From Tolkien Gateway
Ron Spencer - Ghosts
" them the Enemy had given rings of power, and he had devoured them: living ghosts they were become, terrible and evil.'"

Ghosts was a name commonly used to describe the undead, beings which did not perish after what would be a natural death, but which continued to haunt the living in their after-life. While likely often the product of a vivid imagination, the dealings of the Fellowship of the Ring with several types of undead testify that ghosts were a reality in Middle-earth.[2]

In the late Third Age, the ruined and deserted Osgiliath was known as "a city of ghosts."[3]

Other names[edit | edit source]

In Gnomish, one of Tolkien's early conceptions of an Elven language, the word for "a ghost" is ûl.[4]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Ghosts are one of the most powerful Undead beings. They are altogether incorporeal, and drain constitution points from player characters.[5]

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

Ghosts come in three types: phantoms, wraiths and wights.[6]

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Ghostly beings are referred to as Shades in the game and come in several varieties including Oath-breakers (similar to the Dead Men of Dunharrow), fell spirits (ghosts that animate the Barrow-wights), Corpse-candles (like those of the Dead Marshes), and evil river-spirits called Darkwaters.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Forbidden Pool"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, passim
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  4. 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. 62, 74
  5. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012)
  6. Scott Bennie, Mike Mearls, Steve Miller, Aaron Rosenberg, Chris Seeman, Owen Seyler, and George Strayton (2003), Fell Beasts and Wondrous Magic, pp. 25-27