Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is known for its epic battles and giant scope, but another aspect that helps make these movies great is the cast. With an ensemble of talented actors, the beloved and icon characters of Middle Earth were brought to life.
However, aside from some key female characters like Galadriel and Eowyn, the cast was largely made up of male actors. While these actors filled the roles well, it is interesting to consider how the movie and its characters might differ if it were a cast of female actors taking on the main roles.
10 Gollum: Tatiana Maslany
Gollum (Andy Serkis) is perhaps the most complex character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Poisoned by the curse of the ring, Gollum is made a miserable creature split into conflicting personalities. One seeks to find kindness and happiness while the other voices his most violent and cruel thoughts.
It takes a real chameleon actor to pull off a character like Gollum and Talia Maslany is certainly up to the task. Her breakout role in Orphan Black had her playing multiple characters of very different personalities yet each feeling like a distinct and developed creation.
9 Boromir: Lena Headey
Boromir (Sean Bean) is another character who is not quite as he seems at first. He was the member of the fellowship that seemed the most likely to betray the group. However, he found redemption and proved himself a hero while also being one of the most tragic members of the fellowship.
Sean Bean’s Game of Thrones co-star Lena Headey proved how effective she can be at playing villains. But while her performance as Cersei Lannister is quite evil, Headey was also able to make the audience feel bad for Cersei at times which was a real accomplishment.
8 Pippin: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
In many ways, Pippin (Billy Boyd) would seem to be the most useless member of the fellowship. He seems more concerned with food than he does with the mission at hand, and he constantly does foolish things to make matters worse. However, he also proves he can fight for what he believes in when needed.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan has become a breakout star with her lead role on Never Have I Ever. She plays Devi, a young girl dealing with endless drama in her life. But while Devi has a tendency to turn bad situations worse, she is also a strong and determined person.
7 Merry: Devery Jacobs
Merry (Dominic Monaghan) is another interesting member of the fellowship who proves himself along the way. Though he is initially not a very serious young hobbit, his bravery grows throughout the quest as he wants to do his part in defeating the forces of evil.
Devery Jacobs has recently made a name for herself on the excellent series Reservation Dogs. She plays another member of a tough-knit team who can goof around like the others but has a more serious side where she wants to get things done.
6 Gimli: Michelle Rodriguez
Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) might not seem like much of a team player, but he ends up being an invaluable member of the fellowship. His grumpy demeanor helps make him a fun comic relief character but he is also always ready for a fight.
Michelle Rodriguez has made a career of playing intense badass roles like Letty in the Fast and Furious franchise. She would be a perfect fit for the gruff Gimli who loves battle and cares about the team even if she doesn’t show it all the time.
5 Legolas: Zoe Saldana
Legolas (Orlando Bloom) quickly became a fan-favorite of the trilogy as perhaps the best warrior in the fellowship. He is a stoic and serious elf who maintains confidence and grace even in the midst of battle.
Zoe Saldana has been at the center of some of the biggest movies of all time and she always brings graceful energy to her powerful warrior roles. With roles like Gamora, it is clear Saldana can play the effective soldier who is always cool under pressure.
4 Gandalf: Michelle Yeoh
Though each member of the fellowship serves their own special purpose, Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is the glue that holds them all together. Not only are they guided by his powerful wizard abilities but also his wisdom and leadership.
Michelle Yeoh is an actor who brings a commanding presence to every role. She excels at playing the type of characters who are powerful in their own right yet can also help guide the less experienced characters, such as her recent role in Shang-Chi.
3 Sam: Nicola Coughlan
Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) might not be a great warrior or powerful wizard, but he is perhaps the biggest hero in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Though he would rather be home in the Shire, Sam is the one who pulls Frodo along on their mission, showing enormous bravery along the way.
Nicola Coughlan is best known for roles on Derry Girls and Bridgerton. She excels at playing those loyal and compassionate friends who might be overlooked by others but show they have more strength than anyone.
2 Frodo: Thomasin McKenzie
Frodo (Elijah Wood) is the reluctant protagonist of the story, thrust out of his comfortable life and burdened with incredible responsibility. The audience feels for Frodo as he is shown to be sweet and gentle as well as terrified in the situation he finds himself in.
Thomasin McKenzie has a terrific quiet intensity in many of her performances, from Jojo Rabbit to the recent Last Night in Soho. She can effectively play those vulnerable yet strong characters who audiences can easily root for.
1 Aragorn: Danai Gurira
Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) is perhaps the most popular character in Lord of the Rings and his journey is central to the world of this story. He is a skilled and fearless warrior who does not hesitate to rush into battle. He is also someone who can become a leader when needed.
Danai Gurira has played a number of inspiring heroes like Michonne in The Walking Dead and Okoye in the MCU. She makes for a very convincing warrior, but she is also someone who people are willing to rally behind and follow into battle.