Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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.
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