Tolkien Gateway

Watcher in the Water

John Howe - Watcher in the Water

The Watcher in the Water was a mysterious and horrific beast that lurked in a lake caused by the damming of the Sirannon river, beneath the western walls of Moria. The full shape of the creature is unknown; its visible parts were its tentacles, which were long, sinuous, pale-green, and luminous, with a fingered end.[1] There is very little known about the creature. Even Gandalf did not know what the Watcher was, or whether there were many of its kind.

[edit] History

In T.A. 2989 an expedition led by Balin attempted to reclaim Moria. Their activity attracted the attention of Orcs, who began to attack the Dwarves. In 2994[2] the Dwarves tried to escape from the mines but were stopped by the Watcher, who killed Óin. When the Fellowship of the Ring found the Book of Mazarbul they read that "...the pool is up to the wall at Westgate. The Watcher in the Water took Óin. We cannot get out."[1]

On 13 January T.A. 3019[3] the Watcher attacked the Fellowship just as they had opened the Doors of Durin to enter Moria. It grasped Frodo by the foot and attempted to drag him into the water. Sam slashed the arm holding Frodo, causing it to release him. The party retreated through the doorway, followed by several tentacles. The creature possessed great strength; after the escape of the Fellowship into Moria, the arms hurled the enormous stone doors shut and uprooted the trees which grew to either side, barring the doors. Silently Gandalf noted that it seized Frodo (as the Ring-bearer) first.[1]

[edit] Portrayal in Adaptations

1978: The Lord of the Rings (1978 film):

The Watcher is a green, multi-tentacled monster. Only the tentacles can be seen.

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Watcher in the Water was made to be slightly different than that in the book. In the book only green slightly luminous tentacles appear. In this film not only the tentacles but a massive head is visible. The tentacles of the Watcher in the Water have a sort of thumb and flat hand. In addition, there is a big sack on the back of the head that fills with air, making it look twice as big. In full form it resembles an octopus with a humanoid face. It has massive teeth in a small mouth, and great eyes set across from each other.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

Several thick tentacles shoot out of the pool, and the player, in the persona of Aragorn, needs to shoot them with a bow.

2008: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The Watcher in the Water is a 12-man raid boss.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Journey in the Dark"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"