The stories we still tell are based on J.R.R. Tolkien's work. The way that world came to fascinate so many people over the years is one of the reasons Lord of the Rings is so influential. The lives of the characters of the story have been extended over decades.

The first season of Prime Video's The Rings of Power is over, so it's time to look at the best characters from Middle-earth. He created some of the best characters he's ever created from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

10. Bilbo Baggins

The story of Bilbo is meant to be a bit lighter than the one of the Lord of the Rings. Bilbo's story became an example for many of the harfoots that we would come to know and love. He loves his life, but only to discover that his wandering is not what he thought it would be. Without Bilbo, the Lord of the Rings wouldn't exist.

9. Prince Durin


The books on which the Peter Jackson films are based do not include a character named Prince Durin. In Rings of Power, we come to understand him as a deeply humane man who has a particular liking for elves, the only time we have seen him outside of the appendices. It is impossible to stop watching Durin because of his unique combination of pragmatism and joy.

8. Elrond

Elrond smiles in The Rings of Power.

In Lord of the Rings, Elrond is both wise and cold. He wants his people to go to a better place. He eventually comes to the aid of men one last time as they battle their greatest enemy, as cracks appear in the faade.

In Rings of Power we get a deeper understanding of who Elrond is and his desire to prove himself as an elf despite his mixed heritage. He is a great character because of his clever and wise values.

7. Boromir

The lord of the Rings amazon game studios massively multiplayer online game

Aragorn's story wouldn't be as important ifBoromir wasn't around. The noble knight believes that the ring could be used to save his family from ruin.

His intentions are noble but he will be corrupted by it. The death ofBoromir is so beautiful and sad that it is part of the story.

6. Frodo Baggins

Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

The hero forced to take on an immense burden that none of the other characters are willing to face is good in ways that almost no other character in the story can. Middle-earth is saved by his ability to keep moving forward and his ability to carry the ring for such a long period of time.

The power of the ring to corrupt, and the fact that Frodo loses his way in his final moments, speak not to any weakness in him, but to the incredible power of the ring. Frodo reminded us that you can't always go home after a journey.

5. Aragorn

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings
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The leader who doesn't want his job is a cliché, but Aragorn was one of the people who invented it. Aragorn is a lot more than that stereotype suggests. He can be noble and wise, but can also be selfish, and he fell in love with an elf.

It can be difficult to make a hero of a story like Lord of the Rings feel interesting, even though the text does a lot to complicate the character.

4. Galadriel

Morfydd Clark as Galadriel stands in armor in a scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Galadriel is wise and powerful but she is also distant and ethereal. The portrayal of the character on The Rings of Power has deepened Galadriel's complexity.

Even though no one around her believes that Sauron has come back, we understand her as a character driven by vengeance. She doesn't seem to have everything figured out yet

3. Smeagol/Gollum

Andy Serkis gollum
Image taken from The Hobbit film 20th Century Fox

The most tragic, tortured character in the entire saga of Lord of the Rings begins as a simple, hobbit-like creature who is almost immediately corrupted by the power of the One Ring. He falls completely under the power of the ring.

Andy Serkis' portrayal of Gollum in the film is wonderful, but the character itself is genius, and that is especially true in the final moments of the film, when he falls into Mount Doom with the thing he treasures most.

2. Gandalf

It may seem like cheating to combine Gandalf into one entry. Even though they have a lot in common, the different versions of the character feel different.

Ian's performance is full of both wisdom and frivolity. Gandalf is wise beyond belief, and it is that wisdom that makes him happy.

1. Samwise Gamgee

Sean Astin and Elijah Wood in The Lord of the Rings
New Line Cinema

Sam is the hero in a story filled with others. His loyalty to Frodo is combined with the clarity he has about the fight they are facing and what it means to retain hope in the face of immense darkness and despair. Sean Astin seems like a strange choice for this role, but he brings the right charm to it.

Sam is a humble farmer and that is all he wants to be. He would have been happy tending to a garden at home.

If you want to find out where the Lord of the Rings movies and TV shows are currently streaming, you can read our helpful guide.

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