This is a list of the animals of Arda, and tells how some of them have been portrayed in media.
See also Valar Animals.
Non-unique animals Edit
Most bats were part of the forest's ecosystem, however, some bats were bred from darkness and variants of vampires and were known for their service to the forces of Darkness. Bats sided with the Orcs and Wargs in the Battle of Five Armies, during which they flew so thickly across the sky that the sunlight was blotted out.
In the First Age, the great bat Thuringwethil was Sauron's messenger and took the form of a giant bat with great fingered wings. It is not recorded whether the creature was sapient or not. As Bilbo and the Dwarves marched through Mirkwood they gave up lighting fires at night because they attracted thousands of moths, followed by huge black bats.
Portrayal in adaptations Edit
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Trilogy Edit
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, giant bats chase Radagast the Brown after he encounters the Necromancer at Dol Guldur.
- A larger form, the Cave bats, were seen as part of the Goblin faction in the The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II.
- In The Lord of the Rings Online, bats are found in caves throughout Middle-earth, especially in Moria. They are frequently the pets of the Merrevail.
Games Workshop Edit
- Giant Bats are a unit in the "Misty Mountains" faction of the The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.
- "I should say there were little bears, large bears, ordinary bears, and gigantic big bears, all dancing outside from dark to nearly dawn."
- —Gandalf, while at the house of Beorn
Bears were large and ferocious animals of Middle-earth.
They apparently could communicate with their kin, Beornings (a race of shape shifters who could appear in the form of either Men or Bears), as it is stated that Beorn, when in bear shape, could speak "the tongue of bears". This also implies that bears had their own language. They were big, hulking, furry quadrupeds (however, they could stand on their hind legs to intimidate enemies) who were natural hunters. They had sensitive eyes, and long snouts with sensitive noses and huge fanged mouths.
Bears were native to the Wilderland between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood, where they thrived by hunting. However; they were not carnivores, as was demonstrated by their love of honey. As the bees of the Wilderland were at least twice as big as average bees, the bears were bound to have tough leathery skin, either as a natural attribute or from adaptation to bee stings.
At least some of the bears were allies of the Bear-folk (and maybe even the Mountain men), as was demonstrated when a pack of bears assisted Beorn in the hunting of a pack of Warg-Riders from Goblin-town, but Beorn also gave reference to "Wicked bears", in that wicked bears were most likely allies of the Wargs and Orcs of the Wilderland. Since bears had their own language, and could be classified as good or evil, they were ostensibly sentient to at least some degree.
Birds were commonplace creatures of the world of Arda gifted with the ability to fly.
Most but not all birds were non-sapient.
Birds of Middle-earth Edit
- The great or giant Eagles who nested on Thangorodrim and later on the Crissaegrim during the First Age in the Beleriand. They are messengers of Manwë and were probably regarded as the highest of all birds.
- Thrushes and Ravens who nested near the Lonely Mountain.
- Crebain - Servants of darkness that came from Dunland.
Birds of Númenor Edit
- Kirinki - small birds with very high voices
Birds of the Valar Edit
- Swans of Ulmo
Named sapient birds Edit
The most famous of the mention of foxes was when they approached the company of Hobbits as they slept in the woods after they left the Shire. It was narrated of how the fox thought it was very queer to see Hobbits asleep in the woods, but the fox didn't stay to find out anything more. This fox seems to have possessed sentience, although it's not clear if all foxes in Middle-earth did, and this may have simply been personification. Later, the Hobbits see another fox, although it is unlikely that this is the same one they had seen in the woods.
Deer were four-legged beasts that inhabited Middle-earth - mentioned in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Deer were hunted for food by the peoples of Middle-earth save for the Beorning who did not eat meat. Deer came in different coats, including red and white.
In The Hobbit deer were common beasts of burden of the Elves.
While traversing Mirkwood, Thorin and Company came upon a leaping deer. They saw another deer in the forest, white as snow. The Dwarves began shooting at it until they spent their last arrows. The deer vanished afterwards.
Hawks were large birds that roamed Middle-earth. As the Fellowship of the Ring was being spied upon by the Crebain, a lone hawk was also thought of as being a watcher of the enemy, meaning that Saruman may have used hawks as spies also.
- Main article: HorsesHorses were large, quadrupedal animals commonly used by elves and men as a means of transportation. They, and ponies, their smaller, closely related cousins, were used throughout Middle-earth from the First Age onward.
Rabbits were small, fat animals living everywhere in Middle-earth, called Conies by the Hobbits. Rabbits were hunted for food by the peoples of Middle-earth, usually when traveling and not as butchers cuts, save for the Beornings who did not eat meat.
Alternate Names Edit
Bunnies, Conies, Hares
Portrayal in adaptations Edit
In Peter Jackson's movie The Two Towers, a brace of rabbits were caught by Gollum just before a force of Haradrim walked through the land with an Oliphaunt, but then are then cooked by Sam in a stew, which angered Gollum.
In the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Radagast's sled is pulled by a strange, large breed of rabbits from Rhosgobel, called "Rhosgobel Rabbits" by the wizard, which were fast enough to outrun Wolves from Gundabad and also Wargs.
Cats were small, four-legged animals that lived in Arda. They were often used as companions and pets by the Hobbits and Bree-folk. As they were keen-sighted and agile, some cats were used for hunting and spying.
Cats of Berúthiel Edit
During the Third Age, the Queen Berúthiel of Gondor kept nine black cats and one white cat. The black cats spied on the Men of Gondor, but failed to hide the fact that they were spying. On the other hand, the white cat was ordered to spy on the black cats and did a better work than them, as the black cats never found out that they were being watched. When Berúthiel was exiled from Gondor, her black cats accompanied her.
"Prince of Cats" Edit
In earlier concepts in the legendarium, Tevildo was the Prince of Cats and the demonic servant of Melko. He took the form of a great black cat with a collar of gold. His character eventually became Sauron. He is treated as a separate character from Sauron in 2017's Beren and Lúthien novel, and treated as first part of the the Great Tale.
During the Third Age, Beorn had several dogs who could walk on their hind legs, and carry things with their forelegs. They could set the table, and were capable of speech. Farmer Maggot kept three dogs, Grip, Fang and Wolf, to guard his farm.
Fish were animals of rivers, springs, lakes, and the Great Sea. They were often hunted for food, as in the case of Gollum. As opposed to Gollum (who ate raw fish), Hobbits (specifically Samwise Gamgee) preferred cooked fish.
Boars were wild pigs that roamed Middle-earth. They had great tusks that they would use for a weapon.
The most famous boar in Middle-earth was the great Boar of Everholt living in the Firien Wood. He was hunted by Folca, the King of Rohan who eventually killed him but was mortally wounded by the great beast himself.
Portrayal in adaptations Edit
Wolves were four-legged, carnivorous canines who lived in Arda since the First Age. There were many subspecies in Middle-earth - apart from the original Gray Wolves, these groups included the White Wolves, Dogs, Werewolves, and Wargs.
Dogs were domesticated from Gray Wolves by Men, and were their natural allies. Werewolves were bred from Gray Wolves inhabited by demons, and were minions of the Dark Powers in the First Age. Wargs were a large, intelligent race of wolves who were the natural allies of the Orcs, and were most likely descendants of the Werewolves. The White Wolves were a mysterious race of unknown origin who inhabited the frozen Northern lands, and might have been neutral.
Wolves, like many other animals in Arda (Crows, Bats, burden beasts, Mumakil, etc.) had nothing to do naturally with forces of darkness, but served it at varying points throughout the Ages. Carcharoth, Draugluin, and the other evil wolves of the First Age were normal wolves possessed by Morgoth's power, and the Wargs may have been descended from them.
It is unknown whether wolves were created just as the other Middle-earth beasts were created, or if they were created by Morgoth. During the First Age, the only known time they fought for Morgoth was During the War of Wrath, in which most of the wolves were slain, but a few survived and fled to safety. During the third age the wolves that lived in Angmar pledged loyalty to The Witch-king. It is also unknown if they chose to join the armies of Angmar, or if they were forced to against their will. They fought in many battles against Arnor and presumably continued to thrive in Angmar after its final defeat. After Sauron's final defeat, wolves most likely continued to survive, and most likely survive to this day.
According to prophecy, Huan would not die until he had encountered the greatest of all wolves, so Sauron contrived to take on that role and defeat the hound. He failed, as the greatest of all wolves was not Wolf-Sauron, but Carcharoth of Angband, and through Lúthien's magic and Huan's valour Sauron was defeated. Surrendering his tower on Tol-in-Gaurhoth, he fled in the form of a vampire into the woods of Dorthonoin, and was not seen again until after the War of Wrath.
Portrayal in adaptations Edit
The Fellowship of the Ring, in the book, was attacked by a pack of wild wolves the night after they came down from Caradhras. Gandalf, who addressed the first wolf to attack as "Hounds of Sauron" said after the fight was over, that the wolves weren't ordinary wolves because there were no bodies left nor any sign of the wolves at all. During the time of the War of the Ring, Saruman kept some wolves in Isengard. Also Gandalf sees Saruman's wolves while he is Saruman's prisoner at Orthanc.
In Peter Jackson's film trilogy, Wargs are present in The Two Towers. They attack the fleeing citizens of Edoras as they make for Helm's Deep, killing several soldiers of Rohan's small army before returning to Isengard. This attack only happens in the movie and is not used in the book.
Video games EditIn The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king there are Dire wolves in the Angmar faction. In addition, the Angmar faction also includes the Shade of the Wolf power that summons a werewolf ghost to the field.
Marine mammals Edit
Animals unique to Arda Edit
Crebain were large species of crow which were native to Dunland and Fangorn Forest. Singular form is craban.
Fell beasts Edit
Fell beasts, also known as Hell-Hawks and Nazgûl-birds, were winged creatures ridden by the Nazgûl.
Great Eagles Edit
Great Eagles served as messengers of Manwë Súlimo.
Great Spiders Edit
Great Spiders were large spiders from the northern part of Mirkwood.
Kine of Araw Edit
Kirinki was a bird native to Numenor.
Wargs were a race of aggressive wolf-like creatures who worked for and alongside Orcs on many occasions.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter III: "Three is Company"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
- ↑ The Hobbit, Chapter VII: "Queer Lodgings"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Hobbit, Chapter VIII: "Flies and Spiders"
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, "Of the Valar"
- ↑ The Hobbit, Chapter V: "Riddles in the Dark"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter IX: "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter IV: "A Journey in the Dark"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Four, Chapter VIII: "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Four, Chapter VII: "Journey to the Cross-roads"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Unfinished Tales, Part Four: II: "The Istari", Notes
- ↑ The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 2: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, I: "The Tale of Tinúviel"
- ↑ The Hobbit, Chapter VII: "Queer Lodgings"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter IV: "A Short Cut to Mushrooms"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Four, Chapter VI: "The Forbidden Pool"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, II: The House of Eorl
- ↑ The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion
- ↑ Whales on Tolkien Gateway. Retrieved on October 08 2015
- ↑ Narwhals on Tolkien Gateway. Retrieved on October 08 2015