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W of Middle Earth
W of Middle Earth

W of Middle Earth


Walda - The twelfth King of Rohan. The son and heir of Brytta Léofa. During his father's reign, Rohan had suffered warfare with Orcs that had descended from the North, and attempted to settle in the White Mountains. By the time Walda came to the throne, it was thought that the land was free of Orcs, but in the ninth year of his reign, Walda was slain by them near Dunharrow. He was succeeded by his son Folca, who avenged his father's death.

Wandlimb - The long-lost beloved of Treebeard. A translation of the Elvish Fimbrethil, both names used by Treebeard for his lost Entwife. They were separated when the Entwives travelled east of the Great River to plant their gardens. It was Treebeard's desire to find Wandlimb again that led the Ents to discover that the Entwives' gardens had been destroyed, and that the Entwives themselves were lost.

Warden of the Houses of Healing - Chief healer of Minas Tirith. The title given to the chief healer of the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith, a position of some power and authority.

Wargs - Monstrous wolves of the northern lands. The ferocious and intelligent race of wolves that lived in the northern Vales of Anduin, and probably elsewhere in the north of Middle-earth.

Watcher in the Water - Guardian of the West-gate. A mysterious and horrific beast that lurked in the swollen waters of the Sirannon, beneath the western walls of Moria.

White Council - The Council formed to challenge Dol Guldur. The Council formed in the Third Age by the chief among the Eldar and the Istari to combat the growing power of Dol Guldur. The Council was led by Saruman, until Gandalf discovered his treachery at the beginning of the War of the Ring.

White Rider - Gandalf astride Shadowfax. A title given to Gandalf the White as he rode the great horse Shadowfax in the later days of the War of the Ring. The name was given in opposition to the nine Black Riders who served Sauron.

Whiteskins - An Orkish name for the Rohirrim. A name among Orcs for the Riders of Rohan, whose far northern origins would have given them a much paler skin colour than the Men who lived around them.

Will Whitfoot - Mayor of Michel Delving. The Mayor of Michel Delving (and therefore of the Shire) at the time of the War of the Ring. He was renowned as being the fattest hobbit in the Westfarthing, and was affectionately referred to as Old Will or Old Flourdumpling. He was one of the first to be placed in the Lockholes during Sharkey's reign in the Shire, but survived the experience.

Wild Men - The Men of Darknes; Men of the East and South of Middle-earth, who had fallen under the yoke of Morgoth during the First Age, and of whom many were allies of Sauron in the Second and Third Ages.

Winged Shadows - The Nazgûl on their winged steeds. A name for the Nazgûl after they took to the skies on horrific winged steeds. This name refers especially to the profound dread and fear they inspired in those below them as the flew overhead.

Wingfoot - Éomer’s name for Aragorn.

"Wide wonder came into Éomer's eyes. "Strider is too poor a name, son of Arathorn," he said. "Wingfoot I name you."" The Two Towers III 2 The Riders of Rohan

When Aragorn first met Éomer, he had hunted the captors of Merry and Pippin across the wide fields of Rohan for four days. In that time, he and his companions Legolas and Gimli had covered forty-five leagues (that is, they had travelled about thirty-four miles each day). Éomer was so astonished by this feat that he gave Aragorn a new name: Wingfoot.

The Wise - The deepest in counsel of Wizards and Elves. The title given to the greatest Elves of Middle-earth and the chief Wizards, who formed the White Council in the Third Age.

Witch-king of Angmar - A guise of the Lord of the Nazgûl. The title taken by the Lord of the Nazgûl in the middle of the Third Age, when he founded the northern realm of Angmar in opposition to the northern lands of the Dúnedain (Arthedain and its allies).

Wizards - The Valar’s messengers to Middle-earth, Istari, Ithryn. A name for the order of the Maiar more properly called Istari, who came to Middle-earth after the first millennium of the Third Age to aid the Free Peoples against the return and rise of Sauron.

Wolfriders - Those goblins who rode wolves into battle. Orcs and Goblins, presumably quite small in stature, that rode into battle on ferocious wolves.

Wormtongue - The insulting surname given to Gríma. A surname given to Gríma, counsellor to Théoden the King of Rohan, who was in fact a spy of Saruman.

Woses - A Mannish name for the Drúedain.

A name among the Rohirrim for the shy, secretive people known in Elvish as the Drúedain. Though never populous, the end of the Third Age saw these people reduced to a few populations in the southern parts of Middle-earth, especially in the Drúwaith Iaur and Drúadan Forest of Rohan, where the Rohirrim came into contact with them.

In fact, the word 'wose' is a name from British folklore, referring to a hairy, troll-like being supposed to inhabit woods and forests. It represents Tolkien's translation of an actual word of the Rohirrim into ancient English; the Rohirrim themselves would not have called such a creature a 'wose', but a róg.

Wraiths - Spectral creatures of the Wraith-world. Ghostly beings that existed more in the hidden Wraith-world than our own. The most famous of these were the Ring-wraiths, Men ensnared by Sauron's Nine Rings, but their victims, too, were transformed into wraiths.


Weathertop - Chief of the Weather Hills; Amon Sûl. The name among Men for Amon Sûl, the southernmost of the Weather Hills in Eriador, on which had stood the Tower of Amon Sûl during the early Third Age.

Western Sea - The Great Sea west of Middle-earth. The broad ocean that lay off the western coasts of Middle-earth, that in earlier days could be sailed westward to Númenor, and then to distant Aman in the Uttermost West.

Westfarthing of the Shire - The lands westward from Hobbiton. The western farthing of the Shire, in which lay many of its important towns: Michel Delving on the White Downs; Tuckborough, the seat of the Took Thains of the Shire; and Hobbiton, home of the Baggins family.

Westfold - The western lands of the Rohirrim. The westernmost region of Rohan, lying immediately to the east of the Gap of Rohan, and in which lay Helm's Deep. Its border with the Eastfold was marked by the course of the Snowbourn River.

Westmarch of the Shire - The lands beyond the Far Downs. The land between the Far Downs and the Tower Hills, granted to the Shire-hobbits by King Aragorn II Elessar in the early Fourth Age.

Wetwang - The great marshland beneath the Emyn Muil. The name in the Westron tongue for the marshes beneath the Emyn Muil that the Elves called Nindalf.

White Downs - The chalk-downs of the Shire’s Westfarthing. A range of chalk downs in the western regions of the Shire; Michel Delving, the chief town of the Shire, was built (and burrowed) there.

White Mountains - The snow-capped peaks that separated Gondor from Rohan. Also called Ered Nimrais, an important mountain range in the southwest of the known parts of Middle-earth. In the latter part of the Third Age, they formed the border between Gondor in the south and Rohan in the north.

White Tower - The Tower of Minas Tirith. A name used for Minas Tirith in Gondor, and especially of the glistening Tower of Ecthelion at its peak, emphasising its opposition to Sauron's Dark Tower of Barad-dûr.

Whitwell - A township of the Tookland. A village or town near Tuckborough in the Shire's Tookland region, at the western end of the Green Hills. Thain Paladin Took II, Pippin's father, was known to farm the land around Whitwell, though it is not known whether he maintained a home there, or dwelt in the ancestral residence of the Tooks at Great Smials.

Wilderland - The wilderness of Rhovanion. A term for the lands of Middle-earth that lay east of the Misty Mountains. 'Wilderland' probably represents the Westron equivalent of the Elvish name Rhovanion.

River Withywindle - The river that flowed through the Old Forest. A minor tributary of the River Baranduin or Brandywine that flowed through the Old Forest on the borders of the Shire.

Woodhall - A village of the eastern Shire. A village in the Eastfarthing of the Shire. Frodo, Sam and Pippin met Gildor Inglorion and his people in the woods above Woodhall, and the three passed close by the village on the last stages of their journey to Bucklebury Ferry. ,br>

Woody End - The high woods above the Marish. An upland wooded region of the Eastfarthing of the Shire, lying between the Green Hill Country on the west and the Marish on the east.


War of the Ring - The decisive conflict at the end of the Third Age. The great conflict at the end of the Third Age, named for the One Ring and the importance this had in the final outcome. The war was fought between the Free (a loose alliance of Elves and Men led by the Wise) and Sauron the Dark Lord, with Saruman as a third power based in Orthanc.

Sauron at all times held the military advantage in the War, due to his overwhelming forces; not only Orcs and Trolls, but Men of Harad and the East. His main immediate object was the overthrow of Gondor, his near neighbour and the strongest of his enemies. He had such forces at his command, though, that he was able to fight the war on many fronts, also attacking Dale, Erebor and the Wood-elves in the far north, and Lórien from his secondary stronghold at Dol Guldur. There can be no doubt that, had the Wise not achieved possession of the Ring, Sauron would ultimately have been victorious.

Saruman had claimed alliance with both the Wise and the Dark Lord, but was ultimately fighting for his own ends. In alliance with the Dunlendings, and having Orcs at his own command, his objective was the defeat of Rohan. Until late in the War, he held the advantage, defeating Rohan twice at the Battles of the Fords of Isen. He had not considered the Ents of Fangorn in his plans, however, and when they were roused to anger at his actions, they brought about his downfall.

The policy of the Wise was based around the Quest of Mount Doom; a company of nine under the leadership of Gandalf travelled from Rivendell with the One Ring, with the hope of reaching Orodruin in Mordor and there destroying it. Because the Ring held much of Sauron's native power, they realised that in unmaking it, they would also defeat its creator. Against all hope, the Quest was achieved by Frodo Baggins, and Sauron defeated.

The War did not end with the defeat of Sauron, for Saruman fled northward after the capture of Orthanc, and established himself in the Shire, bending the Hobbits to his will by threat of violence and the persuasive power of his voice. The return of Frodo Baggins and his companions led to a rebellion by the Shire-hobbits, in which Saruman was killed by his servant, Gríma Wormtongue.

Although Sauron and Saruman were both defeated, the Wise did not achieve total victory. With the destruction of the One Ring, the Three Rings that had maintained the realms of the Elves in Middle-earth lost their power, and the Elves began to leave Middle-earth for the Undying Lands.

Waybread - Galadriel’s gift to the Company of the Ring. Lembas, the enchanted food used by the Elves on long journeys; it seems to have originated with Melian of Doriath.

Westmansweed - One of the many names for Halflings’ Leaf. Another name for the plant better known as pipe-weed or Halflings’ Leaf. Westmansweed was its name among the vulgar of Gondor, a reference to the Men of the West who were said to have brought it to Middle-earth from Númenor.

Westron - The Common Speech of Middle-earth. Derived mainly from Adûnaic, the ancestral tongue of the Edain and their kin, the Westron was widely spoken by the Men of Middle-earth. When the Númenóreans began to return to Middle-earth during the Second Age, Westron developed into a lingua franca allowing conversation between them and their distant kin. As the Second Age passed, and especially after the establishment of the Númenórean kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor at the end of the Age, Westron became widely spoken by all races in Middle-earth, not just Men. Hence it is often referred to as the Common Speech.

As the chief language of the northwest of Middle-earth, Westron is naturally represented in Tolkien's work by modern English, even to the extent that names of the ancient Westron form are also translated into equivalent forms based on Old English (prominent examples being Hobbit, Rivendell and Shelob, although many others occur). Hence, we have very few examples of 'real' Westron words and names. There are in fact only two significant sources. The first appears in the isolated notes at the end of Appendix F II of The Lord of the Rings, where 'banakil', and 'kuduk' (both referring to hobbits) are given with some other examples. The second source is the names of the Númenórean kings from Ar-Adûnakhôr ('King, Lord of the West') to Ar-Pharazôn ('Golden King'); these are in Adûnaic, and hence closely related to Westron.

White Tree (of Gondor) - called the Silver Tree. Also see Tree

Withered Tree - dead relic of the Tree of Gondor

Wizardry - magic of kind popularly ascribed to the wizards

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