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Old 02-12-2018, 01:08 PM   #1
Pile O'Bones
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 18
Marlowe221 has just left Hobbiton.
The Role of Stealth in the Lord of the Rings

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but there is a lot of stealth, sneaking, and hiding in the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and even some in the Simarillion.

The hobbits, Tolkien's primary heroes in many ways, are naturally gifted in stealth. So much so, that to Men it often seems like a magical ability. They can hide well, move silently, and they are small (which no doubt helps the hiding and moving silently).

The elves - basically, if they don't want you to see them, you don't see them. Apparently, they are more silent than even hobbits when they want to be. Rivendell and Lothlorien are two entire realms that are hidden from outsiders.

The rangers are essentially a para-military intelligence gathering strike force. They rely on stealth to watch out for the return of the enemy and to protect the people and communities they choose to guard. The rangers of Ithilien do much the same thing hundreds of miles away.

Quite a few plot points also revolve around stealth. The hobbits successfully hide from Ringwraiths a couple of times. Aragorn guides the hobbits from Bree to Rivendell via the sneakiest way he knows. The fellowship departs Rivendell under the cover of night, hoping to escape the notice of the spies of Sauron/Saruman. The elves of Lothlorien give the fellowship cloaks that do a lot to hide them even when they are sitting in plain sight.

And that's just the good guys sneaking around!

The agents of Sauron and Saruman use stealth as well. Even the Ring itself turns you invisible to mortal eyes (though it makes you more visible to the Nazgul).

Point being, even though there is plenty of open combat and war in the stories eventually, there is a huge reliance on stealth in Tolkien's works. Actual battles are comparatively rare.

Why do you suppose that is the case?

Last edited by Marlowe221; 02-12-2018 at 01:12 PM.
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