Werewolves were servants of Morgoth, bred from Wolves and inhabited by dreadful spirits (fallen lesser Maiar or fëar of Orcs) imprisoned in their wolfish forms by Sauron. Unlike werewolves in other literature, these do not transform from Man to wolf at night and are not influenced by a full moon.
They inhabited Tol-in-Gaurhoth which became known as the Isle of Werewolves.
The first werewolf was Draugluin at Tol-in-Gaurhoth, and the greatest wolf after him was Carcharoth, the guardian of Angband, and a descendant of Draugluin as all other werewolves were. Huan the Hound of Valinor, while also sentient, was not a werewolf, but a wolfhound. Werewolves were thought of by Sauron, who was their lord, and took the shape of a great wolf himself at least once.
Gandalf suggests in his talks with Frodo after the Ford of Bruinen that werewolves survived into the Third Age, and makes a distinction between them and Wargs. The latter though might simply be descended from werewolves, as they could speak, suggesting they had fëar.The Complete Guide to Middle-earth</ref>
Werewolves were not shape-shifters, and were always in the form of beasts. The fangs of Carcharoth were venomous, though it is not known if all werewolves had venomous fangs.
Werewolves are similar to Wolves and Wargs, and were quite large even compared to Wargs. Known to be stronger and faster than the famous Warg race, they were also as intelligent as a mortal man which made them capable of negotiating and communicating with others. Thus they were able to speak the Black Speech, Westron, and the Elvish Languages.[Source?]
The name werewolf appears to have been chosen because they were in essence sapient (but evil), and thus had a status similar to men rather than beasts — the word "were" in the word werewolf being from the Anglo-Saxon word were, meaning man, so the term were wolf can be translated to man-wolf.[Source?] They were known by the Elves of their time as 'Gaurhoth'.
Portrayal in adaptionsEdit
Werewolves appear in The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king in the form of the Shade of the Wolf. (The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king)
Races of the Creatures of Arda
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
- ↑ Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, by way of Google Books