J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was an English writer, poet and academic, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, from 1945 to 1959, he was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, fictional histories, invented languages, literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth within it.
Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre; this has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009. Tolkien's immediate paternal ancestors were middle-class craftsmen who made and sold clocks and pianos in London and Birmingham; the Tolkien family originated in the East Prussian town Kreuzburg near Königsberg, where his first known paternal ancestor Michel Tolkien was born around 1620. Michel's son Christianus Tolkien was a wealthy miller in Kreuzburg, his son Christian Tolkien moved from Kreuzburg to nearby Danzig, his two sons Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien and Johann Benjamin Tolkien emigrated to London in the 1770s and became the ancestors of the English family.
In 1792 John Benjamin Tolkien and William Gravell took over the Erdley Norton manufacture in London, which from on sold clocks and watches under the name Gravell & Tolkien. Daniel Gottlieb obtained British citizenship in 1794, but John Benjamin never became a British citizen. Other German relatives joined the two brothers in London. Several people with the surname Tolkien or similar spelling, some of them members of the same family as J. R. R. Tolkien, live in northern Germany, but most of them are descendants of recent refugees from East Prussia who fled the Red Army invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing. According to Ryszard Derdziński the Tolkien name is of Low Prussian origin and means "son/descendant of Tolk." Tolkien mistakenly believed his surname derived from the German word tollkühn, meaning "foolhardy", jokingly inserted himself as a "cameo" into The Notion Club Papers under the translated name Rashbold. However, Derdziński has demonstrated this to be a false etymology. While J. R. R. Tolkien was aware of the Tolkien family's German origin, his knowledge of the family's history was limited because he was "early isolated from the family of his prematurely deceased father".
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State to Arthur Reuel Tolkien, an English bank manager, his wife Mabel, née Suffield. The couple had left England when Arthur was promoted to head the Bloemfontein office of the British bank for which he worked. Tolkien had one sibling, his younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien, born on 17 February 1894; as a child, Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, an event some think echoed in his stories, although he admitted no actual memory of the event and no special hatred of spiders as an adult. In another incident, a young family servant, who thought Tolkien a beautiful child, took the baby to his kraal to show him off, returning him the next morning; when he was three, he went to England with his mother and brother on what was intended to be a lengthy family visit. His father, died in South Africa of rheumatic fever before he could join them; this left the family without an income, so Tolkien's mother took him to live with her parents in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Soon after, in 1896, they moved to Sarehole a Worcestershire village annexed to Birmingham. He enjoyed exploring Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and the Clent and Malvern Hills, which would inspire scenes in his books, along with nearby towns and villages such as Bromsgrove and Alvechurch and places such as his aunt Jane's farm of Bag End, the name of which he used in his fiction. Mabel Tolkien taught her two children at home. Ronald, as he was known in the family, was a keen pupil, she taught him a great deal of botany and awakened in him the enjoyment of the look and feel of plants. Young Tolkien liked to draw landscapes and trees, but his favourite lessons were those concerning languages, his mother taught him the rudiments of Latin early. Tolkien could write fluently soon afterwards, his mother allowed him to read many books. He disliked Treasure Island and The Pied Piper and thought Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was "amusing but disturbing", he liked stories about "Red Indians" and the fantasy wor
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, Hithlum is the region north of Beleriand near the Helcaraxë. Hithlum was separated from Beleriand proper by the Ered Wethrin mountain chain, was named after the sea mists which formed there at times: Hithlum is Sindarin for "Mist-shadow". Hithlum was subdivided in Mithrim, where the High Kings of the Noldor had their halls, Dor-lómin, which became a fief of the House of Hador; the Ered Wethrin formed the southern and eastern wall, had only a few passes. The western wall was formed by the Ered Lómin or "Echoing Mountains", which curved north-westward to the Helcaraxë; the land of Lammoth was not part of Beleriand or Hithlum. The land of Nevrast was separated from Hithlum by the southern part of the Ered Lómin range. Nevrast was seen as part of Hithlum, but its climate was that of Beleriand. Hithlum was quite fertile; the Noldor first camped at the shores of Lake Mithrim. In the First Age, Hithlum was continually under attack by Morgoth being lost after the Nírnaeth Arnoediad.
The Hadorians were scattered, killed, or enslaved, the Noldor were enslaved in Morgoth's mines if they could not flee in time, Morgoth trapped the Easterlings there. Hithlum was destroyed during the War of Wrath. Mithrim formed a part of Hithlum, was the south-eastern corner of it, bordering Dor-lómin to the west, from which it was divided by the Mountains of Mithrim. Mithrim's climate was the same as Hithlum's, the air was cool and the winters were cold but it was a fair land; the area was home to a great lake, the Lake of Mithrim, the body of water north of Beleriand where the Noldor first dwelt in Middle-earth: the Sons of Fëanor on the northern shore and Fingolfin's host on the southern shore. The Noldor dwelt here for a while until their feud was healed, they removed to other lands. Mithrim was home to Sindarin Elves, who soon mingled with the Noldor after they had learned Sindarin. In the First Age Mithrim was ruled by Fingolfin, as it formed the most densely populated part of Hithlum; the Mithrim Montes on Titan, the great moon of Saturn, are named after Tolkien's Mountains of Mithrim.
Dor-lómin, "Land of Echoes", was the south-western part of Hithlum, bordered in the east by the Mountains of Mithrim, in the north by the river which formed the Rainbow Cleft known as Annon-in-Gelydh, or "Gate of the Noldor". It was first colonized by the Noldor shortly after they arrived in Middle-earth, for a long time was ruled by Fingon son of Fingolfin, before he took over as High King of the Noldor after his father was killed. By this time the Edain who became known as the House of Hador had entered Beleriand, Fingon granted them the land of Dor-lómin as a fief, he gave them the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin, it was thereafter their chief heirloom. Húrin son of Galdor, the last Edain lord of Dor-lómin dwelt in its south-western corner, near the mountain known as Amon Darthir, where the river Nen Lalaith began. After the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, when the House of Hador was destroyed or scattered, Easterlings dwelt in Dor-lómin, Tuor — Húrin's orphaned nephew — was fostered by the Elves of Androth in the nearby Mountains of Mithrim.
Like the rest of Hithlum Dor-lómin was destroyed during the War of Wrath. Dagor Bragollach Hithlum at the Tolkien Gateway
Maedhros is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. First introduced in The Silmarillion and mentioned in Unfinished Tales and The Children of Húrin, he is one of the most enduring characters in The Silmarillion, has been the subject of paintings by artists such as Jenny Dolfen and Alan Lee. In the books, Maedhros was the first son of Fëanor, the creator of the Silmarils that were essential to the plot and the history of Middle-earth. Following his father in swearing to reclaim the Silmarils from anyone who took and kept them, he led the war against Morgoth, brought eventual ruin upon himself and his brothers. Little is mentioned about Maedhros's youth in The Silmarillion. Born to Fëanor and Nerdanel during the Years of the Trees in Aman, he was the eldest of their seven sons. With their father, they travelled far and wide in Valinor. During this time Maedhros befriended Fingon, son of Fingolfin, for whom Fëanor had no love. Following his father's banishment from Tirion, Maedhros lived in Formenos with his family.
They returned to Tirion, after Maedhros brought tidings of Finwë's murder and the theft of the Silmarils to his father and Manwë in Y. T. 1495. Fëanor's fiery words led the Noldor to Middle-earth and the Fëanorians to swear their father's terrible oath to pursue anyone who kept the Silmarils from their possession. Maedhros participated in the Kinslaying at Alqualondë and stood aside at the burning of the ships at Losgar; when Fëanor and his sons secretly sailed to Middle-earth, Maedhros was shocked when he realised that they would not return for Fingolfin and his host. Although Fëanor was killed in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath in Y. T. 1497, Morgoth's forces suffered a crushing defeat. He sent peace Maedhros agreed to treat with them, he brought more forces than had been agreed to the parley — for Maedhros was not fooled by Morgoth's peace offers, but unknown to him, Balrogs were among Morgoth's party, the Elven company was overwhelmed. Maedhros was hung by the wrist of his right hand upon Thangorodrim in great pain.
For many years, he languished there. In Y. S. 5, Fingon found him. However, with the help of Thorondor, Fingon freed him by cutting off Maedhros's right hand; this daring rescue, along with Maedhros’ repentance for the desertion of Fingolfin's hosts in Araman and relinquishment of his claim as Finwë's heir to kingship over all the Noldor in favour of his uncle, did much to repair the ill feelings between the House of Fingolfin and the House of Fëanor. His brothers, were not all pleased by their eldest brother's actions, Maedhros, sensing that they would cause feuds with their kinsmen, moved them out of Mithrim and to the lands around the Hill of Himring, which became known as the March of Maedhros. A secondary purpose in relocating was the desire to take up the responsibility to defend the area, in most danger of being attacked by Morgoth. Keen on peace and unification, Maedhros on his part remained in friendship with the houses of Fingolfin and Finarfin. Allied with Fingolfin, he set the Siege of Angband.
The siege was broken, however, in the Dagor Bragollach. Due to Maedhros's valour and deadly skill with the sword, Himring was defended, though it was surrounded by the enemy; this led many of the survivors from East Dorthonion to rally to Maedhros. He would be the first Noldor Lord to recapture lost lands when he regained the pass of Aglon and closed it to the hosts of Angband. Taking hope upon hearing the deeds of Beren and Lúthien, he gathered his brothers, united with other Elven Houses to create the Union of Maedhros, an alliance of Elves and Dwarves to drive the Orcs from Beleriand and lay siege to Morgoth's fortress of Angband. Under his leadership, the Union won several battles and regained the territory lost in the Dagor Bragollach; when the joint attack on Angband itself was to be launched, Maedhros was delayed due to the treachery of an Easterling, Uldor the Accursed, a spy of Morgoth in the service of Caranthir, the forces of the Union were utterly destroyed in the Nírnaeth Arnoediad.
Himring was taken by the Orcs and the Sons of Fëanor were wounded. They retreated to Mount Dolmed, came to live with the Nandor in Ossiriand. During Y. S. 504 — 505, the brothers learnt of the possession of the Silmaril recovered by Beren and Lúthien in the hands of Dior, the new King of Doriath. Maedhros restrained his brothers’ urge to attack, instead, sent a message to Dior demanding that he yield the Silmaril to them, but Dior ignored it. Celegorm's words convinced the Fëanorians to launch an assault, thus Doriath was destroyed, Dior was killed, the brothers emerged victorious, but the brothers Celegorm and Caranthir were slain and the Silmaril was not recovered. Upon learning that Celegorm's servants had left Dior's twin sons, Eluréd and Elurín, to starve in a dark forest, Maedhros went on a long search for them, but it proved to be fruitless. Maedhros and his surviving brothers dwelt on Amon Ereb in East Beleriand; when they heard that Elwing, who had escaped from Doriath with the Silmaril, was now living at the Havens of Sirion.
Maedhros, repenting of his deeds at Doriath, counselled against trying to regain the jewel by force. But the unfulfilment of the oath came to torment the brothers so they sent messages of friendship but with firm demands to surrender the Silmaril. Howeve
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, the eagles were immense flying birds that were sapient and could speak. Emphatically referred to as the Great Eagles, they appear and intentionally serving as agents of eucatastrophe or deus ex machina, in various parts of his legendarium, from The Silmarillion and the accounts of Númenor to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Just as the Ents are guardians of plant life, the giant eagles are the guardians of animal life; these creatures are thought to have been similar to actual eagles, but much larger. In The Silmarillion, Thorondor is said to have been the greatest of them and of all birds, with a wingspan of 30 fathoms. Elsewhere, the eagles have varied in nature and size both within Tolkien's writings and in visualisations and films; the difference between "common" eagles and Great Eagles is prominently described in The Hobbit: Eagles are not kindly birds. Some are cruel, but the ancient race of the northern mountains were the greatest of all birds.
Throughout The Silmarillion, the Eagles are associated with Manwë, the ruler of the sky and Lord of the Valar. It is stated that "spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles" brought news from Middle-earth to his halls upon Taniquetil, the highest mountain in Valinor, although in the book the same is said of birds in general, in the Valaquenta of "all swift birds, strong of wing". Upon their first appearance in the main narrative, it is stated that the Eagles had been "sent forth" to Middle-earth by Manwë, to live in the mountains north of the land of Beleriand, in order to "watch upon" Morgoth, to help the exiled Noldorin Elves "in extreme cases"; the Eagles were ruled by Thorondor. When the Hidden City of Gondolin was built by Turgon, the eagles of Thorondor became his allies, bringing him news and keeping spies off the borders; therefore the Orcs of Morgoth were unable to approach either the nearby mountains, or the important ford of Brithiach to the south. When the city fell at last, the eagles of Thorondor protected the fugitives, from the orcs that ambushed them at Cirith Thoronath north of Gondolin.
The Eagles fought alongside the army of the Valar and Men during the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, when Morgoth was overthrown. In The Silmarillion it is recounted that after the appearance of winged dragons, "all the great birds of heaven" gathered under the leadership of Thorondor to Eärendil, destroyed the majority of the dragons during a battle in the air. Tolkien mentioned the eagles in his accounts of the island of Númenor during the Second Age, he stated that three eagles guarded the summit of Meneltarma, appearing whenever one approached the hallow and staying in the sky during the Three Prayers. The Númenóreans called them "the Witnesses of Manwë" and believed that these eagles had been "sent by him from Aman to keep watch upon the Holy Mountain and upon all the land". There was another eyrie upon the tower of the King's House in the capital Armenelos, always inhabited by a pair of eagles, until the days of Tar-Ancalimon and the coming of Shadow to Númenor. In addition, it is stated that many eagles lived upon the hills around Sorontil in the north of the island, although in the last case it is unclear whether these were "great" or "common" eagles.
When the Númenóreans had forsaken their former beliefs and began to speak against the Ban of the Valar, it was in the way of eagle-shaped storm clouds, called the "Eagles of the Lords of the West", that Manwë tried to reason or threaten them. By the end of the Third Age, a colony of Eagles lived in the northern parts of the Misty Mountains, as described in The Hobbit, upon the eastward slopes not far from the High Pass leading from Rivendell, thus in the direct vicinity of the Goblin-town beneath the Mountains, it is stated that these Eagles afflicted the goblins and "stopped whatever wickedness they were doing". During the events of the book, eagles of this colony rescued Thorin's company from a band of goblins and Wargs carrying the dwarves to the Carrock. Having espied the mustering of goblins all over the Mountains, a great flock of Eagles participated in the Battle of the Five Armies. In The Lord of the Rings it is stated that the Eagles of the Misty Mountains helped the Elves of Rivendell and the Wizard Radagast in gathering news about the Orcs.
In addition, a prominent role is played by Gwaihir, the Eagles appear in great numbers towards the end of the book. In a parallel to The Hobbit, they arrived at the Battle of the Morannon, helping the Host of the West against the Nazgûl. Several of them rescued Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee from Mount Doom after the One Ring had been destroyed; the idea of the Eagles transporting the Ring to Mount Doom, or at least part of the way, is not discussed in The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien himself never addressed it, except in an oblique manner. In The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, he stated: "The Eagles are a dangerous'machine'. I have used them sparingly, and, the absolute limit of their credibility or usefulness; the alighting of a Great Eagle of the Misty Mountains in the Shire is absurd.
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Turgon "the Wise" is an Elven king of the Noldor, second son of Fingolfin, brother to Fingon and Argon, ruler of the hidden city of Gondolin, his name is a Sindarinised form of his Quenya name Turukáno, which means something like "valiant lord". Although Turgon was against the departure of the Noldor from Aman, he did set out on the journey. After Fëanor and his sons departed using the only ships, he took his people across the dangerous Helcaraxë with his father Fingolfin, he settled at Vinyamar in Nevrast. There he became lord of both Noldor and Sindar. While he was journeying with his cousin Finrod Felagund along Sirion, Ulmo sent both of them a dream to look for a hidden place where they could be safe from the power of Morgoth. In the following year Ulmo appeared directly to Turgon and guided him to the vale of Tumladen in the Encircling Mountains, to which Turgon secretly moved, taking with him a third of the original followers of Fingolfin and many of the Sindar, deserting Nevrast, building the city of Gondolin.
The disappearance of so many of their brethren led many Elves to search for the "Hidden Kingdom" of Turgon. Turgon and his people remained isolated in Gondolin for many years, he had a daughter, Idril Celebrindal, who married Tuor after the man was guided to the secret entrance by dreams from Ulmo. Tuor's coming had long been prophesied by Ulmo, who had instructed Turgon to leave a suit of armour in Nevrast for a future messenger, which turned out to be Tuor. Tuor's warning of doom was rejected by Turgon, who trusted still in the secrecy of his kingdom, the vigilance of his allies, the Eagles, who prevented any spies of Morgoth from finding it. Turgon re-emerged with his host during the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, although the battle was still lost, his intervention prevented the rout from destroying the armies of the Noldor and their allies. Turgon died defending Gondolin when it was betrayed by his nephew Maeglin out of his desire for Idril, sacked by the hosts of Morgoth. Turgon wielded the sword Glamdring, found and carried by Gandalf.
Fall of Gondolin Quenta Silmarillion Tolkien, J. R. R. Christopher Tolkien, ed; the Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-25730-1 Tolkien, J. R. R. Christopher Tolkien, ed; the Children of Húrin, London: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-007-24622-6
Middle-earth weapons and armour
Weapons and armour of Middle-earth are found in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy writings, such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Wars and battles are featured in much of Tolkien's writings, weapons and armour are given special attention. Tolkien modelled his fictional warfare on the Ancient and Early Middle periods of history, his depiction of weapons and armour reflect the Northern European culture of Beowulf, the Norse sagas and similar works. Tolkien established this relationship in The Fall of Gondolin, the first story in his legendarium to be written. In this story, the Elves of Gondolin use mail armour, shields, spears and bows, consistent with Northern European warfare. In Tolkien's writings, these kinds of weapons and armour are used by his fictional races, including Elves, Men and Orcs. Like his sources Tolkien sometimes uses the motif of ceremonial runic inscriptions in his fictional items of warfare to show these items are magical and have their own history.
Tolkien devised several constructed languages with terms for types of weapons. Sword: Noldorin Sindarin: magl, North Sindarin magor, Quenya: makil, Noldorin Sindarin: crist. Dagger, Knife: Noldorin Sindarin: sigil, Quenya: sicil Axe: North Sindarin: hathol, Quenya: pelekko, Khuzdul: baruk Spear: Quenya: hatal ehte Bow: Noldorin Sindarin: peng poetically cû, Quenya: quinga. Arrow: Quenya: pilin, pl. pilindi (Hooker notes the similarity of the Latin pīlum, with cognates in the Old High German, Modern German, Old English, late Old Norse, the Dutch. Tolkien devised terms for specific makes of weapons, like lango, eket and lhang. Lhang was used for a large two-handed, curved-bladed sword with a long handle used by Elves in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Swords symbolized physical prowess in battle following Northern European culture. Tolkien writes that Elves and Dwarves produced the best swords and that Elvish swords glowed blue in the presence of Orcs. Elves used straight swords while Orcs used curved swords.
Both races have exceptions: Egalmoth of Gondolin used a curved sword and the Uruk-hai of Isengard used short, broad blades. Tolkien so mentions the use of shields together with swords that it seems one-handed swords would be the norm. In The Lord of the Rings film trilogy most Elvish swords are curved but some named swords are interpreted as two-handed longswords; the films embellished upon Tolkien's descriptions of swords by making up inscriptions for these items. Knives are mentioned in Tolkien's works, sometimes as backup weapons—such as the nondescript long knife of Legolas the archer. However, some individual knives are given more significance through naming. Weapons that were only knives or short swords for adult Men or Elves could function as formidable swords in the hands of Hobbits, a diminutive people. Towards the end of The Lord of the Rings, Saruman attempts to stab Frodo with a knife, but is foiled by the mithril shirt Frodo wore under his jacket. Shortly afterwards Saruman's throat was fatally cut with a knife born by Wormtongue.
For The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, some characters such as Aragorn was gifted with an Elven hunting knife which he retained well towards the Battle of the Black Gate. Boromir's costume design included throwing knives, Legolas now possessed twin fighting knives carried in sheaths near his quiver. There are some knives in Tolkien's fiction which do not have proper formal names, but play important roles in the plot; the Witch-king of Angmar, leader of the Nazgûl, used a magical dagger called a "Morgul-blade" to wound Frodo Baggins. The dark magic of the knife gravely affects Frodo's well-being, threatening to turn him into a wraith because its detachable point migrated in Frodo's body for more than two weeks before it could be extracted, thus causing great damage. Recurring ill effects from the wound contribute to Frodo's eventual departure to Valinor; the weapon may owe something to the Old English tradition of the "elf-shot". The term appears in Old English medical texts and charms and refers to illnesses of presumed supernatural origin.
Four magical daggers, forged by the Men of Westernesse to fight the powers of Mordor, are recovered from a tomb in the Barrow-downs by Tom Bombadil. He gives them to Frodo Baggins and his Hobbit companions, for whom the daggers are swords. One of these "Barrow-blades" – that given to Merry Brandybuck – proves instrumental in bringing about the death of the Witch-king; the three other daggers had varying fates in The Lord of the Rings. When the Nazgûl attacked Aragorn and the hobbits on Weathertop, Frodo slashed at one of them with his dagger but only damaged its cloak. Sam Gamgee left his beside Frodo in Cirith Ungol and had it returned to him by Gandalf. Pippin Took made use of his dagger in the Battle of the Black Gate to slay a Troll-chief. Battle axes are favoured by Dwarves in Tolkien's writings; the Dwarves are upon you!. For The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Gimli the Dwarf was assigned various axes of different makes during the course of the films; the use of battle axes in other races tended to be more exceptional.
The Sindarin Elves of Doriath favoured axes as weapons during the First Age. Other notable axe-bearers were Tuor, the Men of the White Mountains
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy writings, Orcs are a race of creatures who are used as soldiers and henchmen by both the greater and lesser villains of The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings—Morgoth and Saruman. Although not dim-witted and crafty, they are portrayed as miserable beings, hating everyone including themselves and their masters, whom they serve out of fear, they make no beautiful things, but rather design cunning devices made to destroy. In some of his unpublished early work, Tolkien appears to distinguish orcs from goblins. By the time of his published work, the terms had become synonymous; the Hobbit uses the term goblin, while The Lord of the Rings prefers orc. The opponents of the dwarves in "Dwarf and Goblin War" of The Hobbit are described as orcs in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings. No distinction is made by size. Tolkien's The Father Christmas Letters features goblins. Orc is from Old English orcneas, which appears in the epic poem Beowulf, refers to one of the races who are called the offspring of Cain during the initial description of Grendel.
In a letter of 1954 Tolkien gave orc as "demon" and claimed he used the word because of its "phonetic suitability"—its similarity to various equivalent terms in his Middle-earth languages. In an essay on Elven languages, written in 1954, Tolkien gives meaning of'orc' as "evil spirit or bogey" and goes on to state that the origin of the Old English word is the Latin name Orcus—god of the underworld. About the goblins of The Hobbit, Tolkien wrote: They are not based on direct experience of mine. There is no evidence for Tolkien having been influenced by the spelled character Orc in William Blake's mythology. In the High-elven tongue Quenya, the word for "Orc" was urco, plural urqui, meaning "bogey", or "bogeyman", that is, something that provokes fear. In the Grey-elven tongue Sindarin, it was plural yrch. In the Dwarven tongue Khuzdul, it was rukhs, plural rakhâs. In the language of the Drúedain or Wild Men, it was gorgûn. In the Black Speech of Mordor, the equivalent was Uruk, as can be seen in Uruk-hai, "Orc-folk".
Orc itself is from Rohirric and the Hobbit-language, which shared linguistic roots, but the term is related to the older Elvish words. Uruk and Uruk-hai were reserved for the Uruks themselves, breeds of Orc; the Sindar referred to the Orcs as a whole as the Glamhoth, "noisy horde". The word "goblin" is used to represent the original Hobbit Orc. In The History of Middle-earth Tolkien writes about an Orc captain named Boldog but specifies that Boldog may have been either a term or a title for another special kind of Orc instead of a personal name; the earliest appearance of goblins in Tolkien's writings is the 1915 poem Goblin Feet his first published work, which appeared in the annual volume of Oxford Poetry published by Blackwells. It features quaint elvin creatures, some 45 years Tolkien dismissed it as juvenile. In The Book of Lost Tales the names Orcs and goblin are given to creatures who enslave and war with the Elves. Christopher Tolkien notes that while the author differentiates between "goblins and Orcs" in the Tale of Tinúviel, the two terms appear to be synonymous in the Tale of Turambar.
The word Gongs is used on a few occasions. Christopher Tolkien remarks that Gongs are "evil beings obscurely related to Orcs". Both goblins and Orcs are mentioned as being "of Melkor" and acting independently. Orcs and gongs appear in Tolkien's two lexicons of elvish languages; the Qenya Lexicon from 1915 defines Orc as meaning "monster, demon", the Gnomish Lexicon dated 1917 defines Orc as "goblin" and Gong as "one of a tribe of the Orcs, a goblin". Christopher Tolkien notes that in the latter lexicon, the word Gnome is an emendation from Goblin. In The Hobbit the inhabitants of the Misty Mountains who capture the Dwarves of Thorin's Company, who fight the Men and Dwarves at the Battle of the Five Armies, are identified as goblins, consistent with the usage in The Book of Lost Tales; the term Orc does occur twice. In The Lord of the Rings, Orc is used predominantly, goblin appears in the hobbits' speech; the second volume of the story, The Two Towers, "goblin" is applied to large orcs of the Uruk-hai: There were four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands.
They were armed with short broad-bladed swords, not with the curved scimitars usual with Orcs: and they had bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men. And: Upon a stake in the middle was set a great goblin head; the "white badge" mentioned in the latter passage makes it clear that the beheaded goblin was one of Saruman's Uruk-hai. Tolkien writes. Tolkien wrote the following note, a