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Spiders

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'''Spiders''' were small eight-legged creatures, known for capturing their prey in intricate webs.
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'''Spiders''' were small eight-legged creatures, known for capturing their prey in intricate webs. Many spiders of [[Middle-earth]] were known to reach a colossal size.
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
  
There was a more sinister side to the spiders of Middle-earth, though, that entered it with the monstrous [[Ungoliant]] in the years before the [[First Age]]. A gigantic creature of spider-shape, it was she who destroyed the [[Two Trees]] of [[Valinor]], and escaped with [[Melkor]] into the lands of Middle-earth. Though Ungoliant herself disappeared into the far south, she left the northern lands infested with her offspring. During the First Age, the mountains of the [[Ered Gorgoroth]] were infested with these monsters, and became a place of dread.
+
There was a more sinister side to the spiders of Middle-earth that entered it with the monstrous [[Ungoliant]] in the years before the [[First Age]]. A gigantic creature of spider-shape, it was she who destroyed the [[Two Trees]] of [[Valinor]], and escaped with [[Morgoth|Melkor]] into the lands of Middle-earth. Though Ungoliant herself disappeared into the far south, she left the northern lands infested with her offspring. During the First Age, the mountains of the [[Ered Gorgoroth]] were infested with these monsters, and became a place of dread.
  
The most famous of Ungoliant's children, though, lived far to the south and east of the Ered Gorgoroth, on the borders of the land of [[Mordor]]. This was [[Shelob]], who haunted a network of tunnels watching the pass of [[Cirith Ungol]], eking a living on the hapless [[Orcs]] of [[Sauron]]. She had offspring of her own, too, smaller than she but with a cruel intelligence, that spread throughout the [[Ephel Dúath]] and north into [[Mirkwood]]. It was creatures like these that [[Bilbo Baggins]] encountered in [[The Hobbit]], and through fighting them that his sword acquired its name [[Sting]].
+
The most famous of Ungoliant's children, though, lived far to the south and east of the Ered Gorgoroth, on the borders of the land of [[Mordor]]. This was [[Shelob]], who haunted a network of tunnels watching the pass of [[Cirith Ungol]], eking a living on the hapless [[Orcs]] of [[Sauron]]. She had offspring of her own, too, smaller than she but with a cruel intelligence, that spread throughout the [[Ephel Dúath]] and north into [[Mirkwood]]. It was creatures like these that [[Bilbo Baggins]] encountered in ''[[The Hobbit]]'', and through fighting them that his sword acquired its name [[Sting]].
  
 
==Names==
 
==Names==
  
In [[Gnomish]], one of [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]]'s early conceptions of an [[Elvish|Elven]] language, the word for "spider" is ''cing'' or ''cingwin'' (a strucked out word was ''gung''). A deleted [[Qenya]] word for "spider" was ''ung-we''.<ref>{{PE|11}}, pp. 26, 43</ref>
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In [[Sindarin]], the word for "spider" is '''''ungol'''''.<ref name=UI>{{HM|UI}}, p. 490</ref> It is found in such names as [[Shelob's Lair|Torech Ungol]], [[Ungoliant#Etymology|Ungoliant]], and [[Cirith Ungol]].
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 +
In [[Gnomish]], one of [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]]'s early conceptions of an [[Elvish|Elven]] language, the word for "spider" is ''cing'' or ''cingwin'' (a struck out word was ''gung''). A deleted [[Qenya]] word for "spider" was ''ung-we''.<ref>{{PE|11}}, pp. 26, 43</ref>
  
 
==Inspiration==
 
==Inspiration==
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{{quote|...when Ronald [Tolkien] was beginning to walk, he stumbled on a tarantula. It bit him, and he ran in terror across the garden until the nurse snatched him up and sucked out the poison. When he grew up he could remember a hot day and running in fear through long, dead grass, '''but the memory of the tarantula itself faded, and he said that the incident left him with no especial dislike of spiders.'''|''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]''}}
 
{{quote|...when Ronald [Tolkien] was beginning to walk, he stumbled on a tarantula. It bit him, and he ran in terror across the garden until the nurse snatched him up and sucked out the poison. When he grew up he could remember a hot day and running in fear through long, dead grass, '''but the memory of the tarantula itself faded, and he said that the incident left him with no especial dislike of spiders.'''|''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]''}}
  
{{quote|I knew that the way [for Frodo, Sam, and Gollum] was guarded by a Spider. And if that has anything to do with my being stung by a tarantula when a small child, people are welcome to the notion (supposing the improbable, that any one is interested). I can only say that I remember nothing about it, should not know it if I had not been told; and '''I do not dislike spiders panicularly, and have no urge to kill them.''' I usually rescue those whom I find in the bath!|{{L|163}}}}
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{{quote|I knew that the way [for Frodo, Sam, and Gollum] was guarded by a Spider. And if that has anything to do with my being stung by a tarantula when a small child, people are welcome to the notion (supposing the improbable, that any one is interested). I can only say that I remember nothing about it, should not know it if I had not been told; and '''I do not dislike spiders particularly, and have no urge to kill them.''' I usually rescue those whom I find in the bath!|{{L|163}}}}
  
 
* Regarding the spiders in ''[[The Hobbit]]'':
 
* Regarding the spiders in ''[[The Hobbit]]'':
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==Portrayal in adaptations==
 
==Portrayal in adaptations==
 
'''2007: ''[[The Lord of the Rings Online]]'':'''
 
'''2007: ''[[The Lord of the Rings Online]]'':'''
:Non-player (NPC, computer controlled) spiders are found in a number of areas of Middle-earth. Players can play a spider in the Player-versus-Player (PvP) area of the [[Ettenmoors]] once the player reaches level ten. Spiders in Lord of the Rings Online have the ability to root and spit poison from a distance.
+
:Non-player (NPC, computer controlled) spiders are found in a number of areas of Middle-earth. Players can play a spider in the Player-versus-Player (PvP) area of the [[Ettenmoors]] once the player reaches level ten. Spiders in ''The Lord of the Rings Online'' have the ability to root and spit poison from a distance.
  
 
:The appearance of spiders vary from zone to zone for NPC spiders and from rank to rank for player controlled spiders. They all look like very large spiders from the size of a cat up to the size of a large elephant.
 
:The appearance of spiders vary from zone to zone for NPC spiders and from rank to rank for player controlled spiders. They all look like very large spiders from the size of a cat up to the size of a large elephant.
  
== See Also ==
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==See also==
* [[:Category:Images of Spiders|Images of Spiders]]
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*[[:Category:Images of spiders|Images of spiders]]
 
{{references}}
 
{{references}}
 
[[Category:Spiders]]
 
[[Category:Spiders]]

Revision as of 08:12, 26 November 2012

"The wise will stay here and hope to rebuild our town..." — Master of Lake-town
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Ted Nasmith - The Spiders of Mirkwood.jpg
Spiders
Race
DominionsMirkwood
Average heightVarious
Skin colorBlack or Grey
DistinctionsSpiders in form
LifespanUnknown
MembersShelob?

Spiders were small eight-legged creatures, known for capturing their prey in intricate webs. Many spiders of Middle-earth were known to reach a colossal size.

Contents

History

There was a more sinister side to the spiders of Middle-earth that entered it with the monstrous Ungoliant in the years before the First Age. A gigantic creature of spider-shape, it was she who destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor, and escaped with Melkor into the lands of Middle-earth. Though Ungoliant herself disappeared into the far south, she left the northern lands infested with her offspring. During the First Age, the mountains of the Ered Gorgoroth were infested with these monsters, and became a place of dread.

The most famous of Ungoliant's children, though, lived far to the south and east of the Ered Gorgoroth, on the borders of the land of Mordor. This was Shelob, who haunted a network of tunnels watching the pass of Cirith Ungol, eking a living on the hapless Orcs of Sauron. She had offspring of her own, too, smaller than she but with a cruel intelligence, that spread throughout the Ephel Dúath and north into Mirkwood. It was creatures like these that Bilbo Baggins encountered in The Hobbit, and through fighting them that his sword acquired its name Sting.

Names

In Sindarin, the word for "spider" is ungol.[1] It is found in such names as Torech Ungol, Ungoliant, and Cirith Ungol.

In Gnomish, one of Tolkien's early conceptions of an Elven language, the word for "spider" is cing or cingwin (a struck out word was gung). A deleted Qenya word for "spider" was ung-we.[2]

Inspiration

  • A common myth is that Tolkien was bitten by a spider when he was young and this fueled his hatred for the species in his works, this is proven inaccurate through the below quotes:
"...when Ronald [Tolkien] was beginning to walk, he stumbled on a tarantula. It bit him, and he ran in terror across the garden until the nurse snatched him up and sucked out the poison. When he grew up he could remember a hot day and running in fear through long, dead grass, but the memory of the tarantula itself faded, and he said that the incident left him with no especial dislike of spiders."
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
"I knew that the way [for Frodo, Sam, and Gollum] was guarded by a Spider. And if that has anything to do with my being stung by a tarantula when a small child, people are welcome to the notion (supposing the improbable, that any one is interested). I can only say that I remember nothing about it, should not know it if I had not been told; and I do not dislike spiders particularly, and have no urge to kill them. I usually rescue those whom I find in the bath!"
J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 163, (dated 7 June 1955)
"I put in the spiders largely because this was, you remember, primarily written for my children (at least I had them in mind), and one of my sons [Michael] in particular dislikes spiders with a great intensity. I did it to thoroughly frighten him and it did!"
― From an interview of J.R.R. Tolkien on January 15, 1957 by Ruth Harshaw for the "Carnival of Books" radio show. (According to The Annotated Hobbit)
"Throughout his life, Tolkien’s son Michael had what he called “a deep-rooted abhorrence of spiders.”"
The Annotated Hobbit

Portrayal in adaptations

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Non-player (NPC, computer controlled) spiders are found in a number of areas of Middle-earth. Players can play a spider in the Player-versus-Player (PvP) area of the Ettenmoors once the player reaches level ten. Spiders in The Lord of the Rings Online have the ability to root and spit poison from a distance.
The appearance of spiders vary from zone to zone for NPC spiders and from rank to rank for player controlled spiders. They all look like very large spiders from the size of a cat up to the size of a large elephant.

See also

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 490
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "I-Lam na-Ngoldathon: The Grammar and Lexicon of the Gnomish Tongue", in Parma Eldalamberon XI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), pp. 26, 43