Historia de Ella-Laraña y las Grandes Arañas de la Tierra Media

The history of Shelob is fascinating and filled with dark mysteries interwoven with the sinister corners of Middle-earth. Shelob, also known as Ella-Laraña, is one of the most terrifying creatures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium. Here, we will explore her origins, her relationship with other great spiders, and her legacy in the history of Middle-earth.

Origins of Shelob

Ungoliant: The Progenitor

To understand the history of Shelob, we must begin with Ungoliant, a primordial creature and her direct ancestor. Ungoliant is described as an entity of darkness who helped Melkor (later known as Morgoth) destroy the Two Trees of Valinor. Her exact origin is uncertain, but it is believed that she arose from the darkness that Melkor released.

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Descendants and Nan Dungortheb

After her betrayal of Melkor, Ungoliant fled to the region of Nan Dungortheb, also known as the Mountains of Terror, in Beleriand. There, she spawned a progeny of great spiders, among whom was Shelob. This place became a nest of terror where no creature dared to enter.

The Life of Shelob

Settlement in Cirith Ungol

Shelob settled in Cirith Ungol, a mountain pass near Mordor. Her lair in this region allowed her to feed on any creature that tried to cross. This passage was crucial during the War of the Ring when Shelob attempted to devour Frodo and Sam.

Characteristics and Powers

Shelob is described as a colossal spider with an insatiable appetite and a deep hatred for all living creatures. Her venom is potent, capable of paralyzing her victims before devouring them. Additionally, her ability to weave nearly indestructible webs makes her a formidable enemy.

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The Great Spiders of Middle-earth

Nan Dungortheb and Its Darkness

The great spiders of Middle-earth have their roots in Nan Dungortheb. This place, full of darkness and evil, was home to many creatures similar to Shelob. The spiders that inhabited this region were a plague during the First Age, terrorizing the inhabitants of Beleriand.

Influence and Expansion

Over time, Ungoliant’s descendants and her creatures spread across various regions of Middle-earth. Although most perished, some survived and continued their lineage of terror, such as Shelob in the Third Age.

The Connection with Mordor

Alliance with Sauron

Although Shelob did not have a direct alliance with Sauron, her location in Cirith Ungol indirectly benefited the Dark Lord. Her presence on this dangerous route made her a natural barrier against intruders. Sauron tolerated her existence as she served his purposes by keeping enemies at bay.

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Confrontation with the Hobbits

One of the most iconic moments in the history of Shelob is her encounter with Frodo and Sam. In their attempt to cross into Mordor, the hobbits were ambushed by Shelob. Although Frodo was captured, Sam managed to severely wound the spider, saving his friend and allowing their mission to continue.

The Legacy of Shelob

Terror in Middle-earth

The history of Shelob and the great spiders of Middle-earth have left a trail of terror that endures in the legends of this fictional land. Her connection to Ungoliant and her role in the events of the Third Age have cemented her as one of the most feared creatures.

Representation in Popular Culture

Shelob has been portrayed in various adaptations of “The Lord of the Rings,” both in films and video games. Her figure remains a symbol of fear and darkness in Middle-earth, captivating Tolkien fans worldwide.


The history of Shelob is an integral part of Middle-earth lore, connecting events from the First and Third Ages. From her origins as a descendant of Ungoliant to her confrontation with Frodo and Sam, she is an emblematic figure of evil and terror in Tolkien’s universe. Her legacy continues to scare and intrigue fans, making her story a recurring and fascinating topic to explore.