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Wargs: the fierce wolves of Tolkien

Wargs DnD 5e Creature

WARGS: THE MYTHOLOGICAL WOLF

The Warg, also named worg by Tolkien, is a type of wolf characteristic of Norse mythology. These creatures, taken from Tolkien, lived in the misty mountains and some were under the control of the goblins and orcs. Let’s look at their story better.

 

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DESCRIPTION

Wargs are giant creatures, they are represented to have a wolf or an iena-like look (or a mix of both), and they are notoriously the mount used by Orcs and goblins in Tolkien’s writings and movie series.

The Wargs are creatures very similar to large wolves with gray hair, bright red eyes, sharp teeth, sharp ears and a fine sense of smell. Their tongue is called black tongue, with which they can speak with orcs to be ridden. 
Their main victims are the lumberjacks, being the only ones to show such firmness towards them.These creatures are not very brave, for this they attack mainly at night.

Base Statistics

  • Armor Class: 13
  • Hit Points (HP): 32 (5d8 + 10)
  • Speed: 40 ft., climb 30 ft.

Characteristics

  • STR: 16 [+3]
  • DEX: 15 [+2]
  • CON: 14 [+2]

  • INT: 2 [-4]
  • WIS: 12 [+1]
  • CHA: 6 [-2]

  • Saving Throws: Con +4
  • Skills: Athletics +5, Perception +3
  • Senses: darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
  • Languages:
  • Challenge rating: 1 (XP: 200)

Abilities

  • Keen Smell: The Wargs has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
  • Blood Frenzy: The Wargs has advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that doesn’t have all its hit points.

Actions

  • Multiattack: The Wargs makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.
  • Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Claws: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.

WARGS IN TOLKIEN AND NORSE MYTHOLOGY

Origin from the Norse

In Norse mythology, the Wargs represented several dangerous wolves, most notably the wolf Fenrir and his sons Skoll and Hati.

The etymological root goes back to the Indo-European hwergh, which means “crusher”, from which the Proto-Germanic wargoz or wargaz “strangler” and in turn from the Norse vargr “criminal”. 

This is because the evildoers, in many cultures, being rejected by society were identified as wolves.

The wolf in Tolkien's works

The wolves were among the war beasts of Odin, the Norse god. His two wolves were Freki and Geri and during the Ragnarok, the final battle, Odin is killed by the Fenrir wolf. 

This dual aspect is taken up by Tolkien, where on the one hand the wolves are the companions of Sauron and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings, while on the other they are the enemy of Gandalf, in the film The Hobbit.

Specifically, the Wargs in the Tolkien saga were probably bred by Morgoth and carried on by his successor Sauron, but less large and powerful than their ancestors. Sauron took care to imprison evil spirits in the bodies of some wild wolves, to transform them into hideous monstrous creatures subjected by their master. Sauron thus became the Lord of the Werewolves.

Saruman also used for his own purposes the Warrg, or rather, the orcs of his army. 

In the history of the Warg there are two more dangerous and fierce: Draugluin and Carcharoth.
The first, characterized by its extreme strength was raised by Sauron. The second was Morgoth, who grew up feeding on human flesh and having the fire and fury of the underworld in his body.

Wargs' history

The Warg appeared in 2941 T.A. to meet the goblins and drive out the Woodmen, as well as drive out some slaves.

Gandalf, along with Bilbo Baggins, Thorin and Company, as they run away from the goblins, sees these monstrous creatures and they all try to hide together and then use his magic to drive them away.

The wargs continued to search for them several times as Gandalf had killed the great goblin.

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WARGS IN THE GAMES

The Wargs are featured in several role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Warcraft. In the latter they are represented as big mounts of orcs. So also in Castelvania.

These creatures are also found in the chronicles of ice and fire of George Martin, the one who coined the verb to Warg ovverso “enter the body of an animal or person”

We can also find Warg in different video games, such as Orcs & Elves and The Witcher 3.

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