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Old 07-28-2014, 02:43 PM   #1
jkcray
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Question Sentient Animals in LOTR and Silmarillion

Perhaps a FAQ from a new poster. Apologies if so.

I have always wondered where sentient animals; Huon, Thorondor, (?) Shadowfax and perhaps others fit into Tolkien's universe.
I don't think that the issue is addressed in the books?

But is it reasonable to speculate that they have souls in the same sense that Men, Elves and Dwarves do?
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:42 AM   #2
Brego
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In FotR, a fox comes across the three hobbits (Sam, Pippin and Frodo) and ponders over them a while, thus indicating sentience. It's not specified anywhere that I've read, but I've always assumed most, if not all, animals in LotR are sentient/can reason. In Bree, Strider and the other rangers are rumoured to be able to speak with birds and animals and in a few places other characters comment on how some of the birds might be spies or working for Sauron (I think).

I might be a little biased on the topic of animal sentience, though, as I'm an animal communicator.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:24 PM   #3
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I'm not sure. My memory sucks so I'll have to check. I do know that there were other trees that talked, whispered, foxes near the shire did to one another.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:31 PM   #4
Tar-Verimuchli
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I would presume that animals that originally came from Valinor like the Eagles and Huon do not age. Huon certainly lived a long time in Middle Earth and Thorondor at least lives for the whole period of the First Age. Tolkien does seem to have a particular notion of good and bad species in how he portrays sentient animals e.g. cats and dogs in the Lost Tales version of Beren and Luthien.

Another related question is do purses have souls?

Last edited by Tar-Verimuchli; 08-01-2014 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:18 PM   #5
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Another related question is do purses have souls?
Negative. The troll's purse in The Hobbit was an anachronism. I think Bilbo just made up that part to explain some carelessness of his that got him caught.

As for Shadowfax, he was of the mearas, and the Rohirrim at least had the belief that the Vala Oromë brought that breed of horses from the West. If that was indeed the case, it's no wonder they would have been so intelligent and swift. Animals from the Blessed Realm would probably have been as gifted compared to 'normal' animals as Elves were to Men, though not immortal, of course.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:23 AM   #6
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Negative. The troll's purse in The Hobbit was an anachronism. I think Bilbo just made up that part to explain some carelessness of his that got him caught.
That's ridiculous. Next thing you'll be suggesting Turin had some sort of dissociative disorder and his sword didn't actually talk.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:27 PM   #7
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Talking swords, dragon's breath, incest?
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:32 PM   #8
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Talking swords, dragon's breath, incest?
Exactly. And as noted by the eminent dragon Smaug, Bilbo was a "thief and a liar" indeed.
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