20 Facts About Lord of the Rings
Alright, so it may have years since the Lord of the Rings came out but I for one am still a huge fan, so I decided to compose a list of 20 facts about the films and their cast to share with you.
- John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli, developed an allergy to the prosthetics he had to wear.
- Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn, lost half of his front tooth and broke two toes during filming. The scene where he breaks his toes is actually in the film. Although he was meant to scream out, he did it with such conviction and it was only afterwards that Peter Jackson realised it was real pain. During the clip you can see the moment he breaks his toes when he kicks the helmet.
- During early running scenes including Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, each cast member had an injury. Viggo Mortensen had his broken toe, Brett Beatty, who was the size-double of Gimli, had a dislocated knee and Orlando Bloom had a cracked rib.
- Stuart Townsend was initially cast to play Aragorn before it was decided that he was too young. He then wanted Daniel Day-Lewis or Russell Crowe but both rejected the offer.
- Peter Jackson stars in each of the LOTR films, as do his children. In the first film he is holding a carrot in Bree. He was originally due to smoke a pipe but this made him feel sick so it was replaced with a carrot.
- Six million feet of film were shot on the trilogy. That makes over 1,100 miles!
- Christopher Lee is the only cast member who actually met Tolkien in person. Lee told Tolkien that if a film was ever made of the books he wanted to play Gandalf, but, as we know, he ended up playing Saruman.
- The scene outside the Black Gate was filmed on a military testing ground and only part of it was cleared of unexploded ammo so the actors had to follow safe paths.
- Tolkien’s family were not supportive of the film adaptation, but could not do anything to stop filming as Tolkien had signed the rights away in 1968. One member of the family, Tolkien’s grandson Simon, came out in support of the film and was disowned by some members of his family. Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R Tolkien’s son, later retracted any opposition.
- John Rhys-Davies is, ironically, the tallest of the actors in the Fellowship. He is 6 foot 1.
- The three films were shot back to back and the shoot lasted 274 days over 16 months.
- All of the members of the fellowship got a tattoo to commemorate the films – the tattoo being the elvish word for nine – all but John Rhys-Davies who thought it was inappropriate at his age. Instead, Rhys-Davies sent his size-double, Brett Beatty, as he had spent more time filming as Gimli than Rhys-Davies did. Here is Ian McKellen showing his off:
- Sean Connery was originally offered the role of Gandalf. He was reportedly offered £19 million and 15% of the profits – that would have come to a total of £283million.
- David Bowie was said to be keen to play Elf Lord Elrond.
- Liv Tyler once forgot her prosthetic ears and left them on the dashboard in her car. When she returned they had melted.
- The first member of the official Lord of the Rings fan club was Elijah Wood.
- Two members of the costume department wore away their fingerprints after spending so much time making garments made out of chain mail.
- The scene in the Fellowship of the Ring where the group mourns the loss of Gandalf in Moria was ironically filmed before the cast had even met Ian McKellen.
- The Beatles were actually very interested in making the first film version of the Lord of the Rings. Ringo would have been Sam, George as Gandalf, John as Gollum and Paul as Frodo.
- In some shots, Bill the pony was played by two people in a high quality pantomime-style horse costume.
I hope you enjoyed these facts and hopefully there were some facts that you didn’t already know!