Disclaimer: All of the following are either direct quotes or paraphrasing of excerpts
from A Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster.
Hash-marked# names are characters present/mentioned in the Hobbit movies.
*Asterisked names are characters present/mentioned in the LotR movies.
| *Uruk-hai |
| Azog# | Bolg# | Great Goblin# |
| *Balrogs | *Crebain | *Great Spiders# |
| *Oliphaunts | Smaug# | Stone-giants# | *Trolls# |
| *Wargs# | *Watcher in the Water | Were-worms# |
| *Mouth of Sauron | *Lord of the Nazgûl# |
In addition to the Free Peoples (Men, Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits) Middle-earth is also populated by many other races and species of beings, some good and some evil. Below are some of those groups and/or a representative of a group of the evil creatures that inhabit Middle-earth.
The Hobbits' name for Orcs.
Evil race of Middle-earth, first bred by Morgoth in mockery of the Elves, and like Elves they were fierce warriors and did not die naturally. They tended to be short, squat, and bow-legged, with long arms, dark faces, squinty eyes, and long fangs. Most Orcs were weakened in the sun and all of them preferred the dark. They were skilled at tunneling, preferred scimitar-like swords as their weapon of choice, and hated all things of beauty. Orcs lived in the Misty Mountains and elsewhere. Nothing is said about female Orcs - Orcs were said to be spawned. They were called 'orch' (pl. 'yrch') in Sindarin, 'uruk' in the Black Speech of Mordor, 'orc' by the Rohirrim, and 'goblins' by the Hobbits. GOBLIN SONGS are on the 'Poems' page.
Strain of Orcs bred by Sauron in Mordor during the Third Age. Used as soldiers by both Sauron and Saruman, the Uruk-hai were almost as tall as Men. They were black and slanty-eyed with straight, strong legs, and they considered themselves superior to other Orc breeds.
Orc, king of the Orcs of Khazad-dûm. His murder and defilement of Thrór in 2790 touched off the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. In the Battle of Azanulbizar, Azog led the Orkish forces and was slain by Dáin II.
Large Orc of the Misty Mountains, the son of Azog and possibly an Uruk. He led the Orcs and Wargs in the Battle of the Five Armies, in which he was slain by Beorn.
Orc, perhaps leader of all the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, or at least of those near the High Pass. He was slain by Gandalf after he had captured Thorin and Company.
Evil beings (possibly lesser Valar) and servants of Morgoth, at least one of whom survived Morgoth's defeat in the First Age. The surviving Balrog hid in the deeps of Kazad-dûm until Third Age 1980, when he was released by the Dwarves. Known as Durin's Bane, he was the sole cause of the Dwarves' flight from Kazad-dûm. The Balrog was slain by Gandalf when the Companions of the Ring passed through Moria.
Black crows, possibly from Fangorn and/or Dunland, used as spies by Saruman.
Descendants of Ungoliant of Beleriand. One of Ungoliant's offspring, Shelob, lived in a vast den under Cirith Ungol, one of the entrances into Mordor. At around Third Age 3000, she captured Gollum who then led Frodo and Sam into her clutches during their journey to Mount Doom. Shelob was blinded and wounded by Sam, who used the phial of Galadriel and Sting against her, and she may eventually have died of her wounds or of starvation due to her inability to hunt blind. Shelob's offspring dwelt in Mirkwood.
Elephants, considerably larger than modern elephants, but otherwise much the same. Oliphaunts were used by the Haradrim as beasts of war. They carried war-towers and, being virtually invulnerable, formed centers of defense for the Haradrim armies. They could be killed by a shot in the eye, and they had a tendency to go mad. They were generally called 'mûmakil' (sing. 'mûmak') and it was the Hobbits who called them 'oliphaunts' after the traditional Shire-poem "OLIPHAUNT".
The greatest dragon of his time, Smaug drove the Dwarves away from the Kingdom under the Mountain in 2770. He remained there for nearly two hundred years, until 2941, when he was disturbed by Thorin and Company. After unsuccessfully trying to find and kill the company of Dwarves, he attacked nearby Esgaroth where he was slain by Bard the Bowman.
Creatures of great size and strength living in the high passes of the northern Misty Mountains, possibly creatures of fiction, no more serious than Golfimbul (the Orc supposedly defeated by Bandobras Took, who knocked his head off with a club and inadvertently invented the game of Golf when the head landed in a rabbit hole).
Evil race of Middle-earth, originally bred by Morgoth in mockery and imitation of Ents. Trolls were very large, strong, ugly, and stupid. They hoarded treasure and killed for pleasure, but they would turn permanently into stone when exposed to sunlight. There were at least four strains of trolls: the Stone-trolls, Cave-trolls, Hill-trolls, and the Olog-hai, which were created by Sauron during the Third Age. William, Bert, and Tom, the trolls encountered by Thorin and Company, were probably Stone-trolls, as those were the only trolls which spoke Westron. Trolls probably became extinct in the Fourth Age.
Evil wolves of Rhovanion, allies of the Orcs and servants of Sauron.
A many-tentacled creature who guarded the West-gate of Moria for a period of time during the Third Age, the Watcher lived next to the gates in a lake it created by damming a nearby stream. It was perhaps related to the nameless things below Khazad-dûm, but while it was definitely evil, it is unclear whether it was controlled by Sauron or the Balrog.
Probably-mythical monsters of the far East of Middle-earth, mentioned in passing by Bilbo when he agrees to join the Company.
Númenorean servant of Sauron who became a great sorceror and was therefore able to extend his life by thousands of years. By the War of the Ring, he had become the Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr and could no longer remember his real name. He was doubtless killed when Sauron fell.
The chief Nazgûl, mightiest of Sauron's servants. He was originally a king and sorceror, but was enslaved by Sauron when he received the greatest of the Nine Rings in the Second Age. He and the other eight Nazgûl (also Men given Rings and thereby enslaved) acted as Sauron's messengers and scouts and led his armies. Their powers were strongest at night, but they feared fire and the name of Elbereth. They could only be wounded by weapons with special spells upon them, and any blade which touched them melted. They fell with Sauron at the end of the Second Age and rose again as Sauron began to regain power in the Third Age. Disguising himself as a mortal sorceror, the Lord of the Nazgûl formed the evil realm of Angmar, seeking to destroy the already weakened Dúnedain of Arnor. In Third Age 1975, his forces were routed in the Battle of Fornost and he disappeared from the North, reappearing in 2000 when he and the other Nazgûl attacked and claimed Minas Ithil. During the War of the Ring, he led the search for Frodo, following him on his flight from the Shire to Rivendell, and wounding him at Weathertop. When their steeds (swift black horses) were destroyed in the river that borders Rivendell, the Nazgûl reappeared in the skies, riding flying beasts. The Lord of the Nazgûl led the army that attacked Minas Tirith in the Siege of Gondor. During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, he killed King Théoden and was then killed (or at least severely wounded) by Éowyn and Meriadoc Brandybuck, fulfilling a prophecy from the Battle of Fornost that he was not to fall by the hand of man. The Lord of the Nazgûl was taller then the other Nazgûl and wore a crown; his fear and power were also greater than theirs. He was called the Wraith-lord/king, the Morgul-lord/king, the Black Captain, the Black Shadow, the Dwimmerlaik (by Éowyn), and the High Nazgûl (by the Orcs of Minas Morgul). As a group, the Nazgûl were also called the Ringwraiths, the Nine Riders, and the Black Riders.
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