It’s been a long time since Peter Jackson dazzled moviegoers with his award-winning, blockbuster film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Premiering in each December from 2001 through 2003, all three of the trilogy’s movies have aged respectably. Not only are the films getting older but, naturally, so are the stars who helped or hampered Frodo’s quest to take the ring to Mordor. The star-studded cast has, by and large, been quite busy since the early 2000s, and you’ve probably seen most of them on the big and small screens. Here’s what the cast of Jackson’s trilogy looks like today, and what they’ve been up to since the ring was destroyed.

Elijah Wood – Frodo

Elijah Wood

Since "The Lord of the Rings" days, Elijah Wood has been an instantly-recognizable star and has had a delightfully eclectic resume, doing everything from high-profile films to animated voiceover roles to quirky television series. Wood provided the voices for Mumble in Dreamworks’ family-friendly "Happy Feet" and Wirt in Cartoon Network’s spooky "Over the Garden Wall," starred in the series "Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency" and "Wilfred," and has appeared in films such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Sin City," and "I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore."

Most recently, Wood has lent his voice acting talents to the Disney Channel animated series "Star Wars Resistance" and Cartoon Network’s "Summer Camp Island," but has also stayed busy in live action roles, starring in "Come to Daddy" in 2019 and "No Man of God" in 2021. Wood’s next roles will be in the films "L.A. Rush" and "The Toxic Avenger."

Sean Astin – Sam

Sean Astin

Perhaps best known for his role as Frodo’s right-hand man, Samwise Gamgee, actor Sean Astin has changed a lot since portraying the loyal and tender-hearted hobbit.

Prior to "The Lord of the Rings," Astin was known for playing Mikey Walsh in the classic children’s adventure film "The Goonies," and as the title character in famous Notre Dame football walk-on story "Rudy." Since "The Lord of The Rings," though, Astin hasn’t returned to the film spotlight, appearing only in smaller supporting roles in movies such as the Adam Sandler comedies "50 First Dates" and "Click." Instead, Astin has done a lot of voiceover work for various animated series, lending his vocal talents to everything from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" to superheroes to "Captain Underpants."

Astin has also guest-starred on a wide variety of television series, including "Law & Order," "24," and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" — and he’s been part of the cast of various live-action miniseries. He played Jim Kent on the FX series "The Strain," Sunny Gryce on HBO’s "Perry Mason," and most notably Bob Newby in Netflix’s mega-hit series "Stranger Things." Astin also starred in the Netflix original sitcom "No Good Nick," which ran for two seasons.

Ian McKellen – Gandalf

Ian McKellan

Undoubtedly the most decorated of all the Lord of the Rings cast members, Sir Ian McKellen only looks all the more wiser than when he played legendary wizard Gandalf the White. (And, previously, Gandalf the Grey.)

The knighted actor has more awards than you can shake a wizard’s staff at. McKellen won a Golden Globe Award for his role in the Made for TV movie Rasputin, two Saturn Awards, an Annie award, two ACCA awards, one Honorary Golden Berlin Bear, one Variety Award, one British Independent Film Award, two Critics Choice Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards… and the list only goes on from there. (And don’t get us started on the nominations.) He is an accomplished stage actor, in addition to one of the big screen’s biggest stars—with The Lord of the Rings merely being another accomplishment to add to his already extensive résumé of fine films.

McKellen reprised his role as Gandalf in "The Hobbit" trilogy of films, and has also had an impressive run as Magneto in Fox’s "X-Men" films. More recently, he has starred in the National Theater Live production of King Lear in 2018, as Gus the Theatre Cat in the movie musical "Cats," and as a con artist opposite Dame Helen Mirren in the 2019 film "The Good Liar." McKellen can next be seen in "Hamlet Revenant," a modern-day version of the classic Shakespearean play.

Sean Bean – Boromir

Sean Bean

Although Boromir will always be known as the one member of the Fellowship who tried to take the ring from Frodo, Sean Bean imbued the character with warmth and nobility, making his loss at the end of "The Fellowship of the Ring" still feel tragic despite his earlier actions. Following "The Lord of the Rings," Bean went on to appear in numerous films, including "Troy," "National Treasure," and "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief."

In 2011, the actor took on what would become his most notable role as leading man Ned Stark on the first season of "Game of Thrones," the hit TV-adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s popular "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series — though (spoiler alert) he gets his head lopped off in the penultimate episode of the debut season. Playing characters who meet tragic ends is nothing new for Bean, however, as the actor is notorious for being killed off in what seems like every role he’s ever played.

Since "Game of Thrones," Bean has continued to appear in significant roles in films such as "Jupiter Ascending" and "The Martian," although his work has taken a turn toward television in more recent years. After starring in the BBC series "Broken" in 2017, Bean went on to appear in series such as "The Frankenstein Chronicles," "World on Fire," and "Snowpiercer." Bean can next be seen in the upcoming film "Knights of the Zodiac" alongside Famke Janssen and Mark Dacascos, and in the BBC1 series "Marriage" opposite Nicola Walker.

Orlando Bloom – Legolas

Orlando Bloom

A household name today, Orlando Bloom is no longer the immortal, baby-faced elven bowman we first met in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy — despite efforts to make him appear that way in "The Hobbit" films. For a while following "The Lord of the Rings," Bloom continued to gravitate toward grand scale, combat-heavy blockbusters, starring in the first three films in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, co-starring alongside Brad Pitt and Eric Bana in "Troy," and leading the historical epic "Kingdom of Heaven."

In recent years, though, Bloom has drifted toward more tonally-diverse projects, starring in the disturbing trauma drama "Retaliation" in 2017 and the gritty war film "The Outpost" in 2020. Bloom has also made the jump to television, starring in Amazon’s Victorian fantasy series "Carnival Row" and voicing Prince Harry in HBO’s animated series "The Prince." And he is in the reality-bending 2021 time travel drama "Needle in a Timestack," in which he plays a romantic rival to Leslie Odom Jr.’s temporally challenged protagonist.

Dominic Monaghan – Merry

Dominic Monaghan

Known for playing the more serious of the two Hobbits who decided to tag along with the Fellowship — despite not being invited — Dominic Monaghan, the actor behind Meriadoc Brandybuck isn’t quite the pipe-weed smoking halfling we remember from "The Lord of the Rings" films.

Following "The Lord of the Rings," Monaghan went on to play Charlie Pace in the first three seasons of ABC’s juggernaut series "Lost," a character that possibly rivaled even Merry in notability. The English actor (who actually lived the first 12 years of his life in Germany) also played Chris Bradley in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," along with a number of other film roles that are much less well known. After his time on "Lost," Monaghan had regular roles on numerous television series, including "Flashforward," "100 Code," and "Quantum Break." Monaghan also spent several years hosting "Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan," a wildlife documentary series nominated for numerous awards.

In recent years, Monaghan has continued to act, appearing in a small role in "Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker," along with several smaller projects. He also has appeared on numerous podcasts, and still hosts one, along with "The Lord of the Rings" co-star Billy Boyd called "The Friendship Onion."

Billy Boyd – Pippin

Billy Boyd

You’d be forgiven for not being able to name another film featuring Billy Boyd, the actor behind "The Lord of the Rings’" Peregrin "Pippin" Took — as you would be for not recognizing the middle-aged actor, who always manages to look younger than he really is, much like a Hobbit. Boyd’s biggest role, by far, was playing the most confused, pipe-weed toking Hobbit in the Fellowship. Although Boyd continued to act following "The Lord of the Rings," his roles have not been nearly as memorable, with his most notable part being as Barrett Bonden in the Russell Crowe sea epic "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World."

But don’t be too sad for Boyd, since his true passion is music. The famous Hobbit is the front-man for a band called Beecake, playing guitar and providing vocals, and has made guest appearances on LOTR co-star Viggo Mortensen’s experimental album "Pandemoniumfromamerica." Boyd also wrote and performed the end-credits theme for "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," further lending his influence to Middle-earth and providing trivia material for die-hard Hobbit fans. In recent years, Boyd has guest-starred on a number of television shows, including "Grey’s Anatomy," "Doom Patrol," and a short arc on "Outlander." And of course, he also co-hosts "The Friendship Onion" podcast alongside his Hobbit partner in crime, Dominic Monaghan.

Viggo Mortensen – Aragorn

Viggo Mortensen

You’d probably no longer recognize Viggo Mortensen as the long-haired ranger who launched himself into a battle with a group of Ringwraiths on Weathertop, wielding a sword and a flaming torch. Now, Mortensen is older and grayer, but still knows how to command the screen.

Before "The Lord of the Rings," Mortensen had already come into his own as an actor, spending the ’90s acting in a number of notable films including "G.I. Jane," "A Perfect Murder," and "A Walk on the Moon." Nevertheless, Peter Jackson’s award-winning trilogy cemented the Danish-American actor’s place in the film industry. Mortensen later acted in David Cronenberg films "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises," the latter earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Working well together, the director and actor teamed up again for 2011s "A Dangerous Method," which landed Mortensen a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Then in 2018, Mortensen starred alongside Mahershala Ali in "Green Book," which won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Mortensen continues to be a highly in-demand actor, with numerous major upcoming projects including Ron Howard’s "Thirteen Lives" and another collaboration with David Cronenberg, "Crimes of the Future."

Mortensen’s artistic impact is not limited to the film industry, however. The actor founded Perceval Press, a publishing company that aims to help artists get out work that would likely fail to find a home at traditional publishing companies. He has also written and published a wide variety of work, including books of poetry and paintings. He is also known to have rocked out with guitarist Buckethead, producing multiple albums with the avant-garde guitarist.

John Rhys-Davies – Gimli

John Rhys-Davies

Before playing Gimli, the ax-wielding dwarf who refuses to be tossed (except when there’s no other choice) in "The Lord of the Rings" films, John Rhys-Davies was probably best known as Sallah, the affable Arab in the Indiana Jones films. Since "The Lord of the Rings," however, Rhys-Davies has appeared in dozens of films, video games, and TV series, including both live-action and voiceover roles.

Prior to "The Lord of the Rings," Rhys-Davies was already a highly accomplished television actor, with roles in series such as "The Untouchables," "Sliders," "Star Trek: Voyager," and "The Living Daylights." The actor also lent his voice to numerous video games and animated series, such as "Justice League" and "Gargoyles." He continued to pursue all types of acting after "The Lord of the Rings," reprising his role as Gimli (or at least, Gimli’s voice) for the "The Lord of the Rings" video games and making appearances on dozens of shows, including "Psych," "The Shannara Chronicles," and "Wizards." Rhys-Davies has also regularly appeared in films, although none as big as "The Lord of the Rings."

Most recently, the definitely-not-dwarfish actor — standing at a slightly-above-average 6 feet 1 inch — has worked on a number of smaller films, including "Kingslayer" and "Bad Cupid," and currently has many projects in various stages of production, including a number of features and the video game "Squadron 42."

Liv Tyler – Arwen

Liv Tyler

After getting her start in film starring in music videos for her father’s band Aerosmith, Liv Tyler made a name for herself in the ’90s in lighthearted films "That Thing You Do!" and "Empire Records," and quieter dramas such as "Stealing Beauty" and "Inventing the Abbotts," before moving on to play Bruce Willis’ daughter in Michael Bay’s cataclysmic blockbuster, "Armageddon." So it came as a surprise to many when she was cast as Arwen, the immortal daughter of the elf lord Elrond and the love interest of Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings." But Tyler seized the role and made it her own, fitting right in among the rest of the cast and story, despite Arwen being a much smaller part of the books.

Following "The Lord of the Rings," Tyler was one of the first actors to be recruited into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with her role as Betty Ross in "The Incredible Hulk," although unfortunately for her, that film tends to be intentionally omitted from the MCU canon by most fans, and Tyler hasn’t been seen in the superhero franchise since. After starring in a few more films, Tyler pivoted to television, starring as Meg Abbott in HBO’s "The Leftovers" and later as Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam in the Hulu period drama "Harlots." Most recently, Tyler appeared opposite Brad Pitt in the sci-fi drama "Ad Astra," and in a 10-episode arc on the firefighting series "9-1-1: Lone Star."

Hugo Weaving – Elrond

Hugo Weaving

Hugo Weaving has a knack for playing ageless characters, starring as the sentient computer program Agent Smith in "The Matrix" before taking on the role of Elrond in "The Lord of the Rings." However, the two could not have been more different, with Smith determined to destroy Neo and his human resistance, while Elrond worked to save the world of men from Sauron and the power of the One Ring.

After starring in "The Lord of the Rings," Weaving would reprise his role as Smith in the "Matrix" sequels, and also as Elrond in "The Hobbit" films, but his iconic roles wouldn’t end there. He also played V in "V for Vendetta," Red Skull in "Captain America: The First Avenger," and voiced Megatron in the "Transformers" films. Weaving’s other film roles include "Cloud Atlas," "Hacksaw Ridge," and the Peter Jackson-helmed "Mortal Engines." Most recently, Weaving appeared in the Australian streaming series "Love Me," and as Dr. Bergman in the sci-fi thriller "Expired."

Cate Blanchett – Galadriel

Cate Blanchett

For many actors, "The Lord of the Rings" would be the obvious high point of their career, but her role as the elven queen Galadriel in "The Lord of the Rings" is a mere side note in Cate Blanchett’s impressive curriculum vitae. The actress owns enough Academy Awards, British Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Critics Choice Awards, Australian Academy Awards, and other awards to fill a house. She is the first performer to win an Oscar for portraying another Oscar-winning performer, thanks to her role as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator," and has everything from a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to a wax figure in Madame Tussauds.

With such accolades, it’s clear that Blanchett’s roles on film have been extensive and noteworthy. Her Oscar-nominated roles also include "Notes on a Scandal," "I’m Not There," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "Blue Jasmine," and "Carol," but her memorable performances go far beyond that. In addition to reprising her role as Galadriel in all three films of "The Hobbit" trilogy, Blanchett has wowed audiences with her roles in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Thor: Ragnarok," "Ocean’s Eight," and "Nightmare Alley."

In 2020, she starred in the FX miniseries "Mrs. America," and as part of the ensemble cast of Netflix’s miniseries "Stateless." Blanchett currently has numerous other features and TV miniseries in the works, and if the past is any indication, we’re sure she has many more awards in her future as well.

David Wenham – Faramir

David Wenham

David Wenham, the actor known in The Lord of the Rings universe as Faramir, has been busy since his days of fighting for Gondor and the world of men.

Wenham broke through into the upper-tier of actors by starring as Diver Dan in ABC’s SeaChange, a highly-successful television series that helped land the actor an important role in the second and third installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. After Middle-earth was saved, Wenham moved on to a pair of supporting roles alongside Hugh Jackman and Gerard Butler—playing Friar Carl in Van Helsing and Dilios, the narrator and warrior in stylistic Persian-slaying epic 300.

In 2009, Wenham went back to the stage, playing the title-character in Jerry Springer: The Opera, which ran for six sold out days at the Sydney Opera House. The following year, he portrayed Melbourne lawyer Andrew Fraser’s long fall from the top in the Australian television series Killing Time.

Most recently, Wenham has had a series of small-screen roles, as Harold Meachum in "Iron Fist," Al Parker in "Top of the Lake," Jago Zoric in "Romper Stomper," Price Galese in "Les Norton," Sir Tiuri The Valiant in "The Letter for the King," and Jasper Queller in "Pieces of Her." In between, Wenham has still managed to squeeze in some film roles, lending his voice to the "Peter Rabbit" films and appearing in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." He can next be spotted as Hank Snow in the Baz Luhrmann biopic "Elvis."

Christopher Lee – Saruman

Christopher Lee

A fellow knight, Sir Christopher Lee famously played Saruman, Sir Ian McKellen’s nemesis in The Lord of the Rings series. And like the actor behind Gandalf, Lee had a storied acting career—spanning some 70 years.

In addition to a fairly eventful World War II military career, Lee’s acting portfolio was extensive. He most notably played Francisco Scaramanga in James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, assumed the role of Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels, and resumed his role as Saruman in The Hobbit series. He famously played Frankenstein’s monster in 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula in the following year’s Horror of Dracula and 1965’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness, as well as a whole slew of Hammer Film Production’s other Dracula films. He spent nearly his entire life acting, culminating in him being called 2005’s "most marketable star."

After living a remarkable life, Sir Christopher Lee passed away on June 7th, 2015.

Ian Holm – Bilbo Baggins

Ian Holm

Sir Ian Holm had an impressive career before being cast in the supporting but crucial role of Bilbo Baggins in "The Lord of the Rings" films. The award-winning actor was celebrated by numerous institutions for his performances both on stage and on screen, and Holm was knighted in 1998 for his contributions to the world of theater and film. When Holm appeared as Bilbo, sci-fi fans likely recognized him from his notable roles in sci-fi classics like "Alien" and "The Fifth Element."

Following his performance as Bilbo in "The Lord of the Rings," Holm reprised the role twice more for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." In those films, Holm’s role was small, playing an aged version of Bilbo while the primary version was portrayed by Martin Freeman. He also reprised his role from "Alien" to voice the character of Ash in the video game "Alien: Isolation," and voiced the character of Skinner in the animated Pixar film "Ratatouille." Sadly, Holm passed away from complications related to Parkinson’s disease in June 2020. He was 88 years old.

John Noble – Denethor

John Noble

As Denethor, the merciless Steward of Gondor, John Noble certainly didn’t do much to endear himself to fans as his character sent his only living son on a pointless suicide mission, only to then attempt to finish the job by burning him alive. Denethor died horribly, first catching fire on the pyre meant for his son, then throwing himself from the highest point of Osgiliath in "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Noble’s next major role would prove to be far more ingratiating, as lovable scientist Walter Bishop in the hit sci-fi series "Fringe." Noble starred on the series for 100 episodes between 2008 and 2013, arguably cementing that character in pop culture even over Denethor. Following the end of "Fringe," Noble went on to appear in a number of television series, including "Sleepy Hollow," "Elementary," and "DC’s Legends of Tomorrow." Noble also still occasionally appeared in films, with one of his most recent roles being in "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It." Currently, Noble voices a character the animated Paramount+ series "Star Trek: Prodigy."

Karl Urban – Eomer

Karl Urban

After galloping into the "The Lord of the Rings" films as Éomer, one of the fearless Riders of Rohan, Karl Urban went on to have an impressive career following the conclusion of the trilogy. After roles in action-packed films such as "The Bourne Supremacy," "The Chronicles of Riddick," and "Doom," Urban’s next big break came in 2009 when he starred alongside Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Leonard "Bones" McCoy in J.J. Abrams’ "Star Trek" reboot. Urban’s impressive DeForest Kelley impersonation won him the favor of "Star Trek" fans worldwide, and he would go on to reprise the role in two sequels, with a third supposedly on the way.

Urban also entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Skurge in "Thor: Ragnarok," and appeared in a number of films and television series in between giant blockbusters, including a starring role in the short-lived sci-fi series "Almost Human." In 2019, he began playing the role of Billy Butcher on Amazon’s popular superhero series "The Boys." With multiple major franchises and a super-successful TV series under his belt, it’s safe to say that Karl Urban has been doing pretty well for himself post "The Lord of the Rings."

Miranda Otto – Eowyn

Miranda Otto

Australian actress Miranda Otto already had an impressive resume prior to "The Lord of the Rings," appearing in numerous films and television series before taking on the role of the fierce shieldmaiden Éowyn. First introduced in "The Two Towers," Éowyn was the sister of Éomer and the niece of King Théoden of Rohan, who was not content to hide from battle along with the other women and children and instead disguised herself as a man in order to fight. Éowyn was the only character in the films to successfully take down a Ringwraiths, iconically lopping the head off the Witch-king of Angmar during the Battle of Pelennor Fields.

After "The Lord of the Rings," Otto continued to work regularly in both television and film, with recurring roles in shows including "Homeland" and "24: Legacy," and a regular role on Netflix’s "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina." Next up, Otto can be seen in the upcoming films "The Portable Door," a modern fantasy co-starring Sam Neill and Christoph Waltz, and "All the Colors of the Dark," a tense immigration drama in which Otto will star alongside Noah Wyle.

Bernard Hill – Theoden

Bernard Hill

Several years after playing the captain of the doomed ship in "Titanic," Bernard Hill would go on to portray a much more heroic leader as King Théoden of Rohan in "The Lord of the Rings" films. Théoden was first introduced as a frail old man in "The Two Towers," but after breaking the dark enchantment that had been cast over him, Gandalf restored Théoden to health and vitality. Théoden went on to lead the armies of Rohan to victory against the Orcs of Isengard despite overwhelming odds, but ultimately was killed by the Witch-king of Angmar during the Battle of Pelennor Fields.

Bernard Hill had a long and impressive acting career prior to "The Lord of the Rings," and continued to work regularly afterward, appearing in dozens of films and television shows and earning an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of David Blunkett in the television movie "A Very Social Secretary." However, in recent years, Hill seems to have taken some time off, with his last significant role being as the narrator on an episode of the TV docuseries "Horizon" in 2016. Still, Hill does appear to have some projects in the hopper, with several films in various stages of production.

Brad Dourif – Grima Wormtongue

Brad Dourif

Buried under piles of greasy black hair and without eyebrows, you may not have recognized Brad Dourif from his roles in significant films such as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" and 1984s "Dune" when he appeared as the sniveling Grima Wormtongue in "The Lord of the Rings." A not-so-secret double agent who was loyal to Saruman while ostensibly serving King Théoden, Wormtongue manipulated Rohan’s king to do the White Wizard’s bidding until Saruman’s enchantment was broken by Gandalf and Wormtongue was exiled. Wormtongue later betrayed Saruman, too, stabbing him in the back — literally — before being shot with arrows and killed.

After "The Lord of the Rings," Dourif continued to provide the voice of Chucky the killer doll in the "Child’s Play" franchise, and also appeared as Sheriff Lee Brackett in Rob Zombie’s 2007 "Halloween" remake and its sequel. Dourif didn’t just make horror movies though — and he’s appeared in numerous films, as well as guest-starred on a number of television shows including "Once Upon a Time" and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Currently, Dourif is still voicing Chucky in the Syfy original series "Chucky," and has roles in several films still in production.

Craig Parker – Haldir

Craig Parker

New Zealand actor Craig Parker played Haldir in the first two "The Lord of the Rings" films, the Lothlórien elf who first greeted the Fellowship upon their entry into the mystical woods, and later showed up to help support the men of Rohan in their stand against the forces of Isengard at Helm’s Deep. Tragically, despite the immortality of the elves, Haldir was slain during the Battle of Helm’s Deep, driving home for both Aragorn and the audience just how high the cost of the fighting was.

Prior to "The Lord of the Rings," Parker was mostly known for playing Guy Warner in the New Zealand soap opera "Shortland Street, a role he reprised again in 2007 for the show’s 15th anniversary, and continued to play through 2008. Parker also appeared in a number of other television shows in recurring or main roles, including "Legend of the Seeker," "Spartacus," "Reign," and "Charmed." Most recently, Parker appeared in a recurring role in the Freeform show "Good Trouble," playing pompous artist Yuri Elwin.

Andy Serkis – Sméagol/Gollum

Andy Serkis

In a role that was mostly performed through motion capture, Andy Serkis didn’t have a lot of screen time in "The Lord of the Rings," but he still came out of the experience as a household name thanks to his brilliant portrayal of the tragic and singularly focused Gollum. Thanks to his nuanced and emotive motion capture and voice performance, Serkis would go on to make a name for himself as the go-to motion capture performer in Hollywood, bringing to life characters such as the titular ape in King Kong, Supreme Leader Snoke in "Star Wars," and Caesar in the "Planet of the Apes" films.

But Serkis also continued to act on screen as well, appearing in a number of well-received and highly publicized films such as "13 Going on 30," "The Prestige," and "Black Panther," along with smaller titles that are less well known. Serkis also stepped behind the lens to direct as a second unit director for "The Hobbit" trilogy (which also saw him reprise his role as Gollum), and went on to direct several feature films, including the recent dark superhero flick "Venom: Let There Be Carnage." Recently, Serkis continued to dip his toes into as many lucrative franchises as possible with his role as Alfred in "The Batman," and has several projects — including film sequels, original films, and a video game voiceover role — currently in the works.

Marton Csokas – Celeborn

Marton Csokas

You may not remember the name Celeborn from "The Lord of the Rings," but you’d probably recognize the solemn husband of Galadriel who welcomed the Fellowship to Lothlórien alongside her. Unlike some of the other elves, Celeborn didn’t ever venture close to the action, remaining in their quiet wood until he and Galadriel decided to depart for the Undying Lands with Frodo and Bilbo at the end of "The Return of the King."

Celeborn was portrayed by New Zealand actor Marton Csokas, who had been acting in film and television for more than a decade by the time he landed the role in "The Lord of the Rings," including a 10-episode stint on "Xena: Warrior Princess." After "Lord of the Rings," Csokas continued to rack up an impressive list of film credits, including "The Bourne Supremacy," "Kingdom of Heaven" (along with "The Lord of the Rings" co-star Orlando Bloom), "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire hunter," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," and most recently, "The Last Duel." Csokas also appeared in recurring roles on TV shows including "Covert Affairs" and "Sons of Liberty," and a main role in "Into the Badlands."

Harry Sinclair – Isildur

Harry Sinclair

Appearing in flashbacks in "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Return of the King," the doomed prince Isildur was portrayed by New Zealand actor and director Harry Sinclair. Isildur came into possession of The One Ring after cutting it from Sauron’s hand in battle thousands of years before Frodo Baggins was born. But instead of destroying the Ring, Isildur kept it for himself, eventually leading to his death. Still, Isildur’s heir, Aragorn, would eventually be the one to overcome Sauron, heal Middle Earth, and take back the throne of Gondor.

Harry Sinclair didn’t act much, and only had a handful of spread-out credits following "The Lord of the Rings." His true passion lies in writing and directing, and he directed episodes of several television series, including the "90210" reboot and the short-lived romantic sci-fi drama "Star-Crossed" after wrapping work on "The Lord of the Rings." In 2019, Sinclair created the animated children’s series "Kiri and Lou" with his ex-wife Rebecca Kirshner. The series features the voices of Jemaine Clement and Olivia Tennet, with every episode written and directed by Sinclair.

Thomas Robins – Déagol

Thomas Robins

Everyone knows that Gollum was in possession of The One Ring long before Bilbo picked it up, but there may never have even been a Gollum in the first place without Déagol. Long before the events of "The Lord of the Rings," the Hobbit-like man took his best friend Sméagol fishing for his birthday, and noticed a ring embedded in the rocks under the water. But after picking it up, Sméagol demanded Déagol give it to him as his birthday present, and when his friend refused, Sméagol killed him and took the Ring for himself.

The ill-fated Déagol was portrayed by Thomas Robins, a New Zealand actor, writer, and director. Robins did not do much acting following "The Lord of the Rings," appearing in the first "Hobbit" movie and Peter Jackson’s "King Kong," and also showing up in a small handful of television series. He worked much more frequently as a writer and director, working on series including "Freaky" and "The Killian Curse." In 2017, Robins’ television movie "Catching the Black Widow" won an award from the New York Festival. His recent TV work includes writing and directing the documentary series "This Could Go Anywhere."

Lawrence Makoare – Lurtz/Gothmog/Witchking of Angmar

Lawrence Makoare

You may not recognize Lawrence Makoare if you passed him on the street, but he played not just one, but three of the major villains of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. In "The Fellowship of the Ring," Makoare portrayed Lurtz, the leader of the formidable Uruk-hai. Lurtz was killed by the end of the film, but Makoare was back in "The Return of the King," portraying the Orc commander Gothmog as well as the chilling Witchking of Angmar.

After "The Lord of the Rings," Makoare continued to play villains, playing Mr. Kil in the James Bond film "Die Another Day" and the complex antagonist in "The Dead Lands." The New Zealand actor returned to Middle Earth in 2013, playing the orc Bolg in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," and since then has appeared in recurring roles on the Netflix series "Marco Polo" and the BBC series "Tatau." Outside of acting, Makoare is passionate about sculpture, and in addition to creating his own pieces, he hosts the Raumati Toi Sculpture Symposium, whose goal is to "Empower, develop and strengthen Creative Arts through Sculpture."

Stephen Ure – Gorbag/Grishnákh

Stephen Ure

Several actors played numerous characters in "The Lord of the Rings," and Stephen Ure embodied two different orcs that you’re sure to remember. The first was Grishnákh, the hungry orc who desperately wants to eat Merry and Pippin in "The Two Towers." Fortunately for the Hobbits, he never gets his wish, and is killed by Treebeard when he pursues them into Fangorn Forest. Later, in "The Return of the King," Ure played Gorbag, one of the orcs who finds Frodo after he is paralyzed by the spider Shelob. Gorbag comes close to killing Frodo, but is stabbed by Sam before he can follow through on his intentions.

Australian actor Stephen Ure would continue to portray mythical creatures after "The Lord of the Rings," playing a satyr in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and later even more orcs in "The Hobbit" movies. But Ure also was able to act as a human in numerous series, appearing in recurring roles in "Hounds," "Ash vs Evil Dead," and "Vegas," among others. His most recent role is Howard in the slasher film "X," written and directed by Ti West.

Paul Norell – King of the Dead

Paul Norell

We never get a solid look at the King of the Dead in "The Return of the King" (because he’s translucent) so you’d almost certainly not recognize Paul Norell, the English actor who portrayed the ghostly monarch, if you passed him on the street. Prior to "The Lord of the Rings," Norell had recurring roles in both "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess." In "The Return of the King," the unnamed King of the Dead agreed to assist Aragorn in his time of need, in the hopes that he and his soldiers would then be released from their tether to the mortal world.

But Norell himself has continued to stick around, appearing in numerous television series between 2005 and 2010, although he took a significant break from film acting between 2010 and 2022, during which time he focused on the stage. Norell’s theater credits since "The Lord of the Rings" include the title role in "Sweeney Todd" and an award-winning turn as Arthur Birling in "An Inspector Calls." In 2022, Norell returned to film as King John in the Netflix film "The Royal Treatment."