For almost twenty years the Lord of the Rings trilogy keeps fascinating the audience. With The Hobbit movies released between 2012 and 2014 and the upcoming Amazon Prime series, the hype around this universe isn’t ready to stop. So to brag during your future rewatch, you’ll find here seven anecdotes. Seven, just like the number of rings given to the Dwarves.
1) A first foot story
Let’s start with the most common one. During the shooting of The Two Towers, Viggo Mortensen improvised hitting in an Uruk-Hai’s helmet/head, way heavier than he thought. Two of his toes broke and his cry of despair, which is in reality a cry of pain, is so perfect according to the director that the scene is shot again several times.
2) A removable set
If you can still go to New-Zealand and visit the Shire set, some others have totally disappeared. It’s the case of the Palace of Rohan (and its city). Built specially for the movie, the wooden structure was entirely disassembled after the last scenes shot here, to preserve Mount Sunday.
3) Another foot story
Here we go again. During the last scene of The Fellowship of the Ring, while Sam (Sean Astin) swims (or tries) to catch Frodo (Elijah Wood) and his boats, the actor cut opens his foot on something underwater. We still don’t know what caused this injury (a branch ? A piece of glass forgotten by the underwater cleaning team?) but one thing is sure: Sean only took a few days to recover and come back more ready than ever.
4) A very bold cast
Newly arrived in New-Zealand, the actors had one major rule: no dangerous activities to avoid accidents. But can you stay calm when you’re in a country that offers you parachute and bungee jumping, scuba diving, and jet-ski? No, and the cast didn’t wait to try all these forbidden activities. You can even find some footage on the bonus DVD.
5) Miracle guy
If several wounds occurred while shooting, there is nonetheless a miraculous recovery. Orlando Bloom, chosen to play Legolas only had few possibilities to be able to ride a horse a few times before. Indeed, only eighteen months earlier a serious fall broke his back and paralyzed him in a hospital bed. While the doctors forecasted a wheelchair life, the young man took the time to rehabilitate his body and got his legs back pretty soon. And even more than his legs because he is now well known for rather strong roles like Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean.
6) The tape technique
If Merry and Pippin often bring comic relief to the movies, their actors Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd seem to be pretty funny in real life too. In a hilarious clip from a bonus DVD, Billy confesses, while drinking beer, that the sound team was obliged to tape his microphone to his chest. Why? Too many hairs dragging along it, making the sound very unclear. If the tape was a very clever method to diminish the parasitic noises, it seems that the actor was less pleased by having the tape piece ripped of his skin by Dominic, way too amused by the situation.
7) Two roles in one
While the female protagonists from Lord of the Rings can be counted on the fingers of one hand, the first scrip didn’t include Eowyn. Arwen was supposed to have a character combining both women, but also with a sex scene, finally removed during the second writing. It was even decided to add Arwen to the Fellowship, but after several conversations, the women were finally dissociated to lead to the casting we know nowadays.
There are obviously several more anecdotes about these movies and The Hobbit trilogy, which are still nurturing the passion surrounding this universe. We can now hope the upcoming show will meet the fans’ expectations by following the path of the previous movies.