The Lord of the Rings Online expands onthe books it is based on with material supplementing the books' main story and drawing from background lore. Detailed here are characters made for the purpose of the game or minor characters from the lore that are given much more detail in LOTRO. This will contain spoilers.
Along with Aragorn, one of the first Ranger Men and Hobbit characters encounter. Wounded by a Morgul blade during the introduction instance.
Brainwashed and Crazy: The wound inflicted by the Nazgûl's Morgul blade turns him into a wraith, resulting in him getting progressively sicker and paler over time, becoming a transparent, pale maniac out to murder his fellow Rangers (starting with his brother Toradan), and finally a robed servant of the Eye.
Facial Horror: When he's partway between Man and Wraith his face looks like a corpse's, with gaunt skin and no nose.
Fate Worse than Death: He showcases what happens to those who are stabbed by a Black Rider's Morgul Blade and don't get cured in time. You end it for him soon.
Heroic Sacrifice: Attempts one against the Nazgûl to protect the Hobbits in Archet but is only wounded. Unfortunately, this is a far worse fate.
Hero Killer: As a result of his transformation into a Cargul, he is driven to murder his fellow Rangers.
Sacrificial Lamb: If your character is a Hobbit or of the Race of Men, he and Aragorn (who at this point in the storyline is known as Strider) play a large role in the game's intro. He does not last long.
Then Let Me Be Evil: He snaps when Toradan declares his intention to Mercy Kill him. He would have fallen into shadow anyway, but this makes him go after his kindred specifically.
Tragic Monster: At the end of Chapter 1, Amdir becomes one of the red-robed Cargûl, and you have to kill him.
Transformation Sequence: He completes his transformation into a wraith before your eyes just before your final encounter with him.
An old friend of Aragorn. Leader of the Wardens of Annúminas, a sub-group of Dúnedain who watch over the old capital of Arnor and the lands surrounding Lake Evendim.
Mayfly-December Romance: Subverted. Calenglad has feelings for Gwindeth, the Blue Lady of Nenuial, but she cannot return his feelings, as he is but one mortal Man and she is older than Arnor itself. She still mourns the death of Elendil, over three thousand years ago. It's really the kingdom of Arnor itself she has a relationship with:
Gwindeth: And so it is I give my love to that which can outlast the lifetime of a single Man.
A Ranger who watches over the Lone-lands.
Call Back: When summoned to the Grey Company, he gives a small speech about how he will miss the lands that he call home, but that he will go nonetheless. This speech makes a return during a cutscene that plays after his death.
King Incognito: Inverted, the Rangers of the Grey Company each carry an imitation of the Ring of Barahir, heirloom of Aragorn's line, to confuse enemies if one of them is captured. The ruse fails Candaith when he tries to convince the leader of a host of Oathbreakers that he is Aragorn.
Distressed Dude: When the player first hears of him, he is being held captive by Mordirith.
Heroic BSOD: Golodir suffers this from Lorniel's death, and it's up to the player to snap him out of it.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He is not happy that his freedom was paid for with his daughter's life, and is angry at the player for allowing her to be a part of the rescue. He does get over his anger when given a chance for revenge, however.
Second in command to Aragorn. Leader of the Rangers of Esteldín and later the Grey Company.
Ascended Extra: Other than Aragorn, he is the only named Ranger of the North to make an appearance in the book.
Doomed by Canon: Halbarad will die during the battle of the Pelennor Fields, but at this point in the story he's still alive and well.
Narrator: Narrates many of the cutscenes and storyline-instances on the road towards Rohan, though he shares the role with a few other characters.
Overshadowed by Awesome: At one point in the Rise of Isengard storyline, he self-deprecatingly admits that he's come to feel this about the player, impressed with their ability to so easily win trust and friendship from a wide variety of people, noting that just one word of counsel from them was enough to convince Prince Theodred to pursue a course of action, whereas his own attempts had failed several times.
A Ranger who watches over the Shire.
Conflicting Loyalty: When summoned to ride with the Grey Company to Rohan, and the aid of his chieftain Aragorn, he cannot decide whether to go, or to stay and protect the Shire (as originally charged by Aragorn), which he fears will come to harm in his absence. He leaves it to the player to decide.
A Ranger who helps the Elves and Dwarves of Ered Luin.
Golodir's daughter, who seeks to free him from Mordirith.
A far-traveling Ranger, currently dwelling with the Lossoth of Forochel.
Badass Boast: And a gutsy one, at that. With the Grey Company betrayed by Dunlendings, the player character and Lothrandir are taken to Isengard as prisoners. The long (off-screen) journey leaves Lothrandir in great pain, yet, he still manages to pull one of these off, before defiantly running straight into Isengard itself.
Lothrandir: I am Lothrandir of the Dúnedain. I have walked among the frozen wastes and the fiery south-lands. I do not fear this place.
Mercy Kill: Attempts to do this to Amdir, for Amdir's sake and all others'. It backfires when Amdir kills him first, then starts killing other Rangers.
A Ranger who helps put an end to the fallen Amdir.
Bit Character: Plays a major role in one early instance, and features in no other quests.
Antagonists in Volume 1: The Shadows of Angmar
The Steward of Angmar, responsible for its resurgence in the absence of its true king. Formerly the last King of Gondor, Eärnur, who rode into Minas Morgul to challenge the Witch-king of Angmar and was never heard from again.
Big Bad: During the Angmar storyline. Interestingly, he is not seen that often, and is even absent for more than half of the storyline, allowing Mordrambor and Amarthiel to get most of the screentime.
Foreshadowing: There's a few hints thrown out during the storyline foreshadowing the eventual reveal that Mordirith is Eärnur, last king of Gondor. For example, a shield found in Angmar is noted by one of the characters as being highly unusual, being from Gondor; It is by the players believed to have belonged to Eärnur. Another example is a seemingly throw-away line by Mordirith just before his first defeat, after being called by his title "False King"; "I am more justly a king than he who sits before my throne," referring to the Witch-King. As was later revealed, there's actually some truth to that claim.
Killed Off for Real: Somehow the broken sword Dúnachar, perhaps with the help of some power of Narmaleth's, is able to put a final end to the False King.
Master of Illusion: Prefers to stay hidden and let illusions do the fighting for a while before showing his true self. He uses them to demoralize both Golodir and Narmaleth by showing illusions of the deceased Lorniel and Laerdan, respectively.
Put on a Bus: He is 'killed' during Book 8, but his spirit is bound to the Witch-king's, and so he cannot be permanently killed by such means.
The Bus Came Back: Absent for several books of Volume I after his first defeat, then makes a dramatic return. Although it seemed he was killed, it was not really a case of Unexplained Recovery, as powerful wraiths cannot be killed by normal means.
Tragic Villain: Eärnur was the Witch-King's nemesis before being turned into a wraith and made into his Steward.
Was Once a Man: His past is the same as that of the Nazgûl, being a mortal man turned into a wraith (though weaker than the Nazgûl) in Sauron's service.
Most prominent of several Black Númenórean sent by Sauron to aid Amarthiel when she becomes Regent of Angmar.
Champion of Angmar and later its Regent in Mordirith's absence. Later revealed to be an elf-maiden of Lindon and later Eregion and the daughter of Laerdan. Sauron in his guise as Annatar introduced her to the craft of Ring-making and had her craft a lesser magic Ring. Under Sauron's influence, she fell to darkness and became Amarthiel.
An Arm and a Leg: Gets her hand cut off by Mordrambor when he takes Narchuil from her.
Dead Person Impersonation: Takes the guise of an old woman named Sara Oakheart as an insult to the true Sara Oakheart, who watched over her during her captivity and was apparently killed after her escape.
Humiliation Conga: At the end of Book 14, she is defeated by Mordirith, then had her hand cut off and her ring taken by Mordrambor while she was helpless, then had her father (who she just left barely alive) show up to save her only to be killed effortlessly. At that point, she's completely helpless and taken captive by the player.
Manipulative Bitch: She is not above appearing as Narmeleth to get what she wants from Laerdan.
Redemption Equals Death: After shaking of the guise of Amarthiel, she leads an assault against Angmar and Mordirith. She kills Mordirith herself, only to die seconds later.
Bree-land ruffians and brigands that fall under the sway of Angmar early in the Race of Man storyline.
Anti-Villain: Type I. They're decidedly nowhere near as evil as the rest of the villains, especially after the most villainous of their number, Skunkwood and Eogan, are taken down. Most of them are just Bree-landers that fell in with a bad crowd.
One early-level quest has you tracking down a specific Blackwold to tell him that his mother wants him to quit bandit-ing and come home. These guys aren't exactly set to displace Sauron on the scale of villainy.
A guard of Archet who Captain Brackenbrook believes has been loyal to him and Archet since he was a boy. But Calder's true allegiance lies with the Blackwolds, and he leads a deadly assault with the Blackwolds upon Archet and murders Captain Brackenbrook, the leader of the village, before being taken down.
Starter Villain: Calder Cob is your final enemy in the Intro scenario for Hobbits and Men.
Treacherous Questgiver: Your quest for him ends with you being ambushed by a Blackwold Wolfmaster who Calder tipped off.
Skunkwood is the leader of the Blackwolds in Archet Dale, and the one who made the deal with Angmar.
The Beastmaster: Skunkwood regularly employs wolfhounds in his fighting in addition to his men.
A clan of Dwarves from Ered Luin that trace their descent to the evil Dwarf-lord Skorgrím Dourhand. With Skorgrím resurrected by Ivar the Bloodhand, the Dourhands have fallen to evil. They have joined forces with the goblins, their ancestral foes, and are attempting to start a war between the Elves and the Dwarves of Ered Luin.
Enemy Mine: The Dourhands have joined up with the goblins, normally the ancestral foes of the Dwarven race, in their service of Skorgrím and Angmar.
War for Fun and Profit: The Dourhands kidnap the elven prince Avorthal in the hopes of starting a war between the Elves and the Dwarves of Ered Luin.
Gormr is the steward appointed by Thorin Oakenshield before he left to take part in the events of The Hobbit. The discovery of the body of Skorgrím, the fallen king of his people, in the Silver Deep Mine has triggered a desire in Gormr to restore the lost glory of the Dourhands. But joining with an evil Gaunt-lord of Angmar will cost him dearly...
Regent for Life: Gormr was supposed to rule Thorin's Hall until Thorin returned, but since Thorin's death, Gormr and his clan have taken over rule of the fabled hall.
Starter Villain: Bringing down Gormr and restoring Longbeard rule to Thorin's Hall is your first objective as an Elf or a Dwarf.
Tragic Dream: Gormr's goal was to serve his fallen king again and reclaim the lost glory of the Dourhand clan. Instead, Gormr was betrayed by Ivar and his clan fell to evil.
The evil ancestor of the Dourhand clan, Skorgrím sought to become immortal, and sought the relics of the Elves in order to carry out this dream. He met his end in the Battle of Edhelion, when Talagan Silvertongue, an elven warrior, sacrificed himself to bring down the library upon him. Now Skorgrím has been resurrected by the evil Gaunt-lord Ivar the Bloodhand and he and his clan are now servants of Angmar.
Powerful and dangerous necromancers made in mockery of the Five Wizards. They hold power over Fear/Death, Wounds/War, Poison/Pestilence, Disease/Plague, and Purest Evil.
Evil Knock Off: Of the Five Wizards. Ivar is this to Radagast, Gortheron to Gandalf, and the other three have counterparts in Saruman and the Blue Wizards (which of these three is the counterpart to which is not revealed).
The Necromancer: Aside from the Horsemen of the Apocalypse theme, this is their thing. The Witch-King of Angmar is a famous necromancer, but the Gaunt-Lords and their underlings seem to be responsible for maintaining his wights. This is Drugoth's specialty.
Scaled Up: Of a sort - he doesn't directly transform into a dragon, but rather possesses its corpse.
Villainous Breakdown: Seems to suffer one in between his defeat at Helegrod and his re-appearance during "In Their Absence". He's described by a quest giver as being so insane he makes his already dead troops fight each other.
The Gaunt-lord of Pestilence, overseer of the haunted valley of Imlad Balchorth in Angmar.
Bad Boss: As demonstrated by the mercenaries he brings to the Lost Temple, it is unwise to work for a plague-mongering necromancer who can just reanimate your corpse when you succumb to the disease.
Mystical Plague: He is the Gaunt-Lord of Pestilence, and this is his plan for Eriador before the player's fellowship puts an end to him.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Not an overt example, but when one considers how powerful Gortheron was even without his helmet, it's better for the good guys that Ivar didn't give it to him.
Reforged into a Minion: Does this to the evil Dwarf-lord Skorgrím Dourhand in the finale of the intro scenario for Elves and Dwarves.
The Starscream: Declares this in his monologue before you fight him the second time.
Took a Level in Badass: When first killed, he appears in an instance meant for three level 32 characters. In In Their Absence, he is the penultimate boss in a level 65 (and up, thanks to level scaling instances) 12-person raid.
The Gaunt-lord of Famine, originally found in the Great Barrow of the Barrow-downs.
Butt Monkey: Some players find him this. He's always the easiest to kill of the Gaunt-lords.
Evil Plan: He wants to launch a poisonous attack on the Shire. He needs time to prepare his poison. How does he keep the heroes busy? By trapping some Hobbits with poisonous pies of course!
One-Winged Angel: Possesses the form of an enormous white troll while battling the heroes.
Portal Door: Seems to be capable of opening these to summon minions from across Eriador to Ost Dunhoth. Near the end of the fight, he calls upon Sauron and attempts to open a portal to Mordor to finish the heroes off. but Gandalf intercepts his call.
The Reveal/Big Damn Heroes: At the end of the players battle against him, a vision of Gandalf appears, announcing his return (and making his first in-game appearance) as Gandalf the White. This weakens Gortheron enough to allow the players to take him down. Complete with This Cannot Be!
Title Drop: The title of the storyline ("In Their Absence") is dropped when Gortheron relays the fate of the five Wizards. Interestingly, it was initially believed that the title referred to the absence of the Rangers of the North, who at that point had just left Eriador behind.
Would You Like To Hear How They Abandoned You: At the end of the players battle against him, he says that with the five Wizards being absent (two having gone into the East, Radagast caring only for nature, Saruman having turned evil, and Gandalf (at the time believed to be) dead), the dark powers of Mordor will triumph. Backfires with Gandalf's return.
Antagonists in Volume 2: The Mines of Moria
Chieftain of the Orcs of Moria and a major foe to the Dwarves attempting to recolonize their lost kingdom.
"I am Mazog, Cleaver of Dwarf-skulls and Master of Orcs!"
Multiple Choice Past: He is described as the both the son of Azog, and the son of Bolg (two orcs that appeared in Tolkien's writings), throughout the storyline, in addition to being named as brother of Bolg (which fits under "son of Azog", Bolg being Azog's son).
Alternatively, the father of Azog may have also been named Bolg, making all of these statements technically correct, fitting his description as the "brother of Bolg", the "son of Azog" and "(grand)son of Bolg".
OOC Is Serious Business: Just before being brought by the Hidden Guard to the gates of Dol Guldur, to be part of a prisoner-exchange, he begs to be let free, a sharp contrast to the mocking, almost nonchalant tone that he has displayed earlier during the storyline. As noted by the elf Achardor, it is quite likely that Mazog fears being brought to Dol Guldur, that he is likely to be put in the dungeons for failing his master Gorothûl.
Hero Killer: In the "We Cannot Get Out" Session Play flashback, he and his orcs kill off Ori at the end.
Hopeless Boss Fight: When facing him as Ori in the Session Play. You get him down to a third of his health, then he regenerates it, turns invincible, and summons a whole load of orcs to surround you.
The Reveal: Two of them, upon being captured. First, that the captured dwarf Bori isn't being kept in Moria, but in Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. Second, that Moria soon wouldn't have been fit for him to rule, that he would have had to abandon it anyway, on account of the sorcerer Gorothûl seeking to draw nameless creatures from the depths to claim it.
A sorceror of Dol Guldur who uses the Orcs of Moria against the Iron Garrison and the Galadhrim.
Flat Character: Especially when compared to the earlier villains of the Angmar storyline, who were very fleshed out. He only appears three times throughout the entire storyline (one of which, his defeat, is an optional epilogue-quest) and isn't given any sort of backstory or characterization, apart from being described as a servant of Sauron.
Chieftan of the Falcon Clan of Dunlendings. His clan is initially unaligned and actually offers shelter to the Rangers, but when he learns of the power of Saruman, he quickly turns on the player and the Rangers.
The King of Khazad-dûm when the Balrog that would later be called Durin's Bane was awoken. He was the second to last King of Khazad-dûm and the last to bear the name of Durin until the Fourth Age or later.
Hypocritical Humor: At one point, Nár tells the player that he/she is not making sense. This takes place after he had answered the question "Why have you brought us here (read: down into an old dwarf-mine), dwarf?" with "Roast mutton".
Nár: What is it? You are speaking nonsense. You should speak more clearly if you want to be understood.
Ascended Extra: Many of the major Rohirrim characters in the game are mentioned by name in the books, more so than other factions.
Cultural Posturing: Have a tendency to display this towards strangers and crossing over into Noble Bigot territory regarding Elves and especially towards the Dunlendings.
Family Theme Naming: Common among the nobility of Rohan, not just for the people but also for their town, for example Tordag and Torferth of Torsbury.
Reeve of the Norcrofts, reigning from his Mead Hall in the town of Cliving.
Accidental Murder: Athelward wounded Pendulf, son of Thane Mildreth, in a duel to defend his honor. The wound became diseased and Pendulf died.
Hopeless Suitor: He has a history of trying to get Thane Mildreth to marry him. As she considers him responsible for the death of her husband and her son, and she is not pleased when he sends the player to deliver yet another wedding proposal to him.
The Mole: And he meant to kill Pendulf and weaken the Eastemnet all along.
Doomed by Canon: Herefara will die at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields along with his father Herubrand.
Reeve of the Stonedeans, a land populated by many Rohirrim of Dunlending ancestry. Woodhurst is his capital, but an attack on the mead hall has forced him into hiding.
Because Destiny Says So: He is sure of the prophecy that he and his son will be killed by Orcs - which makes him feel invincible against Dunlendings.
Doomed by Canon: Yet another Rohirrim character fated to die at the Pelennor Fields. Which means he's most likely right about the Dunlendings.
A good-hearted minstrel who never seems to be welcome anywhere before meeting the player.
Ascended Extra: A more extreme example than most in this game. He is mentioned only once in the books, as one among many, in a lament for those that fell at the Fields of Pelennor. In the game, he is a major character who accompanies the player throughout Rohan.
The Bard: He's introduced as being fond of history and storytelling.
The Exile: He was banished from the Riddermark for slandering Grima and questioning the ancient feud with the Dunlendings, leading him to be sent to Stangard. And then, he's banished from Stangard after deciding to help Nona when she's wounded. However he soon decides to ignore this for the greater good, pointing out the latter banishment is the reason it's not his fault he's been forced to disobey Theoden's mandate to remain in Stangard.
Dating Catwoman: Develops feelings for Nona over the course of the storyline, despite her being a Dunlending.
Doomed by Canon: Like many of the Rohirrim to fall at the Pelennor Fields, this is literally the only thing the canon has to say about him.
Nice Guy: He's the friendliest individual in Stangard the player meets and the only one willing to help Nona when she's injured.
The Bait: The player uncovers a plot to murder her. Ordlac's plan? Have the player stand guard at her house and wait for the attackers to come.
Unwanted Spouse: According to her, once they were married, Ordlac set her aside and never even stayed with her in their house.
Théodred, prince of Rohan
The Prince of Rohan, son and heir of Théoden King.
Ascended Extra: His role in the books was a minor one, used as a means to characterize Théoden more than anything. In the game, he is given a much more expanded role, and it is easier to relate to his death after fighting alongside him.
Last Request: As part of his dying speech, he asks to be left at the Fords of Isen, to be buried there to ever guard it, rather than to be taken to Edoras and buried.
Never Say "Die": Averted. He does not want the death of his squire to be sugar-coated for him.
Théodred: Cynstan... where is... Grimbold: You need your rest, my Prince. We will speak of Cynstan another time... Théodred: Grimbold... I am not... a child... Grimbold: Cynstan fell defending you from the Orcs, my Prince. He was very brave.
Reasonable Authority Figure: After all the aid you lend him and his riders, he does not hesitate for a moment when it comes to aiding you in the rescue of the Rangers imprisoned by the Dunlendings of Tûr Morva.
It's later mentioned that Theodred had wavered in whether or not to follow Halbarad's advice regarding taking the fight to Saruman, until one word of your counsel was enough to convince him, implying that part of his willingness to aid the Grey Company is out of respect for the player's choice of allies.
Warrior Prince: Very evident during the course of the storyline. Sadly, this doesn't save him during the ill-fated Battle of the Fords of the Isen.
What the Hell, Hero?: When meeting him for the first time, he isn't entirely happy about the player character having spent time helping the Dunlendings, the ancient enemies of Rohan. He gets over it rather quick, though.
Thane of Torsbury in the Broadacres.
Defeat Equals Friendship: He was at first reluctant to accept Frithild, a woman, as Reeve of the Broadacres. She broke his nose in a brawl, and he's been loyal to her since.
The 'Wild Men' of Dunland, a region at the southern end of the western side of the Misty Mountains. Ancient enemies of the Rohirrim.
Barbarian Tribe: Subverted. The Rohirrim see them as brutal savages, but the game shows them having a rich culture, even if their architecture and dress are less refined than those of other Men.
Noble Bigot: They are frequently dismissive of strangers and other cultures, especially the Rohirrim.
Enemy Mine: They despise the Rohirrim and have a natural distrust for most outsiders, but most tribes are willing to put this aside and fight alongside them (albeit begrudingly) to fight Saruman and the White Hand, who they see as the greater threat.
Love Epiphany: For Horn, while the two of them travel through Rohan with Corudan and the player character. Afraid that this will weaken her, she leaves the group to come to terms with her feelings.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Over the course of the storyline. When he bids Nona on her journey with the player, he offers her some kind words, despite his own admission that he's not particularly good at fatherly talks.
I Have No Son: His original attitude towards Wadu, who he considers a coward, even after being told of his death. Though as per the above trope, he eventually softens.