The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy showed us the magical world of Middle-Earth, created by author J.R.R. Tolkien and conceived in stunning detail by Peter Jackson. When we followed several unassuming hobbits as they held the fate of Middle-Earth in their stubby hands, we came in contact with all manner of mystical and powerful beings on their journey. Many of these beings were descendants of important lineages. The historical record of such make up the bulk of Middle-Earth's very lore.
Between the Race of Men, Elves, and Dwarves, there have been several key houses that have shaped the founding of Middle-Earth, often presiding over its many changes for over a thousand years. These families have become powerful either because of their political influence, their martial abilities, or the vast resources they have acquired. They may even be powerful in the realm of magic and sorcery, which can make the other qualifiers literally disappear. Here are the 10 most powerful families in The Lord of the Rings, ranked.
Though not a powerful family of the sort that can compare with the grand Houses of Men, Dwarves, and Elves, the Baggins clan did enjoy some modest influence in The Shire. The Baggins clan was a large one (as was the way with Halflings), but two of its members managed to stand out from all the rest; Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins.
These Hobbits would prove of vital importance in defeating Sauron, and help end the War of the Ring. Bilbo Baggins obtained the One Ring during his quest to help Thorin Oakenshield reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the Kingdom of Erebor, and his nephew Frodo successfully delivered it to Mordor to be destroyed.
9 House Of Girion
Though he was simply known as Bard the Bowman, a fisherman in Laketown, he became known as Bard the Dragonslayer when his Black Arrow pierced the scaley armor of Smaug, the dragon that guarded the treasures of the Lonely Mountain. Bard was a direct descendant of Lord Girion, founder of the Kingdom of Dale, at the foot of the Dwarven Kingdom of Erebor.
After Bard's assistance to Thorin Oakenshield in successfully ridding Smaug from holding the vaults of Erebor captive, he became the King of Dale, reclaiming his birthright. His son would succeed him, and lead Dale into a new era of prosperity before the War of the Ring.
8 Durin's Folk
It's a long illustrious line of kings that can claim lineage to Durin's Folk, the family of Dwarves that inhabited such famous locations in Middle Earth as Moria in the Misty Mountains, where they mined the hallowed halls of Khazad-dum for Mithril and awoke Durin's Bane, the demon known as the Balrog that slept in the caverns below.
Durin's Folk also settled the Grey Mountains, and it was Thorin Oakenshield's descendant of the Durin line that led his people from Moria to the Lonely Mountain and awoke the dragon Smaug. Thorin Oakenshield and a company of 13 dwarves, the wizard Gandalf, and a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins underwent a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and Smaug's treasure.
7 House Of Elendil
The greatest of all the Dunedain kings, Elendil the Fair was one of the mightiest warriors that Middle Earth ever saw in the Second Age. The High King of the Dunedain presided over the two kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor, uniting them in peace and prosperity until Sauron created the One Ring to make the Race of Men and all of Middle Earth bow to his will.
Elendil forged the Alliance of Elves and Men and battled Sauron's forces, but fell in battle. His comrade in arms, Elrond, King of Rivendell, had to watch as Elendil's son, Isildur, fell under the corruptible spell of the One Ring, and used it for his own selfish gains rather than destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom.
6 House Of Telcontar
Comprised of King Aragorn II, the last Heir of Elendil, Queen Arwen of the House of Elrond, Eldarion, and their descendants, its formation represented a momentous occasion for Middle Earth. It reunited the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor, as they had been under the High King of the Dunedain, and meant the end of Sauron and the War of the Ring
Telcontar in the Elvish Quenya tongue means "Strider", and is taken from Aragorn's Ranger name when he led the Fellowship of the Ring to Mordor to destroy the One Ring and defeat Sauron's armies. As a descendant of the Men of Numenor, Aragorn ruled for 120 years, and was buried with honor at Minas Tirith.
5 House Of Eorl
All of the great Kings of Rohan, known for their fine horses and horsemanship, are descended from Eorl the Young, who founded the kingdom of Rohan in the Third Age. Once a part of Gondor, it became an independent kingdom and prospered independently, with each new King of the Mark leading the Eorl line to distinction.
Theoden was King of the Mark during the War of the Ring, and was under a powerful sorcerer's spell until Gandalf the White expelled it from him, allowing him to pledge his Riders of Rohan against the forces of Sauron. His sister's son, Eomer, who was Marshal of the Mark during the War of the Ring, would become the King of Rohan after the passing of Theoden's son Theodred.
4 House Of Denethor
The House of Denethor included Denethor II, the 26th Ruling Steward of Gondor. "Gondor Has No King, Gondor Needs No King" was his slogan, as the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor had not been united under the High King of the Dunedain for several generations by the time he assumed his position. His wife Finduilas bore him two sons before she died, Boromir and Faramir, who would become heroes of Gondor in the War of the Ring.
Boromir was Denethor II's favorite son, and when he was killed in a battle against Uruk-hai protecting the Fellowship of the Ring, it caused him to become even more bitter than he was over the death of his wife. He isolated himself, ignored Faramir completely, and used a palantir to observe Sauron's forces until it drove him mad.
3 House Of Olwë
The house of Olwë contains many well-known Elves of high birth, with its patriarch Olwë founding many realms in Middle Earth, but it is the women of the house that feature prominently in its history. His daughter, Earwen, carried on the House of Olwë with three sons and a daughter, Galadriel, who became the Queen of Lothlorien. Galadriel's daughter, Celebrian, would marry Elrond, the Ruler of Rivendell, and their daughter Arwen would marry Aragorn II, the King of Gondor.
Arwen would feel a distinct pull between the Race of Men and the House of Olwë, her love for Aragorn driving her to not go into the West with the rest of her people and elect to stay in the realm of mortals. In this way she could rule at Aragorn's side until the day they both passed on.
2 House Of Thranduil
The majestic Elvenking Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm, and son of Oropher, ruled Mirkwood in both the Second and Third Ages. The Woodland Realm was once lush and prosperous, but as Sauron's necromancy permeated its arboreal depths, orcs and spiders infested it to such an extent it became known as Mirkwood.
Thranduil was cautious about taking steps against Sauron's forces directly, content with letting his guard, captained by his son Legolas Greenleaf, keep the threats to Mirkwood at bay. He nevertheless lent aid to Thorin Oakenshield to reclaim the Lonely Mountain, and sent his son Legolas to be a key member of the Fellowship of the Ring when the War of the Ring was inevitable.
1 House Of Fingolfin
The great Elven House of Fingolfin was founded by Fingolfin son of Finwë, and was noted for being a Royal House of the Noldor, High Elves of the Second Clan. The clan is noted for Earendil son of Tuor and Elwing daughter of Dior producing two sons, Elrond and Elros, who would occupy positions of great authority in Middle Earth.
Elrond Half-Elven and Elros Half-Elven, as they came to be known, were given the choice to either remain members of the Noldor or become part of the Race of Men. Elrond chose to be known as Elrond of the Firstborn, while his brother Elros would join the Race of Men and become the first King of Numenor (of which Elendil and Isildur were descended).