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A group of nine companions that set out from Rivendell on the Quest of Mount Doom, to return the One Ring to the fire that created it and destroy the Dark Lord Sauron once and for all.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Sean Astin was already stocky but gained some more weight for the role of Sam, while the rest of the Hobbits are portrayed by slender actors. In the books, Hobbits are generally portly and said to look friendly rather than handsome or beautiful, which cannot be said for the Fellowship Hobbits here.
- Adorkable: All Hobbits are generally this but the special mention goes to Sam, as this accounts for a lot of his popularity. Gimli also, whenever he's around Galadriel. He grumbles nervously after asking her for three locks of her hair.
- Beware the Nice Ones: All the Hobbits. Especially Sam.
- Interspecies Friendship: The Fellowship is composed of four hobbits, two men, an elf, a dwarf and a Maia. There was already a strong friendship between Aragorn (a human) and Legolas (an elf), and one would develop between Legolas and Gimli (a dwarf).
- Let's Split Up, Gang: Frodo and Sam separate from the rest of the Company so the Ring would not corrupt them like it did Boromir.
- Papa Wolf: All warriors — especially Aragorn and Gandalf — have become this toward the Hobbits, who are the youngest in the company and not very battle-experienced (at first).
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Many of the members don't even know each other at first...
- The Team / True Companions / Fire-Forged Friends / Undying Loyalty: ...but overtime they would risk their lives for each other repeatedly. When they're forced to separate, they still remain close and have a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming at the end of the movie when they all meet up again. This group mainly consists of the following...
Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood)
"I spent all my life pretending I was off somewhere else. Off with you, on one of your adventures. But my own adventure turned out to be quite different."The protagonist of The Lord of the Rings. He was a hobbit of the Shire who inherited Sauron's Ring from his uncle (technically, cousin once removed) and adoptive father Bilbo Baggins and undertook the quest to destroy it in Mount Doom.
- Adaptational Attractiveness / Pretty Boy: He's young and beautiful (and being played by Elijah Wood doesn't hurt!); in the books, hobbits are more pleasant-looking than beautiful. Then again, Frodo is explicitly described as fairly good-looking for a hobbit. Somewhat justified in that Hobbits do age more slowly than humans.
- All Webbed Up: This happens to Frodo after he manages to escape from Shelob's hair.
- Badass Normal: Just like his uncle before him, Frodo's an ordinary hobbit who's thrust into extraordinary circumstances that end up changing his once-peaceful and boring life forever.
- Break the Cutie: He does not get better.
- The Chosen One: Frodo is THE Chosen One of the series. He inherited Sauron's Ring from Bilbo Baggins and is the one meant to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom.
- Cool Sword: Sting, an elven long knife that glows when orcs are nearby. It was given to him by Bilbo, who acquired it during his quest 60 years prior to reclaim the Lonely Mountain.
- The Corruption: One of the major themes of the story. Cut images from The Two Towers show what would have happened if he had kept the Ring, portraying his transformation into a creature similar to Gollum.
- Determinator: Poor Frodo goes through absolute hell (with Sam at his side) to destroy the Ring and kick Sauron out of Middle-Earth for good.
- Dressing as the Enemy: He and Sam disguise themselves as orcs during the last leg of their journey.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In the flash-forward beginning of The Hobbit.
- Fingore: Gets his finger chewed off by Gollum in a desperate attempt to get the One Ring.
- Freudian Trio: With Sam and Gollum; represents the Ego.
- Geek Physiques: Judging from his capture on Cirith Ungol in the films.
- Good Is Not Soft: "Release him, or I'll cut your throat!"
- Happily Adopted: Frodo was adopted by his uncle Bilbo several years after the drowning deaths of his parents. Uncle and nephew are shown to have a very close and loving relationship, with Bilbo doting on Frodo at every opportunity and then appointing him as the official heir to Bag End.
- The Hero: In a sense that he is chosen to destroy the One Ring.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sam.
- Hidden Depths: This applies to all the hobbits, but Frodo in particular is very well-educated thanks to his uncle's careful and extensive instruction on a wide range of subjects.
- Hitchhiker Heroes: He and Sam are this as they trek towards Mordor.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Laments that he wished the Ring had never come to him at one point (before he's anywhere near his darkest hour), prompting Gandalf to respond that all who live to see such times wish this, and that all he has to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to him.
- Kubrick Stare: When he claims the One Ring for himself, he sports this stare for only an instant.
- Messianic Archetype: Though he differs from most in that he is flawed and fallible.
- Morality Pet: Has several as he falls into the Ring's influence. Sam is the most obvious one, but in the very beginning the other members of the Fellowship fell into this role as well. Interestingly enough, Gollum of all people becomes one for him, but for a more interesting reason: seeing what Gollum has become and believing that both he and himself could one day be saved from what the Ring has done to them spurs him to reject its influence at times.
- More Hero Than Thou: He attempts to abandon all the rest so he doesn't drag them into danger, and almost succeeds entirely.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He has a couple moments of this: first when was talked down by Sam after threatening him while under the Ring's influence, after he fails to destroy the Ring, instead knocking Gollum off the ledge by accident in the scuffle to possess it. The look he gives Sam makes it clear that he's deeply saddened by what he did. He has another one when he is betrayed by Gollum in Shelob's cave, and realizes his horrible mistake in sending Sam away.
- My Girl Back Home: Well, his uncle back home to be exact. Bilbo stays behind in Rivendell to finish his tale while Frodo takes off to Mordor.
- Named Weapons: The aforementioned Sting.
- Parental Abandonment: His parents drowned in the Brandywine River. This gets a lot less attention than it does in the books, but elements of it remain.
- The Power of Friendship: Sam's loyalty is what keeps Frodo going.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Sam's Red.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It's been noted that Tolkien was quite fond of parallels in his stories, and the burden of Frodo's quest is quite similar to Thorin's in The Hobbit. Both of them share bouts of Sanity Slippage (including turning their swords on a friend) as well as being rescued from fiery death by the Eagles, and they both leave Middle-Earth — though in Thorin's case, he dies. It also helps that they both have piercing blue eyes and dark hair as well as fairly quiet and somber dispositions throughout their respective journeys.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Towards Gollum/Sméagol.
- Weapon of Choice: An elven dagger, named Sting. He inherits it from Bilbo, who had found it in a troll hoard during the Quest for Erebor. Just like Thorin's Orcrist, Sting was forged by the elves of Gondolin and glows blue when orcs are near, making it vital to Frodo's safety and continued survival.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Gives this to Sam at the end of The Two Towers:Frodo: You've left out one of the chief characters, Samwise the Brave. I want to hear more about Sam. Frodo wouldn't have gotten far without his Sam.Sam: Now Mr. Frodo, you shouldn't make fun. I was being serious.Frodo: So was I.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Frodo realizes at the end of his quest that he is irreversibly changed.
Samwise "Sam" Gamgee (Sean Astin)
"I made a promise, Mr Frodo. A promise. "Don't you leave him Samwise Gamgee." And I don't mean to. I don't mean to."Frodo's loyal servant and gardner, who was determined to follow his master wherever he went, even when he was not invited. Sam proved to be a brave and loyal companion and became Frodo's closest friend. His Hobbit-sense and his love for Frodo saw them both through danger and hardship to the end of the quest. Sam was unwilling to give up hope even when things seemed darkest.
- Acrofatic: He may be on the pudgy side (even Gollum calls him a 'fat Hobbit'), but he can keep up with the others because he's a Hobbit.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Along with Merry, he is fairly blond in the films, whereas in the books blond Hobbits are a rarity.
- Adorkable: This accounts for his popularity among Fandom.
- And This Is For...: He, the normally non-threatening gardener, even did this, dedicating Orc kills: "This is for Mr. Frodo!" (stab) "And this is for the Shire!" (slice) "And this is for my old Gaffer!" (thrust)
- Audience Surrogate: Along with the other hobbits.
- Badass Bookworm: Bilbo taught Sam to read and write, abilities that are relatively rare in the Shire. (Sam’s dad hopes that “no harm will come of it.”) Sam proceeds to surprise his fellow hobbits with his book-lore, and Frodo winds up leaving the Red Book to him to finish.
- Badass Normal: He beats up orcs with a frying pan and kicks a spider's ass.
- Battle Butler: For Frodo.
- Berserk Button: Trying to hurt, kidnap, or kill Frodo in front of him is a mistake you won't live to regret...because you won't live much longer.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Gardener? Check. Loving father and husband? Check. Terrifying opponent to anyone or anything that threatens his beloved master? Big check.
- The Cassandra: The fact that Frodo becomes sympathetic towards Sméagol doesn't help, either.
- Cool Sword: When he wields Sting in Frodo's defence.
- Deadpan Snarker: Usually he's rather polite, but when he gets angry, annoyed or impatient with someone, he displays a surprising creativity in thinking up biting comments. Unsurprisingly, he's at his snarkiest when dealing with Gollum.
- Determinator: "Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you!"
- Dressing as the Enemy: He and Frodo disguise themselves as orcs during the last leg of their journey.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did a hobbit just kick the crap out of a Giant Spider? ''Oh'' yes.
- Freudian Trio: With Frodo and Gollum; represents the Superego.
- Frying Pan of Doom: Sam uses this to whack some goblins in Moria.
- Happily Married: At the very end with his longtime crush, Rosie, alluded to a few times early on.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Frodo.
- Hidden Depths: He has spent most of his life being educated by Bilbo.
- Hot-Blooded: He definitely has moments of this.
- Ignorant of the Call: Doesn't consider himself any sort of hero at all, despite the fact that he performs heroic actions as easily as regular people breathe. The only time he comes close to acknowledging that he's a hero is when, during the fight in Balin's Tomb, he kills a goblin with a frying pan and says, "I think I might be getting the hang of this." Apparently, Tolkein himself considered Sam more of a hero than Frodo.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: All he wants to do is to go back home and be with his friends.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Along with Faramir, he's just about the only character in the story who the Ring cannot tempt. It should be noted that when he saves Frodo from Cirith Ungol he was tempted very briefly, but gave it back nonetheless.
- Jumped at the Call: Indeed, Gandalf gave him the call seeing how eager he was.
- The Lancer: To Frodo.
- My Girl Back Home: Rosie Cotton, who Sam brings up in the last film after they destroyed the Ring as he describes her dancing and wishes to marry her. He eventually did.
- The Power of Friendship: He uses this time and again to see Frodo's journey through.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Frodo's Blue.
- Roaring Rampage of Rescue: When he ventures into the tower of Cirith Ungol to rescue Frodo.
- Sidekick: Ascended to hero.
- Simpleminded Wisdom: Sam is protected by the power of just a little hobbit common-sense.
- Supreme Chef: All hobbits can cook, and they're such gourmands one imagines that most hobbits are good cooks, but Sam is a good cook even by hobbit-reckoning — able to whip up a good meal with just a brace of coneys (that is, a couple of rabbits) and herbs of Ithilien.
- Team Chef: He is seen cooking for the Fellowship once before Saruman's crebain fly in to look for them.
- Tender Tears: More prominent in the movie adaptation, though.
- Took a Level in Badass: Went from a timid gardener who had never wandered further than a few miles from home to maiming giant spiders and beating orcs in a fight. Lampshaded when he's beating up goblins with a frying pan in Moria, about halfway between the two: "I think I'm getting the hang of this!"
- Undying Loyalty: Sam almost defines this trope.
- Working-Class Hero: Out of the four main hobbits, two are the sons of chieftains (Merry and Pippin) and the other is a very wealthy heir (Frodo); Sam is the only one who is not a "gentlehobbit."
Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan)
Played By: Dominic Monaghan
"But you're part of this world, aren't you?... You must help... please."A sensible yet adventurous Hobbit whose concern for his cousin Frodo led him to mastermind the "conspiracy" that ensured that Frodo embarked on his quest with his friends at his side. Despite his feelings of uselessness and self-doubt, Merry becomes a Knight of the Riddermark and plays a significant role in the War of the Ring. Through his loyalty and courage, he helped defeat one of the Dark Lord's most terrible servants, the Witch-King.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Along with Sam, he is fairly blond in the films, whereas in the books blond Hobbits are a rarity.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: Speaking of the latter, he and Pippin are given funnier moments, such as getting into Gandalf's fireworks and setting them off.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the books, he was a more serious character. Here, he is more carefree and comical.
- Badass Normal: Merry, just a normal hobbit, is the one who defeats the Witch-King along Éowyn, out of all the trained soldiers, Proud Warrior Race Guys and other larger-than-life figures present at the Battle.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: He, along with Éowyn (who also literally breaks her arm), nearly dies from contact with the Witch-King.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Witch-King of Angmar vs a Hobbit. Merry (teamed up with Éowyn) won.
- The Fool: Together with Pippin; their personalities are less distinct in the movies.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Pippin.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: When the battle lines are forming, he is dismissed as being unable to fight. But when it goes down, he's the first to march into an army.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With King Théoden and Éowyn.
- Interspecies Friendship: Also counts as this. He and Pippin also have this with Treebeard.
- Jumped at the Call: He and Pippin share their willingness to protect Frodo.
- Kubrick Stare: When he's yelling at the Ents for refusing to fight, though it's actually incidental due to him having to look up at them.
- The McCoy: When convincing the Ents to fight.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Éowyn, when they both joined the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Pippin's Red, though it's less noticeable in the films.
- The Smart Guy: Of the Hobbit foursome. He at least knows his way around more than the other three.
- The Straight Man: When he and Pippin are left alone, Merry is shown to be very capable and sensible, even wise, at times.
- Those Two Guys: With Pippin.
- Took a Level in Badass: The first film showed him as a troublemaker and general nuisance. The third had him facing down the armies of Mordor without the slightest hesitation or fear.
- Trickster Archetype: With Pippin, especially since Merry is the one who starts trouble.
Peregrin "Pippin" Took (Billy Boyd)
"What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?"A silly and reckless Hobbit who insisted on accompanying his cousin Frodo on his quest to destroy the One Ring. Pippin's youth and curious nature gets him into trouble on occasion, but his steadfast friendship and unquenchable cheerfulness helps carry him and his companions through the darkest times. During the quest, he grows up quickly and becomes an important member of the Fellowship, a member of Gondor's elite Citadel Guard, and later made a Knight of Gondor by Aragorn.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: He and Merry are given funnier moments, such as getting into Gandalf's fireworks and setting them off.
- Big Eater: Even more than most hobbits are. See his quote above.
- Break the Cutie: He suffered from looking into the Palantír, for starters.
- Buffy Speak: During the creation of the Fellowship: "You need people of intelligence in this sort of mission... quest... thing."
- Constantly Curious: He tries grabbing a key from a dwarf's corpse before it falls down the well, then looks into the Palantír just to see it once.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Gandalf, who didn't seem to like him very much until their siege of Minas Tirith when they saved Faramir's life.
- The Fool: Being the youngest and most impressionable of the bunch, he's more prone to foolishness than his companions.
- Green Eyes: Film version only. They sometimes look blue, though.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Merry.
- Interspecies Friendship / Odd Friendship: He and Merry have this with Treebeard. Once he's brought to Gondor, he befriends Faramir as well.
- Jumped at the Call: He and Pippin share their willingness to protect Frodo.
- Man Child: He is the youngest of the Fellowship, after all.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Pippin's curiosity has him attempting to pull a key from a corpse, only for it to fall into the wall which end up catching the attention of several orcs as well as a cave troll.
- Plucky Comic Relief: His humor is the one thing that keeps himself and his friends going.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Merry's Blue, though it's less noticeable in the films.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Merry and Pippin stole Gandalf's best firework and light it prematurely — while inside a tent. When it actually goes off, Pip lets out the girliest scream you can imagine. Billy Boyd didn't know that the thing was actually going to explode, so the scream is real.
- Those Two Guys: With Merry.
- Took a Level in Badass: From foolish young Took to Troll-slayer. Although his troll-slaying doesn't actually appear in the film, he has to make do with uber-orc slaying.
- Trickster Archetype: An innocent version, with Merry, though this toned down as they make their transition to badasses.
Gandalf (Ian McKellen)
"I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. Go back to the shadow. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn! You shall not pass!"A wizard who assisted both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in their quests across Middle-Earth. Gandalf is a member of the Istari, a group of Maiar that were specially chosen by the Valar to aid the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth in the fight against evil. The Istari, who are often called wizards by various races, take the form of elderly but hale Men, but possess much greater physical, mental, and magical power (though the Valar prevent them from confronting Sauron with the full force of their power). For over 2,000 years, Gandalf worked faithfully against the rising powers of evil in Middle-Earth.
- Badass Beard: He is a wizard after all.
- Badass Boast: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
- Badass Bookworm: Even being of the lesser Maiar, he was one of the wisest.
- Badass Grandpa: Takes the guise of an old man when he comes to Middle-Earth.
- Bearer of Bad News: Wormtongue names him 'Láthspell'; "ill news is an ill guest."
- Big Good: Gandalf is the main "power behind the scenes" manipulating and directing events to help people resist Sauron, and make sure that they have the information and allies they need, as much as he can.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: He dies from the Balrog ordeal. (Don't worry, he gets better.)
- But Now I Must Go: In The Hobbit, as well as the Fellowship of the Ring.
- Came Back Strong: As Gandalf the White, the head of his Order.
- The Chessmaster: He has been playing chess with Sauron over Middle-Earth for centuries.
- Cool Horse: Shadowfax.
- Cool Old Guy: To the hobbits, before they learn of his Hidden Depths.
- Cool Sword: Glamdring, which he found during The Hobbit.
- Crucified Hero Shot: When he falls into the abyss in Moria. Done again when he confronts the Necromancer in Dol Guldur.
- Deadly Nosebleed: After his fight with the Balrog, his body is shown lying on the mountain peak with blood coming out of his nose.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Old guy vs. Balrog. Old guy wins.
- Doting Parent: Towards the younger Heroes and Warriors in the band.
- Dual Wielding: Wields both his staff and Glamdring at times.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: You Shall Not Pass
- Eccentric Mentor: To Bilbo and Frodo. He becomes less of it by the time he was revived.
- Erudite Stoner: The movies treat the hobbit pipeweed as a G-Rated Drug which turns Gandalf into this, especially in The Hobbit, where he at one point encourages Radagast to calm down by giving him a toke.
- Famous Last Words: You Shall Not Pass, but technically "Fly, you fools!".
- The Fettered: Per Word of God, he's not supposed to use his magic powers without good reason, but instead outwit the Enemy whenever he can.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Pippin, who he didn't seem to like very much until their siege of Minas Tirith when they saved Faramir's life.
- Friend to All Children: When he arrives in the Hobbiton at the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring, the hobbit children are delighted to see him and shout for him to set off fireworks; he happily obliges.
- Good Is Not Soft: Beats up Denethor when the latter starts raving.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Definitely Good Smoking. When he's relaxing, he'll usually get out his pipe and start making smoke rings. Or smoke ships.
- Grumpy Old Man: Lampshaded by Gimli when he comes back as Gandalf the White. "This new Gandalf's even grumpier than the old one!"
- Harbinger of Impending Doom: Implied by his critics to be this.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Moria to save the rest of the Fellowship.
- Holy Hand Grenade: His powers also exhibit an explosive quality, as seen in An Unexpected Journey when he completely flattens the goblin horde with a deafening blast of white light, right before they are about to hack Thorin's head off.
- Interspecies Friendship: He has many, but especially has one with Bilbo and with Gwaihir, Lord of the Eagles.
- Large Ham: He can be quite bombastic at times.
- Light 'em Up: Seems to be his main power, ranging from simple white light to illuminate his path, to protective light bubbles to sunlight manipulation. Predictably, it grows more powerful as he becomes Gandalf the White.
- Literal-Minded: He toys with this in The Hobbit, when he meets Bilbo and their conversation about the meaning of "Good morning." However, it is revealed that Gandalf was doing it intentionally, partly to remind Bilbo of who he was and partly because it amused him to do so.
- Man in White: After he comes back stronger.
- The Mentor: He serves as a mentor figure for Frodo - and Bilbo before him - and is killed by the Balrog.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Though he gets better.
- Messianic Archetype: Died and came back three days later, wearing white robes? Yep.
- Named Weapons: Glamdring, meaning "foe-hammer" in Sindarin.
- Nice Hat: His wide-brimmed, conical hat is iconic to the character and appears in virtually all artwork and, of course, the films.
- Oh, Crap!: In the Desolation of Smaug:Gandalf: We've been blind. And in our blindness, our enemy has returned.
- Older Than They Look: He looks like he's about 80, but he's been in Middle-Earth for upwards of 2000 years and is in fact older than Arda itself.
- Only Sane Man: Part of this is McKellan's often weary delivery, but Gandalf still often shows himself to be the only one with his mind together and in the right place throughout his many adventures — particularly in situations where he is desperately trying to give good advice to others and nobody will listen to him, most obviously with Thorin and Denethor. Sometimes feels like Surrounded by Idiots instead — such as in the Hobbit where attempting to reason with the bullheaded Thorin results in him just leaving for a few hours to vent steam.Bilbo: Where are you going?
Gandalf: To seek the company of the only one around here who's got any sense!
Bilbo: Who's that?
Gandalf: Myself, Mr. Baggins!
- Our Angels Are Different: The Wizards are really angels disguised as elderly humans.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Galadriel, as evidenced during the Hobbit when she's the only one who is supportive of Gandalf's quest to slay Smaug.
- Power Echoes: When an outraged Thorin is about to throw Bilbo from the battlements in The Hobbit, Gandalf lets a bit of his true self show when shouting at him to let his burglar go.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Delivers an epic and hilarious one to Denethor after the Steward starts ranting about the hopelessness of the coming battle.
- Took a Level in Badass: He's much stronger when he comes back as Gandalf the White.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Bilbo mellowed Gandalf out a lot. Prior to meeting him, Gandalf wasn't just grumpy, he was a cantankerous Jerkass.
- Taking You with Me: He and the Balrog both die in their fight, but only he returns to life.
- Time Abyss: He's older than time itself.
- Walking the Earth: He's not called "The Grey Wanderer" for nothing, being possibly even more well-traveled than Aragorn is.
- Weapon of Choice: Staff and his sword, Glamdring.
- Willfully Weak: Like the rest of the Wizards, Gandalf is actually operating at only a fraction of his full power. This is deliberate as the Valar decied to clothe the Wizards in the bodies of old men as they are meant to combat Sauron by wisdom and persuasion not brute strength or force.
- Wizard Classic: One of the most iconic modern examples and a Trope Codifier.
- The Worf Effect: His staff is destroyed by the Witch-King of Angmar in the extended edition of Return Of The King and by Sauron in The Desolation of Smaug, just before Gandalf is captured.
- You Shall Not Pass: He says the line when facing down a Balrog, to buy the rest of the Fellowship time to escape.
Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen)
"Long have you hunted me, long have I eluded you. No more. Behold! The Sword of Elendil!"The 16th Chieftain of the Dúnedain of the North. As the heir of Elendil, the first High King of Arnor and Gondor, Aragorn is the rightful king of both realms, though Arnor fell long ago, and Gondor has been without a king for nearly 1000 years. Aragorn lived much of his life as Ranger, but was eventually crowned King Elessar Telcontar in Minas Tirith as the 26th King of Arnor, and the 35th King of Gondor and First High King of the Reunited Kingdom. He was a great warrior, and as the heir of Isildur (Elendil's eldest son) bore the shards of Narsil, reforged and renamed Andúril ("Flame of the West"), in the War of the Ring.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Aragorn is more unsure about returning to the throne of Gondor, and must be convinced by Elrond to do so. His reason is his ancestor Isildur's failure to destroy the One Ring, and Aragorn fears this weakness has been passed down to him.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the Heir of Isildur and rightful King of the Dúnedain. He's a better tracker and woodsman than the Wood-elf Legolas, a deadly warrior, a skilled battlefield medic, strong-willed enough to use a Palantír and even wrench it out of Sauron's control, and wise enough to know he can't and must not use the One Ring.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With Gimli, during the Battle of Helm's Deep fighting the Uruk-hai.
- Badass Grandpa: He's eighty-seven years old, but looks like he's in his forties thanks to his Númenórean ancestry.
- The Captain: Of the Rangers of the North, and of the Fellowship after Gandalf's passage. Also serves as one to the army and navy of Gondor as 'Thorongil'.
- Cool Sword: Andúril, reforged from the shards of Narsil, an ancient heirloom of his line.
- Combat Pragmatist: Being trained by the Rangers of the North taught him a few things. Including punching out orcs with his hand or using throwing knives.
- Death Wail: Aragorn lets out one when he finds Merry and Pippin's elven belts on the Orc funeral pyre. They're not actually dead though, as he later deduces from his Ranger tracking skills. In Real Life, it was because Mortensen had just broken his toe on the helmet he kicked and they decided it fit the scene so they kept it.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: He must have the Enemy overthrown before he can become king and marry Arwen.
- Engagement Challenge: As above.
- Freudian Trio: With Legolas and Gimli; represents the Ego.
- Heroic Lineage: He is part of the long line created by both Beren and Lúthien.
- Heroic Willpower: Although he knows better then to even consider it, when Frodo flat out offers the ring to him, Aragorn manages to fight it's power to tell Frodo not to. Considering how afraid he is of it's power, it's telling.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Legolas. Though it becomes a trio when Gimli enters the picture. Legolas' final scene in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies seems to confirm this, making them actually the second generation with their fathers as precursor.
- Honor Before Reason: The reason he undertakes his quest for kingship in the first place was because of his love for Arwen.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Refused to follow his destiny for many years. Of course, in the third film, he embraces it wholeheartedly.
- I Have Many Names: Aragorn, Estel (Hope in Sindarin, given by Elrond), Elessar (elf-stone), Strider/Telcontar, Windfoot, Dúnadan (the man of the West), Longshanks, and Thorongil (the name he used while serving Gondor incognito).
- Interspecies Friendship: With Legolas for about sixty years, starting from after the Battle of the Five Armies when Legolas tells is father he cannot go home with him and is in turn told to search out "a young ranger by the name of Strider".
- Kissing Cousins: Arwen is technically his first cousin...sixty-seven times removed, since Aragorn is a direct male-line descendant of Elros, the first king of Númenor and Elrond's brother (Elrond and Elros, being half-elves, were allowed to choose whether to be elf or man; Elrond chose the former, Elros the latter).
- The Lancer: To Gandalf.
- Loved I Not Honor More: Towards Arwen.
- Master Swordsman: He is the master with a sword compared to Boromir's more brutal approach.
- The Medic: He has Healing Hands and other special healing powers due to his lineage.
- Memento MacGuffin: The Ring of Barahir. Not explained in the films, but he is shown wearing it as an Easter Egg or Mythology Gag for readers. Elaborated in the Extended Edition of Two Towers, where Wormtongue mentions it to Saruman. The ring itself isn't magical, it is simply an heirloom of the kings of Arnor and Elendil before them - but from this Saruman is quickly able to figure out who Aragorn is.
- Messianic Archetype: He shares this role along with Frodo. Also, he inspired Rohan and the rest of Middle-Earth to fight for their freedom, plus he has gained more followers as he continued his journey. Being destined to be King of Gondor, and being a descendant of Isildur, will make you this.
- Mr. Fanservice: At least in the films.
- Named Weapons: Andúril, "Flame of the West".
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He stops Théoden from killing Wormtongue because too much blood had already been spilled. Wormtongue turns around and gives Saruman the secret to defeating the defenses at Helm's Deep; thus, causing nearly all the defenders to be killed. Too much blood, indeed.
- Older Than They Look: As explained in an extended scene from The Two Towers. Thanks to Númenórean/Dunedain descent, he's at his prime at 87. Well, he looks like he's a very fit man in his early forties with a grey hair or two. The Dunedain were "blessed with long life" (as Eowyn says in the scene), living about three times longer than normal men.
- Older Sidekick: To the Hobbits, at first.
- Requisite Royal Regalia
- Rightful King Returns: Of course. Gondor's been waiting hundreds of years for The Return of the King.
- Rousing Speech: Before the Battle of the Black Gate."By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!"
- Royal Blood: The purest now left.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Swiftly decapitates the Mouth of Sauron once he gets sick of his shit.
- Supporting Leader: Former Trope Namer.
- Walking the Earth: He has spent many years as a Ranger roaming in the Wilds.
- Warrior Prince: Like most princes of the Men, Elves, and Dwarves.
- Weapon of Choice: Sword.
Legolas Greenleaf (Orlando Bloom)
"They have feelings, my friend. The elves began it, waking up the trees, teaching them to speak."An Elf of the Woodland Realm in northern Mirkwood in the east of Middle-earth, Legolas was part of the Fellowship in the Third Age. He is the son of King Thranduil of Mirkwood and a Prince of the Woodland Realm as well as a swift messenger and master bowman. Legolas eventually became great friends with the dwarf Gimli, who was also a member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
- The Ace: To almost ridiculous levels. In The Return of the King, he takes down a fully-armed War Mûmak and its crew all by himself.
- All Love Is Unrequited: For Tauriel, as explored in the last two Hobbit films. Of course, never mentioning Tauriel throughout the original trilogy suggests he may have gotten over her (somewhat).
- Archer Archetype: He uses a bow almost exclusively. Like most elves, he's elegant and graceful, and comes across as somewhat haughty. His archery is even exaggerated from the books, especially with shooting oliphaunts point-blank.
- Dual Wielding: The only other weapons he ever carries is a pair of knives, and at one point Orcrist.
- Authority Equals Asskicking / Warrior Prince: He's an elven prince. He also took down what essentially amounts to a war elephant by himself.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: All this pretty boy gets over the course of the trilogy is a bruise and a little smudge of dirt. Averted in Desolation of Smaug, where he receives a bloody nose while duelling Bolg.
- Berserk Button: Threatening or looking down on the people important to Legolas brings out his Not So Stoic side. In The Battle of Five Armies, he outright tells his father that they're going to fight to the death if he hurts Tauriel. In Fellowship, he berates Boromir when the latter insults Aragorn, who is the rightful king of Gondor. And in The Two Towers, when Eomer threatens to kill Gimli, Legolas draws his bow and tells Eomer that he would die before Gimli if he tried it.
- Bottomless Magazines: Over five films he's run out of arrows exactly once, and he had already killed way more orcs than he had arrows in that instance.
- Captain Obvious: "A diversion." So Named in Legolas: The Very Special Diaries, thus becoming Trope Codifier.
- Cool Sword: Gets to wield Orcrist when his group captures Thorin and the other dwarves. Which may or may not be a deliberate Shout-Out to a certain Legolas Greenleaf leading Glorfindel's (i.e. the original wielder of Orcrist) group away from Gondolin after it fell and Glorfindel himself died at the hands of a Balrog. Also leads to Fridge Brilliance, as this could be the reason how this as well as Glamdring and Sting survived the fall of the city in the first place.
- Character Development: It is evident he used to be something of a Jerkass in his youth, as shown in Desolation of Smaug. Compare to the much gentler soul he is in the Trilogy. This is apparent even in his appearance - Legolas is much paler in The Hobbit with particularly icy blue eyes, making for a visual Defrosting Elf Prince between the two trilogies.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Makes his appearance in the last two Hobbit films. He's a supporting protagonist who arguably gets the best fights of the entire second film.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Averted, eventually. Played straight in The Hobbit, however.
- Fantastic Racism: As shown in the second Hobbit movie, Legolas originally shared his father's disdain for anyone who wasn't an elf, especially dwarves.
- The Fair Folk: His father is the king of them.
- Freudian Trio: With Aragorn and Gimli; represents the Superego. But he is the Ego in the group with Tauriel and Thranduil in The Hobbit films.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He eventually becomes this with Gimli by the end of the trilogy. He and Aragorn have been implied to be and are frequently portrayed as this by fans. His final scene in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies seems to confirm this, making them actually the second generation with their fathers as precursor.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Regular in the original, taken to a ridiculous level in the PJ films.
- Interspecies Friendship: With Gimli. He's also been this with Aragorn for about sixty years, starting from after the Battle of the Five Armies when Legolas tells is father he cannot go home with him and is in turn told to search out "a young ranger by the name of Strider".
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In The Hobbit films, he's clearly in love with the elf Tauriel but when he sees that she's in love with the dwarf Kíli he does his best to warn her that it can't work out. Apart from that he doesn't interfere, and he feels sorry for Tauriel when Kíli is killed in the course of trying to rescue her from the Curb-Stomp Battle she's getting from Bolg. He goes on to save her himself, and finally succeeds in killing Bolg only after an epic battle. Not that it does him any good.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In The Hobbit films. He's callous and insulting towards the dwarves, but he also doesn't share his father's class prejudices and cares about the wellbeing of the world beyond their borders. As of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he's mostly dropped the "jerk" part of it and become a nice, if mildly aloof, guy.
- Longhaired Pretty Boy: He's an Elf, so having long hair is kinda inevitable.
- Missing Mom: His mother was killed by the orcs in Gundabad and he at one point tells Tauriel that his father has never even mentioned her since. It isn't until the end of the third Hobbit film that Thranduil notes that she loved her son more than anything else in the world — which is probably about half of what Legolas wanted to hear.
- Mr. Exposition: When he's not being Captain Obvious.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: While Legolas shared his species Fantastic Racism, he did call out his father on their willingness to ignore what's happening in the outside world.
- Not So Stoic: When fighting Bolg in Laketown, his reaction to injury and that for the first time he was left unable to defeat an Orc in single combat leaves him stunned.
- He's very quiet and calm, even in battle, but when Aragorn falls during his fight with the armored troll in Return of the King you can see him really panicking. You can't hear what he's saying but even if you aren't an expert at lip-reading you can make out that he's screaming his friend's name. In three movies, he loses his cool exactly twice.
- Odd Friendship: With Gimli.
- Short-Range Guy, Long-Range Guy: Is the Long Range of the pair.
- Oh, Crap!: The only time he ever appears frightened◊ in the trilogy is at the mention of the Balrog. With good reason: any and all military encounters between elf and balrog end with the death of the elf, and in ONE case, the death of the balrog as well. Glorfindel was one of only two elves to successfully slay a balrog (the other was Ecthelion, Second-in-Command of Turgon, High King of the Noldor), and for this deed, he was actually allowed to return to Middle-Earth after his resurrection in Aman.
- In The Hobbit trilogy, he has another moment of panic when Tauriel is in danger and, for the first time, he has run out of arrows.
- Only Sane Man: Though Tauriel was first, he pretty quickly realises that his father has flaws, seems to pay attention when Thorin saves his life, and agrees to help Tauriel with the orcs without much of an argument.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Tauriel. It is implied by Thranduil that Legolas has grown quite fond of her.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Gimli's and Tauriel's red.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Though it only gets an offhand mention in the movies, Legolas is the Prince of Mirkwood and son of King Thranduil. Gets expanded upon in The Hobbit, where he disputes with his father over the course the Mirkwood elves should take after the escape of Thorin and Company.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Disobeys his father and leaves the Mirkwood with Tauriel to help fight the darkness, rather than close their borders and hide from it.
- The Smart Guy: Given his advanced age compared to everyone except Gandalf, it often falls to Legolas to give explanations or elaborate on complicated subjects.
- The Stoic: Like his father and most of his elven kin, it takes quite a bit to surprise or frighten Legolas. His Not So Stoic expression when he first hears the Balrog in Moria speaks volumes about how dangerous an opponent it is.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Aside from the various wigs and prosthetics, both Orlando Bloom and Lee Pace have strikingly similar facial features, so this is definitely the case in the films.
- Submissive Badass: Not counting Gandalf, Legolas is easily the strongest and most capable fighter in the Fellowship. He's also devoted to Aragorn and always defers to his leadership.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: He throws the Orcrist at a troll to save Thorin's life.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He still has some Character Development to go through in The Lord of the Rings, but he's far nicer there than he is in The Hobbit sixty years earlier.
- Tranquil Fury: In DOS, he falls into one of these after Bolg successfully injures him, something that nobody else has managed. It was only a nosebleed, but the look on Legolas' face was of barely contained rage, and the last we see of him, he's on his horse, trying to run Bolg down and kill him in retribution. Which, given that Bolg is likely fleeing toward the Orc army moving out from Dol Goldur, is probably a bad thing.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Gimli. The fact that Legolas' father kept Gimli's father captive in The Hobbit doesn't help, either. Legolas even asks if Gimli is an orc mutant before being told that he is Glóin's wee lad.
- Weapon of Choice: Bow and long knives.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Delivers one to Thranduil after the latter decapitated Narzug, despite having vowed to release him.
- Wrestler in All of Us: He nails Bolg with a hurricanrana during their duel on the tower bridge.
- You Can't Go Home Again: When the battle's done and the mourning starts, Legolas flat out tells Thranduil that, after all that's passed between them, he can't return to the forest.
Gimli (John Rhys-Davies)
"I'm wasted on cross-country! We Dwarves are natural sprinters, very dangerous over short distances."A Dwarf of Erebor, descended from Durin the Deathless, the eldest of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves. Gimli is a high dwarven nobleman and a mighty warrior, as well as the son of Glóin, who helped reclaim the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo Baggins sixty years prior to the War of the Ring. Gimli was a member of the Fellowship of the Ring and was the only dwarf to readily fight alongside elves in the war against Sauron at the end of the Third Age. After the defeat of Sauron, he was given lordship of the Glittering Caves at Helm's Deep and founded a flourishing Dwarven colony there.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: From the second film onwards, Gimli takes on more of a comic relief role, still giving one-liners as in the first film but also providing physical comedy. His book counterpart is a much more dignified, well-respected character, although some of his funny moments in the films came from the books (such as his Orc-slaying competition with Legolas, though even that one was altered to his detriment). Word of God confirms that Gimli, being a Dwarf, is given this role due to Merry and Pippin maturing.
- Ancestral Weapon: He wields the same axes that Glóin did in The Hobbit, who apparently passed them down to his son. It's also revealed that Glóin's father, Gróin, had these in his possession as well.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With Aragorn, during the Battle of Helm's Deep fighting the Uruk-hai.
- Badass Beard: He's a dwarf and the son of Glóin; of course he's got one. And as an added bonus, he's also a prominent member of the Longbeards, which is the dwarven clan that's infamous for producing long, impressive beards.
- The Big Guy: He is one of the fiercest fighters in the Fellowship despite his size.
- Body-Count Competition: Ur-Example, with Legolas.
- Boisterous Bruiser: See The Big Guy and Rated M for Manly for more info.
- Butt-Monkey: Most evident in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
- Courtly Love: To Galadriel.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dual Wielding: Carries somewhere between seven and eleven axes. The two he uses most often are Balin's double-bladed great axe (that he picked up in Moria) and his 'walking' axe (used as a walking stick). Frequently, however, he dual wields the walking axe and his bearded axe. He also carries a variable number of throwing axes.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Initially, but subverted when he becomes friendly with Legolas and admires Galadriel's beauty.
- Fiery Redhead: Just like his father before him.
- Freudian Trio: With Legolas and Aragorn; he represents the Id.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Legolas eventually become this by the end of the trilogy.
- Interspecies Friendship: Obviously. They are the first elf and dwarf to have a friendship of any type in thousands of years.
- Jumped at the Call: He is usually the most eager to enter a battle and always has a fighting spirit.
- Odd Friendship: With Legolas.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Trope Codifier. Just like his father, he's quite the prototypical dwarf: a stout, truculent, proud, and gold-loving guy with an axe and an impressive beard.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Dwarves are very strong for their size.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red Oni of the pair.
- Rated M for Manly: Gimli's personality in the film as opposed to the book.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Through his father Glóin, he's distantly related to the line of Durin and the royal family of Erebor.
- Short-Range Guy, Long-Range Guy: Is the Short Range of the pair.
- Strong Family Resemblance: To his father, Glóin.
- Violent Glaswegian: In the film.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Legolas. The fact that Legolas' father kept Gimli's father captive in The Hobbit doesn't help, either.
- Weapon of Choice: An axe. He wields about five in the films. Also see Ancestral Weapon above.
Boromir (Sean Bean)
"I ask only for the strength to defend my people."Eldest son and heir of Denethor, the Ruling Steward of Gondor. Boromir is a Captain of the White Tower, Captain-General of Gondor, a masterful soldier and natural leader who led his beleaguered people to dozens of great victories over the forces of Mordor. Still, Boromir is more concerned with feats of arms than his wiser and more bookish little brother, Faramir.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: He was dark-haired in the books. Here, his hair's a light brown bordering on blond.
- Annoying Arrows: Subverted, just like in the book. It takes a lot of arrows to bring Boromir down, but Lurtz slays him in the end.
- Anti-Hero: Type III. He's only in the Fellowship to have them take the Ring to Gondor under his father's orders.
- Badass Beard: Compared to the book version who has no beard whatsoever.
- Badass Normal: Even a hail of arrows does not stop this guy.
- Big Brother Instinct: He's very quick to defend Faramir from their father's cruel detractions and shows his brother open affection whenever possible. Faramir's visible devastation at learning of his brother's death says a lot about their relationship. He also develops this for Merry and Pippin during the first movie.Boromir: You give him no credit and yet he tries to do your will! He loves you, Father.
Denethor: Do not trouble me with Faramir. I know his uses and they are few.
- The Big Guy: He's not only a fierce fighter using a sword and shield, but he's also quite hammy.
- Broken Ace: He was a proud, gallant warrior, but the pressure put on him by his father eroded his common sense, and he never thought Sauron could be beaten, which fed his obsession with the Ring.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: No matter how many arrows are shot into him, he does not give up.
- Face Death with Dignity: When Lurtz is about to deliver the coup de grace, Boromir looks him in the eye as he waits for the uruk to get it over with.
- Fallen Hero: He was a valiant warrior trying to save his country, his people's champion, but he couldn't resist the temptation of the Ring.
- Famous Last Words: "I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king."
- Foreshadowing: Remember that brief moment where Aragorn sees Boromir left his shield when they land? Probably would've been better if he had remembered.
- Humans Are Flawed: Boromir briefly mentions the weakness of men to Aragorn and perhaps embodies it best. At least until...
- Humans Are Special: ...he then embodies the best in men by leaping in to save Merry and Pippin from a band of orcs.
- Killed Off for Real: The only Fellowship member to remain dead and never come back.
- The Lancer: To Aragorn. The fact that he's been a jerk to him in the first film doesn't help, either. His fighting style's also a bit clunkier compared to Aragorn's more elegant swordplay.
- Manly Tears: As he lays dying, no less. He sheds some earlier after realizing he has tried to seize the Ring from Frodo.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After realizing that he tried taking the Ring from Frodo by force.
- Nice Guy:
- While he's rather prickly towards Aragorn, he's far more supportive of the Hobbits inclusion in the party, while everyone else (including Aragorn) seems to considers them The Load at first. Not only does he teach Merry and Pippin some fencing, but in the aftermath of Moria and Gandalf's death, when Aragorn pushes the devastated Hobbits to keep moving.Boromir: Give them a moment for pity's sake!
- He's also shown to have a very good relationship with his younger brother, who is routinely dismissed or outright ridiculed by their father. When Denethor describes Faramir as being useless, Boromir is visibly angered and doesn't hesitate to come to his brother's defense. He's quite willing to hug and display open affection to Faramir as well.
- While he's rather prickly towards Aragorn, he's far more supportive of the Hobbits inclusion in the party, while everyone else (including Aragorn) seems to considers them The Load at first. Not only does he teach Merry and Pippin some fencing, but in the aftermath of Moria and Gandalf's death, when Aragorn pushes the devastated Hobbits to keep moving.
- Parental Favoritism: He is often on the receiving end of this treatment from Denethor. The Extended Edition of Two Towers shows that Boromir hates being the favorite and his father's tendency to act dismissive of and find fault in everything Faramir does.
- Playing Gertrude: A male example. Sean Bean is only 11 years younger than John Noble, who plays his father Denethor. Somewhat justified in-universe, seeing as Denethor has Dúnedain (i.e. Númenórean) blood and that, like Aragorn, he is Really Eighty-Nine Years Old to Boromir's forty-one years at the time of the War of the Ring.
- Posthumous Character: Even though he died early on, his background and character is explored by the other characters. It also has a major influence on the plot, with both Denethor and Faramir being heavily effected by Boromir's death.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: See the book for more details.
- Redemption Equals Death: After trying to take the One Ring (under the Ring's influence, no less), he dies defending Merry and Pippin from the Uruk-hai.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Aragorn and Faramir's Blue.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something / Warrior Prince: While the son of the Steward, Boromir is one of fiercest fighters in Middle-Earth, which is why his father favors him over Faramir. He firmly believes that it's his duty to protect and save Gondor from the continued expansion of Mordor's influence.
- Sanity Slippage: Happens gradually as his desire for the Ring slowly drives him mad until he finally snaps and attacks Frodo. He gets better though, for a short time.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Boromir is the manly of this pair.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: He's the polar opposite of his brother Faramir, who is a capable warrior but prefers books and other scholarly pursuits over combat and the battlefield. This doesn't harm their relationship at all, though.
- This Is Gonna Suck:
- Sean Bean's delivery of the line "They have a cave troll" in the movie is all over this trope.
- In the Extended Edition of The Two Towers, he has this reaction upon learning that Denethor has come to congratulate them for retaking Osgiliath. The fact that Faramir is standing right there with him doesn't help matters, especially since Boromir is quite aware of his father's dismissive and cruel nature.
- Tragic Hero: He dies at the end of the first film after attempting to take the Ring for himself. He's been obsessing over it since being included in the Fellowship and it is not at all helped by the fact that it's his father who's wanting it in the first place.
- Weapon of Choice: Sword and shield.
Théoden (Bernard Hill)
"Dark have been my dreams of late."King of Rohan, father of Théodred, uncle of Éowyn and Éomer. Théoden was betrayed by his servant Gríma Wormtongue, who enfeebled and confused him, and through whom Théoden was ensorcelled by Saruman. While Gandalf helped him come to his senses and freed him of Saruman's domination, the damage had already been done: his armies were in disarray, bands of wild men had ransacked the countryside, and his only son and heir was dead. Théoden faced the challenge of standing amongst legends in the midst of his failure to defend his people and his country. Eventually, he found his strength and rallied his people to their greatest victory at the Battle of Pelennor Fields, though at the cost of his own life.
- Alphabetical Theme Naming: This seems to be a trend in Rohirrim families, namely through the paternal side. Théoden's father was named Thengel; his youngest sister, Théodwyn; and his son, Théodred.
- Badass Grandpa: All three of his children are at least in their early twenties, so he definitely qualifies. He fights at Helm's Deep and Pelennor even at his old age, and makes a good accounting of himself.
- Battle Cry: "DEATH!!"
- Big Damn Heroes: Just after the door of Minas Tirith was broken and with the Witch-King seemingly about to be victorious, he arrives with his Rohirrim army and gives hope back to the good guys.
- Dying as Yourself: At least he believes so.
- Foil: To Denethor. Whereas Denethor went mad from grief from Boromir's death, Théoden managed to pull himself out of his despair and find the courage to save the day. He's also a lot more noble than the more devious Denethor, and he doesn't pick favorites amongst his children. While Denethor very clearly favors Boromir over the more quiet and sensitive Faramir, Théoden shows a fairly equal amount of concern and favor to Théodred, Éomer, and Éowyn. And despite his grief over Théodred's death, he doesn't harbor any resentment towards Éomer and easily accepts his nephew's position as Rohan's new heir-apparent.
- The Good King: Aside from his poisoning in courtesy of Gríma, Théoden tries very hard to do what is best for his people even if the likes of Gandalf and/or Aragorn goad him into doing so.
- Good Parents: Théoden treats Éowyn and Éomer as if they were his own children, openly showing affection or pride towards them at several points. And upon his awakening, the first person Théoden asked for after seeing to his niece and nephew was his only son and heir, Théodred.Théoden: No parent should have to bury their child.
- Go Out with a Smile:Théoden: I go now to my fathers, in whose mighty company, I shall not now feel ashamed.
- He's Back: When Gandalf finally breaks him out the spell that Saruman had cast over him.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Merry.
- Large Ham: Not to the extent of the other Large Hams present, but Bernard Hill plays him very Shakespearean.
- Oh, Crap!: When the Oliphaunts arrive. "BRING IT DOWN BRING IT DOWN BRING IT DOWN!"
- Parental Substitute:
- To Éowyn and Éomer. He treats both of his sister's children with great affection and acts more like a father than an uncle to them, expressing regret when relating to Aragorn that he wasn't there for Éowyn when she needed him.
- And oddly enough to Merry, apparently, even though Merry's father Saradoc is alive and well. At least, Merry claims Théoden was as a father to him. Perhaps in the sense that Théoden was a positive authority figure during a time of great maturation in Merry's life.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: As all Rohirrim are.
- Redemption Equals Death: He seems to think so. He's very hard on himself about his failures until he finds the courage to come to Gondor's aid. As he's dying, he smiles knowing that he's earned his place in the halls of his fathers.
- Revenge Before Reason: A marginal case:Théoden: We shall have peace. We shall have peace when you answer for the burning of the Westfold, and the children that lie dead there! When the lives of the soldiers, whose bodies were hewn even as they lay dead against the gates of the Hornburg, are avenged! When you hang from a gibbet, for the sport of your own crows, we shall have peace.
- Rousing Speech: Théoden gets quite a few, but the main ones are at the Battle of Helm's Deep and Pelennor Fields.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He's much more capable than Denethor and personally leads his men straight into battle, fighting alongside them without fear for his own life. He gets killed in battle, but dies happy nonetheless.
- The Southpaw: Bernard Hill being left-handed and all.
- Warrior Poet: "Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?"
Éowyn (Miranda Otto)
"To mind the children, to find food and bedding when the men return. What renown is there in that?"Éomer's sister, Théodred's cousin, and much beloved niece of Théoden... as well as Gríma Wormtongue. She's a dedicated shield-maiden of the Riddermark and does not hesitate to battle those who threaten the people of Rohan.
- Action Girl: As a shield-maiden of Rohan, she definitely qualifies. Her exploits in the Battle of Pelennor Fields get taken up a notch in the movies. Not only does Éowyn take down an oliphaunt pretty much single-handedly, she also temporarily disables Gothmog in a duel, decapitates a Nazgûl dragon, and defeats the Witch-King of Angmar (with an assist from Merry).
- Alphabetical Theme Naming: Éowyn's father was named Éomund; her brother, Éomer; and her eventual son, Elboron. Though Elboron was more likely named for Boromir, his late uncle. Besides for the fact that his name isn't even Rohirric (Probably Sindarin — very likely, given his father's taste for the Elvish).
- Badass Normal: Aside from her training as a shield-maiden, Éowyn is a normal human woman. And yet, it was she who killed the Witch-King, a grand feat that many stronger, older, and wiser than her had tried and failed at over the centuries.
- Badass Princess: She charges into battle alongside her uncle and brother, taking down orcs and oliphants alike. And she slays the Witch-King.
- Beta Couple: With Faramir.
- Big Damn Heroes: She arrives in time to save her uncle from the Witch-King.
- Broken Bird: She has been forced to nurse an ailing uncle and endure the sexual harassment of his Evil Chancellor for years. Not to mention her Parental Abandonment issues, her cousin dying in battle, her beloved older brother being banished, and of course a war coming that may destroy them all...
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: She literally broke her arm in the struggle, but she also nearly died from contact with the Witch-King.
- Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Ends up with Faramir after learning that Aragorn does not feel the same way toward her.
- Death Seeker: She wants to die a warrior's death, until she found her love in Faramir.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Goes up against the Witch-King of Angmar and, with Merry's help, defeats him.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Clearly, that's the last thing she wants. Apparently, she didn't make that clear with Aragorn.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: She is the King's niece.
- Glory Seeker: Since she's from a Proud Warrior Race, she frets at missing out on all the great deeds in battle because she's a woman. Amplified by becoming a Death Seeker, since death in battle is most glorious for the Rohirrim. Even after she's injured killing the Witch-King, she doesn't like being stuck with the medics while the army of Rohan confronts Sauron.
- The Good Chancellor: Théoden left her in charge of the kingdom in his absence, possibly leaving her the throne if he and Éomer didn't return. However subverted as she followed him to war in disguise.
- Go Through Me: She pulls this on the Witch-King when he tries to kill her fallen uncle.Éowyn: I'll kill you if you touch him!
- Lady of War: As the niece of King Théoden and sister of the heir-apparent, she is the official holder of this title in Rohan.
- Lethal Chef: Sadly; despite her efforts to make simple stew for Aragorn, he was unable to take anything beyond one spoonful.
- Loving a Shadow: Aragorn's response to her is the Trope Namer.
- Mama Bear: Spectacularly inverted. When Théoden is attacked and defeated by the Witch-King, she steps between them and says that she'll kill the Nazgûl if he gets close to her uncle, and demonstrates the credibility of her threat by effortlessly decapitating his mount when he mocks her.
- Meaningful Name: "Horse-joy".
- No Man of Woman Born: One of most famous examples of this.
- Oh, Crap!: When she sees how pissed the Witch-King is, and how huge his flail is.
- Parental Abandonment: Orphaned at a young age, but raised by her uncle.
- Pair the Spares / Hooked Up Afterwards: With Faramir. The books do a much better job than the films at showing how they fell in love, but the extended edition does remedy this a bit with several scenes of them comforting each other at the Houses of Healing.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Merry, when they both joined the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "I am no man!"
- Proud Warrior Race Gal: There's plenty of this to go around in Rohan, and Éowyn does not allow the males of her family to hog all the glory.
- Rebellious Princess: She seems to be fairly obedient of her uncle's wishes most of the time, but if a battle for Rohan is taking place, Éowyn will be there.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Éomer's Red.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Like her brother, uncle, and cousin, Éowyn will not hesitate to take to the battlefield alongside the Rohirrim troops in order to protect her homeland. And when she's not in a combat situation, Éowyn can be seen tending to the needs of her people, especially the Rohirrim women and children.
- Samus Is a Girl: She took up a soldier's armor to go to war. However, it may be that the soldiers around her knew but looked the other way.
- Sibling Team: An unusual twist on this, as Éomer isn't aware that she's fighting in the Battle of Pelennor Fields with him but collectively they probably manage to do more damage than most of Rohan's army.
- Stay in the Kitchen: For years she is relegated to tending Théoden while the men ride off to war. When Théoden himself finally rides off to war she wants to go too, but she's left in charge in his absence. Later she wants to follow Aragorn, but is rejected. She goes in disguise to the Battle of Pelennor Fields anyway where she kills the Witch-King. But played straight as Sauron is defeated, as she and Faramir fall in love and she stops seeking glory and death in battle, instead resolving to be a healer and nurturer. They eventually settle down as Lord and Lady of Ithilien.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Considering the mentality of Rohirrim women, it's very likely that Éowyn wasn't the only woman or girl disguised as a male soldier at the Battle of Pelennor Fields. The fact that everyone in Rohan seems to have long hair probably helped them blend in as well.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Compared to her cold and stern personality in the books, Éowyn shows her warmer side much more often and even has a pep talk with Merry before they enter into battle. She is also seen laughing at Gimli's 'Dwarf Women' joke.
- You Killed my Uncle: She attacks the Witch-King after he wounds Théoden, causing his death.
Éomer (Karl Urban)
"What business does an Elf, a Man, and a Dwarf have in the Riddermark? Speak quickly!"Théoden's nephew, Éowyn's brother, and Third Marshal of the great corps of mounted riders that are the main strength of Rohan. Gríma Wormtongue had him exiled to further throw the country into disarray, but Éomer was not so easily dissuaded. As Théoden's nearest male blood relative, the death of Théodred devolves the role of heir-apparent onto him. After Théoden's death, he succeeded him as King of Rohan, and joined Aragorn (as King Elessar of the Reunited Kingdom) in his great campaigns that refounded the Kingdom of Arnor, and defeated the Easterlings and Southrons once and for all.
- Alphabetical Theme Naming: Éomer's father was named Éomund; his sister, Éowyn; and his eventual son, Elfwine. Though all Elfwine shares with the previous three is the first letter of his name (which means Elf-friend).
- The Berserker: Has shades of this.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Éowyn, his younger sister. Some of Éomer's comments also point to him feeling the same way towards Théodred as well.
- Composite Character: He is combined with Erkenbrand, who provided soldiers for the relief of Helm's Deep.
- Demoted to Extra: More or less just there to fight in the movies, although he does get a bit of expansion in the extended versions.
- Hot-Blooded: He's most at home in a battlefield, fighting orcs and anything else in his way. He screams like hell, too.
- Howl of Sorrow: Éomer's reaction to Éowyn's apparent death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields involves screaming and sobbing that can be described as nothing less than gut-wrenching.
- The Juggernaut: One of the other two in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields who was unstoppable.
- Meaningful Name: "Horse-famous."
- Parental Abandonment: Orphaned at a young age, but raised by his uncle.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: It runs in Rohirrim blood.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He listens to what Aragorn has to say when he catches him with Legolas and Gimli in Rohan, and helps them by giving them mounts.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Éowyn's Blue.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: His uncle is the King, after all. Both of them are from the long line of warriors.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Towards Merry, who he sees as a boy, and his sister. He gives her a pointed talk at Dunharrow about how terrible battle is for the inexperienced and how right it would be to stay away with it... you know, for Merry.
- Warrior Prince: He is next in line to take the throne after the death of his cousin, Théodred.
Denethor (John Noble)
"Is there a captain here who still has the courage to do his lord's will?"Denethor II, son of Ecthelion II, is the 26th Ruling Steward of Gondor, ruling from Minas Tirith in the absence of the King. A capable leader, politician, and soldier, he is nevertheless used to being in charge, and does not like the idea of having to give up power to the rightful heir to the throne. He also suffered in the throes of a deep despair due to the death of his beloved wife and Sauron's lies (which he saw through the Palantír of Minas Tirith, and which Sauron was able to manipulate).
- Abusive Parents: Clearly favors Boromir over Faramir, and doesn't seem to care about Faramir until he seemingly dies.
- Adaptational Villainy: A ton of.
- His refusal to recognize Aragorn as King of Gondor is presented as an act of pure spite or power-hungriness. In the books, he never mentions Aragorn until just before his death. More generally, his denial of Aragorn's claim comes from ancient Gondorian law, specifically that the Council of Gondor had long ago declared that only a member of the House of Anarion (Isildur's younger brother) could be King of Gondor. As Aragorn was Isildur's heir, he was therefore illegitimate. Of course, Denethor was actually wrong, as Aragorn was the heir of both Isildur and Anarion, though he was the latter only by marriage.
- His long struggle via the Palantír with Sauron, which was a major factor in his crossing the Despair Event Horizon, is also removed.
- His decision to send Faramir to retake Osgiliath is presented as a pure suicide mission. In the books, most of Gondor's senior commanders knew that any such attack was likely doomed, but tactically necessary to buy time for Minas Tirith to finish its final preparations.
- He also never told Minas Tirith's defenders to abandon their posts. In the books, even at his most hopeless, Denethor did not cease preparing Gondor for war as best he could.
- Perhaps most importantly, he never said that he would have preferred that Faramir had died and that Boromir had lived (a broad interpretation of his statement that he wishes their places had been exchanged). His reason for disliking Faramir is also removed, that Faramir reminded Denethor too much of his wife, who died young and whom Denethor dearly loved.
- Burn Baby Burn: He tries burning both himself and Faramir, who was barely alive. Thankfully, Gandalf and Pippin came just in time to save the latter, while Denethor...wasn't so lucky. He falls off the cliff of Minas Tirith, still ablaze.
- Character Exaggeration: The movie plays up his madness and Jerkass-ness to a far greater extent than the book, so much so that if you weren't familiar with the original, you wouldn't know he had any redeeming qualities.
- Despair Event Horizon: The counterattack failing, Faramir's apparent death (though he was actually unconscious), and an extremely large invasion force at his doorstep.
- Driven to Suicide: And unfortunately is about to take his still living son with him (and none of the guys even check for a pulse!).
- Fallen Hero: He's already fallen by the time we meet him, mainly due to Boromir's death.
- Fatal Flaw: Pride and Despair. He refuses to give up his position and falls into despair upon losing his two sons.
- Foil: To Théoden. Where Théoden managed to pull himself out of his despair and find the courage to save the day, Denethor went mad from grief from Boromir's death. He's also a whole lot more devious than the noble Théoden and doesn't treat his children with equal love and respect.
- Jerkass: In the movie.
- He Who Fights Monsters: vs. Sauron, via the Palantír. He kinda loses his mind from there, which might explain his Jerkass attitude.
- Parental Favoritism: He highly favors a more-burly Boromir over his more-sensitive brother.
- Pride: One of his Fatal Flaws.
- Regent for Life: Like the twenty-five Ruling Stewards of Gondor before him.Denethor: Word has reached my ears of this Aragorn son of Arathorn, and I tell you now... I will not bow to some ranger from the north.
- Self-Immolation: Believing that Gondor will fall anyway, he attempts to burn his son as well as himself; He alone dies.
- The Spymaster: In the books, he possesses a Palantír, which explains his wide-ranging knowledge. In the films, he lacks the Palantír, and alludes several times to learning (true) things via rumour and reports. Also counts as Adaptation Explanation Extrication.
- Taking You with Me: His son, who he believed to be dead.
- 24-Hour Armor: Seen as a symbol of his stubbornness and pride, but also redeeming values thereof.
Faramir (David Wenham)
"The enemy? His sense of duty was no less than yours, I deem. You wonder what his name is, where he comes from, and if he really was evil at heart. What lies or threats led him on this long march from home, and would he not rather have stayed there... in peace? War will make corpses of us all."Denethor's younger son and Boromir's little brother. Unlike his brother and father, Faramir does not enjoy combat or power politics, something that has led to him becoming The Unfavorite of Denethor. However, despite his father's constant detractions, Faramir still tries his hardest to serve and protect Gondor from the invading forces of Mordor. Despite his distaste for violence, he is nevertheless an excellent soldier and captain of the Rangers of Ithilien, an order akin to the Rangers of the North, who ambush Gondor's enemies in its lost territory of Ithilien, as well as a deadly shot with a longbow.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the movie, he follows in his brother's footsteps and tries to get the Ring to Gondor, due to massive angst over being the less-favored son. The Steward also treating Faramir as The Unfavorite also was added to justify this change.
- Adaptational Villainy: Subverted in that he was never a villain, but he was more hostile to the hobbits in the movie than he was in the books, and is tempted by the Ring, until Samwise tells him what the Ring did to Boromir's mind.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Faramir becomes tempted by the ring and his Parental Favoritism issues are more played up.
- Break the Cutie: Especially in the movie. You can see how near the tears he was when his father says he wished he was dead instead of Boromir. And his brother's death and lack of presence obviously affects him throughout the whole film.
- The Captain: Of the Rangers of Ithilien, played straight.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After the hell his father put him through, it's nice to see that Faramir gets a girl at the end.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Along with Sam, he's just about the only character in the story who the Ring cannot tempt.
- Missing Mom: She was already dead by the time of the trilogy.
- Ranger: A captain of them in Ithilien, as a matter of fact.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Boromir's Red.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Faramir is the sensitive one in this pair.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Boromir is more battle-hardy than his rather conservative brother, as seen in these tropes below.
- Sixth Ranger: Is sometimes treated as Boromir's replacement in the Fellowship, particularly in the video games.
- The Unfavorite: His father has been rather dismissive of him.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the film version, his capturing Sméagol after Frodo coaxes him out of the Forbidden Pool leads to him thinking Frodo betrayed him, and plotting to kill him and take back the Ring (in the book, Gollum had that one planned out already).
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: All he wants is to be worthy in his father's eyes.
- The Wise Prince: Though son of the Steward of Gondor he is still effectively a Prince.
Madril (John Bach)A veteran Ranger of Ithilien and Faramir's second-in-command.
Elrond (Hugo Weaving)
"Nine companions. So be it. You shall be the fellowship of the ring."The Half-Elven, Master of Rivendell, father of Arwen, and bearer of one of the three Elven Rings, Vilya the Ring of Air, given to him by Gil-galad before the latter's death at the Last Alliance. He is a venerable warrior, cunning strategist, great loremaster, and de facto High King of the Noldor, but also opposes Aragorn from a much less lofty post: that of Overprotective Dad.
- Badass Normal: Kicks as much ass as the rest of the White Council in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, despite being ultimately just a guy with a sword compared to the powerful magics the other members command.
- Big Damn Heroes: Is this along with Saruman and Galadriel for Gandalf by rescuing him from Dol Guldur and fighting the Nazgûl.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Fellowship defeated Sauron, restored the kingdom of Gondor, and saved Middle-Earth. But Elrond had to part with his daughter Arwen forever, even beyond the end of the world. His twin sons, Elladan and Elrohir, may have become mortal as well, which would leave him with no surviving children.
- Cultured Badass: A renowned loremaster, he also led Gil-galad's army against Sauron in the Second Age.
- The Cynic: Not only has his attitude towards Men gone sour, but he also believes the Dwarves to be too greedy to even complete their Quest.
- Good Parents: It's very clear that Elrond deeply loves his daughter and doesn't wish for her to suffer through a mortal life.
- Healing Hands: He heals Frodo of the poison in the Morgul blade.
- Heinz Hybrid: Although he's called "half-elven", he's a descendent of Beren and Lúthien and both of his parents were called "half elves".
- Heroic Lineage: He's the son of Eärendil, who's currently flying a chariot with a Silmaril as the morning star.
- Parental Substitute: For Aragorn, whom "he came to love as a son."
- Perpetual Frowner: He has semi-permanent scowl on his face and looks like he's constantly annoyed at being Surrounded by Idiots. The only time it really lets up is at the end of Return of the King. Justified as we usually only see him in times when he has reasons to be unhappy. He does have moments of levity and cracks quite the smile while wryly commenting on the impossibility of separating Frodo from Sam- who had been spying on their secret council.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's over 6000-years-old and is one of the oldest elves still left in Middle-Earth, alongside Galadriel, Celeborn, and Círdan the Shipwright. This is also one of the main reasons why Elrond's so cautious and world-weary; he's lived through many of the world's greatest tragedies and wars, and the prospect of losing any more family members to death is just too much for him.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Elrond is definitely tall and dark, and in The Hobbit he also does seem rather cheeky/snarky at times.
Arwen (Liv Tyler)
"This was my choice... ada, whether by your will or not, there is no ship now that can bear me hence."Daughter of Elrond, granddaughter of Galadriel and Celeborn. Arwen Undómiel, the Evenstar, is a half-elven woman of great beauty whom Aragorn hopes to marry, though her father demands that his daughter marry no less a man than King of both Gondor and Arnor. She must choose between immortality or a mortal life if she wishes to remain in Middle-Earth with the King of Gondor.
- Action Girl: Film only. After what happened to her mom in the book, it's unlikely Elrond would allow it.
- Adaptational Badass: The film, likely due to some compositing with her predecessor, Lúthien.
- Ascended Extra: She replaces Glorfindel in the first movie and gets a lot of screentime.
- Bittersweet Ending: She gives up her immortality to stay with Aragorn, but it's indicated that he eventually dies, and she follows him not long afterward.
- Composite Character: Takes over Glorfindel's role as the Elf who takes Frodo to Rivendell, and some aspects of Lúthien.
- Heroic Lineage: She's a descendent of Lúthien and Beren, and her dad is a hero in his own right.
- Hero's Muse: She functions in this role for Aragorn: the driving force behind his striving to regain his crown is his love for Arwen and the fact that he can only marry her once he is king.
- The High Queen: Arwen becomes this to Gondor and Arnor when she marries Aragorn and chooses to live a mortal life.
- Ill Girl: She weakens in the third film as her well-being somehow gets caught up in the Ring, or maybe that's just starting to experience the frailty of a mortal life.
- The Lady's Favour: Wove a flag for Aragorn; gave him the Elfstone via Galadriel. Only in the book. In the film, her 'Evenstar' pendent serves the purpose of the trope, though.
- Mayfly–December Romance: She's got over a millennium on Aragorn.
- Missing Mom: Her mother Celebrían, unable to endure the woes of Middle-Earth any longer, had sailed West centuries ago.
- My Girl Back Home: She is Aragorn's; he frequently thinks of her or flashes back to earlier conversations throughout the films.
- No Ontological Inertia: Film only, as a consequence of her choice of mortality.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She's the second-most beautiful woman ever born (after her ancestor Lúthien, whom she greatly resembles), and like Lúthien, her hair is very black and her skin very white.
- Really 700 Years Old: Just like all of the other elves, Arwen's at least several hundred years old, although she's also considered to be quite young by elf standards.
- Silk Hiding Steel: A beautiful elf lady and the daughter of one of the three remaining Elf lords; an excellent rider who is a swordswoman as well. Also, she is bound and determined to stay with Aragorn in spite of her father's wishes.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Literally (after Lúthien died).
Galadriel (Cate Blanchett)
"Much that once was is lost ... for none now live who remember it."The Lady of Light, Galadriel is a Noldorin Elf who co-rules Lothlórien as the Lady of Lórien, with her Sindarin husband Celeborn. One of the mightiest and wisest Elves in Middle-Earth, she is a powerful sorceress (possibly; magic is very rare in Middle-Earth, and her true power, and its nature, are only hinted at) and wields Nenya, the Elven Ring of Water, which aids her people in their fight against Sauron's forces. She and her husband also aid and shelter the Fellowship on their quest. After the destruction of the One Ring, she and her husband lead an attack on (the now destroyed) Sauron's citadel of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood, which she destroys completely (again, possibly by magical means), and thereby destroys the source of Mirkwood's corruption, allowing it to be renamed Greenwood the Great once again. Also one of only two Noldorin elves known to have had blond hair (all others have jet-black hair).
- Badass in Charge: She is a Queen of Lothlórien, after all.
- Badass Grandma: She's Elrond's mother-in-law and grandmother to Arwen, Elladan, and Elrohir.
- Battle Couple: Galadriel and Celeborn. While Frodo and Sam are on their way to Mordor, Celeborn marshals the forces of Lórien to cross the Anduin and lay siege to Dol Guldur. After a long battle, Celeborn captures the fortress and Galadriel throws down its walls and purifies it.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Although she's an unambiguously good, pure character, Battle of the Five Armies reveals just how powerful and dangerous she actually is.
- Big Good: With Saruman defecting from the White Council and Gandalf killed by the Balrog, she takes over as the strongest force of good in the series.
- Chewing the Scenery: "You offer it to me freely? I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this... In place of a dark lord, you would have a QUEEN! NOT DARK, BUT BEAUTIFUL, AND TERRIBLE AS THE DAWN! TREACHEROUS AS THE SEA! STRONGER THAN THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH! ALL SHALL LOVE ME, AND DESPAIR!"
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In The Hobbit, Lady Galadriel sends Sauron and the Nazgûl flying over the horizon.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She is shown going barefoot in her garden in Lórien and even on rocky ground in Battle of the Five Armies.
- Dreamweaver: One of her many powers. She's shown to be able to communicate with people through their dreams, as she does with Frodo at several points on his way to Mordor.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Gimli goes from describing her as a wicked sorceress to pledging himself as her Knight in Shining Armor within days of meeting her.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In The Hobbit, where she is seen as part of the White Council.
- Effortless Amazonian Lift: She is strong enough to do this; what with giving Gandalf a Bridal Carry in Battle of the Five Armies.
- The Final Temptation: When Frodo offers her the One Ring, Galadriel is seriously tempted to take it, but ultimately doesn't.
- Fisher King: Over Lothlórien, thanks to the Ring of Water, which is the only reason Lothlórien has survived for so long. When she departs over the Sea, the forest withers.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: She is Arwen's grandmother and later Aragorn's grandmother-in-law.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Galadriel's temptation reveals that she'd be really really scary if she had the One Ring.
- In Battle of the Five Armies, we get to see just how powerful she is when she takes on (and banishes) Sauron himself.
- Gold and White Are Divine: Her look in the films (which is completely accurate to the books) is clearly meant to evoke this trope. Her famous hair is of the deepest gold woven with silver and she primarily wears flowing white gowns adorned with jewellery made from gold and/or Mithril. Even her crown is made from a woven mixture of gold and mithril (in the original trilogy at least, it appears to be just mithril in The Hobbit films), perhaps also meant to mirror her hair. It is clearly meant to symbolise her divinity as one of the oldest, wisest and most powerful beings in all of the realm and perhaps the sole being (other than Gandalf himself) in Middle-earth that Sauron actually fears. Due to her own powers combined with her ring Nenya he cannot see into her mind without the power of the One Ring. Also, she is the Lady of Light and Light Is Good.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Like all the House of Finarfin. They were the wisest and kindest of the Noldorin royalty (though Galadriel is still badly tempted by the One Ring), the most friendly to mortals, and the ones least guilty of wrongdoing in the Noldorin rebellion.
- Hidden Depths: She coveted the One Ring herself, but overcame that temptation.
- The High Queen: She is the ruler of the Elven kingdom of Lothlórien, one of the remnants of the great forest that once spanned Middle-Earth.
- As the daughter of Finarfin and the highest ranking Noldorin Elf left in Middle-earth, she could have rightfully been crowned as the actual High Queen but for the pesky fact that Noldorin tradition doesn't allow for female heirs to ascend to the throne so the title of High King automatically went to her great-nephew Gil-galad instead.
- Holy Hand Grenade: Battle of the Five Armies reveals that like Gandalf, her magical powers manifest as huge flashes of blinding energy.
- I Have Many Names: As was the Noldorin tradition, her 'father-name' was Artanis ('Noblewoman' in Quenya due to her being a princess of the Noldor) and her 'mother-name' was Nerwen ('Man Maiden' in Quenya due to her unusual height and strength). She was given the name Alatáriel (meaning 'maiden crowned with a garland of bright radiance' in Telerin Quenya) by her husband Celeborn, the Sindarin equivalent being 'Galadriel', her eventual chosen name. None of these names (barring Galadriel of course) are mentioned in the films, but she is referred to under many titles including The Lady of Light, The Lady of Lorien, The Lady of the Galadhrim, The Lady of the Golden Wood and The Mistress of Magic.
- It May Help You on Your Quest: The gifts she bestows on the Fellowship.
- The Lady's Favour: Three golden hairs from her head. Which is more than Fëanor got, incidentally...
- Meaningful Name: Galadriel means "maiden crowned with a radiant garland". It's actually not her birth name, but was instead bestowed upon her by Celeborn, who wished for his wife to have a Sindarin name as well.
- Nightmare Face: When she rallies to banish Sauron from Dol Guldur, she briefly appears as a gaunt, sickly glowing wraith-like figure, complete with Kubrick Stare and Voice of the Legion effect. Possibly a nod to the lore that elves could degenerate into shades if their magic and power fade away, suggesting that she's throwing everything she's got into a Death-or-Glory Attack.
- Odd Friendship / Platonic Life Partners: In the film version of The Hobbit, she seems to really enjoy Gandalf's company. When she realises that Gandalf knew that the Dwarves were going to sneak out of Rivendell, during the White Council meeting meant to decide if their quest should be allowed to proceed; the regal, elegant and queenly Galadriel begins grinning like a schoolgirl. She also assures Gandalf that she will come to him if he calls her.
- One-Winged Angel: Film only.
- Psychic Powers: She can communicate telepathically.
- Really 700 Years Old: Galadriel was born in the Year of the Trees 1362, before the Sun, the Moon, and the waking of Man. A moderate estimate of Galadriel's age is 10,000 years old.
- Royal Blood: Galadriel is of quite a complex mixed royal elven heritage. She is the only daughter of Finarfin, who was at the time of her birth a prince of the Noldor who eventually ascended to be the High King of the Noldor in Aman. Finarfin himself is of both Noldor blood (from his father Finwë's side) and Vanyarin blood (from his mother Indis' side). Also, Galadriel's mother and Finarfin's wife is Eärwen who (being the daughter of Olwë) was also a princess of the Teleri in Aman. Therefore, despite being identified as a Noldorin Elf, she is actually descended from the royalty of three separate Elf-clans and is really part Noldor, part Vanyar and part Teleri. This is most likely how she got her infamously beautiful silver-gold hair when the Noldor are usually identified as being dark haired. The gold would be from her Vanyarin heritage and the silver from her Teleri heritage.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Possibly more than any other royal in Middle-Earth. To start, she's one of the bearers of the Three Elven Rings, Nenya of Water, and has kept Lothlórien free of stain for centuries with it. She regularly assists in repelling orc attacks against her realm and as shown in The Hobbit, she also oversees the formation of the White Council, allows Thorin and his Company to slip away from under Saruman's and Elrond's noses, rescues Gandalf from an orc-infested Dol Guldur, and then physically banishes Sauron and his Nazgûl to Mordor. And that's just a small handful of the things she does before the Lord of the Rings even begins.
- Spirit Advisor: Occasionally her voice speaks to Frodo, and she appears to him in a vision to help him up after he's exhausted from escaping Shelob's lair.
- Statuesque Stunner: In the books, she's described as being nearly seven feet tall and one of the tallest elves ever born. In the films, she's played by the 5'9 Cate Blanchett, who was purposely filmed at angles that would make Galadriel seem much taller than those around her.
- Time Abyss: She's one of the oldest elves in Middle-Earth.
- Women Are Wiser: In An Unexpected Journey, she reassures Gandalf that he has her support after Saruman dismisses Gandalf's concerns and proof about the Necromancer, and in The Desolation of Smaug, she is the one Gandalf sends Radagast to bring as backup when he confronts the Necromancer.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Galadriel's granddaughter Arwen was often said to be the most beautiful Elf in Middle-earth at the time of the War of the Ring, but Galadriel's great beauty was every bit as much the stuff of legend. Tolkien described her as being 'the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth'. The subject of Galadriel and Arwen's beauty and whose was greatest actually nearly brought Gimli and Éomer to arms. Éomer, having seen them both, preferred Arwen to which Gimli (also having seen them both) replies, "You have chosen the Evening; but my love is given to the Morning."
Celeborn (Marton Csokas)
"The enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone."Galadriel's husband, grandfather of Arwen, and Lord of Lothlórien. He and his wife also aid and shelter the Fellowship on their quest. After the destruction of the One Ring, he and Galadriel lead an attack on Sauron's citadel of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood, destroying the last of the Dark Lord's strongholds.
- Badass Grandpa: He's Elrond's father-in-law and grandfather to Elladan, Elrohir, and Arwen.
- Badass in Charge: He is the Lord of Lothlórien, one of the last elven realms left in Middle-Earth.
- Battle Couple: With Galadriel. While Frodo and Sam are on their way to Mordor, Celeborn marshals the forces of Lórien to cross the Anduin and lay siege to Dol Guldur. After a long battle, Celeborn captures the fortress and Galadriel throws down its walls and purifies it.
- Big Good: With Saruman defecting from the White Council and Gandalf killed by the Balrog, Celeborn and his wife take over as the strongest forces of good in the series.
- The Good King: To both the elves of Lothlórien and those who live outside of his kingdom's borders. One of the main reasons why Celeborn and his wife remain in Middle-Earth is to prevent Sauron from returning, and they assist both the Fellowship and surrounding kingdoms of Men at numerous points throughout the series.
- Heroic Lineage: He's a Sindarin prince of Doriath and the nephew of Thingol, who was the elven Lord of Beleriand and instigated the Quest for the Silmaril.
- Really 700 Years Old: Although Celeborn's exact age is uncertain, he was born sometime before the First Age, which puts him at around the same age or slightly younger than his wife. And since most estimates place Galadriel's age at about 10,000 years, it's likely that Celeborn is also one of the oldest elves still left in Middle-Earth.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Celeborn's a former prince of Doriath and the Lord of Lothlórien, and he's more than willing to team up with his wife to assist the Fellowship and kingdoms of Men in destroying the One Ring. He also defends the Golden Wood against numerous orc invasions and leads the final attack on Dol Guldur, beating the enemy into submission while Galadriel razes Sauron's stronghold to the ground.
- Submissive Badass: He's easily one of the oldest, strongest, and most capable fighters in Middle-Earth, but ultimately defers to his wife on most issues.
- Time Abyss: As shown above, he's one of the oldest elves left in Middle-Earth.
Haldir (Craig Parker)
"The dwarf breathes so loud, we could have shot him in the dark."An Elven Captain of Lothlórien and commander of the small Elven force sent to aid the Riders of Rohan at Helm's Deep.
- Archer Archetype: Somewhat averted, at least in comparison to Legolas and other elves. Haldir is shown with a bow on two occasions, but he primarily uses his sword throughout the Battle of Helm's Deep.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Haldir's an elven captain — handpicked by Galadriel herself, which says quite a bit — and very capable fighter who leads the main charge into combat during the Battle of Helm's Deep. It isn't until the fort is being completely overrun and hundreds of his fellow elves have been slain that an Uruk-hai finally manages to take him down.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Like the rest of his kin, Haldir is shown to be less than fond of dwarves. He even makes a point of telling Gimli that their races haven't willingly fought together since the dark days of the Last Alliance.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has one after he's been mortally wounded by an Uruk-hai, seeing so many of his dead kin who could have lived forever.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He comes across as just another haughty and callous elf in Fellowship, but then Haldir and hundreds of Lórien archers appear at the gates of Helm's Deep during Rohan's darkest hour, fully prepared to fight and die alongside Aragorn and the Men of Rohan. Even if he's under Galadriel's and Elrond's orders, it's clear that Haldir believes in their cause and doesn't feel slighted by having to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with non-elven soldiers.
- Mauve Shirt: Appears briefly in the first film, only to be killed halfway through the Battle of Helm's Deep.
- The Stoic: Like most elves, he remains calm and composed at almost all times, be it when finding invaders in the Lórien Wood or preparing to face down an army of Uruk-hai.
- Not So Stoic: When witnessing the mass slaughter and death of his kinsmen. It ultimately costs Haldir his life.
Gollum, originally Sméagol (Andy Serkis)
" They cursed us. Murderer they called us. They cursed us, and drove us away. And we wept, Precious, we wept to be so alone. And we only wish to catch fish so juicy sweet. And we forgot the taste of bread... the sound of trees... the softness of the wind. We even forgot our own name. My Precious."Once a Stoor hobbit named Sméagol living in the hobbits' original home along the Great River Anduin, he murdered his cousin Déagol on his birthday after Déagol found the One Ring and refused to give to Sméagol as a present. Sméagol was then exiled. To deal with the stresses of exile, Sméagol's personality fractured, creating the creature known as Gollum, for the hacking cough he developed. Gollum, unlike Sméagol, was cruel, ruthless, twisted and manipulative, but allowed them to survive in the goblin-infested Misty Mountains. Eventually, Bilbo Baggins encountered Gollum as he trekked eastwards on the Quest of Erebor. Bilbo stole the One Ring, and beat Gollum in a game of riddles. Many years later, Gollum, hoping to reclaim the Ring, followed the Fellowship on their journey, starting in Moria. After the breaking of the Fellowship, he ambushed Frodo and Sam as they continued alone, but was captured and eventually served as their guide to Mount Doom. Despite the reemergence of the more-decent Sméagol personality, he could not resist the lure of the Ring, and eventually attempted to lead Frodo and Sam into Shelob's clutches, so he could take the Ring from their bodies, but was killed when he attempted to take the Ring one last time a the Crack of Doom.
- Accidental Hero: He did not mean to destroy the Ring, but if he hadn't tried to seize it from Frodo, it would never have fallen into the fire.
- Breakout Character: Was essentially a One-Scene Wonder in The Hobbit. Here, he's a big attraction.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to his cousin Déagol's Abel; Sméagol murdered him for the Ring.
- Catch-Phrase: "My Precioussss", "Gollum, Gollum!"
- The Corruption: Gollum is the result of long-term possession and use of the Ring.
- The Determinator: A rather dark version. He survives starvation, the dead lands, the marshes, torture, and falling off a cliff, all powered by his lust for his precious.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Gollum's obsession with the Ring is reminiscent of methamphetamine addiction. It turns his body thin and haggard, destroys his identity and willpower, drives him to kill in order to possess it, and generally consumes his life.
- The split between Sméagol and Gollum is strikingly like a classical Multiple Personality Disorder stemming from abuse. Gollum is the cold, isolated, abusive personality who cares for nothing but his desires, and Sméagol is the tender, remorseful, self-loathing aspect that longs for forgiveness. Possibly subverted, as Sméagol was originally a killer with only the barest nudging from the ring — it's possible that Gollum is the first personality, and that it created Sméagol to suffer the ring's abuses in a way that'd satisfy Sauron.
- Driven to Madness: By the Ring.
- Famous Last Words: "Precious!"
- Freudian Trio: With Frodo and Sam; represents the Id.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: Trope Namer.
- Hobbits: At one time he was not unlike Frodo and Sam. This is part of why he's so damn tough.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: He keeps wavering between "Gollum", the murderous sneaky bastard who wants to kill the thieves, and "Sméagol", the last vestige of his former self who yearns for friendship. Eventually Sméagol sides with Gollum outright.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: Sméagol gets the upper hand in the second film and puts his trust fully in Frodo... and then Frodo has to trick him into getting captured by the Rangers of Ithilien, who are none too gentle.
- I'm Melting!: Falls into the magma in Mount Doom.
- Man Child: Sméagol is very childlike and even playful, speaking in singsong and capering around. Sometimes he does this when he's happy that Frodo is being nice, sometimes he's happy because he's feeding Frodo to Shelob. And he's both at once during the riddle game with Bilbo.
- Monster Sob Story: He was a regular hobbit once, but the Ring drove him into killing his cousin. If it hadn't been for that, he probably would have had a normal life.
- Not So Different: From a hobbit once, or from Frodo under the power of the Ring.
- Really 700 Years Old: Five hundred something.
- Reformed, but Rejected: In the Jackson films, Sam never completely trusts him even when he's loyal to Frodo. When he begins plotting in earnest, though... In the extended edition, there's a scene toward the end of The Two Towers where Sam does apparently start to trust Gollum in earnest, saying that he's being "very decent". And it's just before Gollum decides to go back to plotting Frodo and Sam's deaths, making this a case of Dramatic Irony, and making Sam's fury upon overhearing Gollum's scheming later even more understandable.
- Serkis Folk: Trope Codifier in the Jackson films. Gollum is a CGI character, but played on the set by Andy Serkis in a motion capture suit.
- Shadow Archetype: Gollum is a shadow to both Bilbo and Frodo. He is to some extent a shadow to Sam.
- Spanner in the Works: "Even Gollum may have something yet to do..."
- Talking to Themself: Usually represented by having him talk to his reflection, with the camera focusing on himself for Sméagol and the reflection for Gollum.
- Verbal Tic: "My Precioussss", "Gollum, Gollum!" He also has a tendency to call random things, usually people "precious" as well and punctuate his sentences with it, as though no matter what he were paying attention to his mind was constantly on the Ring.
- Was Once a Man: The prologue of Return of the King shows us his gradual corruption by the Ring from a normal Hobbit into the creature Gollum. This was done at the insistence of Andy Serkis, who wanted viewers to see there really was an actor behind Gollum.
Treebeard (John Rhys-Davies)
I am on nobody's side, because nobody is on my side. Nobody cares for the woods anymore.Treebeard, or Fangorn in Elvish, is the second-oldest being in Middle-earth (after the very first Elf to awaken far in the east, Círdan the Shipwright, still living in Middle-Earth), and the namesake of one of the only remaining primordial forests in Middle-earth. Despite his great age, Treebeard is not counted among the Wise, and is quite unsophisticated.
- Badass Baritone: Voiced by John Rhys-Davies.
- Badass Grandpa: He's so old that he refers to the wizards as "young Saruman" and "young Gandalf."
- Beware the Nice Ones: Gentle and kindly most of the time. Can tear up stone like tissue paper when protecting his forest. Pippin even points this out to Merry.
- Gaia's Revenge: Ents were made specifically to protect the forests from mortal depredations. No surprise that he and the Ents destroy the huge indstrial factory that's been deforesting their "herd".
- Heroic Neutral: As he says, he's not participating in any of this War of the Ring stuff because everyone's forgotten about caring for the woods he loves.
- Neutral No Longer: Marches against Saruman in response to the direct attack on Fangorn.
- Overly Long Name: His real name is the story of his life, according to him. Like most Ents, he's therefore Only Known By His Nickname.Treebeard: You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.
- Plant Person: Essentially a big mobile tree. (Other Ents look more specifically like particular tree species.)
- Time Abyss: Perhaps the third-oldest physical creature (not counting Maiar) in Middle-Earth. Círdan, having awoken with the first generation of Elves at Cuiviénen way back in the Years of the Trees, is older still, and Tom Bombadil is older than the world.
- Verbal Tic: Hmm, don't be hasty, now...
Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm)See his character sheet in ''The Hobbit'.
The Forces of Evil
Sauron (Sala Baker)
Originally a Maiar of Aulë, one of the greatest of the Valar (his power of smithing being the most similar to that of God himself, Ilúvatar), Sauron was corrupted by Melkor (himself originally the most powerful Vala), later renamed Morgoth Bauglir (Black Enemy) and became one of his chief lieutenants during the great wars of the First Age. After Morgoth's defeat and imprisonment, Sauron took for himself the title of Dark Lord (as well as King of Men), and eventually exceeded his master in power.
- Adaptational Badass: In the novels, Sauron never fights unless he has to and always loses when he does. In the movie, he's seen wiping out soldiers by the dozen with every swing of his mace.
- Big Bad: In the Second and Third Ages. In the First Age, he was The Dragon to Morgoth.
- Black Knight: His humanoid form was clad in black armour and wielded a mace.
- Black Speech: Sauron at one time made an artificial language as a way to communicate across his empire and his allies earlier in the backstory. Thousands of years after being killed in the final battle of the Last Alliance and getting a new form, only the Nazgûl remembered how to speak it.note It fell out of favor with everyone else.
- Carry a Big Stick: Took a mace with him into his last battle.
- The Chessmaster: Used disguises and clever tactical planning to make the Elves create the Rings, and to later undermine Númenor until its downfall.
- Dark Is Evil: Sauron is not called the Dark Lord for nothing, and Casting a Shadow was one of his powers.
- The Dragon: In his backstory, he was The Dragon to Morgoth. This is indeed revealed to be canon in the film verse as of The Battle Of The Five Armies, when Galadriel explicitly mentions Sauron as his servant as she banishes him (Morgoth having already been named as the Balrog's creator without much elaboration in Fellowship of The Ring).
- Dragon Ascendant: After the Valar defeated and imprisoned Morgoth he became the new Dark Lord.
- The Dreaded: Sauron is the most feared entity in Middle-Earth (except maybe for Balrogs). Even in his weakened state, everyone is terrified of what he's going to do next.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: One of the reasons the whole gambit works. Sauron believes that anyone who possesses the Ring would wish to use it for themselves, leaving them susceptible to his corruption. It's too late when he realizes that someone intends to destroy it. He turns out correct in the end, as nobody actually has the resolve to destroy it willingly, and it gets undone pretty much by an accident.
- Evil Genius: He's one of the smartest beings in Middle-Earth from the very beginning.
- Evil Sorcerer: As the Necromancer.
- Evil Overlord: The Trope Codifier for modern fantasy.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower.
- Face–Heel Turn: Originally, Sauron was an angelic being and servant of Aulë, the godlike patron of craftsmen and maker of the physical aspect of the Earth; this is how he became such a master at creating items of power. However, he was corrupted by the first Dark Lord, Morgoth, with promises of power.
- Fallen Angel: Sauron is a Maia, the same sort of entity as Gandalf, but was corrupted by Morgoth.
- Faceless Eye: Peter Jackson interprets the "Eye of Sauron" literally, and depicts Sauron as a flaming all-seeing Giant Eye of Doom sitting at the top of Barad-dûr.
- Fantastic Racism: Sauron has made destroying the Númenóreans one of his major goals.
- Fate Worse Than Death: The destruction of his Ring strips him of his powers and leaves him a shadow of his former self.
- Fisher King: The destruction of the Ring removes Sauron from the world, leading to his many minions becoming confused, and the Dark Tower collapses. In the movies, Mordor itself is reduced to ruins.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Trope Codifier. In the intro scene we seem him fling soldiers left and right with his mace by the dozens at a time.
- Greater-Scope Villain: In The Hobbit Trilogy. He's Azog and Bolg's boss, but he's not responsible for most of the company's problems.
- Heel–Face Turn: He did this at the end of the First Age, when he truly reformed and wanted to help rebuild Middle-Earth...
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: ...but the corruption from Morgoth was too great, and he couldn't resist the temptation to use the reconstruction to conquer.
- He Who Fights Monsters: In his Backstory he was a decent Maia who got a little too obsessed with order.
- Humanoid Abomination: Sauron's physical form at the beginning is a black-armoured humanoid warrior, but he's anything but human.
- Keystone Army: Raised and lost several.
- Large and in Charge: In the movie, he appears to be a good 15 feet tall, at least.
- Light 'em Up: Even in the finished product, his eye forms a spotlight of sorts.
- Light Is Not Good: In the deleted scene where he appeared as Annatar◊.
- Load-Bearing Boss: His malign will was functioning as his Evil Tower of Ominousness' foundation, not to mention the primary motivating force of his armies.
- Mind Rape: His specialty. "Thy flesh shall be devoured and thy shriveled mind left naked to the Lidless Eye."
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Sauron" is Quenya for "abomination". His less-often-seen Sindarin name, Gorthaur, means "terrible dread". He's also known as "The Necromancer" throughout the Hobit.
- Obviously Evil: In humanoid form he has Spikes of Villainy and lead an army of orcs. Nowadays he's a flaming eye.
- Orcus on His Throne: He never engages anyone in physical battle after his previous defeat. Though, this isn't to say that he's inactive. His Eye is always on the move, as are his servants. That said, his status as this is less from not feeling like moving, and more from having no physical body.
- Out-Gambitted: He Out Gambits everyone, and then is in turn Out-Gambitted by Gandalf. See Unwitting Pawn below.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Rather, eye. It's red because it's on fire. Hard to get more ominous than that.
- Take Over the World: Sauron wants world domination, a smaller and more practical goal than Morgoth's desire to remake the universe in his image.
- Tin Tyrant: Whenever we actually see Sauron in the films, he's fully covered in plate armor. However, Word of God says that his "armor" is actually his skin.
- Spikes of Villainy: Both his armor and anything made by Mordor.
- Ultimate Evil: In the present day, Sauron is the ultimate Enemy of any free, non-evil person.
- Unwitting Pawn: Marching up to the Black Gate was a trap, and he walked right into it.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Before his physical body was destroyed in the fall of Númenor. Even afterwards, he's implied to still possess the ability, though he never really gets a chance to use it — he just can't conceal his true nature any more, meaning it's no longer useful as a disguise.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His goal was once to establish order in Middle-Earth. Emphasis on was.
The One Ring
The One Ring (voiced by Alan Howard)
The Ruling Ring created by Sauron alone with the power to dominate the Nine (given to Men) and the Seven (given to Dwarves) he and the Elven-smith Celebrimbor (whom Sauron, in his angelic form of Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, had duped) created in the Ring-Forges of Eregion before the doors of Khazad-dûm.
- Affectionate Nickname: The Ring has been called "Precious" by Isildur, Gollum, and Bilbo.
- Amplifier Artifact: The Ring doles out power based on its wielder's capacity.
- Artifact of Attraction: Those who even so much as look at it will start to covet it.
- Artifact of Doom: It is the Soul Jar of the Evil Overlord Sauron.
- Black Speech: The inscription is written in Black Speech and it sometimes seems to be speaking it; the language is very harsh on the ears.
- Brown Note: If it's not speaking in a whisper, it's in a hideous deep voice.
- Compelling Voice: Its effect on the people around it is represented as sinister whispering.
- The Corruption: The Ring will corrupt anyone who wears it for a prolonged period of time.
- Clingy MacGuffin: Only one person, Bilbo, has willingly given up the Ring.
- Happy Fun Ball: Boromir notes the irony that the fate of Middle-Earth is bound up in a tiny, unadorned band of metal.
- Hate Plague: It engenders powerlust, malice, hatred, and murderous envy in the people around it.
- Invisibility Cloak: Wearing the Ring makes you invisible in the normal world, but you become visible in the Wraith-World, where you can be seen by Sauron and his Ringwraiths.
- Lust Object: Everyone is tempted by its power. Even Sam.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: The only thing that can destroy it is lava. Not just any lava, but specifically the stuff from Mount Doom.
- Ring of Power: The Ring of Power.
- Soul Jar: Sauron inserted the majority of his power into it, and without it he is drastically weakened.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: Several people have compared its effects to those of drug addiction.
Saruman (Christopher Lee)
"We must join with Him, Gandalf. We must join with Sauron. It would be wise, my friend."The leader of the Istari, an order of wizards sent by the Valar to Middle-earth to aid Men, Elves, and Dwarves in their struggle against the darkness. Unfortunately, Saruman was tempted by the power of the One Ring and turned to evil. Is in fact an angelic Maiar spirit with the appearance of an elderly but vigorous Man.
- Affably Evil: He's quite charming and incredibly charismatic — at least until you make him seriously angry.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The head of the White Council. He delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Gandalf the Grey.
- Badass Grandpa: He beats the crap out of Nazgûls easily, and after his Face–Heel Turn, defeats Gandalf.
- Berserk Button: Saruman doesn't like being questioned. He's all charm with Gandalf until Gandalf asks if he's lost his mind. Then Saruman attacks him.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He thinks he can be the Lord of the Rings and usurp Sauron's throne... he is wrong.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: As provided by Christopher Lee.
- Break the Haughty: The Ents decimate his forces and leave him trapped in his tower. Then his staff is destroyed by Gandalf and he gets knifed in the back by Wormtongue.
- Compelling Voice: Especially when played by Christopher Lee.
- Dragon with an Agenda: He's less loyal to the Dark Lord than he claims.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In The Hobbit, where he's seen as part of the White Council.
- Evil Counterpart: To Gandalf. He even says that he's what Saruman should have been.
- Evil Former Friend: Was Gandalf's friend before turning to evil.
- Evil Sorcerer: Uses his magic to hinder the Fellowship, create Uruk-hai, and weaken Théoden.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Casting Christopher Lee seems designed to invoke this trope.
- Face–Heel Turn: He spent most of his time on Arda as a heroic wizard fighting the forces of evil, but his obsession with studying them in order to combat them better led to a He Who Fights Monsters situation.
- Fallen Hero: The Hobbit trilogy actually shows us Saruman before his Heel–Face Turn. He also demonstrates that being the strongest of Five Wizards is definitely not an Informed Ability.Saruman (to Galadriel, surrounded by Nazgûl): Are you in need of assistance, my lady?
- Faux Affably Evil: He tries to be his old, charming self when everything's gone to pot at the beginning of the extended version of The Return of the King, but neither Théoden or Gandalf are having any of it.Saruman: Can we not have peace, you and I?Théoden: We shall have peace... when you answer for the burning of the West Fold! For the children that lie dead there! When the men who's bodies were hewn even as they lay dead against the gates of the Hornburg are avenged! When you hang from a gibbet, for the sport of your own crows! ... We shall have peace!
- Foil: To Gandalf. Both are wise, but Saruman is proud and isolates himself in Orthanc while Gandalf is still open to learning and travels widely.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He's jealous of Gandalf, and has been secretly having agents follow him, and imitating him — smoking pipe-weed, for instance. Unfinished Tales reveals that he's been jealous of Gandalf at least since they set sail from Valinor for Middle-Earth, probably even before that.
- The Heavy: For The Two Towers, as he and his forces are terrorizing more or less everybody except for Frodo and Sam. Even towards the end of Fellowship, he's still the primary enemy and holds the honor of being the one to successfully break up the Fellowship.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Saruman became too obsessed with using the powers of the Ring against Sauron.
- Hypocrite: He rails against Radagast's mushroom habits, claiming it's yellowed his teeth and Gandalf's smoking. Saruman's teeth aren't exactly pearly white themselves, and as it turns out Saruman has a big supply of fabled Longbottom Leaf sitting around in a cupboard.
- Insufferable Genius: He appears to enjoy insulting or belittling those around him, even questioning Galadriel herself at several points during the White Council. Gandalf is the most common recipient of his superiority complex and it makes a lot of sense considering the jealousy that Saruman has harbored towards him for millennia.
- I Want Them Alive: Says this word for word when he orders Lurtz to capture the hobbits, though everyone else is fair game. Good thing too, since if he hadn't explicitly told them to keep the hobbits alive, Merry and Pippin would've wound up on the menu.
- Karmic Death: Killed by Wormtongue, almost immediately after smacking him around.
- Keystone Army: More in the films than in the book.
- Large Ham: "A NEW POWER IS RISING. ITS VICTORY IS AT HAND! THIS NIGHT, THE LAND WILL BE STAINED WITH THE BLOOD OF ROHAN! MARCH TO HELM'S DEEP! LEAVE NONE ALIVE! TO WAR!!!!!!"
- Let Me Tell You a Story: Apparently was prone to this before his corruption. In The Hobbit film, he spends half his screentime on a tangent about how much he disapproves of Radagast's lifestyle (and his alleged mushrooms) whilst the Council are trying to discuss the Necromancer and the Witch-King. Gandalf and Galadriel are apparently quite used to this.
- Light Is Not Good: Dresses in white.
- Mage Tower: Orthanc.
- Man in White: "Saruman the White". Dresses accordingly. Especially as the movies phase out the "Saruman of Many Colors" aspect.
- Manipulative Bastard: One of the finest in the whole series. Saruman manipulates Théoden by way of a magical spell and Treacherous Advisor for years, driving the Rohirrim economy into the ground; he also attempts to prevent Thorin and his Company from destroying Smaug and reclaiming the Lonely Mountain, which would return control of the north to Erebor and Dale; and then he after the Necromancer is driven out of Dol Guldur by Galadriel, Saruman insists that he be allowed to oversee the pursuit of Sauron in Mordor.
- Non-Elemental: His specialty. While Gandalf is a fire specialist and Radagast is a Friend to All Living Things, Saruman has no obvious area of interest (except perhaps as a Gadgeteer Genius).
- Not So Different: He claims to be this with Gandalf.Saruman: Gandalf does not hesitate to sacrifice those closest to him, those he professes to love. Tell me... what words of comfort did you give the halfling before you sent him to his doom? The path that you have set him on can only lead to death.
- Oh, Crap!: When the Ents storm Isengard and slaughter his forces. Particularly when they break the dam to flood the industrial works.
- One-Man Industrial Revolution: Part of the Green Aesop. He has "a mind of metal and wheels" and turns the lovely park of Isengard into a horrible arms factory that's constantly belching smoke and fire, and ruins the countryside around it.
- Our Angels Are Different: The Wizards are really angels disguised as elderly humans.
- The Quisling: His job was to stop Sauron, not join him.
- The Rival: To Gandalf. While Radagast and the blue wizards have disappeared into the East by the time Lord of the Rings takes place, Gandalf is still around keeping an eye on things in Middle-Earth, including Saruman's dubious actions around Isenguard. This rivalry finally comes to a head when Gandalf discovers that Saruman has been in league with Mordor for decades.
- Spikes of Villainy: His dark tower, Orthanc, is crowned with four spikes, and his staff also has four spikes at the top.
- The Starscream: He has this trope in mind with his servitude towards Sauron, hoping to take the ring himself, but it never pans out.
- Smug Snake: Good job with the army of ten thousand and weakening Rohan, but maybe it wasn't such a good idea to use the magical forest full of Ents and Huorns as your primary fuel source.
- Smug Straight Edge: Makes disparaging remarks about Radagast's fondness for mushrooms and Gandalf's use of pipeweed. Despite being a hypocrite who smokes pipe-weed himself, but doesn't want Gandalf to know this.
- Treacherous Advisor: To most of Middle-Earth before he reveals his true colors.
- Villainous Breakdown: Théoden and Gandalf goad him into one, thereby revealing his true nature and breaking the power of his hypnotic voice.
- Visionary Villain: Sees himself as the ruler of Middle-Earth instead of Sauron.Saruman: A new powerrr is rrrising!!
- We Can Rule Together: Offers Gandalf the chance to rule with him.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Originally he wanted to learn everything about the Enemy so that he could defeat him, but his arrogance led to his downfall (for example, using the Palantír against Gandalf's advice).
- Willfully Weak: Like the rest of the Wizards, Saruman is actually operating at only a fraction of his full power. This is deliberate as the Valar decided to clothe the Wizards in the bodies of old men as they are meant to combat Sauron by wisdom and persuasion not brute strength or force. However Saruman ignored all that by deciding to join Saroun's forces.
Gríma Wormtongue (Brad Dourif)
"Why do you lay these troubles on an already troubled mind?"Once a Man of Rohan, Gríma entered the service of the evil wizard Saruman, and acted as the agent of his dominance over Rohan before the Fellowship's arrival in Edoras. After being freed from Saruman and Gríma's joint mind control, Théoden spared him, and he returned to Isengard and betrayed the Hornburg's sole weakness to Saruman.
- Dirty Coward: He tries to get the hell away when Gandalf starts healing Théoden and crawls and grovels Théoden wants to kill him.
- The Dog Bites Back: Killing Saruman once he had enough of his mistreatment. It happens much sooner than in the books.
- Evil Chancellor: To Théoden.
- Hannibal Lecture: He gives an especially cruel one to Éowyn when his attempt to seduce her fails, declaring her as alone and cold.
- He Knows Too Much: His reason for getting rid of Éomer. "You see much, Éomer, son of Éomund. Too much."
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: Théoden offers him amnesty and he does appear to want to accept it...but he then has enough of Saruman's crap and ends up dying in the resulting altercation.
- Manipulative Bastard: His poisonous words combine with Saruman's enchantments to turn Théoden into a weak old dotard, and Wormtongue convinces him to exile his beloved and loyal nephew Éomer.
- The Mole: Saruman uses Wormtongue to weaken Rohan by weakening its king.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: In contrast to all the tall blond not-Vikings, Wormtongue looks like he'd sunburn from torchlight.
- Obviously Evil: Lampshaded in the extras. A hall full of handsome, blond-haired warriors in armor and one pale scrawny guy with greasy black hair? Gosh, who could the bad guy be?
- Oh, Crap!: Realizing that his men failed to confiscate Gandalf's staff.
- Smug Snake: He does get a lot of his own way... at first. But he probably should have replaced the gate guard with people less loyal to Théoden himself.
- Sycophantic Servant: To Saruman, especially towards the end.
- Treacherous Advisor: He presents himself as Théoden's trusted advisor and confidante, when in reality he's working for Saruman and actively assists him in keeping Théoden under a magical spell. This hasn't helped Rohan in the slightest, either.
- Villainous Crush: To Éowyn. In fact, the reason he joined up with Saruman was Saruman had promised him the object of his lust.
The Witch-King of Angmar
The Witch-King of Angmar (Bret McIntyre / Lawrence Makoare, voice by Andy Serkis)
Indubitably the greatest of Sauron's servants, holder of the greatest of the Nine Rings of Power given to Men, and Lord of the Nazgûl. The Witch-King was previously king of the evil realm of Angmar in Northern Eriador, which destroyed the fortress-city of Fornost (and with it, the northern Dúnedain kingdom of Arnor). Soon afterwards, Angmar was itself destroyed by a combined force of Elves and Men of Gondor and (the remnants of) Arnor, after which the Witch-King fled to Mordor.
- Badass Boast: "Do you not know death when you see it, old man? This is my hour!"
- The Dragon: To Sauron. The Witch-King is his chief servant and goes abroad to do the dirty work.
- The Dreaded: Everyone is terrified of this guy and for good reason.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Chronologically speaking, he first shows up in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, where he attempts to backstab Radagast with a Morgul blade only for the wizard to successfully fend him off.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": We just know him by his title.
- The Faceless: In the normal world he has no form except that which his clothes (and crown) give him. We do see his face in the shadow world when Frodo wears the Ring.
- Flaming Sword: He makes flames emanate from his sword when he challenges Gandalf in the Extended Edition.
- Geas: It has been noted that while it is not referred to as such, the prophecy that he shall not fall by the hand of Man is functionally a geas.
- Giant Flyer: His later mount, the Fell Beast.
- Implacable Man: He and the other Nazgûl can't be truly killed while the One Ring exists.
- I Have Many Names: Witch-King, Lord of the Nazgûl, High Nazgûl, Black Captain, Captain of Despair, Morgul-Lord, etc.
- Large and in Charge: In the third film, he's played by 7-foot, 300-pound bodybuilder Lawrence Makoare, and wears a tall pointed helmet.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: He and the other Nazgûl. In the books, they screech very rarely; although enough for the Orcs to give them the nickname "Shriekers". In the film, their nightmarish, banshee wailing is a punishing audial weapon that is enough to bring grown men to their knees; and is utilized at every opportunity.
- Mysterious Past: His past was never fully revealed. We only get hints of who he used to be. Which is a lot more than we get of his lieutenant, Khamûl the Black Easterling, and the rest of the Nazgûl. He gets a bit of exposé in The Hobbit that differs significantly from what Tolkien wrote, due to Jackson not being allowed to utilize several of the books that contain the Witch-King's past.
- The Necromancer: Junior level.
- The Necrocracy: Founded two, the country of Angmar and the city of Minas Morgul.
- No Man of Woman Born: Tolkien's answer to this trope was to have him undone by a woman and a hobbit. Merry gets him in the knee to break the protective enchantmentnote and Éowyn stabs him in the face.
- The Undead: One of the consequences that the Nine Kings of Men had to face for using the Rings of Power.
- Weakened by the Light: Although the Nazgûl don't seem to loathe the sunlight the way Sauron's Mooks do, Gandalf is able to drive him and the others away with a beam of light.
- Was Once a Man: He was once a man of Númenor who was corrupted by his Ring of Power.
Monsters originally created by Morgoth as mockeries of the Ents. Now they serve Sauron and other evil beings, and exist in many variations/subspecies, including the deadly and intelligent Olog-hai, the exceptionally strong but awesomely stupid Cave Trolls, and the large, fast, and darkly cunning Mountain Trolls.
- All Trolls Are Different: Tolkien's trolls are giant-like monsters with rocky hides and beast-like intelligence. They permanently turn to stone when exposed to sunlight. The exceptions are Sauron's Olog-hai, more intelligent trolls that are immune to sunlight.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with the cave troll in Moria. After it's mortally wounded, it comes off as almost childlike and you're left to wonder about the chain it was wearing and what its life was like.
- Dumb Muscle: Trolls are barely capable of speech and are used simply to crush large numbers of enemies.
- Elite Mook: The Attack Trolls followed by the Olog-Hai.
- Evil Counterpart: Apparently intended as Morgoth's answer to the Ents, but nowhere near as strong or wise.
- Giant Mook
- Made of Iron: They die hard.
Mouth of Sauron
The Mouth of Sauron (Bruce Spence)
"My master, Sauron the Great, bids thee welcome. Is there any in this rout with authority to treat with me?"A Black Númenórean who serves as Sauron's mouthpiece to the Captains of the West. Unceremoniously decapitated by an enraged Aragorn.
- Asshole Victim: Aragorn chops his head off. Bad form for a negotiation, but voluntarily serving Sauron and taunting the heavily-armed men about torturing and killing one of his friends doesn't win you any sympathy.
- Ass in Ambassador: After meeting with Aragorn, he essentially demands his surrender.
- Black Speech: An interesting form of it. Word of God says that his mouth is so horribly damaged and disfigured because the words of Sauron that he speaks are so evil he gets damaged by them.
- Body Horror: His mouth does not move naturally, and is distorted and grotesque. His movements in general are a bit jarring and jerky. His LEGO minifigure in the Black Gate set reveals that his mouth is his only facial feature left, with folds of skin and warts where eyes should be. The designers for the film envisioned him blind, but it didn't matter since being the mouthpiece of Sauron was his only purpose, but a deterioration to the point of only having a mouth adds to the horror. This is probably canon provided by Word of God (or at least approved), considering that LEGO shows their work and takes little creative liberties (besides size compression) with licensed properties.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: From his dialogue, one gets the impression that he's the one in charge of actually doing this to people who have offended Sauron in some manner.
- Death by Adaptation: In the books, he concludes negotiations by turning tail and running back to the Black Gate after Gandalf rejects the terms and the rest of the Free Folk give him a Death Glare. In the extended cut of the film, he mocks Aragorn and is swiftly decapitated.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": 'His name is remembered in no tale for he himself had forgotten it, and he said "I am the Mouth of Sauron"'
- Evil Sounds Deep: Courtesy of Bruce Spence.
- Gross-Up Close-Up: His teeth. Egads, his teeth...
- I Shall Taunt You: Pretty much his whole "negotiation" with Gandalf.
- Karmic Death: He was seriously asking for this.
- Mouth of Sauron: The Trope Namer.
- Off with His Head!: Courtesy of Aragorn in the extended cut.
- One-Way Visor: His helmet leaves only his mouth exposed (although as stated above, this hides his Nightmare Face).
- Oh, Crap!: When Gandalf rejects his terms, he starts raving, but when the other representatives of the Free Folk give him a Death Glare, he turns tail and rides breakneck back to the Morannon. In the extended cut of the film, he taunts Aragorn and is swiftly decapitated.
- Was Once a Man: Implied. See Body Horror above.
- Slasher Smile: He flashes his pearly... things... in a horrific leer at everyone.
- Smug Snake: Okay, so the army Aragorn brings is horribly outnumbered and basically doomed from the get-go. Doesn't mean it's a good idea to keep gloating about how you murdered a friend of theirs while their leader, who is wielding the blade that did for your master in the last age, is riding towards you looking curiously calm.
Shelob was one of the countless brood of Ungoliant, a Great Spider and a relic from a time before Sauron's Shadow. Shelob was the greatest of Ungoliant’s spawn, many times larger than even the largest of Mirkwood's spiders. A purely neutral character, she only served herself, and her hunger and bloodlust would be satisfied by any creature she could consume.
- Achilles' Heel: Her underside is not as tough as the rest of her body; when she gives up trying to paralyze Sam with her venom and decides to crush him, he shoves Sting into her guts. The book emphasizes that unlike dragons, Shelob has no weak spots save for her eyes. Sam is only able to pierce her skin and tissue because she unwittingly slams on his blade with her own, massive strength.
- Animalistic Abomination: Just like Mommy.
- Casting a Shadow: Like her mother, she weaves webs of unlight that are perceptible to the Hobbits, although the "unlight" part is hard to convey on film so they look like regular (but giant) webs.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Sauron treats her as his pet—specifically a cat, in that he thinks he owns her and she does whatever she pleases.
- Eye Scream: Sam stabs her in one eye with Sting during their fight.
- Giant Spider: She's thought to be the daughter of Ungoliant, a spirit on the order of Sauron and Balrogs, who took spider form. She's also related to the giant spiders of Mirkwood, but she's bigger.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Of the "pure evil" variety. She was stated to be immune to the Ring's temptations because power holds no interest for something that just wants to eat everything.
- Meaningful Name: "Lob" is an archaic word for "spider". She's female. "She-Lob".
- Omnicidal Maniac: Her ultimate goal seems to be to eat the whole planet. Mercifully, she's nowhere near accomplishing that.
- Primal Fear: Spiders. Big spiders. Not surprising, since Tolkien was bitten by a highly venomous spider as a boy.
- Spiders Are Scary: Both Tolkien and Jackson firmly believe in this trope. Shelob is a horrific menace even to the nasties that populate Mordor.
- Time Abyss: She is said to have been around when the earth was born. Although that is more so her mother Ungoliant.
- The Voiceless: The fact that she was able to work out a deal with Gollum implies she can speak, but she never does during her appearance in the text. Or just that she understands speech, and relented her attack when Gollum begged for his life and promised to bring her tasty things to eat.
- Weakened by the Light: The thing that finally makes her flinch is the phial of starlight Galadriel gave Frodo.
Durin's Bane, a Balrog of Morgoth
A Balrog of Morgoth, a monster of the First Age, awoken by the dwarves in their delvings beneath Khazad-dûm, who killed Durin VI and drove the dwarves from their oldest and greatest realm. Encountered by the Fellowship as they leave Khazad-dûm. Slain by Gandalf in a titanic battle that began at the lowest abyss of Moria and ended on Durin's Tower, its highest point.
- Big Red Devil: He's effectively this on fire.
- Dark Is Evil: The parts of him that aren't on fire are black and shadowy and he lives in one of the deepest, darkest places of Middle-Earth.
- Eldritch Abomination: At least, you could tell that Sauron's minions were warped versions of their original selves. This demon is one of many "that should not see the light of day".
- Evil Is Burning Hot: Balrogs are some of the most feared creatures in Middle-Earth for good reason. They served Sauron's old boss before the Third Age and are all Hero Killers. Even the goblins are terrified of it.
- Fallen Angel: Believe it or not, that demon who just snared and just happens to have a sword and whip, belonged to a race of hyper-intelligent warriors from hell that made the Ringwraiths look like pansies. He's the same order of being as Gandalf and Sauron.
- Knight of Cerebus: The story was already serious, but he upped the ante and paved the way for the Fellowship's breaking by bringing down Gandalf. (Of course, Gandalf got better.) It also introduced the epic one-on-one fights that would occur later in the story.
- Large and in Charge: Much larger than the orcs and trolls in Moria, and they seem to be almost as afraid of him as the Fellowship is. In the Peter Jackson films, Durin's Bane is nearly twenty feet tall.
- Playing with Fire: The movie makes it looks like he's literally a demon of flame. And shadow.
- Rasputinian Death: Falls down a deep pit along with Gandalf, as they try to stab one another as they plummet down to the bottom. Once they land, they are immediately submerged, carried down the stream presumably, until they reached the base of a mountain, climb the Endless Stair to the peak of Celebdil, where they fought until Gandalf manages to pierce its heart, causing it to fall down to its death.
- Whip It Good: He uses a flaming whip in conjunction with a Flaming Sword.
- The Ageless: Like the Elves they were supposedly created from, but it isn't fully clear.
- Bad Boss: Any given orc in a position of power will probably be one of these.
- Band of Brothers: Compared to their Orc cousins, The Uruk-hai seems to be this, as they at least treat each other with respect, and when they suffered their first casualty at the Battle of Helm's Deep, their reaction went from threat display to Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Blood Knight: All the Uruk-hai, but Uglúk stands out in particular.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Those orcs who aren't Blood Knights are really into this.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Uruk-hai.
- Dirty Coward: "Standard" orcs, which is why whip-wielding superiors and/or Nazgûl stand behind them.
- Elite Mooks: Uruk-hai (Black Speech for "Orc-people").
- Enemy Civil War: The only thing keeping the orcs held together is the will of Sauron. Whenever that slackens for whatever reason, they remember that they hate each other almost as much as they hate the other races and almost immediately go for each other's throats. Unless there are people of other races nearby, in which case different tribes of orcs will band together to kill them, then turn on each other.
- Fantastic Racism: Against Elves, Men, and even other Orcs (there is a rivalry between the Orcs of Mordor, the 'Northerners' from the Misty Mountains who are used to running their own affairs, and Saruman's Uruk-hai).
- Faux Affably Evil: For the most part.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The most likely origin of the Uruk-hai.
- I'm a Humanitarian: They're not very... selective in their diet.
- Manipulative Bastard: Grishnakh.
- Mook Lieutenant: Lurtz from the Fellowship film adaptation, Uglúk from The Two Towers, and Gothmog from The Return of the King film adaptation. Gothmog also appears in the book, but it's never specified whether he is an orc or a human.
- No Cure for Evil: Averted. Orcish medicine is among the most advanced in Middle-Earth, but it tends to be very painful and has heavy scarring.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Actually, to a degree they are, despite being the Trope Namer. Tolkien's actual orcs are much more advanced and intelligent, and not as physically powerful, than the crude barbarians Always Chaotic Evil orcs are generally portrayed as.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Uruk-hai only. "Standard" orcs are sneaks and cowards.
- Smug Snake: Grishnakh.
- Torture Technician: Just about any orc with brains will be one of these.
- Unskilled, but Strong: The Uruk-hai are stronger and faster than orcs so they fight mostly by throwing their weight around. Their army as a whole shows this at Helms Deep where their primary strategy is a Zerg Rush with little direction and leadership.
- Was Once a Man: The origin that made it into the books is that they were once elves. This is only one possibility, though, and it kept changing right up until Tolkien's death — he didn't like the implications that had for their eternal souls, even though he did not want evil to be capable of independent creation, which would have conflicted with his Christianity.
Lurtz (Lawrence Makoare)
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Saruman makes him the leader of his first breed of Uruk-hai because he's the strongest and smartest one, plus the first thing he did was slaughter the orcs who helped pull him out of the breeding pits.
- Badass in Charge: Of his Uruk-Hai scouts squadron.
- Blood Knight: When dismembered and impaled does not stop him from continuing the fight.
- Body Paint: Saruman's symbol (a white hand) on his face.
- The Brute: As if mortally wounding Boromir wasn't enough, Lurtz is incredibly dangerous in close combat too. He can match swords with Aragorn and the brutal punches he deliver leave Aragorn dazed, while he himself shrugs off anything Aragorn throws at him (including the knife through his leg) until Aragorn manages to hack off an arm.
- Canon Foreigner: He has no direct counterpart in the novels, though a few reviewers made a bit too much of this: he's not so much a "major new character", as that they basically took one of the "generic Orc chieftains" from the novels and bothered to give him a name.
- Combat Pragmatist: Throws an Uruk-hai shield to pin Aragorn against a tree in order to decapitate him.
- He kills Boromir by firing arrows from range while wearing him down by throwing Uruks at him.
- Defiant to the End: When Aragorn sticks his sword through Lurtz's gut (after literally disarming him), Lurtz grabs the sword and drags himself closer while growling in Aragorn's face.
- Determinator: Even after getting an arm cut off and being impaled by a sword, he still tries to get closer to Aragorn.
- The Dragon: To Saruman in The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Establishing Character Moment: Step one, get "born." Step two, strangle the guy who delivered you.
- Evil Gloating: Although he growls instead of delivering some kind of Breaking Speech, he takes obvious relish in Boromir's demise, drawing his bow slowly and delaying the actual kill shot while Boromir is kneeling helpless... which allows Aragorn to interrupt with a flying tackle.
- Hero Killer: Kills Boromir.
- Monster Progenitor: The very first bred Uruk-Hai.
Played By: Lawrence Makoare
- Adaptational Badass: He doesn't fight anyone in the books.
- All There in the Manual: His name is never stated in the movies, we only know he's supposed to be Gothmog due merchandise.
- Ascended Extra: In the book he gets mentioned exactly once as "the Lieutenant of Minas Morgul" - his species isn't even disclosed. The movies make him a far more imposing commander.
- Handicapped Badass: Able to match Éowyn in combat despite a limp and one useless arm.
- Badass Boast: "The age of Men is over. The time of the Orcs has come!"
- Bad Boss: Like all Orc leaders, Gothmog does not give a damn about his troops. His reaction to seeing them die by the droves in the gates of Gondor is shouting at their incompetence.
- Body Horror: Gothmog looks like a giant tumor.
- The Determinator: His effort to kill Éowyn is quite remarkable.
- Dirty Coward: Notable aversion. While basically all non-Uruk-Hai Orcs seem to be cowards, Gothmog is the exception.]
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When he dismounts his warg he stumbles slightly, and another orc tries to help him walk only for Gothmog to angrily push him away and walk by himself.
- Evil Cripple: The entire left side of his body is completely deformed, making his arm useless and his leg limp.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Alongside Guttural Growler.
- Gonk: One of, if not the ugliest orc in the movie, which is no small achievement.
- Four-Star Badass: Leader of the troops at Pelennor Fields.
- Guttural Growler: He sounds a lot like Doctor Claw.
- Handicapped Badass: Despite being a cripple, he is by far the most competent Orc in the third movie.
- Kick the Dog: Beheading an entire battalion of soldiers and launching their heads against the terrified citizens of Minas Tirith.
- Nonchalant Dodge: The infamous scene in which, upon noticing a rock being launched in his direction, Gothmog stays perfectly still and calm until the last possible moment, then he dodges and follows up with a Spiteful Spit in the rock.
- Also counts as Hypocritical Humor; he had earlier told his troops to hold their ground even as they were being bombarded with rocks, and only when one is about to hit him does he go back on his own word.
- Rasputinian Death: Wounded in the leg, has his arm chopped off, then impaled with an axe, then slashed in the back. Only in the extended edition, though (the threatical version leaves his fate ambiguous).
- Slasher Smile: "Bring up the Wolf's Head!"
- Spiteful Spit: See Rasputinian Death above.
- The Strategist: The main Orc strategist in the movies.
- Stupid Evil: Averted, given that he's an Orc general. Meant to show how Mordor's Orcs are a better organized fighting force than they were during the Prologue, when they just swarmed across the battlefield like a feral mob and got mowed down by more organized enemies. Gothmog doesn't so much have brilliant tactics but "common sense" - i.e. when facing a cavalry charge, he bellows at his troops to form ranks, "pikes in front, archers behind!" This is still a drastic force multiplier for the Orc army, given that their previous strategy was "blindly rush at an oncoming cavalry charge until we trip them up with piles of our own dead".
- Badass Grandpa: One of the eldest orcs in existence, still leading a band of Warg riders and nearly killing Aragorn.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a distinctive Warg-inflicted claw scar across his face.
- Meaningful Name: All There in the Manual, but his name (which in the books was the orcs' nickname for Saruman) means "old man", and he's an old orc.
Uglúk (Nathaniel Lees)
The leader of the Uruk-hai scouts after the death of Lurtz. He and his squadron were the ones that captured Merry and Pippin at Amon Hen and headed towards Isengard.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Mordor orcs grow increasingly eager to eat the hobbits, and the squadron is starving, so what does he do? Beheading one of the orcs.Uglúk: Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!
- I Want Them Alive: Prevents the Mordor orcs from eating the hobbits because he believes that one of them is carrying the One Ring.
- Killed Offscreen: By Éomer's Rohirrim squadron.
- Undying Loyalty: Obeys Saruman's orders without flinching.