Bernard Hill, Lord of the Rings’ Théoden King, Has Died

Bernard Hill, Lord of the Rings’ Théoden King, Has Died


Screenshot: New Line Cinema

Bernard Hill, the actor that brought Lord of the Rings’ Théoden to life memorably in Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation trilogy, has died at the age of 79.

The BBC reports the news was confirmed by Hill’s agent early Sunday morning. Known closer to his home in the UK for a storied career in television, in series like Boys From the Blackstuff and Wolf Hall, but cinematically—aside from his fateful role as Captain Edward James Smith in Titanic—Hill will be forever remembered by legions of fantasy fans for his turn as Théoden, King of Rohan, in both The Two Towers and Return of the King.

As Théoden, Hill is responsible for some of the most memorable moments in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, his stirring speeches at Helm’s Deep and the charge of the Rohirrim at Minas Tirith made all the more iconic by his masterful delivery—imbuing Théoden’s archaic prose with a sense of humanity and warmth that made Rohan’s king more than a match for whoever he brushed up against, whether it was butting heads with Aragorn over strategy, comforting Éowyn in his final moments, or screaming death down on the legions of Isengard and Mordor alike.

Our thoughts go to his family in this sad time.


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