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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Which Tolkien characters are essential for the series?
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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 12, 3:38am

Post #1 of 40 (707 views)
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Which Tolkien characters are essential for the series? Can't Post

Which characters absolutely must appear in Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings series? What other characters do you think should be included? The following is my own take on the subject, your mileage may vary.

Essential Characters

Elves
Celembrimbor
Celeborn
Círdan
Elrond (immortal Half-elf)
Galadriel
Gil-galad

Men
Tar-Aldarion
Anárion
Elendil
Erendis
Isildur
Khamûl the Easterling (not strictly canonical?)
Númenórean Lords, Sorcerers and Heroes of Men who receive Rings of Power
Tar-Minastir
Tar-Míriel
Ar-Pharazôn

Dwarves
Lord of Khazad-dûm (Durin III, IV or V?)
Narvi

Other
Sauron/Annatar
Nazgûl (post-transformation)

Optional Characters

Elves
Celebrían
Gildor Inglorion
Oropher
Thranduil

Men
Ar-Adûnakhôr
Tar-Ancalimë
Tar- Atanamir
Tar-Elendil
Elros Tar-Minyatur (mortal Half-elf)
Tar-Palantir

Dwarves
Dwarf-lords who receive Rings of Power

Other
Tom Bombadil
Treebeard (and other Ents)
Goldberry

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 12, 3:42am)


MoreMorgoth
Bree

Aug 12, 10:41am

Post #2 of 40 (625 views)
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Age old complaint [In reply to] Can't Post

There were good reasons why Jackson left out Bombadil and Goldberry. They are the most confusing and weakly written characters in the entire book.

Why create an all powerful ring that corrupts everyone and then hand it to this fellow who basically looks at it and throws it back like a carnival prop that has no hold over him?

Very poor writing and so early in the book.

I like much of the list in the OP. Good job.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 12, 2:06pm

Post #3 of 40 (585 views)
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Bombadil [In reply to] Can't Post

I could certainly see a role for ol' Tom in the middle of the Third Age, as he and Goldberry might provide aid and comfort to refugees from Cardolan during the invasions by Angmar. But there is a reason why I don't list them as essential characters; I'm not sure how to incorporate them into a narrative about the Second Age.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


Hasuwandil
Rivendell


Aug 12, 4:23pm

Post #4 of 40 (558 views)
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Addenda [In reply to] Can't Post

As optional Elves, I would add Amdír (a.k.a. Malgalad) and his son Amroth (although Tolkien also toyed with the idea of making Amroth the son of Celeborn and Galadriel).

Also, although Khamûl the Easterling and any of the three Númenóreans would probably make the most interesting characters, and it would probably slow things down too much to go into the backgrounds of all nine Nazgûl, I would still add the other five pre-transformation Nazgûl as potential optional characters.

I would say that all other Men could be optional characters, because we don't know for sure what the focus of the series will be regarding time and place. Otherwise, essential characters could be anyone from Elros to Isildur. However, here are my additional suggestions for optional characters, divided chronologically:

The Mariner's Wife
Tar-Meneldur (Írimon), father of Aldarion
Almarian, mother of Aldarion
Vëantur, grandfather of Aldarion, and the first Númenórean to return to Middle-earth
Beregar, father of Erendis
Núneth, mother of Erendis
Valandil, cousin of Aldarion, first Lord of Andúnië, and progenitor of the Kings of Gondor and Arnor
Silmariën, mother of Valandil and elder sister of Tar-Meneldur
Elatan, father of Valandil

The Mariner's Daughter
Zamîn, caretaker of Tar-Ancalimë
Hallacar, husband of Tar-Ancalimë
Soronto, cousin of Tar-Ancalimë, who would have been King of Númenor if she had not wed Hallacar
Orchaldor, father of Soronto
Ailinel, mother of Soronto and younger sister of Tar-Aldarion

The Dark Years - Sauron's Retreat and the Rise of Númenor
Tar-Ciryatan, son of Tar-Minastir, who began oppressing the peoples of Middle-earth to bring treasures back to Númenor

The Downfall of Númenor
Amandil, last Lord of Andúnië, and father of Elendil (High King of Arnor and Gondor)

The War of the Last Alliance
Meneldil, son of Anárion, and third King of Gondor
Valandil, son of Isildur, and third King of Arnor
Elendur, son of Isildur
Aratan, son of Isildur
Ciryon, son of Isildur

Lastly, depending on where Amazon decides (and is allowed by the Tolkien Estate) to go with the series, I would also add the Elf Glorfindel and the Istari Alatar and Pallando, or Morinehtar and Rómestámo.

Hêlâ Aurwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Hasuwandil
Rivendell


Aug 12, 5:29pm

Post #5 of 40 (542 views)
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One more [In reply to] Can't Post

There are still probably a number of names that could be added (e.g. various princes, princesses, and lesser-known kings of Númenor), but one I would add is Tar-Telperiën. However, she introduces some difficulties to the chronology. She was an isolationist who never wedded, and who refused to yield the Sceptre until she was near death. Her death date is given as S.A. 1731. She was succeeded by her nephew Tar-Minastir, who is best known for sending Númenórean forces to relieve the Elves during the War of the Elves and Sauron. However, the date for the arrival of the Númenóreans is given as S.A. 1700, well before Tar-Telperiën's death, and consequently well before Tar-Minastir became king. Given that the Númenóreans coming to the aid of the Elves is probably one event that must be depicted in the series, Amazon will have to either find a way to resolve this discrepancy, or ignore it, which will be not be difficult to do if they don't constantly give the year when events happen. Still, they would have to decide whether or not Tar-Minastir is king yet when the Númenórean fleet sails to Middle-earth.

Hêlâ Aurwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Aug 12, 5:36pm

Post #6 of 40 (542 views)
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I'd be interested to see both Tom and Goldberry [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think they're weakly written at all - and there's places they could be incorporated, even if just as cameos. For instance, when the Men of Numenor begin to deforest the western lands of Middle-earth, they could run into him. He should probably be more mystical in the Second Age, since, through the eyes of anyone other than hobbits, the jovial figure from FOTR would probably be rather odd. Through the eyes of Men, I could see him as a character similar to the descriptions of the pagan god Cernunnos or even Pan.

"It is my duty to fight" - Mulan


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 12, 5:42pm

Post #7 of 40 (536 views)
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Re: Addenda [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As optional Elves, I would add Amdír (a.k.a. Malgalad) and his son Amroth (although Tolkien also toyed with the idea of making Amroth the son of Celeborn and Galadriel).


Fair enough! I would have included that pair myself, if I had thought of them.


In Reply To
Also, although Khamûl the Easterling and any of the three Númenóreans would probably make the most interesting characters, and it would probably slow things down too much to go into the backgrounds of all nine Nazgûl, I would still add the other five pre-transformation Nazgûl as potential optional characters.


Agreed. It's possible to get bogged down into too much detail. I like most of your additional suggestions, though I personally think that Glorfindel's return to Middle-earth and the introduction of the Blue Wizards all belong in the Third Age.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 12, 5:47pm

Post #8 of 40 (535 views)
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Tar-Telperiën and Tar-Minastir [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't believe that we need to think of this as a discrepancy. Rather, the challenge for Minastir is to convince his aunt to allow him to sail to the aid of the Elves. But, you're right: Tar-Telperiën either needs to be included or the writers need to write around her character.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Aug 12, 5:48pm

Post #9 of 40 (536 views)
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I agree that most, if not all, of the pre-transformation Nazgul [In reply to] Can't Post

should be seen onscreen. With supposedly five seasons consisting of possibly twenty episodes each (it's only a rumor, but it's possible), I imagine there will need to be a lot of material. And it would give audiences some shocks - there could be a guessing game played with the audience, where you're not sure who will turn out to be a Nazgul, you grow attached to characters and then they become corrupted by evil, etc. It could be fun. Similar to how audiences played along with the clues and prophecies in GoT, trying to figure out who was the Prince that was Promised - except, hopefully, LOTR would give more satisfying conclusions (or, you know, any conclusions at all) to these guessing-games.

"It is my duty to fight" - Mulan


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 12, 5:51pm

Post #10 of 40 (532 views)
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Probably more likely [In reply to] Can't Post

To get characters with names like "Tyra".

Tongue

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 12, 6:03pm

Post #11 of 40 (527 views)
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Bombadil/Iarwain/Orald [In reply to] Can't Post

Elrond at the Council of Elrond:

Quote
'Time was when a squirrel could go from tree to tree from what is now the Shire to Dunland west of Isengard. In those lands I journeyed once, and many things wild and strange I knew. But I had forgotten Bombadil, if indeed this is still the same that walked the woods and hills long ago, and even then was older than the old. That was not then his name. Iarwain Ben-adar we called him, oldest and fatherless. But many another name he has since been given by other folk: Forn by the Dwarves, Orald by Northern Men, and other names beside. He is a strange creature, but maybe I should have summoned him to our Council.'


The challenge with Tom Bombadil is that he plays a small part, as a whole, in the history of Men and Elves in Middle-earth. His inclusion should seem meaningful and not just a throw-away cameo. On the other hand, it shouldn't have too much of an impact.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 12, 6:12pm

Post #12 of 40 (522 views)
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Tyra? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Probably more likely To get characters with names like "Tyra".

Tongue


Hey! Tyra is actually Old Norse, feminine form of the name Týr (Norse god of war). Granted, it sounds out-of-place in Middle-earth to a modern ear, but I still expect that it's just a placeholder name and not an original character.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


MoreMorgoth
Bree

Aug 12, 9:09pm

Post #13 of 40 (492 views)
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why? [In reply to] Can't Post

Why go through all this trouble to create a Ring that corrupts all who possess it by then create this mystical being who is immune to it?

Can you tell me what the heck was that all about?

How does that advance the story instead of merely add confusion to it?


InTheChair
Lorien

Aug 12, 11:23pm

Post #14 of 40 (469 views)
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Think you have most of them. [In reply to] Can't Post

There ought be a place for Ciryatur the commander of the Numenorean fleet sent to aid Gil-galad

Might be interesting also to have some of the Nazgul before they became ring-wraiths, but they would have to invent names for those I suppose.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 12, 11:50pm

Post #15 of 40 (462 views)
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Ciryatur [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There ought be a place for Ciryatur the commander of the Numenorean fleet sent to aid Gil-galad


Noted, though Ciryatur could conceivably be replaced by Minastir himself.


In Reply To
Might be interesting also to have some of the Nazgul before they became ring-wraiths, but they would have to invent names for those I suppose.


Yes, at least some of them. Although even the name Khamûl might need the approval of The Tolkien Estate.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


squire
Half-elven


Aug 13, 1:49am

Post #16 of 40 (444 views)
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Does every word in a book have to 'advance the story'? [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate your frustration with Tom Bombadil, which is shared by most of us fans. But my best take on him is that he represents 'depth' rather than 'confusion' in relation to the story of the One Ring.

Tom's 'immunity' is, as it turns out, almost meaningless because he is not tempted by the Ring but is also not particularly interested in it. Thus he can't 'defeat' the Ring in the sense of changing the main storyline: he can't destroy it by taking it to Mordor and the fire, because he has no desire to do so. As the discussion at the Council of Elrond points out, he could hold the Ring without using it for evil - until the forces of evil conquered the world and showed up at his doorstep, overpowered even him, and took the Ring back.

How does this advance the story - if that is what we demand of Tom? Tolkien uses this episode, and its explanation a few chapters later, to show that mere 'immunity' to the Ring is just as useless as taking it with the firm desire to do Good with it. Its pure Evil overcomes both good will, neutrality, natural obstacles (like dropping it into the Sea), and Tom's unique disinterest in it. There is no alternative except to try to destroy it while resisting its temptation to use it. As we see, only hobbits are able to do this, and even they (Frodo) will fail in the end.



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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 13, 4:20am

Post #17 of 40 (429 views)
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The Ring does not corrupt all who possess it. [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo gives it up voluntarily, albeit after great effort. Sam gives it up even more readily.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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kzer_za
Lorien

Aug 13, 12:47pm

Post #18 of 40 (354 views)
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Bilbo has his "Gollum" moment at Rivendell [In reply to] Can't Post

Whether we interpret his transformation as physical or only psychological. He also lies to people about how he got it, in Tolkien's little retcon of the first edition of The Hobbit.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 13, 1:04pm

Post #19 of 40 (347 views)
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That could be really cool [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And it would give audiences some shocks - there could be a guessing game played with the audience, where you're not sure who will turn out to be a Nazgul, you grow attached to characters and then they become corrupted by evil, etc. It could be fun. Similar to how audiences played along with the clues and prophecies in GoT, trying to figure out who was the Prince that was Promised - except, hopefully, LOTR would give more satisfying conclusions (or, you know, any conclusions at all) to these guessing-games.


Especially if they don't thrown in the towel like GoT did at the end.


kzer_za
Lorien

Aug 13, 1:19pm

Post #20 of 40 (344 views)
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And one more thing... [In reply to] Can't Post

While he does freely give up the ring, it takes a lot of pressure from Gandalf to get him there.


Solicitr
Rohan

Aug 13, 2:01pm

Post #21 of 40 (336 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Khamûl the Easterling (not strictly canonical?)


Is canonical. The only Ringwraith Tolkien ever actually named ("Witch-King" being a title)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 13, 2:25pm

Post #22 of 40 (325 views)
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Yes, but... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Is canonical. The only Ringwraith Tolkien ever actually named ("Witch-King" being a title)


...Khamûl is only named in the secondary canon of Unfinished Tales. There is no source for the name in the primary legendarium. I've also seen it speculated* that the Gothmog who was the lieutenant of Minas Morgul and who commanded Sauron's army at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields following the fall of the Lord of the Nazgûl might also have been a Ringwraith.

* by Robert Foster in The Complete Guide to Middle-earth.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 13, 2:38pm)


Solicitr
Rohan

Aug 13, 2:37pm

Post #23 of 40 (322 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

but that's also true of Aldarion, Erendis, Hallatar, the name Mairon, etc etc etc

Heck, for that matter the whole Silmarillion could be labeled "secondary canon."


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 13, 2:39pm

Post #24 of 40 (316 views)
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Well, that's true (mostly). [In reply to] Can't Post

Except for Tar-Aldarion, who is named in the LotR appendices.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 13, 2:42pm)


Mari D.
Rivendell


Aug 13, 3:12pm

Post #25 of 40 (302 views)
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I'd also like this! =D Sounds intriguing. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
And it would give audiences some shocks - there could be a guessing game played with the audience, where you're not sure who will turn out to be a Nazgul, you grow attached to characters and then they become corrupted by evil, etc. It could be fun. Similar to how audiences played along with the clues and prophecies in GoT, trying to figure out who was the Prince that was Promised - except, hopefully, LOTR would give more satisfying conclusions (or, you know, any conclusions at all) to these guessing-games.



(This post was edited by Mari D. on Aug 13, 3:12pm)

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