December 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Peter Jackson’s iconic film, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Does that make us feel incredibly old? Yes. Do we still watch the trilogy once a month? Yes. Do we spend more of our waking hours thinking about it than is probably healthy? You’re damn right.
In light of the 20th anniversary, we wanted to take a moment to think about the Fellowship in the year 2021. If they were real and with us right now, what would they be like? What would they think of the world? And the most ridiculous contemplation: What would they be playing?
Obviously, that last question is the most important one, so here’s our list of games we think the Fellowship of the Ring would be devoting their hours to if they lived in 2021.
Maybe it’s a tad on the nose to suggest that Frodo would be playing a game about a traveler heading toward a mountain, but c’mon. Frodo needs nothing more than to chill out and get the job done. The hobbit hasn’t had a non-stressful walk in months! This game is the perfect vibe for that. No talking, no getting impaled with cave troll weapons and ringwraith swords. Just vibing, taking a long walk, arriving at the mountain and getting the job done.
Samwise: Dream Daddy
I have no doubt in my mind that Samwise Gamgee, the greatest best friend in the history of the universe, loves dating sims. And there’s no better fit for him than Dream Daddy, a game about a man trying his best to help himself and the person most precious to him manage the life-altering emotional turmoil of losing a very close loved one while navigating the grand journey of life. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? Sam has dated every Daddy, knows all their backstories and has a weekly fanfic newsletter on Substack. There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s Dream Daddy Mat.
Gandalf: Sims 4
After all the crap he has to handle for the inhabitants of Middle-earth, all Gandalf wants to do is log in and make humans do exactly what he tells them to do without any resistance. He’d re-create the Fellowship in Sim form, though it would drive him nuts — he definitely gets annoyed when his Sims aren’t fully green barred and often resorts to using “Cheat Needs” because with so many Sims to keep track of, it’s like a perpetual whack-a-mole of, “wait, who’s dying now?!” and “how does the hunger bar on Pippin go down so fast?!”
Aragorn: Ori and the Blind Forest
Forget Rust, Far Cry, Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption and all the survival games you had in mind. Yes, Aragorn is a survival expert and ranger, but he’s also an old man who’s earned a chill time, so we have to look outside the box. Ori and the Blind Forest is just zen enough, allowing him to roam through a magical forest, exploring and solving puzzles with dexterity and timing. Bear in mind that Aragorn was raised by elves, so he’d definitely appreciate the beauty of that art style — and yes, if we could’ve found a game where you have to swagger through big wooden doors looking like a dreamboat, he’d have that down.
Merry and Pippin: Untitled Goose Game
Our apologies to Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd — vocal League of Legends players that they are — but we’re pretty convinced this ragtag hobbit duo would be way more into Untitled Goose Game. Causing ruckus for a quiet country town? Check. Stealing goodies from farmers and neighbors? Check. Cheeky as all hell? Double check. We were going to give them separate games but let’s be real: They’d start out taking turns on the same Nintendo Switch — or try to, at least — until Merry has enough of Pippin hijacking his game and buys his own Switch Lite so they can play local two-player co-op, egging each other on as their very naughty geese take the village by storm.
Gimli: Magic: The Gathering
Let’s be real, dwarves probably prefer physical card games to video games. We doubt the Wi-Fi stretches all the way down to the depths of those mines. Gimli would play a Mountain deck, and I’d bet his heart-eyes over Galadriel would definitely extend to him getting distracted by some of the gorgeous elven card art. I’d also stake my life (pun intended) that 100% he’d get a kick out of the new Crimson Vow expansion because nobody loves a party like a dwarf — and what better excuse for a pint (or 10) than a wedding? Following it up with battle is icing on the cake for a tipsy dwarf — if he can handle Thranduil, he can handle a few vampires.
Legolas: Horizon Zero Dawn
Broody archer boy was always going to stay on theme. He’d probably try to go through the game arrows blazing at first, overconfident in what his elf eyes see, but then would very quickly realize he needs to be a bit more stealthy without a certain dwarf around to have his back. On the plus side, he already has plenty of experience scaling indomitably large beasts and bringing them down with a well placed shot. He’d also absolutely keep count of all his kills. And then brag. A lot.
OK, maybe this is because we can’t extricate Sean Bean from the role but let’s be real: Whatever game he plays, he is going to die a lot. Like, a LOT. At the most inconvenient times; sometimes for a good reason, mostly it’s his own damn fault. But just like the classic song Tubthumping by Chumbawamba says: “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.” We thought about maybe Hades, but Boromir definitely has the vibe of a man who plays shooters so Returnal gets the go. Either way, Boromir is a roguelike player: confirmed.
As for the other denizens of Middle-earth? Well, Saruman really wants to try Diablo but can’t figure out how to install Battle.net, Sauron is absolutely playing Elden Ring before all of us (rude), Elrond vibes with online Mah-jong and Galadriel gets her power fantasy out by conquering the world in Age of Empires.
Oh, and Gollum? Ring Fit.