I was out of town when the final installment in “The Hobbit” film trilogy was released, which is good, because watching it all by myself in 3-D IMAX in an empty theater was probably for the best given just how often I yelled out “Oh my god, I think I just came.” Which maybe seems weird (it’s not), but have you seen a dwarf in battle? If you haven’t, go ahead, I’ll wait the 18 hours it’ll take you to watch all six “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” films.
Okay, so. Unlike most die-hard Tolkien fans, I’ve never actually read the books. When Scholastic offered our school a field trip to go watch “The Fellowship of the Ring,” I signed up solely so I could skip both geometry and biology class, and get in a nice nap. Stadium seating was new at the time, and quite the luxury in 2001, you know? But then Viggo Mortensen happened, and here I am, extolling to anyone and everyone I’ve met how the movies are amazing, and drunkenly trying to get “Then it was a good dream” tattooed on my body in Elvish during the Super Bowl. Sure I can tell you all the reasons the storytelling is fantastic, the mythology is more entrenched than one might imagine, and the cinematography is far more excellent than any modern-day action film of our time, but let’s call a spade a spade: everyone in Middle Earth was hot as fuck.
Humans, hot. Halflings, hot. Wizards, hot. Dwarves, surprisingly hot! Elves, so hot I want to cry. Orcs … not so hot, but ya can’t win ‘em all. I would let a lot of people in Middle Earth get it, especially after seeing most of them fight. Here’s my interspecies Middle Earth boning bucket list, because unlike a Balrog, I’d let all of these people pass.
Normally, nah. I haven’t quite fallen into the Lee Pace fandom, and while his acting is par fucking excellence as the almost ambiguously gay but also not gay at all Thranduil, king of the Wood Elves, creator of Legolas, it was when he was swirling about in battle in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” with a cape so beautiful I’m sure Prince owned it at one point that I realized he was more than just an unnecessarily ornate bejeweled headpiece on legs. Plus, you know, eyebrow game on fleek.
Bard benefits mainly from being freshest in my mind, because that soul patch isn’t doing anyone any favors. But he is stupid brave (emphasis on stupid), which is a characteristic I like in my men – sheer idiocy – and his naive understanding of basic negotiation in The Hobbit is adorable adjacent. But he comes with three kids, all of who are very stupid and also call him Da, and that just will not do.
While, yes, Cate Blanchett is extremely beautiful and ethereal as Lady Galadriel, let us not forget that when provoked, she turns into this, which, like, kind of awkward party trick, my Lady.
Having also never fallen into Benedict Cumberbatch fandom (IDK, I don’t find otters sexy), I normally wouldn’t put him on a boning bucket list. But as just a very sexy rich timber voiced dragon, who also possesses a shit ton of gold, I could probably be convinced pretty easily.
If you gave up on dwarves after Lord of the Rings because Gimli is sweet but not drop-your-pants sweet, let me invite you to The Hobbit. King Thorin Oakenshield is basically a silver fox. Sure, he goes power-mad and almost lets his entire clan die, but what is life if not embraced in those broad shoulders of a tall-ish dwarf who aspires to little else other than the right to live under a mountain?
7. Pippin and Meriadoc
Fuck Frodo right to the Gates of Mordor, because he is the biggest (smallest?) bitch ass halfling I’ve ever met, but Pippin and Merry sure can get it. Not only do they share my thoughts about meals (what is life without breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, after all), but they’re easily the best hobbits in the original film trilogy. You bow to no one , Merry and Pip.
Had The Hobbit trilogy not been filmed, Bilbo would not have made the list, because old Bilbo from “The Lord of the Rings” is super creepy and it’s all for the best that he went off to live with the elves in the Grey Havens, but hello Martin Freeman! Aren’t you just the cutest, bravest, cheekiest little halfling to ever be forced to leave the Shire for no good reason other than near-certain death by a raving old vagabond? You are.
Single-handedly giving Liv Tyler her best acting credit since “Empire Records,” Arwen is near-perfect, as elf females tend to be. Choosing a life of mortality to live with her one true love? Boss. Taunting a cadre of Ringwraiths to come and get you, before outrunning them? Boss. But other than that, she didn’t really … do much. What is an elf, if not an acrobatic fighting machine?
I know, I know, Tauriel wasn’t even in the books, but Evangeline Lilly’s red-haired Captain of the Elven Guard will make you feel every feeling that may or may not have gone dormant during the long winter known as singledom. Your first introduction to her is when she murders an army of psychotic gigantic spiders, she saves her dwarf boyfriend’s ass repeatedly and often, and she’s one of the only people willing to stand up to her King, even if it means banishment (it does). Plus, she cute though.
Say what you will about Orlando Bloom, his penchant for trilogies, and the fact that his actual acting acumen could likely fit in Legolas’ wee quiver: Elf. Can. Fight. He’s witty, he’s a badass, he surfed down a stone staircase while shooting arrows, and the elven acrobat’s heart gets stomped on so much, it’s honestly sad. Loved your mom? Sorry, she died. Loved a fellow elf? Sorry, she loved a dwarf who also died even though you rescued her about 1000 times, and she still doesn’t love you. Literally everyone falls in love in these damn stories except Legolas. It’s hard out there for an elf.
As Tauriel first said, “He’s quite tall…for a dwarf,” before she fell in love with him, and so did I. Blessedly beard free, brave beyond measure, reckless and charming, Kili is the men of dwarves, and welcome to mine my caves anytime. Have you seen him come flying over a stone wall to defend Tauriel? (“The Battle of the Five Armies,” worth watching for the bloodlust alone.) Have you seen him charm his way into everyone’s heart? Kili may not speak Elvish, but he speaks the language of quenching my thirst, and that’s good enough.
Gondor has no king, and Gondor needs no king, but it does need Aragorn (who, yes, does ultimately become the King of Gondor) (no apologies for a spoiler 60 years in the making). Casual hypocrisy aside, the tortured prince of gloom and doom is by far the best character. Best nickname (Striker). Best wife (Arwen gave up immortality for his love!). Purest heart. Excellent sword work. HAS THE ABILITY TO RAISE AN ARMY OF THE UNDEAD. The third installment of “The Lord of the Rings” is worth suffering through Frodo’s insipid journey to do something the Great Eagles could have done anyways, if only to see Aragorn, son of Arathorn, ascend to his rightful place
in my lady parts as the First High King of the Reunited Kingdom.