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! Non-Canon Alert!
This article contains information, pictures or media from non-canonical sources. To find out more about what is considered canon see LOTR:Canon

The crossbow is a ranged weapon consisting of a bow mounted on a wooden stock. The string, along with its missile (referred to as a bolt), is drawn and then held taut by a mechanism featured on the weapon's stock until it is fired by a trigger lever.

Tolkien never mentions this device in the book, but they are shown being used by Uruk-hai in the movies, notably during the battle at Helm's Deep. Instead, it is likely that the Uruk-hai used heavy longbows like the one used to kill Boromir. 

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit

In the The Two Towers, the Uruk-hai use crossbows at Helm's Deep. Jackson commented that the reasoning behind this non-canonical decision stems from the need for the Uruk-hai to pose a threat to the defending army before coming into melee contact, and the use of bows didn't fit the Uruk's lumbering nature. Jackson also comments that the use of a conventional crossbow would have broken the flow of the battle due to the incredibly long reload time; for this reason, the Uruk-hai make use of a pump-action type of crossbow, which allows it to be fired and re-strung in a matter of seconds. This idea was suggested by illustrator John Howe.

Video gamesEdit


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