When you think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, many iconic characters spring to mind. Hobbit heroes like Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, wizards Gandalf and Saruman, noble warriors like Boromir, Faramir, and Aragorn, and, of course, whatever the hell Tom Bombadil is supposed to be.
But now a new Twitter poll with almost 100,000 responses has named the top 50 Tolkien characters and we’re scratching our heads in confusion. You might expect the top five to be formed of faves like Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, or Gollum. Not so: the top spot is taken by Elrond, with Feanor (Galadriel’s older brother) in second, Merry Brandybuck in third, The Hobbit dwarf Fili in fourth, and Glorfindel in fifth.
As for those familiar faces? Well, Aragorn comes in at 36th, Frodo at 15th, Bilbo at 21, and Gandalf at 49. Heavy hitters like Gimli, Arwen, Gollum, and Saruman don’t even crack the top 50 with just a handful of votes each.
So what the heck is going on here? Well, either this poll is a giant in-joke in the Tolkien fandom or someone is having some fun with bots. After all, look at who’s the 9th best Tolkien character:
Uh-huh. Sure, why not. The full and very odd list is below, though we at least respect the results for including a bunch of book-only Silmarillion characters and flying in the face of accepted wisdom:
The Rings of Power is now heading into its fifth episode, and the warriors of Númenor are about to head East to aid the peoples of the Southlands. We’re hoping for some answers about Adar’s identity and plans, as well as catching up with the mysterious bearded man who canonically can’t be Gandalf, but let’s face it probably is.
The Rings of Power airs on Fridays on Amazon Prime.