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Manwë Súlimo is the leader of the Valar. He is the lord of air and sky. His wife is Varda. He lives on the mountain of Taniquetil in Valinor, which is far west of Middle-earth.
Melkor was originally the most powerful of the Valar, but he became evil. He was then named Morgoth (Sindarin: "Black Enemy"), and Morgoth Bauglir (Sindarin: "Oppressor"). Morgoth was the greatest enemy of all the peoples of Middle-earth during the First Age. He is the main villain of The Silmarillion.
Sauron is a Maia who became evil. He became the Dark Lord Morgoth's chief lieutenant. In the Second Age he disguised himself as Annatar and told the elves how to make the Rings of Power. He created the One Ring in the volcano Mount Doom, in his land Mordor. Since then he is the Lord of the Rings. He was killed in the Downfall of Númenor, but again took form in Mordor. He was again defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Later in the Third Age, Sauron again came to life, searching for the Ring, and starting the War of the Ring. Sauron was later defeated when the One Ring fell to the fires of Mount Doom with Gollum. Sauron is mentioned as the Necromancer in The Hobbit.
The Istari (Quenya: "Wise Ones"; singular: Istar) are a group of five Maiar. They came to Middle-earth in the Third Age, in the form of old human men. The names of the Istari are (in order of rank) Saruman the White, Gandalf the Grey, Radagast the Brown, Alatar the Blue and Pallando the Blue. The peoples of Middle-earth gave them many names, and called them "wizards".
'Gandalf the Grey is a main character in the books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In the Third Age Gandalf came to Middle-earth as one of the Istari (or wizards). He worked much to help in the destruction of the One Ring, and in the War of the Ring. Later in the Third Age during the War of the Ring, he was later reborn as Gandalf the White and succeeded Saruman as the head of the Istari order. Gandalf is also known by other names: Olórin, Mithrandir, Tharkûn, Incánus, Gandalf Stormcrow, Gandalf Greyhame, Láthspell, White Rider, The Grey Pilgrim, Old Greybeard, Gandalf the Wandering Wizard. Círdan gave Gandalf the Elven Ring Narya, the Ring of Fire, which he had been given by Gil-galad. At the end of the Third Age, Gandalf left Middle-earth for Valinor, together with the bearers of the other two Elven Rings and the Ring-bearers of the One Ring.
Saruman the White is a character in the book The Lord of the Rings. In the Third Age Saruman came to Middle-earth as one of the Istari. Saruman is also known as Curumo, Sharkey, Curunír, Saruman of Many Colours, The White Wizard and Saruman the Wise by Gandalf the Grey. Saruman was the leader of the wizards and the White Council that opposed the Dark Lord Sauron. Saruman allied Isengard with Mordor and created an army of 10,000 Uruk-hai and many Isengard who bore his white hand on their faces and armories. Saruman was later expelled from the Order of Istari as its head by Gandalf who broke his black staff of power leaving him powerless. He later managed to convince the Ents who held him captive into letting him leave Isengard after he met the conditions of handing over the Keys of Orthanc. He then went to the Shire, which his ally Lotho Sackville-Baggins had brought under control. He spent his final days as a small-time criminal master in Hobbiton known as Sharkey (from the Orkish Sharkû, meaning "old man"), until he was overthrown in the Battle of Bywater. In the aftermath of that battle Frodo confronted Saruman and exiled him from the Shire, but before he could leave, Gríma killed him by slitting his throat with a dagger, on the very doorstep of Bag End.
Radagast the Brown is a character in the book The Lord of the Rings. In the Third Age Radagast came to Middle-earth as one of the Istari. Radagast is also known as Aiwendil, Bird-Friend, Tender of Beasts, "the Birdtamer", "the Simple", and "the Fool". Radagast was a dweller in Rhosgobel with his animal friends. But, by the time of the War of the Ring, he was not a Rhosgobel dweller anymore. Later on Midsummer's Day, Radagast was sitting on the side of the Greenway with his horse near Bree when Gandalf found him on his way to the village. Radagast warned Gandalf that the Nazgûl were abroad, disguised as riders in black, and that they were seeking news of the Shire. He also gave him Saruman's invitation and agreed to help Gandalf by getting beasts and birds to send news to Orthanc. With that he rode away back towards Mirkwood. By sending Gandalf to Orthanc, Radagast unwittingly had him captured. Saruman's message proved to be a trap for Gandalf who was imprisoned in Orthanc, but still he did not believe that Radagast was also a part of Saruman's plans. Indeed, it was thanks to Radagast that Gandalf was able to escape from the pinnacle of Orthanc upon the wings of Gwaihir. Radagast's actions during and after the rest of the War are not recorded. After the Council of Elrond, many scouts were sent out from Rivendell to many different locations. Some passed over the Misty Mountains and eventually came to Rhosgobel, but they found that Radagast was not there. His fate after the War of the Ring is not known.
Alatar and Pallando
Alatar the Blue and Pallando the Blue are the Blue Wizards. They went into the east of Middle-earth. Little is known about them. Alatar was originally a Maia of Oromë the Huntsman named Morinehtar, and presumably lived in his forests on the continent of Aman, west of Middle-earth. The other servants of Oromë included Rómestámo (later Pallando), who was a friend of Morinehtar's, and whom he later chose to journey with him. At some point in the Second Age, around the forging of the Rings of Power, Mohrinehtar and Rómestámo were chosen to become the first of the Istari, and were sent to the East of Middle-earth to stir up rebellion against Sauron and assist the few tribes of Men who had refused to worship Morgoth in the First Age. Before he came to Middle-earth, Pallando was a Maia of Oromë the Huntsman. He was taken to Middle-earth at the bidding of Alatar, another Istar who took him as a friend. During the Third Age, the Valar selected Morinehtar, renamed Alatar, meaning "after-comer", and Pallando to be two of the five Maiar to travel from the Undying Lands to Middle-earth and serve as Istari wizards. Alatar, Curumo (Saruman the White) and Olórin (Gandalf the Grey) were assigned the objective of encouraging the peoples of Middle-earth to oppose Sauron. However, two more joined the original three Wizards and they became five. Aiwendil (Radagast the Brown) was chosen by Yavanna to travel with Curumo, and Alatar took Pallando the Blue as a companion. Upon arrival in Middle-earth, Alatar and Pallando were dressed in robes of sea-blue. Due to this, they were called the Blue Wizards (or Ithryn Luin, in Sindarin). With Saruman, they travelled east in an attempt to help free the last Men of Númenor, who were now Haradrim and Easterlings. Later, Saruman came back to the west alone. However, Alatar and Pallando were never seen again, and their ultimate fates are unknown. Pallando and Alatar (known as the Blue Wizards for their sea-blue robes) traveled to the east of Middle-earth with Curumo (Saruman the White) to aid some men and subdue others, primarily the Easterlings and Southrons who worshiped Sauron, and whose numbers were steadily increasing. Saruman later returned to the West, but Pallando along with Alatar stayed behind. Pallando and Alatar (known as the Blue Wizards for their sea-blue robes) traveled to the east of Middle-earth with Curumo (Saruman the White) to aid some men and subdue others, primarily the Easterlings and Southrons who worshiped Sauron, and whose numbers were steadily increasing. Saruman later returned to the West, but Pallando along with Alatar stayed behind.
Celebrían was the daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn. At the beginning of the Third Age she married Elrond Half-elven, and they had the twin sons Elladan and Elrohir, and their daughter Arwen. In 2509 T.A. Celebrían was captured by orcs, but she was rescued by her sons. The year after she left Middle-earth for Valinor.
Galadriel was the youngest child of Finarfin and Eärwen. She married Celeborn, and they had a daughter named Celebrían. In the Second and Third Age she ruled as Lady over the elven realm Lothlórien. Gil-galad gave Galadriel the Elven Ring Nenya, the Ring of Water. At the end of the Third Age, Galadriel left Middle-earth for Valinor, together with the bearers of the other two Elven Rings and the Ring-bearers of the One Ring.
Ereinion Gil-galad was the last High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth. He was the leader of the elves in the Last Alliance against Sauron, but was killed in the war at the end of the Second Age.
Haldir of Lórien
Haldir was an Elf of Lothlórien; he was guarding its northern borders. When the Fellowship of the Ring arrived in Lothlórien they met Haldir and his companions. Haldir then led the Fellowship to the city Caras Galadhon.
Legolas, son of Thranduil, is a main character in The Lord of the Rings. He is an elf from Mirkwood. He is a member of the Fellowship of the Ring. He is sometimes also called Legolas Greenleaf. During the Fellowship's journey, he made friends with the dwarf Gimli, despite the fact that dwarves and elves do not usually get along.
Thranduil, son of Oropher, was king of the elves of Mirkwood during the Third Age. He fought under the command of his father in the Last Alliance, but when Oropher was killed, Thranduil became king. Thranduil is the father of Legolas. In the book The Hobbit, Thranduil is only called the Elvenking. Thranduil also appears in The Lord of the Rings.
Elrond Peredhel ("Elrond Half-elven"), is the son of Eärendil and Elwing. In the Third Age, Elrond is the Lord of Rivendell, and an important and wise leader among the elves. Elrond appears in the books The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.
Elrond was a Half-Elf born at the end of the First Age, as the son of Eärendil and Elwing. His brother was Elros Tar-Minyatur, who chose to become a mortal human. In the Second Age Elrond founded Rivendell. Under the command of Gil-galad he fought in the Last Alliance against Sauron. At the beginning of the Third Age he married Celebrían, daughter of Galadriel, and they had the twin sons Elladan and Elrohir, and their daughter Arwen. Gil-galad gave Elrond the Elven Ring Vilya, the Ring of Air. At the end of the Third Age, Elrond left Middle-earth for Valinor, together with the bearers of the other two Elven Rings and the Ring-bearers of the One Ring.
Elros was the son of Eärendil and Elwing, and brother of Elrond. Elros and his brother were born at the end of the First Age. They were Half-Elven, and Elrond chose to be an elf, while Elros chose to become a mortal human. Elros became the first King of Númenor, and took the ruling name Tar-Minyatur. He died in 442 in the Second Age, at age 500. His son Vardamir Nólimon and his grandson Tar-Amandil became Kings after him.
Elladan and Elrohir
Arwen Undómiel ("Arwen Evenstar"), is the daughter of Elrond and Celebrían, granddaughter of Celeborn and Galadriel, youngest of Elrond and Celebrian's three half-Elven children and is one of the Half-Elven who lived during the Third Age. She is a character in The Lord of the Rings. At the end of the Third Age she falls in love with the human Aragorn. They marry after the War of the Ring. Arwen becomes Queen of Arnor and Gondor, and gives birth to her son Eldarion, and several daughters.
Elendil, son of Amandil, was the last Lord of Andúnië, and founder of Arnor. He was also known as Elendil the Tall and Elendil the Faithful. Elendil was born in Númenor, and became Lord of Andúnië after his father. He had two sons, Isildur and Anárion. After the destruction of Númenor, Elendil fled to Middle-earth. He and his ships landed in the northern part of Middle-earth, where he founded the realm of Arnor. Elendil led the humans in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men to fight Sauron. Elendil was killed by Sauron. His son Isildur and grandson Valandil became Kings of Arnor after him.
Isildur, son of Elendil, was the co-founder of Gondor. After the destruction of Númenor, Isildur and his brother Anárion fled to Middle-earth. They and their ships landed in the southern part of Middle-earth, where they founded the realm of Gondor. Isildur fought in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men under the command of his father Elendil. Isildur cut off the One Ring from Sauron's hand. Elrond and Círdan told Isildur to destroy the One Ring, but Isildur did not want to and kept it. It was decided that Isildur would rule the northern kingdom Arnor afer his father. When Isildur journeyed north, he and his company were attacked by Orcs. Isildur was killed and the One Ring was lost. His oldest sons Elendur, Aratan, and Ciryon were also killed. Isildur's youngest son Valandil became King of Arnor after him.
Anárion, son of Elendil, was the co-founder of Gondor. After the destruction of Númenor, the brothers Isildur and Anárion fled to Middle-earth. They and their ships landed in the southern part of Middle-earth, where they founded the realm of Gondor. Anárion fought in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men under the command of his father Elendil, and was killed. His son Meneldil became king of Gondor after him, while Isildur went to rule the northern kingdom Arnor.
Aragorn II, son of Arathorn, is a main character in The Lord of the Rings. He is the son of Arathorn II and Gilraen. After his father's death he becomes Chieftain of the Dúnedain. He is a member of the Fellowship of the Ring. After the War of the Ring, at the end of the book, Aragorn becomes King Elessar Telcontar of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor. Aragorn marries Arwen, and becomes the father of a son named Eldarion, and several daughters. His son Eldarion becomes king after him.
Boromir is a main character in The Lord of the Rings. Boromir is the son of Denethor II, the Steward of Gondor. Boromir led Gondor's soldiers in the fight against Sauron, before he went to Rivendell. He is a member of the Fellowship of the Ring. At Amon Hen, he goes slightly insane over the Ring. He dies after protecting Merry and Pippin from Saruman's Orcs.
Denethor II is the Steward of Gondor, and rules Gondor at the time of the War of the Ring. He married Finduilas of Dol Amroth, and is the father of Boromir and Faramir. During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields he goes insane and burns himself, thinking they would lose the war and get killed anyway.
Faramir son of Denethor II, brother of Boromir. Faramir also led Gondor's soldiers in the fight against Sauron's Orcs and Men, and did so often in Ithilien. He became Steward of Gondor after his father's death. After the War of the Ring, Aragorn made him Prince of Ithilien. He married Éowyn.
Éomer, son of Éomund, brother of Éowyn, was the nephew of King Théoden. In the War of the Ring, Éomer fought in the Battle of the Hornburg, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and the Battle of the Morannon. Éomer became the next King of the Rohirrim after Théoden.
Éowyn, daughter of Éomund, sister of Éomer, was the niece of King Théoden. With the help of the hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck, she killed the Witch-king of Angmar in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. After the War of the Ring she married Faramir, and became the Lady of Ithilien.
Gríma, son of Galmod, called Wormtongue, was at first servant of King Théoden. But then he secretly worked for Saruman. Gríma became Théoden's advisor, and worked to weaken him. When Gandalf made the King better, Gríma fled to Isengard. In the end, he goes with Saruman to the Shire. After the hobbit uprising, Gríma kills Saruman; Gríma is killed by hobbit archers.
Bard the Bowman
Bard the Bowman was a man from Lake-town. He was an archer. In The Hobbit he shoots the dragon Smaug and kills him. Afterwards, Bard becomes King of Dale, and old city at the foot of the Lonely Mountain that had been abandoned because of the dragon.
Balin son of Fundin
Dáin II Ironfoot
Glóin son of Gróin
Fíli and Kíli
Fíli and Kíli were the nephews of Thorin Oakenshield. They were the sons of Dís, Thorin's sister. They went with their uncle on the Quest of the Lonely Mountain, told in The Hobbit. They were killed in the Battle of Five Armies, while they were defending Thorin.
Thorin II Oakenshield
Thorin II Oakenshield, son of Thráin II, was leader of Durin's folk and King under the Mountain. He is the leader of the group that tries to take back the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit. He is wounded in the Battle of Five Armies and dies. Dáin II Ironfoot becomes King under the Mountain after him. Thorin has a sister, Dís, who has two sons Fíli and Kíli.
See also: Hobbit
Bilbo Baggins is a main character in the books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo goes on an adventure with the dwarves, the Quest of Erebor. During this journey he finds the One Ring. He also gets a small sword which he names Sting, and a small Mithril-shirt. Bilbo later adopts Frodo Baggins. On his 111th birthday, Bilbo leaves the Shire and goes to Rivendell, giving the Ring to Frodo. At the end of the Third Age, Bilbo left Middle-earth for Valinor, together with Frodo and the bearers of the Elven Rings.
Frodo Baggins is a main character in the book The Lord of the Rings. Frodo is adopted by his uncle Bilbo Baggins. He inherits Bilbo's home Bag End and the One Ring from Bilbo. Frodo is the Ring-Bearer and a member of the Fellowship of the Ring. With the Fellowship, Frodo goes on the quest to destroy the One Ring. At the end of the Third Age, Frodo left Middle-earth for the Undying Lands, together with Bilbo and the bearers of the Elven Rings.
Meriadoc Brandybuck, called Merry, is a main character in the book The Lord of the Rings. He is Frodo's cousin. He is a member of the Fellowship of the Ring. At the Battle of the Pelennor Fields he helps Éowyn kill the Witch-king of Angmar. He becomes a Knight of Rohan. After the war he marries Estella Bolger, and becomes Master of Buckland.
Samwise Gamgee, called Sam, is a main character in the book The Lord of the Rings. He is Frodo's gardener and servant. He is a member of the Fellowship of the Ring. When the Fellowship breaks at Amon Hen, Sam is the only one who goes on with Frodo on their journey to Mordor. If not for Samwise Gamgee, Frodo would not have made it into Mordor or destroyed the Ring. After the War of the Ring, Sam marries Rose Cotton and lives in Bag End.
Gollum is an important character in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Originally he was a hobbit named Sméagol, who found the One Ring after Isildur lost it. Gollum went to live under the Misty Mountains; there he kept the Ring for over 500 years, and in that time the Ring changed him to look less like a hobbit. He often called the Ring his "precious". Gollum lost the One Ring, which was then found by Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.
In The Lord of the Rings, it is told that after this Gollum left the Misty Mountains to search for the "thief Baggins" who had stolen his Ring. Sauron learned from Gollum that the One Ring was in the Shire and owned by a Baggins. Gollum was released by Sauron. Gollum then again went to search for his Ring. Gollum found the Fellowship in Moria and followed them. Frodo and Sam captured Gollum, and Gollum promised to lead them into Mordor. He later tried to trick them, leaving them with the spider Shelob. Gollum attacked Frodo on Mount Doom, and took back the Ring. But Gollum was careless and fell into the volcano, which killed him and destroyed the One Ring.
Ancalagon the Black is a dragon. He appears in the Silmarillion. Ancalagon was made by Morgoth, and was the biggest and most powerful of all dragons. He was killed by Eärendil, in the War of Wrath in the First Age. When he fell, he crushed the Towers of Thangodrim, heralding the end of Morgoth's tyranny.
Glaurung is a dragon. He appears in the Silmarillion. Glaurung was a dragon made by Morgoth. He was the first dragon ever created, and he was extremely powerful. He was killed in the First Age by Túrin Turambar.
Smaug is a dragon. He appears in The Hobbit. Smaug attacked the Lonely Mountain, killed the dwarves living there, and took their treasure and home. Later in the book Smaug was killed by Bard the Bowman.
The Nazgûl, Ringwraiths or Úlairi are servants of Sauron. They were human kings and leaders in the Second Age. Sauron gave to them nine of the Rings of Power. With time they became like undead ghosts. They are invisible, but their eyes can sometimes be seen as a red light. They wear black cloaks, and usually ride black horses. Later in the Lord of the Rings they ride winged creatures called "fell beasts". When riding a fell beast they are also called Winged Nazgûl.
Witch-king of Angmar
The Witch-king of Angmar, also known as Lord of the Nazgûl or the Black Captain is the leader of the Nazgûl. He was the commander of Minas Morgul. He was killed in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields by Éowyn and Meriadoc Brandybuck.
Khamûl is one of the Ringwraiths, and the only Ringwraith whose name is given by Tolkien. He was called the Black Easterling, and was the commander of the fortress Dol Guldur.
Treebeard is an Ent, a tree-like being. He and other Ents live in the forest Fangorn. In the War of the Ring Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took come to Fangorn and meet Treebeard. This causes the Ents to go out and fight against the wizard Saruman in his fortress Isengard. The Ents are accompanied by an army of Huorns (normal trees that have come alive). After Isengard is conquered, the Huorns go to Helm's Deep, to help the Rohirrim there fight and win against Saruman's army.
Characters from adaptations
There have been many adaptations of Tolkien's books, for example films like The Lord of the Rings movie series. In them characters appear that were newly created and are not in Tolkien's works.