Movie Reviews

The Lord Of The Rings' 9 Fellowship Members Ranked By Power

Summary

  • Characters like Boromir, Pippin, and Merry are very strong but do not have the same feats of power as other Fellowship members.
  • Frodo’s power over the Ring is underrated, while Gimli and Legolas are two of the most powerful warriors in Middle-earth.
  • Samwise Gamgee, Aragorn, and Gandalf rank as the three most powerful members of The Lord of the Rings’ Fellowship.



The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring introduced a formidable team of nine individuals, but how do they compare based on their singular power levels? The nine members of the Fellowship serve as the main characters of the Lord of the Rings movies, as well as the books on which they are based. Some of these characters are incredibly long-lived and may appear in upcoming Lord of the Rings movies or TV shows such as The Rings of Power season 2 or The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum.

The members of the Fellowship were selected to represent the major allied races of Middle-earth; Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Peregrin “Pippin” Took, and Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck represented the Hobbits of the Shire. The kingdoms of Men were represented by Aragorn and Boromir, both of Gondor, with their sister country Rohan being the focus of the upcoming Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim. The elves put forward Legolas Greenleaf to aid Frodo’s quest to destroy the One Ring, while the dwarves were represented by Gimli. Finally, there was Gandalf, an Istar/wizard.


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These nine were chosen to form the Fellowship of the Ring, tasked with escorting Frodo and the One Ring to Mordor so that the latter could be destroyed, ending the threat of Sauron once and for all. Across all three Lord of the Rings movies, the Fellowship members display great feats of power between them. Regardless, each individual member has their own power scale, leading many to often wonder who is the most powerful and who is the least, despite each character showcasing bravery and heroics throughout the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The following list is based on the Lord of the Rings movies and is ranked from least powerful to most, though it is worth noting each character is stronger than most in Middle-earth.



9 Boromir

Captain of the White Tower, Son of Denethor II, Steward of Gondor

Played by

Sean Bean

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (via vision/flashback)

The least powerful member of the Fellowship is Boromir. Boromir is introduced as the representative of Gondor at the Council of Elrond and is the last to offer his aid to Frodo, besides the latter’s Hobbit companions. The primary reason why Boromir ranks lower in terms of power is his lack of resistance to the Ring. More so than the others, Boromir is shown to be susceptible to the Ring’s dominance instantly. He views the Ring as a weapon that should not be destroyed, leading him to try and take the Ring forcefully from Frodo.


While Boromir’s lack of mental power ranks him lowest on this list, his physical prowess is worth noting. Boromir is a capable fighter and is shown to withstand the full force of the Uruk-hai in Fellowship of the Ring‘s ending. Boromir fights off hordes of Uruk-hai warriors to protect Merry and Pippin, showcasing the former’s skill in battle, strong heart, and brave nature. His ability to keep fighting after being pierced by three arrows shows Boromir’s fortitude, solidifying him as a true Lord of the Rings hero despite his lack of resistance to the Ring.


8 Peregrin “Pippin” Took

Son of Paladin, Guard of the Citadel, Knight of Gondor

Played by

Billy Boyd

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Ranking just above Boromir is Peregrin Took/Pippin. Ranking a Hobbit based on power is a difficult task, as J.R.R. Tolkien specifically created the Hobbits to share no desire for power. However, The Lord of the Rings trilogy focuses on how four Hobbits, including Pippin, find their power and strength in various ways. For Pippin, his strength was mostly highlighted in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Although Pippin showed some feats of bravery in the first two films, it was after his experience with the Palantir that Pippin’s power became clear.


Pippin is instrumental in saving Gondor from annihilation by lighting the beacons and fighting in the Siege of Minas Tirith…

Pippin was able to resist the mind probes of Sauron after touching the Palantir – a seeing stone also seen in The Rings of Power – proving his mental power against someone as strong as Sauron. Later, Pippin is instrumental in saving Gondor from annihilation by lighting the beacons and fighting in the Siege of Minas Tirith. Pippin also fought in the Battle of Morannon, surviving the events of the War of the Ring. Through these feats, Pippin’s power is evident, amplified by his humble stature as a Hobbit. If only for his longevity across all three films, Pippin is more powerful cumulatively than Boromir.


7 Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck

Son of Saradoc, Master of Buckland, Knight of the Rohirrim

Played by

Dominic Monaghan

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Where Pippin is found in Lord of the Rings, Meriadoc/Merry Brandybuck is not far behind. Throughout The Lord of the Rings, the two are inseparable, and the argument can be made that their placement on this list can be reversed without much contention. Nonetheless, Merry ranks above Pippin and Boromir as the seventh-most powerful member of the Fellowship of the Ring. Like Pippin, Merry’s feats of power are few and far between in the first two movies, properly coming to fruition in Return of the King.


That said, one specific moment from The Two Towers allows Merry to rank above Pippin. In the final act of the film, Merry is visibly angry at the Ents for deciding not to go to war. Merry’s fire, anger, and disappointment in Treebeard are palpable, while Pippin is shown as willing to return to the Shire. For this reason alone, Merry ranks above Pippin as his desire to attack Isengard symbolizes his inner power and strength.

While Pippin reroutes Treebeard to show him the destruction of Isengard, it is Merry who shows more care for the state of the world.


Besides this, Pippin and Merry’s power levels are similar. Both are important to the climactic battles of Return of the King, with Merry fighting in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the Battle of Morannon. Where Pippin’s mental power is shown touching the Palantir, Merry’s is shown against the Witch King of Angmar. The Witch King was known to instill fear in the hearts of even the bravest men, yet Merry overcomes this to help Eowyn by stabbing the Witch King in the leg, enabling his defeat.

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6 Gimli

Son of Gloin, House of Durin, Lord of the Glittering Caves

Played by

John Rhys-Davies

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


The next most powerful member of the Fellowship is Gimli. The dwarven representative of the Fellowship is an interesting case study, as he does not have standout moments of power like Boromir’s final stand, Pippin’s resistance to the Palantir, or Merry’s defeat of the Witch King. Conversely, Gimli also has no moments of weakness either and has a consistent show of strength and bravery across all three Lord of the Rings movies. Gimli is shown to be one of the strongest warriors in Middle-earth in each film.

While Gimli was the only dwarf in the Fellowship, his brethren fought against Sauron’s forces in the north of Middle-earth, despite not being shown in the movies.


From facing Uruk-hai, cave trolls, and Moria goblins in Fellowship to almost single-handedly defending the gates of Helm’s Deep and the Hornburg in Two Towers, Gimli proved to be a cunning fighter. He then fought in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the Battle of Morannon, with Gimli and his friend Legolas humorously racking up a high kill count. Regarding mental fortitude, Gimli was never shown to be corrupted by the Ring, even attempting to destroy it at the Council of Elrond with no ramifications. For this, Gimli holds a middling spot in the ranking of Fellowship power levels.

5 Frodo Baggins

Son of Drogo, Lord of Bag End, Ring-Bearer

Played by

Elijah Wood

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (release order)


Regarding his power, Frodo Baggins is an entirely disrespected character. Many often criticize Frodo for being annoying and somewhat whiny throughout The Lord of the Rings, but the power of the Ring cannot be understated. Men like Boromir and Faramir and even higher beings like Gandalf and Galadriel were shown to be tempted by the Ring in the trilogy, yet Frodo withstood this immense corrupting power for much longer than anyone else. This alone allows Frodo to rank above Gimli, Merry, Pippin, and Boromir, as the mental strength required by being the Ring-Bearer is beyond comparison.

While Frodo’s power in resisting the Ring is stronger than even those above him in this list, his other feats rank him lower overall. Frodo rarely shows his prowess as a warrior like Pippin, Merry, and Sam, and is regularly overpowered by all kinds of enemies. While this is due to the effects of the Ring, it still factors into Frodo’s ranking. Still, Frodo’s physical durability is worth noting, as he withstood a Morgul blade, a jab from a troll, Shelob’s stinger, and the loss of his finger.


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4 Legolas

Greenleaf, Son of Thranduil, Lord of the Woodland Realm

Played by

Orlando Bloom

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (release order)


Legolas, based entirely on physical power alone, could easily be ranked higher in this list. It is only the showings of mental strength that allow other characters to rank above Legolas. The sole elven representative of the Fellowship, Legolas’ skill as a warrior is almost unparalleled in Middle-earth. He is rarely shown to struggle against any enemies, be it goblins, trolls, Uruk-hai, or otherwise. Legolas is never shown in any true peril in any Lord of the Rings film, highlighting his battle prowess.

This only continued in Legolas’ appearances in The Hobbit trilogy, with the elven prince facing down powerful orc warriors like Azog and Bolg. In The Lord of the Rings, Legolas fought in the same battles as Gimli, out-killing the dwarf based on their competitive nature. However, Legolas’ feats go beyond mere foot soldiers, from being solely responsible for the deaths of Bolg in The Hobbit, the cave troll in Fellowship, and an entire oliphaunt in Return of the King. While his resistance to the Ring was never shown, it was also never highlighted that he was tempted by such powers.


3 Sam Gamgee

Son of Hamfast “The Gaffer” Gamgee, Mayor of the Shire, Samwise the Brave

Played by

Sean Astin

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Many would consider Samwise Gamgee to be the true hero of The Lord of the Rings, a testament to his power. Above the other Hobbits, Samwise depicted an incredible resilience that never wavered. Sam’s optimism, heroism, and bravery were constantly on show, and it is no secret that Frodo would not have succeeded without him. One such moment that signifies Sam’s power above all else comes in the third movie when he returns the Ring to Frodo. Aside from Bilbo Baggins, Samwise is the only character in Middle-earth who willingly parted with the Ring after holding it for an extended period.


Aside from this display of overwhelming resistance to Sauron, Samwise’s physical feats stand out from the other Hobbits. Sam is shown to be the most capable fighter of the four halflings, especially in Return of the King. From defeating Shelob to single-handedly storming Cirith Ungol and freeing Frodo, Sam’s power as a warrior was evident. Finally, one of Sam’s greatest moments was when he carried Frodo up the slopes of Mount Doom, symbolizing not only his physical strength but his inner power and will to defeat evil.

2 Aragorn

Son of Arathorn, Elessar, King of Gondor

Played by

Viggo Mortensen

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


Holding the silver medal regarding power in the Fellowship is Aragorn himself. Aragron’s power is on display throughout the entirety of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, each of them instrumental in defeating Sauron in a way the likes of Gimli and Legolas’, for example, are not. Aragorn was vital in getting the Ring to Rivendell, as well as leading the Fellowship after Gandalf fell in Moria. After this, he got the Fellowship to Lórien, led them east, and defeated Lurtz among many other Uruk-hai. Aragorn’s skill as a warrior only continued as he led the defense of Helm’s Deep.

Aragorn stood against the Mouth of Sauron, armored cave trolls, and hordes of orcs after galvanizing the Men of the West against Mordor…


In Return of the King, Aragorn overcame the King of the Dead and led the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. At the Battle of Morannon, Aragorn stood against the Mouth of Sauron, armored cave trolls, and hordes of orcs after galvanizing the Men of the West against Mordor. All of this proves Aragorn’s power in battle, and this is not to mention his resistance to the Ring, overcoming the failures of his forebears like Isildur – played by Max Baldry in The Rings of Power‘s cast.


In The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo directly offers Aragorn the Ring. Despite powerful men like Isildur and Boromir falling to its power in the past, Aragorn overcomes the Ring’s temptation and allows Frodo to leave. In the final act of Return of the King, Sauron tries one final time to corrupt Aragorn, to which the future King of Gondor replies “For Frodo…” before charging into battle. These feats of physical strength, and the power in Aragorn’s bloodline, all allow him to be the second-most powerful member of the Fellowship.

1 Gandalf

Gandalf the Gray, Gandalf the White, Olorin of the Istar


Played by

Ian McKellen

First Appearance

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Final Appearance

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (release order)

Undoubtedly, the most powerful member of The Lord of the Rings‘ Fellowship is Gandalf. Before Aragorn became the King he needed to be, Gandalf led the Fellowship. He showed resistance to the Ring in Fellowship when Frodo offered him it, proving his mental strength. Later, Gandalf stood alone against the Balrog, eventually defeating it after months of battle. This alone ranks Gandalf above the other characters regarding physical strength, as none would have been able to stand against Durin’s Bane.

After Gandalf the Gray’s death, he was sent back to Middle-earth by the Valar as Gandalf the White. The Valar knew Gandalf would be needed to turn the tide of the war, as proven by his valor at the Battle of Helm’s Deep and, before that, his liberation of Theoden from the control of Saruman. Gandalf then fought at the Siege of Minas Tirith and the Battle of Morannon.


Furthermore, Gandalf’s power is not limited to The Lord of the Rings. He fought against Sauron’s forces in The Hobbit, even combating Sauron himself when the latter was known as the Necromancer. Gandalf’s long life saw him battle against all kinds of foes, aided by his immense magical power. These elements, and Gandalf’s godlike origins, mean one would be regarded as foolish as a Took not to rank him as the most powerful Fellowship member in The Lord of the Rings.

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