Little-Known Facts About The Villains of Tolkien's Middle Earth

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien created a lot more than a few fantasy novels—he created his own entire universe filled with its own unique history, characters, and settings. Some of the most memorable characters in both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are the villains who inhabit Middle Earth, and there is a lot more than meets the eye about who these villains are, how they operate, and how they came to be. Here are 24 little-known facts about the villains of Middle Earth.

Villains of Tolkien's Middle Earth Facts

24. Game Changers

Some Tolkien fans prefer The Hobbit to Lord of the Rings specifically because of its featured villains. Unlike in Lord of the Rings,where many of the villains are merely subservient subjects of Sauron, The Hobbit'svillainous roster features a variety of motivations—and a dragon.

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23. Etymology

Although some would be happy just assuming that the term "Orc" is not a real English word, there is actually a complicated and interesting back story as to whether or not Tolkien made this word up or derived it from an Old English word meaning "


Middle Earth Facts

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22. Linguistic Legacy

Wherever the term "Orc" came from, Roberta Frank has noted that the same term, albeit with a mild spelling change, was later used as the name of a fictional alien planet in the Robin Williams' sitcom Mork & Mindy. I guess there's just something about that word that inspires authors interested in fictional creatures!

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