The Lord of the Rings book was first published in the year 1954. That’s more than half a century ago, and here I am still talking about it because of how riveting and exciting the universe is even today.
Yes, there are debates about the books vs. the films, and though I hadn’t read the books previously, I was pretty sure they were much, much better. Statistically, books are better than films, and I feel one thing that lacked in the Lord of the Rings films was more depth into character.
I know the visuals were impeccable, so were the narrative and the acting. Yet somehow, I felt they could’ve delved deeper into the characters a little more. It turns out the books did some fantastic character work that will blow away your mind. In fact, the powers, abilities, and strengths are much better explained as well.
So here’s a list of the top 10 strongest characters in Lord of the Rings (LOTR) books.
Epithet – Mayor of the Shire
Weapon – Barrow Blade
If you’re wondering why Samwise is on this list and not Frodo, I think more than Frodo, it was Sam who could resist the ring. If not for Sam at every turn, Frodo wouldn’t be able to destroy the ring. Sam fought Gollum, Shelob and was in more than one way Frodo’s guardian. His purity never seemed to leave him, and that was his biggest strength.
Epithet – King of Men, Heir of Isildur
Weapon – Andúril (Sword)
In the books, we see Aragorn’s skills go beyond just warcraft and strategy. He possessed the wisdom of elves and also the foresight of Dúnedain. He was also a great healer with plants. Of course, speaking of his battlefield skills, he’s perhaps one of the best fighters Middle Earth had seen.
A master strategist, he led armies into wars only to emerge victorious almost every single time. But beyond all this, at his core, he was a king and a true leader who always stood to defend what’s right and kept the people around him before himself.
Epithet – Servants of Melkor
Weapon – Fire
Balrogs are actually not one but a kind of creature whose reputation precedes them. As ferocious as they come, the Balrogs drove away dwarves from their home realm; they ate all the fruits of Telperion, which is said to emanate the light of billions of stars.
They can fly, breathe fire, and basically wreak havoc and stir fear amongst other creatures of the middle earth. In the book, we see a Balrog fight against Gandalf, The Grey, and it is a duel where even you are convinced that Balrog will get the better off the wizard for a second.
Epithet – Lord of Rivendell
Weapon – Hadhafang (Sword)
Elrond is one of the mightiest rulers of Elves and Rivendell. He is as wise as he is brave as a warrior. He was the commander of the Free People and also the Last Alliance. His joining forces with the Men of Middle Earth to defeat Sauron when he was in his physical form was exceptionally helpful.
A wielder of the ring of power, Vilya could summon floods, enter other’s minds, and was telepathic. Pretty much how he communicated with Galadriel and Gandalf throughout the battles.
6Saruman The Wise
Epithet – Lord of Isengard, Head of the White Council
Weapon – Wizard Staff
Saruman is the Wizard’s council leader and is perhaps a great character that was lost to the Sauron’s intentions. He holds extensive knowledge of dark magic, and maybe that’s why the ring enticed him. Furthermore, he delved deep into the arts of Sauron. However, this was to oppose the big bad villain but eventually led him to become a loyal servant until the end.
His knowledge was also extensive enough for him to control Uruk-Hais and make them build weapons of war. He was also the mind behind the explosion that destroyed the Helm’s Deep’s fort walls.
He was so powerful that he managed to imprison Gandalf, The Grey but eventually got defeated by Gandalf The White.
5Witch-King Of Angmar
Epithet – Lord of the Nazgul, Lord of the Minas Morgul
Weapon – Morgul-knife, Black Breath
The Witch-King of Angmar was the lord of the Nazguls and was Sauron’s second in command. That, I guess, says enough about the extent of his powers. He was so strong that no man on Middle Earth could kill him. Although the loophole was well-leveraged by Tolkein, it still made him more powerful than most men.
His aura alone made soldiers fear and run for their lives, quite literally. Furthermore, any weapon that touched him was destroyed immediately. Such was his power that very few creatures of the Middle Earth could wield. He stabbed Frodo, and the wound lived on with him until the end.
As the name suggests, he was also adept with sorcery and witchcraft, but his most significant disadvantage was that his power was tied to Sauron’s.
Epithet – Lady of Light, Lady of the Galadhrim
Weapon – None
Galadriel is one such elvish folk whose powers still remain to be an enigma amongst most of the fans. She bore the ring of Adamant and was quite powerful even for the elves. She possessed the ability to communicate over vast distances, predict the future and even protect her mind from evil forces.
She once claimed that Sauron couldn’t read her mind, but she could read him, which just depicts the extent of her powers. She was one of the few creatures/characters in the entire book who rejected the ring when Frodo offered it to her. If that’s not true power, I wonder what is.
Epithet – Dark Lord, Lord of the Rings, Lord of Mordor
Weapon – One Ring, Unknown sword
Sauron was the Dark-Lord who mastered the knowledge of the world’s substances, how to tap into the abilities of fires, and used this to forge the One Ring. He was a fallen Maia and had enough power to not only forget the Ring but even wield it.
A master of disguise, shapeshifter, and deceiver Sauron was perhaps one of the most cunning villains the pop culture world has ever seen. Since the ring is connected to him, anybody with it begins to emulate Sauron’s conniving nature.
2Gandalf The White
Epithet – Servant of the Secret Fire, Wielder of the Flame of Anor
Weapon – Glamdrin, Wizard Staff
Gandalf The White is one of the strongest characters of Lord of the Rings, be it in films or books. His wisdom brought together all men, elves, trees, and whomsoever was required to defeat Sauron in the Third Age.
His wisdom had won Galadriel’s faith, who thought he should’ve been the Wizard council’s head instead of Saruman, and boy was she right. Most of his powers surrounded light and fire, and you can see him using his staff to cast the spells on several instances. However, he doesn’t use his staff as a weapon quite often.
He could see into the darkness and even had foresight. When Frodo and Samwise went on their own, he had eyes on them until Frodo reached the summit of Mount doom. The darkness was too much for him to see through. However, Gandalf’s biggest power lies in his ability to persuade people to come together and fight for a single cause. Gandalf and Galadriel seem to be why everything unfolded the way it did, and Sauron got defeated in more than one way.
Epithet – The First
Weapon – None
Tom Bombadil is the strongest character in Lord of the Rings books. An enigma, he is supposedly the oldest creature in existence. He was completely immune to the power of the ring and could wear it without feeling any of its effects.
Tom Bombadil’s powers were so mysterious, yet it left me dumbfounded. He could toss rings, make them vanish and then make them reappear. He sensed the evil when Frodo wore the ring and even forbade him from using it.
If Lord of the Rings would’ve been a film of 30 minutes where Tom would skip singing songs to the Mountain Doom, toss it, and walk back singing. Such was his power.
About The Lord Of The Rings (Film Series)
The Lord of the Rings is a series of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003). Produced and distributed by New Line Cinema with the co-production of WingNut Films, it is an international venture between New Zealand and the United States.