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The Lord of the Rings trilogy is undoubtedly a masterpiece that has captivated millions of readers and moviegoers around the world. While the main characters such as Frodo, Gandalf, and Aragorn are hailed as legends, there is an enchanting group of lesser-known characters that play a pivotal role in bringing Middle-earth to life. From brave warriors to cunning hobbits and wise elves, these minor characters have left an indelible mark on the epic tale. In this article, we will explore the 10 best minor characters in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, ranked according to their impact and contribution to the story. Join us as we delve into the world of Middle-earth and shine a spotlight on these unsung heroes who have earned their place alongside the great protagonists of this mesmerizing adventure.
Lord of the Rings is filled with some of the most memorable characters ever committed to screen, and it seems that Middle Earth has a large population of interesting people. While many of these get lots of screen time, there are also plenty of minor characters who are just as interesting.
Unforgettable characters such as Barliman Butterbur and the King of the Dead help bring the fictional world to life in their short time on screen, while others such as Figwit the elf prove that even the smallest cameo can make you a legend.
One of Saruman’s Uruk Hai, Ugluk is a vicious and surprisingly competent leader. He captures Merry and Pippin, believing they have the Ring, and transports them across the plains of Rohan to try and reach Isengard.
While Ugluk only has a small part before getting his head lopped off, he does get to say one of the most memorable lines when he declares “Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys,” inadvertently starting a big discussion on how Orcs know what a menu is.
King Theoden had several stewards to aid him, including Hama, the Door Warden at the Golden Hall who was responsible for deciding who was allowed in. He was supposed to relieve Gandalf of his staff but took pity on an ‘old man’ who needed a walking stick.
His slip-up turned out to be best for Theoden and Rohan in the end, though Hama would be killed in a Warg attack soon after. His son was at Helm’s Deep, however, and received encouragement from Aragorn shortly before the battle began.
Sometimes the most unlikely characters can become legends. This was the case with a background elf in Rivendell. When Frodo declares he’ll take the Ring to Mordor, an elf caught the attention of fans due to his striking looks.
He was soon given the name Figwit, an acronym of “Frodo is great, who is that?” as he distracted viewers from the main hero, proving that no matter how small, any character can become a legend.
The Orcs in Lord of the Rings are impressive examples of prosthetics. They also have excellent actors working under the masks to bring these characters to life. As a result, even the most minor Orc can get noticed.
One such Orc was Snaga, who wanted to eat part of Merry and Pippin as they were the only fresh meat around, and ended up losing his head to Ugluk. He’s even more memorable as he’s played by long-time Peter Jackson collaborator Jed Brophy and voiced by Gollum actor Andy Serkis.
When the War of the Ring came to Middle Earth, many elves took the decision to leave, believing their time there had ended. As a result, most elves focussed on defending their own settlements rather than helping others in the conflict.
One elf who did help was Haldir. He led a company of archers sent by Galadriel in the Battle of Helm’s Deep, where he showed the impressive fighting skills of elves, sadly being killed in the fight. While he only has a small part, it’s still a strong role that shows elves at their best.
5 Lobelia Sackville-Baggins
Bilbo doesn’t have many immediate relatives, so one family member who is always trying to get her hands on his treasure is his cousin Lobelia Sackville-Baggins who desires the luxury of Bag End.
She only appears for a few moments in the movie, at Bilbo’s birthday party, but she’s wearing an expression of distaste that would put an end to anyone’s fun. The fact Bilbo dives under a table to hide from her tells you everything you need to know about Lobelia.
4 Barliman Butterbur
There’s nothing like a cozy inn for relaxing in after a hard day’s running from Ringwraiths. Luckily, the Prancing Pony was just such an inn, run by the affable landlord Barliman Butterbur.
A friend of Gandalf and associate of Strider, Butterbur was in the know about what went on in Bree and the surrounding area. He was able to provide the Hobbits with some brief respite from their quest, even if it was soon spoiled by Black Riders storming the inn.
3 The King of the Dead
Things didn’t look good for Gondor when Mordor’s hordes descended on Minas Tirith. Luckily, Aragorn was able to call in a debt owed to the king of Gondor and brought the Army of the Dead to the battlefield.
The King of the Dead was a great looking character, somewhere between a ghost and a skeleton, and was memorable despite his short time onscreen. All the Army of the Dead was freed after the battle and allowed to rest.
2 Everard Proudfoot
The Shire looks like the perfect place to live, although it seems one Hobbit might disagree with that. Despite living in the most beautiful place in Middle Earth, Everard Proudfoot seemed unimpressed by everything around him.
Even after returning from their quest to destroy the Ring, the four Hobbits didn’t raise a smile from Proudfoot. He does allow himself a chuckle after seeing Gandalf’s fireworks, though, so perhaps he isn’t as serious as he’d like people to think.
1 Carrot Eater
The man, the myth, the legend. The mysterious carrot eater in Bree. No one knows who this guy is or why he likes eating raw carrots, but his prominence in his single scene, and the fact he’s played by director Peter Jackson, has made him legendary.
Interestingly, an almost identical character appears in The Hobbit movies, set sixty years earlier. Could he be immortal, or does his love of veg just keep him looking youthful? Or maybe it was his grandfather. We’ll probably never know.
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In conclusion, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a masterpiece in storytelling, filled with numerous memorable characters who contributed to the overall greatness of the narrative. While the focus often falls on the main protagonists and antagonists, it is essential not to overlook the significant impact that minor characters have in enhancing the depth and richness of the story. After careful consideration, we have ranked the ten best minor characters in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Starting at number 10, we have Legolas, the agile and skilled Elf from Mirkwood. His impressive archery skills and unwavering loyalty to the Fellowship of the Ring make him a beloved and crucial supporting character.
At number 9, we find Theoden, the king of Rohan. The transformation of this once weak and under the influence of Grima Wormtongue character into a fearless leader, ready to defend his people against all odds, is both inspiring and unforgettable.
Next on the list, at number 8, is Faramir, Boromir’s younger brother. His unwavering sense of honor and justice sets him apart, proving that not all men in Middle-earth are corrupted by the allure of power.
Ranking at number 7, we have Saruman the White, a wise and powerful wizard who falls into darkness. His complex character arc, portrayed superbly by Christopher Lee, highlights the destructive nature of ambition and the tragic consequences it can have.
At number 6, we find Eowyn, the courageous shieldmaiden of Rohan. Her defiance of societal conventions and her pivotal role in the Battle of Pelennor Fields make her a formidable force and an emblem of female empowerment.
The fifth spot goes to Gollum, the twisted creature consumed by his obsession with the One Ring. Gollum’s internal struggle between his innocent hobbit self, Smeagol, and the malevolent Gollum persona provides a haunting depiction of the corrosive power of the Ring.
At number 4, we have Galadriel, the wise and ethereal elf queen of Lothlórien. Her grace, wisdom, and role as the Keeper of the Ring give her an air of mystique and grandeur, making her a standout character.
Next on the list, at number 3, is Samwise Gamgee, Frodo’s loyal and resilient companion. Sam’s unwavering dedication to his friend and his ability to find hope in the darkest of times make him not only an essential minor character but also one of the most beloved characters in the entire trilogy.
Ranking at number 2, we have Aragorn’s formidable mentor, Gandalf the Grey/White. His vast knowledge, incredible magical abilities, and unwavering dedication to the fight against evil make him a central figure in the story, guiding and supporting our beloved protagonists.
Finally, at the top of our list, we have Aragorn, the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor. Aragorn’s journey from a ranger hiding his true identity to the confident and compassionate king leading the battle against Sauron captures the essence of heroism. His selflessness, courage, and leadership solidify his place as the best minor character in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
In summary, The Lord of the Rings trilogy presents us with a captivating array of minor characters that enrich the narrative and contribute to its enduring appeal. Each character brings something unique to the story, whether it is wisdom, bravery, or a powerful moral compass. The ten best minor characters, ranked here, have left an indelible mark on readers and viewers alike, cementing The Lord of the Rings as a classic of epic fantasy literature and film.
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