Lord of the Rings “Shelob”

Photo courtesy of tolkiengateway.net

Photo courtesy of tolkiengateway.net

Joel Woodcook, Staff Writer

The Lord of the Rings is filled with many creatures, to such an extent difficult to fathom. While many of these creatures are unknown, others are prominent in the tales that shape the world of Middle Earth. One such creature is the spider Shelob, who makes an appearance at the end of Tolkien’s The Two Towers.

Many who are familiar with Tolkien’s works can recall the spider Shelob in the pass of Cirirth Ungol, through which the protagonist of the Lord of The Rings passes to reach Mordor. This event passes in the late third age, long after her birth; for she was born thousands of years before in the first age of the world.

She was the spawn of Ungoliant, an evil spirit that to the form of a spider responsible for the darkening of Valinor. During the first age, Shelob dwelt in Beleriand in the Nan Dungortheb, otherwise known as the Valley of Dreadful Death.

During the events of the War of Wrath, Shelob fled to the east, where she would find the pass of Cirith Ungol to dwell in. Little more is told about her throughout the second and most of the third age. During this time, however, Sauron no doubt knew of her existence. He allowed her to continue to dwell within the mountains around Mordor, as she guarded the pass into Mordor.

She was no doubt a fearsome beast; in the thousands of years in her life, she was harmed only once by Samwise Gamgee during the events of the War of the Ring. After she took on her wounds, she fled into the darkness of her caves to soothe herself in bitterness, at which point nothing else is told of her.