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Ungoliant

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[[Image:Guy Gondron - Morgoth and Ungoliant.jpg|thumb|250px|''Morgoth and Ungoliant'' by [[Guy Gondron]].]]
 
[[Image:Guy Gondron - Morgoth and Ungoliant.jpg|thumb|250px|''Morgoth and Ungoliant'' by [[Guy Gondron]].]]
'''Ungoliant''' was an evil spirit in the form of a spider who dwelt in [[Avathar]] in the [[First Age]]. It is thought that she may have been one of the [[Maiar]] whom [[Melkor]] corrupted long ago, but she is not listed among the [[Ainur]]. It is also said, arguably separately, that she came from the darkness above the skies of Arda, and this reference has led some to believe she may be an incarnation of darkness or emptiness itself, as this seems very consistent with the rest of her character. This has spawned a minor point of dispute, something akin to the [[Balrog wings]] argument. The name is pronounced {{IPA|[uŋˈgɔ.li.ant]}}. In the form ''Ungoliant'' the name is technically [[Sindarin]], but is a direct loan from [[Quenya]] ''[[ungwë]]'' + ''[[liantë]]'': "dark spider"; the strictly Sindarin form being '''Delduthling''' "dark terror spider." She is also called "gloomweaver," '''Wirilomë''' in Quenya, '''Gwerlum''' in Sindarin.  
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'''Ungoliant''' was an evil spirit in the form of a spider who dwelt in [[Avathar]] in the [[First Age]].  
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==History==
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It is thought that she may have been one of the [[Maiar]] whom [[Melkor]] corrupted long ago, but she is not listed among the [[Ainur]]. It is also said, arguably separately, that she came from the darkness above the skies of Arda, and this reference has led some to believe she may be an incarnation of darkness or emptiness itself, as this seems very consistent with the rest of her character.  
  
 
Ungoliant aided [[Melkor]] in his attack on the [[Two Trees of Valinor]]; she drained the Trees of their sap and poisoned them after Melkor wounded them, and she drained dry the Wells of [[Varda]], so that nothing remained of the Light that was before Sun or Moon, except in the [[Silmarils]] of [[Fëanor]].  She and Melkor fled to [[Middle-earth]] to escape justice at the hands of the [[Valar]].   
 
Ungoliant aided [[Melkor]] in his attack on the [[Two Trees of Valinor]]; she drained the Trees of their sap and poisoned them after Melkor wounded them, and she drained dry the Wells of [[Varda]], so that nothing remained of the Light that was before Sun or Moon, except in the [[Silmarils]] of [[Fëanor]].  She and Melkor fled to [[Middle-earth]] to escape justice at the hands of the [[Valar]].   
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While there, she had many offspring, as well as various creatures infesting the Ered Gorgoroth, which came to be a place of horror.  The dates of her existence are not precisely known; in ''[[The Silmarillion]]'', [[Quenta Silmarillion]], Chapter 9, ''Of the Flight of the Noldor'', we are told that she "went whither she would into the forgotten south of the world" shortly before the [[First Age]], and that "some have said that she ended long ago, when in her uttermost famine she devoured herself at last." In contrast, a rough sketch of [[Eärendil]]'s voyages by Tolkien suggests that he slew Ungoliant in the south.
 
While there, she had many offspring, as well as various creatures infesting the Ered Gorgoroth, which came to be a place of horror.  The dates of her existence are not precisely known; in ''[[The Silmarillion]]'', [[Quenta Silmarillion]], Chapter 9, ''Of the Flight of the Noldor'', we are told that she "went whither she would into the forgotten south of the world" shortly before the [[First Age]], and that "some have said that she ended long ago, when in her uttermost famine she devoured herself at last." In contrast, a rough sketch of [[Eärendil]]'s voyages by Tolkien suggests that he slew Ungoliant in the south.
  
The great spiders of ''[[The Hobbit]]'' and ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' (including [[Shelob]] and the spiders encountered by [[Bilbo Baggins]] in [[Mirkwood]]) were descendants of Ungoliant.
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==Etymology==
 
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The name is pronounced {{IPA|[uŋˈgɔ.li.ant]}}. In the form ''Ungoliant'' the name is technically [[Sindarin]], but is a direct loan from [[Quenya]] ''[[ungwë]]'' + ''[[liantë]]'': "dark spider"; the strictly Sindarin form being '''Delduthling''' "dark terror spider." She is also called "gloomweaver," '''Wirilomë''' in Quenya, '''Gwerlum''' in Sindarin.
The name ''Ungoliant'' is partly derived from the root ''ungol'' ("spider"), which also occurs in ''[[Cirith Ungol]]'', where Shelob resided in the [[Third Age]].
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== Ungoliant's Lineage ==
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<code>
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        [[Ilúvatar]]?
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              |
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        '''Ungoliant'''
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              |
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Spiders of [[Gorgoroth]] and [[Shelob]]
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              |
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    Spiders of [[Mirkwood]]
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</code>
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[[Category:Images of Ungoliant]]
 
 
[[Category:Creatures]]
 
[[Category:Creatures]]
[[Category:Characters]]
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[[Category:Characters in The Silmarillion]]

Revision as of 17:23, 28 June 2009

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Morgoth and Ungoliant by Guy Gondron.

Ungoliant was an evil spirit in the form of a spider who dwelt in Avathar in the First Age.

History

It is thought that she may have been one of the Maiar whom Melkor corrupted long ago, but she is not listed among the Ainur. It is also said, arguably separately, that she came from the darkness above the skies of Arda, and this reference has led some to believe she may be an incarnation of darkness or emptiness itself, as this seems very consistent with the rest of her character.

Ungoliant aided Melkor in his attack on the Two Trees of Valinor; she drained the Trees of their sap and poisoned them after Melkor wounded them, and she drained dry the Wells of Varda, so that nothing remained of the Light that was before Sun or Moon, except in the Silmarils of Fëanor. She and Melkor fled to Middle-earth to escape justice at the hands of the Valar.

Melkor had promised to reward her, "Yea, with both hands", and after their flight from Valinor, the Dark Lord indeed gave her many gems of the Ñoldor, but withheld the Silmarils in his right hand. He refused to give them to the Great Spider to be devoured, for he desired them greatly, and Ungoliant would have slain Melkor in the ensuing battle had not the Balrogs come and saved their master, causing Ungoliant to flee to the Ered Gorgoroth in Beleriand.

While there, she had many offspring, as well as various creatures infesting the Ered Gorgoroth, which came to be a place of horror. The dates of her existence are not precisely known; in The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 9, Of the Flight of the Noldor, we are told that she "went whither she would into the forgotten south of the world" shortly before the First Age, and that "some have said that she ended long ago, when in her uttermost famine she devoured herself at last." In contrast, a rough sketch of Eärendil's voyages by Tolkien suggests that he slew Ungoliant in the south.

Etymology

The name is pronounced [uŋˈgɔ.li.ant]. In the form Ungoliant the name is technically Sindarin, but is a direct loan from Quenya ungwë + liantë: "dark spider"; the strictly Sindarin form being Delduthling "dark terror spider." She is also called "gloomweaver," Wirilomë in Quenya, Gwerlum in Sindarin.