How old was the fellowship in the books?
Image via New Line Cinema
The whole Lord of the rings The trilogy is told from the perspective of the Companions, a group of Third Age heroes who shoulder the burden of an entire civilization and set out to confront the evil of Sauron and his One Ring. But what do we know about each member’s backstory and their respective ages when they left Rivendell?
The Fellowship is made up of an ensemble cast of unlikely characters, somewhat symbolic in that they include at least one character from each race: Gandalf is a Maia – an angel – sent to lead the Free Peoples in their struggle against the enemy ; Aragorn and Boromir represent men; Legolas, the Elves; Gimli the dwarves. Only the hobbits remain to be considered, who until then wanted nothing to do with the world of the Great Folk.
The nine who ride from Rivendell also draw a marked contrast to the nine Ringwraiths, and the following year they become instrumental in the war against Sauron. Many fans have wondered from time to time how old each member of the Fellowship is, especially as Aragorn claims to be a Dunedain descendant with the gift of longevity and Gandalf boasts of having lived 300 lives on this earth.
When were the Fellowship members born?
The history of Middle-earth spans more than 10,000 years, but for Lord of the Rings and the events leading up to it, we are dealing primarily with the third age of Tolkien’s fictional universe. The search for the One Ring begins in 3018 TA. So when we talk about the age of the companions, we should put this year in Arda’s calendar.
Start with Frodo Bagginsthe main protagonist, the physical appearance of the character in Peter Jackson’s films, and the adaptation’s condensed timelines could end up confusing many fans beginning their first read of Lord of the Rings. In the books, Frodo is born in the year 2968, making him 50 years old at the time the Fellowship was formed.
Samwise Gamji is a little younger than his master, but not by much. The Gardener was born in 2980 and was 38 years old when the hobbits set out from the Shire. Meriadoc Brandybuck was born two years after Samwise and Peregrin took two years after him, making them 36 and 34 respectively.
Gandalf the Wizard was one of the Istari, an order of sorcerers. Gandalf is essentially as old as time itself, making him over 10,000 years old by the time the Fellowship begins their journey. For the sake of argument let us assume that we are counting his years since he first came to Middle-earth as an emissary of the Valar in the Third Age. The Istari took the form of old men and reached the continent around 1000 TA, making Gandalf still over 2000 years old.
As strange as it may sound Boromir came to the steward’s house in 2978 TA, making him 10 years younger than Frodo. Many people might not expect this from the story’s unsung hero, but it seems to be what Tolkien intended.
At least Gimli son of Gloin wears his years with pride, was born in 2879 TA and is about 139 years old The Fellowship of the Ring.
As for aragorn, the promised king is one of the humans, but since his descent is from the line of Numenor, he is blessed with longevity. In the first book, Aragorn is already 87 years old, although he may look like a man in his prime.
Legolas is immortal like Gandalf. He is essentially a youth compared to the likes of Elrond or Galadriel, but don’t let that energetic exterior fool you. The books do not reveal the Forest Prince’s exact age, but it is believed that he was born in Thranduil sometime in the early Third Age. According to the movies, Legolas was born in the year 87, making him 2931 at the time The Fellowship of the Ring begins.
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