15 Fan Theories About The Creatures Of Middle-Earth That Actually Make A Lot Of Sense

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Vote up your favorite theories.

Seen in Tolkien's stories of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, among others, Middle-earth is home to a wide variety of creatures, some of which you may recognize from other works of literature, and others that'll have you scratching your head in confusion while you try to piece together their lore.

Luckily, below are some fan theories about these creatures that can help fill in the blanks that Tolkien left (and may have you turning away in fear from what you see... because Orcs are attractive to no one). 


  • 1
    1,030 VOTES

    Smaug's Defeat Was A Tactical Move Against Sauron

    From Redditor u/kwik_kwek_en_kwak:

    Gandalf urges the Dwarves to battle the dragon Smaug in the Lonely Mountain as a tactical move against the Black Enemy. Not only would the mountain give Sauron huge riches and a strategic new fortress from which to invade Middle Earth, but he would also try to recruit the Dragon. This would've made it quite tough for the free people to combat the Enemy. 

  • From Redditor u/Asian_Prometheus:

    The Balrog was already awake before they entered the Mines of Moria. It was the Balrog who gathered all the goblins and slaughtered all the dwarves in Moria. I think it was likely he was reacting to Gandalf's presence, seeing his late reaction to them. The reason the goblins attacked them was Pippin's action. If it was the Ring's influence, the Balrog would likely have confronted them at the entrance...

    I think the goblins just attack whoever enters the Mines, and when Gandalf was revealed to be among them, the Balrog took up the challenge and confronted him because they're both Maiar on the opposing teams. 

  • 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, Ungoliant, 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. 

  • 4
    1,108 VOTES

    Gollum Killed Frodo's Parents Thinking He Was Killing Bilbo

    From Redditor u/SnakeyesX:

    I always wondered why Gollum never tried to kill Bilbo, like he promised he would. I think the answer might be that he thought he did kill Bilbo, but really killed Drogo and his wife. 

    Drogo and Primula died from drowning on the Brandywine river in Buckland. Witnesses claim to have seen a struggle. This is Smeagol's MO. 

    Gollum only had two clues: "Shire and Baggins." Not likely to travel on land, Gollum would have killed the first Baggins he found along the Brandywine river. Being the only Baggins in Buckland, this would have been Drogo. 

  • 5
    639 VOTES

    The Ringwraiths Become Stronger With Despair And Weaker With Hope

    From Redditor u/Ponce_the_Great:

    The Witch King is going to kill Gandalf, but upon hearing the arrival of Rohan, takes off and is not seen again until later in the battle. When Theoden surveys the scene we see a fellbeast seemingly flying away from Minas Tirith and the battle heading southeast by the look of things. The Witch King does not return to action until later in the battle as the tide shifts against Rohan under the onslaught of the Haradrim. 

    Earlier in the movie, Gandalf drives off the Nazgul with the white light from his staff, which he does not use again during the defense of Minas Tirith. if we go with the idea of the Ringwraiths being weakened by hope (and possibly strengthened by the fear and despair they inflict), then perhaps Gandalf's magic in that scene draws on the hope Minas Tirith has at that moment (inspired by Gandalf's presence in particular), which allows him to drive off the Nazgul.

    By the time the Nazgul attack later in the siege, hope has got to be low. Faramir is, as far as everyone knows, dead. The Steward just announced to everyone that they're all doomed, and there's a very large army bearing down on the city, and very little reason to beleive that they have any change of surviving. The Witch King, fueled by this fear and despair, is able to then overpower Gandalf and break his staff, but doesn't want to take his chances with Gandalf when things begin to turn around. 

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    543 VOTES

    Dragons Can Only Be Killed With Assistance From The Valar 

    From Redditor u/chrisfromjersey:

    Tolkien wrote about three battles with dragons in his books about Middle Earth. 

    1. Bard vs Smaug
    2. Turin Turambar vs Glaurung
    3. Earendil vs Morgoth's dragons during the War of Wrath

    Thousands of years before the events in LOTR, a black meteorite fell in the northern lands of Middle Earth. A dark elf named Eol who lived alone in the woods and often traded with nearby dwarves forged two swords out of the black metal. One of those swords, Furthand, made its way into the hands of Turin Turambar and with Gurthang, Turin killed Glaurung the dragon in one thrust. 

    Fast forward a few thousand years and we see Bard the Bowman kill Smaug the dragon with his black arrow. That black arrow was forged by the dwarves of Erebor and given to the ruler of Laketown/Dale. It was passed down from generation to generation and eventually was passed down to Bard. 

    So here's what I'm thinking: Turin's sword, Gurthang, and Bard's black arrow were forged from the same metal gathered from the black meteorite. 

    I think that meteorite was sent to Middle Earth by Varda, the goddess of the stars, to help the people of Middle Earth fight Morgoth's dragons. I think this is supported by the fact that Smaug and Glaurung were defeated in one shot. But there is one exception. 

    Earendil fought and defeated many dragons during the War of Wrath with help of the Valar. He obviously didn't need a black weapon with the Valar on his side.