Elves in J.R.R.Tolkien’s world are immortal creatures that mostly keep to themselves and are therefore very interesting to everyone else. We meet many of them in the magnificent trilogy The Lord of the Rings and in The Hobbit, but their background and history are described in detail in Silmarillion.
In this article we are going to see who were the most powerful elves in The Lord of the Rings, including The Hobbit and Silmarillion.
Lord of the hidden Elven kingdom of Gondolin, Maeglin, unfortunately, became infamous for giving away the location of his hidden city to Morgoth. Even though an orphan, he got accepted into the House of Turgon and was raised as Turgon’s son. He dreamt of marrying Idril, but all his wishes were in vain since she fell in love with Tuor.
His jealousy and envy led him to betray everyone who ever cared about him and in the end, he died in a fight with Tuor, when he threw him from the wall after Maeglin wanted to capture Idril and fight for her.
Turgon’s only child, a far-sighted elf, Idril could sense danger and therefore warn the ones around her if anything or anyone suspicious was approaching. She encouraged her husband Tuor to prepare a secret passage under the city to save everyone in case the city got attacked.
After the fall of Gondolin, Idril and Tuor became leaders of the exiles, took them out of the city and became their saviours.
Galadriel’s brother and one of the noblest elves of the House of Finarfin. He died saving Beren and even though his strength and power have never been described in detail, his deeds show that he was a brave and caring elf.
He founded the original Minas Tirith, he rewarded the Dwarves with a huge amount of jewels from Valinor. He started to build the city of Nargothrond after he discovered the system of caves beneath the Taur-En-Faroth.
The Noldorin Elf, the “Valiant” one and High King of Noldor during the First Age. He was a combination of wisdom and skill, of brain and crafts. He valued justice and lived by its rules, too.
Morgoth was the only thing he hated, he wasn’t against any men or elf and he never wanted anything or anyone to glorify him. Modest and peaceful, he sought only freedom and righteousness and death was a reward to him.
Maybe not one of the most famous, but his House was the one responsible for one of the greatest victories. His grandson Earendil was the one who caused Morgoth’s downfall in the War of Wrath.
It was indirectly, but still in a way anticipated since Morgoth was always certain that he would die at the hand of someone from the House of Turgon. This fear that Turgon caused in Morgoth made him even more powerful than anyone could have imagined.
15. Haldir of Lothlorien
Haldir was probably a Silvan Elf who guarded the forest’s northern borders. He wore a grey, hooded cloak and was often in the company of his two brothers, Rumil and Orophin. He is important for the Fellowship since he became their guide to Caras Galadhon, being fluent in the Common Tongue and well acquainted with the world outside Lothlorien.
His character gained much more attention in the movies based on Tolkien’s novels and there are even some differences between his character in the movies and books. He is a pretty important figure as the leader of the Elven army in defence of the Rohirrim. He fought next to Aragorn, bravely and valiantly and even though Rohirrim suffered numerous losses, he and his army helped Theoden’s people until Gandalf and his company arrived.
An elf which wasn’t included in Jackson’s trilogy, but was present at the council of Elrond in The Fellowship of the Ring and therefore he should be mentioned. He is an important character in Tolkien’s novels and there are many distinguished features which put him on the list of the most powerful.
Glorfindel is, with his age of a thousand years, one of the eldest elves there, being born in their earliest days. He is obviously very wise and experienced and in the book, he is the one who saves Frodo from the Black Riders, not Arwen, as Jackson portrayed it. He was definitely one of the mightiest elves. He was so memorable and his actions so important that he was brought back to life with even greater power.
Arwen is the daughter of Elrond and his wife Celebrian, and just like her father, a half-elf. Therefore she can choose whether to be immortal or die of old age, like humans. She is a wise and experienced elf, having centuries behind her when she meets the Fellowship. Her character was given much more importance in the movies, whilst in the book her primary role is Aragorn’s love interest.
But being that and eventually choosing a mortal life because of a great love makes her even more courageous than we might think at the very beginning. She becomes the queen of Gondor which gives her tremendous responsibility and power, but also shows her independence and overall moral strength.
Son of Oropher and the Elven king who ruled over the Woodland Realm. He is King of Mirkwood and we meet him in The Hobbit where he was depicted as a flawed father and a ruler. He was a stubborn ruler who led his realm to isolation and refused to help the ones outside the borders who were in need due to the terrors they were facing.
He was a somewhat peculiar individual who might have been perceived as selfish and cold hearted, but having in mind the losses he endured in his life, we begin to understand his actions and choices. He fought next to his father and many other men against Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance where he lost so many of them dear to him, along with his father.
Once again a character which we didn’t see in the movies, but also one which must be mentioned here. His craftsmanship and capable hands were responsible for sixteen of the twenty Rings of Power. These later belonged to Dwarves and Men.
He also created the three Elven Rings of Power, but they didn’t contain the corrupting power of the other rings. Therefore he is very important for the whole story and even though we don’t see him, we are aware of his presence and constantly witness the results of his arts and crafts.
10. Cirdan the Shipwright
One more elf which we see only for a period of time in Jackson’s trilogy. He is somewhere in the background at the end of The Return of the KIng as Bilbo and his companions arrive at the Grey Havens. Even though in the background, he is of great importance throughout The Lord of the Rings as the one responsible for helping Elves who want to leave Middle-Earth. He provides for the ships and takes care of the docks.
He is old and wise and the fourth Elf to be given an elven ring which. This wisdom of his for particularly demonstrated when he recognised Gandalf’s need for his ring. He gave it to him to help him fight the Dark Lord.
Prince of the elven kingdom of Mirkwood and Thranduil’s son, Legolas is one of the most popular and mighty elves in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He has numerous talents which he needs to show throughout the whole story. He is an excellent rider and even better bowsman. He rarely misses his shots.
Even though we are not familiar with his age and history, he is similar to his fellow elves, especially when it comes to one of their greatest characteristics, wisdom. He might be stubborn and sometimes even childish, but his wisdom never fails him. Known for his intolerance towards dwarves, it is so fulfilling watching him change throughout the story. He even becomes best friends with Gimli, the dwarf who couldn’t stand him at the beginning, either.
Legolas shows so many good qualities and we simply have to respect him and his actions. He was a powerful visionary, a great friend and a warrior whose help and support would be cherished by everyone.
Born a prince of the elvish kingdom of Doriath, Celeborn is a character which has seen a lot. He lived through the First, Second and Third Ages and even though we don’t see and hear too much of him, he is always somewhere near, sending his help and support. As Galadriel’s husband, he has more than enough to fight for. He knows so much and his experience is unmeasurable.
Celeborn was a skilled warrior and one of the oldest Elves and he and Galadriel led their men successfully through centuries of danger and wars. But he was still very strong during the Lord of the Rings and never failed to disappoint.
This charismatic and skilled elf wasn’t greatly accepted among The Hobbit fans since she was the only female addition to their male groups. She ended up as a very resourceful and powerful companion who showed excellent skill with a bow and daggers. She proved to be more open minded than Legolas, Elrond and many other Elves.
She was advanced in thinking and perceiving the world around them and the people who surrounded them. She was the one who accepted the Dwarves and let go of their centuries long prejudice and she was the one who persuaded her people to help in the fight in Middle-earth that was starting to become more serious.
6. Gil – galad
The High-King of Noldor, one of the most powerful elves, but also one who, unfortunately, didn’t get too much screen time in Jackson’s trilogy. He was the keeper of two of three Elven Rings of Power and one of Sauron’s greatest enemies in the Last Alliance. He formed the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, along with Elendil, Ragorn’s ancestor. They defeated Sauron, but only temporarily, since he regained power and returned in The Lord of the Rings and its events.
Gil – galad wasn’t that present in the movies, but his power and strength will never be forgotten, his heroism and bravery are well known and his great victoires and important ventures are the ones which will always be mentioned as one of the most iconic and important in general.
Fingolfin was the first High King of the Noldor. His journey to Middle-earth was filled with problems, deceits and lies but he eventually managed to arrive there. He was described as the wisest and most powerful among his siblings.
His most famous and heroic act happened in Middle-earth where he got into a dangerous and life threatening fight with Morgoth. Morgoth was even more powerful than Sauron and maybe one of the most dangerous and strongest in Tolkien’s world in general. He managed to resist the creature and his attacks for a great amount of time, struck him with a blow and left him with its limp.
As a person not really someone we would like to have as a friend, but as a powerful elf, definitely a companion worth having by your side. At times selfish and paranoid and a horrible brother, some of his accomplishments need to be mentioned. He created the Silmarils, which were priceless since they were created from two powerful trees that blessed and empowered everyone who looked at them.
He might have even been more powerful than other Elves, since his mother passed her spirit on to her son when giving birth to him. It’s what made him born with a greatness of spirit. But still, he wasn’t that popular among his fellow elves, thanks to his flawed personality.
Very often mentioned in connection to Arwen, due to her beauty and the same love destiny. She was also in love with a mortal and ready to do whatever she needed to stay with him. Her beauty was stunning and she has often been referred to as one of the most beautiful elves and being her descendant, Arwen bore a strong resemblance to Luthien.
But her deeds was much more important than her private choices and her physical appearance. She rescued her husband Adan Beren from the hands of the vicious Morgoth, by enchanting him and his entire court into a deep sleep, Beren managed not only to escape but also to cut out one of the Simarils from Morgoth’s crown.
One of the mightiest, always there to help and ready to aid anyone in need. He raised Aragorn as his son after he lost his father. He was the one who encouraged all the beings from across Middle-earth to decide on the Ring’s destiny. He was especially beloved by his men, but also all other beings, not only for being a great and wise leader, but also a good and loving person.
He is one of the oldest Elf-rulers who lived from the First Age to the beginning of the Fourth Age. A strong and powerful individual, but also a skilled and fierce warrior who fought in the first war against Sauron. He is the keeper of the Ring of Air, which gives him the power to preserve and heal. He could also heal others and had the gift of foresight so he could see far away from Rivendell.
Probably the greatest and most powerful of all Elves in Middle-earth. She had it all, was the prettiest, the wisest and her power extended far beyond the imaginable. She was the “Lady” of the woods of Lothlorien and ruled it with her husband Celeborn. But she wasn’t only a great warrior and a mighty ruler. She was generous and helpful and she helped the Fellowship in so many occasions during their quest to destroy the ring.
She was always in the center of attention and praised for her beauty, especially her long, golden hair. But her powers were the ones always mentioned and never forgotten. She possessed numerous magical powers, which allegedly came from the ring she possessed, the Ring of Water. Some tales describe her as being able to communicate over vast distances and predict the future.
She was extremely intelligent and difficult to fool and she was one of the few who wasn’t fooled by Sauron in the Second Age.