Tolkien Gateway

Nameless Things

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[[category:Creatures]][[Category:Characters in The Lord of the Rings
[[category:Creatures]][[Category:Characters in The Lord of the Rings]]

Revision as of 17:26, 21 November 2008

"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
"Far, far below the deepest delving of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he. Now I have walked there, but I will bring no report to darken the light of day."

Nameless Things were creatures that are said to have dwelled in the depths of Arda (though they are only known to have lived under the Misty Mountains). They tunnelled deeper than any Dwarf would ever go.[1]

They were described by Gandalf as very ancient, but their actual origin is unknown. Their nature or appearance are a mystery, but since they are as old as the world, they must have been a part of the Ainulindalë[2] or (since Sauron knew them not), a by-product of it.

The Balrog known as Durin's Bane learned their tunnels while living in the depths of Moria. After Gandalf fell with him in the abyss, Durin's Bane seemed to know his way up and found the Endless Stair. He was Gandalf's only hope and he followed him.[1]

It is also possible the Watcher in the Water[3] was one of these Nameless Things.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Journey in the Dark"