The legacy of the Lord of the Rings will be renowned for the impact it had on the landscape of fantasy fiction. Part of the reason this epic is such a classic is down to the cast of characters making up the fellowship of the ring. These nine companions face the insurmountable task of leading the one ring to the heart of Mount Doom. Following the tragic loss of one of their companions, the fellowship find themselves scattered across the lands of Middle-Earth. Based on their contribution to the events of the movies, this is how one writer would rank the members of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Gimli proved himself to be a loyal ally and formidable warrior. Representing the dwarves, his role in the fellowship was that of a seasoned warrior. However, his stubbornness often landed them in some trouble, and let’s not forget that it was he who suggested they venture through Moria, a path with deadly consequences for the fellowship. Despite this, Gimli did provide some much-needed moments of levity and his friendship with Legolas was one of the most entertaining dynamics throughout the franchise.
Representing his elven kin, Legolas, like Gimli provided some manpower to the fellowship. Legolas is also a seasoned warrior, and his grace in battle is a valuable asset to the men of Rohan and Gondor. His elven senses were also valuable in tracking the enemy allowing their allies to prepare for the battle ahead. Carrying the strength of one another in their darkest hour, the friendship between Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn inspired loyalty and hope throughout Middle-Earth.
Considering his fate, you may wonder why Boromir ranks above Legolas and Gimli. His sacrifice had a profound effect on the entire fellowship, but for Pippin and Merry, this moment reminded them of the mortality of men. His sacrifice undoubtedly influenced the choices made by the hobbits later in the franchise, as the passing of their friend made them understand the urgency of their quest. The extended edition of the trilogy also gave us further insight into the man living with the looming threat of Mordor on his very doorstep. These scenes gave us a better understanding of how Boromir became susceptible to the wills of the ring, reminding us of its manipulative power. Trying to take the ring from Frodo was not his finest hour, but he paid the price with his life. Boromir was noble at heart, but his moment of weakness proved costly to the fellowship.
Some will argue against Pippin’s position on the list, but while his dimwitted actions often led to peril and conflict, his maturity led to a series of small and profound gestures of loyalty and strength. His defining moments came in the Return of the King as he finds himself at the heart of the war in Gondor. Understanding the gravity of their position, Pippin made the perilous climb to light the beacons, carrying a message to their allies in alerting Rohan, calling them into action. We cannot forget that he also saved Faramir from Denethor’s madness. Pippin may have been a nuisance at the start of this quest, but his maturity highlights his noble heart.
Wiser than Pippin, Merry proved early on that he could be resourceful and reliable, aiding Frodo on his journey to Bree. Upon joining the fellowship, Merry understood the gravity of their quest and kept Pippin in line following his foolish actions. His place may not be in war, but when the need arose, Merry stood strong alongside Eowyn and the men of Rohan. He also deserves credit for taking down the Witch-King of Angmar, the strongest of the Nazgul. Time and again hobbits prove that simple acts of courage can carry you throughout the darkest times, demonstrating their heroic qualities with their loyalty and heart.
Gandalf was the mentor providing insightful words of wisdom at our hero’s time of need. Many will make a case for Gandalf to be higher in the ranking, but the fact of the matter is Gandalf was never meant to be the hero of the story. His role on the journey was that of a guide, spurring our heroes on this perilous path. Gandalf is the voice of reason, the negotiator between the men of Middle-Earth, and an additional source of strength when facing the armies of Mordor. Yes, Gandalf is a crucial member of the fellowship, but this was never his tale.
Frodo might not be your favourite character, but he did what no man could do before him, walked straight into the heart of Mount Doom and destroyed the one ring that, for so long, corrupted the hearts of men. It was Frodo, a simple hobbit, that bore the weight of the ring, and carried it through mines, marshes, and enemy lines. He kept true to his heart all the while resisting that same darkness that drove its previous bearers to madness. Never underestimate the sheer will it took for Frodo to carry the ring for as long as he did.
Aragorn undergoes quite the transformation on this journey. Introduced as Strider, his heroic journey sets him on the path to become the leader he was destined to be. Aragon always displayed a natural leadership, inspiring loyalty from elves, dwarves, and men alike. His skills in battle, his valour, wisdom, and compassion make him a worthy king. This franchise is as much about Aragorn’s journey as it is about the ring-bearer, with the fractured alliances among men allowing the darkness of Mordor to manipulate men of all rank. Without Aragorn, that fragile alliance would crumble. It is his leadership quality that ignites that spark of hope in a conflict that vastly outnumbers them.
Without Sam, Frodo would never have made it to Mount Doom. The choice to join the company on this perilous journey was not driven by duty, but of friendship. These hobbits willingly chose to become an active player in the fate of the world of men. Sam is as loyal as it gets, and even in their darkest moments, never leaves Frodo’s side. In the Two Towers, it was his moving speech that reminds Frodo of the strength in holding onto the good in the world. Sam never forgets his roots, knowing that should they fail, even the Shire will fall into the darkness. It’s Sam that warns Frodo of Gollums villainy and Sam who rescues Frodo from the Tower of Cirith Ungol. He is the silent hero that carries Frodo, literally and metaphorically, throughout the franchise. His quiet strength is a firm reminder of the courage found in the most unconventional heroes.
How would you rank the fellowship?
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