The ‘Lord of the Rings’ is a cornerstone of fantasy culture, reaching to every corner of society from movie buffs to cosplayers, and gaming nerds to ‘larpers’. The one source of inspiration to rule them all and find them, bring them all and bind them!
So if you are a lover of ‘LOTR’ or simply looking to learn something new today, here are five things you didn’t know about ‘Lord of the Rings.’
1. Tolkien found inspiration in an unlikely place
Professor J.R.R Tolkien was marking exam papers when he came across a paper that a student had left blank. For reasons unbeknown to him, an urge came over him to write the words “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit”. Curious, he decided to explore this idea a little more, and the rest is history. That would go on to be the first sentence of one magical story.
2. Christopher Lee knew Tolkien
The Saruman actor, (and award-winning metal singer) Sir Christopher Lee knew all of J.R.R Tolkien’s works off by heart and would often get tested with ‘LOTR’ questions by the other actors on set.
Not only did he know his work, Christopher Lee actually met Tolkien when he was a boy. A young Lee and his friends randomly noticed the professor at a bistro called ‘the Eagle and Chance’ in Oxford, they approached Tolkien and tried to muster up a conversation while kneeling before him.
3. The movies had some massive proportions
The ‘Lord of the Rings’ was an epic movie trilogy, resulting in no easy task for the cast and crew to create. Some fight sequences, such as the Battle of the Hornburg, were only shot at night and took up to four months to complete. The costume crew was working overtime, creating as many as 18,000 costumes from scratch. The Return of the King holds the record for the highest body count in a movie, with 836 bodies in total, proving that makeup and props also had their work cut out for them!
4. Viggo Mortensen is a worthy Aragorn
While filming the ‘Lord of the Rings,’ Viggo Mortensen performed all of his own stunts with a REAL sword. We’re talking solid steel here, not the aluminum and rubber stuff that the rest of the cast used.
On top of being a naturally talented swordsman, he was also a committed actor; returning to filming the same day after chipping his tooth during a fight scene. In The Two Towers (the scene when Aragorn screams in anguish thinking the hobbits have perished), Mortensen had in fact broken his toe after kicking a helmet moments before – but chose to finish the scene before getting medical attention.
5. ‘LOTR’ was almost completely different!
The Beatles wanted to adapt a ‘LOTR’ movie in the ‘60s with Paul McCartney as Frodo, Ringo Starr as Sam, George Harrison as Gandalf, and John Lennon as Gollum. Although the talented Stanley Kubrick was set to direct, Tolkien did not allow the project to materialize.
Well, there we have it, with these five facts about the Lord of the Rings done and dusted; we hope that you have learned some new and interesting facts about our favorite cult classic trilogy. The true stories behind these films are almost as incredible as the fantasy epic itself!