The Lord of the Rings (film)/Characters

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

These are the Loads and Loads of Characters in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

For the original versions in the book by JRR Tolkien, see here. For characters in The Hobbit, go here.

The Fellowship

Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood)

Samwise "Sam" Gamgee (Sean Astin)

Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan)

Peregrin "Pippin" Took (Billy Boyd)

Gandalf (Ian McKellen)

Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen)

Legolas (Orlando Bloom)

Gimli (John Rhys-Davies)

Boromir (Sean Bean)


Théoden (Bernard Hill)

Éowyn (Miranda Otto)

Éomer (Karl Urban)

Denethor (John Noble)

Denethor is the Steward of Gondor, ruling from Minas Tirith in the absence of the King. He is used to being in charge, and does not like the idea of having to give up power to the rightful heir to the throne.

Faramir (David Wenham)


Elrond (Hugo Weaving)

Arwen (Liv Tyler)

Galadriel (Cate Blanchett)

Other Main Characters

Gollum, originally Smeagol (Andy Serkis)

Treebeard (John Rhys-Davies)

The Forces of Evil

Sauron (Sala Baker)

  • The Abyss Gazes Also
  • Authority Equals Asskicking
  • Big Bad: In the Second and Third Ages. In the First Age, he was The Dragon to Morgoth.
  • Black Speech: Sauron at one time made an artificial language as a way to communicate across his empire and his allies earlier in the backstory. Thousands of years after being killed in the final battle of the Last Alliance and getting a new form, only the Nazgûl remembered how to speak it.[1] It fell out of favor with everyone else.
  • Chessmaster: Used disguises and clever tactical planning to make the Elves create the Rings, and to later undermine Númenor until its downfall.
  • Dark Is Evil
  • The Dragon: In his backstory, he was The Dragon to Morgoth's Big Bad.
  • The Dreaded
  • Eldritch Abomination
  • 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. Its too late when he realizes that someone intends to destroy it.
  • Evil Genius: He's one of the smartest beings in Middle-Earth from the very beginning.
  • Evil Sorcerer: As the Necromancer.
  • Evil Overlord: The Trope Codifier for modern fantasy.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower.
  • Face Heel Turn: Originally, Sauron was an angelic being and servant of Aulë, the godlike patron of craftsmen and maker of the physical aspect of the Earth; this is how he became such a master at creating items of power. However, he was corrupted by the first Dark Lord, Morgoth, with promises of power.
  • Fallen Angel
    • Heel Face Turn: He did this at the end of the First Age, when he truly reformed and want to help rebuild Middle-Earth...
    • Heel Face Revolving Door: ...but the corruption from Morgoth was too great, and he couldn't resist the temptation to use the reconstruction to conquer.
  • Faceless Eye: Peter Jackson interprets the "Eye of Sauron" literally, and depicts Sauron as a flaming all-seeing Giant Eye of Doom sitting at the top of Barad-dûr.
  • Fantastic Racism: Sauron has made destroying the Númenóreans one of his major goals.
  • Fate Worse Than Death
  • Fisher King: The destruction of the Ring removes Sauron from the world, leading to his many minions becoming confused, and the Dark Tower collapses. In the movies, the land of Mordor itself crumbles.
  • Foil
  • Fountain of Expies: After the publication of The Lord of the Rings, it became de rigueur for the villain in a fantasy story to be a manipulative, rarely-seen Evil Overlord who lives in a dark tower in an evil realm, employs various horrible creatures to do his work, and is dependent on an artefact of his making for power and survival.
  • Keystone Army: Raised and lost several.
  • I Surrender, Suckers
  • Large and In Charge: In the movie he appears to be a good 15 feet tall, at least.
  • 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.
  • Mind Rape: His specialty. "Thy flesh shall be devoured and thy shriveled mind left naked to the Lidless Eye."
  • Name's the Same: No, he is not that pterodactyl guy from X-Men (who actually named himself after him!)
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "Sauron" is Quenya for "abomination". His less-often-seen Sindarin name, Gorthaur, means "terrible dread".
  • Obviously Evil
  • 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.
  • Out-Gambitted: He Out Gambits everyone, and then is in turn Out-Gambitted by Gandalf. See Unwitting Pawn below.
  • Red Eye Take Warning
  • 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.
  • Ultimate Evil
  • Unwitting Pawn: Marching up to the Black Gate was a trap and he walked right into it.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Before his physical body was destroyed in the fall of Númenor.
    • Even afterwards he's implied to still possess the ability, though he never really gets a chance to use it--he just can't conceal his true nature any more, meaning it's no longer useful as a disguise.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His goal was once to establish order in Middle-Earth.

The One Ring

Saruman (Christopher Lee)

Grí­ma Wormtongue (Brad Dourif)

The Witch-king of Angmar (Bret McIntyre / Lawrence Makoare, voice by Andy Serkis)


  • The Ageless: Like the Elves they were supposedly created from, but it isn't fully clear.
  • Exclusively Evil
  • Bad Boss: Any given orc in a position of power will probably be one of these
  • Black Blood
  • Blood Knight: All the Uruk-hai, but Ugluk stands out in particular.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Those orcs who aren't Blood Knights are really into this.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Uruk-hai,
  • 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. Whenver 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
  • Evilly Affable: For the most part.
  • 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).
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The most likely origin of the Uruk-hai.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: They're not very... selective in their diet, though unlike in the movies they generally don't eat each other if they can get anything else.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Grishnakh.
  • Mooks
    • Elite Mooks: Uruk-hai (Black Speech for "Orc-people").
    • Mook Lieutenant: Lurtz from the Fellowship film adaptation, Ugluk from The Two Towers, and Gothmog from the Return of the King film adaptation.
      • Gothmog also appears in the book, but it's never specified whether he is an orc or a human.
  • No Cure for Evil: Averted. Orcish medicine is among the most advanced in Middle-Earth but it tends to be very painful and has heavy scarring.
  • 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 Exclusively Evil orcs are generally portrayed as.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Uruk-hai only. "Standard" orcs are sneaks and cowards.
  • Smug Snake: Grishnakh.
  • Torture Technician: Just about any orc with brains will be one of these.
  • Was Once a Man: The origin that made it into the books is that they were once elves. This is only one possibility, though, and it kept changing right up until Tolkien's death--he didn't like the implications that had for their eternal souls, even though he did not want evil to be capable of independent creation, which would have conflicted with his Christianity.


  • 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.
  • Exclusively Evil: Though the standard Trolls (barring the trio from The Hobbit) are barely above animals in intelligence, it seems.
  • Dumb Muscle
  • 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.
  • Made of Iron: They die hard.
  • Smash Mook

The Mouth of Sauron (Bruce Spence)


  • Achilles' Heel: Her underside is not as tough as the rest of her body; when she gives up trying to paralyze Sam with her venom and decides to crush him, he shoves Sting into her guts.
    • The book emphasizes that unlike dragons, Shelob has no weak spots save for her eyes. Sam is only able to pierce her skin and tissue because she unwittingly slams on his blade with her own, massive strength.
  • Casting a Shadow: Like her mother, she weaves webs of unlight that are perceptible to the Hobbits.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Sauron treats her as his pet. Shelob doesn't care.
  • Eldritch Abomination: In spider-form, but an abomination nonetheless.
  • Eye Scream: Sam stabs her in one eye with Sting during their fight.
  • Giant Spider
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Of the "pure evil" variety. She was stated to be immune to the ring's temptations because power holds no interest for something that just wants to eat everything.
  • Meaningful Name: "Lob" is an archaic word for "spider". She's female. "She-Lob".
  • Nigh Invulnerable
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Her ultimate goal seems to be to eat the whole planet. Mercifully, she's nowhere near accomplishing that.
  • Primal Fear
  • Shrug of God: Whether Sam killed her or not.
  • Spiders Are Scary
  • Time Abyss: She is said to have been around when the earth was born. Although that is moreso her ancestor Ungoliant.
  • The Voiceless: The fact that she was able to work out a deal with Gollum implies she can speak, but she never does during her appearance in the text.
    • Or just that she understands speech, and relented her attack when Gollum begged for his life and promised to bring her tasty things to eat.
  • Weakened by the Light

The Balrog

  • Big Red Devil: He is effectively this on fire.
  • Dark Is Evil
  • Eldritch Abomination: At least, you could tell that Sauron's minions were warped versions of their original selves. This demon is one of many "that should not see the light of day".
  • Fallen Angel: Believe or not that demon who just snared and just happen to have a sword and whip, belonged to a race of hyper-intelligent warriors from hell that made the Ringwraiths look like pansies.
  • Iconic Characters
  • Knight of Cerebus: The story was already serious, but he upped the ante and paved the way for the Fellowship's breaking by bringing down Gandalf. (Of course, Gandalf got better.) It also introduced the epic one-on-one fights that would occur later in the story.
  • Large and In Charge: Much larger than the orcs and trolls in Moria, and they seem to be almost as afraid of him as the Fellowship is. In the Peter Jackson films, Durin's Bane is nearly twenty feet tall.
  • One-Scene Wonder: A lot of the people will remember the scene where Gandalf sacrifices himself in order to save the Fellowship from the beast.
  • Playing with Fire: The movie makes it looks like he's literally a demon of flame.
  • Rasputinian Death: Falls down a deep pit along with Gandalf, as they try to stab one another as they plummet down to the bottom. Once they land, they are immediately submerged, carried down the stream presumably, until they reached the base of a mountain, climb the Endless Stair to the peak of Celebdil, where they fought until Gandalf manages to pierce its heart, causing it to fall down to its death.
  • Serious Business: Whether or not he's winged.
    • The Peter Jackson version seemed to split the difference by giving him intimidating skeletal-looking wings that can't be used for flight.
  • Whip It Good: He uses a flaming whip in conjunction with a Flaming Sword.

  1. Well, not quite; Gandalf also can still speak it.