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

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  • Updated 1 September 2017
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Wasps

Any of a varied group of insects, with the most familiar wasps being social creatures banded in black and yellow with reusable stings. Though wasps are not described directly in any of the tales of Middle-earth, they do appear in a metaphorical sense, showing that they were known from Beleriand at least as far east as the Vales of Anduin. When Túrin and his band of outlaws settled in Mîm's house on Amon Rûdh, Mîm put their fears of a trap at ease by comparing himself to a spider and the band to thirty wasps - far more than a single spider could hope to trap at one time.1

The largest type of wasp is the hornet, which can grow to more than five centimetres (or about two and a half inches) in length. The bees that swarmed the pastures of Beorn in the Vales of Anduin were said to have been even larger than hornets.


Notes

1

Though the outlaws lived safely for some time in the house of Bar-en-Danwedh, Mîm did eventually betray them and ultimately almost all of were slain by Orcs. So the lone spider did eventually succeed in trapping and defeating his thirty metaphorical wasps.

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  • Updated 1 September 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

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