28 voters

Obscure Lore About 'Lord of the Rings' Creatures The Films Don't Tell You

Updated June 26, 2021 168 votes 28 voters 1.4k views12 items

List RulesVote up the most fascinating facts about the beasts of Middle-earth.

Despite a runtime of over nine hours (more than 11 hours for the extended DVD editions), the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy could not fit in most of the lore about Middle-earth's creatures and monsters. Sure, the films divulge some names and origins, but many of the most interesting details, even those about prominent creatures like Orcs and Ents, are confined to the pages of Tolkien's masterworks.

The films had to sacrifice biodiversity for plot, but perhaps one day a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them equivalent of the Tolkienverse will be available.

Until then, let these obscure yet fascinating details about LOTR's creatures whet your imagination. 

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  • 1

    Fell Beasts, The Birdlike Creatures Ridden By The Nazgûl, Are Very Smelly

    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema

    It shouldn't be surprising that fell beasts - the giant, naked, pterosaur-like steeds of the undead Nazgûl - do not have a pleasant smell.

    Tolkien didn't describe the smell. "It stank" is all that's written about the fell beast's stench in The Lord of the Rings. The specifics are left to the imagination of readers. Phew.

    Fascinating fact?
  • 2

    Mearas Are Incredibly Intelligent Horses Who Live As Long As Men

    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema

    Mearas descend from a wild horse that was tamed by the first King of Rohan. As a result, they exclusively serve Rohan's kings and their heirs (except for Shadowfax, who was Gandalf's steed during the War of the Ring).

    Mearas are stronger, faster, and more intelligent than regular horses. Most impressive, they live as long as men.

    Fascinating fact?
  • 3

    Orcs/Goblins Are Tech-Savvy And Might Have Invented Wheels, Engines, And Many Weapons

    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema

    In the films, orcs/goblins aren't portrayed as the sharpest scimitars in the armory. The books, however, depict them as being quite technologically savvy. These creatures built "ingenious devices" that used wheels, engines, and explosives for nefarious purposes.

    Tolkien was not a fan of modern technology, which might explain why he made Middle-earth's top industrialists evil.

    Fascinating fact?
  • 4

    Male Ents Are Truly Endangered Creatures; No Female Entwives Are Left

    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema

    Ents are Middle-earth tree shepherds of whom Treebeard is the oldest and most famous. By the Third Age, all documented Ents were male, as the Entwives disappeared after Sauron wiped out their gardens.

    Tolkien left the Entwives' whereabouts a mystery.

    Fascinating fact?