Who's your favorite Lord of the Rings character?

This is a poll about the novel, not the movie. Please answer only if you’ve read the novel. Lots of these characters were omitted from the movie, and if you answered on the basis of only seeing the movie, it would skew the answers away from the novel. Who do you like the best?

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Gandalf. I’m glad to be the first to vote for him. :slight_smile:

Probably Sam.

I read an essay online somewhere that said Tolkien presented many different kinds of “hero” in LOTR. Aragorn is more the classical hero of myth, who was born to be one.

Frodo and Sam, the writer went on to say, seemed to be modeled after the types of soldiers Tolkien saw in the Great War. Frodo did what needed to be done up to a point, but was broken by it, like many of those soldiers were.

Sam, on the other hand, was like many of the farmers or villagers Tolkien saw drafted as soldiers–unassuming, simple, but rose to the occasion when duty demanded and were capable of great courage and loyalty.

So it is with Sam. To protect his dear friend Frodo and the Shire he loves, he faces up to the worst of the worst and comes through when Frodo is broken.

ETA: Here’s the essay I was referencing.

Yes! I completely agree. In fact, he was probably the main reason I made this poll, so I could vote for him. My other faves are Éowyn and Galadriel, and after some hesitation I added Goldberry.

Sauron. It’s a pretty dull story without him.

He doesn’t do much on the actual pages; for the novel’s purpose he’s just the archetypal off-screen menace (so to speak). Could be anyone, really.

Yeah, but still…

Can Radagast even be considered a character in the Trilogy? Does he actually appear other than being referenced by someone else?

When I read the books, Aragorn was my favorite character.

The lembas pie link is broken.

How can Shadowfax possibly be a favorite character? I mean, he’s significant as horse-kings go, but he’s just a way for Gandalf to get from point A to B faster than everyone else.

Anyway, I’m a little surprised to see I’m the first vote for Gollum. It’s the presence of that character in particular that made the Lord of the Rings stand out to me among other epic fantasy. Gollum cannot be pinned down as either good or bad. You have to feel some sympathy for him, given the way he’s been caught up and tormented by forces beyond his comprehension, but you can’t like him too much because he’s still a back-stabbing little sneak who started off by strangling his brother and ended up selling Frodo out to the nearest giant spider. Failure to show mercy to Gollum would have doomed the quest and yet Gollum’s pivotal role in fulfilling the quest was an accidental outcome of his treachery.

I also voted for Gandalf as “bad-ass character I’d most like to have a beer with,” for Faramir because his ability to pass the ring along puts him and Sam in a class of their own, and for the Balrog because, back in the day, I wasted way too many hours staring at black and white ASCII dungeons trying to kill him.

What about Fredegar Bolger? :mad:You include the likes of Lobelia (who, surely, nobody will vote for), minor characters like Rosie, and Radagast, who does not even appear in the narrative, yet exclude Fredegar, who risked the wrath of the Nazgul to make the ring’s escape from the Shire possible?

It’s fattism, I tell you!

After playing LOTRO I gained much respect for Halbarad, and he didn’t even make your list. :frowning:

Arwen’s Rescue has the best music, but Galadriel’s Staircase tends to pay off better. The slot machine’s a wash, so I’m voting for the Ballhog from Bored of the Rings.

Agreed that Fredegar should never have been omitted.

Neither should the Old Gaffer have been left out, neither!

Tough question to answer. For one thing, there are different types of “favorites” to choose from: who would you want to be, who would you want to have a beer with, who would you like to read more about, who do you respect the most, etc. For another, each time I read the book, I find new things to like about different characters, and my feelings broaden, deepen, and shift.

All that aside, I voted for Pippin. I always seemed to identify with him the most. In the novel. Not the fool of a Took in the film.

I answered Bill the Pony, only somewhat facetiously. He was so important to Sam, who was clearly the hero of the story.

But in truth I can’t pick one favorite. I so thoroughly enjoy almost every character in the novels, it’s just possible to choose. It’d be easier to list those characters who are my least favorite!

A few informal thoughts:

Aragorn–such an obvious choice. A little too good, though his introspection and self-criticism redeem his Mary Sue qualities.

Faramir–a very good choice, and part of the best interludes in the novels. Which leads to:

Éowyn–maybe my likeliest choice, were I forced to make one. I don’t know why I identify with her, but I do.

Merry & Pippin–so much more believable and likable in the novels than the movies. Their great loyalty was probably as deep as Sam’s, but they proved it in different ways.

Sam–the true Hero.

Gandalf–of course everyone loves Gandalf.

Galadriel–too distant and impossible, like reaching for a distant star.

Denethor–yeah, he’s awesome. What terrific redemption for a real hero.

Gimli & Legolas–don’t really accomplish all that much, other than their very entertaining game of who killed more orcs and abiding friendship.

But really, my favorite character has to be Bill Ferny. What a guy. :stuck_out_tongue:

When I read LOTR for the first time I was eleven. I had an absolute crush on Aragorn, secondarily on Faramir (who comes off much more nobly in the books than the film). I identified most strongly with Eowyn – partly because of the horses, my twin interests were LOTR and horses. By age thirteen my friends and I were signing our names in runes. This was eons ago, in a past lost in mist.

As an aging grown up I now find Frodo the most interesting, and read Tolkien for his Christian motifs, of which I was utterly unaware at eleven.

I voted for Lobelia. She went up against Sharkey & Co with just her umbrella. Tough old bird.

That’s why I included her. She started out highly unsympathetic* but redeemed herself in the end with an impressive bit of hobbity heroism.

**Lobelia *is the botanical genus of an emetic herb. Also known as puke-weed.

As for Fredegar and Hamfast, well, that’s why I left an opening for “Other,” 'cause I knew I probably wasn’t including everybody’s favorites. Those two are pretty good choices, I admit.