J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is one of the oldest and most influential modern works of high fantasy. It’s influence on literature, pop culture, and fiction in general would be hard to quantify. However, it is definitely huge.
Since the first publication of The Hobbit in 1937 and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the 1950s, the series has only grown in popularity. Various adaptations were made for film and radio.
Then The Lord of the Rings became a true pop culture phenomenon with the release of Peter Jackson’s bib budget live action movie adaptation of the trilogy from 2001 to 2003.
For fans who had already read the books, it was a spectacular visualization many had only dreamed of. For brand new viewers, it was an introduction to a stunningly realized world and characters. And one thing star struck fans make a lot of is fan art.
The sheer volume of fan art for Lord of the Rings is astounding. Fans were drawing fan art for Lord of the Rings long before Peter Jackson’s movies.
Fans continue to put their own visual spin on the story and characters even after Peter Jackson’s two trilogies. They even use fan art to bring life to pairs of characters who aren’t officially couples in the story.
What would Aragorn and Legolas look like as a couple? Or Gimli and Legolas or Tauriel and Legolas?
If you’ve ever wanted to know what these couples would look like, here are 20 Crazy Fan Art Designs Of Unexpected Lord Of The Rings Couples!
20 ARAGORN AND LEGOLAS
Aragorn and Legolas had been good friends even before the Counsel of Elrond. They were both eager to pledge their service to Frodo as part of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Through the course of the quest, Aragorn and Legolas fought together on numerous occasions. They also spoke to each other in elvish and were not above teasing each other to lighten the mood.
The ruggedly handsome ranger and the sleek fair elf make quite the couple too.
Deviant Artist Yamygugu draws Aragorn and Legolas back to back on a bench presumably somewhere in Rivendell. Their clothing is much more relaxed and even modern than what we see them in for most of the movies.
They also look very content as they prepare to snack on their apples.
19 LEGOLAS AND GIMLI
Dwarves and Elves don’t have the friendliest history in Middle-earth. Legolas and Gimli didn’t start out on the best terms when they joined the Fellowship of the Ring.
Their camaraderie grew over the course of their adventures as did their friendly competition. During the battles of Helms Deep and Minas Tirtih, Legolas and Gimli both kept track of the number of orcs they slew.
A few times in the movies, we see Legolas physically lifting Gimli for his own good.
The sketch from winderly on DeviantArt flips that dynamic around. Here Gimli is hurrying along, bravely carrying his elf friend to safety. Perhaps Gimli had gotten tired of all the dwarf tossing and wanted to show Legolas what he’d been missing.
18 GANDALF AND GALADRIEL
Gandalf the Gray led the Fellowship of the Ring in the beginning of their quest. When he returned as Gandalf the White, he continued to lead the free peoples of Middle-earth in the campaign against Sauron.
Galadriel also provided crucial aid to the Fellowship. Her gifts for each member at Lothlorien were invaluable, including the Phial of Galadriel.
We didn’t see much of Galadriel and Gandalf’s relationship before The Hobbit movies. While they were obvious allies, we saw much more affection between them. Gandalf was very candid and vulnerable in front of her.
Here in this illustration by Leharc—BlueHeart, we see them reaching for each other in a moment from the battle against Sauron.
17 FRODO AND SAM
Samwise Gamgee was with Frodo Baggins from the very beginning of his journey out of the Shire. He also became the last member of the Fellowship to stick with Frodo until the very end of their quest.
Their companionship is unshakable. Not even Gollum’s treachery or the Ring itself could keep them apart.
It’s easy to see how their relationship could easily develop into a couple.
Fans barely have to paint their interactions or scenes in a different light to make them romantic.
The scene where Frodo and Sam say goodbye at the Gray Havens is so emotional for both of them. They’ve been through so much together.
Nofavrell’s style captures the sad and endearing aspects of Frodo and Sam’s relationship.
16 MANWË AND VARDA
The Valar are the divine beings that helped shape Middle-earth in the beginning. Although we don’t see them specifically in the movies, they are meant to serve as guides to the physically bound, free peoples, like elves and men and dwarves.
Manwë is their king and Varda is their queen.
Manwë is king of not only the Valar but he holds domain over all the world through the sky and air. Varda is the queen of light, said to be beautiful beyond description.
Creating any fan art of the Valar is quite open ended for Tolkien fans. However, Adelaiy of DeviantArt seems to have done it.
This illustration of Manwë and Varda captures both their impressive divinity and their radiant beauty.
15 ELROND AND THRANDUIL
Elrond is the half elven Lord of Rivendell. He was a crucial figure through the various campaigns against Sauron in the Second and Third Ages.
Thranduil was king of the elves of Mirkwood during the quest of Thorin Oakenshield’s company. Elrond was always welcoming and generous. He hosted Thorin’s company and held the Council of Elrond where the Fellowship of the Ring was formed.
Thranduil has been definitely less hospitable. During the third agem he kept Mirkwood isolationist and imprisoned Thorin’s company when they came upon his territory.
It’s difficult to imagine Elrond and Thranduil being so relaxed with each other.
Perhaps this helps to make royacc’s fan art so endearing. It's a tender moment from an unexpected couple.
14 BILBO AND THORIN
There’s a moment in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie that is ripe for Bilbo and Thorin shippers.
After Thorin, Gandalf, and the dwarves escape from the goblins in the Misty Mountains, Bilbo seems to have vanished. Bilbo reappears, but Thorin is angry with him. He shouts that he said from the beginning how unfit Bilbo would be to join in their quest.
Then, suddenly, Thorin embraces Bilbo and confesses how he had never been more wrong about any one all his life.
It’s a tender surprise to Bilbo and a pivotal moment for his and Thorin’s friendship-- maybe even a bit more than friendship.
In lamch0pz version of this scene, Bilbo is blushing and Thorin’s eyes are welling with tears.
13 TAURIEL AND LEGOLAS
For some reason, we get to see much more elf with non-elf couples in the Lord of the Rings movies than elf with elf couples.
It seemed as though there may have been some attraction between Legolas and Tauriel in The Hobbit movies. However, Thranduil wasn’t interested in his son being pledged to a lowly silvan elf.
Hueco-mundo of Deviant Art obviously had different ideas. Here we see not only Legolas and Tauriel as a couple, but with a son. He isn’t named in the piece, but he’s got his mother’s wild hair and his father’s penchant for archery.
The level of detail is fantastic with the elven family popping right out of the wooded setting in the frame.
12 BARD AND THRANDUIL
King Thranduil seemed to have a modicum of respect for Bard in The Battle of the Five Armies movies. They were at least convenient allies after Smaug destroyed Laketown.
Each of them expected to share in the wealth reclaimed from Erebor. However, we don’t get to see them enjoying anything close to a personal conversation.
Fans seem to love portraying reserved, stoic characters in tender moments.
In this fan art by NaSyu, Bard has his arms wrapped around Thranduil’s waist while Thranduil gently holds Bard’s head in his hands.
The two men are gently laying their foreheads together. Both characters are rendered in beautiful detail, especially in their facial expressions. You can feel the affection between them in this piece.
11 FRODO AND SAM
There’s no limit of scenes to draw from when it comes to a Frodo and Sam relationship. Even from the beginning of their journey, Sam’s devotion to Frodo is absolute.
At the end of the Fellowship of the Ring, Sam even risks drowning rather than let Frodo continue to Mordor alone. Frodo in turn realizes that he could never leave Sam behind.
Frodo and Sam barely get to share a quiet, happy moment in their quest to destroy the Ring.
However, in Kiri-Yami’s DeviantArt piece here, the hobbits look quite happy. Frodo and Sam have their arms around each other with big smiles on their faces.
It’s interesting that Sam seems to be a little bit taller than Frodo in the piece. It could reflect Sam’s role of looking after Frodo while on their journey.
10 ARWEN AND EOWYN
Arwen and Eowyn are two of the small handful of female characters with major roles in The Lord of the Rings movies.
Arwen is the daughter of Elrond and the Evanstar of the Elves of Rivendell. She rendezvous with Aragorn to hurry Frodo away from the pursuing Ringwraiths.
Eowyn is the niece of King Theoden of Rohan. She defies the king’s wishes and secretly rides with the Rohirim at the battle of Minas Tirith.
Both women broke with the traditions of their people to stay true to what they believed.
In this black and white piece by SaveTheQu33n, Eowyn keeps up her willingness to fight for the lovely Arwen, arms around each other-- nevermind Aragorn son of Arathorn.
9 MELKOR AND SAURON (MAIRON)
Melkor was the first Dark Lord Middle-earth ever knew. His pride and his greed led him to corrupt and twist other beings towards evil. He was the first to create balrogs and dragons and orcs.
Sauron was his top lieutenant during the First Age of Middle-earth. Sauron was originally known as Mairon when he was a upstanding magical craftsman aligned with good.
It is unclear who may have sought out whom between Melkor and Mairon.
Some accounts describe Mairon turning to evil and allying himself with Melkor for greater personal power.
However, this captivating piece by Phobs paints an arguably darker scene. Melkor has the fair Mairon under his sway. Mairon becomes totally allured by Melkor’s fearsome power.
8 MERRY AND PIPPIN
Merry and Pippin were the other pair of hobbits in the Fellowship of the Ring. They were almost as inseparable as Frodo and Sam, even if they didn’t always take things as seriously.
After getting captured by the Uruk-hai, Merry and Pippin escaped into Fangorn Forest. With some effort, they convinced the Ents to march against Isengard and end Saruman’s schemes.
Merry and Pippin each joined in the final battle for Middle-earth in the armies of Rohan and Gondor respectively.
Merry and Pippin are thick as thieves throughout the movies. Their separation in Return of the King shows just how much they depend on each other.
It’s easy to imagine a scene like BanjoHayworth’s when they are back together and having fun back in the Shire.
7 ARAGORN AND EOWYN
When Aragorn comes to the kingdom of Rohan in The Two Towers, he meets Eowyn. Eowyn is the niece of king Theoden, a shield maiden of Rohan who is almost immediately enamored with Aragorn.
He is brave and strong and one of the only men she’s met who seems to think she can become more than just a shield maiden.
It’s a pity for Eowyn that Aragon was already in love with Arwen. Not to mention his focus on fighting Sauron and the possibility of dying in that fight. =
However, many fans still think Eowyn and Aragorn could have loved each other under different circumstances.
Even in this oil on canvas piece by Peter Xavier Price, Aragorn and Eowyn don’t seem to be at ease.
6 CELEBORN AND THRANDUIL
Celeborn is the Elven lord of Lothlórien, husband to the Lady Galadriel. Celeborn was born early in the First Age of Middle-earth and ruled over several realms before he and Galadriel ended up in Lothlórien.
Thranduil is younger than Celeborn but also became the Lord of another wooded Eelven domain in the Woodland Realm.
Both of these elven lords show great poise, although Celeborn seems more even tempered based on what we see in the movies.
In this piece by LightVampire, Celeborn and Thranduil are leaning against each other back to back.
Even in the outlining sketch, thousands of years of experience and responsibility can be seen in both of their eyes.
It’s a burden only they could understand about each other.
5 DEAGOL AND SMEAGOL
After Isildur loses the Ring of Power, the next beings to find the Ring are Deagol and Smeagol.
Deagol takes it out of the bottom of a river and becomes enraptured with it immediately. The Ring’s evil urges Smeagol and Deagol to fight each other until Smeagol strangles Deagol.
Smeagol then takes the Ring and morphs into the creature called Gollum over many years.
How different things might have been if Deagol had never found the Ring. Deviant Artist jossujb has some ideas on that front.
Here, in this pleasant illustration, the two characters are cuddling peacefully in the grass. They seem just as close and content as any of the other pairs of hobbits or near hobbits we see in the movies or in fan art.
4 TAURIEL AND THRANDUIL
Tauriel and Thranduil are at odds with each other many times in The Hobbit movies. Thranduil doesn’t give her much thought other than to make clear he doesn’t want Tauriel and Legolas pairing up.
When Tauriel falls in love with Kili, she confronts him about his dismissal of the mortal races. She even holds him at knife point.
Maybe there was something else behind Thranduil’s warning to Tauriel not to give Legolas false hope. Maybe he had some attraction himself to the lowly silvan elf captain of the guard.
In this piece by Cudzinec, Thranduil seems to comforting a distraught Tauriel. He holds her close to him by the arms while something out of frame draws their eyes.
3 ORI AND FILI
Ori and Fili were two of the youngest members of the company of Thorin Oakenshield. Fili and his broher Kili were Thorin’s nephews, while Ori was more distantly related.
Ori set himself apart right away as one of the more considerate dwarves. After all, he was the only one who showed some house guest manners upon arriving at Bag End.
Fili proved himself faithful and true through the dwarves’ quest to reclaim Erebor. He stuck with his ailing brother Kili even as the Lonely Mountain drew within reach.
Some fans just can’t seem to resist drawing these two young well-meaning dwarves together.
Nerdeeart on Tumblr has an adorable piece with Ori and Fili facing each other, hand in hand.
2 FARAMIR AND EOWYN
While they are an official couple in the Lord of the Rings books and movies, fans still love to imagine more between Faramir and Eowyn.
Faramir had grimly accepted his father’s command to march on the occupied Osgiliath and barely survived. Eowyn was grievously injured in her fight against the Witch King.
While in the houses of healing, the two of them grew to love each other. The Captain of Gondor and the Shield maiden of Rohan both finding love after being resigned to the grave.
In this cartoon portrait by Inimeitiel-chan, Faramir and Eowyn are hugging softly.
The affection between them is plain as day, with Faramir’s hand in Eowyn’s hair and her hands at his back and shoulder.
1 KILI AND TAURIEL
Fili and Tauriel are another cannon couple that some fans can’t get enough of, especially since the romance was cut violently short when Kili's life was taken during the Battle of the Five Armies.
Who knows what sort of life Kili and Tauriel might have had together if they had both survived the battle. They could have had plenty more heroics and teasing quips, but always with earnest love.
In this piece by against-stars, we see Kili and Tauriel swearing eternal love for each other in marriage. Both are dressed in woodland green with floral crowns.
Thanks to a perfectly sized tree stump, Kili and Tauriel are able to stand nose to nose, hands wrapped together.
Would you have liked to see some of these couples in the Lord of the Rings movies? Are there any other unexpected couples that should've been paired together? Sound off in the comments!