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S of Middle Earth
S of Middle Earth

S of Middle Earth


Saruman - The White wizard, traitor to the White Council, Of Many Colours, Ring-maker, The Ruler, The White, The Wise

Most often called Saruman the White, Saruman was the first of the five Wizards to arrive in Middle-earth, at the end of the first millennium of the Third Age. He was said to be the eldest of the order, and Gandalf acknowledged him as the chief of the Istari.

For a thousand years, and maybe more, he journeyed in the East of Middle-earth, and was little heard of in the West. He had returned, though, by III 2463, for he was present at the foundation of the Council of the Wise, and was made their chief (though both Elrond and Galadriel would have preferred Gandalf to take this position).

It was at about this time that Saruman began to study the Rings of Power, their history and the means of their making.

In III 2759, he was given the keys of Orthanc by Steward Beren of Minas Tirith, and took up his abode there. He continued his researches into ring-lore, and the making of devices, and was accustomed to watch the stars from the pinnacle of the Tower. He visited Minas Tirith to research the history of the Rings, and found among the ancient books and scrolls the story of the death of Isildur and the loss of the Ruling Ring.

In III 2851, the Council discovered proof that the Necromancer of Dol Guldur was indeed Sauron returned. Many of the Wise wished to attack the fortress and drive Sauron out, but Saruman spoke against this, and dissuaded the Council from mounting an assault. It was only after ninety years had passed that he relented and aided the Council in assailing Dol Guldur, driving Sauron back into Mordor. Saruman's knowledge was vital in this victory, as Gandalf said - 'it was by the devices of Saruman that we drove him from Dol Guldur'.

When the Council debated the Rings of Power, Saruman claimed that his researches showed that the One Ring had been lost forever. It was later shown that he did not believe this, however, and was searching for it himself, having secretly rebelled against the Council.

He built an army of Wolves and Orcs of his own within the ring of Isengard to challenge both Sauron and the Wise, and took control of the only nearby power, the country of Rohan, through his agent Gríma Wormtongue.

In July III 3018, when he was ready to reveal himself, Saruman set a trap for Gandalf, using the Wizard Radagast to lure him to Orthanc. When Gandalf came, Saruman revealed that he had made a Ring of his own, and that he was no longer Saruman the White, but claimed the title Saruman of Many Colours. When Gandalf refused to join him, he was imprisoned on the pinnacle of the Tower of Orthanc - Saruman hoped to gain the secret of the One Ring from him, or at least prevent Gandalf from using it himself.

Sauron - The Second Dark Lord, Annatar, Gorthaur ,The Black Hand, The Dark Lord, The Dark Power, Lord of Gifts, Lord of Mordor, The Lord of the Rings, The Necromancer, The Red Eye, The Ring-maker, The Sorcerer

"Of old there was Sauron the Maia." - Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

Originally a Maia of Aulë's people, Sauron was early corrupted by Melkor and became his most trusted lieutenant. In the Wars of Beleriand, Sauron was the most feared of Morgoth's servants, but after the War of Wrath and the expulsion of the first Dark Lord, Sauron rose to become the greatest enemy of Elves and Men in the Second and Third Ages.

Sauron's History Before the First Age

Sauron was one of the mightiest (perhaps the mightiest) of the Maiar, and in the beginning of days he served Aulë the Smith. From Aulë he learnt much of forging and making, knowledge that he would make use of many thousands of years later when he built the Barad-dûr and forged the One Ring. In the earliest days, Melkor seduced Sauron and took him into his own service, and Sauron became the greatest and most trusted of his followers. While Utumno still stood in the dark north of the world, Sauron was given command of his lesser fortress of Angband. At length, the Valar assaulted Melkor and took him in chains back to Valinor, but Sauron escaped, and remained in Middle-earth.

Scatha - A mighty Long-worm of the Grey Mountains

One of the greatest of the dragons to infest the Grey Mountains of the north. Of his life little is known, except that he was slain by Fram son of Frumgar (an ancestor of Eorl the Young) in the early days of the Éothéod.

His recovered hoard was the subject of great dispute between the Men of the Éothéod and the Dwarves of that region, who claimed the hoard as their own. Fram rebuked their claim, and sent them the teeth of the dragon, with the words, "Jewels such as these you will not match in your treasuries, for they are hard to come by."2 Thereafter there was war between the Éothéod and the Dwarves, a war in which Fram met his end.

However this dispute was resolved (we are not told), it seems that Fram's people retained at least some of the hoard, and brought it south with them when they settled in Rohan. The horn that Éowyn gave to Merry Brandybuck after the War of the Ring (many hundred years later) was said to have come from it.

Shadowfax - The grey-silver steed of Gandalf

A mighty horse of Rohan, the chief of the Mearas, tamed by Gandalf and reluctantly granted as a gift to him by King Théoden of the Rohirrim. Shadowfax is thought to have passed West over the Sea with his master.

Shagrat - Commander of the Tower of Cirith Ungol

The Uruk commanding the Tower of Cirith Ungol in the Ephel Dúath, who captured Frodo Baggins during the War of the Ring.

Sharkey - A nickname of Saruman

A nickname for Saruman given by his servants and soldiers in Isengard and later used in the Shire during the last stages of the War of the Ring. In its origin we catch a rare glimpse of an Orkish word: sharkû, which is said to mean, 'old man'.

Sharkey’s Men - The ruffians who took over the Shire

The thuggish Men brought to the Shire during in the War of the Ring to serve as Saruman's henchmen. They were eventually defeated by the Shire-hobbits, most notably at the famous Battle of Bywater.

Shelob - The great she-spider who haunted Cirith Ungol

A creature of spider-shape, of the spawn of Ungoliant, who dwelt in the mountains on the western borders of Mordor.

Shire-folk - The Hobbits of the Shire

A common term for the Hobbits who lived in the Shire.

Shire-hobbits - The Halflings of the Shire

The Hobbits of the Shire; the descendants and followers of Marcho and Blanco, the two Bree-hobbits who founded the Shire. Among the Shire-hobbits were representatives of each of the three main types of Hobbit, the Stoors, Harfoots and Fallohides.

Shire-hobbits were considered the most rustic and pastoral of their kind, even by other Hobbits (such as those of Bree or Buckland). The most important family among the Shire-hobbits were the Tooks of the Westfarthing, who had held the hereditary, and largely honorary, title of Thain from III 2340.

Shirriffs - The Shire's 'police'

The title given to those who kept order in the Shire, somewhat akin to a 'police force'. Normally few in number, the Shirriffs were greatly increased during the time of the War of the Ring.

Silvan Elves - Elves who fell away from the Great Journey

Long before the beginning of the First Age, the Elves of the Great Journey travelled westward through the lands of Middle-earth. Coming to the Great River Anduin and the high peaks of the Misty Mountains, some of the Elves of the clan of the Teleri fell away from the journey, and settled in the woodlands east of the Mountains. These were the original Silvan Elves, who lived on either side of the River. At this time in their history, all of this people still lived close together, with some dwelling in the land that would later be called Lórien, and the others settling around the hill of Amon Lanc in the far south of Greenwood the Great.

It must have been in the time these Elves were living closely together that the Silvan Elvish language appeared. As history passed, the Elves would move away from one another, and mingle with other Elvish peoples, so that the Silvan branch of Elvish would eventually become extinct. Nonetheless, relics of that ancient tongue survived in some well-known place-names and personal names, such as Caras Galadhon, Amroth and even Lórien itself.

The Silvan Elves dwelt in their twin woodland realms for many centuries, but in the Second Age the emerging power of Sauron began to drive them apart. Oropher was the ruler of the Elves who dwelt in the Greenwood, and he began to seek safety by moving his people northwards, away from Amon Lanc and away from the Silvan Elves who lived to the west of the Great River.

Skinbark - One of the oldest of Ents

With Treebeard and Leaflock, one of the three oldest Ents of Fangorn Forest. He lived on the slopes above and to the west of Isengard, and so he and his people suffered the most at the hands of Saruman's despoiling Orcs.

Smaug - The Dragon of Erebor, The Golden, The Magnificent

"My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!" - Smaug's description of himself - from The Hobbit 12 Inside Information

Smaug was the last of the great fire-drakes, and said to be the greatest dragon of his time. At some time during the twenty-eighth century of the Third Age, he came to hear of the immense wealth held by the Dwarves of Erebor. Where he came from we do not know for certain, but in the year III 2770 he descended in fire on the Lonely Mountain, destroying the Dwarf-kingdom and the nearby township of Dale.

Gathering together the treasures of the Dwarves, he formed himself an immense bed of gold and jewels and settled within the ruined halls of Erebor. Slowly the years and decades passed, until the people of the Long Lake to the south had almost forgotten the Dragon of Erebor and Smaug imagined himself unassailable.

Then, one day in the October of III 2941, one hundred and seventy-one years after his arrival in Erebor, Smaug awoke to find his treasure disturbed. Of all that mountain of wealth, he noticed with rage that a single two-handled cup had been taken. He could not have imagined that the loss of that cup signalled his own imminent downfall; Thorin, the heir of the King under the Mountain that Smaug had driven from his halls those many years before, had returned to reclaim his kingdom. With him came Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit with a magical Ring with which he had invisibly removed that single cup from Smaug's treasure.

In his anger, the dragon flew from his halls, scorching and breaking the mountainside. Thorin, Bilbo and their companions were sealed in a hidden tunnel, and at last the frustrated Smaug gave up his attack on the mountain. Realizing that they must have had help from Lake-town to the south, he set out to punish the Men of the Lake instead.

That was to be Smaug's last flight. Bilbo had managed to discover an open patch in the dragon's armour, and word of this had been carried to Lake-town. In particular, it reached the heir of another of Smaug's victims, Bard, the descendant of Girion of Dale. Bard shot Smaug with an arrow, and though Lake-town was devastated in his attack and fall, the dragon was defeated. In years to come, beneath the waters of the lake his mighty bones could be seen, and the jewels that had lined his hide: the last remains of the greatest dragon of his age.

Snowmane - The swift horse of Théoden

The steed of Théoden, King of Rohan, on which he rode to the Battle of the Pelennor, and beneath which he fell in that battle.

Southrons - A Mannish name for the Haradrim

The Men of Harad, the ancient enemies of Gondor from the lands to the south.

Steward of Gondor - Title of the rulers of the South-kingdom after the Kings

Originally the honorary title of the chief counsellor to the King of Gondor. The title became hereditary from the time of Steward Pelendur of the House of Húrin. After the loss of King Eärnur in Minas Morgul, Mardil Voronwë became the first Ruling Steward, and his descendants ruled Gondor until the time of Denethor II, when Aragorn II Elessar was crowned as King of the Reunited Kingdom.

Stoors - The broadest and heaviest of Hobbits

One of the three ancient hobbit-kinds, the broadest and heaviest in build. They were the last of three branches of the hobbits to cross the Misty Mountains into Eriador.

Strider - One of Aragorn’s many names

A nickname given to Aragorn II Elessar by the people of northern Middle-earth (as for example at Bree) during his time as a Ranger.


Sammath Naur - The Chambers of Fire in the heart of Mount Doom

The Chambers of Fire that lay within the Fire-mountain of Orodruin, Mount Doom. It was in these fiery chambers that Sauron forged the One Ring.

Sarn Ford - The crossing of the Baranduin to the south of the Shire

The stony ford on the River Baranduin, on the far southern borders of the Shire.

Sarn Gebir - The rapids of Anduin

The rapids of the Great River Anduin. They appeared as the river's course passed between the eastern and western Emyn Muil, above the Falls of Rauros.

Shathûr - A Dwarvish name for the mountain Fanuidhol

A short name used by the Dwarves - in full Bundushathûr - for Fanuidhol, one of the three Mountains of Moria. Its translation is presumably the same as for the Elvish version of its name, which means 'Cloudyhead'.

The Shire - The land of Hobbits west of the Brandywine

Founded in III 1601 (year 1 by the Shire-reckoning), and expanded to include Buckland and the Westmarch in IV 41 (1452 by the Shire-reckoning)

At the end of the Third Age, the Shire was the most populous country of the Hobbits in the north of Middle-earth. It was founded in the middle of the Third Age by the Bree-hobbits Marcho and Blanco, and gifted to them and their followers by King Argeleb II of Arthedain, within whose borders the land lay at that time.

The Shire was divided into four farthings, North, South, East and West; its chief town was at Michel Delving on the White Downs, in the Westfarthing. The Mayor of Michel Delving was accounted among the most important of the Shire-hobbits, as was the Thain (the head of the Took family).

The Shire was largely given over to agriculture, and its land was well-suited for farming. One of its chief products was Halflings' Leaf (tobacco), grown especially in the warmer regions of the Southfarthing.

Silent Street - Minas Tirith’s street of tombs

Rath Dínen, the street that ran between Minas Tirith and Mindolluin, on which lay the tombs of the Kings and Stewards of Gondor.

River Silverlode - The river the Elves called Celebrant

The name among Men for the river the Elves called Celebrant; it sprang from the Mirrormere in the Dimrill Dale, and flowed east through Lórien to meet the River Anduin.

Silvertine - The Mannish name for Zirakzigil

One of the three peaks that made up the Mountains of Moria, above the Dwarf-city of Khazad-dûm. Its Dwarvish name was Zirakzigil, while the Elves called it Celebdil.

Sirannon - The Gate-stream of Khazad-dûm

The Gate-stream of old Khazad-dûm, that flowed from its westward walls into Eregion. Its precise course is unknown, but it was presumably a tributary of the River Glanduin.

Shelob’s Lair - The dark tunnels of Cirith Ungol

A partial English translation of Torech Ungol, the name of the black, mazelike lair of Shelob in the pass of Cirith Ungol.

Smials - The Hobbits’ name for their holes

The term the Hobbits themselves used for their excavated dwellings, more usually called simply 'hobbit-holes'.

Snowbourn River - The river that flowed out of Harrowdale

A river of Rohan; it rose beneath the Starkhorn in the northern White Mountains, and flowed past the courts of Edoras as it continued north and east to meet the River Entwash among the grassy plains of Eastfold.

Southfarthing of the Shire - The southern lands of the Shire-hobbits

The warmer southern farthing of the Shire, with its chief town being Longbottom. This was the region where most of the Shire's pipe-weed production was concentrated.

Staddle - The home of the Bree-hobbits

A village of the Bree-land, lying on the south-eastern slopes of the Bree-hill. Staddle was the main settlement of the Bree-hobbits.

Stair Falls - The falls of the Sirannon

The falls beneath the West-gate of Khazad-dûm, where the Gate-stream of the Sirannon made a waterfall some thirty feet in height before flowing out across the grasslands of Eregion. The falls took their name from the stair carved beside them in the rock of the cliff.

The Starkhorn - The mountain at Harrowdale’s head

"Immediately before the travellers the widest of these glens opened like a long gulf among the hills. Far inward they glimpsed a tumbled mountain-mass with one tall peak..." -The Two Towers III 6 The King of the Golden Hall

A mighty snow-clad peak that rose in the inner regions of the White Mountains. From its feet prang the Snowbourn River, whose widening valley ran northwards through the mountains to emerge onto the plains of Rohan. The Rohirrim called that valley Harrowdale, and built their courts of Edoras at its mouth, from where the lonely white peak of the Starkhorn could be seen along the straight length of the valley.

Stonewain Valley - The ancient way of the quarrymen of Gondor

A long straight valley in the eastern White Mountains. It was made in ancient days by the Men of Gondor, as a route from the quarries beneath Nardol to Minas Anor. By the time of the War of the Ring, it was all but forgotten, but it was rediscovered in time to be used by the Rohirrim to come to the Battle of the Pelennor.

Sundering Seas - The trackless oceans that sundered Aman from Middle-earth

The wide seas that lay between Aman in the west and Middle-earth in the east; a name for the ocean Belegaer and its lesser seas.

Swanfleet - The great marshlands of the River Glanduin

The fenlands of Swanfleet. In the far distance, the Misty Mountains can be seen.

The Mannish name for the marshy lands above Tharbad, famed for their swans, at the outflow of the River Glanduin. The Elvish name was Nîn-in-Eilph.


Secret Fire - The fire at the heart of the World

"Therefore Ilúvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Eä."

A mysterious power, never explained in detail, that seems to represent the principle of existence and creation. Little can be said of it for certain, though it seems to be identified with, or at least connected to, the Flame Imperishable of Ilúvatar. When Gandalf met the Balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, he spoke of himself as a servant of the Secret Fire. It has been conjectured that these words referred to his fire-ring Narya, but it seems unlikely that he would reveal this to a bitter enemy. More plausibly, Gandalf's words identify him as a servant of the power of Ilúvatar.

Seeing-stones - A name for the Palantíri

The powerful orbs known as the palantíri made in ancient days by the Elves in Aman, and indeed said to have been the work of Fëanor himself. In appearance they were dark, perfectly smooth globes of various capabilities and sizes; some were small and portable, others so huge that they could not be lifted by a Man.

The Elves gave certain of these stones to the Númenóreans, and seven of these Númenórean stones were rescued from the Downfall of that island by Elendil and his sons. So these seven were brought to Middle-earth, and the Dúnedain set them up at distant points in their lands: at Amon Sûl, Elostirion and Annúminas in the north, and at Osgiliath, Orthanc, Minas Anor and Minas Ithil in the south. The chief stone of the north was that of Amon Sûl, lost with Arvedui in the cold northern seas. The greatest of the southern stones stood beneath the Dome of Stars in Osgiliath, and was lost during the Kin-strife.

During the Third Age, three of the stones were known to have been lost (Arvedui also had the Stone of Annúminas with him when he was lost at sea). The Ithil-stone was captured by Sauron and almost certainly destroyed in the Downfall of Barad-dûr, and the palantír of Elostirion in the Tower Hills was taken back into the West on the Ring-bearers' White Ship. At the beginning of the Fourth Age, then, there were just two Seeing-stones left in Middle-earth, the Anor-stone and the Orthanc-stone.

The Seeing-stones of Middle-earth were not the only palantíri to exist. Many remained with the Elves in Aman, including the so-called Master-stone held in the Tower of Avallónë on Tol Eressëa. Indeed, it was said that, before the stone was removed from the Tower Hills, it could be used to look along the Straight Road to the Undying Lands themselves.

Seven Rings - The Rings of the Dwarf-lords

Those of the Rings of Power that Sauron gave to the Dwarves to seduce them to his service. The Dwarves proved too hardy to be lured in this way, though, and the Rings did little more than increase their native lust for gold. By the end of the Third Age, Sauron had recovered three of the Seven Rings to himself, and the other four had been consumed by dragons.

Seven Stones - The Seeing-stones of the Realms in Exile

The Palantíri, the seven Seeing-stones rescued from the wreck of Númenor and brought to Middle-earth by Elendil and his sons.

Shadow - The shroud of darkness

A term that apparently refers to the bewilderment and darkness accompanying certain enchantments. Sauron's tower of Barad-dûr was surrounded by Shadow, and the term is also associated with the land of Lórien and with the Ents.

Shire-reckoning - The count of years according to the Shire-hobbits

The system of reckoning dates unique to the Hobbits of the Shire, based on the founding of that land in III 1601. The Shire-hobbits reckoned this as year 1. So, years of the Third Age can be converted to Shire-years by subtracting 1600 (e.g. the Downfall of Barad-dûr occurred in III 3019, but in the Shire this was counted as the year 1419).

The Shire-folk took no account of the change of Age in III 3021. While the other peoples of Middle-earth considered this to be the first year of the Fourth Age, in the Shire it was simply 1421.

Silmarils - The Great Jewels

The three great jewels made by Fëanor in Valinor, in which he locked the light of the Two Trees, Laurelin and Telperion, before their destruction. Melkor stole the jewels from Fëanor's stronghold at Formenos, slaying his father Finwë, and fled with them back to his fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth.

Fëanor swore an oath to recover the Silmarils, and many of the Noldor followed him into exile in pursuit of the jewels. So began their hopeless war against the forces of Morgoth, of which the Quenta Silmarillion (the 'Tale of the Silmarils') tells the story. During the First Age, one Silmaril alone was recovered from Morgoth's Iron Crown by Beren and Lúthien, and was borne by Eärendil when he sailed into the West to seek the aid of the Valar.

By virtue of the Silmaril, it is said, Eärendil reached Aman and was heard by the Valar, who sent a mighty force into Middle-earth. Morgoth was utterly defeated, and the Silmarils recovered. Maedhros and Maglor, the only two of Fëanor's seven sons to survive until that War of Wrath, stole the jewels from the camp of the Valar. Their evil deeds in pursuance of the jewels, however, drove them to madness; Maedhros cast himself into a fiery chasm with one of the Silmarils, and Maglor threw the other into the depths of the sea. So only one Silmaril remains visible in the World, bound to Eärendil's brow as he sails the heavens; the Morning and Evening Star.

Simbelmynë - The flower called Evermind

"How fair are the bright eyes in the grass! Evermind they are called, simbelmynë in this land of Men, for they blossom in all the seasons of the year, and grow where dead men rest." - Words of Gandalf from The Two Towers III 6 The King of the Golden Hall

A small white flower that grew in particular abundance on graves and tombs, most famously on the barrows of the Kings of Rohan beneath the walls of Edoras. Simbelmynë was the name given to the flower in Rohan, a name translated as 'Evermind': a reference to the memories of the dead on whose tombs the flower grew.

Southern Star - A famous variety of pipe-weed

A variety of pipe-weed grown in the Southfarthing of the Shire, and apparently originating in the district around Longbottom. The 'star' of its name presumably refers to the star-shaped flowers of the pipe-weed plant.

Springle-ring - A dance both pretty and vigorous

A dance of the Shire-hobbits.

Star, as emblem

1 - Star of the House of Feamor has eight rays of silver

2 - Star of Elendil, the Elendilimir as an emblem of the North Kingdom has five rays of diamond and represented the Star of Earendil

3 - Seven stars, above a crown and anvil. The emblem of Durin, has eight rays represented the Plough

4 - Seven stars of Elendil and his captains. It originally represented the single stars on the banner of each of the seven ships (of nine) that bore a palantir.

In Gondor, the seven stars were set about a white-flowered tree, over which the kings set a winged crown.

Sting - The ‘short sword’ of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins

A knife manufactured in Gondolin in the First Age, carried away as spoil by the creatures of Morgoth who destroyed that city. It was rediscovered millennia later in a troll-hoard by Bilbo Baggins, who named it Sting after using it to rescue Thorin Oakenshield and his companions from the giant spiders of Mirkwood.

Sword-that-was-Broken - The broken blade of Elendil

Narsil, the sword of Elendil that broke beneath him when he fell in the War of the Last Alliance. Its shards were returned to Arnor, where they were kept as an heirloom for three thousand years. The sword was reforged as Andúril, and borne by Elendil's heir Aragorn in the War of the Ring.

Sword of Elendil - The great sword known as Narsil

Narsil, the sword manufactured in ancient times by Telchar of Nogrod, and borne in the late Second Age by Elendil. He fought with it in the War of the Last Alliance, where it was broken in his fall, but its Shards were preserved in the North-kingdom.

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