Giant Spiders of Middle-earth

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Havard
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Giant Spiders of Middle-earth

Post by Havard » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:05 am

So, from what I understand, most of Middle-earth's Giant Spiders are descended from Ungoliant, a primordial spider shaped creature, who gained immense power when she helped Melkor drain the Trees of Valinor. Shelob was among her offspring, but I am guessing she had other spawn as well? Then there are the Spiders of Mirkwood which are offspring of Shelob.

I do seem to recall seeing some man/spider (centaur-like) creatures in one of the video games or something, but I guess that was more of a fan interpretation?

Apparently one of the video games also gave Shelob shape shifting abilties, allowing her to appear in the form of a seductive woman, but again this was a 3rd party interpretation that was heavily criticized.

Are there other known Giant Spiders in Middle-earth? What are some other regions where such creatures might be encountered?

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Re: Giant Spiders of Middle-earth

Post by Big Mac » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:50 pm

Havard wrote:Are there other known Giant Spiders in Middle-earth? What are some other regions where such creatures might be encountered?
The One Wiki to Rule Them All has a http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Spiders article and that actually says that Giant Spiders are on of three types of Great Spiders. (The other two are called Umaiar spiders and the Spawn of Ungoliant.)

That article also says that some Lord of the Rings video games feature Great Spiders, so you might be able to find some websites that have a run down on some computer game spiders that you can add into your tabletop game.
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Re: Giant Spiders of Middle-earth

Post by Havard » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:25 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:Are there other known Giant Spiders in Middle-earth? What are some other regions where such creatures might be encountered?
The One Wiki to Rule Them All has a http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Spiders article and that actually says that Giant Spiders are on of three types of Great Spiders. (The other two are called Umaiar spiders and the Spawn of Ungoliant.)
That is interesting. The Umaiar Spiders are the race that Ungoliant was part of. I didn't realize that there were an entire race of those god-like spiders.

Also, I assumed the Giant Spiders of Mirkwood were also Spawn of Ungoliant?

-Havard

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Re: Giant Spiders of Middle-earth

Post by Falconer » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:49 pm

All Great Spiders are the spawn of Ungoliant (or the spawn of the spawn, of course). Ungoliant is the only one we know of that is a primordial being. Presumably she is an Ainu (a Maia or Umaia), though that is never stated by Tolkien, that I am aware of. Those categories in the wiki seem to me false distinctions.

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