Top 5: Creatures from Lord of the Rings

Top 5

Part of what makes Tolkien’s Middle-earth such a fantastic realm are the creatures which inhabit it.  The phantasmagorical seems commonplace in a land of dragons, trolls, storm giants and wizards.  Looking back at just the original Lord of the Rings movies, here are my top 5 creatures (Gollum I did not count as a creature because he is literally in a class by himself).

5. The Cave Troll – The Fellowship of the Ring

4. Shelob – The Return of the King
Shelob, The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

3. The Mouth of Sauron – LOTR The Return of the King
Lord of the Rings, Mouth of Sauron, The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

2. The Witch King of Angmar – All three films
Nazgul, The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King, The Witch King of Angmar

1. Balrog  – The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
Gandalf, Ian McKellan, Balrog, The Lord of the Rings, Moria, The Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the RIng

15 thoughts on “Top 5: Creatures from Lord of the Rings”

  1. For me the Mouth of Sauron belongs at the top of the list. But in terms of the races of Middle Earth, nothing tops the Ents. They were the creatures I was most looking forward to seeing on film when the movies were announced, and I was not disappointed. But yeah… what a wonderful array of creatures. I love all the orc designs, I love the care that went into making them true individuals, but I’m particularly fond of the one that follows Merry and Pippin into Fangorn, and the one that looks like Sloth from The Goonies.


    1. Yes, I was really impressed by the Ents. They looked great. Also, trees going to war, trees practicing violence. Holy cow!


      1. The ents could have gone either way. I was genuinely afraid that they would end up looking like the rubber trees that threw apples at Dorothy and the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. But Peter Jackson knocked everything out of the park, Treebeard included.


      2. Not just Treebeard. I love all the other ent designs too. I love the one ent who gets set on fire and trots over to where the dam breaks and dunks his head in the river lol.


      3. The Ents represent Tolkien’s last gasp of nature in an increasingly mechanized world. He hated industrialization and the idea of tree shepherds was born from that. You gotta love Treebeard and John Rhys Davies did such an amazing job with his ponderous voice.


      4. Oh yes! I loved the Ents in the books and what they represent. The movie only made me love them more.


    2. How did they ever cut the Mouth from the theatrical release? HE IS SO AWESOME! “My master Sauron bids thee welcome (creepy smile)” The more time passes, the more I’m amazed ROTK won best picture because so much was cut out.
      I never had a good mental picture of the Ents until the film. I just was never able to wrap my mind around what they would look like and I was thrilled with how they turned out. I picked evil characters because I’m dark and twisty but who doesn’t love Treebeard?


      1. I’m pretty sure that, in recognizing ROTK, they were really recognizing LOTR as a whole. That’s an example of the Academy getting it right in spades.
        The Ents are an example of a cinematic representation that far exceeded what I pictured when I read the book. In my mind the Ents were always kind of clunky. Like you, I had great difficulty imagining an anthropomorphic tree.


  2. Reblogged this on The Leather Library and commented:
    All awesome creatures/characters. I have to say that my favourite pick is The Balrog, but I also really love the witch-king. The Balrog however is simply menacing on a different level, he has less time on scree and therefore you know less about him, its because of this unknown that makes him such an interesting character and draws the viewer/reader to want to learn more about him


    1. To me, going into Fellowship, all I wanted was to see the Balrog. That’s a total lie. I wanted to see everything, but I LOVE the Balrog. The build-up with the flames and quaking and just the look on Gandalf’s face all help to build the dread and then BLAM through the wall he comes. It’s hard to imagine, but in The Silmarillion, Morgoth (Sauron’s original master) had his citadel guarded by HUNDREDS of Balrogs. I can’t even imagine that. No, that’s a lie again, I can and it makes me completely geek out.


      1. Awesome! You know your stuff. Balrogs are Maiar; essentially the same level of being as Gandalf and the rest of the Istari. The Silmarillion calls them “scourges of fire”. They were seduced by Melkor (Morgoth) and twisted into the form you see them traditionally portrayed. They battled Feanor in Angband and were lead by the Lord of the Balrogs “Gothmog” which Jackson gave to the twisted pink orc in Return of the King. The particular Balrog in FOTR was known as Durin’s Bane. Most of them were destroyed at the end of the First Age, and you are correct, Tolkien’s earlier texts had them as twice man-sized. I think they, like any other species, would have greater and lesser examples and Durin’s Bane is a greater Balrog. Balrogs ride Dragons in the elder texts which is something so cool that I think I’m going to explode, but yes, when they were more of them, they varied in size and shape so it wouldn’t be hundreds of Balrogs the size of Durin’s Bane, but just the thought of hundreds of them in any form and Gothmog would have been bigger than Durin’s Bane and I think I just probably freaked you out with all of that, but my point was you are right…..Balrogs are cool.


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