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"Even the wise cannot see all ends."

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    Bilbo Baggins 

The main character of The Hobbit, who inadvertently sets The Lord of the Rings in motion with his discovery of the Ring. Frodo's "uncle" (really his older cousin) and father-figure, Bilbo's 111th (and Frodo's 33rd) birthday opens the story; Bilbo, feeling the Ring's effects on him, leaves the Ring to Frodo and sets out on his last adventure. Years later, Frodo meets Bilbo again in Rivendell, where he has retired.

See The Hobbit character sheet for tropes that apply to him in that work.

  • Because Destiny Says So: Why he found the Ring in the first place, according to Gandalf.
  • Benevolent Boss: To his gardener, "Gaffer" Gamgee (Sam's father).
  • Cool Old Guy: He's 110 years old at the beginning of Fellowship, and fond of entertaining young hobbits with tales of his adventures and giving out gold as a party favor.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Going solely by the first chapter, one could easily assume that Bilbo was the central character, until the focus shifts to Frodo in the second.
  • Dub Name Change: "Bilbon Sacquet" in French; became "Bilbo Bessac" in the newer translation of the books.
  • Eccentric Mentor: He is this to his nephew Frodo, much to the despair of the majority of the respectable hobbits of the Shire.
  • Family Theme Naming: An odd theme. Bilbo is the son of Bungo Baggins son of Mungo Baggins son of Balbo Baggins.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: In contrast to his attitude in The Hobbit. He's a scion of the upper-class Took family, and by the time he retires from "adventures" he's had several.
  • Heroic Willpower: The One Ring has been with Bilbo for DECADES by the time of the Fellowship of the Ring. Considering the fact that the ring eternally tries to corrupt its owner and Bilbo only started feeling the effects of the ring after that time before passing it to Frodo, it shows just how moral of a man he is. That he spared Gollum when he first got the ring might've helped...
  • Hidden Depths: During Frodo’s first meeting with Aragorn, Frodo receives a letter from Gandalf that mentions Aragorn and contains a few lines from a poem. (Aragorn’s referring to this poem, without seeing the letter, is a strong hint that he really is who he says he is.) Later, during the Council of Elrond, Bilbo reveals to Frodo (and the reader) that he wrote the poem — about Aragorn.
  • In the Hood: When he leaves Bag End, he wears his old hooded Dwarven cloak from The Hobbit as he is "on the road" again.
  • My Girl Back Home: He is this to Frodo during the Quest to Mount Doom, being his only relative.
  • Hero of Another Story: Of The Hobbit.
  • Hobbits: Bilbo is the Ur-Example.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: He is the in-universe author of The Hobbit, and translated The Silmarillion out of Elvish.
  • No Immortal Inertia: The Ring was starting to corrupt him as it had Gollum long ago, and when it is destroyed his 131 years catch up with him.
  • Older Than They Look: At the beginning of the story, he is 110 years old but looks only 50 due to the Ring's influence. After he gives up the Ring, age begins to rapidly catch up to him, until he looks his age (131) at the end. The Appendices reveal that he’s older than Aragorn's mom.
  • Parental Substitute: To Frodo, after his parents drowned in a boating accident.
  • Passing the Torch: When he disappears to go travelling again, he wills his house and most of his possessions, including his "lucky ring", to Frodo. Later, he gives Frodo his old sword and armor from The Hobbit, which he wore on the road, to protect Frodo on his own journeys.
  • The Power of Friendship: Gandalf's friendship and concern is what ultimately helps him give up the Ring of his own free will.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Bilbo puts on his old gear from The Hobbit, down to his borrowed Dwarven cloak, when he leaves home again.
  • Shrouded in Myth: After he came back from his journey to Erebor (and more so after vanishing from his birthday party), hobbits started telling tales of "Mad Baggins" who would "vanish with a bang and a flash and reappear with bags of jewels and gold."
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Due to the Ring's influence he became Gollum-like in his mannerisms, as pointed out by Gandalf. No, he has not begun to look Gollum-like just yet (well, if you've read the books, he thankfully never does reach that stage), but his hunger and his growing obsession over the Ring is certainly a stepping stone towards reaching the Gollum stage. When he sees the One Ring in Frodo's possession in Rivendell, he briefly falls under its power again, causing Frodo to perceive him as “a little wrinkled creature with a hungry face and bony groping hands.” However, Bilbo quickly comes to his senses again, and he immediately apologizes and requests that Frodo never show him the Ring again.
  • Uncle Pennybags: His share of the treasure from The Hobbit (as well as coming from a wealthy family) kept him very well-off for the rest of his life, and he was very generous toward poorer hobbits.

Gandalf: He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself. He will never be rid of his need for it. Sméagol's life is a sad story. Yes, Sméagol he was once called... before the Ring found him. Before it drove him mad.
Frodo: It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance!
Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

A seemingly minor character from The Hobbit who played a key role in the series. Sméagol, once a member of a clan of Stoor Hobbits that lived alongside the Anduin river, was fishing with his cousin Déagol when they encountered the One Ring. They both immediately coveted it and Sméagol murdered Déagol for it. Eventually banished, he retreated for over 600 years deep into the mountains and became a degenerate creature named Gollum (after a horrible noise he makes in his throat), feared by the goblins and driven insane due to solitude and the Ring's influence over him. The Ring, having a mind of its own, slipped from Gollum's fingers intending to be found by a goblin, but it was instead found by Bilbo, who used it to confound Sméagol and escape his current danger. When Bilbo had the chance to strike down Gollum, he pitied him and let him live.

In the time since then, Gollum has been hunting for the Ring, travelling to his old home on the Anduin and then to Mordor, where he was captured and personally interrogated by Sauron himself, who released him. Gollum eventually catches up with the Fellowship in Moria, stalking them until Frodo left most of his companions behind. At this point, Gollum attempts to reacquire the Ring, but failing and being taken prisoner, he serves as a guide for Frodo and Sam, earning the fleeting hope of redemption before ultimately betraying his new masters. He nevertheless plays a key role in the completion of the quest.

  • Accidental Hero: Stealing the One Ring from Frodo was for his own selfishness and corruption, but then he slipped and fell into the lava, fulfilling the Quest that Frodo could not.
  • Anti-Hero: Briefly sides with Frodo in The Two Towers before slipping back to his old ways.
  • Anti-Villain: Most characters believe him to be this, as they're under the impression that Gollum was an innocent twisted by the Ring's power. However, Gollum was a rather nasty character even before he fell under the influence of the Ring: "Gollum was pitiable but ended in persistent wickedness. His last act worked good but of no credit to him... The Ring was too strong for Sméagol but he would never have had to endure it if he had not already been a mean sort of thief. His dawning love for Frodo was too easily withered by jealousy of Sam before Shelob's lair and he was lost."
  • Arch-Enemy: He holds a grudge against the Bagginses for tricking him. Since Frodo and Sam spend most of their journey away from the rest of the characters, Gollum serves as his main antagonist and foil.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first edition of The Hobbit, he was a pretty unimportant side-character. Then Tolkien realized that Ring was much more than it seemed, and his role expanded hugely.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Sauron is still the overall Big Bad to Middle-earth but Gollum is the main threat to Frodo and Sam on their journey.
  • Cain and Abel: Murders his friend Déagol to steal the Ring from him.
  • Can't Live Without You: Without the One Ring, Gollum's five-ish centuries of existence would catch up to him and he'd age into dust.
  • Cargo Ship: Canon in-universe with the One Ring. Though seeing as how the Ring is the ultimate corrupter and Really Gets Around, it's not really his fault.
  • Catchphrase: "My Precioussss", and "Gollum, Gollum!"
  • Chronic Villainy: Skulking, treacherous, murderous, depraved. He'll behave as long as you watch him like a hawk and make it clear that punishment will be swift and terrible.
  • The Corruption: He wasn't a nice guy to begin with, but the Ring ate away what decency and humanity he had and really, really messed him up.
  • Creepy Long Fingers: Is described as having long, bony, unnaturally strong fingers.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: He got that way thanks to living for centuries underground (probably exacerbated by the Ring to give him glowing eyes). And apparently can't adjust back.
  • Delinquents: When the Ring got fished out of the river by two familial disappointments, it was a stroke of luck for it. They really weren't good boys, so we're not hard to snare. But, it was a very mixed kind of luck: neither of pair were cut out to be high achievers in World Conquering Villainy™. Even the more corruptible, highly jealous murderor learned far more about surviving the Ring's various attempts to leave or kill him than most ever could.
  • Determinator:
    • Drawn irresistably to the Ring, he follows Frodo from Moria to the Cracks of Doom. He will climb up and down cliffs (head first!), wade through the Dead Marshes, whatever it takes to get the thing back.
    • Taken Up to Eleven by Gandalf’s exposition, Unfinished Tales, and a bit of Fridge Logic. Gollum has racked up an incredible travel log: sneaked through Mirkwood and back without getting caught by the Wood-elves? Check. Tracked Bilbo to Esgaroth (Lake-town), and then to Dale (at the feet of the Lonely Mountain)? Check. Discovered a way through the supposedly impassable Dead Marshes? Check. Went to Mordor and discovered the secret stairs to Cirith Ungol? Check (although that didn’t go so well for him). Entered Moria through the East-gate, managed to survive the Orcs infesting the eastern area, and somehow made it all the way through to the West-gate? Yup, check that too.
    • Ironically, his escapades come to a complete halt when he can’t figure out how to open the West-gate of Moria (and even if he had figured out that the gate could be opened from the inside simply by pushing it, he wouldn't have the strength to do so). In fact, he’s said to be starving, as all the food (along with all of the aforementioned Orcs) is in east Moria — and then a certain Fellowship comes blundering in...
    • And, lest we forget, by the time the story takes place, Gollum is several-hundred years old. Holding onto the One Ring extends its bearer's life by "stretching them out," as the narrative sometimes refers to it. However, once the bearer loses (or relinquishes) the Ring, all that extra time catches up to them fairly quickly, as it did with Bilbo. However, note that all of Gollum's travels listed above took place after he lost the Ring, which he'd been holding onto for centuries. Yet none of that slows him down in the slightest. He just keeps chugging along, all for the sake of reclaiming his Precious.
  • Disney Villain Death: At the Cracks of Doom he falls into the fires along with the One Ring.
  • Eats Babies: In Fellowship, he's hinted to have done this in Gandalf's account of his period of wandering between leaving Mordor and following Frodo, where he is mentioned as a shadow that, among other things, "clambered through windows to find cradles." Don't put it past him.
  • The Exile: Was cast out of his community for his trickery and murdering his cousin.
  • Evil Counterpart: He was a formerly a hobbit himself, and shows what could happen to Frodo if he allowed himself to be corrupted by the ring which it eventually does.
  • Family Theme Naming: Sméagol and Déagol.
  • Famous Last Words: "Precious!", screamed as he falls into Mount Doom.
  • Fangs Are Evil: He sharpened his six remaining teeth into fangs.
  • Fatal Flaw: Envy. His jealousy towards Sam overcomes his love of Frodo and eventually prevents his redemption.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes are described as luminous and lamp-like, with their color changing depending on which personality is in control: Green is for Gollum, yellow is for Sméagol.
  • Gollum Made Me Do It: Trope Namer. Gollum (Split Personality of Sméagol) often asserts his influence to force Sméagol to do his bidding.
  • Hobbits: Originally, he was a Stoor Hobbit (or at the very least, a very close relative).
  • Handy Feet: During the Council of Elrond, Legolas notes that Gollum has demonstrated the ability to hang from trees by his feet as well as by his hands.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Was about to repent after seeing Frodo sleeping, when Sam shouted at him.
  • Hidden Depths: Arguably, all Hobbits possess (to some extent) an extraordinary resistance to the evil of the Ring, but it’s particularly notable in Gollum: Gandalf notes that, even after 500 years of mental enslavement, Gollum still controls a tiny portion of his mind. Unfinished Tales takes it Up to Eleven by revealing that, while personally torturing Gollum, Sauron himself noticed this trait.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Intended to eat Bilbo if he won (and even if he lost) the riddle game in The Hobbit. Worth noting that as Sm&eacute:agol was originally a Stoor hobbit this technically qualifies as in-species cannibalism not just eating another sapient species.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Any time his raw meat gets cooked.
  • Man Bites Man: Chomps off Frodo's finger to get the One Ring back.
  • Madness Makeover: Went from a Hobbit to a shrivelled skeletal creature with fangs and Glowing Eyes of Doom thanks to the One Ring. Though at the least the fangs came from deliberately sharpening his remaining teeth not as a side effect of having the One Ring.
  • Monster Sob Story: The reason why Frodo (and, later, Sam) decide to spare his life. While he was never an extremely good person his life has been abject suffering for centuries.
    Frodo: Now that I see him, I do pity him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gandalf remarks that the murder of Déagol haunted Gollum, prompting Gollum to make excuses for it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In the climax of Return of the King, Gollum seizes the Ring from Frodo, before falling into the lava in Mount Doom.
  • No Immortal Inertia: Pleads with Frodo not to destroy the Ring because without it he would crumble to dust.
  • Not So Different: He was once a hobbit himself, making him this to Bilbo and Frodo under the power of the Ring.
  • Odd Friendship: With Frodo. As Frodo becomes increasingly aware of the terrible nature of the Ring, he can empathize with Gollum's tortured mind; while Gollum, wicked and hopelessly addicted, clings to Frodo's kindness with a pathetic desperation.
  • Off Screen Moment Of Awesome: How exactly did he managed to get pass the orcs and Balrog in Moria and follow the Fellowship even though the bridge was destroyed? We don't know.
  • Prefers Raw Meat: Started eating raw fish after he was cast from his home, partly because the deep, dark caverns he inhabited had plenty of fish but nothing to cook them with, but also because The Corruption from the One Ring caused him to sink into savagery. He even accuses Samwise Gamgee of "spoilin'" meat by cooking it.
  • Pre-Insanity Reveal: Originally a hobbit named Sméagol, he was corrupted mentally and physically by the Ring by the time Bilbo meets him in The Hobbit.
  • Primal Stance: He moves on all fours.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Gollum and Sméagol (particularly Sméagol) are both rather childlike creatures despite being utterly insane.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Sméagol was raised by his grandmother.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Sam never completely trusts Smeagol, even after he starts having doubts about betraying them. But Sam was right to have doubts.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Accorrding to one of Tolkien's letters (letter 246), this would have happened, had Gollum actually redeemed himself.
    Tolkien: For me perhaps the most tragic moment in the Tale comes in II 323 ff. when Sam fails to note the complete change in Gollum's tone and aspect. 'Nothing, nothing', said Gollum softly. 'Nice master!'. His repentance is blighted and all Frodo's pity is (in a sense) wasted. Shelob's lair became inevitable. This is due of course to the 'logic of the story'. Sam could hardly have acted differently. (He did reach the point of pity at last (III 221-222) but for the good of Gollum too late.) If he had, what could then have happened? The course of the entry into Mordor and the struggle to reach Mount Doom would have been different, and so would the ending. The interest would have shifted to Gollum, I think, and the battle that would have gone on between his repentance and his new love on one side and the Ring. Though the love would have been strengthened daily it could not have wrested the mastery from the Ring. I think that in some queer twisted and pitiable way Gollum would have tried (not maybe with conscious design) to satisfy both. Certainly at some point not long before the end he would have stolen the Ring or taken it by violence (as he does in the actual Tale). But ‘possession' satisfied, I think he would then have sacrificed himself for Frodo's sake and have voluntarily cast himself into the fiery abyss.
  • Sanity Slippage: The ring slowly drove him mad over 500 years in the Misty Mountains. He may have gotten slightly better in The Two Towers, but then got even crazier at the very end.
  • Shadow Archetype: Gollum is a shadow to both Bilbo and Frodo. He is the Foil to Sam.
  • Sssssnaketalk: Among his other speech peculiarities is a habit of hissing like this.
  • Sole Survivor: Of the clan of Stoor Hobbits living beside the Anduin river.
  • Spanner in the Works: "Even Gollum may have something yet to do..."
  • Split Personality: Less so than in the movie, where the Sméagol/Gollum schism is greatly played up, but still present. Sam even names the “duo” Slinker and Stinker.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Possibly. He murdered his best friend, but only because of the Ring. Its corrupting effect on him was terribly swift, but maybe after twenty-five hundred years corrupting nothing more than fish, it seized hard on the first two people it found.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Everyone who says that it would have been better to kill him from the start ends up sparing his life when it's in their hands.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: This is your Hobbit on Ring of Power.
  • Torture Always Works:
    • When Sauron realized the "Precious" Gollum was talking about was the One Ring, he interrogated Sméagol personally, learning of the existence of Hobbits and the Shire in the process.
    • Subverted in Unfinished Tales: Gollum doesn’t know where the Shire is, but he pretends that it's near the Gladden Fields where he grew up, causing Sauron to send the Nazgûl on a wild Baggins chase.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Raw "fisssh." He also likes orc flesh, and Gandalf's account of his travels through Mirkwood imply that he Eats Babies.
  • Tragic Villain: For all that he started out as a murderer, it was the Ring that made him the horrible person he became, while mentally torturing him and destroying his identity. His near-repentence in The Two Towers is particularly tragic.
  • Verbal Tic: "My Precioussss", and "Gollum, Gollum!"
  • Verbal Tic Name: Gollum is the noise he habitually makes in his throat.
  • Wall Crawl: He climbs head-first down a sheer cliff face, though exactly how isn't addressed, but it could be due to the same warping effects of the Ring that let him hang upside down by his feet.
  • Was Once a Man: Smeagol was once a Hobbit before the One Ring corrupted him.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Although there are many Time Abyss characters who are older than Sméagol, he's not meant to be immortal. Though his relentless addiction drives him onward, there are signs that the 'real' Sméagol is weary beyond imagination.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: After centuries of misery and torment, he nearly destroys the quest (dooming Middle Earth to tyranny) because of a Heel–Face Door-Slam. Ironically, Frodo knowingly claims the ring after suffering months of psychological torment because of it. Fortunately, the quest would have failed without his attempt to prevent it. Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam taking pity on Gollum was necessary for the Ring's destruction; and expressly choosing not to attack and kill him on four separate occasions, even on the slopes of Mount Doom...
    Frodo: But do you remember Gandalf's words: "Even Gollum may have something yet to do?" But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.
  • Yandere: He 'both loves and hates the Ring': which turned into a real hurdle for it. Arguably, nobody knows the way "the Precious" operates and behaves day-to-day better than Gollum does. Not even Sauron.

    Tom Bombadil 
Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow;
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.

A strange... person who lives in the Old Forest just outside the Shire. Tom is the forest's "Master" and nothing can harm him within its borders. His nature is a mystery — he was old even when the first Elves entered his part of the world. He lives in a little house with his wife, the river-spirit Goldberry. Tom was the first person the hobbits met after leaving the Shire and he provided them safe passage along the early part of their journey. He also gave them their swords after he rescued them in the Barrow-downs. He refuses to get involved in the War of the Ring and sits the whole thing out.

Tom was originally Tolkien's doll, and later became the star of a humorous poem Tolkien wrote in 1934 that had no connection to Middle-Earth. He only appeared in The Lord of the Rings as a sort of guest-star. He later got his own spinoff in 1962, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, a book of poems presented as in-universe poems from the Shire.

  • Adapted Out: The three chapters where Tom appears were completely left out of the film, where his name isn't even mentioned (although a few of his lines were given to Treebeard in the extended cut of The Two Towers), and only a few videogames have included Tom Bombadil at all. Admittedly, he is the kind of character who a) might perfectly be excised from the plot without changing anything major, b) it would be very hard to adapt in any kind of serious fashion, d) would weird out most modern audiences even in the best of the cases, and e) not many people know about in the first place.
  • Almighty Idiot: It's telling that smuggling Hobbits into Mordor with only nine persons who barely worked together is considered better odds than convincing Bombadil to do something, even keeping the One Ring he is immune to until they sort things out.
  • Ambiguously Human: He looks sort of like a short Man or a tall Dwarf, but whatever he is, he surely isn't either of those.
  • Ambiguous Situation: He calls himself the eldest, period, claiming to remember "the first raindrop and the first acorn" and to have lived there "when it was fearless before the Dark Lord came from Outside" (probably referring to Morgoth, the first enemy of Middle-earth, and not Sauron). Assuming he is telling the truth - and Elrond implies that he is - this is the only unambiguous thing about Tom, as well as the main obstacle when trying to fit him in any possible identity. Whether those words mean that he was there when the world was shaped or that he is somehow part of the world is never explained.
  • Arcadian Interlude: The time the hobbits spend with him is a light-hearted happy sequence full of singing and eating in his idyllic patch of country.
  • The Artifact: It could be argued that he is a holdover from when Lord of the Rings was suppose to a short children's book much like its predecessor The Hobbit. He certainly is the type of character children would like.
  • Call on Me: He instructs the Hobbits to call upon him with a silly rhyme if they need his help, which they most definitely do when confronted by the Barrow-Wights. He shows up almost immediately to save them.
  • The Cameo: As mentioned above, Tom's presence in the book is a nod to one of Tolkien's older poems.
  • Domain Holder: The root of his power. It's limited to the area where he is 'Master', however.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Tells stories and gives weapons to the four Hobbits, and is rather bonkers.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Except badgers. And Old Man Willow.
  • Genre Refugee: He wandered into Tolkien's Legendarium from a series of poems that Tolkien wrote for his children.
  • Great Gazoo: A silly, oddly-dressed fellow who goes around singing nonsense... who can cow Old Man Willow and barrow-wights just by said singing, and can put on The One Ring as if it was just any piece of jewellery. Even Gandalf speculates that, were Sauron to triumph over the forces of good, Bombadil's territory would be the last place to fall.
  • Happily Married: To Goldberry, daughter of the river.
  • I Have Many Names: "Tom Bombadil" is just what the Hobbits and the Men of Bree call him, though he does call himself this way before the main characters, presumably for this reason. He has many other names, including Iarwain Ben-Adar ("Oldest and Fatherless") to the Elves, Orald ("very ancient") to the Northmen, and Forn (not explained, but probably a similar meaning, given that the same word does mean that in Old Norse) to the Dwarves. If he has a real name, we never get to hear it.
  • Immune to Mind Control: The Ring does not strictly control minds, but it does have a strong ability to influence them, enhancing their greatest desire and, given enough time, warp whoever is wearing it into an evil mutant of what they once were. Not Tom Bombadil. Tom is not impressed by the Ring. Tom, in fact, thinks the Ring is funny. It doesn't work on him at all and he casually plays with it, performing a couple of parlour tricks, before handing it back to Frodo. Indeed, it seems he can even see Frodo when he's wearing it.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: More like Incorruptible Pure Neutrality. The Ring has no power over him — possibly because he has no ambition to speak of, even less than the Hobbits.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: He can banish evil trees, barrow-wights, and it's implied even Nazgûl. Also, he can apparently teleport, the Ring has no effect over him, and has some damn catchy songs. It is notable that even the Elves seem unable to understand exactly what or who Tom is.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Subverted. Someone does suggest giving the Ring to Bombadil since it has no effect on him whatsoever, but Gandalf shoots him down because Tom would probably lose the damn thing specifically because it's no big deal to him. (Also, it's believed by the characters that even Tom's power couldn't keep out the entire host of Mordor indefinitely once Sauron learned its location.)
  • Magic Music: As he puts it, "his songs are stronger songs." He exorcises the Barrow-Wight with one.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Rather, savage trees.
  • Nature Spirit: This is more-or-less the closest we can come to a guess at what he's supposed to be, helped by a cryptic hint in Letters by J. R. R. Tolkien that he is "the spirit of the vanishing landscapes of Oxfordshire and Berkshire."
  • Nice Hat: "Bright blue is his hat." Also has a feather in it.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: He appears outside the barrow as soon as the hobbits sing his calling rhyme.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Is prone to breaking out into song. Even when not rhyming, he almost always speaks in poetic meter.
  • Single Specimen Species: He's not a Vala, not a Maia, not a Man, not an Elf. What he is is up for debate, but one thing's for sure: with the possible exception of Goldberry, he's the only one like him that we see.
  • Time Abyss: He is apparently as old as Arda, if he is not Arda itself as suggested above.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The time with Bombadil is an interesting and amusing interlude, and the possibility of leaving the Ring with him is discussed later at the Council of Elrond, but it doesn't really contribute much to the story besides world-building and giving the hobbits barrow-blades, and the tone is much lighter than the rest of the narrative. It is worth mentioning that Sam wished he was present when they encountered Shelob. Which led him directly over to the memory of Galadriel's lamp.


Tom Bombadil's wife, also known as the "River-woman's daughter", who lives in the Old Forest along with him. A figure as mysterious as him, if not more-so, she appeared for the first time in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, where he captures her into his bride.


  • Adapted Out: Just like Tom, she is absent from all film adaptations. Ironically, the only videogame in which she appears gives her a bit of Adaptation Expansion, as it lists her race as "River-maid" and gives her a wicked sister named Naruhel.
  • Ambiguously Human: She looks like a human and an Elf, but is clearly not any of them.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Very much like Tom, the only safe notes about Goldberry are that she fits no established race in Middle-earth and that she is somehow related to nature, as well as that she is possibly very old: the rest is sheer speculation. It is also hinted, however, that whatever Tom is, she is not quite like him, or at least not as ancient.
  • Duel of Seduction: A sort of lyric variation in their first meeting with Tom: she tried to lure Tom to the river, but it's him who lured her into his clutches at the end.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Has golden hair and is a helpful and good-natured character.
  • Happily Married: Her marriage with Bombadil is described by authors quoted in The Other Wiki as "the only functioning one in The Lord of the Rings". Which is ironic, given that it started with Tom kidnapping her.
  • Nature Spirit: Tolkien considered her as "the seasonal changes in nature". Her "spring cleaning" involves a massive (possibly multi-day) rainstorm.
  • Satellite Character: While Tolkien left Tom's nature open as a deliberate enigma, he bothered even less with Goldberry, whose main characterization is to be Bombadil's wife and seemingly a Nature Spirit on her own.
  • Time Abyss: She is clearly very ancient. Apparently not as much as Tom, though: she notably avoids describing herself in the same terms of immeasurable age as him, and refers to him as oldest than any other being in Middle-Earth, implying she is counting herself among them.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: While Tom's not explicitly ugly, he still looks like a middle step between Men and Dwarves; meanwhile, Goldberry is described as an Elven-like beautiful human.

    Radagast the Brown 

The third wizard mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, though he only appears second-hand, through Gandalf's account. Radagast is of the same order as Gandalf and Saruman, though he has mostly retreated from the world of Men and Elves to look after the birds and beasts of Middle-Earth. He lives in Mirkwood, in a dwelling called Rhosgobel. Saruman uses him as an unwitting dupe to lure Gandalf to Isengard, but Radagast also unwittingly rescues him by sending an eagle to report news to Saruman.

  • Ambiguous Situation: Where does Radagast go after his brief encounters with Gandalf and Gwaihir? This question is addressed in-universe, as Elrond even tries actively to locate him, but no answer is ever given; whether Radagast must be considered dead, missing in action or engaged in any other venture is left unknown for the reader. Even although Tolkien stated that Radagast was still alive and guarding his beloved wildlife after the war, the reason that had him away from the main story is a Riddle for the Ages.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: In The Hobbit, Gandalf only briefly mentions him as an old friend and "cousin" (not literally, as it turns out), with whom Beorn is also acquainted.
  • Friend to All Living Things: In the Backstory, he was chosen by Yavanna, the Vala of all plants and animals.
  • The Ghost: In The Hobbit he only receives an off-hand mention, and in The Lord of the Rings he appears only in a flashback, both told by Gandalf. The reader never gets to see Radagast on page, as although messengers are sent to recruit him for the council, he is absent from his home.
  • Going Native: According to Tolkien, Radagast failed at his mission as an Istari because he became too obsessed with animals and plants to involve himself in the important matters.
  • The Hermit: He lives isolated at his home Rhosgobel, somewhere in Mirkwood, and doesn't seem to get involved in much of anything unless called upon by another Wizard.
  • Hero of Another Story: Implied by the combination of his mysterious absence from Rhosgobel and Gandalf's statement about how the Brown Wizard is "never a traveller, unless driven by great need." This hints that, whatever the reason Radagast is away is, it is actually not a trivial one. Christopher Tolkien followed this route by interpreting that Radagast was chosen as a guardian of nature and that this task was not always directly connected to his mission as an Istari.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The Wizards are really angels disguised as humans.
  • Spanner in the Works: Radagast was sent by Saruman to ask Gandalf to rush to Isengard. (This was a Spanner for Gandalf's plans.) Then he was sent by Gandalf to ask Gwaihir the Eagle to rush to Isengard as well. (This was a Spanner for Saruman's plans.)
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: He can communicate with birds.
  • Time Abyss: Like all Wizards, he's technically older than the whole universe.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Saruman’s plot to get Gandalf into Isengard. In a delicious twist of irony, he winds up unwittingly foiling the plot as well.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: According to Gandalf, Radagast is "a master of shapes and changes of hue." That's pretty vague, but definitely sounds like some power of shapeshifting, glamour or both.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last we hear of him was that he wasn't at home. Tolkien wrote that he went native among the flora and fauna and neglected the affairs of the Free People, and his son Christopher later speculated Radagast may have been specifically assigned to protect the flora and fauna of Middle-earth even after the War of the Ring.


An old Ent, and master (and namesake) of Fangorn Forest.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Under all ordinary circumstances, Treebeard is a Gentle Giant. When he realizes that his forest's survival is at stake, he turns his (enormous) strength and patience against Saruman.
  • Fantastic Racism: Downplayed, but notably present: while Treebeard appears to hold Wizards in significant esteem (ordinarily), he repeatedly calls both Gandalf and Saruman "young" in a vaguely condescending way, as if he was older and wiser than them, when in reality they are much older than he is. Granted, Treebeard might not actually know that they're Maiar, with it being implied that they're not allowed to reveal their natures, but he is still hastily assuming they are younger than him despite their titles state outright they are not regular humans.
  • Constantly Curious: Downplayed. Treebeard thinks he's Seen It All, so when anything genuinely new comes along (such as hobbits), he's fascinated.
  • Green Aesop: Treebeard's message (both in and out of universe) is very clear: Don't mess with the forest or the forest will absolutely destroy you. Tolkien was, after all, a dedicated environmentalist.
  • Heroic Neutral: He regards the rest of the world as "none of my business," and only worries about Fangorn.
    Treebeard: I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me; nobody cares for the woods as I care for them, not even Elves nowadays.
  • Hidden Depths: At first the hobbits take him for some strange monster. Then they discover that he's kindly, if rather long-winded and indolent. And after persuading him that Saruman is a threat, they discover that his wrath is fearsome.
  • Neutral No Longer: After seeing the devastation Saruman has wrought, Fangorn leads the Ents and their trees to war. Stone walls are ripped to fragments. Armies disappear into the trees and are never seen again.
  • Name That Unfolds Like A Lotus Blossom: A major Entish cultural trait. Taken Up to Eleven, as Ent names are lengthy summaries of their whole lives.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Treebeard and his Ents were left out of Saruman's calculations when he decided to Take Over the World. Even if Saruman knew about their existence, as he and Treebeard knew each other, he clearly didn't count them to act against him.
  • Overly Long Name: His real name is the story of his life, according to him. Like most Ents, he is therefore Only Known By His Nickname. One of which is his Sindarin name, Fangorn. Yes, the whole forest is named after one guy.
  • Time Abyss: Perhaps the third-oldest physical creature (Maiar don't count) in Middle-Earth. Círdan, having awoken with the first generation of Elves at Cuivienen way back in the Years of the Trees, is older still, and Tom Bombadil is older than the world.
  • Treants: As the primary Ent character in the books, he has one of the stronger claims for being the Trope Maker. The books mostly depict him as a giant but otherwise fairly standard humanoid whose anatomy and appearance are reminiscent of plant life (unless one goes for the interpretation of the first Ents having originated as spirits that fused with living trees).
  • Verbal Tic: Hoom, hmm, don't be hasty, now...


A younger ent who shelters Merry and Pippin during the entmoot.

  • Bash Brothers: With Treebeard at Isengard.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: A very friendly, gentle-hearted Ent, he goes completely berserk when he sees Saruman and comes very close to catching and killing him. Pippin comments that Quickbeam's very gentleness makes his wrath all the more terrible.
  • Hot-Blooded: Only by Entish standards, which means still very slow and patient by mortals' standards.
  • It's Personal: Saruman was particularly cruel to the rowan trees under his guard. This feeds into his decision to go into battle.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: By Entish standards, he is very quick to rush into battle with Saruman.
  • Meaningful Name: He is called Quickbeam because he is unusually hasty for an ent. A scholarly pun on Tolkien's part, since quickbeam is an old name for his associated rowan or mountain-ash tree. note 
  • The Older Immortal: Inverted, he is the youngest of the ents.
  • Treants: Like all the other Ents.


The greatest and the swiftest of the Eagles of Middle-earth at the time of the War of the Ring.

  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He leads the Eagles in battle because he is the greatest and swiftest among them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Makes a habit of this, in the First Age he rescues Beren and Luthien from Angband, and in the Third Age, he rescues Gandalf from Orthanc.
  • Courier: This was initially the reason he was sent to Orthanc, to bring the news to Saruman that Gollum had escaped Mirkwood. This is in fact, the original purpose the Eagles were all to serve, as the messengers of Manwë.
  • Guardian Angel: Manwë sent him and the other Eagles to Middle-Earth to watch over and protect the Noldor.
  • Heroic Lineage: A descendant and vassal of Thorondor, the greatest Eagle in the First Age.
  • Heroic Neutral: The Eagles do not involve themselves in the War of the Ring, but Gwaihir himself frequently aids Radagast and Gandalf.
  • Meaningful Name: Gwaihir translates roughly to "Wind Lord." Fittingly, he is lord of a race of giant birds.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: While he's not quite Thorondor, he is still large enough to carry a man, and noble enough to serve the Istari in their times of need.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He was around in the First Age, and the Third.

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