The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
No certain dates are known. Ungoliant was certainly very ancient; she 'went whither she would into the forgotten south of the world' in or shortly before the First Age1
Race
Apparently an ancient spirit akin to the Ainur
Pronunciation
oongo'liant
Meaning
'Gloomweaver'2

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 19 July 1998
  • Updates planned: 5

Ungoliant

Ancient ally of Melkor

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Ungoliant
Shelob
Others

The evil creature of spider-form who was Melkor's accomplice in the Darkening of Valinor, and who fled with him to Middle-earth. The creatures that infested the Ered Gorgoroth were her offspring and descendants, as was Shelob who dwelt on the borders of Mordor.


Notes

1

This quote comes from The Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor, which also tells us '...some have said that she ended long ago, when in her uttermost famine she devoured herself at last'.

2

Ultimately from ungwë liante. 'Gloomweaver' is Tolkien's preferred rendering, but 'Gloom spider' seems to be a more literal translation. In Elvish, 'weaver' and 'spider' are closely related words, and in English too: 'spider', 'spindle' and 'spinner' all share a common ancestry.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2000. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.