From Tolkien Gateway
Snow lions and Radagast portrayed in MECCG

Lions were feline creatures only mentioned in Hobbit poetry and Elvish linguistic writings.[1][2] Apparently the lions roamed the lands of the East (perhaps referring to the lands beyond Rhûn, the Uttermost East), hunting "beasts and tender men".[1]

Other names[edit | edit source]

In Quenya, the name for "lion" is (pl. rávi). The Noldorin name is rhaw (pl. rhui).[2]

In Gnomish, one of Tolkien's early conceptions of an Elven language, the word for "lion" is rau.[3]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Races of lions include Cliff Lions (of southwestern Middle-earth), Mountain lions (of Rhovanion), Snow Lions (of the Grey Mountains), and the Spotted Lions (of Cardolan).[4][5][6]

See also[edit | edit source]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Cat"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies" (root RAW-)
  3. 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), p. 65
  4. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012)
  5. Zachariah Woolf (1995), Lake-town (#2016), p. 149
  6. John David Ruemmler, Susan Tyler Hitchcock, Peter C. Fenlon (1995), Mirkwood (2nd edition) (#2019)