Lord of the Rings Characters Ranked: Who is the Most Popular LOTR Character?

Who are the most powerful characters in Middle-Earth? Check it out here!


To say that the Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon would be an understatement. JRR Tolkien has given us some of the most culturally significant and iconic characters in the history of the fantasy genre. From Frodo to Wormtongue, this series has a staggering array of characters, each essaying a key role in taking the story forward. Some iconic standout characters like Gandalf have greatly impacted the audiences. There are heroes, villains, and everything in between. So who are the most popular Lord of the Rings characters? Here is a list of LOTR characters, based on their popularity, as seen on Wikipedia! Check out our list below.

Top 20 Lord of the Ring Characters Ranked by Popularity

1. Gollum (Played by Andy Serkis)

Gollum is a slimy swamp creature who wants the ring. Before becoming obsessed with it however, he was a hobbit called Smeagol. He transforms into the disgusting, raw-fish consuming Gollum – a warning about the ill effects of the ring. Both Gollum and Smeagol are very different from Frodo. Frodo is incorruptible, Smeagol is a criminal. The ring is Gollum’s sole purpose of living ever since he was Smeagol. Gollum takes Sam and Frodo to Mordor, with shady intentions. He is usually looking for a chance to pilfer the rung, but appears at times to be a faithful servant. His desire for the ring leads to its destruction and his death at Mount Doom. Gollum’s identity is tied with the ring, and he is always its victim. 

Also Read: Most Powerful Marvel Character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Ranked

2. Sauron


Sauron, the second Dark Lord, created the Rings of Power to conquer Middle-earth in revenge for the death of his master. However, he was defeated in the Second Age by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. He then rested and recovered for centuries until he was permanently beaten in the War of the Ring.

3. Aragorn (Played by Viggo Mortensen)

At the beginning of the trilogy, this character has an assumed identity – he is a ranger called a Strider, despite being the rightful king of Gondor. He is the heir to the throne of Gondor. The weak state of the kingdoms of men is revealed because Aragorn isn’t on the throne. He is a great leader with a clean heart, quite unaffected by any desire for the ring, and always ensuring the fellowship’s survival even if it means getting hurt in the process. He is in love with Arwen, the elf princess, fighting for her survival and so that the ring is successfully returned to Mordor. He is okay with asserting his royal identity, but declares himself king of Gondor only when, in The Return of the King, he speaks to the men of the mountain. Aragorn grows into a worthy leader by the time he is crowned king once the last movie is over. 

4. Gandalf (Played by Ian McKellen)

Gandalf is a grandfatherly wizard, the first to figure out the dangers of the ring that is in Bilbo’s possession, his knowledge setting the entire trilogy in motion. He picks the taciturn Frodo to bear the ring and the clumsy Sam to be Frodo’s protector, with the hobbits seeming like unlikely choices in a dicey mission. Gandalf has a lot of wisdom and insights into men and hobbits alike, seeing potential where others don’t. He might be affable, deliberate and slow but he is a very skilled fighter. His war with Saruman and in the Moria mines are stuff of legend. While everyone assumes Gandalf dead in this battle, he returns, transformed from a greying wizard into a white one. Often capricious, he is quite worried about middle earth’s fate, and always ready to take up arms for its safety. Once the trilogy ends, he goes with Frodo, Bilbo and the elves, for immortality. Even though Gandalf may appear human, he has always been a little offbeat and a little better than any man could be.

Also Read: Most Powerful Avenger: Who is the Strongest Avenger in the MCU

5. Galadriel (Played by Cate Blanchett)

Morfydd Clark (Galadriel)

Galadriel is an elf queen also called the Lady of the Woods. She is the leader of the Sylvian elves, offering spiritual help to Frodo, providing counsel and giving him good vibes during the dark days of his quest. She provides him with a star of light which is important to Frodo when he gets cheated by Gollum and trapped in the webs of the spider Shelob.

6. Arwen (Played by Liv Tyler)

Arwen has to make a choice, between the immortal life of the elves and a mortal life with the love of her life, Aragorn. She could be an elf princess or Aragorn’s future queen. She chooses Aragorn, going against her father’s wishes, and also motivates Elrond to stay in Middle-earth till its future is secure. As the series winds down, the marries Aragorn, becoming queen of middle earth. 

7. Legolas (Played by Orlando Bloom)

Legolas is a boyish elf, however, his skill with archery is unmatched, with his kill number constantly higher than Gimli. Just like his dwarf friend, he is a courageous and loyal member of the fellowship of the ring. Legolas is a Sindar Elf of the Woodland Realm, and one of the 9 members of the Fellowship who want to destroy the One Ring. 

8. Bilbo (Played by Ian Holm)

He possesses the ring when the story starts, and is Frodo’s uncle. A playful old hobbit, he covets the ring a lot and is relentless in its pursuit. He has unsettled feelings that show that carrying the ring is a great burden and that Frodo is in for a lot of trouble. Bilbo never figures out that his ring is the one of power. Just like Frodo and Gandalf, he is asked to depart with the elves at the end of The Return of the King. 

Also Read: Oscar Winning Movies: Top 15 Best Picture Winners of all Time, Ranked

9. Frodo (Played by Elijah Wood)

Frodo would win if there were a poll for the most popular character in Lord of the Rings. He is the ring-bearer and the story’s protagonist, a young hobbit chosen by Gandalf, the wizard, to return the ring to Mordor. Offering terrible temptation to anyone who comes close, the ring is a powerful object, and even occasionally, Frodo succumbs to its power; he shows a lot of strength. But he can’t simply let go when it comes to dropping the ring into Mount Doom. The ring is torn loose in Frodo’s fight with Gollum and falls into a fiery pit of lava. Frodo can’t adjust to life in the Shire when he returns. He is like his uncle Bilbo, a former ring owner who is always restless. The ring hugely impacts Frodo, turning him into something extraordinary. He becomes a legend, leaving the land of mere mortals for an immortal life with the elves. Frodo successfully returns the ring to Mordor and is a reserved, ineffective, and physically small fighter. 

10. Éomer (Played by Karl Urban)

The leader of the riders of Rohan and Theoden’s nephew is an important character in the series. The Riders of Rohan serve as cavalry to the army of Gondor, battling against Motdor. The name Eomer comes from Beowulf, and he is the son of Theodwyn and Eomund. After his parents died, he and his sister Eowyn were adopted by Theoden, king of the Rohirrim. 

11. Saruman (Played by Christopher Lee)

Saruman is a sorcerer who teams up with Sauron. He is Gandalf’s former friend but has been tempted by evil. Staying at Orthanc, his mighty tower, he unleashes countless Uruk-hai, monsters that terrorise middle-earth. He is also known as Saruman the White, the first of the emissaries of Valar dispatched to middle-earth in the Third Age to assist with countering the returned Sauron. 

Also Read: DC Movies List: How to Watch all DC Movies in Chronological Order

12. Éowyn (Played by Miranda Otto)

She is Eomer’s sister and Theoden’s niece, who has been adopted by the latter after her parent’s death. She loves Aragorn, but he doesn’t return it. Eowyn rides into battle with Merry and kills the witch-king despite being commanded by Theoden not to do so. 

13. Elrond (Played by Hugo Weaving)

Elrond is Arwen’s father and the Ruler of the Rivendell elves. All he wants is for his elf subjects to remain safe, even though he agrees with the goal of the fellowship. The elves have to make a choice. They may leave middle-earth for immortal life or can postpone their departure and help in the war against Sauron. Because he was with Isildur when the king failed to destroy the ring of power, Elrond doesn’t have a high opinion of men. Hence he is reluctant to help in the war against Sauron just for this reason and because he is scared for Arwen’s life. Finally, he joins the ancient alliance of elves and men, sends an army for Rohan’s defence, and reforges Isildur’s sword for Aragorn. 

14. Gimli (Played by John Rhys-Davies)

This bearded, axe-wielding warrior dwarf is a courageous and faithful member of the fellowship of the ring. He is the son of Gloin, and represents the race of Dwarves being a member of the Fellowship of the ring. He is one of the primary characters in the story and during the course of adventure, ,he helps Frodo, participates in the War of the Ring, and becomes good friends with Legolas. 

15. Sam (Played by Sean Astin)

Frodo’s best friend and constant companion is Sam, whose job is literally to carry Frodo as he struggles up Mount Doom. A loyal friend, he is as committed as Frodo is to returning the ring and keeping the Shire safe. Sam is the only one immune to the ring’s call. He carries the ring briefly and would have completed the mission if required. When the four hobbits return to the Shire at the end of The Return of the King, Sam emerges from Frodo’s shadow. He’s been dreaming about a woman, approaches her, and they get married. He soon becomes a father of two with a cute house and garden. Back in the Shire, Sam thrives, but Frodo doesn’t. Sam is a pure soul, his life represents mortal life lived to the fullest, and he wants to thrive in the present. 

16. Boromir (Played by Sean Bean)

Boromir is the heir to the steward of Gondor. He is a victim of desire for the ring more than any other fellowship member. By the end of Fellowship of the Ring, he pounces on Frodo to try and wrest the ring from him. He goes on to attempt a coverup for this slip by battling the oncoming army of Uruk-hai. He dies in battle, but because of his bravery, other members of the fellowship survive. 

17. Faramir (Played by David Wenham)

He is the steward of Gondor, and the younger son of Denethor. Sadly, he’s always in the shadow of his older brother Boromir, who happens to be their father’s favourite. Upon learning that Sam and Frodo have the ring, he wants to bring them to Gondor, under the impression that the ring will assist in protecting the kingdom. Later he changes his plan, setting the two hobbits free. He fights valiantly against Sauron’s army, even riding into a difficult battle to impress his father. He barely survives and his father comes close to burning him alive on a funeral pyre. 

18. Denethor (Played by John Noble)

Denethor is also called the steward of Gondor, its ruler without a proper king. Becoming corrupt and weak-minded, Denethor is loath to give up power if the actual king returns. Boromir’s death has left a lasting impact on him, and he metes out cruelty to his second son Faramir, sending him off into an unwinnable battle. Post Faramir’s return, unconscious but alive, Denethor is hell-bent on saying that his son is dead and builds a funeral pyre. Faramir is saved by Pippin and Gandalf, and Denethor burns alone. 

19. Haldir (Played by Craig Parker)

Haldir is the son of Halmir of Brethil. Becoming Chieftain of the Haladin in Brethil for a while during his adulthood. Married to Gloredhel of the House of Hador, he has a son named Handir. During Hurin’s and Huor’s childhood years, he fostered them. Along with the rest of his kin, he marched in the support of the Union of Maedhros, and was killed in the Nírnaeth Arnoediad together with the majority of the Men of Brethil. Upon hearing of his death, his wife fell into grief and then died. His son Handir then became the Chieftain of the Haladin. 

20. Wormtongue (Played by Brad Dourif)

The slimy, evil Wormtongue is Saruman’s disciple. Evil but weak, he is an advisor to the ageing and ailing Theoden, taking advantage of the senile king to put forward his own agenda. He soon wields power in Rohan and banishes Eomer, Theodore’s nephew. Soon he himself gets banished when Saruman’s spell on Theoden is broken and the latter sees Wormtongue for the evil that he is. 

That does it for the characters of Lord of the Rings. Which one is your favourite?