It's dangerous business, reader, getting into heated water cooler debates over the goings on in Middle-Earth without a few mind-blowing facts that'll sweep your peers off their feet, like a swipe from Sauron's mace to the face. So I come back to you now with six awesome and slightly obscure LOTR facts that will really separate the nerds from the geeks.
Watch out now:
Some Proper Nerdy Lord of the Rings Trivia
1. Aragorn Is a What?!
As you should know by now, or remember from The Two Towers, Aragorn comes from an ancient line of people called Númenóreans, who are the descendants of "halfelves." This state of being allowed his ancestors the choice between leading their lives as humans or elves, and gifted Aragorn his unnaturally long life span.
Aragorn is a distant descendant of Elros, Elrond's brother. Elros chose to live out his life as a thoroughbred human, whereas Elrond chose to swan about as an all-powerful elf. So putting all of this information together, what does this mean for Aragorn and Arwen? They're cousins! Though very distantly related, so not so Targaryen, which is nice.
2. Birds of a Feather
What do Gandalf & his wizard bros, Sauron and Balrogs have in common? They're pretty much related! They are the Maiar, beings as old as the universe itself. Older even.
They descended to Arda (Earth) to aid the Valar in the shaping of the world. Some stayed true to their calling, and others, like Balrogs and Sauron, chose darkness as their ally. Oh, and they can change form at will, too. Casual, you know.
Sauron didn't originally create the rings that would later adorn the fingers of the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth. In the Second Age, Sauron gave Elves knowledge of magic and smithing, thus teaching them to create their own demise.
Sauron's original plan was to enslave the Elves first due to their sheer power, but naturally that failed, so Sauron went on to wage war against them in order to reclaim all 19 of his rings, especially the three given to Galadriel, Elrond and Gil-galad. Managing only to find 16 rings, minus his most desired, he gave the remaining to the Dwarves and Men (the most easily corruptible), and the rest is fictional history.
4. Hobbit Time
The Hobbits, otherwise known as "Halflings" are a sub-group of men that have existed in solitude since the first age. Originating from somewhere along the Anduin River, it wasn't until the Third Age of the Sun that Hobbits founded The Shire, after being granted a fertile plot of land by Argeleb II of Arthedain.
Warning: there be spiders ahead. Big ol' spider GIF. So watch out!
5. Big Ass Bugs
What do Tom Bombadil and big ass spiders have in common? The possibility of Maiar gone rogue. Shelob, the giant d-bag of an arachnid that nearly rendered Frodo a tasty snack after Gollum's sudden and inevitable betrayal, is one of the many offspring of one of the oldest beings to have existed on Arda.
Ungoliant was a primordial spirit that, for some reason, took on the form of a giant spider. Though it is unclear how she came to be, Ungoliant created the race of giant spiders by mating with regular spiders, ergo leading to the birth of Shelob. Now, try and shake the image of spiders sexing from your mind.
6. The Melkurian Candidate
Sauron is a bit of a dick, 'tis true. But when compared to the fallen Ainur Melkor, he's akin to an angry kitty. Melkor is basically Middle-Earth's Satan and the most powerful of the Ainur (which means "Holy Ones" in Quenya), created by Eru Illuvatar, the God of all things.
Sauron's role in Melkor's dark fantasy is that of a liegeman, and trusted lieutenant of Melkor. After Melkor's defeat in the First Age, Sauron sought revenge and total governance over Middle-Earth. So he created the rings, which led to war, later leading to Sauron's defeat and finger being chopped off by Isildur, one of Aragorn's great-grandfathers.