The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Extremely old1
Far beneath Khazad-dûm, and presumably elsewhere


About this entry:

  • Updated 5 July 2003
  • This entry is complete

Nameless Things

Unknown creatures at the roots of the world

"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things."
Words of Gandalf
from The Two Towers III 5 The White Rider

The secret and very ancient creatures that dwell in the dark depths of the world. Gandalf came upon them in the depths beneath Moria, but would say nothing of them to his companions. All we know of them is that they gnawed dark tunnels far beneath the earth, through which Gandalf escaped from the depths of the chasm beneath Khazad-dûm.



On the subject of these creatures, Gandalf says 'Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he.' (The Two Towers III 5, The White Rider). Sauron was older than the World itself, so this can't be literally true, unless Gandalf means to suggest that the nameless things are Maiar (which seems rather implausible). Nonetheless, it is clear that these are very ancient creatures indeed.

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