It's hard to believe that the Lord of the Rings trilogy ended sixteen years ago with The Return of the King. The most heartfelt fans will revisit the stories and their favorite characters on streaming services like Hulu, where all three movies are currently available. There's nothing like going back to rewatch old classics to see what you may have missed the first time around or to explore favorite scenes that haven't been studied in years.
Lord of the Rings will forever be a cult classic, as it was spectacularly imagined by the epic fantasy director, Peter Jackson. In fact, the entire phenomenon may not have been so highly-received had it not been for the crew who had to dig into J. R. R. Tolkien's work in order to revive such an intricate film. The costume designers, in particular, had their work cut out for them, but their costuming designs did not go unnoticed. Here are the ten best Lord of the Rings costumes, ranked.
Gandalf's wardrobe throughout the entire series is a little humdrum. Sure, his staff is pretty intricate, but the rest of it is relatively plain. He basically just wears an oversized grey robe. And, while this is fitting since he is "Gandalf the Grey" it doesn't leave much up to the imagination. His hat takes the form of a wizard's hat, which just seems a bit lazy and too obvious.
When he becomes Gandalf the White, his costume is a bit more exciting, though it ultimately holds the same structure. The robe is a dazzling white with elaborate details etched into the fabric, but his staff has a more barren look to it. Suffice to say, Saurman's former white attire is even more appealing than what Ganddalf is fashioned with.
In the books, Eowyn is described as "tall, slim, pale, and graceful, with long golden hair and grey eyes." Actress Miranda Otto portrayed the part well, but her costuming could have been more exciting. Her outfit changes a few times throughout the series, but each dress is just as lackluster as the next.
Eowyn switches it up in Return of the King, however, and she shows up with full-fledged battle armor. The change of costume is so forceful that, even though the armor itself bears a general essence of that era, it is a much more detailed look than any of the dresses she adorned. But hey, maybe that's the point.
Frodo's costume is very reminiscent of what a small-town appearance should look like. Before his journey to Mordor, Frodo is a low-level Hobbit living in the peaceful region of the Shire. His initial costume may just be the least exciting compared to his Hobbit friends, with a matching brown suit and a forest green robe. The most interesting part of this entire character design is that he essentially remains barefoot through the longevity of the Lord of the Rings movies.
Like Frodo, Aragon's staple costume does nothing to announce him being a central character. In some films, the main characters might have something in their wardrobe to help them stand out from the crowd, but this isn't really the case with Aragon. His typical riding gear is made up of a natural color palette, though his accessories are more built up the Frodo's. The Evenstar necklace is his most prominent piece. The glittering silver necklace given to him by Arwen has gorgeous features that still acts as a fast-selling piece of merchandise for fans.
Aragon's wardrobe is spiced up when he throws on his Gondorian battle armor in Return of the King. His vest piece has a flashy intertwining tree plastered on the front and the armor itself looks resilient.
Not only is Gimli exceptionally detailed, but his props and hairstyle offer some of the best costume designs in the series. Who knows how actor John Rhys-Davies managed to film in this garb for all these years and still come off as ferocious? The dwarf warrior is a primary character, fighting alongside the like of Aragon and Legolas. He wields a heavy ax, and his massive red beard has braids and other noticeable details that help fortify his character's presence.
Legolas' is the mild-mannered Sindarin Elf that every Lord of the Rings fangirl swooned over. Played by Orlando Blom, this character is given a costume concept, not unlike Aragon's. However, his character's design seems to have more details, specifically noting the tree-like designs etched into the brown outfit. He has a simpled layered look, but with more colors, which seems to be the general design idea for the elfin region. His bow and arrow is Legolas' prime accessory, and it's obvious that even those have been designed with care.
As the main antagonist, a fearful and intimidating design seems mandatory for Sauron. His heavily spiked ensemble is taken into account from head to toe, creating an armor fit for the creator of the One Ring. His costume is definitely one of the more detailed ensembles in the series, making his character seem that much more secluded. From the massive chain-link bodice to his terrifying mask, this costume is fitting for the Dark Lord.
Galadriel's outfit is matched respectfully with her persona. Even as one of the leaders in the rebellion of the Noldor, her character's harmonious nature is not affected. She's as fierce as she is stunning, all of which gives meaning to her costume. Galadriel typically wears a full white gown which bodes sophisticated designs. Her hair is an unnaturally long white-gold blonde, and even her crowning accessory as an impressive simplicity to it.
Elrond Half-elven and the Lord of Rivendell. His demeanor is calm but terrorizing, and his costumes seem to reflect both sides of him. In his home of Rivendell, Elrond is usually seen wearing a velvet maroon robe with a tan suit underneath. The top of this piece is entwined with green leafy details which might be reminiscent of his elven culture.
However, it is, like most of these characters, his armor that reflects the terror he evokes. The golden masterpiece is one that is only fit for his role and seemingly impenetrable. Everything about this costume is fine-tuned from the cape to the shinguards.
Arwen's character has the most wardrobe changes, but each one makes her light up on the screen. Compared to Eowyn's dress, Arwen's are noticeably more beautiful. Perhaps this is because of her stance as the daughter of Lord Elrond. Still, fans favor her costumes tend to be favored amongst fans, such as cosplayers, who frequently recreate these Lord of the Rings costumes.