Tolkien Gateway


Wolf Riders by John Howe

Wolf-riders were mostly Orcs, who rode wolves.

[edit] History

Orcs used wolves as steeds back in the First Age,[1] as well as wargs well into the Third Age, when wolf-riders came in the Battle of Five Armies.[2]

During the War of the Ring, Saruman employed "Orcs into his service, and Wolf-riders, and evil Men"[note 1] to harass Rohan.[3] Before the Battle of the Hornburg, scouts reported that Wolf-riders were roaming the valley about Helm's Deep.[4]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales, a horde of wolfriders chased some of the Exiles of Gondolin in Tumladin, Eärendel among them, but they are saved by Tuor and his men.[5]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

Wolf-riders in adaptations
Wolof-riders in MECCG  

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

The card Wolf-riders can be played either as a creature or as a short-event, the latter increasing the prowess and strikes of a Wolf attack.[6]

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

A Warg-riding Orc scout is encountered by the Rohan refugees on their way to Helm's Deep. During the skirmish with warg riders, Aragorn falls from a cliff, and is later found by Brego.


  1. Éomer's reference seems to suggest that Wolf-riders are not necessarily Orcs, nor Men, making their identity uncertain. Cf. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin", p. 190
  6. "Search for a card: games > Middle Earth", (accessed 19 November 2014)