Favorite Tolkien Characters!

From what we have heard in TABAgain, I think it is safe to assume that Alastair's favorite character is Faramir, with Sam as a very close second. That being said, I am curious about everyone else's favorite character! So what say you? To keep things interesting, let's not constrict this solely to The Lord of the Rings, but open it to the whole legendarium!

To get things started, if I had to pick one single character, I would say Faramir is my favorite. But that is a a really hard decision to make!

Comments

  • I'm going to cheat and pick one from The Lord of the Rings and one from The Silmarillion.
    • Gollum: for being malicious and vulgar and sad, yet sometimes placid and almost kind, while always pitiable. A remarkably complex character.
    • Finrod (whom the dwarves called 'Felagund'): for loving and honoring Men. Though High King of the Noldor, he was the first Elf to encounter Men, teaching them wisdom and art, much as the Valar had done for the Eldar. More remarkably, Finrod sacrificed his own life to aid the Man Beren in his quest for the Silmaril.
  • Gollum springs to my mind first, natch. Why did I start loving him 13 years ago? I’ve always been a pushover for redeemable villains and have rarely encountered an aquatic humanoid who I didn’t crush on. But Gollum was then, and thus remains, also a perfect storm of other alluring traits. The lonely underdog. The wild wanderer. Mysterious, malicious, mischievous, poetic, pleading, bitter, sorrowful, inquisitive, resilient. And in light of all those things, beautiful to my heart’s eye.  

    That's a summary. I could go on.

    But lately, I'm appreciating Sam more and more. His courage and determination in the face of absolute despair, his pragmatism, his poetry, his way of speaking truth to power, his wonder at the world. The sort of person I want to befriend, and in some ways want to be. It's so sad, though understandable, that he and Gollum were enemies.

  • I choose Sam. He exhibits all of the cardinal virtues as defined by St. Augustine in his Commentary on Luke; plug in Frodo for "that which is loved" here:

    Temperance is love giving itself entirely to that which is loved; fortitude is love readily bearing all things for the sake of the loved object; justice is love serving only the loved object, and therefore ruling rightly; prudence is love distinguishing with sagacity between what hinders it and what helps it.
  • I recently finished reading the Quenta Silmarillion for the first time and Fingolfin really stood out to me. I was struck by his calmness/coolness, especially juxtaposed to Feanor and his wrath. And the bit of irony that it was his wrath (and despair) that led to his eventual end (just like Feanor?). But what an end it was!

    Also, the image conjured by Fingolfin and his host coming down out of the Helcaraxë into Beleriand as the sun rose for the first time. That got me too...
  • edited February 2
    I recently finished reading the Quenta Silmarillion for the first time and Fingolfin really stood out to me. I was struck by his calmness/coolness, especially juxtaposed to Feanor and his wrath. And the bit of irony that it was his wrath (and despair) that led to his eventual end (just like Feanor?). But what an end it was!

    Also, the image conjured by Fingolfin and his host coming down out of the Helcaraxë into Beleriand as the sun rose for the first time. That got me too...
    Fingolfin! Though I'm still (more) partial to Finrod, I still get chills from this paragraph in the Quenta:
    [Fingolfin] passed over Dor-nu-Fauglith like a wind amid the dust, and all that beheld his onset fled in amaze, thinking that Oromë himself was come: for a great madness of rage was upon him, so that his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar. Thus he came alone to Angband's gates, and he sounded his horn, and smote once more upon the brazen doors, and challenged Morgoth to come forth to single combat. And Morgoth came.
    Image result for fingolfin vs morgoth

  • I would say Uinen for the Silmarillion, but she features in it very little, to my frustration. For more major characters, I'd say Ulmo. Or possibly Ungoliant. I like marine creatures and Big Eaters. 
  • I'm going to take a very different approach here and say Niggle is my favorite Tolkien character; in many ways he basically is the professor.

    But to go with the intent of the question, I think Sam the gardener is by far my favorite, though I also have a soft spot for Beorn.
  • It would be hard for me to pick just one.  As with many others here, the first that come to mind are Sam, Faramir, and Aragorn.  I always love the points in the books when Aragorn's nobility is revealed, if briefly.  Like when the approach the Argonath.

    But I would also echo GaalDornick and add Finrod.  And isn't it Finrod's ring that Aragorn wears?  Finrod gave it to Beren, and it was passed down to his heirs from then onward. 

    Another character from the Silmarilion that I would put out there is Turin Tourambar.  A very tragic character, and throughout his tale it always seems like just as he seems about to break the cycle he always manages to fall back, which is, of course, exactly as Morgoth wants it.
  • edited February 5
    @gamgees_taters These are all excellent choices, and Turin is a particularly heart-breaking one.

    Thank you also for echoing my choice Finrod. Yes Aragorn is given the Ring of Barahir by Elrond, which Finrod gave Barahir after Barahir saved Finrod's life. Upon Barahir's death, his son Beren inherited it, using it to signal to the Elves of Nargothrond that he was of the House of Barahir. It then passed to Beren and Luthien's son, Dior, the father of Eärendil and grandfather of Elrond.

    Finally, I beg everyone's pardon (!), I mistyped above. Finrod was King of Nargothrond but never High King of the Noldor.
  • Yes.  Barahir!  I had forgotten his name.  Thank you @GaalDornick for the recap!  That's what I should have put in there myself!  
  • Gah this is so hard. Top of my list are Aragorn, Eowyn, and Sam for LotR. Then Beren and Finrod from the expanded works. 
  • Fatty Lumpkin. The unsung hero of the LoTR.
  • "Favorite" questions are so hard.... From the LOTR I'd pick Aragorn, Gandalf, Faramir, and Sam. I really grew to love Gimli at the end too- his love for the hobbits is touching. @Joseph I couldn't agree more- Fatty gets no praise, but he was pretty badass. 

    From the Hobbit, Bilbo. 

    From the Silmarillion I'm not sure, I would have re-read it to sort through the smorgasbord of characters to pick a few.
  • Joseph said:
    Fatty Lumpkin. The unsung hero of the LoTR.

    I think you'll find that Tom Bombadil explicitly sang about Fatty Lumpkin.  ;)
  • baruu said:
    Joseph said:
    Fatty Lumpkin. The unsung hero of the LoTR.

    I think you'll find that Tom Bombadil explicitly sang about Fatty Lumpkin.  ;)
    Well played. 
  • This is an impossible question to answer, but as his one rabid fangirl, I need to give a shoutout to Haldir.  "Our hands are more often upon the bowstring than the harp" is of course a personal favorite, but I defy anyone not to immediately fall in love with lines like this:

    "The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."

  • @serranodebergerac I fell immediately in love. But then I got confused! Apparently there are two Haldirs (Haldirim, I suppose) in the Legendarium! The first was a Man who during the Battle of Unnumbered Tears sacrificed himself and his army that Turgon and his might escape. (My God, do I need to get a life.)
  • @GaalDornick you're right! There was a time when I used to know all this, but I 100% forgot.  My ability to recall Tolkien lore has atrophied quite a bit over the years.
  • If I had to decide on a favourite group of Tolkien characters, it would be the Entwives. They don't get enough attention and there's so much to discover in that storyline :smile: (ask me for my undergrad thesis in a year or so... I'm hopefully going to explore possible readings of the Entwives and their disappearance.)
  • (@FinaStarguard I'll certainly try to remember to ask.)
  • My first impulse was Gollum, which apparently a few people agree with but my second character to come to mind was Boromir. There are far more fleshed out characters like Aragorn and Faramir that also jump to mind (for reasons mentioned as well) but Boromir was the first one. He just seems the closest to a "real" person to me?...i think... He has weaknesses. He is predictable, arrogant, and forceful and yet still at the core a good man and he proves it at the end. His redemption (or at the very least his attempt at redemption) at his end always really got to me. 
  • @LadyZiyal You're absolutely right regarding Aragorn and Boromir. Overall Aragorn is difficult to relate to: by design, I suspect, since he's King, so has a divinely-appointed air. And what you say regarding Faramir and Boromir is worth thinking more about. Character weaknesses are in a way narrative strengths. Boromir is to my mind undoubtedly the best written of the three.
  • LotR: Gandalf and Aragorn
    Silmarillion: Aule, Ulmo, and Tuor
  • @Alstorian I always--unjustifiably--lose sight of Tuor in the glare of his cousin, Turin. Yet Huor is my most favorite man. I must think more about Tuor!
  • @GaalDornick Turin is so tragic and painful, but I'm all for the unbelievably good so...Tuor :smile:
  • Theoden King.
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