The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
The northern reaches of Middle-earth1
Probably a reference to the Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes2
Ultimately from an ancient word for 'tail', referring to the fox's bushy 'brush'


About this entry:

  • Updated 3 December 2008
  • Updates planned: 1


Dog-like carnivores of woodland and farmland, distinctive for their red-orange coats and their eerie plaintive cries. The most famous of all the foxes in Middle-earth appears early in The Lord of the Rings, where a dog-fox is puzzled at finding Frodo, Sam and Pippin asleep in a fir-wood on the first night of their journey from Hobbiton.



The only established sightings of foxes were within the Shire and the Bree-land nearby to the east. However, foxes were often referred to in a proverbial sense, and it seems safe to conclude that they ranged far outside those two areas.


Though there are many different varieties of fox across the World, only the Red Fox is to be found in Tolkien's native British Isles, and so it is commonly referred to there as simply a 'fox'.

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