From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about the insect. For the the Gnomish word for "sheep", see Sheep.
Luthien Tinuviel by Simona Brunilde Jero
"...thousands of dark-grey and black moths, some nearly as big as your hand"
The Hobbit, "Flies and Spiders"

Moths were nocturnal insects of a kind closely related to butterflies. Thorin and Company saw them fluttering about at nightfall when they were trying to find the route to Rivendell.[1] Curiously, they are also mentioned as dwelling in Mirkwood, where the moths were black or dark grey, and grew to a huge size.[2]

Other names[edit | edit source]

In Tolkien's early conceptions of Elvish languages, the words for "moth" are malo (pl. malwi) in Qenya,[3] and fufril in Gnomish.[4]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

In The Tale of Tinúviel, white moths flittered about the head of the dancing Tinúviel, as the evening fell. It is told that Tinúviel "being a fairy minded them not as many of the children of Men do, although she loved not beetles, and spiders will none of the Eldar touch because of Ungweliantë".[5]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

In Peter Jackson's movies, moths are somehow associated with the Eagles; while Gandalf is trapped on the summit of Orthanc, he catches a moth and whispers to it. Later, when confronted by Saruman, the moth reappears; an Eagle (supposedly Gwaihir) arrives and Gandalf escapes on its back.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Right before the Battle of the Morannon, Gandalf notices a moth flies near him. Then the Eagles appear and help the Free Peoples.

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

As Thorin and Company are trapped in a falling tree by the band of Azog and their Wargs, Gandalf uses a moth to summon the Eagles to their aid.

External links[edit | edit source]