List of Tolkien Content in Dark Clouds Gathering
One of the most significant sources in Dark Clouds Gathering are the various works of J.R.R. Tolkien. For example, Morgoth's armies from Angband make up much of the Army of Shadow, while the Legion of Light now consists mostly of Noldor elves.
Sauron (SOW-ron, meaning “The Abhorred”), also known as Gorthaur the Cruel, was the greatest of all the servants of Morgoth. Originally, Sauron was a Maia of Aulë, the Vala of crafts. During the First Age, Sauron was the lord of Angband while Morgoth ruled out of Utumno with an iron fist. Though best known for taking a form similar to Morgoth’s own, Sauron’s original form was that of an enormous werewolf, and he is thus sometimes called “the Lord of Werewolves.”
Though Sauron plays many roles in the history of Middle-earth, his best-known role is the creation of the Rings of Power. In the guise of Annatar, Lord of Gifts, he gave several Rings to the greatest lords of Elves, Men, and Dwarves. In secret, he created another Ring so that he could control all the others. This is related in a poem:
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for mortal Men, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the Darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
The seventh and eighth lines of this poem were inscribed on the inner and outer edges of the Ring. The instant Sauron put the One Ring on his finger, the Elves detected him, realized what had happened, and immediately removed their Rings. The Men and Dwarves, however, fell into darkness one by one. The fate of the Seven is unknown, but the Nine became the Nazgûl, Sauron’s most powerful servants. The first King of Men to fall into shadow became the Chieftain of the Nazgûl, the Witch King of Angmar.
With the power of the Ring at his command, Sauron waged war upon the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, conquering them one by one. Eventually, the Last Alliance of Elves and Men was formed by Gil-galad, the High King of the Noldor at that time, and Elendil the Tall, the High King of Gondor and Arnor. After a seven-year siege of Mordor, Sauron himself came out to do battle and fought with both Elendil and Gil-galad at the same time. As Elendil fell, his sword, Narsil, broke into several pieces. Elendil and Gil-galad died then, but Sauron was merely stunned from the fight. This gave Elendil’s heir, Isildur, enough time to grab the hilt-shard of Narsil and cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand.
Separated from the Ring, which he had poured so much of his evil will and power into, reduced Sauron to a meek, spirit-like form and forcing him to retreat to his fortress of Barad-Dûr, watching Middle-earth through the Great Eye atop the stronghold’s highest tower.
In Dark Clouds Gathering, Sauron was brought to Caranom from a time before the Ring was cut from his finger, so the full might of Mordor is behind him and supports the Army of Shadow. Sauron’s contribution to the Army of Shadow is so great that he provided most of the Shadower forces in the First Battle of Tsils by sending only a fraction of his entire army. Sauron’s forces are mostly orcs, but there are also Easterlings, trolls, Haradrim and their oliphaunts, and all nine of the Nazgûl. When Morgoth joined the Army of Shadow, Sauron’s importance as a character and member of the Army waned, but he is still a definitive part of the Army.
Fëanor Curufinwe (image not owned by this site)
Fëanor (fay-AH-nore) was the second High King of the Noldor, succeeding his father, Finwë. He was originally known only as Curufinwe (CUR-oo-FIN-way), “skillful son of Finwë,” but his mother called him Fëanor, “spirit of fire.” Soon after Fëanor’s birth, his mother Míriel died “of free will,” a highly controversial event that shocked even the Valar. Finwë remarried, and his second wife, Indis, bore him two sons (Fingolfin and Finarfin) and two daughters (Findis and Irimë), Fëanor’s half-siblings. Fëanor himself was married to Nerdanel, who bore him seven sons: Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Caranthir, Curufin, Amrod, and Amras.
Fëanor was one of the greatest smiths in all of Valinor. He was a student of Mahtan, who himself was a student of Aulë, Vala of crafts. Fëanor invented the Tengwar script, which can be see throughout Middle-earth’s history, and also created the palantíri, a feat that was said by Gandalf to be beyond both Sauron and Saruman. However, his most famous creations were the Silmarils.
At the pinnacle of his might, Fëanor “captured the light of the Two Trees to make the three Silmarils, also called the Great Jewels, though they were not mere glittering stones; they were alive, imperishable, and sacred.” How Fëanor created the Silmarils is not entirely understood. None of the Valar could replicate them, not even Aulë. In fact, Fëanor himself was unable to make more Silmarils, because he had actually imbued part of his own essence into them. This made them, essentially, the most valuable objects in existence; Thorin Oakenshield’s Arkenstone wasn’t even a drop in the bucket compared to them.
The Silmarils caught the attention of Melkor. He used Fëanor’s growing suspicion of his kin to his advantage, fooling the elven smith into thinking that Fingolfin was planning to take his place as Finwë’s heir. Fooled by Melkor’s lies, Fëanor threatened Fingolfin’s life, a crime for which he was punished with exile. Fëanor left for Middle-earth, taking a substantial amount of wealth with him, including the Silmarils. While the Noldor were still oblivious to Melkor’s actions, the Valar had learned the truth and sent Tulkas to capture Melkor, but the dark Vala had already escaped. When Melkor tried again to obtain the Silmarils through lies directly to Fëanor, the smith finally saw through his lies. The Valar then welcomed Fëanor back into Valinor, and Fingolfin willingly offered the title of king to his brother, which Fëanor grudgingly accepted.
Soon after this, Melkor and the giant spider Ungoliant destroyed the Two Trees in Valinor and murdered Finwë, and Melkor seized the Silmarils for himself. Without the Silmarils, the sole remaining source of the light of the Two Trees, Yavanna could not restore them. Fëanor named Melkor “Morgoth Bauglir” (lit. “the Black Enemy”) and declared an oath against Morgoth, which all seven of his sons also pledged to. Almost all of the Noldor also agreed to follow Fëanor into Middle-earth to wage war on Morgoth.
Fëanor was the first being from Middle-earth to join the Legion of Light, being pulled from Beleriand at the beginning of his campaign against Morgoth. With him came twenty thousand Noldor warriors and all seven of his sons. When he first encountered Link outside the City of Tsils, he mistook the Hylian for a Sindar elf (a running gag, because of Link’s pointed ears). Though initially a bit hostile, Fëanor later became good friends with Link, granting the Hero of Hyrule the elven-made sword Orcrist and a set of mithril armor that Fëanor himself created at the forge in Firerre, which many people came out to watch. When he encountered Morgoth face-to-face in Tsils, he said that it was better to be a Kinslayer than a Tree-Murderer. In Caranom, he wields a sword of his own making called Maegnar (lit. “sharp fire”) and wears mithril armor.
Durin's Bane was a Balrog, "a demon of the ancient world," as Gandalf the Grey put it. It was one of the creatures in the service of Morgoth during the First Age. Surprisingly, it survived the War of Wrath by escaping into the MistyMountains, where it remained in hibernation for over five thousand years. However, in the Third Age, dwarven mithril-miners came to the MistyMountains, creating the Mines of Moria, and inadvertently awoke the Balrog. It slew their king, Durin, with ease, and ever since was called Durin's Bane. Despite the dwarves' efforts to kill it, the Balrog overwhelmed them, killing nearly all of them. The terror did not end there, and the Balrog’s fury extended out towards the Silvan Elves, who fled in the face of the "Nameless Fear;" at that point, they did not know that it was a Balrog.
Durin's Bane was, for the most part, undisturbed until January of 3018 of the Third Age. At that time, the Fellowship of the Ring passed through Moria. The Balrog attacked them while they were trying to escape from the Mines. Legolas immediately recognized it as a Balrog despite having never seen one before. While the rest of the Fellowship escaped, Gandalf the Grey stayed behind at the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm to stop Durin's Bane. He nearly succeeded, but was pulled down as Durin's Bane fell into an underground lake deep beneath Moria. The water doused the Balrog's flames, turning him into a kind of "slime-monster," and it fled out of Moria, quickly pursued by Gandalf. Eight days later, the chase had reached the highest peaks of the MistyMountains and the flames reignited. Here, Gandalf and Durin's Bane had their final bout, which lasted for two days and two nights. In the end, the Balrog was struck down, breaking the mountainside as he fell.
In Dark Clouds Gathering, Durin’s Bane is among the most fearsome of all the forces in the Army of Shadow that has been active, first appearing in the First Battle of Tsils and even attacking the city itself. During the battle, it was fought primarily by Link, who fired Silver Arrows at it and protected himself from its fire with Nayru’s Love and the Goron Armor. During the fifth battle, the Balrog appeared again, and Link tried to hold it off until Gandalf, who had fought the same Balrog once before, could get there to take over the fight. Thus far, Durin’s Bane is the only Balrog to have been sent into battle.
The Sons of Fëanor
Fëanor's wife was Nerdanel, and by her he had seven sons, who came to be known as the Fëanorians. The eldest was named Maedhros (ma-AY-thros), followed by Maglor, Celegorm (KEL-eh-GORM), Caranthir, Curufin, and his twin youngest sons are Amrod and Amras. All of his sons had the same dark hair as their father, except for Amrod and Amras, who had their mother's red hair, and possibly Celegorm, who may have had blond hair. In Dark Clouds Gathering, all seven of Fëanor's sons came to Caranom with their father. They have all fought in each of the battles that their father has participated in, though their roles are not always elaborated on. Their weapons are either swords, spears (though these are uncommon), daggers, or bows.
Pictured here are Maglor (in the front, holding a harp), Maedhros (just above Maglor), Celegorm and Caranthir (next to Maglor), with Nerdanel (and an unborn Curufin) in the top right corner and Fëanor in the background. Not pictured are Amrod and Amras.
Maedhros, the eldest of the Fëanorians, was born in Eldamar on an unknown date. Not much is known about Maedhros, or any of the Fëanorians, for that matter, before the Oath of Fëanor. Maedhros was the first of Fëanor's sons to agree to the Oath, which would eventually spell their doom. Soon after the campaign against Morgoth began, Maedhros was captured by Morgoth's forces and hung from the precipice of Thangorodrim by his right hand. He was rescued by his cousin Fingon and Thorondor, the King of Eagles, but his right hand had to be cut off so that he could be freed. In gratitude of this rescue, Maedhros relinquished his right as Fëanor's heir to Fingon's father, Fingolfin, the High King of the Noldor. This act was not appreciated by his brothers. In general, Maedhros was very much like his father, but he didn't have as much of a temper as Fëanor did, and was also a skilled swordsman.
Maglor was Fëanor's second son, and was renowned as the greatest poet and bard of all the Noldor. Like his elder brother, Maglor agreed to the Oath of Fëanor. Not much is known about Maglor's role in the campaign against Morgoth, but he is known to have survived the War of Wrath along with Maedhros. After Maedhros was driven mad and committed suicide, Maglor wandered the shores of Beleriand singing laments until he faded out of memory. His fate is not known, but he may have been caught in the destruction of Beleriand. In Dark Clouds Gathering, Maglor wields two swords while fighting: a short sword in one hand and a longer sword in the other, and he is even known to use his singing abilities to raise the spirits of the Legion.
Celegorm was most closely associated with his brother, Curufin. He was a great hunter and was a good friend of Oromë, who was the Huntsman of the Valar. He learned many things from the birds and beasts over his lifetime, including several different languages, and had once received Huan, the Hound of Valinor, as a gift from Oromë. Middle-earth art depicts Celegorm as having a sword, but it is also likely that, being a hunter, he was very skilled with a bow.
Fëanor's fourth son was Caranthir. He was the quickest to anger and harshest of all the Fëanorians, and because of this he was the quickest to anger. Because his realm in Beleriand border the Dwarfish Kingdoms of Nogrod and Belegost, he became very wealthy by controlling the trade routes between the dwarves and other realms. One of his most famous deeds is the rescuing of the Edain (human) woman named Haleth and her people from an orc siege. After seeing the valor of Men, he offered the Haladin--Haleth's people--free lands in the north, but Haleth kindly refused.
Fëanor's fifth son was Curufin. Originally, his name was Curufinwe, which was also the original name of Fëanor. This is because Curufin was most similar to his father out of all the Fëanorians, in temperament, skill, and appearance. He was also Fëanor's favorite son. Nerdanel gave him the name Atarinkë, which means "little father" in Quenya because of his similarity to Fëanor.
Amrod and Amras were the twin youngest sons of Fëanor, and the only ones out of the entire family to most resemble their mother. Very little is known about them, but they were practically inseperable and both extremely skilled with bows.
Note: in Dark Clouds Gathering, the Fëanorians were added to the Legion of Light before the campaign against Morgoth could truly begin, so almost none of the stories or deeds that they performed in their own world have happened yet. For example, Maedhros still has both hands.
Ancalagon the Black
Ancalagon (anne-CAL-a-GONE) was the most perfect dragon created by Morgoth, and one of the last to be bred by him. Ancalagon was bred during the First Age to be the mightiest of all dragons, even more powerful than the Father of the Dragons, Glaurung. Ancalagon was so powerful that even the armies of the Valar fled when Morgoth set him upon them. However, Eärendil, a descendent of both Elves and Men, fought Ancalagon from a flying ship, the Vingilgot, and succeeded in killing him with the help of Eagles and the Silmaril that was affixed into the ship's prow, but the other weapons he used are not known.
Ancalagon lived up to his purpose as the mightiest of all dragons. He was larger than any other in history, so large that he literally blotted out the sun as he flew, and he weighed so much that he completely crushed Thangorodrim out of existence after falling when he was killed. His fire was also hotter than that of any dragon before or after him, including Glaurung and Smaug. However, not even Ancalagon was powerful enough to destroy the One Ring, had he ever lived long enough and ever wished to do so.
When Morgoth was summoned from the Void to join the Army of Shadow, Ancalagon was summoned as well. However, this was not the Ancalagon that turned the hosts of the Valar; not even Grogna is powerful enough to pull all of Ancalagon’s might from the afterlife. Rather, the Ancalagon in Caranom is more of an Ancalagon-incarnate, having only a fraction of the original dragon’s power and size. Even still, he is by far the most powerful single dragon in the entire Army of Shadow, and possibly in all of Caranom, except for, possibly, the dormant Perlemmian Dragon.
While Ancalagon is likely the most powerful beast available to the Army of Shadow, Morgoth has yet to sic him on the Legion of Light.
The Witch King of Angmar
The Witch King has many names: the Black Captain, Lord of the Nazgûl, Wraith-king, Captain of Despair... all evoke fear and might. The Witch King was the mightiest of the Nazgûl, and was second only to Sauron himself.
Like all the other Nazgûl (except for Khamûl), the Witch King's true name and race are not known, but Tolkien stated that he was probably Númenórean. He did not acquire the title "Witch King" until he appeared in the land of Angmar in Arnor during the Second Age and began dabbling in black magic. He was eventually faced with a massive combined army of Elves and Men, and promptly fled to Mordor, never to return. The elf Glorfindel warned, "Do not pursue him! He will not return to these lands. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of Man will he fall."
The Witch King's first appearance was in The Fellowship of the Ring at Weathertop, where he stabbed Frodo Baggins, leaving a wound that would never fully heal. The Witch King would appear again at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where he killed King Théoden of Rohan. Before Théoden fully died, the Witch King gave his fell beast permission to eat the Rohirrim king. Before it could do so, he was confronted by the knight Dernhelm:
"Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leavethe dead in peace!"
"Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."
"Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."
"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"
"But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn am I, Éomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you if you touch him."
In the ensuing battle, Éowyn's arm was broken by the Witch King's mace, and she would have been killed if Meriadoc "the Magnificent" Brandybuck had not intervened, stabbing the Witch King in the sinew of his leg with a Barrow-blade given to him by Tom Bombadil. This stunned the Witch King long enough for Éowyn to recover and plunge her own sword into his helmet, this killing him and fulfilling the prophecy that no man would kill him.
Like all the other Nazgûl, the Witch King came to Caranom with Sauron. He has not participated in any battles yet, but went to Tsils in an attempt to intimidate the Legion, only to be driven off by Gandalf the White.
Gandalf the White
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Fellowship of the Ring, also known as the Company of the Ring, was a group of companions that were given the task of traveling to Mordor to destroy the One Ring. The Fellowship consisted of nine members, each acting as a representative of each of Middle-earth's free peoples. Seen here, from left to right, are Boromir of Gondor, Samwise Gamgee leading Bill the pony, Aragorn the Dúnadan, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck, Peregrin "Pippin" Took, Gimli son of Glóin, Legolas of the Woodland Realm, Frodo Baggins, and Gandalf the Grey. There were nine members of the Fellowship to match the Nine Nazgûl.
Aragorn was a direct descendant of Isildur, and therefore heir to the throne of Gondor, and was an old friend of Gandalf. Prior to guiding the hobbits to Rivendell, Aragorn assisted Gandalf in finding Gollum to extract information from him. For a time after capturing Gollum, Aragorn and his rangers kept watch over the Shire in order to find Frodo as he left for Rivendell. Aragorn stumbled upon him after Frodo accidentally put on the Ring in the Prancing Pony. It was Aragorn who warned the hobbits of what the Nazgûl truly were and bluntyly suggested that he be their guide to Rivendell. At the Council of Elrond, Aragorn was made a member of the Fellowship. His true intentions were not actually to go the full way to Mordor but to travel with the company for a while before leaving with Boromir for Gondor. After Gandalf fell in Moria, Aragorn was made the new leader of the Fellowship.
Legolas (meaning "Greenleaf" in Sindarin) was the only Elf in the Fellowship, and was the son of King Thranduil, the ruler of Mirkwood's Elves. He wore a garb of green and brown and was a superb archer and swordsman, but was best known for his archery skills, and he had very keen eyesight. Legolas originally came to Rivendell merely to tell Gandalf that Gollum had escaped from his people, not from a lack of watchfulness, but rather from over-kindness. Legolas was also chosen for the Fellowship (or he volunteered; it is a bit unclear). Legolas displayed the amazing ability of being able to walk on top of snow while the Fellowship tried to cross Caradhras. When the Fellowship moved to pass through Moria, Legolas voted against it with Boromir, but was overruled. In spite of his great eyesight--which was excellent even in the dark--Legolas couldn't see very far in the mines, but he was able to immediately recognize Durin's Bane as a Balrog despite having never seen one before. After news of Gandalf's apparent death reached the elves of Lothlórien, they sang laments for the Wizard that were so sad that Legolas refused to translate them for the rest of the Fellowship. From Galadriel, Legolas was given a bow of the same make that her people used, with which he would eventually be able to masterfully snipe a descending dwimmerlaik fell beast. While in Lothlórien, Legolas developed a friendly rivalry with Gimli that would never be broken.
Gimli was a dwarf of Durin's line. He was the son of Glóin, one of the dwarves who had accompanied Thórin Oakenshield to the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit. Gimli himself had been forbidden from joining the company because of his age at that time: only 62 (which was young for a dwarf). Not much is known about his early life, but he was an old acquaintance of Bilbo Baggins. Gimli was the lord of the Lonely Mountain when he was visited by a messenger of Sauron who tried to tempt him to join forces with Mordor. Unsure of what to do, Gimli had gone to Rivendell for counsel from Elrond and ended up joining the Fellowship. He was the only dwarf to join the Fellowship merely because he was still young and therefore the most fit to journey with the others. He was also the only member of the Fellowship to wear a mail shirt and to not carry a sword, instead preferring a broad-bladed axe as well as a few smaller axes that he could throw with great skill. Gimli stood by Gandalf when the Wizard suggested that they pass through Moria, probably out of curiosity as to what had happened to his cousin Balin, who had gone to Moria years ago to refound the kingdom of the Longbeards but had not been heard from since. He was initially hostile towards Legolas and all other elves, but by the time they reached Lothlórien, they would have only a friendly rivalry. In Moria, he became distressed and had to be practically dragged from Balin's tomb after he discovered his cousin was dead.
Boromir was the eldest son of Denethor II, the Steward of Gondor. On the evening before Sauron attacked Osgiliath, both Boromir and his younger brother Faramir had similar dreams, of which they could understand little. Asking for advice from their father, Denethor, the Steward suggested that they go to Elrond for advice. Because Faramir was full of doubt and because of the danger involved in the journey, Boromir alone went to Rivendell. At the Council of Elrond, Boromir suggested that, instead of destroying the Ring, they should use it against Sauron. Elrond promptly shot down this idea, stating that, even if used with good intentions, the Ring would twist all deeds into evil ones. Boromir joined the Fellowship with the intention of leaving the company when they passed by Minas Tirith. Boromir proved he was of great valor and strength when he blocked the western door into Balin's tomb in Moria and just off the arm of a cave troll by himself. Before the Fellowship left Lothlórien, Boromir was given a golden belt. It is not known if this belt had any special properties, but it was because of this belt that Frodo was later able to identify him after he died. (NOTE: the Fellowship came to Caranom before they reached Amon Hen, so Boromir is still alive)
Merry and Pippin were two hobbits of the Shire, and Pippin was a relative of Frodo. A common misconception of the two is that they were rather foolish and clumsy. The two were, in fact, quite clever and brave. In fact, at Amon Hen, the two of them served as decoys so that Frodo could escape, allowing themselves to be captured as the Uruk-Hai attacking the Fellowship were only after the hobbits (they did not know which of them had the Ring, so they were instructed to capture all of them). They later escaped and joined forces with the Ents, defeating Saruman at Isengard and then becoming seperated: Merry later rode to Minas Tirith with the Rohirrim while Pippin was made a Guard of the Citadel. Both played important roles during the Siege of Minas Tirith: Merry stabbed the Witch King with a Barrow-blade given to him by Tom Bombadil, and Pippin kept a then insane Denethor from burning his son Faramir alive. After the War of the Ring, they both remained important in Gondor and Rohan and were even made into folkheroes. Both were given unique brooches in Lothlórien, which they dropped to help Aragorn find them after they were captured by the Uruk-Hai.
Frodo Baggins was the Ring-bearer and the most important member of the Fellowship.
Khamûl the Black Easterling
Khamûl was one of the most powerful of the Nazgûl, second only to the Witch King himself. He was a lieutenant of Sauron, known as the "Shadow of the East" or "the Black Easterling." This indicates that he was an Easterling king before becoming on of the Nazgûl. This makes him the only Nazgûl whose true name and race are known. Khamûl was the commander of Dol Guldor in Mirkwood after Sauron returned to Mordor, but was often called away from this fortress. It was Khamûl who nearly captured Frodo at the Buckleberry Ferry. He was likely present at the Battle of Morannon, as the Witch King had been killed some days before, and was then the Lord of the Nazgûl. Like all the other Nazgûl, he died when the Ring was destroyed.
In Dark Clouds Gathering, Khamûl is a part of Sauron's forces, having come to Caranom with all the other Nazgûl. He has had little importance thus far in the story, but was present at Firerre when the Legion of Light came to reclaim it. During the battle, Khamûl's fell beast was killed and he was forced to retreat on foot after Jalhund was killed.
Elendil the Tall and the Faithful
Elendil (el-en-DEAL or eh-LEN-DEAL, meaning "Elf-friend" or "Star-lover" in Quenya) was the first High King of Gondor and Arnor. He was born in 3119 of the Second Age in the realm of Númenor. His father was Amandil, who was the leader of the Númenorean minority known as "the Faithful." At that time, many Númenoreans had sought to isolate themselves from the Elves and followed the Númenorean king at that time, Ar-Pharazôn, who had been deceived by Sauron into forming a dark cult dedicated to Morgoth. The Faithful, on the other hand, tried to maintain a strong friendship with the elves and preserved the old ways of honoring the Valar. Elendil's standard was the White Tree Nimloth, with seven stars above it and a silver crown above that on a black field. This later became the main symbol of royality in Gondor, and the tunic of King Aragorn Elessar bore this symbol.
Prior to the Fall of Númenor (in which the Valar destroyed the island for their wicked ways, comparable to the Deluge in the Bible or to the destruction of Atlantis in Greek mythology), Elendil, his sons, and the Faithful fled to Middle-earth, sailing east in nine ships. In 3320 of the Second Age, they founded the realms of Gondor and Arnor in Middle-earth. They brought the palantíri, or "Seeing Stones," that were given to the Men of Númenor, as well as a seedling of Nimloth, the White Tree of Númenor.
In Unfinished Tales, it is explained that, upon landing in Middle-earth, Elendil proclaimed, in Quenya, "Out of the Great Sea of Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, upon the ending of the world." In The Return of the King, Aragorn spoke these same words when he took up the crown of Gondor. Elendil lived in Arnor, in the city of Annúminas, while his sons founded their own cities in Gondor.
In 3428, Sauron, having establised a stronghold in Mordor, suddenly seized Minas Ithil. Isildur fled to Arnor, leaving Anárion in charge of Gondor. In 3434, Elendil and Isildur, now with the support of Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor, returned south and defeated Sauron in the Battle of Dagorlad, and laid siege to Barad-dûr for seven years. During the siege, Anárion was killed by a stone that was hurled from Sauron's stronghold and his helmet, which served as Gondor's crown, was crushed. Isildur would later offer his own helmet as the new crown, and that would be replaced several generations later by a much more elaborate jeweled crown. When Elendil and Gil-galad were killed and Narsil broken, Isildur took the hilt-shard of Narsil and cut the One Ring from Sauron's finger.
Elendil had two sons, Isildur and Anárion, who escaped from the Fall of Númenor with him. After Gondor and Arnor were founded, Elendil lived in Annúminas, and his sons founded their own cities in Gondor. Isildur founded Minas Ithil, and Anárion founded Minas Anor. On the banks of the River Anduin, Gondor's capitol was founded: Osgiliath. Isildur and Anárion had their thrones next to each other in this city. When Minas Ithil was taken by Mordor in 3428 of the Second Age, Isildur was forced to flee to Arnor, and Anárion became the sole ruler of Gondor.
There is hardly as much information on Anárion as there is on Elendil or Isildur. One of the few things that is known is how he died. During the seven year siege of Sauron's stronghold, a stone missile flew from the fortress and crushed him. In the process, his helmet, which served as the crown of Minas Anor, was crushed. Isildur would later offer his own helmet as the new crown.
There is more information on Isildur than either Elendil or Anárion. Much of this information comes from after the War of the Last Alliance. At the very end of the war, Elendil and Gil-galad were killed in a bout with Sauron himself. As Elendil fell, his sword, Narsil, broke into many pieces. As Sauron began to recover from the fight, Isildur took the hilt-shard of Narsil and cut the One Ring from Sauron's finger, effectively ending his reign of terror.
Despite the urgings of Elrond and the lieutenants of the late Gil-galad, Isildur kept the Ring for himself as an heriloom for his family. After cutting the Ring from Sauron's hand, Isildur found that the Ring was extremely hot; so hot, in fact, that it burned his hand. It remained this way for a long time, and during this time, Isildur was able to transcribe the glowing lettering on the Ring: "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the Darkness bind them." As the Ring cooled, the lettering faded away entirely, leaving the Ring virtually featureless. This came to be known as "a secret that only fire can tell."
The Ring was eventually Isildur's downfall. While marching from Arnor at the Gladden Fields, Isildur's company was attacked by a party of orcs. The entire company was slaughtered while Isildur escaped into the River Anduin with the Ring on his finger, making him invisible. The Ring, which had a will of its own, "betrayed" Isildur by slipping from his finger, after which he was shot and killed by orc arrows. After this, the Ring came to be known as "Isildur's Bane."
In Dark Clouds Gathering, Isildur and Anárion accompanied Elendil when he came to Caranom. Neither are terribly important, but are nonetheless part of the Legion of Light.
left: Isildur; right: Anárion
Orcs (alternatively spelled “Ork,” and also referred to as goblins or uruks) were a race of creatures that made up the bulk of the armies of The Enemy and his followers in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing, particularly The Lord of the Rings. Orcs are also known to act independently under their own leaders, as in the case of the goblins in The Hobbit. Unlike in other, later sources and works, the orcs of Middle-earth are not at all stupid; some can be rather crafty.
The origins of orcs are convoluted. The only thing that is definitive is that they were originally created by Morgoth, and that they were not made out of thin air; though Morgoth sought it, he did not have access to the “Secret Fire” that allowed one to create anything out of nothing, as The One had. The oldest “theory” that was proposed by Tolkien was that orcs were originally made from stone and slime through Morgoth’s awesome powers. However, when Tolkien revised Morgoth’s abilities so that he could not create life on his own, he adopted the most accepted theory today: that Orcs are, in fact, Elves that were tempted to join Morgoth and then tortured and mutilated, turning them into the first orcs.
If orcs are, in fact, corrupted elves, this would seem to imply that they are also immortal like the elves. In The Two Towers, Samwise Gamgee overhears two orcs discussing the “Great Siege” of the Last Alliance with such detail that it seems to imply that they were there themselves and witnessed the battle. Alternatively, they could have been referring to the siege of Minas Tirith. At the very least, orcs live for a few hundred years; Bolg, the goblin-king of the MistyMountains, was killed at least 140 years after the death of his father, Azog. Other theories as to their origins are that they may have once been fallen Maiar, wicked cross-breeds with Men, or even sentient beasts that were vaguely human in shape and influenced by Morgoth. Tolkien has also confirmed that, while no female orcs appear in his writings that there are female orcs and orc-children, and that they procreate in the same way that Men and Elves do.
The word “orc” comes from the Old English word “orcneas,” which originated in the epic tale Beowulf (which was a personal favorite work of Tolkien) and referred to creatures similar to Grendel, who was a troll-like being that was extremely ugly and aggressive. In the fictional elven languages of Middle-earth, “orc” mean “evil spirit,” roughly meaning that the elves viewed orcs as something akin to the bogeymen. The origin of “orcneas” is from the Latin name “Orcus,” who was a god of the underworld.
Not all orcs are necessarily evil. It was written in The Silmarillion that, during the War of the Last Alliance, the only race that was undivided(that is, only fought on one side of the conflict) were the Elves, as wicked Men such as the Easterlings fought on the side of Mordor while the Men of the West fought with the Elves. This seems to imply that at least some orcs actually fought with the Last Alliance, and not against them. Tolkien himself once stated that he did not view the orcs as “irredeemably bad,” as the orcs were also part of Eru’s (God’s) world and were therefore not completely evil. It is a known fact that the orcs do not willingly serve The Enemy; they follow him out of fear, not loyalty.
The Noldor were, without doubt, the mightiest of all the Elves. They were highly skilled in crafts, mostly ornaments but also weapons after Morgoth killed Finwë, and held vast amounts of knowledge, which they passed on to the Men after their Exile. They were originally led by Finwë, and then Fëanor after Finwë was murdered. However, their best known King to the general public was probably Gil-galad, who fought in the War of the Last Alliance during the Second Age. More is known about the Noldor of the First Age than any other race during that time. They were often viewed by others as the greatest of all the peoples of Beleriand (and, later, Middle-earth). It was because of this, and their possession of the Silmarils, that Morgoth targeted them. The Noldor were greatly involved in the campaign against Morgoth during the First Age, but, following the Kinslaying, most of them left for the Undying Lands, but a good number continued to live in Eregion, and fought in the War of the Last Alliance when they were led by Gil-galad. By the end of the Third Age, the only big communities of Noldor were in Rivendell and Lindon. In the Fourth Age, they finally and fully disappeared from Middle-earth along with all the other elves into the Undying Lands.
Haradrim and Oliphaunts
The Haradrim, or Southrons, were the people native to the lands south of Mordor and Gondor. They were long-time enemies of Gondor and were allied with Sauron during the War of the Ring, and were said to be excellent archers and horsemen. Tolkien described them in detail:
"...a man fell, crashing through the slender trees, nearly on top of Frodo and Sam. He came to rest in the fern a few feet away, face downward, green arrow-feathers sticking from his neck below a golden collar. His scarlet robes were tattered, his corslet of overlapping brazen plates was rent an hewn, his black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood. His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword..."
During the Second Age, the Men of Númenor landed ships in Middle-earth and began a mutually beneficial alliance with the Haradrim. After a while, though, they began levying great taxes on the Haradrim, and those that weren't taxed or slaughtered were sold into slavery. After the Fall of Númenor, the Haradrim and Men of the West were sworn enemies. However, during the Fourth Age, they submitted to the rule of King Aragorn II.
The Haradrim were infamous for their use of the Oliphaunt in battle. Oliphaunts were enormous, pachyderm-like beasts the Haradrim used both in combat and as beasts of burden. "Oliphaunt" is actually not a proper term; it is a name that comes from hobbit lore. The proper name for oliphaunts was mûmakil, singular mûmak. This term was also used by the Men of Gondor.
Oliphaunts were known to be large enough to carry tower-like structures on their backs. They had thick, nearly impenetrable hides and massive tusks, much like real-world elephants. It is unclear whether oliphaunts had tusks like real-world elephants, like those of extinct mammoths, or something else entirely. In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the oliphaunts were depicted as having two sets of large, curving tusks, and one pair of smaller tusks.
Oliphaunts were known to live in Harad during the Third Age. Their best known military roles were during the Siege of Gondor and the subsequent Battle of the Pelennor Fields in 3019 of the Third Age. The Haradrim strapped tower-like structures to the backs of the beasts, from which archers and spearmen hurled projectiles with deadly accuracy. The oliphaunt itself would also fight, goaded by a chief Haradrim who loosely controlled the animal with hooks and ropes attached to its ears. A single footfall could crush an entire horse, and the tusks could easily send soldiers flying. To add to this, the Haradrim sometimes attached spikes to the tusks or suspended barbed wire between them.
Killing an oliphaunt was nearly impossible. Their hides were so thick that arrows could not effectively penetrate them, and any stationary archers would be easy prey for the archers on top of the oliphaunt. Also, horses were easily spooked by the appearance and size of the oliphaunts, making them excellent counter-cavalry. The only known way to kill an oliphaunt was by shooting it in the eye or by cutting the tendons on its legs with a sword, both of which were extremely difficult tasks.
At some point during the early parts of the Fourth Age, the oliphaunts died out, replaced by modern elephants.
Wargs, Warg Riders, and Werewolves
Before Middle-earth was created, the Valar and Maiar took their preferred forms, though they could change shape at will. There came to be a great battle between those who were led by Manwë and those who were led by Melkor (who would later be known as Morgoth). Melkor's most powerful servant, Sauron, originally took the form of a ferocious werewolf. However, it is Draugluin, another of the Maiar, that became the precursor of the werewolves.
There are a number of distinctions between werewolves and wargs, which may have descended from them, but these are not exactly clear. Werewolves were originally just wolves that came to be inhabited by the wicked fëa of Orcs or fallen Maia, which may explain why Wargs can speak, as only creatures with fëa could speak. Unlike the traditional werewolf of European folklore, the werewolves of Arda were always in the form of beasts. Carcharoth was a wolfhound descended from Draugluin that had a kind of venom in his fangs, but it is not known if all werewolves had this venom.
By the Third Age, werewolves had somewhat fallen from significance and their place was taken by the better-known Wargs. Wargs were essentially large, sentient wolves about five feet tall at the shoulder and up to ten feet long from tip to tail, and their total weight based on this has been estimated to be around 600 pounds. Rohirric tapestries depict wargs with a bear-like snout full of huge fangs, and a rather long, prehensile neck. The neck gave it great reach and flexibility, and even greater power when biting into flesh. Its forelegs were incredibly muscular, allowing wargs to run at very high speeds and to smash into enemies like a locomotive. They also had powerful haunches and, most surprisingly, a thumb on their forepaws, both of which allowed them to easily climb. More blatantly, they had a hyena-like ruff along their spines and short, dense fur. The fur actually helped protect the warg from injury caused by tooth and claw, but was no defense against metal weapons. Their coloraton and the patterns of their fur seem to vary, with mottling and other patterns appearing in different shades of red, brown, fawn, and liver.
Wargs are famous used by Orcs as mounts. In Peter Jackson's The Two Towers, a large party of orcs attacked the Rohirrim in the hills between Edoras and Helm's Deep while riding on wargs. This scene was not in the original novel, but displays near all of the warg's talents, including their climbing abilities and even their prehensile necks, though these are not terribly obvious.
In Dark Clouds Gathering, wargs serve as the primary "cavalry" of the Army of Shadow as well as scouts. During the First Battle of Tsils, a party of Uruk-Hai used wargs to sneak past the main battle in an attempt to set charges on the walls of Tsils, though they were routed along with the rest of the Army's fighting force in that battle. After the Legion of Light reclaimed Firerre, they rode out into Caranom's hills to meet the Host of Murazor, and were ambushed by wargs in a tribute to The Two Towers.
In addition to regular Orcs, there was also a particularly nasty breed of them known as Uruk-Hai (UR-uck-HI or UR-uh-KAI). "Uruk" (UR-uck) is actually a word in the Black Speech of Mordor meaning "orc," and "hai" means "folk," so "Uruk-Hai" means "Orc-Folk." The "hai" is also present in "Olog-hai," meaning "Troll-Folk." For short, they are often called simply "uruks."
Uruks were described as very large and very strong orcs with skin as black as coal, whereas normal orcs typically have grayish, off-white, or even yellowish skin. The first Uruk-Hai were bred by Sauron in 2475 of the Third Age. Their first major role in Middle-earth's history was the conquest of Ithilien and the destruction of Osgiliath.
Later in the Third Age, Saruman bred his own Uruk-Hai, making further improvements to Sauron's creations by making them resistant to sunlight and giving them new armaments. While Uruks and other orcs in the service of Sauron put the Red Eye of Mordor on their shields, the Uruks of Isengard etched an elf-rune (<, meaning "S") onto their helmets, which were made of white metal, and had the White Hand of Saruman painted onto their shields. Saruman's Uruks were also capable of traveling nonstop for days on end, though they did not like doing this.
In The Two Towers, Aragorn said that one of the fallen orcs at Amon Hen was unlike any that he had seen before. He also commented that their gear was not what orcs usually carried: these new orcs wielded short broadswords, while normal orcs often carried curved scimitars. In addition, they were physically different, with thick, straight legs and large hands. In contrast, normal orcs were often rather wiry-looking and bow-legged. Though the new orcs disliked sunlight, they could withstand it better than other types of orcs.
Another major event in Middle-earth's history in which Uruk-hai were involved was the Battle of the Hornburg in 3019 of the Third Age. Though the Uruks nearly won, they were ultimately routed by the reinforcements of Gandalf the White and the Riders of Rohan.
The Nine Nazgûl (NAHZ-ghoul) are among the most feared of Sauron's servants and are, by definition, his most powerful. They are known by several names, including Fell Riders, Ringwraiths, Black Riders, and simply The Nine.
Originally, the Nazgûl were great kings of Men, who were selected by Annatar, Lord of Gifts, to receive Rings of Power. Like the Three Elven-kings and the Seven Dwarf-lords, they were deceived. When Annatar—who was actually Sauron in disguise—created the One Ring, the kings fell into darkness one by one, becoming neither living nor dead. The names and races of the Nazgûl are not known, except Khamûl (who was an Easterling), and there were also three Númenórean Nazgûl, and the Witch King was probably one of them.
Because they hold Rings of Power, each of the Nine had a much, much longer life than mortal men; the Nazgûl that sought out the Ring-bearer in the Third Age were the exact same Black Riders that had served Sauron during the Second Age. They are led by the Witch King of Angmar, who is second only to Sauron himself.
The Nazgûl are not actually solid. Rather, they are more like spirits who assume true shape only in the guise of the Black Riders. They had a red reflection in their eyes that could be seen even in daylight, and, when enraged, they became consumed in hellish flames. They had a great arsenal of weapons, mostly swords, but they were also equipped with daggers known as Morgul blades. Morgul blades were wrapped in magic so sinister that being stabbed by one effectively poisoned the victim. The poisoning grew progressively worse with time, but could be treated and even cured with athelas, a kind of herb used by Elves and the Men of Gondor to heal wounds. Also, the Witch King wielded a large mace in battle much like his master Sauron, and he could ignite his sword with flames at will.
The arsenal of the Nazgûl was not limited to just physical weapons. They carried an everlasting aura of fear about them, which drove every living thing near them to flee, ranging from Men to birds to the worms under their feet. The Nazgûl rode on specially bred horses from Minas Morgul that had to be trained to resist the terror that they instilled. As a result, the horses refused to travel over even shallow water. They also rode on the backs of dwimmerlaik fell beasts after their horses drowned at the Fords of Bruinen. After the incident at Bruinen, the Nazgûl reverted to spirit-form and were forced to retreat to Mordor. The only way to kill a Nazgûl is to destroy the One Ring, which gives power to their own Rings. At the end of the Third Age, the Nazgûl died along with their master when the Ring was cast into the fires of Mount Doom.
Being Sauron’s most powerful servants, the Nazgûl accompanied their master to Caranom and became commanders in the Army of Shadow. Two unnamed Nazgûl took part in the First Battle of Tsils astride dwimmerlaik, and one of them poisoned Erabor with a Morgul blade. In retribution, Drogonth breathed fire on him, forcing him to revert to spirit-form again. The Witch King of Angmar, at the command of Morgoth, flew into Tsils on his fell beast and attempted to demand the surrender of the Legion, but was driven off by Gandalf the White. Another Nazgûl, this time Khamûl, served as a captain at Firerre alongside two corrupted kendles from Agrounce, King Bulblin, and Jalhund the minotaur. During the fourth battle, in which the Legion of Light and the Host of Murazor met on open land, at least four of the Nazgûl observed from above the clouds.
Gothmog and the Balrogs
The Balrogs, sometimes called "Balrogath," were creatures made of both fire and shadow. They tok on the forms of enormous monsters completely engulfed in flames, sometimes with horns, tails, and vestigial wings. In effect, they looked very much like devils. They commonly wielded fiery whips, but also used hammers, maces, axes, and swords.
They were originally Maiar that were tempted by Morgoth and took their forms before the Elves were created. They, along with the dragons, were among Morgoth's most feared and most powerful servants. Most of them were destroyed during the First Age, but some managed to flee into the pits of Angband or across the Blue Mountains.
The first appearance of the balrogs in combat was during the Dagor-nuin-Giliath ("Battle under the Stars") in the First Age. It was in this battle that Fëanor, the High King of the Noldor at that time, died. After the Noldor won against Morgoth's orcs, the Dark Lord unleashed the Balrogs. Though Fëanor fought many Balrogs at once valiantly, he was eventually mortally wounded by the Chieftain of the Balogs. Even though the Fëanorians fought off the Balrogs, Fëanor soon died of his wounds.The mightiest of the Balrogs, and the one who killed Fëanor, was Gothmog. Gothmog was so powerful that he was given a rank equal to that of Sauron himself. Gothmog actually willing followed Morgoth into the Void when he was sentenced there for the first time, possibly out of strategic value. Gothmog may have actually been an adept strategist, because he wisely retreated when the Fëanorians approached. He was Morgoth's frontline commander in at least one battle. During the Fall of Gondolin, Gothmog fought with Ecthelion of the Fountain, who stabbed him with the spike on top of his helmet and caused both of them to fall into the Fountain of the King. If Gothmog wasn't killed by the spike, he certainly drowned in the Fountain along with Ecthelion. To date, no one, not even another Maia, has ever killed a Balrog without dying in the process.In Dark Clouds Gathering, Gothmog and dozens, if not hundreds, of Balrogs came into Caranom as part of the armies of Angband. In spite of all this power being at their disposal, the Army of Shadow has not yet unleashed any of these Balrogs, letting only Durin's Bane go into battle.
Saruman of Wise
Dwimmerlaik (image not owned by this site)
“Dwimmerlaik” is an archaic word originating in Rohirric. It roughly translates as something akin to black magic. In Dark Clouds Gathering it refers to the dragon-like mounts of the Nine Nazgûl and all others of that species. These creatures are better known as “fell beasts,” but this is a descriptive term (“fell” being used in the archaic sense here, meaning “evil”) and not a proper name.
Tolkien never actually named the “fell beasts.” In a letter to a relative during the second World War (in which Tolkien was a pilot in the RAF), he described them as “Nazgûl-birds.” The name “Dwimmerlaik” was actually given to the Witch King of Angmar by the Rohirrim knight Dernhelm during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. After the book was published, many readers began to call the fell beasts “pterodactyls” for their apparent similarity to the prehistoric flying reptiles. Tolkien never imagined them as pterosaurs, but admitted that they were very “pterodactyllic” in appearance, and that they may be the last remnants of pterosaurs from prehistoric times.
In Caranom, Morgoth referred to fell beasts as dwimmerlaik while traveling from Grogna’s fortress to Eden Angband in the Northern Mountain Range. Unlike in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, the fell beasts in Dark Clouds Gathering most closely resemble their novel counterparts and have beaks, which all film adaptations of fell beasts lack.
Grisnákh was an orc that served Sauron. He was the leader of a party of orcs from Mordor that joined forces with Isengard's Uruk-Hai after they had captured Merry and Pippin of the Fellowship of the Ring. After about three days of marching nonstop, the party of orcs made camp. Grisnákh and his orcs thought that it would be a good idea to eat the hobbits, as there was no other meat available, but Uglúk, the leader of the Isengard orcs, insisted, on Saruman's orders, that "they [were] not for eating." This lead to a brief dispute between parties that was interrupted by the Riders of Rohan. Grisnákh was hit by a spear, but lived, and pursued Merry and Pippin into Fangorn Forest, where he was stepped on and killed by Treebeard.
In Dark Clouds Gathering, Grisnákh is an orc captain under Morgoth, not Sauron. He was assigned to the Host of Murazor as a captain among the one hundred thousand orcs that were in the Host. Specifically, he was the commander of the Host's warg regiment, and appeared in the fourth battle astride a warg in full battle armor.
The Mouth of Sauron & the Black Númenoreans
Carcharoth (CAR-char-oth or CAR-car-oth), meaning “Red Maw” in Sindarin, was one of Morgoth’s mightiest beasts. Carcharoth was descended from Draugluin, the first werewolf, and was hand-fed elven and human flesh by Morgoth himself. The wolf’s main duty was to guard the Gates of Angband.
Carcharoth’s only major appearance was in The Silmarillion, in which Beren and Lúthien had to pass him in order to infiltrate Angband. On the way in, Lúthien used her magic to lull him to sleep and keep him from attacking them, but failed to do so while they were leaving. Beren tried to stop Carcharoth with the Silmaril he and Lúthien had taken from Morgoth’s crown, but the wolf bit off his hand at the wrist, Silmaril and all. The might of the Silmaril drove the wolf mad, causing him to rampage throughout Beleriand, killing indiscriminately. Beren accompanied several others, including Huan, the Hound of Valinor, in the hunting and destruction of Carcharoth, but both Beren and Huan were killed in the process. After the wolf was killed, his stomach was cut open to retrieve the Silmaril, still clasped in Beren’s hand.
Carcharoth biting off Beren’s hand may have been inspired by the Norse myth of Tyr’s hand (or arm, in some versions) being bitten off by the wolf Fenrir in retribution for tricking him into enchanted chains.
Carcharoth has yet to appear in Dark Clouds Gathering. He was mentioned by Morgoth as among the forces he had yet to unleash upon the Legion of Light.
Smaug the Tremendous
Ungoliant, Shelob, and the Great Spiders
Bill, Bert, and Tom (image not owned by this site)
The first of Tolkien's trolls to ever go public were the three that were featured in the chapter "Roast Mutton" in The Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins, accompanying a company of dwarves to the Lonely Mountain, had been sent to investigate a firelight that the dwarves, cold and wet from a recent rain, had seen. When he arrived, he discovered that the fire belonged to "three wicked, huge trolls." The trolls, named Bill, Bert, and Tom, had recently raided a nearby village and captured the livestock, which they had been eating for at least the past several days and were sick of it. Bilbo would have returned to the dwarves then and there, but he figured that the dwarves would be upset with their "burglar" for not robbing the trolls first. As he tried to sneak away with the pocketbook of one of the trolls, it suddenly came alive and gave him away. He was quickly captured by them, and they inquired as to who he was. Bilbo said, "A bur--a hobbit." (Bilbo had nearly said "burglar," which would have certainly spelled his doom). The trolls, being rather stupid, thought he had said "burrahobbit" and asked if there were any more of him running around. Bilbo said there weren't and hoped that the dwarves wouldn't come looking for him.
Unfortunately for the dwarves, they did, and each one of them was captured and put into a sack while the trolls tried to figure out how they should eat them. Gandalf the Grey tricked the trolls into fighting one another by throwing his voice, and the trolls fought each other until dawn. As soon as they were struck by the sunlight, they turned to stone. This left the company free to rob their cave, which was how Bilbo came into possession of his sword, Sting.
The trolls spoke in a way unlike any other character in Tolkien's works, with Cockney accents, and cursing occasionally. In Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring, the trolls are seen by Aragorn and the hobbits, still stone, with ivy beginning to grow over them. Sam pointed them out in an attempt to cheer up Frodo, who had been stabbed by the Witch King. This instance shows the trolls are no taller than a Man (but were certainly wider), indicating that they were probably not cave trolls, but rather hill trolls.
Mentioned in Passing
Following is a list of characters from Arda's history. Almost all of them are from the First Age and are definitive parts of Middle-earth's mythology or folklore:
Turgon the Wise: ruler of the hidden city of Gondolin
Túrin Turambar: son of Húrin
Eärendil the Mariner: son of Turgon, who fought and killed Ancalagon the Black
Beren: a Man of the royal House of Bëor
Fingolfin: half-brother of Fëanor
Ecthelion of the Fountain: an Elf of Gondolin, who fought with the Captain of the Balrogs and won
Bard the Bowman: the captain of the guard at Lake-town in the Third Age, slayer of Smaug