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    Smaug was the last of the great fire-drakes, and said to be the greatest dragon of his time. At some time during the twenty-eighth century of the Third Age, he came to hear of the immense wealth held by the Dwarves of Erebor. Where he came from we do not know for certain, but in the year III 2770 he descended in fire on the Lonely Mountain, destroying the Dwarf-kingdom and the nearby township of Dale.

    Gathering together the treasures of the Dwarves, he formed himself an immense bed of gold and jewels and settled within the ruined halls of Erebor. Slowly the years and decades passed, until the people of the Long Lake to the south had almost forgotten the Dragon of Erebor and Smaug imagined himself unassailable..

    Then, one day in the October of III 2941, one hundred and seventy-one years after his arrival in Erebor, Smaug awoke to find his treasure disturbed. Of all that mountain of wealth, he noticed with rage that a single two-handled cup had been taken. He could not have imagined that the loss of that cup signalled his own imminent downfall; Thorin, the heir of the King under the Mountain that Smaug had driven from his halls those many years before, had returned to reclaim his kingdom. With him came Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit with a magical Ring with which he had invisibly removed that single cup from Smaug's treasure..

    In his anger, the dragon flew from his halls, scorching and breaking the mountainside. Thorin, Bilbo and their companions were sealed in a hidden tunnel, and at last the frustrated Smaug gave up his attack on the mountain. Realizing that they must have had help from Lake-town to the south, he set out to punish the Men of the Lake instead..

    That was to be Smaug's last flight. Bilbo had managed to discover an open patch in the dragon's armour, and word of this had been carried to Lake-town. In particular, it reached the heir of another of Smaug's victims, Bard, the descendant of Girion of Dale. Bard shot Smaug with an arrow, and though Lake-town was devastated in his attack and fall, the dragon was defeated. In years to come, beneath the waters of the lake his mighty bones could be seen, and the jewels that had lined his hide: the last remains of the greatest dragon of his age.

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    Originally a creature of Hobbit-kind, who came by the One Ring in the River Anduin, where Isildur had lost it more than two millennia before. Coming under its power, he hid away in the Misty Mountains, and was drawn into the events at the end of the Third Age when he encountered Bilbo Baggins, who took the Ring from him.

    Gollum first appears in the Tale of Years in 'about' 2463, when he murders his friend Déagol and steals the Ring. The birthdate of 2440 given here is an estimate based on the assumption that Sméagol/Gollum would have been about twenty-five years old at this date. His long lifespan of almost 600 years is of course far longer than a Hobbit would normally live, and is due to the effects of the Ring.

    Gollum's identification as a Stoor is based on Gandalf's words in The Lord of the Rings I 2 The Shadow of the Past, 'I guess they were of hobbit-kind, akin to the fathers of the fathers of the Stoors', but this is ambiguous - it seems to suggest that Gollum's people were the ancestors of the Stoors. The Tale of Years, though, records the Stoors leaving the banks of the Anduin more than a thousand years earlier, in the mid-14th century of the Third Age. This may be one of Tolkien's rare slips, but more likely it is meant to indicate that Gollum's kind were not actually Stoors, but related to the same ancestral stock from which the Stoors came.

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    Head of the Baggins family, he dwelt alone at Bag End, Hobbiton, until Gandalf involved him in the Quest of Erebor in 2941 (Third Age), and so drew the Hobbits into the great affairs of the end of the Third Age. During his journey to the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo came upon the One Ring in an orc-hold of the Misty Mountains.

    Bilbo's records of his travels, and those of his heir Frodo, were compiled into the Red Book of Westmarch, and became the basis of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

    The only son of the wealthy and respectable Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took, Bilbo grew up at Bag End, which his father had excavated in Hobbiton Hill. He seems to have visited his mother's family at Great Smials, for he remembered Gandalf's firework displays there.

    Bilbo's father Bungo died in 2926 and his mother Belladonna in 2934, after which Bilbo lived alone at Bag End for seven years until a fateful morning in the spring of 2941, when his pleasant, uneventful life was disturbed by the arrival of Gandalf.

    More than a hundred and fifty years before Gandalf disturbed Bilbo in his garden that spring morning, the dragon Smaug had descended in flame on Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, an ancient kingdom of the Dwarves far to the east of the Shire. Those Dwarves that survived scattered throughout the northern lands, and many, led by Thorin the rightful heir to the kingdom, travelled into the west and settled in the Blue Mountains near the borders of the Shire. Now, with Gandalf's aid, Thorin had begun to plot his revenge on Smaug.

    Gandalf convinced Thorin that a Hobbit should accompany his party, both because of the Hobbits' natural stealth, and because he wanted to involve them in the wider world, as a preparation against the coming darkness. He chose Bilbo largely because of his Took inheritance, but he later suggested that Bilbo might in some sense have been 'fated' to go on the Quest.

    So it was that on an evening at the end of April1 2941, Gandalf returned to Bilbo's house with Thorin and his twelve companions, and the Quest of Erebor was begun.

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    In origin a Maia of Manwë and Varda, Gandalf came to the northwest of Middle-earth after a thousand years of the Third Age had passed, with four others of his order. At the Grey Havens, Círdanentrusted him with the Red Ring, Narya, to aid him in contesting the will of Sauron.

    Gandalf wandered widely in Middle-earth, and learned much of its races and peoples. Unlike his fellow Wizards Saruman and Radagast, he never settled in a single place. He was instrumental in the victory of the War of the Ring, but during that conflict his body was destroyed by a Balrog, and his spirit returned into the West. The Valar sent him back to Middle-earth to complete his task.

    Gandalf finally left Middle-earth in 3021 (Third Age), when he departed over the sea with the Ring-bearers

    The Hobbits first appeared in the records of Men and Elves shortly after the arrival of the Wizards, but of all the Wise, Gandalf was the only one to pay them great heed. After the foundation of the Shire, he would visit periodically and was responsible for '...quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures'. Given this description, we are forced to wonder whether he had a hand in the exploits of Hildifons and Isengar Took, both of whom are recorded as having become involved in adventures of this kind.

    Of all the hobbit families, Gandalf seems to have been most closely associated with the Tooks; he was a close friend of Gerontius, the Old Took( Frodo Baggins' great-grandfather), and was said to have given him a gift of magical diamond studs, which fastened and unfastened on command. After Gerontius' death in 2920 (Third Age), he was not seen in the Shire for more than twenty years, until he returned with Thorin and the Dwarves to involve Bilbo Baggins in the Quest of Erebor.

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    Glóin, son of Gróin, was one of the twelve companions of Thorin II Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins on the Quest of Erebor. He was a descendant of Durin the Deathless, and brother of Óin. Glóin and his son Gimli were sent to Rivendell as an embassy from Dáin II to bring news of Erebor, Moria, and what they knew of Sauron's plans; they arrived in time to attend the Council of Elrond. The name Gloin is found in the Voluspa.

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    Bifur was one of the twelve companions of Thorin and Bilbo on the Quest of Erebor. The cousin of Bofur and Bombur, he was not descended from Durin. He was fond of raspberry jam and apple-tart, wore a yellow hood and played the clarinet. He gave the trolls quite a fight before getting sacked and helped trying to rescue Bilbo, and was set down uncomfortably near the fire as a reward. He survived the barrel-ride in a drier and less bruised state than most of the other dwarves, but still couldn’t move after the ordeal.

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    Fíli was one of the twelve companions of Thorin and Bilbo on the Quest of Erebor. He and his brother Kíli were the sons of Dís, Thorin's sister. He had a blue cloak, a yellow beard and a long nose, the longest of all the Dwarves on the Quest. The two brothers were described as being young in Dwarf terms, younger than the rest by some fifty years. They also had the best eyesight and so were often sent scouting or searching. The brothers are consistently described as cheerful, the only two to have come out of the barrels at Lake-town "more or less smiling." After the battle with the spiders he is forced to cut off most of his beard because it is covered in webbing. Although Chapter 8 of The Hobbit describes Fíli as the youngest, in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings his birthyear is given as T.A. 2859, whereas Kíli's is 2864. Both brothers fell at the Battle of Five Armies, defending their uncle Thorin, and were buried with honour.

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    Dwarf of Durin’s Folk(lived T.A. 2941 – 3018) Bofur’s ancestors lived in Khazad-Dum, but were not of Durin’s line. He followed Thorin Oakenshield on his successful return to Erebor. A steadfast companion, he was obviously worthy enough to be chosen for such an elite company. He was nearly the first casualty of the adventure when he was almost stranded below the secret door. He and Bombur had been left to guard the supplies and the ponies, and his companions above nearly forgot them in their rush to escape the angry Smaug. He fought in the Battle of Five Armies, charging with Thorin as they drove back the worgs and orcs in the valley. He survived the battle, and lived in Erebor until his death. Presumably he fought in the siege of Erebor by Sauron’s forces during the War of the Ring. While his brother Bombur gained notoriety because of his great weight, Bofur has but one line in The Hobbit, and is about the least mentioned dwarf. Consequently, little is known about the rest of his life. The only things we know about Bofur are that he liked mince-pies and cheese at tea, and, like his cousin Bifur, played the clarinet and sported a yellow hood. He didn’t have as rough a barrel-ride as most of his companions, but was still too stiff to help de-keg the other dwarves.

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    Though descended from the Dwarves of Khazad-Dum, Bombur was not a descendant of Durin’s line. He was enormously fat and heavy, but his overweight status did not stop him from accompanying Thorin Oakenshield to Erebor in T.A. 2941. This must say something about his worth as an adventurer, because despite complaining about the strain, he was able to keep up, and was one of the feistier dwarves. He gave the trolls quite a struggle when they tried to bag his plump figure for dinner, though they succeeded in the end. In fact, he even managed to carry Bilbo on his back for a while as the fled through goblin caverns of the Misty Mountains.

    He did get the party into great trouble on more than one occasion, though. First, when he fell into the enchanted stream in the middle of Mirkwood (though not really his fault). The unfortunate dwarves had to drag his sedated bulk until he woke up, at which point his tales of wonderful dreams drove them even more desperate with hunger, which in turn got them into trouble with the elves. Of course, his only fault in this was being too fat, and therefore having to go in the last boatload with Dwalin.

    When giant spiders captured the party, Bombur was singled out as the choicest morsel, though he kicked a spider off his branch for saying so. Bilbo barely intervened in time to save Bombur from the spider’s revenge. When cut out of the webbing he was too weak to do anything but fall out of the tree, and Bilbo had to save him again.

    At the Lonely Mountain he had to be left below with the ponies and baggage and his brother Bofur, by his own admission too fat to be scaling cliffs. Fortunately he wasn’t too heavy to be hauled up to the cliff-top camp, or he would have been slain by Smaug. As it was, the others brought him up just in time.

    Bombur was one of three dwarves not to agree with Thorin’s stubbornness towards the lake-men and elves, though he dared not say so. When Bilbo snuck out the main gate to speak with Bard and the besieging forces, Bombur was standing watch, and let Bilbo take his place. The thought of warmth, food and sleep easily overcame his sense of duty. He fought in the Battle of Five Armies, charging alongside Thorin, and surviving the day.

    In later days, Bombur became so fat that he could not move on his own, and it took six young dwarves to lift him. For this reason, it is doubtful he did much to defend Erebor against the forces of Sauron, except perhaps moral support and making sure their rations didn’t go bad.

    As a character, Bombur is one of the more oft-mentioned of Thorin’s company, mainly because he was the fat one, and suffers the most because of it. Little is really known about him, besides his love of food and sleep. He wore a pale green hood, played a drum, and ate pork-pie and salad with his tea. He had a terrible ride in a barrel, of course.

    Perhaps he is also easier to remember because he was always last on the list: twelve dwarves and lastly Bombur. As he said “I’m always last and I don’t like it.” Maybe it was a good thing.

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    Dawrf of Durin’s line (T.A. 2772-3112) Son of Fundin. Born two years after the sack of Erebor by the dragon Smaug. His father was one of Thráin II’s kinsman, and young Dwalin wandered Eriador with Thráin’s entourage of close kin and friends. He lived through the War of the Dwarves and the Orcs.

    After the war, Thráin and a small group of companions set out to return to Erebor, including Dwalin and his older brother Balin. The company wandered for nine years, evading the creatures of the Dark Lord, until one night, Thráin dissapeared. After searching in vain for days, the dwarves returned to the Ered Luin, where Thorin Oakenshield now ruled.

    When Thorin set out to retake Erebor with twelve other dwarves, Dwalin accompanied him. He was the first to arrive at Bilbo Baggin’s house for the tea party. He survived the quest, and the Battle of Five Armies, and lived on in Erebor, becoming very old and very rich. When Sauron threatened Erebor during the War of the Ring, Dwalin took part in the dwarves defience of the Dark Lord. He died at age Three-hundred and forty, having survived into the Fourth Age.

    Dwalin lived in his older brother’s shadow, never achieving the respect and glory of Balin. A solid and dependable companion, he served the Heirs of Durin for over three centuries. His beard was purple, and he fancied green hoods. He played the viol when celebrating.

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    In The Hobbit, Thorin and twelve other Dwarves, mostly relatives of his or others of Durin's Folk, visited Bilbo Baggins on Gandalf's advice to hire him as a burglar, to steal back their treasure from Smaug. He especially wanted the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain. He alone was not taken by complete surprise when the company encountered a band of Trolls, and he and Gandalf fought valiantly in the Goblin tunnels. Thorin was the first to be captured by the Wood-elves of Mirkwood, and insisted that the other Dwarves not disclose their quest to their captors. He was the first to emerge from the barrels at Lake-town and marched right up to the leaders of the town, declaring himself as King Under the Mountain.

    Thorin was furious when Bilbo stole the Arkenstone to use as a bargaining counter with Thranduil, the Elvenking, and Bard the Bowman, both of whom had some claim to the treasure. The conflict was averted by an attack of Goblins and Wargs, and the Dwarves joined forces with the Elves, the Men of Lake-town, and the great Eagles to defeat them in what came to be known as the Battle of Five Armies. During the battle, Thorin was mortally wounded, but before he died he made his peace with Bilbo.

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    Dwarf of the House of Durin, distantly related to Thorin Oakenshield. Brother to Nori and Ori. In T. A. 2941 he and his brothers were members of Thorin’s quest to reclaim the treasures of Erebor from the dragon Smaug. He proved a valuable member of the party, especially with respect to the safety of their burglar, Bilbo Baggins.

    When the party was fleeing orcs under the Misty Mountains, Dori was first to take Bilbo on his back, as the poor hobbit could not keep up. Later, he was to drop Bilbo in the dark when an orc grabbed his ankle and tripped him. This lead to Bilbo’s discovery of the One Ring.

    After the party had escaped the mountains, Dori again had to risk his life for Bilbo, climbing down out of the safety of a fir tree so that the hobbit could climb up from his back. Dori stood firm as wargs entered the clearing, waiting for Bilbo to scramble up off his shoulders. He barely escaped the teeth of angry wargs. When the eagles subsequently saved the party from the trees, Bilbo, unaccounted for by the birds, had to grab Dori’s legs to escape. Dori endured a long and uncomfortable flight stretched between an eagle’s talons and a stout little hobbit.

    Much later, in the dark of Mirkwood, it was Dori who stumbled across the hobbit’s sleeping form after their second disastrous encounter with the wood-elves. Dori himself had spotted their fires the second time.

    Despite endless grumbling, about the lack of regular meals or the trouble Bilbo caused him, Dori was a decent fellow. He didn’t mind saving the poor hobbit, especially with the reward the burglar brought the party. Dori was the strongest of the party, and one of the bravest, certainly. He acted a bit paranoid at times, though, especially when the party reached Erebor: he continuously glanced at the mountain-top to make sure Smaug was not there.

    Dori fought in and survived the Battle of Five Armies, slaying orcs alongside Thorin Oakenshield. He became very wealthy as a result of his adventures, and lived on under the mountain. He helped defend Erebor against the forces of Sauron during the War of the Ring. He preferred to wear purple hoods, and played the flute. Without Dori, Bilbo would never have survived his first adventure, and the One Ring would have probably fallen back into the hands of Sauron. Barrel-rides upset his constitution.

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    A dwarf of Durin’s line, and a distant relative of Thorin Oakenshield. Brother of Dori and Ori. Nori and his brothers were members of the party that slew the Great Goblin of the Misty Mountains and reclaimed Erebor from the dragon Smaug in T.A. 2941. Nori survived the adventure, and became enormously rich under the mountain. He survived to see Erebor besieged by Sauron’s forces in T.A. 3019.

    Nori wore a purple hood while adventuring, played the flute, and enjoyed eating regular meals as often as possible, like his brother Dori. Also like his brother, he grumbled when he did not get said meals. He also liked to take the occasional jibe at his brother. Hated barrel-rides.A dwarf of Durin’s line, and a distant cousin of Thorin Oakenshield. Brother of Dori and Nori.

    In T.A. 2941, Ori accompanied Thorin on his journey to reclaim Erebor from the worm Smaug. He survived the adventure and the Battle of Five armies, and became fabulously rich with the establishment of the new kingdom under the mountain.

    He was not satisfied with this adventure alone, and in T.A. 2989 went to long-abandoned Moria with Balin and Óin and a party of dwarves. He survived for almost six years, until apparently dying among the last of the ill-fated party deep under the mountains.

    He kept the record after Balin’s death, allowing Gandalf to discern what had happened to him and his brave companions. He wrote in a large, bold script, and regularly used Elvish characters in his writing, which was uncommon amongst dwarves. This allowed Gimli to identify him as the record keeper.

    Ori wore a grey hood while adventuring, and played the flute while celebrating. Barrel rides disagreed with him.

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    Kili was one of the twelve companions of Thorin and Bilbo on the Quest of Erebor. He and his brother Fíli were the sons of Dís, Thorin's sister. He had a blue cloak and a yellow beard. The two brothers were described as being young in Dwarf terms, younger than the rest by some fifty years. They also had the best eyesight and so were often sent scouting or searching. The brothers are consistently described as having been cheerful, and the only two to have come out of the barrels at Lake-town "more or less smiling."

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    Balin was one of the twelve companions of Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins on the Quest of Erebor. He was the son of Fundin and elder brother of Dwalin. Many years after the death of Smaug, Balin led an expedition to recolonise Khazad-dûm, where he found Durin's Axe. Although the colony began well, Balin was slain after only a few years, shot by Orcs on November 5, 2994, as he looked into Kheled-zâram. Thirty years later his tomb and the Book of Mazarbul that told of his expedition and death were discovered by the Fellowship of the Ring.

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    Born near the Mouths of Sirion in the late First Age, Elrond and his twin brother, Elros, sons of Eärendil the Mariner and Elwing, became known as the Halfelven, Peredhil in the Elven tongue. Through their father, their line can be traced back to the House of Hador and the royal house of the Noldor. Through their mother, they are descended from the House of Bëor, the royal house of the Teleri and Melian the Maia.

    While Elrond was yet a young child, the sons of Fëanor who yet remained sought to reclaim the Silmaril which was at that time in the possession of Elwing, daughter of Dior the Fair. The brothers came down suddenly upon the remnants of Gondolin and Doriath and destroyed them. The twins were separated from their parents and taken captive. Maglor took pity on the boys and in time great love arose between them.

    After the Kinslaying, Eärendil sailed West to seek the aid of the Valar on behalf of Elves and Men. His plea was granted and he and his wife, Elwing, along with their sons were given the choice as to which Kindred they might be counted among. Elrond and his parents chose to be counted among the Eldar, Elros chose Men and became the first King of Númenor.

    After the drowning of Beleriand and the end of the First Age, Elrond remained in Middle Earth and dwelt in Lindon with High King Gil-Galad and Círdan the Shipwright. Elrond was active in the wars with Sauron during the Second Age. When Sauron invaded Eriador in SA 1695, Elrond was sent by Gil-Galad to defend that region. After the destruction of Eregion, Elrond retreated with a remnant of the Noldor and established the refuge of Imladris in SA 1697, Rivendell in the Common Speech, in a hidden valley just west of the Misty Mountains.

    Many years later SA 3430-3441, Elrond marched as the Herald of Gil-Galad in the War of the Last Alliance where Sauron was defeated but Gil-Galad, Elendil and Anárion were slain. When Sauron's body was destroyed and Isildur cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron, Elrond and Círdan counciled Isildur to throw the Ring into the Cracks of Doom where it was forged. Isildur chose to keep the Ring as wergild for his father's death.

    Before he died, Gil-Galad entrusted Vilya, the greatest of the Three Elven Rings, to Elrond. This Ring he guarded and put to its intended purpose in Imladris throughout the Third Age. The Third Age also saw the formation of the White Council in TA 2463, of which Elrond was a chief member.

    Near the beginning of the Third Age TA 109, Elrond married Celebrían, daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn. Celebrían bore to Elrond three children, the twin brethren Elladan and Elrohir and a daughter, Arwen Undomiel, Evenstar of her people.

    In the year TA 1976, the heirlooms of Arnor were given into the keeping of Elrond. Each of the sons of the Chieftains of the Dúnedain was fostered by Elrond in his house after this time up until Aragorn II, Elessar, who became first King of the Reunited Kingdom in TA 3019.

    After Sauron was ultimately defeated, Elrond finally made his way to the Grey Havens and took ship into the West with the remaining Ringbearers. Elrond's children were given the choice of whether to depart with their father or remain in Middle Earth and become mortal. Arwen chose to remain in Middle Earth for the love of King Elessar, her husband. The brethren, Elladan and Elrohir, delayed their choice for a while and remained in Middle Earth for some time after the departure of their Father. The Third Age is said to have ended with the passing of Master Elrond into the West in TA 3021.

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    Hobbit of the Shire. Son of Drogo Baggins and Primula Brandybuck. When his parents died in a boating accident in 2980, he was adopted by Bilbo Baggins. Frodo inherited the Ring and the rest of Bilbo's estate in 3001. Gandalf learned the true nature of the Ring and revealed this knowledge to Frodo. In order to save the Shire from Sauron, Frodo left the Shire in 3018 heading for Rivendell, in the company of his servant Samwise Gamgee and his friends Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took. During the journey, he encountered the Nazgûl and met Aragorn II, who led the party from Bree to Rivendell. In Rivendell Frodo took the task of destroying the Ring upon himself. Together with the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring, he travelled to Tol Brandir, where the Fellowship was broken. He continued together with Samwise on a perilous journey to Mount Doom, where the Ring was destroyed on the 25th March 3019, ending the War of the Ring.

    Due to his wounds received during the Quest, Frodo was never able to find rest in Middle-earth, and passed over the Sea with the Keepers of the Rings in 3021.

    Frodo was the author of the account of the War of the Ring as contained in the Red Book of Westmarch.

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    Son of Paladin Took II of Great Smials, and later Thain Peregrin I; he travelled with the Company of the Ring. With Meriadoc Brandybuck, he was separated from the Company at Parth Galen, and taken captive by Orcs Escaping into Fangorn Forest, he saw the destruction of Isengard and travelled with Gandalf to Minas Tirith, where he became a bondsman of Steward Denethor II.

    Pippin, as Peregrin was universally known, was the youngest of Frodo's companions. He was only twenty-eight years old when he set out with Frodo and Sam from Bag End on the first part of their great journey, which was considered very young for a Hobbit. At first, he seemed to be rather unsuited to a long journey - through the early part of their travels, we see him regularly calling for rests or meals. As befitted the son of the Shire's Thain, though, he had a good general knowledge of that land and its people.

    Peregrin inherited the title Thain of the Shire in the year 13 (Fourth Age - 1434 by the Shire-reckoning). During his Thainship, he remained in close contact with Gondor, and built a library of great historical importance at Great Smials. The works he collected were mainly concerned with the history of Númenor and the Exilesafter its Downfall, and so were of little interest to the Hobbits of the Shire, but were of great significance to the larger world. The Tale of Years was probably prepared at Great Smials, with help from Meriadoc Brandybuck.

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    Son of Saradoc Brandybuck, called 'The Magnificent', Merry accompanied Frodo on the Quest of Mount Doom. Captured with his friend Peregrin Took by Orcs, they were separated from the rest of the Company of the Ring, but eventually escaped to become the first mortals for many centuries to encounter the Ents of Fangorn Forest. Merry was present at the destruction of Isengard, and rode to the Battle of the Pelennor with the Rohirrim. There, his deeds won great renown, for with Éowyn of Rohan he defeated and slew the Lord of the Nazgûl.

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    An old family of the Shire, originally from the village of Gamwich; Samwise Gamgee of the Company of the Ring belong to this family, though his branch was renamed Gardner in honour of his replanting of the Shire.

    Faithful servant and companion of Frodo Baggins, who accompanied him into Mordor and aided in the achievement of the Quest of Mount Doom.

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    High title and surname of Aragorn son of Arathorn. It was long foretold that he would take this name; it was given to him in Lórien by Galadriel. She granted him a gift of a green stone set in a silver brooch in the shape of an eagle as he and the Company of the Ring left her land (on 16 February 3019 (Third Age). 'In this hour,' she said, 'take the name that was foretold for you, Elessar, the Elfstone of the house of Elendil!'

    Heir of Isildur through thirty-nine generations, Chieftain of the Dúnedain of the North and, after the War of the Ring, King of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor. Called by Gandalf 'the greatest traveller and huntsman in this age of the world', Aragorn experienced many great adventures, and travelled to many distant lands, before claiming his kingship.

    Born the heir of Chieftain Arathorn II of the Northern Dúnedain, Aragorn lost his father to the Orcs in only his second year. His mother Gilraen took him to Rivendell, where he was fostered by Elrond. In Rivendell his identity was concealed, and he was known only by the name 'Estel' throughout his childhood years. It was only at the age of twenty that Elrond revealed to him his true ancestry, and gave him two tokens of his station as Heir of Isildur: the Ring of Barahir and the Shards of Narsil. It was at this time, too, that he first met Arwen.

    Under his long rule Gondor prospered. The North-kingdom was reinstated, and united once again with South-kingdom to form a Reuinted Kingdom. Though peace and freedom had returned to the Westlands, evils still survived the Fall of Sauron in the east, and Aragorn rode out with King Éomer of Rohan to face them in battle. Arwen bore him a son and heir, Eldarion, as well as at least two daughters. When the end of his life came at last, he gave it up willingly, as the ancient Kings of Númenor, his distant ancestors, had done long before.

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    Son of Glóin, he travelled from Rivendell with the Company of the Ring. After the breaking of the fellowship at Parth Galen, he hunted Orcs across Rohan with Aragorn and Legolas. He fought at the Battle of the Hornburg, and at the Pelennor Fields. He is famed for his fast friendship with Legolas the Elf; some stories say that they sailed into the West together - if this is true, then Gimli was the first and only of dwarven-kind to come to the Undying Lands.

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    The son of Thranduil, and so a prince of the Woodland Realm in the northeast of Mirkwood, Legolas was descended from the Sindar, but counted himself one of the Silvan people. The date of his birth is not known, but he seems to have been several thousand years old at the time of the War of the Ring2. Of his life before the end of the Third Age, we know almost nothing. During Bilbo's adventures on his journey to Erebor, he spent several weeks in Thranduil's halls, and later encountered the entire army of the Wood-elves. It seems more than likely, then, that he would have encountered Legolas at this time, but if the two ever met, the fact is nowhere recorded.

    He entered history proper on 25 October III 3018. Travelling westward to Rivendell as a messenger of his father, he was called to attend the Council of Elrond, where he reported the escape of Gollum. Afterwards, he was selected to join the Fellowship of the Ring as the representative of the Elves. He accompanied the Fellowship on its long journey into the south, following Gandalf and (after Gandalf's fall in Moria) Aragorn until the breaking of the Fellowship beneath Amon Hen.

    After the division of the Fellowship, Legolas travelled with Aragorn and Gimli in their chase across Rohan in search of Merry and Pippin. Eventually their trail led them to Fangorn Forest, which enchanted Legolas to the extent that he revisited it with Gimli after the War. There, they discovered that the Hobbits were safe, and that Gandalf had returned as Gandalf the White. The Wizard led them to Edoras to meet with Théoden, whom he cured of Saruman's baleful influence. For a time after this, Legolas fought alongside the Men of Rohan. At the Battle of the Hornburg, he slew at least thirty-nine of the enemy, by his own count.

    After journeying through Rohan, Aragorn elected to take the Paths of the Dead, and Legolas accompanied him, along with a company now swollen with Dúnedain out of the north and the sons of Elrond. With this Grey Company, Legolas travelled through the darkness beneath the White Mountains, where Aragorn made alliance with the Shadow Host, and then on through the southern lands of Gondor to Pelargir. There, Legolas fought alongside the Dead Men as they captured a Corsair fleet. In that battle he first heard the crying of gulls, and it awoke the sea-longing, filling him with the desire to take ship into the West.

    From Pelargir, he sailed aboard the captured fleet to the Harlond, the docks south of Minas Tirith, and he fought alongside Aragorn in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. After the battle, he again followed Aragorn to the hopeless diversionary assault on the Gates of Mordor, and so was present at the downfall of Sauron.

    During the War of the Ring, Legolas had formed a great friendship with Gimli the Dwarf, a remarkable thing between two races that normally held profound mistrust for one another. After the War, they journeyed together, visiting Aglarond and Fangorn Forest before travelling to their homes in the north. Soon, though, Legolas and Gimli returned into the south with many of their kindred. Legolas and his Elves of Mirkwood settled in the land of Ithilien, and it came to be called the fairest of all the western lands.

    Legolas remained in Ithilien until the death of Aragorn in IV 120. At that time, he gave in to the sea-longing that had awoken at long before at Pelargir, and sailed out into the Great Sea and away from Middle-earth. Legend tells that he took his great friend Gimli with him into the West.

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    Youngest child, and only daughter, of Finarfin of the Noldor, Galadriel was born in Valinor while the Two Treesstill grew there. She travelled to Middle-earth at the beginning of the First Age with her four brothers. In Beleriand, she went often to the halls of Thingol (to whom she was related; Eärwen her mother was Thingol's niece), and there she met Celeborn.

    After the War of Wrathand the destruction of Beleriand, most of the Noldor returned to Valinor, but Galadriel and Celeborn remained in Middle-earth. After the loss of Amroth in 1981 (Third Age), Galadriel and Celeborn became Lady and Lord of Lothlórien, and there they dwelt until the end of the Third Age.

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    Most often called Saruman the White, Saruman was the first of the five Wizards to arrive in Middle-earth, at the end of the first millennium of the Third Age. He was said to be the eldest of the order, and Gandalf acknowledged him as the chief of the Istari.

    For a thousand years, and maybe more, he journeyed in the East of Middle-earth, and was little heard of in the West. He had returned, though, by 2463 (Third Age), for he was present at the foundation of the Council of the Wise, and was made their chief (though both Elrond and Galadrielwould have preferred Gandalf to take this position).

    It was at about this time that Saruman began to study the Rings of Power, their history and the means of their making.

    In 2759 (Third Age), he was given the keys of Orthanc by Steward Beren of Minas Tirith, and took up his abode there. He continued his researches into ring-lore, and the making of devices, and was accustomed to watch the stars from the pinnacle of the Tower. He visited Minas Tirith to research the history of the Rings, and found among the ancient books and scrolls the story of the death of Isildur and the loss of the Ruling Ring.

    In 2851 (Third Age), the Council discovered proof that the Necromancer of Dol Guldur was indeed Sauron returned. Many of the Wise wished to attack the fortress and drive Sauron out, but Saruman spoke against this, and dissuaded the Council from mounting an assault. It was only after ninety years had passed that he relented and aided the Council in assailing Dol Guldur, driving Sauron back into Mordor. Saruman's knowledge was vital in this victory, as Gandalf said - 'it was by the devices of Saruman that we drove him from Dol Guldur'.

    When the Council debated the Rings of Power, Saruman claimed that his researches showed that the One Ring had been lost forever. It was later shown that he did not believe this, however, and was searching for it himself, having secretly rebelled against the Council.

    He built an army of Wolvesand Orcs of his own within the ring of Isengard to challenge both Sauron and the Wise, and took control of the only nearby power, the country of Rohan, through his agent Gríma Wormtongue.

    In July, 3018 (Third Age), when he was ready to reveal himself, Saruman set a trap for Gandalf, using the Wizard Radagastto lure him to Orthanc. When Gandalf came, Saruman revealed that he had made a Ring of his own, and that he was no longer Saruman the White, but claimed the title Saruman of Many Colours. When Gandalf refused to join him, he was imprisoned on the pinnacle of the Tower of Orthanc - Saruman hoped to gain the secret of the One Ring from him, or at least prevent Gandalf from using it himself.

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    Originally a Maia of Aulë's people, Sauron was early corrupted by Melkorand became his most trusted lieutenant. In the Wars of Beleriand, Sauron was the most feared of Morgoth'sservants, but after the War of Wrath and the expulsion of the first Dark Lord, Sauron rose to become the greatest enemy of Elvesand Men in the Second and Third Ages.

     

    Sauron was one of the mightiest (perhaps the mightiest) of the Maiar, and in the beginning of days he served Aulë the Smith. From Aulë he learnt much of forging and making, knowledge that he would make use of many thousands of years later when he built the Barad-dûr and forged the One Ring.

    In the earliest days, Melkor seduced Sauron and took him to his own service, and Sauron became the greatest and most trusted of his followers. While Utumno still stood in the dark north of the world, Sauron was given command of his lesser fortress of Angband. At length, the Valar assaulted Melkor and took him in chains back to Valinor but Sauron escaped, and remained in Middle-earth.

    All of the Ainur had the ability to change their form, but none held so many different shapes as Sauron. During the First Age, his accustomed form seems to have been that of a dark sorceror, commanding a host of evil things, and especially werewolves and their kind.

     

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    The information on this page comes from the Arda Encyclopedia

     

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