Who Lives in Tolkien's Middle-earth? - dummies

By Greg Harvey

Part of The Origins of Tolkien’s Middle-earth For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From heart-warming hobbits to chilling Ringwraiths, the diverse and wonderful characters that populate the many lands and worlds of Middle-earth reveal J.R.R. Tolkien’s genius at its finest. Note: Characters in bold type are members of the Fellowship of the Ring.


Bilbo Baggins: “Uncle” to Frodo, finds Sauron’s One Ring of Power in Gollum’s lair under Misty Mountains

Frodo Baggins: “Nephew” and heir to Bilbo, bearer of the Sauron’s One Ring of Power, takes up quest to destroy the Ring at Mount Doom

Gollum/Sméagol: Murdered friend to gain One Ring of Power, leads Frodo and Sam to Mordor, perishes with the Ring

Merry Brandybuck: Friend to Frodo, squire to King Théoden, slays the Lord of the Ringwraiths

Pippin Took: Second cousin to Frodo, serves in court of Denethor (Steward of Gondor), becomes Thain of the Shire

Samwise Gamgee: Faithful servant and friend to Frodo all the way to Mount Doom, becomes Mayor of the Shire


Aragorn: Heir to throne of Gondor and Arnor, raised by Elrond, wed to Arwen, also known as Strider and Elessar

Boromir: Son of Denethor (Steward of Gondor), headstrong brother of Faramir

Éowyn: Niece of Théoden, Shield-Maiden of Rohan, wed to Faramir

Faramir: Brother of Boromir, Ranger of Ithilien, wed to Éowyn

Théoden: King of Rohan, uncle of Éowyn, leads Battle of Helm’s Deep


Arwen: Daughter of Elrond, wed to Aragorn, Queen of Reunited Kingdom, gives up immortality

Elrond: Father of Arwen, Master of Rivendell, chooses immortality

Fëanor: Legendary creator of Tengwar writing script, the palantíri, and the Silmaril jewels

Galadriel: Queen of Lothlorien, keeper of Nenya, the Elven-Ring of Water

Legolas: Son of Thranduil (king of the Woodland Realm in Mirkwood Forest), friend to Gimli the Dwarf


Gimli: Son of Glóin, friend to Legolas the Elf, preserves Glittering Caves

Thorin Oakenshield: Leader of Dwarves in retrieving rightful treasure from Smaug the dragon

Wizards and Divinities

Ainur: “The Holy Ones,” powerful angelic beings who live in the Blessed Realm of Aman

Eru Ilúvatar: “The One All-father,” Creator of Middle-earth and rest of Arda

Gandalf the Grey: One of the Maiar, sent as wizard to Middle-earth to help the free peoples in struggle against Sauron, becomes Gandalf the White

Maiar: The “Lesser” of the Holy Ones, deities who serve higher deities

Saruman the White: Wizard and once leader of Gandalf’s order, betrays free peoples of Middle-earth, enters into allegiance with Sauron


Balrog: Powerful demon of fire, battles Gandalf in Moria

Melkor/Morgoth: Most powerful of the Ainur, destroyed the Two Lamps and the Two Trees, tutored Sauron in evil

Ringwraiths: Ghouls who serve Sauron, once lords of Men, also called Nazgûl

Sauron: One of the Maiar, Enemy of Middle-earth, served Melkor, forges One Ring of Power to rule over free peoples

Smaug: Last of the fire-breathing dragons of Middle-earth, jealously hoards the Dwarves’ treasure under the Lonely Mountain