Wargs are canine beasts of Middle-earth in the Misty Mountains, used especially by Orcs of Isengard and Mordor in the Third Age. They are used by Orcs as a form of transportation, in the same manner that Men and Elves use horses. They appear first in The Hobbit, attacking Thorin and Company as they traveled east from the Misty Mountains. In the Fellowship of the Ring Wargs attacked the Fellowship as they traveled to Moria. That they were Wargs and not ordinary wolves searching for food, Gandalf remarked, was evident from the fact that the carcasses of the dead Wargs were gone the next morning. Later, during Theoden's retreat to Helm's Deep in Rohan, a scout reported that wolf-riders were abroad in the valley, but Wargs were not mentioned.
In T.A. 2941, the Wargs appeared once to meet the Goblins and organize a raid to the nearby villages, in order to drive the Woodmen out and capture some slaves. As a pack of Wargs approached east of the Misty Mountains to meet them, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Thorin and Company were escaping the goblins. Gandalf seeing the pack coming, suggested to climb the trees and Dori helped Bilbo in the nick of time.
The Wargs, thinking that the Dwarves are allies of the Woodmen, surrounded the glade and didn't let them descend. Gandalf then used his magic to light up pinecones and hurl them against the Wargs until he drove them out. The wolves that had caught fire fled into the forest and had set it alight in several places, since it was high summer, and on this eastern side of the mountains there had been little rain for some time. However the guards left under the trees did not go away. Eventually goblins showed up and lit the trees the Dwarves were onto, until the Eagles came to rescue them.
Physical attributes Edit
In the books, Wargs are described as being giant, intelligent, malevolent wolves.
The word 'warg' comes from the Old Norse word vargr, meaning 'wolf'.[Source?]
Portrayals in adaptationsEdit
Peter Jackson's adaptionsEdit
In Peter Jackson's adaptation of Tolkien's works, two breeds are introduced. The first are a hyena-like breed used by Isengard and Mordor Orcs that roamed in western Rhovanion and the wilds to the east of the Misty Mountains. The second are the more wolf-like Gundabad Wargs whose appearance is closer to the original version of the story.
The eastern Wargs seen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy are noticeably more hyena-like in appearance. A eastern Warg measures about 5 feet at the shoulder, and could be up to eight feet in length from snout to hindquarters. The head has a short muzzle full of huge fangs, small eyes set on the sides of the head and ears at the back of the skull. This arrangement gave greatest sensory range while keeping its vulnerable areas protected, and the long prehensile neck gives it reach, flexibility and power when biting into flesh. There the forelegs when muscled hump above them, allowing it to move at high speeds to tackle potential prey. Apart from its ruff, the Warg had short dense fur, which would have kept injury from tooth and claw to a minimum. Not all damage could have come from the men and beasts it was attacking; Wargs were ferocious and could quickly turn on other members of their pack as well as their handlers. Coloration and patterning of the fur doesn't seem to vary throughout the breed. Powerful haunches and a dewclaw allowed the warg to climb.
The Gunbabad Wargs, wolf-like with grey fur, are bred by the Orcs of Mount Gundabad. Through out the events of The Hobbit Trilogy, a pack of Wargs are in the service of Azog, who had survived the skirmish at Moria. Among these wargs is a larger one with a white pelt that Azog rides, revealed in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey guide book to be Warg Matriarch of the Gunbabad Wargs. Gandalf once stated in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that the Gundabad Wargs are faster than any other Warg breed.
The Hobbit film trilogyEdit
During the events of An Unexpected Journey, a Warg pack under Warg-Riders led by Yazneg and Fimbul stalk The Company of Thorin II Oakenshield before making their presence known in the trollshaws. Though Radagast offers to distract their pursuers by riding on his sled pulled by Rhosgobel rabbits, the warg riders see the Company and chase after them before finding themselves ambushed by the Elves of Rivendell after the Company, flee into the Hidden Pass having been entrapped by their foes. Azog later feeds Yazneg to the Wargs stationed in Amon Sûl. Azog later rides the Warg Matriarch to personally hunt Thorin, who managed to elude him with the aid of both the Great Eagles at the Misty Mountains and Beorn. The Gunbabad wargs make fewer appearances in the The Desolation of Smaug, when Bolg and a small force of Warg riders trail the company to Dale, and The Battle of the Five Armies, where Azog rides his white Warg on the march to Erebor before instructing Bolg to retrieve their reinforcements in Gundabad.
The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit
In The Two Towers film, Saruman sends the Orc Sharku with a company of Warg-Riders to attack the people of Rohan as they make their way to Helm's Deep. A Warg later appears as the mount for Gothmog during the Siege of Gondor in The Return of the King film. In the commentary for the extended DVD, Jackson says that the scene was chaotic to shoot and the wargs were the only computer generated creatures he felt could have looked more convincing. He also thought the scene itself could have turned out better if his team had a more organized storyboard layout for the battle.
- In the The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age video game there is a small colony of wild Wargs living in a hollow rock formation in northeast Rohan, one of which is particularly large and used as a mini-boss for a side quest.
- In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II and BFME 1 video games, the Isengard faction can train and use Warg Riders as a mounted unit.
- In The Lord of the Rings Online, Wargs can be found throughout the world. A Warg-Stalker is also a playable class as well in Monster Play.
Races of the Creatures of Arda