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Encyclopedia > Wargs

The Wargs or Wild Wolves are a race of fictional wolf creatures in J.R.R. Tolkien's books about Middle-earth. They are almost always in league with the Orcs or Goblins whom they permitted to ride on their backs into battle. The Wargs speak a rudimentary language of their own. It is probable that they are descended from Draugluin's werewolves of the First Age.


In The Hobbit, the Wargs appear twice, once in chasing Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and the dwarves just east of the Misty Mountains, and once at the Battle of Five Armies. In The Lord of the Rings, they are most prominently mentioned in the middle of The Fellowship of the Ring, where a band of Wargs, unaccompanied by Orcs, attack the Fellowship in Hollin.


Warg, like many words used in Tolkien's works, is an actual archaic Old English word meaning a large wolf. It has cognates in other Germanic languages such as Old Norse, where it is usually spelt with a V (i.e. Varg), and is the modern Swedish word for wolf. As the books were supposedly translated rather than written, 'Warg' would not have been the word used in Westron but an equivalent thereof.


As is the case with many of Tolkien's inventions, Wargs or transparent variants appear in other works of fantasy, including Dungeons & Dragons, sometimes under the name "worg". To be fair, a monster wolf is not the most original of designs.


In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, wargs appear to be more like hyenas or bears rather than wolves, but it should be noted that Tolkien never actually described Wargs beyond stating they were demonic wolves.


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Warg (666 words)
Wargs are similar to typical wolves in appearance, the main exception being in their size and snout area.
Wargs were first recorded during the Wars of the Chosen, whether they were the result of some magical experiment with wolves or whether they were around before then is unknown.
Wargs prefer to live in hilly or mountainous areas, as this allows them to better blend in with their surroundings and gives them better success in hunting.
SparkNotes: The Hobbit: Chapters 6–7 (1144 words)
The Wargs are allies of the goblins, and they quickly notify the goblins of the situation.
The goblins begin to arrive and, laughing at the company’s predicament, light fires under the trees in which Gandalf, the dwarves, and Bilbo are hiding.
When he finds a goblin and a Warg prowling about in the woods, for instance, he puts the goblin’s head on a stake and the Warg’s pelt on a tree outside his house as a warning.
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