Tolkien Gateway

Rats

Morgul Rats by John Howe.

Rats were creatures often found in filthy and unfriendly places of Middle-earth.[1][2] A specific breed of rats seems to have been the "brown water-rat", mentioned in Hobbit poetry.[3]

"Rat" was also commonly used as a humiliating nickname.[4][5][6][7][1]

Contents

[edit] Etymology

In Quenya, the word for "rat" is nyarro, and the Noldorin cognate of the same meaning is nâr.[8][9]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Rats can infect people with the plague through their fleas.[10]

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

"Morgul-rats" is a Hazard Creature, able to inflict 12 strikes. The breed is described as carrying "the stink of black sorcery in their bite". "Rats!" is a Hazard Event, forcing a player to discard a minor item of one of the characters, which also become wounded.

2000-: Lord of the Rings (board game):

"Morgul Rats" is a card (with artwork by John Howe) supplied with the Friends & Foes Expansion (2002) for the Lord of the Rings boardgame.[11]

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

As part of the Minas Tirith set, one hut was called the "Ratcatcher's hut", after a doodle by Alan Lee was interpreted as a rat. It was outfitted with several taxidermied rats, but was not featured prominently in the movie.[12]

2007-: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Rats are always aggressive. Breeds include Field-rats (found in the Barrow-downs), Harbour-rats (found around Falathlorn in Ered Luin), and Plague-rats.[13][14]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire" (nickname: "Then you'll learn a thing or two, you little rat-folk.")
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Flotsam and Jetsam"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Flotsam and Jetsam" ("I saw him crawling up the steps like a draggled rat.")
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst" ("What have you to say, you descendant of rats?")
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Uruk-hai" ("I'd make you squeak, you miserable rat.")
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Tower of Cirith Ungol" (nickname: "...that little frightened rat..."; "...those stinking Morgul-rats"; "You up there, you dunghill rat!")
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p. 379 (root NYAD-)
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies — Part Two" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 46, July 2004, p. 7
  10. Zachariah Woolf (1995), Lake-town (#2016), pp. 150, 162
  11. Morgul Rats at John-howe.com (accessed 14 March 2011)
  12. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition) , "Designing Middle-earth"
  13. Category:Beast at Lorebook.lotro.com (accessed 13 March 2011)
  14. Rats at Lotro.wiki.com (accessed 13 March 2011)