Middle-Earth Factoids: 10 Things You Might Not Know about “The Lord of the Rings”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion more often than is probably healthy. The frequency of my readings, however, pointed out some rather interesting facts that you might not catch unless you’re paying very close attention, and I’ve compiled ten of the most interesting ones that I have encountered. Some of them may be known to you already, but others might cause your eyebrows to shoot up your forehead and send your jaw hurtling to your ankles—I know some of them did for me:
1. Middle-Earth was created through song—which may explain why music is so important in the stories.
2. Thorin Oakenshield’s grandfather Thror possessed one of the seven rings that Sauron crafted to ensnare the Dwarf Lords; however, it was stolen from his son Thrain while in the Necromancer’s dungeon at Dol Guldur.
3. Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, and Sauron are all Maiar (Middle-Earth equivalent of angels). The Maiar were the servants of the Valar (the highest-ranking order of Middle-Earth angels).
4. Aragorn is part Man, part Elf, and part Maia—part Man through his descent from Beren, part Elf through Beren’s wife Luthien, and part Maia through Luthien’s mother Melian, a Maia who married the Elf king Thingol.
5. Numbers 3 and 4 shed new light on a statement Pippin made about Aragorn in The Return of the King: “Was there ever anyone like him? Except Gandalf, of course. I think they must be related.” (Book 5, Chapter 8, “The Houses of Healing”)
6. Elrond had a twin brother, Elros, who became the first King of the Numenoreans.
7. Number 5 means that Aragorn, Elrond, and Arwen are all distant cousins.
8. Galadriel is Elrond’s mother-in-law.
9. Arwen’s older brothers, twins Elladan and Elrohir, appear to be honorary Rangers. As they are distant cousins with the Rangers, this actually isn’t too surprising.
10. According to the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbits and Men are related although the nature of the relationship remains unknown. However, the similarities in the languages of the Shire and Rohan seem to support this statement as they indicate that Hobbits shared some distant connection to the Horse Lords.
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