The Tolkien Enthusiast
The Lord of the Rings Movie Project

Silly File

For all those really dumb things that fans and others have done that don't fit anywhere else.

Balrog Wings

A Research Topic has been posted in Aqualab investigating the old question Do Balrogs have wings? It includes a couple of diagrams which shows just how silly the idea is if the wings sentence is taken literally.

Theft Cases

The Lord of the Rings brings out the best in most people - it is, after all, a story about ideals. Unfortunately, such is not the case with all people. A couple of news articles about a guy charged with stealing scripts, props (including two swords), VHS tapes, and costume designs. Read more on the Thefts page.

Trailer Artifacts

Background: A few weeks after the first QuickTime Internet trailer was released, some bright spark noticed a dust fleck in one frame in the sky over the marching Orc armies. Naturally, they suggested that it was a Nazgul that had invertently been left in one frame. I rolled my eyes in despair, but later found myself discovering more of these mysterious Nazgul! Click on the pic to open a larger version in a new window.

I was just grabbing a frame from the trailer to compare the view of Mt Doom that I found while exploring around the east side of Mt Ngauruhoe, and suddenly I started finding lots and lots of Nazgul hidden all over the place - including a Nazgul smeared along the bottom edge of the frame - a crash landing, perhaps, which would explain the nauseaus expression on the face of the soldier on the right side of the frame.  


And then I remembered the Nazgul hovering around Gandalf I had noted the very first time I saw the trailer

And could it be that Arwen wasn't riding away from the Nazgul fast enough? (Personally I think it's more likely a couple of Neekerbreekers flying past, a little further east of their normal locale.)  

  But wait - there's more! Even the Nazgul have Nazgul haunting them! (No wonder they're riding so quickly toward the camera.)

Ah, well. So much for "It's a digital source so there won't be dust flecks!"

No One's Perfect

E-Online has produced some really good on-set articles about the filming. When they do (very rarely) make a mistake, they do make it funny. The picture they posted:

There are no mountains anywhere near Hobbiton - or Matamata, New Zealand, where Hobbiton was filmed. New Zealanders in particular found this rather funny, because the countryside around Matamata is known for being pretty flat (it's on the edge of the Hauraki Plains) with the odd rolling hill. However, New Zealand is a small country, and in the middle of winter snow is only a couple of hours away by car.

What they should have had (and got up within a week):

Location: Hobbiton, Bag End

There was some doubt raised by certain Internet persons as to whether this picture was genuine. These silly people tried to make out that (along with other reasons) the photo couldn't be real because:

  • The person who took it would have to have been 30 feet in the air;
  • The fence looks only knee high;
  • The front door is six feet high, judging from the person in the front yard.

If the fence size looks slightly funny it's because of foreshortening due to the telephoto lens used being some distance away in some sort of aircraft, and if the door was shorter (ie, Hobbit sized) the real size actors would hit their heads as they entered. Duh.

However, according to a source within Weta (who told me him/herself) the photo is genuine, and was taken by someone from the English Daily Mirror newspaper who hired a helicopter and flew over Hobbiton taking photos. So much for those who tried to convince us that the picture was a fake.

Petition to Rename The Two Towers

Seems some people just don't like The Two Towers movie named, well, The Two Towers. An online petition to rename the movie based on its similarity to "The Twin Towers" (of New York, 11 September infamy) has gained over 1100 signatures, as of early May 2002. The only problem is that over 95% of the signatures are bogus, mostly people who have signed the petition so they can get abusive comments displayed of what they think of people who believe in the petition. Sadly, the obviously false signatures get deleted over time (some are really abusive, although rather funny) so that looking through the list, pages of signatures (50 at a time) often get displayed with no valid ones at all.

An couple of examples of signatures that have survived (so far):

Paul: they have no sensitivity, i wont even let my two twin kids stand next to each other out of respect for 9/11

Hans A. Clue: I agree! Mr. Jackson should also name the third LOTR installment something other than "The Return of the King" because it is offensive to Elvis fans everywhere who know he never left!!! Don't be cruel, Mr. Jackson!!!

Paul Shrug: I, too, was galled, shocked and disoriented upon learning of the cynically crass title of Mr. Jackson's new film. I would also like to start a petition to rename Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report" because of its blatant insult to people of color. Also, the upcoming film "About A Boy" is a clear endorsement of pedophilia. I am also deeple [sic] troubled at the subtitle of the new "Star Wars" installement, "Attack of the Clones." This scandalous title is a none-too-subtle implication that scientifically duplicated humans or other animals are violent and hostile in nature -- clearly an affront to copied citizens everywhere. We shall make no progress until Hollywood stems its insensitivity to those factions of society it chooses not to understand. As an avid filmgoer, I shall shed many tears until these senseless titles cease.

A "Keep the name the same" petition (at the same online peitition provider) has now gained almost as many genuine signatures as the "change the name" petition.

I'm predicting the next petition will be on which two towers The Two Towers' title refers to. And after that it'll be that Balrogs don't have wings, and then a petition that they do...

Gollum schizoid

In one of those articles that makes you wonder what the next generation is coming to, New Zealand's Weekend Herald (18-19 December 2004) had this to report:

Gollum gets a health check

Gollum, the creepy Lord of the Rings character with the dual personality and eerie voice, suffered from a schizoid personality disorder, says a group of medical students. Thirty students and University College London were asked to explain the off behaviour the character displayed.

"He fulfills seven of the nine criteria for schizoid personality disorder," Elizabeth Sampson, who headed the research team, said in the British Mediical Journal.

Research team? Why does it take a team to arrive at that sort of conclusion?

This from Herald on Sunday (19 December 2004):

Gollums's fish diet called into question

The Lord of the Rings character Gollum was paranoid and had a split personality, but this was probably because he suffered from vitamin deficiency, anaemia, hyperthyroidism and a metabolic disease called porphyria.

That's the conclusion of a group of Britsh doctors in a tongue-in-cheek diagnosis published tomorrow in the British Medical Journal.

"Gollum's limited diet may cause irritibility, delusions and paranoia. His reduced appetite and loss of hair and weight may be associaated with iron deficiency anaemia. He is hypervigilant and does not seem to need much sleep. This, accompanied by his bulging eyes and weight loss, suggests hyperthyroidism. Gollum's dislike of sunlight may be induced by the photosensitivity of porphyria," they say.

Anyone got any other ideas about what else these medical students do on their course?

Good Guy now Witchking

In an article by James Graham, the New Zealand Herald (24 January 2005, page C8) reported on a horse named "... Elendil, who [owner Peter] McKenzie named after the witchking he played in The Fellowship of the Ring ..."

There was also a photo with the article with a caption that read: "AT THE BATTLEFRONT: Trainer Peter McKenzie played the witchking Elendil in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." The photo was definitely NOT the Witchking.

Sorry Mr Graham, Elendil was one of the good guys, an ancestor of Aragorn. The Witchking was one of the bad guys. They were NOT the same person.