BySarah Gibson, writer at
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Sarah Gibson

It's hard to believe that thirteen years have passed since a few unassuming furry-footed Hobbits set out to take down Sauron in Peter Jackson's 2001 take on Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

What have the cast of LOTR been up to since? Although fans are now eagerly anticipating a return to Middle-earth and some of our familiar characters with PJ's final Hobbit movie, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, well, one does NOT simply walk away from where it all began. So, without further ado, let's catch up with the cast and find out if the time has indeed come where Hobbits have shaped the fortunes of all.

Elijah Wood as Frodo

Then: The Ring-bearer and then principal protagonist of LOTR, with a temperament well suited to resist evil and out-of-proportion feet decorated by fine Hobbit hair.

Now: Serial killer seems to be Elijah's forte, now, and he can been spotted as the ultimate creep in both Sin City and Maniac. On a lighter note, he talks adorably to his human dog in Wilfred, and has been a tap-dancing penguin in Happy Feet.


Sean Astin as Samwise

Then: The man who's name roughly translates to "halfwit," and it applies. He's overweight, easily frightened, and not very bright. But what he lacks in sophistication, he makes up for in love and loyalty.

Now: TV has been Sean's bag for a while now, having featured in 24, voiced Raphael in Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and been in The Strain. He's got a ton of movies coming out soon, though, so keep your eyes peeled!


Dominic Monaghan as Merry

Then: An adventurous young Hobbit who joins Frodo's quest after fleeing a farmer from whom they've stolen. He's the most perceptive and intelligent of the Hobbits, with a penchant for boats and ponies.

Now: Other than appearing in Abrams' Lost, Dominic hasn't been seen in much. He's kept his LOTR connections though, appearing with co-star Sean Bean in Soldiers Of Fortune and having dated The Hobbit's Tauriel, Evangeline Lilly.


Billy Boyd as Pippin

Then: The most impetuous member of the Fellowship and the one who most often got on Gandalf's nerves. But, also, one of Frodo's closest companions who becomes more courageous with each LOTR movie.

Now: He's been working mainly on his facial hair, and dividing his time between music and acting, with an appearance in Macbeth and a starring role in the surprisingly excellent cycling drama The Flying Scotsman back in 2006.


Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

Then: Heir to the throne of Gondor, ranger of Middle-earth, and second in command in the Fellowship, vowing to protect Frodo with his life. His destiny? To become the Lost King of Gondor. But it's not a responsibility the tall, proud man wants.

Now: Viggo has continued his successful Hollywood career with 2005's A History of Violence as a highlight, as was 2009's The Road, and 2012's On The Road, in which he played Beat poet William S. Burroughs.


Sean Bean as Boromir

Then: Valiant warrior known in Gondor for his greatness and one of the Fellowship of the Ring, though his mind grew set on claiming the Ring for his own purposes. Strong and honorable, he dies protecting Merry and Pippin.

Now: Other than dying in nearly everything, Bean has continued his stellar career and ensured his place in fantasy history by playing Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones and voicing Martin Septim in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.


John Rhys-Davies as Gimli

Then: Noble dwarf, son of Gloin, a brave and courageous mighty warrior. Gimli never parts with his axe, the main weapon of the dwarves. But seriously, watching the lumbering dwarf riding behind a slim elf upon a horse? Pah!

Now: Appearing in the made-for-TV and straight-to-DVD realms since Lord of the Rings, with Anaconda 3: The Offspring, as a particular highlight. He also got into some trouble back in 2004 for some pretty out there political views.


Orlando Bloom as Legolas

Then: An immortal elf of the Sindar, a fine archer and a master of woodcraft with beautiful eyes, long fair hair, and pointed ears. He's not frightened by forces of nature and nearly always remains in high spirits.

Now: Other than marrying and later separating from Miranda Kerr, Bloom broke seriously big with the Pirates of the Caribbean series, but since then has worked mostly in smaller movies as well as sneaking himself into The Hobbit.


Ian McKellen as Gandalf

Then: The wizard who wanders between lands, gathering knowledge, and befriending all folk, and the one who plucks Bilbo from his cozy little home and tosses him into a load of adventure.

Now: Ian continued to play Gandalf in the Hobbit movies, as well as returning to the X-Men franchise on a number of occasions to define Magneto for a generation. Other than that, he's just being generally Ian and generally awesome.


Ian Holm as Bilbo

Then: A small, furry-footed resident of The Shire with understated charisma who goes from loving food, drink, security, and relishing his snug little hole at Bag End to transforming into a brave and confident hero. But still with hairy feet...

Now: In between the Hobbit flicks, Ian has mixed up indie dramas like Garden State with big-budget blockbusters such as The Day After Tomorrow and Ratatouille, and Scorsese's The Aviator.


Christopher Lee as Saruman

Then: Once the wisest and greatest of the Wizards and member of The White Council against Sauron, but falls into the evil ways of the Dark Lord and betrays Gandalf by breeding a large army.

Now: Lee has followed LOTR with various voice roles and cameos in Tim Burton flicks. The 91-year-old stole the show at the BAFTAs when he accepted the appropriately-named Fellowship and returned to Hammer horror in The Resident.


Liv Tyler as Arwen

Then: Half-Elven daughter of Elrond who chooses to become mortal and to stay in Middle-earth with Aragorn, giving up the chance to sail over the sea and live forever in the Blessed Realm.

Now: Notoriously choosy about her roles, Liv has appeared in few projects since LOTR. Most notably, 2008's The Incredible Hulk and, rather bizarrely, the upcoming sci-fi spoof Space Station 76.


Miranda Otto as Éowyn

Then: Noblewoman of Rohan, driven to despair by her unrequited love for Aragorn. When she's rebuffed by the man she wants to follow into battle, she disguises herself as a man and goes ahead with it anyway!

Now: Steven Spielberg cast Otto in War Of The Worlds in 2005 and she appeared in Mark Romanek's TV thriller, Locke & Key. She also played a role in 2014's sci-fi monster mash-up, I, Frankenstein.


Karl Urban as Éomer

Then: A strong leader of men, Éomer's faithful to his country and people, but is exiled by Gríma Wormtongue before meeting Aragorn. Meets Lothíriel during his stay in Gondor where he marries her.

Now: Let's see... Urban's been a busy man. He's done R.E.D., bagged himself Star Trek, Dredd, and a Bourne flick, as well as a cheeky cameo in Riddick, and appearing in futuristic TV series Almost Human.


Hugo Weaving as Elrond

Then: Lord of Rivendell, one of the mighty rulers of Middle-earth. He is a master of wisdom, with gifts of healing and foresight, and demonstrates his skills as both a warrior and commander in battle.

Now: Captain America, V for Vendetta, and Cloud Atlas are all on Hugo's long list of career accomplishments. Like Wood, he also starred in Happy Feet, and has kept his LOTR connections strong with appearances in The Hobbit flicks.


Cate Blanchett as Galadriel

Then: Seraphic and ethereal, Galadriel is one of the greatest Eldar, surpassing all others in beauty, knowledge, and power. Known as the Lady of Light, in part because of her flowing gold and silver hair.

Now: Cate has remained a Hollywood heavyweight. Apart from her Hobbit appearances, the actress has been in Babel, Blue Jasmine, and The Monuments Men. Look out for her in Knight of Cups and Terrence Malick's next flick!



Who do you miss most from the Lord of the Rings franchise?


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