Watcher in the Water
Binomen Unknown
Average height Unspecified
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Non-Sapient
Aggressivity Very High / Extreme
Habitat The Lake near the Westgate of Moria, Middle Earth
Diet Carnivore
Status DD
Behind the Scenes
Universe Lord of the Rings
Created by J. R. R. Tolkien
Performed by Walrus and Alligator vocals

The Watcher in the Water was a horrifying and mysterious beast with many tentacles living in a pool near the Westgate of Moria in Middle Earth.


Eventually it came to the clear water of the River Sirannon, which flowed before the West-gate of Moria. There it built a great wall in the riverbed and made itself a black pool, hideous and still. This being was the guardian of the West Gate that none could pass without challenge. It is not known why the Watcher guards the West Gate: it can be speculated that it is put there by the Balrog ruling Moria. Or it could've just been an animal that was defending its territory and had no connection to Morgoth or the Balrog.

During the time when Moria was being invaded by Sauron's Goblins it built a dam in the river that was near the West Gate of Moria. During the attempted recolonization of Moria by the Dwarves, the Watcher killed Oin when his reconnaissance party visited the West Gate. The Watcher later attacked Frodo, but the Fellowship was able to injure the beast and escape. This enraged the Watcher and caused it to tear down and barricade the Westgate of Moria, thus trapping the Fellowship inside. It might also have wanted to trap the Fellowship inside Moria and force a confrontation with the Balrog.

It is likely that the Watcher detected, or was drawn by some evil power flowing from, the Ring and grabbed Frodo due to that call. However, in the film Peregrin Took dropped a stone into the water, which may have caused it to attack, for it knew there were intruders. In addition, in the novel, it attacks when Gandalf opens the Mithril-adorned door of Moria. Perhaps there was some charm on the entrance that would alert the Watcher when it was stepped on. The origins of the creature are not described in Tolkien's works, but writers have compared it to squids, the legendary kraken, and even to Tolkien's dragons.