The Tolkien Monster Encyclopedia

This page is devoted to all the monsters and races belonging to darkness.

Here you will find Orcs, Goblins, Balrogs and many more fearsome creatures.

 

 

 Here you will find monsters from Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Silmarillion and other literature related to Tolkien.

Use the index to the left to have a look at, and read about your favourite tolkien-monster.

This page was created in 1998 by Calle Mattsson as part of a school project.


The Monster Vote

During the late 90's I held a monster vote on this site to determine once and for all which monster was the most feared in all the realms (or at least which one was the most popular). Thousands of people voted and in the end the winner was the Balrog with more than 1/5 votes.

 

Top 10 Monsters

 

1

Balrog

2

Gollum

3

Nazgûl

4

Orc

5

Smaug

6

Morgoth

7

Sauron

8

Witch King

9

Shelob

10

Ungoliant

So what can you say about the result? Well I can see at least one definite pattern… seven out of ten of the most popular monsters are humanoid. The balrog, gollum, the nazgûl, the orcs, Morgoth, Sauron and the goblins have two arms, two legs, one head etc. I dare say that we humans are more easily frightened by the prospect of facing truly evil humans than we are of dragons. This is probably because humans are real, dragons are not. Not many people would take you seriously if you told them about the dragon you saw last night. True evil can only be found in humans, not in animals or beasts.

As for Smaug, Shelob and Ungoliant (# 5, 9, 10): Arachnophobia, phobia of spiders, are among the most common phobias of our time. Shelob (and her mother Ungoliant) are giant spiders and from this I take it, comes their popularity. Smaug the dragon is one of the monsters in Middle-earth that you get the most information on in ”The Hobbit”, and why not the popularity? Dragons are classic and belong in every fantasy story and faerie tale.

 

Statistics

1998

Gold - O

Silver - O

Bronze - O

January

Balrog

Uruk-hai

Shelob

February

Balrog

Gollum

Morgoth

March

Orc

Balrog

Nazgûl

April

Balrog

Orc

Smaug

May

Nazgûl

Balrog

Gollum

June

Gollum

Smaug

Nazgûl

July

Nazgûl

Balrog

Gollum

August

Smaug

Balrog

Orc

September

Nazgûl

Gollum

Morgoth

October

Balrog

Nazgûl

Gollum

November

Balrog

Nazgûl

Morgoth

December

Smaug

Orc

Balrog

 

1999

Gold - O

Silver - O

Bronze - O

January

Balrog

Morgoth

Ungoliant

February

Balrog

Orc

Morgoth

March

 Gollum

Balrog

Orc 

April

Balrog

Nazgûl

Orc

May

Gollum

Nazgûl

Balrog



This is an article I wrote in 1999 about old folklore pertaining to ghosts and their abhorrence for water.
 

Hydrophobia of the Nazgûl


by Calle Mattsson

When Sauron told the nine ringwraiths to look for the ring he knew that they

would have difficulties doing so. All, except the Witch-king, stand little chance of

accomplishing anything alone during the day; and all, except the Witch-king,

are afraid of water. They only cross water if a bridge is available. Even then

only if the choice is between crossing the bridge or disobeying their master

Sauron, which they simply can not do. Sauron knew that his most powerful

servants would have to cross several rivers in their search for Bagger but his

desire for the ring made him send the Nazgûl anyway and thereby announcing

to the world that war was at hand.

 

No doubt that some of Sauron´s enemies knew about the weakness of the

Nazgûl. This hydrophobia of the Nazgûl proved to be very important at several

occasions.

 

Elrond used the river Bruinen itself to stop the Nazgûl when they came too

close to Imladris. When the wrath of the river came upon the black riders they

were forced to flee back to Mordor.

 

Khamûl the Easterling, the second most powerful of the Nazgûl, almost caught

the Hobbits after their visit at Farmer Maggot´s house. Khamûl knew that the

ring was on the other side of the river but he could do nothing.

 

Gollum crossed the river Anduin when he fled from Mordor and therefore

he escaped the Nazgûl. They could not follow Gollum and he was instead

captured by Aragorn.

 

When Sauron first attacked Gondor his purpose was to get the Nazgûl over the

bridge at Osgiliath. When this had been accomplished the Nazgûl went north.

Boromir and Faramir managed to stop Sauron´s army but at that time the dark

lord had no intention of marching towards Minas Tirith.

 

Tolkien never explained why the Nazgûl feared the water, but superstition

has always held that that a ghost cannot cross water. It is not known why this

came to be believed, but it was a widespread belief, especially in England

and other European countries.

 

When the ringwraiths were ordinary humans, before Sauron gave them

their rings, many of them lived by the water. Several came from the

island of Numenór were people loved the sea.

The conclusion is that somehow the black magic used on the Nazgûl

had problems focusing when near water. Ulmo and Össe may have had

something to do with the hydrophobia of the Nazgûl.

Ulmo is no friend of evil and he can still influence the waters far

away from the sea of Belegaer since Manwë helps him.