You can’t be a literary geek without at least having your little Hobbit fingerses in the deep Tolkien lore of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It’s impossible! However, I found some interesting little tidbits of trivia about Peter Jackson’s films that may pique those with an Elven wit. Take a look!
1. Sure, there are incredible scenes between Frodo and Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films — but did you know that Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen sat in an elaborate camera rig to make those scenes work? It’s a trick called forced perspective, where cameras placed closer to certain actors make them appear larger. The same went for Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen in The Hobbit!
2. Sean Connery was actually the original Gandalf that Peter Jackson had in mind. Heck, Connery was offered a lot of money but didn’t actually want to leave retirement or try to figure out what that nutty script meant! Can you imagine a Bond Gandalf!?
3. The Beatles were actually interested in taking part in a live-action Lord of the Rings back in the day. Even with John Lennon being Gollum. Tolkien wasn’t into the idea of it and turned them down when they sought out the rights to make the film. Probably for the best, Beatles fans!
4. It’s thought that, due to the films, not having the One Ring will age you progressively. However, that doesn’t quite make sense because Gollum is kicking it pretty strong despite his problematic transformation. The films don’t truly explain that, when you see Bilbo in his advanced age, that it’s actually twenty years since the events that finished off the Ring. No wonder the guy’s kicking it in Valinor now, right? He deserves it.
5. Now, it’s obvious that Peter Jackson wanted a story about races coming together to defeat a common enemy and so he took some creative license (as he did with much of the original text). However, you’ll get a lot of die-hard fans poking their fingers out and stating that the Elves actually wanted nothing to do with that war and the affairs of Man. Nah, they were headed to Valinor to avoid this whole mess entirely! Elves in the Battle of Helms Deep? Psh-psh-nonsense-and-pshaw. While we love those scenes, it’s fairly fascinating to realize that isn’t actually how things went down. Personally, I like to take it on as canon. Let the Elves help save Middle-Earth, I say!
6. When Eowyn defeated the Witch-King – remember that baller statement, stating that she was ‘no man’ before striking that finishing blow? The reason she had the moment to do that is because Merry used the blade Aragorn had given him at the start of their quest. That same blade had actually defeated a Witch-King previously. Those blades are no joke!
7. It may have been overlooked by many, but it’s well known that elves are light on their feet. This is shown beautifully in the scene where the Fellowship drags and trudges, thigh deep, through snow and Legolas happily walks atop it without a single problem. Some folks don’t even think twice on it but it’s actually part of what sets elves apart physically from men and other races.
8. The famous scene where the Hobbits hide from the Ringwraiths is actually taken from the animated Lord of the Rings film made by Ralph Bakshi. Production designer John Howe was inspired by the animated film and painted his take on it. From there, Peter Jackson saw Howe’s painting and didn’t even realize that it was inspired by the animated film at first. Creation knows no originator.
9. Tolkien didn’t actually invent the word ‘hobbit,‘ as it was found in a 19th Century Book of Folklore that described the creatures as ‘an obscure word for little people‘ and Tolkien nabbed it right up for his books. The author would go back and forth in interviews and such stating he thought he had created it but it doesn’t quite matter who did when your masterpiece gave you honor as its original usage.
10. There were 8000 digital paintings and 500 concept art-works that went into building The Hobbit. John Howe (remember that painting up there? Yeah, that guy!) and his team worked tirelessly. When their typical method wasn’t working for them, they learned and worked on computer 3D imaging to mold the world of The Hobbit to their whim. See, kids? You CAN do anything if you set your mind to it. Well, that and decent education. STAY IN SCHOOL!