The Lord of the Rings series holds a special place in the hearts of storytellers and story lovers alike. It follows the classic “hero’s journey” arc, but does so in such a fantastic and mystical way that inspires people from every background to flock to the books and the films over and over.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s work is famous for it’s detail, with multiple fictional languages, never-ending character ancestry, and maps that present not only Middle Earth itself, but that show minute details about every location listed. Sometimes all of the character names can get a little confusing, but their substance is often obvious, with minor characters meaning much more to the story than you would have ever expected.
There are also the characters that pop up just for the sake of popping up, and fans adore them just the same. Frodo and The Fellowship may have made the story possible, but it wouldn’t be the same without appearances from some of these fan favorites.
Glorfindel’s accomplishments reach far beyond, and before, his arrival to Middle Earth, but his short time alongside the Fellowship was indeed important to their journey. In Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, we see Arwen of Rivendell come to the aid of Frodo and friends after a Ringwraith attack, when in fact Tolkien had written elven warrior Glorfindel as the hero of that particular moment.
The hobbits came across the enigmatic Tom Bombadil after Merry and Pippin got themselves capture by Old Man Willow, and Tom, keeper of The Old Forest, came to their rescue. A talented spellbreaker, Tom Bombadil saved the hobbits yet again as they tried to continue on with their journey after a few comfortable nights in his home, and then sent them off with a few songs in mind to help fight off other evils along their path.
Bill the Pony
Bill the pony is named after the man whom he was purchased from by Frodo during the hobbits’ trip to Bree and The Prancing Pony, Bill Ferny. Bill the pony traveled with The Fellowship all the way to Moria, during which time he grew from a scraggly old horse to a strong and loving pet to Sam. He returned to Bree after being sent home due to the impending danger of Moria, where Sam eventually reunited with Bill, and in the end the two of them rode off into the Grey Havens together alongside Frodo.
Poor, poor Haldir doesn’t actually do much in Tolkien’s book besides lead The Fellowship into Lothlorien and speak rudely towards Gimli as a reminder of the bad blood between elves and dwarves. Luckily for him, though, Peter Jackson and company took matters into their own hands and used him as a plot device in The Two Towers, giving Haldir a strong entrance to Helm’s Deep, and a sullen exit from the series as he fell in battle against the forces of Saruman.
Samwise Gamgee said it best when at the end of all things his only thoughts were of the fair and incomparable Rosie Cotton, “Rosie Cotton dancing. She had ribbons in her hair,” he said. “If ever I was to marry someone, it would’ve been her. It would’ve been her.” As if being the reason Sam pushed to return home as badly as he did wasn’t enough, when the hobbits did finally make it back to The Shire, their home was in danger, and Rosie and her family did all they could to bring it back to the Hobbiton we all know and love.
Though there isn’t a surefire canon name for Figwit (Aegnor? Lindir?), fans of the film series prefer to refer to him as “Frodo is great…who is that?”, or F.I.G.W.I.T. We first see him at The Council of Elrond where he sits in on the meeting, and we see him once or twice. Somehow, the fandom took to Figwit as an obsession, and his popularity continued to grow. Figwit makes another appearance in Return of the King, and again in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Fun Fact: New Zealand actor Bret Mckenzie of Flight of the Conchords portrays the character, making Figwit all the more special to fans of Conchords and LOTR alike.
Did we miss any of your favorite less-than-major characters from the series? List the minor characters you care most about in the comments below, or talk with me on Twitter @bekahbabble!
Featured Image Credit: New Line Cinema