15 Of 2021's Most Interesting 'Lord Of The Rings' Fan Theories

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Vote up your favorite 'LOTR' theories.

Although 2021 didn't see any new tales or depictions of Middle-Earth, 2022 has promised a new TV show to dive further into the complicated, fantastical world that Tolkien created. Thus, to prepare for the new narratives, here are a few Lord of the Rings fan theories we found to be the most interesting this year. 

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  • Sauron Poisoned The Minds Of Saruman And Denethor Using A Palantir
    Photo: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema

    From Redditor u/zrkrehbiel:

    If you go through the entire LOTR, you find out that Saruman and Denethor are both in possession of a Palantir. It is also highly suggested that Sauron is in possession of one as well since Saruman communicates with him using his own. Doesn't it seem a bit ironic that both of them end up losing hope in the Ring War? Once Sauron realized the head wizard sent to Middle Earth and the Steward of Gondor were carelessly using a Palantir to get a foothold over Morder, he immediately used that to his advantage by subtly injecting hints of the doom that was to come into what they saw to slowly destroy their faith until they lost hope.

  • Mount Doom Was Unguarded Due To Sauron's Arrogance
    Photo: The Return of the King / New Line Cinema

    From Redditor u/fantheories101:

    You’d think if Sauron’s only weakness was having a ring thrown into lava that he would have the entrance to that lava pit guarded, but once they’re there, Sam, Frodo and Gollum can just walk right in. However, there are two good reasons that this is left unguarded.

    Firstly, Sauron wouldn’t want others knowing about his weakness, especially orcs. The only reason Frodo knew was because of Gandalf, who was ancient; and Elrond who was actually there for the first time Sauron was defeated. Most people don’t know about his weakness, and posting guards would mean those guards have to on some level know that the lava pit is important to Sauron, and it would indicate importance to anyone like Frodo who snuck inside.

    Secondly, he doesn’t need to defend it. The ring protects itself. Nobody who ever held the ring and had the opportunity to destroy it actually chose to. It was destroyed by accident in the end. The ring can manipulate people’s minds and won’t allow them to destroy it. It forces whoever holds it to choose not to destroy it. Even in a normal situation it corrupts, and when it’s close to death it just pushes this into overdrive.

  • Shelob Would Rather Eat Than Gain The Power Of The One Ring
    Photo: The Lord of the Rings / New Line Cinema

    From Redditor u/knightfluttershy:

    The One Ring seems to have no influence on creatures that are not interested in power or those who act on instinct. This is what makes Shelob have zero interest in the One Ring; she only cares about feeding, and once she is temporarily satiated, has little to no interests outside of that... Shelob and the Mirkwood Spiders don't seem to have any notion of morality - all they care about is eating. Characters like Sauron and Gandalf are affected by the Ring because they both have, on some level, a desire for power, to do evil and good respectively. 

  • Gandalf Can Offset The Effects Of The One Ring On Others
    Photo: The Hobbit / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From former Redditor u/[deleted]:

    At the end of the 1st book, Gandalf "dies" and almost immediately after, Boromir goes nuts. It's also in the books that Gil Galad had the ring Narya which was given to Gandalf by Cirdan the shipwright in the third age. Nayra also was said to have the power to "inspire others to resist tyranny, domination, and despair," so it follows that Gandalf's presence was keeping Boromir from the domination of the ring. It would also explain why Frodo becomes paranoid as soon as Gandalf leaves, he was also under the dominance of the ring once Gandalf died. 

  • Mealtimes Are More Important To Hobbit's Than You'd Think
    Photo: The Fellowship of the Ring / New Line Cinema

    From Redditor u/rafael:

    In The Lord of the Rings movies we see that hobbits eat several meals a day. I thought they did it just because they were lazy and soft, but then I realized it may be extremely necessary for them. 

    Smaller animals always have faster metabolism than bigger ones, their heartbeats are faster, they lose heat more easily and they need to eat more. Hobbits are basically miniaturized humans, so that makes sense. 

    This is significant to the plot, while Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli can walk long distances without eating, the Hobbits have food as a constant challenge for them. In The Return of the King this is a plot point, where Sam and Frodo are rationing food as if it was extremely important to them, like it was a life or death situation to them. When Smeagol throws the food away it causes a breaking point between Sam and Frodo - that would be odd just for some pieces of bread, but for a Hobbit, that could easily be deadly and explains why Frodo is almost dying when they get into Mordor. A day without food for a Hobbit may be his end. 

  • Gandalf Saw Himself In Samwise Gamgee And That's Why He Chose Him As Frodo's Companion 
    Photo: The Lord of the Rings / New Line Cinema

    From Redditor u/magecatwitharrows:

    Gandalf was a minor demigod named Olorin who was sent to Middle Earth as a wizard to help fight against Sauron. [But] he was hesitant to go to earth because he was too weak to fight Sauron. This was actually the reason he was chosen in the first place, the gods favored his humility and needed someone with a level-head and patience to help the inhabitants of Middle Earth.

    So fast forward to when Gandalf catches Sam eavesdropping on his and Frodo's conversation about what must be done. Here he is, looking down upon a meek gardener who wants no part of this grand adventure because he thinks too little of himself. 

    I think that when Gandalf looked into Sam's eyes that night, he saw himself in the past, sitting in his own garden home terrified of the journey ahead of him. That's why he chose Sam to aid Frodo, because in that moment, he saw in Sam what his master had seen in him.