellowship of the Ring.

He carried the Horn of Gondor which had been passed down the line of Stewards since the line began ruling.

He tried to get Frodo to give him the ring, so he could use it against Sauron. It had corrupted him, like it corruted Isildur and so many others.

He was slain by Orcs at Amon Hen near the River Anduin.

Boromir is also the name of at least two other Men in the works of Tolkien. One being his ancestor, the son of Denethor I, a Steward of Gondor, and the other the grandfather of Beren.

Samwise Gamgee: Born April 6th, 2983 in the Shire to Hamfast Gamgee and Bell Goodchild. He was the fifth of six children (Hamson, Halfred, Daisy, May and Marigold were his siblings).

He and his family lived at Number 3 Bagshot Row, Hobbiton.

By the time of Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday party, Sam had taken over the tending of the garden at Bag End from his father. Bilbo had been teaching him to read and write, and few stories of the Elves. He had always wanted to meet elves, as he had never been out of the Shire until the quest.

He was chosen to accompany Frodo by Gandalf when he found him eavesdropping outside one of the windows of Bag End. He was also in league with Merry and Pippin, and told them about Gandalf's plan for Frodo to leave the Shire.

In Rivendell, he stayed by Frodo's bedside as he recovered from his wound. He also snuck into the Council of Elrond and insisted on going with him.

Throughout the whole quest, he stayed with Frodo. He cooked them meals when he could while they marched through Mordor. He carried Frodo when he got too tired.

When he thought Frodo was dead in the pass of Cirith Ungol he took Sting, the Phial of Galadriel, and the One Ring from his seeminglessly lifeless form, and so was a Ringbearer, if only for a short amount of time. He rescued Frodo, and helped him on the final steps up to Mount Doom.

When the War of the Ring was over, as was the Scouring of the Shire, he married Rosie Cotton. He was elected Mayor of the Shire seven consecutive times starting in 3027 of the Third Age, and was a very well-respected gentle Hobbit.

Merriadoc Brandybuck: Born to Saradoc Brandybuck and Esmerelda Took in 2982 of the Third Age, he was an only child. Normally known as Merry, he was called 'Master Holdwine' in Rohan, and was later called 'The Magnificent'.

He was part of the the Fellowship of the Ring. At the breaking of the Fellowship, he and Peregrin were captured by Orcs and carried off. They managed to escape into Fangorn Forest where they met an Ent called Treebeard.

He was there for the storming of Isengard, and later became a knight of Rohan. He rode into The Battle of the Pelennor with a knight called Dernhelm, even though he had been told he would be no use. He then distinguished himself by helping to kill the Lord of the Nazgûl.

After the War of the Ring he lived for a time with Pippin in Crickhollow. He married Estella Bolger and became the Master of Buckland in the year 11 of the Fourth Age.

Peregrin Took: Born to Paladin Took and Eglantine Banks in 2990 of the Third Age, he was the youngest of four, and the only boy. His sisters were Pearl, Pimpernel and Pervinca. He was more commonly known as Pippin.

He was the youngest of the hobbits in the Fellowship. At Parth Galen, he and Meriadoc were caputured by Orcs and were carried off. They managed to escape into Fangorn Forest, and there they met an Ent called Treebeard.

They were both there for the storming of Isengard, and when the palanír was thrown out the window, Pippin picked it up. It preyed on his mind, and he stole it from Gandalf to look into. After this, Gandalf took Pippin away with him to Minas Tirith. There, he became guard for the Steward Denethor.

He fought for the men, and was called 'Ernil i Pheriannath' (Prince of the Halflings) by the people of Minas Tirith.

After the War of the Ring and the Scouring of the Shire, he lived with Merry in the house at Crickhollow. He was considered a giant among hobbits now, because of the ent-draughts he had drunk with Treebeard.

Bilbo Baggins: A hobbit of the Shire, he was the son of Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took. Born on September 22nd, 2890 of the Third Age, he lived in Bag End, under Hobbiton Hill.

In 2941, Bilbo was lured away by the wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves on the quest of Thorin Oakenshield and company to claim the Kingdom under the Mountain. Bilbo was taken along as their burglar. On the quest he met the trolls Tom, Bert and Bill Huggins; orcs and goblins, wargs, eagles, Beorn and the elves of Mirkwood. The Quest eventually led to the slaying of Smaug the Dragon and the re-establishment of the Kingdom under the Mountain at Erebor.

With a modest portion of the Dragon treasure he won on his adventure, Bilbo returned to the Shire and was a peaceful hobbit for sixty years.

On the Quest, Bilbo had acquired a magic ring which had the power to make its bearer invisible. It was later identified as the One Ring that belonged to Sauron, the Dark Lord.

In 3001 of the Third Age, Bilbo held a huge birthday party, and vanished before the eyes of his family and friends, leaving wealth, home and the One Ring to his cousin Frodo. He had adopted Frodo as his heir in the year 2989 of the Third Age.

Bilbo then went on to live in Rivendell and for twenty years wrote poems, stories of Elf-lore, as well as his memoirs, entitled "There and Back Again" and his three-volume scholarly work, "Translations from the Elvish".

After the War of the Ring, at the age of 131 years, Bilbo sailed with Frodo to the Undying Lands.

The Bad Guys

Balrog: Also called Valaraukar, the Balrogs were originally Maiar corrupted by Melkor (Morgoth). Both Balrog and Valaraukar mean 'Demon of Power'.

They were man-shaped, but fire and smoke streamed from them, and they were shrouded in shadow. They normally carried flaming whips. The question of whether they have wings is still hotly debated.

When Morgoth was attacked by the Valar in the War of Wrath, some of his Balrogs fled into Middle-earth and made their home in the deep places of the world. One such place was the Mines of Moria.

When Ungoliant trapped Melkor in one of her webs, it was the Balrogs that came to save him.

However, the Balrogs were not indestructible. Gothmog the Balrog, their Lord at one time, was killed by Ecthelion of the Fountain. Another was slain by Glorfindel of Gondolin. Durin's Bane, the Balrog of Moria, was killed by Gandalf the Grey.

Gollum: Before he was corrupted by the ring, Gollum lived near the River Anduin where he went fishing with his friend Déagol. He was a Stoor, and at that time, he was known as Sméagol.

One day in TA 2463, Déagol saw something at the bottom of the lake, and he went to get it. When was sitting on the bank with it, Sméagol asked if he could have it for his birthday. Déagol said he had already given him a present and that he wanted the gold ring. Sméagol then strangled Déagol and took the One Ring.

He kept the ring secret, and used it to help him find out secrets among his tribe. Eventually he started stealing and was shunned by his family. He started muttering, and gurgling in his throat, and it was then people started to call him Gollum. His grandmother exiled him from the family to keep the peace.

In TA 2470, he found his way to the Misty Mountains. There, the ring continued to corrupt him, and he became was a skinny, crawling creature, bearing almost no resemblance to a hobbit. He lived on an island in the middle of an underground lake where he lived off fish and the odd orc that got lost in the tunnels.

In 2941, he met Bilbo Baggins, who had been separated from his Dwarven companions. Gollum challenged him to a game of riddles, which Bilbo won. Gollum realised he had been tricked when he found that his Precious (his name for the One Ring) was gone.

Gollum later went after the Ring, and he was captured coming back from Mordor by a Ranger named Strider. Strider brought Gollum to the Elves of Mirkwood where they kept him until he escaped with the help of Sauron's minions.

He was next seen in Lothlórien, and from there he followed the Fellowship until they parted. Then he followed Frodo and Sam. They noticed they were being followed on their road to Mordor, and captured Gollum, ordering him be their guide to Mount Doom. He agreed, after swearing on the Precious.

Gollum brought them to the stairs of Cirith Ungol, and led them up into the dark cave. Then they were attacked and Frodo was stung by Shelob. Gollum tried to kill Sam himself, but was overpowered.

Gollum caught up with Frodo and Sam again at the Cracks of Doom where Frodo tried to cast the Ring into the fire. Gollum ran up to Frodo and bit off the finger that the Ring was on. He danced with the joy of getting his Precious back, but tumbled backwards and fell into the fiery chasm.

Son of Gálmód, also called 'Worm' and 'Wormtongue'. Sly and cunning, Gríma Wormtongue became the chief advisor of Theoden King in Edoras.

Little is known about Gríma's history, but before his seduction by Saruman, it must be assumed that he had been a loyal servant to Rohan for many years. After Saruman subverted him, Gríma slowly started whispering his lies into the King's ears.

This situation finished abruptly when Gandalf the White came to Meduseld, and freed Théoden from Wormtongue's influence. Theoden, remarkably, was then prepared to forgive Wormtongue, and have him ride beside the King on the way to war. But Gríma refused the King's offer, spitting at his feet and running from Edoras to Saruman.

At Orthanc, it was Wormtongue who threw the Palantír out of the window of the tower.

After the War of the Ring he went to the Shire with Saruman. On November 3rd, 3019 of the Third Age, Gríma stabbed Saruman and was then shot down by hobbit-archers.


Pronunciation: nazgool
Related Terms: Witch-king of Angmar, Sauron, Ringwraiths

The word 'nazgûl' comes from the Black Speech and means "ring-wraith". Also called Black Riders, Nine Riders, Ringwraiths, The Nine, Úlairi, and Winged Shadows.
The Nine were led by the Witch-King of Angmar and Khamûl the Easterling was second-in-command.

The Nazgûl were once Men (some of them Númenóreans), who wanted power above anything else. Sauron harnessed this weakness and gave them the Nine Rings of Power and thus enslaved them. The power of the rings transformed their lust for power into the obedient service to Sauron. Their will was taken away, replaced by Sauron's evil and malice.

Nazgûl first appeared around year 2250 of the Second Age, besieging the Middle-Earth along with other foul creatures. They went into the shadows after Sauron was defeated in the War of the Last Alliance.

They emerged once again around year 1300 of the Third Age while the Necromancer was rebuilding his empire and strength. Some dwelt in Dol Guldur and some of them rebuilt Barad-dûr with the horde of other creatures of Sauron. In year 3017 they were sent out in search of the One Ring, and almost captured Frodo more than once. They were driven away with the combined power of Lord Elrond and Gandalf by the Ford of Bruinen.

The Nazgûl perished when the ring was destroyed in 3019, as they could not exist without Sauron's will.

They mostly rode clothed in black cloaks and on black horses through Fellowship of the Ring, but in Two Towers and Return of the King, they flew on winged beasts. All but the Witch-King of Angmar did not like light and may have been afraid of water (as it was shown by the Ford of Bruinen).

Their chief weapon was terror which was greater when they were invisible. They also had morgul-blades. These swords would give a wound that would swell with poison and make the person pass into the shadows thus become like the Nazgûl themselves. Another weapon was the Black Breath. This would fill anyone it touched with hopelessness and terror. Although the athelas plant has been known to cure victims of the Black Breath, leaving it untreated too long could result in unconsciousness, despair, and overall, dominion over the victim's free will.

Orcs were first bred by Melkor in the Elder Days.They appeared in Middle Earth sometime after the birth of the Elves, and were afterwards believed to have originated from corrupted versions of those Elves.

They hated the light of the Sun, emerging from their lairs only at nightfall to do battle for their Master (Morgoth and later Sauron). Although they were cowardly and unreliable, they were formidable opponents as long as the will of Morgoth or Sauron animated them. Emnity between the Orcs and the Elves was bitter.

But to Morgoth, Orcs were simply "cannon fodder" - his most expendable commodity in battles. They were easy to breed and easy to lead, and only in great numbers (or when accompanied by a balrog or dragon) were they able to withstand their enemies and attack successfully. However, they were filled with demonic energy, had formidable strength, and hated Elves and Men with an abiding hatred.

During the Second Age, the Orcs spread out from Angband into the Misty Mountains, the Ered Mithrin and other mountain ranges and passes. The Orcs also diversified into different breeds, varying to some extent in size and colouring. They were still all possessed of the same barbarian nature, and they were all hideous to look at. They wielded spears and scimitars, and wore shields of hide. Their weapons were often poisoned.

In the first part of the Third Age, most of the Orcs who had survived the Last Alliance dwelled in their old lairs in the Misty Mountains. Their chief stronghold was Gundabad. However, they soon spread out, occupying Moria and most of their haunts from the Second Age.

In TA 2510, Celebrían was captured by a band of Orcs in the Misty Mountains, and from then onwards, routes across the Mountains from Eriador to Wilderland became increasingly dangerous to travellers.

Towards the end of the Third Age, countless Orcs died at the Battle of the Hornburg, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the Battle at the Black Gate. What happened to the race of Orcs after the defeat of Sauron is unknown.

Very few Orcs have been mentioned by name. Azog was the name of the Orc who killed King Thrór of the Dwarves, while Azog's son Bolg led the Orcs to the Battle of Five Armies. Golfimbul led an invasion ofThe Shire in 2747 and was killed by Bandobras Took. During the War of the Ring, a chieftain of the Goblins was called Grishnákh.


Related Terms: Istari, Orthanc, Grima, Sharkey
Related Links: Saruman in the Middle-earth section, Aulë

The first of the five Maiar to enter Middle-earth. He was also the eldest, and the chief of the order, the White Wizard. He was chosen by Aulë. He was subtle of speech, and could persuade anyone to do almost anything.

His name translates to mean: 'Man of Skill'. This is also the meaning of his name in Quenya, Curumo. In Sindarin, 'Curunír' means 'the one of cunning devices'. Orcs called him 'Sharkey', said to come from an Orcish word 'sharkû' meaning 'old man'.

For the first 1,000 years he was in Middle-earth he traveled much, and mainly to the East. He came back though, for the first meeting of the White Council and was made their leader. It was at this time he started studying the Rings of Power, and the ways of the enemy.

He was given the keys to Orthanc by Beren the 19th Steward of Minas Tirith, and lived there from then on.

During the time of the War of the Ring he had been won over by Mordor. He renounced being the White Wizard, and called himself 'Saruman of Many Colours'. He had for a long time been spying all over Middle-earth with the unwitting help of Radagast and his birds. He also had a palantír which he used to communicate with Mordor. He bred an army of Uruk-hai that could travel in the sunlight. It was with these warriors he hoped to regain the One Ring and overthrow Sauron. He asked Gandalf to join him in taking the ring, and in this way revealed his treachery.

When he had sent his army out to Rohan, the Ents attacked. They stripped Isengard bare, and flooded it. Saruman was a prisoner in the tower of Orthanc. At this time, his spy in Rohan, Gríma Wormtongue arrived, and was imprisoned with him.

He used his powers of persuasion and got Treebeard to release him. He made his way as a beggar to The Shire and set up home in Bag End. Finally he was killed by his own slave, Wormtongue and will never been seen again in Middle-earth.


Pronunciation: sowro'n
Related Terms: Morgoth, Angband, Necromancer, Barad-dûr, Mordor

Other names: Annatar, Gorthaur (the Cruel), Lieutenant of Morgoth, The Black Hand, The Dark Lord, The Dark Power, Lord of Gifts, Lord of Mordor, The Lord of the Rings, The Necromancer, The Red Eye, The Ring-maker, The Sorcerer. Sauron was the name given to him by the High-Elves, and means the "Abhorred".

Sauron was a Maia, created by Ilúvatur in the beginning of the world. At the start, he was not evil, serving Aulë the Smith, and learning great crafts from him. But he soon changed his allegiance to Melkor, and when Melkor began to devise evil in Arda, Sauron was already his most trusted servant. He began to act as cruelly to Elves and Men as did his master.

He became the first Captain of Angband when Angband was first created. When the Valar came to Middle Earth and fought the Battle of the Powers, Morgoth was taken away and imprisoned, but Sauron was overlooked and he escaped. By the time of the Dagor Bragollach, he had great power and was second only to Morgoth in evil.

During the Dagor Bragollach, Sauron's armies of werewolves and Orcs captured the tower of Minas Tirith on Tol Sirion. Sauron lived there for a while as the Lieutenant of Morgoth, and the Elves renamed the isle around the tower, Tol-in-Gaurhoth (Isle of Werewolves).

After the Dagor Bragollach, the last remnant of the House of Bëor became a scattered people. Barahir, its lord, took shelter in the uplands of Dorthonion at Tarn Aeluin with his son Beren and 11 others. Sauron was sent to find and destroy this desperate band of outlaws. This he did by capturing Gorlim, one of Barahir's followers, and using his sorcery he discovered the outlaws' camp, and destroyed all of Barahir's band but his son Beren.

Beren fled and Sauron's army of werewolves failed to capture him. Sauron later captured him, along with Finrod Felagund and their companions and imprisoned them in Tol-in-Gaurhoth.

He flung Beren, Finrod Felagund and their companions into a deep pit. There they were devoured one after the other by one of his werewolves. As the werewolf slew Finrod Felagund, however, Lúthien came upon Sauron's Isle with Huan, the Hound of Valinor. Sauron then went to one of his greatest defeats. He took the form known as Wolf-Sauron, the shape of a mighty werewolf, and went out to meet his foes. First, he attacked Lúthien, but under her enchantment he stumbled, and Huan sprang upon him. Though he shifted shapes (including a serpent and a bat) and struggled, he could not escape; at last he yielded the tower to Lúthien,and Huan released him. He fled eastward then to Dorthonion, where he dwelt in the dark pine forests of Taur-nu-Fuin.

Sauron survived the breaking of Thangorodrim though his master Morgoth did not. When he was summoned by Eonwë, the herald of the Valar, to return to Valinor and face judgement for his crimes, Sauron refused. He remained in Middle Earth and after a while, he decided that he should seek a land which he could fortify like the Angband of old. He found Mordor - an empty land whose central volcano had covered the plains around with dark ash. There Sauron built his Dark Tower, Barad-dûr, and there he dwelt through the Second Age.

At that time, Sauron was still able to appear fair of face and form and he used treachery and deceit as his main weapons. He went among the Elves and Men, wearing a fair form, and bearing fair names, including Annatar. Many of these showed reverence to Aulë. Gil-Galad refused all dealings with him, but not so the Elves - Celebrimbor of Eregion made a pact with Sauron and together they began to forge the Rings of Power.

Sauron aided the Elven Smiths in their task, but secretly began to forge the One Ring. Eventually, the Elves realised his treacherous nature, and went to war against him. Eregion was overrun, and Celebrimbor was slain. Only Gil-Galad held out, and even he would have been defeated had not reinforcements arrived from Númenor. In this way, the old alliance between Elves and Men was renewed, and this earned Men the hatred of Sauron, who was forced to withdraw.

The next conflict between Sauron and Númenor came when Pharazôn arrived in Umbar with his great host. The armies of Sauron fled, but Sauron himself was able to twist the situation to use Pharazôn for his own purposes. The King of Númenor was a vain man, and when Sauron humbled himself in front of the King, he was carried back to Númenor instead of being killed. There, Sauron's old gifts of treachery and betrayal reasserted themselves, and he made himself Pharazôn's chief counsellor. He started to enhance the corruption already present in Númenor by introducing a cult of the Dark, while the name of Morgoth began to be spoken with reverence, and sacrifices were made to Sauron's former Master.

After he had been held captive for less than 50 years, at Sauron's instigation, Ar-Pharazôn assembled the Great Armament. In the following downfall of Númenor, Sauron's mortal body was destroyed, but his spirit survived and fled back to Middle Earth.

He was never again able to appear in a pleasant form, but instead became the Dark Lord, terrible of aspect, black and burning hot, with a single lidless Eye that was rimmed in fire. It was as yellow as a cat's and the black slit of its pupil opened onto a window into nothing.

While in Mordor, Sauron learnt that a remnant of the Númenoreans had escaped. He gathered his armies with great speed, wanting to sweep the Men into the Sea. In SA 3429, he came across the pass of Cirith Ungol, captured Minas Ithil and drove the Dúnedain back across the Anduin. However, he had again underestimated Men and Elves - they made an alliance against him and laid siege to Barad-dûr. In a final combat against Elendil and Gil-Galad, Sauron was cast down, and his Ring taken from him.

For the first thousand years of the Third Age, Sauron slept. But slowly he began to take shape once more, though he was still too weak to recapture Mordor, which was being held by the Dúnedain of Gondor.

Instead, he created the smaller fortress of Dol Guldur on a hill in the southern region of Greenwood. When Orcs, Trolls and wolves appeared within the wood, it was renamed Mirkwood, and rumours of a Necromancer living in Dol Guldur became widespread.

Sauron sent his chief servant, the Lord of the Ringwraiths, into Eriador to destroy the kingdom of the Dúnedain. Its destruction freed Sauron and his agents to work on the downfall of Gondor, and the weakening of the South-kingdom allowed Mordor to be reopened and occupied by the Nazgûl.

Through much of the Third Age, Sauron remained in Dol Guldur, creating his grand schemes in the shadows while his servants went out into Middle Earth to put them into practice. He remained so hidden that even the Istari debated whether he had returned or not.

Above everything, Sauron desired the One Ring. He tried to find its location through guile, but eventually he was driven from Dol Guldur and had to return to Mordor and openly proclaim his presence. This time, Sauron decided to be cautious and not attack his enemies until the Ring was in his possession. But his enemies made their own moves while Sauron hesitated, and in their campaign against him, Sauron's armies were defeated, his servants destroyed, and Barad-dûr cast down. The One Ring was destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom and Sauron was cast into the Void.


Pronunciation: Shee lob
Related Terms: Ungoliant, Giant Spiders

Shelob was presumed to be the last offspring of Ungoliant, the Giant Spider who killed the Two Trees of Valinor.

She belonged to, and served, no one, not even Sauron and she was in the land of Mordor before he ever arrived. The place she made her home was called Cirith Ungol. Her body was a bloated bag, black except for her pale, stinking underside.

Shelob's venom did not kill, it merely made her victims fall asleep so while they were sleeping she could dine peacefully on her prey. She would not eat dead meat.

On January 12th, TA 3019, Gollum lead Sam and Frodo to the lair of Shelob were she attacked them numerous times until finally when Sam was distracted by Gollum, Shelob attacked the weary and burdened Frodo. Sam then came to Frodo's rescue and defeated Shelob with Sting.




The Elves

Arwen: Arwen Undómiel was born to Elrond and Celebrían, in TA 241. She was the sister to Elladan and Elrohir. She was half-elven, and married Aragorn. She was so beautiful the elves said that she was the very likeness of Lúthien come on the earth again.

Arwen spent much of her early life in Lothlórien, the land of her mother's people. But in TA 2951, she met Aragorn in Rivendell when she came to visit her father. In TA 2980, Aragorn came to Lothlórien and there they met again, and decided that one day they would marry.

However, Elrond put a number of conditions in front of Arwen and Aragorn. He said to Aragorn that he would not let Arwen marry anyone less than the King of Gondor and Arnor, and he said that Arwen would enjoy the life of the elves as long as he was in Middle-earth. Arwen could therefore not choose a mortal life until her father sailed over the Sea.

She made the standard that was flown on one of the Corsair ships Aragorn commanded in the War of the Ring. She wrought the stars on the banner out of gems.

She and Aragorn wed on Midsummer's Day in TA 3019. As she was a half-elf, she chose to become a mortal when she wed Aragorn, and she gave her passage to the West to Frodo Baggins.

Tall and beautiful, with the golden hair of her father Finarfin, she was called Altariel in Eldamar. This was translated as Galadriel, meaning "Lady of the Light", in Sindarin.

Galadriel was born in Valinor while the Two Trees were still alive. She and her brothers joined the Exile of the Noldor, coming across to Middle-earth across the northern ice. During the First Age of the Sun in Beleriand, Galadriel lived with her brother Finrod in Nargothrond, before entering the Sindar realm of Doriath where she was befriended by Melian and Thingol, her great-uncle. There, she met and married the Grey-elf, Celeborn.

From the beginning of the Second Age, the couple and their only child Celebrían, lived in Lindon; then in the eighth century they moved to Eregion, the realm of the Elven-smiths.

Later Galadriel and Celeborn crossed the Misty Mountains and came to rule over their own kingdom in the Golden Wood of Lothlórien. Commanding Nenya, one of the Three Elven Rings of Power, Galadriel used her power to weave a ring of enchantment and protection around Lothlorien.

During the time of the War of the Ring, Galadriel gave shelter and magical gifts to the Fellowship of the Ring. During the War itself, Galadriel repelled three attempts at invasion by orcs, and used her powers to bring down the walls of Dol Guldur and cleanse Mirkwood.

In year TA 3021, on September 29th, The Three Keepers of the Elven Rings departed from the Grey Havens to sail to the Undying Lands, Galadriel having been given permission by the Valar to return.


Elrond: Elrond was born around 525 of the First Age, and he was the son of Eärendil and Elwing, and the brother of Elros. His name has been translated in several ways to give very different manners, e.g. 'Star-dome' and 'Elf of the Cave'. He belonged to both the Noldor and the Sindar branches of elves, because his father had Noldorin blood, and his mother had Sindarin.

He was born at the Havens of Sirion, and when the sons of Fëanor attacked, he and his brother were taken captive. However, Maglor took pity on them, and released them. They were found near a waterfall, with Elrond in the cave behind the falls. That is how he got the name 'Elf of the Cave'.

As both his parents were Half-elves, he was given the choice of whether he wanted to be counted with the Elves, or with Men. He chose to be with the Elves (his brother chose the race of Men). At this time he went to live in Lindon with Gil-Galad.

When Sauron invaded Eriador, Gil-Galad sent Elrond to Eregion to help. When Eregion was laid to waste, Elrond retreated into a deep valley with some of the surviving elves. Here he founded Imladris in SA 1697. Rivendell prospered partly because Gil-Galad had given him Vilya, the Ring of Air. He remained Lord of Rivendell until he passed over the Sea.

He fought with Gil-Galad and Elendil in the War of the Last Alliance in SA 3429-3441.

He was wedded to Celebrían in TA 109, but stayed in Middle-earth when she passed over the Sea in TA 2510. She bore him the twins Elladan and Elrohir in TA 130 and Arwen in TA 241.

In the Third Age he was a leader of the White Council, and he advised what was to become the Fellowship of the Ring at the Council of Elrond.

He passed over the Sea with the other Ringbearers on September 29th, TA 3021.

The Rohanians

Eomer: Also called Éadig. Born in TA 2991, he was the son of Éomund and Théodwyn, the king's sister. He was the nephew of the King Théoden, and like nearly all of his race was tall, strong and golden-haired. He had a younger sister, Éowyn.

Before the War of the Ring, Éomer was a Marshal of the Riddermark, but through his friendship with Gandalf and his concern about the evil influences of Gríma, the king's advisor, Éomer fell out of favour.

He fought bravely and with distinction at the Battle of the Hornburg, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and before the Black Gate of Mordor.

Before Théoden died, he named Éomer his heir. He became the eighteenth King of Rohan and ruled until the year 63 of the Fourth Age. In 3020 of the Third Age, he married Princess Lothíriel of Dol Amroth, who soon after bore his son and heir, Elfwine the Fair.


Related Terms: Éomer, Théoden, Faramir, Witch-king
Related Links: Éowyn of Rohan (Elronds Library)

Éowyn was the sister of Éomer and the only daughter of Éomund and Théodwyn (sister of King Théoden). She was also known as Lady of the Shield-arm and the White Lady of Rohan.

She was born in TA 2995, and when her mother died, she and Éomer were sent to Edoras to spend their childhood living with their uncle Théoden.

Éowyn blossomed in Edoras, and became skilled with horses, and sword fighting. But she was irritated by her position, and brooded when she was left to wait upon her sick uncle while Rohan fell into darkness. And thus, she resolved to die honorably on the field of battle, as a shield-maiden.

On March 2nd of the year 3019 of the Third Age, Éowyn rode with the Rohirrim (and Meriadoc Brandybuck) to the Pelennor Fields, disguised as a Rider of Rohan. On March 15th of that year, under the alias Dernhelm, she fought in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

It was in that battle that she rose up against the Witch-king of Angmar, and defeated him, with the assistance of Meriadoc. She was then severely wounded, and sent to the Houses of Healing. There, Aragorn healed her.

She and Faramir fell in love there, and Éowyn gave up all thought of battle and death. They were married in the same year, after the downfall of Sauron.

Éowyn decided to become a Healer rather than a fighter, and she and Faramir lived peacefully in Emyn Arnen for the rest of King Elessar’s reign.

It appears that she and Faramir has at least one child, a son named Elboron. The date of her death and whether or not she had any other children are unknown.


Related Terms: Rohan, Snowmane

Born in 2948 of the Third Age, died in 3019. Father to Théodred and husband to Elfhild.

Théoden, son of Thengel, became the 17th King of Rohan in the year 2980.

He was strong, untill he fell under the influence of Gríma Wormtongue, secret servant of the wizard Saruman.

He was healed by Gandalf, and he led his horsemen to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

He died at the Pelennor Fields after killing the king of the Haradrim. His horse Snowmane fell on top of him and pinned him down.


The Gondorians

Denethor: Son of Ecthelion II, Denethor was born in TA 2930 and he became the twenty-sixth, and last, ruling Steward of Gondor at the age of 54 following the death of his father.

In TA 2976 he wedded Finduilas of Dol Amroth, daughter of Adrahil, who bore him two sons, Boromir and Faramir. Finduilas died four years after Denethor took the Stewardship. This - it is said - eventually prompted him to use his Palantír.

Unfortunately, Sauron was aware of his actions and used the Palantír to fill Denethor's heart with despair, which only doubled with the death of his eldest son, Boromir. Not long afterwards, Faramir was wounded by a poisoned Nazgûl dart during battle. Convinced his second son would die as well, Denethor bade his servants build a pyre, and setting it alight, he cast himself and the Palantír upon it. He perished on March 15th, TA 3019. He had ruled for 35 years.

Faramir II was the son of Denethor II, the Steward of Gondor. His mother was Finduilas, and his older brother was Boromir. He was born in 2983 of the Third Age, and died in 82 of the Fourth Age.

It was Faramir who first had the vision (in a dream) that Boromir reported to the Council of Elrond. In his dream, the sky in the east grew dark, but there was light in the west, and he heard a voice saying:

Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsels taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.
There shall be shown a token
That Doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.

He was Captain of the Rangers of Ithilien, and it was there that he met Frodo and Samwise on their Quest for Mount Doom. He took them to Henneth Annun and gave them food, supplies and walking sticks.

He fought and was wounded in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Through the madness of his father he was almost killed on Denethor's pyre, but he was saved in time by Gandalf the White.

He lived to be appointed Prince of Ithilien by Aragorn, the King of Gondor. He settled in Emyn Arnen with his new wife, Eowyn of Rohan.

He was the namesake for Peregrin Took's son, Faramir Took


Places and Things

Andúril: Related Terms: Narsil, Aragorn, Elendil. Means 'Flame of the West'.

Andúril is the sword made from the shards of Elendil's sword, Narsil. It was reforged in Rivendell sometime before the Fellowship began their journey. The Elves drew a device of seven star set between the crescent Moon and the rayed Sun on it. Around these they put many runes.

It was carried by Aragorn in the War of the Ring. At the end of the Fellowship's stay in Lothlórien, Celeborn and Galadriel gave Aragorn a sheath for it, with a tracery of flowers and leaves made of silver and gold. There were Elven-runes, giving its name and lineage, made of many gems.

Bag End: The home of the Baggins family.

It was excavated and built by into Hobbiton Hill by Bungo Baggins, Bilbo's father. When Bungo had married Belladonna Took, he had used her money to build the hole for the two of them.

It was a very spacious dwelling, and quite luxurious compared to some. It had a round green door with a brass knob in the centre.The door led to a central tunnel, with doors opening on to rooms off of it. The tunnel was tiled and carpeted and had pannelled walls with lots of pegs for visitors' hats and coats.

Like most hobbit houses, there was no upstairs, with all the rooms being on the one level. There were bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries, wardrobes, kitchens and dining rooms. The rooms on the left side (going in) were the best ones, because they had deep-set windows looking out over the garden and meadows past it. There were fireplaces in most rooms.

Bilbo Baggins inherited it from his parents, and he in turn left it to Frodo, his cousin. When Frodo left Middle-earth he gave the house to Samwise Gamgee.

The Black Gate: The Black Gate that closes off the main entrance to Mordor at the mouth of Cirith Gorgor, the "Haunted Pass".

The gate was first built shortly after Sauron first began fortifying Mordor after the year 1000 of the Second Age. The Morannon consisted of a huge rampart of stone into which was placed a single gate of iron with arched doors built into it.

In the Year 3434 of the Second Age the forces of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men defeated the forces of Sauron on the Dagorlad and entered Mordor through the Morannon.

After a seven year siege of Barad-dûr, Sauron was defeated and after that, from Gondor, a watch was maintained on Mordor. Towers were built on the sheer hills outside of the gate so that the forces of Gondor could maintain a constant watch on Mordor in the Third Age. But the Great Plague of TA 1636 so weakened and reduced the population of Gondor that the Towers were abandoned by TA 1640.

In TA 2951 Sauron openly declared himself in Mordor and began rebuilding his fortifications. The towers abandoned by Gondor were rebuilt and occupied by Sauron's minions and became known as " Carchost and Narchost ( Fang-fort and Fire-Tooth); the "Towers of the Teeth" of Morannon. The hills on either side of the Morannon were riddled with holes and caves and filled with Orcs and other fell creatures of Mordor. Beyond the towers, the Dagorlad was dotted with slag heaps and mires.

It was upon two of these slag heaps that Aragorn arrayed his forces to battle with the forces of Mordor in the Battle of the Black Gate on March 25 of TA 3019. It was on that date that the One Ring was returned to the Crack of Doom and when that happened the Towers of the Teeth crumbled , the Morannon was hurled into ruin, and all of the evil works held together by the power of Sauron were unmade.

Bridge of Khazad-dûm: A narrow, dangerous bridge in the dwarf-realm of Khazad-dûm. It was there that Gandalf fought the Balrog, causing the loss of both of the combatants as well as a large amount of the bridge.

Dead Marshes: A vast, haunted fenland that lay between the Falls of Rauros and the mountains of Mordor. During the Third Age, the marsh had spread to cover part of the Dagorlad and many of the graves from the Battle of Dagorlad. The part of the marsh that has spread over the graves was then referred to as the Mere of Dead Faces.

For some evil reason the spirits of the dead could be seen lying just below the surface of the pools looking as though lighted by candles.

In TA 1944, an army of Wainriders defeated by Eärnil in the Battle of the Camp was driven into the Dead Marshes and perished.

In March of TA 3018, Frodo and Sam, guided by Gollum passed through the marsh and the Mere of Dead Faces on their quest during the War of The Ring.

Ents: The Ents were created by Ilúvatur for Yavanna to protect the forests and plants of Middle-earth as Yavanna was scared of what Aulë's dwarves might do to her woodlands. They originated just after the Elves.

They were tall, tree-like beings, and had varied looks and numbers of toes and fingers. They all looked like trees, but trees of different types - beech, rowan, elm, willow and so forth. Their skin was like tree bark, very tough and thick.

They were not a very quick-moving race, spending much time thinking things over, and their language was slow and long. They didn't like to be hasty to make decisions, but when they did decide, they stuck to their agreements.

By the time of the War of the Ring their numbers had shrunk dramatically, and there were no more Entwives to be found, and thus no Entings. Some Ents lived in Fangorn Forest, and it was these that brought about the destruction of Isengard


Related Terms: Arwen, Undómiel

A title for Arwen and the translation of the Sindarin word, Undómiel.

The name refers to her beauty, but also to her proud lineage, for the Evening Star was the light of the Silmaril bound to the brow of Eärendil, her grandfather as he sailed the evening sky.

A sword that belonged to Turgon, King of Gondolin, sometime in the first age. Turgon wielded it twice in battle and it was greatly feared by the Orcs.

Somehow, after the fall of Gondolin, it passed into the ownership of the Trolls Tom, Bert and Bill. Gandalf took it from the troll-hoard, and brought it to Elrond who identified it.

Gandalf bore it with him throughout the Quest of Erebor and the War of the Ring. It survived many battles, and one of Morgoth's Balrogs.

Helm's DeepThe great fortified gorge in the White Mountains in the Westfold of Rohan was called Helms Deep.

Named after the Rohirric king Helm Hammerhand, Helms Deep was one of Rohan's two major places of refuge during times of war (the other being Dunharrow).

Helms Deep referred to the entire fortified system which included the gorge, the Deeping Wall built across the gorge, the fortress of Hornburg, the cavern refugeknown as Aglarond (or the Glittering Caves) and the Deeping Stream that flowed from the gorge.

The defences of Helms Deep were largely built by the Men of Gondor, although the caverns of Aglarond were believed to have been delved during the Second Age by the Númenórean Sea Kings.

In 2758 , the Rohirrim led by Helm Hammerhand defended the fortress against the Dunlendings. During the War of the Ring, King Théoden kept the forces of Saruman away from the people of Rohan in the Battle of the Hornburg, where it was terribly damaged.

During the Fourth Age Eomer, together with Aragorn and the Dwarves of Aglarond, rebuilt it and fortified it.

The forest of Lothlórien was situated on both banks of the River Celebrant, to the southeast of Khazad-dûm and to the west of Anduin. The main settlement within the forest was Caras Galadhon (the "City of the Trees") and its people were known as the Galadhrim.

Other names for Lothlórien include Dwimordene, the Golden Wood, Laurelindórenan, Lindórinand, Lórinand, and Lórien.

Lothlórien was not the oldest forest in Middle-earth, but it was the only forest that contain mallorn trees. The people of Caras Galadhon made their homes in the woven branches of the trees.

The wood is first mentioned in the Second Age when some of the Sindar emigrated eastwards into the area of the Golden Wood and were received by the wood-elves of those lands with reverence. Furthermore, at the time of the War of the Elves and Sauron, Lórien accepted an influx of Noldorin Elves form Eregion, fleeing by way of Moria.

The Sindarin elf Amdir became King of Lórien and ruled until the end of the Second Age. His son Amroth then took the throne. He was preoccupied for many years with his suit of Nimrodel, and Lórien was left unfortified and poorly defended.

In the middle of the Third Age, Celeborn and Galadriel, the ringbearer of Nenya, arrived in Lórien. By that time, the forest had become a source of strange rumour - its borders were shunned by other races, and even the Wood-Elves of Greenwood were split away from the Galadhrim. For although Galadriel and Celeborn took part in the High Councils held by the Istari and the Eldar, the true nature of the place that was becoming known as Lothlórien was kept secret. Galadriel and Nenya laid a change on the Golden Wood so that it was set apart from the stream of time, ageing far more slowly than other lands.

Lothlórien endured through the Third Age, and it sheltered the Fellowship of the Ring as they fled from Moria. Shortly after that, in TA 3019, Orc hosts from Dol Guldur crossed the Anduin and assaulted the Galadhrim in three waves. All were beaten back, and in the end, the Elves of Lothlórien crossed the Anduin and destroyed Dol Guldur.

At the end of the Third Age, Galadriel took ship into the West, causing her enchantment to lift from the woods. Some time afterwards, Celeborn also left Lothlórien. In the Fourth Age only a few of the Galadhrim were in the Wood, but there was no longer light or song in Lothlórien.

Minas Tirith meant 'Tower of the Guard'. It was also called the White City, and the City of Gondor. It was known as Mundburg to the Rohirrim.

Formerly Minas Anor, it was renamed Minas Tirith at about TA 2002, when the Nazgûl captured Minas Ithil.

It was the citadel of the Kings of Gondor after the destruction of Osgiliath. In the centre of the topmost circle was a tall tower called the Tower of Ecthelion. It was built by the Steward Ecthelion I in around TA 2719. The tower was used to bear the standard of the city, and for some time housed one of the palantíri. The White Tree of Gondor was planted in the Courtyard after Isildur's escape from Minas Ithil.

The Mirror of Galadriel is a silver basin that was used by Galadriel to see the future, the possible future, or to see the happenings in the distant lands. When left to its own devices, it could show anything.

Galadriel used it to show Frodo what would happen if he had failed at his Quest. She was able to use the Mirror because she bore one of the Rings of Power, Nenya.

Mordor was the region east of the Anduin where Sauron chose to establish his stronghold beginning in the year SA 1000.

It was bounded on three sides by mountains; impassable except for in two places. The Ash Mountains (Ered Lithui) marked the northern border, and the Mountains of Shadow (Ephel Dúath) acted as the border to the west and south.

The main access to Mordor lay in the northwest corner at the point where the two mountain ranges meet. From the Dagorlad, entry was through the Morannon and Cirith Gorgor into the bowl of Udun and then through the Isenmouthe to the interior of Mordor. In the west the pass known as Cirith Ungol also allowed access to Mordor, through the Mountains of Shadow.

The interior of Mordor was divided into two regions. In the nothwest of Mordor lay the Plateau of Gorgoroth; a dry, barren, fissured, volcanic plateau. Mount Doom and Sauron's fortress of Barad-dur were in this region and it was on this plateau that Sauron located his forges and mills for the construction of the armaments for his troops.

To the south and east of the plateau of Gorgorath lay the Ash Plain (Lithlad), a fertile region drained by rivers flowing into the Sea of Nurnen. The two regions were separated by spurs jutting to the southwest from the Ash Mountains and to the East from the Mountains of Shadow. Food for Sauron's troops was grown by slaves on farmland around the Sea of Nurnen. After the destruction of the Ring, Elessar freed these slaves and gave them this region as their own.

Moria: The name used for the ancient dwarven mine of Khazad-dûm after TA 1980. It means 'The Black Chasm', but is sometimes translated as 'The Black Pit'.

Although in the Third Age the names Moria and Khazad-dûm seemed to be interchangable, the name Moria only truly applied to the mine after it was deserted by the Dwarves.

After the Dwarves left, the mine became dark and evil. There were orcs, trolls and one of the balrogs. The balrog was Durins Bane, who killed Durin and drove the dwarves out in the first place.

The Fellowship passed through Moria on their Quest for the Ring, and they all came through to the other side except Gandalf the Grey who battled the balrog and fell into the chasm.

One Ring

Related Terms: Ruling Ring, Rings of Power, Sauron, Isildurs Bane, The Precious
Related Links: Sauron and the One Ring

"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

Sauron's Ruling Ring that he created in secret in the fires of Orodruin. The Ring granted virtual immortality and mastery over the nineteen Great Rings, and all other magical Rings forged in Eregion in the middle of the Second Age.

"The chief power (of all the rings alike) was the prevention or slowing of decay (i.e. change viewed as a regrettable thing) the preservation of what is desired or loved, or its semblance ... But also they enhanced the natural powers of a possessor." (Letters #131)

Pelennor Fields

Related Terms: Minas Tirith, Rammas Echor, Gondor

During the War of the Ring, there was a fair and green plain called the Pelennor Fields surrounding Gondor's fortress-city of Minas Tirith. Here the crucial Battle of the Pelennor Fields was fought, and the tide of the war turned.

Pelennor means the "fenced land". It was called this because it was encircled by a defensive wall called the Rammas Echor that was built by one of the Ruling Stewards, Ecthelion ll, in the year 2954 of the Third Age.

The Rammas Echor was rapidly breached by the army of the Witch-king when he advanced upon Minas Tirith during the War of the Ring. Fortunately, the Rohirrim cavalry drove the Witch-king's forces onto the fields where eventually his evil hordes were overcome and destroyed.

Prancing Pony

Related Terms: Bree, Barliman Butterbur

A popular old inn located in the town of Bree. It was a meeting place for the idle, the talkative, and the inquisitive inhabitants, large and small, of the four Shire villages, and also a resort for rangers and other wanderers. It is the place where Frodo first met Strider.

The innkeepers of the Prancing Pony were the family of Butterbur, and the ale served by the tavern was highly regarded. However, the inn's main attraction for the locals was the conversation to be found in the public rooms whenever travellers stayed the night.

The inn was built of timber on three storeys, with two wings running back from the road into the hill beyond, enclosing a courtyard equipped with stables. Hobbits were catered for by specially-fitted rooms, close to the ground with round windows.


Related Terms: Elrond, Council of Elrond

Also called Imladris, The Last Homely House, The House of Elrond, Karningul (Westron). It meant 'Deep Dale of the Cleft'.

Rivendell was founded in 1697 of the Second Age as a refuge from Sauron's war in Eriador by Elrond. It lasted well into the Fourth Age, and was situated in the foothills of the Misty Mountains between the rivers Mitheithel (Hoarwell) and Bruinen (Loudwater). Elrond maintained the Last Homely House as a refuge for all elves and folk of goodwill, including many of the remaining Noldor.

The House of Elrond lay beside a stream amid pine-scented air of a deep valley guarded on both sides by the Bruinen’s chief tributary and the Bruinen itself. There was a ford crossing one of the rivers which gave entrance into Imladris, and the ford was under Elrond’s control.

The refuge was governed by Elrond until he passed over the Sea at the end of the Third Age. Vilya, one of the Three Elven Rings, helped Elrond keep the beauty of Rivendell undiminished.

It was a refuge for the weary and the oppressed, and a treasure-trove of lore and good counsel. Many elves lived there, along with others of great wisdom and power. The White Council met there, and it was in Rivendell that the Council of Elrond was held, and the fate of the One Ring decided.

Noldor were still present at Imladris well into the Fourth Age.

Shadowfax: Shadowfax was the King of Horses, a steed of the Mearas of Rohan. By day his coat was silver, and by night like unseen shade.

Théoden initially allowed Gandalf to borrow Shadowfax reluctantly, but after Gandalf freed the King from Gríma's influence, Théoden gave the Mearas to Gandalf gratefully.

Shadowfax would take no saddle or bridle, and would only carry those who he wanted to carry. It is thought that he sailed into the West at the end of the Third Age with Gandalf.


Related Terms: Brandywine, Farthings, Bucklebury, Hobbiton, Michel Delving

The Shire was originally a part of the kingdom of Arnor, and in the middle of the Third Age it was almost uninhabited. In TA 1601, King Argeleb of Arthedain gave the lands east of the Baranduin (Brandywine) River to the hobbits from Bree to settle in. These lands were 50 leagues north to south, and 40 leagues east to west.

The Shire initially consisted of the lands between the Brandywine and the Far Downs and was divided into four Farthings. Notable communities of the West Farthing included Hobbiton, Bywater and Michel Delving. The South Farthing included Sackville and Hardbottle, while the East Farthing included Buckland, and Bucklebury. The Brandywine River flowed through the East Farthing.

In TA 2340 the Shire was expanded in size when the Oldbucks settled in Buckland, between the eastern bank of the Brandywine and the Old Forest. It was again expanded in the year 30 of the Fourth Age when Aragorn gave Westmarch, the lands between the Far Downs and the Tower Hills, to the Shire.


Related Terms: Gondolin, Bilbo, Frodo, Samwise

Sting is a knife that the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins found in a Troll-hoard. It was originally made by the Elves of Gondolin, and must have been carried off by Morgoth's minions. Sting had a unique quality in that it would glow blue when Orcs were nearby.

Bilbo used it as a sword, and named it after he saved his Dwarven companions from Mirkwood's giant spiders.

He later gave it to Frodo Baggins to use on the quest to destroy the One Ring. When the quest was over, Frodo passed it on to Samwise Gamgee.


Related Terms: Fangorn Forest, Ents, Fangorn

Treebeard (or Fangorn) was the leader of the Ents in Fangorn Forest. It is not clear whether the Forest was named after the Ent, or whether the Ent was named after the Forest. Both were exceedingly old, Treebeard claiming that the Wood had seen over three ages of the world.


Related Terms: Saruman, Orthanc

Isengard, also called Angrenost (‘Iron Fortress’) in Elvish, was located at the southern end of the Misty Mountains near the start of the River Isen.

Elendil and his sons built the circular stronghold when they came to Middle-Earth from Númenor. The Ring of Isengard referred to the circular stonewall that forms the outer defense.

Within the walls of Isengard, the Númenóreans also built Orthanc ('Forked Height’ or ‘Mount Fang’), an indestructible stone tower. Isengard was granted to Saruman, who lived within the stone tower, until the Ents destroyed Isengard during the War of the Ring.


Pronunciation: ooroo'k-high
Related Terms: Orcs, Uglúk

Uruk-hai in the Black Speech means Orc People. They were also called Uruks and Great Orcs.

The Uruk-hai were thought by some to be the result of a blasphemous blending of the races of Orcs and Men on the part of Saruman the White. Others claimed that the Uruk-hai had been bred by Sauron.

The Uruks were larger than other Orcs, and looked rather man-like. They were unaffected by sunlight and were excellent trackers, because of their sense of smell. They were a strain of Orc that could travel great distances. They were stronger, faster and more intelligent than the normal Orc.

Sauron used them as soldiers, and they were first seen shortly before Osgiliath was taken by the dark forces in 2475 of the Third Age. They fought with swords that had straight blades.

They were used in the War of the Ring by Saruman to hunt for the Ringbearer. However, Saruman's band of Uruk-hai, led by Uglúk, took the wrong two hobbits hostage, and then he and his band were killed by the Rohirrim while the hostages (Merry and Pippin) got away.

Most of the Uruk-hai perished at the Battle of the Hornburg.


Related Terms: Orcs

In The Letters of JRR Tolkien, a note under Letter 297, "Drafts for a letter to Mr. Rang" says that the word Warg used in the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings refers to an evil breed of (demonic) wolves.

Wargs were intelligent, evil, wolf-like beasts that orcs used as horses. The orcs would ride them out on their raids and in return, the wargs would get a share of the plunder.

They lived in the northern parts of Middle-earth and they had a form of speech, and could talk together. They were afraid of fire, because it caught on easily in their coats.

Many fought and died in the Battle of the Five Armies, and the Fellowship was attacked by a pack of wargs before they entered Moria.