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Wargs by John Howe.

Taken from the Old English warg, the Wargs or Wild Wolves were a race of wolves. The Wargs are actually loosely intelligent, and speak a rudimentary language of their own. Exactly how intelligent they are is debatable, but they are capable of communicating and even organizing large Warg-gatherings which effectively make up 'councils' when they prepare for war. They are usually in league with the Orcs or Goblins, but this could be better described as less an 'alliance' and more the Wargs permitting Goblins to ride on their backs into battle. It is probable that they are descended from Draugluin's Werewolves of the First Age.

In The Hobbit, the Wargs appear twice, once in chasing Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and the dwarves just east of the Misty Mountains, and once at the Battle of Five Armies. In The Lord of the Rings, they are most prominently mentioned in the middle of The Fellowship of the Ring, where a band of Wargs, unaccompanied by Orcs, attacks the Fellowship in Hollin, and again in The Two Towers at the Battle of the Hornburg.

Portrayal in adaptations

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, wargs appear to be more like a "hyena-bear-wolf hybrid" rather than wolves, in an effort to distinguish them from regular wolves by presenting them as some sort of distant cousin. However, it should be noted that Tolkien never actually described Wargs beyond stating they were demonic wolves.

See also

Individuals: Carcharoth · Draugluin · (Wolf-Sauron)
Races: Wargs · Werewolves · White Wolves