The Lord of the Rings franchise has managed to remain strong in terms of popularity and financially that it’s hard to imagine a time when there wasn’t two movie trilogies. Many of the major actors and actress have continued acting careers, like Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, and Ian McKellan. But did you ever wonder what happened to some of the actors who portrayed secondary characters?
Many of those actors have worked hard in the TV and film industry and still pursue major and minor roles to this day. Some have become more recognizable names by being casted in well-known television shows and movies, but others have mostly disappeared from the industry, opting to follow personal pursuits unrelated to film and TV. In some cases, the Peter Jackson movies were all they ever appeared in!
The actors are pulled from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. These characters weren’t part of the main group – like the party of the Fellowship, for example – but played at least one named character.
As you read through the following actors and actresses, enjoy learning what your favorite ones have been up to the past few years!
Here is Where Are They Now? The Secondary Characters Of Lord Of The Rings.
16. John Noble – Denethor
As one of the most well-known actors on this list of secondary characters, John Noble played Denethor. Denethor lost all hope in The Lord of the Rings movies, thinking that Sauron couldn’t be defeated. He made terrible decisions, and, in a memorable scene, refused to have the beacons lighted to get help to Rohan.
Noble has an extensive career going back to 1988. He’s still a busy actor, sometimes maintaining multiple roles in television shows and movies at the same time. He voiced Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow in the video game Batman: Arkham Knight, starred in sci-fi series Fringe, and played Morland Holmes for a season on Elementary on CBS. You might especially remember him as Henry Parrish in Sleepy Hollow, which won’t have a season five.
Currently, he is Nicholas Tanz in the TV show Salvation. He will appear in two movies that have just been announced: Stream and Guardians of Luna. He’s also the spokesperson for his charity, Noble Bones, which is meant to raise awareness for osteoporosis.
15. Bret McKenzie – Lindir
Bret McKenzie is the son of Peter McKenzie, who played Elendil. Bret had the role of Lindir in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Lindir was Elrond’s right-hand Elven associate. He also greeted Thorin and his group when they came to Rivendell.
Bret is mainly a songwriter, with credits in The Simpsons series and the Muppets Most Wanted movie. In 2017, he played Huck in the comedy TV series Bajillion Dollar Propertie$.
For a couple of years he was half of the comedy duo, Flight of the Conchords. He formerly was a drummer for The Black Seeds, but now does solo songs and albums under the name The Video Kid.
14. Sarah McLeod – Rosie Cotton
Rosie Cotton was the love-interest and eventual wife of Samwise Gamgee, who you should know as the faithful companion to Frodo Baggins. She worked as a barmaid in the Shire and was often called Rose.
McLeod has done a few movies and TV series in New Zealand since then, such as Shortland Street, Hugh and Heke, and Auckland Daze. Her really only major role since The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King was in Shortland Street, where she played Cindy Watson.
In 2010, she appeared as herself in an episode of America’s Next Top Model when the contestants were sent to “Hobbiton” for a Lord of the Rings photo shoot. Otherwise, since 2012, Sarah McLeod has not done any major or minor work in the film or TV industry.
13. Marton Csokas – Celeborn
Celeborn was Elven and on the boat near the end of The Return of the King when it left the Grey Havens. Csokas had scenes in The Two Towers, but they were cut so the movie wouldn’t run so long.
Csokas has continued to rack up movie and TV roles, most notably playing Quinn in the AMC series Into the Badlands. He also starred opposite of Denzel Washington in The Equalizer, where he played Teddy. His other roles from 2017 are Klaus in Voice from the Stone and Pat Gray in Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, which releases September 29.
12. Ali Astin – Elanor Gamgee
Ali Astin is the daughter of Sean Astin, and appropriately played Samwise Gamgee’s (played by Sean) daughter in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. She hasn’t done much since the movie until 2016. She goes by Alexandra Astin for her movie and TV roles; Ali is a nickname.
Astin voiced the Princess in the animated movie Ribbit and most recently played Ethel in Bad Kids of Crestview Academy, an action-thriller and comedy movie, released January 2017. Both films also had Sean Astin in them.
11. Craig Parker – Haldir/Gothmog’s Voice
Craig Parker’s role was Haldir, an Elf of Lorien who protected the north part of the forest. One of his recognizable lines is, “The Dwarf breathed so loudly we could have shot him in the dark.” Parker was also the voice of Gothmog, who took over the Mogul forces when the Witch-King was killed.
Over the past few years, Parker has taken part in various TV series like Sleepy Hollow and NCIS, but he was seen more recently in the main role of Lord Stephane Narcisse in the series Reign, which ended after four seasons. He is also the current reigning champion on a popular New Zealand game show, Celebrity Joker Poker.
10. Ian Mune – Bounder
In The Lord of the Rings, Bounders were Hobbits that were responsible for keeping troublemakers and strangers out of the Shire. They walked the Shire, often at its borders, performing their duties more and more in the lead up to the War of the Ring.
Ian Mune played one of the more visible Bounders in the Shire, carrying his lantern with distinction. Mune has been an actor, writer, and director for over fifty years, but lately has been concentrating on TV and film. The year 2017 was busy for him with roles in the films Shepherd and Kiwi Christmas (just completed filming), and the English TV series Wanted.
9. Lawrence Makoare – Lurtz/Gothmog/Witch-King/Bolg
One of the many actors who played more than one role, Lawrence Makoare took on four. He was Commander Lurtz in The Fellowship of the Ring, and the Witch-King of Angmar and General Gothmog in The Return of the King, and Bolg in The Desolation of Smaug.
Makoare’s last major work was Netflix’s Marco Polo, where he played Za Bing. And because he was filming that show, he was unable to continue the Bolg role in the subsequent The Hobbit film. After that, he was Igaka in Tatau, a supernatural mystery, TV mini-series taking place on the Cook Islands near New Zealand.
You can now catch Makoare at various art shows where he showcases his wood carving art.
8. Mark Ferguson – Gil-galad
Mark Ferguson’s character Gil-galad appeared in The Fellowship of the Ring. His two scenes included one where he battled several orcs with a spear and another scene when he showed up as an Elven ring-bearer – one of the original three. Ferguson had a death scene as Gil-galad but it got deleted.
After a four-year break from 2007-2011, Ferguson resumed his career with roles in My Wedding and Other Secrets and Spartacus: War of the Damned. Currently, he plays Steve in the New Zealand/Australian TV show 800 Words, which is now in its third series.
7. Alastair Browning – Damrod
Damrod was a Ranger of Ithilien as one of Faramir’s men. He was the leader of the group that seized Gollum at the Forbidden Pool. He also fought at Osgiliath with 100 other men, but his body was never found. In The Two Towers, Browning was uncredited for his part as Damrod.
Alastair Browning’s latest role in a major film or TV show was as Judge Matkovic in American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, a 10-episode documentary that began in April 2017. However, he has also voiced Zenowing in the TV series Power Rangers Dino Charge and taken roles in short films, features, and other TV shows since 2015.
6. John Bach – Madril
The character Madril advised Faramir, and was his second-in-command, leading archers at the Battle of Osgiliath. Eventually he was killed by Gothmog, voiced by Craig Parker, who also features on this list.
Madril doesn’t appear in The Lord of the Rings books; his character is derived from another character, Mardil, though whether the spelling change is merely a typo is unclear.
Bach stays busy, acting in many New Zealand, Australian, American, and British TV series, movies, and short films. Since 2015, you can see Bach in the TV series Jack Irish, Janet King, Gallipoli, and The Light Between Oceans.
5. Bruce Hopkins – Gamling
Gamling was a citizen of Rohan who was sometimes called Gamling the Old. Bruce Hopkins played this The Lord of the Rings character in The Two Towers and Return of the King.
Hopkins remains busy in the TV and film industry, especially in New Zealand, with at least one to three projects released per year since 2014. Most roles are smaller parts, but his last two films have him in starring roles: Ork Land is a TV movie and Ara is a sci-fi thriller that just started filming in 2017.
Hopkins if the founder of Action Actors, which is a temporary HR placement agency that helps actors in New Zealand find work – in the performing arts or outside it – to make money to pay the bills. The agency continues to operate to this day. Hopkins also still remains a board member of Film Auckland, NZ Actors Equity, and Okareka Dance Company (he has nine years dance experience.)
4. Stephen Ure – Grishnak/Gorbag
Stephen Ure has played a few parts in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. In The Two Towers he was Grishnakh (an Orc Captain); in The Return of the King he was Gorbag (Orc patrol leader); and in two of The Hobbit movies he was Fimbul, an Orc hunter who chased Thorin and his group.
He continues to act after his stints in The Hobbit movies. He acted in four episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead, played Neville Whittnish in The Light Between Oceans, and just completed the film Mortal Engines, written by Peter Jackson and starring Hugo Weaving, another The Lord of the Rings alum.
3. Jed Brophy – Sharku/Snaga/Nori
Jed Brophy has appeared in more than one Peter Jackson film. Besides The Lord of the Rings, he was also in Jackson’s King Kong, Heavenly Creatures, and Braindead.
In The Lord of the Rings Brophy played a Nazgul (Wraith) rider, Sharku (Orc Captain), and Snaga, who was an Orc that wanted to eat Merry and Pippin. In The Hobbit movies, he played Nori, one of the companions.
Current roles include The Dagda Mor in the TV show The Shannara Chronicles, and Prince John in the English TV series Hood. The latter has just started filming. Also filming is a movie releasing next year called My Lover, My Lazy Boy.
2. Bruce Allpress – Aldor
If you remember the Battle of Helm’s Deep, you remember that Aldor was the first one to fire an arrow into a Uruk-hai. It was an accident, but the action started the attack on Helm’s Deep. The battle was massive, and it’s not known if Aldor – played by Bruce Allpress – lived or died during that encounter.
Allpress is currently 87 years old. He’s worked on TV and film up until 2016, where most of his work remains in the New Zealand area. His latest film released last year. It’s a docu-drama called Pike River, about the New Zealand mine disaster that killed 29 of 31 miners (2 had managed to escape.)
1. Stephen Fry – Master at Lake-town
In two of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring prequels, Stephen Fry played Master of Lake-town, which is the moniker Esgaroth-elected leaders hold, and was in charge when Bilbo and Thorin came to the town.
Fry continues to be very active with film and television, voicing Colonel K in the Danger Mouse TV series and playing Roland – the owner of an outdoor magazine – in the recently canceled ABC show The Great Outdoors.
Rolling into 2018, he has several films releasing, like Duck Duck Goose, an animated film with Jim Gaffigan, and The Brits are Coming with Tim Roth and Sofia Vergara.
One of the most popular quiz shoes in Great Britian, QI – which stands for Quite Interesting – was hosted by Fry until 2015.
Because he helped make science more popular as host of QI, Saepocephalum stephenfryii – a type of bird louse – was named after him in early 2017.
What other actors who played secondary characters in The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit trilogies are you interested in knowing about? Let us know in the comments below!
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