IMDb Polls

Poll: Central Character of 'The Lord of the Rings'

This is a re-creation of a poll by Drevnibor that was published on January 3, 2016.

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings has many important characters, and for years, both fans and critics have been arguing... who, exactly, is the central* character of The Lord of the Rings' story?

*central in a very broad sense of the word - you can interpret it any way you want

Discussion thread

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Elijah Wood in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)


    FOR: Frodo is an ''everyman'' who voluntarily put the fate of the whole world on his small shoulders, and was probably the only Fellowship member who could carry the One Ring for such a long time, without being corrupted. We also spend the most time with him, during the course of the story.

    AGAINST: He failed at the very end, by claiming the One Ring for himself (even though, he sort of managed to indirectly save the day - see Gollum entry for explanation).

  2. Vote!

    Ian McKellen in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)


    FOR: Gandalf was called THE Enemy of Sauron, because his entire purpose in Middle-earth was to help with stopping the Dark Lord. Also, he was the one who started the Quest of the Ring, and was the brains behind other important events.

    AGAINST: He failed quite early in their quest, by dying (albeit heroically), and was only brought back by ''divine cheating''. All other heroes had only one life to spare.

  3. Vote!

    Viggo Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)


    FOR: Brave, strong, of noble birth, acting as a supreme leader of the armies of Men - Aragorn is the very definition of a classical hero in fiction. Also, the final volume of The Lord of the Rings is named after him - The Return of the King. None of the other protagonists holds that honor.

    AGAINST: Not only did the Fellowship dissolve shortly after him taking command, but a lot of his heroic deeds bordered on ''what if?'' scenarios. What if the Army of the Dead will hear his call? What if the Battle of the Black Gate will serve as a distraction for Frodo (about whose fate he didn't even know at the time)?

  4. Vote!

    Sean Astin in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)


    FOR: J.R.R. Tolkien himself named Sam ''the chief hero of The Lord of the Rings'', because his faithfulness to Frodo was critical to the quest's success. Also, the whole story literally ends with Sam.

    AGAINST: It is up to debate if Sam could have taken the main Ring-bearer role which Frodo held. During his short ring-bearing time (as seen in the original novel and one adaptation), Sam had a tempting vision in which he actually became an omnipotent god (see the scene HERE). Needless to say, he returned the Ring to Frodo, as soon as he had the chance.

  5. Vote!

    Sala Baker in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

    SAURON and the One Ring

    FOR: Sauron is THE titular character - The Lord of the Rings. Also, the main plot starts and ends with his destruction. This entry also encompasses the One Ring itself, since Sauron's fate (and life force) was tied to the fate of the ring.

    AGAINST: He really doesn't appear much in the story. His presence is alluded through the acts of his followers, and through the One Ring, but he himself remains mostly unseen.

  6. Vote!

    Andy Serkis in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)


    FOR: Not only that HE was the one to actually destroy the One Ring at the very end, but the main events actually started with him losing the Ring to Bilbo, and telling the Baggins' location to Sauron, thereby setting in motion a chain of events which lead to the story of The Lord of the Rings.

    AGAINST: His most important deed (destruction of the Ring) wouldn't have been possible if not for the mercy of two simple Hobbits. Bilbo could have killed him, but he didn't. Frodo could have killed him, but he didn't. Both Hobbits have done that out of pure virtue of mercy.

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