The sort of goalkeeping howler by Sven Ulreich that would make a Sunday league footballer cringe had earlier gifted Karim Benzema one of his two goals but this was otherwise all about Real's experience and, while their streetwise qualities could be admired, it was equally easy to see their vulnerabilities amid a La Liga gap this season to Barcelona of 15 points.
Indeed, Ronaldo has only been nullified so far by Bayern, though they were still beaten 2-1 in the first leg at Allianz Arena, with Marcelo and Marco Asensio on the scoresheet.
On Tuesday, Real drew Bayern Munich 2-2 in their semifinal second leg to advance 4-3 on aggregate to the final later this month, where they will play either Liverpool or Roma who will play their second leg on Wednesday.
Defeat was harsh on Bayern, who dominated large spells of the game.
Franck Ribery sent the ball out wide and Tolisso whipped in a cross from the right. Cristiano Ronaldo shot wide before Benzema put Madrid back in the driving seat, as he headed home from Marcelo's cross.
A superb crossfield ball from Luka Modric was controlled by Marcelo who delivered the flawless cross for Benzema to nod calmly in at the back post.More news: Dominican Republic cuts ties with Taiwan in favor of China
The visitors then spurned a gilt-edged opportunity just after the half-hour mark as Rodriguez volleyed over from close range after Keylor Navas saved from Robert Lewandowski.
Still Bayern were not killed off and Navas did well to save a powerful shot from David Alaba which took a wicked deflection.
Ronaldo side-footed over from six yards but the German side regained control and levelled on the night as Rodriguez struck at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked by Raphael Varane. James stuck out his foot to almost convert right in front of goal after Robert Lewandowski's effort was blocked by Madrid goalie Keylor Navas, who was again brilliant.
The record books will show that Real Madrid reached their 16th European Cup final and could lift a third consecutive trophy when they potentially play Liverpool in what would be a repeat of the 1981 final, which was settled by Alan Kennedy's late goal.
They pressed to the end, forcing Real into a rearguard action, but could not find a way through.