Tier Ranking Middle Earth Characters

I’m tier ranking characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I have six tiers: The Best, Good, Love to Hate, Meh, Not Great, and No.

No: Azog the Defiler, The Master, Tauriel, Thranduil, Denethor, and Grima Wormtongue

These are characters I really don’t like, either because they’re poorly developed or because they’re just terrible people. I don’t like Azog the Defiler being added to the movies since he wasn’t in the book. The same is true for Tauriel. I particularly don’t like that Tauriel is basically just a love interest instead of being her own person. The Master is just a terrible person no one likes. Thranduil is a jerk. Denethor has problems and needs help. Grima is also a terrible person.

Not Great: Boromir, Faramir, and Frodo

This is probably going to be my most controversial category. I don’t like Boromir because he lets the Ring influence him. He swore to protect Frodo and the Ring, and he does a terrible job of it. Faramir also wants to use the Ring; and he holds Frodo captive, jeopardizing his mission. Frodo himself is whiny and lacks agency. If it weren’t for Sam, Frodo would’ve failed as the ring bearer. It was his job, not Sam’s.

Meh: Bifur, Bombur, Oin, Gloin, Ori, Nori, Dori, Beorn, older Bilbo, the Balrog, the Eye, Saruman, Eomer, and Eowyn

These are characters I don’t have an opinion on because they don’t show up enough in the movies or aren’t developed enough. Most of the dwarves don’t have enough characterization for me to care about them. Beorn, older Bilbo, and the Balrog don’t show up much. The Eye and Saruman don’t have much development, even though they’re in the movies quite a bit. I know a lot of people like Eomer and Eowyn, but I don’t particularly care for them. They’re not bad characters, I just personally don’t like them that much.

Love to Hate: Alfrid, Smaug, Gollum, the Witch King of Angmar

These are some villains I love watching. Alfrid is a terrible person, but he’s funny. I like watching him in The Hobbit movies. I don’t think anyone truly hates Smaug because he’s a dragon, and that automatically makes him awesome; but since he’s a villain, I’m putting him here. I have mixed feelings about Gollum. His character is well developed and well portrayed, but he is a villain. I love the Nazgul, so the Witch King of Angmar fits here.

Good: Bard, Balin, Dwalin, Bofur, Fili, Kili, Thorin, Radagast, Galadriel, Elrond, Arwen, Theoden, and Treebeard

These are good characters I enjoy seeing in the movies. I feel like most of them we don’t get enough of their character development to justify putting them in “The Best” category. I like all of these characters and the way they’re portrayed in the movies.

The Best: Young Bilbo, Gandalf, Merry, Pippin, Sam, Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn

Gandalf, Legolas, and Gimli are just amazing characters that are crucial to the story. Sam is an amazingly loyal friend, and he is the true hero of this story. Merry and Pippin have great character arcs. They’re portrayed better in the books than the movies, but they’re still great characters. Young Bilbo is one of my favorite characters. He’s so well developed, and I love watching him grow and change as a person over the course of the movies. Aragorn is my favorite character, so of course he goes in this category. He is the best of the best. I love his character arc, and he’s just a badass.

That’s all of the characters I’m ranking. Are you surprised by any of these? Do you strongly disagree or agree with any of them? Let me know in the comments.

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