Warner Bros’ new Lord of the Rings movies are in the works, but it’s still unclear who will be the film series’ leading character. So far, all the studio has announced is that the new plot will follow some of the Middle-earth stories that the Peter Jackson trilogy missed—which is a lot. Still, due to the challenges involved with what legal rights Warner Bros has to work with, it must be a tale mentioned in the original Lord of the Rings books. This somewhat narrows down what the new movies will be about and which characters they will follow.


J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books covered far more than Peter Jackson’s film adaptations. The stories of characters like Gandalf, Aragorn, and even Saruman were described in more detail than the popular films could ever hope to include. What’s more, the books contained explanations for what happened to the characters after the One Ring was destroyed, which provides even more opportunities for new Lord of the Rings movies. This means that several characters could take the lead as audiences once again head to Middle-earth for some new stories.

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11 Gandalf

Gandalf looking at Frodo in The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

As one of the oldest beings in Middle-earth, Gandalf’s story certainly goes beyond that of The Lord of the Rings. He was ‘born’ near the beginning of time and originally resided in Valinor as a Maia, a sort of apprentice to the god-like Valar. Though he would have been content living there in harmony for all time, he was reluctantly sent to Middle-earth to help the beings there in their fight against Sauron. Of course, he was very good at it—and seeing the story from his perspective would make the battle against the Dark Lord all the better.

10 Aragorn

Aragorn's age

When Frodo’s adventures kicked off, Aragorn was 87 years old. So, naturally, a lot went on in his life before he ever saw the One Ring that had been the bane of his ancestor. Long before the Lord of the Rings hero was called Strider or Elessar, Aragorn had been called Estel—a false name given to the boy by Elrond to protect him until he was old enough to know his true identity. Once this time came, Aragorn set off on many adventures and, of course, fell in love with his guardian’s elven daughter. It’s precisely the sort of tale to continue the Lord of the Rings film franchise.

9 Eärendil

Fan art of the elf Earendil from The Lord of the Rings franchise.
Fanart by alystraea

Though Eärendil was never seen in the Lord of the Rings movies and was long gone from Middle-earth by the time of the One Ring’s destruction, this half-elf’s adventures significantly impacted the overall story. The Father of Elrond, Eärendil, went on a dangerous quest in the First Age to convince the Valar to help the Children of Ilúvatar (elves) and mortals of Middle-earth fight Morgoth. Though this all happened thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings, the character was mentioned several times throughout the books, which should place him within Warner Bros’ rights.

8 Beren & Lúthien

The Tale Of Beren And Lúthien

Beren and Lúthien made up The Lord of the Rings’ best love story, but they were unfortunately cut from the movies. Like Eärendil, Beren and Lúthien had their adventures thousands of years before the events of the Peter Jackson trilogy, but they were mentioned repeatedly in the books. They had been one of the more significant pairings of men and elves since they earned favor with the Valar thanks to their tragic sacrifices. Their epic tale includes the Silmarils, romance, werewolves, and the Dark Lord Morgoth himself, so there would be plenty to fill up some new movies.

7 Saruman

lord-of-the-rings-movies-saruman-color-transformation-cut

Aside from turning on Gandalf and losing the Battle of Helm’s Deep, Saruman had little impact on the overall story of The Lord of the Rings movies. However, the books described more of his history, as well as where he went after he was allowed to leave Isengard. Like Gandalf, Saruman was a Maia of Valinor. However, instead of coming to Middle-earth reluctantly, the white wizard was eager to prove himself and gain power in the fight against Sauron. This led to a steady transition to villainy, so if the new Lord of the Rings movies decided to do a villain origin story, Saruman would be the place to start.

RELATED: Saruman’s Final Form? Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings Movies Cut The Villain’s Best Transformation

6 Arwen

Liv Tyler as Arwen in The Lord of the Rings.

Arwen was an unfortunately neglected character in the Lord of the Rings books. Unlike Peter Jackson’s trilogy, Aragorn’s love interest never even got any lines. Her story and relationship with Aragorn were only described in the book synopses, and Jackson used these details to add more interest to her Lord of the Rings story. This means that there is significantly less left that Warner Bros could explore with their new movies. However, with some creative liberties, it could be interesting to explore her childhood with her mother, the daughter of Galadriel, before her tragic end in Middle-earth.

5 Boromir & Faramir

A composite image of Faramir, Boromir, and Denethor

Boromir was a somewhat antagonistic character when it came to Frodo’s journey with the One Ring, but that in no way defines his overall book character. Though he was known as hot-headed and overly eager, he cared deeply for his people, and they loved him in return. Moreover, Boromir was deeply adored by his little brother, Faramir, since he had played a big part in raising him after their mother died. It’s a detail that makes Boromir’s Lord of the Rings death even more tragic and is why a movie series that follows their time together is an intriguing possibility.

4 Glorfindel

Glorfindel Lord of the Rings (1)

Glorfindel was cut from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy to make room for Arwen’s enhanced part, a choice that has been a topic of contention within the fandom ever since. Regarded as one of the best Elven warriors in Middle-earth, Glorfindel is known for his epic battle against a Balrog in the First Age. He successfully killed the beast—an impressive feat for an elf—but was killed in the effort. Thankfully, the Valar decided to give him a new body and send him back to Middle-earth, which is why he was around to save Frodo from the Ring Wraiths in The Lord of the Rings.

3 Isildur

Isildur in The Rings of Power and in The Lord of the Rings

Isildur was known in The Lord of the Rings as the king that chose not to destroy the One Ring when he had the chance, but this didn’t technically happen in the books. There is never any indication that the King of Gondor ever stood near the fires of Mount Doom—he kept the One Ring because he had no reason to think he shouldn’t. This is likely to be seen in Isildur’s story in The Rings of Power, but the new Lord of the Rings movie could still dedicate itself to his rule in Gondor and his slow downfall into the will of Sauron.

2 The Witch-king Of Angmar

The Lord of the Rings The Witch-King of Angmar

The Witch-King of Angmar is another character that didn’t get enough time in the Lord of the Rings movies. The Ring Wraith was once a king of men who was corrupted by the Ring of Power Sauron had gifted him. It’s not clear precisely who he had been before becoming the Dark Lord’s second in command, but it’s commonly believed that he was a lord of Númenor (so the Witch-King will probably be featured in The Rings of Power).

1 Frodo Gardner

Lord of the Rings Sean Astin Samwise Gamgee Elanor Gamgee

Frodo Gardner was never mentioned in The Lord of the Rings movies, though he was briefly shown on screen. The second child of Sam Gamgee and Rosie Cotton (who became the Gardners), Frodo was born after the events of The Lord of the Rings. He was named after Sam’s dear friend, and, as his oldest son, little Frodo likely inherited Bag End. Little else is known about how he lived his life, which would give Warner Bros plenty of room for creative liberties if the new movies turned out to be sequels. It would mean a whole new generation of hobbit adventurers for The Lord of the Rings.


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