Fans of high fantasy epics like The Lord of the Rings are naturally drawn to open-world fantasy games like Skyrim that are just as engaging.
Skyrim does have one thing that most other games don’t:
There are thousands of mods that let you change the world and make any kind of journey you can think of, like going to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.
Thanks to the work of Lord of the Rings fans who are good at modding, you can go on a quest to rid the world of Sauron’s impact while walking through Rohan or The Shire with a group of warriors from different races.
You can do this from inside Skyrim’s engine.
Let’s look at the mods that let it happen.
- 17. The Lord of Illusion - Ring
- 16. Ring of the Time Lords - slow-mo ring
- 15. Luthwen the Elf Follower from Middle-Earth
- 14. Galadriel – Altmer Cate Blanchett Preset
- 13. The Shire
- 12. Hobbiton
- 11. Dwarves & Hobbits
- 10. Pipe Smoking
- 9. The Elder Scrolls V: Middle-Earth Redone
- 8. Custom Fellowship – LOTR Quest
- 7. The One Ring Redux
- 6. Sauron Armor
- 5. Uruk-Hai Armor & Weapons
- 4. Gondorian Armament
- 3. Gondorian Ranger Armor & Ithilen Ranger Cloak
- 2. Noldor Content Pack
- 1. Isilmeriel’s LOTR Weapons Collection
17. The Lord of Illusion – Ring
This mod adds a new artifact called the Grandmaster Illusionist’s Ring to the game.
The ring can be obtained from the Illusion master trainer at the College of Winterhold for a high price.
When worn, the ring enhances Fear, Frenzy, and Calm abilities by adding a magnitude based on the player’s illusion skill.
The mod author has designed the mod to be balanced and effective in vanilla gameplay as well as with difficulty mods that affect enemy levels.
16. Ring of the Time Lords – slow-mo ring
This mod adds a ring to the game that allows the player to slow down time to a hundredth of its normal value while also providing healing benefits during slow motion.
The mod author was inspired by the slow-motion kills in the game and wanted to create a more Matrix-style fighting experience.
After some experimentation with the creation kit and help from friends, they were able to create the ring.
15. Luthwen the Elf Follower from Middle-Earth
First up, we’re looking at a charming follower based on the elves from Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.
This blonde beauty is descended from Noldor’s first king, Finwe, giving her a privileged position in elven society.
She spent her summers in Valinor and grew up with a profound desire for magic and adventure.
She’d get more adventure than she could handle when Saruman sent her to another dimension – Nirn – to keep his dark allegiances secret.
Luthwen is a master of Destruction and Restoration, though creator Schwiftberg included an archer version for those who can’t help but think of Legolas whenever elves are mentioned.
14. Galadriel – Altmer Cate Blanchett Preset
If you don’t like fan-made characters that much, you might like Mana Vault’s Galadriel, which is based on how Cate Blanchett played her in Peter Jackson’s series.
This set is a work of art, just like Cate Blanchett.
She’s a beautiful elf with jewel-bright eyes and shining hair that will make your game look even better.
This setup can be used for either the player character or a follower.
If you choose to play as a Dragonborn Galadriel, you can always get the Tauriel follower mod to make the hottest elf couple in all of Tamriel.
13. The Shire
We can also make Skyrim look a lot more like Middle-Earth, starting with The Shire.
TheBawb’s The Shire is a huge fan-made expansion that is more than just a new world area. It has places, NPCs, and tasks that are based on the Hobbit enclave from the books.
People like to take care of their plants and talk about their neighbors while smoking that good pipe-weed. But trouble is coming, and only the Dragonborn can help keep the peace.
Your decisions will change the future of The Shire over the course of a 30h+ adventure with professional voice acting that can be both funny and sad.
The room in the new world is bigger than Solstheim, and there’s a lot to do there.
If you like your first play-through, you might want to try a different beginning to see The Shire from a different point of view.
For a slightly smaller-scale intervention to your game that’ll still give you that relaxing Shire atmosphere, you should download Ozymandy’s Hobbiton.
This cozy home is built in the impossible-to-miss style of the hobbits.
The big round door is the only way to spot one of these nature-covered burrows, and Hobbiton is no exception.
The secluded and somewhat small entrance doesn’t do the home justice. In proper Doctor Who fashion, it’s bigger on the inside, with warm spaces ready for a herbalist to settle in.
11. Dwarves & Hobbits
One thing that can’t be missing from any hobbit-themed location is, well, hobbits!
Since we’re at it, let’s get some dwarves too.
This is possible thanks to Lectionaraudf’s Dwarves & Hobbits mod, which makes both fantasy races playable in Skyrim.
Dwarves are strong and can wear heavy armor with ease, while hobbits rely on their nimble bodies and plain ol’ luck to get by.
Both are relatively short next to your average Nord, so armor fits them differently than you’re used to.
The mod also features two custom followers from each race if you want to roleplay Gandalf and travel the lands with a merry gang of petite men.
10. Pipe Smoking
If you’re going to travel with hobbits, you have to stock up on pipe-weed.
This tobacco-like herb is a staple of the hobbit lifestyle, and with a little bit of effort, they can bring their customs to Skyrim.
The Pipe Smoking mod by MadNuttah and Virakotxa introduces a LotR-style Longpipe item you can use to start a custom smoking animation.
Smoking in real life is a significant debuff to your health.
But you can live the fabulous smoker fantasy in Skyrim with your hobbit bros.
9. The Elder Scrolls V: Middle-Earth Redone
There’s more to Middle-Earth than just the Shire – and thanks to modder Maldaran, you can take the tour from the comfort of TESV.
Some of the most iconic Middle-Earth locations you can visit are Anduin Valley, the Paths of the Dead, the Misty Mountains, Rohan, and Lothlorien, among others.
It’s an extensive adventure that’ll show you many sides of Tokien’s fantasy, and introduce several new items (like weapons and armor) straight from Middle-Earth.
8. Custom Fellowship – LOTR Quest
Middle-Earth Redone is a fantastic exploration mod, but it’s missing some quests to truly immerse you in the drama of the Lord of the Rings.
Custom Fellowship by TheBawb breathes life into Middle-Earth with a custom LotR-inspired questline where you’ll form your own Fellowship of the Ring to take the accursed item to Mount Doom, and cast it into the fires.
There’s also a fleshed-out progression system for your companions, which you’ll choose from any friendly NPCs featured in Middle-Earth Redone to create a powerful task force able to take on Sauron’s armies.
You’ll also enjoy plenty of side-quests and custom LotR loot.
7. The One Ring Redux
You can’t take the Ring to Mordor without first obtaining the Ring.
Your best option for a fully-functional Ring is Kyloz’s The One Ring Redux, introducing its corruption to Skyrim.
The Ring itself is detailed and accurate to the films.
You can even make out the elvish writing shining bright with magic on both sides of the golden band.
It also works almost exactly as you’d see on the big screen. It distorts the world around you, turns you invisible, and exposes you to dark influences that slowly creep into your mind.
Use with care!
6. Sauron Armor
You can’t talk about the One Ring without bringing up Sauron, the main character in Lord of the Rings.
Elothrien made a badass set of Sauron Armor to honor this most evil Dark Lord. It has the pointy cap and a style that is unashamedly spikey, just like a force of evil should look.
I would have thought this was a piece of Dark Souls gear if I didn’t know better.
That’s how grimy and dark it is.
It comes with both light armor and heavy armor so that it can be played in different ways. Use with the Half-giant Race to look like the real Sauron and tower over your enemies.
5. Uruk-Hai Armor & Weapons
Sauron may be the Dark Lord responsible for thousands of deaths during the Second and Third Eras.
But he didn’t do all of that killing by himself.
The Orcs (or Uruks) had been around since the ancient times when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, waged war to conquer Middle-Earth.
They’ve been in the business of villainy far longer than Sauron himself.
You can think of them as the Minions of Middle-Earth, though they’re way less popular with Facebook users.
This mod by Mandarinn brings the armor and weapons of the Uruk-Hai – the most robust breed of orc – into Skyrim.
It’s a rough and unpolished set, but it gets things done.
4. Gondorian Armament
You can’t have Uruk-Hai running around without the armies of Men to stand against them – and this Gondorian Armament set by BGSMERP brings them to Tamriel.
This set is based directly on the Gondorian armor seen in the LotR films.
Specifically, you’ll get to dress up as a Gondorian foot soldier, Citadel Guard, and Tower Guard.
It even includes weapons and a shield with Gondor’s White Tree sigil.
According to the books, some of these armor pieces are made of Mithril – a legendary metal of incredible strength and feather-light weight.
Expect performance similar to Daedric armor.
3. Gondorian Ranger Armor & Ithilen Ranger Cloak
Not all fighting-age Gondorians are fit to don a suit of plate armor and carry a sword.
Some prefer sneaking around, tracking the kingdom’s enemies, and striking from afar with a bow.
Such characters would be better served by the Gondorian Ranger Armor, created by Haldir307.
This sleek-looking outfit provides protection and functionality while allowing for freedom of movement.
Its dark green and brown colors also allow the ranger to blend into Middle-Earth greenery. The chest piece and gauntlets are decorated with the White Tree of Gondor, so your enemy realizes their folly in messing with the Kingdom.
2. Noldor Content Pack
Far before the time of Gondor, the Elves of Noldor were already building kingdoms and arming soldiers.
The Noldor Content Pack by Maty743 introduces four armor sets and three new weapons, all of which come in a regular and a “royal” form with more ornamentation and stats.
The differences between each model are minor, but it adds some much-appreciated variety nonetheless.
Elves aren’t inherently a warring race, so their armor is meticulously crafted without the pressure of imminent conflict always on the horizon. It’s attractive and ornamented – but also very durable.
1. Isilmeriel’s LOTR Weapons Collection
Now that you have the place, the people, and the wardrobe…
All you need are the weapons to write your very own Middle-Earth legend.
Your best bet is to check out Isilmeriel’s LotR Weapons Collection.
This brings 9 iconic weapons from the series over to Skyrim, all in remarkably high quality.
These expertly-sculpted weapons include:
- Wraith Greatsword
- Bilbo Baggins’ Sting
- Legolas’ daggers and bow
- The sword of the Witch-King of Angmar
- Sauron’s Mace
- And more!
Some even have different versions, which show them as polished newly-created weapons, or ancient blades bearing a patina formed after hundreds of years of sitting around in tombs and troll hoards.
If you’re looking for modded weapons, keep this pack in mind.