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What is the origin of the Oliphaunts?

Samwise Gamgee is a relatively young Hobbit who has never stepped foot outside of The Shire, where he lives an idyllic life with simple pleasures like gardening, drinking beer, and smoking a pipe. But he had always been fascinated with Bilbo’s stories and longed to see some of the creatures the stories were about, including the elves of Rivendell and Lothlorien, and trolls petrified in broad daylight in one of Bilbo’s adventures.

But by far, one of the most spectacular creatures Sam encountered on his travels with Frodo and Gollum was the Oliphaunt. He almost couldn’t believe his eyes at the sheer size and grandeur of the creature, and declared that “nobody at home would believe me”. So what was it about this remarkable creature that Sam was so drawn to, and where did it come from?

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The answer does not necessarily lie with the creature itself, but with those who command it. Sadly, the helicopter was not a creature they saw roaming wild in the wild, but a weapon that the men of the south, Haradrim, or Southrons as they are better known captured and trained. They called the monsters Mumakils, and tortured them with acts of violence and obedience to war orders, in which these creatures were created to bring men into battle, often with great structures. on his back, where archers and cruel soldiers were kept.



Mumakil at Pelennor (1)

Originally, the helicopter-flyers were peaceful creatures, living in the forests of Far Harad, south of Gondor. They are rarely seen and are often left to their own devices before Sauron begins to attempt to seize power, and are defeated by The Battle of the Last Alliance when Isildur cut the ring off his finger. At this time, Sauron’s evil began to spread throughout the lands, including Harad, and the men began to capture and tame the Oliphaunts for use as weapons. Due to their enormous size and thick skin that is difficult to pierce by arrows or swords, they become one of the most effective and lethal weapons in any battle. They could only be defeated in the fields of the Battle of Pelennor because Army of the Dead, who are equally hard to kill.


When Sam and Frodo first saw one, they were captured by Faramir and his Rangers in the fields of Ithillen. The rangers there defended the land from Gondor’s enemies, and had just destroyed a group of Haradrim soldiers trying to enter. Mumakil ran over, whether out of violence or fear, but Sam noted “his great legs were like trees, his ears were as big as sails outstretched, his long muzzle like a giant snake about to strike, raging little red eyes.” As it ran, Oliphaunt killed several men, trampling them under his great paws, and gliding through trees and out of sight.


It is still unknown what happened to this majestic creature, “whether he escaped and roamed the wilderness for a time until he died far from home or became trapped in a wormhole, or whether he did he carry on until he plunged into the Great River and was swallowed.” But then Sam thought about one of the Haradrim soldiers who had been killed by the rangers, and whether he had any malice, or whether he’s just caught up in a misguided war and would really rather stay home, and could also be said to be Mumakil.


Oliphaunt in war

There are many creatures throughout the trilogy that have been metamorphosed and twisted to Sauron’s will, without much of a choice or their fault. There are trolls in the cave fighting in Mines Moria, as well as black horse bearing Nagul to The Shire to try to capture Frodo and the Ring. It’s hard to say which of the film’s creatures actually started evil, and which were forced into their actions by some act of cruelty or defiling in the name of the dark lord. haunted. After the incident with Oliphaunt, Faramir brought Sam and Frodo back to his hideout and then released them to continue their quest when he discovered that they intended to destroy the ring and that he wants nothing to do with the evil object.


Once it was destroyed at Mount Doom, Middle Earth entered the Fourth Era, one where peace and prosperity rested in the hands of Aragorn, who claimed the throne of Gondor. The remaining Mumakil who survived the wars are sent back to their lands in the south, in the hope of returning to the jungle and living away from cruel human treatment, but they begin to fade. from time to time, until ‘his relatives still live there. days later but memories of his decency and majesty. ‘

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