|Watcher in the Water|
Book illustration by John Howe
|Book(s)|| The Return of the Shadow |
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Watcher in the Water is a fictional creature in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium; it appears in The Fellowship of the Ring , the first volume of The Lord of the Rings .Lurking in a lake beneath the western walls of the dwarf-realm Moria, it is said to have appeared after the damming of the river Sirannon, and its presence was first recorded by Balin's dwarf company 30 or so years before the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring .
The origins of the creature are not described in Tolkien's works, but critics have compared it to the legendary kraken and to Odysseus's passage between the devouring Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis.
In The Lord of the Rings , the Fellowship of the Ring are on a quest to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring made by the Dark Lord Sauron. During their journey, they face two evil choices to cross the Misty Mountains: over the mountain of Caradhras through the Redhorn Gate pass, or through Moria, a dark labyrinth of tunnels and pits. They first try the mountain pass, but the weather proves too severe, and the Fellowship turn back and approach Moria's West Gate, beside which the Watcher lived in a lake. It is said to have appeared after the damming of the local river Sirannon,and its presence was first recorded by Balin's dwarf company 30 or so years before the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring . When the party approaches the Gate, the Watcher seizes Frodo Baggins with a long, pale-green, luminous, fingered tentacle, succeeded by twenty more. The Company rescue Frodo and retreat into Moria, and the Watcher seals the Doors of the West Gate shut. As Gandalf commented, "Something has crept or been driven out of the dark water under the mountains. There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world."
Later, the Fellowship find the Book of Mazarbul, a record of Balin's failed expedition of Dwarves to reclaim Moria.In the last pages of the book, the scribe, revealed to be Ori, relates: "We cannot get out. We cannot get out. They [the Orcs] have taken the Bridge and second hall. ... the pool is up to the wall at Westgate. The Watcher in the Water took Óin. We cannot get out. The end comes ... drums, drums in the deep ... they are coming."
The "Watcher in the Water", or just "the Watcher", is the only name Tolkien gave to this creature.
An early version of the Fellowship's encounter with the Watcher is found in The Return of the Shadow . Tolkien's account of the creature at this stage is practically the same as in the final published version. Its emergence, physical appearance, abilities, attack on the Fellowship, and the breaking of the Moria Gate are already present in his initial writings.
Since Tolkien never explicitly stated what the creature is, others have felt free to speculate on its identity and origins. In Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, David Day calls the Watcher a "great kraken", a monster in Scandinavian folklore.
In The Complete Tolkien Companion, J. E. A. Tyler suggests that the Watcher was a cold-drake: "...these dragons rely on their strength and speed alone (the creature that attacked the Ring-bearer near the Lake of Moria may have been one of these)."
The essayist Allison Harl writes that the Watcher may be a kraken created and bred by Morgoth in Utumno,and that it represents a gatekeeper whose goal, in the context of the archetypal journey, is to keep the heroes from entering into new territory, psychologically or spiritually. This "guardian theory" has been echoed by writers such as Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers.
The scholar of English literature Charles Huttar compares the combination of the Watcher in the Water and the "clashing gate" when the Fellowship pass through the Doors of Durin, only to have the Watcher smash the rocks behind them, to Greek mythology's Wandering Rocks near the opening of the underworld, and to Odysseus's passage between the devouring Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis.
The scholar Jonathan Evans describes the monster as "the vague Watcher in the Water" and "a many-tentacled creature".He notes Gandalf's description, and compares this with Gandalf's later statement that "the world is gnawed by nameless things" in Moria's deepest places, older even than Sauron "and unknown even to him".
The Watcher in the Water appears inPeter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). In Jackson's adaptation, the Watcher is portrayed as a colossal, octopus-like monster. Jackson stated in the commentaries that the original idea was to have the Watcher drag Bill the pony, who was carrying the party's baggage, underwater. In the concept art gallery feature on the DVD, the artists John Howe and Alan Lee explain that the Watcher was one of the most difficult creatures to design as Tolkien had written so little about it.
The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game by Games Workshop, based on Jackson's film, calls the Watcher in the Water the "Guardian of the Doors of Durin".
Gandalf is a protagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He is a wizard, one of the Istari order, and the leader of the Fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien took the name "Gandalf" from the Old Norse "Catalogue of Dwarves" (Dvergatal) in the Völuspá.
In the fantasy of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Dwarves are a race inhabiting Middle-earth, the central continent of Earth in an imagined mythological past. They are based on the dwarfs of Germanic myths: small humanoids that dwell in mountains, and are associated with mining, metallurgy, blacksmithing and jewellery.
The Rings of Power are fictional magical artefacts appearing in Tolkien's legendarium. Primarily featured in his epic high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings (1954), these magic rings are depicted as the titular objects essential in the Dark Lord Sauron's conquest to rule over Middle-earth as the namesake "Lord of the Rings". Consisting of twenty bands in total, all but one were created by the Noldorin Elven-smiths of Eregion, led by their ruler Celebrimbor under the deception of Sauron, who came in disguise as a fair-looking emissary named Annatar.
Balrogs are fictional creatures in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. They first appeared in print in his high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, where the Fellowship of the Ring encounter one known as Durin's Bane in the Mines of Moria. Balrogs appear also in Tolkien's The Silmarillion and other posthumously published books.
Mithril is a fictional metal found in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, which is present in his Middle-earth, and also appears in many other works of derivative fantasy. It is described as resembling silver but being stronger and lighter than steel. The author first wrote of it in The Lord of the Rings, and it is retrospectively mentioned in the third, revised edition of The Hobbit in 1966. In the first 1937 edition, the mail shirt given to Bilbo Baggins is described as being made of "silvered steel".
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson, based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The film is the first instalment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and was produced by Barrie M. Osborne, Jackson, Fran Walsh and Tim Sanders, and written by Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Jackson. The film features an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm, and Andy Serkis. It was followed by The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003).
The History of The Lord of the Rings is a four-volume work by Christopher Tolkien published between 1988 and 1992 that documents the process of J. R. R. Tolkien's writing of The Lord of the Rings. The History is also numbered as volumes six to nine of The History of Middle-earth. Some information concerning the appendices and a soon-abandoned sequel to the novel can also be found in volume twelve, The Peoples of Middle-earth.
The Lord of the Rings is a film series of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003). Produced and distributed by New Line Cinema with the co-production of WingNut Films, it is an international venture between New Zealand and the United States. The films feature an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis and Sean Bean.
Trolls are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. They are portrayed as large humanoids of great strength and poor intellect. In The Hobbit, like the dwarf Alviss of Norse mythology, they must be below ground before dawn or turn to stone, whereas in The Lord of the Rings they are able to face daylight.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, the Battle of the Morannon or Battle of the Black Gate is an event that took place at the end of the War of the Ring. Gondor and its allies send a small army ostensibly to challenge Sauron at the entrance to his land of Mordor; he supposes that they have with them the One Ring and mean to use it to defeat him. In fact, the Ring is being carried by the hobbits Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee into Mordor to destroy it in Mount Doom, and the army is moving to distract Sauron from them. Before the battle, a nameless leader, the "Mouth of Sauron", taunts the leaders of the army with the personal effects of Frodo and Sam. Battle is joined, but just as it seems the army of Gondor will be overwhelmed, the Ring is destroyed, and the forces of Sauron lose heart. Mount Doom erupts, and Sauron's tower, Barad-dûr, collapses, along with the Black Gate. The army of Gondor returns home victorious.
Balin is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He is an important supporting character in The Hobbit, and is mentioned in The Fellowship of the Ring.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2002 action-adventure video game developed by WXP for the Xbox. It was ported to the Game Boy Advance by Pocket Studios and the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Windows by Surreal Software. The game was published by Vivendi Universal Games under their Black Label Games publishing label. In North America, it was released for Xbox and Game Boy Advance in September, and for PlayStation 2 and Windows in October. In Europe, it was released for Xbox, Windows and Game Boy Advance in November, and for PlayStation 2 in December.
Gollum is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. He was introduced in the 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, and became important in its sequel, The Lord of the Rings. Gollum was a Stoor Hobbit of the River-folk, who lived near the Gladden Fields. Originally known as Sméagol, he was corrupted by the One Ring and later named Gollum after his habit of making "a horrible swallowing noise in his throat".
Gimli is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. A dwarf warrior, he is the son of Glóin.
Aragorn is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He is one of the main protagonists of The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn was a Ranger of the North, first introduced with the name Strider at Bree, as the Hobbits continued to call him throughout The Lord of the Rings. He was eventually revealed to be the heir of Isildur and rightful claimant to the thrones of Arnor and Gondor. He was also a confidant of Gandalf and an integral part of the quest to destroy the One Ring and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron.
Frodo Baggins is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings, and one of the main protagonists of The Lord of the Rings. Frodo is a hobbit of the Shire who inherits the One Ring from his cousin Bilbo Baggins and undertakes the quest to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor. He is mentioned in Tolkien's posthumously published works, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.
Legolas is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. He is a Sindarin Elf of the Woodland Realm and one of the nine members of the Fellowship who set off to destroy the One Ring.
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Moria, also named Khazad-dûm, is an ancient subterranean complex in Middle-earth, comprising a vast labyrinthine network of tunnels, chambers, mines and halls under the Misty Mountains, with doors on both the western and the eastern sides of the mountain range. Moria is introduced in Tolkien's novel The Hobbit, and is a major scene of action in The Lord of the Rings.
The One Ring, a central plot element in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954–55), is a malevolent Ring of Power made by the Dark Lord Sauron to enslave the whole of Middle-earth. An earlier story, The Hobbit (1937), describes it as a magic ring of invisibility. The Lord of the Rings describes the quest to destroy the Ring and keep Sauron from fulfilling his design.
Clearly Charybdis is yet another route to hell.