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Wargs by John Howe.

Wargs or Wild Wolves were a race of wolves seen in Rhovanion and they were often allied with the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, and used as mounts. Wargs were sentient and had a language.



"Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves!"
Bilbo Baggins

In Third Age 2941, the Wargs appeared once to meet the Goblins and organize a raid to the nearby village, in order to drive the Men out and capture some slaves. As a pack of Wargs approached west of the Misty Mountains to meet them, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Thorin and Company were escaping the goblins. Gandalf seeing the pack coming, suggested to climb the trees and Dori helped Bilbo in the nick of time.

The Wargs, thinking that the Dwarves are allies of the Woodsmen, surrounded the glade and didn't let them descent. Gandalf then used his magic to light up pinecones and hurl them against the Warg until he drove them out. The wolves that had caught fire fled into the forest had set it alight in several places, since it was high summer, and on this eastern side of the mountains there had been little rain for some time. However the guards left under the trees did not go away. Eventually goblins showed up and lit the trees the Dwarves were onto, until the Eagles came to rescue them.[1]

The goblins and the wargs insisted on looking for the band, since Gandalf had killed the Great Goblin, and also burnt the chief wolf's nose. They went as far as Beorn's homestead, but he caught a pair of them and stuck the goblin's head outside the gate and nailed the warg-skin to a tree just beyond[2]

Wards appeared once more, rode by the Orcs, at the Battle of Five Armies.[3]

A band of Wargs, unaccompanied by Orcs, also attacked the Fellowship of the Ring in Hollin, and again in The Two Towers at the Battle of the Hornburg.


In Old Norse, vargr is a term for "wolf" (ulfr). In Norse mythology, wargs are in particular the wolf Fenrir and his sons Skoll and Hati.

Portrayal in adaptations

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

Wargs are taller and darker than regular wolves, but due to the progression in the game, pose less of a threat; whereas wolves are only encountered by a stick-wielding Frodo, wargs appear only in levels in which the player is Gandalf or Aragorn.

2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):

Wargs are portrayed a large wolves. They only appear in cutscenes, and are non-fightable.

2001-3: The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy:

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

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