Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Top 10 Characters Who Deserve More Credit

When you think of the heroes of The Lord of the Rings, you think of Frodo, Aragorn, Sam, and Gandalf, right?  This is a list of heroes from The Lord of the Rings who deserve way more credit than we normally give them.

#10: Gollum

It's all too easy to put Gollum in a box and label him based on how he ended; in treachery, thievery, and lies.  But it's also important to remember that, without Gollum, there is likely only a small chance Frodo and Sam ever would have made it into Mordor "safely".  Though his intentions may not have been pure and though he may have ended in hatred, there is no doubt that Gollum really is important to the story and deserves a bit of thanks for his unwilling help.

#9: Boromir

Boromir actually does a lot to help the Fellowship, not only by saving Merry and Pippin which is his obvious contribution, but other, smaller things along the way.  Like Gollum, he is often remembered by the things he failed to do right (i.e. attacking Frodo on Amon Hen).  Boromir significantly aided the Fellowship in their crossing of Caradhras by wading through the snow (waist deep!) so that the Hobbits could walk behind him safely.  Talk about taking one for the team! 

He was also an invaluable help in battle before his final fight and surely helped the team.  He may have been proud and a bit vain, but in the end he still did a lot of helpful things.  Finally, Boromir is one of the most heroic members of the Fellowship because he had the courage to admit he had failed to Aragorn as he was dying, and was therefore forgiven.  As Aragorn says, "few have so conquered."

#8: Tom Bomadil

I always write Tom off as the "weird guy from the beginning of the Fellowship who doesn't belong and sings odd songs".  Sometimes this blinds me to the fact that without Tom Bombadil, the quest would have failed before it had even begun!  He saved Merry and Pippin twice, and Frodo and Sam each once.  He gave the Hobbits ponies, sleep, food, and directions so they could make it to Rivendell.  He was one of the only characters to give up the Ring willingly which is pretty heroic if you ask me.

#7: Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth

Prince Imrahil came to Gondor's aid when they needed it most, and came without reserve.  During the Siege of Gondor, he met the armies of Mordor with knights and several hundred warriors prepared to give their all to protect their sister city of Gondor.  Imrahil took command when Faramir and Denethor were out of commission and had the foresight to give the power to Gandalf, who led the armies in battle.  Imrahil also was the first to notice that Eowyn was still alive on the battle field and brought her to the Houses of Healing.  Without Imrahil's intercession, Eowyn would have surely died on the field!  Imrahil went on to fight at the doors of Mordor and anyone willing to go on that "hopeless" mission is truly a hero!

#6: Theoden

There is no denying that without Theoden the Battle of the Pelennor Fields would have surely failed.  But without his judgement and willingness to ride out and face his enemy in battle as he does before Helm's Deep and again before Gondor, the armies of Rohan surely would not have fared as well.  He is truly the picture of a courageous and effective king.

#5: Isildur

Like Boromir and Gollum, Isildur encountered significant roadblocks in his journey which tainted his heroism, especially when he refused to destroy the Ring.  In Isildur's defense, he took the Ring because it was customary to take the possessions of your Enemy in payment for the lives they have taken (since Sauron killed Isildur's brother and father).  No doubt it was unwise to take the Ring, but he had a reason.

Isildur nonetheless was able to conquer Sauron with the Ring!  This is no small feat considering it was such a challenge to defeat a balrog, the Witch-king, and Sauron without the Ring even for the Fellowship.  Sauron with the Ring was much more powerful than any of those obstacles the Fellowship faced!

#4: The Hobbits of the Shire

The Hobbits of the Shire are seriously epic when it comes to protecting their homeland!  When Saruman took over in the Scouring the Shire, groups of them teamed up to get rid of the evil!  These are Hobbits that had probably never left the Shire or had any experience fighting, and yet they still stood up in defense of their land and their people.  Good for you, Hobbits!

#3: Glorfindel

Ever since his exclusion from the movie, Glorfindel has never gotten enough credit.  First off, he killed a balrog single-handedly in Gondolin, and even when he had died and gone to the Halls of Mandos (which were probably pretty nice for him since he had been such a great Elf in his lifetime), he chose to go back to Middle-earth to help out other Elves. 

He was reincarnated into the Glorfindel we know and love from The Fellowship of the Ring.  His impressive High-Elven powers and courage in chasing the Ringwraiths is often taken for granted.  The truth is that Glorfindel is absolutely amazing and I may or may not have a crush on him.

#2: Treebeard and the Ents

Taking out Saruman was one of the most important things that happened in the Two Towers, and without the Ents it would never have been possible.  Here's looking at you, Treebeard and Co.

#1: Lobelia Sackville-Baggins

Lobelia often gets a bad rep for trying to steal things from the Baggins and wishing Bilbo was dead.  But though she has her faults, she repents and in the end is a very generous and respectable Hobbit.  During the Scouring of the Shire, she is very brave and out-spoken about Saruman's evil doings, which was certainly not easy to be out-spoken about.

Her poor son Lotho is killed (and most-likely eaten by Wormtongue) during the occupation and she herself is thrown into a cruel prison.  She emerges a changed Hobbit and gives her wealth away to Hobbits who had lost things during the Scouring and cares for the poor.  Quite heroic, and she never gets any credit!

By the way, I just posted my book review of Because God is Real in the Book Nook section.  Now that I have it sorted out in a better way, I will be posting more book reviews there (each time I finish a book, in fact) so keep an eye on the Currently Reading photo on the side and when it changes you'll know there is a new review (or will be one shorty) in the Book Nook section.  Give the page a visit and let me know what you think!


  1. You make some interesting points about some characters that I've often overlooked myself. I'm guilty of being rather Frodo-centric . . . Well, he's my favorite, so I have to defend him against the unfair accusation that he "failed."

    But anyway, you're exactly right about Lobelia Sackville-Baggins! I'm going to pay more attention to her the next time I read ROTK. The same goes for Prince Imrahil - I forgot that he finds Eowyn on the battlefield.

    Yay for the hobbits of the Shire! I love how they rally together to protect their homeland. The whole Scouring of the Shire initially took me by surprise (I didn't expect the story to continue for so long after the climax at Mt. Doom), but now I'm so glad it's there. It gives all the hobbits a chance to shine as they do their share to fight for their little corner of Middle-earth.

    Oh, and Borormir! Yes, he certainly deserves more credit for his heroic deeds. He has his flaws, but he also has a vital role in the Fellowship. And it takes great courage and humility to confess to Aragorn.

    Even Gollum has his part, despite his questionable motives for guiding Frodo and Sam. If Frodo can acknowledge that, we should, too:).

    - Ellen Gianna

    1. Thank you!

      There are a lot of small things like that I forget as well.

      I agree wholeheartedly--it really gave them an opportunity to use the skills they had acquired and defend their people.

      Definitely, I really admire Boromir for being willing to apologize.

      Very true!

      Thanks for commenting :)

  2. Lobelia's son Lotho is killed and possibly eaten, not her husband.

    1. Whoopsie-daisy...I knew something seemed a bit off. I'll go change that. Thanks for pointing it out!

  3. It's slightly weird to think of lovely Imrahil as a swashbuckling warrior, and then have to see him as Eomer's father in law.

    1. And also I don't like it when people get all mad about Gollum "leading them to Shelob" because whatever his intentions were, it really was the only way they were going to get to Mordor.

    2. Yeah, it does age him a bit. But Imrahil had some Numenorian blood, so his life span was naturally longer and he could keep fighting even when he was older.

      Well I think Gollum intentionally put them in a spot (and then abandoned them) that he knew would spell trouble for Frodo and Sam. It was probably the only way into Mordor, but Gollum could have at least helped them instead of leaving them! I see what you mean, though; there aren't many "safe" ways into Mordor after all!