What non-Tolkien character would fit perfectly into the Lord of the Rings?

This is a fun question with an interesting premise that has been quite popular lately in the world of internet memes: the “Crossover,” an imaginary mixing of different worlds in fantasy or sci-fi, even crossing genera. As such, I hope you will indulge if I do a little mental exploring.

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I posed this question to my party in the midst of a drunken pub crawl around the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego after walking out of Comic-Con 2013, and having spent the weekend in a comics and popular arts-fueled nerd-fest. It went like this:

ME: “What non-Tolkien character would fit perfectly into the Tolkien Universe?”
FRIEND 1: “RoboCop!”
ME: “RoboCop?”
FRIEND: “Yeah, just think about it… Isildur, cast the Ring into the fire. You have 10 seconds to comply.'”

ME: “What non-Tolkien character…”
FRIEND 2: “Chuck Norris. He was already Walker, Texas Ranger. Just move him to Arnor!”
I didn’t care to remind him that Arnor was in the north and Texas is in the south.

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ME: “What non-Tolkien character…”
FRIEND 3: “Treebeard.”
ME: “No, what NON-Tolkien character?”
FRIEND 3: “What non-Tolkien character would be a good Treebeard? Treebeard.”
ME: “Never mind.”

ME: “What non-Tolkien character…”
FRIEND 4: “Willow.”
ME: “Willow Ufgood, like Warwick Davis, Willow?”
FRIEND 4: “Yeah, he’d make a great Hobbit.”
FRIEND 2: “Isn’t that cheating? Nelwyns are pretty much Hobbits already.”
Hard to argue with that.

ME: “What non-Tolkien character…”
FRIEND 5: “Yoda would make a pretty kick-ass Maia. Maybe he’s one of the Green Wizards.”
ME: “You mean BLUE wizards.”
FRIEND 5: “Dude, Yoda is GREEN.”
ME: “Never mind.”
FRIEND 2: “No way, Yoda died, and Maiar don’t really die.”
FRIEND 5: “Exactly… Yoda the WHITE.”

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The truth is, it’s actually quite a difficult question. A layperson may think, well, Dumbledore, or Merlin, or some other magical being. But there are actually very few truly magical beings in Middle Earth, and those there are have a very specific set of characteristics. Even the Elves of Lothlorien, whom Pippen mistakes as having magical abilities, deny this, remarking rather that the subtlety and skill of the Elves may appear to be magical, but are simply refined over long practice. There are of course Wizards, but those are no mere mortal men with magical powers. They are immortal spirits, born before the earth, sent to aid the world of Men and Elves under very specific circumstances. So a purely magical human would not necessarily work.

To find an easier fit, one can look in one of two directions: mortal men, or God-like beings. For example, a character like Thor, as portrayed in the comic books or even in the movies, may be a match. He’s an immortal being, a Demigod from another realm, and a warrior from ancient battles to protect the earth. His own realm is linked to the earth by a magical conveyance impassable to all but with the aid of the Powers. He wields a magical weapon which cannot be wielded by lesser beings, and which, when it’s taken from him, leaves him lessened in physical power, but no less potent in spirit.

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Can you imagine if Tulkas grabbed the hammer from Aulë’s smithy? He never would, but if he did, it might look a little like this.

On the other hand, someone like King Arthur may fit nicely. He’s a mortal man of legendary stature, a mighty king who defended of his realm from an invading army bent on conquering the land by blood and fire. He is cut off from his throne in his youth in order to protect him from his father’s enemies, and acquires a legendary sword which identifies him as the rightful King. He meets with his counselors and advisers in the round, and tasks his most loyal companions to undertake a heroic quest to recover a sacred artifact (closer to the Silmarilion than the LoTR). And in his death, he is taken over the sea to a mythical island of peace and beauty.

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Digging a little deeper, it is said that Melkor had not the power to create, only to corrupt, which begs the question, where did the dragons come from? I’d like to imagine a creature like Falcor the Luckdragon from The NeverEnding Story, a benevolent dragon being who aids Atreyu in his quest to save the Childlike Empress. Something like that could exist quite nicely as far back as the Years of Bliss following the founding of Valinor.

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Rick Allen

Rick Allen

Rick is a Film Buff, Tolkien Nerd, Cigar Aficionado and Whiskey Fiend.

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