Stranger Things characters: Which Lord of the Rings characters would they be?

Stranger Things Image courtesy of Netflix.
Stranger Things Image courtesy of Netflix. /

Comparing Stranger Things characters to those in Lord of the Rings

Recently, David Harbour described Hopper’s resurrection in Stranger Things to Gandalf’s return in Lord of the Rings.

That comparison got us thinking about who the other Stranger Things characters would be if they were in that epic story.

Let’s discuss!

Will: Frodo

This is the most obvious one. Will has this journey and the connection with the Upside Down thrown upon him just like Frodo. He’s the one who is most affected by the other character’s actions in the show just like Frodo is affected by the actions of those trying to help and harm him.

Frodo also has to rely on others to achieve his goal. Will must rely on Eleven, Jonathan, and his friends to first find him and then to break his connection to the other world.

Mike: Sam

Mike is also the obvious Sam in the series. He’s the friend who will do anything for the people he cares about. He’s even willing to put his life in danger for them. You really can’t get more Sam than that.

He also takes responsibility for Will when he first goes missing and when he comes back from the Upside-Down. There is no one who takes more responsibility for Frodo’s well-being than Sam.

Sam also gets the girl (Rosie) in the end and Mike ends up with Eleven. I think Sean Astin would approve.

Dustin: Pippin

This one was also pretty easy to match up. Dustin starts off as the comic relief of the show but turns into one of the more important characters in the whole series. Pippin ends up fighting in Gondor and has a big role at the end of the story despite being a bit of a fool at the beginning. Their roles definitely have their similarities.

Without Dustin in both seasons 1 and 2, the rest of the team may not have been able to figure out a way to defeat the Demogorgon.

Stranger Things – Season 3 (2019). Photo Credit: Netflix
Stranger Things – Season 3 (2019). Photo Credit: Netflix /

Lucas: Merry

If Dustin is Pippin, Lucas is his partner in crime as Merry. Lucas is another comic relief character (along with his sister, Erica), but also proves to be an absolute warrior when it comes time to fight off the monsters. If he didn’t take those fireworks, where would they all be?

He’s also not afraid to take guidance from the girls around him, like Max and Eleven. Remember: Merry ends up riding with Eowyn. He has no problem letting a woman take the lead.

Max: Eowyn

Max could match up with no other character than Eowyn. She starts off dealing with her less-than-great home life and then, once she meets Will, Eleven, and their friends, she becomes one of the strongest members of the team. If that doesn’t describe Eowyn, I don’t know what does.

Max is tough, but as we’ve seen, she also has a soft interior underneath it all. She’s the epitome of the shieldmaiden of Rohan.

Eleven: Legolas

Eleven is a tough one to match with a Lord of the Rings character because she’s so unique. She could be Frodo because she does have this weight of her powers on her shoulders, but we never really see her as the innocent we see Frodo as at the beginning of the story. She’s more Legolas than anything else because of her skills and her learning about the world she finds herself in.

In the films especially, Legolas has to deal with a lot of emotions he never experienced before. He never really dealt with death until Gandalf died. Eleven is dealing with a similar situation in that she has to discover who she is and what this world is all about.

Joyce: Arwen

Joyce Byers is another Stranger Things character that’s difficult to pin to someone from Lord of the Rings, but Arwen seems to fit the best (although, Joyce is not in love with my choice for Aragorn). Arwen cares for the fellowship and ends up healing Frodo before they get to Rivendell.

Joyce obviously cares for her son, Will, and is also willing to do just about anything to make him better and bring him back to her. As dedicated as Arwen is to her love for Aragorn, Joyce is just as dedicated to her love for her sons and the rest of the kids in their group.

Stranger Things season 4
Stranger Things season 3 Jim Hopper. Image courtesy of Netflix. /

Hopper: Gimli

While David Harbour compared Hopper to Gandalf, he is much more Gimli. He is grumpy and sluggish and would much rather be at home than on this adventure. Unfortunately, his integrity has gotten in the way (once again) and now he has to save these kids from some monster. Ugh.

But, as we saw in season 2 of Stranger Things, he loves to banter and bicker. Joyce may not be Legolas but the back and forth between them was very similar to the way Legolas and Gimli poked at each other.

Steve: Aragorn

Who better to be the leader of the pack than Steve? He is not “the babysitter” for nothing. After Gandalf dies (and even a little before that), Aragorn is very much the leader of the fellowship, too.

And let’s be honest, Aragorn was totally the babysitter to Boromir when he was trying to get his hands on that ring and he was ready to go after Frodo. He kept that dude in order.

Steve might be a little less serious than Aragorn, but he’s always there to fight for his friends.

The Mind Flayer: Sauron

This is an easy comparison to make as The Mind Flayer is pretty much the king of the Upside Down and Sauron is the supreme ruler of Mordor and everything evil in Middle Earth.

The Mind Flayer has control over the Demogorgon and all the other creatures in the Upside Down, Sauron has control over the Orcs, the goblins, and probably that big spider that attacked Frodo too.  They are pretty much evil twins.

Demogorgon/Billy: Saruman

If The Mind Flayer is Sauron, that makes the Demogorgon Saruman. Saruman may think he has free will and is helping Sauron because it’s what’s best for Middle Earth, but really he is just being manipulated by Sauron to do his bidding.

It’s just like how the Demogorgon, Billy, and every other person who was “flayed” in season 2 did whatever the Mind Flayer wanted. And just like Saruman, they all met their demise.

What Lord of the Rings characters would you pair with the characters of Stranger Things? Let us know in the comments below!

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