The Main Characters of The Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit was actually written after The Lord of the Rings, but it’s set as a prequel, and sets the stage for the larger trilogy.
The main characters of The Hobbit are Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf, both of whom come back for the trilogy later, although Bilbo has only a small role in the other books, since he gives The Ring to his nephew Frodo.
The other main character that appears in The Hobbit as well as The Lord of the Rings, is Gollum, the creature from whom Bilbo steal the ring. Tolkien also introduces some of the main themes of The Lord of the Rings, like Sauron, but they don’t play a major role in The Hobbit book.
The Lord of the Rings
For the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which encompasses three books, including The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, there are several of the same characters as are in the Hobbit, but the work also has a bunch of new ones that come up.
The main protagonist of The Return Of The King remains the unassuming Hobbit Frodo Baggins, the nephew of Bilbo Baggins, who was featured in The Hobbit. A gentle spirit who seeks nothing more than the comforts of his home and village life he has been thrust into a quest that will decide the fate of all the races of Middle Earth. Although he rejects the claim Frodo will emerge from the trials of The Return of the King as a hero, recognized for his bravery even in the face of overwhelming odds.
The wizard Gandalf the Grey is now reborn as Gandalf the White – a stern and commanding figure yet still filled with a sense of fun and great affection for the members of the fellowship. Gandalf has been compared to Merlin, the wizard of legend who was present at King Arthur’s court. Like Merlin he is often enigmatic hiding his reasons for the support of the fellowship and his custodianship of Middle Earth in its entirety. Strangely it is not magic which is Gandalf’s greatest asset – that remains his ability to coerce and command respect through the power of language.
Both Legolis the Elf and Gimli the Dwarf play a secondary role in The Return of the King as attention swings to the struggles of Frodo, his loyal friend Sam and Gollum as they make their way to Mordor to dispose of the One Ring. However both remain true to their nature and the nature of their races as Tolkien has painted them.
The main protagonist – Sauron is both powerful and enigmatic. Readers are never given a glimpse of the Dark Lord in the real time of the quest, yet the palpable menace of his promise to reshape Middle Earth into something much darker hangs over the Return of the King. His influence lends an aura of dread and urgency to the entire enterprise of the Fellowship.