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The human characters of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
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"Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!"
The Race of Men (Humans) are the last of the Free Peoples to come into existence (aside from Hobbits, who are really an offshoot of Men) and are the most easily swayed to darkness. The Elves call them "The Secondborn". They possess "the Gift of Men" mortality and freedom from fate and unlike the Elves (but like the Dwarves and Hobbits), they are mortal and so they age, die and depart the material world after death.
The greatest human civilization in Middle-earth's history was Númenor, home of the Dúnedain, or Men of the West. Númenor fell to hubris and its successor states were destroyed or weakened by Sauron, leaving only the crumbling kingdom of Gondor and the scattered Rangers of the North as heirs to Númenor's glory. Other than Gondor, the race of men live sparsely and separated across Middle-earth in smaller settlements and towns such as Bree, Rohan and Laketown and some in savage, nomadic tribes such as the Dunlendings, Easterlings and Haradrim.
- Binding Ancient Treaty: Rohan has one to Gondor, since the country was founded by Eorl hundreds of years ago after he and his warriors saved Gondor from ruin.
- Heir Club for Men:
- Gondor practices agnatic succession, so only men can inherit the throne and the Stewardship.
- Rohan appears to have agnatic-cognatic succession because King Théoden (who has no surviving children) tells his niece Éowyn that she will reign over their people should he and her brother Éomer die in battle.
- Humans Are Average: Seem to take this role in Middle-earth. Not ancient, magical and immortal like Elves, don't specialize in mining and crafting like Dwarves, aren't peaceful and jovial like Hobbits.
- Humans Are Flawed: Men seem to achieve a wide variety of both good and evil. This is a possible side effect of their "gift."
- Humans Are Special: Unlike Elves, they have the "Gift of Men", that is, death and the freedom to do what they like with what life they have.
- Humans Are Warriors: Except for the Bree-men, who have the remains of Arnor to look after them, most humans in Middle-earth seem to be quite skilled at fighting, mostly out of necessity.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: Frequently in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, Men are seen through the eyes of their smaller and merrier offshoot, Hobbits, who seem to view the "Big Folk" as exotic, dour, and just a little scary. They are also seen through the eyes of Elrond (an Elf), who perceives them as divided, leaderless and too weak-willed to resist the forces of Sauron. How wrong he was!
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The war-prone Rohan and the more defendant Gondor.
- Proud Scholar Race: The people of Gondor, as part of their obsession with the lost glory of their dead fatherland, although in the present day they're turning into a Proud Warrior Race out of necessity, being directly on Mordor's doorstep. In the past, Faramir would've been considered the masculine ideal (in the Extended Edition, Denethor describes him as a "wizard's pupil" and "Ever you desire to appear lordly and gracious as a king of old").
- Proud Warrior Race:
- The people of Rohan. Their culture is quite martial and they see glory in warfare as something to attain for its own sake.
- Also, increasingly the people of Gondor (see Proud Scholar Race above); during the movies, the masculine ideal is represented by Boisterous Bruiser Boromir, who in the Extended Edition is regarded by his people as "Gondor's finest."
- You Shall Not Pass!: Gondor stands for thousands of years between Mordor and the other Free Peoples of Middle-earth. Boromir emphasizes Gondor's importance in this role at the Council of Elrond.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: John Noble
Voiced by: Rolando del Castro (Latin American Spanish dub), Pierre Santini (French dub)
Appears in: The Two Towersnote | The Return of the King
"Why do the fools fly? Better to die sooner than late. For die we must."
Denethor II, son of Ecthelion II, is the 26th Ruling Steward of Gondor, ruling from Minas Tirith in the absence of the King.
- Abusive Parents: Of the verbal and neglectful variety, although only to Faramir. He favors Boromir and dismisses Faramir entirely, diminishing his accomplishments and blaming him for whatever goes wrong. He flat out tells Faramir to his face that he'd rather Faramir have died at Amon Hen than Boromir.
- Adaptational Dumbass: In the books, he was a competent general and strategist who ably set up the defense of Gondor, whereas in the films he's an out of touch General Failure.
- 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 Anárion (Isildur's younger brother) could be King of Gondor. As Aragorn was Isildur's heir, he was therefore ineligible. Of course, Denethor was actually wrong, as Aragorn was the heir of both Isildur and Anárion, although 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 a pure suicide mission. In the books, Gondor's forces do not counter-attack at Osgiliath after it has fallen. Instead, Denethor makes the decision to reinforce (the still well-held) Osgiliath after Faramir has returned from there to Minas Tirith with the message of the enemy's approach. Faramir then departs for Osgiliath with the reinforcements and commands the defensive action there, and in the event the city is taken. At this point, Faramir and his men retreat from Osgiliath in mostly good order to the Rammas Echor, the wall encircling the Pelennor Fields, and the Causeway Forts, which guard the main gate in the Rammas and the main road from Osgiliath to Minas Tirith. There, Faramir successfully links up with forces retreating from Cair Andros in the north. He then fights another successful defensive action, inflicting heavy casualties and delaying the enemy. When his position becomes untenable, he retreats from the Rammas in good order, drawing the enemy recklessly across the built-up and difficult to traverse ground of the townlands of the Pelennor. Only within a few hundred meters of the gates of Minas Tirith does his force begin to rout, which further encourages the enemy to reckless pursuit. At the last instant, the gate opens and Denethor unleashes his sortie, led by Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth and Gandalf, annihilating the enemy's vanguard and recovering Faramir's force. In this defensive campaign, the lords of Gondor have thus bought time for Minas Tirith to complete its final preparations, and inflicted significant casualties and disorganization on the host of Mordor.
- 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. But in his final despair he did refuse to command the defense of the city, which was ultimately commanded by Imrahil and Gandalf.
- 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 in novels is also omitted — Faramir reminded Denethor too much of his wife, who died young and whom Denethor dearly loved. In the Extended Edition, he resents Faramir for being a "wizard's pupil," and since Denethor loathes Gandalf, he's angry that Gandalf has a strong influence on Faramir's mindset.
- Adaptation Personality Change: He gets a lot of Adaptational Villainy when he was simply Good Is Not Nice in the book.
- Bad Boss: He sends Faramir and hundreds of his soldiers on a suicide mission to retake Osgiliath from Sauron's forces, caring little for their safety. Faramir is the only one who returns with his life barely intact.
- Character Exaggeration: The movie plays up his madness and Jerkass-ness to a far greater extent than the book.
- Chewing the Scenery: "ABANDON YOUR POSTS! FLEEEEEE!! FLEEEEE FOR YOUR LIVES!!"
- Despair Event Horizon: With Boromir's death, he stood on the very brink. Then the counterattack failed and Faramir seemingly died due to Denethor's orders. Top it off with an enormous invading army on the doorstep, and Denethor plunged into grief-stricken insanity.
- Driven to Suicide: And unfortunately is about to take his still-living son with him (and none of the guards even check for a pulse!).
- Fallen Hero: He's already fallen by the time we meet him, mainly due to Boromir's death.
- Fantastic Racism: He decries Faramir for sending the Ring into Mordor, "in the hands of a witless halfling," with his tone of voice making it clear he considers the name of Frodo's race to be the real insult.
- 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.
- General Failure: As Steward, he's the guy in charge of Gondor's armies. He's also never seen fighting himself, sitting nice and cosy up in his citadel, only showing up to shake everyone's hands when the fighting's long over. His Sanity Slippage makes this worse. He orders Faramir to make a cavalry charge on a fortified enemy position in broad daylight, even after Faramir tries pointing out this is a Bad Idea. Spoiler: The Orcs see them coming and turn them into human pincushions.
- Hypocrite: He stubbornly refuses to light the Beacons to call for Rohan's aid because he believes Minas Tirith doesn't need it, and has nothing but contempt when he sees them lit (knowing Gandalf had a hand in it). When the forces of Mordor arrive at his doorstep, however, he angrily declares that Theoden has betrayed him by not showing up.
- Insane Troll Logic: Like any crappy parent ever. Faramir nearly loses Osgiliath? Must've been doing it because he wanted to make dad look bad. Troops too few to defend the city? His fault (now, who's in charge of Gondor's armies again?)
- Jerkass: Denethor is spiteful and pessimistic.
- Murder-Suicide: He attempts this with Faramir, whom he believed to be dead. He succeeds only in the suicide part.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When he comes to the realization that Faramir is alive and that he had nearly killed his last surviving son, Denethor, going down in flames, flees in shame before tossing himself off of Minas Tirith.
- Offing the Offspring: He unknowingly attempts to burn the wounded Faramir alive when he decides to commit suicide after being overwhelmed by grief and the belief that his remaining son is already dead. Fortunately, Faramir survives due to Gandalf and Pippin's intervention.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Denethor is utterly anguished upon learning about the death of his favorite son Boromir. When it looks like Faramir has joined him in death, despite being The Unfavorite, Denethor's sanity snaps.
- Papa Wolf: He attacks Pippin when he believes that the latter attempts to take Faramir's body from him.
- Parental Favoritism: He highly favors the more burly Boromir over the more sensitive Faramir.
- Pet the Dog: He takes Pippin into his service as a knight when plenty of other people would not have taken him seriously. And while it doesn't make up for a lifetime of neglect and favoritism, he is consumed with regret and remorse when Faramir nearly perishes as a result of his own poor generalship.
- Playing Gertrude: His actor John Noble is only eleven years older than Sean Bean, who plays his son.
- 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.
- Sanity Slippage: His introduction in Return of the King makes it clear that something is wrong upstairs, due to his grief from losing Boromir. Later on, when he learns what happened with the Ring and Frodo, he slips and starts seeing a hallucination of his dead son. And when Faramir is apparently fatally injured, he goes into a complete breakdown, utterly ignoring Pippin trying to tell him Faramir is alive.
- Self-Immolation: Believing that Faramir is dead and Gondor will fall, he attempts to burn himself alive with his son's 'body'. Gandalf intervenes and knocks Denethor off the pyre, but when Denethor tries to stop Pippin from getting Faramir away, Gandalf is forced to knock him back onto the burning pyre and lets him burn.
- Skewed Priorities: He prioritized holding onto his power as de facto ruler of Gondor and spiting Gandalf over the war against Mordor itself. This bit him in the ass hard when Sauron's army shows up, and Minas Tirith was only saved due to Gandalf taking control of the defenses and summoning Rohan for aid.
- The Snack Is More Interesting: He dines on chicken, cherry tomatoes and grapes while his men ride to their deaths.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He was the one who pushed Boromir to bring the ring back to Gondor to use as a weapon against Sauron; of course, he can hardly be blamed for the Ring's corrupting influence, but he planted the seeds that the Ring later exploited, which arguably resulted in the Fellowship breaking.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: David Wenham
Voiced by: Idzi Dutkiewicz (Latin American Spanish dub), Mitsuru Miyamoto (Japanese dub), Jérôme Pauwels (French dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers | The Return of the King
"Where does my allegiance lie if not here? This is the city of the men of Númenor. I would gladly give my life to defend her beauty, her memory... her wisdom..."
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 Un-Favourite 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: As elaborated in the Extended Edition, he follows in his brother's footsteps and tries to bring the Ring to Gondor due to massive angst over being the less-favored son. The Steward treating Faramir as The Un-Favourite was also added to justify this change.
- Adaptational Villainy: Downplayed in that he was never a villain, but he was more hostile towards the hobbits in The Two Towers than he was in the novel, and he's tempted by the Ring, until Samwise tells him what the Ring did to Boromir's mind. In the books, he indicates immediately that he knows Evil Is Not a Toy.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: The movie version is brown-haired with blue eyes (although David Wenham's irises can appear grey in certain lighting) whereas his book counterpart is raven-haired with grey eyes.
- Adaptation Personality Change: He becomes tempted by the Ring and his Parental Favoritism issues are more played up.
- Always Second Best: He plays second fiddle to his older brother Boromir; in the eyes of their father, Faramir is worthless while Boromir is his shining son.
- Beta Couple: With Éowyn in the Extended Edition. Both badly wounded in the defense of Minas Tirith, they are left behind when the action moves to the Black Gate of Mordor; they become a couple while recuperating in the Houses of Healing.
- Big Brother Worship: The Extended Edition shows that he was very close to Boromir and was clearly grieved by his death.
- Break the Cutie: He's close to tears when his father says he wished he was dead instead of Boromir. Boromir's absence and Faramir's knowledge of his own doom deeply affects him throughout the whole film.
- The Captain: Of the Rangers of Ithilien. The rangers respect Faramir and are loyal to him, and he's depicted as a highly effective leader when it comes to guerrilla warfare tactics, which his group employs against enemy forces who encroach on their territory.
- Distressed Dude: He spends much of the third film unconscious after being wounded from charging towards the conquered Osgiliath. Denethor is about to burn him and himself alive when Gandalf and Pippin come to Faramir's rescue.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After the hell his father put him through, it's nice to see that Faramir finds love and happiness with Éowyn at the end.
- Establishing Character Moment: Faramir is introduced after his men attack a troop of Haradrim, and he shows empathy for one of the enemies that they killed. Unlike the War Is Glorious mindset of most other characters, he then says "War will make corpses of us all."
- Foil: He and Éowyn are both stuck in roles that don't match their personality. He's a man of peace who is required by circumstances to be a man of war, and because his inclination is more cerebral than martial (he's called a "wizard's pupil" in the Extended Edition, and he admits to Pippin that warfare never suited him), this results in him being The Un-Favourite of his father. She is a shieldmaiden who wishes to earn renown and glory on the battlefield, but she's always ordered to stay behind and care for the women and children, so the duties that come with her gender make her feel like she's trapped inside a cage. Faramir and Éowyn lose a brother figure (Boromir and Théodred) and their father figure (Denethor and Théoden). They're both gravely wounded in battle, and their injuries force them to stay behind while their allies march to the Black Gate of Mordor.
- Heroic Willpower: Enough to both ultimately resist bringing the One Ring to his father and inspire his men to stand their ground against the terrifying Nazgûl, even though nobody makes a point of it in the films.
- Hooked Up Afterwards: In the theatrical version, Éowyn stands next to him instead of her brother Éomer at Aragorn's coronation, which strongly suggests that they are betrothed. In the Extended Edition, they fall in love while they're patients at the Houses of Healing. There is a Deleted Scene of their wedding which is not available to the public.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He never misses his target with his longbow. His more impressive shots include killing a mûmakil rider with a single arrow while the mûmakil is charging, and hitting a Nazgûl-controlled Fellbeast while it's in the air and injuring it at a vulnerable spot. The Fellbeast is in sufficient pain that it immediately flies away from Osgiliath, so Faramir's accuracy prevented a Nazgûl from snatching the One Ring and harming Frodo.
- Love at First Sight: In the Extended Edition, when he first sees Éowyn at the Houses of Healing, he's immediately smitten with her.
- Martial Pacifist: Faramir finds no enjoyment in combat or violence, but will engage in both when duty demands.
- Missing Mom: His mother, Finduilas of Dol Amroth, was already dead by the start of the Fellowship of the Ring. In the novels, she passed away when Faramir was only five years old. Although the movies don't address this directly, Faramir takes after her in the books, so this may explain why he's a more sensitive person than Boromir.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Faramir has some of the best showing of any member of Gondor's army. Unfortunately for him, Boromir could seemingly always do better, and the fact that Denethor keeps holding this over his head In-Universe causes him no small amount of angst.
- Pair the Spares: With Éowyn. The novels 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 a 50-second scene of them comforting each other at the Houses of Healing.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: He knew in his heart that his brother was dead because he had seen a vision of Boromir's corpse.
- Ranger: Captain of Gondor's best rangers, in fact.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Boromir's Red, due to being more bookish and cynical.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He's the sensitive one in comparison to his brother Boromir — a more cerebral, less visceral war leader. In the Extended Edition, Faramir understands that Denethor regards him as being "weaker" than Boromir because he falls a bit short of the masculine ideal, and his father angrily accuses him of being a "wizard's pupil" (having Gandalf as a tutor resulted in him being more scholarly and less interested in combat for its own sake than Boromir), but Pippin views Faramir's gentler and more thoughtful nature as a positive trait.Faramir: [The armour] Never fitted me, either. Boromir was always the soldier. They were so alike, he and my father. Proud. Stubborn even. But strong.
Pippin: I think you have strength of a different kind. And one day your father will see it.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: He's more conservative and less battle-hardy than his brother Boromir.
- Sixth Ranger: Is sometimes treated as Boromir's replacement in the Fellowship, particularly in the video games.
- Sole Survivor: He's the only soldier who doesn't die during the suicidal cavalry charge to reclaim Osgiliath, although he's severely injured and is unconscious.
- Spare to the Throne: More precisely Spare to the Stewardship of Gondor; Ruling Stewards are de facto Kings after the royal line of Anárion had died out. Being the second son of Denethor, Faramir did not expect to inherit his father's title, but that's exactly what happened because his older brother Boromir had died, and Denethor committed suicide.
- The Strategist: While not as formidable in battle as his older brother, he conducts guerrilla warfare against foes who trespass into Ithilien, and he's exceptionally skilled in this area.
- The Un-Favourite: His father has been rather dismissive of him for being the weaker of his two sons.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His capturing of Sméagol after Frodo coaxes him out of the Forbidden Pool leads to Sméagol thinking Frodo betrayed him, and plotting to kill him and take back the Ring (in the book, Gollum had that one planned out already).
- War Is Hell: In the Extended Edition, he recognizes how horrible war is when he sees the body of an enemy soldier that he had just killed.Faramir: His sense of duty was no less than yours, I deem. You wonder what his name is, where he came from, and if he was really evil at heart. What lies or threats led him on this long march from home. If he would not rather have stayed there in peace. War will make corpses of us all.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: All he wants is to be worthy in his father's eyes, but no matter hard how he tries, he always fails to please Denethor. In fairness, at the very end, Denethor did prove he loved him deep down. Faramir just had to almost die to finally get the realization through.
- The Wise Prince: Although the son of the Ruling Steward of Gondor (a de facto King), he is still effectively a Prince in all but name. Being a former student of Gandalf ("wizard's pupil"), Faramir is wiser and more thoughtful than his brother Boromir, and unlike the latter, he ultimately doesn't try to steal the One Ring from Frodo. He models himself after the idealized image of Gondor's past kings (Denethor remarks, "Ever you desire to appear lordly and gracious as a king of old"). In the novels, Faramir becomes the Prince of Ithilien after the War of the Ring, and a photo from a Deleted Scene which still hasn't been released depict him wearing a crown.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: John Bach
Voiced by: Roberto Mendiola (Latin American Spanish dub - The Two Towers), Sebastián Llapur (Latin American Spanish dub - Return of the King)
Appears in: The Two Towers | The Return of the King
A veteran Ranger of Ithilien and Faramir's second-in-command.
Elendil the Tall
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Peter Mc Kenzie
Appears in: The Fellowship of the Ring
The first High King of all the Dúnedain who died during the War of the Last Alliance.
- Adaptational Wimp: In the book, it's him and the Elven King, Gil-galad who destroy Sauron in his mortal form at the cost of their lives, with Isildur cutting the ring afterwards. In the film, Elendil is only seen looking at Sauron in fear, charging at him and being killed by a single blow.
- Ancestral Weapon: Narsil. It was used by Elendil before he fell, which prompts Isildur to pick it up even after Sauron breaks it by stepping on it. It did succeed in cutting off the One Ring from Sauron's finger and was displayed in Rivendell for almost all the Third Age until it is remade as Andúril as the sword for Aragorn.
- Cool Sword: Narsil, which he uses to fight against Sauron.
- Large and in Charge: As his epithet indicates, he was enormous, being nearly eight feet tall.
- The Good King: He was considered among the greatest and wisest of Kings, loved by all.
Species: Human (Man)
Portrayed by: Henry Sinclair
Appears in: The Fellowship of the Ring
The son of Elendil and the second High King of the Dúnedain.
- Adaptational Badass: In the books, Sauron's defeat was a threefold effort. Here, Isildur does it single-handedly.
- Adaptational Villainy: The film focuses far more on Isildur's failure to destroy the ring, and doesn't bring up his earlier (and later) accomplishments, with the lone exception of his cursing of the Dead Men of Dunharrow. Aragorn for example looks poorly on Isildur and wonders if he's as weak. In the books, Isildur is generally much more fondly remembered as Gondor's co-founder and for ordering Gondor and Arnor as high king following the war of the last alliance. His failure to destroy the ring is more treated as a tragic flaw in an otherwise truly great man.
- In Unfinished Tales, the Disaster of the Gladden Fields paints him as sincerely regretting ever taking the Ring and he only uses as a last resort to escape after his son Elendur begs him. In the movies he's just runs off after being unhorsed.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Inverted. He's the first to declare the Ring is precious, something that tips Gandalf off as to just what Bilbo's got his hands on many centuries later.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: After cutting the ring from a wounded Sauron's finger, he was hailed as the greatest hero of the forces of Men... until he decided to keep Sauron's Ring.
- Dirty Coward: Thanks to the Ring's influence, when he's ambushed by Orcs, he immediately puts the Ring on and tries to flee, leaving his men to be slaughtered. The Ring had other ideas.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: How the Elves view him after he refuses to destroy the Ring, instead keeping it for himself.
- Made of Iron: The fact that the heat and gases in the Sammath Naur didn't kill him proves this.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He regretted his foolish pride that led him to keep the Ring, and was pained when he was forced to escape wearing it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If he had only destroyed the One Ring, the War of the Ring would have never taken place.
- Sanity Slippage: He only had the Ring on him for what can't have been more than a short hike up Mt. Doom, but it managed to do a number on him, just as it would to Frodo.
- Shadow Archetype: He's treated like this by his descendant Aragorn who's hesitant of taking the throne of Gondor, for Aragorn fears making the same mistakes.Arwen: Why do you fear the past? You are Isildur's heir, not Isildur himself. You are not bound to his fate.
Aragorn: The same blood flows in my veins. The same weakness.
Arwen: Your time will come. You will face the same evil, and you will defeat it.
- Tragic Hero: If he'd destroyed the Ring, Isildur would have been the greatest hero of his age. But because he succumbed to its lure, he was killed and Sauron was able to rise again.
- Undignified Death: Shot in the back with arrows while trying to flee, last seen floating facedown in a river.
- Warrior Prince: Why else would he take part in the War of the Last Alliance?
- You Killed My Father: Towards Sauron, whom he then destroys by cutting the One Ring off the enemy's finger.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Bernard Hill
Voiced by: Rogelio Guerra (Latin American Spanish dub), Katsuhiko Sasaki (Japanese dub), Roger Mollen (French dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers | The Return of the King
"Ride to ruin and the world's ending!"
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.
- Age Lift: In the book he's 72, but in the Extended Edition of The Two Towers, Éowyn's dialogue shows he's in his 50s.
- Battle Cry: "Forth, Eorlingas!" Although he has a different one on the battlefield of the Pelennor: "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.
- Death Glare: The crowning one of the trilogy has to be the one he gives Grima after being freed from Saruman's influence. You can almost hear Grima piss himself.
- Demonic Possession: Where the books just suggest he's being addled by Wormtongue's manipulations, in the films he's outright used as a puppet by Saruman, who even speaks through him at one point.
- Distressed Dude: He first has to be freed from Saruman's brainwashing by Gandalf and then protected by his own niece Éowyn after the Witch-king mortally wounds him though it unfortunately doesn't save him in the long run and he dies.
- Face Death with Dignity: He calmly accepts his death and dies peacefully.Théoden: My body is broken. You have to let me go...I go to my fathers, in whose mighty company I shall not now be ashamed.
- Family 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.
- Foil: To Denethor. Both are aged and respected leaders of warrior kingdoms who have lost their sons and heirs, but their stories play out very differently. Theoden, freed of his magical enfeeblement, overcomes grief and despair and resolves to honor his traditions, Defiant to the End. He also treats his sisters' children (now his heirs) with love and consideration. Denethor suffers similar losses and faces the same impossible odds, but it shatters him.
- The Good King: Once cleansed of Saruman's spell, Théoden tries very hard to do what is best for his people. He values their safety more than anything except, possibly, their honor.
- 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.
- Grumpy Bear: On occasion, especially where the subject of Gondor comes up, but not without justification, given Gondor under Denethor has been a piss-poor ally. That said, when Gondor apparently asks for help, he immediately calls up all his men to give it.
- 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 Theoden was written in a very Shakespearean way and Bernard Hill portrays him with appropriate pomp.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Fully believes this, as he sends all of the women, despite the fact that he knows his niece to be a capable warrior into the caves with the (female) children, while drafting every male Rohirrim he can get his hands on, including the elderly and the prepubescent.
- Oh, Crap!: When the Oliphaunts arrive. "BRING IT DOWN BRING IT DOWN BRING IT DOWN!"
- Outliving One's Offspring: His son dies in battle, leaving him devastated.
- Papa Wolf: He is highly protective of his people and his sister's children.
- 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: If one takes Saruman's final offer as an honest attempt at parley, it might seem so.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 dies without regret, having brought about a mighty victory.
- Tempting Fate: As soon as he asks, "Is this it? Is this all you can conjure, Saruman?" the Uruk army destroys the wall and breeches Helm's Deep.
- This Is Gonna Suck: In contrast to his reaction to the arrival of the Mûmakil, which is frantic attempts to get his men in order so that they stand a chance, his reaction to the Witch-King and his fell beast bearing down on him, just as the Rohirrim are starting to turn things around on the Haradrim, is an expression that is almost exasperated, as if he's thinking, "Really? Again? Well, shit."
- Warrior Poet: "Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?"
- Younger than They Look: Saruman's possession of Théoden makes the king look like a near-blind, withered old man. He reverts to his proper appearance once Gandalf purges Saruman's influence.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Miranda Otto
Voiced by: Xóchitl Ugarte (Latin American Spanish dub), Takako Honda (Japanese dub), Barbara Tissier (French dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers | The Return of the King | The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (narrator)
"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: This is established early on, after mistaking Aragorn's natural gentleness as some kind of condescending chivalry. As Gríma observes, she yearns for glory in war. She's outraged when her uncle keeps employing her as a viceroy (overlooking the great faith in her that this shows), and ends up traveling secretly to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where her skill at war turns out to be pivotal.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: 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 when Aragorn informs her that Dwarf women have beards.
- Age Lift: In the books she's 23 during the War of the Ring; in the films she was played by the then-35-year-old Miranda Otto.
- Beta Couple: With Faramir in the Extended Edition. Both badly wounded in the defense of Minas Tirith, they are left behind when the action moves to the Black Gate of Mordor; they become a couple while recuperating in the Houses of Healing.
- 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 abhorrent advances 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.
- 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, kills him.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Clearly, that's the last thing she wants. Apparently, she didn't make that clear with Aragorn.
- Family Theme Naming: Éowyn's father was named Éomund; her brother, Éomer; and her eventual son, Elboron. Although 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 language).
- Foil: She and Faramir are both stuck in roles that don't match their personality. She is a shieldmaiden who wishes to earn renown and glory on the battlefield, but she's always ordered to stay behind and care for the women and children, so the duties that come with her gender make her feel like she's trapped inside a cage. He's a man of peace who is required by circumstances to be a man of war, and because his inclination is more cerebral than martial (he's called a "wizard's pupil" in the Extended Edition, and he admits to Pippin that warfare never suited him), this results in him being The Un-Favourite of his father. Éowyn and Faramir lose a brother figure (Théodred and Boromir) and their father figure (Théoden and Denethor). They're both gravely wounded in battle, and their injuries force them to stay behind while their allies march to the Black Gate of Mordor.
- 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 / You Shall Not Pass!: She pulls this on the Witch-King when he tries to kill her fallen uncle.Éowyn: I'll kill you if you touch him!
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Although she initially has a Sugar-and-Ice Personality.
- Hooked Up Afterwards: In the theatrical version, she stands next to Faramir instead of her brother Éomer at Aragorn's coronation, which strongly suggests that they are betrothed. In the Extended Edition, they fall in love while they're patients at the Houses of Healing. There is a Deleted Scene of their wedding which is not available to the public.
- Iconic Sequel Character: As in the books, she and the other Rohirrim characters only show up in the second and third installments (albeit Tolkien conceived of LOTR as one huge book that he had to cut into three parts for publication reasons), and they're fairly important characters. Specifically with Éowyn this led to a few hassles: in the books she's arguably the one female character with the most speaking lines and "on-screen" presence (Queen Galadriel is important but the narrative moves on from her location). She is the warrior-princess character in the narrative. The problem was that she doesn't show up until the second movie, and the producers had no idea if the first film would even be successful, and there was the legitimate concern of needing to "hook" female audience members who wouldn't otherwise wait for the sequel. This led to the decision to build up Arwen as a tough warrior-princess...even though in the novels her strength is more emotional than martial (choosing a short and happy mortal life with Aragorn over immortality). Also Arwen doesn't really appear "on page" that much - she is a major impact on the story given how much she influences Aragorn, but it builds up her mystery and power that she's mostly spoken of in awe by other people. In the early drafts they even had Arwen fighting at Helm's Deep (though admittedly that was back when there were only 2 movies and not 3, and the writers themselves scrapped it of their own volition). At the least they had a scene of her making a "tough" riding scene and confronting the Ringwraiths - which wasn't too out of line in the movie itself, but which the marketing team played up immensely. Fan complaints at the time were that they didn't need to build up Arwen into a warrior-princess... because the narrative already contained one of the most famous warrior-princesses in Fantasy literature, Éowyn. By the second movie the franchise was already a hit so this urge faded away, though a bit jarringly, as Arwen suddenly isn't an active member of the quest but is back in Rivendell facing the serious decision to leave Aragorn or not, while Éowyn suddenly becomes the primary female warrior.
- 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: Her stew is enough to leave Aragorn temporarily speechless before forcing himself to choke it down. When her back is turned, he tries dumping it.Aragorn: It's good.
- Loving a Shadow: Aragorn's response to her feelings for him is the Trope Namer. He believes she loves the idea of him, rather than who he actually is.
- 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 the 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: With Faramir. The novels 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 a 50-second scene 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: As the Witch-King stands in awe and wonders what man would dare confront him, Éowyn rips off her helmet and says "I am no man!" before killing the warrior that Gandalf had cowered to.
- Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Despite being expected to preoccupy herself with caretaking and nursing, the King's niece of Rohan charges into battle alongside her uncle and brother, taking down orcs and oliphants alike. And she slays the Witch-King.
- 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, who's more calm and composed. Then again, she's a woman.
- 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.
- 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.
- You Killed my Uncle: She attacks the Witch-King after he wounds Théoden, causing his death.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Karl Urban
Voiced by: Raúl Anaya (Latin American Spanish dub), Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese dub), Jean-Pierre Michaël (French dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers | The Return of the King
"Look for your friends, but do not trust to hope. It has forsaken these lands."
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.
- Badass Normal: The Mumakil are devastating Rohan's forces at the Pelennor Fields. What does Éomer do? He takes down TWO of them just by throwing a spear.
- The Berserker: Has shades of this.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Éowyn, his younger sister whom he is fiercely protective over. Some of Éomer's comments also point to him feeling the same way towards Théodred as well.
- Big Damn Heroes: He and Gandalf turn up at a crucial moment to turn the tide at the Battle of Helm's Deep.
- Composite Character: He is combined with Erkenbrand, who provided soldiers for the relief of Helm's Deep.
- Death Wail: 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. Consider that (as the novels spell out) right after finding out that his elderly uncle Theoden is dead, Éowyn is officially his last living relative, making his shock at thinking she has been mortally injured a far greater double-blow.
- Demoted to Extra: More or less just there to fight in the movies, although he does get a bit of expansion in the Extended Editions.
- Family Theme Naming: Éomer's father was named Éomund; his sister, Éowyn; and his eventual son, Elfwine. Although all Elfwine shares with the previous three is the first letter of his name (which means Elf-friend).
- Hot-Blooded: He's most at home in a battlefield, fighting orcs and anything else in his way. He screams like hell, too.
- 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, being raised a warrior for most of his life.
- 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, who he really doesn't want to see get hurt or killed. 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.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Bruce Hopkins
Voiced by: Herman López (Latin American Spanish dub), Pascal Renwick (French dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers | The Return of the King
Théoden's lieutenant after the death of Háma.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: John Leigh
Voiced by: Pascal Casanova (French dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers
Théodens lieutenant until his death.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: He is the first casualty in the Warg attack. In the book, he survives until the Battle of Helms Deep.
- Those Two Guys: With Gamling, at least until his death.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: Háma obeys Théoden by ignoring his orders, which are really coming from Saruman, and allowing Gandalf to restore his king to his true state.
Laketown / Dale
Bard the Bowman
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Luke Evans
Voiced by: Mario Castañeda (Latin American Spanish dub), Cédric Dumont (French dub)
Appears in: The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies
"I was born and bred on these waters, Master Dwarf. If I wanted to kill you, I would not do it here."
Descendant of Girion, the last Lord of Dale before its destruction by Smaug. Extremely resentful of Thorin and the dwarves due to the threat they pose to his life and family in Laketown. One of the best archers in Middle-Earth and a captain of Laketown. Future King of Dale.
- Action Dad: He is the one to slay the dragon Smaug, and this trope is further driven home by the fact that he uses his son Bain as part of a makeshift bow.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: He's often described in the book as somewhat scruffy and grim, but is played in the films by the dashing Luke Evans, though neither book quality is mutually exclusive of attractiveness.
- Adaptation Expansion: Gets introduced to the plot much earlier on than he did in the book — where he only shows up just as Smaug's about to attack Laketown — and his character and motivations are well established in preparation for the third film.
- Adaptational Job Change: Rather than the captain of archers for Lake-Town, he's a bargeman and smuggler.
- Anti-Hero: He's a smuggler and very reluctant to help the Dwarves because of a prophecy that claims their arrival heralds Smaug burning the lake and everything on it. He was right, but still helps anyway.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: He defies this. After Laketown is destroyed and with the Master a stain on the back of Smaug's corpse, Alfrid tries to save his own skin by gussying up with Bard and taking advantage of his newfound fame as Dragonslayer by declaring him King of Dale before the mass of people. However, both because Alfrid's praise disgusts Bard and because he has no time for such nonsense while there are people who need help, Bard outright refuses Alfrid and goes on to rally the people together without such titles. He ultimately does become King of Dale later on, and his putting the needs of his people before his own advancement shows well what kind of King he will be.
- Badass Boast: Upon asked by his terrified youngest daughter if the approaching Smaug will kill them all:Bard: Not if I kill him first.
- Badass in Distress: Bard is jailed by the Master and watches helplessly from there as Smaug flies toward Laketown.
- Badass Longcoat: Sports a worn, brown one.
- Badass Normal: Manages to match (or nearly) Legolas and Tauriel for archery, despite being a regular human.
- The Cassandra: He's this for the entire city of Laketown, reminding them what happened to Dale and that though the prophecy starts with promising wealth upon the return of Durin's heir, it ends with Laketown being destroyed — but he's ignored out of common greed.
- Continues the Only Sane Man rule when handling negotiations with Thorin. Between Thorin and Thranduil he's the only one who wants to avoid bloodshed.
- The Chains of Commanding: Clearly carries the weight of his lineage, but can't reclaim the Lordship of Dale and protect his family at the same time (Smaug also wouldn't stand for it).
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Is portrayed as being almost as good an archer as Tauriel or Legolas, despite them having hundreds or thousands of years to hone their craft, and he only thirty or so.
- Cold Sniper: In his initial introduction, he makes a perfect shot out of a huge log Dwalin was holding and knocking a thrown weapon out of Kili's hand.Bard: "Do it again, and you're dead."
- Crazy-Prepared: Is revealed to have the last black arrow hidden in the ceiling of his home without telling anyone — including his own family — about it.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: When Smaug arrives and begins massacring the folks of Laketown, Bard, with a little improvising and using only his archery skills and the Black Arrow he had in storage, strikes Smaug dead in the midst of his rampage, putting an end to him once and for all.
- Establishing Character Moment: His introduction establishes his knack for assessing a situation, and his both highly accurate and steady aim with a bow. The first trait makes him realise Smaug will most likely attack Laketown if the dwarves get into the mountain, the second lets us know that if any human can kill Smaug, it's this guy.
- Expy: Of Robin Hood. Also of William Tell, given the way he finally does kill Smaug.
- Good Parents: Bard's foremost concern is his three children and he couldn't care less about his claim to Dale, just so long as Sigrid, Bain, and Tilda are safe and provided for.
- Identical Grandson: Evans also plays Girion in a flashback, as the king tries — and fails — to kill Smaug while he's destroying Dale. (They're not that identical, though, since Evans was aged up and wore prosthetics for the role.)
- Impoverished Patrician: Bard is descended from the last Lord of Dale, ruler of one of the richest kingdoms in Middle-Earth. Bard, meanwhile, makes much of his living from smuggling — quite a step down in the world. Unlike in the books, there's the implication here that Bard's family falling so far is because the people of Laketown blamed his father for being unable to defeat Smaug.
- Improbable Aiming Skills:
- Shown to be as quick and accurate with a bow as the best of Elves (managing to hit arrows out of the air mid-flight), despite being only a short-lived human.
- As in the novel, Bard hits Smaug's vulnerable spot dead-on with the black arrow.
- King of the Homeless: Alfrid calls him 'the people's champion,' which makes him a threat to The Master, though he's fairly middle-class himself. Unlike most examples, though, Bard actually has Royal Blood in his veins, being the son of the Lord of Dale.
- Noble Fugitive: Whose home city was destroyed by Smaug 170 years prior.
- Only Sane Man: The only person in Laketown, who realizes that Thorin and Company going into the Lonely Mountain without any way to kill Smaug is inviting disaster. He's proven right when Smaug razes the town in the third film.
- Papa Wolf: Has little interest in claiming his birthright as Lord of Dale compared to his overwhelming need to protect Bain, Sigrid, and Tilda (especially after his wife's death). Bard fears for the safety of his three children and his town that something nearly unstoppable could come anytime and destroy them all. It's especially shown in the scene when he's trying to fight his way to the market and sees a gigantic troll coming towards them, ready to kill, and when he is using Bain as a makeshift bow in a last-ditch attempt to kill Smaug.
- Properly Paranoid: Bard harshly warns Thorin he'll bring death upon the land; Smaug flies off to destroy Laketown at the end of the film.
- He also tries to stick the Black Arrow on a large crossbow in case Smaug comes a-calling, but the Master stops him.
- Protector Behind Bars: He begs the guards to release him when he realizes that Smaug is approaching Laketown (and therefore, his children).
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In the final film, Bard proves to be this after becoming the de-facto leader of the Laketown survivors. He hears out King Thranduil and Gandalf on the matter of the dwarves refusing to aid the displaced Lakemen after causing Smaug's attack, he's respectful and tries to reasonably get through to Thorin with diplomacy (without success) partly in an attempt to avert bloodshed even though he knows his and Thranduil's people would surely win such a conflict, and he happily takes up Bilbo Baggins' idea to barter the Arkenstone with Thorin in exchange for what Thorin owes the people of Lake-town in a second attempt to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
- Rebel Leader: The Master of Laketown and Alfrid suspect him to be one.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: It is Bard who ultimately kills Smaug. And just like the also-exiled Thorin, Bard is willing to do the same menial jobs as his fellow northmen, mostly working as a smuggler and bargeman to help feed the people of Laketown.
- Tap on the Head: He gets one from the Master of Laketown, via a wooden beam, and wakes up with no visible injury.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: John Bell
Voiced by: Fernando Calderón (Latin American Spanish dub), Gabriel Bismuth-Bienaimé (French dub)
Appears in: The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies
Bard's son and second King of Dale.
- Big Brother Instinct: He valiantly tries to protect his sisters when their home is attacked by Bolg and his orcs.
- Canon Immigrant: Mentioned briefly in The Lord of the Rings to have become the new king of Dale after Bard, and Bain's son Brand led Dale during the time of the War of the Ring.
- The Dutiful Son: Bain obeys his father's orders without question, even when it's obvious that he doesn't agree with them. He also stays behind to watch over Sigrid and Tilda in Bard's absence.
- And then he runs through the burning Laketown, with a furious Smaug flying overhead and torching everything in sight, to bring the Black Arrow to his father. This also involves climbing up the belltower, which is also burning and within plain sight of a rampaging dragon.
- Equippable Ally: Becomes one in the third film, as his shoulder is used for Bard to aim his arrow on when the latter has to tie his bowstring to the remaining structure of the bell tower with his bow broken and a convenient dwarven windlance destroyed.
- Impoverished Patrician: Like his father, Bain is a direct descendent of the last King of Dale and heir to one of the wealthiest kingdoms in Middle-Earth. However, along with Sigrid and Tilda, he spent most of his childhood in poverty and only started living well several years after Thorin's Company reclaimed the Lonely Mountain.
- Missing Mom: Bain's mother died sometime prior to The Desolation of Smaug, leaving Bard to raise Bain and his sisters by himself.
- Nice Guy: Much more mellow than his father. And like his sisters, Bain is also much more welcoming to the dwarves and does everything he can to help an injured Kíli recover in their home. It's noted in the books that Bain sent many grand gifts from Dale to Bilbo's Farewell Birthday Party in the Shire. He also maintained peaceful ties with Erebor and Dáin Ironfoot, who died in the War of the Ring defending Bain's son, King Brand.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Despite being a young teenager, Bain helps his father whenever or however he can, including hiding the Black Arrow from the Master's mooks. He will also rebuild the Kingdom of Dale alongside his father and then rule the prosperous and peaceful city after Bard's passing.
- Bain also assists his father in felling Smaug, both by bringing the Black Arrow to him atop Laketown's tallest tower and then acting as a replacement mount and bow for the destroyed dwarven windlance. He takes part in the Battle of the Five Armies as well, actively protecting his sisters and the most defenseless and injured of Laketown's survivors.
Sigrid and Tilda
Sigrid and Tilda
Portrayed By: Peggy Nesbitt (Sigrid) and Mary Nesbitt (Tilda)
Bard's two daughters and Bain's sisters.
- Canon Foreigner: Do not appear in any of Tolkien's writings.
- Cheerful Child: Tilda is very cheerful.
- Mama Bear: Sigrid protects her siblings along with Fili, Kili and Oin by attempting to brace the door shut. It doesn't work but still...
- Missing Mom: Their mother died sometime prior to The Desolation of Smaug, leaving Bard to raise Bain and his sisters by himself. According to Luke Evans, she most likely died giving birth to Tilda.
- Nice Girl: They're genuinely kind to the dwarves when they stay at their house.
Girion, Lord of Dale
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Luke Evans
Voiced by: Mario Castañeda (Latin American Spanish dub), Cédric Dumond (French dub)
Appears in: An Unexpected Journey | The Desolation of Smaug
The last Lord of Dale prior to its destruction by Smaug. Led a last-ditch defense of the city that claimed his life and those of most of his soldiers and citizens.
- Action Dad: His only appearance consists entirely of him being a badass, and he's the progenitor of the future King of Dale, Bard.
- Adaptational Badass: Oh yeah. Girion gets a brief mention in the book as being Bard's ancestor, but he never fights Smaug.
- Anti-Air: The dwarven windlance he uses to fight Smaug seems to have been designed to have a high enough arc to fire on airborne targets. Justified in that Erebor and Dale had come under threat from other, lesser dragons periodically before Smaug arrived (though most were wingless wyrm-types).
- Authority Equals Asskicking: In the course of his brief appearance, we learn only two things: he's in charge, and that he's badass.
- Badass Normal: Hurts Smaug more than anyone else with nothing more than the application of mechanical force, a particularly well-made projectile, and good aim.
- BFG: The windlance he uses to score the only substantial hits on Smaug in the series.
- Cold Sniper: Fires several Black Arrows at Smaug with mechanical efficiency as his city burns around him, and even manages a few hits.
- Canon Immigrant: Averted, unlike in Bain's case. He gets a brief mention in the book.
- Determinator: Dies loading one last Black Arrow.
- Died Standing Up: And shooting back.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Almost certainly knew that he was going to die as soon as Smaug showed up. His reaction? Start shooting.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Both Thorin and the Master of Laketown blame Girion for failing to kill the dragon, even though he did far more damage to him than anyone else had managed before or since.
- Flashback: Only appears in one.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He couldn't kill Smaug himself, but he made sure Bard would be able to.
- Identical Ancestor: Is played by Luke Evans, the same actor playing his descendant, Bard.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Scores several hits on Smaug, even as he's flying around the city destroying it.
- Infinity +1 Sword: The Black Arrows, the only thing capable of penetrating a dragon's hide.
- Last Stand: Went out firing Black Arrows at Smaug.
- Modest Royalty: Wears no crown or substantial jewelry, unlike his counterpart under the Mountain, Thrór.
- Nerves of Steel: Doesn't even flinch in the presence of ancient and nigh-invulnerable fire-breathing monster as it destroys everything he cares about.
- Rated M for Manly: Oh yeah.
- Small Role, Big Impact: The damage he did to Smaug's hide eventually allows Bard to kill him with the last Black Arrow.
- Weapon of Choice: A dwarven windlance, or ballista.
- Underestimating Badassery: Smaug wasn't counting on Girion when he attacked Erebor.
The Master of Laketown
The Master of Laketown
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Stephen Fry
Voiced by: Alejandro Mayén (Latin American Spanish dub), Michel Papineschi (French dub)
Appears in: The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies
"And all this talk of a change must be suppressed. We can't afford to let the rabble band together, start making noises. The next you know, they'll start asking questions, forming committees."
The elected leader of Laketown, a large town built entirely on the Long Lake, and an all-around Slimeball. He's not a foe to the Company in The Desolation of Smaug since he provides genuine help to them before they reach the Lonely Mountain, but he holds a serious grudge against Bard, whom he considers a threat to his authority on the town.
- Adaptational Villainy: While he is a greedy bastard, he doesn't directly oppose Bard in the book, in which him being the bad guy was mostly an Informed Attribute since he didn't actually do any evil.
- Adipose Rex: Notably not the 'Rex' part officially, but as ruler of Laketown, he's still the head honcho, and grossly overweight (to the point of gout).
- The Alcoholic: The Master gets several brandies down before breakfast.
- Asshole Victim: After locking Bard in the jail and trying to abandon his people to die, no tears are shed for the Master when a dead Smaug falls on top of his boat and crushes him.
- Bald of Evil: Or it would be if not for his Improbable Hairstyle.
- Beard of Evil: A greasy goatee.
- Corrupt Politician: All he cares about is making himself rich and maintaining his position. To that end, he prioritizes his own wealth over Laketown's interests, and abuses his authority against Bard, viewing him as a threat to his power. Even the aid he gives to the dwarves is motivated by self-interest.
- Death by Adaptation: The Master survives both Smaug's attack and the Battle of the Five Armies in book, and is only mentioned to have died alone in the wilderness after Bilbo returns home. In the films, he gets crushed by Smaug's falling corpse during the destruction of Lake-town.
- Death by Looking Up: He just has enough time to look up before Smaug's corpse lands on top of him.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the book, he survives past the Battle Of The Five Armies and eventually falls to the dragon sickness, stealing gold from Erebor, after which he runs off into the wastelands and dies of starvation. Here, he dies long before the Battle, thanks to Bard shooting down Smaug on top of him.
- Dirty Coward: Flees Laketown during Smaug's attack with a barge filled with gold and leaving his citizens to die.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Died after being squished by Smaug's descending corpse.
- The Dung Ages: Laketown is living in one. Since the destruction of Erebor and Dale, the trade they depend on has diminished substantially, with the Woodland Realm as sole source of trade. As the Company enters Laketown, they pass stone ruins in the lake, indicating that Laketown was once much larger, wealthier, and cleaner. Thorin apparently remembers that Laketown.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His actual name isn't given; he's just called "the Master".
- Evil Is Petty: Locks up Bard after Thorin and his company head to the mountain just because he can.
- Evil Redhead: Has long, balding red hair and is sleazy and corrupt.
- Expy: Of Lord Melchett from the Blackadder series, to the point of even having the same actor.
- Fat Bastard: He's both obese and incredibly corrupt.
- Greed: What motivates him to help Thorin and the Company afters listening to Thorin's speech.
- Hypocrite: During the debate whether to help the Dwarves or not, he goes for the reasonable route of not being too quick to lay blame on anyone. Then he proceeds immediately to call out Girion for not killing Smaug in the first place and points at Bard for bonus points. What was that about not laying blame, again?
- Improbable Hairstyle: The Master sports one of the most tragic comb-overs committed to celluloid.
- It's All About Me: Does not like hearing about the people's complaints about his way of ruling. Later he offers to help Thorin and his company only because he feels he'll benefit from it later on, and to avoid a mutiny from his people if he chose to have them arrested instead.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Provides clothes, armor and viable weapons to Thorin and the Company, and offers them a feast the night before they reach the Lonely Mountain. Although he only does so because he thinks it will benefit him later.
- Karmic Death: Gets crushed by Smaug's corpse falling from the sky after Bard kills the dragon and after the Master left everyone including Alfrid behind to die.
- Knockout Ambush: Knocks Bard out with a piece of wood in the climax of The Desolation of Smaug.
- Large and in Charge: Both in terms of his girth and by virtue of being played by the extremely tall Stephen Fry.
- Laughably Evil: He's an unbelievably greedy scumbag and Sleazy Politician, but he's so exaggeratedly gross and hammy that he comes across as funny, without being as sickeningly irritating as his secretary.
- Loves Only Gold: Chooses to save his vast wealth instead of any of his subjects, even going as far as to kick Alfrid out of their boat when Alfrid suggests all the gold is weighing them down and they ought to dump some of it.
- The Master: It's in his name.
- Oh, Crap!: He has this expression in the split second he sees the dead Smaug is about to land on top of him.
- I Own This Town: Or at least has a truly fantastic number of spies.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Averted. He actually didn't want anything to do with the dwarves, but after Thorin promises them riches and prosperity once he reclaimed his city, the master is only more than happy to lend them a helping hand, and wins approval from his people. After Smaug attacks, he only thinks of himself and tries to escape with as much gold as his boat can carry, while claiming he wished he could save more people.
- Red Right Hand: Apart from his thinning red hair and wispy moustache, the Master has his actor's distinctive twisted nose and prominent upper teeth like a rodent, to make it clear that he's not a nice man.
- Slave to PR: It's made clear early on that the only reason he's able to maintain his power is by keeping his people happy. Bard is allowed to smuggle 14 barrels of fish into the city because of this. Later on, he allows the dwarves to continue their mission after they make it known that there will be money in it for the village.
- Sleazy Politician: Self-centered, greedy, hypocritical, and all-around slimy.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Ryan Gage
Voiced by: Luis Daniel Ramírez (Latin American Spanish dub)
Appears in: The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies
"It's the Master's business, which makes it my business."
The Master of Laketown's aide de camp and all-around slimy bureaucrat.
- Asshole Victim: In the extended edition of Battle of the Five Armies, he gets launched off the trebuchet of a fallen troll and into the mouth of another troll that Gandalf is fighting, causing it to fall down and chomp on Alfrid in the process, killing them both. Given the atrocities he has done, fans cheered at his death.
- Bullying a Dragon: When Gandalf shows up in Dale, Alfrid orders him to clear off. Even if he didn't know that Gandalf is basically a Middle-Earth angel in human form instead of an old beggar, he's lucky Gandalf wasn't feeling angry enough to do more than shout at him.
- Butt-Monkey: In Battle of the Five Armies, largely by his own doing.
- Canon Foreigner: He's an original character to the films, although he is based on the Master's councillors who are very briefly mentioned in the book.
- Catapult to Glory: His Karmic Death involves this.
- Corrupt Bureaucrat: He's perfectly willing to abuse his power if it helps his boss keep his job.
- Dirty Coward: Is this especially in Battle of the Five Armies, down to disguising himself as an old woman. And then having to run for it when the real old women join the battle.
- Expy: Of Edmund Blackadder with the redeeming qualities scrubbed out.
- Hate Sink: He reminds the audience in every scene in which he appears how greedy, selfish, lazy, lying, misogynistic and cowardly he is — all the while taking up valuable screen-time like the oxygen thief he is!
- Jerkass: He wheedles Bard just to be a jerk. In Battle of the Five Armies he's especially this to everyone, from upset survivors to Bilbo and Gandalf.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Every time he's given an opportunity to redeem himself, Bard ordering him to lead the women and children to safety during a battle, he manages to be an even bigger jerk by pushing them out of his way and refuse to partake in the battle after the womenfolk decide to take matters in their own hands.
- Karmic Death: He survives Smaug's attack on Laketown after the Master pushes him out of the boat to lose weight, and despite a near-attempted hanging by the angry survivors and being in the middle of the battle he still avoids any karma, and escapes with a bodice stuffed full of gold. Fortunately, he doesn't escape: he ends up being catapulted into a troll's mouth, killing them both. The Karmic part of this comes when it's one of his gold coins that releases the trebuchet he hides in. His greed and selfishness kill him in the end.
- Kick the Dog: When Fíli asks for help for his sick brother Kíli, after the Master refuses Alfrid acts more rudely towards the Dwarves, saying "Do I look like an apothecary?"
- Meaningful Name: His last name is Lickspittle and he's a Sycophantic Servant to the Master of Laketown.
- The Millstone: Despite repeatedly proving himself to be the least capable, least trustworthy human being in all of Middle-Earth, Alfrid is repeatedly put in charge of important tasks or selected to perform important duties by characters who really should know better, bungling them each time with his laziness, selfishness, and greed and proving to be little better than an oxygen thief.
- Number Two: To the Master of Laketown. He later tries to become this for Bard with little success.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: He goes out of his way to make life harder for Bard, who threatens the Master's hegemony over Laketown.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Unlike his superior who Loves Only Gold, Alfrid is pragmatic enough to realize they've weighed their boat down with too much booty. He still won't let any other people get aboard, even kicking someone into the water who was trying desperately to climb in, but he's smart enough to realize all that gold means nothing if they don't survive, and so he wisely suggests throwing it overboard so they can escape - for which he is thrown out.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: How else would a Mr. Lickspittle shine?
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Perhaps not a "sadist", but Alfrid is a cowardly bully with a soft, nasal, husky voice that puts the audience on edge from the first moment he speaks.
- Smug Snake: He fancies himself a savvy manipulator, but he's just an idiotic coward who nobody likes.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The Scrappy variety. Despite his Canon Foreigner status, in Battle of the Five Armies Alfrid's Aesop Amnesia comedy shtick is afforded the same if not more screen-time than Beorn, many of the thirteen dwarves and even Bilbo.
- This Is Gonna Suck: His reaction upon dropping a coin on a catapult lever and realizing he's going to toss himself down a troll's throat.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Gríma Wormtongue; a self-serving Number Two with treacherous intentions. He differs however in that while Wormtongue was pathetic and cowardly he was also a legitimately creepy and effective villain, with a tiny semblance of redeeming qualities.
- Yes-Man: Alfrid does whatever the Master orders. He tries to set himself up as one for Bard after the Master's death, but Bard isn't interested.