{/begin information rescued from ModernAngel deleted node} Shelob was the spider-demon Sam and Frodo encountered at Cirith Ungol in Tolkien's The Two Towers. Shelob was the daughter of Ungoliant {/end rescued information}.

Shelob has existed since the First Age. She survived the destruction of Beleriand at the end of the First Age. She came to reside in Cirith Ungol in about c.1000 during the Second Age. Sauron would send prisoners (men and elves) as food for Shelob. Sauron made the orc guards watch the carnage and come back with stories of her hunt.

Shelob is 15' high and weighs six tons.

Shelob will only eat living prey. Though she has a poisoned stinger enough to kill anything, those she intends to eat she stings with just enough poison to knock them out for a few hours. She then binds them in her spider silk and hangs them upside down in her lair until she's ready to eat. Sometimes a victim can hang there alive for days before Shelob sucks out his warm blood. Her silk cannot be cut by any blade weapon save for magical elven blades (like Sting).

Gollum discovered her ... or should I say Shelob discovered Gollum when he was trying to get out of Mordor. She captured him and was prepared to eat him but Gollum struck a bargain. For his life, he'd worship her like a god and bring her some hobbits for food.

She was nearly killed by Sam. Upon seeing his master Frodo her victim, Sam attacked Shelob with Sting, destroying several of her eyes. However even his elven blade could not penetrate her armored body, which had grown thick and foul with evil over the centuries. She did manage to impale herself on his sword, however. He chased her off using Galadriel's Phial (which held the light of the Vala Elbereth) which beamed a painful light into her wounded eyes. Shelob retreated down a hole. What happened to Shelob from here is only hinted at in Lord of the Rings. Sam, upon putting on the ring, sensed Shelob was still alive but in great pain. Lord of the Rings suggest Shelob stayed in the hole for several years to lick her wounds and regrow her eyes.

FYI, in case you're looking forward to the Two Towers release this Christmas to see the Shelob scene, well, you've got another year to wait. This scene will appear in the third movie.

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