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The Dark Lord Sauron and his forces of evil in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
Sauron, The Dark Lord of Mordor (a.k.a. The Necromancer)
Portrayed by: Benedict Cumberbatch, Sala Baker, Alan Howard (voice)
Appears in: An Unexpected Journey | The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies | The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King
The eponymous Lord of the Rings and primary villain of the series. During the First Age, he was a servant of the dark lord Morgoth until his master was defeated and cast into the Void. In the Second Age, he took up the mantle of Middle-Earth's resident dark lord, creating the Rings of Power. His reign came to an end when he lost the One Ring. By the Third Age, he takes up residence in Dol Guldur, resurrects his fallen servants the Nazgûl, and attempts to regain power under the guise of the Necromancer. After he is driven out by the White Council, he returns to Mordor where he begins building a massive army and searching for his lost Ring, with which he will finally be able to hold dominion over Middle-Earth.
- Adaptational Badass: In the novels, Sauron never fights unless he has to and always loses when he does. In the movies, he's seen wiping out soldiers by the dozen with every swing of his mace. In his shadow form, he breaks Gandalf's staff and imprisons him.
- Artifact of Doom: He did fill the One Ring with his malice. And there's all those ominous, black, spiky fortresses.
- Ascended Extra: In The Hobbit. He's never actually seen in the book and, prior to the added relevance he's given in The Lord Of The Rings, he's more of a plot device to keep Gandalf out of the story than an actual character, given how little is revealed about him. In the films, he plays a much bigger role.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He's not the Dark Lord for nothing. He keeps his legions of orcs, trolls, and other foul creatures in line through fear.
- Badass Cape: To go along with his badass armor.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Along with The One Ring, he is the overarching antagonist of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the two entities seeking to reconnect to take over Middle Earth.
- Black Knight: His humanoid form was clad in black armour and wielded a mace.
- Black Speech: He originally designed this language to be the lingua franca for his vast empire. It has fallen out of favor by the time of The Hobbit, and the only ones seen speaking it are the Nazgûl, Gandalf, Sauron himself, and the Gundabad orcs led by Azog.
- Carry a Big Stick: Took a mace with him into his last battle.
- Classic Villain: Sauron represents Greed and Ambition.
- The Corruption: Spreads one over the Greenwood. The once healthy forest becomes sick and decayed, and overrun with Shelob's spawn, becoming "Mirkwood." Radagast is the first to notice his nasty effects on the wildlife.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Dishes one out to Gandalf in The Desolation of Smaug, overwhelming his light with waves of darkness before incinerating the wizard's staff and telekinetically slamming him into a wall. Later, Galadriel turns the tables on him and sends him flying over the horizon with a shockwave of light.
- Dark Is Evil: Sauron is not called the Dark Lord for nothing, and Casting a Shadow was one of his powers, as demonstrated in his duel with Gandalf. Before becoming the Eye, he manifests as a giant shadow.
- Dark Lord on Life Support: He poured most of his power into the ring, so when he lost it, he was severely weakened.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Twice; in the prologue of Fellowship and the end of Return. The second time, he takes most of Mordor with him.
- The Dragon: In the First Age, he was this to Morgoth.
- Dragon Ascendant: After Morgoth was cast into the Void, he became the new Dark Lord.
- The Dreaded: Sauron is the most feared entity in Middle-Earth. Even in his weakened state, everyone is terrified of what he's going to do next.
- Eagle-Eye Detection: Because Science did a experiment where figured what Sauron could detect and how far he could see if the "eye" worked as a regular eye. Because of the 1400 meter tall Barad-Dur and the 25m aperture of his eye, he could see 130km/81 miles. Because of the size of his eye, he would have incredible resolution, he could perfectly read a seeing eye chart from 70km/43mi away. If Sauron's eye worked like a eye, he'd be able to see the writing on the One Ring when Frodo first entered Mordor from Cirith Ungol.
- Eldritch Abomination: His physical form is only ever shown fully armored. After he loses the Ring, he appears as a twisting, tendriled cloud of ever-shifting shadows and darkness. Finally, he takes on the form of a giant eye, wreathed in flame. However, the extended palantir scene briefly shows his physical form holding the palantir, implying that he might have a humanoid form as well.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: One of the reasons the whole gambit works. Sauron believes that anyone who possesses the Ring would wish to use it for themselves, leaving them susceptible to his corruption. It's too late when he realizes that someone intends to destroy it. He turns out correct in the end, as nobody actually has the resolve to destroy it willingly, and it gets undone by an accident. Still, Sauron heavily underestimated the willpower of many of the free peoples, as just about everyone in the Fellowship resisted its effects (other than Boromir, and even then his brother Faramir proved faithful in his stead), and the Ring would have never made it into Mordor had any of them fallen to it.
- Evil Genius: He's one of the smartest beings in Middle-Earth from the very beginning.
- Evil Is Burning Hot: His physical form radiated enough heat to kill with a simple touch and his spirit usually appears wreathed in flames.
- Evil Is Hammy: He sports this in his scenes from The Hobbit especially in his speeches.
- Evil Overlord: The Trope Codifier for modern fantasy.
- Evil Sorcerer: As the Necromancer.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Sauron has one of the deepest, if not the very deepest voice in Middle-earth. That's no mean feat when you contend with the likes of Christopher Lee.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower.
- Faceless Eye: He is a flaming all-seeing Giant Eye of Doom sitting at the top of Barad-dûr.
- Fate Worse than Death: The destruction of his Ring strips him of his powers and leaves him a shadow of his former self.
- Fisher King: While he rules Dol Guldur, Greenwood becomes Mirkwood, a twisted shadow of its former self. Later, when the destruction of the Ring removes Sauron from the world, Morder is reduced to ruins and his minions are swallowed into the earth.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Trope Codifier. In the intro scene we seem him fling soldiers left and right with his mace by the dozens at a time.
- Genius Bruiser: Before the ring was destroyed, he was a One Man Ary and one of the most intelligent beings in Middle-earth. Even without his physical form, he proves to be more than a match for Gandalf.
- Greater-Scope Villain: In The Hobbit. Azog and Smaug are the major antagonists, but Azog works for him, and Gandalf's reason for helping Thorin is to prevent Smaug from allying with him.
- Humanoid Abomination: Sauron's physical form at the beginning is a black-armoured humanoid warrior, but he's anything but human.
- Keystone Army: Raised and lost several.
- Large and in Charge: In the movie, he appears to be a good 10 feet tall, at least.
- Light 'em Up: Even in the finished product, his eye forms a spotlight of sorts.
- Light Is Not Good: In the deleted scene where he appeared as Annatar◊.
- Living Shadow: Initially in The Hobbit, he manifests as a shadowy figure.
- Load-Bearing Boss: His malign will was functioning as his Evil Tower of Ominousness' foundation, not to mention the primary motivating force of his armies.
- Meaningful Name: See Names To Run Away From Real Fast. Other than that, he has been called Mairon ("Admirable One", fitting for one of the greatest maiar), Gorthaur ("Detestable", "Abhorrent". Kinda obvious), Zigûr ("Sorcerer" in Adûnaic, kinda obvious), and Annatar ("The Lord of Gifts". While he ultimately betrayed them, he did bring Celebrimbor many gifts).
- Merely A Setback: He bounces back from a number of failed plans for world domination:
- His master Morgoth's plans were foiled when he was cast into the Void, though Sauron managed to escape this fate.
- He attempted to corrupt Dwarves, Elves, and Men with the Rings of Power, but the latter two formed the Last Alliance and separated him from the One Ring, severely weakening him.
- 400 years later, he set up shop in Dol Guldur, resurrected the Nazgul, and summoned a massive army of evil beings, who he sent to ally with the dragon Smaug, reconquer the kingdom of Angmar, and conquer Middle-Earth. This failed when Smaug was killed, his armies were defeated, and he himself was banished to Mordor by the White Council.
- 70 years after that, he corrupted Saruman the White, dispatched the Nazgul to find the One Ring, and planned to destroy the kingdoms of Rohan and Gondor, but this ultimately failed yet again when his armies were defeated, the One Ring was destroyed, and he was finally cast into the Void.
- Mind Rape: His specialty, as inflicted on Pippin at the beginning of The Return of the King.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Sauron" is Quenya for "abomination". His less-often-seen Sindarin name, Gorthaur, means "terrible dread". He's also known as "The Necromancer" throughout The Hobbit.
- Necromancer: This is his title during his time in Dol Guldur. He uses this power to resurrect the Nazgûl from beyond the grave.
- Obviously Evil: In humanoid form he has Spikes of Villainy and lead an army of orcs. Nowadays he's a flaming eye.
- Oh, Crap!: When the ring is destroyed, his Giant Eye of Doom begins frantically looking around as the tower crumbles beneath him.
- One-Man Army: When he took the field, he single-handedly turned the tide of the battle against the Last Alliance. He could very plausibly have won if not for Isildur cutting off his finger. Even in his shadow form, he's more than a match for Gandalf.
- Orcus on His Throne: He never engages anyone in physical battle after his previous defeat. Though, this isn't to say that he's inactive. His Eye is always on the move, as are his servants. That said, his status as this is less from not feeling like moving, and more from having no physical body.
- Out-Gambitted: He Out Gambits everyone, and then is in turn Out-Gambitted by Gandalf. See Unwitting Pawn below.
- Playing with Fire: Sauron is heavily associated with fire. His physical form radiates intense heat, his spirit typically appears wreathed in flame and Mount Doom is bound to his will.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Rather, eye. It's red because it's on fire. Hard to get more ominous than that.
- Spikes of Villainy: Both his armor and anything made by Mordor.
- Take Over the World: Sauron wants world domination, a smaller and more practical goal than Morgoth's desire to remake the universe in his image.
- Tin Tyrant: Whenever we actually see Sauron in the films, he's fully covered in plate armor. However, Word of God says that his "armor" is actually his skin.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: Sauron is one of the most skilled craftsmen in all of existence, which is one reason the Ring is so incredibly hard to destroy. While there are smiths of similar or greater skill, most of them live in Valinor, outside the reach of Middle-Earth.
- Ultimate Evil: In the present day, Sauron is the ultimate Enemy of any free, non-evil person.
- Unwitting Pawn: Marching up to the Black Gate was a trap, and he walked right into it.
The One Ring
Voiced by: Alan Howard
Appears in: An Unexpected Journey | The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies | The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King
The Ruling Ring forged in the fire of Mount Doom by the Dark Lord Sauron with the power to dominate the Nine (given to Men), the Seven (given to Dwarves), and the Three (given to Elves).
- Affectionate Nickname: The Ring has been called "Precious" by Isildur, Gollum, and Bilbo.
- Amplifier Artifact: The Ring doles out power based on its wielder's capacity.
- Artifact of Attraction: Those who even so much as look at it will start to covet it.
- Artifact of Doom: It is the Soul Jar of the Evil Overlord Sauron.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Sauron, as the Ring has a will of its own and wishes to reconnect with him. It corrupts those who come into its possession and its destruction is the driving force of the plot.
- Black Speech: The inscription is written in Black Speech and it sometimes seems to be speaking it; the language is very harsh on the ears.
- Brown Note: If it's not speaking in a whisper, it's in a hideous deep voice.
- Compelling Voice: Its effect on the people around it is represented as sinister whispering.
- The Corruption: The Ring will corrupt anyone who holds it for a prolonged period of time both body and mind, even stretching their life far beyond its natural limit. Gollum used to be a hobbit before it had six hundred years to work on him and it's own master Sauron now has metallic plated for skin after wielding it.
- Clingy MacGuffin: Only one person, Bilbo, has willingly given up the Ring and not for lack of trying. It doesn't simply refuse to leave either actively feeding peoples desire for it to the point of obsession, they won't want to let it go.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Besides the deep voice speaking or whispering, the Ring is always depicted as seeming much heavier than its size and materials suggest. Whenever it is dropped, it always falls in slow motion and, when it strikes a hard surface, it makes a deep, resonating, ringing sound that is, once again, very much at odds with its real size. It also doesn't bounce.
- Happy Fun Ball: Boromir notes the irony that the fate of Middle-Earth is bound up in a tiny, unadorned band of metal. The One Ring's design deliberately contrasts with those of the other Rings of Power, which are much more ornately adorned, in that it appears as a simple gold band unless its script is showing. However, it is unquestionably the most powerful of all the rings.
- Hate Plague: It engenders powerlust, malice, hatred, and murderous envy in the people around it.
- The Heavy: The reason for the whole quest is to destroy the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.
- Invisibility Cloak: Wearing the Ring makes you invisible in the normal world, but you become visible in the Wraith-World, where you can be seen by Sauron and his Ringwraiths.
- Lust Object: Everyone is tempted by its power. Even Sam.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: The only thing that can destroy it is lava. Not just any lava, but specifically the stuff from Mount Doom.
- Ring of Power: The Ring of Power. Designed to subordinate all other rings of power to its will and the will of Sauron. In the right hands it could burn entire realms to the ground with ease.
- Soul Jar: Sauron inserted the majority of his power into it making himself effectively immortal so long as it exists. However without it he is drastically weakened to the point that his physical body exploded on losing it the first time.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: Several people have compared its effects to those of drug addiction.
Followers & Allies
Saruman the White
Portrayed by: Christopher Lee
Voiced by: Blas García (Latin American Spanish dub)
Appears in: An Unexpected Journey | The Battle of the Five Armies | The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King
The leader of the Istari, an order of wizards sent by the Valar to Middle-earth to aid Men, Elves, and Dwarves in their struggle against the darkness. Unfortunately, Saruman was tempted by the power of the One Ring and turned to evil. Is in fact an angelic Maia spirit with the appearance of an elderly but vigorous Man.
- Adaptational Badass: Somewhat. His power-level is roughly the same as his book counterpart, but movie!Saruman gets to show his chops a lot more often, such as besting Gandalf in a duel (in the book Gandalf surrendered without a fight) and launching a storm at Caradhras (the book implies this was Sauron's doing, not Saruman's).
- Adaptation Expansion: Saruman only actually appears in four of the book's 62 chapters. His role in the films is greatly expanded (particularly in the extended edition of The Two Towers), and he is shown actually doing many of the things the books only said he did, giving him significantly more screentime.
- He doesn't appear at all in the The Hobbit, and there is only a brief mention in the book of "a great council of the white wizards, masters of lore and good magic" that retroactively alludes to him. The movies actually show us the council, and the attack on Dol Guldur.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the films, he's still in the side of the angels by the time of the quest to Erebor, and his aid in the Battle at Dol Guldur is genuine. In the books he was already in league with Sauron by then and it's implied he helped Sauron escape Dol Guldur during the battle.
- He also seems a genuine friend to Gandalf in the film, greeting him with warmth (though disapproving his taste for pipeweed) while the book Saruman makes sarcastic comments him from the off. When Gandalf leaps from the pinnacle of Orthanc, Saruman even seems somewhat saddened as he says "So you have chosen death", as though affirming that his former friend is now his enemy.
- Admiring the Abomination: In contrast with everyone else's sheer horror, Saruman seems almost fascinated by the lidless eye in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. It's hinted this fascination will lead to his fall.
- Agent Scully: Saruman is dead-set that Sauron's evil is gone from Middle Earth with the loss of the One Ring during the Quest for Erebor. Gandalf presents him with a Morgul blade coming directly from the Witch-King and he's still not convinced the blade came from Angmar.
- Animal Espionage: Saruman has spies everywhere, usually in the forms of animals. At one point the Fellowship of the Ring must hide from a flock of crows he's using to scour the land.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the head of the White Council and kicks copious amounts of ass, such as when he delivered a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Gandalf.
- Badass Baritone: He has the deep, commanding voice of the great Christopher Lee.
- Berserk Button: Two.
Saruman: Save me your pity and your mercy! I have no use for it!
- Calling him mad. He tries asking Gandalf over to Sauron's side, but the minute Gandalf asks when he went mad, Saruman immediately attacks him.
- Showing pity and / or mercy. He's all honey toward Theodon, asking if they can't all get along after Helm's Deep. Then Gandalf gets into the conversation, and Saruman tells him to shove it, before launching a fireball at him.
- Big Bad: Of The Two Towers, with Sauron serving as more or less a Greater-Scope Villain.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He sees himself as Sauron's equal, but to Sauron, nobody is an equal.
- Big Good: Initially, as the head of the White Council.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Courtesy of the late Sir Christopher Lee. Became Evil Eyebrows after Saruman's FaceHeel Turn.
- Break the Haughty: The Ents decimate his forces and leave him trapped in his tower. Then his staff is destroyed by Gandalf and he gets knifed in the back by Wormtongue.
- Compelling Voice: It is Christopher Lee.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He is the primary antagonist of Fellowship and The Towers. By the beginning of Return of the King, his forces have been decimated and he himself is killed by the lowly Grima Wormtongue. Then the free folk still have Sauron and the might of Mordor to contend with...
- Early-Bird Cameo: In The Hobbit, where he's seen as part of the White Council.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: As Gandalf mentions, his belief that only a great power can destroy a great evil means basic human decency often sidestep him.
- Evil Counterpart: To Gandalf. He even says that he's what Saruman should have been.
- Evil Former Friend: Was Gandalf's friend before turning to evil.
- Evil Sorcerer: Magic is his most potent weapon, as a wizard. He uses it to hinder the Fellowship, create Uruk-hai, and weaken Théoden.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Casting Christopher Lee seems designed to invoke this trope.
- FaceHeel Turn: He spent most of his time on Arda as a heroic wizard fighting the forces of evil, but his obsession with studying them in order to combat them better led to a He Who Fights Monsters situation.
- Fallen Hero: A once noble wizard who falls into evil.
- Fatal Flaw: Pride. Saruman holds himself as above everyone and everything, Saruman the Wise this pride means he underestimates his enemies and forgets about the simpler things (like Gaia's Vengeance in the form of the Ents).
- Faux Affably Evil: He's quite charming and incredibly charismatic — at least until you make him seriously angry.
- To Gandalf. Both are wise and powerful Istari, but Saruman is proud and isolates himself in Orthanc. Gandalf, on the other hand, is still open to learning and travels widely.
- To Radagast. They are both wizards and members of the Istari who live in relative isolation (unlike Gandalf), but where Saruman lives in the grand and imposing tower of Orthanc, Radagast lives in the humble and ramshackle cottage of Rhosgobel in the forest of Mirkwood. Saruman is concerned with logic and industry whereas Radagast's concern is nature and the flora and fauna of Middle-earth.
- The Heavy: In Fellowship and The Two Towers. Sauron is the Big Bad, but Saruman is the one who sends his forces after the Fellowship and wages war against Rohan.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Saruman became too obsessed with using the powers of the Ring against Sauron.
- Hypocrite: Rails against Radagast and Gandalf's smoking, but as Merry and Pippin learn, Saruman's got a small stash's worth of longbottom leaf, the very thing he claimed has "slowed" Gandalf's mind.
- I Fight for the Strongest Side: One of his reasonings for fighting alongside Sauron.Saruman: Against the power of Mordor, there can be no victory.
- Insufferable Genius: He appears to enjoy insulting or belittling those around him, even questioning Galadriel herself at several points during the White Council. Gandalf is the most common recipient of his superiority complex and it makes a lot of sense considering the jealousy that Saruman has harbored towards him for millennia.
- I Want Them Alive: Says this word for word when he orders Lurtz to capture the hobbits, though everyone else is fair game. He also takes care to emphasise unspoiled, which proves prescient when some of the orcs try to eat Merry and Pippin.
- Karmic Death: He's killed by Wormtongue, almost immediately after smacking him around.
- Large Ham: "A NEW POWER IS RISING. ITS VICTORY IS AT HAND! THIS NIGHT, THE LAND WILL BE STAINED WITH THE BLOOD OF ROHAN! MARCH TO HELM'S DEEP! LEAVE NONE ALIVE!"
- Let Me Tell You a Story: Apparently was prone to this before his corruption. In The Hobbit film, he spends half his screentime on a tangent about how much he disapproves of Radagast's lifestyle (and his alleged mushrooms) whilst the Council are trying to discuss the Necromancer and the Witch-King. Gandalf and Galadriel are apparently quite used to this.
- Light Is Not Good: Dresses in white.
- Mage Tower: Orthanc.
- Man in White: "Saruman the White". Dresses accordingly. Especially as the movies phase out the "Saruman of Many Colors" aspect.
- Manipulative Bastard: One of the finest in the whole series. Saruman manipulates Théoden by way of a magical spell and Treacherous Advisor for years, driving the Rohirrim economy into the ground; he also attempts to prevent Thorin and his Company from destroying Smaug and reclaiming the Lonely Mountain, which would return control of the north to Erebor and Dale; and then after the Necromancer is driven out of Dol Guldur by Galadriel, Saruman insists that he be allowed to oversee the pursuit of Sauron.
- Non-Elemental: His specialty. While Gandalf is a fire specialist and Radagast is a Friend to All Living Things, Saruman has no obvious area of interest (except perhaps as a Gadgeteer Genius).
- Not So Different: He claims to be this with Gandalf.Saruman: Gandalf does not hesitate to sacrifice those closest to him, those he professes to love. Tell me... what words of comfort did you give the halfling before you sent him to his doom? The path that you have set him on can only lead to death.
- Oh, Crap!: When the Ents storm Isengard and slaughter his forces. Particularly when they break the dam to flood the industrial works.
- One-Man Industrial Revolution: Part of the Green Aesop. He has "a mind of metal and wheels" and turns the lovely park of Isengard into a horrible arms factory that's constantly belching smoke and fire, and ruins the countryside around it.
- Our Angels Are Different: The Wizards are really angels disguised as elderly humans.
- The Quisling: His job was to stop Sauron, not join him.
- Rasputinian Death: Ends up stabbed, defenestrated, impaled, and drowned.
- The Rival: To Gandalf. While Radagast and the blue wizards have disappeared into the East by the time Lord of the Rings takes place, Gandalf is still around keeping an eye on things in Middle-Earth, including Saruman's dubious actions around Isenguard. This rivalry finally comes to a head when Gandalf discovers that Saruman has been in league with Mordor for decades.
- Shadow Archetype: After his FaceHeel Turn, he's this to Gandalf.
- Spikes of Villainy: His dark tower, Orthanc, is crowned with four spikes, and his staff also has four spikes at the top.
- The Starscream: He has this trope in mind with his servitude towards Sauron, hoping to take the ring himself, but it never pans out.
- Start of Darkness: We get glimpses of it during the Hobbit trilogy. When the White Council is confronted with Sauron at Dol Guldur, Elrond and Galadriel seems horrified, but Saruman looks at the lidless eye with a fascination in his eyes, awed by the power of Sauron, a look that he maintains when he announces to the Council "leave Sauron to me". The implication is that this ordeal has convinced him that against the power of Sauron there can be no victory, as he tells Gandalf in Fellowship.
- Smug Snake: Good job with the army of ten thousand and weakening Rohan, but maybe it wasn't such a good idea to use the magical forest full of Ents as your primary fuel source.
- Smug Straight Edge: He makes disparaging remarks about Radagast's fondness for mushrooms and Gandalf's use of pipeweed. Despite being a hypocrite who smokes pipe-weed himself, but doesn't want Gandalf to know this.
- Too Clever by Half: He is quite cunning when it comes to politics and strategy, but he runs into a brick wall whenever he's dealing with basic human decency.
- Treacherous Advisor: To most of Middle-Earth before he reveals his true colors.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has a non-verbal one when the Ents storm Isengard, running out to his balcony and staring in utter shock and dismay as his remaining forces are literally crushed underfoot.
- After being trapped in his tower, he has difficulty holding it together. He makes a weak plea for peace, but soon enough he's frothing at the mouth and handing out nasty little speeches.
- Visionary Villain: He sees himself as the ruler of Middle-Earth instead of Sauron.Saruman: A new powerrr is rrrising!!
- We Can Rule Together: Offers Gandalf the chance to rule with him.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Originally he wanted to learn everything about the Enemy so that he could defeat him, but his arrogance led to his downfall (for example, using the Palantír against Gandalf's advice).
- We Used to Be Friends: Due to his power and influence, he was friends with some of the oldest denizens of Middle-Earth; Elrond, Galadriel, Treebeard and most notably Gandalf.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Although his white hair is largely due to being an older gentleman, his heart is most certainly given over to darkness.
- Willfully Weak: The Istari (like Saruman, Gandalf and Radagast) are in the form of old men to discourage them from attempting to oppose the forces of evil with raw power, relying instead on inspiring mortals to battle evil. Notably, he is still under this restriction after openly allying with Sauron (betraying his original, Out of Focus superiors) in The Lord of the Rings: so perhaps 'willfully' is the wrong word.
- Wrecked Weapon: Gandalf the White makes his staff explode just by saying it.
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Brad Dourif
Voiced by: Jesse Conde (Latin American Spanish dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers | The Return of the King
Once a Man of Rohan, Gríma entered the service of the evil wizard Saruman, and acted as the agent of his dominance over Rohan before the Fellowship's arrival in Edoras. After being freed from Saruman and Gríma's joint mind control, Théoden spared him, and he returned to Isengard and betrayed the Hornburg's sole weakness to Saruman.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Éowyn, who does little to hide her contempt for him.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Whenever things start to go south for him, Grima quickly resorts to pathetic begging.
- Blatant Lies: His claims that he "only ever served [Théoden]" and that Saruman is a "trusted friend and ally" of Rohan.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: He has very pale blue eyes that add to his unsettling appearance.
- Dirty Coward: When Gandalf begins healing Théoden, Grima tries to make a discreet getaway but is stopped by Gimli. When Théoden prepares to kill him, Grima crawls away while begging desperately for his life.
- The Dog Bites Back: After enduring mistreatment from Saruman and full of regret for his betrayal of Théoden, he stabs his master to death.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: In contrast to all the tall blond not-Vikings, Wormtongue looks like he'd sunburn from torchlight.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's implied and confirmed by Word of God that he genuinely loves Éowyn, but he clearly has no idea how to express this without resorting to villainy. His attempts to woo her come across as hopelessly inept at best and extremely creepy at worst. It's even indicated that one of his main motivations for joining with Saruman was that he promised him Éowyn.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Implied, seeing how horrified he is once he sees the army Saruman plans to unleash against Helm's Deep.
- Evil Chancellor: To Théoden.
- He Knows Too Much: His reason for getting rid of Éomer. "You see much, Éomer, son of Éomund. Too much."
- HeelFace Door-Slam: Théoden offers him amnesty and he does appear to want to accept it... but he then has enough of Saruman's crap and ends up dying in the resulting altercation.
- Hypnotize the Princess: He attempts to do this to Éowyn in the same way he controls her uncle the King. It fails, though, once he touches her face.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Has a subtle one with Éowyn after his attempt to seduce her fails, and he points out how alone she is.
- Manipulative Bastard: His poisonous words combine with Saruman's enchantments to turn Théoden into a weak old dotard, and Wormtongue convinces him to exile his beloved and loyal nephew Éomer.
- The Mole: Saruman uses Wormtongue to weaken Rohan by weakening its king.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He possibly has a moment of this when he sees the sheer size of Saruman's Uruk-hai army, shedding a Single Tear. He later seems willing to abandon Saruman when his plans fall apart.
- Obviously Evil: Lampshaded in the extras. A hall full of handsome, blond-haired warriors in armor and one pale scrawny guy with greasy black hair? Gosh, who could the bad guy be?
- Oh, Crap!: He has a few moments of dreaded realization:
- Realizing that his men failed to confiscate Gandalf's staff.
- Seeing Théoden restored to sanity and strength.
- The full scale of Saruman's army being revealed to him.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives an especially cruel one to Éowyn when his attempt to seduce her fails, declaring her as alone and cold. Even more twisted is the fact that some of it comes across as if he's trying to compliment her.
- Smug Snake: At the end of the day, he's a tool of Saruman and shouldn't be nearly so confident in his role as advisor to Théoden. Gandalf quite easily puts him in his place.
- Stalker with a Crush: Very much so, to Éowyn. Word of God reveals his feelings were genuine, but a stalker he remains.
- Sycophantic Servant: To Saruman, especially towards the end.
- Treacherous Advisor: He presents himself as Théoden's trusted advisor and confidante, when in reality he's working for Saruman and actively assists him in keeping Théoden under a magical spell. This hasn't helped Rohan in the slightest, either.
- Ungrateful Bastard: How does he thank Aragorn, who just saved his sorry hide from being executed by Theodon? With a Spiteful Spit.
- Villainous Crush: Toward Éowyn. He saw no hope of winning the proud and beautiful niece of his king until Saruman made him an offer...
- Villains Want Mercy: From Théoden, whom Grima begs for his life. But not from Aragorn, who actually gives it to him, whose extended hand Grima spits on before fleeing.
The Witch-king of Angmar
Species: Wraith (Formerly Man)
Portrayed by: Lawrence Makoare, Bret McIntyre, Ben Price and Andy Serkis
Voiced by: Alejando Mayen (Latin American Spanish dub), Kiyoshi Kobayashi (Japanese dub)
Appears in: An Unexpected Journey | The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies | The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King
Indubitably the greatest of Sauron's servants, the Witch-king of Angmar holds the greatest of the Nine Rings of Power given to Men, and is the Lord of the Nazgûl. The Witch-king was previously king of the evil realm of Angmar in Northern Eriador, which destroyed the fortress-city of Fornost (and with it, the northern Dúnedain kingdom of Arnor). Soon afterwards, Angmar was itself destroyed by a combined force of Elves and Men of Gondor and (the remnants of) Arnor, after which the Witch-King was imprisoned in a tomb until Sauron (as the Necromancer) resurrected him.
- Adaptational Badass: In the film he's able to shatter Gandalf the White's staff and knock him off Shadowfax and was suggested to have had the upper hand before flying off after the arrival of the Rohirrim, whereas in the books the power gap between the two is implied to be rather vast as Gandalf is a Maia, who killed another incredibly strong Maia even in his weaker form, and the Witch-king is just a Black Numenorean wraith with a ring. Supplemental material explains that the Witch-King got a power boost at Pelennor Fields due to Sauron's presence.
- Badass Boast: "Do you not know death when you see it, old man? This is my hour!"
- Black Eyes of Evil: His eyes are jet black.
- Carry a Big Stick: Though it's a nasty-looking flail in the Movie.
- Continuity Nod: In An Unexpected Journey, he appears as the Pale King seen by Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Demoted to Extra: Compared to his role in the books in the Return of the King, especially in the theatrical cut where you could be forgiven for not knowing he was the commander of the enemy forces. His actions and role in the battle is generally downplayed compared to the novel, with Gothmog being the much more prominent antagonist and main battle commander.
- The Dragon: To Sauron. The Witch-King is his chief servant and goes abroad to do the dirty work.
- Dragon Ascendant: After Sauron's initial defeat, the Witch-king was briefly the highest ranking individual in what remained of Sauron's empire. He and the rest of the Nine were quickly finished off and their corpses were buried in the high fells of Rhudaur.
- The Dreaded: Terror is his first and greatest weapon. He has many others. His mere presence breeds panic in the weak.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Chronologically speaking, he first shows up in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, where he attempts to backstab Radagast with a Morgul blade only for the wizard to successfully fend him off.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": We just know him by one of his former titles (Angmar has been a shattered ruin for a thousand years.)
- Evil Sorcerer: He's not called the Witch-king for nothing. In the third film he even manages to destroy Gandalf's staff with his magic.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He's not much of a talker, but his voice is sepulchral when he does.
- The Faceless: In the normal world he has no form except that which his clothes (and crown) give him. We do see his face in the shadow world when Frodo wears the Ring.
- Flaming Sword: He makes flames emanate from his sword when he challenges Gandalf in the Extended Edition.
- Geas: It has been noted that while it is not referred to as such, the prophecy that he shall not fall by the hand of Man is functionally a geas.
- Giant Flyer: His later mount, the Fell Beast.
- Implacable Man: He and the other Nazgûl can't be truly killed while the One Ring exists.
- I Have Many Names: Witch-king, Lord of the Nazgûl, High Nazgûl, Black Captain, Captain of Despair, Morgul-Lord, etc.
- Knife Nut: Once again wields a Morgul blade.
- Large and in Charge: In the third film, he's played by 7-foot, 300-pound bodybuilder Lawrence Makoare, and wears a tall pointed helmet.
- Light Is Not Good: When attacking Radagast, he appears as a pearly white, glowing, undead king, much as he appeared in The Fellowship of the Ring, when Frodo saw his true face.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: He and the other Nazgûl. The movie uses their nightmarish wail more often than the books did: it's an audible indicator that the Witch-king is using his power to inspire terror.
- Mysterious Past: His past was never fully revealed. We only get hints of who he used to be. Which is a lot more than we get of his lieutenant, Khamûl the Black Easterling, and the rest of the Nazgûl. He gets a bit of exposé in The Hobbit that differs significantly from what Tolkien wrote, due to Jackson not being allowed to utilize several of the books that contain the Witch-king's past.
- The Necromancer: Junior level.
- The Necrocracy: Founded two, the country of Angmar and the city of Minas Morgul, itself the corrupted remains of the Gondorian fortress of Minas Ithil.
- No Man of Woman Born: Tolkien's answer to this trope was to have him undone by a woman and a hobbit. Merry gets him in the knee to break the protective enchantmentnote and Éowyn stabs him in the face.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Was once a mortal man corrupted by the Ring of Power he received.
- Our Liches Are Different: So long as the Nine Rings and the One Ring still exist he cannot be destroyed. There's also the prophecy, but that's another trope.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: According to Elrond and Saruman, he was imprisoned in an enchanted tomb following the fall of his kingdom.
- Tin Tyrant: He appears dressed in full armor in The Return of the King and The Battle of the Five Armies.
- The Worf Effect: The fact that Radagast beats him with ease establishes how powerful the brown wizard really is, no matter how silly he appears. Elrond, Saruman, and Radagast make quick work of him and the other Nazgûl during their rescue of Gandalf.
Species: Wraith (Formerly Men)
Portrayed by: Bret McIntyre, Lawrence Makoare, Andy Serkis, Victoria Beynon-Cole, Lee Hartley, Sam La Hood, Chris Streeter, Phil Grieve, Jonathan Jordan, Semi Kuresa, Clinton Ulyatt, Paul Bryson, Lance Fabian Kemp, Jono Manks & Ben Price
Appear in: An Unexpected Journey | The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies | The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King
The Nazgûl (also known as Ringwraiths, sometimes written Ring-wraiths, or as the Black Riders, the Nine) were the dreaded ring-servants of the Dark Lord Sauron in Middle-earth throughout the Second and Third ages, and in the later years of the Third Age they dwelt in Minas Morgul and Dol Guldur.
- Black Cloak: They disguise themselves in dark, tattered robes astride massive black steeds. They honestly look like Grim Reaper incarnates (and might as well be too) riding the Headless Horseman's horse.
- Dark Is Evil: Their whole theme is darkness.
- The Dividual: They are pretty much the same character, with little distinction provided, which isn't different from the books.
- Giant Flyer: After their horses are presumably destroyed by water, they reappear riding Fell Beasts: massive Wyvern-like creatures.
- Implacable Man: They exist solely to do Sauron's bidding, and know nothing else besides service to him.
- Light Is Not Good: Their true forms are glowing spectral beings, although the effect is massively creepy.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: They have very distinctive shrieks.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: They were once mortal men who Sauron corrupted through the rings of power that he bestowed upon them. After death they continue to serve him as evil wraiths bound to the power of the One Ring.
- Teleport Spam: They do this in their fight against the members of the White Council in The Battle of the Five Armies.
- Tin Tyrant: They all appear in their full armored regalia in The Battle of the Five Armies.
- The Undead: As explained by Aragorn in the quote above, the Nazgûl are neither living nor dead, in that their spirits are unable to rest as long as the evil of Sauron and the One Ring endures.
- Weakened by the Light: They seem to be able to function fine in daylight, but are terrified by and shy away from fire.
- Was Once a Man: They were once great kings of men before they fell under Sauron's influence.
Monsters originally created by Morgoth as mockeries of the Ents. Now they serve Sauron and other evil beings, and exist in many variations/subspecies, including the deadly and intelligent Olog-hai, the exceptionally strong but awesomely stupid Cave Trolls, and the large, fast, and darkly cunning Mountain Trolls.
- Adaptational Badass: Individual trolls are much of a threat than their book counterparts. The one in Moria was driven off by Frodo stabbing its hand in the book. 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: Tolkien's trolls are giant-like monsters with rocky hides and beast-like intelligence. They permanently turn to stone when exposed to sunlight. The exceptions are Sauron's Olog-hai, more intelligent trolls that are immune to sunlight.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with the cave troll in Moria. After it's mortally wounded, it comes off as almost childlike and you're left to wonder about the chain it was wearing and what its life was like.
- Dumb Muscle: Trolls are barely capable of speech and are used simply to crush large numbers of enemies.
- Elite Mook: The Attack Trolls followed by the Olog-Hai.
- Evil Counterpart: Apparently intended as Morgoth's answer to the Ents, but nowhere near as strong or wise.
- Giant Mook: They dwarf even the Witch King.
- Implacable Man: The troll faced in Moria shrugs everything thrown at it, sword swings, arrows to the back of its head, and getting impaled with a spear, until Legalos shoots through the roof of its mouth.
- Made of Iron: They die hard.
- Mighty Glacier: They are big, slow, but very, very strong.
The Mouth of Sauron
Species: Man (Human)
Portrayed by: Bruce Spence
Voiced by: Arturo Mercado (Latin American Spanish dub)
Appears in: The Return of the King
A Black Númenórean who serves as Sauron's mouthpiece to the Captains of the West. Unceremoniously decapitated by an enraged Aragorn.
- Asshole Victim: Aragorn chops his head off. Bad form for a negotiation, but voluntarily serving Sauron and taunting the heavily-armed men about torturing and killing one of his friends doesn't win you any sympathy.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: After meeting with Aragorn, he essentially demands his surrender.
- Black Speech: An interesting form of it. Word of God says that his mouth is so horribly damaged and disfigured because the words of Sauron that he speaks are so evil he gets damaged by them.
- Body Horror: His mouth does not move naturally, and is distorted and grotesque. His movements in general are a bit jarring and jerky. His LEGO minifigure in the Black Gate set reveals that his mouth is his only facial feature left, with folds of skin and warts where eyes should be. The designers for the film envisioned him blind, but it didn't matter since being the mouthpiece of Sauron was his only purpose, but a deterioration to the point of only having a mouth adds to the horror. This is probably canon provided by Word of God (or at least approved), considering that LEGO shows their work and takes little creative liberties (besides size compression) with licensed properties.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: From his dialogue, one gets the impression that he's the one in charge of actually doing this to people who have offended Sauron in some manner.
- Death by Adaptation: In the books, he concludes negotiations by turning tail and running back to the Black Gate after Gandalf rejects the terms and the rest of the Free Folk give him a Death Glare. In the extended cut of the film, he mocks Aragorn and is swiftly decapitated.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Speaks in a deep, distorted baritone to fit his personality.
- Gross-Up Close-Up: His teeth. Egads, his teeth...
- I Shall Taunt You: Pretty much his whole "negotiation" with Gandalf.
- Karmic Death: He was seriously asking for this.
- Mouth of Sauron: The Trope Namer.
- Off with His Head!: Courtesy of Aragorn in the extended cut.
- One-Way Visor: His helmet leaves only his mouth exposed (although as stated above, this hides his Nightmare Face).
- Oh, Crap!: When Gandalf rejects his terms, he starts raving, but when the other representatives of the Free Folk give him a Death Glare, he turns tail and rides breakneck back to the Morannon. In the extended cut of the film, he taunts Aragorn and is swiftly decapitated.
- Was Once a Man: Implied. See Body Horror above.
- Would You Like to Know How They Died?: He taunts Gandalf and the Fellowship by throwing them Frodos mithril armour and gloating about how he killed him.Mouth of Sauron: The halfling was dear to thee, I see. Know that he suffered greatly at the hands of his host. Who would've thought one so small could endure so much pain? And he did, Gandalf. He did.
- Slasher Smile: He flashes his pearly... things... in a horrific leer at everyone.
- Smug Snake: Okay, so the army Aragorn brings is horribly outnumbered and basically doomed from the get-go. Doesn't mean it's a good idea to keep gloating about how you murdered a friend of theirs while their leader, who is wielding the blade that did for your master in the last age, is riding towards you looking curiously calm.
A race of savage humanoid creatures who serve as the foot soldiers of Middle-earth's major villains.
- The Ageless: Like the Elves they were supposedly created from, but it isn't fully clear.
- Always Chaotic Evil: They're murderous brutes who thrive on destruction.
- Bad Boss: Any given Orc in a position of power will probably be one of these.
- Black Blood: Their blood is oily and dark, which presumably delighted Peter Jackson because he could indulge in his B-movie gore-lovin' sensabilities without worrying too much about censors.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Those Orcs who aren't Blood Knights are really into this.
- Dirty Coward: "Standard" Orcs, which is why whip-wielding superiors and/or Nazgûl stand behind them.
- Enemy Civil War: The only thing keeping the orcs held together is the will of Sauron. Whenever that slackens for whatever reason, they remember that they hate each other almost as much as they hate the other races and almost immediately go for each other's throats. Unless there are people of other races nearby, in which case different tribes of orcs will band together to kill them, then turn on each other.
- Evil Minions: Some of the most iconic evil minions in fantasy.
- Fantastic Racism: Against Elves, Men, and even other Orcs (there is a rivalry between the Orcs of Mordor, the 'Northerners' from the Misty Mountains who are used to running their own affairs, and Saruman's Uruk-hai).
- I'm a Humanitarian: They're not very... selective in their diet.
- Mooks: The primary minions of the dark forces. Incredibly numerous and treated as completely expendable by their masters.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Actually, to a degree they are, despite being the Trope Namer. Tolkien's actual orcs are much more advanced and intelligent, and not as physically powerful, than the crude barbarians Always Chaotic Evil orcs are generally portrayed as.
- Torture Technician: Just about any orc with brains will be one of these.
- Was Once a Man: They were once Elves, tortured into vicious servants of evil by dark forces. The dark forces now breed new orcs with all the attributes of the originals, minus the elven past.
- Worst Aid: Orc medicine is both remarkably effective horrifyingly unpleasant. Prosthetics are literally stabbed into the stump of an amputated limb, skull fractures are protected by nailing an iron plate into the still-conscious patients head, you get the idea. Thats assuming the injured orc in question isnt simply hacked to pieces and devoured by his own ravenous brethren instead, though some might consider that outcome preferable to finding yourself in the care of an orc sawbones.
Azog the Defiler (a.k.a. The Pale Orc)
Portrayed by: Manu Bennett
- "I don't want excuses. I want the head of the Dwarf-king!"
A powerful Gundabad Orc chieftain and Arch-Enemy of dwarves in general, and Durin's line in particular, which he has sworn to exterminate. Goblin King of Moria.
- Adaptational Badass: Azog's more of a hands-on villain in the films, surviving the battle where he originally died and chasing after Thorin for revenge. In the lore of the books he's a lesser example of Orcus on His Throne (after Sauron), as he moved into Moria after the Dwarves abandoned it and triggered war with the dwarves after he beheaded a wandering Thrór for "trespassing."
- Arch-Enemy: To Thorin. Azog's entire life seems to be have been consumed by his bloodthirsty search for him.
- Ascended Extra: He's only briefly mentioned in the book, and was killed in battle years ago. In the film, he survives, and his rivalry with Thorin is set in motion.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: As is typical for Orcs, he leads because he's strong enough to keep them in line.
- Badass Baritone: He only speaks in the Black Speech, with a very deep voice.
- Badass Family: With his son, Bolg.
- Badass in Charge: Of the orc warband he leads. And in The Desolation of Smaug, Sauron's whole army.
- Bad Boss: He executes one of his hunters for failing to capture Thorin and Company by throwing him against a wall, and setting a group of Wargs upon him.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Of a sort. Yes, Azog is slain, but in the end, he did succeed in his personal goal of wiping out Thorin's bloodline.
- Bald of Evil: Much like most orcs.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Although Smaug is the guardian of the treasure sought by the dwarves, Azog is the most frequent threat to their group and in The Battle of Five Armies Smaug dies early in the movie, taking the Master of Lake-town with him, and Sauron retreats to Mordor which leaves Azog as the highest ranking villain left and the main threat for the rest of the movie.
- Black Speech: In contrast to the usage of Common Tongue by the other Orcs and Goblins featured in Jackson's films, Azog and his band of hunters instead speak a variation of Orkish that's modeled after the Trope Namer.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: In Battle of the Five Armies, he trades his claw in for a sword.
- Body Horror: The orc version of a prosthetic limb is apparently shoving a clawed spike through the stump of the severed arm. If you look carefully, you can see that his loincloth is made out of skinned dwarf faces.
- Carry a Big Stick: He wields a mace not unlike Sauron's at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Combat Pragmatist: Since Thorin managed to cut off his arm in their first encounter, he doesn't hesitate to use every advantage he has the second time they meet, rather than just rush head on like an average orc. He also hides in wait for the perfect chance to sneak attack Gandalf as he searches Dol Guldur.
- Commuting on a Bus: Is largely absent in the second film due to being called back to Dol Goldur by Sauron in order to lead the Orc army.
- Covered with Scars: They look vaguely tattoo-like.
- Creepy Blue Eyes
- Darth Vader Clone: Though he lacks the fully-armored body of his literary counterpart, he still manages to accommodate most of the traits that embody this trope, including a deep, sinister voice, scarred body with a large muscle-bound physique, a prosthetic limb, a high intellect, a bloodthirsty, warlike personality, subservience to a greater villain, a personal vendetta against one of the heroes, and a habit of executing incompetent Mook Lieutenants. And he does eventually get some armor in the third movie.
- The Dragon: To the Necromancer, evidently. One of many to hold this position.
- Dual Wielding: Wields a sword in his right hand and had his claw exchanged for a sword in Battle of the Five Armies. He later uses a Epic Flail with his sword arm during the final fight with Thorin.
- Evil Albino: Nicknamed the "Pale Orc". For bonus points, his warg is an albino as well.
- Evil Sounds Deep/Guttural Growler: He has a deep, growling, and quite intimidating voice.
- Expy: A general of the evil forces in a prequel of an epic work, pale, Darth Vader Clone, Guttural Growler, angrily spits every word, has a prosthetic? He's General Grievous with cybernetics swapped for muscles and better tactical skills.
- Fangs Are Evil: And he shows them off frequently.
- Four-Star Badass: He is this especially in The Battle of the Five Armies, directing entire battalions into combat against the Elves, Dwarves, and Men, and doing a pretty good job of it.
- Genius Bruiser: He's very strong, but he's also capable of coordinating his band of Orc and Warg hunters into an ambush when he has caught up with his enemies. The final film really plays up both halves of this trope.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His scars are not only evil, they're symmetric. They look deliberately inflicted, possibly as a ritual of some kind.
- Handicapped Badass: Thorin cuts off his hand in the Battle of Azanulbizar. Later, he's seen with a metallic claw that has apparently been directly shoved into his stump with a spike.
- The Heavy: While Smaug is the Big Bad of the overall story, Azog is the most direct threat in the first film, and for all practical purposes can been seen as its main antagonist.
- Hero Killer: Was the one who beheaded Thrór at the Battle of Azanulbizar. He then kills Fíli and Thorin during the Battle of the Five Armies.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By Thorin, via Orcrist.
- Interspecies Friendship: According to Word of God, he shares a "Lone Ranger and Silver" kind of bond with the Warg Matriarch (the albino Warg that Azog uses as his personal mount).
- Kick the Dog: Pretty much every one of his acts is another Kick the Dog moment. Taunting Thorin about his grandfather's death certainly qualifies. And then there's his cold-blooded murder of Fíli right in front of Thorin.
- Knight of Cerebus: Most of An Unexpected Journey is pretty lighthearted, barring scenes involving him, and things related to the Necromancer.
- Large and in Charge: He's more than a head taller than the normal orcs...
- Lightning Bruiser: ...and much more agile.
- The Magnificent: "The Defiler".
- Mutual Kill: He manages to fatally wound Thorin, but leaves himself open for a killing strike in doing so.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Azog "The Defiler".
- Not Quite Dead: Believed to have died from his injuries during a failed attempt by the Dwarves to retake Moria. Turns out he didn't.
- And also in the third film when he is dragged under the ice while fighting Thorin.
- Our Orcs Are Different: He's notably the first orc character in the Jackson films to act on his own initiative instead of taking orders from Sauron or Saruman. In the second film it's revealed that he does in fact serve Sauron, but his pursuit of Thorin and his Company is a purely personal vendetta that Sauron considers completely irrelevant.
- Overarching Villain: Of The Hobbit trilogy. He's the most frequent threat the heroes encounter throughout the trilogy and the final Big Bad for Battle of the Five Armies.
- Plot-Irrelevant Villain: He has pretty much nothing to do with the dwarves' quest for Erebor, and even his personal connection to Thorin comes from an entirely separate incident. On the other hand, he's closely connected to the larger plot concerning the fate of Middle-Earth that the dwarves' quest only plays a small part in.
- Averted in Battle of Five Armies, where he plays a direct role.
- Psycho Prototype: Ever wonder why he looks so radically different from the other orcs? According to supplementary material Azog's look is supposed to Call-Back to the orc origin given by Saruman: that of tortured elves corrupted into shoddy imitations. Thus his look holds more of an animalistic elvish look than his brethren, and his competence gains some explanation as well.
- Relative Button: Hits Thorin's when he taunts the dwarf about his grandfather's death.
- Screaming Warrior: He's constantly roaring in combat.
- Serkis Folk: He's a completely computer-generated character played and voiced by Manu Bennett.
- Smug Smiler
- Spared by the Adaptation / Schrödinger's Cast: It's mentioned in the previously mentioned appendix that he died in the Battle of Azanulbizar. Here, he's in much better shape.
- The Strategist: His clever generalship at the Battle of Five Armies is what allows the orcs to almost carry the day, and his death is what finally defeats them, since they cannot organize themselves.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Azog is notably bare-chested in the films, in contrast with his novel counterpart, who wore a full set of iron armor. As is explained in the documentary, the final design of Azog was subject to constant changes until one or two weeks prior to the deadline. Some of which ended up being used for his lieutenants, e.g. Yazneg and his son, Bolg. This gets subverted in the third movie, where he wears a cuirass and greaves, though still doesn't wear a helm or any other type of headgear.
- You Have Failed Me: When one of his minions comes back empty handed and says he barely escaped with his life, Azog says it would have been better if he had paid with it, then throws him to the Wargs.
Portrayed by: Conan Stevens, Lawrence Makoare, John Tui
Appears in: The Desolation of Smaug | The Battle of the Five Armies
Son of Azog and another powerful Orc chieftain.
- Ascended Extra: Although he was a major antagonist in the novel, he didn't actually enter the story until the final chapter, and he dies right after he's introduced. Here, we can expect him to appear more frequently.
- Early on into the second part, he takes over hunting the dwarves from Azog, who has other business.
- Although his book role seems to have been usurped by his father. But this is Subverted in the third movie, when he arrives leading a second army of Orcs from Gundabad.
- Badass Family: With his father, Azog the Defiler. Even acknowledged in the third movie, when Legolas recognizes him by name, and refers to him as "the spawn of Azog the Defiler". Considering that Azog actually entrusts him with a decades-old grudge against Thorin, he's probably the only one he respects. Where Azog fights Thorin with significant help, Bolg fights first Tauriel, then Tauriel and Kíli together before he kills Kíli and beating the snot out of Tauriel. Then he has a lengthy fight again with Legolas after that, and would have killed him without Thorin's intervention, likely making him a better fighter than his father. His father sends waves of mooks after Thorin before they kill each other, but Bolg fights them without help.
- Bald of Evil: Much like his father, though unlike Azog, Bolg has at least a few strands of hair on his head.
- Black Speech: Speaks the same language as his father.
- Body Horror: Almost as much as his father. He's got strips of iron bolted to his skull holding it together after some unexplained injury. And if you look closely at his armor, you can see it's not armor. It's pieces of metal driven into his flesh.
- The Brute: He's big, tough, and fights well enough to put Legolas on the defensive.
- Carry a Big Stick: The films give him a large spiky mace modelled on a vertebral column.
- Choice of Two Weapons: Mace and bow with Morgul arrows.
- Combat Pragmatist: He's not above shooting Kíli with a poisoned arrow, siccing his mooks on Legolas in what seemed to be a one-on-one confrontation, or throwing Legolas at them to make a getaway.
- Combat Sadomasochist: In the third film, Legolas impales his palm with a dagger. Bolg looks at it, grins, balls his hand into a fist and proceeds to beat Legolas up, all the while the dagger is still embedded in his palm (of the same hand with which he punches Legolas).
- The Dragon: To his father, Azog. When the Pale Orc is recalled to Dol Guldur, Bolg takes up the hunt for Thorin and Company.
- The Dreaded: When Azog calls for him, other orcs turn away as if afraid to look Bolg in the eyes. He's also infamous enough for Legolas to recognize him on sight.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He's briefly seen in the first movie at the Battle of Azanulbizar.
- Evil Albino: How his final design ended up looking like.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a very ugly scar through half his face and across his scalp.
- Hero Killer: Kíli is slain by him in front of Tauriel's eyes.
- Implacable Man: He gets stabbed, slashed, falls off a cliff, gets buried in rocks in Battle of Five Armies, none of which slows him down. It takes Legolas stabbing him in the head to kill him.
- Interim Villain: Takes Azog's place hunting the Company in Desolation of Smaug, while Azog is busy leading Sauron's forces.
- Large and in Charge: Seems to be a few inches taller than even Azog.
- Made of Iron: He takes a lot of punishment before finally going down in the third film, it's also could count as being literal, since if you look closely his armor is actually pieces of metal driven into his flesh, which is one of the reason he is so tough. only dying when Legolas stabs him in the head.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Of the Tolkienian sort, naturally.
- Poisoned Weapons: Shoots Kíli in the leg with a poisoned arrow.
- Serkis Folk: Lawrence Makoare performed the motion capture.
- Rasputinian Death: He's impaled through the brain and his body falls several hundred feet off a cliff side. Then he gets crushed by falling debris.
- Red Right Hand: Has a damaged eye.
- The Rival: To Legolas. Bolg is the first character in the series to fight him to a stand still and make him bleed. The Desolation of Smaug ends with Legolas in hot pursuit of him.
- Spikes of Villainy: His armor is studded with spikes.
- Tin Tyrant: Wears a set of iron armor, and even has pieces of metal strapped to his head.
- Unflinching Walk: One of his noticeable traits is a steady, powerful stroll, most prominently in his introduction and after his fight with Legolas. Especially noticeable since most other Orcs limp, hop, waddle, slink, etc.
- You can see two orcs who are ordered to follow him imitating the same stride.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Attempted at the end of Desolation of Smaug with Legolas in pursuit. Battle of Five Armies reveals he got away when he got up to his warg pack, which forced Legolas to break off.
The combined group of Orcs, Goblins, and Wargs that assist Azog in his hunt for Thorin and Company. See also the descriptions of the general species in the character pages of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Here are tropes that represent notable individuals in the group, and the group in general.
- Composite Character: The Warg Matriarch appears to be a gender-swapped version of the wolf-chieftain mentioned in the original novel, but her role also fulfills a unique one created for the films.
- Likewise, the group in general combines the elite guard of Azog from the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings with the Goblins and Wargs present in the "Out of the Frying Pan" chapter of The Hobbit.
- Also in a more literal sense, as is explained in the commentary. The designs for Yazneg and Narzug were early versions of Azog that the crew didn't feel would make the character justice, but also appararently were too good to be forsaken entirely.
- Defiant to the End: When captured by the Silvan elves during the attack on their realm, Narzug mocks the Elves in the clear knowledge he'll never escape their halls alive.
- Elite Mooks: Are notably much more competent than the Goblins residing in Goblin-town.
- Evil Albino: The Warg Matriarch, mirroring the appearance of her rider, Azog.
- Evil Counterpart: Are more or less this to the Company.
- Evil Gloating: Narzug gloats about Kili being wounded. Despite losing around 100 orcs in the process.
- Horse of a Different Colour: Wargs serve as mounts to the orcs and goblins.
- Large and in Charge: All of Azog's lieutenants are noticably taller than regular orcs.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The albino warg that Azog uses as his personal mount is identified as the Warg Matriach, and she happens to be the mother of most of the Wargs in Azog's hunting party.
- Mook Lieutenant: Yazneg, later followed by Fimbul.
- Never Mess with Granny: The Warg Matriarch is considerably older than the rest of the Wargs in the group, but she's still extremely fierce in combat all the same.
- Praetorian Guard: In a manner, the Hunters also serve Azog in this sort of manner.
- Savage Wolves: The Wargs that the orcs ride.
- Spikes of Villainy: Yazneg's armor.
- Would Hurt a Child: Being Orcs, they had no issue attacking Bard's children during their assault upon Bard's home.
- You Have Failed Me: Yazneg is subjected to this by Azog himself for failing to hunt down Thorin and Company, and getting most of his hunting party killed by the Elves of Rivendell.
Portrayed by: Lawrence Makoare, Craig Parker (voice)
Appears in: The Return of the King
The Lieutenant of Minas Morgul who serves as the Witch King's second in command during the siege of Minas Tirith.
- Adaptational Badass: He doesn't fight anyone in the books.
- All There in the Manual: His name is never stated in the movies, we only know he's supposed to be Gothmog due merchandise.
- Ascended Extra: In the book he gets mentioned exactly once as "the Lieutenant of Minas Morgul" who led Mordor's reserve into the battle after the Witch King's death - his species isn't even disclosed. The movies make him a far more imposing commander.
- Berserk Button: Anything regarding his numerous deformations is guaranteed to anger him. When a dying Madril stares at his crippled arm, Gothmog spears him in the gut in retaliation.
- Handicapped Badass: Able to match Éowyn in combat despite a limp and one useless arm.
- Badass Boast: "The age of Men is over. The time of the Orc has come!"
- Bad Boss: Like all Orc leaders, Gothmog does not give a damn about his troops. His reaction to seeing them die by the droves in the gates of Gondor is shouting at their incompetence.
- Body Horror: His numerous deformations basically makes him look like a giant walking tumor.
- The Determinator: His effort to kill Éowyn is quite remarkable.
- Dirty Coward: Notable aversion. While basically all non-Uruk-Hai Orcs seem to be cowards, Gothmog is the exception.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When he dismounts his warg he stumbles slightly, and another orc tries to help him walk only for Gothmog to angrily push him away and walk by himself.
- The Dragon: Serves as one for the Witch King.
- Dragon Their Feet: Tries to finish off the badly wounded Eowyn and Merry after the two slayed the Witch King.
- Evil Cripple: The entire left side of his body is completely deformed, making his arm useless and his leg limp.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Alongside Guttural Growler.
- Gonk: One of, if not the ugliest orc in the series, which is no small achievement.
- Four-Star Badass: Leader of the troops at Pelennor Fields.
- Guttural Growler: He sounds a lot like Doctor Claw.
- Handicapped Badass: Despite being a cripple, he is by far the most competent Orc in the third movie.
- Kick the Dog: Beheading an entire battalion of soldiers and launching their heads against the terrified citizens of Minas Tirith.
- Nonchalant Dodge: The infamous scene in which, upon noticing a rock being launched in his direction, Gothmog stays perfectly still and calm until the last possible moment, then he dodges and follows up with a Spiteful Spit in the rock.
- Also counts as Hypocritical Humor; he had earlier told his troops to hold their ground even as they were being bombarded with rocks, and only when one is about to hit him does he go back on his own word.
- Oh, Crap!: The look on his face as the Riders of Rohan bear down on the orc forces. It's the only time he's ever fazed by anything the forces of Men can throw at him.
- One Steve Limit: He shares his name with the most powerful Balrog in Morgoth's forces, though the two of them are distinct, thanks to living in different ages.
- Rasputinian Death: Wounded in the leg, has his arm chopped off, then impaled with an axe, then slashed in the back. Only in the extended edition, though (the threatical version leaves his fate ambiguous).
- Slasher Smile: "Bring up the Wolf's Head!"
- Spiteful Spit: See Nonchalant Dodge above.
- The Strategist: The main Orc strategist in the movies.
Portrayed by: Stephen Ure
Appears in: The Return of the King
An orc of Minas Morgul who gets into a disagreement with his comrades over Frodo's Mithril vest.
Portrayed By: Stephen Ure
Appears in: The Two Towers
- Adaptational Wimp: In the books he was an exceptionally cunning agent of Mordor, who understood far more of Sauron's designs than someone in his position was supposed to, even knowing a great deal about the One Ring. In the film he's just a hungry old orc in Saruman's service.
- The Determinator: Only being stepped on by Treebeard saves Merry and Pippin from him. Prior this, he chases them over some distance through Fangorn Forest despite being badly wounded.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Doesn't participate in the Uruk-hai's cannibalism, instead continuing to focus on trying to eat some juicy Hobbit legs. Though this may just be Skewed Priorities.
- Evil Old Folks: He's noticeably older than the other orcs accompanying Uglúk;s party.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Wants to eat Merry and Pippin. Their legs in particular. "Oooh, they look tasty!" Apparently draws the line at eating his own, though.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A rider of Rohan throws a spear into his back, although it doesn't kill him.
- Not Quite Dead: Survives a spear through the back in order to pursue Merry and Pippin for quite some distance.
- Oh, Crap!: He has a momentary look of uncertainty directly before being crushed by Treebeard.
- Pragmatic Villainy: His attempt to compromise with Uglúk on whether or not to eat the Hobbits: he argues they don't need their legs to be taken to Saruman, and suggests they can eat those.
- Skewed Priorities: With a dash of Too Dumb to Live. Even after one of his comrades is decapitated and cannibalized, he still tries to eat Merry and Pippin, even though the rest of the orcs, including Uglúk who explicitly told him not to, are right there eating the guy who first suggested doing it. And then after being one of, if not the, only survivor of the Rohirrim's attack against the Uruk-hai, he still pursues the Hobbits.
Appears in: The Two Towers
- I Am A Humanitarian: He is the first to suggest eating Merry and Pippin. "Just a mouthful!"
- Off with His Head!: Uglúk chops off his head when he won't stop trying to eat Merry and Pippin.
- Too Dumb to Live: Even after his leader explicitly forbids eating the Hobbits (to the point that a fight almost breaks out over him drawing his sword against Grishnákh), he still tries to slice a piece of Hobbit flesh off to eat. So a fed-up Uglúk kills him.
Portrayed by: Jed Brophy
Voiced by: Eduardo Fonseca (Latin American Spanish dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers
The leader of the Warg riders sent by Saruman to harass the Rohirrim refugees.
- Defiant to the End: Even as he lays dying at the mercy of Legolas and Gimli, he taunts them about Aragorn's fate.
- Go Out with a Smile: He laughs at Aragorn's presumed death before expiring.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a distinctive Warg-inflicted claw scar across his face.
- Meaningful Name: All There in the Manual, but his name (which in the books was the orcs' nickname for Saruman) means "old man", and he's an old orc.
- The Ageless: Like the Elves they were supposedly created from, but it isn't fully clear.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Like the rest of their race.
- Bad Boss: Not necessarily to their own kind, but to normal Orcs.
- Band of Brothers: Compared to their Orc cousins, The Uruk-hai seems to be this, as they at least treat each other with respect, and when they suffered their first casualty at the Battle of Helm's Deep, their reaction went from threat display to Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Black Blood: They bleed the same as normal Orcs.
- Blood Knight: They love fighting and are rallied by the promise of man-flesh.
- Composite Character: While it is not fully clarified, the film implies Uruk-Hai are half-Orc, half-human hybrids, as they look and behave much more humanlike than regular Orcs. In the books, half-Orcs and Uruk-Hai are not the same thing.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu
- Elite Mooks: Compared to the average Orc, they're much more dangerous.
- Enemy Civil War: Sauron and Saruman's alliance is the only thing keeping the Uruk-Hai and the normal Orcs from killing each other. The Uruk-Hai consider themselves to be a better class of mook.
- Fantastic Racism: They hate anyone who isn't an Uruk-Hai, even normal Orcs.
- I'm a Humanitarian: They're just as happy to eat their own as your average Orc.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Perhaps as a result of being stronger and more intelligent, they seem to have a comradeship born from love of war.
Species: Orc (Uruk-hai)
Portrayed by: Lawrence Makoare
Voiced by: Víctor Hugo Aguilar (Latin American Spanish dub)
Appears in: The Fellowship of the Ring
The first born of Saruman's Uruk-hai who is given the task of hunting down the fellowship in order to retrieve the One Ring.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Saruman makes him the leader of his first breed of Uruk-hai because he's the strongest and smartest one, plus the first thing he did was slaughter the orcs who helped pull him out of the breeding pits.
- Badass in Charge: Of his Uruk-Hai scouts squadron.
- Blood Knight: Being dismembered and impaled does not stop him from continuing the fight.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: He's deadly with both, taking down Boromir with arrows and matching Aragorn blow for blow in a swordfight.
- The Brute: As if mortally wounding Boromir wasn't enough, Lurtz is incredibly dangerous in close combat too. He can match swords with Aragorn and the brutal punches he deliver leave Aragorn dazed, while he himself shrugs off anything Aragorn throws at him (including the knife through his leg) until Aragorn manages to hack off an arm.
- Canon Foreigner: He has no literary equivalent, although he isn't markedly different from the books' assorted nameless Mook Lieutenants.
- Combat Pragmatist: He throws an Uruk-hai shield to pin Aragorn against a tree in order to decapitate him. He also killed Boromir by firing arrows from range while wearing him down by throwing Uruks at him.
- Defiant to the End: When Aragorn sticks his sword through Lurtz's gut (after literally disarming him), Lurtz grabs the sword and drags himself closer while growling in Aragorn's face (possibly intending to bite it off).
- Determinator: Even after getting an arm cut off and being impaled by a sword, he still tries to get closer to Aragorn.
- The Dragon: To Saruman in The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Establishing Character Moment: Step one, get "born." Step two, strangle the guy who delivered you.
- Evil Gloating: Although he growls instead of delivering some kind of Breaking Speech, he takes obvious relish in Boromir's demise, drawing his bow slowly and delaying the actual kill shot while Boromir is kneeling helpless... which allows Aragorn to interrupt with a flying tackle.
- Hero Killer: He kills Boromir, and very nearly kills Aragorn (something which is very difficult to do). Admittedly, he was kind of cheating with Boromir; he sent his uruks in ahead, and shot Boromir with arrows.
- Knight of Cerebus: Partially by definition and partially by coincidence. In the first case, he's the most powerful and skilled of Saruman's Uruk-hai, being proficient enough to give Aragorn a good fight. In the second sense, his arrival coincides with the Fellowship splitting up.
- Monster Progenitor: The very first bred Uruk-Hai.
- Mook Lieutenant: His character can be summed up as the biggest, strongest, smartest Uruk who commands the others.
- Off with His Head!: This is how Aragorn finally kills him.
- Super Prototype: He's considerably stronger and smarter than the scouts he commands, seemingly due to his status as the first Uruk-Hai.
Species: Orc (Uruk-hai)
Portrayed by: Nathaniel Lees
Voiced by: Gerardo Vásquez (Latin American Spanish dub)
Appears in: The Two Towers
Uglúk was the leader of the Uruk-hai Scouts and was highly trusted by Saruman.
- Decapitation Presentation: The Rohirrim stick his head on a pike next to a burnt heap of burned Uruk-hai corpses.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He has a very commanding baritone.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Mordor orcs grow increasingly eager to eat the hobbits, and the squadron is starving, so what does he do? He beheads the most vocal troublemaker and feeds the body to his troops.
- I Want Them Alive: He prevents the Mordor orcs from eating the hobbits because he believes Saruman commands it.
- Killed Offscreen: By Éomer's Rohirrim squadron.
- Mook Lieutenant: Within the Uruk-hai, he holds a position of leadership.
- Undying Loyalty: As is fitting for an Uruk-hai, who are Saruman's Orcs and not Sauron's, he's very obedient to his master. He adheres rigidly to Saruman's orders without flinching or questioning.