Heartbreaking Fan Theories About 'Lord Of The Rings' Villains

Voting Rules

Vote up the most interesting and heartbreaking fan theories about the villains of Middle-earth.

Just because you're a villain bent on the destruction of an entire land, doesn't mean you can't be a bit heartbreaking yourself. These Lord of the Rings fans have pointed out a number of fan theories that point to the villains of Middle-earth being sadder than we might have thought.

  • 1
    251 VOTES

    Gollum Murdered Frodo's Parents

    From Redditor u/Hq3473:

    Gollum murdered Drogo and Primula.

    Gollum snuck in the Shire seeking a person known only as the ‘Baggins.’ He found Drogo, tipped his boat and made sure to drown the couple. Did not find the ring, and fled fearing retribution for the double murder and eventually ended up in Mordor, where he revealed all to Sauron.

    The dates check out, Gollum is unaccounted for in Third Age year 2980 (after Bilbo finds the rings, but before he is captured in Mordor), and it is never explained why Gollum failed to find a Baggins in the Shire, the task does not seem all that difficult. The boat tipping incident is never explained, especially why would Primula who grew up by the river would drown instead of swimming to safety.

    251 votes
  • 2
    219 VOTES

    Denethor And Saruman Were Manipulated By Sauron Through The Palantir

    From Redditor u/zrkrehbial:

    If you go through the entire LOTR, you find out that Saruman and Denethor are both in possession of a Palantir. It is also highly suggested that Sauron is in possession of one as well, since Sauruman communicates with him using his own. Doesn't it seem a bit ironic that both of them end up losing hope in the Ring War? Once Sauron realized the head Wizard sent to Middle-earth and the Steward of Gondor were carelessly using a Palantir to get a foothold over Morder, he immediately used that to his advantage by subtly injecting hints of the doom that was to come into what they saw to slowly destroy their faith until they lost hope.

    219 votes
  • 3
    228 VOTES

    Lead Poisoning Led To Denethor's Madness

    From Redditor u/HipHopAnonymous:

    First, a brief history lesson. The tomato was introduced to Europe in the early 1500's when the Spanish conquistadors brought it back from Mesoamerica. Because tomatoes are so acidic, when they were placed upon European pewter plates or cooked in pewter pots, the acidity would cause a greater amount of the lead in the pewter to leach into the food. The resulting increase of lead poisoning lead to the tomato being blamed for causing sickness and death.

    In The Return of the King, as Pippin sings for Denethor as he feasts, he is explicitly shown eating tomatoes from a pewter platter. He is also shown drinking from a pewter cup.

    I believe this was very intentional by Peter Jackson to subtly imply that lead poisoning was contributing to Denethor's unbalanced mental state.

    228 votes
  • 4
    153 VOTES

    Gandalf Planned Smaug's Death Just So He Wouldn't Join Sauron

    From Redditor u/kwik_kwek_en_kwak:

    Maybe this has been validated in a book I haven't read yet, but anyway, here it is: In The Hobbit, Gandalf urges the Dwarves to battle the dragon Smaug in the Lonely Mountain as a tactical move against the Black Enemy. Not only would the mountain give Sauron huge riches and a strategic new fortress from which to invade Middle-earth, but he would also try to recruit the Dragon. This would've made it quite tough for the free people to combat the Enemy.

    As with Smaug, Sauron and his servant could quite easily have ensnared the Balrog from Moria to his command. After all, Balrogs and Sauron both serve Morgoth Bauglir and Balrogs have been asleep before during the chaining of Morgoth and afterwards came to his aid when he was assailed by Ungoliant. After the Nazgûl on their Fellbeasts were first commanded over the river Anduin, Sauron could've easily send one of them or another captain to Moria to recruit the Balrog.

    Mithrandir knew this of course, wise and endlessly epic as he is. If the Balrog were allowed to live after the Fellowship left Moria, he could fall under the dominion of Sauron. Imagine the Balrog laying waste to Lothlórien, or bashing through the gates of the White City after Grond tore them down. I doubt even an Army of the Dead could be of any help against such a foe.

    153 votes
  • 5
    242 VOTES

    Gollum Was An Identity Trapped Within The Ring

    From Redditor u/HenceFourth:

    Throughout The Lord of the Ring movies people, such as Gandalf, make mention of how the One Ring wants to get back to it's master, implying the ring has a mind of it's own.

    The ring was held by a creature named Smeagol for about 600 hundred years, In this time they say ‘It poisoned his mind.’ We see it caused Smeagol to have a form of Dissociative Identity Disorder, or split personalities, one being Smeagol the other Gollum.

    In the beginning of The Fellowship of The Ring, after Bilbo pulls his vanishing act for the Hobbits, there is a scene where Bilbo calls the Ring his ‘precious’. Gandalf calls him out on this, saying, ;It has been called that before, but not by you.' He is talking about Gollum Specifically, not Smeagol.

    The thing about Gollum and Smeagol is that Gollum refers to the ring as his ‘precious’ throughout the trilogy, while Smeagol calls it my ‘love’, like he used to call Deagol. 

    I propose that Gollum isn't exclusive to Smeagol, and is the name of the identity itself that lives in the One Ring, and upon fully possessing any creature, would have went upon being called by the name Gollum.

    242 votes
  • 6
    178 VOTES

    Trolls Used To Be Entwives

    From Redditor u/-harboringonalament:

    Treebeard and kin give little hints as to the Entwives. We know they went east to the land that would become the Brown Lands. We also know this occurred prior to the Third Age... and they became the Brown Lands from Sauron himself in the Second Age… we are then left with the logical conclusion that the Entwives must have been there before the Allies of Men and Elves arrived, but were gone by the time they did.

    Now, Treebeard himself mentions that Trolls are to Ents as Orcs are to Elves. So that there is some kind of corruption process that converts an ent into a troll.

    Soooo I think it's pretty clear what happened to the Entwives. They were turned into Trolls when Sauron scoured the Brown Lands. Perhaps some fled North and East and escaped, but almost certainly this is the origin of Mordor's Trolls. Especially likely the Ulog-hai who would resist sunlight.


    178 votes