Edit
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Poster

Trivia

Hobbiton was made a year before production began to make it look like it was a natural, lived-in place, complete with real vegetable patches. The greens department regulated the length of the grass by having sheep eat it.
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (10)
Christopher Lee reads "The Lord of the Rings" once a year and has done so since the year it was published, and is the only member of the cast and crew ever to have met J.R.R. Tolkien.
Gandalf's painful encounter with a ceiling beam in Bilbo's hobbit-hole was not in the script - Ian McKellen banged his forehead against the beam accidentally, not on purpose. But Peter Jackson thought McKellen did a great job "acting through" the mistake, and so kept it in.
Peter Jackson gave one of the rings used in the movies to both Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis as gift when the shoot was finished. They both thought they had the only one.
During the fight between the orc, Lurtz, and Aragorn, the moment where Lurtz takes out the dagger Aragorn had stuck it in his leg, and then Lurtz threw it at him. That was an actual dagger. It was supposed to hit the tree behind Viggo Mortensen, but because of the bad capabilities with the orcs armor, he accidentally threw it towards Viggo. Luckily, Viggo was fast enough to deflect it. The scene was therefore improvised by that.
Eight of the nine members of the Fellowship got a small tattoo of the word "nine" spelled out in Tengwar, which is the Elvish script created by Tolkien. They got it at a tattoo parlor in Wellington, New Zealand, to commemorate the experience of the movie. The ninth member, John Rhys-Davies, declined and sent his stunt double in his place. Elijah Wood's tattoo is on his lower stomach. Sean Astin and Billy Boyd have the tattoo on their ankles (to commemorate all those hours in the hobbit feet). Orlando Bloom, who plays the archer elf Legolas, has his on his forearm. His tattoo is visible during a fight scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). Ian McKellen's is on his shoulder. Dominic Monaghan's is on his shoulder. And the eighth member, Sean Bean, has his tattoo on his right shoulder. Viggo Mortensen has his tattoo on his left shoulder. It is visible on some pictures from the movie Eastern Promises (2007)
Orlando Bloom (Legolas) did most of his own stunts and broke a rib in the process.
When Pippin is being hit with the apples after asking about second breakfast, it is Viggo Mortensen himself chucking the apple at his head. They had to shoot the scene 16 times to get it just right, and Billy Boyd says he believes Mortensen enjoyed himself immensely.
Veteran sword master Bob Anderson called Viggo Mortensen "the best swordsman I've ever trained".
For high-tech tasks, a computer program called MASSIVE made armies of CG orcs, elves, and humans. These digital creations could 'think' and battle independently - identifying friend or foe - thanks to individual fields of vision. Peter Jackson's team could click on one creature in a crowd scene of 20,000 and see through his "eyes". Different species even boast unique fighting styles.
When Gandalf has his big stand-off scene with the Balrog, Ian McKellen is actually acting to a ping pong ball.
The cast often had to fly to remote shoot locations by helicopter. Sean Bean (Boromir) was afraid of flying and would only do it when absolutely necessary. When they were shooting the scenes of the Fellowship crossing the snowy mountains, he'd spend two hours every morning climbing from the base of the mountain to the set near the top, already dressed as Boromir. The crew being flown up could see him from their helicopters.
When Christopher Lee and J.R.R. Tolkien were in correspondence, Tolkien gave Lee his blessing to play Gandalf if there ever was a film version of Lord of the Rings. Years later, Lee campaigned for the part of Gandalf in this production, but was offered the part of Saruman instead. Lee, who wanted to participate in the project any way he could, accepted the role of Saruman.
Viggo Mortensen did his own stunts. He also insisted on using only the real steel sword, instead of significantly lighter aluminum sword or safer rubber sword which were manufactured for battle scenes and stunts.
According to Sean Astin in the extended DVD commentary, when Bilbo drops the ring before leaving Hobbiton the floor was magnetic to prevent the ring from bouncing. This was done to demonstrate the importance and weight of the ring.
While filming the trilogy, Viggo Mortensen got so into character that during a conversation, Peter Jackson referred to him as "Aragorn" for over half an hour without him realizing it.
When the dragon firework goes off at the party, the shriek heard is Billy Boyd actually screaming, as he was unaware at the time that the firework was really going to explode on set (he thought that it would be put in digitally). It was not scripted, but that take ended up in the final film.
John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli the dwarf, is the tallest of the actors who play members of the Fellowship. He is 6' 1".
Viggo Mortensen joined the film when it was already shooting, never having met Peter Jackson before, nor indeed having read the J.R.R. Tolkien books. It was Mortensen's 11-year-old son Henry Mortensen who was the chief instigator in convincing Mortensen to sign on as Aragorn.
Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), who is trilingual in English, Spanish, and Danish, requested the script be revised to let Aragorn speak more of his lines in Elvish.
In one take of the Bucklebury Ferry scene, Elijah Wood overshot his jump and ended up in the river instead of on the Ferry.
1,460 eggs were served to the cast and crew for breakfast for every day of shooting.
Viggo Mortensen chipped a tooth while filming a fight sequence. He wanted Peter Jackson to superglue it back on so he could finish his scene, but the director took him to the dentist on his lunch break, had it patched up, and returned to the set that afternoon.
Orlando Bloom landed the role of Legolas two days before he finished drama school.
The Orc blacksmiths shown beneath Isengard are actually the WETA Workshop staff who made the weapons used in the film.
Originally the narration at the prologue was to be spoken by Elijah Wood, but it was felt that the information imparted had little bearing on the character of Frodo. Ian McKellen also recorded a narration but once again it was felt that Gandalf wasn't the right character to speak it. They eventually settled on Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, as it emphasizes the timelessness of the elves.
Boromir's speech at the Council of Rivendell is read from a sheet of paper sitting on Sean Bean's lap as it was only given to him the night before.
The four actors playing the young Hobbits would have to go into make-up at 5am and stand for an hour and a half while their prosthetic feet were being applied. Sean Astin's personal make-up artist doing this was called Sean Foot.
Over 12.5 million plastic rings were made in order to fabricate simulated chain mail for the movie. Two crew members spent the length of the shoot linking the rings by hand into suits of armor. By the end of production, they had worn the fingerprints off their thumbs and index fingers.
The two most renowned Tolkien artists are Alan Lee and John Howe, and so it was important to Peter Jackson to have those two on board. Lee was tracked down to a tiny little village in Dartmoor, England and was FedExed a package of Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994) and a letter outlining his intentions. They monitored the progress of the FedEx package every step of the way, but were somewhat surprised when Lee rang them only 3 hours after delivery to say he'd love to work with them. Howe meanwhile was living in Switzerland, and because someone hadn't worked out the time differences between Europe and New Zealand correctly, was rung about 2am. He says that the biggest frustration with that phone call was waiting for Jackson to finish his pitch before he could say yes.
The different colors of blue for the elves' eyes revealed what race they were. The Lothlorien elves had light blue eyes, and the Rivendell elves were dark blue.
Viggo Mortensen purchased Arwen's horse after production and gave it to Liv Tyler's riding double.
Legolas's arrows in the final battle are computer generated. It would have been physically impossible for even the most gifted archer to fire off so many arrows so quickly.
It is estimated that filming of the trilogy pumped about $200,000,000 into the New Zealand economy. The New Zealand government even created a Minister for Lord of the Rings, whose remit was to exploit all the economic opportunities the films represented.
When Bilbo finds the Ring at the start of the movie Gollum shouts "My Precious" however Andy Serkis wasn't on set that day so Dominic Monaghan stood in for him.
During the Council of Elrond, leaves are continually falling in the background to suggest that this is a meeting that is taking place outside. This meant about half a dozen crew members were positioned above the set, dropping leaves at various intervals. This also meant that the production department had to collect sacks and sacks of leaves during autumn, and of course dead leaves turn brown fairly quickly. Which also meant that every single one of those leaves had to be individually painted.
Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragorn, but was replaced by Viggo Mortensen after four days of shooting because Peter Jackson realized that an older actor was needed.
Peter Jackson's original plan was to exclusively hire British actors for the roles of the hobbits. As it turned out, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan were the only ones, and one of the tasks he charged them with was to coach Elijah Wood and Sean Astin in the ways of British pub culture.
A rubber puppet with a horrific face was superimposed over Ian Holm's face when Bilbo Baggins covets the ring in Rivendell. Holm was so delighted with the puppet that the design team had a cast iron version of it made for his mantelpiece and gave it to him as a parting gift when Holm wrapped all his scenes on the film.
Liv Tyler accidentally stabbed herself up in the right thigh, when filming the 'If you want him, come and claim him!' sequence. Footage was featured in bloopers and outtakes of the film.
Sean Astin gained 30 pounds for his role as Samwise.
During the fight between Lurtz and Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen successfully parried the dagger thrown at him on his first attempt.
The original cut ran four hours and thirty minutes.
Orlando Bloom spent two months learning how to use a bow and arrow.
Viggo Mortensen kept his sword with him at all times off set so that he could remain in character. He was questioned several times by police after reviewing his training sessions with the sword and being spotted by members of the public.
Two sets of Bag End, Bilbo Baggins's home, were built. One to accommodate the Hobbits, the other 33% smaller for the full size Ian McKellen, right down to smaller versions of the books on the bookshelves.
Gimli's line "Nobody tosses a dwarf!" was filmed after the "Toss me" line in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
Liv Tyler deepened her voice so much to play Arwen that her father Steven Tyler asked her if her voice had been dubbed by someone else.
The moth that Gandalf whispers to was born shortly before filming that day, and died soon after the scene was finished.
During filming, most of the members of the Fellowship took up surfing in New Zealand in their spare time. Among them was Viggo Mortensen, who wiped out terribly one day, and bruised one whole side of his face. The next day, makeup tried to mask the bruising and swelling, but were unsuccessful. Instead, Peter Jackson opted to film Mortenson from one side for the entire scene. In the Mines of Moria when they find the tomb, Aragorn is only seen from one side in the whole scene.
When Frodo falls on the snow and loses the ring, a close-up of the ring with Frodo in the background is shown. In order to keep both the subjects focused, a giant ring (6 inches of diameter) was used.
The scream of the Ringwraiths is actually Fran Walsh, the co-writer and co-producer of the film.
When the hobbits are on screen, they always walk from the left of the screen to the right, never the other way around (because of the movie convention that West-East travel is represented by left-right movement).
The climactic fight scene was shot in the middle of a heatwave, with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. Many of the actors playing the Uruk-Hai had to be carried off the set with heat exhaustion.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) were filmed simultaneously. The back-to-back shoot lasted a record-equaling 274 days, in 16 months - exactly the same time as taken for the principal photography of Apocalypse Now (1979).
The nocturnal screams of possums were used for the screeches made by the Orcs in the mines of Moria.
When the fellowship comes out of hiding from the crows during their stop on the hills, Gandalf says "Spies of Saruman!" However, during the first take of this scene, Ian McKellen jokingly said "Spies of Star Wars!".
Peter Jackson originally contemplated having the character of Tom Bombadil, a character that was in the book but never made it to the movie, incorporated into a cameo scene in which the Hobbits are walking through the forest and see a man with a feathered cap dart through the trees, then they hear Tom singing and begin running through the forest, but ran out of time to film it.
When the trailer was released on Internet on 7 April 2001, it was downloaded 1.6 million times in the first 24 hours.
The illuminated door that leads to the Mines of Moria was painted with the same substance that cats' eyes and road signs are made of.
The hobbits needed to appear about three to four feet tall - tiny compared with the seven-foot Gandalf. This was often accomplished using forced perspective, placing Ian McKellen (Gandalf) consistently closer to the camera than Elijah Wood in order to trick the eye into thinking McKellen is towering.
The Elvish language lines spoken in the film are not just quotes from the book, they were derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's own limited dictionary of that language. Dialect coach Andrew Jack used actual recordings of Tolkien reading his books to guide the actors' pronunciation.
When Frodo is leafing through Bilbo's Book in Rivendell, a page with dwarven runes is shown. The runes translate thus: "Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks, and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the keyhole." This is a reference (actually a direct copy) to a map in the book "The Hobbit" and the runes tell of the secret entrance into The Lonely Mountain.
During filming, Liv Tyler left her pair of prosthetic ears on the dashboard of her car. When she returned they had melted.
Aragorn battling the Ringwraiths at Weathertop was Viggo Mortensen's very first day on set. It was also the first time that Mortensen had ever handled a sword.
Ian Holm, who plays Bilbo Baggins, was the voice of Frodo Baggins in the 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of "The Lord of The Rings".
The design for the Hobbits's feet took over a year to perfect. Over 1800 feet were produced for the 4 lead Hobbits alone, and each pair would take about an hour and a half to be put on over the actors' real feet.
During Bilbo's party Pippin can be seen in the band playing a guitar.
Ian McKellen teased Ian Holm that his old age make-up made him resemble Judi Dench's mother.
When you see Frodo and Gandalf sitting on a cart at the beginning, forced perspective means that Elijah Wood is 3 feet behind Ian McKellen.
When he makes tea for Gandalf, Bilbo mentions "cold chicken and pickles". A line from "The Hobbit" has Gandalf telling Bilbo to bring out the cold chicken and pickles.
The three trolls which were turned to stone in "The Hobbit" make a cameo in the background while Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Strider/Aragorn are resting after fleeing from Weathertop/Amon Sul.
Peter Jackson can be glimpsed outside the Prancing Pony holding a carrot. Originally it was supposed to be a pipe, but after a couple of puffs, he felt sick and went for the carrot instead.
Fans were offered the chance to have their names in the special edition's hugely lengthy closing credits for $39.95.
For the musical background to the chase in the mines of Moria, Howard Shore wanted some heavy chanting, so he cast a Maori choir.
The original plan was to film the trilogy in two movies. Miramax said that it had to be done in one movie so the producers went to New Line Cinema. When their presentation was done, one of the people at New Line told them that they were crazy and that the film had to be done as a trilogy. This caused the producers to go back and rewrite the script.
Ian McKellen hadn't read the books when he was first approached by Peter Jackson to play Gandalf. It was Jackson's enthusiasm for the project that won him over.
Bilbo Baggins' birthday cake has 111 candles on it and they eventually set fire to the polystyrene cake.
The scripts were essentially being rewritten every day of the 15 month shoot, most of which with the added input from the actors who were all now heavily involved with their characters.
Dominic Monaghan (Merry), wore a fat suit made of foam. He drank three liters of water a day so he would not dehydrate.
Peter Jackson's first two choices for the role of Aragorn were Daniel Day-Lewis and Russell Crowe. Crowe was excited about the prospect of being involved with a major motion picture in New Zealand, but couldn't commit due to scheduling conflicts in America. Crowe was born in and lived in New Zealand until he was four years old and his family moved to Australia.
Sean Bean swears that he was not actually in New Zealand on the day they shot the scene where the Fellowship departs from Rivendell, and that Boromir must have been digitally added to the shot.
Every actor in the film wore a wig apart from Billy Jackson, the director's (Peter Jackson) toddler son, seen listening wide-eyed to a tale told by Bilbo Baggins at his birthday party; he had perfect Hobbit hair.
Although Bill the pony is a feature of the novel, the writers initially decided not to include him as the Fellowship make their journey for the simple logistical reason of transporting a horse deep into the mountains. The problem was solved in the more difficult shots by using the classic pantomime trick of dressing two people up as a horse, one at the front and one at the back.
Sometimes when there is a close-up of the ring you can hear a gruff voice chanting. This is the voice of Sauron and the words he is chanting are, "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them," in the language of Mordor. Whenever Frodo puts the ring on, it is also Sauron speaking to him.
During the Fellowship's stay in Lothlorien, Boromir says that his father Denethor is "a noble man." In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Denethor is played by John Noble.
Ian McKellen based Gandalf's accent on that of J.R.R. Tolkien himself.
More than 1,600 pairs of latex ears and feet were used during the shoot, each "cooked" in a special oven running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There was no way of removing the feet at the end of the day without damaging them and so each pair could only be used once. The used feet were shredded to prevent a black market in stolen hobbit feet but apparently Dominic Monaghan (Merry) kept a pair.
As well as being the only member of the cast and crew to have met J.R.R. Tolkien face to face, Christopher Lee was also the first person to be cast in the trilogy because of his extensive knowledge of the books. He frequently visited the makeup department and often gave tips about the facial design of the monsters.
It's common practice with a high budget feature film to have more than one unit shooting at any one time, usually two or three. With "The Lord of the Rings", there were occasions when there would be between five and seven units shooting at any given time.
While filming the scenes on the River Anduin, Orlando Bloom and John Rhys-Davies were swept out of their boats.
Liv Tyler had never read any of the books when she was approached to appear in the film. She quickly boned up on Middle-earth lore, to the extent of even learning some Elvish.
The scene of Bilbo finding the Ring in the prologue was the last scene that Ian Holm shot as Bilbo Baggins. This same scene was also the first that Martin Freeman shot as Bilbo for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).
After the New Zealand premiere, director Peter Jackson joined the actors who played the nine members of the Fellowship by getting a commemorative tattoo of his own. While their tattoos were the Elvish symbol for "9", Jackson received an Elvish "10".
One of the indistinct words that Gandalf whispers to the moth when he is trapped by Saruman is "Gwaihir", the name of the eagle that later rescues him from the tower.
Sean Astin's scene underwater didn't really happen. He was filmed in a dry studio, with fans making his cloak billow. The water effects were added in afterwards by computer.
Enya's lyricist Roma Ryan learned Elvish for the two songs she contributed to the film.
In the mines of Moria, the battery for Ian McKellen's illuminated staff is hidden within the folds of his robes.
Sean Astin reckons that there were 50 separate days of the 15-month shoot where the Hobbits had their prosthetic feet applied and they were never seen on camera.
Although larger actors were cast as hobbits, and shrunk by special effects, the filmmakers discovered that full-size actors (i.e., six feet tall) did not look right when the effects were applied. Therefore, the hobbit actors averaged around 5'6".
Bret McKenzie makes a silent cameo as an elf during the Council of Elrond scene. His attractive character was noticed by fans, who dubbed him "Figwit" (short for "Frodo is great...who is THAT?!?"). His celebrity on the Internet was such that Peter Jackson (who has informally accepted the use of the name), brought him back in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), with two script dialogue lines.
Some of the customers in the Prancing Pony are walking around on stilts to emphasize the height disparity with the Hobbits.
The film stayed in the US top ten grossing films for 13 weeks.
Composers are usually involved with films for about six to eight weeks. By the time this film was released, Howard Shore's involvement was stretching back for two years.
Orlando Bloom originally auditioned for the part of Faramir, a supporting character (eventually played by David Wenham) in the next two movies. He was called back and subsequently cast, instead, in the more prominent role of Legolas.
Dominic Monaghan suffered from hay fever while filming the scene in the cornfield.
John Rhys-Davies suffered from a reaction to his prosthetics - usually inflammation around the eyes - that meant that he could never be shot on consecutive days but would always require at least a day off for his skin to return to normal. He was never anything less than 3 hours in the make-up chair.
Elijah Wood never wore a full chain-mail Mithril vest, only the top half.
Throughout the trilogy, the color of Legolas' eyes change from blue to brown. This is because the contact lenses Orlando Bloom was wearing scratched his corneas and could not be worn every day. In some of the shots, the post production team digitally changed the color of his eyes.
Usually on a feature film, when the director comes to view the dailies, there's about 20-25 minutes of footage to be seen. Because of the number of different units out filming at any one time, the dailies for "The Fellowship of the Ring" were about 3-4 hours long, ie, the length of the finished film.
Miramax was the first studio to express an interest in Peter Jackson's interpretation of the books but wanted to do it all in one film. Jackson refused, leaving him with four weeks to find another studio for funding, touting the project as two films. Calling upon his friend Mark Ordesky, who was an executive at New Line, a pitch was set up with New Line President Robert Shaye. His only quibble with the presentation was that it had to be three films.
Gollum looks different in this movie than in later installments, because scheduling forced those scenes to be filmed based on an early design (made before Andy Serkis was cast in the role). He is only seen in brief glimpses, partly due to this discrepancy, and partly to tease audiences before his entrance in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). Peter Jackson (jokingly) said in the commentary on the Extended DVD that sometime in the future he would enjoy creating a 'Special Edition' (a la Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)) where this inconsistency could be fixed.
During the council scene in Rivendell when the fate of the Ring is being decided, when Boromir makes his plea for the Ring to be brought to Gondor, the "Gondor theme" can faintly be heard; in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), when the characters finally reach Gondor, this theme is heard as a full orchestral piece. Composer Howard Shore didn't plan out that this Rivendell background music would develop into the "Gondor main theme" by the third film, but it ultimately did evolve into it.
In each film in the trilogy, the subtitle of the film is incorporated as dialogue. In this instance- Elrond: "So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of The Ring".
Cate Blanchett's role as Galadriel required her to film for only a month.
When Arwen escapes from the Black Riders through the river by flooding them, the spell she speaks isn't subtitled. According to the Encyclopedy of Arda (see External Links: Miscellaneous # 58), she says: "Nîn o Chithaeglir lasto beth daer; rimmo nín Bruinen dan in Ulaer", which means roughly "Waters of the Hithaeglir, hear the word of power, rush, waters of Bruinen, against the Ringwraiths"
Galadriel's home at Lothlorien was the largest miniature set built for the trilogy.
The map Gandalf picks up in Bilbo's study is a reproduction of the map J.R.R. Tolkien drew for the book "The Hobbit". The map is of Erebor, The Lonely Mountain, which is the site of the quest in The Hobbit. The map plays a significant role in Peter Jackson's later trilogy of films based on that book.
The voices of the Black Riders (heard when they reach the Shire, before Gandalf returns, and when Arwen carries Frodo across the river) were provided by Andy Serkis, the voice of Gollum.
Wherever possible, costume designer Ngila Dickson followed J.R.R. Tolkien's descriptions of the characters' clothing to the very letter. One such example is Bilbo Baggins's waistcoat which does indeed sport brass buttons, as referred to in "The Hobbit".
Costume designer Ngila Dickson had 40 seamstresses working for her, creating over 19,000 costumes.
During one take of the Buckleberry Ferry scene, a very strong splinter found its way through Dominic Monaghan's prosthetic foot and into his own causing him considerable pain. While crew members took the splinter out of his foot, Monaghan bragged to his fellow hobbits as to how large the splinter would be, but it ended up being very small. From that point on Billy Boyd would tease him about splinters whenever something happened to Dominic, much to Dominic's frustration.
The main sound elements for the cave troll were a walrus, a tiger and a horse.
The total crew amounted to over 3,000 people of which approximately over 300 were in the art department alone.
The New Zealand government brokered a new tax deal when New Line threatened to pull the production.
The water used on the Rivendell set was brought in and contained chlorine. The entire water system had to be water-proof so that the chlorinated water would not leak into the ground and contaminate natural water. After shooting was finished, the water used was collected back.
Peter Jackson shot many scenes directly from the earlier, animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (1978) directed by Ralph Bakshi.
Christopher Lee broke his left hand after he slammed it on his hotel door. The injury is obviously seen as Saruman jeers at the Fellowship's plight on Caradhras.
Ian Holm was always Peter Jackson's first choice to play Bilbo Baggins.
Before production began, it had to be determined whether computer effects could convincingly create battle scenes featuring thousands and thousands of warriors. Peter Jackson invested his own money in the pursuit of this software.
The Elves are speaking Quenya, a fictional language, which is influenced by Finnish.
In the extended DVD edition of the film, during the "Concerning Hobbits" prologue, there is a brief shot of Sam holding up a bunch of flowers by the rootball for planting. This is the only place in the trilogy where Sam - Bilbo and Frodo's gardener - is actually seen gardening.
Peter Jackson has the entire Bag End set in storage, hopefully for future use.
There are several close ups of fingers toying with the ring. While some have lovely cuticles and nails, some look quite ragged (see goofs). The latter are actually Elijah Wood's hands. He has a habit of biting his nails.
Sean Connery was, at one point, offered the role for Gandalf, but he turned it down due to reportedly "not understanding the story".
Large amounts of hair had to be imported into New Zealand for all the wigs. They found some women in Russia who were cutting their hair and selling it to film-makers.
While the rest of the Fellowship struggle through snow drifts, Legolas walks on the top of the snow. This is in line with the information given in the novel, where Elves are so lightweight that they are able to walk on top of snow.
One of the stuntmen dislocated a shoulder in the scene where the Hobbits tumble down the hill after pilfering vegetables. This was also the very first day of shooting.
The big trees in Lothlorien forest are made of rubber.
Security was tight on the set: at least 3 people were arrested for attempted break-ins.
The large tree that stands above Bag End was built especially by the production department. Every leaf had to be manually attached.
In one of the most obscure references to the books, Bilbo states proudly to Gandalf that Frodo is "... a Baggins, not some blockheaded Bracegirdle from Hardbottle". Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, the relative who knocks on the door during this scene, is mentioned in the books as being born a Bracegirdle from Hardbottle.
Co-producer Rick Porras's wedding ring was the template for the One Ring.
Ranked #2 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Fantasy" in June 2008.
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, changed its name to Middle Earth for the film's opening.
About 28 separate Hobbit holes had to be built for the Shire. Each one had to be different.
The jeweler that made the different sized rings that were featured in the movies is in Nelson, New Zealand. Two of the rings (the biggest and the smallest) are there for public viewing.
It took eleven hours for Lawrence Makoare's full costume and makeup to be applied for the role of Lurtz.
During production, writer Brian Sibley visited the set. Sibley had previously written the BBC Radio adaptation (with Ian Holm), as well as the text to two maps of Middle-Earth. In this case, he was researching for two books about the production of the film version. He met co-writer Fran Walsh, and discovered that they both had an interest in genealogy. They discovered that they had common ancestors buried in New Zealand and were, therefore, distant cousins.
Although David Bowie was said to be keen on playing Elf Lord Elrond, the part went instead to Hugo Weaving.
Although the film received a PG rating in the UK, it was with a disclaimer that some scenes might be unsuitable for young children. After Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), it was only the third film to receive such a disclaimer.
29 Ringwraith costumes were made in total.
At the birthday party, when Bilbo is naming various hobbit families, he says "Proudfoots" and a hobbit calls back "Proudfeet", with his large feet in the foreground. The shot was deliberately framed to imitate the shot used in The Lord of the Rings (1978), as an homage to the film that introduced Peter Jackson to J.R.R. Tolkien's works.
Elijah Wood dressed up in breeches and a flowing shirt and went out into the hills to shoot his audition tape. His friend George Huang directed the video.
At Bree, when the Nazgul "kill" the hobbits, Peter Jackson does a close up reaction shot of Merry, as he pulls back you can see Frodo come into frame. To facilitate the shot he wanted, Jackson had Elijah Wood sit on the very edge of the bed and then slide in as the camera pulled back. If you watch carefully you can see he is in motion.
Peter Jackson considered casting Sylvester McCoy as Bilbo Baggins before settling on Ian Holm. McCoy would later play Radagast the Brown in The Hobbit prequel trilogy.
When Gimli proclaims "Nobody tosses a dwarf," this is a reference to the bizarre 1970s fad of dwarf tossing.
During the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, twenty minutes of the film was shown to a crowd at a nearby castle, including members of the production - the first time the film's actors had seen any completed footage.
John Howe designed Bag End to resemble a perfectly English home even though he's never actually been to England.
New Zealand's army was cast as extras for large battle scenes in the film, but was forced to back out due to having to serve as peacekeepers in East Timor.
Although Frodo calls him Uncle Bilbo, Frodo is in fact (according to J.R.R. Tolkien) Bilbo's second cousin once removed, which is also how Pippin describes his relationship with Frodo in the Prancing Pony.
The Tolkien estate was never in favor of Peter Jackson's film adaptation but seeing as J.R.R. Tolkien signed the rights away in 1968 for $15,000 ($99,233.19 in 2012 dollars), there was nothing they could do about it. Tolkien's grandson Simon Tolkien came out in support of the production and was, according to some accounts, disowned by his relatives, although Simon's father Christopher Tolkien later denied this.
When Bilbo makes his farewell speech at the party, Dominic Monaghan read the speech for the reaction shots of the hobbits.
Although Bilbo Baggins's opening scenes are in Hobbiton, Ian Holm never actually worked on the location. His scenes were all done against blue screen.
There is a second hidden extra in the 4-disc version of the DVD. It is the preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), that was attached to theatrical prints of Fellowship of the Ring near the end of its cinema run. You can find it by going to the chapter index of the second disc, going to the last chapter "Official Fan Club Credits" and pressing "down". An icon of The Two Towers appears. Press play and you'll see Peter Jackson presenting this feature. The same trailer is on disc two of the blu-ray release. Just stay at the special features screen after letting the extended credits roll.
'Moria' in Koine Greek quite appropriately means "folly" or "foolishness." In Elvish it just means "black chasm". In Italian (accent on "i") it means a deadly epidemic, like pest or smallpox. In Dwarvish it's Khazad-dûm, a very more reassuring "House of the Dwarves"...
WILHELM SCREAM: 00:3:20 after Sauron's third strike that kills a swath of enemies, The Ring is displayed while he is clutching his weapon. It can be heard briefly and partially.
Howard Shore used the music of Richard Wagner as his primary influence for the films' musical scores.
As Gandalf and the others leap the stairway gap in Moria while fleeing the balrog, incoming arrows shot at them by goblins high above seem to rapidly flex. This is not an accidental special-effects artifact; arrows actually do this, and it contributes to stable flight, similar to a gyroscope's effect. That one of Legolas' arrows does not flex in a flying-point-of-view shot may indicate that elvish arrows are enchanted - or that the filmmakers just wanted to spare the audience the extra distraction in that shot.
The city visited by Gandalf when he's looking for information about Bilbo's ring after his birthday party is Minas Tirith, shown extensively in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
Pregnancy changed Peter Jackson's vision of "Lord of the Rings". Originally, he wanted to cast Lucy Lawless as Galadriel and Uma Thurman as Arwen. Unfortunately, both actresses became pregnant after being asked to read, and the roles were filled in by Cate Blanchett and Liv Tyler, respectively. Uma Thurman was also considered for to play Eowyn in later installments, but Miranda Otto landed that role.
The shots that were too visually complex to be conveyed on a storyboard were rendered digitally on a computer in a stage known as pre-visualisation. Peter Jackson received a lot of pointers on this from George Lucas and his Star Wars producer Rick McCallum at Skywalker Ranch. When he returned to New Zealand, he hired a lot of recent digital artist graduates to help him create his previz concepts.
With the exception of the Bridge of Khazad-Dum, there are no curves or circles in the architecture of Moria - only polygons.
On the film's first theatrical release, a story circulated (and was reported in the goofs section) that when Sam tells Frodo that he is now the farthest he has ever been from home, a car is visible driving by in the background (top-right corner of the screen). Arguments ensued. Some said it was smoke from a chimney, others said they saw the glint of sunlight reflected from the windscreen of a fast-moving vehicle. In the version of the film released on DVD there is definitely no car, only chimney smoke and a one-frame flash of light that could conceivably be a car, but not in any sense that could be considered a goof. Peter Jackson says (in the commentary track on the Extended DVD) that he looked at every frame on a computer and has never seen anything resembling a car and claims that it's nonsense (and certainly the original sighting remains unconfirmed by IMDb goof spotters). In the documentary of extended DVD version, editor John Gilbert says that there was a car in the background, but they thought no-one would notice it. They got rid of it in the DVD version. In a subsequent magazine interview, Jackson agreed that the car was there.
While Christopher Lee was always Peter Jackson's first choice for the role of Saruman. Jackson did consider Tim Curry, Jeremy Irons and Malcolm McDowell for the role.
Liam Neeson turned down the role of Boromir.
Bilbo's cake caught fire as he was about to leave the party, but Ian Holm gamely finished the scene.
Twenty of the 30 minutes of the unusually long credits at the end of the Extended Edition, are dedicated to listing the Charter Members of the Official Lord of the Rings Fan Club. Included as Charter Members are Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, and many other cast and crew members.
Bilbo says the words, "I'm not at home," when some relatives bang on his door. "Not At Home" is also a chapter title from The Hobbit.
John Howe, brought in to work on the production because of his longstanding reputation as being one of the great artists of J.R.R. Tolkien's work, was given the task of designing the Moria Orcs himself.
In order to make "forced perspective" a bit more interesting, the filmmakers devised a totally new system consisting of a pulley and a platform. When the camera moved (which is normally impossible as the forced perspective would become obvious) the actor(s) also moved, and the perspective (7-foot Gandalf - 4-foot hobbits) would always be okay. They also used three differently sized props (large, medium, small) to interact with the different sized characters
This film was the first recipient of The American Film Institute's Movie of the Year Award.
The portraits hanging above the fireplace in Bag End are based on the likenesses of director Peter Jackson and producer Fran Walsh.
The overall budget for all 3 films was $300 million. Add another $200 million for the publicity and marketing of all 3.
Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned for the role of Frodo.
Daniel Day-Lewis turned down the role of Aragorn. Nicolas Cage also turned down the role due to family obligations.
New Line insisted on a prologue of two minutes. What they got was one that lasts for seven and a half.
The bridge in Hobbiton was built by the New Zealand army out of polystyrene.
1800 Hobbit feet were made for the production.
The Weta Workshop produced 58 miniatures which were so large and detailed they were nicknamed "bigatures".
Though this is the first time that three films have been shot concurrently, it is not the first time that more than one film in a planned series has been shot simultaneously. In fact, the cast of this film features actors from the other projects. Christopher Lee had appeared in The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge (1974)--although those films were shot as one, then decided later to split in two. Elijah Wood made his film debut in Back to the Future Part II (1989), which was shot back-to-back with Back to the Future Part III (1990). Hugo Weaving and later Bruce Spence (who played the Mouth of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Extended Edition) also appeared in The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), which were shot at the same time.
In August 2002 the DVD/ video release set a UK record when it chalked up sales of 2.4 million.
The designs for the Mines of Moria sets were inspired by the works of Venetian artist Gian-Battista Piranesi and Dutch artist M.C. Escher.
Development of a live-action adaptation of the "Lord Of The Rings" books had been in process as far back as 1957, when Hugo award-winning science fiction magazine editor Forrest J Ackerman had successfully convinced J.R.R. Tolkien himself to grant him permission to attempt one. In the 40+ years before Peter Jackson finally managed to film the trilogy, John Boorman, Stanley Kubrick, and even The Beatles had all either attempted or expressed interest in filming their own adaptation.
Anthony Hopkins and Kate Winslet both turned down roles in the trilogy.
When the Fellowship are attempting to cross the Misty Mountains, you can clearly see the 8 trudging through the snow, while Legolas simply walks on top of the snow, barely making tracks in it (as described in the novels).
Cate Blanchett joked that she took the role of Galadriel because, "I've always wanted pointy ears".
Dominic Monaghan (Merry) originally auditioned for the role of Frodo Baggins.
John Astin, Sean Astin's father, was considered for the role of Gandalf. He had also worked with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh before in The Frighteners (1996), and came back very excited about their passion for film, which led to Sean Astin to pursue the role of Sam.
Tolkién based Gandalf on two figures of mythology: first Väinämöinen, the hero of the Finnish epic Kalevala. The other is Odin, the mayor deity god of Norse Mythology. Odin is traditionally seen as an old one-eyed wanderer, with a long grey beard, an old brimmed hat and a staff. Tolkién refereed to Gandalf as an "Odinic wanderer".
Stuntwoman Lani Jackson doubled for Arwen for some fight scenes that were cut from the film. Jackson does appear in the film trilogy as various stunt orcs.
After much deliberation, it was decided to do away with a prologue as it would have been so overstuffed with information. It was only after production had wrapped and Peter Jackson had flown to London to start working on the scoring of the film did he get an instruction from New Line, the film's backers, which said there had to be a prologue. So, while Howard Shore was recording the music track, Jackson and his editor John Gilbert would be huddled in a corner with an Avid machine, compiling the footage that he had originally dispensed with.
There were supposed to be 144 Hobbits at Bilbo Baggins' party. Due to budgetary constraints, there are actually only 100.
There are 47 chimneys in the Hobbiton location.
The sounds of the Orcs were in part recordings of elephant seal pups at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, a marine mammal hospital that rescues, rehabilitates and releases sick and injured seals, sea lions, whales, and dolphins.
Richard Taylor's Weta Workshop made over 45,000 individual items from prosthetics to armor for the films.
Tom Wilkinson was offered a role in the trilogy, but he didn't like the prospect of a year long production keeping him away from his family.
In the French version, names are translated (as in the books) into names that sound medieval to French people. Thus, Frodo and Bilbo Baggins are called "Frodon et Bilbon Sacquet", the Shire is "La Comté", Rivendell is "Fondcombe", and so on.
Sean Astin's father, John Astin, auditioned for the role of Gandalf.
Tom Baker was a candidate for the role of Gandalf after his brief, but praised, cameo as the dying elven king in Dungeons & Dragons (2000).
Movie theater prints of The Fellowship of the Ring were labeled "Changing Seasons" on the film can and the actual reels.
Warwick Davis, Timothy Spall and Robert Trebor auditioned for the role of Gimli.
The entire trilogy was voted #9 in Total Film's 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time list (November 2005).
A scene involving the Fellowship escaping the Uruk-Hai via some river rapids had to be abandoned as extreme flooding in the Queenstown area had washed the set away.
Sam Neill was considered for the role of Gandalf.
The MTV Council of Elrond spoof easter egg Lord of the Piercing (2002) does not appear on the UK version of the 4-disc set. This is because the BBFC would have required a "12" certificate for the set had it been included, instead of a "PG" certificate. For the same reason one of the documentaries has had some swearing cut out.
Bill Bailey auditioned for the role of Gimli.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #50 Greatest Movie of All Time. This film was the most recently released entry of the 100 motion pictures compiled in the AFI's list.
Robin Atkin Downes and Jason Carter auditioned for the role of Aragorn.
Sean Connery was reportedly offered the role of Gandalph but turned it down because he didn't understand it.
Producer Tim Sanders left the project after principal photography had commenced.
About 3,100 shots (78% of the Super 35 film) were color graded at Colorfront in Wellington, NZ using 5D Colossus software after being scanned by an Imagica XE scanner full 2K resolution (2048*1536). The color-graded shots were then recorded on Kodak 5242 intermediate film by two Arri Laser film recorders at 10 bits per channel. Because only 78% of the film was digital, a digitally squeezed anamorphic print could not be made for the whole movie. Instead, the digital shots were recorded on an inter-negative hardmatted at 1.77:1, intercut with the non-digital original negative (which had been color timed by The Film Unit, NZ), and printed to 2.39:1 anamorphic Kodak film using an optical printer at Deluxe, LA. Fuji 3519-D was used for release prints.
James Horner was contacted to compose the music for the film but he was unavailable because of his work on A Beautiful Mind (2001). The choice of Howard Shore as composer took some people by surprise because he was associated with dark thriller films and he never worked on an epic film of this scale. He ultimately won his first Academy Award for Best Original Score for this film.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Cameo 

John Howe, Alan Lee:  In the prologue, the two most famous Middle-earth artists can be seen as two of the nine human kings.

Director Cameo 

Peter Jackson:  As the belching peasant, outside the Prancing Pony Inn in Bree.

Director Trademark 

Peter Jackson:  [children]  Jackson's children Billy Jackson and Katie Jackson are listed in the end credits as "Cute Hobbit Children".

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The ironic part about the Fellowship mourning the loss of Gandalf was, at that point, none of the cast members had met Ian McKellen, let alone seen him dressed up as the wizard.
The dummy of Sean Bean's body, seen at the end, was so convincing that a crew member, while taking lunch orders, asked other cast members if he wanted anything.
When Frodo is leaving everyone behind at the river Anduin to take up the quest on his own, divers went into the water to make sure it would be free of any sharp objects or debris for Sean Astin to run into when Sam goes chasing after him. Although they gave the OK, Sean ended up stepping on a piece of glass that completely pierced his foot from top to bottom, requiring a helicopter to transport him to the nearest hospital and several stitches.
Sean Bean is wearing a fiberglass bodysuit underneath his costume for his death scene to stop the arrows sticking out of him from wobbling.
J.R.R. Tolkien's original novel describes the fate of all of the surviving dwarves from The Hobbit. Gimli originally comes to Rivendell only to escort his father, Gloin; a member of Bilbo's quest; who has come to inform the Elves that servants of Sauron are searching for Bilbo. Gimli ends up being selected so that the Dwarves, along with all the other free peoples of Middle-Earth, would be represented in the Fellowship. Balin, whose tomb the find in Moria, was also a member. Sadly, most of the other surviving dwarves accompanied Balin there and were killed when the Orcs and the Balrog returned.
That's a silicon shell of Sean Bean that goes over the waterfall at the end.
The climax of the film actually inter-cuts the last chapter of the book (Boromir trying to take the Ring from Frodo, Frodo's escape and his departure with Sam) with the first chapter of the second book, which shows Boromir's death and funeral, Merry and Pippin's capture, and Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas beginning their pursuit of the Orcs.
Production designer Grant Major personally supervised the translation of all the writings in Balin's tomb into Dwarvish. He was then horrified to learn that a visiting J.R.R. Tolkien scholar had taken great offence at seeing the phrase "Joe was here" among the writings. They scoured the contents of Balin's tomb and found nothing, only to learn that the scholar - who was overly serious about everything to do with Tolkien - had been told this by a crew carpenter who has having a joke at his expense. Intrepid fans later published screen captures and translations of Moria wall segments where the runes spelled "John was here" and "Made in New Zealand". During pre-production, Weta artists asked Tolkien expert Michael Martinez if there were any examples of Orc graffiti in the book. Martinez found one citation (in the chapter where Frodo, Sam, and Gollum see a defaced statue in Gondor). He used other passages to argue that the Orcs would have used runes to carve graffiti on Moria's walls.
The chapter titles "A Long-expected Party", "A Short Cut to Mushrooms", "The Bridge of Khazad-dum", "Lothlorien", and "The Breaking of the Fellowship" from "The Fellowship of The Ring" are spoken lines at their respective points in the storyline with the exception of "The Breaking of The Fellowship" which is foreshadowed during the scene at "The Mirror of Galadriel". "Riddles In The Dark" is also mentioned - the name of a chapter from "The Hobbit". In the extended version released on DVD, the prologue title "Concerning Hobbits" was mentioned by Ian Holm (Bilbo) in the opening scenes at Bag End - before the first chapter is named.
Body count: 118

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page