From Neekerbreekers to Nazgul: The Middle-earth Creatures Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Tolkien's Middle-earth is full of strange and fantastic creatures. Take this quiz to see how much you know about the fauna of Tolkien's fantasy realm.

When Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard in Fangorn, what does he tell them the Ents are missing?

Sauron burned the lands where the Entwives kept their gardens during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and the Ents have been looking for them ever since.


The Olog-hai are special trolls created by Sauron. How do they differ from the average troll?

The Olog-hai fight during the War of the Ring — they are able to do so because they don’t turn to stone in sunlight.


The shadowy demigod Ungoliant is the mother of all …

Ungoliant is a powerful spirit being of uncertain origin, similar in form to a massive black spider. She is the progenitor of Shelob and all the other evil spiders on Middle-earth. (To be specific, it's possible there are "regular" spiders in Middle-earth that aren't descended from Ungoliant, but all of the large, scary, evil spiders we meet in the novels are descended from Ungoliant.)


Shelob lives in the mountains on the western edge of Mordor, guarding the pass known as …

You can see Tolkien's linguistic design at work here — Cirith Ungol means "spider's cleft," using the Sindarin word for spider, "ungol," which also shows up in the name Ungoliant.


What forest is infested with especially large and intelligent spiders, all of them the children of Shelob?

The spiders that Bilbo and the dwarves encounter in Mirkwood are all the spawn of Shelob.


What does Sam call the loud, annoying insects the hobbits and Strider hear at night in the Midgewater Marshes?

They go "neek-breek," so he calls them neekerbreekers. Incidentally, there<i> are</i> biting insects in Middle-earth called dumbledors, from an old term for "bumblebee." Now go concoct an elaborate theory proving Middle-earth is really an ancient era of the Potterverse!


Draugluin was the first of what kind of creature?

Draugluin was created by Morgoth by placing an evil spirit in the body of a specially bred wolflike creature. All of the werewolves of Middle-earth are descended from him.


It's probably a stretch to call Morgoth a "creature" since he's more like Middle-earth's version of Satan, but let's just go with it. He wielded a mighty weapon called Grond. What kind of weapon was it?

Grond was a massive war mace. In the Third Age Sauron builds a battering ram to bash down the gates of Minas Tirith and names it after Morgoth's mace.


Huan was an immortal dog the size of a horse. According to prophecy, he could only be killed by what?

When it comes to epic battles, it's difficult to top an immortal giant dog (which, by the way, could occasionally talk) fighting the greatest werewolf in the universe to the death. Huan vs. Carcharoth.


Speaking of Carcharoth, that magnificent werewolf, he spent the latter years of his life being burned from the inside by something he'd eaten. What was it?

Carcharoth bit off Beren's hand while Beren was holding one of the Silmarils. The magic jewels had been enchanted such that anything evil or mortal that touched them would be burned, much to Carcharoth's dismay.


The undead creatures that nearly kill the hobbits in "The Fellowship of the Ring" are called what?

The barrow-wights inhabit barrows, the burial sites of ancient kings.


The ghost army that Aragorn summons were spirits of men who had broken an oath to whom?

In the Second Age, they promised Isildur they'd join him in battle against Sauron, but they didn't. He cursed them to walk Middle-earth as ghosts until they kept their oath, and Aragorn gave them the chance to do so.


Where did Frodo, Sam and Gollum encounter undead creatures in the water, dead faces waiting to lure the living to drown with them?

The faces, sometimes known a corpse candles, inhabit the Dead Marshes, not far from the borders of Mordor.


What is the name of the mountain where the dragon Smaug lives?

Smaug chased the dwarven king Thror out of the Lonely Mountain and took it as his home (along with all the dwarven treasure inside).


The mightiest dragon to ever live was called Ancalagon the …

Ancalagon the Black fell in the First Age. Gandalf claims that even Ancalagon's dragonfire would have been insufficient to destroy the One Ring.


What kind of creature was Gothmog?

Gothmog was a Balrog.


So what exactly is a Balrog?

The Maiar were spirits that went to Middle-earth to directly interact with it. A few of them took on corporeal forms, like Gandalf and Saruman. Many were corrupted by Morgoth, like Sauron and the Balrogs.


What is the name of the Balrog that battles Gandalf in the Mines of Moria?

After the First Age, all the Balrogs hid and hibernated in the deepest places of Middle-earth they could find. None of them ever awakened except one — when the dwarven king Durin VI "delved too deep" in his search for mithril, he awakened one. Its true name was lost thousands of years before, but it killed Durin and drove the dwarves from their kingdom and was ever after known as Durin's Bane.


What type of creature is Quickbeam?

Quickbeam is one of the Ents that Merry and Pippin interact with in Fangorn. The elvish name for him is Bregalad.


After the War of the Ring, Eowyn gives the hobbits a bunch of gifts, including a horn much beloved by the Rohirrim. The horn supposedly came from the holdings of a creature named Scatha, killed far to the north centuries earlier. What kind of creature was Scatha?

Scatha was a dragon that lived in the Grey Mountains. The ancestors of the Rohirrim killed him but fought with dwarves over Scatha's hoard (apparently they managed to hold onto the one horn though).


These creatures are called Mumakil in the land of their origin and by the Gondorians. Sam Gamgee completely flips out when he first sees one. What does he call them?

Sam is so delighted at the sight of an oliphant he even recites a poem about one.


The Kine of Araw were legendary oxen. One of them gave up a horn to Vorondil the Hunter, who made it into the Great Horn of Gondor. Who blew that horn for the last time before it was broken?

Boromir blew the horn at Amon Hen when he was surrounded by Uruk-hai. It was heard hundreds of miles away in Minas Tirith, but Boromir was killed and the horn broken.


The Uruk-hai are "upgraded" versions of what kind of creature?

Saruman's army is mostly composed of Uruk-hai, but Sauron also has elite Uruk orcs in his service. The exact nature of their creation is unclear.


When Gandalf spots crowlike birds called crebain, he worries about what?

Gandalf is already aware of Saruman's treachery and fears he is spying on the Fellowship with the crebain.


What creatures do Gandalf, the dwarves and Bilbo encounter in the Misty Mountains hurling massive stones?

The giants are apparently tossing stones for fun. Oddly enough, they appear nowhere else in Tolkien's exhaustive history of Middle-earth.


As the Fellowship enters Moria, they are attacked by the Watcher in the Water using what part of its body?

The Watcher's true nature is unknown — all we see of it is the tentacles it uses to attack the Fellowship.


Gwaihir is the lord of what?

Gwaihir is the fastest of the Great Eagles — he's the one who rescues Gandalf from Orthanc. Deus ex macheagle?


Orcs were created by Morgoth as dark, twisted counterparts of what race?

Orcs are dark mockeries of elves.


After the Nazgul lose their horses at the Ford of Bruinen, they switch to creatures called "fell beasts." What were they?

The origin of the fell beasts is unclear. They appear vaguely similar to pterodactyls and are described as possibly being creatures "of an older world."


What is the name of Gandalf's horse?

Shadowfax is the best among the Mearas, the exceptional breed of horses kept by the Riders of Rohan.


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