No list of my favorites would be complete without at least one Tolkien character. (I had three last year.) 🙂
Of all the characters in The Hobbit, I found Bard one of the most heroic. When Smaug wreaks havoc on Laketown, Bard alone faces down the terrifying dragon and kills him with his black arrow. He is courageous, fair-minded, and compassionate and does his best to help his fellow townspeople regroup after the destruction of their town.
I love Luke Evans’ portrayal of Bard in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies — the way he loves his children, how he stands up for what he believes, and how he helps the Dwarves against his better judgment because he can’t ignore those in need. I feel for him every time someone brings up his ancestor whose missed shots long ago failed to kill Smaug, as if it were Bard’s fault and he who should be ashamed. The confrontation between Bard and Smaug at the beginning of Battle of the Five Armies was, for me, the highlight of the whole movie. That and Bard’s interactions with the hilarious Alfred.
After the battle, Bard oversees the rebuilding of the city of Dale. As a descendant of the Lords of Dale, Bard eventually becomes King of that city and returns the city and its people to prosperity once more. I wish the real world had more leaders like Bard.
© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.