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What are they Driving in Middle Earth?
Posted On: 12/31/2012 9:33AM

The Hobbit debuted earlier this month, renewing a time-honored Christmas tradition: waiting another year for the next Lord of the Rings movie. I saw An Unexpected Journeytwice and enjoyed it more the second time – when I wasn’t so busy comparing it to the book. Peter Jackson made a few mistakes with his water-in-the-wine adaptation, but this isn’t a movie site.

There was, however, a high-speed chase between wizard Radagast the Brown, on a sled pulled by Rhosgobel rabbits; and some nasty orcs on a pack of Gundabad wargs. And while this scene might have just encapsulated most of the film’s shortcomings, it was pretty good fun.

It got me thinking, which is always pretty dangerous: If they had cars in Middle Earth, what would everybody drive? So I decided to answer a question you would never have asked.

Gandalf – Around, quite literally, for ages, Gandalf the Grey would pick something durable, reliable, and large enough to accommodate his Istari frame. It would also need to have some resistance to fire, as Mithrandir wields the flame of Anor and all. Crown Vics aren’t pretty, but Gandalf is pretty scraggly and old, too. Perhaps he can upgrade to the Towncar variant later on.

Aragorn – Though born to be the king of Gondor, Eriador, and the free peoples of Middle Earth, Aragorn nonetheless has spent many years wandering the trackless wastes of the wilderness. As a Dunedain Ranger, he can do just about anything, so he would probably prefer a car just as fast and versatile as himself. The VW Race Touareg III would do just fine, as it proved its prowess on dirt at Dakar, and looks kingly in every bearing.

Faramir – Poor old Faramir is far cooler than his big brother Boromir, resisting the draw of the Ring, but lives nonetheless in Sean Bean’s shadow (who doesn’t?), especially in the eyes of their father Denethor. I think he would pick a Ford Bronco II. Not just because he’s a ranger, but because he and the Bronco II would probably have a pretty good understanding of one another.

Bilbo – The master of Bag End was chosen to go to the Lonely Mountain for his ability to pass unnoticed under the eyes of his enemies, and also, probably, because if he hadn’t gone, he would have lived the rest of his days in boredom and rust. Not at all unlike the Ford Festiva, which was blessed in its middle with a Yamaha V6, the mill Ford had originally intended for a mid-engine Fiero competitor, and which was plugged instead into the SHO Taurus. The Festiva became the Ford Shogun, one of the coolest and most Tookish sleepers ever built.

Thorin – He’s small enough to be tied into a burlap sack, but Thorin Oakenshield is one mighty dwarf. He’s tough-skinned, reliable, and noble of blood. I think he’d cruise around in a Ferret Armoured Car.  Sure, it only makes 130 hp for a top speed of 58 mph, but it has 8-12 mm thick armor, and Thorin would probably find it quite roomy and comfortable.  And I think Tolkien might appreciate the Britishness.

Samwise – Yeah, he’s small, but he’s faithful, rugged, and he hauls around a crapton of stuff, including his master Frodo when the need arises. Sam Gamgee might as well have come with a pair of seats bolted into his bed. I think Sam would pick a lifted Subaru Brat, and it would be piled high with everything anybody might need.

Galadriel – The Lady of Lothlorian is as beautiful a creature as has ever walked the surface of Arda, but since she’s not only an ancient elf queen, but also the bearer of Nenya, ring of power, she’s quite fearsome indeed when she needs to be. I think she would choose something with class and sleek beauty to complement her fair form, but also of immense potency and might. The Mercedes SLR McLaren, stands ready to shine a silvery light into a dark world, just like Galadriel.

Smaug  – The fierce dragon of the Lonely Mountain thrives not only on fear, but on his talents of noise making and fire breathing, as well. It seems he would choose a ride to induce extreme terror in the heart of every stout warrior for miles around. When he wants to drive, (and the ability to fly could seriously blunt that desire), he’s going to do it in a dragster. And since he thinks nothing can kill him, he’ll likely go for a front-engine layout.


What do you think they would drive?  What other Tolkienian characters would get behind the wheel?

Andy Sheehan is a staff writer for and ate some Papa Murphy's last night.  The most delicious thing he's made all year.

Comments (3)
Avatar By: BIG_CIVIC
12/31/2012 3:36 PM

What about Golum? A slimy conniving character ready to stab you in the back to get what he wants. What would he drive?

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