Tolkien Gateway


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"Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?"

Corn is a general name for various cereal crops, barley, rye, wheat and oats.


Corn was one of the creations of Yavanna.[2] Corn grew in Aman which had in it the strong life of the Blessed Realms. This corn grew swiftly and needed only a little sunlight to ripen, and if it was sown at any season (save in frost), it soon sprouted. This corn was brought to Middle-earth although it did not thrive and would not endure northern winds that came from Angband. None were permitted to handle this grain, save the elven-maidens of Yavanna, the Yavannildi (or by the Sindar Ivonwin), who also knew the art of making lembas.[3]

According to Treebeard, Men learned the cultivation of corn by the Entwives of the Brown Lands, and they were greatly praised for it. That information, however, passed into legend.[4]

Corn was also introduced to Númenor, who learned to cultivate it. During the Ban of the Valar, the Númenóreans spread their knowledge of corn and agriculture throughout Middle-earth, and so, this crop was introduced to the Middle Men.[5]

The area that would later be known as the Shire was known for its fertility. The Kings of Arnor made many farmlands there, and aside from wine, corn was the main produce. Though the land was deserted by the time they came to live there, the Hobbits continued used their land for similar crop.[6]

Portrayal in adaptations

2001: Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring:

Probably due to the dialectical homonym of the New World crop (Zea mays), the Sam and Frodo walk through a field of maize.[7]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta"
  3. The History of Middle-earth, The Peoples of Middle-earth, Of Lembas
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Treebeard"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Prologue"
  7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Short Cut to Mushrooms"