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Ages of Lord of the Rings Characters

Updated on December 31, 2014
An Unexpected Party
An Unexpected Party | Source

How Old Is Bilbo? Frodo? Aragorn? Etc?

The Lord of the Rings appendices give us tons of information, including the ages of most of the characters. But it's a chore sifting through all that information, correlating dates in The Tale of Years, family trees and so on.

So here's a page with the ages of all the characters in The Lord of the Rings and in The Hobbit, which took place 77-78 years earlier.

Most of The Hobbit takes place in Third Age 2941, but he returns in the winter and doesn't get home until early 2942. For characters alive during the events of The Hobbit, I will give their "Hobbit Age" in the year 2941 T.A.

In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo leaves Bag-end in September 3018, but does not set out from Rivendell until December 25. So the journey of the Fellowship, the fall of Sauron and the crowning of Aragorn take place in 3019. However, as some characters don't survive the whole story, I'm going to give everyone's age at the beginning of Frodo's journey, in the year 3018. Note that this is actually seventeen years after Bilbo's birthday-party, but it's too confusing if I give the age of Bilbo and Frodo at the party (111 and 33) when Pippin was only 11 and Éowyn was only 5!

How Old Is Aragorn?

Strider, King Elessar, Elfstone, Trotter...er, wait, scratch that...

Aragorn, aka King Elessar

Parents: Gilraen and Arathorn II of the Dúnedain

Born: March 1st, 2931 of Third Age

Died: March 1st, 120 of Fourth Age

Age in The Hobbit: 10*

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 87

*being raised as Elrond's foster-son at the time, he almost certainly saw Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves pass through Rivendell

Arwen Undomiel

Daughter of Elrond

Arwen Undómiel (Evenstar)

Parents: Elrond and Celebrían

Born: 241 of Third Age

Died: 120 of Fourth Age

Age in The Hobbit: 2700*

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 2777

*At the time she was living in Lothlórien with her maternal grandparents, Galadriel and Celeborn; Aragorn, living in Rivendell, first met her "newly returned" to her birth-home when he was 20.

How Old Is Bilbo?

The Hobbit Who Started It All

Bilbo Baggins

Parents: Bungo Baggins, Belladonna Took

Born: September 22, 2890 of Third Age

Died: unknown (sailed to Elvenhome)

Age in The Hobbit: 51*

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 111, but he was 128 when Frodo set out on his adventure

*Bilbo started on the journey at age 50; he celebrated his 51st birthday in Lake-Town.

How Old Is Boromir?

Son of Denethor Steward of Gondor

Boromir, Captain of the White Tower

Parents: Finduilas of Dol Amroth and Denethor Steward of Minas Tirith

Born: 2978 of Third Age

Died: February 26, 3019 of Third Age

Age in The Hobbit: --

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 40

How Long Are the Ages of Middle-earth?

First Age lasted for 590 years, until the downfall of Morgoth and the drowning of Beleriand, the western lands of Middle-earth.

Second Age lasted for 3441 years, until the defeat of Sauron by the Last Alliance.

Third Age lasted for 3021 years, until the Ringbearers (minus Sam) left Middle-earth.

Total: 7052 years

And some Elves, like Galadriel, are even older, born before time was counted in years.

How Old Is Celeborn?

Husband of Galadriel

Celeborn is another who was probably born before the First Age, or at latest was born during it, so he's at least 6600 years old and probably older.

How Old Is Denethor?

Steward of Gondor, Son of Ecthelion II

Lord Denethor Son of Ecthelion

Born: 2930 of Third Age

Died: March 15, 3019 Third Age

Age in The Hobbit: 11

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 88

Denethor was one year older than Aragorn, and as a young man his rival when Aragorn served Denethor's father under the name Thorongil.

How Old Are Elladan and Elrohir?

Twin Sons of Elrond

Elladan and Elrohir, the Peredhil (Half-Elven)

Parents: Elrond and Celebrían

Born: 130 of the Third Age

Died: Unknown*

Age in The Hobbit: 2811

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 2888

*There's something odd about Elrond's sons: the children of Elrond were supposed to choose whether to be accounted mortal or immortal when he left Middle-earth, and if they stayed, they'd be accounted mortal. But the sons of Elrond remained after he left in order to mop up the remaining orcs of the Misty Mountains who had once captured and tormented their mother. Presumably, however, they made the choice to follow their father, and were allowed to do so; otherwise there would have been some fuss made over the fact that all three of his children chose to die instead of going to the Undying Lands.

How Old Is Elrond?

The "Half-Elven"

Elrond of Rivendell

Parents: Eärendil and Elwing

Born: 532 of First Age

Died: Never

Age in The Hobbit: 6440

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 6517

*He was called Peredhel, "The Half-Elven," but was actually... oh, I can't do the math. Here's his family tree from my article on Elrond and Elros:

How Old Is Éomer?

Sister-Son of King Théoden

Éomer, Third Marshal of the Riddermark (later, King)

Parents: Éomund and and Théodwyn

Born: 2991 of the Third Age

Died: 63 of the Fourth Age (age at death: 102)

Age in The Hobbit: not born yet

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 27*

*Aragorn first meets Ãomer on Feb 30 (Middle-earth months have 30 days), 3019; Siege of Helm's Deep on Mar 3.

How Old Is Éowyn?

Sister of Éomer

Éowyn of Rohan, later Lady of the Shield-Arm

Parents: Éomund and and Théodwyn

Born: 2995 of the Third Age

Died: Unknown

Age in The Hobbit: not born yet

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 23

How Old Is Faramir?

Younger Brother of Boromir

Faramir, later Prince of Ithilien

Parents: Finduilas of Dol Amroth and Denethor Steward of Minas Tirith

Born: 2983 of Third Age

Died: Unknown

Age in The Hobbit: --

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 35

How Old Is Frodo?

The Ringbearer

Frodo Baggins

Parents: Drogo Baggins, Primula Brandybuck

Born: September 22, 2968 of Third Age

Died: Unknown

Age in The Hobbit: not born yet

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 50*

*The Ring kept him looking like he was 33, his age at the farewell Birthday Party when Bilbo left him the Ring.

How Old Is Galadriel?

Lady of Light

Lady Galadriel

Parents: Finarfin son of Finwë and Eärwen daughter of Olwë (brother of Thingol)

Born: Before the First Age

Age at start of The Lord of the Rings: unknown, but more than 7000 years old

How Old Is Gandalf?

aka Mithrandir (Sindarin Elvish), Olórin (High-Elven)

Gandalf is a Maia, essentially an angel in disguise. So he's existed since the beginning of creation (and earlier). But he took on the form of Gandalf the Grey and came to Middle-earth around the year 1000 of the Third Age, 2000 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings.

How Old Is Gimli?

Son of Glóin

Gimli the Dwarf

Parents: Glóin & ???

Born: 2879 of Third Age

Last Seen: Fourth Age 120*

Age in The Hobbit: 62 (and considered a stripling)

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 139

*It is said that after King Elessar (Aragorn) died, Legolas took Gimli with him on a ship to Elvenhome to meet Galadriel again. (Tol Eressëa, an island off the shore of the Undying Lands,, did not confer immortality on mortals, it simply took away all their cares. Sam, Bilbo, and Frodo went there.)

How Old Is Gollum?

aka Sméagol

We don't know exactly when he was born, but originally Gollum was just a Hobbit, a race that tended to live 100 years or so without a Ring of Power to prolong life.

The Tale of Years shows that Gollum found the Ring in 2463, making him about 500 years old when Bilbo first met him in 2941.

How Old Is Legolas?

Son of Thranduil

We seldom know ages with Elves, but Legolas seems fairly young, possibly born in the Second or even the Third Age (and thus less than 3000 years old).

His father Thranduil was King of Mirkwood. Although the name "Legolas Greenleaf" shows up in early, unpublished texts by Tolkien describing the Fall of Gondolin in the First Age, this is probably a casual borrowing rather than the same character (Tolkien didn't know we'd be poring over all his unpublished scribbles). See my article on Legolas of Mirkwood for an in-depth discussion of clues as to Legolas' approximate age.

How Old Is Merry?

aka Meriadoc, Holdwine (his name in Riddermark)

Meriadoc ("Merry") Brandybuck, later Master of Buckland

Parents: Saradoc Brandybuck and Esmerelda Took

Born: 2982 of Third Age

Died: Unknown*

Age in The Hobbit: not yet born

Age at start of The Lord of the Rings: 36

*When quite old, Merry returned to the Riddermark to be with King Ãomer when he died in year 63 of the Fourth Age; then Merry and Pippen went on to Minas Tirith where they spent their final years with Aragorn/Elessar and were buried there.

How Old Is Pippin?

Great-Grandson of the Old Took

Peregrin ("Pippin") Took, Later the Thain of the Shire

Parents: Paladin Took and Eglantine Banks*

Born: 2990 of Third Age

Died: first century of Fourth Age (see note on Merry aboe)

Age in The Hobbit: not yet born

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 28

*Merry and Pippin were first cousins, and second cousins of Frodo.

How Old Is Rosie Cotton?

Sam's sweetheart

Rose ("Rosie") Cotton

Parents: Tolman (Tom) Cotton and Lily Brown

Born: 2984 of Third Age

Died: Mid-year's Day, year 61 of Fourth Age; age 98

Age in The Hobbit: not yet born

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 34

How Old Is Sam?

Samwise Son of Hamfast

Samwise ("Sam") Gamgee, later Mayor of Hobbiton

Parents: Hamfast Gamgee and Bell Goodchild

Born: April 6 (?), 2980* of Third Age

Last seen: Mid-year's Day, year 61 of Fourth Age

Age in The Hobbit: not yet born

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 38*

*In older editions, the Tale of Years in the Appendix of ROTK says that Sam was born in 2983. His family tree right after the Tale of Years says 2980, making him the same age as Faramir. However, more recent editions make him three years older. I'm guessing that the correction was made by Tolkien's son Christopher, who acts as his father's historian and editor.

After Mistress Rose his wife passed away in F.A. 61, Sam went to the Havens and sailed after Frodo, presumably dying in Tol Eressëa.

How Old Is Théooden?

King of the Mark

King Théoden son of Thengel

Parents: King Thengel of Rohan and Morwen of Gondor

Born: 2948 of Third Age

Died: 3019 of Third Age (age 71)

Age in The Hobbit: not yet born

Age in The Lord of the Rings: 70

Interestingly, Théoden's father married and lived as a young man in Gondor, returning to Rohan to take up the kingship when Théoden was five.

How Old Are Tom Bombadil and Treebeard?

They can't BOTH be oldest, but...

Tom Bombadil says he's Eldest. So does Treebeard. It's Mythology; don't ask.

Tom Bombadil remembers time before the First Age, making him well over 7000 years old.

Treebeard remembers places in Beleriand that were flooded at the end of the First Age about 6500 years before the War of the Ring.

© 2011 tinw

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    • profile image

      shakiba 5 months ago

      Thanks a lot,

      it was really interesting for me.

      I love the movie, but I'm ashamed of not having read the book.

      your hub was very informative.

    • Angela Cosco profile image

      Angela Cosco 2 years ago

      In the Lord of the Rings movies, Gimly referrs to Legolas as a mere wee elfling. Some say he was no older than 200 and some years old. But, In Tolkien's books, his age was not mentioned, nor was the name of his mother. He said to them, he had seen many an oak tree grow from a seedling and die away. Oak trees can live about 900 to 1,100 years old. Some have been said to be older, so how old does that say, Legolas actually was?

    • profile image

      jubi-jonson 3 years ago

      How Old Are Tom Bombadil and Treebeard? Well, Treebeard might be as old as the first dwarves, as Yavanna created Ents (well, actually, all of Valar created them through the song) after Aule created dwarves, and put them to sleep underground (so, before Elves even)

      And speculations have been made that Tom Bombadil was Eru in (human?) form... thus, older than everything, and ageless.

    • tinw profile image
      Author

      tinw 4 years ago from Middle Earth

      @anonymous: Whoops. How embarrassing. I should've made a footnote. The ages I'm giving are at the time when the Fellowship starts out -- when Sam, Frodo, Merry and Pippin leave the Shire, and when most of the adventure takes place. But you are quite right; the first chapter takes place a full seventeen years before that, and Bilbo was eleventy-one at his birthday party!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      uhm Bilbo is celebrating his 111th birthday in the beginning of the lotr so when you say in the lotr

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Good compilation of info.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks, nice brief about characters:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very helpful thank you

    • tinw profile image
      Author

      tinw 5 years ago from Middle Earth

      @anonymous: Thanks. I get a little lost on the Valian years and chickened out on giving a definite figure lest I get the conversion wrong. I will trust your maths!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @tinw: One comment about Galadriel. Tolkien's Annals of Aman does contain a detailed chronology of events that took place during the Years of the Trees, including her birth. Using the conversion factor Tolkien had in mind when he constructed that chronology (9.6 solar years for each Valian year), you can get an age for Galadriel at the time of LOTR of about 8400 years. Tolkien apparently later revised the conversion factor upwards, but it's also almost as clear that he never went back and revised the chronology accordingly ... you get some very odd results if you just substitute the later value for the earlier. So using the chronology as it stands with the conversion he had in mind at the time is reasonable.

    • tinw profile image
      Author

      tinw 5 years ago from Middle Earth

      @Gabriel360: My numbers are gleaned from the Tale of Years in the appendices of LOTR. If you've discovered a mistake, please point it out and give a reference to Tolkien's writings (not the movies, which deviated significantly from the books) -- thanks!

    • HarrietC LM profile image

      HarrietC LM 5 years ago

      really informative lens...thanks.

    • Gabriel360 profile image

      Gabriel360 5 years ago

      Pretty good, although some stuff I could say, isn't QUITE true.