Study Guide

The Return of the King Characters

By J.R.R. Tolkien

Frodo Baggins

Not to get too grim or anything, but The Return of the King is mainly about confronting different...

Sam Gamgee

Sam is the world's greatest sidekick. We defy you to find anyone better at kicking sides,...

Merry Brandybuck

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Merry and Pippin have pretty minor roles. In fact, they seem...

Pippin Took

Pippin starts out as the infant of the Fellowship in Book One: he is by far the youngest member,...

Gollum

By now, we all know that Gollum is a sneak who can't be trusted: he does, after all, lead Sam and...

Gandalf

We mentioned in Gandalf's The Two Towers "Character Analysis" that he is basically Middle-earth's...

Aragorn

To be honest, most of Aragorn's real development as a character as he goes from rough-and-tumble...

Sauron

Denethor

When Gandalf describes Denethor to Pippin, he uses terms like long-sighted, perceptive, and...

Faramir

Sometimes we find it a little hard to figure Faramir out, because most of his character seems to...

The Black Riders

The Nazgûl, a.k.a. the Ringwraiths, a.k.a. the Black Riders, have swords, of course. But...

Legolas

Legolas continues to be our main elf in the action of The Return of the King, though this time he...

Gimli

Like Legolas, Gimli doesn't appear much in The Return of the King. He is certainly around, but...

Éomer

There are just too many lordly characters in The Return of the King for Éomer to get all...

Éowyn

Éowyn is an unusually complicated character in a series that tends to portray women as (a)...

Théoden

The Two Towers is all about King Théoden's troubles: he gets possessed by Saruman,...

Saruman

Saruman may be the wicked wizard who's the main villain of The Two Towers. But by the time we...

Gríma Wormtongue

We're not gonna lie: Gríma Wormtongue is a pretty awful guy. He betrays Théoden to...

Arwen

Arwen Evenstar (daughter of Elrond and sister to Elladan and Elrohir) certainly stands by her...

Elrond

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Elrond tells us that he was present during the first War of...

Elladan and Elrohir

These two elves are Elrond's sons. We learn in The Fellowship of the Ring that they...

Bilbo

Bilbo Baggins, Frodo's uncle and friend, is the one who starts this whole adventure with his...

Galadriel

But interestingly, when Sam tries to use the Phial in Sammath Naur (inside Mount Doom), it gives...

Treebeard

Treebeard the Ent appears one last time in The Return of the King as Gandalf and Co. travel from...

Imrahil

This dashing dude rules the fiefdom of Belfalas, which is a possession of Gondor's to the South....

Beregond

Beregond is a guardsman of Minas Tirith and a member of the Third Company of the Citadel. He...

Halbarad Dúnadan

Halbarad, like Aragorn, is a Ranger of the North. This means that he is a descendant of the Men...

The Sleepless Dead

This term describes the oathbreakers to the Kingdom of Gondor who come at last, as ghosts, to...

Ghân-buri-Ghân

Ghân-buri-Ghân is the headman of the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods who live in...

Ioreth

Ioreth is the oldest of the women serving in the Houses of Healing. As she looks at Faramir,...

The Mouth of Sauron

When Aragorn and Co. arrive at the Black Gates of Mordor on Mission: Distract Sauron, Sauron...

Lotho Sackville-Baggins

The Sackville-Bagginses have been the enemies of Bilbo (and Frodo, eventually) ever since The...

Animals

Snowmane is Théoden's horse. In the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Lord of the...

Bree Folk

Butterbur is the innkeeper at the Prancing Pony in Bree. It is Butterbur who first warns the...

Elves

Celeborn is Lord of Lothlórien. He appears primarily in The Fellowship of the Ring....

Hobbits

Sam and Rosie's first child. In the appendices, we discover that golden-haired Elanor goes on to...

Humans

Angbor is the only commander of the fighters from Lamedon to stand his ground when the Sleepless...

Orcs

This little jerk is an orc from Barad-dûr, stationed in the Tower of Cirith Ungol, who...