The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Widespread through Middle-earth, including Beleriand
About a hundred different species in the family Cervidae1
Originates from an ancient root word meaning simply 'animal'
Other names
Male deer are known as 'stags' or 'harts', while females are referred to as 'does'


About this entry:

  • Updated 24 September 2016
  • Updates planned: 1


Graceful creatures found throughout Middle-earth. Deer were traditionally dedicated to the Vala Nessa, and were said to follow her as she travelled through the wild lands.



Though deer are often mentioned in Tolkien's tales, he does not indicate particular types. It would be natural to assume that he imagined those species native to the British Isles: there are two of these, the larger red deer (Cervus elaphus) and the smaller roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). A third species, the distinctively patterned fallow deer (Dama dama) is not strictly a native species, but was introduced to Britain in Roman times and is now widespread.

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