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The villains from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies that are not directly in league with the Big Bad Sauron.
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Gollum (Formerly Sméagol)
Species: Stoor Hobbit
Portrayed by: Andy Serkis
Voiced by: Ricardo Tejedo (Latin American Spanish dub), Rubén Trujillo (Latin American Spanish dub, Fellowship of the Ring), Sylvain Caruso (French dub)
Appears in: An Unexpected Journey | The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King
"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 at 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 and either Frodo would have turned into Gollum-Frodo or otherwise Sauron would have reclaimed the Ring.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: Surprisingly enough, though is mostly applies to his Sméagol side. His wallowing in misery can sometimes be over-the-top.
- Adaptational Heroism: Somewhat downplayed. While he goes back to his old ways like in the book, Smeagol actually manages to briefly overcome his evil side and puts his trust fully in Frodo. It's implied that he would have turned good had the Forbidden Pool incident never happened.
- In the books Gollum used the ring to spy on other hobbits and steal from them — none of that happened here.
- Adaptational Skimpiness: Inadvertently, since his "ragged garment" is barely mentioned in the books, but Tolkien's notes to illustrators indicate that Gollum should be better-dressed than he is here. Still, Jackson's version is in keeping with the vast majority of other adaptations and illustrations.
- Adaptational Villainy: In contrast to Two Towers, Return Of The King makes him far less sympathetic than in the book, by making him frame Sam of eating the elven bread and removing\changing the context of his tragic near-repentance scene.
- Affably Evil: The Smeagol side is generally friendly and helpful.
- Anti-Hero: Becomes one in The Two Towers, aiding Frodo and Sam on their quest after the two spare his life, before slipping back to his old ways.
- Anti-Villain: He's an antagonist in that he wants the One Ring more than anything else, and doesn't really care about the War of the Ring or what it will mean for the kingdoms of Men. He just wants the Ring, and that's all he wants. However, Frodo notes that Gollum's situation is rather pitiable, and the movies treat him as a threatening but ultimately pathetic creature.
- Ax-Crazy: The Gollum side of him is unhinged, depraved and murderous.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Of Return of the King. He's the main threat for Frodo and Sam, while Sauron is the main threat for the entire Free People of Middle-Earth.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Gollum's a Card-Carrying Villain, but Sméagol is more underhanded in his villainy. In the extended edition, Gollum even points out to Frodo that Sméagol's promise to work with Frodo was a lie.Gollum: Then we will finds it.Smeagol: AND TAKES IT FOR ME!!!Gollum:... for us.Smeagol: Yes-yes, we meants for us!
- Body Horror: His transformation from a hobbit into the goblin-like creature he is now wasn't pretty. At one point he looked like a living corpse.
- Breakout Character: Had one scene of note in The Hobbit. In The Lord of the Rings, he's a big attraction.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to his cousin Déagol's Abel; Sméagol murdered him for the Ring. Played With since Déagol was also being corrupted by the Ring, and in the moment was trying just as hard to murder Sméagol for possession as vice versa. Had Sméagol not overpowered him, it is quite likely that Déagol would have gone down the same slippery slope.
- "My Precious" is what he calls the One Ring, as his obsession with the Ring covets all of his terrible actions.
- "Gollum, Gollum!" This is how the split personality side of him got its name, from a hacking cough he developed while it was in his possession.
- Chronic Villainy: He struggles between his loyalty to Frodo who spared his life and was kind to him, and his temptation by the Ring. In the end, the temptation wins, and he becomes a full-on villain by the third movie.
- The Corruptible: He (and his cousin) both become murderously possessive in very short time under the Ring's influence compared to the likes of Frodo and Sam. Even the first Pre-Insanity Reveal shot of Sméagol examining a bait-worm with a smile seems to be suggesting he might've always had more darkness in him than Frodo or Sam did, though he very likely never would've given in to it if he hadn't come in contact with the Ring.
- Creepy High-Pitched Voice: One of the most iconic voices to fit this trope; it's incredible how Andy Serkis, who normally speaks with a baritone, managed to pull it off without lasting damage to his vocal cords.
- 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. Possession of the One Ring extends its bearers lifespan indefinitely. However, once they lose possession of it, all that age catches up with them very quickly, as it did to Bilbo, after living 111 years but barely seeming to age until he gave up the ring. In comparison, the Ring extended Gollum's lifespan until he was approaching 600 years old. Several years after losing the ring, he's still going strong.
- Dirty Coward: His usual method of attack is striking while his quarry's guard is down. If he faces any kind of retaliation for this, he'll start whimpering.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The relationship between Smeagol and Gollum resembles several real-life psychological scenarios:
- 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.
- Gollum, as an Enemy Within born from guilt, is a Split Personality and acts like depression, anxiety and self-hatred do for many people.
- Many elements of the Sméagol/Gollum dialogue resemble a real-life abusive relationship: one side is constantly goaded into crime by the other one who appears loving, comforting and guiding. When the meek Smeagol tries to break free, Gollum switches to threatening and reminding Smeagol that Gollum is the reason they survive. Smeagol banishes Gollum and can barely believe it, but comes back crying at the first sign of betrayal and this is just what Gollum is waiting for to welcome him back into the fold.
- And of course, Sméagol "loves and hates the Ring as he loves and hates himself", which sounds awfully like Stockholm syndrome.
- Driven to Madness: By the Ring. It corrupted his mind into a complete obsession, to the point he developed a Split Personality and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it back.
- Driven to Villainy: He was a regular Stoor hobbit once, but the One Ring drove him into killing his cousin. If it hadn't been for that, he probably would have had a normal life.
- "Eureka!" Moment: At the end of his tantrum when he loses the One Ring, he looks at his reflection and realizes exactly where it is - Bilbo's got it in his pocket.
- Et Tu, Brute?: His reaction when he falls into the lava of Mount Doom is to silently stare at the Ring in shock, wondering why it betrayed him.
- Evil Counterpart: To Samwise. Sam genuinely cares about Frodo while Gollum manipulates him.
- Evil Is Petty: The Gollum side takes gleeful delight in tormenting others and inflicting harm.
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: Five-hundred or so years with the One Ring left him an emaciated creature barely recognizable as a hobbit, with glowing eyes to help him see in the dark.
- Evil Old Folks: Gollum is over 500 years old thanks to the Ring's longevity, and though it may be more due to his subterranean lifestyle than the ravages of age, his frail, bald, gaunt appearance resembles a wicked, crooked-backed old man.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: He speaks with a grating, high-pitched croak that sounds like a caterwauling lynx. It's notable in that he initially sounded normal in the flashback, but the second he laid eyes on the Ring, his voice immediately sunk to its raspy tone.
- Faux Affably Evil: When Sméagol finally sides with Gollum, the end result is this — a false front of good cheer that hides a scheming, devious trickster who's bent on killing Frodo and Sam to get the One Ring.
- Foil: To Bilbo. Bilbo's life as a Ring-bearer began with an act of Mercy while Sméagol began his with murder.
- The Fog of Ages: He's lived over five-hundred years, most of it in the mountains with only the ring, and has since forgotten almost everything about his life prior, even his own name.
- Freudian Trio: With Frodo and Sam; represents the Id.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was a normal hobbit living a happy life in the Shire until he found the ring and was driven mad almost instantly by it.
- Game Face: In the films it becomes fairly easy to spot when Gollum or Sméagol are speaking; Sméagol's pupils are large and doe-like and his expressions are far less angular, whereas Gollum has pinprick pupils and his face contorts much more harshly.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: In The Fellowship of the Ring and An Unexpected Journey, Gollum's pupils glow a pale blue-white in the dark.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: The trope namer. Sméagol initially is quite torn between his developing loyalty to Frodo being genuinely nice to him with no strings attached, and his utter obsession with the One Ring clouding his judgment. But then, the Gollum side of him bullies and berates Sméagol into accepting that the Ring matters more than anything else, and that Sméagol must betray Frodo to do it, stopping this potential turn to goodness before it can actually happen.
- Go Out with a Smile: He falls into the lava of Mount Doom, glomping the ring with a placid gleeful smile on his face.
- The Heavy: Since Sauron has no corporeal form to directly affect the world and seldom ever knows where Frodo and Sam are with the Ring, Gollum steps in as the most commonly recurring threat to their quest. Ironically, he is also the reason it even succeeds.
- 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. He feels betrayed by Frodo because of this and starts plotting to murder him and Sam.
- While his tragic near-repentance from the books doesn't happen in the movies, there is a scene in Shelob's lair that drives home the same point. When Frodo fights Gollum in Shelob's lair, his Sméagol-persona returns causing Frodo to feel pity towards him and spare him. However, Frodo then admits the purpose of the quest to Gollum, at which he snaps and attacks Frodo again. This is the last time his Sméagol-persona appears in the movies.Gollum: It wasn't us! It wasn't us! Sméagol wouldn't hurt master! We promised! You must believe us! It was The Precious! The Precious made us do it!
Frodo: I have to destroy it, Sméagol... I have to destroy for both of our sakes...
- While his tragic near-repentance from the books doesn't happen in the movies, there is a scene in Shelob's lair that drives home the same point. When Frodo fights Gollum in Shelob's lair, his Sméagol-persona returns causing Frodo to feel pity towards him and spare him. However, Frodo then admits the purpose of the quest to Gollum, at which he snaps and attacks Frodo again. This is the last time his Sméagol-persona appears in the movies.
- Holy Burns Evil: He's so utterly corrupted that he can't eat Elven bread, and even touching something as mundane as rope made by the Elves causes unbearable pain.
- I'm Melting!: Falls into the magma in Mount Doom.
- It's All About Me: The Gollum side of his personality is profoundly solipsistic, greedy and vain.
- I Was Quite a Looker: He was adorably handsome prior to finding the ring.
- Lack of Empathy: Again, the Gollum side has zero compassion.
- Laughably Evil: As vile, manipulative, and untrustworthy as he is, his childish antics are frequently displayed as comical and he does provide a lot of levity throughout the films.
- Loincloth: His only clothing is a small loincloth - presumably what's left of his pants from the time he was a hobbit. He still has a pocket on it he can put the ring into.
- Madness Makeover: His slow physical transformation from the eccentric-eyed but relatively normal hobbit Sméagol into the demented and dangerous creature he is now gets portrayed in unforgettable detail in the opening of The Return of the King.
- Manchild: 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.
- A Molten Date with Death: How Gollum meets his end when he and the ring fall into Mount Doom's perpetually-erupting caldera, where he simultaneously sinks and melts. The ring manages to last a good 30 more seconds, but it's eventually melted into nothingness as well. In the book (and cartoon,) they both are instantly killed on-contact.
- Mood-Swinger: He can be prone to ranting furiously to himself, snarling at his companions, then adopting a chipper and helpful demeanor all in the span of a minute. The fact that he is insane, has two personalities that are not always aligned with each other, and can be deceptive when he wants makes it hard to properly gauge what his emotional state really is.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Centuries with little food and shut away from civilization has left Gollum practically skeletal but he is still surprisingly strong.
- Never My Fault: Somewhat more sympathetic version as he was about to turn good until Frodo admitted the purpose of the quest to him. Smeagol blames the Ring for making him want to kill Frodo, even though it's all too obvious by this point that he'd turned bad of his own volition. It's also the last time you see his good side as this is used to cement his Heel–Face Door-Slam and to replace his tragic near-repentance from the original book.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Uses this to terrifying effect during his scene in An Unexpected Journey, using it to vanish from sight and pop up behind Bilbo multiple times during their encounter. Even without the Ring's invisibility, he's plenty stealthy on his own.
- Oh, Crap!: He has a massive freakout when he reaches for the One Ring to kill Bilbo after losing their game of riddles, only to find it missing.
- Outside-Context Problem: He has nothing to do with the armies of Sauron, the attempted warmongering of Saruman, or the orcs that come with it. Sméagol and Gollum just want the One Ring more than anything else in the world. There's not even really a plan for what to do once they get it; Sméagol and Gollum just both want the Ring, and that's it. And yet, by acting as a guide for Frodo and Samwise to Mount Doom, as well as trying to backstab Frodo at the worst possible moments, he almost gives the Dark Lord a win entirely without meaning to.
- Pluralses: Has tendency to add "es" sounds to the ends of his plurals, saying things like "hobbitses" and "orcses."
- Pre-Insanity Reveal: Gollum is a prime example. Originally a Stoor hobbit named Sméagol, he was corrupted mentally and physically by the Ring by the time Bilbo meets him in The Hobbit.
- Pyrrhic Victory: In the end, he is finally able to reunite with his Precious. A minute later, he falls to his death into the fires of Mount Doom.
- 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.
- Sanity Slippage: All thanks to the One Ring, and being away from it for so long.
- 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: Had Gollum not ended up tagging along with Frodo and Sam, then the quest would have failed, as Frodo ultimately proved incapable of resisting the Ring's power. It's only Gollum's attempt to take back the Ring for himself that led to its destruction, independent of the rest of the Fellowship or the Dark Lord.
- Split Personality: He lost his sanity from spending too much time by himself, with the Ring as his only company, and developed two distinct personalities: the curious, loyal and often playful Sméagol, and the hateful, murderous Gollum. The two selves often engage in arguments with each other.
- Sore Loser: When he loses the game of riddles between himself and Bilbo, he tries to kill the Baggins anyway out of spite.
- Stalker Without A Crush: In his quest to retake the Ring, he trails the Fellowship all throughout the first film, catches up to Frodo and Sam at the beginning of the second, and continues to follow them in the third after his betrayal was revealed.
- Starring Special Effects: He is one of the main characters of The Two Towers and The Return of the King, and he's created by motion capture.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Even if he did kill his own cousin for the possession of the Ring, you cannot help but feel sorry for the guy. The fact that the Ring has long consumed his soul does not help one bit. Also, Deagol himself was trying to kill him (granted, under the Ring's corruption) after denying Smeagol his birthday party.
- Sympathy for the Devil: And how. Despite being an utterly loathsome creature, everyone who encounters him can't help but feel absolute pity for the miserable wretch the Ring turned him into. It is this very sympathy and the mercy Gollum is given that allows for the Ring to finally be destroyed.
- 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.
- That Man Is Dead: By the time he resurfaces in Mordor to confront Frodo and Sam, there's no Smeagol anymore, only Gollum.Frodo: You swore! Smeagol swore to the Precious!
Gollum: Smeagol lied.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: Courtesy of the One Ring.
- Token Evil Teammate: Of the trio he forms with Frodo and Sam. The hobbits are undergoing the journey to destroy the Ring. Gollum is an insane individual who's being dragged along as their not-always-willing guide and who frequently goes back-and-forth on deciding whether he wants to reclaim the Ring or stay loyal to Frodo. In the end, he chooses the Ring.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Fisssh. During the hundreds of years he spent in his cave, his primary food source was raw fish, which he grew really fond of.
- Tragic Villain: In Gandalf's words, his life's story is "tragic".
- 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.
- Verbal Tic Name: He is only known as "Gollum" from the gurgling sound he makes in his throat.
- 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.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He may be a disgusting, murderous wretch who does nothing but obsess over the Ring, but he never chose to be. The Ring made him that way.
The Trolls (Bert, Tom & William)
Portrayed by: Mark Hadlow, William Kircher, Peter Hambleton
Voiced by: Germán Fabregat, Ricardo Hill, Miguel Ángel Ghigliazza (Latin American Spanish dub)
Appear in: An Unexpected Journey | The Fellowship of the Ringnote
Three trolls from the Ettenmoors that the Company encounter in the Trollshaws west of Rivendell. Extremely stupid, they attempted to eat the Company, but fail due to Bilbo's stalling, a smidge of Gandalf's magic, and sunlight.
- Aerith and Bob: They're the only characters in the story with modern English names.
- All Trolls Are Different: They have a pale, fleshy skin-tone, and are more humanoid-looking and intelligent than the trolls of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, speaking in perfect English (albeit in suitably thuggish tones).
- As You Know: William tells the other to hurry because he doesn't want to turn into stone when the sun comes up. Guess what happens.
- Beard of Evil: Tom has a short chinstrap beard.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: William is tall and wide (big), Tom is skinny for a troll (thin), and Bert is the shortest of all three (short).
- Bond Villain Stupidity: They try to cook the dwarves without killing them first.
- Butt-Monkey: Tom gets hit and smacked around the most by the others and by the Dwarves during the fight. Even getting hit in the eye and the groin as well.
- The Cameo: Their petrified forms are stumbled upon by Frodo and company in the extended cut of The Lord of the Rings. Effectively an Early-Bird Cameo, since Lord of the Rings was adapted before The Hobbit.
- Comically Cross-Eyed: Tom, the Butt-Monkey of the trio, has uneasy eyes, indicating mental issues.
- Does Not Like Spam: Bert isn't terribly fond of mutton, especially since the three are on farm country and sheep is all there is on the menu (unless they find the occasional human).
- Dumb Muscle: With a degree of variation. Tom seems way dim compared to the others, while the others, at least, are particularly savvy. Tom also has unfocused eyes, possibly implying other difficulties.
- Evil Brit: The stupid kind, since they all speak with the stereotypically gruff Cockney accent.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Played straight with William and Bert, and inverted with Tom.
- Exact Words: Kíli demands the trolls drop Bilbo. They oblige and toss Bilbo right on top of him.
- Eye Scream: Bert's left eye is dead.
- Groin Attack: Bert gets hit in the groin by Dori (which is pretty funny since they share an actor).
- Hidden Depths: Despite being a troll, Bert has a surprising knowledge of cooking, including saute and the use of herbs. Where he got this knowledge is a mystery, and he has no opportunity to utilize it.
- I Have Your Wife: They get the dwarves to surrender by capturing Bilbo.
- Large and in Charge: William is the largest (11 feet tall) and functions as the leader.
- Laughably Evil: They serve the role of "funny villains" for the earlier part of An Unexpected Journey.
- The Leader: William seems to be the leader of the trio, giving them orders. Or at least, ordering around Tom.
- Lean and Mean: Tom, compared to William and Bert.
- Lethal Chef: Bert is implied to be a terrible cook. His stew certainly looks disgusting and requires Tom sneezing in it to make it better.
- Mighty Glacier: The Trolls: Fili and Kili convince Bilbo that he's the best to deal with the trolls, since he's smart and fast while they're slow and stupid (but doubtlessly strong and dangerous).
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: They might be stupid and goofy, but once enraged they threaten to tear Bilbo limb from limb.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Unlike Bert, who enthusiastically falls for Bilbo's ruse about knowing the secret to cooking Dwarf, and Tom who mindlessly follows along with what the others are doing, William tells the others to get a move on with cooking the dwarves, and states matter of factly that they shouldn't bother seasoning them because the sun is just about to come up and he doesn't want to be turned to stone when it does.
- Roar Before Beating: They speak English perfectly well, but a vestige of their more primitive troll nature is seen when Dwalin smashes Bert on the foot with his axe, and he lets out an outraged, bestial roar.
- Serkis Folk: Portrayed by Mark Hadlow, William Kircher and Peter Hambleton via motion capture.
- Starter Villain: They are the first enemies that Thorin and Company encounter after leaving Bag End.
- Stealth Pun: "Lay down your arms! Or we'll rip his off!"
- Talking the Monster to Death: Bilbo keeps the trolls from killing the dwarves by promising to tell them the secret to cooking dwarf and then insisting the dwarves have parasites and are inedible. He keeps them busy until Gandalf and the Sun show up and kill them.
- Taken for Granite: When exposed to sunlight.
- Tastes Like Chicken: William and Tom complain that all of Bert's cooking tastes like chicken. Except for his chicken, which tastes like fish.
- Team Chef: Bert. And he's really pissed the others don't appreciate his cooking.
- Teeth Flying: Bert gets some of his teeth knocked out by Dwalin.
- Three Stooges Shout-Out: You can't help but feel that somehow Larry, Curly, and Moe made their way to Middle-earth and became trolls, what with how they act and the way Bert smacks Tom around like Moe did Curly.
- To Serve Man: Dwarves anyway. They also eat humans since William complains that he's still picking bits of a farmer out of his teeth.
- Villainous Gluttons: They have an appetite matching their size.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: They are the first villains the company encounter, but they are quickly defeated and their scene could easily be removed from the plot. However, that way we would miss one of the most iconic scenes of the story.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Sunlight, which turns them into stone.
Appear in: An Unexpected Journey
A race of giants living high up in the peaks of the Misty Mountains near the High Pass.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the book, the stone-giants seem to only be throwing rocks at each other as a sort of game. Here, they are viciously brawling with each other (with Thorin and Company getting caught in the middle of their fighting) for no clear reason.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: They are so massive that Bilbo and the dwarves are able to walk across the knees of one of them.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: These colossal giants are as tall as the Misty Mountains themselves.
- Rock Monster: They all appear to be made of animated stone, hence their name.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The stone-giants don't seem to have any allegiance with Sauron or the Goblins of the Misty Mountains, and only serve as a brief obstacle for Thorin and Company as they pass through the Misty Mountains, and are never seen again for the remainder of the story.
The Great Goblin
The Great Goblin
Portrayed by: Barry Humphries
Voiced by: Humberto Vélez (Latin American Spanish dub), Paul Borne (French dub)
Appears in: An Unexpected Journey
A powerful Goblin chieftain of Goblin-town. Surprisingly personable and snarky for a goblin.
- Acrofatic: Despite being about twenty times their size, he doesn't seem to be any less agile than his smaller kin.
- Adaptational Villainy: Although his book counterpart was also a villain, the first film makes him willing to answer Azog's bounty on Thorin's head. In the book, the goblins wanted them destroyed simply because they considered them spies and a threat (even though the dwarves never wanted any trouble with the goblins).
- Adipose Rex: Big and fat and the king. Self explanatory really.
- Bad Boss: While this is essentially the norm for orcs and goblins, he's shown sitting on some and crushing others with his feet. In the extended edition, he kills one of his own minions during his Villain Song just for kicks.
- Berserk Button: The sight of Orcrist causes him to lose his cool completely, making him opt to forgo torture in favor of killing the dwarves immediately:"I know that sword! It is the Goblin Cleaver! The Biter, the blade that sliced a thousand necks! Slash them! Beat them! Kill them, kill them all! Cut off his head!"
- Body Horror: His "beard" isn't made of hair.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Lesser goblins address him as "Your Malevolence".
- Cool Crown: Which may be made of claws or teeth.
- Curb-Stomp Cushion: He's about the only goblin that lands a good blow on Gandalf, swatting him off his feet. Before Gandalf gets back up and promptly kills him with three slashes.
- Disgusting Public Toilet: According to the design team, his throne also acts as a commode, and was set-dressed accordingly...
- Evil Sounds Deep: Has a deep, booming voice.
- Eye Scream: Has some sort of infection surrounding his right eye that prevents him from closing it when he blinks. When he comes face to face with Gandalf, the wizard hits that first before slashing him open.
- Fat Bastard: Extremely so on both counts.
- Faux Affably Evil: He acts very jolly and cordial for a sadist. The extended edition takes this further, having him lead his goblins in a merry Villain Song about how he plans on torturing and killing the dwarves for trespassing into his kingdom.
- Freak Out: When he sees the dwarves' elven swords.
- Genius Bruiser: Enormously strong (he effortlessly smashes his way through a bridge) and he comes across as pretty knowledgeble, knowing Thorin's history and being able to correctly identify magic swords on sight.
- Graceful Loser: He handles Gandalf eviscerating him with surprising nonchalance. See Major Injury Underreaction for his exact words before getting his throat slit.
- I Will Show You X!: In the extended edition:Óin: You're going to have to speak up. Your boys flattened my trumpet!
Great Goblin: I'll flatten more than your TRUMPET!
- Jerkass: Takes a moment to rub in how Thorin, the King Under the Mountain, "[doesn't] have a mountain. And [he's] not a king. Which makes [him]... nobody, really".
- King Mook: The biggest, and also most important goblin seen in Peter Jackson's movies.
- Large and in Charge: He's almost the size of a troll.
- Large Ham: Special mention goes to his breaking out in song while describing how he intends to torture and kill the Dwarves."He wields the foe-hammer! The Beater, brrright as daylight!"
- Laughably Evil: He's a dangerous sadist who has every intention of torturing and killing the dwarves, but he's portrayed a lot more silly and comical than the likes of Smaug and Azog.
- Major Injury Underreaction: In the film after Gandalf fatally injures him."...that'll do it."
- Mythology Gag: Bears a resemblance to his counterpart from the animated film.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Even more different than other Goblins as he's much larger than a man and grotesquely fat.
- Serkis Folk: By the one and only Barry Humphries.
- Slashed Throat: What Gandalf does to finally do him in. Turns out he was right to freak out about seeing Glamdring.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Of the “died later than in the source material” type. The books' version of the Great Goblin is killed when Gandalf makes his entrance at Goblin Town to rescue the dwarves. Here, he shows up at the very end of the chase to fight Gandalf.
- Spell My Name with a "The": The Great Goblin.
- Staff of Authority: Carries one of these that's adorned with a skull or two.
- Tempting Fate"You thought you could escape me? What are you going to do now, wizard?"
- Villainous Glutton: Presumably, given how bloated he is compared to all other goblins and orcs.
- Villain Song: Gets a brief one (quoted above) that sounds somewhat reminiscent of the "Goblin-Town" song from the book. The extended edition has him singing an altered version of the aforementioned song.
- Wicked Cultured: He seems quite well-spoken and knowledgeable for a goblin. Furthermore, he composes songs and makes the entire community perform them.
The Goblins of Goblin-Town
The Goblins of Goblin-Town
Appear in: An Unexpected Journey
The countless inhabitants of Goblin-Town and the Great Goblin's minions.
- Bamboo Technology: Their city's bridges, platforms, and torture machines are all made of wood.
- Body Horror: Similar to their king, they all exhibit deformities and other health problems.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Their infinite number is nothing compared to the dwarves' weapons and combat skills, let alone Gandalf.
- Evil Minions: Naturally.
- Extended Disarming: They do this to the dwarves.
- Freak Out: When they recognize Thorin's weapon: Orcrist, the "goblin cleaver".
- Harmless Villain: The film makes them really bordering on this.
- Mooks: Numerous and ineffective.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Generally short (with some fat ones) and ugly. They set traps for travellers in the mountains.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: They're not especially important to the plot, unlike in the book where the death of their leader was a major factor in the opposing army of the Battle of the Five Armies (in the film, the goblins are just one of many forces employed by Azog the Defiler to take the Lonely Mountain so that Sauron can go on to reclaim Angmar).
- Zerg Rush: Their only tactic.
Appear in: The Battle of the Five Armies
Subterranean megafauna that create tunnels for Azog's army.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the book they are supposed to live in the East and are implied to be random enemies unaffiliated with Sauron. However, their film versions appear right in Erebor and are used by Azog.
- Adaptational Ugliness: It's implied that they were intended to resemble dragons or giant snakes in the book. The cinematic versions look like massive invertebrates.
- Composite Character: They live beneath the mountains and form tunnels by "gnawing at the earth", much like the things hiding in the deepest parts of Middle-earth that Gandalf witnessed when he was fighting the Balrog.
- Deus Exit Machina: The narrative reason why they leave the battlefield right after drilling tunnels for Azog. Given their massive size, fearsome strength and unknown number, they probably would have single-handedly wrecked all the forces of Good in the Battle of the Five Armies (maybe even the forces of Evil too if Azog happened to lack the means to control them) had they actually stayed and fought.
- Kaiju: The only thing bigger than the Were-worms is Smaug.
- Meaningful Name: The "were" prefix comes from an Old English word meaning "man". Their mouths are shaped like human hands.
- Non-Malicious Monster: They seem to have no interest in fighting the enemies of the orcs. They just act in a way that is to the orcs' benefit.
- Sand Worm: Only that they travel through dirt and stone as well.
- Signature Style: Two of Peter Jackson's previous films have similar creatures in them. The Frighteners has an even larger worm that drags souls into hell and King Kong (2005) had the carnictis.
Appears in: The Return of the King
Shelob was one of the countless brood of Ungoliant, a Great Spider and a relic from a time before Sauron's Shadow. She 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.
- Also, as she constantly lives in darkness, bright light is extremely painful to her and can cause her to retreat, as Sam finds out when he uses the vial of starlight Galadriel gave him.
- 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.
- Combat Pragmatist: After trying and failing to catch Sam with her stinger, Shelob finally gets tired and just tries to smash Sam to death under her bulk. Unfortunately for her, she slams down right onto the sharp blade of Sting.
- Dark Action Girl: Shelob is a force to be reckoned with and puts up a good match with Sam.
- 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. However, she is not a pet and has no loyalty to Sauron. She only cares about feeding. Sauron leaves her alone because she's no threat to his plans and is an effective guardian of the tunnels into Mount Doom.
- 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.
- Hoist by Her Own Petard: The only reason Sam is able to pierce her with Sting is because she deliberately tries to crush him under her bulk after he keeps dodging her stinger. Her sheer weight and force allow the blade to punch through her otherwise-unbreakable exoskeleton like a person sitting on a thumbtack.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Shelob is a spider with the stinger of a bee. Real spiders inject venom through their fangs.
- Meaningful Name: "Lob" is an archaic word for "spider". She's female. "She-Lob".
- Omnicidal Maniac: No, really - it's All There in the Manual. "She, who desired only death for all others, and for herself a glut of life, alone..."
- Primal Fear: Spiders. Big spiders. Not surprising, since Tolkien was bitten by a highly venomous spider as a boy.
- Pure Is Not Good: Not just of the pure evil variety but that of pure hunger. She was stated to be immune to the Ring's temptations because power holds no interest in something that just wants to eat everything.
- The Smurfette Principle: She's the only female villain in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- Spiders Are Scary: Both Tolkien and Jackson firmly believe in this trope. Shelob is a horrific menace even to the nasties that populate Mordor.
- Jackson deliberately asked the WETA team to model Shelob primarily after the funnel-web spider, one of Australia's most toxic and least adorable residents.
- Stealthy Colossus: Is she wasn't frightening enough already, the way she can creep up on her victims with absolute silence is pure nightmare fuel.
- Time Abyss: She is said to have been around when the earth was born. Although that is moreso her mother Ungoliant.
- Uncertain Doom: When Sam stabs Shelob with Sting and she retreats back into the safety of her cave it is unclear if she died from the injuries that Sam inflicted upon her. Or if her lair was swallowed up by the lava from Mount Doom after The Ring was destroyed. Or if she merely starved to death since her primary food source (the orcs of Mordor) were either swallowed up by the earth when Sauron and Mordor fell or were killed in battle by Aragorn's forces.
- 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. After she injures herself on Sting and Sam regains the vial, Shelob does screech "Nooooooo!" as she drags herself away, though.
- Weakened by the Light: The thing that finally makes her flinch is the phial of starlight Galadriel gave Frodo, although it doesn't dissuade her from keeping up the chase, even when Sam fights her directly. Shelob instead resorts to trying to knock it away from the Hobbits, but it's only after she's wounded herself on Sting does she finally run away for good in the face of the recovered phial.
The Spiders of Mirkwood
The Spiders of Mirkwood
Appear in: An Unexpected Journey | The Desolation of Smaug
Some of the countless brood of Ungoliant who are nesting in Dol Guldur and spreading through Mirkwood.
- Achilles' Heel: Bilbo manages to kill several by stabbing them in the mouth or in the abdomen. The dwarves also coordinate to tear off the limbs of a spider.
- All Webbed Up: What they do to their victims before eating them.
- Animalistic Abominations: They're the offspring of Shelob, who in turn was the daughter of Ungoliant.
- Cobweb Jungle: They're transforming Mirkwood into this and set web traps everywhere. Bilbo inadvertently informs them of the presence of the Company when he plays with a web filament, not knowing what it really is.
- Giant Spiders: Not as big as Shelob in The Return of the King, but still very dangerous.
- Knockout Ambush: On Bilbo.
- Primal Fear: They are giant spiders.
- Spiders Are Scary: Especially if they're descended from a spider-shaped Eldritch Abomination.
- Talking Animal: The Ring somehow allows Bilbo to understand what they say when he puts it on. Considering who made the Ring and the place the spiders come from, it makes sense.
- Zerg Rush: How they try to take down the dwarves and elves.
The Watcher in the Water
The Watcher in the Water
Appears in: The Fellowship of the Ring
An aquatic monster that guards the western gates of Moria. It encounters the Fellowship upon their arrival to the walls of the dwarven realm, possibly awakening from a stone thrown to the water, and tries to abduct Frodo with its tentacles before being shot away by Legolas. It then crushes the doors of Moria behind them, leaving them trapped in Moria.
- Adaptational Badass: In the book, the creature could only extend its tentacles out of the water and it took only a few dagger slashes to make it release its prey. In the film, it seems to be at least partially amphibious and is much stronger and tougher.
- Angels, Devils and Squid: Considering the Fellowship is traveling with the equivalent of an angel and they encounter a devil shortly afterwards, the Watcher definitely qualifies, though it is not exactly a squid.
- Attack of the Monster Appendage: Unlike the book, the film monster emerges fully and even completely leaves the water at one point.
- Cephalothorax: Aside from a series of sacks or quills behind it, the monster is composed of a tentacled body whose eyes and mouth casually form a human-like face.
- Combat Tentacles: The Watcher has a multitude of tentacles, each ending in a grasping three-fingered claw.
- Composite Character: According to Peter Jackson, the Watcher in the Water is part of the race of nameless creatures which gnaw the world mentioned by Gandalf, and actually there was planned a scene in which Gandalf and the balrog scared away some of its kind upon splashing on the underground lake.
- Giant Squid: Distinctively subverted. Though its shape is very like a squid or octopus-like, its body resembles more a bizarre mollusk spider, or rather a completely fictitious creature.
- Hero Killer: The Watcher killed Oin when he was out scouting.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Has two jaws with some creepy teeth.
- Kraken and Leviathan: It certainly evokes the kraken imagery.
- No Name Given: It is not called by its name in the film.
- Tentacle Rope: It catches Frodo with its tentacles and swings him before Sam and Legolas free him. Afterwards, it still tries to catch them and drag them down into the water.
- Tentacled Terror: Was this for an entire generation, part of the terror comes from the near-human face that's wreathed by tentacles.
- Uncertain Doom: Unlike the books where the creature clearly survived, the movie leaves it ambiguous whether the Watcher was killed by the falling rocks or merely trapped the fellowship.
Balrog of Morgoth, "Durin's Bane"
Species: Maia (Balrog)
Appears in: The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers
"You fear to go into those mines. The dwarves delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the depths of Khazad-dûm; shadow and flame."
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, sporting the characteristic horns, hooves and bat wings, though his skin is basalt-like black rather than red, and he wields a Flaming Sword and a whip rather than a pitchfork.
- 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.
- The Dreaded: When the Balrog rumbles, a hundred goblins who were willing to try their luck with the fellowship panic and flee. Gimli laughs, the hobbits look relieved; Gandalf's face fills with dread and regret. Just hearing its roar makes Legolas, who can kill the worst of the orcs and war elephants with little issue, start shaking in his boots to the point he can't even hold his bow without shivering. It also says something that Gandalf was willing to risk being attacked by Saruman by venturing close to Isengard rather than test his luck with the Balrog.
- Dual Wielding: He uses a flaming whip in conjunction with a Flaming Sword.
- Elemental Weapon: Both his whip and sword are wreathed in flames.
- 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.
- Evil Takes a Nap: It was sleeping underneath the mines of Moria when the dwarves woke it up. They regretted that... just not for very long.
- Fallen Angel: Is a Maia, the same order of being as Gandalf and Sauron. Originally a benevolent fire spirit, it and the other Balrogs were corrupted into demons by Sauron's former master millennia ago.
- Flaming Sword: Created one as its first weapon against Gandalf, which the wizard shattered.
- 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: At least twenty feet tall, and much larger than the orcs and trolls in Moria,. They seem to be almost as afraid of him as the Fellowship is.
- The Leader: Although the goblins are afraid of it, the Balrog seems to see them as guards, given that he tolerated them when they arrived in Moria.
- Mighty Roar: It lets out an impressive roar when it steps on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, challenging Gandalf to a fight.
- Out Of Context Villain: While technically affiliated through their shared servitude to their former master, he has nothing to do with Sauron or the Ring. His presence is primarily to be a believable force that can defeat Gandalf.
- 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, all the while trying to stab and punch one another as they plummet down to the bottom and smash against the rocky sides. 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 with his sword infused with a lightning bolt, causing it to fall down to its death.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: A giant demon that is black as magmatic rock, but perpetually wreathed in flame until his death.
- Wings Do Nothing: Has wings, but they're apparently worthless for flight as it makes no attempt to use them when it and Gandalf are falling through the giant chasm.
The Goblins of Moria
The Goblins of Moria
Appear in: The Fellowship of the Ring
"They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We have barred the gates but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes, drums...drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark. We cannot get out.... They are coming."
— The last entry in Ori's Book of Mazarbul
The countless inhabitants of Moria and minions of Durin's Bane.
- Battle Cry: They continuously howl like madmen while chasing and fighting the Fellowship.
- Ceiling Cling: As they pursue the Fellowship in Moria, some of them pour in from the ceiling.
- Determinator: After Durin's Bane and Gandalf fell, the goblins' archers are back and start shooting the Fellowship.
- Evil Minions: For Durin's Bane.
- Hero Killer: They're responsible for the deaths of Balin, Ori, and the rest of their colony (except Oin, who was killed by the Watcher in the Water).
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: They bring a lot of trouble to the Fellowship with their massive numbers. They also killed Balin, Ori, and their colony (except Oin, who was killed by the Watcher in the Water).
- Mooks: Numerous of them.
- Our Goblins Are Different: They are green-skinned with large eyes, wear heavy armor, and are very adept climbers.
- Radial Ass Kicking: An absurd number of them completely surround the Fellowship, but they run away when the Balrog is awakened before the fight actually happens.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: They run away when Durin's Bane is awakened.
- Zerg Rush: Their main tactic.
The Cave-Troll of Moria
The Cave-Troll of Moria
Appear in: The Fellowship of the Ring
"They have a cave-troll!"
A cave-troll employed by the goblins of Moria to attack the Fellowship.
- Adaptational Badass: In the book, it was driven off by Frodo stabbing its hand. In the movie, it takes the combined efforts of the Fellowship to kill it, and Frodo slashing its hand just makes it angry.
- All Trolls Are Different: It's about 12 feet tall, with thick, doughy physiques and brutish faces with widely set eyes and nostril slits for noses.
- Boom, Headshot!: Legolas finished it off with an arrow through the upper palate.
- Carry a Big Stick: It has a club chained to a collar around its neck.
- Chain Pain: It tries to lash Legolas by using the chain attached to its neck.
- Composite Character: Takes the role of an Orc chieftain who stabs Frodo with a spear.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: How the Fellowship finally killed it. They just keep stabbing it over and over and wearing it down until Legolas lands a final headshot.
- Giant Mook: The only one in Moria. It's downright stupid, but due to its size, it proves to be the most difficult enemy the Fellowship faces in Balin's tomb, ultimately succumbing to a Death of a Thousand Cuts.
- Lodged-Blade Recycling: After Aragorn stabs the troll with a spear and is knocked out, the troll pulls the spear out of its flesh and uses it to stab Frodo.
- Made of Iron: It shrugs everything thrown at it (sword swings to its limbs and belly, arrows and sword stabs to the back of its head and neck, rocks thrown at its head, getting gored with a spear) until Legolas shoots and arrow through its mouth.
- Unfriendly Fire: Kills a few Orcs during its rampage in Balin’s tomb trying to hit the Fellowship.