What Are The Nameless Things of Moria?


The world that JRR Tolkien created is as vast as it is mysterious and is full of some of the most wonderful and most horrific creatures in fiction. In that regard, some of the creatures that were mentioned along the way in the original The Lord of the Rings storyline are the Nameless Things of Moria, which are mysterious creatures that were hardly explored in the movies. So, what are the Nameless Things of Moria in LOTR?

The Nameless Things of Moria are ancient creatures that dwell far below Moria and are mysterious entities that not even Sauron knows anything about. Except for the possible exception of the Watcher, nothing has ever been revealed about the Nameless Things of Moria in the Tolkien books.

It is the very fact that the Nameless Things are mysterious that only makes the world of Tolkien’s masterpieces more interesting than they already were. This further emphasizes the fact that there are evils and creatures that still remain a mystery in our universe, as there are still entities that Gandalf or even Sauron know nothing of. That said, let’s talk about what we know about the Nameless Things. 

What Are The Nameless Things Of Moria?

When it comes to JRR Tolkien’s masterpiece in the form of The Lord of the Rings, there are simply a lot of different evils that plague the world, just as there are a lot of things that make the world good. Of course, we know for a fact that the biggest bad guy that we’ve seen in the Tolkien books and movies is the dark lord named Sauron, who wanted to cover the world in darkness by reuniting with the One Ring. Then again, there are also other creatures that are just as scary and have made appearances as well, such as giant spiders, dragons, and even the Balrog.

However, the creatures that have always intrigued fans of both the books and the movies alike are the Nameless Things of Moria, which were mentioned in passing in the books and movies but were never truly explored. So, what are the Nameless Things of Moria?

Gandalf described the Nameless Things of Moria best by saying, “Far, far below the deepest delving of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he.” He said this when he recapped his fight with the Balrog during the earlier part of the storyline. But Gandalf never truly expounded on what he knew about these Nameless Things.

Of course, we can get a few clues from what Gandalf said. For one, the Nameless Things of Moria seem to dwell far below the deepest parts of Moria and even well below the realm of the Balrog, which attacked the Fellowship of the Ring while the group was making its way through the mines of Moria. And the fact that Gandalf said that not even Sauron knows anything about them is proof that these are mysterious entities that are older and more ancient than he is.

Ungoliant and Morgoth Concept Art pablo dominguez montanya4
Ungoliant and Morgoth Concept Art Pablo Dominguez Montanya

There are some people who allude to the possibility that we’ve seen a Nameless Thing in the LOTR books and movies. We are talking about the Watcher in the Water, which attacked the Fellowship before the group entered the mines of Moria. When talking about the Watcher, Gandalf said that it crept and was driven out of the dark waters under the mountains. He added by saying, “There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.” 

At first, a lot of people thought that he was referencing the Balrog, which proved to be a lot fouler than orcs. But there is also a possibility that he was talking about the Nameless Things, which might have included the Watcher, which had a Lovecraftian theme that made it quite terrifying. As such, it is possible that there are more of these creatures lurking under the surface and that the Watcher is merely one of the few examples of how terrifying these entities can be.


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Nevertheless, no one ever knew what the Nameless Things are and what they look like, except for the remote possibility that the Watcher could be one of them (although we could say that it was just a mindless wild animal). The fact that Gandalf called them nameless means that he, a wizard that has lived for thousands of years and has been wandering throughout his entire life, doesn’t even know anything about them and is probably afraid to try to learn more about the Nameless Things.

Of course, Gandalf wasn’t in Middle Earth the entire time, but he did spend right around at least 2,000 years wandering around after he was sent to Middle Earth. Nevertheless, he still didn’t know anything about the Nameless Things after staying with the Valar before he went to Middle Earth. It is quite possible that not even the Valar know anything about these creatures.

Where Did The Nameless Things Of Moria Come From?

While we know almost nothing about the Nameless Things of Moria, there are a few theories regarding where they came from. And yes, we are also saying that we also don’t know where they came from, although there are clues that we can use to try to make sense of where these entities originated from.

The first theory could be related to the fact that Morgoth was the very first dark lord that wanted to cover Middle Earth in darkness. Of course, someone with such a goal might have wanted to create an army of evil and vile creatures that could help him. And that is why there are some fans that believe that he was the one who created the Nameless Things in the cavers of Utumno.


One of the reasons why we believe this to be true is the fact that Morgoth created almost everything that’s evil in the world. Of course, there’s also the fact that the Valar didn’t even find all of the cavers under Utumno after the war against Morgoth, and that could mean that some of his creations hid deep within the earth and became the Nameless Things of Moria.

But there’s a problem with this theory, and it is the fact that Gandalf said that Sauron didn’t know anything about the Nameless Things because they were more ancient than he was. Sauron used to be a Maiar that spent his days in Valinor, and that means that he could be as old as any of the other Maiar. It is possible that he is one of the oldest Maiar and is only younger than the Valar. This means that he is several thousands of years old in terms of his Maiar years and has been around on Middle Earth since the First Age because he served as Morgoth’s chief lieutenant but was never captured.


This could lead to the possibility that the Nameless Things are indeed very ancient creatures that might have existed during the creation of the world when Eru Ilúvatar created the Valar, who were the ones who helped create Arda, which is the planet itself. Shortly after that, the Maiar were created, as they were entities that served the Valar.

As such, it could be possible that the Nameless Things were created by Eru Ilúvatar as well or might have existed prior to the creation of Arda itself. This allows us to see a Lovecraftian kind of mystery behind the Nameless Things, as they might be Tolkien’s version of the “Great Old Ones” in Lovecraft’s works. 

But, considering that Tolkien and his descendants were never able to truly craft a story behind the Nameless Things or even expound on the prophecy regarding Morgoth returning to the world to use them as his “secret weapons,” everything we know about them is pure speculation.

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