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Lord of the Rings cast and characters - where are they now?

Let's see what the Lord of the Rings cast list are up to now as we look back on all the actors involved in creating some of the best fantasy movies ever made.

The Lord of the Rings cast: Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf

Where is the Lord of the Rings cast now? In 2001, The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring kickstarted a cinematic phenomenon. Adapting the iconic work of J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is a favorite of many movie fans.

And what’s not to love? From the heart-racing battle scenes to the touching emotional moments, Lord of the Rings has it all. Following the blockbuster franchise, the stellar cast members who brought our favorite Lord of the Rings characters to life have gone on to win awards and star in TV series, theater, video games, and more. If you were acting in Middle-earth at some point, chances are you’re still in the spotlight of Hollywood’s massive Sauron eye.

With Amazon Prime‘s new best fantasy series, The Rings of Power, bringing Tolkien back to our screens and acting as a prequel to Jackson’s films, you may be wondering where all of the OG faces are. Well, here’s what the Lord of the Rings cast has been up to.

The Lord of the Rings main cast

Spanning over three movies, there are plenty of actors in the Middle-earth franchise. However, below, we’ve listed the main players before we break down every single Lord of the Rings cast member.

The main Lord of the Rings cast list:

  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf
  • Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee
  • Andy Serkis as Gollum
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
  • Liv Tyler as Arwen
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond
  • Dominic Monaghan as Merry Brandybuck
  • Billy Boyd as Pippin
  • Sean Bean as BoromirLord of the Rings cast: Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins

Elijah Wood played none other than the main protagonist in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies — the brave Hobbit and Ring Bearer Frodo Baggins. Frodo was tasked with taking The One Ring to the fires of Mount Doom, and is one of the best fantasy movie characters to ever hit the big screen.

However, since completing his quest, Wood has retired his Hobbit feet…at least for now. After Lord of the Rings, Wood would go on to star in a number of films such as the drama movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and No Man God. The star has also voiced a number of videogame characters, starred in series such as Over the Garden Wall and Yellowjackets season 2, and even founded a production company specializing in horror movies named SpectreVision.

In short, Wood has been keeping busy and is currently still in Hollywood, offering his acting talents to the general public (yay), and will soon be starring in The Toxic Avenger.

Lord of the Rings cast: Ian McKellen as Gandalf

Ian McKellen as Gandalf

When we talk about any cinematic Wizard, there are no ifs, buts, or maybes about it; Gandalf is the best, period. And it’s thanks to Ian McKellen’s brilliant performance of the character that Tolkien’s powerful spell caster has gone down in history.

While McKellen has appeared in a number of franchises, such as the X-Men movies as the Marvel villain Magneto and returning to Tolkien’s landscape for the Hobbit movies as Gandalf, the award-winning actor has been taking to the stage in recent years.

He’s starred in a number of shows for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Broadway, and London’s West End. From Hamlet to Waiting for Godot – he’s done it all. But for all, you film fans, fear not! McKellen is set to come back to the big screen for the 2023 movie The Critic.

Lord of the Rings cast: Sean Astin as Sam

Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee

While Frodo was the hero on paper, let’s be honest, he wouldn’t have defeated Sauron without the help of his fellow Hobbit and friend Samwise Gamgee. Sean Astin played the potato-loving companion in the adventure movies, and since his quest to Mordor has been acting non-stop.

Having over 170 credits to his name, Astin has had his hands full since Lord of the Rings. He has starred in multiple TV series, such as Netflix series Stranger Things, and the drama series The Strain. He has worked on animated superhero movie projects holding credits for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (voicing Rafael) and Supergirl.

Like his co-star Wood, he also isn’t slowing down any time soon and is lined up to star in a number of projects. One of Astin’s first roles was in The Goonies back in the ‘80s. So fingers crossed that he adds the upcoming sequel, The Goonies 2, to his impressive filmography too.

Lord of the Rings cast: Andy Serkis as Gollum

Andy Serkis as Gollum

Andy Serkis played Gollum. The Ring-obsessed movie villain, who acted as Sam and Frodo’s guide in the film, is an unforgettable face, and Serkis’ portrayal still can’t be beaten.

After Lord of The Rings, Serkis continued shining in motion capture, starring in the science fiction movies Planet of the Apes as Caesar. Like McKellen, he also returned to Middle-earth for The Hobbit movies. The actor has starred in plenty of live-action projects, too, such as playing Alfred in The Batman, Kino Loy in the Star Wars series Andor (and looks set to appear in the Andor season 2 release date as well), and a leading character in one of my personal favorite horror-comedy movies, The Cottage.

He has also directed some box office hits such as Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. Fans will also want to keep their eyes peeled for his next new movie Animal Farm based on the story by George Orwell.

Lord of the Rings cast: Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

Aragorn (aka Strider, and everyone’s collective crush) led the way when it came to all the action-packed scenes in Lord of The Rings. Since Stealing the spotlight on the battlefield and our hearts as Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen has continued to traverse through Hollywood.

He is an acclaimed star, having received attention from The Academy Awards for his work in films such as Green Book and Captain Fantastic. And he is also a longtime collaborator of the legendary filmmaker David Cronenberg starring in A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and in Crimes of the Future.

Like many of his co-stars, Mortensen has also worked behind the camera, acting as a producer, director, and writer. He is currently lined up to appear in a number of upcoming films, which include the likes of the thriller movie Two Wolves and the Western movie The Dead Don’t Hurt.

Lord of the Rings cast: Orlando Bloom as Legolas

Orlando Bloom as Legolas

Orlando Bloom played the role of Legolas in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. He was the nimble and sharp-shooting elf who could take down an Oliphaunt with a single arrow to the head. Pretty impressive, right?

Well, Bloom continued his action movie spree after Lord of the Rings, going on to star as one of the leading swash-bucklers in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Besides continuing to film stunts for the big screen, Bloom went on to star in a number of films and TV series and was also an executive producer on the hit fantasy series Carnival Row.

Bloom’s latest role is in the 2023 movie Gran Turismo, directed by Neill Blomkamp (read our Gran Turismo review for more), and the comedy movie Wizards! So, yeah, plenty to look forward to.

Lord of the Rings cast: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel

Cate Blanchett as Galadriel

Few names are as well known as the Lady of Light Galadriel when it comes to Middle-earth. And, in Hollywood, the actor who played the character is just as respected and well-known – Cate Blanchett.

Blanchett played the impressive elf in both The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit movies, and since protecting her fictional realm from Sauron, has gone on to win two Academy Awards. In fact, a fun bit of trivia: Blanchett is the most nominated Australian actor recorded at the Academy Awards, period!

She has starred in over 90 films, has dominated the TV scene with drama series such as Mrs America, and is currently set to appear in the highly anticipated video game movie Borderlands. In short, Blanchett has cemented her place in history as one of the busiest and best actors in Hollywood and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Lord of the Rings cast: Liv Tyler as Arwen

Liv Tyler as Arwen

Arwen is one of the most underrated Lord of the Rings characters, often seen purely as Aragorn’s love interest. But let’s get the facts straight, she is a powerful elf in her own right, with or without her Dúnedain.

Since Lord of the Rings, Tyler has starred in several indie films, but Jackson’s epics aren’t her only blockbuster appearances. The actor appeared in the 2008 Marvel movie The Incredible Hulk, and in 2014, she worked alongside Patrick Wilson in Space Station 76.

Recently Tyler has been sticking to the landscape of the small screen, though, and can be seen in TV series such as 9-1-1: Lone Star, and the space movie Ad Astra.

Lord of the Rings cast: Hugo Weaving as Elrond

Hugo Weaving as Elrond

Ever since the fantasy series The Rings of Power was released, we here at The Digital Fix have a newfound appreciation for the Lord of Rivendell Elrond. And while Robert Aramayo plays the Rings of Power character in the Amazon show, Hugo Weaving was the first to truly embody the famous elf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.

While many may know Weaving as Elrond or perhaps recognize him most from his work in The Matrix movies, he has actually acted across a wide range of genres over the years since Lord of the Rings. He has been in MCU movies – appearing in the Captain America cast for The First Avenger. He voiced Megatron in the Transformers movies and took a crack at the animated movie scene with Happy Feet and Happy Feet 2.

Currently, the star has a number of projects on his plate, such as the 2023 movie The Royal Hotel and the animated series Koala Man.

Lord of the Rings cast: Dominic Monaghan as Merry

Dominic Monaghan as Merry Brandybuck

Merry Brandybuck is one of Frodo’s faithful Hobbit friends who have no issue with heading into battle, no matter what all the tall folk – particularly the Riders of Rohan – say. Since Lord of the Rings and saving Middle-earth, Dominic Monaghan is still moving full steam ahead.

After starring in the fantasy movies, Monaghan went on to work on one of the best thriller series, Lost. He can also be seen in X-men Origins: Wolverine and the Star Wars movie The Rise of Skywalker. The actor is also still very much involved with the Tolkien beat, though. He and his co-star Billy Boyd have a podcast called The Friendship Onion, where the two discuss their time filming and all things Middle-earth related.

Lord of the Rings cast: Billy Boyd as Pippin

Billy Boyd as Pippin Took

Billy Boyd played the most mischievous Hobbit out of the whole Tolkien bunch – Pippin Took. Always getting on Gandalf’s last nerve, the Hobbit’s curiosity and sense of adventure often got him into trouble. But with Merry by his side, Pippin is an irreplaceable figure.

Boyd has been going hard on TV credits and voice-over work. Following his outing as Pippin, the star can be heard in the horror series Chucky, on the videogame The Elder Scrolls Online, and has appeared on shows such as Doom Patrol and Grey’s Anatomy.

But acting isn’t his only calling. Boyd also fronts a band called Beecake, is an avid surfer, and, as mentioned above, Boyd is also one of the hosts of the podcast The Friendship Onion.

Lord of the Rings: The One Ring - Boromir holding the ring

Sean Bean as Boromir

Poor old Sean Bean; no matter what he’s in, he always dies. His death as Boromir, at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, might be his most tragic.

Boromir is one of the best Lord of the Rings characters because he’s one of the most complex. He wants to do right by his father and by Gondor, and the One Ring hooks into these desires to corrupt him. The really sad thing is that, at his end, Boromir saw the error of his ways and was wrecked by guilt and regret after attempting to take the One Ring from Frodo.

Bean was tremendous in the role and one of the best bits of casting in the whole trilogy. Since Lord of the Rings, he’s starred as Ned Stark in Game of Thrones (another instance of awesome casting), but he gets his head chopped off early on.

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Everyone in the Lord of the Rings cast

Below is the complete list of every actor in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Brace yourself because it’s a mountain almost as high as Mount Doom.

The complete Lord of the Rings cast list:

  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
  • Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee
  • Sean Bean as Boromir
  • Billy Boyd as Peregrin Took
  • Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc Brandybuck
  • John Rhys-Davies as Gimli / Treebeard
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas
  • Liv Tyler as Arwen
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
  • Christopher Lee as Saruman
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond
  • Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins
  • Andy Serkis as Gollum
  • Miranda Otto as Éowyn
  • David Wenham as Faramir
  • Karl Urban as Éomer
  • Brad Dourif as Gríma Wormtongue
  • Bernard Hill as Théoden
  • Sala Baker as Sauron
  • Marton Csokas as Celeborn
  • John Noble as Denethor
  • Lawrence Makoare as Lurtz
  • Harry Sinclair as Isildur
  • Lawrence Makoare as the Witch-king of Angmar
  • Peter McKenzie as Elendil the Tall
  • Craig Parker as Haldir
  • Mark Ferguson as Ereinion Gil-galad
  • John Bach as Madril
  • Bruce Hopkins as Gamling
  • John Leigh as Háma
  • Thomas Robins as Déagol
  • Bruce Spence as the Mouth of Sauron

If you are curious about more Tolkien content, here are our guides on how to watch the Lord of the Rings movies in order and everyone in The Rings of Power cast. Or why not brush up on your Balrog and Orc knowledge? Alternatively, look ahead to the future with our guide on the new Lord of the Rings movie, the War of Rohirrim release date, or the Rings of Power season 2 release date.