In Tolkien’s Legendarium, there were three great romances between and an Elf and a Man. (In Tolkien’s writing, “Man” is gender neutral, and is equivalent to “human.”) The first was Beren the Man and Lúthien Tinúviel; the second Tuor the Man and Idril Celebrindal; the third Elessar Telcontar (better known as Aragorn) and Arwen Undómiel, who marry at the end of The Lord of the Rings.
Sauron is the titular character and primary villain of The Lord of the Rings. He is introduced as The Necromancer in The Hobbit; and his origins and history are recounted in The Silmarillion. But who is Sauron? Why is he so evil? And how did he become so obsessed with locating missing jewelry?
In order to give meaningful background information for characters like Gandalf, Sauron, Galadriel and Elrond, I will have to refer to cosmological and cosmogenic ideas laid out in The Silmarillion, which tells the early history of Tolkien’s world.
Although Tolkien’s fantasy novels are tales told by Hobbits, and tell the adventures of Hobbits, a case can be made that the real protagonist of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is the wizard Gandalf. Except for Elrond Half-elven, Gandalf is the only character who plays a key part in the events of both those novels and The Silmarillion.
Bilbo Baggins is the title character of 1937’s The Hobbit, Tolkien’s first published novel that takes place in Middle Earth. The story is told from Bilbo’s perspective; in fact, although this is not indicated in the novel itself, it was Tolkien’s intention that Bilbo himself was the author of The Hobbit and the story’s narrator, with Tolkien himself only acting as the “translator” of an ancient document.