The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


About this entry:

  • Updated 6 April 2012
  • Updates planned: 2


Birds of prey adapted for a scavenging lifestyle, often showing a hooked beak and a head naked of feathers. No vulture is explicitly described as existing in Middle-earth, but the Winged Nazgûl are compared to them, flocking over a battlefield as vultures gather above the dead or dying. Vultures - or, at least, the heads of vultures, appeared in a more physical form at the gates of the Tower of Cirith Ungol. These gates were guarded by the Two Watchers: stone guardians carved with three heads looking in different directions, with each of these heads in the form of a staring vulture.

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