July 29, 2021

“The Lord of the Rings”: battle won in 20 years on the screen

Twenty years ago, cinemas first presented the story and universe imagined by the South African-born English writer, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, better known as JRR Tolkien.

Two decades ago the first installment of the trilogy was released: “The Lord of the Rings: the fellowship of the ring” (“The Lord of the Rings”).

The three films were shot continuously for a year and a half in New Zealand, homeland of the director in charge, Peter Jackson.

The first was screened in 2001; the second, “The Lord of the Rings: the two towers”, the following year; and the final installment, “The Lord of the Rings: the return of the King”, in 2003.

To celebrate the two decades of the ring’s arrival in theaters, we present some curiosities about the film trilogy and its protagonists.

+ Characters and actors

Last year, in an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Peter Jackson revealed what was his favorite scene of the ten hours that the three films add up: Gollumal’s monologue at the beginning of the second installment, “The two towers”.

The scene was not even written by him, but by his partner Fran Walsh. In it Gollum is torn between killing Sam and Frodo to get the ring.

“One key thing with Gollum is that most people know that it’s Sméagol and it’s Gollum, it’s like a division. But we didn’t have a scene where the idea of ​​’this guy is two people’ was really there. So we knew we needed it, ”Jackson said, according to the Independent newspaper.

“Fran wrote a scene where Sam and Frodo are asleep so it may just be lumps on the bed, we don’t even have to have Elijah and Sean. We didn’t have anyone directing it, so I said to Fran, ‘You wrote it, you should shoot it,’ the director continued.

Now it is almost impossible to separate the cast from its characters, but Aragorn, for example, could have had the face of Nicolas Cage instead of Viggo Mortensen.

In an interview on Newsweek in 2015, the Oscar winner for “Leaving Las Vegas” was asked if he regretted turning down a role. “I do not regret anything. I think regret is a waste of time, “he replied and then added that there were movies that he would have benefited from if he could have made them.

“‘The Lord of the Rings.” That trilogy, the role of Aragorn. Or “The Matrix,” ”Cage responded when asked for an example.

The actor explained that he was offered the role that Mortensen ended up occupying, but that at that time he could not travel and be away from home during the entire shoot.

“And i mean it. I can enjoy movies as a member of the audience, because I don’t watch my own movies, ”he said. According to various sources, Daniel Day-Lewis was also offered the role.

The same happens with Ian McKellen and Gandalf. According to Celebrity Networth in 2012, Sean Connery, a Scottish actor who died in 2020, turned down the role because, apparently, he did not understand the script. This “no” to one of the most famous movie trilogies meant giving up 15% of the box office.

+ Cameos
Jackson, as a director, was behind the scenes, but you can also see him in front in the occasional cameo. As a drunken peasant in the first installment; throw in hand in the second; or pierced by an arrow in the third.

Samwise Gamgee’s daughter, meanwhile, is the daughter of the actor who brings her to life, Sean Astin, Alexandra, in real life.

A priori, Samwise may only see a gardener, Frodo’s squire, but in reality, he is fundamental in the achievement of the task entrusted to Bilbo Baggins’ nephew.

“I think the simple ‘rustic’ love of Sam and his Rosie (nowhere elaborate) is absolutely essential to character study (the main hero) and to the relationship theme of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working , spawn) and missions, sacrifices, causes the ‘longing for elves’ and sheer beauty, “wrote JRR Tolkien in a letter collected along with others in the book” The Letters of JRR Tolkien. ”

According to this excerpt, Tolkien considered the good-natured Sam the main hero of the story.

In another letter, the author refers to “my Samwise” and points out that it is a reflection of an English soldier.

Tolkien, according to various sources have collected over the years, was inspired by his experiences during World War I to give life to the conflict in Middle-earth.

“I realized how much the horrors of the trenches must have influenced his grand conception. The evil in Middle-earth is mostly industrialized. Sauron’s orcs are brutalized workers (…) ”, his grandson, Simon Tolkien, wrote in 2016 for the BBC.

“And then, when the war ends, Frodo shares the fate of so many veterans who are scarred by invisible wounds when they return home,” added the writer’s relative.

They all brought his play to life, but the only person in the entire cast who knew Tolkien personally was Christopher Lee, who played the magician Saruman the White and who passed away at 93 in 2015.

“By chance, really,” he said in an interview on Cinefantastique. “I met him with a group of other people at an Oxford pub he used to go to, ‘The Eagle and the Child.’ I was very impressed, as you can imagine, so I just said ‘how are you?’ ”He recalled.

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