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Old 03-13-2002, 03:48 PM   #1
Keeper of Dol Guldur
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Sting Shelob, the cat of Sauron

What would Sauron do if "his cat," Shelob wasn't patrolling the mountains above Minas Morgul? Would he make his own spider, what? I wonder if he would just close off that way into his land.
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Old 03-13-2002, 10:10 PM   #2
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He would get Tevildo to do it! [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 03-20-2002, 02:54 PM   #3
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I have a question...if Shelob was so hungry all the time, why didn't she just come out of her nasty hole in the mountains and hunt for better food? She certainly has the physical prowess to overtake and frighten most middle earth creatures. Was she afraid of being killed, is that it? She could have done a lot more damage and evil than she did. She certainly would be capable of it.
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Old 03-21-2002, 06:35 PM   #4
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I think she didn't come out for 2 reasons.

1. She hated the light.

2. Spiders squish really easily. If she wasn't "working" for Sauron, she'd have been made into bug splat.

Or on the other hand she could just go out once in a while, snatch a couple of orcs, and be ignored by Sauron. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-22-2002, 03:50 AM   #5
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plus she was getting the odd orc snack!
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Old 03-22-2002, 06:26 AM   #6
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Why bother going out for a meal when you get takeaway delivered to your door?!

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Old 03-22-2002, 04:40 PM   #7
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OK...dumb question time! Who's Telvido?
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Old 03-22-2002, 07:00 PM   #8
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Silmaril

I'm not familiar with Tevildo either, but just looked it up on the web. According to The Tolkien Monster Encyclopedia...

Tevildo (also known as Tifil, Tiberth) was the lord of the cats and one of Morgoths servants. He was black as the night and his eyes were red. Oikeroi and Umuiyan were two of the cats serving him. Morgoth had put a spell upon him and the other cats which made them huge in size and lethal in combat. Tevildo had also been given a magical collar of gold which made him even more powerful. This collar was taken from him by Huan the hound of Valinor. After that Tevildo was forced to give up the magic words, which Morgoth had used to enchant the cats, to Huan to save his life. This marked the end of the great cats. All cats, except Tevildo, were turned back to their original size and Morgoth was very angry when he learnt that the cats had betrayed him.
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Old 03-23-2002, 12:42 AM   #9
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The joke there was also that Tevildo, Prince of Cats was originally the character that occupied the same place and function in the narrative of The Tale of Tinviel that in the later Lay of Leithan is occupied by Sauron.
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Old 03-23-2002, 10:14 PM   #10
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Damn, Morgoth (and Sauron for that matter) would have done everyone a big favor had he settled for a goldfish. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
But nooo, the male preoccupation with size is always in the way of sensible choices. He wanted monsters, and not just any monsters, BIG monsters.
In the immortal words of Shrek, "You think he's compensatin' for something?"
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Old 03-10-2003, 10:58 PM   #11
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post. If not, feel free to delete/redirect me. I've been reading the Tale of Tinuviel (BoLT2) and can't stop wondering about Chris Tolkien's treatment of Tevildo. I get the impression that he believes Tevildo to be an earlier version of Sauron, later deleted from the story as the legend of Sauron was developed. I am reminded of the children's song "Ring a ring of Roses", a simplified version of the effects of the bubonic plague. Bearing in mind that the Tale of Tinuviel was told to Eriol by Veanne (a child), is it not possible that Tevildo was a simplified version of Sauron, part of a tale told to children in a manner they could more easily identify with (animosity between cats and dogs). Or is this merely wishful thinking on my part? By the way, this has rapidly become one of my favourite tales concerning M-E. Anyone able to educate me further?
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Old 03-11-2003, 02:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Damn, Morgoth (and Sauron for that matter) would have done everyone a big favor had he settled for a goldfish.
They did. They keep him in a little pond on the other side of Moria.

I hadn't heard of the Prince of Cats. Except in Romeo and Juliet. You know...
Tybalt. What wouldst thou have of me?
Mercutio. Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine lives.

Okay, so I'm a Shakespeare fanatic.... the teachers love me....
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Old 05-27-2003, 12:48 PM   #13
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If Shelob hadn't been there I am sure that Sauron would have found another monster to guard the entrance to Mordor. Maybe someone worse than Shelob though I find that hard to imagine.
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Old 05-27-2003, 02:25 PM   #14
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Okay, about Shelob:

I think that when Tolkien wrote about her, he was drawing inspiration from Homer's The Odyssey.

When Odysseus sails through a perilous cave, he needs to face a monster in the dark by the name of Scylla. She is a six-headed, spider-like creature who lurked in the dark, ready to spring on any man that come by. She is large and black, and the fact that she is female is emphasized. I just think they sound similar. Anyone else?
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Old 05-27-2003, 03:41 PM   #15
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That's very true. I think that if Shelob had not been there, then Sauron would have probably just used his Nazgul-guard to watch that pass. After all, very little escapes the watchful eyes of the Nazgul (except two tiny Hobbits!)
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Old 05-27-2003, 03:47 PM   #16
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Silmaril

Um... I could be completely wrong on this, but I had taken the story as that when Circe transformed Scylla into the 6 headed, 12 legged being, that she also had rooted her to a rock in the Strait of Messia, opposite the whirlpool Charybdis. I know that most books on mythology differ slightly, but I've never read or heard anything about Scylla living in a cave. But as I said, I could be wrong.
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Old 05-28-2003, 09:00 AM   #17
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It's true,she didn't live in a cave,she lived on a great rock facing Charybdis the whirlpool.
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Old 05-28-2003, 11:22 AM   #18
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didn't shelob Not work for sauron?

i thought he just let her stay there so she could guard the cave passage to mordor, it was just more convienent to keep her there than to kill her and replace her with orcs or trolls or whatever
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Old 05-28-2003, 03:50 PM   #19
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It's true,she didn't live in a cave,she lived on a great rock facing Charybdis the whirlpool.
There is more than one Scylla in Greek mythology, and were I at home I would reference that for you. The one in the Odyssey, though, was tethered to a rock.
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Old 05-28-2003, 06:08 PM   #20
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Who was the other Scylla? I only know of one, the nymph who was cursed to become the monster in the Odyssey.
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Old 05-30-2003, 02:25 PM   #21
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Is there a connection between Shelob and Ungoliant?
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Old 05-30-2003, 02:44 PM   #22
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Shelob is Ungoliant's child!!!!!!!! (DUH) [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 05-30-2003, 04:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Shelob is Ungoliant's child
Ungoliant is Shelob's ancestor, certainly. But does it actually say anywhere that she was Shelob's parent?
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Old 06-01-2003, 06:55 AM   #24
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"last child of Ungoliant"...mind you, that could mean descendant - but she's pretty nasty regardless. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Mind you, the Mirkwood spiders (and the also spiders in Mordor's mountains)are Shelob's spawn - or at least that's the impression I got from TTT, and they're smaller than her, and may have a fuller diet - perhaps the divinity of Ungoliant (again, bigger than Shelob) dilutes down the generations.

I don't think Tolkien was thinking of Scylla when devising Shelob - spiders live in holes anyway, and though Scylla did live live in a cave in soem versions, nobody went thorugh it - it was high on the mountains, and she'd reach down and grab men passing underneath in the sea from her cave/rock. Plus, she was kind of like a dog with 6 heads. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

As for Telvido, that's an interesting theory, and would certainly fit if Elves still talked about Telvido aswell as Saruon. Although I think the "replaced" idea is secure, as in a way big cats are just replaced by big dogs (werewolves) - Sauron even turns into one, recalling Telvido's catform. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
If Shelob hadn't been there I am sure that Sauron would have found another monster to guard the entrance to Mordor.
Weren't the Silent Watchers serving the same purpose - stopping anyone who came their way with good /as opposed to evil/ intentions?
Besides, Shelob had another function - not only she did away with any tresspassers, but also caught awolees heading out from Mordor and probably discouraging potential ones.
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Tevildo Prince of Cats sounds as a good enough character for a fairy tale. But for an epic IMHO he's not ominous enough. Werewolves or just wolves suit much better. Besides, feline Tevildo is no match for lupine Sauron in devotion to his master. A cat is too independent a being to be someone's right-hand man(?).
So, a cat for children's stories, a werewolf for adult legends (to know who their ancestors had to oppose) - I'm not stealing Iarephelion's idea, I'm supporting it! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 06-14-2003, 12:59 PM   #26
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Well, whatever you say. All I know is that when I was read The Odyssey, all I could imagine was a six-headed Shelob in a cave, lol.
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Old 06-14-2003, 04:52 PM   #27
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I would think that probably if Shelob had not been there guarding that entrance. Sauron probably would have just put some orcs there to guard it like at the black gate.

Which book is Tevildo in? Because the only other book other than LOTR and the Hobbit that I a familliar with it the Silmarillion, and his name is not in the index.
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Old 06-15-2003, 04:34 AM   #28
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Sting

Answering the original question, if Shelob had not been there in the first place, Sauron would just have doubled the guard on Cirith Ungol and in Minas Morgul, and things would'n have been much different.
And, if Shelob died, I guess more or less the same would happen. And I don't think that Sauron could "make" a spider. I guess that if he really needed one, he would send out troops to get one (I mean, he has enough of them little orcses).
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Old 06-15-2003, 05:02 AM   #29
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About Ungoliant being Shelob's parent, in addition to Olorin_TLA's arguments, with which I agree, her old age and the similarities between them, also reinforce my opinion on their close relationship:

Quote:
There agelong she had dwelt, an evil thing in spider-from, even such as once of old had lived in the Land of the Elves in the West that is now under the Sea, such as Beren fought in the Mountains of Terror in Doriath, and so came to Lthien upon the green sward amid the hemlocks in the moonlight long ago. How Shelob came there, flying from ruin, no tale tells, for out of the Dark Years few tales have come. But still she was there, who was there before Sauron, and before the first stone of Barad-Dr; and she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, bloated and grown fat with endless brooding over her feasts, weaving webs of shadow; for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness.
Shelob's Lair

Quote:
Which book is Tevildo in?
In HoME 2 'Book of Lost tales 2', and HoME 3 'The Lays of Beleriand' [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 06-15-2003, 06:39 AM   #30
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1. Shelob didn't come out because of the light, and she also didn't have a reason for coming out, after all she caught orcs and other creatures crossing her way. So why should she leave her save place? I see no reason in it at all.

2. In my opinion, Shelob was weaker than we think. Even a hobbit was able to frighten her away, so she could be killed easily by a couple of men. If she were as big and mighty as Ungolianth, things would be different.

3. Sauron could have replaced her easily with some Orcs. They would have been much more dangerous, maybe they would have even stopped the hobbits.

Another question is: Why didn't Shelob capture Gollum when he was crossing her lair?
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Old 06-15-2003, 06:45 AM   #31
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Shelob is not frightened by a simple hobbit, she is frightened by the light of arendil [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
I don't think Shelob is easy to kill ... read my previous quote about her from LotR, in which it is said that she drinks the blood of Elves and Men [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 06-16-2003, 04:53 AM   #32
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Quote:
Another question is: Why didn't Shelob capture Gollum when he was crossing her lair?
I guess Gollum was no good to eat. He was 500 years old and not what you would call "well-nutriated" since he was spending most of his life in a cave.
Somewhere in the books it says that he had worshipped her and promised her to bring her some "sacrifices", if you can call it like that. I mean, Gollum even managed it to keep the two Hobbits from slaying him.
But then, I don't know if Shelob knew what "pity" was.
Hm another question: How could Shelob understand what Gollum was saying to her? And could she talk?
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:57 AM   #33
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About why she did not come out: Wasn't it true that Sauron sometimes send her prisoners to eat. I can remember Orcs that are near her lair in Lotr say something like that. So she got food delivered to her doorstep.

Balin999: I recall her talking. Not too sure about it though. Could might as well be me being crazy again [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

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Old 06-16-2003, 07:44 AM   #34
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Helka, I think that Sauron sometimes sent prisoners or orcs to her just for amusement and to keep her satisfied. Because he couldn't get a better guard it seems. I guess that the orcs' vigilance would lessen with time. But Shelob would always be vigilant because she would always be hungry.
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Old 06-16-2003, 07:49 AM   #35
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Yes, my poin excactly. Sauron had good use for her and she allowed it since he send her Orcs and stuff. They had a deal but no one served the other. What I wonder is, did Sauron ever met Shelob in person or did he send out the mouth of Sauron? These pacts most of the time don't form themselves.

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Old 06-16-2003, 08:19 AM   #36
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She was probably there before Sauron moved into Mordor. I think he noticed that his Orcs started vanishing around her lair, and went to check it out, or sent someone to. I don't think they had an official pact or anything, it was most likely unofficial.
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:11 AM   #37
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My question revolves more around how content Sauron would be knowing that there was a power lurking in the caves around his land that he couldn't/didn't control. What we know of Sauron would show that he isn't 'happy' unless he is in complete control of everything and I just can't see him shrugging off the existence of or making a bargain with a giant man-eating spider creature. Unless he was afraid of her, and then he would try to manipulate her without her knowledge (or so I imagine), but it doesn't seem like he's doing that. It seems like he's treating her like an equal, and that's just not something he tends to do. So what has Sauron the Almighty treating a mere spider thing like an equal? Is there something I don't know, or is there more to Shelob than we realize?

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Old 06-16-2003, 01:04 PM   #38
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Probably Sauron knew what happened between Morgoth (his master) and Ungoliant, and that Morgoth needed the help of his Balrogs to get rid of her ... and Sauron had no Balrog to help him [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 06-16-2003, 01:18 PM   #39
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didn't shelob Not work for sauron?
My thoughts exactly, One Axe. Shelob didn't work for or answer to anyone. She never killed trespassers to aid Sauron, she killed them to give herself a meal and she'd kill them regardless of whether Sauron was right next door in Mordor or not. I don't think Shelob much cared about the world outside her cave, and therefore wasn't too active and what you could call Middle Earth politics. I think Sauron was aware of her and used her blood thirsty nature to aide him, maybe even without the knowledge of Shelob herself. All she knew was that some poor fool would occasionally wander into her nets, and that's all she needed to know. How or why he was there was irrelevant.

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My question revolves more around how content Sauron would be knowing that there was a power lurking in the caves around his land that he couldn't/didn't control.
A good point, Peredhil. I think that by knowing of her presence and using her appitite to his will possibly (as I've proposed before) without her direct knowledge, Sauron did feel that he had power over her. She was his disposal system for his prisoners and his sort of watchdog and he did rely on her in some sense, but in another he knew that all he had to do to stop her main food supply would be to cut off her Orc and Prisoner victims. I think this gave him a kind of power over her.

...did that make any sense at all? Sorry; I seem to be using alot of board space to let out my confusing ramblings...
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Old 06-17-2003, 07:53 AM   #40
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Excellent. That clarifies my question: so long as Sauron had, to some extent, power over Shelob, he would be content enough. The thought of his 'food rationing', so to speak, hadn't really occured to me. Can you imagine if a balrog lived in those caves? Oooh- that would be a cool plot twist, wouldn't it?
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