Full Index
People Index
Place Index
Creature Index
Thing Index
Event Index

The Thain's Book
An encyclopedia of Middle-earth and Numenor

See also Horses

Boar of Everholt

Great boar living in the Firien Wood. In 2864 of the Third Age, King Folca of Rohan hunted and killed the Boar of Everholt, but the Boar fatally wounded him with its tusks.

Names & Etymology:
It's not clear whether Everholt is another name for the Firien Wood or the name of a section of the Firien Wood. 
The element ever is derived from the Old English eofor meaning "wild boar" while holt is a poetic term meaning "wood, grove."

Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The House of Eorl," p. 350
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull: "Appendix A," p. 704

Tapestry of Folca hunting the Boar of Everholt
designed for the New Line film by Jeremy Bennett

Boar of Everholt


Queen Beruthiel's Cats

Ten cats belonging to the Queen of Gondor. Queen Beruthiel was the wife of Tarannon Falastur, the twelfth King of Gondor. She had nine black cats and one white cat. Her cats were stealthy and adept at finding their way in the dark.

Queen Beruthiel used the cats as spies in order to learn the secrets that the people of Gondor wanted to keep hidden so that she could have an advantage over them. She was able to speak with her cats or read their minds in order to learn what they had discovered. The people of Gondor hated and feared the cats, but the cats were not safe from Queen Beruthiel either. She tormented them and she had the white cat spy on the black cats.

It is said that Tarannon Falastur set Queen Beruthiel and her cats adrift at Sea and they were never seen again.

The Fellowship of the Ring: "A Journey in the Dark," p. 325
Unfinished Tales: "The Istari," p. 401-402 note 7


Other Cats

Other cats of Middle-earth include the ostler's cat mentioned in Frodo's song at the Prancing Pony, as well as the real cat belonging to the inn's ostler Bob. A cat was featured in the Riddle-game between Bilbo and Gollum: "No-legs lay on one-leg, two-legs sat near on three-legs, four-legs got some." = "Fish on a little table, man at table sitting on a stool, the cat has the bones."


The Hobbit: "Riddles in the Dark," p. 88
The Fellowship of the Ring: "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony," p. 170-72


Crebain in the New Line film
Crebain - movieLarge, black crows. Crebain lived in Fangorn Forest and Dunland. The birds made a harsh croaking noise.

During the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age, Saruman used crebain as spies to gather information on the progress of the Ring-bearer. As the Fellowship passed through Hollin on January 8, 3019, Sam Gamgee and Aragorn spotted a large flock of crebain that appeared to be searching for something. Sam and Aragorn hid as the crebain passed overhead and flew northwest.

The Fellowship remained in hiding for the rest of the day without a campfire, and flocks of crebain flew by several times. They may have brought news of the Fellowship's journey to Saruman, who used the information that he gathered from his various spies to send a company of Uruk-hai to ambush the Fellowship at Amon Hen.

Names & Etymology:
The singular of crebain is craban.

The Sindarin word for "crow" is carach or corch and the Quenya word is karko or korko. The word craban may be an adaptation of these words into the languages of the Men of Dunland.

The Fellowship of the Ring: "The Ring Goes South," p. 298-301
The Two Towers: "The Departure of Boromir," p. 18; "The Riders of Rohan," p. 39; "The Voice of Saruman," p. 185-86
The History of Middle-earth, vol. V, The Lost Road and Other Writings: "The Etymologies," entry for KARKA

A Tolkien Dictionary by Robert Ireland


Fang, Grip, and Wolf

Dogs of Farmer Maggot. Fang, Grip, and Wolf were ferocious, wolvish-looking animals. The dogs guarded Maggot's farm Bamfurlong since it was near the border of the Shire and strangers sometimes passed through. On September 25, 3018 of the Third Age, a Nazgul came to Bamfurlong seeking news of someone named Baggins. Grip approached the Nazgul and sniffed and then let out a yelp and ran howling away.

Later that day Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee and Pippin Took came to Bamfurlong. Fang, Grip and Wolf ignored Pippin but barked and growled at Sam and Frodo until Farmer Maggot called them off. Frodo had been terrified of Farmer Maggot's dogs ever since his youth when he was caught trespassing for mushrooms and Maggot told the dogs that they could eat the young Hobbit next time they saw him. Frodo was relieved to discover that Farmer Maggot was a stout fellow who helped the Hobbits on their way.

The dogs encountered by Frodo as a youngster were not necessarily Fang, Grip and Wolf, since his mushroom raids took place at least 30 years before 3018.


The Fellowship of the Ring: "A Short Cut to Mushrooms," p. 101-107


Huan the Hound

Dog who helped Luthien and Beren on their quest. Huan was a large wolfhound. He did not require sleep, and his vision and sense of smell were keen. He understood the speech of all living things and was capable of speaking himself, though he only did so three times during his life. Huan may have been a Maia in animal form, or he may simply have been an animal who had been taught speech by the Valar. (HoME X, p. 410-12)

Huan was born in the Undying Lands. He originally belonged to Orome, the huntsman of the Valar. Orome gave Huan to Feanor's son Celegorm. When Feanor and his sons pursued Morgoth to Middle-earth to retrieve the Silmarils in 1495 of the Years of the Trees, Huan followed Celegorm out of loyalty. Huan shared his master's exile and fell under the Doom of Mandos, and he was fated to be killed by the "the mightiest wolf that would ever walk the world." (Sil, p. 173)

In 465 of the First Age, Sauron captured Beren and Finrod Felagund of Nargothrond, though he did not know their identities. Sauron sent forth wolves from the Isle of Werewolves to investigate. Celegorm and his brother Curufin, who were living in Nargothrond, rode out onto the Guarded Plain to hunt the wolves, and Huan was the leader of their wolfhounds.

Near the western edge of Doriath, Huan found Luthien despite the enchanted cloak she wore which made her nearly invisible, and he was unaffected by the cloak's spell of sleep. Luthien was on her way to rescue Beren, who had been sent by Luthien's father Thingol on a quest to steal a Silmaril from Morgoth in order to win his daughter's hand.

But Celegorm took Luthien prisoner in hopes of marrying her to force an alliance with Thingol. Huan perceived that his master had done an evil thing, and out of love for Luthien he helped her escape. He spoke for the first time to Luthien and led her secretly out of Nargothrond.

Huan allowed Luthien to ride on his back as they travelled north to the Isle of Werewolves to rescue Beren. When they came to the bridge, Sauron sent out wolves one by one but Huan slew them all. Huan fought long with Draugluin - the lord and sire of the werewolves of Angband - but in the end Draugluin was mortally wounded and fled. Before Draugluin died, he told Sauron that Huan was with Luthien.

Sauron knew of Huan's fate so he transformed himself into a mighty werewolf in an attempt to defeat him. Huan drew back in horror as Wolf-Sauron approached. Luthien cast her enchanted cloak before Sauron's eyes and he became momentarily drowsy, allowing Huan an opening to attack.

The battle between Huan and Wolf-Sauron was fierce and their howls and baying could be heard from afar. Huan pinned Sauron by the throat, and Sauron shape-shifted into a serpent and then into his own form but could not escape. Luthien demanded that Sauron surrender control of the tower on the Isle of Werewolves in exchange for his release. Sauron fled with a bloody wound on his throat from Huan's teeth.

Luthien and Huan found Beren alive, but Finrod Felagund had been killed. Huan then reluctantly returned to Celegorm out of loyalty, though their relationship was strained. Celegorm and Curufin were banished from Nargothrond when the people learned that they had known of Finrod's captivity but had not helped him. Huan accompanied his master into exile once again.

In the Forest of Brethil, Celegorm and Curufin happened upon Beren and Luthien. Curufin seized Luthien but Beren pulled Curufin from his horse and fought him. Celegorm tried to run Beren through with a spear, and Huan decided that his loyalty no longer lay with Celegorm but with Beren and Luthien instead. Huan sprang at Celegorm and saved Beren's life.

As the brothers fled, Curufin shot two arrows. Huan caught one in his mouth but the other struck Beren. Huan chased Celegorm and Curufin away. Huan then found athelas in the forest and brought it to Luthien who used it to heal Beren.

In 466, when Beren had recovered, he sneaked away from Luthien and Huan to continue the quest alone. Luthien was determined to follow him so Huan let her ride on his back again. He went first to the Isle of Werewolves, where he took the skin from the corpse of Draugluin to use as a disguise. He also acquired the skin of Thuringwethil - one of Sauron's minions who had the form of a vampire bat. It is not clear whether Huan killed Thuringwethil at this time or whether she had been killed during the previous assault on the Isle.

Wearing these dreadful disguises, Huan and Luthien went to find Beren in Taur-nu-Fuin. Huan spoke for the second time and told Beren that Luthien could no longer avoid death whether she went on the quest with him or not. Huan also foresaw that his own fate was tied to what awaited Beren and Luthien at the Gates of Angband.

Beren and Luthien continued on their quest clad in the disguises obtained by Huan, but Huan did not accompany them. The Gates of Angband were guarded by Carcharoth - a great wolf that Morgoth had raised and empowered and had fed with the living flesh of Elves and Men. Luthien cast a spell of sleep on Carcharoth, and she also lulled Morgoth and his court to sleep so that Beren could cut a Silmaril from the Iron Crown.

Carcharoth awoke and attacked them on their way out, and he bit off Beren's hand along with the Silmaril. The Silmaril burned Carcharoth and drove him mad and he fled southwards. Beren and Luthien were returned to Doriath by Eagles led by Thorondor. Huan rejoined them there and he helped Luthien tend to Beren's wound.

Carcharoth came to Doriath and was able to breach the Girdle of Melian because of the power of the Silmaril. Huan joined Thingol, Beren, Beleg, and Mablung on the Hunting of the Wolf. Huan flushed Carcharoth from the thicket where he hid. Carcharoth mortally wounded Beren, and Huan leaped onto Carcharoth's back and fought him in a battle to the death.

Huan killed Carcharoth but he suffered fatal wounds and was poisoned by the venom of Morgoth. Speaking for the third and last time, Huan said farewell to Beren, and Beren laid his hand on Huan's head as the faithful hound died.

Names & Etymology:
The name Huan means "great dog, hound" in Quenya and Sindarin from the root khug meaning "bark, bay." The Quenya word for "dog" is huo and the Sindarin word is . Also called the Hound of Valinor - the land of the Valar in the Undying Lands. Sources:
The Silmarillion: "Of Beren and Luthien," p. 172-80, 182, 185-86
The History of Middle-earth, vol. III, The Lays of Beleriand: "The Lay of Leithian," p. 236-90, 294, 306, 311-12, 314
The History of Middle-earth, vol. V, The Lost Road and Other Writings: "The Etymologies," entry for KHUGAN

The History of Middle-earth, vol. X, Morgoth's Ring: "Myths Transformed," p. 410-11, 412 note 4
The History of Middle-earth, vol. XI, The War of the Jewels: "The Grey Annals," p. 62-63, 66-68


Other Dogs

Beorn, whom Bilbo Baggins met on his adventure, had several grey, long-bodied dogs who could walk on their hind legs and carry things with their front legs. To Bilbo's amazement, they set the table for dinner and seemed to understand what Beorn said to them.

King Thranduil of Mirkwood and his Elves may have used dogs for deer hunting.

The dogs of Bree were frightened and barked when Nazgul arrived looking for Mr. Baggins.

The people of Rohan also kept dogs. Saruman, thinking to insult King Theoden, said, "What is the house of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the floor among the dogs?" (TTT, p. 186)

The Hobbit: "Queer Lodgings," p. 135-6; "Flies and Spiders," p. 157
The Fellowship of the Ring: "Strider," p. 180
The Two Towers: "The Voice of Saruman," p. 186


Gwaihir the Windlord

Gwaihir leading the rescue at Mount Doom
in the New Line film
Gwaihir at Mount DoomGreatest of the Eagles at the time of the War of the Ring. Gwaihir had keen eyesight and was the swiftest of the Great Eagles. He was large and strong enough to carry a grown man. Gwaihir was intelligent and was capable of speech.

Gwaihir was descended from Thorondor, the greatest Eagle who ever lived. He had a brother named Landroval. They lived in the northern Misty Mountains and had many other Eagles as their vassals.

In the summer of 3018 of the Third Age, Gandalf the Grey asked Radagast the Brown to send word among his friends the birds to learn what they could of the Enemy's plans. The Great Eagles flew far and wide and gathered news of the Nazgul and the mustering of Orcs and Wargs and the escape of Gollum from Mirkwood.

Gwaihir went to Isengard to bring this news to Gandalf. In the early hours of September 18, he found Gandalf imprisoned by Saruman on the pinnacle of Orthanc. Gwaihir bore Gandalf away, and when the Wizard said that he needed a horse, Gwaihir set him down in the land of Rohan.

On February 17, 3019, Gwaihir was searching for Gandalf at the request of Galadriel when he found the Wizard atop the Silvertine. Gandalf had vanquished the Balrog in the Battle of the Peak, but the entrance to the Endless Stair had been blocked and he had been unable to escape from the mountaintop. Gwaihir once again bore Gandalf and he found his burden to be as light as a feather, for Gandalf's old life had been burned away and he had been reborn as Gandalf the White.

The Eagle brought Gandalf to Lothlorien and then at the Wizard's request he flew to seek news of the Fellowship. Aragorn and Legolas both saw him circling above the Emyn Muil. Gwaihir returned to Gandalf with the news that Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took had been captured by Saruman's Uruk-hai.

Gwaihir and his brother Landroval led a great company of Eagles to the Battle of the Morannon on March 25, 3019. They swooped in to attack the Winged Nazgul, but the Nazgul fled when Sauron summoned them to fly to Mount Doom where Frodo Baggins stood at the Cracks of Doom with the Ring. After the Ring was destroyed, Mount Doom erupted and Frodo and Sam were stranded on a hill amid flowing lava and falling ash. Gandalf asked Gwaihir to bear him a third and final time. Accompanied by Landroval and Meneldor, Gwaihir raced swiftly to Mount Doom and with his keen sight he spotted the Hobbits through the fumes. The Eagles lifted Frodo and Sam and bore them away to safety.

In one version of the story of Beren and Luthien, the two Eagles who accompanied Thorondor to rescue the couple were named Gwaihir and Landroval and were described as Thorondor's vassals. This was omitted from the published version by Christopher Tolkien because Gwaihir and Landroval are said to be Thorondor's descendants in The Lord of the Rings. Whether J.R.R. Tolkien intended these to be the same two Eagles millennia apart or different Eagles with the same names is unclear. (HoME V, p. 301)

It is sometimes assumed that Gwaihir is the same as the Lord of the Eagles who rescued Gandalf, Bilbo, and the Dwarves in The Hobbit. However, this is not necessarily the case. When Gwaihir carried Gandalf to Mount Doom, the Wizard stated that it was the third time the Eagle bore him (RotK, p. 227). The first two times were the rescues from Orthanc and the Silvertine. This appears to rule out a previous rescue such as that in The Hobbit, though it is possible that Gandalf was referring only to the times that Gwaihir had carried him recently.

Names & Etymology:
The name Gwaihir means "Wind Lord" from gwaew meaning "wind" and hîr meaning "lord, master."


Great Eagle of the Misty Mountains. Landroval was the brother of Gwaihir the Windlord. They were descended from Thorondor, the greatest Eagle who ever lived. Gwaihir and Landroval lived in the northern Misty Mountains and had many other Eagles as their vassals.

On March 25, 3019 of the Third Age, Gwaihir and Landroval led a host of Eagles to the Battle of the Morannon at the Black Gate of Mordor. Landroval flew with Gwaihir and Meneldor to Mount Doom to rescue Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee from the eruption of the fiery mountain.

Names & Etymology:
The name Landroval is compose of landa meaning "wide" and rhofal meaning "great wing (of an eagle)."


Great Eagle of the Misty Mountains. On March 25, 3019 of the Third Age, Meneldor accompanied Gwaihir the Windlord to the Battle of the Morannon before the Black Gate of Mordor. When Mount Doom erupted, Meneldor was chosen to fly with Gwaihir and Landroval to rescue Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee because he was young and swift.

Names & Etymology:
The word menel means "heavens." The element dor is a form of taur meaning "high, lofty, noble, lord." Also called Meneldor the Swift.

Sources (Gwaihir, Landroval & Meneldor):

The Fellowship of the Ring: "The Council of Elrond," p. 274-75
The Two Towers: "The Departure of Boromir," p. 15; "The Riders of Rohan," p. 25; "The White Rider," p. 98-99, 106-107
The Return of the King: "The Field of Cormallen," p. 226-29
The Silmarillion: "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," entry for menel

The History of Middle-earth, vol. V, The Lost Road and Other Writings: "Quenta Silmarillion," p. 301; "The Etymologies," entries for KHER, LAN, RAM, TA3 and WA/WAWA/WAIWA

The Annotated Hobbit: "Queer Lodgings," p. 162 note 2 (on Gwaihir and the Lord of the Eagles from The Hobbit)



King of the Eagles during the First Age. Thorondor was the mightiest bird that ever lived. His wingspan was 180 feet across and his beak was made of gold. He was intelligent and he was able to speak.

At the dawn of the First Age, Thorondor and the Eagles were sent from the Undying Lands to Middle-earth by Manwe, chief of the Valar. Their purpose was to keep watch on the Elves who had gone to Middle-earth to retrieve the Silmarils from Morgoth. The Eagles reported back to Manwe.

In the year 5, Fingon set out to rescue Maedhros who had been captured by Morgoth and found him hanging by a chain from an inaccessible precipice on Thangorodrim. Maedhros begged Fingon to kill him and Fingon called upon Manwe as lord of birds to help his feathered arrow find its mark. Instead Thorondor came and carried Fingon to the precipice. Fingon had to cut off Maedhros' hand to free him and Thorondor bore them to safety.

Thorondor and his Eagles built eyries in the Encircling Mountains that surrounded the realm of Gondolin. Their watchfulness kept Gondolin hidden from the spies of Morgoth for several centuries.

During the Battle of Sudden Flame in 456, Fingolfin challenged Morgoth to single combat. Morgoth killed Fingolfin but Thorondor stopped him from desecrating the body. Thorondor slashed Morgoth's face with his golden beak, leaving a permanent scar, and he carried Fingolfin away to be buried on a mountaintop overlooking Gondolin.

Around 458, the brothers Hurin and Huor became lost in the foothills of the Encircling Mountains after a battle with Orcs. Thorondor sent two Eagles to bring them into Gondolin. Turgon, the King of Gondolin, did not permit anyone who had seen his hidden realm to leave but Hurin and Huor swore not to reveal its location and Turgon allowed the Eagles to return them to their people. Both brothers played a role in Gondolin's later history.

Thorondor and two of his vassals (see note above) rescued Beren and Luthien from Angband after their quest to retrieve a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown around 466.

Hurin was captured by Morgoth in 472, but he did not reveal the location of Gondolin. He was released around 500, and around 501 the Eagles saw him searching for the entrance to Gondolin and Thorondor reported this to Turgon. Hurin unwittingly revealed the general region where Gondolin was located to Morgoth's spies when he called out seeking Turgon. But because of the vigilance of the Eagles, Morgoth was not able to determine the exact location until Turgon's nephew Maeglin told him.

Morgoth's forces attacked Gondolin in 510. Turgon's daughter Idril escaped with her husband Tuor, son of Huor, and their child Earendil. They led a group of survivors over the Eagles' Cleft in the Encircling Mountains where they were ambushed by Orcs and a Balrog. Thorondor and his Eagles attacked the Orcs and slew them all so Morgoth would not learn of the survivors' escape. Glorfindel battled the Balrog and both fell to their deaths. Thorondor brought Glorfindel's body up from the abyss and he was buried on the Eagles' Cleft.

In the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, Thorondor was the captain of an army of great birds. They fought alongside Earendil against winged Dragons led by Ancalagon the Black. The air battle lasted a day and a night and the forces of Earendil and Thorondor were victorious. Morgoth was defeated by the Host of the Valar and was banished from the world.

It is not known what became of Thorondor after the First Age. His descendants Gwaihir and Landroval helped defeat Morgoth's lieutenant Sauron in the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age.

Names & Etymology:
The name Thorondor means "Eagle king" in Sindarin from thoron meaning "eagle" and dor from taur meaning "king." The Quenya version of his name was Sorontar.

The Silmarillion: "Of Aule and Yavanna," p. 46; "Of the Return of the Noldor," p. 110; "Of the Noldor in Beleriand," p. 125; "Of the Ruin of Beleriand," p. 154, 158-59; "Of Beren and Luthien," p. 182; "Of the Ruin of Doriath," p. 228; "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin," p. 240-41, 243; "Of the Voyage of Earendil," p. 251
The Return of the King: "The Field of Cormallen," p. 226
Unfinished Tales: "Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin," p. 43, 48, 55 note 25
The History of Middle-earth, vol. V, The Lost Road and Other Writings: "Quenta Silmarillion," p. 252, 285; "The Etymologies," entries for TA/TA3 and THOR/THORON

The History of Middle-earth, vol. XI, The War of the Jewels: "The Grey Annals," p. 32, 55-58, 63, 68

The Fox

On the first night of the Hobbits' journey from Bag End, a fox happened upon them sleeping under a large fir tree.
"Hobbits!" he thought. "Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree. Three of them! There's something mighty queer behind this." He was quite right, but he never found out any more about it.
The Fellowship of the Ring: "Three Is Company," p. 81
The Hobbits and Strider saw another fox in the Chetwood, but that fox's thoughts are unrecorded.

The Fellowship of the Ring: "Three Is Company," p. 81; "A Knife in the Dark, p. 194

Great Beasts

Beasts of burden used by Sauron. It is not known what type of animal the Great Beasts were, and they are not described. During the siege of Minas Tirith, they were used to pull the battering ram Grond, which was used to break down the City gates.

Note: It is possible that the term great beasts is meant to refer to the Mumakil - which are described as "great beasts" in the paragraph preceding the description of the beasts that pulled Grond. (RotK, p. 101).

The Return of the King: "The Siege of Gondor," p. 102

Great Beasts in the New Line film
Great Beasts

Kine of Araw

Wild white oxen of eastern Middle-earth. The kine of Araw were great beasts that lived in the lands near the Sea of Rhun. According to legend, they were descended from the kine of the Vala called Araw or Orome, who was a great hunter. Vorondil, a Steward of Gondor who lived from 1919 to 2029 of the Third Age, was also a great hunter and he slew one of the kine and used its horn to make the Great Horn that was borne by the heirs of the Stewards until the death of Boromir.

Names & Etymology:
Kine is another word for cattle or oxen. It comes from the Old English which is the plural of meaning "cow."

The Return of the King: "Minas Tirith," p. 27
Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Realms in Exile - The Southern Line: Stewards of Gondor," p. 319 and note 1


Birds of Numenor. The kirinki were scarlet-colored and small - about the size of wrens. They had piping voices that were barely within the range audible to humans. The kirinki inhabited the inland regions of the island of Numenor.

Names & Etymology:
The meaning of kirinki is not known. It could contain the Quenya root kir meaning "cut, cleave" - from which the word kirya meaning "ship" is derived - and the diminutive ending -inkë.

Unfinished Tales: "A Description of the Island of Numenor," p. 169
The Silmarillion: "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," entry for kir

The Quenya Corpus Wordlist

The Tolkien Language List


Annoying cricket-like insects in the Midgewater Marshes. Sam Gamgee called them Neekerbreekers because they made squeaking noises that sounded like "neek-breek, breek-neek." There appeared to be thousands of these insects in the marshes and they kept the Hobbits awake at night.

The Fellowship of the Ring: "A Knife in the Dark," p. 195


Oliphaunt in the New Line film
Oliphaunt - movieLarge beasts resembling elephants. Oliphaunts were grey with trunks and tusks and big flapping ears. They were much larger than the elephants of today. Oliphaunts came from Harad, in the far south of Middle-earth. The Haradrim used Oliphaunts in battle and put houses and towers on their backs to carry Men.

Sam Gamgee hoped to see an Oliphaunt when he learned that armies of Men from the southern lands were going to Mordor. He recited an old fireside rhyme called Oliphaunt, which made Frodo laugh despite his troubles. On March 7, 3019 of the Third Age, Sam got his wish. In a battle between the Haradrim and the Rangers of Ithilien, an Oliphaunt broke loose and charged past where Sam stood. The great beast trampled Men as he went and then ran off to an unknown fate.

The Haradrim also used Oliphaunts at the Pelennor Fields. During the siege of Minas Tirith, Oliphaunts pulled towers and engines. They carried war-towers on their backs at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields on March 15. The horses of the Rohirrim feared to go near the huge beasts, and the Oliphaunts became rallying points for the Haradrim. The thick hides of the Oliphaunts deflected arrows. The brothers Derufin and Duilin of the Blackroot Vale were trampled to death when they led their bowmen to shoot out the eyes of the Oliphaunts.

Names & Etymology:
Also called Mûmak (singular) and Mûmakil (plural).

The Two Towers: "The Black Gate Is Closed," p. 254-55; "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit," p. 269-70
The Return of the King: "The Siege of Gondor," p. 101; "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields," p. 118, 121, 124



Carc and his wife were a famous pair of ravens who were friendly with the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain in Thror's day, before the Dwarves were driven away by Smaug. The ravens lived on Ravenhill above the guard-chamber. Carc and his wife had a son named Roac.


Roac was the son of Carc. He was the chief of the great ravens of the Lonely Mountain. When Bilbo and his companions came to the Lonely Mountain in 2941 of the Third Age, Roac was 153 years old. He was bald and nearly blind and hardly able to fly, but he remembered the tales his father had told him about the friendship between the ravens and the Dwarves. 

Roac learned from the thrush that the Dragon Smaug was dead, and he in turn told Thorin Oakenshield and the others the news. Bilbo was able to understand Roac, for he spoke the Common Language. Roac also told Thorin that the Wood-Elves and the Men of Lake-town were coming to the Mountain seeking a share of the treasure. 

Roac advised Thorin to put his trust in Bard, the Man of Lake-town who had slain Smaug. But Thorin did not heed Roac's advice and asked the raven to send out messengers to the Dwarves in the mountains of the North and particularly to Dain in the Iron Hills. Roac agreed to do so.

Roac reported many days later that Dain and 500 Dwarves were coming from the Iron Hills. But he told Thorin that they were unlikely to defeat the host of Elves and Men, and that they would likely starve in the Mountain when the winter came. Again, Thorin did not heed the raven's advice. It was then that Bilbo decided to take the Arkenstone, which he had hidden, and make a bargain with the Elves and Men.

The Hobbit: "The Gathering of the Clouds," p. 268-71; "A Thief in the Night," 279-80

Roac by John Howe
Roac- Howe

Wolves & Wargs

Warg in the New Line film
Warg - movieFierce canine predators. Wolves were frequently allied with the forces of evil and they were sometimes used as mounts by Orcs known as wolf-riders. White wolves were a breed found in the far north. The most feared and deadly type of wolves were the Wargs of Wilderland.

Wolves lived in northern Middle-earth. They infested Eriador before the end of the Watchful Peace, and in 2327 of the Third Age wolves killed Aragorn I, the Chieftain of the Dunedain. Eriador continued to be plagued by wolves for many years afterwards.

During the Fell Winter of 2911, white wolves from the North crossed the frozen Brandywine River and entered the Shire. The Horn-call of Buckland was used at this time to rally the Hobbits to drive out the wolves. During the War of the Ring in 3018-19, wolves prowled outside the walls of Bree.

Saruman kept wolves in dens beneath Isengard, and during the War of the Ring he sent Orcs mounted on wolves into battle. Saruman's wolf-riders were ferocious and deadly. Horses feared the wolf-riders because the wolves tore at their bellies. The wolf-riders usually attacked individuals or small groups, but they could also attack larger companies by charging through gaps in the ranks.

The wolf-riders slew many horses of the Rohirrim at the First Battle of the Fords of Isen on February 25, 3019. At the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen on March 2, swift and silent wolf-riders surprised the Rohirrim and divided the forces of Elfhelm and Grimbold. The wolf-riders continued on toward Helm's Deep, where Saruman's forces were defeated in the Battle of Helm's Deep on the night of March 3-4.

Wargs were a particularly evil, demonic kind of wolf. They were intelligent and capable of speech and they had their own language. Wargs were vicious killers, but their weakness was their fear of fire.

Wargs lived mainly in Wilderland on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains. In 2941, the Wargs joined forces with the Orcs and planned to attack the Woodmen who had made settlements in the eaves of Mirkwood. But when the Wargs arrived at the rendezvous point, they instead found Gandalf the Grey along with thirteen Dwarves and a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins up in the trees. Gandalf threw pinecones burning with magical fire down at the Wargs, wounding their chieftain and setting a number of others ablaze. The Wizard and his companions were then rescued by Eagles.

The Wargs were enraged and sought revenge. They joined the gathering forces of Orcs at Mount Gundabad and marched eastward to the Lonely Mountain. There the Wargs and Orcs fought the Dwarves, Wood-Elves, and Lake-Men in the Battle of the Five Armies. Many of the Orcs rode wolves into battle. In the end the Orcs and Wargs were defeated. Afterwards, the Beornings kept the lands inhabited by Men on the western edge of Mirkwood free from Orcs and Wargs.

In January of 3019, a group of Wargs crossed to the western side of the Misty Mountains and they attacked the Fellowship in the early hours January 13. The Fellowship took refuge on a hilltop and fought the attacking Wargs. Gandalf set the ring of trees atop the hill on fire and Legolas slew their chieftain with a flaming arrow. The remaining Wargs fled into the night.

The next morning, there were no Warg carcasses to be found though the Fellowship had slain many in the night. It is not known whether the Wargs had been acting independently or had been sent by Sauron or possibly Saruman, but Gandalf implied that it was not by chance that the Wargs had waylaid the Company of the Ring-bearer. The Warg attack was instrumental in the Fellowship's decision to enter the Mines of Moria.

Names & Etymology:
Tolkien wrote that the word warg "is an old word for wolf, which also had the sense of an outlaw or hunted criminal." The Old English wearg means "accursed one, outlaw, felon, criminal." The Old Norse vargr means both "wolf" and "outlaw" and the Old High German warg means "evil-doer."

Wargs are sometimes referred to by the general term "wolves." Gandalf called one of the Wargs "Hound of Sauron."

The Hobbit: "Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire," p. 109-18; "Queer Lodgings," p. 141-43; "The Clouds Burst," p. 292-96; "The Return Journey," p. 302, 307
The Fellowship of the Ring: "Prologue: Concerning Hobbits," p. 14; "A Knife in the Dark," p. 189; "Many Meetings," p. 234, 241; "The Council of Elrond," p. 273-74; "The Ring Goes South," p. 288, 301-2; "A Journey in the Dark," p. 310-13, 317, 321; "Lothlorien," p. 358; "The Breaking of the Fellowship," p. 417
The Two Towers: "The Riders of Rohan," p. 39; "Helm's Deep," p. 132, 134; "The Road to Isengard," p. 156-57, 160; "Flotsam and Jetsam," p. 171, 177, 178
The Return of the King: "Homeward Bound," p. 272
Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The North-kingdom and the Dunedain," p.323; "Durin's Folk," p. 358
Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Years," p. 370, 373
Unfinished Tales: "The Battles of the Fords of Isen," p. 357-58, 363, 365 notes 5 and 10
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Letter #297
The Annotated Hobbit by Douglas Anderson: "Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire," p. 146-47, note 9
Old English

Wright's Old High German Glossary

All entries are Copyright © by the Thain from former tuckborough.net. Please contact me if you are Thain or know anything about how to contact the original author. 2003-2011, The Thain's Book - thainsbook.minastirith.cz - e-mail: thain at tuckborough.net