Last week, one of my good friends and fellow Tolkien lover (although I will admit, his obsession far exceeds mine) came to me with an idea: a fantasy draft of characters from the J.R.R. Tolkien universe. I love fantasy drafts and I love Tolkien’s work so I thought it was a tremendous idea. I recruited some of my fellow NoCoastBias.com writers, Derek Hernandez and Daniel Soden and another Tolkien nerd I know, Alex Van Lanen, to fill out the ranks and bring us to five teams. So without further ado, I’m going to turn it over to the brains behind this article idea and let him explain it. Over to you Isaac.
As my fantasy football team disappointed me once again, I continued to have a vexing feeling that I had no idea what I was doing. I like the fantasy draft, but I want to make a team for something that I actually know about. It’s time for a draft that my fellow nerds can have a Mountain Dew-fueled blog battle about. It’s time for the World of J.R.R. Tolkien Fantasy Draft.
Quick shout-out to NoCoastBias for hosting this Fantasy Draft. Thanks dudes!
The Quick Rules:
- 5 characters to a team.
- Their purpose is a quest to destroy evil, not a battle. Warriors are only so useful.
- Characters from any Tolkien book or subsequent movie are eligible to be drafted.
- Only ineligible characters: gods, dragons, and Balrogs. Keep it to two-legged Middle Earthlings.
Great. If we’re all in agreement (a tall order for Tolkien nerds), then let’s begin! Geeks, I present to you the Fantasy Draft – J.R.R. Tolkien Edition!
1. Isaac: Aragorn of Gondor
Although there were many great options, Aragorn is the clear choice to lead my team to victory. His valor and leadership are on display throughout the War of the Ring, which ends with him assuming his rightful place on the throne of Gondor. Wielding the same sword that Isildur used to cut the Ring from Sauron, King Aragorn II Elessar is the powerhouse who ushers in the Fourth Age of Middle Earth, the Age of Men. All Hail The King.
2. Alex: Gandalf The Grey
A clear motivator, leader, and philanthropist. Can kill about anything, probably makes a mean chili. Some complain his chili is too hot, but that’s why we got Faramir.
3. Derek: Saruman of Isengard
Any dude that can go toe to toe with Gandalf is alright in my book. Plus, he can spin up a mean bubble. http://bytecolumn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/saruman.jpg
4. Dan: Samwise Gamgee of The Shire
I’d like to preface this by saying I went into this draft with about as little knowledge as possible. I looked up some names and character bios and, well, here we are.
I picked Samwise as my first choice solely off the fact that we look eerie similar. While I’d never allow myself to get as raggedy as a hobbit or their crew, me and Sammy here share a lot of similarities. Clearly he’s the sex symbol of this franchise and everyone needs a great sidekick.
5. Robby: Elrond of Rivendell
The first round is for choosing leaders (something Dan seems to have forgotten) and while Gandalf and Aragorn are off the board, Elrond is a fine consolation. The founder and Lord of Rivendell, Elrond is a wise ruler and one of the more profound leaders in all of Middle-Earth.
1. Isaac: Galadriel of Lothlorien
Surprisingly still on the board at the start of Round 2 (really Dan? Samwise Gamgee?), Galadriel is a no-brainer here. One of the few highlighted female characters in Middle Earth, she is a certified bad ass and much higher up the Elven food chain than most. Plus, as we saw in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, she went mono e mono with the spirit of Sauron and won, a task way above the pay grade of Gandalf, Saruman and Elrond. The Lady of Light is the easiest choice to make in this draft.
2. Alex: Radagast the Brown
Every group needs that weird person, and Radagast provides that with the lust to take down the one ring. Desires companionship, but everyone thinks he’s weird so no one becomes a close friend. But that’s why we got Faramir.
3. Derek: Glorfindel
The entire story would’ve went in a different direction if, you know, Glor Dawg didn’t help the HOBBITS ESCAPE THE RINGWRAITHS.
4. Dan: Bilbo Baggins of The Shire
I had to go with the OG hobbit. Who else is a better face for the crew than Bilbo? He’s rich & wise, what else could you ask for? I thought about going with the younger Baggins, but Bilbo was too real for me to pass up.
5. Robby: Legolas, Prince of the Woodland Realm
Since I already have an Elven leader, it makes sense to have another Elf as his second-in-command. Legolas is arguably the best warrior to come out of the fellowship of the ring, putting him at the top of best warriors in all of Middle-Earth. Also, phenomenal hair.
1.Isaac: Tom Bombadil
Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!
I think his work speaks for himself; he’ll be our bard. In all seriousness, not much is known about Tom except that he’s very, very old and the One Ring seems to have no effect on him. His mysterious powers and his poems make him a great addition to the team.
2. Alex: Beorn
Turns into a bear, which means he may or may not be a bigfoot. When you have bigfoot on your team it’s basically a win. Mayo over Miracle Whip person, gets heckled when the group eats BLT’s. But that’s why we got Faramir
3. Derek: Cirdan
My crew needed a sort-of, kind-of Aquaman dude on it.
4. Dan: Gimili
A badass dawf warrior who knew how to spit that game…you think I was passing up of this guy? Please. Gimli dropped this gem:
“I have looked the last upon that which was fairest. Henceforward I will call nothing fair, unless it be her gift.”
Drake couldn’t spit it any better.
5. Robby: Treebeard of the Ents
I’m pretty proud of this pick. I bet most of y’all forgot about good old Treebeard, eh? Also known as Fangorn, his size (stands over 15 feet tall) and wisdom from centuries of life makes him invaluable when it comes to quests.
1. Isaac: Gil-Galad
With Derek spending the last two rounds picking legendary Elves of the First Age, I decided to venture into the past with my pick up of Gil-Galad. As the last great High King of Noldor, Gil-Galad forged the Alliance between Elves and Men that laid siege to Mordor and led to the demise of Sauron. His famed weapon, Aiglos, was an ice spear—now that’s just awesome!
2. The Witch-King of Angmar
Probably won’t get along with Gandalf and Radagast, also probably a secret wine cooler fan. But that’s why we got Faramir.
Witch King’s top 5 wine cooler flavors according to J.R.R. Tolkien:
- Jamaican Me Happy
- Ruby Red Crush
- Bahama Mama
- Pink Pineapple Passion
- Orange Sassy Swirl
3. Derek: Eowyn of Rohan
Watch this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSNPeJAgBzo P.S. Aragorn chose wrong.
4. Dan: Eomer of Rohan
This dude is basically the Roman Reigns of my crew. I expect him to lead my guys into battle if need be and leave it all out there.
5. Robby: Boromir of Gondor
Boromir gets a lot of unwarranted flack. Yes, he tried to take the one ring from Frodo, but much greater men have been corrupted by the ring. With no ring to tempt him, the soldier of Gondor is a terrific supporting character who holds respect from many around Middle-Earth. Sean Bean 4 Life.
1. Isaac: Bandobras “Bullroarer” Took of The Shire
No Tolkien adventure party is complete without a Hobbit. With Bilbo off the board, I turned to his great-grand-uncle, Bullroarer Took. He is the tallest Hobbit on record (until Merry and Pippin use PEDs and overtake him), standing four feet five inches tall. Bullroarer famously led the Shire to victory against Goblins in the Battle of Greenfields. He knocked off the Goblin chieftain’s head and sent it sailing 100 yards into a rabbit hole, thus winning the battle and inventing the game of golf at the same time.
2. Alex: Faramir of Gondor
If this were Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Faramir would probably be Scott Disick. The social butterfly, will take the guys out for drinks but won’t pay. Gandalf usually ends up with the bill, pissed.
3. Derek: Pippin of The Shire
My team needed a name.
4. Dan: Arwen, Lady of Rivendell
I’m going to be honest, by this point…I had no clue who anyone was so I went with Liv Tyler because why the hell not?
5. Robby: Tauriel of the Mirkwood Guard
So, technically, Tauriel is not a Tolkien character. She was invented for The Hobbit film trilogy and didn’t appear in the book at all. With that being said, she is a badass elven warrior with a great repertoire with Legolas, and I pride my team on having chemistry (unlike some people *cough* Alex *cough*). Plus, you can never have too many elves.
The names we’ve bestowed upon our chosen group of characters:
Isaac Vineburg: City of Minas Tirith Sanitation Department
Alex Van Lanen: The Fellowship of Mans-Man
Derek Hernandez: Pippin Ain’t Easy
Daniel Soden: The Kingdom of BTMAABB
Robby Cowles: Elf Thugs-N-Harmony
Who do you think has the best fellowship? Share with who you’d pick to complete a dangerous quest and tweet us your answers @NoCoastBias.