Lord Of The Rings & The Hobbit: Every Major Death RANKED

From Bag-End to Mordor, who went out in style?

Haldir lord of the rings
New Line Cinema

The world of Middle-Earth has seen its fair share of war. The on-screen carnage and emotion that has come from these battles have brought many a tear to the eye, and the death of a character in this series is treated with gravitas and dignity - at least in most cases.

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series boast some of the best characters ever put to screen. Even without the grand Tolkien legacy behind them, these roles would still be utterly phenomenal, and as such, it can be thoroughly heart-breaking to see casualties befall them. However, not all deaths are equal to each other.

There have been a lot of major demises in the series, and not all of them have been so successfully translated to screen as they should have been. Whether that's thanks to a mistake, or merely making them overblown, some are not as tragic as they should have been.

When these movies do deaths right, they are some of the best you will ever see, but when they get it wrong, it's a pale comparison of the emotion viewers should be feeling.

As can be expected, a major spoiler warning is in place.

17. Smaug - The Battle Of The Five Armies

Haldir lord of the rings
Warner Bros

There is a certain sense of scale and drama to this death that at least makes it visually appealing, but this moment should have been handled entirely differently.

Firstly, by placing it as the opening sequence to The Battle of the Five Armies, it took away the validity and importance that it should have had. This could have been a phenomenal climax to The Desolation of Smaug but instead was an overblown action sequence to open the next film, making it seem less important.

Secondly, the moment of Bard the Bowman hitting Smaug with the black arrow is supposed to feel like a masterful one in a million shot by a great archer, but here it feels like something that any other character could have managed with a decent enough eye.

Finally, the attempt to add a heartfelt moment with Bard using his son as the final part of his weapon seems designed to be profound, but is utterly cartoonish. There is no emotional pathos to it, and it looks silly and forced.

This should have been one of the best deaths in fantasy. Instead, it's an utter disappointment.


Michael is my name, overanalysing comedy is my game! I’m a Bristol-boy who moved out to Surrey to get his BA and then moved on to get an MA from the Guildford School of Acting. I am your bog-standard freaky geeky lad.