Lord Of The Rings Trilogy: 16 Easter Eggs, In-Jokes & References You Need To See

One list-based article to rule them all.

As far as the cinema scene is concerned, The Lord of the Rings trilogy essentially put the fantasy genre back on the map. After years and years of uninspired, awkward fantasy pictures filled with tired cliches and naff renderings of mystical lands, strange creatures and magic that just plainly didn't gel, New Zealand director Peter Jackson made fantasy cool again with his outright epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's most famous series of novels. Jackson's approach was, essentially, to bring Tolkien's books to life as something akin to a more realistic, hack and slash-styled action movie franchise; less "fantastical" and a whole lot grittier (with a violent edge to match). This turned out to be something of an overall masterstroke, of course - people were blown away when the first flick, The Fellowship of the Ring, hit theatres back in 2001 - the impact felt like that of the original Star Wars film. Now, The Lord of the Rings movies are more than a decade old (seriously!). Looking back at these extraordinary films, it's made more and more apparent just how much care, attention and love went into crafting them. Because - quite frankly - these pictures are packed to the brim with easter eggs, in-jokes and references to other movies, which only serve to showcase the level of detail that ol' Peter Jackson commanded whilst making them... Here's 16 of the most interesting easter eggs, in-jokes, references, homages and allusions that are scattered across Jackson's awesome trilogy, starting with...

16. Ian Holm Voiced Frodo Baggins In The 1981 BBC Radio Version - The Fellowship Of The Ring

It's near-on impossible to imagine anyone other than Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and indeed he was director Peter Jackson's first and only choice for the part. This makes sense when you consider that Holm provided the voice of Bilbo's nephew, Frodo Baggins, in the 26-episode radio broadcast of Tolkien's novel from 1981. Yes, Holm featured in the show alongside Michael Hordern, Robert Stephens, William Nighy, James Grout, Simon Cadell, John Le Mesurier, Jack May and Peter Vaughan, which aired between 8 March 1981 and 30 August 1981 on BBC Radio 4. Holm was a much younger man back then, obviously, so he was better suited to playing Bilbo by the time Jackson's movies came around - almost thirty years later!

Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.