Afraid to become old? Don’t be! They might seem fragile and grumpy, but that’s a facade. Old people are some of the most interesting people you’ll meet in the real world and fiction especially. Unlike most old people in the real world, the candidates below have clasped onto aspects of youth, like physical strength, social awareness, and grand optimism for the future. Despite death being near for some of them, they refuse to let it dominate the golden years of their fictional existences.
In honor of National Senior Citizens Day, here are 9 kick-ass old people from the books and movies you love.
Gandalf The Grey – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Let’s be honest with ourselves: being a wizard automatically makes you a legend. But Gandalf isn’t just any old wizard from the depths of fiction. According to TedED, he is one of the five Valar, and thus tasked with watching over middle earth forever. Noting that fact, it is clear that Gandalf the Grey will never retire. That’s probably why he elects to enjoy life in the company of peaceful hobbits when the world isn’t at risk of total destruction.
When the world is threatened, he’s the one leading the charge. Whether it’s helping the exiled Dwarves reclaim the Lonely Mountain or assisting the Fellowship of the Ring on their individual quests to stop Sauron, Gandalf is always at the center of action.
Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The idea of retirement seems like the opposite of tough. You basically do nothing for the rest of your life; however, for Bilbo Baggins, retirement was truly necessary. After helping the 13 Dwarves reconquer Erebor (involving one slayed dragon and a war of five armies), he settled back down in the comfort of the Shire, going on occasional short distance journeys.
When he turned 111, the obvious choice was to get back into the swing of action. According to the YouTube Channel Nerd of the Rings traveled to Rivendell on foot. From there, he made his way back to the Lonely Mountain to pay a long-overdue visit to the Dwarves that survived the Battle of the Five Armies. He then rendezvoused with his adopted nephew Frodo to journey to the Undying Lands. Talk about cross country fitness!
Gimli Longbeard – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
He may not look old, but don’t let his youth fool you. According to the YouTube channel In Deep Geek, Dwarves live up to 250 years on average. During the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he was 133 years old! During that period, he literally ran across Middle Earth, killed dozens of orcs at a time, and drank himself unconscious at a feast (something most of the elderly would be careful to avoid). After the defeat of Sauron and the One Ring, Gimli and his friend Legolas journeyed across the world for fun. Considering all that he has done, Gimli is a shining example of taking full advantage of the golden years.
Albus Dumbledore – Harry Potter Series
Here is a small list of Albus Dumbledore’s accomplishments: professor, headmaster, two-time Wizarding War veteran, and the mastermind behind the plot to kill Voldemort. Though he died before Harry could succeed, he ensured that he was around long enough to help prepare. He also gave himself the luxury of dying on his own terms–he was not technically defeated, even though that’s how it seemed to the world. Dumbledore was more than a mastermind, cleverly calculating the biggest wizard showdown in history; on several occasions, he demonstrated fantastic magical feats that even youthful wizards couldn’t perform. And, amid all that, he remained young at heart.
Rick Sanchez – ‘Rick and Morty’
He’s got the body of a 70-year-old and the capacity of a god (at least that’s what he thinks). He’s defeated entire galactic civilizations, had sex with whole planets, and cloned himself to avoid the clutches of biological death. Rick Sanchez is one of aging’s greatest antagonists. Only time will tell whether he wins the fight to stay alive in a multiverse that wants him dead.
Yoda – Star Wars Saga
For starters, this alien lived to be over 800 years old. Let that number sink in… If he were alive on our world, he would’ve been born in the 13th century. Imagine experiencing all the shenanigans from then to now. In terms of galactic history, Yoda was born only about 200 years after the fall of the Sith, living to see their return.
Through his centuries of experience, he trained multiple Jedi Masters, learned the power of becoming a force ghost, and brawled against the Dark Lord of the Sith (Darth Sidious himself). Decades later, he trained Luke Skywalker in the Jedi way, allowing him to defeat the Sith and restore balance to the Force. That’s a lot to do in one lifetime.
Dick Hallorann – The Shining & Doctor Sleep
He was the head cook at the famous (or rather notorious) Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Equipped with the power of the Shining, Hallorann was able to see the horrific visions that plagued the luxurious grounds for decades.
When the Torrance family arrived on the scene to stay the winter inside its haunted walls, Hallorann taught Danny the power of long-distance telepathy. Of course, that power called him back in the middle of winter. He ended up fighting through blizzards, road-blocks, and a giant lion hedge to save the Torrances.
In the years after the tragedy, Hallorann became the father figure to Danny, teaching him even more about the Shining and how to ward off the lingering evil spirits.
Mother Abigail – The Stand
At the age of 108, Mother Abigail took it upon herself to lead the remaining good of humanity. This involved trekking across the continental United States to begin civilization anew. Using her charisma and strong spiritual connection, she served as the figurehead for the next chapter of humanity.
The Lord Ruler – The Mistborn Saga
He lived to the ripe old age of 1028 years while maintaining the appearance of someone in their thirties… Let that sink in. Despite how epic that feat is, the Lord Ruler was a man that most of the population wished dead. A horrible tyrant with the power of a god, he oppressed the world with a climate of falling ash and heinous punishment. It took over a thousand years for anyone to challenge him. When they did, a whole new series of problems emerged.