December 27, 2023 | Carl Wyndham

Fellowship Of The Ring Facts To Rule Them All


“One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

The first Lord of the Rings movie, Fellowship of the Ring, earned over 800 million worldwide when it was released and helped inspire a new generation of fantasy movie lovers.

Here are 45 facts you probably don’t know about the first part of the trilogy.


Fellowship Of The Ring Facts

1. Ouch!

The scene where Gandalf hits his head off a beam in Bilbo’s house as not originally in the script. Ian McKellen knocked his forehead on the beam by accident. Peter Jackson thought McKellen did a fantastic job "acting through" the gaffe, and so he kept it in the final cut.

Fellowship Of The Ring

2. The One True Ring

The wedding ring of Co-producer Rick Porras was the the template for the look of the Ring used in the movie.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

3. Not Quite the One Ring

Director Peter Jackson presented Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum, with one of the rings used in the movie once production for the film had concluded. Both Wood and Serkis thought they had the only one.

lord of the rings quizWikipedia

4. Fly you Fools!

The cast often had to fly to isolated locations in a helicopter to shoot scenes. Sean Bean had a fear of flying and would only get in the helicopter if there was no other choice. When production scenes of the Fellowship where the characters were crossing snowy mountains, Bean would spend two hours each morning hiking from their base camp to the set, all while dressed as Boromir.

GettyImages-491901534.jpgGetty Images

5. Put me Back in Coach!

Viggo Mortensen chipped a tooth while filming the battle between Aragorn and the Uruk-Hai leader, Lurtz. He was reportedly so gung-ho about finishing the scene that he suggested that he just super-glue the piece of tooth back in his mouth so they could keep filming! Jackson put his foot down, however, and had Mortensen taken to the dentist.

GettyImages-2799954.jpgGetty Images

6. Terminator is Real…

A computer program called “MASSIVE” was used to make armies of CG orcs, elves, and humans. These digital characters could 'think' and fight on their own, recognizing friend from foe. Different species even had their own fighting styles.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

7. What about 16th Breakfast?

When Pippin is hit in the head with an apple after asking about if they can have second breakfast, it is Viggo Mortensen throwing the apple at his head. They had to film the shot 16 times to get it just right, and Pippin actor Billy Boyd says he believes Mortensen loved each take.

GettyImages-1675595.jpgGetty Images

8. Late Arrival

Viggo Mortensen joined the film after it had begun filming. He had never met Peter Jackson before, or read any of the Lord of the Rings books. It was Mortensen's 11-year-old son who convinced his dad to join on as Aragorn.

Viggo_Mortensen_TIFF_2011.jpgWikimedia Commons

9. The Tall Dwarf

John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli, is the tallest of any of the actors in the fellowship.

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10. Don’t Need no Education

Orlando Bloom got the role of Legolas just two days before he completed drama school.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

11. Fingers to the Bone

A total of over 12.5 million plastic rings were created to make fake chain mail armor for the movie. Two of the crew were tasked with connecting the rings by hand to help make costumes. By the end of filming, they had worn the fingerprints off their thumbs and index fingers.

Lord of the rings factsPixabay

12. Magic Floor

According to Sean Astin, who played Sam, when Bilbo drops the ring onto the floor before leaving his house, the surface was magnetic to prevent the ring from bouncing and create the illusion of abnormal weight.

Stranger Things Season 2 factsGetty Images

13. A Learner of Languages

Viggo Mortensen is trilingual. He speaks English, Spanish, and Danish, and asked that the script be altered to allow his character to speak more lines in Elvish.

Fellowship Of The Ring FactsGetty Images

14. A Close Shave

The blade that the Uruk-hai, Lurtz, throws at Aragorn during the final fight scene was a real dagger. It was supposed to miss and hit the tree behind Mortensen but because the Orc armor impleaded the actors’ mobility it was accidently thrown straight at Mortensen. Luckily Mortensen was quick enough to deflect it with his sword.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

15. Dragon? What Dragon?

When the dragon firework goes off at Bilbo’s birthday party, the shriek heard is Pippin actor Billy Boyd screaming. He wasn’t aware that the firework was actually going to detonate on set (he assumed it would be inserted through CGI). It was not scripted, but ended up in the final film because it sounded so real.

The Fellowship Of The Ring factsLOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

16. You Shall Not Pass!

To shoot Gandalf’s big scene with the Balrog, Ian McKellen was really looking at a green ping pong ball, which was used with a green screen during filming to give him and other cast members a point of reference for where the monster would be CGI’d into the movie.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

17. An Extra Set of Hands

Christopher Lee was one of the first people to be cast for the movies in part because of his familiarity with the books. He visited the makeup department regularly, and often gave tips about how the monsters should look.

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18. What do your Elven Eyes See?

Each of the different races of Elves was given their own eye colour. Elves from Lothlorien were given light blue eyes, while the Rivendell elves eyes were dark blue.

Sauron factsThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

19. One does not simply Memorize Lines

Boromir's speech at the Council of Rivendell was read from a sheet of paper sitting on Sean Bean's lap because he had only received his lines for it the night before.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

20. Elvish Runes

The Elvish lines used in the film are not simply quoted straight from the book, they were copied from J.R.R. Tolkien's own dictionary of the language.

Lord Of The Rings factsFlickr, Gwydion M. Williams

21.Get my Good Side

Most of the members of the Fellowship tried their hand at surfing in their free time. Viggo Mortensen fell off his board and busied a whole side of his face one day. Makeup couldn’t cover up the bruise so the entire scene in Moria where they find the tomb Aragorn is only seen from one side.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

22. The Voice of Experience

Originally the narration at very beginning of the film was going to be done by Elijah Wood. Ian McKellen also recorded a version but it was thought that it didn’t fit either Frodo or Gandalf’s characters. Cate Blanchett, as Galadriel, was used because showed the agelessness of the elves.

GettyImages-1026087494.jpgGetty Images

23. What’s your Name Again?

Once Viggo Mortensen got so into character that while having a conversation with director Peter Jackson, Jackson referred to him as "Aragorn" for about half an hour without realizing it.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

24. One Tough Elf

Liv Tyler, known for her role as Arwen, inadvertently injured her right thigh while filming the 'If you want him, come and claim him!' scene.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

25. Permanent Members of the Fellowship

Eight of the nine members of the Fellowship got a tattoo of the word "nine" written in Elvish script. The ninth member, Gimli actor John Rhys-Davies, declined and sent his stunt double in his place.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

26. Honey, I Shrunk the House

Two sets of Bilbo Baggins’ home were built. One to for the Hobbits, the other 33% smaller for the scenes with Ian McKellen in them. Every detail was made precisely right down to slightly tinier versions of books on the shelves.

Hobbiton_New_Zealand.jpgWikimedia Commons

27. Excellent Swordsman

Olympic fencer Bob Anderson choreographed the fight scenes in The Lord of the Rings. Anderson, who has trained professional fencers and also did the choreograph for Star Wars, said that Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) was the best swordsman he ever trained.

GettyImages-78569482.jpgGetty Images

28. Gandalf, who’s that?

Ian McKellen had not read any of the Lord of the Rings books when he was first asked by Peter Jackson to join the cast. It was Jackson's eagerness for the movie that convinced him.

Harry Potter Actors FactsFlickr, Gage Skidmore

29. Elvish Speed

Legolas's arrows in the final fight scene are all CGI’d.

The Fellowship Of The Ring factsLOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

30. Camera Tricks

In order to make the Hobbits appear short they placed tall characters, like Gandalf, closer to the camera so they would seem bigger.

Gandalf factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

31. Missing the Boat

In one take of the Bucklebury Ferry scene, Elijah Wood mistimed his jump and fell into the river instead of landing on the ferry.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

32. King for a Day

The moth that Gandalf whispers instructions to while trapped on the top of the Tower of Isengard was born just before the filming that day, and its life ended soon after the scene was concluded. Farewell little one!

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

33. You Filmed Without Me?!

Sean Bean has no memory of being in New Zealand on the day they shot the scene where the Fellowship departs from Rivendell. He says that Boromir must have been put in digitally.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

34. Shortening Things Up

The original cut of the movie was four hours and thirty minutes in total. And you thought it was long before!

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

35. Bringing it to life

The town of Hobbiton was created a full year before filming began in order to make it look like it was a real lived-in place. It was complete with real vegetable patches and sheep ate the grass to keep it short.

The Lord of the Rings QuizWikimedia Commons

36. Making it up as we go

The script was rewritten every day of filming, most of which was from added input from the actors who were all extremely involved in the creation of their characters.

Ashley JuddWikimedia.Commons

37. Giving Thanks

The Orc blacksmiths portrayed at Isengard are indeed members of the workshop who contributed to the creation of the combat implements used in the film.

Sauron factsThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

38. Meeting the Creator

Christopher Lee was the only member of the cast to ever actually meet J.R.R. Tolkien. He said that he had a chance meeting with the writer at a pub in Oxford.

Star Wars Episode III: Celebration Day.Getty Images

39. Like Father like Daughter

Liv Tyler changed her own voice so much to play Arwen that her father, and Aerosmith singer, Steven Tyler asked her if her voice had been overdubbed by somebody else.

Aerosmith FactsGetty Images

40. Do we have enough candles?

The birthday cake for Bilbo Baggins’ had 111 candles on it and they eventually set the cake itself on fire.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

41. Hidden Talent

The scream noise for the Ringwraith’s was actually done by the co-writer and co-producer of the film, Fran Walsh.

GettyImages-56077375.jpgGetty Images

42. Follow the Lights!

When the hobbits are shown watching Gandalf's fireworks at Bilbo's party, they were actually looking at flashing lights and an air horn.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

43. Success!

The film stayed in the United States top ten earning films for 13 weeks after its release.

1702540809997.pngWikimedia Commons

44. Real Steel

Viggo Mortensen, who plays Aragorn, did a lot of his own stunts. He was also adamant about using only real swords, instead of a much lighter aluminum sword or harmless rubber sword.

Fellowship Of The Ring factsLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Line Cinema

45. The Three Movies to Rule Them All

Miramax was the first studio to express an interest in Peter Jackson's interpretation of the books but they wanted to do it all in one film. Jackson refused, and thank goodness he did!

Fellowship Of The Ring FactsGetty Images

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6


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