Others "Her", "She", "My cat" (Sauron),
The Shadow Spider
Personal information
Species Great Spider
Gender Female
Place of origin Cirith Ungol, Middle Earth
Affiliation Sauron
Current status Unknown
Body type Arachnid
Diet Carnivore
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Non-sapient
Behind the Scenes
Universe Middle Earth
LEGO Universes
Created by J.R.R. Tolkien
Performed by Tasmanian devil snarls, Brushtail possum screeches, alligator hiss, and an alien head toy

Shelob was a giant spider and a servant of Sauron who lives in the dark caves of Cirith Ungol.


Like most spiders, Shelob had spindly legs, multiple eyes, and venomous chelicerae. She usually immobilized her prey with her paralyzing bite that enabled her to feed on her victims at her leisure, but could also crush her prey to death by swiftly dropping on them. Her head was cris-crossed with scars, and she had a number of missing eyes. The Orcs comment she usually would paralyze her victims and trap them in webs, keeping them alive for some time before killing them.


Gollum led the Hobbits into Shelob's lair so that he could get the One Ring after she consumed them, as she had no use for it. After losing track of Gollum, the Hobbits realized that the tunnel was blocked by her webs. She cornered them, but Frodo used the Phial of Galadriel's light to drive her off. Frodo then used Sting to cut the webs and the Hobbits thought that they had escaped the trap. However Gollum waylaid the pair and tried to strangle Sam, while Shelob stung and paralysed Frodo. An enraged Sam fought off Gollum and then battled Shelob desperately using his master's sword Sting. Sam first hewed off a claw from one of her legs and stabbed out one eye (the latter being the only soft part of her body). Then he inflicted a deep gash upon her body. Seeking to crush Sam, she instead impaled herself upon Sting. Shelob's rage was rekindled and she resolved to kill Sam, but he defeated her by unleashing the light of the Phial of Galadriel, which burned and temporarily blinded her. Shelob fled into her lair, significantly wounded. Her final fate, according to the text, will remain unknown to the people of Middle-earth. Thinking Frodo dead, Sam took the Ring from his friend and left his body behind, but discovered by listening to a pair of Orcs that Shelob normally injects a small dose of venom that was not intended to kill her victims, but only to render them unconscious and keep their meat fresh, as with lesser spiders.



  • Shelob the Great has recently appeared as a character/vehicle set that a player can purchase and use in LEGO Dimensions, alongside Gollum.
  • In a DVD commentary of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Peter Jackson says Shelob's appearance is mostly based on the New Zealand tunnel-web spider.[1]
  • After Weta Workshop made many designs of Shelob, Peter Jackson was concerned what the final design should be, so he brings his children and picked the one (which they though was the most hideous) that made it to the film.[2]
  • Shelob's appearance was based on Peter Jackson's fear of spiders ever since as a child where one scared him when he was playing outside of his parents' house.


  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition) Disc 2
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition): Weta Workshop