quote: "A more or less decent giant" doesn't really fit with the mountain troll theory either
Oh I dunno, Bert & the boys seemed more or less decent to me.. for trolls that is. A troll's gotta eat too ya know.
Not sure if I ever thought it was an actual troll as much as something along the lines of a troll in that i envision the giants being physically large and mentally challenged. I mean honestly, how smart can they be if they're having a rock fight on a mountain top? Plus I can't imagine Gandalf struggling much convincing one with a troll level intellect to block up that goblin gate. If he can manipulate Beorn he can certainly manipulate Tom.
From: northern hemisphere-ish | Registered: Jan 2003
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quote: but aren't giants mentioned in LotR in the "Ring goes South"?
Do you mean these remarks?
quote:'Caradhras was called the Cruel, and had an ill name, said Gimli, `long years ago, when rumour of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.' `It matters little who is the enemy, if we cannot beat off his attack, said Gandalf. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ `We cannot go further tonight,' said Boromir. `Let those call it the wind who will; there are fell voices on the air; and these stones are aimed at us.' `I do call it the wind,' said Aragorn. `But that does not make what you say untrue. There are many evil and unfriendly things in the world that have little love for those that go on two legs, and yet are not in league with Sauron, but have purposes of their own. Some have been in this world longer than he.' 'Caradhras was called the Cruel, and had an ill name, said Gimli, `long years ago, when rumour of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.' `It matters little who is the enemy, if we cannot beat off his attack, said Gandalf.
From: Virgo Supercluster, 40º N 75º W | Registered: Mar 2006
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I think giants are one of the great inconsistencies of the Middle-earth books. Tolkien tried to bring an evil giant into the sequel but that character eventually morphed into Treebeard -- who, standing at least 14 feet tall must have seemed gigantic even to Men and Elves, but he wasn't a "giant" like those mentioned in The Hobbit.
Lacking any further reference to these giants, we much conclude that they were either creatures living in the Misty Mountains with no real desire to leave them, or perhaps they were trolls of a sort.
It has been noted many times through the years that the Ettenmoors north of Rivendell are named with a word that can refer to both giants and trolls (etten, ettin).
-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~- Author of Visualizing Middle-earth, Parma Endorion: Essays on Middle-earth, 3rd edition, and Understanding Middle-earth.