Tolkien Gateway

Great beasts

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The term great beasts is used in the The Return of the King ("The Siege of Gondor") to describe the creatures pulling the battering ram Grond during the siege of Minas Tirith.

Wether these beasts of burden used by Sauron were a foul breed, Mûmakil, or a race of unknown animals from the distant South, is impossible to say for certain as we lack a more detailed description.

Portrayal in Adaptations

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

The great beasts are depicted as rhinoceros-like creatures.

2006: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

In this video game the basic design of the great beasts from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings is kept. However, a new idea is introduced: the creatures called "great beasts" were originally used by Dwarves in the Misty Mountains as underground draft animals (depicted as being much smaller than Sauron's beasts of burden). The Dwarves called them "yurgs".