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Ants were tiny insects that form large communal colonies under the rule of a single queen.

Though unmentioned directly in The Lord of the Rings, the presence of ants in Middle-earth may be deduced from the fact that Merry discusses them briefly with Pippin on one occasion. When Frodo, Sam, and Gollum first looked upon the Morannon, it is mentioned that the hills behind the gate were tunneled with hundreds of caves filled with Orcs, "ready at a signal to issue forth like black ants going to war."[1] At the moment of Sauron's downfall it was said:

"As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless..."[2]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Black Gate is Closed"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Field of Cormallen"