The Lord of the Rings: Creatures
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Balrogs were Maiar who rebelled with Melkor, after Sauron the mightiest and most terrible of his servants. They were spirits of fire and bore whips of flame, but they were also cloaked in darkness. Their lord was Gothmog. Balrogs fought frequently in the Wars of Beleriand, but most were destroyed in the Great Battle. The few survivors hid deep underground, but in the Third Age 1980 one was uncovered by the Dwarves at the root of the mithril-vein in Khazad-dm. This demon, known in the Third Age as the Balrog, killed two kings of Durin's Folk in two years, and the Dwarves fled. About 2480 sauron people Khazad-dm with Orcs and trolls; the Balrog ruled over these by his terror. The Balrog was destroyed by Gandalf in the Third Age 3019 after a ten-day battle. The Quenya name for the Balrogs was Valaraukar. The Balrog of Khazad-dm wass also known as Durin's Bane (because of his murder of Durin 6) and the Terror.


Bill was a pony bought in Bree by Frodo in the Third Age 3018 from Bill Ferny, after whom he was named. When bought, Bill was half-starved, but under the care of Sam Gamgee he became healthy and happy. Bill bore Frodo part of the way to Rivendell, and was later used by the Company of the Ring as a pack animal. Set free outside the West-gate of Khazad-dm, Bill eventually found his way back to Bree. There he was recovered after the War of the Ring by Sam, who dearly loved him.


Dragons were evil creatures of northern Middle-earth, huge, powerful, scale-covered, long-lived, greedy for treasure, and full of malice. They could bewilder anyone who looked in their eyes, and their words were cunning and seductive. Dragons were probably first bred by Morgoth when he returned to Angband with the Silmarils. There appeared to have been three strains of dragons: the Urulki, the winged dragons, and the cold-drakes. The first of the Urulki, the fire-drakes of the North, was Glaurung. They breathed fire but did not fly; they were the most common type of dragon in the First Age. The winged dragons, who also breathed fire, first appeared in the Great Battle, but thereafter are not mentioned until the Third Age 2570, when they reappeared in the Ered Mithrin and harassed the Dwarves and the othod. The greatest winged dragon of the Third Age was Smaug, who took Erebor in 2770 and was slain in 2941. The cold-drakes were found only in the Ered Mithrin; they probably did not breathe fire. Dragons were also called the Great Worms.


The Eagles were easily large enough to carry a Man (or a Dwarf plus a Hobbit); Thorondor, the largest, had a wingspan of 180 feet. They could speak the tongues of Men and Elves. Eagles lived a very long time, and may have been immortal; Thorondor's deeds spanned nearly 600 years. They were called the Eagles of Manw, of the King, of the Lords of the West, and of the North. They were also called the great Eagles. The Sindarin for eagle is thoron.

Great Spiders

The great spiders were large and evil creatures found in Nan Dungortheb at least as early as the end of the Spring of Arda; they were probably among the monsters with which Melkor blighted the Spring. When Ungoliant came to Nan Dungortheb she bred with the spiders, and no doubt they were increased in power and malice. When Beleriand was destroyed at the end of the First Age, most of the spiders were slain, but at least one, Shelob, survived. She fled to the Ephel Dath, and her incestuous offspring spread through the mountains of Mordor moved to Mirkwood when Sauron established himself there, and for the rest of the Age they plagued the Woodmen and the Elves of the Woodland Realm. The spiders of Mirkwood were probably destroyed early in the Fourth Age, and Shelob may have died of wounds given her by Sam Gamgee, but the lesser spiders of Mordor may well have survived well into the Fourth Age. Shelob stood at least five feet tall, for Sam was able to stand underneath her belly, and the great spiders f Beleriand were probably this size. The spiders of Mirkwood and Mordor were smaller than this, but were still quite large.


Mearas were horses of Rohan, Felarf and his descendants. Except for Shadowfax, the mearas would allow none but the King of the Mark or his sons to ride them. It was believed that Orom brought the first meara to Middle-earth from Valinor, such was their beauty and strength. The mearas were the greatest horses of Rohan, and thus of the world, being extremely strong, swift, and intelligent. They were white or grey and lived about eighty years.


Oliphaunts were elephants, used by the Haradrim as beasts of war. They carried war-towers, and also frightened horses; being virtually invulnerable, they formed centers of Haradrim defense in battle. They could be killed only by being shot in the eye, although they did have a tendency to run amok. Oliphaunts were similar to modern elephants, except that they were much larger. The Rangers of Ithilien called Oliphaunts mumakil (singular, mumak), which may have been their name in Westron, Sindarin, or the language of the Haradrim. Oliphaunts was the name given them by the Hobbits.


Ravens were the birds of Middle-earth. The ravens of Erebor were friendly with the Dwarves and spoke Westron. They were large and lived to a great age; Roc, chief of the ravens, was 153 years old in the Third Age 2941. In 2941, Roc acted as counselor and messenger to Thorin, telling him of the death of Smaug and sending ravens to bring Dwarves of Durin's Folk of Erebor.


Shadowfax was a meara, the greatest horse of Rohan at the time of the War of the Ring. In 3018, King Thoden gave Gandalf any horse of his choosing, and the wizard chose Shadowfax. The horse bore him faithfully without bridle or saddle throughout the War of the Ring. Shadowfax was extremely strong and swift; he could run twelve hours at a stretch, and could outrun the steeds of the Nazgul. Shadowfax got his name because his coat was silver-grey.


Shelob was a great spider, akin to those of Nan Dungortheb. Somehow Shelob escaped the ruin of Beleriand, and she and her offspring dwelt in the Ephel Dath and in Mirkwood. Shelob herself had a vast den in Cirith Ungol, and for two ages of Middle-earth she lived on Men, Elves, and Orcs, and served as a sure guard to prevent anyone from entering Mordor by that route. About the Third Age 3000 she trapped Gollum, but released him on the condition that he bring her food. In 3019, during the Quest of Mount Doom, Gollum guided Frodo and Sam to Shelob's Lair. Shelob paralyzed Frodo, but was herself blinded and stabbed by Sam, who used the the Phial of Galadriel and Sting. Shelob may have eventually died of her wounds, or of starvation caused by her inability to hunt while blind. Shelob was called Her Ladyship by the Orcs of the Tower of Cirith Ungol. She was also known as Shelob the Great.


Smaug was a dragon of the Ered Mithrin, the greatest dragon of his time. In 2770, hearing of the wealth of Erebor, Smaug destroyed Dale and drove the Dwarves away from the Kingdom under the Mountain. For nearly two hundred years he gloried in his treasure, until in 2941, disturbed and angered by Thorin and Company, he attacked Esgaroth and was slain by Bard the Bowman. In addition to the various honorifics bestowed on him by the frightened Bilbo, Smaug was known as Smaug the Golden.


Trolls were an evil race of Middle-earth. Trolls were originally bred by Morgoth in the First Age from some unknown stock, perhaps in imitation of Ents. During the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Gothmog had a bodyguard of trolls, but otherwise they were not prominent in the Wars of Beleriand. In later ages Sauron used Trolls, but their value was limited by their stupidity. Trolls were very large (perhaps as large as Ents), strong, ugly, and stupid. They had thick skin and black blood, and most trolls (except the Ologhai) turned to stone when exposed to sunlight. They hoarded treasure, killed for pleasure, and ate raw flesh of all kinds. Although they could never be really intelligent, Sauron increased their wits with wickedness, and toward the end of the Third Age, some trolls became quite dangerous. There seem to have been at least four strains of Trolls: the Stone-trolls of the Trollshaws and other parts of Eriador, the Cave-trolls of Moria, the Hill-trolls of Gorgoroth and Eriador, and the Olog-hai. The Stone-trolls spoke a debased Westron and seem to have been the most human; Bert, Tom, and William Huggins were Stone-trolls. The Cave-trolls and Hill-trolls spoke a debased version of Orkish, when they spoke at all, and were scaled; the Cave-trolls spoke a debased version of Orkish, when they spoke at all, and were scaled; the Cave-trolls were greenish and their feet were toeless. The Olog-hai, bred by Sauron toward the end of the Third Age, dwelt in southern Mirkwood and the mountains of Mordor. More agile and cunning than other Trolls, they could endure the sun as long as Sauron controlled them. The Olog-hai used the Black Speech.


Ungoliant was the spirit of evil. Ungoliant may have been one of the Maiar corrupted by Melkor, but in Arda she served only herself. A creature of darkness, Ungoliant assumed a huge spider form and dwelt in a dark ravine in Avathar. Yet she desired and hated light, and she agreed to help Melkor poison the Two Trees. Cloaked in her Unlight, Ungoliant and Melkor came to Ezellohar, where she drained the Trees of their sap, poisoned them, and drank the Wells of Varda dry. The pursuit by Orom and Tulkas was stymied by the Unlight, and Ungoliant and Melkor escaped to Middle-earth. There, in Lammoth, Ungoliant demanded the gems which Melkor had stolen from Formenos. She devoured them and grew larger and darker, and she attacked Melkor when he refused to five her the Silmarils. Driven off by the Balrogs, Ungoliant fled to Nan Dungortheb, where she bred with the creatures there to increase the evil and terror of the great spiders. It is said that she later went far south, where in her last hunger she devoured herself.

Watcher in the Water

The Watcher in the Water was a many-tentacled creature who guarded the West-gate of Moria at least between the years Third Age 2994 and 3019, and was perhaps related to the nameless things below Khazad-dm. The Watcher was definitely evil, but it is unclear whether he was under the control of Sauron or the Balrog. The Watcher lived in a lake created by his damming of the Sirannon.

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