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List of non-royal, non-aristocratic heroes

Burzum

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From high kings and ruling queens to stewards, lords, chieftains, princes and princesses, most of the important figures in Tolkien's legendarium seems to have some sort of connection with royalty/nobility through lineage.

So, let's make a list of complete commoners who achieved great things (and the Ainur don't count).

The only ones I can think of at this moment are:

Samwise Gamgee
Gollum
 

YayGollum

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Well, poor Smeagol was the grandson of the matriach of that little community he started out in. But then, how great must she have been, if he had to tutor her on how to suck eggses? oh well. :rolleyes: Do the first elves to be called leaders count? Sounds like Orome could have just grabbed the first specimens of the three types of elves that he saw. Was Beorn any kind of royal type? I figure that he was just some random guy who happened to be interesting enough for Radagast to talk to for a while. The Great Goblin totally fought his way up from nothing, mayhaps. Was Gorlim the Unhappy any kind of royal type? None of the Ents were any kind of royalty.
 
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Burzum

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Well, poor Smeagol was the grandson of the matriach of that little community he started out in.
Ah, forgot about it. I guess poor Smeagol doesn't count.:D

I think all others you mentioned should count, but I'm not sure about the Elven kings. If Orome just grabbed the first ones he saw, then they were just lucky. But I have a feeling that whether it was coincidental that Orome grabbed them or Orome had some insight, that they were born great - at least in the case of Finwe, seeing how his house produced somebody who crafted the Simarils, somebody who dueled pretty well with a Vala, and somebody who is accounted as "the wisest," etc. In the case of Elwe his daugher's immense power could mostly be attributed to Melian, but then again I doubt Melian would have married Thingol if he was just a random elf luckily chosen by Orome. Ingwe's house didn't do anything so it's hard to judge him, though.

But they did lead their people to Aman (or at least to Belerian, in the case of Thingol). But should this count as genuine achievement? After all, if Orome had chosen somebody else, that somebody else would have led the elves...
 

YayGollum

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Well, sure, the three elfish leaders could have been displaying all kinds of great qualities when Orome picked them up. I'm merely pointing out that they weren't anything royal, to begin with.

Orome happened upon Finwe as he was charismatically leading a couple of his buddies to these great mushrooms he'd just found, while, on the other side of the lake, some other Noldor type was coming up with greatest teaching methods of all time, geared towards teaching children on the value of moderation. Tragically, nobody listened to the guy because Orome chose Finwe.

Ingwe was chosen because Orome just loved how smart the guy seemed, with his endless streams of compliments. Before he was chosen, some other Vanyar type had been trying to tell people not to make such a large deal about how shiny Orome was, since, after some contact with some minor Ainur who liked to tell all sorts of embarrassing stories about the Valar types, he had found that Ainur are just people, too.

Elwe was chosen due to his creepy and evil ability to force his way into the affections of even the most powerful Ainur (Poor Melian, battered into stupidity by the power of love at first sight). There was some other Telerish sort who should have been put in charge, but Orome thought that his nose was just too long (Craziness! Large noses = strong characters!). :rolleyes:
 

Firawyn

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The problem with this (I'm writing my own story with a middle ages/fantasy feel at the present, so I know), this that everybody has roots. The first guy to get there gets to be king, and everyone descended from him. SO - this list, technically, would be slim to nothing.

However, speaking not technically...

Gimli
 

YayGollum

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Gimli was some kind of royal and aristocratic type, though, descended from Durin, in some way. He was the son of Gloin, and all of the Dwarves from that The Hobbit book were royal types.

Anyways, I don't see why stories with Middle Age slash fantasy feels need have royal types as the heroes. Sure, they can be mentioned. Sure, they can be important to the story, but anybody can be a hero. Make long lines of peasants, too, why not?
 

Firawyn

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Anyways, I don't see why stories with Middle Age slash fantasy feels need have royal types as the heroes. Sure, they can be mentioned. Sure, they can be important to the story, but anybody can be a hero. Make long lines of peasants, too, why not?
I will keep that in mind as I'm writing my fantasy/middle age story. :)
 

Barliman Butterbur

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"I don’t need any more spice in my life. My life is already one big jalapeno." Firawn's Mother

Tell that good long-suffering woman that I INDEED know just what she means! And tell her that I intend to co-opt and use that gem often and everywhere! :D

(Not to mention the fact that ALL parents are heroes!)

Barley
 

Narya

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From high kings and ruling queens to stewards, lords, chieftains, princes and princesses, most of the important figures in Tolkien's legendarium seems to have some sort of connection with royalty/nobility through lineage.

So, let's make a list of complete commoners who achieved great things (and the Ainur don't count).

The only ones I can think of at this moment are:

Samwise Gamgee
Gollum

YES! SAMWISE GAMGEE ( and he's above Gollum, too, although I really dont' consider Gollum to be a hero -- SORRY YAY.)

I think we can include all the Hobbits in this lists, none of them were of royal or noble lineage, technically speaking. Bilbo might have been rich for Hobbit standards, but that didn't mean he's Hobbit royalty... does it?

What about Hama? He wasn't Royalty or of Noble lineage was he? He was a soldier, right?
 

_Olorin_

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I realize this thread is old but I have to chime in. I have always thought that it would have been great if Tolkien had included more of the "commoner heroes."

When the hobbits finally returned to the shire from their journeys, they rallied the locals, getting them to finally stand up for the Shire. These locals who put aside their fears and took a stand are true heroes in my mind. Moving forward despite great fears is the definition of bravery in my opinion.

If you want a specific character as opposed to a group of them, Farmer Maggot would get my vote. That guy had real guts and was willing to stick his neck out.

There are more examples, we just have to look a bit harder to find them. They are often overshadowed by the more typical heroic types but they are there. ;)
 

Ares B

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Don't forget Beregond, "a plain man of arms of the Third Company of the Citadel" as he put it. He was made Captain later as a reward of his deeds.

Ioreth belongs to the list as well IMO. She was the one who reminded Gandalf of the old lore that "The hands of the king are the hands of a healer," which inspired him to bring Aragorn to tend Faramir, Éowyn, Merry and the other wounded.
 

Mithrandir-Olor

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but then again I doubt Melian would have married Thingol if he was just a random elf luckily chosen by Orome. Ingwe's house didn't do anything so it's hard to judge him, though.
Melian married Thingol because she fell in love with him. Which is the only irrational thing she ever does.
 

CirdanLinweilin

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Fredagar Bolger.

He acted as a decoy for the Nazgûl and as a messenger for Gandalf, if by chance he showed up.

Pretty darn brave for Ol' Freddy Bolger, considering he knew next to nothing of the evil coming after his friends.

There's also nothing royal about him! Fatty also led a group of partisans fighting against the Ruffians in the Brockenbores around the hills of Scary before eventually being captured. He was imprisoned in the Lockholes and starved, (and could no longer be called "Fatty") but was rescued after the victory of the Battle of Bywater.

Talk about a brave Hobbit.

CL
 

Rohirrim

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Elfhelm - turned a blind eye or gave active consent to Eowyn riding to Gondor. Although I guess his rank of Marshal of the East mark might rule him out ?
 

Thistle Bunce

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If we define hero as one who stands up to long odds, regardless of outcome, may I submit the rather tarnished name of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins (nee Bracegirdle)? She took up her umbrella and marched on Bag End, ready to give Sharkey and his men a piece of her mind, while other hobbits quailed and accepted two feathered shirriff hats from the oppressors.

Mayor Will Whitfoot also resisted the invaders, and suffered at their hands in the Lockholes as well. Small deeds, but none the less heroic having been done by small people in a small place.
 

Thistle Bunce

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Did I miss Merry singled out?
Merry, as a Brandybuck, might be considered in that 'nobility' category, albeit certainly not royalty. The Appendix of Return of the King deals with 4 important hobbit families, the Baggins, the Tooks, the Brandybucks and the "The Longfather Tree of Master Samwise." Master seems to be a title of some significance to hobbits, and Master Meriadoc is as close as any of them to 'titled nobleman'.

This 'nobility' also stems from the fact that the Brandybucks were seen as 'odd', living next to, and enjoying access to the Old Forest, and fooling around with boats. This means that they aren't considered to be in the mainstream of hobbitry, subject to the Mayor (as much authority as was given that office). It's almost feudal in the sense that neighboring 'fiefs' have their own autonomy, and power structure. The Tooks also demonstrate this division. (And hence, would disqualify Pippin from this category as well.)

The Prologue to Fellowship of the Ring even sets the Brandybucks off with this line; "Even in Bilbo's time the strong Fallohidish strain could still be noted among the greater families, such as the Tooks and the Masters of Buckland." So, with reluctance, I would have to un-nominate Merry due to his membership in one of the 'greater families' which produced 'Masters'.
 

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