A marathon of the entire The Lord of the Rings film saga-- The Hobbit movies included-- would take over 20 hours of viewing. We're talking the extended versions, of course, since one does not simply marathon the theatrical cuts.
That's a lot of content and any more would be pushing the possibilities of what a film adaptation could fit from its lengthy book counterpart. Because of the amount of content, there are a handful of characters who could not make the leap from the pages, onto the big screen.
Some characters were truly missed, like Quickbeam, an Ent who had the bark to answer an elder Ent's question before he even finished asking it, or the kindly elf Gildor, who briefly accompanied Frodo and his friends before Legolas joined the Fellowship.
Naturally, the medium of cinema has time constraints that books do not and some characters were best left behind in the imaginations of Middle-earth's adoring fans. Some of the characters listed were either too superfluous or just plain bizarre to make it into The Lord of the Rings movies.
Here are the 15 Lord Of The Rings Characters We're Glad Were Left Out Of The Movies.
The Dúnedain were a special subrace of Men who lived long lives well beyond those of typical humans. Aragorn was among this group, which is why he was 87-years-old and still looked extremely young in The Fellowship of the Ring.
Some of the surviving Dúnedain became the Rangers of the North, which was a special class that Aragorn also belonged to. While they were rare in the books, in the films Aragorn appeared to be the last of this kind.
In The Return of the King novel, Halbard, a Dúnedain, brought thirty soldiers of the shared heritage to accompany Aragorn through his later battles against the forces of Mordor. As cool as it would have been to see an army of long-lived, butt-kicking Aragorns, the film series decided to keep his character unique, and we can appreciate that.
The most obvious character missing from The Lord of the Rings movie series is the enigmatic Tom Bombadil. Not only was this plump magic-man missing from Peter Jackson's films, he did not appear in the Ralph Bakshi animated version either.
Directors just don't know what to do with the guy. Old Tom had little to do with the main quest of The Lord of the Rings, and only appeared in the first novel, The Fellowship of the Ring.
The hobbits met Bombadil early in the journey when they passed through the Old Forest. The ancient, rhyming man showed tremendous power and even proved to be resistant to the temptation of the One Ring-- a power that even Gandalf and Galadriel could not claim to have.
Perhaps Tom was too powerful for his own good to appear in the films, as fans would have likely accused him of being a deus ex machina, and we wouldn't want that title taken away from the Great Eagles. Tom Bombadil and his funny little poems are best left in the books.
Sometimes there is such a thing as being too awesome. Glorfindel was an elf of impressive reputation. Described in the books as "tall and straight; his hair was of shining gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of joy," Glorfindel came across as the all-mighty dreamboat of The Lord of the Rings franchise. His pre-Fellowship accomplishments included coming back from the dead and defeating a Balrog.
In The Fellowship of the Ring novel, it was he who was sent by Lord Elrond to retrieve Frodo Baggins. Do you recall the movie scene where Arwen carried Frodo on her horse in an attempt to escape the Nazgûl and their frightening black steeds? All of that was done by Glorfindel in the books.
J.R.R. Tolkien was not known for writing female characters into prominent roles in his stories, so perhaps it was for the best that Glorfindel's actions were switched to Arwen for the theatrical version.
Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor proved to be an important battleground in The Return of the King. Hosting the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Minas Tirith needed all the good guys it could get. One such group consisted of Prince Imrahil and his company, the Knights of Dol Amroth, also known as the Swan Knights.
While Éomer and his soldiers were outnumbered by the forces of Mordor, Imrahil and company helped even the playing field. The prince was even such a noble leader that he was appointed to rule the city until the rightful leader, Faramir, regained consciousness.
As much good as Prince Imrahil did in the books, the movie would have been a bit crowded with another royal hero. Besides, would the audiences have been able to take a group called the Swan Knights seriously?
The Druedain were a book-only oddity-- a group of forest-people who lived in huts in the Druadan Forest. They were clearly on the side of good, as they strongly despised Sauron and assisted his foes.
Their chief was a short man known as Ghân-buri-Ghân. Towards the end of the war, King Théoden found the need to pass his army through Druadan Forest in order to assist Gondor in their battle against Mordor. Crossing paths with Ghân-buri-Ghân the leaders spoke and realized they had a common goal: to crush Sauron by any means possible.
Knowing the area, Ghân-buri-Ghân suggested a secret passageway he could lead the army through. Helpful as he was in the books, the squat chief and his wild tribe would have felt like a strange last minute addition to The Return of the King film-- although it would have been hilarious to watch the characters try to pronounce "Ghân-buri-Ghân."
Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck, and Pippin Took--they're like The Beatles of The Lord of the Rings. They even had their very own Pete Best in Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger.
Earlier in The Fellowship of the Ring, Fredegar accompanied them on their pre-Rivendell adventures. However, when it was time to traverse the Old Forest, Fredegar chickened out and decided to stay at Frodo's new home in Crickhollow.
In house-sitting for Frodo, it was Fredegar's job to make it appear that his hobbit friend was still at home and not off on some grand adventure. This would later backfire when the Nazgûl showed up looking for Frodo and found the chubbier hobbit instead.
While an amusing character, it was best that Fredegar's unheroic tale was left out of the movie. Besides, the hobbits should be a far more body positive people than to nickname someone "Fatty." Second breakfast was a major part of their culture, after all.
What would Tom Bombadil be without his equally mysterious wife, Goldberry? Also known as "the River-daughter," she was cloaked in a dress of green and gold, with long blonde hair to match.
The hobbits found themselves enchanted by her presence. She appeared to be some kind of nature spirit connected to rivers. Like a laid back, all-loving, hippie, Goldberry played hostess to the hobbits and gave them a place to eat and sleep.
A scene like this would have slowed down the already lengthy plot of The Fellowship of the Ring, so it's understandable that she was left out-- the sooner the hobbits would move on to meet the rest of the Fellowship, the better.
Goldberry also somewhat resembled Galadriel as they were both golden, G-named, women living in nature--which would have had the potential of confusing the audience.
One of the major differences in the book of The Fellowship of the Ring was the amount of adventuring the hobbits went through before even encountering Aragorn at the Prancing Pony. Not long after leaving the Old Forest, Frodo and his friends once again found themselves in trouble.
As they traveled through the Barrow-downs, they encountered a ghostly undead creature, appropriately named the Barrow-wight. Managing to capture Sam, Merry, and Pippin it was up to Frodo to rescue his friends.
He was quick to recite a summoning song he learned that brought forth his new companion Tom Bombadil, who then rescued his furry-footed friends from their near death experience by banishing the Barrow-wight once and for all.
Considering that this was a chapter featuring Tom Bombadil in the books, it was best left out of the film. Besides, the ghostly presence of the Barrow-wight might have been too similar to the Nazgûl that would menace the Fellowship throughout the movie.
Arwen wasn't the only child of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings books. He also had twin sons called Elladan and Elrohir who did not appear in the movies despite being in The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King novels.
In the books, they joined Halbarad and his army, the Grey Company, and accompanied Aragorn. They were brave enough to travel with him through the Paths of the Dead where Aragorn recruited the ghostly army to his aid them in battle.
Elladan and Elrohir would join Glorfindel, as the Rivendell elves who would not show up in the movie. Viewers would have a difficult time telling all of the elves apart if Legolas, Elladan, and Elrohir were all out on a journey together-- especially since two out of three of those elves were twins.
There once was a traitorous human who served under Saurmon as a spy. This man was Bill Ferny. When the four hobbits arrived at the Prancing Pony inn, Bill kept an eye on them.
He would later report their whereabouts to the Nazgûl, because that's the least a minor villain could do. Not only did he have a small role in The Fellowship of the Ring, but he would eventually resurface in The Return of the King.
During the Scouring of the Shire (a scene not in the films), Bill was one of the humans who helped take over the peaceful hobbit land that Frodo and friends called home, all under the guidance of Saruman.
The problem with Bill was that anything said about his description could also apply to the other cowardly servant of Saruman: Grima Wormtongue. The world only has so much room for cowards.
The Battle of the Chamber of Mazarbul was one of the most thrilling scenes in both the book and movies of The Fellowship of the Ring. The fight, in which the Fellowship battled orcs in an abandoned dwarf city, led to a tense moment where Frodo appeared to be severely-- or maybe even mortally-- wounded.
In the book, the culprit was a large orc chieftain with a large spear. In the movie, however, he was replaced by something even better.
The movies sought for more visual variety and some extra thrills, so rather than another orc, a fearsome cave troll entered the battle and dealt Frodo the would-be injury. Frodo, of course, had the good luck of wearing the mithril shirt, handed down to him from Bilbo Baggins-- a light piece of armor that spared him from serious injury.
The wizards of The Lord of the Rings were unique from their ilk that typically inhabit fantasy stories. Rather than humans who've learned spells from old books, they were angel-like beings called Maia who served Middle-earth in the fight against Sauron.
In the films, we saw Gandalf the Grey, Saruman the White, and Radagast the Brown-- who finally showed up in The Hobbit, rather than The Fellowship of the Ring like in the books.
In Middle-earth mythology, there were two more wizards out there: Pallando and Alatar of the Blue. Admittedly, the characters only get passing mention in the books.
However, it wouldn't have been too surprising if they were somehow shoehorned into the movies, particularly in The Hobbit trilogy where characters such as Legolas were placed in and given expanded roles. As Baron Mordo said in the Doctor Strange movie, this would grant the world, "too many sorcerers."
In The Fellowship of the Ring movie, viewers only got a taste of Farmer Maggot. Pippin and Merry were seen running from his farm holding mushrooms that they had stolen from his land at the beginning of the film.
All we got of Farmer Maggot was his shouty voice and the top of his scythe swinging back-and-forth through a cornfield in pursuit of the thieves. The books were quite different in this respect, as readers spend quite some time with him and his family.
In the novel, the farmer and his wife Mrs. Maggot took the boys in, providing them with food and stories. The Maggots were a large family with several sons and daughters, and warmly welcomed the travelers into their household.
The encounter was an altogether pleasant experience, and Mrs. Maggot sent the hobbits away with a large basket of mushrooms to eat on the road-- no theft by Pippin and Merry here. The extended encounter wouldn't have worked in the movie and would have padded an already lengthy running time.
Some viewers may have felt overwhelmed by the 13 dwarves that journeyed with Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit movies. It was certainly hard to keep track of their rhyming names too. Luckily, we were spared that mental exercise within The Lord of the Rings films.
However, if the movies stayed 100% loyal to the books, we would have dealt with another group of dwarves in The Fellowship of the Ring. After Bilbo's 111th birthday shenanigans, he ran back to his home in Bag End and was joined by three dwarf companions.
After a struggle to leave the One Ring behind under Gandalf's strict instruction, Bilbo whistled, and the three dwarves popped up out of nowhere, having packed for the journey ahead, and leave with their elderly, hobbit friend. It would have made for an odd moment in the movie version for sure. Especially after such an intense moment between Gandalf and Bilbo.
In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo, and his dwarf companions encountered Beorn, the large, intimidating man who could transform into a larger than average bear. In the books, as frightening as he could be, things were a little odd inside the grand home of the wild man.
The hall in Beorn's house was like a trip into Alice and Wonderland. It was packed with cows, sheep, horses, and dogs-- all of whom Beorn would hold conversations with. If this wasn't odd enough, some of the animals were capable of walking on two legs, carrying torches, and serving food to their guests like bizarro, furry, waiters.
One has to wonder: if Guillermo del Toro had remained the director of The Hobbit, would the more magical animals have remained? Del Toro was interested in having animals capable of speech, as they were in the book.
Can you think of any other characters who you're glad didn't appear in The Lord of the Rings movies? Let us know in the comments.