news\ Aug 18, 2017 at 10:54 am

Shadow of War: Monolith Productions Explains why Shelob is a woman and not a spider

So basically because, why not?!?

Shadow of War Shelob

Anyone who has either read J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or seen the movies by Peter Jackson knows that Shelob is a giant spider. In fact, she's a monstrous spider that is said to be very, very old, supposedly born during the first age, but her lore is something that hasn't really be discussed or elaborated outside of the books.

Like Star Wars, Star Trek and Harry Potter, fans of Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's work are hardcore and if you mess with their favorite property, it's like smacking a wasp's nest with a very dirty tennis racket. So you can imagine the outrage from fans when Warner Bros. and, to a larger degree, Monolith Productions revealed that Shelob would not only be female but a physical woman in Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.

According to Michael de Plater, the creative vice president at Monolith, the decision made sense within the game's story but based on the character's lore, it's also completely plausible. Shelob is the daughter of a character named Ungoliant, an evil primordial spirit who also takes the form a Spider. While Shelob has the ability to take the form of whatever she chooses, like her mother, she too chooses to be a spider in the books and film. But it's not out of the realm of possibility that Shelob could take the form of a woman whenever she wants.

Plater goes onto explain:

"Why would you take the form of a spider? Because they’re terrifying. It really is to provoke fear, there’s a psychological dimension to that, and the other thing with Ungoliant and the spirit of darkness is this line that she hates light but she craves it, and so Celebrimbor and the new ring also represent this new thing that she has a love / hate relationship with."

To further the need to become human, unlike the films and books, Shelob has a direct need to communicate with Talion, the main character in Shadow of War, so it only makes more sense that she'd speak to him in the form of a human, than a large terrifying creature.

You may not agree with Monolith, but hopefully, their explanation gives fans an answer that does make sense within the lore and the game, regardless of how hardcore fans feel.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War releases on October 10, for PC, XBox One (S and X), PS4 (Pro) for $59.99. Monolith also created another form of controversy within Shadow of War, by introducing a feature that has divided fans.

About The Author
Mike Wewerka Writer and Co-Founder of, you can catch me here on Gamezone or on Twitter at @mikewewerka or @TheFrakPodcast
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