Obscure 'Lord of the Rings' Lore We Learned In 2021

List Rules
Vote up the most interesting LOTR lore we unearthed in 2021.

Lord of the Rings lore goes much much deeper than the movies and even the core books would lead you to believe. Fans are constantly sharing new details they unearthed during deep dives into the Tolkien mythology or the creative process behind the making of the series. Here are some of the more interesting ones we encountered in 2021 that change how we think about the stories.


  • 1
    127 VOTES

    Merry And Pippin Both Followed In Their Fathers' Footsteps

    From Redditor u/MikeofthePalace:

    Merry succeeds his father as Master of Buckland (a semi-independent region of the Shire), and Pippin succeeds his father as Thain of the Shire (commander of the Hobbit militia, basically). Sam becomes Mayor, and the three of them basically constitute the entirety of the Shire's government. 

  • 2
    134 VOTES

    Merry And Pippin Returned To Rohan And Gondor And Are Buried Next To Aragorn

    From Redditor u/MikeofthePalace:

    After raising big families and serving long tenures in their posts, and after Sam goes over the Sea, word comes to the Shire that Eomer is dying, and wishes to see Merry one last time. Pippin and Merry decide to retire; they hand off their offices to their sons, and leave to Rohan and are with Eomer when he dies. They then go to Minas Tirith, and remain there until their deaths. They are interred with honor, and after Aragorn dies they are laid to rest next to him in his tomb.

  • 3
    142 VOTES

    Sam Was A Much Stronger Hobbit In The Books

    From Redditor u/wlbc:

    In the books, Sam was the strongest of the Hobbits. He did a lot of hard labor as Frodo’s gardener and carried the heaviest pack through their travels. He fought Shelob and the orcs who held Frodo. And he carried Frodo for most of a day, across Mordor and up the slopes of Mount Doom.

  • 4
    130 VOTES

    Sam Was Granted The Right To Enter The Undying Lands As A Ringbearer

    From Redditor u/RuinElient:

    It's written in the Appendices that when Sam became really old he went to the sea and never came back and an elven ship was seen, implying that he too took a ship to the West.

    From a former Reddit user:

    Because they were bearers of the Ring. They endured much and were granted a special place in Valinor because of their bravery. Bilbo was also granted this honor.

  • 5
    151 VOTES

    Sam Is The Only Person Who Ever Truly Hurt Shelob

    From a former Redditor:

    Sam takes on Shelob, and the books say that he is the only person, out of dwarves, men, and elves to ever seriously wound her.

  • 6
    112 VOTES

    Few Understood What Gandalf Really Was

    From Redditor u/Hoppetar:

    Everyone in LotR calls Gandalf just a "wizard." At no point is his true nature as a Maiar addressed I believe. His appearance is that of an old man, yet even the elven lords defer to his seniority and heed his advice. They must have known that he was no man, but were they aware of what he really was?

    From Redditor u/italia06823834:

    Very few were aware. From Unfinished Tales:

    'none save maybe Elrond, Círdan and Galadriel discovered of what kind they were or whence they came.'