A list, in order, of the most powerful characters in Middle-earth.

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Postby FrodoTook » Mon Aug 13, 2001 7:18 am

In the very beginning of The Hobbit, not including characters residing in the "Undying Lands", which characters in Middle-earth were, in your opinion, the most powerful.<BR><BR>Put your list (of at least 10 characters) in the order of most powerful down to the least powerful.<BR><BR>Make your list as long as you wish and include all the types of characters you can think of.<BR><BR>Include Valar ,Maiar ,Demons, Elves, Men, Ents, Hobbits, Eagles, Dragons, etc.<BR><BR>Here is my list.(Pecking Order)<BR><BR>1)Sauron<BR>2)Gandalf<BR>3)Galadriel<BR>4)Tom Bombadil<BR>5)Saruman<BR>6)Balrog<BR>7)Smaug<BR>8 )Elrond<BR>9)Glorfindil<BR>10)Cirdan<BR>11)Aragorn<BR>12)The Witch King (Head Nazgul)<BR>13)TreeBeard<BR>14)Gwaihir<BR>15)Goldberry<BR>16)The Watcher in the Water<BR>17)Prince Imrahil<BR>18 )Dain of the Iron Hills<BR>19)Beorn<BR>20)Faramir<BR>21)Eowyn?<BR><BR><BR><BR><b>WoW!!</b><BR>Making this list is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It is kind of like <b>comparing "apples to oranges"</b> but it <b>does make you think.</b><BR><BR>Therefore, after debating with myself about the validity of this thread, I still initiated it.<BR><BR><b>I hope there will be some good debate in this thread!</b><BR><BR>I still probably left some character out.<BR><BR>After reading your posts, my list might well change.<BR><BR>Have fun!!!!<BR>FrodoTook<BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Gllew » Mon Aug 13, 2001 7:51 am

I think treebeard should be placed a little higher. I mean, he is eldest, as Celeborn calls him. I don't think there is a rael definitive way of ranking these people. I think you should put them in groups, or tiers.
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Postby Eric_Reese » Mon Aug 13, 2001 7:55 am

As of the the Unexpected Party?<BR><BR>Ok then.<BR><BR>Sauron<BR>Gandalf<BR>Henry the Balrog<BR>Smaug the Golden<BR>Tom Bombadil(he could be #1, though)<BR>Goldberry the River Daughter<BR>Galadriel<BR>Elrond Half-elven<BR>Glorfindel<BR>Celeborn the Wise<BR>Cirdan the Shipwright<BR>Gwaihir, the Windlord<BR>The Morgul Lord<BR>Beorn <BR>Fangorn<BR>Bolg<BR>The Great Goblin of the Misty Mountains<BR>Dain Ironfoot<BR>Thorin Oakenshield<BR>THe Steward of Gondor(Ecthelion II?)<BR>THe King of the Mark of Rohan(Thengel?)<BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Mahtan » Mon Aug 13, 2001 9:40 am

I'm not sure there's any clear-cut method one can use to rank the "powerful" since many of those mentioned are the "most powerful" in one way or another. For instance, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry seem to exist somewhat outside of the reality of Middle-earth, and Tom is completely immune to the One Ring which, in a way, places him above everyone else, even if his identity (?Illuvatar?) can't be directly determined. Then there's the Witchking, who can't be slain by any man which, in a sense, makes him more powerful than those he chooses to oppose. Cirdan is described as gifted with a greater portion of prophetic ability than any but the Istari; Galadriel is the wisest of the Noldor, and Celeborn is probably considered equally wise among his people (if somewhat slow to act)...<BR><BR>I guess I would rank them as follows:<BR>1) Bombadil (based on my assumption that he IS Illuvatar)<BR>2) Goldberry (also based on an assumption)<BR>(However, it should probably be noted that if they are who I think they are, then their desire to interfere, no matter how capable they may be, would be rather low except when they can do so indirectly.)<BR>3) Sauron (although drained)<BR>4) Saruman (the rising star?)<BR>5) Gandalf (as "the Grey") & Radagast (though probably fading)<BR>6) Treebeard, the Balrog, Smaug, Gwaihir (hard to rank)<BR>7) the Witch-King (who cannot be slain by any man)<BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-cool.gif"border=0> Galadriel & Elrond (thanks to their rings)<BR>9) Glorfindel, Cirdan, Celeborn (probably in that order)<BR>10) Aragorn (I won't even try to rank the other Men or Hobbits)<BR><BR>Of course, the whole thing depends on your definition of "power." Some of those mentioned have great power over others; some are imposing physically; others, intellectually. Some are fading; some are growing; and some are powerful because they are <BR><i>destined</i> to do great things (Aragorn, Eowyn, Frodo, Samwise). And then there's a character like Grima, whose power is in his deceitful tongue...
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Postby Master_Gurloes » Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:42 am

I reckon that the top slots must go to the maia, then it's pretty much conjecture based on personal preferences. So I'll go with:<BR><BR>Sauron<BR>Saruman<BR>Gandalf<BR>the balrog<BR>Bombadil (although I'm not certain what his classification is - ?'nature spirit' - he appears to be 'maia-like' in his attributes)<BR>Goldberry (ditto)<BR>Galadriel (only wins over Glorfindel because of her ring)<BR>Elrond (ditto)<BR>Glorfindel<BR>The Morgul Lord<BR>Smaug<BR>Shelob (offspring of Ungoliant - wasn't Ungoliant a Maia?)<BR>Gwaihir the Windlord<BR>Cirdan<BR>Celeborn<BR>Aragorn<BR>
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Postby crispycreme » Mon Aug 13, 2001 2:49 pm

These are always fun. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>1. Sauron - little question<BR>2. Saruman<BR>3. Gandalf<BR>4. The Balrog<BR>5. Smaug<BR>6. Tom Bombadil - ranked down a bit only because he kept within his little borders<BR>7. Radagast (and the two blue wizards)<BR>8. Galadriel<BR>9. Elrond<BR>10. Glorfindel<BR>11. The Witch King<BR>12. Cirdan<BR>13. Celeborn<BR>14. Shelob (yes, she was Ungoliant's kid, but I mean come on! A hobbit took her out!)<BR>15. Gwaihir<BR>16. Beorn<BR>17. The Goblin King
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Postby Inquisitor_Thrax » Mon Aug 13, 2001 3:12 pm

I would definitly put Sauron at the top of the heap,but .....I have a question for you? If you added Morgoth to your list where would you rank him and who was the greatest evil Morgoth or Sauron?<BR><BR>-Inquisitor Thrax-<BR><BR><BR><BR>"......for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."<BR>
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Postby FrodoTook » Mon Aug 13, 2001 3:36 pm

Inquisitor_Thrax,<BR><BR>I think most members would agree that Morgoth was the most powerful<BR>and evil being to ever exist in Tolkiens world.<BR><BR>The only one more powerful would be Eru Iluvitar.<BR><BR>Have you read the Sillmarilion yet? <BR>
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Postby Elfslayer » Mon Aug 13, 2001 3:43 pm

Yes, Morgoth was more powerful than Sauron for sure.<BR><BR>1. Sauron <BR>2. Saruman<BR>3. Gandalf<BR>4. The Balrog<BR>5. Tom Bombadil<BR>6. Smaug<BR>7. Radagast (and the blue wizards)<BR>8. Galadriel<BR>9. Elrond<BR>10. Glorfindel<BR>11. The Witch King<BR>12. Cirdan<BR>13. Celeborn<BR>14. Gwaihir<BR>15. Beorn<BR>
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Postby Tar-Elenion » Mon Aug 13, 2001 4:51 pm

It is interesting how Galadriel is, by most, considered more 'powerful' than Elrond. In 'Letters', when writing of how various individuals would have fared against Sauron if that individual had the One Ring, JRRT notes that Galadriel considered herself capable of defeating Sauron, and if she could so could certain others "especially Elrond" (no exact quote right now, no books, but a search of similar topics will have this quote posted by me). What is interesting about the statement is the "especially" Elrond. Could Elrond be "especially" capable because he is closely descended from Luthien (the greatest of all the Eldar) daughter of Melian the Maia, and thus has the blood of the 'gods' in him?
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Postby Bilbo25 » Wed Aug 15, 2001 10:06 pm

<OL><li>Morgoth<li>Ungoliant<li>Gandalf the White<li>Sauron<li>Tom Bombadil<li>Melian<li>Sauruman<li>Gandalf the Grey<li>Treebeard<li>Radgast<li>Balrog<li>Altar<li>Palando<li>Beorn<li>Grimbeorn<li>Thingol<li>Hurin<li>Turin<li>Angalacon the Black<li>Glarung<li>Luthien<li>Beren<li>Dior<li>Nimloth<li>Earendil<li>Elwing<li>Galadriel<li>Elrond<li>Elros<li>Celeborn<li>Cirdan<li>Celebrian<li>Aragorn II<li>Elendil<li>Isludur<li>Thorin II<li>Dain II<li>Gimli<li>Legolas<li>Frodo<li>Merry<li>Pippin<li>Samwise<li>Faramir<li>Denethor II<li>Boromir<li>Eowyn<li>Eomer<li>Theoden<li>The Witch King<li>Wormtongue</OL>
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Postby Duilus » Wed Aug 15, 2001 10:36 pm

I was about to post my list when I realized it was the exact same thihng Elfslayer said. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby gato » Thu Aug 16, 2001 5:09 am

Sauron<BR>Sauruman the White<BR>Gandalf the Grey<BR>Henry the Balrog<BR>Smaug<BR>Elrond<BR>Galadriel<BR>Glorfindel<BR>Witch King<BR>Shelob<BR><BR>I omitted Bombadil and Goldberry because I just don't think they could/should be ranked.<BR><BR>Elrond vs Galadriel - both had rings of power. Galadriel was a third generation Eldar and had lived in the undying lands in the light of the two trees. She also was the student of Melian. Elrond was younger, but arguably of greater lineage (the three fathers of the elves and the fathers of the three great houses of men, not too mention Melian the maia). He fought in the War of Wrath, was the student of Eonwe, herald of Manwe (arguably more powerful than Melian), and was the herald of Gil-Galad in the second age.<BR><BR>I wasn't sure where to put Shelob, but figured she should be on the list. Maybe Treebeard/Fangorn should take her place. Other characters/creatures, like the watcher in the water, blue wizards, etc... would be purely speculative since I don't have any real info on them.
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Postby Gllew » Thu Aug 16, 2001 7:39 am

It specifically said somewhere (I think in the Silmarillion) that with the fall of Gil-Galad, Galadriel became the most powerful Elf on Middle Earth.
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Postby Gelmir » Thu Aug 16, 2001 7:44 am

Nice list Bilbo25! But remember, the condition was that they still had to be around at the beginning of The Hobbit.<BR>An interesting point(?) - I would say that Ungoliant had Morgoth beaten for a while there until Morgoth got help from his balrogs!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR>
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Postby Cuthalion » Thu Aug 16, 2001 11:46 am

What's power? Kill many people, live long, be phisically strong, or letting people do thing you want?<BR><BR>Anyway, here's my list (at random):<BR><BR>Sauron<BR>Gandalf<BR>Galadriel<BR>Saruman<BR>Elrond<BR>Witch-king<BR>Círdan<BR>Beorn<BR>Tom Bombadil<BR>Aragorn<BR>Gil-Galad<BR>Glorfindel<BR>Thorin Oakenshield<BR>Frodo<BR>Henry the Balrog (why Henry?)<BR>Radagast and other Istari<BR>Gondor-Kings<BR>Rohan-Kings<BR><BR>
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Postby KhamulTheEasterling » Thu Aug 16, 2001 11:57 am

When it comes to Galadriel, remember who her father was (Feanor) and what he accomplished. Also remember that she alone of the Eldar in Middle Earth at the end of the Third Age has seen the light of the trees of Valinor with her own eyes***. That alone grants a kind of power, especailly over Morgoth and his servants.<BR><BR>It can be argued that a few others (Elrond, certainly, but perhaps Cirdan as well) are perhaps more powerful. And when judging being of this stature, they are all pretty much in a class by themselves.<BR><BR>***The only exception might possibly be Glorfindel. If he is indeed the same Glorfindel that was killed in the fall of Gondolin by a Balrog, and has since returned from the Halls of Mandos to again walk Middle Earth, then it is possible that he has seen the light of the trees. But there is nothing to indicate that he was alive and on Valinor when before Ungoliant destroyed the trees and drank the pools.
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Postby FrodoTook » Thu Aug 16, 2001 12:08 pm

KhamulTheEasterling,<BR><BR>I hate to have to correct you but Feanor was not Galadriels father. However, they were blood related, as follows. Finwe first married Miriel. Their only son was Feanor. Miriels spirit left her body with his birth and she left the world of the living.<BR><BR>then<BR><BR>Finwe next married Indis. One of their sons was Finarfin.<BR><BR>Finarfin wedded Earwen (of Alqualonde) and their fifth child was Galadriel.<BR><BR>The best I can figure from all this is that <b>Feanor was Galadriels Step-Uncle.</b><BR><BR>FrodoTook<BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby KhamulTheEasterling » Thu Aug 16, 2001 12:59 pm

Whoops, you are completely correct FT. Not sure why I was thinking Feanor. Ah well. The rest of it still stands, however. Thanks for the correction (and politely, too. That's refreshing).
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Postby FrodoTook » Thu Aug 16, 2001 1:13 pm

KhamulTheEasterling,<BR><BR>No problem.<BR><BR>When I make one, I will appreciate the same.<BR><BR>FrodoTook<BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <BR>
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Postby elora » Thu Aug 16, 2001 8:47 pm

Tar-Elenion<BR><BR>Concerning Elrond's power, certainly his heritage has a large role to play. Also, he was raised by Maglor after his capture by aforesaid at the destruction of the Sirion population. <BR><BR>Maglor was quite powerful in his own way, being a son of Feanor, and so would have made an excellent study for Elrond as he was growing towards his maturity and power.<BR><BR>Following defeat of Morgoth by the hosts of Valinor, Elrond was "enhanced" by Veronwe after chosing the fate of the Eldar, so this too would have increased his wisdom, lore and power.
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Postby gato » Fri Aug 17, 2001 5:20 am

good point Elora - forgot about Mablung 'adopting' Elrond. Jeepers, Elrond is just connected to EVERYONE.<BR><BR>Seven degrees of Elrond...
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Postby Earnil » Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:27 am

OK. First of all I must state that I have included one of the Ainur, Ulmo. The reason for this is that Ulmo barely spent any time in Aman. He spent almost all of his time in the waters of Middle-Earth.<BR>1)Tom Bombadil<BR>2)Goldberry<BR>3)Ulmo<BR>4)Osse<BR>5)Uinen<BR>6)Gandalf The White<BR>7)Sauron<BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-cool.gif"border=0>Smaug<BR>9)Durins Bane (Balrog)<BR>10)Saruman<BR>11)Witch King<BR>12-19)Ring-wraith<BR>20)Galadriel<BR>21)Cirdan<BR>22)Elrond<BR>23)Celeborn<BR>24)Glorfindel<BR>25)Arwen
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Re:

Postby FrodoTook » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:28 pm

Earnil wrote:OK. First of all I must state that I have included one of the Ainur, Ulmo. The reason for this is that Ulmo barely spent any time in Aman. He spent almost all of his time in the waters of Middle-Earth.1) Tom Bombadil 2) Goldberry 3) Ulmo 4) Osse 5 ) Uinen


Earnil

Great call out on Ulmo, Osse and Uinen

I loved them from the Silm.

Water Powers ( ocean, lake, stream, brook ) always remaining an influence in Middle Earth.

Way cool call out.
Image

Smaug the Golden.
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Re: A list, in order, of the most powerful characters in Mid

Postby ngaur » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:42 am

Surprised no one mentioned the ruling steward of Gondor. He at least ought to trump the Prince of Dol Amroth. Edit. Oops someone did. Didn't read it properly.

Then depending on what is meant by 'power' it's worth noting that Gollum possessed a ring making the the most powerfull of Gollums.

Also at the time the Corsairs at Umbar must have been a force to reckon with. Enought that Aragorn led a whole fleet down there to deal with them a few years later. Don't have any name of their chief though.
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Re: A list, in order, of the most powerful characters in Mid

Postby Surreal McCoy » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:07 am

Not a mention here of Mirkwood Forrest. Very powerful.
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Re: A list, in order, of the most powerful characters in Mid

Postby Billobob » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:04 am

Top three most powerful: Eru, Melkor, and Manwë.
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Re: A list, in order, of the most powerful characters in Mid

Postby TheGreenWizard » Fri May 08, 2015 10:15 pm

Hm, this has been very difficult to consider, but here is my list; take it as you will. Also worth noting this is for characters in tLotR, chronologically at the beginning of tFotR.

1. Sauron
2. Tom Bombadil
3. Galadriel
4. Treebeard
5. Saruman
6. Gandalf
7. Balrog of Moria
8. Elrond
9. Cirdan
10. Celeborn
11. Witch King of Angmar
12. Aragorn
13. Denethor
14. Theoden
15. Prince of Dol Amroth
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Re: A list, in order, of the most powerful characters in Mid

Postby Billobob » Tue May 12, 2015 8:49 am

TheGreenWizard wrote:Hm, this has been very difficult to consider, but here is my list; take it as you will. Also worth noting this is for characters in tLotR, chronologically at the beginning of tFotR.

1. Sauron
2. Tom Bombadil
3. Galadriel
4. Treebeard
5. Saruman
6. Gandalf
7. Balrog of Moria
8. Elrond
9. Cirdan
10. Celeborn
11. Witch King of Angmar
12. Aragorn
13. Denethor
14. Theoden
15. Prince of Dol Amroth

I agree with you except Treebeard should be below the Balrog since it was actually a Maia essentially a lesser power (god). Also Gandalf should be higher since Ben though he's in human form he is still a Maia too.
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Re: A list, in order, of the most powerful characters in Mid

Postby Thor 'n' Oakenshield » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:56 am

My list goes as follows:

1: Sauron
2: Tom Bombadil
3: Saruman
4: Gandalf the Grey
5: The Blue Wizards (their effect on Middle-earth is unknown but Tolkien himself said it was great)
6: Radagast
7: Balrog of Moria
8: Treebeard
9: Gwaihir
10: Galadriel
11: Cirdan
12: Elrond
13: Glorfindel
14: Witch-King of Angmar
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