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Shelob, also known as the Spider-Queen, the Weaver of Fate or the Dark Mistress, is a neutral character (and narrator) in Middle-earth: Shadow of War. She is also mentioned in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

A Great Spider and daughter of Ungoliant, Shelob was among the original residents of Mordor and remained there even after Sauron made it his domain. For a long time, she was the "pet" and lover of the Dark Lord, until he cast her aside and forced her into the mountains. Since that day, the distraught Shelob sought to take revenge on Sauron and paid no heed to his demands, letting her brood spread beyond Cirith Ungol.

Through her children, the Spider-Queen spied on both the "Gravewalker" and the Black Captains, watching their ongoing struggle unfurl from the shadows. Aside from the Ungol, Ar-Baruk, an Olog whose life she spared, served as her emissary while Gollum, a halfling twisted by the One Ring, acted as her pawn. Wanting to prevent the dominion of either Sauron or Celebrimbor over Middle-earth, Shelob offered aid to Talion, granting him visions through her gift of foresight during the battle for Minas Ithil. In return, the "Gravewalker" would act as her greatest ally in exacting her vengeance on the Dark Lord who had forsaken her.


In the Second Age, Shelob had been Sauron's ally and lover prior to him betraying her for an opportunity to corrupt Suladân with a Ring of Power. Surrounded by soldiers, Shelob slaughtered them in rage and retreated to Cirith Ungol, swearing revenge on her former lover.

After the forging of the New Ring, Shelob has a vision of Talion and Celebrimbor overthrowing and enslaving Sauron before going on to conquer Middle-earth as the Bright Lord. To prevent this vision from coming to pass, she abducts Celebrimbor and forces Talion to relinquish the new ring to her. She shows Talion visions of Minas Ithil's downfall and transformation into Minas Morgul, sending Gollum — who reveres her as the Dark Mistress — to assist him. When Talion fails to prevent Minas Ithil and its palantir from falling into the hands of the Nazgûl, Sauron learns that Shelob has been conspiring against him and sends the Nazgûl to kill her. Shelob is able to hold her own against the wraiths, who are repelled by Talion and Eltariel. Weakened by the battle and Eltariel's Light of Galadriel, Shelob returns the New Ring to Talion and retreats into her lair.

Shelob's efforts to sow mistrust between Talion and Celebrimbor ultimately result in Talion seeing the undead elf for the aspiring tyrant he is, causing Celebrimbor to take the new ring and possess Eltariel, leaving Talion for dead. Shelob appears to the dying Talion in a vision, revealing her reasons for helping him and urging him to take Isildur's Ring of Power and keep fighting. Shelob observes Talion's decades-long struggle against Sauron's forces and eventual transformation into one of the Nazgûl, prophesying that his actions have bought time for the One Ring to be discovered and for an expedition to destroy it to be launched, ensuring Sauron's ultimate defeat.

When the Ringbearer, Frodo Baggins, approached her lair, Shelob sensed he would ultimately succumb to the One Ring and attacked him in order to hasten his progress to Mt. Doom, where Gollum would unwittingly do what Frodo could not and destroy the One Ring.



  • The mobile version of Middle-earth: Shadow of War classifies Shelob as a Maia.
  • Shelob is an adaptation of the character of the same name from The Two Towers novel and the The Return of the King film, a monstrous entity in the shape of a giant spider who attacks Frodo Baggins and is severely injured by Samwise Gamgee.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War's incarnation of Shelob is the only version of the character able to transform into a human. Further, her memories portray her as the former lover of Sauron, who ultimately betrayed her.
  • Shelob is mentioned in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor in two artifact memories: the Crushed Spider Egg and the Torn Banner.
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