There’s been a huge shift in Hollywood in the last couple of years with female-driven blockbusters like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, female characters taking over huge franchises like the Star Wars saga, and female-led comedies outshining male-led ones. Before then, the heroes of the silver screen were predominantly male.
Still, some women managed to slip through the cracks of sexist Hollywood and stand out. A few of these strong cinematic women became legendary in Peter Jackson’s big-budget adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. So, without further ado, here, ranked, are The strongest female characters from Lord Of The Rings.
8 Rosie Cotton
At first glance, Rosie Cotton seems like a stereotyped female role. She marries Sam Gamgee and spends her days as a housewife, raising the kids and tending to the home, while Sam goes off on adventures with his buddies. However, Rosie is characterized as an incredibly strong female character.
She is beautiful, both inside and out, and she has a positive outlook on life. Just because she’s a housewife, that doesn’t mean she can’t be a strong character. Rosie is happy and she’s figured out her life and she knows what she wants and she goes for it. Isn’t that enough?
Freda is just a little kid, but she is tasked with a very important mission: to tell King Theoden of Rohan about the threats to his kingdom. Without her contributions, Theoden would be none the wiser and therefore completely unprepared. Freda is the daughter of Morwen, and she is distraught when she has to say goodbye and leave her mother, but who wouldn’t be?
That’s not a sign of weakness on Freda’s part, even if she is way more emotional than her brother. Who wouldn’t be sad to have to leave their mother at such a time of conflict?
6 Elanor Gamgee
We see Samwise Gamgee’s daughter Elanor grow up in The Return of the King, which makes her one of the most developed characters in the whole trilogy in a short space of time. After the journey Sam has gone on, taking the One Ring to Mordor with Frodo, he emerged a triumphant hero when he was once a coward.
We can rest assured knowing he’ll raise his daughter to be strong and fierce. Interestingly, the young actress who plays Elanor in The Return of the King, Alexandra Astin, is actually the real-life daughter of Sean Astin, who played her father Samwise in the trilogy.
While Morwen plays a pretty important role in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, she wasn’t actually in the novel. A character by the name Morwen appears in the J.R.R. Tolkien book The Silmarillion, but the movie character is not based on her. The filmmakers simply took her name and applied it to a wholly original character.
Morwen has it all. She is a loving mother to her children and also a powerful warrior who jumps into action when her kingdom is threatened by outside forces. She also has so much trust in her kids that she will send them out on important missions.
Cate Blanchett has shown a very impressive versatility over the years, giving terrific performances in both smaller dramatic pieces like Carol and Blue Jasmine and bigger blockbuster movies like Thor: Ragnarok and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Her elven character Galadriel rules Lothlorien as one of the few Middle-earth kingdoms controlled mainly by its queen.
Her husband Celeborn isn’t totally useless, but he certainly doesn’t rule with the iron fist of Galadriel. She also uses her powers of telepathy and shapeshifting into an imposing presence brilliantly to her advantage. Galadriel wields the Ring Nenya, one of the Three Rings, which means that everyone besides the other Ring-bearers sees “a star through your fingers.”
Surprisingly, one of the strongest female characters in The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a giant spider. Her lair, Cirith Ungol, is one of the final stops on the journey to Mordor and she was a big part of Gollum’s plan to snatch the One Ring from Frodo. He leads Frodo into her lair with the intention of getting him killed, or at least attacked, and then nabbing the One Ring from his finger.
Fortunately, Samwise Gamgee stepped up to the plate and became a hero in time to save his friend from the clutches of the giant, venomous, eight-legged demon. Peter Jackson claims he based Shelob’s appearance in the movie on that of the New Zealand tunnel-web spider, which he hated as a child growing up in New Zealand.
In the books, Arwen is sort of an afterthought. Her character is hardly developed and she doesn’t appear in many scenes. So, it was a bold move by Peter Jackson to expand her role significantly and make her, essentially, one of the most important characters in the story. She doesn’t run away like all of her friends; she sticks around to face the music.
She chooses to save Middle-earth from the wrath of Sauron over a family and the power of immortality, which makes her not just one of the strongest female characters in the trilogy, but one of the strongest characters overall. She’s fierce and strong-willed and Liv Tyler conveys it brilliantly with her powerful screen presence.
1 Eowyn of Rohan
Eowyn, the king of Rohan’s niece, took down the Witch King of the Nazgul all on her own. She is a bona fide badass. The character is also a feminist icon, as she is famous for declaring, “I am no man!” It’s one of the greatest moments in The Return of the King – which has a record-breaking number of Oscar wins and is filled with great moments – and will always be remembered as perhaps the most important moment for any female character in the trilogy.
This was the moment at which women finally broke into the male-dominated fantasy genre and got in on the action. And it wasn’t just a woman doing what a man would do – this took that one step further and gave us a woman announcing that she was different from men and could still slay the bad guys.