Lord of the Rings Character Screentime – Mikey Light

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a triumph of modern cinema—clocking in at around 670 minutes, there’s quite a bit there. One of the things that causes grief among first time watchers is the sheer amount of characters, and how difficult they are to discern from one another. This chart isn’t going to help anyone with problem, but it’s that very problem that was the impetus for the creation of this chart.

There are a lot of characters—and a lot of different types of characters at that. Between humans, hobbits, elves, dwarves and whatever the hell Gollum is (he’s a mutated Stoor in case you were wondering), it’s a wonder that Peter Jackson and company were able to have them share the screen without everything being a jumbled mess. I wanted to see how much they did it. I separated the characters by race, and pulled data from the web to see how much actual screen time each of the characters got. I limited it to 25 characters, and I think you’ll find that this is for the better. Even with such a small sample, there’s a few characters you probably wouldn’t remember. (here’s looking at you, Gamling)

The results weren’t totally surprising, but there are some interesting points here. It’s no surprise that the five hobbits absolutely dominated in terms of raw minutes. It is, after all, a story of hobbits. Gandalf ranks lower than you might think, but that’s probably to due with is limited screen time in The Two Towers. Then there’s a couple of characters like Grima and Gamling that you’d be surprised even make the cut. Sauron is only in the films for about four minutes, which is interesting because he’s the actual Lord of the Rings that the title refers to. The most surprising part to me was that main antagonist Sarumon only has about eight minutes of actual screen time across all three films. He’s got less time than Treebeard, which I would never have expected.

Anyways, check it out.