10 Amazing Behind The Scenes Stories From The Lord Of The Rings

One does not simply film Middle Earth without a few close calls...

Viggo Mortensen
New Line Cinema

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the greatest adaption of a book ever put to the big screen. That's a fact. But, book-to-film adaptions are never an easy undertaking. You have the tricky business of condensing something that might take up pages to read, into only a few minutes of screen time. You also need to respect the fandom, while taking into consideration the viewing needs of a more modern audience. Rarely does this ever work out as intended.

When it comes to something as beloved and grand in scope as Tolkien's epic trilogy, you really have your work cut out for you. Tolkien himself refused several offers to adopt his work, as he thought the task impossible. Even the Beatles made an offer to star in a movie version - that's right, John Lennon was going to play Gollum - but they were turned down with the rest.

Luckily, a little-known indie-director from New Zealand, managed to successfully pitch an adaptation back in the mid 1990s. The attention to detail, and the respect for the source material, offered by Peter Jackson, resulted in one of the greatest tales in literature, being successfully translated to modern cinema.

10. Sean Bean Hated Helicopters So Much He Climbed A Mountain To Film A Scene

Part of what made Lord of the Rings so enchanting was the epic landscapes. The rolling grasslands of Rohan, the cavernous depths of Moria, and the snowy peaks of the Misty Mountains, were all part of what made Middle Earth come to life. And although places like the halls of Khazad-dûm, and the House of Elrond were conjured with CGI, or built as sets, many of the most breathtaking scenes were shot on location.

This often required the cast and crew to be ferried by helicopter to some of New Zealand's most remote and inhospitable areas. If only the Fellowship had helicopters; you could forget about those unreliable eagles and deliver the Ring to Mount Doom with ease... But sadly, this perk was resigned for the crew alone... all except Sean Bean.

The crucial scene in which Boromir, picks up the ring atop the Misty Mountains, was filmed on location. But after the crew's first trip by helicopter, Bean was so afraid, he refused to take any more. Instead, he would get up extra early, catch a ski lift, and then climb the rest of the way to shoot the scenes - all while dressed as Boromir. That's dedication.


Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.