The Lord of the Rings Movie Trivia



  • Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragorn, but was replaced by Viggo Mortensen after four days of shooting due to creative differences.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis turned down the role of Aragorn.
  • Ian Holm, who plays Bilbo Baggins, was the voice of Frodo Baggins in the classic BBC Radio adaptation of “The Lord of The Rings” in the 1970s.
  • 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.
  • Orlando Bloom originally auditioned for the part of Faramir. He was called back and subsequently cast, instead, as Legolas.
  • Dominic Monaghan (Merry), wore a fat suit made of foam. He drank three liters of water a day so he would not dehydrate.
  • Sean Astin gained 30 pounds for his role as Samwise.
  • 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.
  • Viggo made the Weta designers create sharpening stones he could carry in his belt pouches since Aragorn would have needed them.
  • Orlando Bloom (Legolas) did most of his own stunts and broke a rib in the process.
  • John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) developed an allergic reaction to his makeup.
  • During filming, Liv Tyler left her pair of prosthetic ears on the dashboard of her car. When she returned they had melted.
  • Christopher Lee reads “The Lord of the Rings” once a year and is the only member of the cast and crew ever to have met Tolkien.
  • As well as being the only member of the cast and crew to have met 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.
  • 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.
  • Ian McKellen based Gandalf’s accent on that of Tolkien himself.
  • 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.
  • Eight of the nine members of the Fellowship got a small tattoo, the Elvish symbol for “9” at a tattoo parlor in Wellington, New Zealand, to commemorate the experience of the movie. The ninth member, Rhys-Davies, John, declined and sent his stunt double in his place. Elijah Wood’s tattoo is on his lower stomach. Two of the other hobbits 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. Ian McKellen’s is on his shoulder.
  • 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”.
  • Peter Jackson gave the ring used in the movies to Elijah Wood as gift when the shoot was finished.
  • 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.
  • The scream of the Ringwraiths is actually Frances Walsh, the co-writer and co-producer of the film.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • During the long nightshoot at Helm’s Deep, the Orcs had to find ways to entertain themselves. Sala Baker comments, “We had about 60 guys singing in the middle of the night– singing and waiting for the next shot. It was really cool. The crew would join in.. it was a way to keep ourselves amused. The guitar would come out, and all those Uruk-hai and beserkers sat around jamming!
  • Billy Boyd also says, “To keep up morale, they would bring a band in– a string quartet or something– during lunch. It was nice. One day, they brought this jazz band in, and someone in full Uruk-hai costume started dancing. I remember thinking that was quite bizarre. You never really sat with the Uruk-hai, even at lunch! You knew the people, but the Hobbits didn’t sit with the Uruk-hai! We’re sitting there watching this guy dancing, and I thought, “That’s something you don’t see every day.”


  • 5,000 cubic metres of vegetables and flowers were grown a year before the filming started to make Hobbiton.
  • 250 horses were used. 70 of these were specially trained, including five miniature horses used for the hobbits.
  • A lot of the sets were carved out of polystyrene, to make them look like wood which had aged over thousands of years.
  • 64 miniature sets were used to create places such as the Land of the Dwarves and Khazad-Dum.
  • Over 50,000 of coffee was drunk by the crew and cast during the 18 months of filming.
  • When the trailer was released on Internet on 7 April 2001, it was downloaded 1.6 million times in the first 24 hours.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002), and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (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).
  • About 18,000 costumes were created from scratch for LOTR.
  • 1,460 eggs were served to the cast and crew for breakfast for every day of shooting.
  • Over 12.5 million plastic rings were made for the chain mail armors in the movie.
  • 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.


  • 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. 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.
  • Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, changed its name to Middle Earth for the film’s opening.
  • This film was the first recipient of The American Film Institute’s Movie of the Year Award.
  • The original plan was to film “The Hobbit” starring Warwick Davis. But when Miramax balked at the $75 million dollar price tag Peter Jackson took it to New Line which gave him nearly $300 million to make the trilogy.
  • The Elvish language lines spoken in the film are not just quotes from the book, they were derived from 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.
  • 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 Hobbit’s are walking through the forest and see a man with a feathered cap dart through the tree’s, then they hear Tom singing and begin running through the forest, but ran out of time to film it.



  • Peter Jackson’s two children are listed in the end credits as “Cute Hobbit Children”.
  • The Orc blacksmiths shown beneath Isengard are actually the WETA Workshop staff who made the weapons used in the film.
  • Concept Designer, Alan Lee has a cameo in the beginning of the movie as the eighth of the human kings that receives a ring of power.
  • The three trolls which were turned to stone in “The Hobbit” are in the background during the scene where Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Strider/Aragorn are resting after fleeing from Weathertop/Amon Sul.
  • The portraits hanging above the fireplace in Bag End are based on the likenesses of director Peter Jackson and producer Frances Walsh.


  • Viggo Mortensen lost a tooth while filming a fight sequence. He went to the dentist on his lunch break, had it patched up, and returned to the set that afternoon.
  • While filming the scene where Sam rushes through the river after Frodo, Sean Astin stepped on a shard of glass that was sticking up from the riverbed. It pierced his foot, even through the prosthetic foot, which bled so much he had to be airlifted to hospital.
  • 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 Jackson thought McKellen did a great job “acting through” the mistake, and so kept it in.
  • Bilbo’s cake caught fire as he was about to leave the party, but Ian Holm gamely finished the scene.
  • Whilst filming the scenes on the River Anduin, Orlando Bloom and John Rhys Davies were swept out of their boat.
  • During filming, most of the members of the Fellowship took up surfing in New Zealand in their spare time. Among them was Viggo Mortenson, 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 scene in the Mines of Moria when they find the grave of Gimli’s relative, Aragorn is only seen from one side in the whole scene.
  • During one scene in Isengard Saruman keeps his left hand out of sight inside his robe, this was to hide the fact that it was bandaged. Christopher Lee had broken his hand after he slammed it on his hotel door.


  • Hobbiton was filmed in the Hinuera Valley near Matamata, New Zealand. The village was constructed and plants and trees were planted a year before filming so the set had an aged look as though Hobbits had lived there for hundreds of years.
  • The map Gandalf picks up in Bilbo’s study is a reproduction of the map Tolkien drew for the book “The Hobbit”.
  • To make the many sparkling lights in Galadriel’s eyes, the crew put white Christmas lights behind the camera.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • There is a hidden extra in the 4-disc version of the Region 1 DVD. It is a spoof of the Council of Elrond, prepared by MTV and starring Jack Black and Sarah Michelle Gellar. You can find it by going to the chapter index of the first disc, going to the last chapter “The Council of Elrond” and use the down arrow to go a gold ring immediately under that chapter. The gold ring only appears when the cursor is there. Press play and you’ll see Peter Jackson presenting this feature.
  • The MTV Council of Elrond spoof easter egg 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. 
  • 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.


  • Sean Bean starred in a UK TV series as a soldier during the Napoleonic wars by the name of Richard Sharpe. He subsequently appeared in a series of commercials where he would allude to his earlier role, saying things like, “Sharpe idea”. In this movie he continues the joke: after touching the Sword of Elendil he says, “Still Sharpe.”
  • 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.
  • The voice of the Ringwraith when he says “Shire… Baggins…” is Andy Serkis.
  • 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”.

The Two Towers


  • John Rhys-Davies, also provided the voice for Treebeard.
  • Viggo Mortensen was so impressed with the horse his character rides that he purchased him from the owners. The horse was shipped back to New Zealand for the additional shots that were filmed in 2002.
  • Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan spent so much time up the tree (TreeBeard) during the making of the the film that they spent their time between takes writing a screenplay. Additionally, it was so difficult to get up and down to their “perches” that they were left there during breaks while the rest of the crew went off to eat, though someone was kind enough to pass theirs up to them.
  • Short movie filmed in New Zealand by Sean Astin during the making of the Lord of The Rings movies using High Definition Digital Video camera equipment that LucasFilm was demoing for Peter Jackson – Astin asked the Lucas Film crew if they could stay an extra day so he could use the camera to shoot his short film. It stars many cast and crew members from the LOTR films, including a cameo appearance by director Peter Jackson as a bus driver.

    The entire film was made in one day.

    The bus that Peter Jackson drives, has two Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) posters.

  • Prior to Emiliana Torrini, Bjork was originally approached at several stages of the production to both co-write and sing “Gollum’s Song”. She refused them all due to her pregnancy. Although she was not officially involved, producers did pick three artists with a similar sound, and asked her to choose. Her pick didn’t work out, and after approaching her one final time to sing, the song went to Emiliana Torrini.
  • The actors who played the Riders of Rohan may surprise you. “Ideally, we wanted guys who were six feet tall with long hair and long beards to ride the horses,” says Steve Old, head the Horse Department. “On New Zealand’s South Island, though, it’s mostly females who ride horses. In the end, we probably had five guys and the remaining 250 or so riders were women dressed as men! And the average age of the women was about 50.”


  • Cameo(Alan Lee): The Concept Designer can be seen as the Rohan collecting weapons at Helm’s Deep (to the left when Aragorn yell’s “Then I shall die as one of them!”)
  • The map that Faramir and his aide look at is the map featured in the books, drawn by Tolkien’s son, Christopher.
  • Peter Jackson’s children appear as “cute Rohan refugee children”.
  • It was reported that Viggo Mortensen’s son, Henry Mortensen, appeared in some battle scenes during the shoot.
  • Peter Jackson turns in a cameo as one of the wild men running toward the camera after Saruman’s big speech. (right before they are shown attacking towns in Rohan)
  • The first man to throw a stone at the orcs coming up the bridge in the Helms-Deep scene is Peter Jackson.


  • The Orc battle cries for the Helm’s Deep battle sequence were provided by a stadium of 25,000 cricket fans, who screamed the war chants, spelled out on the Diamond Vision screen, with Jackson himself leading the crowd.
  • The set for the Helm’s Deep battle scene was built on location in New Zealand over a period of seven months.
  • When arriving upon the set to film the scene in which Andy Serkis (Gollum) has to catch a fish, they discovered that it had snowed overnight. Peter Jackson had the snow cleared on the set (which included defrosting the river as well as the land surrounding it) by 1:00 PM.
  • Gimli’s armor weighed about 30kg (66lb)
  • The battle at Helm’s Deep was edited down from twenty hours of footage, shot over a three month period with the rain machine battering down on the cast.
  • There were so many extras used in the sequences at Helms Deep, and the filming went for so many months that almost all the extras and principle actors got tee-shirts reading “I survived Helms Deep”. There were so many of these shirts that extras would often meet other extras in New Zealand’s main cities because they would recognize the shirts.
  • When an Elven Warrior falls off the Deeping Wall, the scream is the famous “Wilhelm Scream”, commonly used in scenes where someone is hit or is falling to their demise.


  • In the wide shots of Legolas, Aragorn & Gimli running after the Orcs, all three performers are running injured. Orlando Bloom had a couple of broken ribs (from a fall off a horse); Aragorn had a broken toe (from kicking the helmet in the Orcs funeral pyre scene); and Brett Beattie (Gimli’s scale double) had a knee injury. Peter Jackson said that all three were very dedicated and continued to film the scene, often yelling “ouch” or “ow” after “Cut” was called.
  • Viggo Mortensen broke a toe while kicking the steel helmet by the orc pyre.
  • A stuntman broke his back playing the soldier who is hit by the “bolt” from the ballista type device used to hoist the ladders.


  • Andy Serkis (Gollum) was ruled ineligible for a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2003 Academy Awards because his character onscreen was computer generated.
  • Howard Shore’s score was ruled out for the Academy Awards due to a new rule that doesn’t allow sequels to be nominated for Best Score. However, he was told that if it wasn’t for the new set of rules his score would have been nominated.
  • The first sequel to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture when the original film did not win the award itself, and only the second sequel to be nominated for Best Picture.