57 Epic Lord Of The Rings Facts That Would Blow Your Mind

Sridevi Tolety
Dec 27, 2022 By Sridevi Tolety
Originally Published on Mar 11, 2022
Edited by Naomi Carr
One of the 'Lord Of The Rings' facts is that each part of this fantasy film holds the title for best visual effects in the entire cinematic world

'Lord Of The Rings' is a magical, adventurous movie that comprises every element a movie should contain: suspense, sadness, excitement, and most importantly, the phenomenal special effects.

The Beatles wanted to make a film in the '60s with Paul McCartney as Frodo and John Lennon as Gollum. However, Tolkien wasn't in favor of handing over the rights to the Beatles.

Peter Jackson directed this movie, he took a novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien and created an awesome fictional movie.

The development of this movie began in Peter Jackson's native New Zealand in 1997 and all three films were shot consecutively from October 1999 until December 2000.

Many other filmmakers and producers backed off on creating this movie, where Peter Jackson boldly took on the challenge and created what is considered to be the most epic movie series of all time.

Concept And Creation

Adapting one of the greatest works of fiction into a highly successful fantasy film would not have been possible without meticulous planning and execution. Here are a few facts regarding the concept and creation of 'Lord Of The Rings.'

Peter Jackson originally intended to make a trilogy where 'The Hobbit' would be the first part, and the 'Lord Of The Rings' would be adapted into the next two sequels.

With the film adaptation rights for 'The Hobbit' not being available, Jackson decided to make a trilogy of the 'Lords Of The Rings' books instead.

Harvey Weinstein's Miramax studios originally wanted Peter Jackson to direct a single 'Lord Of The Rings' film. Later, New Line Cinema bought out the rights after watching footage that Jackson had prepared to convince studios to start filming.

The production team included 2400 personnel and 26,000 extras.

Amazingly, all three films were to be filmed back to back.

The art designers built 64 miniature sets. Some were so large and detailed that they were called 'Bigatures.'

Jackson wanted the film to have practical effects wherever possible to give Middle Earth a real-world feel.

The walled city of Minas Tirith was the largest set ever built.

A vegetable garden was planted in Hobbiton a year before filming started to give it a natural Middle Earth feel.

Every single shot was digitally stored in a massive computer database for post-production edits and developments, which was the first time this has been attempted.

The huge battle scenes in 'The Fellowship Of The Ring' were conceived in Weta's proprietary crowd behavior simulation software, called Massive, which enhanced the scale and realism of a small crowd into a massive one to give the illusion of an epic battle.

Plots Of LOTR

The plot of 'The Lord Of The Rings' is so complex and rich in its literary tone; it has themes of friendship, sacrifice, revenge, war, magic, drama, and horror all weaved into something which resonates strongly with our pop culture today.

The 'Lord Of The Rings' book was published in 1954. Tolkein wrote the book during World War Two, which would explain the story's darker overall tone compared to 'The Hobbit.'

The film begins with a quick backstory to the Ring of Power and the rise and fall of Sauron, along with the passing of the ring into Bilbo Baggins' hands.

'The Fellowship Of The Ring' focuses on three main aspects. The Shire introduces Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins and Ian McKellen as Gandalf, followed by an escape to Rivendell, where the Fellowship is formed and culminating with the battle in the mines of Moria.

The second installment, 'The Two Towers', follows the split of the members of the Fellowship into three storylines, each interwoven into the screenplay. Frodo and Sam attempt to reach Mount Doom, aided by Gollum. Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli try to rescue Pippin and Merry, who have an adventure of their own with the Ents.

Peter Jackson decided to make the Battle of Helm's Deep the main climax of the second film, although this battle was not that extensive in the book.

Saruman, played by Christopher Lee, was made the principal antagonist of the 'Two Towers', with Sauron adorning the role of the big baddie in the final chapter.

The final film, 'The Return Of The King', culminates with the Battle of Minas Tirith, which takes up most of the second act.

Saruman's death is only seen in the extended edition of the film.

Frodo entering Sauron's tower and destroying the Ring of Power forms the climax of this eleven-and-a-half-hour saga.

The fight scenes in the third part were path-breaking pieces of filming that capture the despair, relentlessness, and eventual victory of good over evil.

In the extended version of the films, there are almost two hours and eight minutes of additional footage edited into the theatrical release.

Peter Jackson decided to make certain characters speak Elvish and incorporated subtitles for those parts.

Location And Cast And Crew

The entire movie was shot in New Zealand with international crew members at different locations. An American film production studio named New line Cinema produced this movie, supported by WingNut Films, a New Zealand-based production company.

Peter Jackson directed these movies. Fran Walsh and Philipa Boyens wrote the screenplay.

The movie was produced by Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, and Tim Sanders.

Andrew Lesnie was the cinematographer for all three films.

John Gilbert, Jamie Selkirk, and Michael Horton edited the movie.

The movie's musical score was composed by Howard Shore.

Sean Connery was first offered the role of Gandalf, but turned down the role revealing that he did not understand the script.

Eventually, the role of Gandalf went to Ian McKellen, who declined the offer due to scheduling conflict with his ongoing film, 'X-Men'. 'Lord Of The Rings' filming was scheduled to start three days before the completion of 'X-Men'. The schedule was revised, and Ian McKellen was finally roped in.

Christopher Lee, cast as Saruman, was a die-hard fan of the 'Lord Of The Rings' and 'Hobbit' books. Christopher Lee was the only cast member to have met Tolkien personally in a pub in Oxford.

Elijah Wood was cast as Frodo Baggins after auditioning for the role. He was revealed to have followed a method-acting approach to get into the character's skin, just for the audition itself.

To create the height difference, Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood shot many scenes in the Shire that required both to act simultaneously in two different sets built next to each other. With each of the separate cameras capturing their movements, they could superimpose them together in the post edit to create the effect of the massive height difference.

The rest of the cast members, along with different locations, are as follows:

The role of Aragorn was portrayed by actor Viggo Mortensen.

The role of Samwise Gamgee role was played by Sean Astin.

The role of the elf, Legolas, was played by Orlando Bloom.

The role of Smeagol or Gollum was played by Andy Serkis using motion capture technology.

The role of Pippin Took was played by Billy Boyd.

The role of Boromir was played by actor Sean Bean.

The role of the dwarf, Gimli, was played by John Rhys-Davies.

The role of Galadriel was played by actress Cate Blanchett.

The role of Arwen was played by Liv Tyler, who is the daughter of rock legend Steven Tyler.

One of the best walks on the north island of New Zealand is Mount Doom which is also called Mount Ngauruhoe in Tongariro National Park. You get a nice view of Mordor and Mount Doom while trekking.

The actual Kaitoke Regional Park, shown as Rivendell in the 'Lord Of The Rings' movie, where Frodo Baggins, played by Elijah Wood, recovered from a knife attack.

Gollum, Frodo, and Sam left Faramir in Waitakere Forest, the fictional Osgiliath Wood.

There is a place known as the Putangirua Islands in the Wellington region where Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas desired the Paths of the Dead.

Jens Hansen, a goldsmith, was responsible for making the 40 different rings used in the entire movie series.

Jackson, the director, filmed the epic battle of the Pellonor fields in Mackenzie country near Twizel. The filming of this battle took around 32 days, and nearly 1700 people were used on set.

'The Two Towers' starting sequence was shot in Mount Earnslaw from the northern end of Lake Wakatipu.

The Gardens of Isengard, which was shot at Leafy Harcourt park, is where Gandalf, played by Ian McKellen, warns Saruman, played by Christopher Lee, about the One Ring.

Peter Jackson chose the magnificent mountain, Mount Sunday, for the location Edoras, the capital of Rohan, in 'The Two Towers' and 'The Return Of The King.' 

Box Office And Industry Response

'Lord Of The Rings' was an astronomical success, a critically acclaimed box office phenomenon that changed the landscape of cinema in the years to come.

'The Fellowship Of The Ring' had a worldwide gross box office collection of $891,216,824, including 13 Academy Award nominations and four wins.

'The Two Towers' had a worldwide gross box office collection of $919,148,764, including six Academy Award nominations and two wins.

'The Return Of The King' had a worldwide gross box office collection of $1,120,214,046, along with 11 Academy Award nominations and 11 wins, tying with Titanic and Ben-Hur for most wins.

The multiple Academy Award-winning film is considered a landmark for cinema and created a boom in tourism in New Zealand

Comparisons With Written Work

For adapting the books to film, several scenes had to be altered or edited out to appeal to the visual medium of storytelling. A few of the 'Lord Of The Rings' facts about these differences are below.

The elves in the books had a merrier tone than in the movies, which portray them with a grim and dark tone to complement the serious tone of the movie.

Frodo in the books was aged around 50; however, the movie version had a 20-year-old Elijah Wood playing the character. Although hobbits do live to be a lot older than humans.

Sauron's Eye near Mount Doom is just a metaphor for his evil vision in the books. However, it is represented as an actual flaming eye in the movie.

The Army of the Dead only helps Aragorn take over the ships in the book. In the movie, however, they also join him in the battle of Minas Tirith.


What is so special about 'Lord Of The Rings?'

'Lord Of The Rings' is special because of the innovative idea to create Middle Earth. Of course, the director Peter Jackson rendered it with astounding special effects, which awestricken viewers found to be a visual treat.

Who didn't wear a wig in 'Lord Of The Rings?'

Billy Boyd, who plays Pippin, didn't wear a wig in this movie, as hi dad suggested that his natural curls would be perfect for the role of a hobbit.

Is 'Lord Of The Rings' based on true events?

'Lord Of The Rings' is purely a fictional story and it is in no way based on any true events.

Who did their own stunts in the films?

Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn of Arathorn, did his own stunts. Also, Orlando Bloom, who played Legolas Greenleaf, did most of his stunts himself.

What mythology is 'Lord Of The Rings' based on?

J.R.R Tolkien was heavily influenced by Norse Mythology.

What does the ring symbolize?

There are many interpretations of the ring both in the movies and novels. In simple terms, the ring symbolizes pure evil and those who possess it gain power, but it corrupts their mind to do terrible things.

Was 'The Lord Of The Rings' based on World War Two?

No, Tolkien wrote 'The Lord Of The Rings' book during World War Two, but the story is not based on that.

Did they film all three 'Lord Of The Rings' movies at once?

Yes, all three films were shot simultaneously.

Where did they shoot 'Lord Of The Rings?'

The entire trilogy was shot in New Zealand, covering more than 150 locations in the south and north islands.

What tattoo did the cast of 'Lord Of The Rings' get?

Most of the cast got a tattoo of the word nine, written in Elvish, as is portrayed in the film.

When was 'Lord Of The Rings' written?

'Lord Of The Rings' was written in stages between 1937 and 1949.

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Written by Sridevi Tolety

Bachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

Sridevi Tolety picture

Sridevi ToletyBachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.

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