It’s been exactly 20 years since hobbit Frodo Baggins (
Elijah Wood) was plucked from The Shire and tasked with destroying a gilded bauble to save all of Middle-earth from mass destruction. No big deal. Thankfully, eight other cohorts — many of whom might make you swoon — signed up to join his quest in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
For two decades, though, only two characters were exalted as Middle-earth hotties: Legolas and Aragorn. Played by
Orlando Bloom, the blonde elf with killer aim captured hearts by sliding down elephant trunks with nary a half-ponied hair out of place. (His character was so beloved that he was recast in trilogy years later, even though Legolas wasn’t in the original The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien novel it was based on.) Meanwhile, Aragorn, played by Viggo Mortensen, dazzled as the unassuming ranger who reluctantly takes his throne as the King of Men. Arwen ( Liv Tyler) was so charmed by him in the trilogy that she trades her immortality for a chance to be with him.
As the film’s anniversary comes around, it’s time to give the entire trilogy a rewatch and the
other characters their due with a definitive list of unsung LOTR hotties, ranked from least to most thirst-worthy. Treebeard Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
He’s an ent, yes. But if you’re into eco-minded beings who rage against deforestation, he’s the perfect
LOTR beau. Also, he has naturally strong shoulders and quads despite never working out. His dating profile would probably read: “Likes to take long walks, can sit comfortably in silence, ideal date is joining a climate march together. Our house plants will thrive when I’m around.” For obvious species reasons, he’s at the bottom of this list. The Witch-King of Angmar Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Why everyone cowers at the mere mention of Sauron’s name is unclear. Sans ring, he’s but an (eye)ball of withdrawal and seemingly powerless without his orc army. The bad guy who’s actually the perfect mix of creepy and hot is the Witch-King of Angmar, leader of the Nazgûl. Yes, his face is never shown (he’s no longer human, after all), but you just
know he’s striking beneath all that — or at least was as a former monarch. Everything about him oozes sex appeal. He uses his bedroom voice all the time and can rock all-black and metal accessories without looking emo. Théodred Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Théoden’s son, aka the Prince of Rohan, appears in the second film,
The Two Towers, for the briefest of moments and only as a dying character with a fatal wound. No one else in the films looks as good on the cusp of death, solidifying his place on the list. Boromir Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
“One does not simply walk into Mordor” is the iconic line of the first film for a reason — the good-looking warrior of Gondor delivers it brilliantly. Boromir is well-equipped in combat but ranks low on this list for the sole reason that we don’t get to see him enough.
Gimli Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
Stubbornness can be a sexy quality — Gimli (played by John Rhys-Davies, the voice of Treebeard) proves as much. He’s hyper-competitive and extremely proud. So as long as you’re partnered with him in games or battles, you’ll likely not lose — he won’t let you. But under all that chainmail and tough bravado is a real softie. He’s super loyal and a great friend, both attractive qualities in a person.
Théoden Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Let’s be fair: Théoden is dignified. Maybe it’s the beard, the crown, or the velvet robes, but there’s something about Rohan’s king that is commanding —
after his exorcism, of course. Like fictional father, like fictional son, no? Plus, his relationship with his niece, Éowyn, is touching. Merry Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Meriadoc Brandybuck, aka Merry, has never seen battle in his life, aside from the war he wages with crop-owners after stealing goods. But he still shows great courage in the face of death when he volunteers to be esquire to the King of Rohan by the third film,
Return of the King. He definitely deserves to be on the crush list, even if just for the sole reason that he’s partially responsible for killing the Nazgûl leader. Gandalf
Some men can only dream of growing a beard like Gandalf’s. The wizard is as powerful as he is dashing. Though he sometimes arrives a little late to the action, he would never, ever break a promise. (Unless, of course, he’s held captive in a tower.) He’s also gifted at pyrotechnics, which might come in handy in a social setting someday. Plus, his Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White transformation? A literal glow-up.
For the record, Saruman, Gandalf’s fellow silver fox sorcerer, is also hot, but it’s severely diminished on account of turning evil.
Haldir Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Elves are preternaturally more attractive than the rest of the creatures on Middle-earth — it’s just the way Tolkein’s world works. Haldir is no different. Viewers first catch a glimpse of his stern character when the fellowship meets with Lady Galadriel in the forest, though he instantly recognizes kinship in Legolas.
But it’s in the second film that he’s truly remembered. In an emotional moment, he joins the men in the battle of Helm’s Deep when all hope is lost but is ultimately slain. He’s heroic, he’s a leader, and he shows up. Also, he’s pretty.
Samwise Gamgee plays the role of best friend and gardener to Frodo and devoted protector and lover to Rosie so well. While it might be tempting to put him in the friend zone, you simply can’t. The fact that he embodies these qualities is what propels him to the upper half of the list.
Also, there’s something so stirring about him pining for Rosie all that time, thinking of her even as lava spews out of Mount Doom. A faithful, respectful, wholesome guy who is absolutely husband material.
Éomer Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Éomer’s name alone is already enticing. It means “one who is famous in terms of horses.” (It’s giving
Adam Driver Burberry ad vibes.) He’s loyal to his family even when he’s briefly exiled by his spellbound uncle (the King of Rohan), and he’s gifted in battle and can rock a half-pony. Elrond Screenshot via YouTube/The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
Elrond, the Lord of Rivendell, may be 6,500 years old, but he definitely doesn’t look it. He’s revered in the elf community and possesses magical abilities, but if you strip him of his powers and dominion over the most beautiful species, he’s really just a single dad trying to do right by his (grown) daughter. That’s admirable. Not to mention, he looks great in those Elven robes. Another major plus? His realm is practically a wellness retreat, and it would do your mind, body, and soul good to cohabitate with him.
Sure, Frodo gets a tad bit dramatic at times, but that’s only because the world’s fate is in his hands. When you put that to the side, there are a few dreamy qualities within the hobbit. He’s got expressive baby blue eyes and isn’t afraid to show emotion — he cries when Gandalf falls with Balrog and jumps up and down when he sees his friends in Rivendell. Plus, you already know he has a soft side when he lets Gollum tag along.
Pippin Screenshot via YouTube/Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Peregrin Took gets into a lot of trouble, but his mischief — or “boyish wonder” — is part of the appeal. He may be thinking about food 80% of the time, but that just means he knows all the good food stops and delicacies and could actually come up with a plan for your next date. And
that singing voice? Sublime. Faramir YouTube/Lord of the Rings
Boromir’s hot brother Faramir is a tortured soul with a chip on his shoulder; he’s trying to be good enough for his dad. Still, his moral compass is strong, and he lets Frodo go even though it means getting disowned or sent on a suicide mission. Though his eventual partner Éowyn only sets eyes on him after her attempts to woo Aragorn fail, Faramir is no consolation prize. Denethor II may not appreciate his son, but we sure do.
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