The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Canis lupus and related species
'Wolf' is a very ancient word indeed, descending to modern English through Old English wulf2


About this entry:

  • Updated 15 March 2003
  • Updates planned: 18


Fearsome predators of the northern lands

Wolves were of old allied with the Dark Lord; Morgoth bred the two greatest of their kind, Draugluin and Carcharoth, and Sauron was wont to take the form of a great Wolf. The lesser kinds were sometimes used as steeds by the Orcs.



Strictly speaking, it isn't clear whether Werewolves should be considered a 'type' of wolf, but they were clearly related in some way to true wolves.


This Old English form of the word does actually appear in Tolkien's work. Wulf was the name of the son of Freca, to whom Helm Hammerhand refused the hand of his daughter. The Old Norse form of the word, ulfr, possibly also appears in the names of various Easterlings (such as Ulfang, whose name is interpretable as 'Wolf fang').

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