Before “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”: 10 strong female characters from Middle Earth

Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” is often underrated for its female characters. Ahead of the release of “The Rings of Power”, we list for you the 10 strongest women of Middle-earth!

the rings of power teaser trailer:

the rings of power trailer
rings of power ,
The Lord of the Rings – The Rings of Power: Morfydd Clark as Galadriel. (Source: Amazon Prime Video)

On September 2, 2022, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” will start streaming on Amazon Prime Video and will bring Middle Earth back to life with old acquaintances as well as new characters. The main focus is that Tolkien’s world will be less masculine than in the “Lord of the Rings” films.

The films and Tolkien’s books are often criticized for having too few strong female characters, but Tolkien’s heroines are often underestimated. From Galadriel to Eowyn, the British cult author has created many a female icon for eternity.

On the following pages, we present the 10 strongest female characters from Tolkien’s works. Some of them will also appear in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” Season 1, others you know from the movies. Have fun!

the rings of power:Éowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan

Miranda Otto as Éowyn in "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Miranda Otto as Éowyn in “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (Source: Warner Bros. / TMDb.org)

Tolkien wrote many strong female characters, but most are immortal, superhuman and fabulously unapproachable. This is not the case with Éowyn. She is human, a niece of Théoden and a shieldmaiden who wants to fight for her country but is not allowed to.

She is expected to stay behind with the other women. Instead, she disguises herself as a man and rides off to war! She even heroically kills the Witch-King of Angmar in battle on the Pelennor Fields.

Her motives are understandable and her journey understandable. With characters like Galadriel, however, it’s hard to tell what she actually wants. Éowyn wants fame, love, and a chance to prove she’s useful. She is vulnerable and that is what makes her such a strong character.

the rings of power:Galadriel, Lady of Lothlórien

The Lord of the Rings - The Rings of Power: Morfydd Clark as Galadriel
The Lord of the Rings – The Rings of Power: Morfydd Clark as Galadriel (Source: Amazon Prime Video)

Galadriel is mysterious, magical and has a certain divinity about her in her own way. She is strong and beautiful, which is how she is perceived by Frodo in the first volume of The Lord of the Rings. Even though Frodo hardly knows anything about her history, it’s clear to him: you’d rather not mess with Galadriel.

We learn more about Galadriel’s story in the Amazon series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” However, there will be some differences between the series and Tolkien’s books. Nevertheless, we can expect a fighter, an Elf who stands up for good.

the rings of power:Varda, Queen of the Valar

The Lord of the Rings: before Varda, the Lady of Light, created the stars, there was darkness in Middle Earth.
The Lord of the Rings: before Varda, the Lady of Light, created the stars, there was darkness in Middle Earth. (Source: wrangel / depositphotos.com )

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”. Our next strong character takes us even further back, to the First Age, to the creation of Middle-earth.

The godlike Valar created Middle-earth, one of them being the evil chief Morgoth. But most of the Valar are well-meaning, including their queen Varda. Varda is the mistress of light and created the stars.

She has a good knowledge of human nature and quickly saw through and distrusted Morgoth. She was one of the Valar that Morgoth feared the most.

the rings of power:Nienna, Lady of Sorrow

Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings" series: The first image shows the two trees Laurelin and Telperion.
Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings” series: The first image shows the two trees Laurelin and Telperion. (Source: Amazon Studios)

Nienna is also one of the Valar and contributed grief and compassion in the creation of Middle-earth. She weeps for the suffering of others and stands up for those who suffer. Thus, she even defends Morgoth, still known as Melkor at the time.

Her legacy on Middle Earth is probably found in Gandalf, whom she taught patience and compassion. She is also responsible for the creation of the two trees Laurelin and Telperion, which served as a source of light before the sun and moon were created.

The first promo image for “The Lord of the Rings” series (see above) shows the two trees, so Nienna may appear in the Amazon series.

the rings of power:Melian, Queen of Doriath

"Lord of the Rings," Gandalf is not the only Valar who stands up for good in Middle Earth.
“Lord of the Rings,” Gandalf is not the only Valar who stands up for good in Middle Earth. (Source: © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Screenshot: quepasaguate)

In Middle Earth, there are the powerful Valar and the equally powerful, but not quite as powerful Maiar. These include Sauron, Gandalf and Saruman, as well as Melian. Melian was in Middle-earth in the First Age and is considered beautiful, wise and an excellent singer. She falls in love with the Elven king Thingol.

Together they rule over the forest kingdom of Doriath. Melian befriends a young Galadriel, which is why we might see her in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. In Tolkien’s works, Melian’s daughter is even more famous …

the rings of power:Lúthien Tinúviel

The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship (Extended Edition): Aragorn sings of the story of Beren and Lúthien.
The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship (Extended Edition): Aragorn sings of the story of Beren and Lúthien. (Source: Warner Bros. / HBO Max screenshot: quepasaguate)

The Tolkien work “Beren and Lúthien” is well known and in a way the Middle Earth version of “Romeo and Juliet”. The immortal Lúthien, half Elf, half Maia, falls in love with the mortal man Beren. Since Lúthien’s father Thingol does not approve of their love, he sets her a seemingly impossible task.

If the two stole a Silmaril, one of three gems, from the crown of Morgoth, then Thingol would accept their love. The lovers set out and have numerous adventures. They are even captured by Sauron on their journey.

The task is accomplished and Thingol gives the two his blessing. Soon after, however, Beren dies and Lúthien follows him to his death. The Valar Mandos is moved by the love of the two for each other and presents Lúthien with a choice: she can go to Valinor as an immortal or return to Middle-earth with Beren and live a mortal life there.

Lúthien chooses the mortal life with Beren. Both Elrond and Aragorn are late descendants of Lúthien. Since the love tragedy of Beren and Lúthien takes place in the First Age, we will probably not see it in Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings” series.

the rings of power:Arwen Undomiel

Lord of the Rings - Arwen (Liv Tyler)
Lord of the Rings – Arwen (Liv Tyler) (Source: TMDB.org)

Arwen Undomiel is the great-great-granddaughter of Lúthien. She is the daughter of the half-elf Elrond and the elf Celebrián, who in turn is the daughter of Galdriel. This makes her the granddaughter of Celeborn and Galdriel.

She was born in the Third Age and loves the human Aragorn. Like Lúthien, she chooses to live a mortal life for the sake of her love. Through her appearances in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Arwen is already a household name to most fantasy fans.

She is brave, elegant and strong-willed, falling into the classic Tolkien female role: immortal, divine and incredibly beautiful. But sometimes the British author breaks out of his patterns and writes other female roles …

the rings of power:Kankra

Lord of the Rings - Sam (Sean Astin) fights the giant spider Kankra.
Lord of the Rings – Sam (Sean Astin) fights the giant spider Kankra. (Source: TMDB.org)

Kankra is terrifying, monstrous and an icon of horror pop culture. Since the 50s, the giant spider has often been copied, but never equaled. That’s why we include the spider in our list of strong female characters. Moreover, Kankra also has significantly more backstory than “The Return of the King” suggests.

Kankra is a descendant of the giant spider Ungoliant, who joins forces with the First Age’s chief moth, Morgoth, to destroy Valinor’s two trees, Laurelin and Telperion. To destroy the trees, she devours them and weaves webs of darkness around them. This makes her stronger and stronger.

Her insatiable hunger makes her grow so big and strong that she is even able to defeat Morgoth, who is probably the most powerful person of Middle-earth. Even more powerful than Sauron! However, Morgoth is able to gather his followers and put Kankra’s mother to flight.

the rings of power:Nienor of Hithlum

Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit: Smaug is not the only dragon wreaking havoc in Middle-earth.
Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit: Smaug is not the only dragon wreaking havoc in Middle-earth.

In “The Silmarillion” we meet the human woman Nienor and her tragic story in the First Age of Middle-earth. She has a brother, Túrin Turambar. She does not know him, however, because he was fighting in the battle against Morgoth when Nienor was born.

Since Túrin’s father Húrin was a thorn in Morgoth’s side, Morgoth cursed the entire family, which becomes important later. To bring Túrin home, Nienor and her mother Morwen set out to find Túrin. In the process, they encounter the dragon father Glaurung, who uses his powers to induce amnesia in Nienor.

Nienor can fly and eventually meets her brother. However, due to her amnesia, she does not know that it is her brother, and since Túrin has never met her, he does not know that she is his sister either. The two fall in love, marry, and become pregnant.

When Glaurung returns one day, Túrin is able to slay the dragon, but Nienor’s memory is restored. When she realizes that she is carrying her own brother’s child, she commits suicide. After Túrin finds out, he also kills himself and Morgoth’s curse is fulfilled.

the rings of power:Rosie Huttinger

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King: Samwise Gamdschie marries Rosie Hüttinger.
The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King: Samwise Gamdschie marries Rosie Hüttinger. (Source: Warner Bros. / HBO Max screenshot: quepasaguate)

Between all the powerful and immortal Elven women, the tragic humans and fighters, Rosie Hüttinger is a wonderful change of pace. She embodies the simple life in the Shire. It has long been clear to her that she will marry Samwise Gamgee, so she is all the more disappointed when he suddenly leaves the Shire with Frodo.

When he returns, however, they marry and have 15 (!) children together. The hobbit wife enjoys life to the fullest and, together with Sam, is even a guest in Gondor for a year with King Aragorn, Sam’s former traveling companion.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.