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


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  • Updated 24 March 2012
  • Updates planned: 2

The Watcher

A title for the unseen Shelob

When Frodo and Sam ventured into the darkness of Shelob's Lair, at first all they encountered of the monstrous creature were her many eyes. At that time they were unaware of her full form, and so she is referred to simply as 'the Watcher'. Soon afterwards, when they encountered her webs, and then Shelob herself, she was revealed to be a descendant of Ungoliant, and thus a vast spider.

The term 'Watcher' is also used for the beast that lay in wait before the West-gate of Moria. For more on that creature, see the entry for Watcher in the Water.

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