From Gandalf to Galadriel: The Middle-earth Names Quiz



By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t just invent cool sounding names for characters in "The Lord of the Rings" — he created entire linguistic systems. Are you a top notch Tolkienologist? Take this quiz on Middle-earth names to find out.

What was Gandalf's original name?

Gandalf was a Maia, a spiritual being born in Valinor who chose to go to Middle-earth in the guise of a wizard. His name was Olorin.


Each of the wizards took a name that matched the color of the robe or cloak that he wore. Before Gandalf fought the Balrog in Moria, he was known as Gandalf the …

Gandalf wore gray.


One of the wizards was known for wearing brown. What was his name?

Radagast was a rustic wizard who was less involved in the affairs of Middle-earth than Gandalf and Saruman.


Barad-dur is the name of Sauron's fortress in Mordor. What does that name translate to in the Elven language Sindarin?

Barad-dur means "dark tower."


While the Sindarin word for tower is "barad," in the Gondorian dialect it's "minas." The walled Gondorian city depicted in "The Return of the King" is known as the Tower of the Guard, or Minas …

Minas Tirith is the Tower of the Guard -- it had formerly been called Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun.


Minas Tirith had a companion tower, Minas Ithil, the Tower of the Moon. However, it was captured by the Nazgul and became corrupted and evil. The Men of Gondor renamed it the Tower of Dark Sorcery, or Minas …

Minas Morgul was an ominous and terrible place.


The actual name of the Balrog that lived in Moria was unknown, but it was later named for the Dwarven king it killed. What was it called?

When the Balrog was awakened, it killed Durin VI and drove the Dwarves out of Khazad-dum, and therefore it was called Durin's Bane.


Name all the Dwarves who visit Bilbo in "The Hobbit" in order of appearance. No, just kidding. Their leader was Thorin II, also known as Thorin …

Thorin had grabbed a piece of oak to use as a makeshift shield at an earlier battle, earning his nickname.


Who is running the Prancing Pony inn when Frodo and friends arrive to meet Gandalf?

The Prancing Pony had been owned and operated by the Butterbur family for decades.


What was the family name of Bilbo's cousin-in-law, Lobelia?

Lobelia Bracegirdle married Otho Sackville-Baggins and became Lobelia Sackville-Baggins (the hyphenation is due to a peculiarity of Hobbit lineage).


The Shire is located in the Northwest region of Middle-earth, which is called …

Eriador was an older name for the region by the time of "The Lord of the Rings," but it was still in use by some people.


What is Tom Bombadil's wife's name?

Tom and Goldberry are (possibly) primordial nature spirits. Their origins are quite mysterious.


What was the name of Aragorn's father?

It's Aragorn, son of Arathorn (technically, Aragorn II, son of Arathorn II).


This well-known Elf's name translates to "Greenleaf."

Gandalf actually calls him "Legolas Greenleaf" at one point.


The Dwarves called their kingdom beneath the Misty Mountains Khazad-dum, but to the Elves it was a black pit even before the Balrog took it. What was the Elvish name for the place?

The Elves called it Moria. The Dwarves adopted that name as well after the Balrog forced them to abandon the kingdom.


When the Fellowship entered Moria, they found a book that described the events surrounding Balin's attempt to reclaim the Dwarven kingdom. What was the name of the book?

Mazarbul is Dwarven for "records."


What was the name of the Elven Ring of power worn by Galadriel?

Galadriel's ring was called Nenya. She used its power in the past to preserve the beauty of Lothlorien.


During the War of the Ring, Gondor is ruled by Denethor II, son of Ecthelion II. Ecthelion was named after whom?

Several of the Stewards of Gondor, as well as the tower at the top of the city, were named for Ecthelion, an Elf who performed astonishing feats while defending Gondolin from Morgoth.


What did the people of Eriador know Aragorn as?

When Aragorn took his place as king of the reunited kingdom after the War of the Ring, he had to create a name for his royal house. He chose Telcontar, Quenya for Strider.


What is the name of the tower where Saruman lives?

The tower is called Orthanc.


Orthanc is part of larger fortress called what?

A rough translation of Isengard is "iron fortress."


Who is the king of Rohan during the War of the Ring?

Theoden leads the Rohirrim to aid Gondor in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where he is killed.


Who was the worm-tongued advisor who led Theoden into decline?

Grima Wormtongue was a servant of Saruman who spied on Rohan.


What does "Eowyn" (who is Theoden's niece) mean?

Tolkien adapted Old English into the language of Rohan. Eowyn in that language translates as "horse-joy."


What is the Dwarven name of the mountain Bilbo and the Dwarves seek to reclaim from Smaug in "The Hobbit"?

Erebor is also known as the Lonely Mountain.


Who cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand using his father's broken sword in the Second Age, at the Siege of Barad-dur during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men?

Isildur cut off Sauron's fingers but did not destroy the ring.


What was the name of the sword Isildur used to cut off Sauron's fingers?

Narsil is the sword, later carried by Aragorn, reforged in Rivendell and renamed Anduril.


What is Gollum's real name?

It's Smeagol's Precious.


What is Merry's full name?

Meriadoc is a member of the Brandybuck family.


Who created the Rings of Power (except for the One Ring)?

Celebrimbor crafted the rings under the influence of Sauron, who was in disguise.


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