Continuing our little series of Avenger style team-ups in different fantasy worlds (see our Game of Thrones article for fantasy lovers and for you budding magicians out there our Harry Potter piece), we finally reach the Grandad of fantasy, Lord of the Rings.
This has been the hardest by far for me to think about as I like there to be a scenario that could theoretically happen in which there would be a need for a kick-ass team to assemble. Lord of the Rings already has a team of intrepid adventurers in the Fellowship of the Ring and they win, so no need for a proper killy hero supergroup, right? Well, what if they didn’t succeed? Here’s the scenario I have come up with after much thought.
On March 15th, year 3019 of the Third Age, Gondor defeats Mordor’s army at the battle of Pelennor, Thranduil repels the forces of Dol Guldur and Lothlórien withstands a second assault also from Dol Guldur. This happens to be the day that Frodo and Sam escape Cirith Ungol. Well in this scenario they do not, Sam is killed in Cirith Ungol and the ring is captured.
So, on the 17th, Shagrat (Captain of Cirith Ungol) would reach Barad-dûr with not just Frodo’s cloak, Mithril shirt and sword but with Frodo, Sam’s body and most importantly, the Ring. At this point, Dale had been destroyed and the Men and Dwarves there are hunkered down in Erebor. The Host of the West is also preparing to leave Minas Tirith to march on the Black Gate and they would leave the next day.
However, Sauron now has the Ring, and this is broadcasted in triumph to the 3 Elven ring bearers. Now for Elrond’s gambit. Having already seen Sauron defeated, when he saw Isildur cut the one ring from Sauron’s hand, Elrond decides to march his forces to Lothlórien, and Gandalf marches the Host of the West there also. It is here that they will make their last defence as it is said the power there is too great to overcome unless Sauron came himself (cough bait cough). It is here that Elrond decides that a team of six individuals will attempt to attack Sauron whilst he and the combined Free peoples fight Mordor’s army.
So that was a long, convoluted way of explaining that everyone bar the forces of Dale and Erebor are at Lothlórien, 6 fighters will attack Sauron with the Ring in the hope of ending him once and for all. Exhales phew, now let’s pick our fighters.
WARNING, spoilers are contained in this article, as well as sometimes complex and expanded book lore.
One of the most obvious picks of all of the characters in LOTR is Galadriel. As stated above, her power (or perhaps her Elven ring’s power) in Lothlórien was so great that only Sauron himself could overcome it. What’s more, after Sauron is defeated and the One Ring destroyed in the War of the Ring, Celeborn and Galadriel marched to Dol Guldur one last time and Galadriel threw down the walls and laid bare the pits. She did that, on her own, WITHOUT her elven ring, Nenya (which would have lost all its power when the One was destroyed).
But what makes her so powerful even without the Elven ring? Well this comes from her stock. She is the daughter of Finarfin, of the House of Finwë, the royal house of the Ñoldor, who were the most powerful of the elves in the time of the First Age. Other elves of a similar stock wounded Morgoth (Sauron is nothing to this guy), slew balrogs and led armies against Morgoth’s forces. She is also related to Lúthien, who actually bested Morgoth and convinced Mandos (the “God” of death) to restore her love back to life. She is one of the last elves in Middle Earth to have lived in Valinor and should absolutely be in this team.
Gandalf the White
Perhaps another obvious pick, Gandalf is the most powerful of everyone fighting for good in Middle Earth without question. Not only does he have an Elven ring (given to him by the very powerful Círdan, oldest of the elves in Middle Earth), he is also a Maiar which is the same “species” of being that Sauron is.
When he was sent to Middle Earth by the Valar as 1 of 5 agents to aid the people of Middle Earth in combating Sauron, he was sent as old men and was forbidden from matching the Dark Lord in power. This didn’t stop him fighting off all 9 Nazgul at the same time at Weathertop for a whole night though or from killing a Balrog. However, after dying following the latter victory, Eru Ilúvatar himself (the actual Daddy of the Valar and the proper God of Arda) brought him back to life and allowed him to show more of his power. He is key to the success of this mission, I think. Perhaps he would be allowed to show his full strength if the time was right…
Arguably one of the top 3 most powerful elves, Glorfindel is a mighty warrior and unfortunately absent from the films (all his roles were given to Arwen). The version we see at the time of the War of the Ring is actually Glorfindel’s second appearance in Middle Earth. He first appeared in Gondolin as the Lord of the House of the Golden Flower.
He was instrumental in the retreat of the survivors of the Fall of Gondolin, defending the rear as they escaped through Idril’s Secret Way. They were attacked by a Balrog as they fled but Glorfindel slew it and cast it down a cliff. The balrog dragged Glorfindel down with him though and he died. However, due to his heroics in the Fall of Gondolin, he was given a new body and allowed to return to Middle Earth.
His spirit was strengthened in Valinor and was considered almost an equal to Maiar. Once back in Middle Earth, he was the key factor in the defeat of the Witch-King in the Battle of Fornost. He wasn’t included in the Fellowship as mightiness was less useful than secrecy and friendship in the quest to destroy the ring. I have no doubt though that he would be in the thick of things in a last stand against Sauron.
This guy needs no introduction. It’s completely obvious he’s going to be included. We all know his heroic exploits from the films so I’m going to expand further on some of his heroics not covered in the films. Before Frodo is even born, he leads men in Gondor and Rohan under the name of Thorongil, serving King Thengel of Rohan (King Théoden’s father) and Steward Ecthelion II of Gondor (Denethor’s father).
It’s under Ecthelion that Aragorn stormed Umbar and burned a great number of their ships and slew their leader in combat. He also hunted and captured Gollum, which enabled Gandalf to garner vital information about the One Ring. He is the heir of Isildur, who cut the Ring from Sauron’s finger. I think it would be poetic for Isildur’s heir to fight Sauron like his ancestor, wielding the sword Andúril, which was forged from the shards of Narsil (the very same sword that Isildur used to do the aforementioned heroic deed).
Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth
There are two characters that LOTR fans wish, above all others, could have been included in the films (no one really wanted Tom Bombadil, right?). One is Glorfindel and the other is this guy, Prince Imrahil.
Like the Stewards of Gondor and Aragorn, he is descended from the Númenóreans. He is a heroic, capable leader that immediately answered the call for aid from Gondor with the company of Swan Knights of Dol Amroth and 700 men at arms. He saved Faramir when he retreated from Osgiliath and, along with Gandalf, led the defence of Minas Tirith and rode to Éomer’s aid when he was outnumbered at the Battle of Pelennor.
Here he met Aragorn and it is said that the three of them emerged unscathed due to their prowess in combat and “few indeed had dared to abide them or look on their faces in the hour of their wrath”. As one of the foremost leaders of Gondor, it is only right that this heroic individual should stand by his king.
This pick is slightly outside the box but Gwaihir is certainly mighty enough to participate in Elrond’s last gambit. He is lord of the Great Eagles, which aren’t just big, dumb birds. They are Manwë’s (Lord of the Valar) agents in Middle Earth, which can see through all physical matter and are able to fight dragons!
Gwaihir is ancient, being one of the eagles that rescued Beren and Lúthien from Angband during the First Age. He is also seen as very engaged with the happenings of Middle Earth, aiding Gandalf more than once and fighting the Nazgul in the Battle of the Black Gate. This enormous killing machine would prove a useful aid when fighting Sauron, attacking him from the air, using his huge strength and adding a key distraction as the crew teaches Sauron a lesson.
The board is set, the pieces are moving…
Lord of the Rings is probably the fantasy world I am most passionate about. I love diving into all of the lore of this epic fantasy, and I hope you all enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let us know what you think. Have I missed someone key? Would you not have one of these heroes in your team? One thing’s for sure though, whoever it is, they will be hard-pressed to beat the Dark Lord.
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