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Ravens by Mark Evans

Ravens were large black birds, often associated with ill news.[source?] The ravens that lived on Ravenhill near Erebor, though, were friendly with the Dwarves, and some could even speak Westron. Carc had been one of these, and his son Roäc was the leader of the ravens of Erebor around T.A. 2941, when Thorin and Company reclaimed the mountain from Smaug.[1]


It has been suggested that J.R.R. Tolkien's use of ravens is reminiscent of the two messenger-ravens Huginn and Muminn of the Norse mythology, appearing in the Edda.[2] See also: Roäc: Inspiration

Portrayal in adaptations

Raven portrayed in MERP

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Ravens, level 4 birds, are enchanted and intelligent, friends of the Free Peoples. They are reputedly the messengers of the Vala Námo (Mandos), and are able to speak many Mannish and Elvish tongues.[3]

2002-5: The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game:

"Ravens of the North" are "creatures of especially powerful magic", being able to understand Westron and having extraordinarily long lives.[4]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 315
  3. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), pp. 26, 132
  4. Scott Bennie, Mike Mearls, Steve Miller, Aaron Rosenberg, Chris Seeman, Owen Seyler, and George Strayton (2003), Fell Beasts and Wondrous Magic, p. 58